The next morning, I wake to the smell of food being cooked. Rolling over, I groan softly, stretching out my muscles from the hard sleep. I didn’t expect to sleep so well after the events of last night with Greg. He was completely out of line and let his jealousy ruin whatever weird friendship we had. It’s proof that being dependent on someone can only bring trouble in the end. I don’t want to make that mistake again.
Sliding my hand under the pillow, my fingers touch something. When I pull it out, I see that it’s the business card I found in Ethan’s jacket last night. The purpose of the card still is unknown, but from the looks of the name, it’s got to be something out of the norm. Maybe it’s like a sex store or something.
Ethan may be trying to spice of the bedroom with a lady friend. It could possibly be an escort service, but Ethan doesn’t seem like the type to buy a woman to sleep with. I’m sure women just fall at his feet on a whim. Sighing, I slide the card and all my outrageous theories back under the pillow before throwing the covers back. Sleep still hovers over me as I shuffle to the kitchen. I take note that my feet and hands are no longer sore from the broken glass. I can’t help, but roll my eyes from the replay of the scene.
When the kitchen becomes visible to me, I see Ethan at the stove.
“Don’t you have a home?” I yawn and his head turns to me.
“Well, good morning to you too”
Ethan raises an eyebrow and I realize after a few seconds that he expects me to fix my lack of manners.
“Oh, good morning”
“Better” He mumbles “How are you feeling?”
“Like a total idiot. I’m sorry again for keeping you from your plans last night. You really didn’t have to stay. I was fine” I shrug, climbing up on a bar stool to sit.
Ethan’s forehead scrunches up as he scrambles eggs.
“I didn’t feel comfortable leaving you here alone. That guy could have come back. What was all that about anyway?”
Not wanting to really talk about it, I rest my chin on my hand.
“Nothing important” I look down at the counter, picking at an empty plate.
In front of me, I can feel Ethan staring at me. After a few seconds, I peek up through my eyelashes and see that he is still looking. Sometimes I wish he weren’t such a good listener then I would actually want to talk about it like I do right now.
“He needed me more than I needed him. I use to need him just as bad, but I don’t anymore.”
“Why don’t you need him anymore?” He asks as he pulls the plate in front me in his direction, placing some eggs and bacon on it before sliding it back over.
I pick up a piece of bacon, but it burns my fingers causing me to drop it.
“Ouch!” I stick my finger in my mouth and when I look up at Ethan, he is smirking.
“It’s hot” He smiles and it sends little electric shocks down my spine.
“No shit” I smile back, sarcastically, looking back down at the plate. This time, I blow the bacon before picking up a piece. As I’m about to take a bite, Ethan clears his throat
“You didn’t answer my question”
“What? Oh, right. Um, I just didn’t need him like I used to. I was lonely and poor and despite us being broken up, he was all I had. He got comfortable with me needing him for various things. I guess he got jealous”
“So he gave you money and stuff?”
“Not money. Just his time and company. Sometimes he would cook for me and stuff and we were sort of still sleeping together” I quickly bite down on the bacon to keep me from saying anything else that could possibly make me blush. Ethan doesn’t need to know all of this stuff. I’m sure he doesn’t care.
“I think he was still into you.”
A laugh slips from between my lips.
“What? No, way. He cheated on me. That’s why we broke up. I’m sure he just wanted me for sex which makes me pretty fucking pathetic”
“Hey, watch your mouth while we’re eating breakfast.” Ethan gives me an unbelievable frown as he stuffs his face with eggs, making me giggle.
“And you’re not pathetic. He was your comfort blanket, but he was definitely still into you. No sane man would come here and act that way over a rejection unless he was.”
“Or maybe he was just fu...maybe he was just crazy” I catch my words, earning a nod from Ethan.
He should not be the boss of me outside the office. This man definitely is on an all-day-all-night power trip. I watch as Ethan ponders over my answer and shrugs
“Maybe, but I’ll stick to my answer. It’s a little more...something.”
“It’s a little more nothing. There isn’t much of an excuse or reason for him coming here and hurting me. I didn’t know how far he was going to go. He never acted like that before” The realization that Greg could have really hurt me last night washes over me and I can’t help but feel a little upset about it.
Pushing my plate away, I run my fingers through my hair, inhaling deeply. Across from me, Ethan’s fork is at the entrance of his mouth, frozen as he stares at me. Suddenly, he sits the fork down and sits up straight.
“I’m sorry, Thea. I didn’t mean to imply that there was an excuse or logical reason for him doing what he did. I don’t condone abuse in any way.”
Tilting my head to the side, I force a small smile.
“Because you looked like you wanted to go and kick his ass when you walked in last night. I’m glad you showed up though. Really glad” I nod and look at him, taking notice of the way he’s gazing at me as if he has a million thoughts running through his mind.
