Skin of the Night

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Chapter 41: Plus, You Adore Me

However quietly, somebody entered the room the next morning, and the sensation of it stirred me awake. Batting my lashes apart, I turned over in the darkness and glimpsed a dark silhouette headed toward the bathroom. It took me a split second to remember that I was in William’s bed rather than my own.

“Will?” I hoarsely called. He froze at once.

“Shit, sorry. I tried to be quiet,” he murmured for apology. Frowning to myself, I turned toward the night lamp attached to the wall on my side of the bed and switched it on. The light hurt, but I managed to keep my eyes open in spite of it. When I looked back to him, I found him drenched in sweat, sporting training gear.

“What?” I asked bewildered. My mind was still too tired to formulate a proper sentence.

“Went to the gym,” he explained and wiped his moist forehead with the upper part of his right arm. I gaped at him. He’d gone to the gym?

After a quick glance at his alarm clock, I saw that it was seven in the morning. How early had he woken up? Five thirty? And we hadn’t arrived until one thirty last night.

“Are you being serious? You can’t have slept more than four hours,” I remarked in dread. Thank goodness I’d rejected his efforts to have sex again when we got here last night, or else that number would have been even smaller.

He exhaled loudly. “Yeah, well, if I don’t exercise before work, I don’t perform as well.”

“Without proper sleep, you won’t perform at all,” I argued and pushed his massive duvet aside. It smelled amazing in here. The scent of William Night was everywhere, drugging my senses and brightening my morning. Though I hadn’t slept much either, waking up to his intoxicating existence easily compensated for it.

He scoffed. “I’ll be fine. I’m used to surviving on little sleep.”

I shook my head in despair of him. “Do you do this every day? Hit the gym before work?”

“Yeah.”

“Good to know. Bedtime is eleven o’clock from now on, at the latest,” I stated strictly.

Humour filled his eyes. “Getting comfortable, are you? You’re starting to sound like a girlfriend.”

I glared at him. “Or a mother.”

He chuckled. “I don’t need a mother. I’ve already got one, and I like her.”

True enough. His mother, Daphne Night, was indeed a delightful woman. She was quiet, but bursting with wisdom and patience. Jason had clearly inherited a greater portion of her than William had.

“In any case, I don’t respond well to orders,” he continued and charged into his private bathroom. My eyebrows arched.

“You like giving them!” I called after him.

“Indeed. For instance, you will shower with me. Now,” he teased and popped his head out the door.

I grabbed his pillow and tossed it at him, annoyed, to which I received only genuine laughter. “I don’t respond well to orders either!” I snapped at him.

“No shit!” he uttered through his laughter and kicked the pillow back at me. “Unfortunately for you, love, I’m still your boss.”

“And fucking my boss gives me zero benefits whatsoever?” I countered, and couldn’t fight back my amused grin.

“Apart from mind-blowing orgasms, zero, indeed.”

I wanted to slap the crooked and smug smile off his mouth. “Then why am I doing this in the first place?” I taunted him.

His eyes twinkled with his laughter. “Repeat after me: mind-blowing orgasms.”

While slowly nodding at him, I copied his tone and said, “You are obnoxious.”

He chuckled. “Plus, you adore me.”

I rolled my eyes at him and ignored how my heart pumped in agreement.

“Shower,” he purred.

I folded my arms together, stubborn. “No. I showered last night. I don’t want to have to blow dry my hair again. It takes ages. I’ll cook us breakfast instead.”

He pouted. “I’d been looking forward to hot sex in the showers.”

I giggled at his ridiculous behaviour. “You’re incurable. Insatiable!”

“And you’re addictive,” he declared with an alarmingly sensual tone.

“Will, my vagina is essentially inflamed after last night. Isn’t your cock even a wee bit sore?” I questioned astounded and waved my arms in the air.

Grabbing the top of the doorframe, he eyed me underwhelmed. The sight made me swallow. He was exquisitely masculine, and his current posture served as a painful reminder of it. Women hardly ever stood like that. Merely from how he carried himself, he oozed of delicious testosterone. It wasn’t fair. Drenched in sweat as he was, he was horribly tempting.

“No,” he said flatly. “And I could always kiss your vagina – which is a lovely vagina, by the way – better. Besides, I’m sure an orgasm would make you forget all about the pain.”

A wave of heat climbed up my neck, and didn’t stop till it crawled across my scalp. Had he just told me I had a lovely vagina? It was far too early in the morning to be dealing with his vulgar tongue, regardless of how much I appreciated his carnal compliment.

“Right. I’m leaving before this escalates,” I muttered and climbed out of his huge bed to head for the door. My heart jumped when I heard him lunge after me. Squealing like a young girl, I sprinted out the door and hastily shut it. Behind it, his laughter rang long and loud.

