Unhinge Me, page 9
Alex slowly rode him, panting and building quickly. The rain was not quite done, but the sun was out and shining through the branches in broken beams, surrounding them. The tiny droplets danced around them and shimmered in the sunlight as they fell. The smell of the rain and the spring sun mixed like sweet perfume. The effect was like something magical.
As their love making heightened, their internal body temperatures got so hot that the small rain droplets steamed off their warming skin. The cold on Alex’s outside and the fire burning inside set her completely ablaze. She quickened her pace and threw her head back, looking through the tree to the sun above as she erupted. Caleb buried his face in her breasts and together they exploded in a flash of heat and rain and pleasure. Alex’s screams of ecstasy flowed freely through the secluded spot and it took a little while before she was calm and back in control.
“Wow,” she exclaimed, out of breath. Caleb just nodded.
“No kidding,” he sighed.
The next morning, Caleb woke first. He looked over at Alex sleeping and couldn’t help but watch her for a few minutes. He saw something so vulnerable about her when she slept. All of her walls were down and she looked peaceful, like the problems she carried all the time were a distant thought. He wished he could make her feel that safe and comfortable when she was awake. It was a tough balance, trying to break down her walls without scaring her off in the process. It made him feel like he had purpose again now that he’d decided it was his job to do just that.
As if sensing his staring, Alex stirred in her sleep and smiled as she opened her eyes. She saw the look of passion in Caleb’s eyes and hers grew wide as a panicked look came over her. She put a hand over her mouth.
“Just let me freshen up,” she mumbled under her hand and turned to get out of bed, but Caleb grabbed her shoulders and pulled her back in.
“Don’t run away from me. I just woke up too. I think you’re beautiful when you wake up. I like your bed head and lack of make-up. It’s sexy to see you without your ‘pretty’ on. It’s just… you.” He smiled innocently.
Alex tried really hard not to roll her eyes, escape his grip, and roll away anyway, but the sincerity in his eyes held her in her spot. What is it about him that makes me feel so sexy no matter what? she wondered.
So instead of rolling away, she turned and backed into his arms, putting them in a spooning position. She snuggled into him and sighed. He smelled so good in the morning. Okay, all the time.
Caleb smiled at her actions and tightened his arms around her. He might have just fallen back asleep like that, if it weren’t for his…
Alex could feel that the morning breath of fresh air that Caleb’s manhood had taken was lasting a bit longer than usual. Just in case that was in part due to her, she wriggled her butt against it. Maybe he just needed a bit of encouragement.
Caleb’s groan proved her suspicions were right. It didn’t look like they’d be going back to sleep after all.
After both of them showered, Alex stood in the bathroom drying her hair. She was feeling content and secure for the first time in as long as she could remember. There were no more unanswered questions to stress about, so now she could just relax and enjoy spending time with her deep-voiced Earl.
She put on a pair of tights and an oversized sweater, both of which she had brought over the last time she went home to check on Bear and get a few things. She was spending more and more nights here and less time at home. She felt bad for leaving Bear alone, but Rachael often went there to study since her roommate was viciously loud, so at least the bi-polar cat had company. Plus, something about Caleb’s apartment made her feel more at home, even with the sparse décor.
She padded, barefoot, out to the kitchen where she heard Caleb putzing around. He eagerly handed her a big mug of coffee as if he’d been waiting for her. She put the mug to her lips and enthusiastically took a big whiff.
“Mmmm,” she sighed. “It’s not that I don’t want shoes and all things sparkly, but the way to this girl’s heart is definitely coffee.”
“If I had known it was that easy, I would have been brewing you a cup on our first date.” Caleb winked.
Both of them had work to do. Alex had some major cramming to do and Caleb had a few dozen papers to grade, so the rest of the morning was a quiet one. The two settled in quickly and got to work.
When the afternoon rolled around, Alex looked up from her books, which were scattered all over Caleb’s coffee table, and stretched her back and neck. She looked out the window and squinted in the light. She felt like a vampire coming out from the grave. She loudly sighed and stretched some more. She looked over at Caleb and asked him how his work was going, but all he did was grunt at her. She had seen him work before and knew that once he was focused on something, it was hard to pull him out. She didn’t mind it though. Rachael said the exact same thing about her.
She got up to go look for something to eat in the kitchen only to find his cupboards bare. Feeling antsy from having studied all morning, she decided a walk would be nice, and then she could pick up lunch.
Pulling her boots on, she called over to Caleb to tell him she was going out to get lunch, but if he heard her he didn’t answer. She just shook her head and grabbed her jacket.
Even in her sweater and jacket, it was a cold walk. Alex had originally thought she would take the long way and end up at the sushi place a few blocks down, but decided it was too cold for that. What a difference a day could make in the weather. Just yesterday it had been beautiful at their little picnic. Well, the rain wasn’t warm, but they’d improvised. Alex smiled at the thought of their lovemaking under the willow tree. It had been such an enchanting moment. She wouldn’t be forgetting that any time soon.
