Authors: Aurora Rose Reynolds
“No, nothing like that. Why? Do you think I have a stalker or something?” I ask, a chill sliding down my spine.
“Don’t know. I'm gonna do some checking around and see if we can find anything. Can you stay with someone else for the night? I don’t think you should be alone?”
“Um… I ugh… have to call my dad. I'm sure that I can stay at my grandma’s or uncle’s.”
“You’re staying with me!” Asher says, making my heart pound.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I say, looking up at him.
“Well, I don’t give a fuck. You’re not leaving my sight and I don’t think your grandma or uncle want me staying at either of their houses with you. So you’re staying with me.”
Rolling my eyes at Asher, I see his dad watching us. He looks smug for some reason.
“Your son is very annoying and bossy,” I tell him.
“I'm sure with you he is, darling.” He laughs. “But he’s a Mayson so I also know that his bossy side is coming from is a very safe place,” he says, looking at me. His smile is so warm that my stomach does a flip. “What did I tell you, son?” he says, looking at Asher. “When it happens—BOOM!” He makes a motion with his hands of an explosion.
“When what happens?” I ask.
“Nothing,” they say at the same time.
“Alrighty, then,” I say, looking back at Asher. “I need to call my dad.” After calling him and explaining everything that happened, Dad wanted to come home. I explained that Asher and his dad were with me and that he didn't need to worry. I knew the club was busy because every few minutes, someone was asking him a question while we were on the phone. I told him that me and Beast were going to stay with Asher for the night.
To say my dad didn't like that idea was an understatement. It took ten minutes to assure him that I wouldn't do anything stupid but he still made me put Asher on the phone to reiterate his point to him. The only thing Asher said was, "She's safe with me, Mike," then he handed me back my phone. So now me, a hosed off Beast and my overnight bag are on our way to Asher's place. We drive out into the country. All along the roads are open fields. "So you live out here?" I ask, looking at his profile in the lights of the dashboard.
"Yeah, I bought the land I live on when I first started my business and started building my house not long after."
“Wow, that’s impressive. How old were you when you started your company?” I ask, wanting to know his age but trying to be sneaky about it.
“I was twenty-two when I first started.”
“Oh. How long ago was that?” I hear him chuckle and I look over at him. “What’s so funny?”
“I'm twenty-seven, babe. Nothing is ever easy with you, is it?” he asks and I hear amusement in his voice.
“Cool,” I say, feeling like an idiot that he figured me out. We pass a large red barn then turn down a dirt road. I can’t see anything ahead of us until we go over a small hill. My breath catches and I'm stunned. I don’t know what I expected but I didn’t expect to see a large, two story log house with a wraparound porch on the second level. Beams are holding it up and space for parking is below. I see a car and four wheeler parked under it.
“You built this?” I ask and even to myself I sound breathy.
“Yeah. It took me four years to get it finished because I was working on it between jobs.”
“It’s beautiful,” I say because…wow, it’s just amazing.
We get out of the jeep and start walking up to the front porch. Beast is walking behind us and it’s so quiet out here that I can hear his tail cutting through the air. He's so excited to see this new place and explore. Asher let us inside and I am completely stunned by what I see. It’s huge. You can see the logs. There are no white walls. It’s all warm wood and open. There are giant windows that jut out and make the space almost seem larger. There is a sunken living room with a long, dark blue couch in the center of the room. It looks like it needs to be replaced but it also looks really comfortable. On the wall, there is a huge entertainment center and off to the side is a floor to ceiling fire place made out of different types of rocks. There are no pictures or throw pillows of any kind. Actually, looking around, I realize that there are no decorations anywhere. We turn a corner and enter a giant kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and a large island in the middle with the stove built into it. It looks like a chef's dream but it also looks unused.
“Do you cook?” I ask. That’s the only reason I can think someone would want a kitchen this large.
“Some,” he says with a look on his face that I can’t read. What the heck? This is a top of the line kitchen. I would love to spend hours in this kitchen baking or just sitting at the island and drinking coffee.
“Oh, well, it’s a really nice kitchen.” I mean, what else I could say?
