**A small explicit beginning of a sexual scene is in the middle to end of this chapter**
Seventeen missed calls from Mike and a text message.
Don’t see me tonight. I stare at the text. It’s unlike him to send something like this and call so many times without leaving a voicemail. I can’t help but feel that something is wrong.
Usually, when someone says something like that, they want to see you at some level, right? Maybe something has happened to him. What if he’s hurt? I have to go see him – just to make sure he’s okay.
I meet Squirrelly at my car, and without saying a word, he pulls me into a tight hug. Not sure how to respond with this surprise gesture, I just return the embrace.
He pushes back and says, “Thanks girl, I needed a hug. It’s been a weird night.”
Weird night? He just sat there in the dining room for the last six hours on his phone. Noticing the question on my face, he straightens himself. “Don’t worry about it,” he tells me.
“Squirrelly, are you okay?” I ask with concern.
He nods his head. “You take care of yourself, okay? I’ll follow you home,” he says as he turns for his truck.
Something strange is going on. That hug was a meaningful embrace; it wasn’t just a friendly hug. I recognize that from giving it to my dad whenever he comes home from work. It’s the ‘I’m glad you’re safe’ hug.
Of course, I’m safe. It doesn’t make any sense. I shrug off the feeling and climb in my Saturn then drive home.
Once I pull into my driveway, I wave at Squirrelly as he continues down the road now that his shift is done. With heavy feet, I find myself at Mike’s front door. When I turn the knob, it’s locked.
Two knocks in, and the door swings open. Then, there before me is a man I don’t recognize. It’s Mike, but it isn’t at the same time. This man is angry, hurt even. His hair is all sorts of messy, red eyes with bags of stress beneath them.
“Elena!” he exclaims sluggishly on a happy note despite his appearance. “What are you doing here?” His hands go to his hips, and his head tilts. “You’re a naughty girl for not taking my text seriously.” He grins as his voice deepens even further.
He’s drunk. He’s drunker than I’ve ever seen him. “Mike, are you okay?” I ask, not sure what I should do.
“Kitten, please come in.” He opens the door wider, and I hesitantly step inside. He would never hurt me, and I know that, but this Mike is someone I haven’t seen yet. I’ve seen him a little drunk, but nothing like this. He’s...very happy even though there’s a furious storm in his eyes.
Mike closes the door behind me. “You are really drunk, Michael.” I didn’t mean for it to come across condescending, but it did.
He lazily drops a finger over my lips. “Shhh, kitten. Back to the full name, I see,” he laughs. “Am I in trouble with you, girlie?” all seriousness in his question.
“I’m not sure,” I retort and turn to pad my way to the kitchen. My eyes take in a near-empty bottle of Jack Daniels and an empty bottle of Jack Daniels on the end table of the couch. Oh boy. The place still looks neat and tidy save for his boots and socks in the kitchen. At least he wasn’t throwing things around.
“Why are you drinking, Mikey?” Using the nickname his mother uses for him, I try to let him know that I’m not angry at him. That even in this state, he can open up to me. There must be a reason for him drinking like this.
Those green bloodshot eyes scan over my body, my pulse heightens, and my breath catches. He’s giving me the look. The look that says I really shouldn’t have come over and that he has plans for me. I know he’s drunk, but I can’t help but wonder what those plans are.
He takes a step closer and wraps his arms around me. His face nuzzles its way against my neck, the stubble of his beard scratches my skin, but in a delicious way. Those large hands of his crawl up my back under the shirt as he nibbles my ear. “Only my mother is allowed to call me that,” he playfully growls deep against my skin.
My arms wrap around him, and I pull him closer. His clothes are cold. He groans as he presses himself against my body so I can feel him against me. His hands glide over my curves then squeeze my bottom.
“Mike,” I whisper a moan from his touch. “What happened? Why are you drinking?”
He pulls away from me so I can see his face, his hands stop roaming my body. The look on him is sad, laced with regret. “You should go, Elena.” His voice matches his slumping broad shoulders as he turns his back to me, grabs a bottle of whisky by the neck, then walks to his bedroom and closes the door with his foot.
Standing there, I feel useless. I want to help him; something is really wrong for him to act like this. My feet take me to his room, and with a twist of my wrist, I open his bedroom door. He’s lying on the bed stretched out like a starfish in the middle of the mattress with his eyes closed and the bottle hanging off the side of the bed in a loose grip.
“I feel like I’m on a cloud,” he sighs.
“Mike,” I softly speak. “Please talk to me?” I move to sit at the edge of the bed. My fingers rake through his dark, unruly, and slightly curly hair. Those emerald eyes open and nearly take my breath away.
“I’m not a good man, Elena. You shouldn’t be here.” His happy-go-lucky attitude switches to dark and moody. It feels like we’re back at square one.
