Authors: Synithia Williams
Tags: #contemporary romance
His lips touched hers. A spark, then bone-numbing need blasted through her body. Tightening her nipples and sending trickles of desire to her core. She jerked back. Her breaths came in short ragged bursts, struggling to supply oxygen to her brain. The same confusion, she was sure, shone in her eyes swam through his. Heat and intensity that powerful was something she didn’t need to get into. She made a move to pull away and at the same time he came in to kiss her again. This time the shock was expected, but no less explosive. Her skin tingled from the crown of her head to the soles of her feet. His tongue gently pushed past her lips.
Strong hands eased her back on the bed and he settled muscular hips between her thighs. His large body covered hers and infused her memory with the smell of his body wash mixed with an underlying spice that could only be him. A hypnotic fragrance too consuming for her to forget, ever. Her arms wrapped around his neck, and she arched her back to press her breasts into his solid chest. Andre responded by sliding his body along hers; sending delicious currents of awareness to every nerve in her body.
His skilled tongue played with hers in an intimate dance that ripped all coherent thought from her brain. Tasting, teasing, and tormenting with deliberate exploration.
Her arms tightening around his neck, a silent request for more. She moaned when his strong hand went up her shirt and caressed her midsection. Her legs spread and he settled more firmly against the damp heat of her center. The hard ridge of his thick erection strained against the material of his sweat pants, taunting her and increasing the wetness between her thighs.
Andre’s large hand engulfed her breast, then squeezed gently. The smooth skin of his palm made slow sensual circles around her swollen nipple. With each rotation, her body tightened and twisted beneath him and the pleasure thrummed to the depths of her stomach. Low wanton moans interrupted Mikayla’s short breaths. Breaking the kiss and gliding his mouth across her cheek, Andre snaked a skillful tongue to her ear. His probing mouth played with the sensitive lobe and he nibbled and sucked, while his hand massaged her breast.
“Andre,” His name erupted with an unsteady breath.
His lips lightly pulled her ear. “Mikayla.”
Oh, man, why did he have to say her name like that? All deep, rumbly, and full of a promise to take her places she’d never been before. He pushed his hips forward then rotated them against her aching flesh. Her eyes rolled in her head; her thighs quivered. How long had it been since she’d had sex? Too long. Not since that banker nine months ago. Long enough to convince her it was okay to go from friends to lovers with Ryan even though common sense said it wasn’t. Long enough to make her seriously consider sleeping with Andre after only meeting a few days before.
“We really need to stop,” she said firmly.
The soft kisses he pressed against her neck stilled. He lifted his head. “I’m stopping.” He slowly withdrew his hand from her shirt. Mikayla bit her lip to keep from begging him to continue his proficient exploration. Swiftly, he rolled off of her and stared at the ceiling.
“I’m going to need a cigarette,” he said between heavy breaths.
She nodded. “I think one more won’t hurt either of us. Then we’ll quit tomorrow, again.”
The sporadic rhythm of heavy breaths echoed through the room, almost drowned out by rapid beats of her heart.
“We can’t do this,” he said.
“No we can’t.”
They didn’t move for several minutes. Eventually, Mikayla’s heart rate returned to normal, but her body buzzed.
Andre sat up first. “I think it’s time to go.”
She nodded, even though he couldn’t see with his back to her. He stood, took a deep breath, and then marched out of the bedroom. Mikayla sat up, covered her heart with a trembling hand and tried to ignore the unsatisfied desire crawling beneath her skin.
“I need to go home.” She said to the empty room. Gazing at the door, she yearned to call him back. “I need to go now.”
Mikayla glanced at Andre out of the corner of her eye. Uncertainty danced a jig in her brain. She wanted to spend more time with him, but couldn’t keep seeing him. Yes, the kiss they shared this morning had been exactly what a first kiss should be. Surely after a few weeks this weekend would fade in her memory just like her zombie dream the night before. Once the rush of emotions went away, maybe she’d realize the kiss wasn’t so fantastic.
Yeah, keep trying to convince yourself of that.
“I appreciate you taking me home,” she said.
He darted his eyes away from the road and glanced at her. “It was a given that I’d take you home on Friday.”
