“What are you doing?” she asked.

I looked at her strangely because what did it look like I was doing? “Um...serving dinner,” I said.

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She shook her finger from side to side as she took the carton from my hand and told me to grab the extra set of chopsticks. I tried to explain to her that I didn’t know how to use chopsticks, but she wouldn’t listen, she never does. She told me she was going to teach me how to use them. I grabbed my fork back from her, but she grabbed it out of my hands and threw it across the room. I looked at her and sighed; she won again. She took my hand and placed the chopsticks properly between my fingers. Her touch sent shivers down my spine, and I didn’t want her to stop. She guided my hand into the container as I picked up a piece of pork.

“See, it’s not hard with the proper training,” she smiled.

I smirked at her as she held a piece of beef with the chopsticks and brought it to my mouth. I graciously took it and then held the piece of pork I had up to hers. She smiled that beautiful smile and took the piece of pork, but bit down on the chopsticks and refused to let them go. I laughed and took in this amazing moment we were sharing. It suddenly felt so right, and it scared the shit out of me. We ate, laughed, and drank wine. When we finished, I couldn’t help but stare at her and gently stroke the area above her cut.

“Does it hurt?” I whispered.

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“Not anymore,” she said.

I could tell she had something on her mind. “What are you thinking about?” I asked.

She took my hand and held it to her face as she softly kissed it. My body tightened, and I took in a sharp breath as her warm, soft lips touched my skin. She didn’t let go, and I didn’t want her to.

“I was just thinking about how lucky I am to have a friend like you,” she smiled.

Damn that smile. I pulled my hand away because she was arousing me, and I couldn’t take it anymore. “We need to leave early in the morning; we should get some rest,” I told her.

She agreed and headed up the stairs. I asked her if she wanted a pain killer before she went to bed.

She said she was fine and didn’t need one. I went to my room and shut the door. Miss Ellery Lane had me so sexually frustrated that I needed to take care of myself. When I finished, I put on my grey silk pajama bottoms, and as I was leaving the bedroom, a text came through from Sarah.

“Connor, I know I’m not supposed to text you, but it’s been a while, and I was hoping you’d be up to some wild fun tonight.”

“You’re right, Sarah, you’re not supposed to text me unless I text you. I’m not up for anything, and please don’t text me again.”

I put my phone down and headed to Ellery’s room. I lightly knocked on the door, and she told me to come in. I tried not to look too much at her as I didn’t need to be getting aroused again which I knew would happen looking at her in that little nightshirt she was wearing. I sat down in the chair opposite the bed and reclined it back. I was staying in her room tonight, and she wasn’t going to argue with me.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Getting some rest,” I replied. I could sense an argument coming on.

“Here?”

“Yes, do you have a problem with that?” I asked her.

“As a matter of fact, I do mind, Mr. Black.”

I sat up and looked at her. “Why? The doctor said you need to be watched for a concussion. How am I supposed to do that if I’m in the room down the hall?”

“I’m fine, and besides you can’t sleep all night in that chair. You’ll be hurting in the morning, and we have a 10 hour drive to Michigan,” she said.

“I’m following the doctor’s orders, Miss Lane, so deal with it. You’re not getting your way with this one.”

“Now, you’re making me feel bad. At least come sleep in the bed.”

My eyes widened. Was she serious? “I don’t think that’s a good idea, Ellery.”

“Why not? We’re friends. Peyton and I sleep in the same bed when we have sleepovers, and my bed is tiny compared to this one. You have your own side way over there,” she pointed. “If you don’t, then I’m leaving, and you know I will.”

“You’re not going anywhere, and I’m not sleeping in that bed,” I said.

She threw the covers back, got out of bed, and started to put on her yoga pants. I jumped up from the chair and grabbed her arm. “Stop it, Ellery, you need your rest,” my voice was angry.

I took in a long sharp breath, “Fine, I’ll sleep in the bed, just please get back in it and leave those pants on.” She smiled at me and climbed back into bed. I walked to the other side, climbed in, and turned the other way. Don’t get me wrong, I want to sleep in the same bed as her. In fact, I want to do a lot of things with her in bed, but I’ll be damned if I ruin this relationship that we have right now. I closed my eyes and whispered to her, “You are the most stubborn and defiant person that I’ve ever known, Ellery Lane.”

“So I’ve been told, Mr. Black, good night.”

“Good night, Ellery,” I smiled as I drifted off into a deep sleep.

Chapter 10

I opened my eyes, and the first thing I saw was Ellery. She was lying on her side and facing me. I laid there for a moment, staring at her and watching her as she slept. I still needed to pack a few things, and I wanted to make her breakfast before we head out. I carefully got out of bed, trying not to wake her. As I made my way to the door, I heard her stir beneath the sheets. I turned around and looked at her, still sleeping peacefully, as I walked to my room. I took a shower and finished packing the little bit that I had left. As I made my way to the kitchen, my phone started ringing. I looked at it, and Ashlyn’s name appeared. She was the last person that I wanted to talk to, especially now with Ellery right upstairs. I answered and tried to make it as short as possible.

