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Powerless: Chapter 22


I told myself I would only touch her for four seconds.

I told myself I would only kiss her for four seconds.

I told myself I would only be mad about seeing that sparkly fucking ring dusting over my tattoo for four fucking seconds.

And it turns out I’m a big fucking liar.

I’m still touching her. I’ve still got my fingers stuffed in her tight pussy. My lips are still dragging all over her soft fucking skin.

And I’m still furious that she’s wearing that gaudy ring.


Why the hell did I tell her that? Why the hell have I gotten so damn possessive since the second I found out she was engaged? Why have I always considered her mine and never felt threatened about it until him?

I am one hundred percent out of control, and I hate this feeling. Intrusive thoughts rapid fire into my head, and my walls crumble.

Ruining our friendship.

Her leaving me.

Her hating me.

I let myself think about those things for four seconds. Then I put them in a box and stash them away with all the other thoughts that eat me alive, including the ones I’ve kept locked up tight about Sloane.

I withdraw from her soft, warm body because I did what I promised—took what I wanted, what she needed—and now we’re going to sleep.

We’ll talk about everything with level heads in the morning when anger and years of pent-up sexual frustration don’t rule us.

From both sides. Because I’m not an idiot. Sloane Winthrop has been turning heads for years, and I’m sure as shit not immune. Her face. Her body. Everything about her is outwardly appealing.

Fucking distracting.

But it’s what’s inside her that’s so special. Her heart. Her brain. Her capacity for empathy.

She’s unusual. She’s too damn prone to do what people tell her so she doesn’t ruffle any feathers. Whether or not she realizes it, she doesn’t need another man in her life controlling her.

And my need to take control is a beast I keep locked inside, away from the girl I’ve put up on a pedestal. I’m not keen to test that shit with the only girl I’ve ever cared about while we’re both feeling so raw.

Because what if I do and she leaves me?

I wouldn’t survive it.

With one last kiss to her warm cheek, I pull back, trying to wrap my head around what the fuck I’ve done in my several seconds of insanity. If four seconds were the goal post, I blew right the fuck past them.

“More,” she murmurs, voice thick with arousal.

My head tips back, and I stare at the ceiling praying for . . . something. My body riots. I want to give her more. Taste her. Roll her over and cover her body with mine. Watch her come apart over and over again.

Her hands reach for me, and my chest aches as I fight off the urge to reach back.

“That’s it tonight, Sunny,” I say, my voice soft yet firm. “Come here.” I open my arms, ready to shove that nasty mattress onto the floor and hold her all night long.

“What do you mean, that’s it?” She turns to face me.

“I mean, that’s it. For tonight.” I trail a hand through my hair, tugging hard as anxiety lances through me.

You’ve already fucked this up, you horny fucking idiot.

“I’m not doing more while you’re angry at me. I don’t want to hurt you.”

“You would never hurt me.”

A breath hisses out of me. Hearing her say that physically pains me. It undermines all the guilt I like to walk around with because she’s right. I would never hurt her. “It’s complicated,” is my stupid response.

She sighs. “Things with you always are.” Her hand trails up my forearm. “Tell me what’s wrong, Jas. I can see you freaking out in there.” Her chin gestures toward my head. She’s always known when I’m freaking out. It’s like she has a sixth sense for it.

“I just . . . I like . . .” Fuck. I have no problem telling a random woman what I like sexually. It’s power. It’s control. It’s watching her do exactly what I say. It isn’t just sex, it’s proving to myself that when I tell someone what to do, the outcome is good. I can make it so damn good for them.

“You like what?” Her eyes are wide, her face so perfect, her tone so accepting.

I’d hate for her to see me differently. I want her, but I’m scared of changing us in the process.

“We’ll talk tomorrow. Let’s sleep.” My body hums. I may have lent her a hand, but all I’ve done is work myself up all over again in the process.

Her gaze searches my face for a few moments. A frustrated laugh bursts from her lips, her head shaking on the pillow as she reaches down to pull the sheet over her body. “Well, at least you’re consistent with being terrible at talking about your feelings.” She turns over in a huff, muttering, “Boys are so fucking dumb. Thanks for the orgasm.”

“It was a good one, wasn’t it?” She doesn’t need to confirm it. I know it was. I felt it too.

I’m met with a few seconds of silence and then a frustrated, “Ugh,” before she hunkers down and gives me the silent treatment.

I smile. At least she’s beside me. Pissed off and on a child-sized mattress over the top of the perfectly spacious king is better than across the room and uncomfortable.

I lie here thinking about how this entire night is quintessentially us. Highs and lows, pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness. Secrets and truths.

With Sloane the rest of the shit in the world doesn’t matter because when I’m beside her, it always feels right. It soothes me. She soothes me. She always has.

She’s that person for me.

I’m out of my depth with her but this is Sloane. My Sloane. No matter what, we’re there for each other.

My Sloane.

I think it again and god it feels good.

I wake up with Sloane’s body draped over mine. Her junky little mattress hangs off the edge of the bed because she clearly pushed it away in the middle of the night.

Last time I woke up like this with her, I snuck out with my tail between my legs. No such inclination hits me today though.

Instead, I lie here and bask in the warm press of her body, her soft breasts pushed up against my chest, and her fingers splayed out over the tattoo I had done to remind me of her.

It’s my favorite tattoo.

For my favorite person.

I can still feel the way her body clenched around my fingers last night. The way she got wetter when I made her admit she thought about me while she was with someone else.

There’s definitely a part of me that got off on that too. Watching her come apart with his ring on her finger was satisfying.


And satisfying.

A quiet chuckle rumbles in my chest, and Sloane stirs. I swear I watch awareness overtake her, every limb coming back to life, her hand jerking out from under my shirt.

“Ugh,” is the first thing she says as she pulls away from me.

I can’t help but laugh. “Nice to see you too, Sunny.”

“You and your multiple personalities are already giving me a headache, Gervais.” She shoots me a look that might make some men wither, but I just . . . I don’t think there’s anything she could do that would scare me off.

“I hear orgasms can help with those,” I volley back, refusing to be discouraged by her mood.

She scoffs. Or maybe it’s a laugh. I’m not sure because she’s already getting up and walking away to the bathroom. My eyes trail over her tight torso and the black cotton shorts that were so easily pulled to the side last night.

My cock thickens as I watch her round ass walk away.

This morning I’m feeling every year of our pent-up frustration and wondering why I bother resisting when everything about us feels so damn inevitable.


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