Chapter Thirteen.

She never knew when it was he’d found his way to her bed. Never felt him slide under the sheets. All she felt was his breath warming her neck moments before his lips nipped at the sensitive flesh there, teasing her, until she turned in his arms and sought out his mouth with hers.

They came together in a searing kiss, and suddenly all her senses were heightened to levels unbeknownst to her. She felt everything. The way his hand barely touched the side of her face, as if he’d break her if he touched her with any more force. The way his other hand grazed the skin underneath her shirt, setting her on fire as her own hands roamed over his chest, over his shoulders, down his back.

She felt his heart beating against hers, equally as forcefully. She felt the cool, smooth material of his boxers slide against her legs as he shifted over her, never breaking their kiss, allowing her to then feel how strong his need for her was.

She pulled away from the kiss and looked into his eyes. They were dark and smoldering, more so than usual. She discovered a world in them she’d never known existed until that moment, and he was challenging her, daring her to accept his invitation into that world. The desire in his gaze was enough to make her shudder, not to mention the way he slightly licked his lips as he waited for her answer.

Bravely, she reached up and touched his face, gently tracing his features with her index finger. He let out a shaky breath at her touch, and she smiled. Bringing her hand around the back of his head, she brought him down to her, resuming the kiss with more passion and intensity than she could have ever imagined having in her. Her body arched into his, and he let out a slow growl of approval as he began to rid her of the night shirt. Fingertips lightly grazed her heated skin as he lifted the garment up and over her head.

She watched him react to her, his eyes shining brightly as he brought his roaming gaze up to her face and whispered, “I love you, Manda.”

She opened her mouth to reply, to respond to that emotion with equal fervor, but nothing came out. Not even a miniscule sound escaped her lips. Her throat tightened, barely allowing her to swallow, and fear over came her. What was going on? Why couldn’t she tell him she loved him? Why was she finding it so hard to breathe all of a sudden? Why -

Amanda awoke with a start, covered in a sheen of cold sweat and shaking fiercely. Looking around her, she recognized slowly the room she was in, and, as she looked to the empty space beside her, the fact that she was alone.

That should have comforted her, that it had been a dream. That he wasn’t here with her, that they hadn’t... done that. She sighed, glancing at the bright red numbers on the clock on the nightstand. 3:47 in the morning. She’d never get back to sleep now. Not after that dream.

That dream. Damnit if it hadn’t seemed so... real. She could still feel where he’d touched her, as if his fingerprints were a permanent mark on her now. She toyed nervously with the hem of her night shirt as she looked around the room, and recalled how slowly, tantalizingly, he’d removed it from her body..

What was happening to her? Why was she so shaken? Over a dream, no less? A dream about AJ, the one person she wanted to be away from more than any other soul on this planet.

Or did she?

Amanda sat in bed until sunlight announced the coming of a brand new day pondering that thought.

[chapter list | chapter fourteen]