I step aside and invite Sebastian into my hotel room. My fingers tap nervously against the ivory wood of the door, and my eyes flicker back and forth from him to the rest of the room as he pushes himself off from the door frame to let himself inside. The only sound comes from the rain outside.
I close the door gently, “If I knew you’d be coming by I would have cleaned up a bit,” I admit shyly.
“What is there to clean?” he replies, scooting the desk chair in.
I chuckle, “Yes, I guess you’re right.”
He makes his way to my bed and sits down comfortably on the edge, the complete opposite of what I’m feeling right now. I try to study his face without being too invasive--he’s calm, content, but a little eager.
I play with the tips of my button-up shirt; this top is way too big for me. Then again, all of my outfits are too big for me.
God, why am I trying to ignore the situation?!
“Would you like some coffee? The coffee makers they have here are really nice,” I offer, truthfully speaking since the coffee makers here really are top of the line.
He shakes his head, “I’m alright, thanks.”
I nod. Silence again.
“So do you just...sit here? Doing nothing?” He asks. I wonder what he’s referring to until I notice the TV is off, my laptop is nowhere in sight, and my phone is in the small kitchen charging.
I laugh shakily, “No, no, I’m just...tired.”
“Oh, I see.”
“Did you...did you come by to talk about the apology statement I mentioned in the car?”
He sighs before laughing shortly, “I suppose so, yeah.”
“That doesn’t sound too sure.”
The amusement on his face is now gone. Have I stepped over boundaries? Maybe so. But I believe boundaries need to be stepped over now. Both of us ignoring the issue is driving me insane, and making us both look like we’re too immature to have an adult conversation about anything.
I pull up the desk chair and sit down across from him. He can’t look at me again, but occasionally he levels his eyes up towards me only to hold them down.
“I saw you drawing with Katie today,” I say bluntly. “I was watching you guys the whole time.”
Now he’s looking at me, challenging me with his eyes, and it makes it harder to articulate my words with confidence and without restraint.
“You...you draw so amazingly well, Sebastian. It’s hard to put into words how incredible that sketch was.”
“It was just a sketch.”
I scoff in disbelief, “Just a sketch? Sebastian, that was more than ‘just a sketch,’ I mean the way your eyes lit up and how happy you looked was all a dead giveaway. Why didn’t you tell me you liked art? That would have been an important advantage for us to use.”
“I don’t know.”
My eyes bore into him in an attempt to drill out the truth. But who am I fooling, trying to gather honesty from a man who has been living a lie for God knows how long?
I take a deep breath and push myself to the brink of bluntness.
“I remember everything you told me when you were drunk in your bathroom that morning, Sebastian. It still hasn’t left my mind and I know it hasn’t left yours. So ignoring it, making it fade away into the air isn’t working and it isn’t going to work.”
“It doesn’t concern you anyway,” he says. His voice sounds like he’s said this many times before, almost tired of defending himself. “I didn’t ask you to come up to my room.”
“But I did,” I reply sharply, zealous for his trust. “It happened, and there’s no getting past that.”
“Why do you care so much anyway?” Sebastian sits up from the bed and rubs his eyes. Walking past me, he paces the room a few times before continuing. “You’re here to make sure I’m a tabloid Saint, right? You’re being paid to do your job, that’s the whole reason you’re here, not to be some ‘savior’ or whatever the fuck you want--”
“I’m not being paid for anything.”
He pauses, shifting his weight onto one hip as he stands deathly still. That familiar hollow green glow of his eyes fills the room with an intense feeling that hasn’t been felt before. But I don’t let it faze me, but rather encourage my stance of certainty. I want to help him. And like things I’m sure about, I will do anything it takes to allow my part in. Even if I have to lie to him.
It won’t be the first time.
“Garrett isn’t paying me to be here,” I say after a long stretch of speechless air. “He asked me to help, and I said yes. Why? Because I felt that there was more to you than you liked people to know, and I figured spending time with you and working personally with you would get us to the root of your problem. Contrary to your belief, I’m not here because of money.”
His posture isn’t defensive any more--slowly he’s trusting me. Emphasis on the word slowly.
When he feels it’s “safe” enough, he walks back to the edge of the bed and sits down, only this time he is much closer to me. Close enough to see the flaws on my face. I scoot back, but he scoots forward again.
