O N E
The moans and groans perforated through the thin wall, forcing Kate awake. The last thing she needed was another sleepless night. Work was becoming more and more difficult, her workload increasing, and now she was missing the crucial eight hours she needed to function. She groaned, rolling from her bed and dawdling to the kitchen. She grabbed a glass of water, taking small sips in the hope that her neighbor would be finished by the time she returned. Once the glass was empty, she sat it in the sink and slipped back into her now quiet bedroom. She sighed out a quiet thank you to whoever was watching over her and closed her eyes, hoping sleep would find her quickly.
Any chance of that was shot when she heard the headboard banging into the wall, the bed squeaking, and the disturbing squeals of the woman in the other room. Using her pillow to muffle the sounds, she tried to ignore it but it was to no avail.
Clenching her fist, she pounded on the wall.
Kate felt the anger flush her cheeks at his disrespect, “Put a sock in her mouth, for the love of God, Colton!”
“Ignore her,” he grunted to his lady friend. “She’s just a sour bitch who doesn’t get laid.”
“I’m considerate, you asshole. Some people have to work in the morning, so keep it down!”
The noises of the other room silenced and Kate smiled smugly. She hoped the woman had gotten embarrassed and not allowed him to continue. She looked forward to seeing the anger burn in Colton’s dark eyes tomorrow, knowing she had caused him some frustration. It seemed a tame payback for the countless hours of sleep she had lost over the three months she had lived next door to him. The last thing she imagined was those black eyes narrowing in irritation before it carried her off into a peaceful sleep.
Returning from her run, Kate opened her mailbox, shuffling through the envelopes absent-mindedly before skipping up the staircase to her apartment. A voluptuous blonde wearing a tight, black dress brushed against her shoulder, her big blue eyes nervously flickering towards Kate. Based on her smeared makeup and matted hair, she assumed the blonde was the moaner from last night. She stifled a giggle, making her way to the fourth floor and scrunching her nose at the strong stench of weed.
His shirtless figure leaned against the rails, the burning joint clenched tightly between his lips. Black hair was spiked messily, and his dark eyes glared at her as she ascended the stairs.
“She was here longer than usual,” Kate snorted, moving to unlock her front door.
“Someone cock-blocked me last night,” he turned, leaning his forearms against the railing, presenting his heavily-scratched back to her like a trophy. “I had to finish. Couldn’t get through the day with blue balls, could I?”
“Because your days are so hard,” Kate shook her head, unlocking her front door and stepping inside. “It must be nice to spend your days doing nothing, but some people have a life other than sex and weed, so just please keep your fuck buddies quiet.”
Colton turned to face her, the fire in his eyes only heightening his attractiveness. He opened his mouth to speak and Kate closed the door in his face. She threw her mail on the coffee table, making her way to the fridge.
It was bare, completely empty. She’d need to get groceries on the way home, she grumbled, disappearing into her bedroom to have a shower and get dressed for work.
The smell of weed was faint but present and Kate spritzed on some perfume after dressing in a pair of black slacks and a white blouse. She grabbed her jacket, purse, and keys and headed out the door, running directly into Colton.
“Watch what you’re doing,” he snapped, stubbing out the joint in the ashtray by his front door.
“Me?” Kate gaped incredulously. “Don’t stand in front of my door.”
His lips curved into an unpleasant sneer as he edged closer to her. Kate felt a lump forming in her throat, watching his face inching closer. He was so attractive, the epitome of tall, dark and handsome, which was why he had a never-ending abundance of night guests. But then, he opened his mouth and the most vulgar, condescending things poured from his mouth like a faucet. If only his exterior matched his horrible interior, women wouldn’t be so quick to fall under his spell.
Sensing her subdual, he spoke, “That’s twice now.”
“Yeah. Two times that you’ve told me what to do,” he growled. “You don’t get to tell me what to do.”
He lifted an arm, pressing it against the wall in an attempt to trap her. The smug grin on his face snapped Kate from her trance and she narrowed her brown eyes at him, “Make it three times.”
His eyebrows lifted slightly as if in shock but Kate didn’t allow him to say anything. “Get out of my way,” she pushed against his chest, slipping from the cage he had her in. Her heartbeat spiked, but she chose not to look back at him, instead scurrying down the staircase and away from the intoxicating boy with his horrible soul.
By the time Kate arrived home, she was exhausted. She could barely make it up the flights of stairs with the small number of groceries she had collected on the way home. She kicked the door closed behind her, setting the bags on the kitchen counter. She pulled out the items that needed refrigeration and put them away before deciding to leave the rest until tomorrow.
