Her eyes instantly go wide, her expression morphing into that of a stunned deer, as if she just got hit by a bulldozer.
She looks at me with utter confusion and embarrassment, clearly shocked that I’m asking. As if she can’t believe I could ask such a thing.
She blinks rapidly and swallows, averting her gaze once again.
I guess that pretty much answers my question.
“Ah, fuck,” I mutter before I can stop myself.
As soon as the words leave my lips, she looks at me with surprise, dismay even, but only briefly. Just as quickly, she lowers her head, her eyes cast to the floor while her guard goes all the way up.
I feel her push at me, clearly trying to put some space between us and probably to get away from me altogether.
She’s shutting me out.
And I’m left feeling like an ass.
I just went from three-sixty to zero with her in no time at all. We had such a great tempo going and I just had to go fuck it up with a stupid question.
“I didn’t mean that,” I blurt, trying to salvage the situation.
She crosses her arms over her chest. She doesn’t even look at me. “I’m sure you didn’t,” she replies dryly, eyes still on the floor.
God, I messed up.
She’s definitely pissed.
I only asked because she looked so nervous and I didn’t want to scare her, especially if she hasn’t been intimate with anyone before. All the same, I want to castrate myself for bringing it up now. The outcome clearly isn’t in either of our best interest even though I asked the question in hers.
She tries hard to veil the hurt expression bleeding through her features but her attempts are fruitless. It’s obvious she’s not the kind of person who can hide her true feelings. She can’t pretend to save her life.
“Look, I’m just going to go,” she says finally. “I’m sorry for barging onto your property. It won’t happen again.”
She moves to leave, not waiting for a response from me, and I instinctively reach out, taking her hand firmly in mine.
“I didn’t mean it like that, Kitty-Cat,” I say, genuinely apologetic.
She shakes her head. “That’s not my name.”
My brow arches at her quipped response, but I nod in compliance. “Okay. What is your name?”
“It’s not important.”
“It is to me.” That’s the truth.
She takes her hand from mine and wraps her arms tightly around herself, still averting her gaze. “Well…it shouldn’t be.” Her words leave her lips in little above a whisper, the statement almost shy, but her tone is somewhat…sad.
Now I’m confused all over again.
Why is she so reluctant to give me her name?
“And why is that?” I ask, voicing my thoughts after a slight, uncertain pause.
She shrugs, her slender shoulders gently rising and falling in a show of false nonchalance.
“Because we won’t ever see each other after this,” she explains, “…unless of course I get hit by a bus or have a piano fall on me tomorrow and you come to take my soul away.” She adjusts her posture and clears her throat. “So you see, Mr. Reaper, exchanging names is pointless.”
I can’t help but chuckle. “Mr. Reaper?”
I spot the beginnings of a grin she’s trying to suppress. “You are one, aren’t you?” she muses. “Besides, what about you? Kitten and Kitty-Cat? Pshh. Please. At least my nickname for you is accurate enough. Cats are dainty and graceful. I’m nothing like that.”
I shake my head. “I disagree.”
She seems to be one of those people who doesn’t hold a grudge or stay upset for long, because she’s smiling now. She places her hands on her hips and snorts in disbelief, finally meeting my eyes again.
“How am I even remotely like a cat?” she says, her brow lifting in an exaggerated arch, the gesture both flirtatious and challenging. “Please, do tell.”
Without a word, I look over her body intently, mentally stripping her from her gown with nothing but my eyes and making sure she sees the lewdness of the action.
This girl must be dense as hell if she doesn’t realize how attractive she is. I mean, Jesus, she’s this close to making my dick blow off and is questioning her femininity?
I’ve come across clueless people in my lifetime, but she takes the cake.
Definitely takes the cake.
I guess I’m going to have to tell her just how feline she is.
I close the distance between us once more, holding her timid gaze all the while, my eyes piercing into hers without an ounce of restraint or inhibition.
“Well, for one, you have a purr-ish voice,” I begin.
This time she raises both her brows in disbelief, giggling in amusement. “Purr-ish? That is so made up, dude.”
“It’s so not, dudette,” I counter in good humor.
She laughs again, and the captivating sound warms my heart. I can’t help but smile. I could listen to her laugh non-stop and still want to hear more of it.
This is good. We’re getting back to a good place.
And I’ll be damned if I do or say anything to fuck it up again; good intentions or not.
“A purr-ish voice is raspy, airy, and sensual…like yours,” I say, inching closer to her.
She sucks in deep breath impulsively, shuddering slightly as she exhales.
I watch her struggle to swallow, and I know I’m on the right track.
I see absolutely no reason to stop.
“Secondly, your hair…,” I continue.
Her expression turns puzzled. “My hair?”
I nod. “Yeah…your hair. It’s fun and playful. It lays how it wants and kind of just does its own thing, living by its own rules and no one else’s. Not even it’s owner’s. Cats are like that, you know.”
She looks at me as if my words surprise her.
