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Sexy Jerk by Kim Karr (13)

Tess

SEX CHANGES EVERYTHING.

No matter how many times you say it won’t, or want to pretend things will be the same afterwards, they won’t be.

They never are.

For Nick and I, that isn’t saying much. After three years of war, the cease-fire had resulted in both of us crying out each other’s names, and now trying to catch our breath.

It isn’t anything I would have predicted.

My breasts are crushed against his chest when I spot the sun rising. “We should probably get dressed,” I say, “Max will be waking up soon.”

His muscles grow taut beneath me, and with an uneasy feeling stirring in my belly that I can’t shake, I wait for it.

This was a mistake.

This shouldn’t have happened.

This is a one-time thing

Or better yet—don’t get too attached to me.

“Yeah, you’re right,” Nick says, sitting up and forcing me to do the same.

He runs a hand through his hair, and then looks around before standing. As he gathers my clothes and hands them to me, I wait for it. Nothing. I start to wonder just how bad this is going to be.

We still have nine days together; will we be able to do it?

Time to find out.

“Nick,” I call as I shrug into my shirt.

He turns, just finishing pulling his pants up. God, that body. It’s hard not to stare at it. “Yeah,” he says, his voice thick.

That’s when I do something very unlike me, and go fishing. “We probably shouldn’t have done that.”

Standing there shirtless, he puts his hands on his hips and raises a brow. “Look Tess, I’m not going to play games. If you’re looking for me to agree because you think you know me so well, I’m not going. Or if you’re waiting for me to tell you it was a mistake, that’s not going to happen either.”

Honestly, can he just address the statement? Agitated, I can’t help but shake my head, because really, he can be such a jerk. “Alright then,” I say, and get to my feet, my body language sending out all kinds of vibes. What vibes though, I can’t even be clear.

Whatever he reads them as, it’s not anger or hostility I can tell you that because his eyes greedily take me in.

I smirk at the heat I see in them, but then quickly remember I’m put off by his attitude and turn away to gather the pillows. Still, I can’t help but steal a glance or two his way.

He’s poking at the fire when he looks over his shoulder and catches my gaze. “Do you really think that?”

I’m just about to set the pillows on the couch when I freeze. I could lie and tell him yes, or I could be honest. In the end, I decide to be honest. As soon as I finish my task, I whirl around. “No, but I thought you might, so I wanted to make it easier for you.”

Nick is a lot of things, but gracious and humble aren’t any of them. With amusement glittering in his eyes, he says, “Awww . . . that’s really sweet Tess, you were worried about me.”

Now I’m infuriated. “Screw you,” I say with more force than I intended. “I just didn’t want things to feel awkward between us.”

He throws his head back and laughs. Laughs. The nerve of him. When he settles himself, he sets those eyes on me. “Oh, and if I had said thanks for the lay, but don’t get to attached to me, that wouldn’t have been awkward?”

I stare at him. “Why are you being such a jerk about this?”

Nick sets the poker down and strides toward me with a predatory light in his eyes I’ve never seen before. My heart slams right out of my chest. When he stops in front of me, he gently wraps his fingers around my upper arms and says, “You’re the one who made the comment. Perhaps you should just apologize to me for thinking so little of me, and then we can plan our day. It looks like neither of us will be going to work, and obviously school will be canceled, so let’s make the most of it.”

My jaw drops open. “You want me to apologize to you?”

He nods, and simply says, “Yes, and then we can plan our day, together.”

I’m a little torn here. On one hand, wow, I was so not expecting that, on the other hand, is he really serious? I decided on the latter. “You’re unbelievable,” I say, and turn to march up the stairs.

He catches me before I reach the first step, and I whirl around. “If you’re worried this was a one-night stand for me, it wasn’t,” he says in a low voice, no more menacing in his tone.

There is nothing but the truth in his eyes.

“I just thought you should know,” he adds.

I swallow, and blow out a slow exhale. “Thank you,” I say, and then tack on, “And I am sorry. I was fishing.”

Nick steps up, and forces me back. I end up sitting on one of the steps, looking up at him. He runs his hands possessively up my arms, over my shoulders, along my throat, and then he cradles my face, where he proceeds to crush his lips to mine. He kisses me like he’s starved. Like I’m the only thing that matters. Like I’m his.

Hot.

Torrid.

Consuming.

His breath explodes over me as he breaks contact with my lips, and we both gasp for air, and then he says, “Now, Tess, is that settled?”

My body is quivering from head to toe as I look up at him, and then I do the only thing I can, and nod.

With Nick, you just never know what to expect . . .

Except the unexpected.

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