Mitigation / Page 6

Page 6


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Dear Matt,

I hereby tender my resignation effective immediately.

You suck, and I hate you.

Sincerely,

McKayla P. Dawson

But there were moments when I would get overwhelmed with sadness for Matt. He’s a man that is clearly struggling, and I don’t know how to help him. During those moments, I wanted to do nothing more than go into work tomorrow, crawl onto his lap, and hug the hurt out of him.

And finally, there were my moments of weakness. When I thought about what he told me on the phone, that I was all he wanted, it would cause pleasure to fire hotly through my veins. My memory would pulse and flash with images of Matt and me together… naked, writhing on the bed, and moaning in pleasure.

It was at those times that I wanted to be in Matt’s office bright and early tomorrow, lying na**d across his desk when he walked in. His eyes would darken heavy with lust, and he would take me fast and hard. Just the mere thought of it caused me to shiver.

Then I’d get pissed all over again, because Matt has such a hold over my sensuality that I want to give in to him just because my body demands it.

My heart doesn’t stay quiet though, and it reminds me that it doesn’t want to get shredded in the process.

The buzzer in the kitchen goes off, and I walk in to take the cookies out of the oven. It’s a compulsion of mine… baking when I’m sad, confused, angry, or whatever. Bottom line—every emotion that Matt is making me feel right now calls for massive amounts of chocolate chip cookies.

Setting the hot pan on top of the stove, I scoop a cookie up with my spatula and then grab it with my hand. It’s hot as hell so I toss it from hand to hand, little bits of boiling chocolate sticking to my skin. I take a tiny bite—burning the hell out of my tongue and top of my mouth—and drop my cookie on the floor, but not before I am rewarded by a big dribble of chocolate down my chin and onto my t-shirt.

Of course, that is when the doorbell decides to ring.

Licking my fingertips, I walk into the living room and look through the peephole. Matt stands there gazing at the floor, looking so very perfect with his hair windblown and his sun-kissed skin. He’s casual in a navy blue t-shirt, faded jeans, and black Chuck-Ts. He looks young and edible.

I open the door, and he glances up. I amend my earlier statement. He actually looks like shit. His eyes are bloodshot, and he hasn’t shaved in several days. Dark circles hover just under his eyes.

“You have chocolate on your chin,” he says as he steps up to me and wipes it off with his thumb. He then sticks said thumb in his mouth and sucks the chocolate off.

No matter how mad I am at Matt, that simple act practically causes me to moan.

“Can I come in?” he asks.

Nodding, I turn to walk into the kitchen and he follows. As I stoop to the floor to pick up my dropped cookie, he says, “Is Macy here?”

“No. She’s at the gym,” I respond, tossing the cookie carnage in the garbage. I make myself busy by taking the remaining cookies off the sheet with a spatula and placing them on a plate.

When I’m done, I turn to him and cross my arms over my chest. “You look like hell, Matt. Did you go on a bender or something?”

A guilty look flashes across his face. “Actually… I did. I never drink like that, but I pretty much stayed drunk Friday and Saturday.”

“Did it help?”

“No,” he says quietly. “It didn’t help at all. I can’t get you out of my mind.”

Matt sounds so forlorn that I can’t help but be moved. “I’m sorry.”

His eyebrows shoot up. “Sorry? You have nothing to be sorry for. I’m the ass**le. I have so much to apologize for that I don’t even know where to begin.”

My hope starts building again. Here is Matt… standing in my apartment and telling me he’s sorry. This is a man that rarely apologizes… for anything. I feel the burning need to let him off the hook quickly, my evil plans to make him grovel completely abandoned.

“Matt,” I say gently. “It’s okay. I understand what was driving you.”

I actually get a little dizzy when Matt walks up to me, standing toe to toe. He smells so good, and his eyes are glowing golden. Both of his hands come up to frame my face, his long fingers circling to the back of my head to hold me in place… to make sure my eyes stay on him.

“No, it’s not okay, Mac. I have to make up for this, and I’m hoping that I haven’t messed things up so badly that you won’t let me start over by taking you out on a date. I want to give you what you want. At least, I want to try to give it to you… if you’ll let me.”

I can literally feel the burden of sadness and frustration lift from my shoulders, while a thrill of hope and excitement fills my body. My skin is even a little tingly.

“A date?” I ask in wonder, my wildest fantasies—not involving Matt naked—are coming true. “What made you change your mind?”

Matt’s eyes are deep pools of regret and sadness. His voice is quietly calm, but resolved. “I finally started realizing that the pain of loneliness is much worse than the pain of betrayal and heartbreak that I was trying to avoid.”

The power of his words and what they mean slam into me so hard, I have to close my eyes to savor them. He is saying he’s lonely without me, and for someone that has shunned relationships and emotional bonds, that is saying a lot. He’s also saying that he’s ready to take a risk.

He’s ready to step out onto the ledge and risk it all.

When I open my eyes, he’s smiling at me. It’s a tentative smile, because I still haven’t given him an answer. I smile back and nod. “I’d love to go on a date with you.”

Relief floods Matt’s face, and the haggard look he’s been sporting suddenly lifts. Leaning in, he whispers his lips over mine gently… just a ghost of a kiss. When he pulls back, he says with a low voice, “I’m probably going to be really bad at this dating thing… I hope you have patience with me.”

Grinning at him, I say, “I’m sure you’ll do just fine.”

Chuckling, he leans in and kisses me on the forehead. Giving me one last look of longing, he turns toward the door to leave.

“Wait! Where are you going?” I ask, confused as to why he’s leaving so soon. I had maybe sort of hoped he’d continue to kiss me, and then we could just jump right into the make-up sex.

He doesn’t even look back at me as he opens my door, but he does call out over his shoulder. “I’m going home so I can call you and ask you out all nice and proper.”

“But… but…” My words trail off, but it doesn’t matter.

Matt has already walked out and closed my door behind him.

Turning back toward my cookies, I give out a squeal of excitement and pump my fist into the air. Glancing at my watch, I see that I can get one more batch of cookies done before Matt calls me.


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