“Oh…,” she breathes, her voice leaving her throat in a raspy whisper, “…I didn’t think of it like that.”
Warmth floods her face, and it’s clear my words are affecting her.
I grin at her shy reaction. “I did.”
Without an inkling of hesitation, I reach for her again, caressing her cheek, trying to tattoo its warmth and softness into my memory. I run the pads of my fingers down her neck as if it’s the most natural thing in the world to do, lazily stroking back and forth across her clavicle, rubbing against her soft skin with my thumb.
She has a stunning collar bone. No. Her entire bone structure is gorgeous, remarkable for a human.
I don’t even try to resist, eagerly placing my lips to the delicate ridge of bone and inhaling her scent again. I feel myself becoming drowsy with lust, lifting my mouth to her ear feverently.
“And like I said before…,” I place my lips just below her earlobe, lightly licking her skin before continuing, “…you have a pretty scent. A very, very pretty scent.”
I emphasize my words with a stream of punctuated kisses, gentle pecks trailing from her ear down the delicate line of her jaw.
Soon, I feel small hands on either side of my waist, gripping me tightly, and my heart does a victory somersault.
I pull back just enough to look at her face again.
Her eyes are hooded, her long lashes framing her lids like a pair of ethereal creatures.
She really does have beautiful eyes; kind and alluring at the same time.
God, it’s like everything about her appeals to me.
She breathes through parted lips, and stronger, more concentrated whiffs of her scent erupt and diffuse around us.
She’s, without a doubt, aroused:
Right where I want her to be.
“So, there you go,” I say in conclusion. “That’s how remotely feline you are. Your voice…your hair…and your scent.”
I cup the back of her head with one hand and idly fondle her neck with the other. “Did I miss anything?”
She continues to stare at me through hooded eyelids, shaking her head slowly, as if she’s tipsy.
Impulsively, I squeeze at the back of her head, grasping it more firmly. “I may be able to read minds, but I don’t read sign language, Kitty-Cat,” I say.
The Commander in me wants—no, requires—a verbal answer.
She seems to really enjoy the added pressure to her scalp, parting her full lips further as a small whimper escapes them. She doesn’t seem to mind the nickname anymore, either.
She tries to clear her throat, both arousal and hints of nervousness intensifying the raspiness of her voice. “N-No.”
I lace my fingers through her hair, gripping the spirally locks possessively. “Are you sure?”
She moans audibly, her heartbeat speeding up. “I…I don’t know,” she whimpers. Her own fingers dig deeper into my sides and her breathing becomes shallower.
I want to push her even more. Need to.
“Oh, I think you do know, sweetheart.” I let my other hand roam down her chest, grazing the hardened bud of her nipple through her gown.
She surges at the contact, simultaneously inhaling sharply and raising herself on the tips of her toes.
Her hand jerks impulsively, grabbing at my wrist, but instead of pushing it away like I assume she’s going to…she holds on to it tightly.
“Mmmm…I definitely think you know the other purr-ish part of your sexy body, sweetheart,” I taunt. “I think you know your pussy will purr for me if you let her.”
“No,” she resists, but in words only. She makes no move to stop what’s happening.
Egged on by her silent encouragement, I pinch her nipple through the fabric without warning, squeezing the tense bud of flesh between my fingers insistently . “Yes.”
She hisses against the abrupt, acute sting, her own fingers shaking as another moan rips itself from her throat.
“Ahhh…p-please…” she stutters, her voice cracking.
I plant my lips on her neck again, my teeth gently sinking into her skin, nipping at it possessively. “What are you pleading for, sweetheart?”
When she doesn’t give me an answer, I grip her hair even harder, forcing her chin up and placing my lips at her ear again. “Hmm? I didn’t quite get that, Kitty-cat,” I muse, the words a teasing whisper but the threat in my voice unconcealed.
She’s breathing entirely through her mouth now, her eyes are glazed and her lashes flutter in tandem with her racing heart. “I-I can’t…I can’t…”
“You can’t what, baby?” I push, biting on her chin greedily, marking her delicate skin with my teeth and following it up with another quick kiss. “What can’t you do? You can tell me.”
She’s pretty much lost all her coherence at this point. “I…I want…oh, God…p-please…”
Her arousal amplifies exponentially, and its aroma overwhelms me. I swear my balls are about to fall off—
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
A loud, sharp noise erupts out of nowhere and startles us both, completely disrupting our flow.
What the fuck…?
My head whips around impulsively, trying to pinpoint the source of the unpleasant, generic sound as it repeats itself over and over again.
I hear Kitty-Cat sigh in annoyance.
“What’s wrong?” I ask, turning my attention back to her again.
She closes her eyes in disapproval. “It’s my alarm clock.”
“Y-your…alarm clock?” I blurt, certain I look just as flabbergasted as I sound, maybe even more.
She nods. “Yeah. It usually goes off randomly, even when you set it—”
Her lips are parted in mid-sentence, and without any warning, in the blink of an eye, she…disappears.
Vanishes right before me.