Page 64 of The Keeper

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“I just…I’m not good at this, Billie.”

“At what? Having a human conversation?”

I shrug.

“Look at me.” Then, “Calum.”

Something about the way she says my name makes me feel good. Not Cal. Calum.

Emily only ever said my full name when she was upset with me or scolding me, like my mom might have when I was young. Billie, however, says it differently. On her tongue, it sounds warm and inviting.

“I like the way you say my name,” I blurt out because, for some reason, I want her toknow how much I like it. Weirdly.

“For the record, I really like how you say my name too, but what other way is there to say it?” she asks, her head cocked curiously to one side, a flirtatious smile on her face.

“No one really says my full name. They always shorten it to Cal, which is fine and Cal is what I usually prefer to be called rather than Calum, except when you say it.”

“Well, I like it.Calum,” she purrs. “Calum. In the Hebrew faith, it means devotion.”

“I’m not really religious,” I explain. “My parents believed in science, not faith.”

“My parents are very loosely affiliated with organized religion, but I still studied the faith up until my bat mitzvah. Calum was described as a faithful protector of Israel.”

“I’m not very political, either. This is a weird conversation.”

Billie laughs, a surprised hiccup of sound. “You’re right. You said you liked the way I said your name and I made it weird by talking about religion when I should have just asked you to kiss me.”

This request, I understand. I pull her closer, putting my free hand on her cheek, meeting her gaze before touching my lips to hers. She sighs quietly, and I pull her closer, deepening the kiss as she opens her mouth, our tongues finding one another.

My hands roam, running the length of her spine, pushing under her shirt, touching the bare, soft skin there. She sighs again, against my mouth, the sound and feel of it more erotic than anything I’ve ever experienced before.

“I want you to do dirty things to me, Calum,” she whispers against my lips.

My cock goes insta-hard, obviously liking that idea very much as I pick her up, hands on her ass, her legs straddling my waist. I shuffle us down the hall, kissing my way up her neck, breathing in the sweet scent of her hair. I hope I’m heading in the right direction for her bedroom because I’ve never been in her apartment before. But as soon as a king-sized bed comes into my vision, I make a beeline toward—

“Shower,” she insists, through a kiss. So, I change course and head for the en suite. I reluctantly set her down, because I really like carrying her in my arms, but I want her naked more. We fumble with each other’s clothing until the last item drops to the floor with a swish. Both of us stand completely naked before each other and look. I take in her body, lightly muscled from her years of drumming. Her hair is so long down over her shoulders and breasts, the purple ends contrasting sharply against her creamy skin in the soft lighting of her bathroom.

My mouth is dry, and my heart goes slightly crazy as I try to piece together all of the things I want to say to her. I open my mouth. Close it. Open it again. Close it again.

“What?” she asks, her cheeks turning pink.

“You’re so beautiful.” I barely manage to get the words out.

Her blush deepens and she turns away, suddenly bashful.

“I’ve seen you before.”You were beautiful then too.

“I know,” she says before taking a deep breath.

“Well then, why are you being shy?”

“This feels…different. Somehow. Am I wrong?”

The way Billie bites her bottom lip, her deep brown eyes wide and questioning…it makes my cock even harder, if that’s possible. I’m not totally oblivious to what she’s asking, but I’m still not sure how to articulate how I feel. How much I want her.

I step into the oversized shower and start the water, beckoning with one hand for Billie to join me. She takes my hand and steps in, the glass door enclosing us as the space fills with steam.

We’re so close but not yet touching, save for our clasped hands. I look into her eyes, trying to convey…something. She gives me a sweet, soft smile that makes my cock twitch for her touch.