Seven Ways to Lose Your Heart
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“You haven’t drowned in there, have you?” I yell to Annabel, noting that the sound of running water stopped about fifteen minutes ago.
“No, just relaxing,” she calls back.
Just relaxing. Naked. In a bath.
I scramble from the bed and knock gently on the door. “And would you like some company to help you, you know, relax?”
“Did you finish?” She sounds more like a scolding teacher than the girl who ravished me last night. But this is Annabel Lee we’re talking about. It’s all about priorities.
“Yes, I finished. Now, can I come in?” I ask, pulling off my shirt in anticipation.
“Read it to me.”
“Huh?” I ask, my shirt not completely removed from my head yet.
“I want you to read it to me.”
Of course she does. Why did I expect any less? I pull my shirt the rest of the way off on my walk back to get my computer. When I go to open the door, her voice halts me.
“I didn’t say come in. I said I wanted you to read it to me.”
“And may I come in when I’m done?”
“Only if it’s good,” she sings. She’s enjoying every bit of this torture. The lovable vixen.
And so I read it to her sitting on the floor outside the bathroom door. Even I have to admit it’s good. It’s, like, fucking fantastic. When I get to the part about us dancing up there together, the whole crowd making us feel like gods, she makes me read it again, and I smile knowing it meant as much to her as it did to me.
“You can come in now if you want,” she says, sounding a little shyer than I expected to hear. Gone is the bravado of the schoolteacher, replaced again by the girl who still doesn’t know the power she has over me. How does she not realize she’s had power over me since that first dare when she made me switch out Mrs. Peterson’s peanut butter sandwich with kitty litter?
My heart starts beating a little faster, knowing what’s waiting for me on the other side of this wall. My breath catches in my throat when I open the door and see her sitting there, staring up at me, and waiting.