Copyright © 2012 Jenna Bayley-Burke
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
“I told you, we’re not having sex. And I mean it.”
“Yeah, I got that. What did you think I was going to do?”
The elevator doors opened and she scampered down the hall. He followed behind, taking deep breaths and reminding himself to be patient.
He didn’t do patience well.
Following her through the door, he toed off his Kicks next to hers. “What did you think?”
“What am I supposed to think?” She turned in front of the bank of windows to face him. “You fly across the country, arrange for us to share a hotel room, bring me presents. You’re expecting me to…to…”
“I meant the Kicks.” He laughed and walked to the couch, settling down on it. “I get it, no sex. You don’t have to act like I’m a leper.”
“I don’t want you to get the wrong idea.”
“Did I get the wrong idea at your apartment?”
She stepped to the edge of the sofa and peered down at him. “Why did you come?”
“I missed you.” He held out a hand and watched her eye it with trepidation. “There is something about you I can’t get enough of, and I want to find out what it is.”
“And when you do? What then?”
“I’m not following you.” He dropped his hand to his lap.
“It’s sex, Logan. We have really great chemistry, physical chemistry. But I’m not willing to risk my career for that.”
“What if it’s more than sex, Breeze?” Putting a leg up on the sofa, he twisted to face her. He barely knew what he was saying, just that he needed to push her, to challenge her. Or he might as well go home now. “That’s what you’re afraid of, right? That we’ll be more and you won’t know how to handle that.”
“I’m afraid you don’t understand. I don’t have sex, Logan. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t do it. It complicates life on a level I don’t have time to deal with.”
Logan ran a hand through his hair and tried to wrap his head around her words. No sex. He wanted to ask why and argue the point for going to bed together. But that was an argument for another day. After he got her to like him as much as he liked her.
“Are you getting tired?” he asked, cocking his head to the side.
She blinked at the question and then paused as if expecting him to continue the debate. “I guess it is getting late.”
“You want to show me the Tarot flash cards before we call it a night?”
“Are you making fun of me?” She quirked an eyebrow, but her grin returned and he breathed a sigh of relief.
“No, it looked interesting. You could read my palm instead.”
“We could go over my progress report of the roll out.” Her words lilted at the end, letting him know she’d much rather play than work.
“Let’s do it tomorrow night.” He stood, taking her hand instead of waiting for her to accept his, and led her to her bedroom.
“Beds are not meant for Tarot reading.” And seeing him lounge against the pillows of her big bed was far too tempting. He was too tempting. Two minutes with him and she dropped twenty IQ points, losing the ability to think long term.
“How many readings have you done?” He quirked an eyebrow and settled himself deeper into the bed. “I like it in here. It smells like you—grapefruit, clean and warm.”
“Logan, you and me and a bed is not a good combination.” She could smell him too. The light and sexy notes of jasmine and sandalwood followed him everywhere. She pulled the cards from the box and set it on the desk.
“You and me and any flat surface is a fantastic combination. But you said no sex, so we won’t find out for sure tonight. Just sit. I promise I won’t try anything. Tell me my future.”
“Breeze, I heard you on the no sex thing. And I’m letting it go for tonight. So why don’t you sit down, relax and tell me what the winning lottery numbers are?”
“That’s not how Tarot works.”
“Then bring over the numerology book.”
“That either.” She stepped to the end of the bed and sat, keeping one leg on the ground. “None of it is magic as far as I can tell. They’re all about opening your mind and asking the right questions.”
“What questions are you asking?” He sat up straighter, his eyes twinkling.
“This is your reading, you ask the question.” She shuffled the cards in her hands. “I’ve never done this before, so don’t read too much into it. I only know enough to do a simple three-card spread. You, your question and what you need to know.” She set the stack on the bed between them. “Think about your question. Cut the deck into three piles, then stack them back together.”
He did as instructed, the slick cards sliding slightly on the mattress. “Do I have to tell you my question?”
“I think so. I’m not sure.” Her gaze locked with his and she could just bet what he’d asked.
“Why is Breeze so afraid of me?”
“Logan, this is about you. And I’m not afraid of you. I just don’t want you to get the wrong idea.” She squared the cards in her hands. “You should ask a different question.”
“Let’s see how this one plays out.”
With a shrug, Breeze laid the three cards on the bed. The Lovers, Wheel of Fortune and the three of wands.
“You see?” Logan picked up The Lovers card. “Even the cards think we should be together.”
Breeze snatched it from his hand. “You’re supposed to ask a question about you. Let’s try it again.”
“Isn’t that cheating? I’ve heard of cheating at cards, but cheating at Tarot?”
“Fine.” Setting the deck aside, Breeze flipped over The Lovers card and read over the quick description on the back. “This isn’t necessarily romantic, you know. This card represents you in the situation. It can symbolize the obvious, of course, but this card asks you to look at your choices and make sure you are willing to commit to them.”
“Lord, woman, you won’t sleep with me and already you’re talking about a commitment. You’re one for the record books, Breeze Cohen.” Logan laughed and leaned back against the pillows. “What about you?”
“What about me?”
“You’re card two. What question do the cards ask of you?”
With trembling fingers she lifted the Wheel of Fortune card and turned it over. New beginnings. Seize the moment. Her heart pounded. Their physical attraction was electric, their star signs a match. Could the cards be trying to tell her something too? She set it down and reached for the third.
“Hey, no fair.” Logan grabbed the Wheel of Fortune. Breeze watched his face as he read. “I like this game.” His smile brightened the room and Breeze pursed her lips together to keep from returning the grin.
“It’s not a game. The card in position three tells you what you need to know about the situation. The three of wands. Help others while you help yourself. Get ready for your ship to come in.”
She stared at the card, the words printed there. Maybe she was being too cautious. Or maybe she was tired and looking everywhere for an excuse to indulge in self-destructive behavior.
Feeling the mattress move, she looked up to watch him stand and rub the back of his neck. He shook his head slowly and walked towards the door.
“We can do another question.” She rose from the bed, not wanting him to stay or leave. Not knowing what she wanted at all.
He turned in the doorway, a sad smile on his lips. “I need to go. I promised you I wouldn’t try anything tonight. After those cards, I’ve never wanted to be with you more. In order to keep my promise, I need to walk away. Right now.”
A smug sense of satisfaction rolled through her, chasing away the tiny part of her that wanted to run after him, tackle him to the ground and do whatever came naturally.