Untitled by Valeri Beatrix
She awoke to the sound of rain, drizzling against the window pane in a soft, staccato rhythm. Combined with the low hum of the ceiling fan, it tempted her to close her eyes and go back to dreamland, but sleeping in was just that: a dream.
Sasha peeled the covers back and found a well-toned forearm draped over her waist. The events from the night before rushed through her mind in a flash of sweat-sheened skin, tangled sheets and well-placed kisses. For a moment, she was tempted to caress the arm. To fold herself into his body and warmth, but that would lead to more. More kisses, more pleasure and more questions of commitments she had no interest in making.
She slid out of his embrace and glanced at the clock. If it was to be believed, she'd overslept. Another reason I don't like sleeping over here. No matter how many times she set the alarm, it never went off. She'd accused him of canceling it while she slept, but he always denied it. She grabbed her phone, pulled up the ride-sharing application and ordered a driver.
In the shower, there was no time for her usual routine of basking beneath the jets of hot water. Instead, she quickly scrubbed the night before from necessary places, splashed water over her face and stepped out. She slipped into one of three items she left at his place—a black sheath dress, and stepped out to find him sprawled across the bed.
One arm lay behind his head, holding back the inky, shoulder length hair. The other stretched across the space she'd occupied. Watching the rise and fall of his tattooed chest, she listened for the deep purr that signaled sleep. It was absent, but she tip toed to the door just in case.
"Leaving so soon?"
His voice was a raspy blend of sleep and an English countryside. Sasha turned to find he'd propped himself on an elbow. His deep green eyes scrunched together as they adjusted to the light and his scruffy beard needed a trim, but he could still sell water to a well.
"Yeah. I have castings this morning."
"Will you ever stay...for breakfast, for anything?"
"I can't do this now. I'm already late."
She left the room and headed to the living room. The rustling of blankets sounded behind her and she knew he'd be on her heels soon.
In the kitchen, she grabbed her coat from the chair. Last nights dinner still sat on its plates. He'd had an appetite for other things by the time she'd arrived. A shame really. He was an excellent chef with a restaurant to attest to the fact, but he was better at those other things. Sasha slipped into the Burberry trench coat just as he entered the space.
"Are we really going to keep doing this? You sneaking out like some thief and I grabbing on to your coattails?"
"I really don't have time this morning."
"Or the afternoon or the evening or any other time I bloody want."
Cursing now? He'd skipped the wounded pleading and gone straight to cursing. The sexiest, yes, but the hardest to appease.
"Look," I said, averting my gaze from the firm chest, the chiseled abdomen. "I told you before, this was what I could give. If you're looking for something more then maybe we should—"
"Should what, stop fucking?"
It felt like an invitation as opposed to the insult he'd meant.
"Sure. We could just stop whatever this is."
I turned and grabbed my bag from the hook and went to the front door. One...two...three...
I sighed and stepped into my shoes; turned around. He was closer than I'd expected, shocking me with his rugged beauty. The pleading in his eyes. In another world, another time or place, I could probably love him. Could be the doting wife that made dinner and left sweet notes in his briefcase. But this wasn't that time and I wasn't that woman. I placed a hand against his chest and smiled.