“I mean, yeah, sure. If you wanna?” I replied with a shrug.
I watched as Axel gulped, squirming nervously on his seat.
“What? You’d really do that? But you don’t even know me that well yet,” he mumbled, shocked by my blasé attitude when it came to sex.
“So. It’s not like I haven’t done it with tons of guys before,” I shrugged, nonchalantly.
I watched his Adam’s apple bob in his throat. The light in his eyes seemed to diminish with disappointment.
Did what I say hurt him?
“What did I say?” I asked, narrowing my eyes with concern.
I’d obviously struck a raw nerve. His jaw pulsed and his lips formed a tight, thin line as he dropped his gaze to the breakfast bar.
“Axel,” I spoke gently, placing a hand on his forearm.
He flinched away from my touch as if burned by the contact, then abruptly pushed back on his stool. He stalked out of the room, leaving me sitting there dumbfounded. We’d just gone one hundred and eighty degrees in the opposite direction. One minute it was steamy hot, then the next it was like we’d been doused with ice-cold water.
Was he upset that I’d slept with other men?
He stopped in the doorway, spinning on his heel to face me. “How many?” He blurted out, angrily.
“How many, what? Men?” I asked, shocked at his sudden outburst.
He dragged a hand down his face as if dreading my answer. “Yeah, how many?” He asked, the vehement tone in his voice commanded that I answer truthfully.
The inner conflict of needing to know but not really wanting to hear it was evident in his tortured expression.
I thought for a moment, looking up at the ceiling whilst I mentally counted, finishing off on my fingers.
“Shit! That many, huh?” he muttered, breathing out a defeated laugh.
He pinched the bridge of his nose as he groaned, "I shouldn't have asked."
I fidgeted awkwardly, feeling hurt and embarrassed by his unwarranted reaction.
So what? I’d had a life before we met. How dare he make me feel cheap.
“You really wanna know?” I replied, getting up to walk towards him.
I was mad now. Mad, hurt, and offended.
He didn’t say anything, so I continued.
“You asked, so now I'm going to tell you. I've slept with around twenty, maybe thirty guys. I don’t exactly keep score,” I answered, honestly.
I watched him through the swell of my own tears. He closed his eyes like a wounded animal. His chest rose and fell with each ragged exhale as if he was fighting back his emotions.
Rage? Judgement? Jealousy? Who knows?
Instead of heading for the sitting room, like I assumed he would, he darted for the back door. His capricious behavior startled me as he pushed past me and flung the door open. I flinched, hearing it crash against the opposite wall and slam shut behind him.
I couldn't bring myself to stay in the kitchen so I walked back through the cabin with listless steps. I was left dazed, finding myself in the sitting room, perturbed by what had just happened. The battered loveseat caught me as I dropped down into it with a heavy sigh. The injured look on Axle's face made me feel cheap and sleazy. I’d screwed around and I never cared about the consequences. Until now, sex was just sex. It didn’t mean anything to me. I’d slept with guys—just because. There had been endless one night stands, playboys, older guys, movie stars.
None of them meant anything to me, so why should they mean anything to him?
That was the kind of social circle I derived from. I was a spoiled little rich girl, what did he expect? Too bad if me having experience bothered him. I can’t believe he’s acting this way, unless he was a... Could he be? Nah... Surely not?
Was Axel Thorne still a virgin?
I chewed my bottom lip as the thought crossed my mind. The more I thought about it, the more it all began to make sense.
He was still a virgin and I was his first kiss. Oh God, he’d waited for ‘the one’. Then along came me, Little Miss Slutty. What a disappointment I must be to him. He wanted me to be his first and last, and hoped that he would’ve been mine. Now I get it, now I know why he’s hurt.
I debated whether or not I should leave him alone to cool off, but the restless side of me needed to try and fix this. The remorse I was drowning in was practically choking me to death. I wanted to take back everything that I had ever done, which was impossible. Not unless I had a time machine. So an apology was the next best thing.
Thump....thump....thump. Axel swung his ax, high over his head, then brought it down with one almighty swoop, cutting log, after log, in half.