“Glad you like it,” he says in a way that makes me think he’s really glad that I like it. I follow him down a hall that runs beside the kitchen. I look for Beast but don’t see him so I turn around to search him out. When I walk back through the kitchen, I stop. Beast is lying on the couch on his back with his legs straight up in the air. I feel an arm slide around my waist and Asher speaks close to my ear. “Looks like he made himself at home.” A shiver runs across my skin and I know that he can feel it when his arm goes tighter.
“Should I tell him to get down?” I ask.
“No, baby. He’s fine,” he says in his deep drawl. I love that he calls me baby, and at the same time, it scares me that I love it. “Let me show you the bedroom,” he mumbles. At his words, I get another shiver. This one’s in a completely different place.
We walk past two rooms with the doors open. One is an office and the other is a workout room. Across the hall from both is a bathroom. At the end of the hall, he opens the door. I follow behind him and realize that this is his bedroom. There is a platform bed that’s so big, everyone I know could sleep on it and no one would even touch. The sheets and blankets are a mess and there are clothes scattered all over the floor.
Next to the bed is a wall of windows and the shades are slightly open. I can see a deck off his room as well. Beside the bed are night stands built into the wall. There is a long, black dresser in the same color of the bed and side tables. There are two doors. One is open and I can tell that it’s my dream closet. It’s the size of my apartment back in New York. I walk towards it without thinking and turn on the light. I could fit a chair and a table in the space and still have room to add a king size bed.
There are shelves on both sides that have a few pairs of shoes and boots on them and along the walls there is plenty of space to hang clothes. There are a few pieces of clothing hanging but most of it is in piles on the floor.
“Oh my God, I'm in love.” I hear Asher laughing behind me so I turn to look over my shoulder.
“You have committed a huge crime,” I tell him with a completely straight face. He’s still laughing. “No, seriously, this closet should be taken care of and should never have stuff defacing the floor.” He throws his head back and is laughing so hard that the tendons in his neck are out. I catch myself wanting to run my tongue along them. I double blink at that thought. When his eyes come back to mine, he’s still chuckling.
“I don’t even like doing laundry. I'm not a big fan of hanging shit up,” he tells me.
“Oh, of course,” I whisper. Geez, I'm such a dork. He’s a guy. They don’t care about dream closets and having the space to show of all their fashion treasures. I step out of the closet and cross my arms under my breasts. His eyes drop to my cleavage so I quickly uncross my arms. Then, I realize that I'm standing in his bedroom and I'm sleeping in his house while he’s there.
I look at the bed then back at him. He’s watching me the whole time. When we make eye contact again, there is something working behind his beautiful blue eyes that makes me hold my breath. He breaks eye contact and runs his hand over his head. I clench my hands into fist. I want to know if his hair will feel prickly against my palms. “Um…” I say, trying to clear my brain now that it seems to have gone into an Asher fog. He looks up and smiles. I see his dimple and that doesn’t help. Now I want to lick his cheek and taste his dimple. His smile widens and I swear that he can read my mind. Crap, crap, crap.
“Here, let me show you the bathroom and you can change and get ready for bed,” he says.
Thank God for small favors, I think to myself until we walk into the bathroom. There is a large walk in shower that’s made out of rock with a glass door that makes it look like an open cave. Next to the shower is a bathtub that dreams are made of. Well, at least girl dreams. I can’t picture Asher filling it with bubbles and having a soak. Then, I'm bombarded with thoughts of Asher naked and in the bathtub. I'm staring at the tub when I hear him moving behind me so I turn around. He has my bag in his hand and is setting it on the sink.
“Feel free to take a bath and get into bed. I gotta make a few calls.” I would love to take a bath in his tub. Well, I would love to take a bath in his tub with him but I push that thought away.
“Uh, thanks,” I say, feeling strange. He smiles and leaves, closing the door behind him. I stand there for a few more minutes, trying to figure out what the heck is happening. Then I realize that I’ve been standing there staring at the tub so I jerk out of my Asher tub fog and go to the sink. I took a shower before I left my house so I just dig through my bag and find my pajamas. They’re white, cotton, sleep shorts with a yellow drawstring that matches a yellow tank top. I tie my hair in a knot at the top of my head and wash my face. Then, I dig through my bag and find my toothbrush and toothpaste.
