Continued from Episode 98
Once again, she was in his arms.
This happened at an alarming rate lately, if the two of them were in a space together.
She’d been swirling around him like the hurricane she was, chattering animatedly, in one minute and the next, she’d tripped on air. And into his arms.
As she crashed into him, he fell back, balancing them against a serendipitously placed chair.
The world around him dimmed as his focus reduced to just the two of them.
His eyes roamed her face, taking in every inch.
Skin, golden, as though kissed by the sun itself. Lashes, lush and long. Eyes, warm and molten brown, and looking him squarely in the eye.
Yup. That was Anika alright, he mused with the tiniest, almost undetectable, quirk of his lips. Never backing down. Always on equal footing with him. Giving as good as she got. To both his fury and delight. She was nothing if not a worthy adversary. He’d encountered very few of those in life.
His continued his keen perusal, taking stock of the rest of her.
A delicate nose. Sharp cheekbones. Full lips parted in surprise. Hair, forming a fine halo around her face, rather befitting the image of the “angel” that his brothers had given her. (Pft. They didn’t know her like he did. A she-devil with an angel’s face, that’s what she was.)
Her hands, thrown out to break her fall against him, had landed around his neck and on his chest, where they burned him through his shirt.
Her scent, citrus, and vanilla, and something slightly familiar that he couldn’t identify.
She was so close, he just had to lean forward the slightest bit to close the distance between them.
So he did.
Before he could think himself out of it, he leaned forward to press his lips against hers in a ghost of a kiss.
He felt her go still in his arms, and instantly cursed his uncharacteristic loss of control. He withdrew, trepidatiously looking at her, trying to read her response. He found her staring at him, wide-eyed and unblinking.
His mind raced to forge an explanation for his momentary insanity. They weren’t lovers. For god’s sake, they weren’t even friends. There was no word for what they were. She was just a constant, unexplained presence that he’d gotten used to having around.
How was he going to undo this? There was nothing he could say or do to make this better.
As he desperately wracked his brain, he watched as her eyes flicked down his face, seeming to mimic his earlier examination of her. They seemed to linger on his lips as she furrowed her brow slightly, as though struggling with her own thoughts. Suddenly, her expression changed as she seemed to come to a decision and she looked him back in the eye, determinedly.
He’d just begun to open his mouth (to say… What, he didn’t know. Something. Anything. Anything to break this unbearable silence.) when she leaned forward, hand tightening on the collar of his shirt, and pressed her lips against his in an inexpert kiss.
His eyes fell shut. He felt light-headed. (Much like he’d felt the night of the-party-that-shall-not-be-discussed. Maybe the feeling had to be attributed to her and not Rudra’s dubious “fruit punch”.) The golden flecks swimming behind his closed eyelids shimmered and shone, like sparklers on a Diwali night.
His hand tangled in her wild hair as he deepened the kiss. She still tasted like cotton candy from the afternoon. He wound an arm around her waist, pulling her flush against him. She arched closer, sliding her hand to the nape of his neck, responding to the kiss with equal fervour. His blood roared through him, heated and effervescent.
Gasping, he suddenly sat up in bed, covered in a cold sweat. His eyes widened as he grasped reality.
A dream. Just a dream.
He cast an uneasy glance around the darkened room, searching for her; unconvinced that it was all a scene conjured up by his wayward mind. It had certainly felt real. He could still feel her lips against his. Her scent still clouded his senses. The scorch of her hands, still on his skin. He was still burning up from the inside out.
Vowing to double down on his dose of pills tomorrow, for he was surely falling ill, he laid back against the cool pillow that offered him absolutely no relief. Yes, he was coming down with something. That was the only explanation he could come up with as he fell back into an uneasy, restless sleep.
Phew! And that’s that! My first piece of writing that I’ve shared with the world! *shudders with both excitement and nerves*
Soooo? What d’ya think? 🙂