you doing?” I manage to get out around my laughs. She tenses at my words and
then tilts her head back to fix me with a glare, her eyes blazing with
sleeping in the bath like I said I would. Why, what did you think I was doing?
Teaching myself to swim?”
know what you’re doing. I think that’s obvious. What I meant was why are you doing this?” I step into the
room and move in front of her so she doesn’t have to crane her neck to see me.
not sleeping in here, Stripes.”
cross my arms. There’s no way I’m going back to bed and allowing her to sleep
in a bath. The only problem is that it’s hard to maintain a frustrated
expression when everything about the situation is so damn funny. “Be back in a
mumbles something that sounds like “I’m not going anywhere” to my back as I
rush out of the bathroom. Rummaging in my drawer, I find what I’m looking for
then I’m back in the room with Neve in seconds.
she can react, I have a camera in front of me.
I tease, only it causes her glower to darken. Three lines appear on her
forehead as her face screws up.
Get out of the bath and I might let you.”
not getting out. I told you I’m sleeping here.”
all the drama? We’ve slept in the same bed for ages now. It’s not a big deal.”
She rolls over, showing me her back, and ignores me. “Stripes, get out of the
she thinks I’m going to give up that easy, she’s got another surprise coming.
She should know by now that I don’t give up and people don’t say no to me. I
put the camera on the counter by the sink, needing both of my hands.
so as not to reveal my intentions, I lean over the bath and line up my hands.
With one swift motion, I grip her tightly, heaving her out of the tub and
throwing her over my shoulder as she screams, “Put me down, Blake!”
told you, you’re not sleeping in a bath. Now shut up and stop hitting my back.”
My light and jovial words only serve to make her flail around even more. I
manage to pin her legs, but I’m powerless to do anything to stop her hands pounding
against my back. It’s not enough to hurt, that’s not her intention, but the
squirming is becoming increasingly frustrating.
I reach the bed, I drag her back over my shoulder and dump her on the mattress.
She bounces, not able to hide the laughter on her face while she stares at me
and hiccups. This is how I like to see her, carefree and happy. It’s rare
nowadays that I catch a glimpse of Neve when she’s truly happy, but in this
moment there isn’t a strained muscle in her body. It’s natural, and I can’t
stop myself from watching her. I’m still amazed that I’m the one who can bring
out her joy and it baffles me that she’s allowed herself to be mine.
remain gazing at each other with ridiculous grins for a minute. When I’m sure
she isn’t going to run, I move around to my of the bed side. Her head follows
me, and when I go to climb in beside her, she rolls over. She throws her arms
and legs out wide, taking up the entire mattress.
“You’re in the bath then.” She points at
the door with the hand furthest away from me, a devilish twinkle in her eyes.
It takes me a while to respond. The sight of her body stretched out in her
skimpy pyjamas makes my throat dry, and I have to consciously remind myself to
swallow. My gaze focuses on her pale skin, which is exposed by her shirt riding
up and the top of her shorts lowering as a result of her actions.
don’t think so.” My voice comes out more breathless than I expect as I watch
her spread out in front of me.
you’re not sleeping in here with me.”
bed, my rules.” I place one knee on the mattress and climb on. My arms support
most of my weight so my body is directly above hers. “So, I can either sleep on
the left … or on top of you.” My voice drops into a murmur and she gulps, her
lips parting as I hover over her. “Take your pick, Stripes.”