Page 58 of Before (After 5)

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After a few seconds of silence, I speak up. I’m curious and horny, and I’m going to have fun with her. I bring my hand back to hers. “You like the way I talk to you, don’t you?”

I stare at her until her chest begins to rise faster and faster. She breaks eye contact with me, and I continue: “I can see the blush in your cheeks, and I can hear the way your breathing has changed. Answer me, Tessa—put those full lips of yours to use.” I wish she would do this in more ways than one. She stays silent. Man, I thought I was stubborn. I move closer to her and take her wrist between my fingers. Tessa looks so flustered, pink taking over skin. She’s addicting.

Just when I think she’s going to speak up about her attraction to me, she says, “Can you turn the fan on?” Really, Theresa? She thinks I’m a sucker already? That I’m just going to climb out of this comfortable bed where she’s lying so close to me. I look at her face, her gray eyes. “Please?” she whispers, still looking at me. Before I realize what I’m doing, I’m climbing out of the bed. Damn, she’s good.

She looks pretty smug when I glance back to the bed. She also looks ridiculously uncomfortable in those heavy clothes. Her skirt is made up of as much material as the duvet. “If you’re hot, why don’t you change out of those heavy clothes; that skirt looks itchy, anyway.”

Tessa smiles at me, rolling her eyes.

I’m serious, though . . . she dresses terribly. “You should dress for your body, Tessa. These clothes you wear hide all of your curves.” I look at what I can see of her chest, which is barely anything. “If I hadn’t seen you in your bra and panties, I’d never have known how sexy and curvy your body actually is. That skirt literally looks like a potato sack.”

She laughs at me. That went better than expected. “What do you suggest I wear? Fishnets and tube tops?” She raises her brow and waits for an answer.

Tessa in a tube top and short denim shorts flashes in my mind. “No, well, I might love to see that, but no. You can still cover yourself, but wear clothes your size. That shirt hides your chest, too, and your tits are nothing you should be hiding.”

“Will you stop using those words!” She shakes her head, and I laugh as I climb back into bed with her. I don’t know how close to lie, so I slowly inch nearer until I’m practically touching her. She sits up and gets out of the bed. My chest burns.

“Where are you going?” I ask, hoping I didn’t piss her off enough to leave.

She walks across the room in quick steps. “To change.” She bends down and picks up my dirty T-shirt from the floor. I smile, happy that she likes to wear it as much as I like for her to.

“Now, turn around and don’t peek,” she says as if I’m a child. She knows damn well I’m going to look.

“No.” I shrug and she glares at me.

“What do you mean, ‘no’?” she asks, frustrated.

I’m honest when I tell her, “I won’t turn around. I want to see you.”

She agrees but then betrays me by flicking off the light. What a tease! I groan, loving the flirty game she’s playing. I whine loudly, to let her know that I’m not going to play fair if she isn’t. I hear heavy fabric fall to the floor—the skirt. I pull the chain for the light, and Tessa jumps at the brightness. She gasps my name like it’s a curse word: “Hardin!”

I continue to stare at her, from her legs to her eyes and back down again. She takes a deep breath and raises her arms to put my shirt on. Tessa’s bra is plain white cotton with very little padding. Not that she needs any. Her panties match; the cut covers nearly her entire ass. Her ass is perfect. Round and perky . . . I would love to take her there, too.

“Come here,” I whisper. I can’t wait another second to touch her body. Tessa’s walking toward the bed, turning the room into a goddamn burlesque show, and I fucking love it. I need a better view. I move up to the headboard and rest my back flat against it. Tessa flushes under the heat of my stare, and it makes my pleasure all the greater.

When she reaches me, she puts her small hand into mine and I pull her to me. She straddles my body, her knees resting at my sides. I love having her like this. My imagination is going fucking wild. Tessa holds herself up, keeping her body from touching mine. I don’t think so. I gently grip her hips and guide her down onto my body. She bites down on her lip, and her eyes meet mine. I look away first because I can feel the boner coming from a mile away. Tessa’s legs are so soft and the way my shirt is lifted up to her hips is so sexy.

I smile at her, admiring how good she feels and looks. “Much better.” I wait for her to smile back, but she doesn’t.

“What’s wrong?” I gently stroke at her cheek, making her smile. Her eyes close, and I wonder if this is breaking the rules of the Bet somehow. I think I’m beyond that at this point.

“Nothing . . . I just don’t know what to do,” Tessa says. When she won’t meet my eyes, I know she feels embarrassed.

I don’t want there to be a lot of pressure on her. Any way that she touches me is going to be enjoyable. I don’t know how to explain any of this without actually showing her. “Do whatever you want to do, Tess. Don’t overthink it.”

Tessa raises her hand and seems to be about to touch my bare chest. When she doesn’t touch me, I look up at her. She looks into my eyes for permission to touch me. No one has done that before, either. I nod, nervous but excited, and watch her. Her index finger slowly drags down my stomach to the waist of my boxers. I try to stay still even though I want to grab her wrist, flip her over, and fuck her into the mattress. I close my eyes and feel her finger trace over my tattoos. I like when she does this.

When she pulls her hand away, I open my eyes. I need more. I’m an addict.

“Can I . . . um . . . touch you?” Tessa is hesitant as she stares at the bulge in my boxers.

Fuck yes! I want to shout at her. Instead, I stay as calm as possible. Nodding, I beg, “Please.”

Tessa looks nervous as she lowers her hand to my crotch. She hovers over my growing length before barely touching it. She lowers her hand a little more and continues to feel it out. Her fingers are gentle as she drags them up and down my cock, making me grow for her.

“Do you want me to show you what to do?” I suggest. I want her to be comfortable.