That first night he was invited to stay in Sandra’s room, Jake watched her sleep.
He hadn’t kept to his chair as he should have, as he was expected to. Gentlemanly as it would have been, he simply did not stay seated. Sleep should have come to him like it did her. But how could he just close his eyes when he could look at her like this instead? Letting the opportunity slip by would have been such a waste.
There was just enough room on the bed for him to sit next to her, for him to get a better look. A longer look than what those brief run-ins from before had given him.
She was so pretty. His fingers sought out her hair by impulse, and they sunk into ebony, stroked through, then emerged again. Her face was still as his fingertips skimmed her tanned cheeks. She breathed in deep but did not wake, her body submissive to his touch. Over her face and down her throat his fingers traveled, caressing at her revealed collarbone when he reached the protrusion.
They belonged together.
Jake left before she woke up, but his fingers still remembered her skin.
He always knew where Sandra was. He had to know. There was something wrong with this town, this wayward place called Dusty Creek lost in the desert, and he had to make sure she would stay safe. They couldn’t be together if she died. She couldn’t be his anymore if the town got her. Jake was aware of how to take care of himself, while Sandra might as well have been a chicken with no head. There was too much of a risk.
He needed her. She needed him. He wanted her. She wanted him.
Even if she hadn’t said it yet, he knew. He could tell.
He kept a watchful eye on her, doing his own exploring for an exit from this hellhole but still ever mindful of where she was. There were times when he would lose track of her, but Dusty Creek was only so big. Finding her again was never much of a problem.
The second night he was invited to stay in Sandra’s room, Jake could not stand it anymore.
She looked so vulnerable. So frightened. So pleading for him. She wanted to run away with him. How could he resist any longer? Her entire being called to him, beckoned him, yearned for him, desired his touch and the safety he could bring. I’m yours, Jake. The message could not be any more plain, any more easy to read.
But she pushed him away, as if she wasn’t just asking for it. His fingers only barely got to feel her skin again, and - oh - he could touch her like this always. Only a moment did he feel Sandra pliant beneath him. Not even enough time for him to feel satisfied with just her flesh. Not even enough time to initiate a kiss.
She pushed him away, and the anger he felt then was more than justified. Deny him now? No. No, no, no.
Determined to not leave with nothing to show for his time spent, even though she had made it clear that he was not welcome right now, he placed his body over hers once again, fitting into her curves just right. And wasn’t that just another indication of how she belonged to him. He grabbed her chin roughly between his fingers, jerking her head up. She gasped, her eyes glittering with a different kind of fear, shock making her momentarily stiff, unable to move. Her left shoulder was still exposed from his earlier advance, and that extra bit of visible skin was more than enough incentive for him to at least get something out of this now.
Their lips brushed together, and he kept his dark eyes open to watch her. Sandra stared at him, wide-eyed and bewildered, but he didn’t mind. Her lips were lovely and plush against his own. Her lips? No. His lips.
Her left her alone on that hotel bed, her arms crossed over her chest and clutching at her front, right hand digging into the shoulder he’d revealed.
She was his. She was always his.