Kai finds out why Paisley overreacted to his statement that he had “staked his claim”. Now, he understands some of the abuse her ex inflicted on her.
She nodded, tears flowing as her lips trembled.
“You know that’s not me.”
“You said you’d laid your claim.”
“And I tried to explain that! If I say you’re mine, I don’t mean I own you. I mean that you own me, heart and soul. I don’t want anyone else but you.”
“Love isn’t about ownership, Kai,” her tone was harsh, cold.
“Maybe not, but if I give my heart you to, are you gonna be mean enough not to take it?”
Kai put his hand over his chest, then pulled like he was yanking his heart out. He took her hand, laying his on it. Paisley’s eyes were wide, her face pale.
“Oh, Kai!” She pulled him to her, holding him as she cried. “I’m so sorry I overreacted.”
“I’m sorry I upset you.”
Paisley held his face, kissing him everywhere as she cried. Kai felt like he was being mauled by a bear until she kissed his mouth, deeply, with great ardor. A heavy sigh of desire escaped her.
Kai wanted her more than ever. She was making him completely insane, but he was confused. She was so hot and cold, he didn’t know how he was supposed to act. Then he remembered the reason she was here. She was injured. That killed the monster in his pants, making him focus. He put the brakes on, pulling away from her.
“What did the doctor say?” his voice didn’t sound right. He cleared his throat, repeating the question as he looked at her foot.
“It’s bruised up like you said. He didn’t have to stitch the toes, but he put those strips on them.”
“Steri-strips. Yeah, they fall off gradually as it heals up. Restrictions?”
“Have to keep off it as much as possible for the next couple days. He doesn’t want me in the pool, wearing covered shoes, or on my feet until Thursday.”
“What about the bruises? Concern about blood clots?”
“No. It’s superficial. He did an ultrasound.”
“Good. Who did you see?”
“Some young guy, dark blond hair, green eyes.”
“Doctor Hansen. He’s a good guy. I’m glad you’re okay.”
“Oh, Kai, you take such good care of me!” She started crying again.
“Hey, no more tears. I’m sopping wet.”
He showed her his shirt and she started to laugh. He was pretty wet. Big spots of mascara blotted his shirt, as well as spots of color from her eye shadow. Unfortunately, there were also colors from Nedra there too. Paisley, who knew good and well she wasn’t wearing dark blue shadow and watermelon lipgloss, stared at his shirt in horror.
“I see you’ve been a towel for someone else already! What, did an old girlfriend show up, and you just had to console her when she broke a nail?” She shoved him away.
Kai lost his balance, sliding off the edge of the couch. He hit the coffee table painfully with his left hip, as he tried to catch himself. Landing between the table and the edge of the couch, his shoulders wedged between the two pieces of heavy furniture.
Cursing loudly, he tried to push the table away so he could get out. He had no leverage, and couldn’t get a purchase on what he was pushing against. His lungs felt constricted, and he gasped for breath.
“Wasn’t—like—that!” He finally got the table shoved half an inch over, enough for him to roll toward it slightly and shove harder.
Gasping and wincing, he got up. Paisley wouldn’t look at him. She turned up the TV so she couldn’t hear him. He snatched the remote away, turning it off.
“Will you get over yourself for a second, and listen?” He explained about Nedra. “If you don’t believe me, ask Cody! Hell, ask Tempy, if you won’t take a man’s word. When is it going to be clear to you, that I don’t want anyone but you? I’m waiting for you, fairly patiently, I might add—for you to make up your mind when you’ll go to bed with me. If all I wanted was sex, Paisley, I could get that easily. There are a few women out there who actually like having sex with me! Whoa! Big surprise, I know!”
Kai ranted a few more minutes while he moved the coffee table back into position and straightened the area rug beneath it. He suspected Paisley was crying again, but he simply didn’t care. He was sore and surly, tired of explaining what he said, and did, because she had preconceived notions of how he’d behave, based on a psychopath.
“I’ve gotta run to the store. I didn’t get lunch and I’m starving. You want anything?”
Paisley didn’t answer, merely hunched over, shoulders shaking. Kai grabbed his keys and took off his shirt. He got a clean one out of the laundry and left, banging the door behind him. His trip to the store was as quick as he could make it. He picked up subs, a bag of chips and lemonade for them to share. When he got back, she was still on the couch, but not crying.
“I would like to go home now,” she said, her voice catching as she fought tears.
Kai got a clean dish towel and a plate. He poured lemonade for Paisley, setting it on the end table within reach. Next, he served her sub, placing the towel over her lap. He set out her pain medication, all without a word. Once she was settled, he got his own food and another towel. She hadn’t touched her food, but he started eating.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes