|Home > Chelle Bliss > Men of Inked > Without Me (Page 27)|
|Without Me(Men of Inked #7) by Chelle Bliss|
Small crinkles formed near the corners of her eyes as she strained to keep them closed. Her tears grew until she trembled in my arms.
“I want to say yes, Anthony. I want to more than anything,” she sobbed.
“Then do it.” I brushed her skin with my lips, basking in her softness. “Be the strong woman I met in the bar weeks ago. I don’t care if I have to hide as long as I’m with you.”
She kept her eyes shut and didn’t respond.
“I’ll hide in the shadows for you. I’ll be your dirty secret. As long as I get to touch you, kiss your lips, and see where the sparks lead us, I’ll do anything. Just don’t shut me out.”
“Okay,” she whispered as her eyes fluttered open. Tears hung in her eyes, ready to fall again as she looked at me. “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you. Your touch stayed with me for days, Anthony. It scorched my skin, burning hotter than the sun. I can’t promise a future, but I can give you the now.”
Taking a long, slow inhale, I felt relieved that she had given in. All I wanted was the now. We could implode and collapse like the tallest skyscraper during demolition, but I wanted to know we’d tried. That I hadn’t let her run away without exploring the first true feelings I’d ever felt for a woman.
That was how we began.
I hadn’t been expecting him. I thought I’d done enough and been cruel to the point he’d never want to cross paths again. Naturally, I was wrong. He wasn’t the type to give up, but the one thing I thought I had going for me was that I was just as bullheaded as he was.
As he turned around, my heart stopped. I felt a void inside my chest from the rhythmic beating that I’d grown to ignore, but when it ceased I took note. I wanted to jump into his arms and kiss his face but I refrained.
I tried everything I could think of to get him to understand we couldn’t be together. The problem with that was he didn’t believe a word of it. I felt the spark just as much as he had. Maybe even more since I hadn’t let anyone touch me for years.
I’d lied to him. I couldn’t believe what popped out of my mouth when I felt backed into a corner. I’d pay someday for that shitty-ass lie. My family wouldn’t care that he was white. Denzel was engaged to a white girl, after all. It was the only thing I could think of, though. I figured I could hide behind my family and he’d back off.
But when he kissed me, I couldn’t say no to him any longer. Feeling the softness of his lips against mine, tasting him again, and being in his arms made me want to give in and throw my grand plan out the window.
Maybe if I went on one date with him, I’d find out that I didn’t really like him. Maybe I only wanted him because I was lonely and horny. An official date with Anthony would be just the ticket. After spending an evening with him and actually talking, I’d be done with him.
His cocky attitude would drive me away and his need to feel he’d captured me would wane. Soon, it would all be over and I’d go back to my simple life and the overuse of my new vibrator whom I affectionately nicknamed Tyrese after watching a Fast & Furious movie.
I could go back and be happy again. Couldn’t I?
I Fondue You
The first official date we had was simple. We went to dinner and ended up at her place. I’d like to pretend I was a true gentleman, but it would be a lie. Yes, I opened her door, pulled out her chair, and all that bullshit my father had taught me as a young man, but I didn’t waste time before getting her in the sack again.
I couldn’t. No matter how badly I wanted to wait, I couldn’t. It was hard to be patient and wait when I wasn’t sure if the offer would still be there tomorrow. Plus, I was a greedy fuck.
She hadn’t promised forever, but she had said that I could have her now. It was more than I’d ever promised anyone, and since she had my head all messed up, I took what I could. Months ago, before Max, I wouldn’t have wanted a second chance. There was no way I’d have accepted taking a back seat and hiding from the people in our lives. Somehow, she made it okay.
I went from not wanting a relationship to being her dirty secret in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Oddly enough, it didn’t make me feel inferior or weak. I felt renewed and like anything was possible. Maybe I could be a rock star. Possibly, my destiny wasn’t to be alone. Who knew what the future held? I’d always thought I did. I had a set path and I followed it.
Meet ’em. Fuck ’em. Leave ’em.
Roles had reversed, and now, I was the one willing to accept that course of action.
I wanted to show her that I had another side. The non-asshole one that could be sweet. Naturally, I didn’t know where a romantic restaurant was, so I Googled it. Listed first was the place that served cheesecake by the tons. I’d been there once and hadn’t felt an ounce of romance as I’d listened to Suzy chatter on about school. I went for option two listed in the search—The Melting Pot.
I knew they served fondue, but what I hadn’t expected was the amount of time we’d be sitting there. The dinner took hours.
Between the cheese and the meat courses, I thought I’d try and get to know more about the woman who sat next to me. I knew the basics. Name: Maxine. Age: mid-thirties, but she wouldn’t be specific. Occupation: stylist. She had at least one brother and a mother who didn’t want her to date a white man. Best Friends: Nita and Malia. That was all I knew about her. Not much to go on, and maybe that was why I liked her as much as I did. She was mysterious and magnetic, and I knew that our touch caused sparks.