- Chapter Seven
“What did you pick?” I ask as I wander into the living room from the bedroom. I’m fresh out of the shower, finally feeling normal again in fresh clothes, my hair washed, and belly full of soup from my favorite deli down the block that Leo fetched me for dinner.
And I don’t even need to throw up.
If I don’t watch it, I could get used to being pampered.
The opening credits of a movie are paused across the TV.
“The new James Bond,” he grins at me from the couch and I plop down next to him. “Feel better?” he asks.
“Much, thank you.”
“No Nash t-shirt?” he asks with a raised eyebrow.
I look down at my shirt and back up at him with a sassy grin. “The Goo-Goo Dolls are my favorite.”
“Right. That’s not what you said last night.” He pushes play on the remote and Adele begins to sing the opening song to the movie.
I love Adele.
“I was delirious with fever,” I mutter and settle in next to him, leaning my head on his shoulder.
“Liar,” he whispers with a chuckle and kisses my forehead.
I enjoy having him here, in my space, among my things. I never thought I could be so comfortable with someone for long stretches of time. People usually annoy the hell out of me.
Hell, sometimes I annoy the hell out of me.
Leo and I have settled into a rhythm. The conversations are interesting. The silences aren’t uncomfortable.
And he likes to have me near him, which is a comfort to me, not just because I’ve been sick.
I link my fingers with his and rub my thumb over the ink on his skin. I love his tattoos. I can’t stop looking at them. I wonder what these on his hands mean to him?
I wonder if he’d tell me if I asked?
Leo clears his throat, and I realize I’ve been lost in thought. I look up into his smiling gray eyes. “What?”
“The movie isn’t playing on my hand.”
“Sorry,” I mumble and pretend to watch the movie.
“Don’t you like James Bond?” he asks.
“Sure, I like it.”
“Why aren’t you watching it?”
I climb onto his lap and wrap my arms around his neck. “You know,” I begin and kiss his chin. “I haven’t made out during a movie since Ethan Middleton took me to see Toy Story in the eleventh grade.”
“What kind of a douche bag takes his date to see Toy Story?” Leo responds, wrapping his arms around my back.
“I had a big crush on Ethan,” I reply with a laugh and kiss his cheek. “I didn’t care what he took me to see.”
“Did he score that night?” Leo asks, his eyes happy and laughing.
“Hell no, but he got to second base. Play your cards right, and I’ll let you score a home run, sexy man.”
“Where is Ethan now?”
“I have no idea.” I shift so I’m straddling him, my knees planted on the couch at his hips. “The point is, I think we should make out.”
“You are feeling better,” he kisses my nose and then lifts me off his lap and dumps me back on the couch beside him. “Watch the movie.”
“I wanna make out,” I pout and cross my arms over my chest, earning a belly laugh from Leo, and my stomach tightens at the sound.
Even his laugh sounds musical. God, I could eat him with a spoon.
“You wanna make out, sweetheart?” he asks and shifts toward me, pushing me down onto my back on the couch.
“Well,” I shrug nonchalantly. “You know, if you want to.”
“You are so sassy,” he mutters and stares down at my lips. “I’ll make out with you if you want.”
“Oh good, I was afraid I was going to have to track down Ethan.”
“I’m the only man for this job, baby.”
He plants his elbows on the cushion beside my head, rests his lower body against mine and leaves tiny kisses on my chin, my jaw, and then slides his nose against my neck, making me shiver and squirm.
“You have great lips,” I whisper and feel him grin against my ear. I run my hands down his firm back and pull his t-shirt up so I can feel his warm skin beneath my hands.
“Clothes stay on,” he whispers and continues with the small, sweet kisses.
“Why?” I ask and gasp when he bites my ear.
“We’re just making out.”
He pulls up to brace himself on his hands and stares down at me with shining gray eyes. “No, we’re just making out. No farther than second base.”
“Uh, Leo, Meg’s the one with the three date rule, not me. Remember?”
His face splits into a wide smile and I feel myself smile back at him.
“She has a three date rule?” he asks.
“Yeah, she about killed Will.”
“That’s my girl,” he chuckles proudly. “And I do believe you made me wait through about five dates.”
“Running isn’t a date.” Holy Mary Mother of God, if he licks my neck like that again, I’ll tear his shirt off his body and attack him.
“I bought you a meal each time. It was a date,” he whispers and moves to the other side of my neck to wreck the same havoc on the sensitive skin below my ear.
“Kiss me, please.”
I pinch his ass, and he bites my ear and glares down at me.
My eyes fall to his lips, his silver metal in his lower lip, and I’ve never wanted anyone to kiss me as much as I want him to right now.
