Rules of attraction, p.27
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       Rules of Attraction, p.27

         Part #2 of Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles
Page 27


  My mom, with her hair up in a clip like a teenager herself, looks at my dad. “What’s wrong with a happy ending?”

  “They’re not realistic,” Carlos chimes in.

  “On that note . . . I’m going to bed. I’m beat,” my dad says, then moans and stretches as he stands up from his chair. “These old bones can’t stay up past midnight anymore. I’ll see you all in the morning. ”

  My mom calls after him, “I’ll be up in a bit. ”

  We all agree to start another movie. This time it’s an action film that’s probably right up Carlos’s alley. Ten minutes into it, my mom yawns. “I’m younger than your father, Kiara, but I can’t stay up much past midnight anymore, either. I’m going to bed. ” She gets up to leave, but before she turns the corner, she pauses the movie and wiggles her forefinger at us. “Trust and respect. ” She says those few choice words, then tosses Carlos the remote before she disappears.

  “Your ma sure does know how to kill the mood,” Carlos drawls.

  As we continue watching the movie, I glance at Carlos a few times. I can tell he’s into the movie because his features are relaxed, unlike his usual tense appearance.

  One time he catches me watching him. “Want some water?” he asks.

  “Sure. ”

  He disappears into the kitchen, then reappears a few minutes later carrying two glasses of ice water.

  It’s dark except for the glow of the television. His fingers graze mine as I take the glass from him. I don’t know if he felt it, but I can’t ignore my body’s reaction to the soft touch of his hand brushing against mine. It’s not like this morning after the game, where he did it for show.

  He hesitates, then his eyes meet mine. It’s dark, it’s just us, and I’d love nothing more than to tell him I want his hands on me, all over, although he’d already said that my mom broke the mood.

  Trust and respect. I trust Carlos not to hurt me physically, but not emotionally. I immediately break the connection and quickly raise the glass to my lips to drink the cold water, because if I didn’t I might be tempted to ask him to kiss me again and force myself not to think about the consequences.

  Without talking, he eases his lean body back on the couch. Our thighs are almost touching, and while the movie is still playing, all I can think about is him.

  The hero is stuck in a warehouse with a beautiful blond woman. He suspects she might be one of the bad guys, but he can’t resist her and they start making out.

  Carlos shifts, clears his throat, then takes another chug of water. Then another. And another.

  I wonder if the scene reminds him of my detailed fantasy about us. I take a slow, deep breath and try to keep my mind on the movie and not on the fact that our knees are now touching.

  A while later I glance at him. He looks like he might be sleeping, but I’m not sure.

  “Carlos?” I say tentatively.

  He opens his eyes, those black depths shining from the light of the TV. The passion and desire are evident in his gaze. “Yeah?”

  “Were you sleeping?”

  He chuckles. “No. Not by a long shot. I was just tryin’ to convince myself not to make a move on you. ”

  The movie forgotten, I push my fears aside and decide to test what we have together. I get off the couch to close the door to the den and lock it, giving us privacy.

  “You locked the door,” he says.

  “I know. ”

  I’m not good with words, and if I did try to say anything I’d probably stutter and break the mood. If I can’t effectively tell him how I feel, I can definitely show him. I suddenly realize that I trust this boy even if he doesn’t trust himself.

  Kneeling next to him on the couch, I slowly raise a shaky hand to his face. My fingers trace random designs in the stubble growing on his jaw. His breath hitches in response.


  I put my fingers on his beautiful full lips and cut him off. “Shh. ”

  “Are . . . we . . . about to get into . . . trouble?” he asks.

  I lean forward. His words fade the closer my lips are to his. I move my palms to his chest and brace myself against his hard body as I move closer. And closer. I can feel the warm heat of his breath mingling with mine and I can’t hold back any longer. “Loads of trouble,” I say. I know I can’t hope to be his permanently, but I want to show him what intimacy with real emotion can feel like.

  When my lips touch his the slightest bit, a quiet moan escapes from his mouth. His heart beats fast against my palms. The sweet sound of our lips parting and coming together again is melting my insides. He’s letting me be in control by keeping his hands at his sides, but each time I lower my lips to his only to separate them a few seconds later, he starts breathing heavier.

  “Let me taste you,” he whispers.

  The next time I dip my head, I kiss him softly a few times, then gather enough courage to open my mouth and deepen the kiss. I get a surge of energy when our tongues meet for the first time, wet and slippery and, oh, I want more.

  The sound of the movie is just white noise in the background.

  He cradles my face in his hands and forces me to look into his dark, sexy eyes filled with passion and desire. “You’re playin’ a dangerous game, chica. ”

  “I know. But I trust you. ”



  Her words echo in my head. I trust you. She’s the first girl who’s ever said that to me. Even Destiny said I had to earn her trust when we first met, because she thought I was a player. And here’s Kiara, a girl who knows I’ll never be her knight in shining armor, gifting me with her trust without hesitation. She’s straddling me, her lips wet from our kisses. She’s crazy to think I’ll do the right thing.

