Surprise Me Maybe

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Hell Breaks Loose

His green eyes are staring at me with a sharpness that can cut a diamond. With both his hands caging me, he leans closer.

“I have to say, I was a little disappointed with what you said at the table.”

“What did I say?” I squeak.

“That we have come to agree with a lot of things because we’re trying to parent Chloe together. And that’s it. That you won’t ask anything more from me.”

I tilt my head while trying to process what he just told me. It’s getting really hard to think with a clear mind with this proximity. “What’s wrong with what I said?”

“You tell me, Charlotte,” he murmurs. “Do you not want anything more from me? At all?”

I blink. Is he drunk from all the water and club soda he had at the restaurant? Or is it the side effect of having to sit with two crazy women for a good two hours? “I…” I try to reply to him but I can’t find any smart answer to that.

“Because as far as I know, you haven’t succeeded in ignoring the mutual attraction between us. On the contrary, you’ve been pretty naughty tonight.” When I’m still too dumbfounded to respond to his statement, he continues, “Look me straight in the eye and tell me I’m wrong.”

The image of Ashton’s hand resting on my thigh with occasional soft squeezes rushes into my mind, followed by the happy dance of the butterflies in my belly. Of course, he knew I was enjoying it a little bit too much.

“I still don’t know where you’re g-going with this?” I stammer.

Ashton leans even closer, his lips only a few inches from mine. I feel his minty breath fanning my face, making me wonder if he ate all peppermint sweets on the dinner receipt plate. Maybe I should’ve grabbed one too since I forgot to bring my breath freshener today.

Ashton’s finger on my cheeks forces me to stop contemplating my breath. “Tell me if you still don’t want anything from me after I do this.” He closes the gap between us and our lips meet.

He brushes his lips against mine softly, prompting me to open my mouth slightly as I let out a sigh. Taking advantage of the moment, he moves his lips against mine and kisses me tenderly. I have no choice but to follow his lead.

It has been three months since we kissed but the memory of it is still fresh in my mind. This is exactly how I remember it: soft, exquisite, yet intense. No, this is better. This is… addictive. Maybe kissing him while intoxicated didn’t do justice to the sober one.

His tongue trails along the seam of my lips, urging me to open them and granting him entrance. But then he stops. He pulls away slightly while keeping his eyes on me, reading my face intently. My breath is picking up from the need for more connection and I instinctively lean into him, wanting his lips back on mine. But he’s not giving it.

“I thought you didn’t want anything more from me,” he murmurs.

“Shut up.” I grab him by the neck a little bit too hard, proven by his strangled throaty voice before I slam my lips on his. If he doesn’t give it to me, I will make him. I’m a woman on a mission now. Regrets, embarrassments, and sanity can wait.

We kiss again, hard and furiously. Our tongues are everywhere, exploring each other with more force this time. My torso is sandwiched between his chest and garage door, but that’s the last thing I care about right now. I’m just lost in him, in our heated make-out.

But after a while, the uneven wooden surface starts to give my back discomfort. I break the kiss while panting hard.

“Ppf. My back,” I grunt.

“Oh.” He pulls away to give me room to straighten my torso but both his hands are still trapping me. “You haven’t answered my questions, Charlotte.”

“I kissed you. That was my answer.”

Ashton chuckles at my reply. “I thought so.” Then his chuckle turns to a smirk. “So, what about ‘let’s not rush it and see how it goes’? Are three months enough to reevaluate it?”

“I was given six months to prove my qualities in your company. And that was barely enough,” I reply. “And oh, not to mention a month of torture on the thirteenth level.” I retort, earning a deep laugh from him.

“Give me a little more credit, Char. Being my assistant for a month wasn’t that bad after all.”

I smile, loving the way he calls me by my nickname. “Sure, if that makes you sleep at night, mister.”

“You got a fancy workspace, a daily free latte from the coffee shop across the street, the latest gossip from Tanya, and you got to see me every day.”

