Chapter Eleven



Can’t believe I slept after that, but my body was depleted by pleasure. And maybe by the rollercoaster that’s been the last couple days. But mostly pleasure. 

I stretch back into Dionysos. He has his jeans on. Kept them buttoned up the entire night. This can’t be comfortable. His hand comes up to cup my breast, and I let him tease my nipple. I’m wet again. Or have been. Since I first saw him.

A full-body tingle rolls along my skin at the memory of his mouth on me. Thank God for Sofia, talking me into waxing on a regular basis, although I had no boyfriend to do… maintenance for. We do it for us, she said. To feel sexy. I sure felt sexy while the hottest man I’ve laid eyes on drank freaking champagne from my waxed pussy.

And he didn’t expect me to return the favor. Or did he, and I failed to realize?

I shift to face him, plant my hand on his shoulder, and push him back. In my mind, I’m every bit the seductress who’ll roll him onto his back and suck him dry. My seduction skills leave a lot to be desired, though, and so does my upper-body strength. Despite my efforts, Dionysos remains on his side, head propped up on one arm. A smile plays on his lips, and his eyes are fully silver.

I give up and brush my thumb along his cheek. “How do your eyes do that? Are you wearing lenses?” 

His smile stiffens, and with a sweep of his long lashes, the silver melts into his usual warm brown. “Something like that,” he says after a long heartbeat. “Did you sleep well?” 

His question snaps something inside, and a mix of sadness, guilt, and longing rises up in my chest, threatening to pull rational thought under. I was… somewhere, in my dream. With Dionysos. He held me while I wept and hated myself. I’d killed my only surviving family for a man—another man—and Dionysos was picking up the pieces.

“Moira?” he whispers. “Are you okay?”

I shake my head. “Bad dream. Just now came back to me.”

His chest is hot against my cheek and smells faintly of champagne, as he gathers me close. I feel safe, with his arms around me. Like I belong. Like I could fall in love with him, and he’d never hurt me. 

I lay a kiss on the smooth skin over his heart. Like I could stay here forever.

Dionysos tightens his hold for a second, before he pulls away so fast he almost rolls off the cot. He throws his legs off the edge and stands. “What time is it?” His back is to me, rippling with delicious muscle as he bends to put on his shoes. “I need to talk to my brothers.”

My watch says it’s seventy thirty. What fuckery is this? What does he possibly have to tell them that can’t wait till later? I scoot closer and tug at his back pocket. “Or you text them and maybe get back in here, and I make sure you have a very happy morning?” I waggle my eyebrows when he looks at me over his shoulder.

Okay, a clenched jaw isn’t what I expected. I drop my hand, not giving in to the urge to touch his magnificent ass. Whatever last night was, he’s obviously done with me. But what guy goes down on a woman and doesn’t stick around long enough to get his rocks off?

This guy. Damn it. 

I’m glad I’m so pissed off, or I’d be a crying heap, asking him what I did wrong. As things stand, I don’t know what his damage is, but it’s just that—his damage. And I’ll cry later. Because I will cry; I can tell by how my eyes burn and my throat constricts at the thought of not seeing him again.

“Yeah, okay. Go,” I mumble. “I’ll get my stuff and be out of here in half an hour.”

Great. Now I’m on the receiving end of a glare. Full-force, too, as he finally turns to face me. God, his abs stick out like freaking Lego pegs. 

I’m getting a brushoff. I shouldn’t be drooling over chiseled-to-perfection body parts. 

“You’re not going anywhere,” he says. “I’ll get you a room at one of Sei’s hotels, like I told you last night. I’ll drive you to get your things, and you’ll be back here in time for your shift. Clear?” His gaze softens marginally, before his brows come together in a scowl.

Okay, mixed signals suck, but I can’t exactly ask him where we stand. 

Scratch that. I should totally ask, but I’m not ready for a flat-out rejection. Maybe I said something in my sleep that freaked him out? Whatever it is, I’m waiting out this moodiness, and will definitely talk to him about it tonight. 

He paces the length of the room once, then twice, before coming to a stop at the door. Back stiff and shoulders square, he leans against the door frame. “Listen… About last night…”

He’s gonna tell me it shouldn’t have happened. 

And I didn’t realize a heart could actually break. Mine must have; it hurts as if my chest were split in two. How is this possible? I barely know the guy. I can’t be in love. This must be my ego. Same thing barely keeping the tears at bay as my breath jams in my lungs.

“Can we please keep it between us? For now? I don’t want the other girls to think I hired you because I wanted to… You know—because I want you. Not messing with my employees is a hard line for me.” His chuckle sounds brittle, pained. “Usually, it is.”

My heart kick-starts, but now it’s racing in my chest. He’s not saying we should forget last night. And he said for now. Like there will be a future. A more. Or he’s about to ghost me, and I’m reading too much into a gentle brushoff.

But would he tell me to stay if he meant to ghost me? I mean, working together isn’t exactly the best way to avoid each other.

“I can do that,” I say somberly.

“Good.” In two strides, he’s in front of me and crushing his mouth to mine so hard, our teeth clash. Then he’s at the door again, throwing it open, and I’m left with tingling lips, a stomach full of butterflies, and a messed up head. And don’t get me started on the state of my pussy.

For now, since I’ve nowhere I need to be, I sprawl back on the cot and fold my arms behind my head. “Say hi to your brothers,” I call out, more sweetly than snippily, though that balance takes some effort.

Pretty sure the glance Dionysos spares me before he walks out is full of longing and regret. And naturally, I can’t go back to sleep.

My whole life, I’ve loved sleeping in, and now that I can do so in a bed that smells like the sexiest man alive, I twist and turn and sigh like a heartbroken teen. A horny one. I could take care of the ache between my legs myself, but that may erase the memory of his mouth on me. 

Finally giving up on the hope of drifting off again, I sit up. I could tidy up in here. Wash last night’s towel. Busy myself so I keep a pair of dark-brown eyes and a husky, gravelly voice from my thoughts.

I hate housework, but an hour later, the room is sparkling clean, and I’ve hand-washed everything I’ve worn the past couple days. I search the bathroom for the switch to the magical dehumidifier, I can’t find it. Which leaves me with two options—lay my laundry out to dry in the staff bathroom, where my new coworkers can see it, or splay it on the cot and set the radiator on high. But then I can’t leave till my clothes are dry, or there may be a sort-circuit that leads to an electrical fire. Thanks, Mom, for making me always think of the worst possible scenarios. 

Screw it. I leave the heater on, palm the second set of keys from behind the bar, and take myself and my severance check first to the bank, and then to the seaside. Coffee by the beach is good for the soul year round, and for a while, I can pretend all is well with my life. Really, it is. I have a job and a room to crash in, and I spent the night with an incredible man. What more could a girl want? Nothing.

But I’m a woman, and I want more, damn it. Can this be enough for me?

The waves hold no answers, and the weak rays of the morning sun don’t warm my core, where I ache for a man I shouldn’t be thinking of. He’s my boss, and he’s obviously not in the headspace for anything more than what he offered me last night.

Well, nothing better for temporarily covering the empty pit in my chest than spending money I can’t afford on things I don’t need. Now where’s the nearest mall?


< Chapter 10  | Chapter 12 >

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