Date Published: January 18, 2015
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Tristan pours a few drops of shower gel over my board and then over his. It's not enough to clean the clothes, but it makes them smell better. That's as high as we can hope given our circumstances, and we're very careful to waste as little shower gel as possible.
"What's your favorite color?" Tristan asks. At last he's enjoying our little questioning game and initiates it almost as often as I do.
"That's a non-color," Tristan says with a smile, tsk-tsking.
"Well, it's the one I like most," I say defensively.
"That's why you have so much white clothing?"
"Yeah," I say, surprised he noticed that. I wore white a lot in L.A.
He nods, as if considering something. "You look good in white."
I blush slightly. One of the wavy short sleeves of the dress I’m wearing falls off my shoulder. I raise my hand to put it back in place as Tristan does the same. Our hands meet mid-way, and when our fingers touch, electricity zips through us. It’s so intense, I feel a burning sensation in my fingers even after we break contact. The warmth spreads from my fingers, rising to my cheeks, and I blush, confused, even more so when I realize Tristan is avoiding my gaze.
"You look good in everything you wear,” he says, “Aimee."
I flinch a bit at the sound of my name. I usually do when he says it. And he says it often, ever since I asked him to. I can’t pinpoint how or why, but it sounds different now.
After a few minutes I ask, "What's your favorite meal?"
He doesn't miss a beat. "Omelette."
I snicker. "That doesn't qualify as a meal," I say, seizing the chance to get back at him for mocking my favorite color. "No one dreams about an omelette. That's a last resort food anyone can cook. Pick something else."
"Well, that's what I like. I love an omelette for breakfast. It's a privilege to be able to eat one while sitting in a comfortable chair, reading the newspaper."
That's a bit weird, but I let it go. Every day here must be a privilege for him since we eat eggs almost every morning, though boiled, not an omelette. Maybe it's his guilty pleasure. Like coffee is for me.
"I don't know about omelettes, but I like my coffee in the morning."
"I know," he says, smiling even wider. "At 7:00 a.m. sharp. With one spoon of sugar."
"You're perceptive," I say. "What else did you notice about me?"
"You like to change your haircut every six months and—”
"Wow. You'd make a perfect boyfriend," I say, stunned. "Most men don't notice things like that."
His expression hardens, and I bite my lip. Stepping into forbidden territory again.
"I meant it as a compliment," I add, though I have the feeling that won't help.
"I just like to observe… the little things," he says, clipping out the words. I mull them over for a few seconds in silence.
"Just stay with for a little while, please. I need you so much, Aimee." The sound of my name from his mouth awakens something in me that has me writhing in a blazing torture. It’s doing things to me it shouldn't do.
"Shh, okay. I'll stay. I know it helps having someone."
"Not someone. You. You make the memories bearable, the present better. You have an unbelievably strong will to keep going, even if you don't know where you're heading, hoping you'll find something worthy at the end of the road. You have an inherent ability to pick up the good on the way—those that give you strength, the happy things, like your poems—and you go on. You pass that strength onto others, even if it costs you sleep and peace.
“I used to hate waking up every morning. Now I look forward to every day, even though we're stuck in this place. Because it means one more day with you." He caresses my lips with his thumb. I open my mouth, but he shakes his head. "Don't say anything, please."
For a long moment, we are silent, our gazes locked. I breathe in his hot breaths, tension crackling in the short distance between our lips. Then he pulls me into a kiss. The touch of his lips on mine electrifies me, shimmer after shimmer coursing through my nerve endings. His tongue takes mine in a primal claim. Icy shivers splinter my skin, and at the same time, fire awakens deep within me. I've never been kissed like this. Ferociously, with absolute, desperate need. I try to temper the heated emotions building inside me. I try to remember it's wrong. But that fleeting thought is drowned by the heat igniting his lips and hands, and I surrender. Tristan deepens the kiss until I'm out of breath. I become aware of his hard chest muscles, of every line and every ridge, as my hands roam wildly with a greed I don't recognize. His hands graze my body, traveling from my back to my thighs, spreading the fire in my center; I'm convinced it will consume me. With a jolt, he pulls me even closer to him, so I'm all but straddling him. His fingers fumble with my hair, as his blessed mouth cradles mine, coaxing a whimper from me.
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Contemporary Romance author.
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