He was something else. An adrenaline rush at seven in the morning hadn’t been something I had expected, but he’d surely provided one, hunting me like that. While shaking my head to myself, I sauntered through his spacious flat toward his kitchen. I hadn’t been in his kitchen before, but unsurprisingly, it was incredibly fancy. Dark cupboards covered the walls of it, and an island stood in the middle of the space, hosting a gas stove.

I went straight for his fridge to assess what I had to work with. Locating eggs and chives, I decided I’d make us omelettes. I did make note of the fact that his fridge contained plenty of vegetables and fruits. Clearly, the man was preoccupied with maintaining a healthy diet. Well, that didn’t surprise me. Taking his athletic physique into account, I’d already expected as much. No one could look like that at the ripe age of twenty-eight and be committed to rubbish food. However, it did make me curious as to the content of his cupboards. Did he store any sweets in this place? Crisps?

While the omelettes were cooking in two separate pans I’d found, I rummaged through them. After having searched through every single one, I had only discovered one bar of dark chocolate, two packets of crisps, and a few bags of various nuts. Well, he clearly hadn’t been lying when he had said he didn’t favour sweet things.

“What are you doing?” his deep, but soft voice queried behind me then. Whirling around, I blinked shamefaced back at him.

“Um. Just... researching.”

His left eyebrow curled upward. “Researching what?”

“Your diet.”

Humour glinted in his eyes. “You’re odd.”

“Thanks,” I replied proudly.

“Whatever inspired you to do that?” he asked and grabbed a stool by his kitchen island. He had dressed, but he hadn’t finished his attire. His silvery blue waistcoat hadn’t been buttoned up, and his tie hung unfastened around his strong neck. The top buttons of his white shirt remained undone as well, but at least he’d put on his light grey trousers properly.

He was such a vision, even now.

“Well, you’re very... athletic,” I murmured and gestured up and down his body.

He smirked. “So?”

“Is it purely for aesthetic purposes?” I queried and moved the omelettes onto their respective plates.

“That’s probably the last reason for it,” he replied amused. “I fancy staying healthy. I want to live a long life. Seems a bit self-destructive to ignore the obvious benefits of exercise, as well as stupid. I’ve always been this way. Jason’s the same, so it shouldn’t surprise you. In case you’ve forgotten, our mum’s a doctor. She’s been preaching a healthy diet since before I came out of her.”

“I wasn’t criticising,” I murmured. In all fairness, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. William Night was religious in his practice of delayed gratification. I’d grasped as much by now, and I admired that about him. He was also right. Jason did share the same trait.

When I handed his plate to him, I watched him with a wry smile on my mouth. “I’m also not complaining.”

He grinned back at me. “Fancy what you see, Cara?”

“Yes,” I admitted unashamed and shrugged my shoulders. “You have a remarkably beautiful appearance.”

“Good. If you’re pleased, so am I. Besides, you’re the only woman I’d bother to look good for,” he replied and reached for the knife and fork I extended to him.

My heart tingled at his declaration, even though he’d said it with a tone that might as well be discussing the weather.

“Speaking of bodies,” he murmured and lifted a piece of the omelette to his tempting mouth. “Yours is fucking amazing. Does my head in every day. Like I said, you’ve become an occupational hazard to me. Can’t think straight when your beautiful bum, long toned legs and ample assets are strutting around the office.”

I scoffed at him. “Don’t be silly.”

“I mean it.” He frowned. “I never say things I don’t mean.”

“Whatever,” I muttered and walked around the island in only my knickers to hop onto the stool beside him. He glanced at me from the corner of his eye. Shaking his head, he smiled to himself.

“Do you exercise?” he asked. “This is really good, by the way,” he commented and pointed to his plate with his knife.

I nodded. “Yeah. Three times a week. Jason and I tend to go together.”

“What sort of exercise?” he queried.

I shrugged my shoulders and grabbed my cutlery. “Depends. Sometimes yoga, but mainly strength and core as well as cardio.”

We spent the rest of breakfast in silence. It was only when I was going to get dressed later that I decided to break words again. I was fuming.

“William! What the fuck have you packed for me?” I shouted aghast when I dragged my clothes out of my bag. Loose beige trousers and my ugliest red sweater. In this, I would look like a train-wreck with no shape at all. My Nan on my dad’s side had gifted me the sweater for Christmas two years ago, and it had been so hideous that I had stored it into the darkest corner of my wardrobe, only to be worn on those occasions when I reunited with her.

I heard him chuckle from within the bathroom, and it was a sardonic sound. “What?” His voice claimed innocence.

“Seriously?!” I shouted flustered and walked toward the door to show him the garments. “You have got to be joking!”

