Incandescence (Part I)

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Appreciation

It took a few moments to adjust Bradley’s mattress and when I got it just right, I rested my head on his pillow. Inhaling his scent I fell into a deep sleep.

When I opened my eyes I had no idea what time it was as I had left me phone charging on the kitchen bench. I slowly made my way out of bed and to the ensuite; washing my face and brushing my teeth.

Upon entering the living room I realized it was 9.00am, I had slept for a solid 12-hours. I made myself a coffee and headed to the outdoor area.

Outside, I found myself leaning against the ledge, watching Bradley do laps in his plunge pool. The pool itself wasn’t very wide, but it would have been at least 10meters in length. Bradley swam back and forth for a few more minutes before he stopped and made his way out of the pool.

He wrapped a towel around his waist and allowed water to drip freely off his chest. His chisled body was impressive, Bradley was a work of art - how had I not noticed this before? The longer I admired him, the more word 'delectable' kept playing on my mind.

I stood there unashamedly staring at Bradley, admiring his glorious features. I was broken from my trance when Bradley started laughing ‘Not very subtle are you?’ he commented.

‘Would you like a coffee?’ I asked desperately trying to shift focus away from the situation I had just created.

‘I’m good’ Bradley replied as he made his way over to the outdoor lounge. It was as though I was in a trance and couldn’t help but gravitate towards him. It didn't matter what my mind was telling me at this point, because I had suddenly found myself attracted to the man that stood before me.

As I went to sit beside him, Bradley pulled me in so that I found myself sitting on his lap. His towel and chest were wet and I was wearing his tshirt and boxers. What would normally be cause for alarm was suddenly of no concern to me.

‘Good morning’ I said as I gave him smile while continuing to sip my coffee.

‘How did you sleep’ Bradley asked, whilst maintaining his grip around my waist. I was certain he was holding me in place as he assumed I'd get up and move the moment he released his hold. But what Bradley didn't realise was that I wasn't going anywhere in a hurry.

‘I honestly think that was the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had, that mattress is amazing. How did you sleep?’ I asked, genuinely hoping he too had a good nights sleep. After all, he had spent several nights sleeping in a chair.

‘Perfectly. I fell asleep with thoughts of you sleeping in my bed’ Bradley said as he pulled me in to him. I couldn't understand why, but I found myself pulling away at Bradley's comment.

‘Why do you always pull away from me?’ Bradley’s tone wasn’t emotional, nor was it demanding. I wasn’t familiar with this side of him but I tried answering him as honestly as I could.

‘Because I don’t know exactly what’s going on here. A few months ago at the interview, you despised me; since then we maintained a distanced yet professional working relationship that has ultimately led to a friendship. Things have changed somewhat since the shooting. You haven’t left my side and now I find myself living in your home, sleeping in your bed and sitting on your lap.’ I paused, looking at him quizzically before continuing

‘I don’t want us starting something that we’ll have to end. In a few weeks’ time I will go back home, I will return to work – if we start something now, how do we go back? How can I return to work when we have policies against employee relationships; that’s part of the reason I fired Jackson. And even if we broke the rules, I’d lose all credibility in my role; I’d become nothing more than the bosses girlfriend. Bradley, I’ve worked hard to get to where I am in my career; I love my role, it’s everything I’ve always wanted. I shouldn’t have to make a choice.’

‘But don’t you see, by not making a choice you actually have made a choice. You’re telling me you value your career over me’ Bradley tone was calm, but I could see the disappointment in his eyes.

‘Wrong. Had you asked me out and I declined, that would be a choice. Bradley, I don’t know how you feel; I don't even know what this is' I said while pointing at Bradley and I 'so how can I be expected to think straight when I don’t even know what you’re thinking’ I decided to shift this conversation to Bradley.

‘What do you want to know?’ he asked

‘Everything, from the beginning. If you're serious about me making a choice, then let me know what choice I have’ I replied

‘Well, if that’s the case I’d like to start by clarifying something; I never despised you. If anything, it was the contrary’ Bradley started and he had my complete attention.

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