With a frustrated sigh, I blew out a breath and glanced at the clock. Another night of restless sleep. It had been like this since the week after Thanksgiving—the week that changed my life. I rolled over and batted away the covers as they tangled around me. At the rate I was going, I would never sleep again. Kurt Hendrix had ruined me forever, and worse yet, he was my roommate. Having him near was heaven and hell wrapped up in one tall, blue-eyed, smoking-hot package.
The ticking of the second clock Kurt gave me echoed through the room. I flipped on the lamp and groaned. Kurt’s face was everywhere in my room—ceiling, walls, bedspread, the clock face, even my furniture. When I came to live at Shaw Towers, Kurt had replaced all my furnishings with merchandise from his band, Reverence. Having him surround me like this, all the time, was almost unbearable.
Well, two can play at that game.
Tonight, before bed, I snuck into Kurt’s room and spritzed my body spray on his pillows. In LA, he’d mentioned multiple times how the scent drove him crazy. I knew it was childish, but I couldn’t help it.
I hope he’s as miserable as I am right now.
I flicked off the light and dropped my head against the pillow. The time we’d spent away from each other at Christmas had not helped. In fact, we’d talked several times a day. We were drawn to each other like magnets. When I was near him, I felt complete. The air changed when he neared, causing the sparks to almost be palpable.
But . . . Kurt and I were stuck in a pattern. And it wasn’t healthy for either of us.
We played practical jokes.
He distanced himself.
Yet, I knew he cared for me. I could feel it. And I was crazy about him. The week we traveled to LA on business, something had happened. He’d let down his defenses—he’d let me in. Now, we were back to square one . . . except now I knew what it felt like to be in his arms and feel his walls disappear. It was perfection.
I heard the door across the hall creak open. I lay still and waited.
“Merry Christmas!” the animatronic figure outside Kurt’s door screeched.
“Motherfucker!” Kurt yelled. There was some other banging noise. “Ouch! Sawyer! Christmas is over, for shit’s sake.”
I covered my mouth and giggled. Kurt had apparently found the motion-activated Rudolph in the hallway.
My door flew open, and I bolted upright as Kurt flipped on the light. “What in the hell is out there with those demon-red eyes? I thought this stuff would be gone by now.” Kurt was aggravated, raking his fingers through his coal-black hair. He pinned me with his stare. “That was not there when I went to bed.”
I gave him a sweet smile. It was hard not to gloat when I’d been clearly winning the battle lately. “I found Rudolph at Goodwill today. He was only five dollars. An after-Christmas bargain, if you ask me.”
The figure’s creator had made Rudolph’s eyes glow red instead of his nose. Oops. Someone’s manufacturing mistake was my good fortune.
Kurt’s jaw worked, and his sapphire-blue eyes blazed with irritation. I was obsessed with all things Christmas. The first of November marked the day decorating began. Normally, though, I kept it tasteful. But after Kurt had gone on his “Save the Turkey” campaign at Thanksgiving, I’d gone a little overboard to get some revenge. Kurt had nearly brought me to my knees with his lack of organization and untidiness and by sewing “Kurt’s roomie” labels in my clothes and mixing up my perfectly color-coded sticky-note lists.
I was a bit of a neat freak. Everything had a place and an order. Kurt tended to be the exact opposite.
Out in the living room, Frosty began to sing on his timer. I snickered while Kurt blew out an exasperated breath. Honestly, I had turned the apartment we shared into something of a nightmare this season. Rudolph’s lyrics tapered off, leaving Frosty to sing on his own.
Shifting, Kurt cocked an eyebrow. My eyes dropped to the chest I laid my head against, the arms that once held me, then his tapered waist where his black boxers met his skin. Goosebumps formed along my skin as I remembered him holding me like I was the air he needed to breathe. Oh, the things he’d whispered as he made love to me.
“Sawyer, you make me question everything.”