We entered the penthouse, and I immediately led her towards one of the spare bedrooms. It was a crucial error on my end. How did I expect myself not to touch her when she was under the same roof? The smell of her lured me to her side. As I opened the door for her, I informed, “You can sleep here in the guestroom.” She was so weary I wasn’t sure she’d make it to the bed. When she stumbled over her own two feet, I clutched her elbow to keep her from faceplanting onto the floor. My God, she was beautiful. I had to divert my gaze before I did something impetuous.
Her eyes were heavy as she curled up under the covers. As I turned off the lamp on the nightstand, she grabbed my hand. “Stay. Please?” she slurred.
Oh, hell no. I did not have the strength for that. I brushed my fingertips along her cheekbone. “I’ll be right here, little one,” I reassured. “I’m not going anywhere. Rest, now.”
She mumbled, something like, “Only one man has ever called me ‘little one.’ ”
I smiled and whispered, “Sleep sweet.” I shut the door, not quite understanding why she had shared that information. She’s very tired and probably has no idea she said it, I chastised myself mentally. A woman like her should be loved and cherished, not debased and ignored, which was exactly what would happen if I gave into my impulses. I could not have a functioning relationship with a woman. I knew that. I was fully aware of my failures, and how much I was capable of hurting her. My past alone was enough to make any woman run, screaming.*****
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