34. THE EXPLANATION
I sit in the car, the silence consuming me. My mind running a million miles an hour and I’m not able to slow it down. The usual starry night sky is filled with clouds tonight just like my thoughts and I can’t decipher if Asher’s words had any truth to them at all. It’s a heavy topic to just throw on someone and I really hope it was just a misunderstanding. He couldn’t be in love with me. Absolutely not.
Ace is reading one of his books on the couch, or so it seems like it. His body is positioned upright and stiff as if he abruptly placed himself there when he heard the turn of my key clicking in the lock. It’s probably been a couple of hours since I left for the hospital and what I came to realise about Ace, is he’s the most impatient person I have ever met.
His deep eyes meet mine when I walk through the front door and he looks behind me as if checking for someone. Checking if Asher is with me, “Where’s the idiot?”
I roll my eyes at his rudeness, placing my keys on the kitchen counter and getting a drink, “I took him home after the hospital.”
“Fucking pussy,” he mutters under his breath, closing the book and throwing it on the couch almost as if he wasn’t reading it. Almost. I narrow my eyes at him, I don’t know why it surprises me anymore, his impoliteness. I should have gotten used to it by now but I haven’t, on the contrary, actually.
“Asher is my friend,” I tell him, taking a sip of the water and placing the cup on the counter. The small droplets running down the glass.
And he is, for now. I will have to decide how deal with the situation in the next few days when Asher comes to his senses. It doesn’t make sense for him to love me, our relationship wasn’t exactly all that and he was the one who broke up with me.
“Friend my fucking ass, his hands were all over you,” he grumbles and stands up from the couch, making his way over to me. He is noticeably irritated and he doesn’t even try to hide it. His sweatpants are hanging low on his hips, exposing his v-line and I quickly bring my eyes back up to his, but he’s already noticed me checking him out. A wry smile etches onto his face.
“Does that bother you?” I ask, referring to Asher. It clearly does but I want to hear it. I want him to feel the same way I felt when he left me last night even though its petty of me to want that.
“Does that bother me?” he scoffs. “Are you trying to provoke me?” he asks rhetorically, stepping even closer to me. As if on cue, my heart begins to beat rapidly in my chest like it always does when Ace is this close to me. My body craving his touch but I place my hand on his bare chest stopping him in his tracks. I’m not going to forget about last night.
“Did you go to see Lexi last night?”
He closes his eyes and pauses before opening them again. He doesn’t need to tell me because the answer is clear. He did.
However, I already suspected just as much. I wait for an explanation, giving him a chance. The benefit of the doubt. He doesn’t seem to get the message that I’m giving him a redemption so I turn on my heel and go towards the stairs. I’m not going to wait for him to come up with excuses. If he thinks I’m going to put up with this, he’s dead wrong.
I may like him, a lot. Maybe even more than like (not something that I’m ready to admit yet) but there is no way in a million years that I will let someone walk over me.
Before I even have the chance to place a foot on the first step, my whole body is being lifted off the ground. He picks me up and throws me over his shoulder, “Ace!”
What the hell is his problem? He can’t just do this when he doesn’t get his way! I’m staring at his lower back and his ass. A very sexy ass.
No. Not the time. I’m angry at him, “Put me down!” I smack my fists on his perfect ass but it doesn’t do anything except for warrant a laugh from him and the vibrations from it pulse through my body.
He doesn’t put me down until we’re in his room with the door closed. He doesn’t give me a second to adjust to being upright again, my feet touching the cold hardwood floors before grabbing my waist and pushing me up against the door, “Don’t walk away from me, again.”
The way he is looking at me is demanding and hot. So freaking hot. The downlight in his room is making his muscles look more defined and his jawline more prominent than it already is.
But I’m not going to fall for his games, I try to push him away with one hand but I swear he’s built of steel because he doesn’t budge. Not even a little. I try again and glare at him. He seems to get the message that I’m pissed off at him because he takes a step back but places his hands on either side of the door so I’m trapped.
He looks down at me, smirking, “Has anyone told you that you look like a beaver when you’re angry? With those flaring cheeks and scrunched up nose.”
He is comparing me to a freaking rodent? Insulting me… right now? I can’t take anymore shit from him.
I raise my hand to slap him, but he instantly catches my wrist without even blinking. He leans in closer to me, his lips brushing my cheek, “Wanna try that again, baby?”
And even when I’m mad at him, I can feel the fireworks in my stomach from that stupid nickname. No one has ever called me that before.
“Ace, I told you I’m not a second option and last night you made me feel like I was exactly that.”
His eyebrows furrow and if I didn’t know any better I would say he almost looks apologetic. But it’s Ace we’re talking about.
“Lexi was with Logan last night,” he says dropping my hand.
Okay? That does not make things any better. If anything, it gives me the impression that Ace is jealous that Lexi is spending time with Logan. But he continues, “Logan isn’t a good guy, especially not with girls and especially not when he doesn’t get his way.”
His jaw stiffens and he runs his hand through his hair before placing it back on the door behind me. Logan and Lexi… I think I understand and if it’s what I’m thinking then I feel stupid for getting upset over this but he should have told me this last night, before he left me to question everything.
He pulls out his phone and shows me the texts from last night, from Lexi. My eyes skim over them. From what I can gather, Lexi wouldn’t sleep with him and Logan wouldn’t let her leave until he got what he wanted. Ace was just doing what anyone in his position would do and I suddenly feel bad for doubting him.
“I told you, you don’t have any competition. You don’t have anything to worry about. I only want you.”
I only want you.
I let the words flow me like a river and my body goes warm. But I don’t let it show.
“You didn’t even explain, you just left.”
“I know. Fuck. I’m sorry, I’m not used to explaining my actions to anyone.”
“But I will. For you. For us. I want this to work, you do something to me. Something that no one else has,” he says and his hands curl up into fists as if he is angry at himself for letting me see this susceptible side to him.
“Calla… I —,” he begins and I suddenly forget how to breathe but he quickly shakes his head clearing his thoughts.
Instead, he bites his lip and looks at my mouth. I wrap my hands around his neck and bring his face closer to mine. Letting him know that I need him as much as he needs me, “Kiss me.”
When he kisses me, I feel like I’m losing my mind. He’s kissing me like the world is rolling off a cliff and he’s holding onto me. Like he’s starving, starving for me.
And I can’t get enough of him. I feel the door rattle behind me when he lifts me up, pressing me against it. I slide my hands over his back, feeling the warmth of his body against my fingertips and the groan at the back of his throat, sets every inch of my skin on fire.
“By the way, there is not a chance that you’re sleeping in a tent with that fucking idiot. Only over my dead fucking body.”