“I don’t believe you,” he says quietly.
“If you didn’t believe me you wouldn’t have sat down.”
“Maybe I just wanted somewhere comfortable to rest my legs,” he retorts with a voice almost to a whisper near my lips.
“Or maybe you’re finally realizing that for the past two weeks, all I’ve done was try and help you whatever way I could. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that says we haven’t already been through a lot. And this--”
I grab his left hand, causing him to flinch back for a second at my touch, and quickly trace the unintentional incision across his palm, red and inflamed but a lesser scale than before, that tells the tale of bar fights and broken glass. Then, I take off my shoe and hold my own cut in the light--proof of our endeavor through the woods that will never go away.
“This is evidence enough,” I finish.
He looks down at his hand, our hands, and suddenly his fingers wrap around my thumb and press it harder into the padding of his palm, and I see the glint of someone else in him again, like I saw earlier today; he’s asking for help and accepting my trust wordlessly. I’ve realized that when his words don’t deliver, his actions do. It’s just a matter of interpreting what they mean. And by the extent of his misery, I assume no one has successfully deciphered his mute language yet.
“I can help you,” I say aloud, confident in my testament. “Let me help you.”
Sebastian lifts his eyes from our hands and shifts them onto different places--the ceiling, the floor, the desk, then the headboard.
“I don’t know how that would work,” he replies.
“Well, talking about it first would be a tremendous start--what happened that led you where you are today?”
He shakes his head the minute I finish my sentence, “I don’t think I can do that.”
“Okay, that’s perfectly fine. If you can’t talk to me about it, then you should talk to a professional.”
He laughs with a mocking roll of his eyes, “Like a therapist?”
His tone is weary, “I’ve already done therapy a long time ago after my parents divorced and it was a waste of time.”
“Was it really a waste of time? Or were you wasting the time?”
He thinks hard about my question, letting his hand slip out of my hand. Somehow, the absence of his fingers around mine makes me feel emptier than before.
God, stop that, Leslie.
“I don’t know,” he answers. He clenches his jaw, adding a more profound sharpness to his chiseled features.
“Therapy doesn’t work if you don’t cooperate, Sebastian. Believe me.”
“You went for your parent’s divorce?”
I think about my past therapy sessions almost around ten years ago, fueled by the overly protective nature of my father and the wellbeing of my health, mental and physical. Oddly enough, I never went to therapy for the divorce, though. Maybe I should have--probably would have helped in strengthening my ability to form and keep relationships with people, then and now.
“Yeah,” I say to keep the conversation productive. “I did. And it really helped, only because I was willing to open up to my therapist about myself.”
Sebastian seems unsure. It makes me wonder more and more exactly what occurred in his past to make him so adamant not to open up to anyone, not even a professional? To be quite honest, it scares me.
I try to encourage him as gently as possible. “Please? This would be very good for you. It’s obvious you’re keeping too much inside of your mind, Sebastian.”
Sebastian sighs after a while, “I’ll think about it.”
“Really?” I say, a little too happily for him not to notice my reaction.
He nods, “Yeah, I’ll...I’ll look into it.”
“Yes, so will I. In fact, I’ll have my assistant accumulate a list of the highest rated Tennessean therapists in our area, and you can set an appointment when we get back to the manor with the Shrink of your choice. Then we will go from there.”
Even though we’re both agreeing to this, it’s still something that obviously scares him. So I reach out to place a reassuring hand on his thigh, only for him to decide to scoot up even further and cause my hand to touch him...there.
His eyes grow the widest I’ve ever seen them when he feels my hand graze his manhood. Immediately I cover my hands with my mouth, gasp, and jump up the same time he does.
“Oh my God, oh my God, I’m so sorry I-I didn’t mean to-I didn’t mean to touch you there!” I say frantically. But apologizing is in no way stopping the red hue from surfacing onto my face.
Stop it, stop it, stop it!
Sebastian is speechless, eyebrows raised, with a smug look that makes my heart thump harder and harder in my chest.
“I didn’t mean to touch you there,” I say again through my hands. Like that is going to defend myself any better.
He’s laughing at me now. Great--as if nearly grabbing his crotch isn’t embarrassing enough, now I have him laughing about it.