Unbuttoning her shirt, she slipped it off, discarding it on the floor along with her slacks. Absentmindedly playing with the hem of her lace panties, she searched her dresser for her pyjamas.
A low whistle rang out from behind her. Kate jumped, grabbing the closest shirt she could find and stuffing it over her head in an attempt to cover up. Her eyes met the black pools staring at her, something lingering in the depths that she couldn’t quite put her finger on.
“How did you get in here, Colton?” she snapped, brown eyes narrowing at the shirtless figure that had buried into her pillows. His arms were folded behind his head displaying the wide array of tattoos over his body, his eyes raking over her bare legs with a smug satisfaction that she wanted to smack off his face.
“I like you better when you’re undressed,” he smirked.
“And I like you better when you’re not in my apartment,” Kate scowled, tugging on a pair of shorts. “I should call the police on you.”
Colton let out a husky laugh, “You won’t though. You left your door open. Why would you do that if you don’t want me in your apartment?”
“If I left it open, Colton, it’s because you were standing in my doorway like a goddamn creep. Now you’ve had your little peepshow, you can leave.”
Narrowing his eyes, he rose from the bed. Hard abs tensed beneath his skin, and Kate couldn’t stop her gaze from raking over them. “Maybe, you left it open because you liked what you heard last night.”
His fingers slipped against the fabric of her shirt, just brushing against the soft skin above her panties. Kate’s breath hitched in her throat, taking in the handsome features of his face. His chiseled jawline flexed as he stared at her, dark gaze locked onto hers. He smelled of weed, but there was a faint linger of cologne and mint and Kate found herself wanting to know what his mouth tasted like.
There was no way Colton didn’t realize the effect he was having on her. He leaned closer, the dark spikes of his messy hair brushing against her forehead.
Like a jolt of lightning, Kate realized exactly what she was doing. His fingers were tempting the material of her panties, daring to slip beneath them. She couldn’t let it go any further.
Taking a step back, Kate shook her head, “Get out.”
“I thought I told you that you don’t get to tell me what to do.”
“In my apartment, I do. Leave now, Colton, before I call the police,” Kate snapped. She hated herself for letting him affect her, for letting him see that he had affected her. She would never hear the end of this now, and she knew it.
His jeans slipped slightly as he stood up straighter, revealing the v-lines of his lower abdominals. Catching her staring once more, he chuckled, “Do I look like the type that’s scared of the police?”
“You don’t have to be scared of them,” Kate narrowed her eyes, marching to the front door and swinging it open. “They’ll just remove you from my apartment, and maybe if I’m really lucky, they’ll lock you up for the night so I can go one night without hearing women faking orgasms until four in the morning.”
He stepped into her living room, folding his arms across his chest defiantly as he narrowed his own gaze on hers, “You let me know when you’re ready to get rid of all those cobwebs,” he paused, pointing a finger towards her hips, “and I’ll show you how fake those orgasms are.”
“Don’t hold your breath,” Kate huffed, allowing her gaze to brush over his defined torso once more as he stepped into the hallway. She slammed the door with all her might, locking it for good measure to prevent him from sneaking in again. She hated that he had gotten under her skin, even more so that she had enjoyed it. Kate had no intention of being one of Colton’s bedfellows, someone he used and kicked to the curb, but the way he had taken her in, the smell of his cologne lingering in the air, the feel of his fingertips lingering on her heated skin, was making it harder than it needed to be.
Slipping beneath the sheets of her bed, she sighed. The smell of him loitered on her pillows, infiltrating her senses. The sensation of his fingers brushing against her was fresh in her memory and she allowed her own fingers to replace it. There was a tug in her lower stomach as she heard his voice, wafting through the thin wall. He was talking on the phone, she guessed, spilling a load of expletives to the person on the other end. Her eyes fluttered closed and Kate allowed her fingers to dip beneath the lacy material, sweeping over her most sensitive area. Her gasp strangled in her throat, and she imagined it was Colton. His rough fingertips slowly stroking her, taking the dampness from her arousal and using it to help him glide along. He let out a frustrated groan from the other side of the wall and Kate struggled to not cry out his name. Her legs tensed beneath the sheets as she picked up her pace, biting her lip as she took in the scent of him on the pillow. He felt so good, smelt so good.
She heard him grunt again and it sent her over the edge, her muscles releasing against the sheets of her bed. Throwing her head onto her pillow, she groaned. Hopefully, that would be enough to satisfy whatever had been brewing within her, whatever had been triggered with the touch of his fingers.
As she buried herself into the sheets, she closed her eyes and felt sleep overtake her. There was no chance Kate Grayson would end up in Colton’s bed.