Home > Taming Cross(2)

Taming Cross(2)
Author: Ella James

“Where you read them.” Suri smiles gently, touching my elbow with the back of her hand. Her eyes linger on mine half a second too long, and I can't ignore the emotion that I see in them: not just friendship, but something more akin to...adoration. Probably just seeing things.

A second later, the look melts off her face, and she reaches into her purse for a little pack of tissue. I grit my teeth as she dabs my jaw. Her thin brows pinch together as she draws it away, opening her purse again, this time to pull out a small bottle of water. She pours a few drops on the tissue. Instead of letting her wipe at my face again, I grab the thing from her and do it myself.

I can tell she doesn't like that. She tries to keep her face neutral, but I know her well enough to see the way her mouth pulls down just a little at the corners. Disappointed.

I don't get it. Am I supposed to let her mother me? Why would she want to? It’s not like my own mother ever did. I ball the tissue up and toss it onto my bed, not caring if the blood stains my dingy gray blanket.

It wasn't always like this—things so complicated between Lizzy, Suri, and me. For years, Suri's parents called us the Three Musketeers, and we were good friends. Just friends. I fucked it up first by getting a hard-on for Lizzy. Then Lizzy met Hunter West, they got engaged, and I put a cap on my feelings. Around the same time, Suri and her fiancé, Adam, had a messy split, and I was laid up in rehab. I think Suri needed the distraction of me. I’m not gonna lie: I love her for it. I will always love her for it. But I don't love this. The expectation.

What the hell does she want?

I'm looking into her eyes, trying to think of something funny to make her smile, when Suri leans in and puts her palm on my chest.

“Cross,” she murmurs, looking earnestly up at me as her fingers move slowly over my shirt. “Did I do something wrong?”

I blink down at her. “No.” Yes—and this is it! I look at her hand on my chest and think about how wrong it is: the way I'm thinking about her tits, freed from her bra, cupped in my hand. The way some evil part of me knows that I could fuck her if I really tried.

And dammit, wouldn't I like to?

I can't jerk off—not since the crash. At first, I thought it was the stroke or something messing with my junk, but then I went to Marchant's perv ranch and some chick named Loveless got me off in less than twenty seconds, so I know it's not the hardware. When I'm alone it's just not happening. But when I'm with someone like Suri...

Gritting my teeth, I move her hand off my chest. I lay my right hand over her shoulder, looking into her eyes again, like maybe mine will tell this story for me. Her frown deepens and I clench my jaw. C'mon, asshole, grow a pair.

“Suri,” I say, my voice dipping low and deep, “you should be careful.” When her frown deepens, I suck back a big breath. “Doing something stupid with you is the last thing I would want.” I swallow, feeling like that shell-less turtle again. “You're one of my best friends.”

Her hazel eyes are large and earnest. “Are you saying you’re tempted by me?” She gives a soft laugh, and I run my hand through my hair.

“Is that such a terrible thing?” she asks.

“Well, it’s—”

“I get it. You’re worried I might get hurt.”

I nod. “I'm…uh…you know. Not really the dating kind. And you are. And Suri, you're beautiful.” But it's all friendship and friendship boners. I don't want Suri in that way.

Suri's nodding like she's getting it, and I'm so relieved I feel like laughing. Then she wraps her arm around my neck, leans in close enough to kiss me, and lifts her soft hand to stroke my cheek. My dick betrays me as she mashes her breasts against my chest.

“There's nothing to worry about, Cross. I know you can't make promises...and that's okay with me. What I feel for you—” She looks into my eyes. “What I feel for you is unexpected, but I love it.”

My lungs stop, mid-breath. What?

Suri takes my hand and tugs me over to the bed. I follow mostly because I don't know what else to do. When she urges me down onto the mattress, I let her—and then I let her climb on top of me. Because I'm a bastard and my cock is cheering like a Red Sox fan in 2004. Because it feels so good to have a woman's body on mine.

Then she leans down, cloaking me in the curtain of her hair, and she kisses me like I never thought Suri would kiss. Holy fuck, I can't help but kiss her back! I squeeze her hip and grab her ass. I try to grab her ass. Both arms raise, both hands move to cup her taut cheeks. But as my right hand grabs her through her silky dress, my left just hangs from my arm—dead weight.

That's all it takes to break the sex spell Suri has me under. I blink up at her, and the wrongness of it hits me even harder.

“Suri.” I'm panting as I scoot back toward the headboard. She crawls after me, but when she gets close enough that I can smell that damned perfume, I hold my right hand up. “Suri...”

Her lips part, and it's weird as hell to see her like this—like a vixen. She scoots a little closer, and my cock throbs painfully against my pants.

“I told you Cross, I don't care about the details. I just...” She makes a funny little face—her shy face—but it's quickly transformed into something surer, something fierce. “I just want you, Cross. Is that so awful?”

Jesus Christ.

I push myself up on my elbows, trying to think past the throbbing in my pants. “Suri, I'm not saying that it's bad.” I flick my right hand at her. “Look at you. You're gorgeous. Any man would want you. I'm a man, Suri, so yeah, I want to fuck you upside down and sideways. But you're my friend.”

I clench my jaw, because I’m imagining the upside down and sideways, but the fantasy disintegrates as I watch her eyes fill with tears. Somewhere in the last few months, Suri caught feelings for me.

Lizzy tried to tell me once, but I didn’t take it seriously. Now I really wish I had.

Surri tucks her chin, looking down at the blankets, and I can see her lip tremble. I feel awful, so I reach for her. She crawls off the bed and steps toward the bathroom, and I feel slightly dizzy as I think, I knew this night would suck.

How the fuck did this happen? It doesn't matter, Cross. Just deal with it.

I get up off the bed and grab her hand. “Suri, you're one of my closest friends. You and Lizzy.” She won't look at me, but that doesn't mean I'm going to quit talking. “But that's all it should be. Do you think I want you to be just another fuck?” Her eyes widen, and she tries to jerk away, but I tighten my grip on her wrist and hold her gaze. “That's just it—you wouldn't be. But I'm not ready for this, Suri. It would be bad. It would end up being bad for you.”

When eyes finally find mine, they’re red and wet. “I don't know how I read this all so wrong.” She sounds teary.

I grit my teeth. I don't know how, either. “I love you, Sur, you know I do, but we're friends first.”

More tears drip down her cheeks as her chin trembles, and I feel like a steaming pile of dog shit. “You want to be more with Lizzy,” she whispers.

“No, I don’t.” I grit my teeth as my heart pounds. It’s true, I got distracted by Lizzy a few months back, but that’s over. “I don’t want anything with Lizzy.”

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