Chapter 5: Kate
A week went by since that almost kiss. The kiss that could have very effectively changed everything between me and Pete once again.
I avoided him as best as I could. I knew that made me a coward, but I didn’t want him to suck me back in, especially after everything that had happened between us.
I never should have let him take me out for coffee. I knew things would get complicated between us. That wasn’t anything new. He promised me lots of pretty things but I knew him well enough to know that his words meant nothing. There was a reason we weren’t together, and it was because he didn’t want to be serious. He never did. He constantly made smartass jokes and quips and, okay, it was one of the reasons why I fell for him in the first place, but there was a line. It could get annoying after a while and there were times he picked the wrong time to be funny.
But, for some reason, he continued to try to talk to me. I, of course, kept him at a distance. I already had to keep my head low after the pitch so it was easy to keep Pete at an arm’s length.
But the bastard wouldn’t let up. It was so damn annoying – so annoying, I cursed. I did not curse; I thought it was déclassé.
I was also buried in paperwork. Valmores gave me a second chance with the Hermès pitch, thank God. He had some idea of what was going on with me – Blake’s death, Jennifer’s spiral out of control at my place. He didn’t know about Pete unless Pete ran his mouth at the most inopportune time – I wouldn’t put it past him if he said something.
Anyway, I couldn’t focus on Pete. I refused to, after what happened. He didn’t want to be serious, I wasn’t going to waste my time. And it seemed like maybe he was trying to get back or start something again. But I couldn’t do that. I didn’t want to feel like I did when we broke up. I was nearly as wrecked as I was now.
Not only that, but I had been having sex dreams about him at least once a week, usually more. The way he touched me, the way it felt when he was inside of me. It didn’t help when he practically pulled me in his lap the other day at the cafe and almost kissed me.
I would have kissed him. I would have done more.
“Stop thinking about him,” I snapped at myself. “You have a second chance. No one gets a second chance with Valmores.”
I actually managed to do that before there was a knock on the door. Before I even could call them in, Pete stuck his head in.
I hoped by staying late, I wouldn’t have to deal with interruptions. That, and Jennifer’s issues. It had to be past ten at night. I didn’t remember grabbing dinner.
“You’re still here?” he said.
I gave him a look. “Clearly,” I said.
“What are you doing here?” he asked. “It’s after ten.”
“I know,” she said. “But I’ve got to get this proposal done. I’m almost finished with it. I was actually heading out.”
“I’m glad I caught you.” He closed the door behind him, crossing his arms over his chest. “We need to talk.”
“What could we possibly need to talk about?” I asked.
I shut down my computer and knelt down, shoving my planner in my briefcase. I was pretty much done with everything. All I needed to do was add a couple of images to my powerpoint and I was done.
“About us,” he said. He came directly to my desk and placed his hands firmly on the surface, leaning over and looking at me with narrowed eyes and a raised brow. “You’re avoiding me. Again. And I’m over it.”
“You can be over it, Pete,” I told him with a dismissive shrug. “What do you want from me? That’s the way it is.”
“It doesn’t have to be that way, though,” he insisted. He leaned towards me. “Why can’t you just admit it? When you kissed me, you liked it. And looking at you looking at me, I know you want to do it again. So what’s holding you back? Why not just give into it? I’m not a bad guy. We were together before.” He leaned closer to me and I couldn’t find it in me to pull away, not even a little bit. “I know you want to, Kate.”
I bit my bottom lip. I shouldn’t have done that. That was my tell. Biting my lip.
Because he was right. I did want him. I didn’t know what was holding me back. I kept having these ridiculous dreams that haunted me even when I was awake. Maybe if I just gave in just once, I would be over it. I wouldn’t want him the way I did. And then I would be done with it. I would be done with him. And then I could go back to my life.
When he leaned forward a little more, I filled the space between us and initiated the kiss. He was taken by surprise but Pete did not miss a beat. He grabbed my face with possessive hands – the way he would have kissed me at the cafe a week ago – and tilted my head back so he could deepen the kiss. When his tongue trailed against my bottom lip, demanding entrance, I gave in willingly. I opened my mouth as his hands ran up and down my arms, gently tugging me so I crawled onto the desk in order to get closer to him.
I moaned. I had forgotten how he kissed me, how much I loved it. It gave me goosebumps up and down my skin. I had never been kissed like this before and, as much as I wanted to deny it, I didn’t think I would ever be kissed this way again.
I climbed onto my desk, grateful it was empty now and I wasn’t messing up my papers. He continued to kiss me harder and harder until I was absolutely certain my lips would bruise.
When his hands dropped to my chest in order to unbutton my shirt, I did not stop him. I didn’t think I would have been able to, even if I tried.
I knew what was going to happen, and I wanted this. Not just as a way to erase him from my life, from my dreams, but because I was selfish and I still felt things for him. Things I didn’t want to feel. At least for now, I could distract myself from Blake and Jennifer and everybody else. At least I could wrap myself around Pete, the one place I actually wanted to be.