Duke's Redemption

Page 22

She chooses one and takes a seat next to me on the couch. I try not to notice how good she smells.
Instead, I ask, “How are you feeling?”
She shrugs her shoulders. “Tired yet wired. It’s making me a little loopy, but I guess I’m okay.”
“Probably the meds.”
The opening credits begin to play, and I try to focus on the movie, but damnit, it’s taking every bit of focus I have to keep my hands to myself. What I really want to do is pull her into my arms and kiss her until I pin her luscious body under my own. Just the thought of it has me shifting uncomfortably in my seat. I grab a throw pillow next to me and set it in my lap and cross my arms over the top of it.
I feel like I’m sixteen again, sitting next to my crush with her hand traveling up my thigh—except now, Avery’s not even touching me, and I’m sporting wood.
To make matters worse, Avery reaches into her pocket and pulls out the tube of ointment the doctor gave her. Holding it up, she asks, “Do you think you can rub this on my back? There’s this one spot I just can’t reach.”
I hesitate for a moment, and she says, “Oh my gosh. Is that weird that I just asked that?”
I can tell she’s about to start rambling, and as cute as it, I decide to save her the trouble. “No, it’s okay. Happy to help.”
I take the tube from her and squirt a little onto my fingers.
Avery turns around and lifts up her shirt.
“Right here,” she says, pointing to the spot that’s itching.
She leans forward to allow me easier access. As she repositions, I catch a glimpse of her lacy underwear.
Looking up to the heavens, I silently pray to give me strength. Every ounce of self-control is tested when my fingers touch her skin.
When she lets out a small moan of relief, I try to think of anything and everything non-sexual.
The cowboy on the TV.
Okay, maybe don’t think about anything with phallic terms in the name.
Thankfully, a moment later, the ointment is on, and Avery is pulling down her shirt.
“Thank you so much. You’re a life saver,” she says.
“No problem,” I reply, trying to sound as cool as possible while she gets comfortable on the other end of the couch.
As the movie plays, we talk a little about what’s happening on the screen. At one point, Avery gets a fit of the giggles, and I realize just how hard the medicine is hitting her.
Her contagious laugh brings a smile to my own face.
When she finally settles down, she turns her head and looks up at me with those caramel-colored eyes. Her tongue slowly licks her bottom lip, and I resist every urge I have to kiss the spot she just licked.
She starts to speak. “You know, you’re like a cowboy in one of those movies.”
I give a half smile. “Is that right?”
“Mmm-hmm. You’re all stoic and macho—not to mention a huge mystery.”
“What about me is a mystery?” I ask.