She wanted to die, and that might well happen given how hard her heart was beating.
How could she have not remembered about the words she’d stuck round her bedroom?
He peeled off the sticky note that said infatuation and lifted an eyebrow.
“What? It’s just a word. I’m infatuated with the dollhouse, my new bookshelves—not that you’ve finished them, but when you do I know I’ll be infatuated.” She tried to sound casual, as if she wasn’t dying inside. This was all his fault for showing up unannounced. If he’d called and told her he was coming she would have thought about it and moved all the incriminating evidence from her bedroom.
Why had she done that? It had made her smile, but she wasn’t smiling now.
Never in her life had she felt more humiliated. And she felt other things, too. Sick disappointment, because this was James. Her friend. He made her laugh. He listened. He talked. He loved her daughter. She had so many feelings for him and deep in the night when her imagination had its own way, she’d hoped and wished that he had feelings for her. Preferably not bad ones.
Judging from the way he was looking at her, her wish wasn’t about to come true anytime soon.
His gaze was fixed on her face, his eyes searching, as if he couldn’t believe what he’d seen.
She couldn’t believe he’d seen it, either.
She wished he’d say something. Anything, instead of just look at her until her legs turned to jelly.
He turned back to the wall and peeled off another note.
Oh, kill me now.
She felt her cheeks heat and then heat turned to burn as he reached for the next one.
Why had she written that one down? She didn’t even know what a paroxysm was. Come to think of it she hadn’t known much about arousal until she’d met James, either.
She stared at his hand, her brain yelling no, no, no as he reached for orgasmic.
She watched his hand, that strong hand, slowly peeling the word off the wall.
She didn’t know what to say, so she was relying on him. He was a man who always knew what to say, even if he thought about it first. She assumed that was the lawyer in him. James didn’t say anything he didn’t mean. But she didn’t know what it meant when he didn’t say anything at all.
He stared down at the notes stuck to his fingers, his face expressionless. Then he drew breath, as if he was about to say something.
And she was so nervous of what those words might be that she leaned against the door for support while she waited. And waited. And waited.
Still he said nothing. Just stared at the notes until finally, when she was beginning to wonder if he’d lost his voice, he cleared his throat.
Then he lifted his gaze to hers and for a moment all she could think was arousal, infatuation, paroxysm and orgasmic.
The words were so loud in her head it took her a moment to realize he still hadn’t actually spoken.
So she should say something. It was up to her to make light of it, say something funny as she always did.
But before she could come up with anything he strode past her, scooped up his jacket and left her apartment.
She jumped as the door slammed. Symbolic, she thought. Another door closing on her.
How was she going to face him tomorrow?
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