Paradise Fought: AbelBy: L.B. Dunbar
“Yeah, like number one, don’t interfere with my dates.”
My mouth opened in shock.
“Were you on a date with him?”
We were at an impasse again. I was confused. The lightbulb took a moment to click.
“Did you plan to go home with him?” Anger growled out of my voice.
“I…I just needed to get close to him,” she sighed.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“He’s Thor’s best friend,” she responded, ignoring my question.
Cade Preston. I don’t know why I didn’t recognize him. Great grandchild, somehow triple removed from the founder of Preston University. He was collegiate royalty, but it wasn’t his prestige that worried me.
“Thor,” I hissed under my breath. Elma remained in front of me, arms still crossed in defense. “Fine. Lesson one. Now, I need to go home with a girl, too. And you need to teach me.”
“Which girl?” she questioned as her eyes opened wide then narrowed. I’d like to think she was jealous of me, but I doubted it.
“Anyone that’s willing,” I replied crassly. Her arms slipped to her sides and her hands fisted.
“All the same,” she muttered, but loud enough that her point was made. She was lumping me with other guys our age. I was ready to defend myself when she reached for my shirt. Struggling with the top button, I swallowed hard before my voice caught up with her motion.
“What are you doing?”
“Rule two,” she replied. “Thou shall earn a respect for fashion.”
I was so distracted by the work of her hands that it didn’t register with me what she was fully intending.
“This shirt makes you look stuffy. Too smart, which I assume you are. Not to mention, you smell like a distillery.”
Once unbuttoned, she tugged at it to untuck it from my jeans. My body jostled like a child’s but in my jeans was nothing childish. I was so hard it was painful. I feared even the slightest of accidental touches, and I’d be wet in one more spot on my attire. One place much more embarrassing than a wet shirt. Her hands caressed over my shoulders, harshly, but the touch took my breath. It could have been sensual had she desired me. My mind imagined her as my lover in haste to rid me of my clothing. It was a ridiculously romantic idea and a dangerous one. My dick strained in the confines of tight denim.
She tugged the sleeves down and struggled as they each caught on my biceps.
“What the heck?” she grumbled, as she had to use two hands to remove one sleeve and then the other. I wasn’t helping in the least, enjoying the show of her wrestling with my clothing and the temptation of her undressing me. Once removed of my shirt, she stepped back and stared. My t-shirt was white and it clung to me between the size of my body and the dampness of liquor that seeped through my Oxford. Her eyes dilated. Black filled the blue space and she licked her lips. Her attention gave me confidence.
I stepped forward.
“You have tats?”
I stepped back. Shit. Tattoos were like a tag. It would make me recognizable, and I wasn’t ready for that any more than the removal of my glasses. I instinctively reached for the edge of my t-shirt sleeve and tugged it down. I didn’t think the marks on my arms were low enough, but I always wore longer sleeves to cover them. If the t-shirt rose in her hasty disrobing, then it was possible the intricate art of water symbols showed.
“It’s nothing,” I said, holding one sleeve down over my bicep. Her hand reached for my other sleeve, but I crossed my body with a soft left uppercut and stopped her.
“It’s nothing,” I repeated softer, wrapping my fingers over hers and lowering her hand. I let my thumb linger on the boniness of her knuckles. Rubbing back and forth, I developed a steady rhythm over the ridges. It was soothing to both of us. She stared at me as I had stepped closer. A soft thud hit the door behind her. I realized she’d walked into it, in an attempt to step away from me.
“What do I do next?” I asked, my voice tender.
“Next?” she questioned, her voice small.
“For the lesson.”
She swallowed and didn’t remove her eyes from mine.
“Can you see without the glasses?”
“Not well, but I can take them off for close range.” I smiled slowly and she licked her lips again. I pulled the glasses off one handed, as I still held her hand with my other. I heard the sharp intake of her breath.
“Lean against the door, over me,” she breathed, while I finished removing my eyewear. I reached upward, holding the glasses in hand, over her head.
“And now?” I whispered. I was holding myself off from her, my lower region desperate to grace hers, but so stiff. It was too much for lesson one. I balanced above her and realized she was several inches shorter than me, possibly more, if she didn’t have on her heels. I liked thinking I could overpower her.
“Just talk,” she said, quietly, shrugging.
I was lost. I couldn’t make small talk.
“Do you come here often?”
She giggled and it broke the building tension between us. Rather, it should have, but I liked her honest laugh so much, it only made things worse for me.