I leaned against the door frame, watching him vent all his pent up anger with each forceful swing of his ax. The sinewy muscles in his shoulders and chest flexed and rolled with each fluid motion. My eyes drank in the magnificent view of him, in full appreciation of his Herculean form.
“Axel,” I called out, only to be completely ignored.
I rolled my eyes.
Great! The silent treatment. This either ends now or it’ll be one long-ass month.
I twisted my lips, narrowing my eyes into cunning slits, recalling how feminine pre-eminence ensues dominance over the male genitalia.
What to do to get a guy's attention? Gee, let me think.
A malevolent thought popped straight into my head and my blood thrummed with anticipation. I stripped off my nightdress, screwed it into a ball and threw it at the back of his head. It was enough to make him to stop what he was doing and turn around slowly.
I saw the whites of his eyes as he saw me standing there as bold as brass, butt naked.
I didn’t even make an attempt to hide my body. It was all shamelessly out on view for him to behold. I had always been confident with my physique. I’d done a couple of naked photo shoots for Playboy just to piss off my parents.
“What’re you doing?” His cheeks turned a deep shade of crimson.
The deep, reddened tinge reached the tips of his ears and his eyes glanced every other way but at me.
Aww, he was embarrassed. It wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for, but at least we’re talking again.
“Do you like it?” I asked, suggestively, stroking my fingers over my naked breasts to capture his attention.
It worked. His gaze flicked to my chest, then downtown, back up to my face again. His mouth flopped open and closed like a fish out of water.
“You haven’t had sex before,” I spoke, giving him an insight into my own observations.
It wasn’t a question, more a statement of fact. His silence was telling me that I was accurate. I walked closer. He threw the ax so that it stuck into the stump beside him, still not giving me a definitive answer and looking like a startled deer that was trapped in the headlights.
“Look, I’m a spoiled bitch. You’ve figured that much out for yourself. So what? I’ve screwed other guys. It meant jack shit to me.” I shrugged, speaking the truth.
The truth being a cold, hard, ugly fact. It wasn’t pretty, but at least I was honest. I could’ve lied, spun him a line that I’d only ever slept with one guy my whole life. That he was my high school sweetheart and that I was young, dumb, and nauseatingly infatuated.
Because we all know most women are dishonest about stuff like that. Especially how fragile the male ego can be. We don’t tend to divulge those secrets, just as men lie about the number of women they’ve slept with.
Most men did, but not Axel. He seemed like one of the good ones, which only made me feel worse.
I continued, “So, are you going to hand me back my nightdress or am I going to walk through the forest, naked?” I smirked, calling his bluff.
There was no way I’d actually walk through the forest, naked.
He reluctantly caved, tossing back my nightdress and shaking his head as if I was crazy.
“Aren’t you going to say anything to me?” I asked.
“Like what?” He answered, struggling to keep his eyes up north.
“You think I’m a whore,” I answered for him.
“No, no, it’s not that,” he huffed, frustrated.
“Why are you acting like this?” I asked, shaking my head with confusion. “They’re ancient history.”
The lingering question etched across his forehead in the form of a frown.
“It’s just that, they touched you, gave you pleasure, made you enjoy it, had you begging for them to fuck you. It makes me feel sick just thinking about it,” he admitted, looking completely crestfallen.
I threw my head back with a genuine laugh.
“Pleasure? None of those morons knew how to please a woman.” I chuckled, sticking with brutal honesty.
“I doubt I’ve ever had an orgasm, I mean, if I’d had one, I’d know, right? The fact that I don’t know, means that I’ve never had one.”
He folded his arms, giving a grunt in response.
“You’re jealous,” I accused, pointing a finger at him.
“Maybe I am,” he snapped back, flinging his arms up in irritation.
I was as sly as a fox when I wanted to be; just as cunning, manipulative and precocious.
A devious smirk swept across my lips, deciding to throw in a curveball. More than anything, I wanted to see how far I could push Axel Thorne.
“So what are you waiting for? Take me to bed and give me an orgasm that I’ll never forget. Do to me what they never could,” I challenged.