As she turned the corner, the wind hit her face with a blast. She pulled her warm scarf out of her jacket and wrapped it around her neck, thankful she hadn’t put it away yet. Suddenly she felt the hair on the back of her neck stand up and she got the eerie feeling she was being watched. She looked up and down the street trying to find the source of her wariness, but it was empty except an old woman sweeping the sidewalk a few houses back who wasn’t looking in her direction.
All of a sudden the world felt quiet, and the sound of her feet on the sidewalk seemed louder and more pronounced. She kept looking back and couldn’t see anything, but the feeling would not go away. She remembered that Caleb might not even know she had left. If something happened to her, it could be a while before he noticed she was gone. The thought made her more freaked out. She reached for her phone to call him but her pocket was empty. She must have left it back at the apartment. She walked faster and faster, the feeling of danger getting stronger. By the time she got to the sushi place, she was almost running.
Hurriedly, she pushed through the door and rushed into the little shop. It was quiet and empty inside. The commotion of her entrance made the two people behind the counter stop and look at her with question on their faces. She turned and looked out the window to see if anyone was behind her. There were a few people walking about, but nothing seemed out of place. Maybe she was just imagining it. She sighed in relief, feeling silly.
Turning around, a little embarrassed now at her over-reaction, she bought a light lunch and headed out the door. When she got back outside again she felt a little better, but still had the nagging feeling someone was watching her. She walked quickly back to the apartment and felt much better after she was safely inside.
Once she had lunch all set up, she walked over to Caleb to tell him it was ready. She hesitated, watching him work. He was so engrossed in the papers in front of him that she hated to interrupt him. Instead of speaking, she just laid a hand on his shoulder. He looked up at her and blinked, as if waking up. When he focused on her face, he smiled such a genuine smile it made her heart flutter.
“Time to eat,” she smiled back at him.
Surprised he had been working for so long, he got up and yawned. The small table h
“I’m famished,” he realized aloud.
Together they sat, feeding each other pieces of raw fish and laughing as drops of soy sauce ran down their chins. Finally, Caleb could stand it no longer and got up to lean over the table. Taking her chin in his hand, he went in for a kiss but instead slowly licked a stream of sauce just below her lip. Then he ran his tongue across her mouth, tasting her. Alex’s cheeks flamed as a vibrating sound came from the back of her throat. Suddenly, she thrust her hands in his hair and pulled him closer. Taking his lips into hers, she took his bottom lip into her mouth and bit him. Caleb growled, surprised and turned on beyond reason. Lunch forgotten, the two tumbled to the ground where Caleb quickly and zealously took her.
As they lay there shattered and catching their breath, Caleb looked over at her and smirked. “I think I’m quite full now.”
Lunch was clearly over, so Alex insisted Caleb get back to work while she cleaned up. Afterwards, she did more studying until she couldn’t possibly take in any more information and she finally put it all away. She felt good about finals. Somehow she had managed to study just as much as she usually did and she was looking forward to school being done.
She grabbed a book she had been wanting to read called Private Message and settled down in the corner of the couch to lose herself in it.
“If I had a fireplace, I’d be using it every day,” she quietly commented. Caleb was so engrossed in his papers, it didn’t look like he’d even heard her. She didn’t mind. She liked watching him concentrate. With his geek glasses on and his pencil behind his ear, he looked so damn brilliant, and so damn sexy. Alex was always attracted to intelligence, but with Caleb it was so much more. He really didn’t seem to get how good looking he was, like he had better things to worry about. Anyone with eyes could see he was steaming hot. He had such a quiet assuredness about him and yet there was not an ounce of arrogance. Alex thought that was probably the sexiest thing about him.
She turned back and started reading. Soon she was so immersed in her book that she also lost track of time.
Caleb looked up from his lesson and rubbed his eyes. He looked at his watch. It was after five o’clock already. How did that happen? He looked over at Alex cuddled on the couch, wrapped in a blanket and reading. He marveled at how easy it was having her around all the time. He had gotten so used to the bachelor life he might have thought it would seem like an invasion having her there. Quite the opposite. Having her around made his cold, boring apartment feel like home.
Something nagged at him and he vaguely remembered her saying something about the fireplace. Oops. He realized he hadn’t answered and felt bad. Wanting to make it up to her, he got an idea. Without saying anything and not wanting to disturb her, he quietly grabbed his keys and slipped out the door.
Alex heard a noise from behind her and it snapped her back to reality. She turned to see Caleb stumbling into the apartment with his arms full of something large and heavy. Is that firewood?
“What on earth are you doing?” she exclaimed, jumping up.
“Surprising you,” he strained, out of breath, and unceremoniously dropped the pile of logs on the floor near the fireplace. “The bloke at the store said these would work well,” he told her. “I’m going to build you a fire!” His grin was so innocent and childlike. “I did hear what you said earlier, sorry about that. I didn’t want to bother you when you were reading. Looked like a good book.”
