“Well, do I at least get the tour?” Charlie said.
Trace gave her a long hard look before reluctantly leading her down the hallway to a closed door.
“This is the master,” he said. “And this is the spare room,” he said gesturing towards the room. “Where you’ll be staying.”
He showed Charlie the bathrooms, laundry and kitchen then left her to get settled. Charlie was glad to be inside where it was warm and dry. Trace had closed all the blinds and curtains so she didn’t have to see any more lightening. The building was well made so she barely even heard the thunder. Charlie closed the bedroom door and tossed her bag on the dresser. Sitting on the bed she took in the room’s décor.
Actually, Trace’s apartment wasn’t bad it was just basic. It could use a little interior decorating, okay a lot of decorating. Charlie could think up a hundred different ways to improve it but she pushed those thoughts out of her head. She wasn’t auditioning to be his girlfriend or his anything for that matter. One night, that’s what this was- one night. He’d been kind enough to let her stay over and she’d accepted, nothing more- nothing less.
Looking at her phone she saw it was just turning ten. Now that she was safe, she didn’t feel the slightest bit sleepy, but the storm had knocked off the cable so there was no tv, no internet. After freshening up, she heard a noise coming from the living room. Walking into the hallway she could see Trace moving around the room.
“I’m not keeping you up am I?”
“Oh no,” Charlie smiled. “You know how most people like to sleep during storms? I’m just the opposite. It’s like my body refuses to relax.”
“Oh,” Trace said picking some papers off the floor. “I’m just straightening up a little. How is that whenever you have company you realize how much of a bad job you’re doing keeping your place clean.”
“Oh please,” Charlie laughed. “no worries, I’ve seen way worse.” The light flickered and Charlie found the closest seat and sat down. A minute later Trace handed her a flashlight.
“It hasn’t ever happened before, but just in case the power goes out.”
“Thanks,” Charlie said trying to smile, but failing miserably. “So, how long have you been a chef,” she said slipping off her shoes to sit criss cross on the deep cushioned chair.
“Not long,” he said. “Well, naw- I’ve been cooking my whole life really. I just didn’t train until about five years ago. When I went to that conference where we met it was just to test the waters.” Charlie nodded. It made sense suddenly.
“So, tell me,” he sat across from her in an identical chair. “Why didn’t you ever call me?” Charlie smiled again.
“Because, I’m the girl,” she said.
“Oooohh,” he said. “so I was supposed to make the first move?”
“Exactly.” Trace’s stare lingered for a little too long. Long enough for her to notice his interest. Charlie knew it was a bad idea playing with fire, especially now when she couldn’t leave, but she couldn’t help herself.
Charlie pulled at the long curly hair along her nape as she tried not to stare at the man across from her. It wasn’t long before she had to take another look, and oh, did he look good. Charlie felt her body grow hot from the heat of his stare.
“Hungry?” he said his voice rough and deep.
“Starving,” she smiled until the man stood up and walked to the kitchen to open the fridge. For once, food wasn’t on her mind.
“Sorry I don’t have much to choose from. It’s too late to order out, not that we could with this storm,” he continued. Charlie just nodded.
When he’d asked if she was hungry Charlie hadn’t actually expected for him to pop a frozen pizza in the oven. It was simple, and sweet, but it was also a nice change to share a meal with someone.
Usually her meals were one of two options either she was either at home by herself or at the Honeybee.
Maybe it was the carbs combined with the disastrous last two days, but by the time they finished eating Charlie was feeling a little reckless. All she could think about was bed, but sleep was the last thing on her mind.
She was tired of being responsible and safe. She wanted fun. She wanted spontaneous. Trace looked at her and from the way his eyes darkened she knew he could tell what she was thinking.
“Charlie,” he said a warning in his tone, but she couldn’t help herself. Standing she walked over to him taking the plate out of his hand. He shook his head, but he didn’t stop her as she straddled him. Charlie grabbed his head and placed her lips firmly on his. She was tired of playing around. They were both adults and they both had needs.
It was obvious all Trace needed was a push in the right direction so this was her pushing. If everything she’d learned from him over the past couple of weeks was correct he wouldn’t disappoint.
Suddenly he grabbed her hips in both hands pulling her closer. It felt so good, but she wanted more. Charlie wanted Trace to lose complete control. She deepened the kiss and heard him growl. Very nice.
The next thing she knew they were up and moving her legs wrapped around his waist. Trace carried her to his bedroom never taking his lips off of hers. He was just as strong as she thought.
In the bedroom he lay her on the bed. Laughing at their growing excitement Charlie watched him struggle out of his shirt. She began unbuttoning her blouse but Trace stopped her.
“Let me.” His eyes begged for the privilege so she dropped her hands.
The tiny hairs on the back of Charlie’s neck prickled at the sensation of his fingers on her spine. She wanted to scream for him to hurry, go faster, but she didn’t say a word. Her brain said be patient, so she did. He took his time and she enjoyed every second.
Suddenly, Trace froze.
For one horrible moment Charlie thought he was going to stop, but instead he moved to the lamp on his bedside table. A second later the room was lit in a soft glow. Charlie groaned. Somehow it had been easier in the dark, less intimate, but now with his face inches away from hers, it was too hard to ignore what he was doing, what they were about to do with each other. She wanted him more than she’d wanted anyone in a very long time.
Her heart pounded as she pulled away to sit on the side of the bed. Trace was right there with her.
“Still hungry,” Trace asked a smile on his handsome face.
“Ravenous,” Charlie whispered.