#22 Cool as a cucumber
“Three meatball subs and two salmon specials!” I yell as I walk into the kitchen, slamming down the ticket in front of Kieran, who is leaning against the counter doing absolutely nothing.
He rolls his eyes. “You don’t have to yell, Shaughna.”
“Then why don’t you ever listen when I talk in a normal volume?” I shoot back. I’m not in a good mood and it’s all the fault of men. All men suck.
It all started the day after I slept with Dshawn. He called me and asked me to come over again, but it didn’t feel right to go there knowing fully well that I wanted him to bury himself in me over and over again. I hadn’t told Caroline yet and I knew that until I did that and made sure that she was okay with me sleeping with him, I wouldn’t be able to keep doing this without feeling like crap. Dshawn made it pretty clear that he didn’t agree with my decision, but he didn’t push me.
The day after, Hollister cornered me in the kitchen when Kieran was having a smoke outside, telling me that he wanted to fuck me again. I made it perfectly clear that he is never going to get a redo of that night and that he’s the one to blame for that. He’s still with Jane, and even if he wasn’t, there is just no way I am ever going to sleep with that asshole again.
And another day later, Joshua showed up at the restaurant in the middle of my shift, asking me for advice on how to pleasure his girlfriend. Yeah, he really did that. Apparently, the sex turned back to subpar the moment they agreed to be boyfriend and girlfriend again, and for some reason Joshua thinks that I am the right person to talk to about this. I made it clear that while he’s welcome to call me if he needs someone to talk to, that I don’t want him to come to my work in the middle of the day, and that I’m not planning on getting involved in his relationship, nor his sex life.
What the hell is wrong with men, right?
It’s been over a week since I’ve seen Dshawn, and I find myself missing him like hell. And not just the sex, although I have to admit that a dry spell that lasts longer than a week is rare for me, and since it’s been nine days, I’m horny all the freaking time. Worst part is that I don’t want anyone else. There are plenty guys I could call for a night of fun, but all I can think about are Dshawn’s brown eyes, his tongue flicking over my center, his deep sensual voice…
No wonder I’m in a shit mood.
When my shift is over, I decide to call him. I don’t want to tell him that I miss him – for all I know he’s already got a new girl screaming out his name as he pleasures her – but I have the perfect pretense: the business plan. Working on it is the only thing that keeps me sane these days, so I’ve got some new research to show him.
“Shaughna!” Dshawn says happily when he picks up. “Took you longer than I’d hoped, but I’m glad that you’re finally coming to your senses.”
Ugh. Does he really think I’m just calling him for a booty call? Great. Way to make me feel cheap.
“I’m just calling to see if you have time to work on your business plan tonight.” I try to keep my voice void of any emotion. I don’t want him to catch onto just how much I like him. He’s already way too cocky – and for good reason, because he’s a god, but still. No need to stroke his ego further.
He seems a bit taken-aback by my demeanor, but agrees to meet me anyway. I don’t want to be anywhere near a bed, because that would be too tempting, so I tell him to meet me at a diner near Animals, so I can go straight from our meeting to my shift at the club.
When I get there, I immediately notice Dshawn’s bike outside. Fucker. Thinks he can seduce me with it. It’s not going to be that easy this time around.
The moment I walk in and I see him sitting at a table, typing away on his laptop, I feel most of the stress and annoyance leave my body. He looks up when he hears my footsteps and his entire face lights up when he sees me.
“Hey baby,” he says, greeting me with a peck on the lips like we’ve been dating for years instead of just sleeping together once. “You look cute.”
I don’t. I look like crap. I had to change in the bathroom in the restaurant and since I completely spaced about bringing anything other than my Animals uniform, I’m already in black jeans and the green shirt with the club’s logo on it.
“I’ve been working on the market research we talked about,” I tell him, pulling out my phone so I can e-mail him the documents.
Dshawn frowns. “Straight to business, huh? Okay. That’s fine. Show me what you’ve got.”
