Playing for Keeps / Page 16

Page 16


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She felt so good in his arms. He’d never held a woman like this, never cuddled with one never mind spending the entire night in her bed. Normally when a woman tried to cuddle he felt cornered and irritated. With Haley he felt comfortable, relaxed, and even happy. She felt like she belonged with him. He wasn’t about to look too far into that at the moment.

“If you weren’t the best mattress ever I would totally kick your ass for moving onto my side,” Haley mumbled against his chest.

“Actually, you’re both in the middle,” Brad pointed out.

“Why is he still here? Sleepy,” Haley grumbled adorably.

Closing his eyes, he waved his hand towards the door. “Go eat with Mitch or something. We’ll be up in a little while.”

Brad sighed unhappily. “Fine.”

A moment later the door was closed and they were both drifting back off to beautiful deep sleep.

*************

“Stupid pillow,” Haley muttered, trying to punch her once comfy pillow into submission.

Last night had been the worst night of sleep she’d ever had. She spent the entire night tossing and turning and trying to get comfortable only to finally fall into a restless sleep around five this morning. Now it looked like she was in for a repeat performance.

She looked over at the alarm clock and groaned. It was nearly two in the morning. She buried her face into her pillow and screamed. This sucked! She was so tired. All day she kept herself busy with grading tests and homework, and even cleaned her house, thinking by the time she went to bed she’d be too exhausted for anything else but sleep.

It looked like that plan was failing miserably.

“So tired…….” She nearly whimpered.

Damn Jason. Somehow he wrecked sleep for her. She’d never slept in the same bed with a guy before. Sure she cuddled with a few boyfriends in front of the television after a heavy make out session, but it always felt awkward. With Jason if felt so good. He was a thousand times more comfortable than her bed or down comforter.

How was she supposed to get comfortable on a pillow top mattress after sleeping in his arms? She couldn’t. There was no way she was going to be able to manage work tomorrow on less than two hours of sleep in forty eight hours, but she couldn’t call in because they were preparing for finals.

“Move over,” Jason said, startling her.

She jumped up, clutching her chest, trying to catch her breath as she watched Jason push up her window screen and climb into her room. He closed the screen behind him and lay down on her bed.

Still gasping, she sucked in a breath and said, “What the hell is wrong with you? You just scared the hell out of me!”

“Look woman, I don’t know what you did, but I haven’t been able to sleep since we got back from New York. I’m tired and bitchy and all I want is some sleep so cuddle your ass up with me or so help me I will kill you,” Jason snapped.

“Wow, you are bitchy,” she mumbled.

“It’s your fault.”

“Whatever.”

“Let’s go,” he said, holding out his arms expectantly. When she hesitated he wiggled his fingers. “You know you want to.”

“Just for tonight,” she clarified.

He nodded quickly. “Just for tonight. Now, let’s go, I’m cranky.”

“I hadn’t noticed,” she said dryly, but she did as she was asked. She was too exhausted to do anything else at the moment.

It didn’t take long for the beating of Jason’s heart to lull her into a deep and peaceful sleep.

The alarm went off waking Haley from a deep comfortable sleep. Instead of feeling jumpy and attacking the alarm clock after only getting five hours of sleep she felt oddly well rested.

Jason yawned as he sat up and shut off the alarm. He rubbed his eyes and turned around to lift up the screen.

“I’ll see you at work,” he mumbled.

“Okay,” she said, getting to her feet. “This was a onetime deal,” she said more to remind herself than him. She could quickly become dependent on the comfort and warmth he offered and that wasn’t a good idea with a guy like Jason.

He gave her one of his lopsided smiles. “Of course. It was just a onetime deal.”

Chapter 9

Monday Night

10:35 P.M.

Haley rolled onto her side, facing the wall and wondering if she should just suck up her pride and go ask Jason to come sleep with her. Did that make her a sleep slut? At this point she was willing to beg for it. Just as she feared she was addicted to Jason’s body. Thank god they never had sex. She’d hate to think how bad the addiction would be then.

She felt the bed dip behind her before a strong arm curled around her waist, pulling her back into a strong warm body. Jason’s inviting scent enveloped her as strongly as his body did. Her bottom was cupped by his pelvis. He was hard again, but like usual he didn’t make any move on her. It was just his body’s reaction to being pressed against a female just like hers was because she was being held by a strong man. Neither cared enough to comment or act on it. In a matter of minutes they were fast asleep.

Tuesday Night

11.30 P.M.

“That was a great game and a really great dinner,” Jill, Brad’s wife, said.

Brad stole another brownie off the plate and groaned while he nodded his head in agreement. He reached for another brownie only to find the plate gone and Jason glaring at him.

“Brownie thieving bastard,” he muttered as he stalked off to Haley’s kitchen counter.

The three of them watched with humor as Jason placed the brownies in a large zip lock bag that he no doubt planned on taking with him to work in the morning. Halfway through transferring the brownies he turned to glare at Brad and mouthed the words, “Thieving bastard,” before returning to the task at hand.

“Anyway,” Haley said, drawing Brad and Jill's attention away from Jason's rather disturbing affection for her baked goods. “It was nice to have you guys over.”

“Yeah, you guys are coming over next week, right?” Jill asked as she frowned at her husband who held up the last bite of brownie, but didn’t eat it. His eyes were fixed on Jason.

Both woman watched as Jason turned around. Brad made a huge show of putting the brownie in his mouth. He closed his eyes as if it was the best thing he’d ever eaten and moaned.

“That was a damn good brownie,” Brad finally said.

“You betraying bastard!” Jason gasped.

“I’ll bring you an entire pan full of brownies next week, Brad,” Haley said, knowing it would take the glare away from Brad.

“Traitor,” Jason mumbled as he lovingly stroked the bag of brownies.

“It’s so not right that he isn’t fat,” Jill said. Haley had to nod in agreement. The man put away three helpings of lasagna tonight, a salad, and a ton of garlic bread not to mention about a dozen brownies and cookies. With her one helping of lasagna and two brownies she was probably going to gain five pounds. Sometimes life simply wasn’t fair.

They said their good nights and walked Brad and Jill out the door. She shut the kitchen light off knowing Jason would shut off the living room light. Still neither spoke of the sleeping arrangements and she didn’t know how to bring it up. So instead she quietly said good night, rolled her eyes as Jason mumbled “I love you” to his brownies and headed off to her bathroom.


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