When I get back from lunch with Lillian, I feel a little lighter.
She’s right—having a baby is a blessing. With my new energy, I tidy my house up, aiming to have a lazy Sunday in front of the sofa. I drag the rubbish bag to the door, grimacing when I lift the wheelie bin lid up to toss it in.
“I’m surprised you can move after all that food,” I hear a voice drawl from the end of my drive.
Chris is in running gear, and I can’t help but stare at all the lumps and bumps he’s packing.
“Yeah, and I’m surprised you’re running after eating,” I shoot back, grinning.
I walk down the drive, and he tugs his earphones out of his ears, wincing as he does.
“Sorry, say that again?”
Up close I’m lost in his eyes, and I allow myself to check him out, my fingers desperate to run over his faint stubble.
“Jolie?” He peers at me, and I notice a bead of sweat on his upper lip.
He chuckles, breaking eye contact with me before glancing up and down the street.
“How about I pop over for that cuppa?” He suggests, and I nod enthusiastically.
“Yes! That would be great,” I smile, and he waves a hand at his body, giving me free reign to gaze at him again.
“I’ll just shower and change. I’ll be right over,” he smiles, and my heart flutters.
I watch him jog over to his house, and swivel on my heel.
I’m nervous, but I don’t need to be. When Chris knocks on my door some twenty minutes later, I’m put at ease by his relaxed manner as he tells me about his day.
“Tea?” I ask, holding the sugar pot up.
“Yeah, great. Two sugars, please. Oh, I love this show.”
I make the tea as we chat about Criminal Minds, and argue over who is the best profiler.
“It’s Morgan,” Chris says, thanking me as he takes his tea.
I gasp, my hand flying to my mouth as he looks at me with concern.
“That’s who you remind me of!”
“Haha, nice one,” he chuckles, easing into the sofa beside me. He scoots up, leaving a gap between us.
“You do!” I gush, wondering where I’m going with this. “He’s gorgeous.”
“Hmm, and you remind me of Cameron Diaz in The Mask,” he shoots back, and I instantly colour. “Also gorgeous.”
I sip my tea, and he rubs his hand over his head, his eyes on the screen.
“So, tell me about you,” he says, fixing me with that seductive stare.
“I’m twenty seven, and I love watching shit tv shows. Oh, and I hate marmite.”
“Yeah?” He laughs, leaning forward. “I love marmite. I’m twenty five so I’m a little younger than you.”
“You’re safe, I can assure you. I’m not going to ravish you,” I joke, as he shakes his head.
“I’d rather not be safe, if you’re the danger,” he says, and I sink my teeth into my lip. “Sorry, I’m not here to try anything, I just want to get to know you.”
Try something. I wanna see beneath that fucking shirt.
“Right,” I murmur, my eyes on his mouth, which curves into a smile. “I want to get to know you too.”
“What do you want to know?” He asks, sipping his tea.
Can I sit on your face?
“How come you just moved here?” I swallow, forcing my eyes away from him.
“A break up,” he answers honestly. “But I’m glad I did, otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here with you.”
“You’re a flirt, Chris,” I admonish him, crossing my legs and leaning towards him. “And I’m merely being neighbourly.”
“Of course,” his eyes widen as he glances back at the screen. “It’s so cosy in here. I’ve got so much to do to get my place into shape.”
“I love it here, it’s pretty quiet too. The shop isn’t far, and of course it’s close enough to town.”
I’m chatting shit, because all I want to do is drag my hands over his body.
“It is, and the neighbours are friendly too.”
“We are,” I grin, relaxing back into the sofa.
“Do you work out?”
“Do I look like I do?” I scoff, and he pauses, taking time to let his gaze journey down my body.
“You look beautiful.”
“Thank you,” I purse my lips together, trying to hide my grin. “You’re charming.”
“Nah, I’m not. Just honest. Oh, I spoke to my boss about getting your car fixed, and it’s all good. Drop it by one day next week, and I’ll get it sorted.”
“Thanks, I really appreciate that,” I say honestly, and find myself scooting closer to him on the sofa, my eyes trained on the television. I’m aware of him beside me, his delicious scent and steady breathing making me dizzy. I’m trying to think of a reason to get closer to him when he speaks.
“Hey, Jolie,” he whispers, and I turn my face to his to find him gazing at me. “I’m having a party on Friday, I didn’t know if you wanted to come?”
I want to cum alright.
“Uh, sure, but I’m not really much of a party girl—”
His lips brush against mine, so faintly that it’s almost like he’s asking me if it’s what I want. I lace my fingers around his neck, and he tugs me onto his lap, our mouths meeting hungrily. The tea is forgotten, and our hands are everywhere. He cups my ass, and I groan as I kiss him back.
Kisses are my favourite thing to do, and this guy knows what he is doing. His mouth moves across mine, his tongue teasing me until I groan. My hands are under his shirt, dragging across his muscles as his kisses remain slow and steady, his mouth slowly moving to drop kisses on my jaw, his fingers lost in my hair.
“Chris,” I moan, as his mouth peppers kisses down my throat, stopping above my collar bone as he sucks on the tender part of my neck.
“You’re so fucking beautiful, Jolie,” he mumbles, twisting his head to meet my lips once again.
I can feel his hardness between my legs, and suddenly I panic.
What am I doing?!
I stop, lifting my head away from his as he frowns, his hands immediately by his sides.