“It’s okay, Leslie,” he chuckles. “Next time, though, I’d like a warning before you decide to touch my dick so I can prepare for it first--unfortunately, I’m not at my best right now.”
I’m dumbfounded. “I-I...”
He laughs again, “I’m kidding. You’re so serious, it makes things more awkward than it needs to be.”
I take off my other shoe to hide my crimson face, “I just want things to remain as professional as possible between us,” I tell him, as professionally as I can. “This is a business-oriented relationship, except for...you know, the therapy and everything else pertaining to that. I guess what I’m trying to say is, you’re my client, and my boss’s son. I don’t want to overstep any boundaries because of that.”
Sebastian looks taken back, “Define boundaries, because we’ve already seen each other half-naked.”
“That was an accident,” I blurt out, with the shiver-inducing memory of him walking in on me undressing in the bathroom the first day at the manor.
“Do I... make you uncomfortable or something?”
I swallow hard, staring up at him, “No, not at all. I just-I... I’m putting it out there now so you know, especially since we’ll be working together more closely the weeks to come.”
He nods, “Alright, cool. I understand.”
I smile, “Great.”
I play with the sleeves of my shirt nervously. In a matter of thirty seconds, this entire situation, this entire encounter took a complete 360 turn into a different direction, filled with different attitudes.
The wind outside causes a tree to tap on the balcony screen door, and immediately we’re both snapped out of our abstractive stare-off.
“Well, I’m gonna head back,” Sebastian says. “I’ll text you about the...you know, therapy and stuff.”
“Yes, yes, that sounds perfect. Goodnight, Sebastian.”
I walk him to the front door out of common courtesy. The path to the door Sebastian walks leaves a trail of his scent--the crisp, masculine mixture of pine, citrus, and something else undistinguishable but alluring. It’s captivating to the point of me inhaling in the fragrance absent-mindedly, and stopping myself when I realize what I’m doing.
The door is open now, but Sebastian lingers in the doorway. Out in the open, he is, standing in plain view for any hotel guest to see. Is he doing this on purpose?
Say something. Anything!
“Sleep well,” I tell him. If only I could see the face the little Leslie in my head is giving me for saying something so corny.
He smiles slightly, “You too.”
And then he is down into the hallway, and I am left leaning against the closed door with a fogged mind. Sebastian has actually agreed to therapy, which is something I thought he would never do. Yet despite my accomplishment with gaining his trust enough for him to agree, I have failed in the “do not make yourself look like an idiot” department when I ended up grazing “Sebastian Jr.” during a serious moment. Maybe I’m the fool for over thinking it; this is Sebastian I’m talking about. A man who’s definitely had his valuables touched by women thousands of times.
I look at the time when I walk further into the room--8:15PM. The rain has stopped, which is a sad fact on my end; I do enjoy the rain.
The Seattle skyline is lit beautifully outside of my window, but the array of lights makes my eyes heavier than they were before. Today was definitely a long day, and tomorrow will be an even longer one. I’m anxious to get the therapist search started, but I remind myself that this isn’t something that needs to be rushed, but gently handled in order to maintain Sebastian’s trust and cooperation.
But I suppose it’s the idea of seeing him actually happy that prompts me to take action so quickly.
I strip out of my clothes into a pair of sweat pants and a plain white shirt. After grabbing my phone and moving it’s charging destination near my bed, I climb onto the soft, giant mattress and bury myself beneath the thick covers before turning out the light. Eventually, after ten minutes of tossing, turning, and thoughts about Sebastian I didn’t want to admit to myself, I drift off into slumber to the jumpy sounds of water from the trees falling onto my balcony outside.
I wake up suddenly to my phone ringing from a text message. With blurred vision, I tiredly check the screen of my phone and jump up when I see his name, like I wasn’t even asleep in the first place.
“Are you up?” the text reads, with Sebastian’s name above it.
I grip the phone in my hand. Oh my God, I think to myself, is this really happening?
I slide to reply. Shit, what do I say? Do I want to sound eager or like I have the time to ignore his text?
As a matter of fact, why do I care anyway how it sounds?!
“Yes, I am. Why, what’s wrong?” I reply, and immediately he responds with: “I need your help. I fucked up.”
I panic. He couldn’t have fucked up again like he did in the bathroom that morning, could he?
“Alright, I’m on my way.”
