I’m cooking when she opens the door.
I shouldn’t be in her kitchen, but I haven’t had a kitchen in weeks. I need to eat and she has food in her fridge.
She drops her purse on the table and stares at me.
The circles under her eyes are a lot bigger than they were two days ago.
It’s because of me. I’m stressing her.
Good. I’ll make it worse, inflicting it on her body and her mind. My plans have solidified today. There’s nothing more torturous than being denied something you want. And if she wants sex, I have to find out how badly that includes me. If it’s as bad as I think, my new plan is by far the best I’ve ever thought of.
“You’re cooking,” she says.
“I do eat.” I stir the pan.
“What are you making?” She walks into the kitchen and I don’t like it. It’s too domestic. Her, coming home to me cooking. It’s too familiar. I should’ve made ramen on my cookstove out on her deck.
“Stir fry.” I frown at the vegetables and meat frying in the pan.
She comes close to me. Too close. Despite everything I’ve done to make this woman afraid of me, the more scared she is, the more she can’t stay away. Her arm brushes mine and I can smell her.
Over the sesame seeds and the soy sauce, stronger than the steam or the food, it’s her.
She smells like girl. Like too much sugar, too much sunshine, and way too much soap. Why does she have to be so clean?
“I’ll make rice.” She too gracefully goes to the cupboard.
I refuse to watch her. But I can feel her behind me. Her softness and too gentle movements. It should make me want to get rid of her. I don’t have to hang out in her house. Why am I here? I should be down on the beach.
But I’m not.
I’m in her kitchen with her pulling out pots and pans behind me. And I want to touch her.
It’s a strange sort of want. Like a physical pulling. Like a rubber band pulled taut begging to be released. Like it’s harder for me not to touch her than it would be to haul her against me and bury my fingers into her skin and my tongue in her mouth. It would be easier to take over her the way I couldn’t stop myself yesterday. My hands beneath her clothes, her fingers clutching my hair, begging to go deeper.
And it’s almost like she’s begging for it again. Reaching in front of me to plug in the cooker, when there’s a perfectly good outlet on the side. Pulling open the drawer next to my hip for a spoon when there’s a perfectly good one in the jar by the stove.
I turn the burner down to simmer, then back her into the corner.
I cage her with my arms on either side of her, and her eyes widen in fear.
“You want to play my game?” I can’t help my eyes roving over her face: her mouth, those pert little lips, her eyes, even her nose with these tiny freckles you can’t see except up close. She’s sickeningly sweet.
Makes it all the sweeter when she stutters her answer. “I’m, uh, h-hungry.” She’s panting, her mouth open. I catch a glimpse of her pink tongue.
I lean over her and mock her. “What do you want? Do you want more of me? Are you aching for me to give you the fuck of your life?”
She shakes her head. “N-no.” But her chest is pumping air at a fierce rate and her tone goes up in that way it does when she’s lying.
She does want more of me.
I don’t understand why. But I can use this. I can work her to my advantage. Toy with her. Torture her. I would enjoy that. I would enjoy seeing her driven mad with wanting me—the man who’s out to destroy her life.
Fear. And Need. Her body is stiff like she wants to run, but her eyes scream wreck me, use me, make me into something other than me.
I lean toward her ear. “Are you tired of being a good girl?”
“That’s not an answer.” I breathe against her skin.
“Yes.” She shivers.
“You like it when I scare you.”
Her eyes fall closed. “Yes.”
“You’re afraid I’ll make you do things you would never do.”
Her throat works on a swallow. “Yes.”
“You want me?”
Her eyes flash open, those light blue ovals that are so clear, I can almost see myself.
She wants me.
I stand back and go to the stove.
I have my answer. It should disturb me, surprise me: I don’t want her to want me. She doesn’t know me. No one does. No one will.
I don’t want them to know me.
But it doesn’t matter. My plan is accomplished. Now she knows she wants me. She’ll long for it. I’ll never give it to her.
But I’ll taunt her without mercy.
About The Author
Robin Lovett is the author of Stranger. She enjoys writing romance to avoid the more unsavory things in life, like day jobs, housework, and personal demons. Reading romance has always been her addiction of choice. When not writing or reading with her cat, she’s busy embracing untamable curly hair or adventuring into the outdoors with her husband. She loves chatting about life and romance on Twitter and Facebook, so don't be shy!
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