“See! Right now you’re doing the confusing thing again. You just tried to send me away two seconds ago. Now you’re implying that maybe you do want something more than a fling with me, but you never outright said it. So I’m left to try to figure it out and it has me all twisted up. I don’t know how to do these dating games, so I’m never going to figure it out.” I blurt out in one rambled breath, my frustration bubbling over.
“I don’t know these games either.” I let out a groan. “Tell me how to fix this.” I can tell he’s as frustrated as I am. I shouldn't be angry with him. He hasn't done anything wrong. From the moment I met Nathan, he’s been nothing but nice to me. You can’t make someone love you.
“I don’t like that girl.”
“I—” He pauses. I’m sure he’s confused by my random comment. She bothers me the most. I think it’s because I know she wants Nathan and said those things because her flirting with him at the Holiday party didn’t give her the result she desired. I wanted to be able to claim him as mine and tell her to get lost, but it wasn't my right. “What girl?” His eyebrows furrow the same way they do when we’re in the office and he’s trying to figure out some complicated problem.
“Donut girl. The one who used to be in your class or whatever.” She was full of crap when she said that they went out to dinners. If that was true then why did she give him her card and flirt with him when we saw him outside of the bakery? Wouldn’t he already know those things if he’d taken her out? I knew that girl was trouble the moment she stole one of my donuts.
“Oh yes. I do not like her either. We agree on this. You know that I’ve never—”
“Been with her? Yeah, I know. She gave you her card. She’s full of crap with her comments and I’ll be sure to report that for you.”
“I don’t care, but that wasn't what I was going to say. I’ve never been with anyone other than you.” I sit there in shock for a moment as I let his words sink in.
“Wait. What?” How is that possible?!
“I told you this is all new to me too, and I don’t understand dating games either.”
I swear you could knock me over with a feather. It felt like he knew what he was doing at the cabin. “How is that possible?” Nathan isn't only brilliant, he’s freaking handsome as hell. It adds up to some degree, though. That girl is an example. He didn’t even realize that she was hitting on him at all. She had practically thrown herself at him, and he had no clue.
“I’d thought about it before. To understand it on a scientific level, but there was no one that ever interested me. I didn't want to have someone’s mouth on mine or vice versa.” He gives a small shake thinking about it. “Then there was you. From the minute I saw you, I wanted to put my mouth on every part of you.” I smile into his neck. He did put his mouth everywhere before we left that cabin.
“You want to send me away.” His hands stop roaming up and down my back. That tightness in my throat starts to come back again. He grips my hips.
“I only want to make things right for you. This isn't a fling to me. I tried to stay away from you when I realized that it may affect your career, but I find with you my emotions control me. I’m not used to it. I’m fucking my plan all up.”
Hope blooms in my chest. “What is your plan?”
“To trap you in my cabin and make you fall in love with me.”
“Nathan,” I gasp. Is he in love with me? I lift my head to look at him. The elevator jerks suddenly and starts to move again. The doors slide open on the same floor that we started on. Everyone turns to look at us with shocked looks on their faces. I’m still clinging to Nathan. He moves, hitting the button, and the doors close again. This time we make it to the bottom floor. I try and wiggle out of his hold, but he doesn't let me even as he tells the valet to get the car.
“Everyone is looking at us.”
“I don’t care. What’s done is done. It’s clear we’re together. It was stupid of me to think that I could try and hide it. I can’t keep my hands off you. I’m only at the party because you’re here and I was trying to make sure you have the best Christmas possible.” He does love me.
The valet pulls up, and he finally lets me down. I get in the car, and Nathan takes off. It’s clear we’re not heading toward my place.
“Where are we going?” I ask.
He glances over at me. “To finish my plan.”
I smile, wanting to tell him that he already achieved his goal. I’ve already fallen in love with him.
DR. NATHAN AMHERST
“You fire her, and I quit,”I inform Dean Campbell as I stand at the foot of the bed. I shouldn’t have answered the phone, but I figured he’d want to apologize.
“Even if you married her, it’d still be a breach of the honor code,” the doofus insists.
“Didn’t realize I was a student.”
“It applies to everyone at the university. Your reputation is going to take a hit.”
“Brother, my reputation could be on the floor, my research project in flames, and a meteor crashing into the earth, and I still wouldn’t leave her.” I disconnect and toss the phone to the side. As I pull off the lit-up Christmas tree, Kayla huffs out a sigh and looks at the ground as if this is somehow her fault.