We continue from last week when Miranda went down stairs to check on Vin.
Vin explored every facet of Miranda as he kissed her. She smelled of something soft and sensual, not tart or obnoxiously floral like some of her perfume. She tasted sweet and a little musky, and so sexy he could hardly stand it.
(Editorial note: Hmmmm… to newsletter, or not to newsletter? That is the question. I think… not, but my younger readers might want to skip this.)
At first she leaned in, giving herself completely to the kiss just like him. It wasn’t like when she kissed him in the hospital, her touch so brief and her tears dripping on him. This was better, much, much better.
She wore some sort of over-sized negligee, only one that didn’t show as much as he would have liked. He guessed it was a nightgown, only made of several thin layers and as soft as cotton candy. His fingers snag it, pulling and bunching as he ran his hand up and down Miranda’s back.
He made their connection last as long as he could. Even though she’d told him she loved him, he didn’t quite trust her to stick with him for something so intense.
Sure enough, she was the one who broke it off, pulling herself from his arms. Her eyes were a little wild. She swallowed hard.
“I came to see if you were all right.”
He thought about it. His shoulder and chest hurt, but it always hurt now. He could breath easily enough, wasn’t so deathly tired, and didn’t feel feverish. At least, not feverishly ill. He gave a short nod. “I’m all right.”
“Do you… um…” Miranda bit her lip and looked away, then looked back. “Do you need help getting to bed?”
He knew he shouldn’t smile, but he couldn’t help himself. He was grinning full on as he said, “Yes, I believe I do.”
“I don’t mean it like that, and you know it.” She slapped his leg lightly.
It didn’t hurt, but he said “Ow,” and grabbed it anyway just to see Miranda look all sorry and act helpful.
“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to do that.” She rubbed his leg as if to ease the pain, but all it did was give him ideas. “Why do I always do that? I’m always screwing up. I didn’t mess up your stitches or anything, did I?”
“Relax, babe. You didn’t do any damage.”
“Yes, but don’t hit me again. All right?”
She sucked in her lips in an annoyed looking line, and patted his knee. He was pretty sure if he hadn’t said something she’d have slapped him again.
“Here. Help me up.” With a grunt he swung his legs around.
Miranda got a shoulder under his good arm. He leaned on her more than he really needed to because he liked to make her think he was helpless. They went up the stairs very slowly and carefully.
“Tell the truth,” he said to her. “You were planning on letting me sleep down there.”
Vin chuckled. “But you didn’t. You can’t resist me.” He grinned at her. It would drive her nuts to think she could be at the mercy of her attraction to him. Miranda always had to be in control, even if it looked like she was totally whacked at the time.
“Shut up and walk,” she grumbled.
“Doing my best here.”
“Enough with the sorrys already. I don’t need them and neither do you.” At the top of the stairs he turned toward her. He put his hand on her side of her face. She let him, so he pushed his fingers into her hair. She closed her eyes like a cat being scratched behind the ears. “I love you, and – ”
“No.” Her eyes went wide. “No, don’t say it.”
He almost pushed it. He almost said she loved him too, but she looked so hopeless. Something made him hold back. Instead, he drank in the sight of her currently auburn hair puffed away from her face in a wild main, her long dark eyelashes making her cheeks look young and vulnerable, her ruby lips full and moist.
She turned her face into his palm. She must still be terrified that he would die on her. She had a right to be worried. He was a long way from his former vigor.
“Tuck me in?” He lifted her face so she could see him smile gently.
He wasn’t going to get heavy on her, no matter how he felt. He didn’t want to do anything that would mess this up. Not now, when he finally had her where he wanted her. Well, almost where he wanted her. He glanced hopefully at his bedroom, thinking of the bed inside and praying Miranda would take the hint rather than take offense.
“I don’t know.” She bit her lower lip, and looked away. She looked shaky.
She made him feel tired. Even now, when they both knew she loved him and he loved her she couldn’t simply let nature take its course. Normally he would consider it a challenge and chase after her like a kitten chasing a string. But he wasn’t so strong so soon after having been shot, and he couldn’t help thinking about years and years of chasing her only to be rebuffed.
Vin felt like giving up.
He sighed. He put his forehead to hers and closed his eyes. “Good night, Miranda.” He sounded as tired and defeated as he felt. He let her go and turned toward his room.
Miranda’s eyes widened in panic. “Are you all right?”
“I’m fine. Just a little tired.” He shook her off and shuffled toward his bed.
Miranda wedged herself under his good arm and wrapped her arm around his lower back. “Here, let me help you.”
“I don’t need a nurse, Miranda. I’ll be fine.”
“No you won’t.. You look, I don’t know, like you need someone.”
“I do need someone, but not the way you’re thinking.” He couldn’t help if a little of his resentment seeped through.
After all this time, maybe he should wake up and smell the coffee. What did it matter if she loved him if she wouldn’t let him love her back? What good was loving each other doing either one of them? Maybe… maybe he should think about finding someone else to love.
They stopped next to his bed facing one another. Her eyes flicking around his face, her brow creased in concern. Whatever she saw there must have made her sad because it tugged at the corners of her lips.
Just when he was about to send her packing, she kissed him. It wasn’t a sisterly kiss either. It was a kiss made for seduction and worked like a charm.
He put his arms around her and leaned sideways, keeling over into the bed and taking Miranda with him. It felt like he was submersing himself in love. She struggled onto her knees, then off the bed. He thought she was running away. Instead, she closed the door.
To be continued…
*evil grin* Trust me, I’ll make it worth the wait.