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Ross 03 Leave Me Breathless(5)

By:Cherrie Lynn

His expression was unreadable, but the firm set of his jawline hinted at the same level of pressure that had been holding her captive until he set her free. He unzipped and stripped out of his hooded sweatshirt, but he wasn’t moving to unfasten his pants—didn’t he expect to get his after giving her hers? Apparently not. She didn’t know what to say or do, so she leaned down and began the slightly mortifying task of trying to locate her panties on the floor.

“Missing these?” he asked, and she glanced up to see the scrap of silk dangling from his index finger.

“Um, yeah.” When she tugged them, he hooked his finger, a slight smile turning up one corner of his mouth. Macy giggled when he didn’t give them up without a brief tug-of-war, but finally she claimed them.

He’d made her feel so good. It had been exactly what she needed.

“You know, I don’t have to put these back on yet.” She reached between his legs and ran her hand over the bulging ridge in his jeans. He had to be hurting. It looked like pain that crossed his face when she touched him.

But he seriously must not have meant to go any further. He caught her wrist and pulled her until she was straddling him. His hand smoothed down the outside of her right thigh. “Thank you for wearing a skirt tonight. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” Macy shivered as his fingers’ journey back up her leg took them under the hem. He must’ve thought she was cold; he grabbed his discarded hoodie and wrapped it around her shoulders. She pushed her arms through the sleeves, inhaling deeply as his scent engulfed her.

“Now that that’s out of the way, talk to me. What have you been doing since I left?”

“Nothing.” She snuggled down onto his chest.

“No other guy’s been in the picture?”

She grinned into his neck at the surliness that entered his tone at that question. “Jealous?”

“Not when I was the one with my mouth on your pussy two minutes ago, no.”

Macy didn’t know if she’d ever get used to the way he talked to her. If it had been anyone else, she’d have been appalled, but with him…she loved it. Part of it was knowing he didn’t give a damn what anyone thought, not even her. She would love to be that way. It just wasn’t in her nature.

“You seem different,” he said.

Now that gave her pause and a little surge of unease. She leaned back to look at him. “How so?”

He trailed a finger down her cheek. His gaze held hers, seeing way too much. “Are you sad?”

“I—” What did she say to that? In a scant few minutes, he’d pinpointed something she’d been hiding from everyone for months. Something her best friends hadn’t even picked up on…any more than usual, at least. But she couldn’t confirm his suspicions. He might think it had something to do with him. “No.”

That too-knowing gaze narrowed. “Then are you always a mopey drunk? Because that would suck.”

She scoffed. “I’m not drunk. Not that drunk. And I don’t know why you think I’m…mopey.”

He shrugged. “Well, let’s recap. I seem to remember us hooking up in this very backseat in the parking lot of Dermamania. I remember us talking almost until the sun came up, laughing our asses off at stupid shit. You amazed me with how funny you were. I wasn’t expecting that. The ‘killjoy’ thing was a private joke because we both knew I saw a different side of you than anyone else. And then suddenly, you pulled a disappearing act. Then I had to cut out of town. From what I’ve seen of you tonight, I wonder if you’ve laughed much since then.”

As he spoke, she’d busied herself by absently tracing the collar of his T-shirt, not meeting his eyes. “You know what’s crazy? Despite all that, I don’t even know your real name.”

He sighed at her diversion. “Seth.”

“Seth,” she echoed, needing to feel it on her tongue. “That’s nice. Why didn’t you ever tell me before?”

He suddenly became very interested in picking at something invisible on her shirt. “You never asked.”

Her bottom lip trembled. Great, so he thought she was a stuck-up bitch on top of a depressed drunk. “But I did wonder. What’s your last name?”

“Warren. Why?” He smirked. “Gonna run a background check on me? Need my date of birth too?”

His question gave her a split second of panic. She really didn’t know much about this guy. Her brain ran through its usual gamut of worst-case scenario. Does he have a record? Is it bad? What if he’s done time or something? Some of those tattoos look kind of suspect—

He sat back, exasperated. “Jesus, Macy. No, I’m not a convicted felon.”

“I wasn’t thinking—”

He put a hand pensively to his chin. “Except for that one bank robbery that went terribly awry…”

“Quit making fun of me.”

“Hey, it’s cool. I didn’t mean anything. You okay?”

She only nodded. Considering how tiny her voice had just sounded, it would be nonexistent now, so she didn’t even try to use it. He must have noticed her distress, because he reached up and rubbed her shoulder.

Macy couldn’t help it; her eyes closed, and she knew he didn’t miss her intake of breath. All at once, she wished she could feel the warmth of his skin on hers. She’d been denied it even before. Bare flesh to bare flesh…his hard, hot and intricately marked, hers soft and yielding and…

The images swirling through her mind had her temperature rising again. He smelled unbelievably good. Something darkly sweet and almost lemony. She didn’t want to talk; she just wanted to bury her face in his neck and breathe him in, knowing he tasted as delicious as he smelled.

“So what’s the story?” he asked.

The question pulled her back to reality hard and fast, and the truth came tumbling from her mouth before her brain gave it permission. “I don’t belong.”

She didn’t have to see his reaction. His surprise was palpable. “Don’t belong where?”

“Here. With you. With…them.” She lifted her head and nodded in the direction of the club.

“Says who?”


“Well, then…what are you doing here?” Genuine curiosity laced the words.

She shrugged.

“So…what? Are you thinking about turning your back on everyone, just going your own way?”

“No, I don’t want that. At all.”

“Look,” he said, “I don’t know what happened to you to make you go from the cool, confident woman who always made me feel a million times better when we hung out to the wad of misery I’m seeing right now, but it can’t be that bad. Let it go. That’s my philosophy: learn to not give a fuck, at least about petty shit. Life will be much simpler.”

Her eyes burned as she looked at him. She rarely cried, and when she did, it damn sure wasn’t in front of guys she hardly knew. “I’m glad I made you feel better.”

“Well, now I’m trying to return the favor. So talk to me.”

“I just can’t relate to them anymore. Ever since Candace and Brian got together… I mean, I’m happy for her, all right? Don’t get me wrong. But things are different, and I guess I don’t take change well. Like, at all.”

“I hear you. It was the same around the parlor before I left. We like her, but sometimes it’s a pain in the ass knowing the boss’s girlfriend is hovering around. So you’re not alone. We’ve all had to adjust.”

“But she’s been my best friend since we were kids.”

“Yeah, and Brian and I have been tight for a long time too. I think you’re letting it get to you too much.”

“We just seem so distant now. And hard as I try, I can’t be…one of you.”

“Okay… Macy, what exactly are we?”

She scoffed at him. “Come on. Look at me, and look at you, and then tell me the difference. I’m not implying anything bad. I’m only saying… The things you guys are into just aren’t for me, and vice versa, and that’s the way it is.”

“I honestly think any distance between you and your friends is a figment of your imagination, or was put there by you, because you’re so hung up on all this ‘us and them’ stuff. You should, you know…lighten up a little, killjoy. That’s all.”

Macy couldn’t help but smile at his playful ribbing. “I try to. It just never works out and we always end up arguing. We were on the verge before you guys showed up.”

“There’s no reason you can’t simply live and let live, you know.”

“I know. It just sometimes makes me think I’m not interesting enough for… Never mind.” She snapped her mouth closed. Alcohol had loosened her tongue enough tonight. Here she was spilling her guts to a guy who was extremely adept at scrambling her brain, not to mention other parts of her anatomy. Their conversation had done little to mitigate the need still pooled between her thighs—his voice only exacerbated it.

“Not interesting? What the hell are you talking about?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I am drunk.”