Cassius slung me over his shoulder and carried me inside my home like I was a bag of bones—as if I didn’t weigh 157 pounds. One of his hand conveniently palming my butt cheeks as he entered. I can feel my bottom heat up with the warmth of his touch.
When he finally sat me upright, we were in my living room and I was sitting on the sofa. Crouching before me, he flipped me onto my stomach and began untying me.
“If you weren’t so stubborn and came with me willingly, I wouldn’t have to tie you up.” He muttered. I flipped my head to the side to glare at him. He glanced at me briefly and went back to untying me.
Once he was done, I rubbed my wrist and reached behind me to untie the scarf from behind my head. He moved to sit down next to me while he waited. When I had the damn thing off, I launched myself at him.
“I’m going to- “I didn’t finish my sentence. Flinging my body at him only resulted in him getting off his seat and flipping us over so that I was nicely nestled underneath him on the sofa.
His face was so close that I can smell what kind of toothpaste he uses. I felt one of his hand slipped between us and I nearly gagged on my spit thinking he was going to go to second base without my permission only to look over at his hand and see that he had disarmed me.
He tossed the knife across the room.
“That’s my knife.” I argued and struggled to push him off me but he was like a freaking boulder that could crush me at any second.
“The knife that you pointed at my groin earlier. It stays over there. Away from you.” He replied.
“What is your problem? You can’t do this to me!” I snapped angrily, feeling the sudden urge to headbutt him. He was close enough for me to do it but did I really want to ruin that perfectly good looking straight nose? Yes.
God damn it.
“If I let you go, you promise to behave?” He narrowed his eyes.
“Of course.” My voice hitched at the end. It was beginning to feel awfully nice and cozy underneath him.
No. Stay strong, Amelia. My inner conscience teased.
“You’re lying.” He immediately said. He growled in frustration and his jaw ticked with annoyance.
“What? You can’t expect me to let you do this to me.” I shot back.
“No, I don’t but it f/ucking aggravates me how extremely difficult all this is.”
“What?” I asked in confusion. “It isn’t difficult at all. You only make it difficult. You don’t manhandle a woman you are dating and to be frankly honest I should be the one that is confused. Why are you acting like this?”
His jaw ticked again and his lips thinned. He closed his eyes briefly as if he was trying to control his emotions. After a minute, he shook his head and opened his eyes back up.
“You won’t understand. It’s too soon.” He muttered before pushing off me.
“Um…ok.” I looked at him like he’s crazy. I pushed myself quickly into a sitting position again.
We sat in awkward silence before I stood up and took off my jacket. It was getting hot with the burning fireplace I lit this morning to keep my cottage warm. I glanced at him and noticed he was touching the collar of his jacket as well.
Sighing, I propped a hand on my waist and gave him a pointed glare. “Seriously, tell me what are you doing here. You left early in the morning and disappeared for several days before appearing out of nowhere acting like a madman. What is your problem?”
“It’s a long story.” He looked conflicted. Again, he moved to touch the collar of his jacket.
“Oh good lord, just take off the damn jacket.” I muttered and walked to the kitchen to grab two beers—one for him and one for me because I needed one.
I heard him unzip his jacket. When I came back to the living room. He was sitting with his elbows on his knees, staring into the fireplace. He wore a loose black v-neck t-shirt that clung to him like a second skin and for the first time I saw that tattoos riddled his upper body. It starts from his wrist and climbed all the way up to his neck. Ancient hieroglyphics and symbols that I couldn’t understand but good lord did it make him look gorgeous. The three o’clock lighting from the fireplace enhanced his sexy bad boy demeanor.
Dear lord, he was anything but a gentleman right now.
I wanted to be that shadow that was touching his skin. Bringing in my bottom lip between my teeth, I felt anxiety and sexual frustration flush through me like a never-ending wave.
“It’s early but you want one?” I offered a beer to him.
He glanced at me, his eyes flickering up and down my body before he shook his head. “I’m good.”
More for me. God knows I need some right now.
I moved to sit in the seat across from him because you know I can’t be trusted next to him. I was trying to teach him that I wasn’t easy and that what he did earlier should never happen again. Being near him will not teach us anything and I fear we will do more than just sit next to each other.
“You want that second date? Tell me why did you ghost me for several days.” I replied, feeling slightly bitter. I’m not going to lie; my ego took a hit when I didn’t hear from him. It only made me more insecure.
“I didn’t ghost you.” He winced. “At least I didn’t mean to ghost you. I got caught up in work right when I left your place.”
Is that why he was limping? What kind of work was he in? Was he in some kind of mafia?
“You know we never got around to asking what is your line of work.” I asked, lifting the opening of the beer bottle to my lips and tipping it back.