I grit my teeth, not sure how to explain why I’m having such a hard time with this. I normally don’t make a big deal about being with someone new. I just enjoy the ride while it lasts. With him it’s a little more complicated than that. I’m scared that Caroline will hate me for sleeping with him, and on top of that I don’t want him to grow tired of me like most guys do. Or me to grow tired of him.
We just focus on business for half an hour, drinking coffee. We’re sitting next to each other so we can both see the screen of his laptop. I find myself getting quite distracted every time his leg brushes against mine or our hands touch when we both want to press a key or use the mouse.
“Hey,” he says softly when I jerk back my hand when he accidently brushes against it. “Are you okay, Shaughna? Did I do something?”
I look up into his dark brown eyes before letting my gaze drift down to his luscious lips. Fuck this. I’m going to hell anyway, might as well make it worth it.
He grunts when I press my lips against his and he eagerly deepens the kiss, his hands moving up into my hair, pulling slightly. I moan into him, my hands starting on his knees and then sliding up until I’m digging my nails into his thighs.
“Fuck,” he breathes when we break apart. “You’re a dangerous woman, Shaughna Elmore.”
I laugh and lean in to kiss him again, shorter this time. “Hmm. I missed this.”
“Me too. Although it surprised me to hear you say it.” He leans back in his chair and exhales in a huff. “I’m not sure if I understand what’s going on here, Shaughna. I’m trying to give you space and be all cool as a cucumber, but we haven’t seen each other in nine days.” Ah, so he’s counting too. “And I don’t really get why. It’s not for lack of trying to get together on my part, that’s for sure.”
“Right.” I take a sip of coffee to buy myself some time. “I’m just… I need to talk to Caroline before we… before anything happens again.”
“Ah.” He nods. “I thought that you had already done that, to be honest. I had half a mind to call her myself after we slept together, but I figured it was your story to tell.”
“I should have told her,” I say softly, playing with the hem of my shirt. He makes me so nervous sometimes. “I know that. I just… I want to do it in person. And I won’t see her again until New Year’s Eve.”
“Christmas Eve is in two days,” he says, pulling my hand onto his lap so I have to stop fidgeting. He squeezed it and smiles. “New Year’s Eve is not that far away. I can wait till then to ask you out on a real date.”
“Ask me out?” I’m surprised to hear him say that. We already hang out when we talk about his future business and he doesn’t have to take me out to sleep with me – that became pretty clear when he carried me to his bed nine days ago – so why would he take me on a date? That’s usually what you do to get into someone’s pants, not when you’re already screwing them.
“Yeah, that’s what people do, right?” he says, lifting my hand to his mouth so he can press a kiss on my fingers. It’s so damn sweet. “I really like hanging out with you.”
“Me too,” I agree. “And the sex was mind-blowing.”
His eyes widen, but then a grin breaks across his face. He obviously didn’t expect me to just come out and say it in the middle of a diner. Boy, he doesn’t know me all that well yet, does he? “Yes,” he agrees, pulling me against him for a hug. “It really, really was.”
“New Year’s Eve,” I state when we let go of each other. “That’s doable.”
“We can kiss, right?” he asks eagerly. “Please don’t tell me you want to go back to your stupid rules about no touching, no kissing and no meeting up at our apartments.”
I laugh. “I’m willing to drop rule 1 and 2, but I think rule 3 would be wise to keep. There’s no way I’m not going to end up in your bed again once you get me back to your place.”
“Good to know,” he grunts before moving in for another hungry kiss. “Can I still make sexual jokes and tell you how badly I wish I could just bend you over this table right here and fuck you?”
“Yes,” I gulp. “Sure.”
“Okay, good to know,” he repeats, leaning back with an irresistible smirk on his face. “How long until your shift at Animals?”
I glance at the time and curse. “Ten minutes.”
“Forget about business then.” He slams his laptop shut. “That’s ten minutes we could be kissing.”
And that’s exactly what we do.