* * *
The smell of bacon hits me like a Mack truck, pulling me out of the Ben dream that I was annoyingly enjoying. I’d usually be able to roll over and go back to sleep, but it’s bacon and I could eat my weight in that stuff so the dreams can wait. I am surprised though that Tessa is up and making breakfast. She liked her sleep even more than I did and was usually the last one awake when I used to spend the night with her. Maybe she’s just being a really good hostess. Either way, I’m all for getting woken up daily by this delicious smell.
I make my way down the hallway, pulling my wild bed head hair back out of my face. “Oh my Godddd, that smells amazing. I’m so hungry right now.” I stop dead in my tracks as the kitchen comes into view. Tessa is not the one cooking breakfast, and I suddenly want to hurl myself back into bed and go for round three with my favorite fingers. I bite back the shiver I feel run through me at the thought of doing just that.
Ben turns his head and hits me with a smile. “Good morning. What kind of eggs do you want?”
“What are you doing here?” I ask, crossing my arms over my chest and scowling in his direction. Damn it. Now I suddenly don’t just have a hankering for bacon. He’s way too inviting this early in the morning. Slight stubble. Check. Hair sticking up a bit. Check. Vagina awake and ready. Double check. He’s looking very fuckable right now and it irritates me to no end.
He laughs softly and grabs a plate out of the cabinet. “This is my parents’ house. I eat breakfast here all the time.” He holds the plate of bacon out. “Want some?”
He stares at me unconvinced. “Did I not just hear you say you’re starving? And I know you want this bacon. We used to fight over the last piece all the time when you’d spend the night here.” He places the plate on the island that is already set for two people and begins whipping up some eggs in a bowl. “Scrambled okay?”
“You don’t know anything about me. Just because I used to like bacon, doesn’t mean I want it now.” I cross the room with an annoying scowl plastered on my face and open the fridge, pulling out the orange juice. “And I don’t want any eggs.”
“I know a lot about you,” he says, his voice dropping to a low rumbled tone. I can’t shake the way it ripples through my body, causing all my muscles to contract and my body temperature to spike. “Now sit down and let me feed you.”
I take a sip of my orange juice and walk over to the couch. “I told you. I don’t want any breakfast.” I begin flipping through the TV channels, trying to calm the hunger that is growing more and more persistent. I want that bacon.
And the man making it.
Shut up, vagina.
“Suit yourself,” he says. The stool scrapes along the floor before the sound of crunching fills my ears. And it’s crispy bacon. Son of a bitch. “Mmm. This is really good. Why don’t you stop being stubborn and get your sweet ass over here and join me.”
I snap my head around and glare at him. “And why don’t you stop being a creeper and eat breakfast at your own house. You can’t honestly tell me that you’re here just to raid your mom’s refrigerator.”
His lips curl up into a half smile. That cockiness pouring out of him that I wanted to not find attractive. “No, I can’t. But you can’t honestly tell me that you aren’t at least a little happy to see me. Especially since I cooked your favorite food.” He takes another bite of his bacon strip, smiling arrogantly. “Remember how mad you used to get when I’d steal pieces off your plate?”
I throw the remote down and stalk over toward the island, seeing him lean back in his chair at my irritated expression. He wants to talk memories? Let’s talk memories. “No, I don’t remember that. What I do remember is you calling me a cannibal, since I liked to eat my own kind.” His confidence quickly vanishes from his face and he seems regretful now. Although I’m not sure if he is regretting walking down memory lane or coming over here in the first place. “It was kind of hard to enjoy my favorite food when assholes like you didn’t let me forget how heavy I was. I went a couple days without eating one time because of shit you said to me. Did you know that?”
He drops his gaze from my face to the floor. “No, I didn’t know that.” He looks up again, begging me with his eyes. For forgiveness? For a pass on everything he’s ever said to me? Fat chance. “I had no idea I got to you like that. I was a kid, Mia. I didn’t really care about hurting your feelings back then. But Christ, it’s been nine years. I’m not that guy anymore.” He reaches out to stroke my arm but I back away before he can touch me. I don’t want his hands on me. I know exactly how much I’ll like it. His eyes shift and that mischievous glare of his that I am becoming familiar with hits me. “You seemed to enjoy the guy I am now the other night. If I remember correctly, you enjoyed me five times.”
“Wow. You just totally proved my point.” I grab a handful of bacon and meet his confused gaze.
“What point is that?”
I glower at him before turning on my heel and walking back toward my bedroom. “That you’re still an asshole,” I yell over my shoulder. Upon hearing the sound of the stool scraping again, I slam my door and lock it, backing away as the footsteps in the hallway grow louder. They stop right outside my room and the doorknob rattles.
“Mia, come on. Just sit and eat some breakfast with me.”
I sit on the edge of my bed and begin crunching on a piece of bacon. “Can you not take a hint? I’m not interested in eating or doing anything with you.” I take another bite and hear some movement on the other side of the door. He needs to leave. I really don’t want to spend the entire day cooped up in my bedroom. And there is no chance in hell that I am slipping into my bikini in front of him again. Not after the lustful way he looked at me in it yesterday. I can’t handle him looking at me like that again. Like he wanted to eat me alive. Like he knew exactly what was underneath that bikini and exactly what to do with it.
I look up at the door, imagining him standing on the other side. “What?”
The sound of a throat clearing comes before he speaks. “I’m a persistent guy. If you ask me to leave, I’ll leave, but that’s not going to stop me from trying to be around you.”
Neither of us speaks for what feels like hours. I don’t want to like the idea of being pursued by Ben. My brain wants to hit him with some sort of stalker charge while my vagina wants to put him on lock down for the summer.
“So do you want me to leave?” he asks, and I can hear the anxiety in his voice. As if he already knows the answer to his question but is praying to be way off by some miracle.
“Yes,” I quickly reply without any indecision. I know if I allow myself time to think it over, my desire for a Ben style orgasm will overpower any and all rational thought.
He doesn’t say anything else before the sound of his footsteps fade in the distance. After I hear the sliding glass door close, I fall back onto my bed. Tessa had assured me that I wouldn’t have to see much of her brother when I planned this trip, but that guarantee seems to be a distant memory now. I could be waking up every morning to the smell of Ben cooking breakfast if he decided to show me just how persistent he could be. I’m afraid to admit that a part of me doesn’t hate the possibility of that type of wake up call.