After a few seconds of silence, he breaks the stare and gets up from the counter, taking my half-empty plate.
“Go sit on the couch so I can check your feet” He orders as he straightens the kitchen a bit. I slowly slide off the stool, before moving to the couch, flopping down.
Ethan comes and takes a seat on the edge of the coffee table like he did last night, pulling my foot up. I observe as he holds my foot still while he peels off the large band-aid he placed there. When his large hand squeezes my ankle firmly, my attention diverts. The warmth of his palm radiates into my skin and I scowl at my own feelings. How can a simple touch turn me on this much?
“Does it hurt?” Ethan’s voice pulls me back to reality.
“What? Oh, um no. I’m fine”
“Then why do you look angry?” He chuckles as he lets my foot down and suddenly I’m pouting.
“I’m not angry” Yea, now I’m just sad that you’re not touching me anymore.
As if he read my mind, Ethan reaches out and takes both of my wrists, turning them palm up.
“Your hands look fine” He nods, rubbing his thumb over my skin.
I stop breathing as he runs his fingers over the few tiny cuts, thankful that he isn’t looking at me. If he were, I’d be totally busted for having hungry eyes over him. God, what’s wrong with me? Ethan is my boss for crying out loud. None of my employee benefits include hot crazy sex with my hot boss who is oblivious to how horny I’m becoming right now. Just imagining his fingers over the rest of my body makes me want to clench my knees together, but that would be a dead give away. Maybe I want to give it away.
When Ethan looks up from my hands, his gaze is soft and caring “I think you’re going to live”
“Well, thank God I have you around. Who knows how I would have turned out without such a handyman who doubles as my boss. Such a renaissance man.” I smile as Ethan squints his eyes at me.
“Are you mocking me, Thea?”
Placing a finger over my lips, I pretend to be in deep thought.
“Me, mocking you? Never. Every man should possess the complementary skills of bandage application. It’s an underrated trade these days” I nod and suddenly, Ethan is reaching forward at me.
His hands find my sides and he starts to tickle me. Squealing loudly, I try to squirm away, but he is standing over me now. I fall sideways on the couch and Ethan climbs on top of me, his deep infectious laugh filling the room.
“Ethan, stop!” I yell, tears coming to my eyes as I laugh harder. When my shirt rides up, Ethan takes advantage of the opportunity and his fingers find my bare skin. I jerk hard, his playful assault pushing me to tap out, but I also want more. Less tickling, more ripping my close off.
“What? I can’t hear you!” Ethan laughs as I try to move away from him only to be caught in the corner of the couch with his body over me. My hands push against his hard chest to push him away, but he has much larger than me. Gasping for air, I hit his chest three times.
“I give! I give!”
“Say sorry” Ethan orders, finally stopping, but still hovering over me, his cologne from last night still strong and addictive.
“For what? I didn’t do anything” I bite my lip and Ethan smiles as he starts tickling me again.
“Okay! I’m sorry” I yelp and his fingers still. “For?”
“For mocking you.”
“Now you have to say that Ethan is the most amazing boss I’ve ever had in the whole world” His grin transfers to my lips as I squint at him. I fake a frown and roll my eyes.
“Ethan is the most amazing boss I’ve ever had in the whole world”
“And he’s the most handsome boss I’ve ever had”
His words make me blink a few times as he stares down at me. Suddenly, a cloud of tension rolls in and silence falls between us. Ethan’s hands stay on my sides as he waits for me to speak.
“And he’s the most handsome boss I’ve ever had” I smirk, licking my lips as I look away from him, slightly embarrassed.
“Good girl” Ethan smiles and his hands leave my bare skin, causing me to pout. No! Put them back! I want your man hands on me!
Ethan stands over me and reaches out to pull me up. I take his hand and when he pulls me up to my feet, his other hand lands on my lower back. I sway a bit from stand quickly and giggle.
“I think it’s from all the laughing.” Ethan comments as he pulls my shirt down over slightly red skin. “So what are your plans for the day?”
I put my hands on my hips and pull my lips in as I think. “Uh, I don’t think I have anything planned.” I shrug.
“Good. Get dressed”
“Why?” I’d much rather get undressed right now.
“We’re going to hang out, today. Go to the park and stuff and I called to order you a new phone. I could have gotten it earlier, but I didn’t want to leave yet. We’ll pick it up later.” Ethan rolls back on his heels and I tilt my head to the side.
“That sounds good to me. Thanks for getting me a new phone. I could have gotten it myself since I do get a paycheck now, but I won’t argue. Meet you in the lobby in 20?”
“I’ll be there” He gives me a wink as he turns, grabbing his jacket off the coffee table and leaving. I stand there for a moment, inhaling deeply, taking in his lingering scent before retreating to my room.