He loops his fingers in my hair, tilts his head, and gently lays his lips over mine. I tighten my hands on his back, holding him tightly against me, and sigh deeply as he begins to move those talented lips. He nibbles and sucks, from one corner of my mouth to the other, leaving no piece of skin untouched.
My hands begin to travel, over his back, down his arms, up to his face, slowly and lightly exploring him, until I’m so consumed by him, I don’t hear the movie, or feel the couch under me. All I know is Leo.
I thread my legs through his, not able to get close enough, and rotate my hips against him, but he abandons my lips and slides down to my ear.
“Samantha, I’m not going to make love to you tonight. But I’m going to kiss the fuck out of you.”
My lips meet his again with a moan and this time he deepens the kiss, teasing my lips and the tip of my tongue with his.
I’ve never been kissed this thoroughly in all my life.
One of his hands leaves my hair and journeys down my face, my shoulder, and just when I think he’s going to cup my breast, his hand glides down to my hip, and he just rests it there.
He’s seriously just going to kiss me.
I moan again and run my fingers down his stubbly face. Despite the stubble, his skin is smooth and he just smells so damn good.
He slows the kiss down; nibbling my lips again, and then nuzzles my nose.
“You make me forget how to breathe,” he whispers.
“I love the way you kiss me,” I whisper back.
“Good,” he murmurs and offers me a half smile, his stormy eyes are lazy and heavy-lidded. “Because I plan on kissing you a lot.”
“Okay,” I agree shyly.
Why does he make me so shy?
Suddenly, he stands and pulls me into his arms, cradling me against him, and carries me into the bedroom.
“The TV is still on,” I remind him.
“I’ll get it later.”
She’s beautiful when she sleeps.
She’s beautiful period. Even when she was hurling and sweaty with fever, she was a sight to behold.
I’m in trouble.
We slept late this morning, but neither of us has anywhere to go, so I’m lying next to her, enjoying the view.
I’ve never just kissed a woman and not made love to her. I rarely kiss women at all. Sex is great, but kissing leads to all kinds of attachments and feelings, and it’s just best if I don’t go there, especially given that women I’ve been with in the past ten years were a quick lay. I certainly don’t kiss the way I kissed Sam last night. I wanted to sink into her and make love to her all night, but she had been sick.
Maybe I’m turning into a pussy in my old age. The kicker? I don’t give a shit.
Sam stirs and yawns, opens her sapphire-blue eyes and smiles softly at me.
“Good morning.” I kiss her soft cheek and enjoy her sleepy moan.
“Mmm… mornin’.” Fuck I love that raspy voice of hers. It’s sexiest when she first wakes up and when she’s just about to come.
“What do you want to do today?” I ask and brush a piece of her hair off her cheek.
“I want cupcakes.”
“Cupcakes?” I ask with a laugh. “It’s only ten in the morning, sweetness. Isn’t it a bit early for cupcakes?”
“Clearly you’ve spent too much time abroad,” she pushes her hand through my messy hair and gives it a yank, which immediately makes my dick stir. “Cupcakes are appropriate at any time.”
“Can I have coffee with mine?”
“Okay, I’ll take you for cupcakes.”
“That was easy,” she grins.
I just shrug. Fuck, I’d give her just about anything she wants right now.
“Should we run first?” she asks with a frown.
“You’re not ready to run yet. You were sick twenty-four hours ago,” I remind her and climb off the bed.
“Then maybe I shouldn’t have a cupcake.”
“Samantha, let’s go get cupcakes and anything else you damn-well want.” I scowl down at her, and clench my hands into fists to keep from reaching out to her and tumbling her back into that bed when she offers me a wide smile.
“Cupcakes it is then.”
We dress quickly and I hold her black coat up for her to slip into before pulling on my own and sliding my beanie over my head.
“Leave the beanie off,” she’s grinning at me. “I like touching your hair.”
“It’s just easier if I wear it.” I kiss her forehead and usher her out the door.
“So, is it your disguise?” she asks sarcastically. “Pull the beanie down over your trademark sexy hair and eyebrow piercing and cover your tats and pray no one recognizes you?”
She may be joking, but I can hear the edge to her voice. My being recognized doesn’t excite her any more than it does me.
I push the button for the lobby on the elevator and pull her into my arms for the trip down.
“I don’t get recognized often, sugar.”
She relaxes against me and sighs and I can’t help but smile. The difference in her from when we first started running together and now is amazing. She’s used to me touching her now, which is good because I can’t keep my hands off her sexy little body.
“Where is the cupcake place?” I ask as we walk out of the elevator and through the lobby of her building.
“Just a couple blocks over. We can walk it.”