I drop my jaws. “Who are you? Ashton Knight I know might be an insufferable, despicable, and sharp-tongued man, but he’s not this cheesy in front of a woman.”

Ashton raises his eyebrows. “Why thank you. I take that as a compliment,” he replies. “But from what I recall, I’m the cool guy with a pair of green eyes who sowed a seed of love in someone’s heart? Actually, it was more in someone’s womb.”

I groan at his remarks, dropping my head and pinching the bridge of my nose. “Can you pretend you didn’t hear that part?”

“You need to kill me first.”

I groan harder. “Dammit.” Ashton’s laughter makes me suddenly aware of my surroundings. I sweep the dark driveway with my eyes, checking if there are neighbors who happen to witness our intimate encounter. “I think we should go inside.”

Ashton retracts his hands and slips them into his pockets. “Good idea. I prefer somewhere private.”

I gulp. “To talk, right?”

“Yep. To talk.”

I nod in agreement. “Right. Just talk.”

---

We don’t talk, of course. Who is going to believe that bullshit anyway? At least, none of us do.

Once I close the front door, we are all over each other again. He pushes me against the door and we devour each other’s lips like there is no tomorrow. Our hands are all over the place and we keep knocking on the door in the process. But who cares? Chloe isn’t home and no one will hear the commotion from the distance between houses. All I know, I want to knock this man down during our kissing battle.

When we gasp to catch our breaths, our minds seem to clear up a bit and we instantly untangle ourselves. I wiggle my dress down to pull it back to its proper place.

“We should go, you know, sit and–” I glance at him “–continue talking.”

With noticeable distance, we trudge awkwardly to the living room. But before we reach the couch, he pulls me to him, and we both fall to the sofa as we lock lips again.

“What time are your parents bringing Chloe back?” he asks between our kisses.

“Not until tomorrow morning. Why?” I murmur against his lips.

“Then we don’t need to hurry. We have all night.”

“Hurry for what?” My mind is getting more and more clouded as his hands roam over my outer thigh. “You’re going to spend the night?”

“Can I?”

“Uh.” I throw my head backward to give Ashton access to trail kisses on my neck. “I guess. But we’re not doing anything.”

“We are doing things now,” he retorts but I can feel him smiling against the crook of my neck.

“I mean it, Ashton. I can’t anyway. Code red.” I pull back a bit to search for his eyes. “Besides, we aren’t the same people from that frat party anymore. We aren’t hormonal kids who are only looking for easy release.”

“I know,” he mumbles as he jerks me closer to him again and his lips are back on my neck, tracing kisses to my almost bare shoulder.

“And we have a lot to talk about,” I murmur.

“I know.”

I bite my lower lip, holding back a whimper when I feel his finger pushing my spaghetti straps off my shoulder. “The news about you having Chloe is out,” I blurt, stopping him from his dangerous seduction.

“Come again?”

I pull my dress straps back and get off his lap before throwing myself next to him with an audible sigh, partly because we just ended our intimate exchange, and also because of Chloe’s topic. “People know about you having a child and that the mother works for Remington Group.”

Ashton adjusted his sitting position carefully and I’m trying hard not to look down at his lap. “Do they know it’s you?”

“No. Not yet. And I’m scared.”

“Why?” Ashton runs his fingers through his disheveled brown hair. “You’re aware that they are going to find out sooner or later, right?”

“I am, but they were already talking about my vagina this morning even before they knew the whole story,” I whine, followed by a familiar strangled noise from Ashton’s throat. “They basically have the same idea as Danielle, that I’m the bitch who forces you into this.”

“I did bring up this issue to the Human Resources so that we could find the best options for you. The information must have gone out from that point, but I don’t know who and how. I will see if I can find the person. It won’t fix the damage, though. What’s done is done.”

“I know. It’s just shitty that a woman is always the one to blame. You’re not their favorite, either, but why can’t they bitch about you for knocking up an innocent girl?”

“That’s debatable. The innocent part.”

“Hey!” I smack his shoulder. “I’m not joking, Ashton. Can we maybe… I mean, can you postpone the announcement?”