“Yes, you are,” I remind him. A bad man wouldn’t have sacrificed himself for another man he didn’t know from Adam. He took a bullet for Lisa’s dad; that is something a man with a heart of gold would only do. “Why shouldn’t I be here?”
“I’m drunk,” he says, raising his brows like I didn’t notice his state of delayed reactions and slurred words. Those eyes never leave mine. “I’m afraid I might do something I shouldn’t.”
“Like what?” I ask, moving closer to him. I may as well be climbing into a lion’s den at this point, but I can’t seem to stop myself.
“Like taking advantage of you. I’m painfully horny, and you are so damn beautiful. If you don’t leave right now... I’m worried that I’ll be out of control and be determined to show you just how gorgeous you are,” he growls deep. The southern drawl sounds dangerous and inviting with the velvet coated touch.
“Take advantage of me?” I laugh a little. “You’re the drunk one. If anything, I’d be taking advantage of you.” I tap his nose.
“I’m serious, Elena. You need to leave.” He is gravely serious, not a single hint of playfulness. My thighs quiver when they shouldn’t.
What is it about him that makes me so bold? I know he is drunk, and I should take his word for it and leave. I really don’t want to. We don’t have to do anything; we could just cuddle... I could just hold him until he passes out.
I could do that, I think to myself as I sink in closer to his side. His eyes close, and he groans as he changes positions, sets the bottle on the floor so those strong arms can wrap around my body. Holding me tight against the mattress, he rasps in my ear, “I thought I told you to leave.”
One of his hands captures mine to hold them above my head while the other trails its way from my neck to one of my breasts. He squeezes it with just enough force that it’s borderline on being a little painful, but still feels too good to make him stop.
This isn’t cuddling.
“I don’t want to leave,” I barely breathe out from being lost under his touch.
He hums against my neck in approval and begins to nibble on my flesh as he realizes that I’m not going anywhere. Mike obviously is upset or hurt about something, and I will happily be his distraction. I want him to feel better, and if him making me feel good helps him, then it’s a win-win.
While still holding my wrists above my head with one hand, his other roams across my belly to the hem of my shirt to pull it up, so my bare pale skin shows. He looks down at my stomach and watches goosebumps rise as he traces the little mole near my belly button.
“I love how your body responds to me, kitten,” he praises while I try to get my breathing under control. It’s been a while since his hands have been on me like this. We’ve kissed a lot, but both of us have been too busy to have the time to explore each other lately. I’ve forgotten just how wonderful his skin feels against mine.
His hand slides up, taking my shirt with him and pulls it up over my head, releasing my hands just for the time it takes to slip the shirt off. An arm wraps around my back to unclasp my bra; he chucks it on the floor. With him now on top of me, I’m able to trace my fingers down his hard stomach over his shirt before he takes ahold of my arms and pins them above my head while taking his sweet time to suckle, nip, and tease each breast.
Incoherent sounds fill his bedroom from my moans—his knee presses between my thighs, causing me to open for him. On instinct, I wrap my legs around his waist as he settles himself against me. He grinds his hips into me, and I feel him along my groin. Each thrust gives me swirling thoughts of what it would be like to have him inside me.
Sex. Oh gosh, I don’t want our first time to be when he’s drunk.
Finally, he releases my hands, and without missing a beat, they fly to his hair to tug at his roots. I need him to be closer.
I’ll stop him before it goes too far. He reaches behind his neck to tug his shirt off.
He groans against my skin as he unbuttons my black work pants; I hear the sound of a zipper coming undone. Mike backs away from me just enough to pull the pants down and off my legs, followed by his own. Then he dives back between my legs. Both of us clad in nothing but his black Hanes boxers and my purple cotton panties. I’m able to feel him as he grinds into me, almost like a teaser for the real deal.
I don’t hate that idea. Not one bit. But not tonight.
A hand of his snakes down to my mound to find that little nub that he knows how to work so well. My hips start to buck without even thinking about it. He kisses me deep, invading my mouth with his tongue.
I feel daring. I know I’m in control of how far I want this to go, and I want more. There’s a quiet voice that is scared and not ready for sex. Then there is a louder voice that screams I want more of him. I drop my hand from his back to hook a thumb in the purple fabric that separates me from him. I start pulling it down with a shaky hand when his hand grabs my wrist to stop me.
His eyes are intent and burning with a dark green sea of fire. “I may be drunk, but don’t think for one second that my heads not in the game here.”
I nod my head. “I know.”
“Are you sure you want to take this next step?” he asks.
That right there. Even in his drunken mind, he’s putting me and my comfort first. He wanted me to leave because of his state of mind and didn’t want to take advantage of me. This man really is something. He must know that I’m on the fence about all this - I have noticed these past couple months that he reads me well. Mike is pausing this for me; to let me really think about what I want. My chest feels warm, my heart is squeezing, and all the worry I had is now popping into thin air.
He must really love me.
That settles it.