I open my eyes and find myself in a warm tangle of limbs and sheets.
When can I see you again?
He asked the question as I was falling into a deep sleep. In my state of postcoital bliss, the words made me smile. I hummed a non-answer and let him hold me in his arms as sleep pulled me under.
I feel so secure and comforted by the heat of him wrapped around me. I don’t want to move, but I can’t stay. Those words echo in my head. When can I see you again?
Now that I’m no longer drunk on pleasure or delirious from multiple orgasms, the question thrills and terrifies me. I wish I were someone else. I wish I could make promises and take chances. But I’m not. I have secrets and priorities that have everything to do with the little boy sleeping at my best friend’s house. Brayden can’t know about Noah. No one can. But that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t want this night to end. Not yet.
The light slanting out from the bathroom door casts the hotel room in a warm glow just bright enough to allow me to see his face—the shadow of his thick stubble, the slight parting of his soft lips. His muscled arm is wrapped around me, his calloused hand on my hip, and the feel of his breath on my neck is so sweet that I want to close my eyes and savor this moment. But I can’t. Because last night was a mistake. A terrible, rash, foolish, delicious mistake that I’ll be thinking about for many lonely nights to come.
I slip out of his embrace and out of the king-size bed that sits in the middle of his swanky New York hotel room. My hands shake as I snatch my bra from the floor and slide it back on.
Slowly, cautiously, I turn to look at him one more time. His face is so soft—as if sleep vanquished the typical hard lines and stern face I always associate with Brayden Jackson. His cold demeanor never made an appearance tonight. We did a little official business, made a few of the introductions he came to make. But then we started drinking, and I caught him looking at my mouth. Suddenly, all-business Brayden was a thing of the past, a memory of a man I could have easily resisted as too serious, too uptight. But this sleeping Brayden? And the two-beers-in Brayden, whose mouth crooked into a lopsided smile when the bartender thought we were a couple? This Brayden Jackson would have taken a will of steel to resist—a will I hadn’t known I’d need.
Tearing my eyes away from him, I scan the floor for my panties.
I swipe my foot along the side of the bed to see if I can feel them hiding under there. Where did I take them off? Images slam into me. His thumbs hooking into the black lace. His hands dragging them down my hips. His mouth . . .
I squeeze my eyes shut and turn toward the door, toward where I know I took off my dress. I slink into it and zip it without allowing myself to turn back. I need to walk out that door. If I look at his sculpted chest or the strong legs outlined under the sheets, I’m not sure I will. I know the delicious weight of that body on mine, how the faint stubble on his cheeks felt scraping against my neck, my breasts . . . lower. I know how those dark eyes made me melt a little inside.
I find my purse by the minibar and sling it over my shoulder. Pausing a beat with my hand on the doorknob, I pray he’ll forgive me, pray he’ll understand that I need this job and that last night was a mistake. As quietly as possible, I open the door, duck out into the hallway, and quickly walk away from my new boss and the hottest night of my life.
I reach for her in my sleep and find the bed empty beside me. I sit up. “Molly?” I click on the bedside light and scan the room. Her clothes are gone. So is her purse.
I rub my eyes. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
Snatching my jeans from the floor, I search the pockets for my phone. She’s sent me a text.
Molly: Thank you for last night. You’re a nice guy, but I want this job. I NEED this job. And that means it can’t happen again.
The clock by the bed says it’s two a.m., but I text her back anyway.
Me: Your job is safe, whatever you decide. Last night doesn’t have to mean anything you don’t want it to mean.
Putting the phone down, I drag a hand over my face and climb back into bed. Shit. I can’t believe I didn’t hear her leave. Did I say something to scare her off? Does she really think I’ll fire her because of what happened?
My phone buzzes, and I lunge for it.
Molly: It was a mistake. I’m so sorry.
I put my phone down and sit on the side of the bed, cradling my head in my hands. A mistake. If she was a mistake, she’s the only mistake I’ve ever wanted to make.