Even though it is currently three-in-the-fucking-morning, I put on my pair of slippers, take my door key, and exit my room as if it’s 6AM and time to start the day. The rain has picked up again, much harder than before as it pounds relentlessly against the windows in the hallway--an empty, dimly lit hallway that increases my suspense.
I’m in front of Sebastian’s door--one of the most lavish suites here at Hotel Andra. I knock a few times and wait. There is rumbling and other sounds on the other side, giving me the impression he isn’t passed out or barely mobile.
When he finally opens the door, I suck in a quick breath at the state of him: drenched in water like he bathed himself clothed, panting, and eyes desperate and exhausted. My eyes avert down his body, the abs of his torso indented beneath the wet and now see through fabric of his white shirt.
“I’m sorry to call you in this late. Or...early, rather,” he apologizes when his breath catches up. “I just needed some help.”
“What...do you need help on?” I ask slowly, reluctantly.
He notices my hesitant tone, “Oh, no it’s not anything fucked up or weird. I left my balcony door open when I went to sleep and woke up with rain coming into my room like a fucking storm inside here. And now the door is stuck. Fuck!”
I’m now alert more than before, “Oh, God!”
“Yes, that’s exactly right.”
He steps aside, and I let myself into his giant hotel room, much more exceptional than mine on the other side of the building. The room is bustling with wind and rain by the balcony, the curtains dark with water and flapping against each other like they have a mind of their own.
“What do you want me to do?” I ask him.
“Just...I’ll push the door, and you pull it by the handle.”
I comply, even though getting wet was the last thing on my mind this morning.
Out of all people to call for this, why me!?
The closer we get to the balcony, the more rain I feel touching my shirt and skin. The floor beneath is covered in a layer of water that absorbs into my slippers.
“Alright,” I yell over the wind as I grasp the wet handle. “I’ve got it.”
“Okay,” he shouts back behind the door. “On the count of three. One...two...three!”
I pull as hard as I can but fail to even warrant a nudge from the door. My right side is soaked with rain water now, the left near following suit.
“One more time,” I propose, and he nods to me before pushing against the door while I pull. My eyes are shut to shield from the rain blowing in my face and wisp stray curls astray.
Not the way I pictured I would spend my morning.
After a commendable struggle, the door creaks loudly and begins to move slowly towards me. But without warning, it slides at a surprising speed, causing me to slip and fall on my back onto the wet floor with a yelp. The curtains fall to a halt when the door is finally shut, and the rain is now muffled sound behind the glass.
“Oh, shit,” Sebastian hisses. “Here.”
With the help of his hand, I pull myself up and stand up straight on my own, a little embarrassed, but mostly focused on the water dripping from my hair, back and sweatpants. Even when I’m standing, Sebastian still holds onto my arm with concern on his face at my wellbeing.
This is too much.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” I insist, cringing at the water weighing down my clothes. “I’m alright.”
“Thank you for helping me, Leslie. I’m sorry I pulled you into this so early.”
“No problem. But now I’m...soaked.”
We both gradually laugh at ourselves dripping in a puddle of rain water in the middle of the hotel room. I wipe my hands across my damp face with an exhausted sigh, but shortly after my hands are at my sides, I see Sebastian staring at something, staring at something on me, with tense muscles and an uncomfortable, almost fidgety expression. And I stare at him until I realize what he’s looking at.
“Shit,” I whisper down at myself, because not only is Sebastian’s shirt completely see-through, but mine is, too.
And I don’t wear a bra when I go to sleep.
My first instinct is to cover my chest with my arms, but I’m so mortified I can’t move--I cannot fucking move. So I stand in front of him in complete shock while he gawks at my wet breasts through my shirt. But oddly enough, it makes me feel...it makes me feel...
“Your body is...your body is...”
He can’t finish any attempt at a sentence he tries to form, and with every single attempt at articulation, I grow more and more unable to move. I’ve never, ever had a man look at me like this. It’s making me self-conscious to the point of wanting to run out of the room or melt into a puddle of mortification.
Against my lungs, tight with pressure from my heart’s rapidly increasing tempo, I build up the courage to open my mouth and let the logical words escape me. The realistic words, however, are locked in a deep, dark part of my brain I doubt will ever become unlocked.