After I'm done, I put on some nighttime skin cream. That is one thing my mom taught me. It was good advice to never go to bed without night cream. She would say, ‘No man wants a woman with wrinkles.’ How she would know, this I don’t know. She has been getting Botox since she was twenty and that’s probably the last time her face showed an expression that wasn’t surprise.
I open the door to the bedroom and the room is dark except for one of the bed side lights. I realize that Asher made the bed while I was changing and for some reason that makes me smile. I think about going out and getting Beast but he won’t move if he’s asleep unless I carry him and that’s not going to happen. I wonder where Asher is sleeping. Then I realize that I'm tired and don’t care. I look at the clock on the side table and see that it’s after two in the morning. Without thinking, I crawl into bed. It smells like him so I pull the covers over me and I'm, once again, dead to the world.
I wake up feeling warm and cozy. It takes me a minute to realize that it is not Beast behind me. Beast doesn’t have arms. I keep my eyes closed and hold my breath, trying to figure out what has happened? Then, I hear the door open.
“Oh my,” I hear a woman’s voice say and my eyes pop open, and I'm looking into the eyes of a beautiful, older woman and she's looking back at me. Asher's arm goes tight around me and I look over my shoulder. “Morning, baby,” he rumbles into my ear. I'm so humiliated that I blurt out the first thing that pops into my head when I turn back to look at the woman.
“We didn’t have sex!” I basically yell this at her.
The lady looks at me again and smiles so big that I can see all of her teeth. “I'll just be in the kitchen,” she says and Asher starts laughing as she’s closing the door behind her. I swear I hear her giggle. As soon as I know the door is closed, I turn to Asher. I'm really going to kill him.
“What are you doing here?” I ask.
“This is my bed,” he says, smiling. Grrrrrrr. I want to choke him.
“I thought you were sleeping on the couch or, like, in another room or something,” I say and wonder why he thinks this is so funny.
“Why would I do that? My bed is big. Plus, your dog was taking up the whole couch.”
“You should have woken me up. I would've slept on the couch with Beast,” I tell him, trying to shove his arm off me.
“My bed is big enough for both of us. We didn't even have to touch, but the minute I got into bed, you were all over me,” he says, hugging me tighter.
“Oh my God, you're so full of it. I was asleep. I didn't even know you were here. How could I be all over you?” I yell at him knowing full well that my face is turning red.
“When I climbed into bed, you wrapped yourself around me,” he says, watching my face. I can feel it getting redder by the second.
“I didn’t,” I say, even though I most likely did. I have always liked to cuddle.
“You did,” he says, smiling.
“Whatever,” I mumble, trying to hide my face.
“At least tell me that’s not your mother,” I say, covering my face with my hands. He starts laughing and pulls me down in the bed so I'm basically lying under him. Feeling his skin against mine, I uncover my eyes and see that he’s not wearing a shirt. How I missed that, I have no idea. His chest is awesome. It’s wide and you can see the definition of all of the muscles. He doesn’t have a lot of chest hair, just enough that you could feel it against your chest as he moves inside of you. His tattoos start under his collar bone and go around his shoulders and down his arms. They look like fire but it’s all tribal. Running in and out of the flames are names and a pair of military type boots. Then the same design goes down his other arm but with a gun and a military type hat. It’s shaded in black and has bright colors running through. It’s truly a piece of art.
“Yes, that’s my ma. She probably came to make sure you were okay. I'm sure Dad told her what happened last night,” he says, startling me out of the perusal I was making of his body and tattoos. I look up into his smiling face, wondering what he thinks is so funny about his mom finding me in his bed.
“This is so embarrassing. She probably thinks I'm a slut,” I say, wondering if this is normal for him.
“She doesn’t think anything except that you slept here after your apartment was broken into. Now we need to get up but first, you need to kiss me,” he tells me with a straight face.
“What?” I whisper.
“You need to kiss me. All night you slept cuddled into me. You can’t do that to a man without at least kissing him.” His face was close to mine and his eyes were warm. My eyes drop to his mouth. I couldn’t help it, he has a nice mouth.