Earthquakes and Chills

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Chapter 23

And you never said it back.

Those words seemed to echo within me, and I couldn’t help the anger that was beginning to take hold.

“So, what you’re saying is that you were jealous,” Nolan said with a smile.

“You! You arrogant piece of –” I began to say, and his grip around my wrist tightened.

“Finish saying it. I dare you,” Nolan said as anger glimmered around the rims of his hazel eyes.

“It’s not your turn,” I spat back at him.

He grabbed my face and kissed me before I knew it. I shoved him off, and it only seemed to anger him more.

“Calm down, you damn hellfire,” he said as he wrapped his arms around me and held me close like he was my own damn straitjacket.

“Let me go, you asshole!” I said, trying to wriggle free.

“Calm down first, crazy,” he retorted.

“Are you serious!? You are seriously thinking the best thing to do at this moment is call me crazy? You really are a piece of-” I moved my foot behind his and leaned into him. It was moments before we both went crashing to the floor.

“We have tried this before, and you didn’t win,” he warned as his hold tightened.

Somehow, he turned us, so he was beneath me. I smiled as I noticed his mistake and sat up, looking down at him even though he still had a good hold on my wrists. I could feel a hardness growing beneath me and realized that I had stupidly found myself in the position that he actually wanted.

He wanted me to be on top of him because the blouse I had on had a cowl neck, and I’m sure that it made my breasts look good from the angle he was looking at. I rolled my eyes at the situation I found myself in and realized I had only myself to blame.

“Talk to me,” he demanded.

“So now I’m supposed to entertain you?”

“Well, I wouldn’t mind you talking to me with your shirt off,” he said, smiling. I rolled my eyes at his response and tried to get up, but he held me down by my wrists.

“What do you want from me?” I said, fighting the tears that were threatening to fall.

“You promised me two weeks,” he said. “I came home the other day only to find you gone. I don’t know what you thought I would do with a closet full of dresses, but they’re yours. If you don’t want to stay, you don’t have to… but I want you to.”

“I don’t think we should be working together,” I said flatly.

“I’ll consider your suggestion,” he said, pausing well before he had responded. “I think we work well together, and you are a great asset to the team.”

“Yeah… I haven’t even been here,” I said, rolling my eyes.

“The competition was your idea. I am actually grateful that you have inspired Nico. I haven’t seen him work so hard in a long time. That’s not to say that he isn’t a hard worker, but he is now completely revamping the restaurant’s menu as well.”

“I didn’t know that,” I said quietly.

“I also have something for you, but you need to reach into my back pocket,” Nolan said with mystery.

“I’ll need my hands,” I said with irritation.

“You may have one.”

I wrestled my hand loose and looked through his pockets. I had a hard time reaching around to his back pockets, but I finally got a piece of paper. I did my best to open it using one hand.

“You got me, cooking classes?” I asked, bewildered.

“Yeah. I noticed how much you seem to like cooking. Plus, you have been spending all that time with Nico in the kitchen. He told me how much of an asset you’ve been. I thought you’d like-”

I leaned down and kissed him. No one had ever done something so sweet. There was still so much I didn’t know about what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t really feel like I had a determined future, but I thought it was sweet that Nolan cared enough to do something like this for me.

“I don’t know what to say,” I said wistfully.

“Whatever you have to say, can you say it with your shirt off?” Nolan asked.

I hit him with the heel of my hand, and he feigned injury. I slid off him and looked more carefully at the paper. This was really real. I couldn’t believe it.

I was going to say something when I suddenly found his face in my face and his lips on my lips. He deepened the kiss, and it was so sweet that I almost forgot why I was so mad at him in the first place. Almost.

My mind went back to Melina Trowel.

Nolan sweetly kissed my neck and feathered kisses along my breasts. He looked up at me briefly, and I couldn’t hide the pain I was still feeling.

“Hey,” he said quietly. “Look at me. Come on, Zoe, look at me,” Nolan demanded, and my eyes acquiesced. “I’m sorry.”

He held me as tears began to quietly stream down my face. He kissed each one that he could, making me laugh. Then, finally, he placed his lips upon mine. He kissed me ardently, and I could feel the desire that was building within him.

We both struggled to take off our pants, but it didn’t take him long to find his way into me. He pushed me onto my hands and moved with urgency.

There was something fragile about us. It was something he was well aware of and something that I was only beginning to understand. As he moved, I couldn’t help but gasp. Every inch of me wanted to fold into him.

He pulled me up against him as he climaxed. I could feel wetness grow between my legs and struggled to catch my breath. He kissed my shoulders and helped me up.

“I have to go,” I said as I pulled up my pants.

“Wait-”

“It’s not what you think,” I said, calming his temper before it started to rise. “My Mom is going to wonder where I am.”

“You went home?” He asked curiously.

“I went home,” I repeated.

“Even after everything you’ve been through. After how they treated you…” he said, astonished, “you went home?”

“I didn’t feel like I had anywhere else to go. Like you said, it’s home.”

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