“S-Sebastian,” I stutter. “I--”
And within a second, Sebastian steps forward with a hunger in his eyes and places his lips onto mine in a bewildering, unexpected kiss. Pressing my lips harder onto his with his hands on the sides of my head, he begins to move his mouth against mine, slowly and sensually. I’m stunned beyond useful description and essentially at his mercy, until my senses click, my mind recuperates, and I, Leslie King, mimic his movements and kiss him back.
His arms move from my head down to my waist and close the gap between our wet bodies. I gasp for air, only to be silenced by his kiss again. My nerves are alive and electric, eager and anxious for the unknown. And my heart, oh reliable heart, flutters and quickens at the softness of his lips, the warmth of his body, the movements of his mouth and the firmness of his--
Suddenly, our encounter is short lived, for I push myself off of him and land against the bedside table after slipping on the wet floor, lamp swaying at my impact. My hands, tightly gripping the table out of the fear of collapsing, and my breath, quick and ridged. Sebastian and I stare at each other, his eyes saying “why did you do that?” and my heart revolving around the same idea. But this time, I make the mistake of acting with my mind. And once that happens, it’s hard to stop.
“We can’t do this. We can’t do this; you know we can’t do this!”
“Why not?” I breathe raspy. “You-I-it’s...we-we can’t! Do you remember me telling you about how we have to be professional? Well this isn’t professional, mister!”
“Then why did you kiss me back?” he asks irately.
I don’t have an answer.
“I want you, Leslie,” Sebastian says seriously.
My nails dig into the wood of the table, “Don’t say that.”
“Why can’t I say that--”
“Because you don’t mean it, you’re just thinking with your...thing. You don’t mean it at all. I’m no one special, Sebastian, I just work with you.”
“You’re being fucking ridiculous,” he growls, causing the hairs on my arms to rise. “If you make me continue on another minute without touching you, I swear to God, Leslie.”
I can’t think of another reason why I don’t want to do this, any of this. My hands are practically twitching to touch him, and every other part of me is itching for him. Every single part.
“It’s...this is...unprofessional,” I mutter in a small, innocent voice.
His mouth twitches up into a devious smile, “I can be professional.”
My hormones bounce against the fucking walls at the deep, menacing, sexually frustrated tone in his voice, and like a rewinding clock, we’re kissing again, more frantic and rushed than before. His hips are now against me again, pinning my back against the bedside table. I can feel the stiffness of his erection against my thigh.
This is really happening.
I wrap my arms around his neck and gently claw at the back of his shirt until he steps away and slips it off of him, throwing it onto the wet floor with a loud thump. Now an unrestricted view of his lean, tan physique is in front of me, and it feels like I’m rabid, demanding him on me once more like I’ve lusted his touch since we’ve met.
Wordlessly, Sebastian cups his hands underneath my ass and slowly gropes me while moving his lips onto the widely exposed portions of my neck. And the minute he breathes onto my skin I let out a moan buried far within me, pent up from never being touched like this, ever.
He groans deeply before whispering: “Fuck, I love it when you moan, Leslie.”
He suddenly lifts me up from the ground while whispering the nastiest sweet nothings I have ever heard anyone say. I’m now on top of the bedside table, Sebastian’s hips between my thighs, and sweating bullets. My eyes wide, I scoot back away from him. Why? I have no idea. It’s been literally ages since I’ve had sex and--
Oh, good Lordie, I’m really about to have sex, aren’t I?
He kisses my neck, my jaw, my collarbone with slow attentiveness, tracing patterns on my skin with his tongue that drives me to the point of my eyes rolling so far back in my damn head I fear they won’t revert.
“Sebastian,” I manage to whisper. “Is this...the wisest...thing to...thing to do right now?”
“Why don’t you think so?” he mumbles into the hollow of my neck.
I gulp down dryness in my throat, “It’s th-three in the morning.”
He doesn’t respond immediately, but rather slips his hands into the waistband of my sweats and panties and pulls them both off in one swift movement.
“Hoooooly moly, okay, okay, okay,” I blurt out as he laughs at me, realizing I’m more vulnerable than I was before, even more so without the ability to close my legs since Sebastian repositions himself in between them right when my pants land on the floor.
He finally decides to answer my question as he opens a drawer and pulls out a condom, “Why does that matter?”
