Read 31 Days of Winter Online

Authors: C. J. Fallowfield

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Humorous, #Mystery, #Romantic Erotica

31 Days of Winter (9 page)

‘Miss Baxter, how can I help you?’
Stop being
such a cold arse
, I wanted to shout.

‘I need some food shopping, sorry.’

‘When would you like to go?’

‘I’m not sure if that’s a good idea,’ I sighed.

‘Not a good idea?’ he asked sounding puzzled.

‘I’m still sore from yesterday’s journey and the
run, but I don’t feel right asking for you to go without me.’

‘Why not? That’s what I’m here for, to …’

‘Service my professional needs, yeah I got that
message loud and clear,’ I confirmed with a roll of my eyes.

‘Have I upset you, Miss Baxter?’

‘I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have called, I’m fine with
the supplies I have here for today, sorry to have bothered you.’ I quickly put
the phone down and stamped on the floor in frustration. How was I supposed to
keep it professional when all I wanted to do was rip his clothes off and I was
sure deep down he wanted the same thing too. This was more frustrating than
being at home and dodging Zac’s calls. I pulled out a seat at the island, and facing
the door put my forehead on my arms as I tried to pull myself together. I
jumped when there was a knock and looked up to see him. ‘Great,’ I muttered as
I waved for him to come in.

‘You didn’t lock the door,’ he frowned as he
stepped inside and shut it.

‘I hardly think some grizzly bear’s going to find
his way across the loch and up to the front door, open it and then maul me to
death,’ I replied, tossing just the right amount of sarcasm  his way.

‘Well no, grizzly bears don’t live on this
continent so that would be rather a miracle, but people come to the loch
fishing and I’d prefer you lock the door as instructed.’

‘Then I’ll lock it from now on. What can I do for
you?’ I asked with a sigh.

‘I’ve come to apologise, I upset you earlier. I’m
just finding this situation rather challenging.’

‘This situation?’ I asked as he walked over and
stood in front of me at the island.

‘I’m finding it hard to know what’s acceptable or
unacceptable behaviour around you.’

‘Because you find me attractive?’ I asked and he
looked at me, seeming taken aback by my directness. ‘We’re stuck with each
other for another twenty-seven days Dan, and I’ve had enough lies in my life
recently, I’d prefer that when we communicate we do so with honesty. So, is it
because you find me attractive?’ I fixed him with a firm questioning stare and
it was his turn to gulp and he lifted a hand and rubbed his mouth, his finger sensuously
dragging across that delicious bottom lip.

‘Not just attractive, no,’ he replied with a shake
of the head as he held my gaze, and I felt his look heating me up. ‘When I
heard your voice answer your phone that day, I had fantasies about you. When I
saw you coming out of that airport gate in that thin emerald blouse, that
matched your stunning eyes, and I saw your nipples were erect my cock hurt I
wanted you so badly. I still want you so badly Ellie, I want to fuck you until
you scream at me to stop, to dig your nails into my backside as you hold on for
dear life while I empty myself into you over and over. I want all of your
orgasms to be mine and I want to bury my face between your legs and taste you
for hours. Honest enough for you?’ he asked with a raised eyebrow and I nodded
and whimpered as he tried to catch his breath. The look in his eyes as he bore
into mine nearly made me combust, but he suddenly broke eye contact and looked
down at the floor and put his hands palm down on the island opposite mine.
‘I’ve never had an instant reaction to someone like this before,’ he added
quietly.

‘You really mean that?’ I whispered as my chest
heaved and I imagined threading my fingers through his hair, drawing his tongue
further into my sex.

‘Yes,’ he growled in an even lower sexier tone than
normal.

‘I feel the same way too, Dan,’ I reached my hand
out across the granite worktop, towards his fingers, and he quickly pulled them
away.

‘That’s the problem, Ellie. I know that you want
me, I knew it as soon as I spoke to you on the phone, the way you went all
breathless and stammered, but I can’t do anything about it. We just can’t be
together that way.’

‘You’re worried about your job? Surely your boss
would understand if he’s your best friend?’ The tension simmering between us
was reaching unbearable levels.

‘He’d think it was wrong if I took it further, it
would cause him a lot of hurt.’

‘You’re bisexual and he’s your lover?’ I gasped.