She shrugged. “I know, but I still appreciate it. You didn’t even know my name yet you took me. Especially knowing how you feel about Ryan.”
“From what I can tell, Ryan doesn’t deserve you.”
And now, her insides radiated all warm and tingling. “Angelica doesn’t deserve you.”
His dark eyes slid to her again. She gave him a small smile then turned to look out of the window. “So, I guess when you drop me off its goodbye.” She stared out the window at the trees whizzing by.
Several beats passed with no response. Of course, this was goodbye. They had no reason to stay in touch.
“Not necessarily. You did agree to check and see if I pick up a cigarette again.”
The tension in her shoulders eased and she faced him. “I did. But I probably shouldn’t. Not after this morning.”
He nodded slowly, but his thick brows furrowed as if he didn’t like the comment. She turned back to the window while he changed the satellite radio from a talk show to a classical station. She recognized the song from television, but not being a classical fan wasn’t sure of the composer.
“That won’t put you to sleep?”
“Classical helps me think.”
She shifted away from the window to watch him. “What are you thinking about?”
He squeezed and ran his hands along the steering wheel. “Work. We’re launching a new project soon. I really should have worked on that this weekend instead of going to the wedding.” His voice lacked its usual warmth. Now cool and aloof it was the same tone he’d used before they’d gotten stranded together. He’d already begun to distance himself from the weekend and her. Something she should do as well.
Resting her head on the back of the seat, she closed her eyes and pushed back the sense of loss until the music lulled her to sleep.
Several hours later, when Andre pulled into her apartment complex she woke. Using the back of her hand to smother her yawn, Mikayla checked the clock on the dash. He’d made excellent time.
“We’re here already?”
Andre chuckled, then looked at her with remnants of the softness she’d witnessed at the cabin. “Do you fall asleep every time you ride in the car?”
“Actually I do,” she agreed with a grin.
After giving directions to her building, they rounded the corner to her place. Renee’s Cadillac sat in front of her building. Mikayla groaned. Her friend must have left at the butt crack of dawn to arrive before them. Not surprising since Mikayla hadn’t answered any of her calls. Knowing Renee, she was worrying herself sick wondering where Mikayla was.
“I’m not in the mood for this,” Mikayla said, unbuckling her seat belt.
Andre parked and raised his brows. “In the mood for what?”
“That’s Renee’s car next to us.”
“Look, thanks for the ride, Andre.” She opened the door and jumped out. Half a second after, Andre hopped out and followed her to the back of the car. “I can take it from here.”
“I’ll get your bag.”
Mikayla checked out the window of her second-floor apartment. The blinds shifted. Renee had a key and was probably watching them now.
She accepted her bag from him, pivoted on the balls of her feet taking two steps before changing her mind, and turned back. She opened her mouth to say…what? Call me. Hey let’s hook up one weekend. Please kiss me again? He admitted he didn’t want love, picked women who fit his lifestyle and showed no desire to change. Their two nights in the cabin were an anomaly.
“Take care of yourself,” he said. At least the warmth had returned to his voice.
“You too.” She gave him one last parting smile before turning and heading toward her apartment.
On the way up the stairs, she tried to mentally prepare herself to talk with Renee. No matter how touching Renee’s show of concern, Mikayla didn’t want to re-hash the weekend events. Or blurt out that Renee’s brother should be crowned king of the bastards.
Her door swung open before Mikayla could reach the knob.
“I’ve been worried sick about you. I’ve called and called and it went straight to voice-mail. I even called your dad.”
Mikayla groaned and pushed pass Renee into her one-bedroom apartment. The tan carpet muffled her stomps. “Why did you call my dad? Now he’s going to be worried sick.” She dropped the bag in the living room next to her off-white leather sofa. Back in her space, the scent of the apple cinnamon candle she frequently burned lingered in the air and the coiled tension tightening her body eased.
“When you didn’t answer your phone I checked with him just to make sure you made it home and wasn’t crushed beneath the rockslide on I-40.”
She could forgive Renee for checking because of that. “Did you tell him what happened?”
“I just told him you left early. I know he already hates my brother, I didn’t want to give him a reason to go ballistic.”