“Are you feeling well enough for that?” I ask and frown down at her, but she just nudges me with her elbow.
“I’m fine. A few blocks won’t kill me.”
“Lead on then.”
The Seattle sky is bright blue today, treating us to a rare winter sunny day. I twine Sam’s fingers in mine and kiss them, and follow her into a little shop called Succulent Sweets. It smells like coffee and sugar inside, and Sam’s pretty blue eyes light up as they fall on the glass case full of baked goods.
Damn, she’s cute.
“What do you want?” I ask.
“Chocolate, of course,” she laughs and my gut clenches. I love her laugh.
She orders her chocolate cupcake and a hot tea, and I place my order and the little brat reaches for her wallet.
“What are you doing?”
“Buying you a cupcake.”
“Right, ‘cause I’m going to let a woman buy me breakfast.” I roll my eyes and push her aside and pull my wallet out of my back pocket.
The redheaded cashier glances up at me casually and then does a double take.
“Holy shit, are you Leo Nash?” she asks and I scowl at her as if she’s nuts.
“I get that all the time,” I laugh. “No, I’m not. That band sucks.”
“I like them,” the redhead shrugs and I instantly like her. “But yeah, sorry, I can see now that you’re not him.”
“I’m better looking, right?” I wink at her and she laughs and hands us our drinks and cakes and we find a table.
Sam is smirking and trying not to laugh out-right.
“That’s seriously how you thwart unwelcome recognition? By dissing your own band?”
“It worked.” I chuckle and take a bite. “Damn, that’s good.”
“You got lemon! Can I have a bite? It’s my second favorite.”
I hold the cake up to her lips and she takes a tiny bite and closes her eyes as she moans in happiness, and I have to readjust myself on my chair.
Jesus, I’m like a randy teenager with her. I thought I had better control over my dick than this.
“Can I have a bite of yours?” I ask.
“Hell no, get your own,” she pulls her cupcake closer to her and scowls at me.
“Selfish brat. I shared mine.”
“Sucker,” she smirks and continues eating her chocolate.
I glance across the street and grin. “Do you know what that building is across the street?”
She follows my gaze and shrugs. “Just a red brick building.”
There is no signage, and it’s non-descript.
“Nope, it’s a recording studio. It’s owned by a famous female duo from Seattle. They’ve owned it since the early eighties.” Excited, I lean forward and cup my coffee in my hands. “Sam, Johnny Cash recorded there. Nirvana, Sound Garden, Pearl Jam. God, too many to count.” I look at the building again, an idea forming in my head.
“Have you recorded there?” she asks, staring at the building.
“No,” I shake my head. “I have been inside, though. When I first moved to Seattle, I won a radio contest and got to go to a private Pearl Jam concert there. There were only twelve of us in the audience, all sitting in a semi-circle. It was the coolest thing I’d ever been to.”
“Wow, that’s awesome. You guys should do that.”
I nod, the idea taking more shape. “I wonder if we could record the next album there,” I murmur and Sam’s eyes widen.
“Really?” she asks.
“Yeah, I don’t see why not. I don’t know how far they’re booked out for studio time, but that way I wouldn’t have to go back to L.A. to record. Most of us live up here anyway.”
I grin at her, excited to start making calls and she grins back.
“Could I come listen?” she asks.
“Of course. Anytime.” The thought of having Sam in the studio with us as we lay tracks makes my stomach clench.
The thought of fucking her in the studio is even better. I’ve never done that before because work and personal shit have always been separate for me, but damn, I’ve already blurred all my lines for her, why not this one too?
“How many songs do you have written?” she asks and licks her fork.
“I’ve written three by myself and two with Meg. Some of the other guys have written a few. I’m working on one more now. We have a list of songs that the studio wants us to consider. I figure we’ll start pulling it together in a few weeks.” Her big eyes are on me, listening intently. It makes me proud that she’s so interested, and she asks intelligent questions, not the typical fan questions.
She’s definitely a fan of the band, and that’s just one more thing that draws me to her.
Of course, I’d be drawn to her if she hated the band too, but nothing long-term could come of it. My band is my family.
“You have frosting on your lip,” I murmur.
She licks the wrong side and smiles knowingly. “Did I get it?”
“Nope, other side.”
She licks again, her pink tongue running along her lips and my cock instantly comes awake. She missed.
I reach out and brush the frosting with my finger, but before I can pull it away, she grips my wrist in her hand and pulls the finger in her mouth, sucking the frosting off and nibbling lightly on my skin.
“We need to get the fuck out of here,” I growl. I hear the need in my voice, and her eyes dilate with lust.
“I’m not done with my tea,” she mutters and her eyes fall to my piercing.
“Yeah, you are. Let’s go.”