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Slipping off my shoes, I dim the lights on the wall panel. I take my clothes off and hang them on a hook near the door before returning to the tub.
The tub, warm and inviting as I step in, eases my aching feet from my high heels and the tension in my shoulders. I pour some of the bubble suds and giggle. That was so cute and showed me a whole new side to Ethan—the at-home Texan who relates to his roots—instead of the strong, quieter, broodier man I see sometimes.
While the suds foam and the tub fills, I look out the window. The sky is clear up here. The buildings are far enough apart to avoid spying on neighbors. It’s like floating in heaven.
I hear his knock on the door, so I call, “Come in,” while making sure the bubbles cover all the important parts.
Ethan walks in with two glasses of champagne in one hand and the bottle in the other.
“You came prepared,” I note, leaning back on one side of the tub.
“I thought I might join you.” He waggles his eyebrows.
I giggle and reach for a glass.
“Come on in,” I reply and wonder if he will really take me up on my dare.
He sets the bottle and his glass down on the side of the tub. His tie was removed before he came in and I notice his shoes are long gone, along with his jacket. When he starts on the buttons of his shirt, I sit up, scooping suds over me. “Wait, for real?”
“Yep. I think that tub’s big enough for the two of us.”
“But you said you don’t take baths.”
“I also said I’ve never used this one. Seems like an opportune time.”
“But I’m naked,” I say, worried about everything—his body naked next to mine, not shaving my legs before I went out tonight. My mind flickers through my flaws. Ugh. No. Just no. Not like that. That stuff should be shared in the dark of a bedroom under the influence of alcohol and desperate sex. We’re too sober for this. I’m too sober for this. What does he possibly see in me when he has women like Nicolina waiting?
He’s more than I’ve imagined, and in some senses, it scares me. He’s the sort of man women like Nicolina land. For once though, it was as if she saw me as competition. The feeling is exhilarating.
“Like I said, seems like an opportune time.”
His shirt is dropped, his undershirt following quickly behind. Good God Almighty. What does a guy who looks like that see in me? “I see you like to work out.” I clear my throat and want to bonk my head on the side of the tub for saying it out loud.
Chuckling, he says, “I have a gym down the hall. It’s how I relieve stress.”
“I thought that’s what sex was for.” I gasp and cover my mouth, wishing I could keep my crazy thoughts in my head where they belong instead of on my tongue. His eyes are heavy, a smirky smirk restraining a laugh. “God, you cannot let me talk when I’m nervous.”
“If this is what happens when you’re nervous, I’ll make you nervous more often.” His pants come down and my curiosity is answered. Tonight he’s in boxers. When he catches my eyes on his package, I’m thankful I’m wearing waterproof mascara because I immediately go underwater. Screw my makeup. It’s really the only way to keep my mouth in check at this point. I count to five and then pop back up. With my hands covering my boobs, I ask, “You’re really coming in?”
“Yes, scoot over.”
Good God Almighty.