“I’m not a psycho; although, if you piss me off, I may kick you in the balls.” I playfully winked. “Again.”
“Oh, so that kick to my balls was just practicing for when I piss you off?”
“Are you planning on pissing me off?”
“Not anytime soon, but I’m a man. It’s bound to happen sooner or later. Thanks for the heads-up; I’ll make sure to wear a cup.”
“Do you own a cup?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know…”
“I could see you owning a cup with all the women you must piss off with your bedhopping ways.”
“Well, you see, in order to protect my balls over the years, I realized that honesty truly is the best policy. I’m upfront. I don’t want anyone falling in love with me.”
“Quite the opposite. I’ve committed my entire life to being single, and I’ve never hurt a woman because of it.”
“I see. So you’ve never been in a relationship? Never had a girlfriend?”
“And that surprises you why?”
“I don’t know. You like to be the hero, but you don’t want the happily ever after?”
“That’s for fairy tales, and you’re not a little girl I’m going to lie to. I’ll never lie to you, Sage.”
“You’re implying that you’ll see me again? I thought you didn’t do relationships?”
“I don’t count making you come as a relationship.”
“Enough about me. I want to hear all about you.”
“You’re a paradox of contradictions, Ashton.”
“Do you need to start off slow? How about I lead you in the right direction? Tell me about your favorite color?”
“I don’t have a favorite color.”
“You mean it isn't the beloved pink?”
“Actually, I’m not a fan of pink.”
He narrowed his eyes at me.
“I’m more a blue kind of girl.”
“Well, my blue balls agree with you.”
I giggled as he took me in with those eyes again. It made my stomach flutter for entirely different reasons, knowing he could see right through me. And as much as it terrified me, it also thrilled me. Finding someone who could see past the woman I was now.
I smiled. Despite the awareness in his eyes, I looked away. I had to. Reaching into my purse, I turned my attention to a Starburst I was pulling out, avoiding the look in his eyes that I wasn’t ready to feel. I put it in my mouth, needing some sort of distraction from the sudden realness between us.
“Sharing is caring.” He nodded toward the wrapper in my hand.
“I think this was my last one.”
“You knee me in the balls and you don’t share your candy. I’m having flashbacks to my childhood. Am I going to have to chase you around my house?”
“I could see you as the little boy who terrorized me.”
“And you would have loved it then as much as you are right now.”
“My mom never told me that boys were mean to me because they liked me.”
“I find that hard to believe. If that were true, you would’ve left with me eight years ago and not the asshole you stayed with.”
As if on cue, my stomach did that somersault thing again. Except, this time it felt like it was never going to end, twisting and turning and flipping.
If I hadn’t stayed, then my twins would have never been born.
Never taking his eyes off mine, he leaned over with a mischievous grin. I felt this jolt. This immediate spark that made my mouth dry and my face flush, a burning sensation all over my body. I had never experienced anything like it before, and yet I couldn’t wait to feel it again.
He cunningly smiled as if he knew exactly what I was feeling, thinking, wanting. We spent the rest of the night talking.
His hand was always on my thigh, brushing his fingers ever so lightly over my sensitive skin. He told me about his best friends, including Sawyer, whom Aspyn had gone home with. The other two were named Leo and Cain. Leo lived with his girlfriend who had been his best friend since they were kids. Cain lived in St. Thomas, a captain of a sailboat.
I mentioned the Virgin Islands were on my bucket list.
We picked on one another.
He asked me about my brother, my parents, Aspyn. The night rolled by, and it was like I blinked and the sun was peeking in through the sliding door that stayed open all night.
We didn’t sleep.
I was never bored.
I couldn’t even remember the last time I had this much fun, by simply speaking to him. Doing something completely out of the ordinary for me and enjoying every second of it. This night meant more to me than it should, and I was already counting down the seconds until I had to leave and never see him again.
I wanted to see him again.
Shutting off the voice in the back of my head that kept trying to remind me I needed to stay away from him.