‘No,’ he shot back firmly, and finally looked back
at me and let out a small chuckle, then the serious look came over his face
again. ‘It’s personal, I really don’t want to have to share my reasons, I’m
just explaining why I’m blowing so hot and cold with you, it’s nothing you’ve
done, you’re so sweet and honest and ….’ He blew out a big sigh and covered his
face with his hands.

‘You told me earlier that I was brave for following
my heart, Dan. If you really want me that badly, as badly as I want you, then
take a chance,
take me
.’

‘Christ, Ellie,’ he spat as he looked at me with a
mixture of hot carnal lust and pure despair. ‘You make it sound so damn simple
and it’s not, it’s not simple at all.’

‘I don’t understand. We’re two consenting adults,
no one else needs to know, and you’re single too, what’s the problem?’ I looked
at him confused. He took a few quick steps back and I watched as he
straightened up and those shutters started coming down again.

‘It’s not going to happen and I’m very sorry that
I’ve given you the impression that it might, that was wrong of me. We need to
discuss how we’re going to manage to get along for the next twenty-seven days
given we’ve laid our cards on the table and it’s going to be awkward.’

‘Then I’d better not see you at all if that’s the
way it’s going to be,’ I snapped and saw a look of hurt cross his face.

‘Fine,’ he snapped back. ‘We communicate by phone
and I’ll only come up here if you need me.’

‘Don’t worry I packed my vibrator, I won’t
need
you, Dan,’ I bit, with a little more malice than I’d intended. I was feeling
really hurt, rejected by two guys in one week was more than my fragile ego could
handle at the moment.

‘Don’t be so damn childish,’ his voice boomed out.

‘Sorry, I thought it was one of the things you
actually liked about me.’ I hopped down off my stool and made a beeline for the
stairs and he grabbed my arm.

‘Don’t walk away like that, we haven’t finished
discussing how we’re going to handle this.’

‘Not very well by the looks of it,’ I replied as I
shook his hand off me, but before I knew it he pulled me up against his body,
one arm around my waist and the other up my back, possessively clutching the
base of my neck. I struggled to control my breathing as I felt the full length
of his muscular body pressed against me and
that
erection digging into
my belly button. I let out a small groan as all the blood pooled in my core and
sent spikes of desire radiating out. His eyes flashed hungrily as he looked
down at me and suddenly his mouth was on mine, deep, hungry, bruising and
crushing kisses, taking all of my desire out and exchanging it with his own as
he groaned into my mouth. I melted against his strong chest, gripping his large
biceps as his tongue danced with mine, as if we’d been practicing for years. I
could die happy right now. Then just as suddenly as he’d taken me, he let me go
and pushed me away from him as he took a few steps back in the opposite
direction, leaving me a quivering wreck. I stumbled backwards and let the
supporting pillar do more than hold up the roof as I tried to piece together
the fragments of my scattered brain. I must’ve only kissed inexperienced boys
up until now, because that was a kiss like no kiss I’d ever experienced. He
kissed like a man that knew his way around a woman’s body, and as I managed to
focus my eyes from my stunned daze and look over at him, I knew he’d felt it
too and the tent he’d created in his jeans had me groan in frustration. ‘What’s
your
deal
?’ I demanded as I watched his chest heaving and his hand go
down to squeeze his erection.

‘This is why I can’t be around you, I have no damn
self-control and I can’t afford to be so tempted. From now on we speak only
over the phone if
you
call me for official purposes only. I’ll be here twenty-four-seven
with the exception of a daily four hour window from one until five p.m., during
which time you’re on your own on the island. If you need groceries you call and
provide me with a list of your requirements. I’ll collect them while I’m out
and drop them outside your door and leave, the same for the wood if you need
it. There’ll be no reason for you to see me again until I have to take you back
to the airport. Are we clear?’

‘Perfectly,’ I replied as I felt some tears roll
down my cheeks and immediately felt embarrassed. I saw his severe face soften
as he saw the state of me. He stepped towards me, but I turned and ran upstairs
and shut myself in the bathroom, locked the door and leaned back on it as I
started crying properly. I sniffed as I heard his footsteps and then heard the
door handle turn.

‘Ellie,’ he sighed softly, hearing his voice
caress my name like that, the way he’d just caressed my neck and my lips was
too hard.