“Why?”

I shrug. “I’m just not ready, I guess.”

“Char, it’s already out. For me, the sooner we do this, the better it is so that we can move on and get all the mess behind us. They will find out about you anyway; you know how they are. I see no point in postponing the inevitable.”

I have to say he has his point but still, I’m just not ready to say goodbye to my peaceful office space, my crazy colleagues, and my common employment status where people don’t look at me as someone related to Ashton Knight. Sighing, I stand up and head to the kitchen.

“Let me grab something to drink first. Do you fancy wine? I got a few fine ones from Africa. Chris bought them for me.”

“Sure. We deserve good wine after dinner with my mother.”

I bite my inner cheek, thinking that it’s probably not a good idea after all. We barely keep our hands off each other while we are sober. Wine would definitely bring us trouble. But the naughty butterflies in my tummy, who love trouble, convince me otherwise. What’s the worst that can happen? Getting knocked up by him once again? It’s not happening, thanks to my uterus schedule.

“They will shut up eventually once they learn about the fact. You shouldn’t be worried too much about it,” Ashton says when I walk back to the living room with two glasses and a bottle of red wine. “People talk. They gossip all the time.”

I know he has been dealing with people gossiping about his personal life, making false assumptions about every decision he makes and turning him into a sexual object. Well, he probably doesn’t know the last one, or maybe he does and he secretly likes it. Who knows?

We drink a glass of wine after another glass, jumping from one topic to another topic until we lose count of how much wine we’ve had. The temperature in my living room feels hotter every minute, yet we are getting cozier. I try hard not to drool when he undoes his few buttons, revealing his tone chest. The relaxed atmosphere makes Ashton talk and laugh more than I’ve ever witnessed, but my intoxicated brain begins to have a hard time following his blabbering.

Apparently, Ashton’s father always favored Dickson more than his other children, maybe because he was the firstborn. On the other hand, Emily is always Danielle’s favorite. It explains where Ashton’s competitive nature comes from. During his teenage years, he loved trouble just to give his parents headaches. But as he grew into an adult, he began to show his true Knight spirit.

After the company merger, things got spicy when Ashton’s qualities started to catch the board of directors’ attention. Once Dickson was voted out from the CEO chair, Ashton was the next solid candidate to fill the throne.

“Enough about me and my boring life,” he ends his life story as he puts down his glass on the table. In one swift motion, he pulls me by the waist and in one blink of an eye, we are face to face again. “Why don’t we stop talking and continue where we were left off?”

“And where were we?” I ask as I lean in.

“You tell me.”

I giggle like a schoolgirl. “I’m too dumb right now. Hint me.”

Ashton smirks before brushing his lips on mine. “Ring any bells?” he murmurs. When I shake my head, he slowly licks the gap between my lips. “What about this?”

“Try again,” I reply, grinning. My head is dizzy from the anticipation, or maybe from the alcohol.

He does it again, bolder this time, making me squeal. Not wanting to waste time, I crash my lips against his, but at the same time, he opens his mouth.

“Ouch!”

We both pull away, preventing our teeth from another clashing. The next thing I know, we roar with laughter. I don’t even know what is so funny but the way he laughs makes me cackle. I throw my head backward, laughing harder until I realize I’m bending too far behind.

“Watch out!” Ashton shrieks, but too late.

Before I fall, my hands grab his shirt as if my life is depending on it, pulling him down with me. Our colliding bodies create an audible thud on my fluffy rug.

“Oomph!” I grunt as Ashton’s chest lands on mine. Luckily, his hands manage to hold his body up and prevent him from fully crushing me against the floor.

“Are you alright?” he asks.

“I’m alive.” I put both my hands over my forehead and giggle again.

Ashton moves aside slightly, resting his forehead on the crook of my neck. “We’re drunk.”

“No shit, Sherlock.”

“We can’t even kiss properly.” I feel his warm breath on my neck. “Maybe we should sleep it off a bit.”

“Yeah, sounds like a plan.”


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