  My hands are still cradling her face. I respect this girl too much to be dishonest. “Don’t trust me. ”

  A pink blush creeps up her cheeks as she reaches behind her head and pulls that band out of her hair. “But I do. ”

  She shakes out her hair. It falls in a curtain over her shoulders, the ends landing just above her breasts. I’ve never seen anythin’ sexier in my life, and she’s not even naked yet.

  Yet? What am I thinkin’? I’m not gettin’ her naked. I want to. Hell, I’d love to peel away the layers and study the curves of her body with my eyes and hands. My body says Go for it! You want it. She wants it. What’s the problem?

  The problem is that damn word . . . trust.

  She trusts me.

  I squeeze my eyes shut. What can I say to prove to her I’m the bad boy she knows I am? She’d be stupid to trust me. I’ll take advantage of her every chance I get, but how can I prove that to her?

  Knowing how ready I am to take this to the next level might scare her off. I reach around and grab her butt, then grind against her in a way that makes no mistake of my intent.

  Problem is, she starts moving with me. Damn. This is not good. She’s definitely got power over me. I thrive on control, but right now I’ve totally lost it.

  I pull her toward me and press her body to mine, my hands feelin’ up and down her back. Our heavy breathing is filling the room. I’m glad the movie is still on to mask any sounds we’re making.

  I lean back and look into her trusting face.

  “You gotta stop before this gets out of hand, ’cause I won’t. ” I’m ignoring the fact that we’ve already gotten out of hand and she doesn’t look the least bit ready to stop.

  She stills and presses her cheek to mine. “I’m a virgin,” she whispers in my ear as if it’s a secret she’s only going to share with me.

  Oh, hell.

  I lean my head back on the couch and tell her the truth. “You’re not actin’ like one. ”

  “That’s because it’s you, Carlos. Only you do this to me. ”

  Power shift. She shouldn’t have said that. Now I know I have control, if not physically, at least mentally. Givin’ me control isn’t a wise move on her p

  I’m taking this girl to the danger zone, but that’s where I’m used to spendin’ most of my life. My hands inch over to her waist.

  “Take your shirt off, chica. ”

  Her hands go to the bottom of her shirt. The anticipation of seeing what she’s hiding underneath makes me hold my breath. I look up into her face, her eyes filled with uncertainty and something else I refuse to acknowledge.

  In one swift movement, she lifts her oversized T-shirt over her head and reveals a body to kill for or die for. Or both.

  “I don’t have a body like Madison’s,” she says shyly, her hands crossing her midsection in an effort to hide it.


  “I’m not skinny. ”

  Skinny to me equals fake body or no body. I need a girl who I can hold on to and not be afraid to break.

  I gently remove her hands and hold them lightly at her sides. I lean back and stare, completely dumbfounded, at her pink bra modestly covering her breasts. She’s got nothin’ to be embarrassed about. This girl has got it goin’ on and has no clue she’s got a better body than Madison, hands down. Kiara’s got curves where God intended them to be, and I have the urge to caress those curves and memorize every inch of her. I feel like the luckiest guy on earth. “Eres hermosa . . . you’re beautiful. ”

  Her eyes are cast downward. “Look at me, chica. ” When she does, I repeat, “Eres hermosa. ”

  “What does it mean?”

  “You’re beautiful. ”

  She leans forward and trails little kisses across my lips. “Your turn,” she whispers, then bites her bottom lip as she waits for me to strip off my shirt.

  I immediately toss my shirt to the side.

  “Can I touch you?” she asks, as if she doesn’t have complete owner-ship of my body at this moment.

  I take her hand in mine and guide her to my bare skin. When I let go so she can explore on her own, her fingers trail slow paths up and down my chest. Each touch sears my skin from the inside out, and when her fingers linger on the tattoo peeking out of my jeans and dip into the waistband, it’s almost my undoing.

  “What does that say?” she asks as she lightly traces one of my tattoos.

  “Rebel,” I tell her. My fingers weave into her hair and I lean her toward me. I need to taste her again. I need to feel her soft lips on mine. We start making out like it’s the first time and maybe our last, our breaths and tongues collide almost desperately.

  While she continues her exploration, I focus all my attention on her. I slide her bra straps down until they fall loosely on her arms. She leans back and I can’t imagine a sexier image or a sexier girl than the one sitting atop me. My pulse quickens in hot anticipation as I slide the silky fabric aside.

  Her fingers go still as my hands touch the sides of her waist and slide up until my thumbs reach the curve of her breast. Nothing could prepare me for the wave of emotions I’m feeling right now as I look into Kiara’s sparkling eyes.

  “I think I’m falling in love with you,” she says so softly it might be my imagination, then I hear the sound of gunfire.

  Pop! Pop! Pop!

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