Entangled:An Evolve Series Novella(10)By: S.E. Hall
I take my time, running both my hands through my hair, then down my face, planning my next sentence. “Baby,” I begin, deceptively calm as I let out a deep breath, “who better to spend money on than my favorite person in the world? It makes me happy to do things for you. Please don’t fight me, just let me.”
Relationships are about compromise, I know this. Love is patient, love is kind, blah, blah, blah, but this woman is literally gonna turn me into a saint…or kill me. I’m not sure which will come first.
“Dane,” she purrs, closing the practically nonexistent gap between our bodies and running her hands up my chest, “how about we see what we can find at sales first and then we can buy the rest?”
Ah, she, too, was calculating a compromise.
“I’ll think about it,” I grumble. “I’m starving anyway. Go get cleaned up and we’ll go eat instead.” I pause to slap her butt. “We can sleep at my house tonight since you have no bed.”
“Let’s just go to your house now. I’ll clean up there and cook for you,” she offers.
“I swear, you’d argue with a fence post. Fine, let’s go.” My voice chastises, but I wink, letting her know that I really can’t wait to have her in my space, all to myself.
“Baby, leave the dishes and come to me.” I push back the chair and pat my lap. “Helen can get those tomorrow. I wanna hold you.”
“It’s no trouble; it won’t take me ten minutes.” She glances back over her shoulder and smiles.
“Laney. Come. Here,” I growl at her, so very tempted to get up and go swat her constantly argumentative ass.
“Well,” she drawls saucily, slowly moving to me, swaying her hips temptingly, “since you asked so nicely.”
When she’s near enough, I reach out and tug on her hand, pulling her to me. “Why must you always torture me?” I groan against her neck, nipping lightly. “So sassy.” I turn her to face away from me and lift her onto my lap. “Feel what it does to me? I think that’s exactly why you do it.” I move her silky hair to the side and off her neck, nuzzling my face there, placing intermittent kisses along her shoulder. “Talk to me, tell me everything I missed today,” I mumble as I now pull her shirt down those smooth, tan shoulders, giving myself more bare skin to taste.
“Nothing really,” she turns her head back to look at me, “why? What’s going on with you?”
How do I tell her, without sounding like a psycho, that I want to know every facet of her every day? If she laughed, I want to know what was funny. I want to know what she ate, what she wore, who she saw. I want to connect with her on a youthful, carefree level. She needs to know I can relate, that I like to have fun, too. I miss her when we’re apart and want to recreate every moment when we’re together. I’m busy all day, but that’s all it is—busy. Not engaged, not interested, and far from impassioned; I go through the motions to keep my father’s passion afloat, to secure a future for my brother and his children, perhaps my own children, but only if it’s what they want to do. More often than not, I feel like the stuffy businessman who shows up late to catch a few half-hearted laughs with the Crew, a complete outsider way too old for his age.
“Hey, you,” she cups my cheek, her thumb skimming my jaw whisper soft, “tell me what’s going on in that head of yours. Be here with me. Let me help you solve your problems.”
I don’t answer with words, unable to find the right ones just yet, but rather run my fingers from her shoulders down her arms, eyes solely focused on their trail. Several times I do this, still in silence, taking every nuance of her skin. I take my time, memorizing every small freckle placed here and there before finally taking her hands and lifting them, pulling her arms straight up in the air.
“Keep them there,” my voice rumbles, my first words in several minutes, and then pull her shirt up and off in one swift move. “Wrap them around my neck,” I direct in a heated breath on her neck.
She curls her arms back and finds my neck, twirling her fingers in the longer hairs at the nape, lying her head back against my chest.