Mikayla flopped down on the couch and considered covering her head with one of the orange throw pillows to block out the brewing headache. There would be no easy way to tell her overprotective parent about what happened between her and Ryan.
“I’ll figure out something to tell him.” She dropped her hands and met her friend’s eyes.
Renee frowned and walked over taking the seat beside her. “Where were you?”
“The detour roads weren’t clear. We rented a cabin.”
“You spent two nights in a cabin with Andre?” Renee’s voice rose to a high pitch.
“No, I spent two nights with Bigfoot.”
Renee sucked her teeth. “This isn’t funny, Mikayla. Why would you spend the weekend with Andre? I know what Ryan did was beyond messed up, but to jump in bed with Andre—”
Mikayla bolted up in the seat. “Whoa, whoa, I didn’t jump into bed with Andre, okay. You know me better than that.” Or did she assume Mikayla would be that desperate? If Renee could believe that, then their friendship was just as superficial as her relationship with Ryan. “When have I jumped into bed with anyone?”
“I’m sorry. I just know Andre and his history with Ryan.”
“Yeah, your family is quick to jump to assumptions.” Mikayla grabbed her bag and marched across the room and into the bedroom.
Renee’s footsteps followed. “Please don’t be mad at me, Mikayla. I already feel horrible about what Ryan did.”
Mikayla dropped her bag and turned back to her friend. Renee stood in the door twisting her hands together, uncertainty in her eyes. This was the first time Mikayla had seen her very confident friend appear uncomfortable.
“I’m not mad at you, Renee.”
“The way you looked at me when you left the estate. It was like you couldn’t stand the sight of me. I know I teased about us being pretend sisters, but I really feel that way. I encouraged you to date Ryan. I understand if you blame me a little, but I don’t want to lose my best friend over this.”
The rest of the tightness in Mikayla’s chest lifted. Mikayla walked over and took Renee’s slim hand into hers. “I don’t blame you. This is Ryan’s fault. I only blame myself for believing he could be different with me.”
“Then what was that look for?”
“I was angry. You two are twins. Facing you was just too much at the time.” She squeezed her friend’s hand. “We’re good.” Mikayla turned away and ran a hand through her hair.
Renee moved to sit on the edge of the bed. “So…what did happen with Andre?”
“Why are you so worried about that?”
“Because. Ryan and Andre have stolen each other’s girlfriends since we were in high school. What Ryan did is bad, but to have my cousin take advantage of you would be horrible.”
“Nothing happened, Renee, I promise.”
Except the best kiss of my life.
“What did you do all weekend?”
Instead of meeting Renee’s eyes, she checked the leaves on a plant in her window. “Watched television and checked the news for information about when the roads would be cleared. Yes, we both wanted to find ways to keep our mind off what happened. But, sex wasn’t a part of it.”
Renee sighed. “Good, besides it’s not like you’re seeing him again.”
Mikayla’s stomach clenched. “I’m not.” She stopped fiddling with the plant to face Renee. “And pretty soon I won’t have to see Ryan either.”
“I was afraid of that. Look, you don’t have to quit—”
“Yes, I do. I can’t keep working for your family after this.” She didn’t want to quit. She wanted that promotion. Deserved it. But to face Ryan every day would be too much.
“It’ll only be awkward for a few weeks. You two were only officially dating for a short time. Everyone in the office will take your side.”
“I’m not worried about people taking my side.”
Renee stood and crossed her arms. “What about the acquisitions position, and the land you worked so hard for Caldwell Development to purchase? Are you going to forget all of the work you did to secure that deal and move on?”
Hell, I’m no quitter
. She prided her ability to start and finish projects. She’d always pushed herself to do more in order to get away from the pitiful girl she once was. To be like the glamorous, ambitious, and confident women who had it all in the television shows and movies she watched as a kid. Mikayla’s ambition is why she urged Caldwell Development to purchase the land Renee referred to after learning of a yet to be disclosed influx of new jobs. Jobs meant workers who needed housing. Not seeing the deal to fruition stung worse than the hurt of Ryan’s betrayal.
“I don’t know, Renee…”
Renee clasped her hand. “I know things are bad right now. Believe me, Mom, Dad, and I gave Ryan hell after you left. None of us want to lose you. You’re practically family.”