He studied me in the reflection of the mirror while he fastened his tie around his neck. A wry smile dominated his mouth. “You’ll look lovely. You always do.”

“You weren’t kidding when you asked me to wear burlaps to the office, were you?” I roared and raised the items above my head in my frustration.

“Thanks to me, I’ll be having a lovely day at the office, with no sexual distractions to speak of,” he replied amused and paid me a wink.

“This is outrageous! How bloody dare you? I trusted you!”

“Your mistake.”

“William Night!”

“That’s me.”

“I could strangle you!” I trembled in my anger.

“I’d like to see you try.” He chuckled and folded his collar over the light grey and shiny tie.

“It’s the middle of summer! I’ll melt in this, you utter twat!”

He ignored me completely. Furious, I studied the red sweater.

“Give me one of your shirts. White,” I commanded. “Anything that’s not this.”

He grinned to himself. “That’ll be the flag of a solid conquer, you know. I’d love to see you in my shirts.”

“Fuck you,” I grumbled and charged toward his walk-in-closet. Hunting through the options, I found a simple white one that I could cut shorter and stuff into my trousers. While I wouldn’t be showing much curve, at least I wouldn’t be sweating. And I could undo the top buttons, as well as roll up the sleeves, for a more stylish appearance.

It wasn’t that I was wildly preoccupied with dressing decently, but there wasn’t a chance I could show up to work at a bloody law firm wearing what he’d packed for me. It would be strikingly unprofessional. That red sweater was a ridiculous piece with red roses of fabric poking out all across it. And those imitations of the flower looked dead. And it glittered, too!

While I salvaged my outfit from travesty, I hatched out a plan of revenge. Tomorrow, I’d wear stockings to work, and a dress that I could lift to reveal them whenever it was appropriate and he was nearby. He might have a nice day today, but he surely wouldn’t be having a nice day tomorrow. To make matters worse for him, I would reject every single one of his potential advances.

He poked his head through the door and burst out laughing when he saw my craft, being his redesigned white shirt. “Points for creativity, darling. Resourceful, you are.”

“You’re an arse!” I shouted back at him and pulled his shirt over my head to stuff it into the trousers I’d already pulled on.


We were heading out on the street when he clasped my hand in his and dragged me toward the Starbucks at the ground floor of his building. We’d barely entered when I saw two female baristas peek up from behind the Mastrena espresso machines. They were both brunettes, looking to be in their early twenties, like I.

“Morning,” one of them greeted us.

“Morning,” William replied enthused and sent me a glance.

“What can I get you today, William?” she asked and sent him an eager smile, clearly recognising him as her regular costumer.

“The regular,” he answered and withdrew his wallet from inside his jacket. I glared daggers into his broad back and folded my arms, horribly annoyed by what he’d done, still.

“And what shall I write on the Flat White today?” she queried amused and sent a glance in my direction. ‘Tiffany’, her nametag said.

William was about to speak when I interjected, “Please write ‘incurable arsehole’ on his black coffee. And you can write ‘William’s God’ on the other.”

I saw him stiffen in front of me, bordering a cringe, while Tiffany pressed her lips together to stifle her desire to laugh.

“If you can,” William murmured, “please make a heart in her latte art.”

My lips jutted with my sulk. Had it been under any other circumstance, I would have found that sweet.

“Abina, you got that?” Tiffany enquired of her colleague.

“A heart for William’s God,” she replied with a nod of her head. When she said it like that, I couldn’t help my amusement. An involuntary giggle leapt out of my mouth, and it infected Tiffany, because she giggled with me.

“Rough morning, Will?” she teased him amused and sent me a wink.

“Considering who’s involved, nothing out of the ordinary,” he dryly replied and cocked his head toward me.

“That’s what happens when you mess with divine power,” I grumbled under my breath. “When will you learn?” I continued and approached the hand-off counter to wait for my coffee.

“Sorry. She’s a full-time job,” William murmured to Tiffany and completed the transaction.

“I’m sure she’s worth it,” Tiffany replied severely amused and looked over to me with a gleam in her eye.

He sighed and nodded his head. “She is.”

After offering William the receipt, Tiffany grabbed my cup and dribbled something else onto it. Abina sent her a look of amusement when she read it, but made no verbal comment. Another minute past, Abina handed over our beverages.

As I lifted mine, I couldn’t help the grin that caught me. Girl-power, it read beneath William’s God.

I met Tiffany’s eyes and sent her a wink, grateful for the moral support, and then turned my attention to William. He was reading the writing with a suppressed smile on his mouth, but said nothing.

“Thanks for the coffee, incurable arsehole. To work, then,” I said and walked proudly out the door while he trailed behind me.

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