Sam was clear about their parameters of their relationship. Specifically, it wasn’t a relationship. It was a one night stand with an option to renew, whatever that meant. So imagine Laurel’s surprise when she leaves after their night is over, and he follows her. He is, in fact, pissed that she left in the middle of the night.
Go figure. Give a man what he wants, then he wants something else entirely.
Hard Love is out now.
“I like your place.”
Bull. And who asked you? “Thanks.”
She locked the door and cracked the window, put away her empty overnight bag, and straightened her shoes by the door. His were already neatly out of the way. When things were tidy, she looked him in the eye for the first time.
“You want something to drink before bed?”
He shook his head. “I had some of your juice.”
Straight from the carton, no doubt. She clicked on the closet light and half closed the door, then turned off the main light and slipped into bed.
“You gonna tell me why you left?”
Truth or not?
“Laurel, just tell me what I did, okay?”
“Nothing. You didn’t do anything. I just needed to get away,” she said, hoping that would satisfy him.
“So it wasn’t anything specific that I did? Like in bed, I mean?”
“Tell me the truth, baby. I won’t be mad. I promise.”
She wasn’t sure if she could.
She jumped at his impatient bark, glad it was dark.
“Talk to me, will ya?”
“Alright!” she sighed, abruptly wanting him gone again. He was like a steamroller, and she was the stupid deer too mesmerized by the headlights to get out of the way before she was flattened. “I felt really strange when you, hit me. Mixed up.”
“Mixed up how?”
“You confuse me, Sam,” she whispered.
“Confuse you how?”
She shook her head.
“Laurel, goddamn it! Just tell me what’s in your head. You liked it? You didn’t like it? You’re scared because you liked it? Talk! I don’t wanna do something to you if you fuckin’ hate it. I don’t want you feeling like I’m some kind of sex bully or some shit. You should like what I do to you in bed. If you don’t, just tell me.”
Great, on top of everything else he was a mind reader, and suddenly she didn’t want to admit anything. She was already weak, to have him know how much seemed disgusting. “What, Sam? What do you want me to say? You told me this wasn’t gonna last. You told me not to expect anything. Now you want to talk about my feelings? Before you didn’t care. You didn’t –”
“I need more time.”
Laurel rolled out of bed so fast she tripped and just missed braining herself on the corner of her dresser. She picked herself up and turned on the light. She stared at him, looking beautiful, one muscular arm blocking his face from the light.
“You heard me. I need more time. This was never gonna be a one night stand, Laurel. If you recall, I told you I’d need a few nights with you just to learn that curvy little body.”