“Are you okay?” He searches my eyes as I blink away tears, and he looks horrified for a moment. “Shit, did I do something wrong?”
“No,” I gulp, moving so I’m sitting beside him. “Shit. No.”
Chris strokes my back, kissing my shoulder as he lets me cry.
I don’t even know him and he’s seeing me in this state.
“Jolie, you can talk to me—”
“I’m pregnant, Chris,” I whisper, closing my eyes so I don’t have to see the disappointment on his face.
“Wow, okay,” Chris exhales, but he doesn’t move away. Instead, he pulls me into his arms, and I cry harder. “I wasn’t expecting that.”
“Nor was I,” I sniffle, wishing I’d met Chris earlier than I met bloody Jax Cohen.
“Wanna talk about it?” Chris murmurs, stroking my hair softly.
“Like you want to sit and listen to my problems. I’m older than you, I’m pregnant—”
“You’re beautiful, kind, and funny. You stopped things before they went too far, and I admire that,” Chris says, and I finally meet his eyes.
He kisses me again, but this time it’s softer, with no intention. No destination. Just… a kiss.
“Why don’t I go and put the kettle on, and we’ll have a chat?” Chris sighs, and I nod, feeling incredibly stupid.
When he returns moments later, he hands me a mug of tea, his eyes kind.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“Not really, I’m pregnant. That’s it,” I say, staring into the mug.
He’s made my tea too strong, but I’m saying nothing.
“Are you with the dad?” Chris asks, sipping his tea.
“No,” I shake my head.
There’s no way I’m telling him I barely know him.
“That must be hard,” Chris says, staring into the distance, his eyes clouding over. “But you can do it, you know. My mum did it.”
I look up at him curiously, and he lifts my hand to his lips.
“I’m not gonna give you parenting advice, Jolie, but if you ever need someone to talk to—”
“But not kiss?” I pout, and he laughs. He reaches over, tipping my chin back to kiss my lips.
“Absolutely. Someone to kiss, I’m your man. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you’re not attractive.”
“I know but it feels weird,” I admit. “I’m not very far but I can’t explain it.”
“You don’t need to,” Chris shrugs, and I scoot up close to him. “Sometimes you can just be with someone and not have to explain anything.”
He wraps his arm around me, and it only makes me want to cry more. Chris glances down at me, and he strokes the side of my cheek softly.
“God, you only wanted a cup of tea,” I whisper, my hand resting on his chest.
“Well, that’s not technically true,” Chris rumbles, and I smile as he strokes my back. “I wanted to catch up on Criminal Minds.”
He tickles my side and I snort with laughter, capturing his hand so he can’t attack me again.
“Tell me about your mum,” I say suddenly, and his eyes flicker with emotion. I panic, wondering what I’ve put my foot into now.
“My mum and my dad met when they were young, in a club in London,” he says, stroking my hair behind my ear as he gazes at me. “She was a dancer, a model, and he fell in love with her immediately. It didn’t take long for her to get pregnant with me.”
I wait for him to continue, and he sighs.
“My dad didn’t have a legitimate job, if you note what I mean,” he says with a grimace. “He still doesn’t. His lifestyle terrified my mother, and she quickly became a target for his enemies. So did I.”
I’m hooked, unable to tear my eyes away from his large brown orbs.
“So she left him. Packed up our stuff, and moved up North. But he couldn’t keep away, and she couldn’t resist him. It was a recipe for disaster.”
He’s silent, and I brace myself for what’s coming next.
“Somehow she finally broke away, and moved again. He didn’t find her for a good ten years, by which point I was sixteen, and prepared to look after myself and my mum if need be.”
“God, Chris,” I whisper, my fingers stroking the back of his head, enjoying the way the shaved hairs feel beneath my skin.
“She’d moved on, and he wasn’t happy. Despite having other kids of his own, he didn’t ever want to share her. But mum is a force to be reckoned with,” he smiles, moving his eyes to mine. “And she sent him packing. It was the last time she saw him.”
I release a breath I don’t know I’m holding, and bite my lip. “So she did it on her own? Bringing you up?”
Chris nods, his eyes searching my face. “Yeah, and I wasn’t an easy kid. You’ve got this, Jolie. Just remember that.”
I nod, sinking back into his arms as he kisses the top of my head. “I know you don’t know me, but I’m here for you. Anything I can do, just ask.”
“I appreciate that,” I mumble against him, yawning.
“You sound tired,” he grins, and I nod.
“It seems to be a permanent state lately,” I grumble, sitting up to stretch.
Chris gets up, hoisting me to my feet as he does. I’m flush against him, but the way he looks at me isn’t lust filled anymore.
“Get to sleep,” he murmurs, his fingers stroking my hands, causing shivers to run through my body. “I’m only over the road if you need me.”
“Can’t you leave me your number rather than me popping over for sugar?” I frown, and he laughs, a deep booming sound that echoes around the room.
“Yeah, we could do that. Here, put your number in there.”
He hands me his phone, and I add my number, giving it back to him.
“I expect daily texts of motivation,” I tease, and he taps the side of his head with two fingers.
I pull him towards me for a hug, his arms wrapping around me as he kisses my cheek.
I walk him to the door, watching as he walks back towards his house, looking back at me the whole way. I’m grinning stupidly, but I don’t close the door until he’s out of sight.
It’s only then that I realise what a fucked to situation I’m in.
Pregnant and flirting with the sexy neighbour from over the road.