This serial story is presented in draft (unedited) format. Each new installment will replace
the one before. If you get behind, email me and I’ll hook you up with the missing chapters!
“Fight Water with Fire” – Part 12
MacKenzie opened her eyes to an unfamiliar room and bright sunshine filtering through semi-transparent curtains. The mattress was soft – too soft to be hers, and she was underneath a thick, cozy bedspread that wrapped around her like a hug.
Breathing in deeply, she smiled. Josh’s unique, masculine scent enveloped her, reminding her of where she was, and why.
Not the way she’d planned to get into his bed, but now that she was here…
She raised her head at a sound near the foot of the bed. Josh came in the door, carrying two cups of something that smelled like coffee. She sat up, scooting back to lean against the wooden headboard.
“You’re awake,” he said, setting one cup down on the nightstand, and carefully handing her the other. “Careful, it’s hot.”
“Thank you.” She took a small sip, breathing in the life-giving aroma. “What time is it?”
Josh perched on the edge of the bed, facing her. “It’s nearly ten. Sleep well?”
She nodded, taking another, bigger sip. “My head doesn’t hurt so bad, so I must have. I’m sorry I feel asleep on you last night.”
He chuckled. “I’m not. It was a long day, and we were both worn out. I was happy enough to rest up too.”
Vaguely remembering a warm body in bed with her the night before, she cocked her head to the side. “Where did you sleep, exactly?”
He shrugged, reaching for his coffee and avoiding eye contact. “I didn’t want to leave you alone.”
She nodded, studying the machine embroidery on the duvet, all too aware of his heavy stare. “Um…thanks.”
He reached out and took her cup, putting it next to his back on the nightstand. Scooting up farther on the bed, until his right leg was pressed against hers, he leaned over her legs, propping himself there with one arm as he looked into her eyes.
“What were you going to tell me yesterday, Kenzie? Kevin said that’s why you hurt yourself – you were looking for me.”
She looked away. “I just…well, Kevin said I was over-thinking things, and he’s right.” She forced herself to look at Josh, needing him to know she was sincere. “I’m tired of fighting this too, Josh. I…want you. Us. Even if–”
Josh’s hand curled around her neck and pulled her forward to meet his lips, cutting off her next sentence. He tasted like fresh coffee with just a hint of mint in the background. As quickly as she’d melted into his touch, she pulled back, aghast.
“Oh God. Morning breath. I–” She saw a split second of a grin on his lips before he claimed hers again, leaning in farther as he shifted on the bed, moving to lay beside her, urging her down to the pillows. His hands were everywhere they could reach, but there was the frustrating matter of the duvet and sheets and clothing…
MacKenzie broke free, holding him off with a firm hand to his chest and a smile when he would have pulled her back.
“Your breath is fine. Don’t go.”
She laughed, slipping off the other side of the bed and holding one finger up.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she said, reaching down to grasp the hem of her shirt. “But there’s way too much material between us, and it’s driving me crazy. So strip.”