“I am the owner of the oil industry here.” He said.
I spluttered my beer like a damn idiot. Immediately, I sat my beer bottle down and grabbed a tissue from the coffee counter. Dear lord, the oil business around here was big. I didn’t know much about it but like Mrs. Hewitt said, they had a huge influence in this neck of the woods—politically and financially.
Cassius took my embarrassing splutter in strides. He avoided my eyes and kept his eyes on the fire but while wiping the beer from my face, I glanced at him and saw the darkness that lurked behind those ashy grey irises.
“You don’t look very happy.” I finished cleaning myself up and tossed the tissue in the small trash bin in the living room.
He blinked and his eyes flitted to mine. With a shrug he answered, “I inherited it from uncle after he died. Took care of it for several years.”
There was more too it. I can feel it. I just know he was hiding something and my curiosity gnawed at me to ask.
Shaking his head, he changed the subject before I could, “I’m sorry if you thought I ghosted you.”
“It’s alright if you did. I am an ordinary- “moving my eyes away from him.
“Stop.” He clipped. I glanced back and saw how his jaw locked and eyes hardened.
“You are anything but ordinary. You’re different.” Softly laughing he continued and his eyes grew distant as if he was living a memory. “A miracle.”
He shook his head again, “You’re beautiful and sexy, Amelia.”
He looked at me, his eyes shone warmth and softness.
“Do not think otherwise.”
“And if I disagree?” I replied.
The corner of his lip lifted, “Then it’s up to me to prove to you that you are anything but ordinary.”
God, it is getting hot in here.
He left shortly after, in the end, I agreed to a second date. He didn’t tell me where yet but I couldn’t help but be excited. It was getting late. The sun was gone by now and it was dark outside. I cooked myself some dinner and finished answering some emails before heading to take a shower.
After my nice long shower, I jumped into nice comfy fleece Christmas pajama pants that I bought in high school and pulled on an old sports t-shirt before flopping onto bed a with a sigh.
I thought about earlier when I was underneath Cassius on the sofa. It felt good—too good. It was amazing. I wanted to wrap my arms around him. I wanted to be closer to him. It was a strange feeling but in his arms, I felt safe—needed.
God, it was scary thinking that I needed him but for the first time in a very long time I felt something other than alone.
Before Cassius—before coming back to Alaska, I never felt the urge to find sexual release or the rise of sexual frustration until I met him. It wasn’t important to me. I was lonely but loneliness was the only thing I knew.
I still don’t know about Cassius yet, that I knew for a fact but that didn’t stop me from wanting to get to know him.
He could be something more.
But I still can’t believe it…someone like him, interested in me?
Why is that so hard to believe? Because even though I know I am not Shrek. I also know I am not the prettiest or the most beautiful. So, what makes me distinctive enough that he is insisting on a second date?
My thoughts were interrupted when I heard snow crunching outside. My head immediately snapped up and I shot out of bed. Peeking out the curtains of my bedroom window, I saw that it was the beast from the other night. This time he was closer to my home. He was looking straight at me like he was staring into my soul. A familiar cognizant shiver ran down my spine again. He took a step towards me and I notice that he was limping.
Odd…he reminds me of Cassius.
Letting go of the curtains, I walked out of my bedroom and towards the front door. I pulled my jacket and boots on and opened the door to step outside. I pulled my jacket closer when I felt the chilling night breeze brush against me.
“You’re here again.” I said.
Oddly enough, I wasn’t afraid of it like how I was the first night. Instead, I felt almost comfortable around this magnificently large animal. If it wanted me dead, it would have attacked me the first night. At least that’s what I told myself.
He walked towards me and I notice the limp in his leg again. I giggled a little and he stopped his tracks.
“Don’t be afraid of me.” I should be afraid of you.
He continued walking towards me but slowly.
“You remind me of someone I saw earlier today. I found it odd that you are also limping like him. How did you get injured?”
I’m insane. Coming back to Alaska has turned me insane because I’m talking to a godly large predator that any human should be afraid of.
“Are you hungry?”
It didn’t answer me.
Of course not. He doesn’t understand you.
I sat on the porch, watching him for a while. He fell back on his hind legs and sat. It looked like he wasn’t going to move from that place any time soon. It was getting colder and I shivered harder. By this time I knew I have been outside for more than thirty minutes.
I got up from the porch, “I am heading to bed. Good night, Wolfie.”
It huffed at the mention of “Wolfie”. I think it was a suitable name.
When I got into the bedroom, I glanced out the window to see him still outside but pacing around my home—as if he was protecting it or me. I opened my curtains up a little before crawling into bed. Laying on my side, I watched him pace before my eyes began fluttering close.