Taking His Virgin(15)

By: Lila Younger


“James. I want to say thank you for helping my family,” Sandra says softly. “Bill doesn’t like to worry me, but I’ve noticed that he hasn’t been sleeping very well lately. But now that you’re here, he’s much more relaxed. And so am I. My family is in good hands.”

I return her smile, but drop it as soon as she turns to head back upstairs. What would Sandra say if she knew the truth about how I felt about her daughter? About the fantasies I have, still have, about pulling her into one of the unused bedrooms? I leave the B and B, get into my car, and pound the wheel in frustration. I couldn’t even last 24 hours before touching Ava. How the hell am I going to stay here for three weeks? This was a bad idea all around. But Bill needed me here. The scope of the project he wants to do is huge, especially for someone who’s never done a renovation. He saved my life so many years ago. Without him, I would have ended up on the street, broken, maybe even dead by now. He needs me, and I’m going to be there for him. I just hope I can fucking remember that the next time I see Ava.





Ava


The next morning, I get up, grab a cup of coffee and a muffin from the buffet area in the dining room, and head outside to the porch to have my breakfast. No matter how long I live here, the smell of the salt air never gets old. There’s one other guest who’s decided to do the same, but she’s way down on the other end so I still have a bit of peace. It’s cold outside, but we have lots of cozy blankets and throws just for that, so I feel fine. I take a sip of coffee, letting it warm me up from the inside. The sun is still pretty weak this time of year, but at least it looks like a nice day.

The sound of the ocean is a dull roar, but its soothing at the same time. I watch the colors change, from blue to gray to black to blue again, letting myself just get lost. No thinking, especially no thinking about James, sounds perfect to me right about now. The kiss from yesterday already seems like it came from a dream. When he said he wasn’t done, I thought maybe he would come back later in the day, but there wasn’t a chance. Gary made my mom so angry that she didn’t argue any more with me, but it made working on the B and B go by even slower than before. After moving furniture we also had to strip wallpaper, which is as terrible as it sounds. The only bright spot was James, but he never showed up again.

I half thought maybe he would sneak into my room later that night, and I stayed up half the night waiting for him, but that was just silly of me. And the more time that passed by, the more I thought that maybe it was for the best. How could things ever work between us anyways? I would break my dad’s heart, and maybe even ruin things for the B and B. I couldn’t live with that. My fingers trace my lips. I have the memory of the kiss. That’s enough for me, I tell myself unconvincingly. I should be able to control my own feelings. That’s exactly what I decide to do.

I know my parents talked about picking out some furniture, but there’s at least two more rooms that need to have the wallpaper taken down. I can do that all today no problem. Sara, the part-timer we hired to help with the front desk is already here, so I don’t even have to worry about guests interrupting me all day with requests. I can just focus on work which is what I need.

So imagine my surprise when James comes out of the French doors and takes a seat beside me on the bench, so close we’re almost touching. And just like that, I forget about the cold. Somehow I’m hot and tingly all over. I turn quickly to see if the guest is still there, but she’s gone inside.

“Hi,” I say nervously, sipping my now cold coffee. I really have been here longer than I thought.

“Ava,” he says.

James looks so... solemn. I’m suddenly afraid of what he’s going to say. That what happened was a mistake? Well I knew that too, but that didn’t stop me from wanting him. That didn’t excuse him from leaving me there and not speaking another word to me all day either. I know that’s so contradictory, but everything seems to have turned upside down recently.

He reaches out his hand, and I freeze up as he slowly pushes a strand of hair behind my ear.

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