Chapter Sixteen - Playing with Fire
I’d already seen most of the inside, but Brennan showed me again and opened another door which I hadn’t, inside was his home office. We walked to the back of the apartment where there was another door that led to a flight of stairs.
“There’s a second floor?” I asked as we began to climb the stairs.
“The roof, part of the penthouse apartment.”
“Oh. fancy.” I teased.
Brennan opened the door and we stepped out onto the roof. I was surprised to find it wasn’t bare. There was a picnic table and a large umbrella to the left with pot plants situated around the space, bringing life to it. In the corner of the roof sat a round tub. I walked over to it and smiled
“You have a hot tub.” I grinned, running my fingers over the logo.
“Yeah.” he murmured. “It’s warm… if you wanted to uh, try it.”
“I don’t have a swimsuit. Actually I need to go shopping tomorrow, all of my clothes are in storage.”
“You can wear your underwear, or you know whatever you’re comfortable with. I have a washing machine and a tumble dryer. I don’t usually have time for the laundromat so I kind of have a housekeeper who comes in, anyway…” he paused. “Feel free, it’s underused anyway”
My curiosity overruled my shyness and I nodded.
Brennan walked to the hot tub and lifted the lid off. He turned the heat up and the light and jets on.
“I’ll go get you some towels.” He said as he walked to the roof entrance. I dipped my fingers into the water, it was already hot, the jets blasted against my hand, with quite a bit of force. I stepped away and lifted my dress over my head and dropped it onto the ground before walking back to the hot tub and climbing up onto the steps. I was just sitting down when Brennan walked back out of the door holding some towels and a glass of wine. He placed the towels over a deck chair then bought me the wine.
“Thanks.” I smiled taking it, holding my hand above water but sinking until my shoulders were under. Brennan watched me for a second before walking over to the edge of the roof.
“The doors unlocked, I’ll come back up and put the lid on once you come in.”
Our eyes locked. Brennan swallowed hard and clenched his jaw.
“You’re not getting in?” I asked.
Brennan looked away, back out over the rest of Tribeca. He leaned against his arms on the edge.
“I don’t want to do anything stupid.” he replied finally pushing himself upright.
My stomach turned, what did he mean by something stupid? I put the wine glass to my lips and tried not to gulp it in one go but I did. I bit my lip and placed the glass down on the edge of the hot tub.
“We’re both adults.” I murmured. “I think we can restrain ourselves.”
Brennan made a sound, but I couldn’t decipher it. He walked to where the towels were and began to unbutton his shirt. I averted my eyes and suddenly regretted my decision to assert my ability to restrain myself. He removed his suit pants, and then walked to the edge of the hot tub and climbed in, wearing just his boxers.
Brennan sighed and sunk into the water, letting his head rest against the edge and he closed his eyes.
“Actually needed this.” He said softly. “It’s been a crazy week.”
Guilt began to bubble within me almost as strong as the hot tub jets. I’d played my part in Brennan’s stress.
“I didn’t help.” I replied.
Brennan’s eyes flicked back open and he looked over at me, confused.
“Hey, some of the best moments I’ve had this week were with you. Don’t take my grumpiness to heart. It’s not you.”
My hairs stood up on the back of my neck. I could think of a few pretty good moments too, ones I’d been trying to forget about since they had happened. Then I remembered, Brennan had many good moments, with many girls. I sat up straight and sucked in a breath. Brennan noted my change in position and sat up as well.
“Uh, yeah. Just wondering how many girls you’ve brought up here.” I said. Brennan frowned slightly before a smile danced across his face.
“Are you jealous?”
I shook my head, almost too emphatically to be believable.
“I just don’t like the thought of, relaxing in someone else’s… juices.”
I cringed as the words left my mouth. I sounded like a prude, and I felt like one. Brennan chuckled and then lay back in the water.
“Relax, the water is changed regularly.” He paused before looking directly at me. “And I’ve never brought a woman back to my apartment period.”
I wanted to ask how that was possible, but part of me didn’t really want to know. I sat back and rested my head against the edge again.
“So just me huh?”
“Only you,” he replied.
I was sure the only reason he was comfortable with me being here was because I had been his PA for so long. We were comfortable. I closed my eyes and found myself imagining his hand brushing my leg under the water. Such a connection would crumble my resolve, I’d be on him, straddling him, the heat was beginning to get to me or maybe it was the two glasses of wine I’d had. I forced my eyes open and pushed the unwelcome fantasy away.
“So where are you planning on living when you leave New York?” Brennan asked, breaking the silence.
“With my Dad for a while I guess. Although he keeps telling me I need to do what I want, not what I think he wants.”
“Wise man.” He said. “I envy the relationship you’ve always had with your parents. It all seems so natural.”
I smiled, that was the one thing in life I was most thankful for. It hurt like hell now that Mom was gone, but because of our bond, I had a lifetime of amazing memories to fall back on.
“Yours is improving B.”
“Only because of you.” He replied.
I looked at him, he was still leaning back with his eyes closed, his arm steadying him on the edge of the tub. I placed my hand on his.
“You’re a good man Brennan. Everything I said at the wedding was true. They won’t just believe it Brennan, They’ll see it too, because they love you.”