“Because people are sleeping. I don’t want to be too loud.”
I hadn’t realized Sebastian already pulled down his joggers until my thighs stick to the dampness of his bare skin. My first thought is to look down, and my mouth falls open at the sight in front of me. Sebastian smirks at the fuel being added to his ego.
No pun intended.
When I see the...er...magnitude of his situation as he puts on the condom, I reevaluate how this shit is even going to work for me.
He looks me straight in the eyes; his stare is tantalizing, “Well I guess you’re just going to be as quiet as you can.”
“But what if I accidentally make too much noise and star--HOOOLLY FUCKING SON OF A BUTTERED...FUCKING BISCUIT!”
Ignoring my colorful vocabulary, Sebastian continues to ease himself into me and use my lower back for support, pushing me into him. I dig my nails into his back, harder the deeper he’s inside of me, until he stops, looks at me with a clenched jaw, and kisses me hard before he thrusts relentlessly, over and over and over again with an increasing momentum that knocks the bedside table into the wall with the same rhythm of his hips. I try to suppress my voice, but one whimper escapes my mouth, and gradually my whimpers of pleasure and ecstasy turn into moans and screams, gasps and pants, begs and pleads with a hint of his name called out into the early morning air. His lips, hovering over mine but far from another numbing kiss, now rest on my shoulder that catch the grunts he doesn’t want to release.
As he draws himself in and out of me quicker than the last thrust, my state of euphoria is consuming me, drawing a filling, tingling sensation all over my body that is toe curling, back raking, breath stopping incredible. And with my last full breath, I call out his name before I reach an orgasm so intense, the feeling is...indescribable.
Sebastian quickens his pace one last time before slowing down and coming a few seconds after me. Weak and covered in sweat, both of us sit still and listen to our breathing paired with the heavy rain, his head resting on my shoulder.
“You’re incredible,” he whispers.
I try to form the energy to speak, but all that comes out is mumbled fragments.
Jesus, do I even remember my name?
“Good thing there’s room service,” Sebastian suddenly says.
“What?” I breathe.
And without warning, everything is black. Gone. Disappeared, and I am surrounded by darkness, only accompanied by the faint sound of someone chanting “room service” some ways away.
I open my eyes to the bright light of the morning entering my room. I gasp, sit up, and find it hard to even breathe properly without constricting my air ways.
“Room Service!” Someone at the door says, but I can’t even get up. I can’t move, nor can I think straight. All I do is breathe--pant, rather, and feel endless beads of sweat trickle down the back of my neck and down my forehead, my hair sticking to the perspiration on my face.
I look around me, then down at my phone: 7:20AM. I gasp, and look down in horror to the unfathomable discovery of my hand down my sweatpants.
This can’t be.
“Room Service!” the man on the other side says again, but his voice is background noise to my tainted ears. I quickly draw out my hand from there and jump up from out of the bed to break into a sprint that ends up leading me down onto the ground after tripping over the rug. I get up like I didn’t even fall, and run into the bathroom.
“Oh no, oh no, oh no,” I whine as I turn on the cold faucet and rinse my hands before wetting my face as if I’m still dreaming. And I must be. Because there is no way in hell I had a dream like that. No fucking way.
I look up at my reflection; I remember every single detail of that “dream,” and the worst part is, no matter how hard I try to rid it out of my brain like many other dreams I’ve had, it will not go away, but rather it engraves itself into my mind the more I try to erase it: Sebastian’s wet t-shirt, our make out session, the...sex, his...thing!
I walk to the front door. Room Service is in front of my door with a cart of food underneath silver platters. The young man wears a smile, and I try to smile back. But it comes out lopsided and awkward.
“Good morning, ma’am.”
“Good morning,” I croak. He raises an eyebrow, shrugs, and rolls the cart into the room.
“Here you are. Would you like me to get you anything else?”
Holy Water, please.
“No, no this is perfect. Thank you so much.”
“You’re welcome. Enjoy your breakfast.”
Room Service walks to the door to leave, but then stops in his tracks and turns to me.
“Are you...alright?” he asks. “You seem kind of frazzled. Like you had a bad dream.”
HOOOLLY FUCKING SON OF A BUTTERED...FUCKING BISCUIT!
“No, everything is fine,” I assure him. “Everything...everything is perfectly fine.”