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Collared(3)
Nicole Williams

His eyes are the palest blue I’ve ever seen, but they darken when I say that. Might have something to do with my leg holding him in place when he tries to slide away.

“Is it true for the second time?” Now he isn’t pulling away—he’s pulling me closer. He rolls my body on top of his, and my legs straddle his narrow hips. He’s all muscle and skin—he’s got the classic soccer body. I’m not exactly “soft,” but when my body’s pressed against his, I feel that way.

“Only one way to find out.” My hands cap his shoulders, and I feel the muscles roll beneath my fingers.

“When?” Torrin’s hands settle on the peaks of my hips, and I don’t know if he means to, but he makes my lap burrow deeper into his. My stomach feels like it’s been filled with lava.

“Now?” I ask, but my body isn’t really asking. It’s more along the lines of telling.

I feel him beneath me. I know he wants to. He knows I want to. So I’m not sure why he clenches his eyes closed and grinds his jaw like he’s trying to restrain himself.

“I thought your dad was going to lock you away in some tower and lock me up after the way he found me kissing you last week in the hallway. He finds out about this”—his finger waves between us—“and I’ll be in some unmarked grave decomposing under a pile of lye.”

My nose curls at the thought. “Ugh. How do you know about that stuff?”

His eyes are still closed, but his jaw relaxes a little. “This beast known as the Internet and morbid curiosity.”

His eyes open a second later, right before he gently shifts me off of his lap and slides off the mattress. He snags his jeans from the lampshade and pulls them on. I know I tore off a pair of boxers earlier, but who knows where they landed.

“How can you be that restrained?” I flail my hands at him right before he roams his room, rounding up his shirt and my clothes, which had wound up just about everywhere except for dangling from the ceiling fan. “I’m naked, in your bed, practically begging you to make love to me again, and you’re pulling on your shirt.”

He drops the pile of my clothes in my lap but twirls my white cotton panties in my face. I grab them but throw them into the rest of my pile. I’m not ready to get dressed. I’m ready for something else.

“I’m this restrained because I happen to really, really like making love to you and I’d like to continue doing it.” He cups my chin when I continue to sulk in his bed, and his thumb traces the seam of my lips. He isn’t making it any easier to crawl out of his bed and get dressed. “I also happen to know that’s not going to be an option if you get home past curfew after leaving my house.”

His hand drops, and he rolls the blankets down to the foot of the bed like he’s hoping that will coax me out. Torrin’s sheets started out navy blue years ago but are more periwinkle in color now after being washed a thousand times. They’re soft though, and they smell like him. Why would I want to leave his bed? Ever?

When he sees I’m still not moving, he holds his phone up in my direction and points at the time. I’m already three minutes late. If I stall for another three, my dad will come marching over here and pound down Torrin’s flimsy bedroom door, and I know Torrin’s right—he probably would wind up under a pile of lye if my dad found us the way we are now. That’s what finally pries me out of his bed.

“You’ve got the restraint of a priest,” I mutter as I slide on my underwear.

“Okay, talking about priests after what we just did feels all kinds of weird.” He’d been about to throw on his soccer flats but stopped when I started dressing. He’s watching me, smiling again, but this one’s crooked.

When I slip into my bra, I go a little more slowly than usual. When I slide my hair over one shoulder before fastening the bra at my back, he swallows.

“Oh please, like you’re the good little Catholic boy who was saving himself for marriage.” My eyes trace back to his bed where I can still see him hovering above me, all of his muscles slicing through his skin as he restrained himself, moving slowly so he wouldn’t hurt me. The image makes me wish I was taking my clothes off instead of putting them back on.

“Hey, I’ve been at Sunday mass every week for the past seventeen years of my life.”

I make myself look away from his bed. It’s not like that was our last time in it. There’s tomorrow. And the day after that. And every one after that too. We have time. “Only because you’d have to answer to your mom if you didn’t show up.”

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