“It is!” she plopped it closed. “It’s about a hot, sexy Englishman and the regular ole American girl who doesn’t see why he likes her. I can’t imagine what I see in the story,” she said sarcastically. He glared at her to remind her that he found her insecurities unfounded and ridiculous.
Alex rolled her eyes but smiled and dropped down to the floor to help him load the wood into the fireplace.
“No, no!” Caleb said, waving her away. “Let the man do it!” he said in an exaggerated deep voice. As if his voice wasn’t deep enough already. Alex laughed… and swooned a bit.
Relenting, she moved to the side to sit in the chair and watch him tackle the fire. Watching him made her think about lumberjacks. That thought led her to think of a cabin in the woods and all the things they could do together in one. She shook her head to clear it. If she didn’t stop thinking like that she was going to have to change her panties.
“So why haven’t you used it yet, anyway?” she asked in an attempt to distract her thoughts.
“I just never felt the need,” he answered from inside the fireplace, his voice echoing. Sticking his head out, he winked at her. “Plus, I never had anyone to share it with until now.”
Alex blushed as thoughts about bear skin rugs and sex in front of the fire leapt into her mind. Man, she was definitely going to need new panties.
Caleb threw a huge load of scrunched up paper on the pile of wood, covering it almost completely.
“Alright! I think I’m ready!” He stood up, brushed off his jeans, and got a match out of the box. Alex stood up beside him to watch him throw it in. He tossed the match on the pile and then put his arm around her as the two watched the papers and sticks light up.
It didn’t take long for them to realize there was something off. Instead of the beautiful glow they were expecting, all they got was black billowing smoke. Eyes wide, they looked at each other in panic.
“Bloody hell! It’s plugged!” Caleb shouted and ran over to put the fire out. Smoke was filling up the room quickly so Alex ran to open all the windows. Then the smoke detector started going off so she ran to wave the smoke away from it. Once it stopped, she ran back over to wave the smoke out the window until once again she had to stop the smoke detector from its blaring insolence. Back and forth she ran while Caleb tried to put the fire out. It took a while. Apparently, he was even better at starting them than he thought. Finally, he got a bowl of water from the sink and was able to douse it out completely.
Once it was all over, they stood in the middle of the smoky apartment just shaking their heads and laughing.
“So that’s what happens when the man does it, huh?” Alex said, imitating Caleb’s low accent and laughing.
Speechless, Caleb just sputtered and shook his head. He looked so adorable standing there with a smudge of soot on his cheek, looking bewildered and ashamed. Alex burst out laughing, but it quickly turned into uncontrollable coughing.
Caleb ran over to wave the smoke away from her and got her a glass of water. They were such a pair, with Caleb’s wild hair and Alex hunched over from the cough attack, both of them squinting, their eyes watering.
Chuckling, Caleb grabbed her hand. “Come on, let’s go eat while the smoke clears.”
After a delicious meal at Shenanigan’s and a big laugh with Joe and Josie about the “firecapade”, the couple drove home early to get some rest before the week started.
With their arms wrapped around each other and smiling, they walked down the hall to Caleb’s apartment. When Caleb took his key out to unlock the door, he found it slightly ajar and stopped.
Immediately alarmed and thinking quickly, he pushed Alex back behind him as he slowly peeked into the apartment. All the lights were on inside and Caleb could hear movement and papers being shuffled in the living room around the corner. He turned back to Alex and whispered to her to call 911, then tiptoed into the foyer. Alex tried to pull him back to keep him out of danger but he kept moving, so she ignored his request and followed in behind him.
Slowly they crept through the little room. Caleb looked around for some sort of weapon. The kitchen was to his left and, for a moment, he thought about grabbing a knife. Alex grabbed an umbrella and held it up like a bat. Finally they got close enough that Caleb got a view of who was inside. He stopped short and stood up straight. Barging into the room, he boomed, “What the bloody hell are you doing here?”
Alex blinked at the scene before her. There Caleb stood, relaxed and
“There you are!” the man exclaimed as if Caleb was the one who was being mysterious.
The men embraced in a big man hug and then Caleb just stood there staring at him as if in awe.
“I’ll do the introduction then?” the strange man said as he rolled his eyes at Caleb. He then gave Alex what she was sure was usually a very charming smile, and stuck his hand out to hers.
“I’m Graham, Caleb’s cousin. And you are?” he questioned in a sweet but almost accusing way.
Alex was not amused. “I’m Alex,” she quickly answered.
Graham raised an eyebrow at her shortness. He looked over at Caleb.
Caleb had completely lost his wits. Seeing his cousin standing in his American apartment and his new life was weird and out of place for him. It didn’t fit and it took him a moment to recover.
“How did you get in here?” he stammered.
“You put your spare key in the same damn place here as you did back home,” he answered and accused at the same time. “You really shouldn’t do that,” he added.
“I guess not, if it’s going to let rubbish like you in.”
The men just looked at each other for a long moment, and then both laughed.