CHAPTER 8

I decided to call my mom to make sure she wouldn't come home while Jackson was over.

"Sophie, dear, Mommy is busy," she said as if speaking to a five-year-old. "What do you need?"

"Are you guys coming home tonight?"

"Oh, well... I don't think so. We'll probably just stay with Markus and Lindsey tonight. Unless you need something?"

"No, I'm fine. Just curious. I'll see you tomorrow."

"All right, sweetheart. I love you."

"Yeah, you too," I muttered.

The minute I hung up the phone the doorbell rang. I took a deep breath and answered.

Jackson looked me over as if I was lunch. His eyes lingered a little too long on my sports bra and I crossed my arms.

"Come on in," I said, stepping away from the door.

"Cute house," he commented, studying the living room. "Show me your bedroom."

I got lightheaded for a moment. I was single and Jackson Sutterfield was going to be in my bedroom. It wasn't that big of a deal, seriously. We were just talking. I lead him up to my room, trying to tune out thoughts of him in my bed wearing nothing but that easy grin of his.

When we got into my room, he took it all in, chuckling softly. "This is cute," he murmured. "It suits you."

"What!? It looks like a little kids room!"

"It's soft... feminine." He ran his hand lightly across my belly. "Like you."

Suddenly, having an orgasm from just being next to Jackson didn't sound so outrageous. I felt stupid for making fun of Ellie. He crossed the room in a few long strides and collapsed on my bed.

"I'm so beat," he muttered. "Long day."

"You didn't have to come over here."

"Well, you sounded upset. I just wanted to make sure you were okay... I kinda feel like it's my fault that you and Simon broke up."

"Don't feel bad," I said, sitting on the bed. Jackson put his hand on my shoulder and pushed me so that I was lying down beside him.

"Relax. Let's talk. What's the matter with you?"

"Well... Simon seemed really pissed off on the phone. I'm kinda scared we're not gonna get back together after all."

"Don't worry cupcake, I'll work everything out, I promise."

"Okay," I said softly. I wasn't sure if I should believe him, but he was my only real shot at getting Simon back, so I was going to have trust him this time.

"Something else is bothering you. What's up?"

"You were so sweet all day... and then suddenly you got all pissed off. What did I do?"

He sighed and shrugged a little. He started playing with my hair, obviously avoiding answering my question. "You know what I like about you?"

I wanted him to give me an answer, but I was kind of curious what he liked about me. "What?"

"The girls I hang around... they never would've let me come into their house when they were in their pajamas without any makeup. You don't even seem to care... you don't try too hard; you don't have to. You're pretty even without makeup."

Why did he have to have these moments!? Moments when he was so sweet that I wasn't even sure I wanted to date Simon anymore. Simon hardly ever complimented me anymore. It was like he just stayed with me because it was easy, because he was used to me. That wasn't the kind of relationship I wanted.

"Does Mon even like me?" I asked after a while.

"Well, not right now... but when you were dating, of course he did. He was crazy about you!"

"How do you know?"

"He told me. Sometimes we get along, you know? We talk about things."

"He never shows it. He's never romantic... I mean, you're more romantic towards me than he is!"

"Well," he began, putting an arm around me. "I'm a very romantic person."

"Jackson—"

"Shh... tonight you're single. Let me get rid of some of the temptation. You'll be back with Simon tomorrow."

"I'm not going to have sex with you," I told him, rolling to the other side of the bed.

"I don't wanna have sex, Sophie! I meant what I said about respecting you. I just wanna..." his voice trailed off and he kissed my forehead, then my cheek. This wasn't right... I still felt like I was cheating on Simon, even if we weren't dating. Maybe he was right, though. Perhaps if we got some of the sexual tension out of the way before Simon and I got back together we wouldn't be so tempted.

"I don't know."

He brushed his mouth across mine teasingly. "We don't have to do this." Even as he said it, his hand moved to cup my breast.

If I was going to tell him no, I needed to do it now, before things got out of hand. Then again, why should I say no? It was just making out. Completely innocent, right?

"So, what's it gonna be?" he whispered between kisses. "Yes or no?"

"Okay," I murmured.

He kissed my mouth again, this time letting his tongue slide between my lips. When I snuggled closer to him, I could already feel him hard against my thigh. I slid my hands under his t-shirt and slowly pulled it over his head. Dimly, I wondered if I would've had sex with him with a little coaxing. I was attracted to him in a month to a flame sort of way. It was dangerous, but irresistible. The room was quiet, filled only with the sounds of our heavy breathing, the peacefulness was shattered when his cell phone rang. He groaned dramatically.

"I don't have to answer," he murmured, nibbling at my ear.

"Who is it?"

"Simon. That's his ringtone."

"You should answer."

"Sophie," he said on a sigh. "It's probably nothing important. I'll call him when we're finished."

I pushed him away. "Answer it."

He rolled his eyes. "What is it Simon? I'm at Scott's...No, why would I be there...? You're fucking paranoid, man...Yeah, I'll be home soon... Uh-huh, whatever... You do that, boy... Bye."

"Well?"

"He thought I was here."

"You are here."

"Don't tell him, whatever you do. That'll piss him off, and you'll never end up together." He leaned down and kissed me again, but the passion was gone. He stood up and I rose to walk him out. When we were in front of the door, I gave him a peck on the cheek.

"Well... it's been fun," I said awkwardly.

He smiled a smile that lit up the room. "Yes, it has."

"See you in the morning."

"You bet, cupcake. Sleep tight."

And then he was gone, and I was left alone to think about what in the hell had just happened.

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