‘Please go away Dan, you’ve made yourself
perfectly clear and you’re right, it’s best we don’t see each other. I just had
my emotions jerked around by one arsehole, I don’t need it from another.’ There
was a lengthy silence and I heard what sounded like his forehead or hand bump
gently on the door, followed by a heavy sigh and his voice whisper ‘
I’m so
sorry, I never meant to hurt you Ellie, please believe me.’

I heard him go down the stairs and the front door
lock. I slid down the door and curled up on the slate floor like a baby and
bawled my eyes out, again.
What the hell was wrong with me?
I was an
emotional volcano at the moment, spewing out random bursts of tears. I was out
of one frying pan and straight into another.
How could I have fallen for
someone so quickly?
I wondered. Someone I knew pretty much nothing about?
“Because
you’re feeling emotionally vulnerable after the whole Zac debacle, Dan’s
fucking gorgeous and the sexual tension’s off the charts,”
came Brooke’s
voice in my head and I smiled through my snuffles. I had twenty-six and a half days
left to do what I came here to do, so I sat up and blew out a deep breath and
took in another. I wasn’t going to let Dan interfere with that, no matter how
he made me feel. I went and picked up my iPad from where I’d left it next to
the bath and replied to a frantic email from Brooke telling me off for not
giving her our agreed morning message. I kept it simple, for now.

I’m fine Brooke. I slept in, had a run and
slept some more, I promise to keep on top of keeping you updated from now on.
I
hesitated, she was just going to mither me to death about Dan if I didn’t share
and I really didn’t want to deal with her pestering me about him, so I did what
I’d never done with my best friend and I lied.
Nothing’s going to happen
with Dan, he told me he’s unavailable as he’s gay, it was just a stupid rebound
crush anyway, just like Zac was and look where that got me?! I’m better off
without both of them and focussing on me for now. Update you tonight. Love you,
miss you xx

I went and sat at the desk, turned on my new charged
phone and downloaded all of my contacts before setting up some new screen
savers and wallpapers, that didn’t feature Zac. I looked up when I heard the
noise of the outboard motor start up and watched Dan heading to the shore. Damn
it, we’d never gotten around to my grocery list and I only had a bit of bread,
some cheese and a couple of eggs left and I’d really wanted alcohol to numb the
pain of rejection. I decided to go and explore the house properly and tomorrow
I’d start my proposed new career in earnest. I’d pretty much seen everything
upstairs except for the owners’ clothes. I tried the desk drawers and cupboards
but they were locked, except for the ones on the right which were open and
empty.

I headed downstairs and realised there was no TV
in the lounge, so I wandered through to the cinema and library. I took my time
running my fingers along the spines of all the books on the shelves, they all
looked brand new, just out of their shrink wrap new. Why would someone spend
all this money on a house, install a library with this many books and not read
them? This guy was just as much a puzzle as Dan was. I could spend the next few
weeks just curled up in here, or by the fire reading. I decided that was how I
was going to spend this afternoon, there was nothing like a good book to lose
yourself in, to let yourself be transported to another world and forget about
the shit one you currently lived in. Given I could read an average book in a
few hours, I’d be able to lose myself every night. I went and got my clothes
out of the washer and put them in the dryer and realised that there was another
door to a room sandwiched between the utility and cinema room. I tried the
handle but it was locked, so I figured maybe it was just a storage room for some
of the owner’s personal effects.

I went and made myself a bacon sandwich, leaving
some cheese and eggs and a couple of slices of bread for my dinner and tomorrow’s
breakfast and lunch, and shook my head. It was like being back home with my
parents when we’d lived off beans and cheese on toast, when a roast once a
month on a Sunday was the thing I most looked forward to. I picked up my locket,
kissed it then took my sandwich and a black coffee into the cinema room and
curled up in one of the seriously comfortable chairs and started reading. I was
halfway through the book when I had to get up and put on the lights, it was
coming up to four already. I snuggled back down and jumped out of my skin about
an hour later when I heard a loud knock at the door. I put the book down,
opened the cinema room door and peered out into the darkness of the large open
plan room and cursed when I stubbed my toe on the stairway as I tried to make
my way to the front door to find the light switches. I really needed to learn
where they all were, and if there were candles and matches in the event of a
power failure.

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