From the kitchen, Adam watched Kara as she stared at herself in the mirror on the bathroom wall. She took a deep breath and leaned her palms against the counter near the sink and hung her head between her shoulders for a moment.
His gut churned.
She didn’t know he could see her through the slightly ajar door.
She had gone in to change her clothes and wear something that she could sleep in. She had first been hesitant when Adam had offered her one of his t-shirts. It was a plain grey one that would be really long on her and would reach at least mid-thigh. While his sweatpants would be way too big for her, he had managed to find a pair of shorts that had a drawstring. She had reluctantly taken them from him and gone into the bathroom, shutting the door behind her.
Adam had started arranging things in the room, throwing away some plastic containers that had been lying around. He had straightened out the room some more and then gone to the refrigerator to grab a bottle of water when he saw her open the door to come out. But midway, she had stopped and without looking in his direction, had shut the door a bit and turned to look at herself.
Now, as Adam watched her, she turned on the faucet and splashed some water on her face and rinsed her mouth with the Listerine he had remembered to place there.
From his position, he could only see the side of her profile. She had tied her hair at the nape of her neck with a hair tie and some errant dark strands were loose around her ear.
After she had patted her face dry, she stared at herself a moment longer, then shook her head and turned to come out. Adam pretended like he hadn’t been watching her the whole time and shut the door to the refrigerator, turning so that his back was to her.
He wanted to give her some space and not push too hard. He knew he had unloaded a lot of stuff on her tonight and she probably needed some time to process it all and figure out what she wanted for herself.
Every fiber of his being craved her acceptance of the three words he had spoken to her. his heart refused to believe that Kara didn’t feel the same way about him. She had to, didn’t she? Adam doubted she’d agree to spend the night at his apartment if she didn’t have at least some feelings for him. And not just physically. He knew she had to feel something for more that was more than the physical aspect of their relationship.
“Did you clean up in here?”
He turned around at the sound of her voice and went still when he saw her clearly.
She looked so tiny and fragile, the clothes on her body too big for her. it seemed like they engulfed her completely.
She stood near the table, one palm resting lightly on the surface. Adam took in her image completely. She looked so fucking adorable.
She had taken off her earrings and wiped off her lip gloss. Just a hint of dark red remained on her lips. His first instinct was to kiss the stain away.
He swallowed hard.
It was unnerving and exhilarating to see her dressed in his clothes. For some reason, the pretty picture she made, made his cock spring to attention. He wanted to slip his hand underneath the shirt she wore and touch her skin. He wanted to see for himself if she still had her bra on.
He wanted to feel the soft weight of her breasts for himself. The thought of the hard peaks of her nipples made his jaw ache.
He shook his head slightly.
“What is it?” Kara asked uncertainly when he still hadn’t made a response, staring at her all the while.
He swallowed and pasted a smile on his face. He wanted to crush her to him, demand that she tell him that she loved him. And if she didn’t yet, he wanted to know if she could come to love him.
He needed to know that. He was driving himself crazy thinking about all the reasons why this could go wrong.
“It’s nothing,” he answered slowly, “You just look really pretty.”
Kara frowned, “Are you serious?” She looked down her front, “I’m not even dressed up.”
Adam placed the bottle on the table, then reached out and took her hand. “You don’t have to be dressed up. You’ll always be beautiful to me.”
Without waiting for her response, he led her into the room, toward the mattress.
Without thinking, he let go of her hand, reached up and behind himself and pulled his shirt off. He went over to the wardrobe and pulled out a t-shirt from the shelf. “So, which side do you want to sleep on?”
He placed the used shirt in the laundry basket and grabbed his sweatpants from a hanger. When he turned around, he froze when he saw Kara staring at him with huge wide eyes.
She had a dark blush spreading across her cheeks and neck and he was stunned when her eyes traveled down the length of his torso before quickly moving up to meet his gaze. Her olive green eyes shone with checked desire and Adam was elated to see, appreciation.
She quickly looked away, moving behind toward the mattress.
“I’ll sleep on the right. Is that okay?” He was pleased to hear the slight tremble in her voice.
“Are you planning to slip away in the middle of the night? Or before I wake up?”
She turned back to him in surprise.
When he saw her gaze falter again and drop to his shoulders, he couldn’t stop the slight smile from forming on his lips. He shrugged, “Just a hunch. You look like you want to run away, little raven.”
The use of her nickname seemed to set her slightly at ease and the tension left her shoulders.
“No, it’s just easy access, if I need to go get water at night. That way, I don’t need to wake you up or disturb you while you’re sleeping.”
Making a quick decision, Adam dropped the t-shirt he was going to put on and came to her, noting with satisfaction how her breathing seemed to quicken and she took a step back, her eyes straying to his stomach once again.
He fucking loved the effect he had on the woman he was crazy about.
“You can wake me up any time of the night, baby. For anything.” He winked at her.
The blush on her cheeks darkened.
“Shut up.” She said, without any force in her voice. Adam noted the breathy tone of her voice and silently smiled, happy that the fire in her that he loved so much was soon going to make a return.
“Shall we?” He indicated to the mattress.
Kara sat down at the edge of it and pulled the comforter toward her.
When she did, Adam made a quick trip to the bathroom and changed into his sweatpants.
When Kara saw him again, she bent her head, leaning into her hands and hugging her knees to herself.
“Please tell me you’re not sleeping like that,” she pleaded, looking up at him with huge eyes.
Adam shrugged, “I usually sleep without a stitch on, Kara.” He knew he didn’t have to do it, but he wanted to see how she’d react to him. If he had his way, they’d both be naked beneath the sheets.
When he noticed the slight grimace on her face, he hesitated. “If it makes you uncomfortable, I’ll put on a shirt.”
In his chest, his heart sank.
Fuck, how was he going to get past this tonight? Did she not want him touching her at all?
“No, I’m sorry. I’m being crazy. Let’s just sleep.”
She patted the sport next to her, looking at him.
“Are you sure, Kara?”
“Yeah,” she gave him a smile. Adam didn’t like the fact that it didn’t reach her eyes.
He stepped onto the mattress, laying himself beside her. He had turned off the light in the kitchen and the then the standing light. Now, reaching away from where they slept, he turned off the lamp next to them and laid his head on the pillow. Next to him, Kara laid her head down and looked up at the ceiling. They were both silent for the next couple of minutes. Adam let his eyes get adjusted to the darkness.
“Hey,” he turned on his side, looking at her.
She turned her head and looked back at him in the dim light shining through the window.
“Are you still mad at me?”
Kara didn’t answer for a second. “No, I’m not.”
She pulled the comforter to her chin and turned on her side, facing him.
He gently reached out, giving her time to pull back if she wanted to. He smoothed the hair away from her forehead and slowly brushed his thumb along her cheekbone.
“I’m sorry about everything, Kara.”
Even in the darkness, Adam saw her eyes soften.
“Me too,” she whispered.
Adam gave her a small smile. “You don’t have to apologize about anything, little raven.”
Inside, he prayed for strength to sleep through the night without letting the urge to make love to her overcome him.