After his friends leave, Kai takes Paisley home with him, reluctant to have her by herself with Brill’s party going on. Unable to sleep, he has a long shower.
Feeling marginally better afterward, he dried off and crawled into bed naked. He was so tired, he couldn’t be bothered to find a pair of boxers. Lying on his stomach, he fell into a deep, dreamless sleep. Sometime later, his door opened and someone crawled onto the bed, tugging at the covers. He rolled over on his side and looked into the frightened eyes of Paisley.
“I had a nightmare,” she said quietly. “I can’t go back to sleep.”
“Wanna talk about it?” Kai yawned and stretched.
She nodded, snuggling closer. As she closed the distance between them, he remembered he was naked under the covers. Shoving the sheets and duvet between them, he created a barrier so she wouldn’t feel, up close and personal, the fact that he wanted her. Her innocence intrigued him, her lack of guile like icing on the lust cake. Paisley’s scent ensorcelled him, drawing him to her. Fighting himself for control, Kai turned on his back letting her put her head on his chest. His arms circled her protectively.
“I dreamed about that night,” she whispered. “I could feel his hands on my throat. I never realized until this moment, he could have killed me, but he stopped. I don’t know why he stopped. I should be dead! Why would he stop?”
“Maybe he couldn’t bring himself to commit murder. Maybe he did it to scare you into submission? I don’t know, babe. I don’t know how a man like that thinks. I’d never hurt you like that.”
“You’d never hurt me at all,” she whispered, her tears pooling in the center of his chest. “You’d take care of me and protect me…. I can’t believe your friends are helping me. They hardly know me, but they’re taking care of me, just like you…. Why?”
“Because they’re some of the greatest guys I know. You’re with me, that makes you family.”
“I never had family to count on like that.”
Kai chuckled, his laugh rumbling deep in his chest. “You’re with me now, you’ll have so much family, you’ll need a playbook.”
“You really have that much?”
“Not quite as much as Toby, but it’s close.”
“Your family has been so good to me. I don’t know what I’d have done if I hadn’t met your mom when I did. I was desperate for a job…. She’s so kind….”
“She knew talent when she saw it. You’re great at what you do.” He stroked her hair, kissing her forehead.
Paisley sighed, snuggling closer, her fingers playing absently with the hairs on his chest. Her breathing slowed, and he knew she was asleep. Resting his chin on her head, he fell asleep.
The bedroom door thumped open. “Kai, dude, time to wake…. f**k!” Cody stood in the doorway, baggies on, shirt off, barefoot and frowzy.
The door closed quietly and his brother approached the bed, whispering hoarsely. “Are you insane? Totally out of your mind? What’s Mom gonna say if she catches you? Jeez, Kai! In Mom’s house?”
Kai sat up, groggy. “Huh? What’re you talking about, Cody?” It took a moment to become aware of the fact he wasn’t alone in the bed. “Oh, shit. We didn’t do anything, Cody. I swear.”
Paisley woke slowly, yawning and stretching as she sat up. Cody couldn’t take his eyes off her. She looked beautiful in the morning—and he was a man, after all. Kai didn’t get angry with the kid, he was too embarrassed by the fact that he was in bed with a beautiful woman—and buck ass naked. He had an erection that refused to go down. His younger brother was in the room, staring at his girlfriend like she was his next good meal.
Cody finally focused on his brother, squinting slightly. “You promised to take me and guys to the beach this morning, remember?”
Kai had forgotten. “Yeah, sure. What time is it?”
“Almost eight. You like to go early. They’ll be here soon. Dude, if Mom sees….”
“Shut up, and she won’t even know. I swear, nothing happened.”
“I had a bad dream. It’s my fault,” Paisley said calmly. “And he’s right, nothing happened.”
“Why’s she here?” Cody was almost frantic.
“Long story. She was in the guest room. Go see for yourself.”
“She has to get out of your room now. Mom gets up early, even on Saturday, you know that! What were you thinking?”
“I told you, nothing—never mind. Paisley, you’d better go, before my brother totally flips shit.”
© 2019 Dellani Oakes