I didn't want to go home. I didn't know James that well, but I knew I liked it better here than there. At 'home' there were boxes to unpack, maids to instruct, couches to buy. Here, I didn't have to worry about getting the house ready for mother. It's not like she would see it anytime soon though; she and my father were going to be at their ridiculously large apartment in New York until the end of September, and even then only mother was flying over to see me. Visits from dad happened only on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and if he was too busy during the holidays to come to me, he would fly me up to New York and meet me for an hour at Carmine's, hand me tickets to a show, and leave. This arrangement was all right with me, since his high-profile behavior was obnoxious and my mothers controlling nature was suffocating. I used to live with my grandmother in upstate New York; I loved it there. She had the most gorgeous house I've ever seen. She passed away when I was 16 from a rare cancer, one that had barely began to be recognized enough to start the search for a treatment. My father and mother were furious to find that Grandmother left her entire inheritance to me, including her twenty racehorses, her estate, and a large sum of money. It was to be looked after by one of Grandmother's closest friends until I decided what I wanted to do with it. They decided I shouldn't live in that huge house alone, and proceeded to build giant houses for me in random states, moving me from place to place once the location of the house was leaked to the press. I've been through five houses already; this sixth one was my last chance at anonymity. My friends tried to stay in touch, but their lives moved on and so did mine. The one friend I kept throughout the years was Kelsey, no matter where I lived or whom I hung out with. She lived in the same town as my grandmother, and I visited her almost every summer when I went to visit my horses and spend a month or so at the house.

My shower had left me feeling clean and cozy, and once I was done jumping around the bathroom, I sat on my butt on the floor, put my brace on, and slid down the hallway, my hurt ankle suspended in the air. I could hear plates scraping against each other and pots banging, working happily to fix what I assumed would fill my empty stomach. I quietly worked my way down the stairs and peered down the hall on the right. James was standing with his back to me, washing something in the sink. There were pots on the electric stove on the center island and a few other random appliances and ingredients strewn across the counter. I had no idea what he was making, but it smelled absolutely fabulous. He hadn't seen me yet, so I slid over to the chairs in front of the center island and crawled on top of the middle one. I recognized John Legend's Once Again album playing in the background, his soft piano and soothing voice concealing the sounds from my clumsy movements. I observed as he hummed and swayed slightly with the music, rinsing the last of the dishes and putting them into the dishwasher. He turned the dishwasher on and shut it quietly, washed his hands, and turned around, jumping slightly at the sight of me. He composed himself and grabbed the spoon on the counter, stirring a bowl of pancake-like batter while looking at me.

"How was your shower?" He said, his tanned muscles rippling under his black t-shirt. His brown hair shimmered in the morning light and naturally swept sideways, hitting the very tops of his brows but not giving him the cliqued "skater" look. His teeth were white as milk and his lips looked soft and smooth and slightly wet, like he had just licked them. His faded jeans hung perfectly off his hips, suspended on his perfect body by a worn brown belt and revealing the very top of his plaid boxers. His forearms were lightly dusted with freckles and had a few scrapes on them, making them incredibly sexy. "Cadence?"

"Oh. Umm…it was nice. Invigorating. I smell like a guy now, which is actually pretty delicious. I'm starving. What are we eating?" I said with a smile, bringing my long hair up to my nose to breathe the scent in deeply. If James smelled like this all the time, I was planning on never leaving his side. I would just have to buy earplugs so I don't have to listen to him.

"Of course you smell delicious, darling, you smell like me, and I smell heavenly. I'm making pancakes and sausage and chocolate-chip banana muffins. The muffins are from my grandma's recipe and they're absolutely fabulous. Sound good? After we eat we'll go upstairs and make good use of all this sexual tension." He said with a grin. I reached across the table in an attempt to slap him, but my arm wasn't long enough and I ended up just grabbing at air.

"I'm pretty sure the 'sexual tension' you're feeling is just from your sexual depravity. I'm sure once you find a Krystal or a Tiffany to fuck you'll be fine. Breakfast sounds amazing though. I haven't had a real breakfast in a few weeks since my mother fired Maria." I mumbled the last sentence under my breath, and James cocked his head to the side at the comment but said nothing. We sat in silence for a few minutes while James put food on the square black porcelain plates, slid one in front of me, and sat down next to me.

"How's you ankle?" He said after a minute or two of eating.

"It's fine. Throbbing but fine." I explained. We finished the meal in an uncomfortable silence. Even though I could feel his eyes on me, I didn't move my eyes off of my plate. The presence of his earlier proposition was thick in the air. For the first time in my life, had absolutely no idea what was going to happen next.

Author's Note:

Sorry this took so long, I've been on vacation! The ending of this is a bit rushed...and I just all in all do not much like this chapter. Kelsey and I will have to have a chat so I can figure out where this story is going! Any suggestions?

I've decided to pick up my old story, Sand in My Shoes. A new update should be coming in a few weeks. Read it if you haven't yet!

Thanks for reading!

Brielle =]