“Ashlyn, I can’t talk right now; I’m in the middle of something,” I said.

“I need to see you, Connor, and I need to see you now.”

“That’s too bad, Ashlyn; I have to go out-of-town for a few days on business.”

“I’ll come over right now, and I can send you off feeling really good.”

“No, you can’t; I don’t have time. Don’t you dare come over here; I’m leaving. I’ll call you as soon as I get back,” I yelled.

“Connor, it seems like it’s been forever, and I’m really getting pissed off,” she whined.

I changed my tone with her because I needed to get her off the phone before Ellery came downstairs. “I know it’s been a while, but I can’t help that; I’ve been busy.”

“Does this have anything to do with that blonde bitch you’ve been with?”

“No, she has nothing to do with it. I’ve been working. I softened my tone with her, “Ashlyn, we’ll get together as soon as I get back.”

“Promise me, Connor,” she said.

“I promise. I’m going to send an envelope over with Denny; I’ll talk to you soon.”

I can guarantee that’s one promise that I have no intention of keeping. I needed to tell her what she wanted to hear to get her off the phone, and I couldn’t risk Ellery hearing me.

Breakfast was almost ready, so I headed up the stairs to see if she was awake yet. I heard the water running in the bathroom, so I knocked on the door. I told Ellery to make sure the water wasn’t too hot.

Somehow, I didn’t believe her because she had a really bad habit of never listening to anyone. I leaned up against the wall and waited for her to come out. I heard the shower turn off, and a moment later, Ellery opened the door and jumped.

“Shit, Connor; you scared me,” she said.

Seeing her standing there in nothing but a towel was the most beautiful sight that I’ve ever seen.

Her skin was still damp from the shower; her hair wet and wavy, and the short towel was barely covering her perfectly shaped body. Her legs were long, lean, and perfectly sculpted. She stood there staring at me.

“I’m sorry; I just wanted to make sure you didn’t take too hot of a shower. I didn’t want you getting dizzy and pass out again. You do have a habit of not listening to anybody,” I said with a smile.

She rolled her eyes at me and said ouch. “See, I told you not to roll your eye at me, and you didn’t listen!” I yelled as I walked down the hallway. She smiled at me as she shut the door. Damn that smile.

I went back downstairs and fixed her a plate of eggs. She came down and sat at the island. I slid the plate in front of her, and she looked at me with a surprised look on her face. She asked me if I made everything myself, and I told her that I had. She seemed surprised at the fact that I can cook. I brought my plate and sat down on the stool next to her. She looked over at me as she took a bite of her eggs, and with a smirk on her face, she asked me if she had harmed me in any way last night. I wanted to tell her that I had wished she would’ve, but instead I decided to play with her a bit.

“No, in fact, you put your arms around me, started rubbing my chest, and calling me Peyton. I was quite turned on.”

The look on her face was amusing. Her jaw dropped, and her eyes widened. She was so damn cute that I couldn’t help but smile. She knew at that moment that I was joking, and she went to playfully smack me on the arm. I grabbed her hands before she could hit me and looked at the scars on her wrist. Our playful mood turned serious as I stared at them for a moment. I dropped her hands, got up with my plate, and headed towards the sink.

“My scars really bug you, don’t they?” she asked in a serious tone.

“They sadden me, that’s all,” I replied as I put the plate in the dishwasher.

“Why, Connor? I didn’t even know you when this happened. Why would my scars sadden you so much?” she asked.

I kept my back turned to her as I stared out the window. “It saddens me that someone could think so little of their life to want to do such a thing.” I know that was the wrong thing to say, and I probably shouldn’t have said it.

“I told you why I did it, and it wasn’t because I thought so little of my life. I did it to lessen the pain for my father, and how dare you, Connor Black,” she started to cry.

She got up from the stool and walked out of the kitchen. I didn’t mean to upset her, but I had. I ran after her, grabbed her, and pulled her into a warm embrace.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it; I swear I didn’t. I just get sad when I see them because it reminds me of what you went through,” I whispered in her ear. I regretted every word that I had said. She looked up at me as I gently wiped away a few tears that had fallen from her eyes.

“It’s ok; let’s just forget about it and head out,” she said.

I put my forehead on hers. “I’m an insensitive bastard.”

She lightly smiled as she whispered, “You’re in luck as I’m quite fond on insensitive bastards.”

My first thought was to kiss her lips. I wanted to feel them against mine, but I had to hold myself back. It was getting harder and harder each day to control myself with her, especially after last night.

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