‘Calm down. He’s my ex-boyfriend.’
‘Yes, Ex.’ I confirm, seeing a wave of relief travel across his face. What’s the matter with him? ‘Jesse, I need to get my car.’ I press. I can’t leave Kate to drive Margo all the way to Yorkshire. She rattles and shakes all over the place; Kate will have piles by the time she gets there. She has to secure her cakes in boxes with polystyrene and straps, and reduce her speed to five miles an hour over speed humps.
‘Don’t worry. I’ll take you to get it in the morning.’
Oh, so I’m staying then? ‘She’s leaving at eight-ish.’ He might not be so keen if I’m dragging him out of bed at the crack of dawn on a Saturday.
‘-ish.’ he mouths on a smirk. I mirror his smirk, gripping his hands and moving them up to my waist before I reach up to my head, feeling for the grips keeping my hair in place. They’re giving me a headache. I start pulling at them, and he looks up at me with narrowed eyes.
I pause. ‘What?’
‘You refuse to spend the day with me, and then thrust those fabulous boobs in my face. That’s not playing fair, Ava.’ He reaches up and flicks a nipple, causing it to immediately pucker into a tight bud.
I yelp, grabbing my breast. ‘Hey! I need to take my grips out. They’re digging into my head.’ I remove a grip and pop it in my mouth.
He watches me with interest, then leans up, takes the grip with his teeth and spits it out on the bed. His face plummets, nestling between my boobs. I smile to myself and smooth my hands through his damp hair, ignoring the voice in my head telling me not to get too contented. He breathes in deeply before pulling back and planting a soft kiss on each nipple. I’m turned around in his lap.
‘Let me.’ He raises his knees so I’m cradled between them, my forearms resting on his knee caps.
He begins running his fingers through my hair to locate the grips, pulling them out and handing them over my shoulder for me to take.
‘How many have you got in here?’ he asks as he massages my scalp and finds another stray grip.
‘A few,’ I take the grip. ‘I have a lot of hair to keep up.’
‘A few hundred?’ he asks doubtfully. ‘You’re like a voodoo doll. There, I think I got them all.’ He takes the grips from my hand and puts them on the bedside table before sliding his hands over my shoulders and pulling me back so I’m against his chest, the outside of my bent legs resting against the insides of his.
He’s so comfortable, and my eyes are incredibly heavy. I’ve had a stupidly busy day, and I’ve just finished it off on a marathon of sex with this captivating man that I’m propped up against. Maybe I should go now. It will eradicate the risk of the morning awkwardness that’s guaranteed to descend on us come dawn. But then I feel him wrap his forearms around my upper chest and my head automatically rolls back against his shoulder. I’m so comfortable and so sleepy, I‘m not going anywhere. With him breathing steadily in my ear and planting random kisses every now and then in my hair, it’s not long before I’m hypnotised by the sound of his steady breaths and my eyelids are heavy. I reach down and start stroking the outside of his legs.
‘How old are you?’ I mumble, feeling myself drifting off.
His chest jolts a little, indicating his quiet laugh. ‘Twenty three.’
I sleepily snort my disbelief, but I don’t have the energy to challenge him. I’m a slave to sleep and I’m gone.
I wake up in the exact same position that I fell asleep in, except the duvet has been pulled up over my waist. Jesse’s arms are still wrapped around my upper chest, my hands resting on his forearms. The pungent scent of sex is in the air.
I need a wee.
I scan the room, looking for a clock. What time is it? I hear Jesse’s soft, level breathing in my ear. I’m reluctant to move and wake him, but I really need the loo. And I could leave before he wakes up and kicks me out.
I set about gently peeling his arms away from my sticky body. He moans a few times in his sleep, and I smile to myself. I’m surprised at my lack of regret. I’ve woken with no feelings of remorse or mortification, whatsoever. This man is dangerous to my hearts health, I realise that, but there’s something about him. I should be repulsed by his persistence, but I’m not. I’ve no regrets, at all. But I also have no desire to outstay my welcome. Oh no, I’m definitely keeping the upper hand here.
Just when I think I’ve made good progress, I feel his arms clamp around me like a vice, effectively immobilising me.
‘Don’t even think about it, lady.’ he growls, his voice raspy with sleep.
I grip his forearms with my hands, trying to loosen his grip of me. ‘I need to use the bathroom.’
‘Tough. Hold onto it. I’m comfy.’
‘I’m not letting go of you.’ He states it as a fact, nudging my hand away with a flick of his forearm while maintaining his hold on me.
I flop my head back against his shoulder in exasperation. His lips turn into my cheek, kissing it sweetly, his overnight stubble grazing me. It feels good, but it wasn’t the morning reaction I was expecting.
Once I feel he’s relaxed his grip slightly and is busy nuzzling my cheek, I make my move, but no sooner have I tensed my muscles to make my escape, I’m flipped onto my back, my thighs parted and my wrists pinned on either side of my head. He looks down at me, his eyes bright and skipping with enjoyment. Oh yes, he’s deeply satisfied with himself, and he looks bloody glorious, with his disheveled hair and dark blonde stubble.