Chasing the Past
Janie walked into the room and quietly shut the door behind her. With a nervous grin, she studied the cowboy sleeping soundly on his back. He looked so innocent lying there, almost like a child. If she did not act now, she might change her mind.
She dropped her robe to her ankles, exposing her nakedness. Still, he slept on. She wondered how exhausted he must be not to sense her presence. She bit her lower lip with only a moment’s more hesitation. Slowly, she glided across the room. It felt surreal, like floating in a dream where the feet of the dreamer never quite touch the ground.
Nearing the slumbering man, she reached out a trembling hand. It hovered there a few seconds before caressing the hardened muscles of his bare chest. Slowly, the muscles peacefully rose and fell. For a moment, she wondered if he could be as kind as he appeared to be in his unconscious state. But that notion passed just as quickly as it arrived. Experience taught her otherwise.
Janie placed her other palm on his chest for balance, then gracefully swung her leg up over him, her long and luxurious chestnut hair cascading down around her shoulders. He did not move at all as she settled herself on top of him. Nor did he awaken. Maybe he was a deep sleeper. Completely unconscious even. Comotose.
No, there it was. She could feel him coming to life beneath her. He moaned, shifting his weight somewhat, and a soft brown lock of hair fell over his right eye. Gently, she reached for it, ready to brush it aside as if he were someone she could love. For some reason, she wanted to see the handsome face before her in all its glory.
His hand shot up before she knew what was happening, causing her to jump as it grabbed her wrist. His eyes flew open and she flinched again, yet remained strangely paralyzed, unable to extricate herself from his body. He loosened his grip on her wrist and gently picked her free hand up off his chest, also by the wrist.
His voice was gruff. “You don’t have to do this, you know.”
Janie’s eyes widened. “What?”
“You don’t have to do this,” he repeated, this time without the harsh tone.
She wiggled her wrists free. That curl. She could not resist. This time she brushed it to the side without being stopped. She stared at him for what seemed like minutes, not understanding how a man so strong could also be so gentle. Then she remembered her nudity and her hand began to tremble. How long would the gentleness last?
“Well? What’s the matter with you, girl? Didn’t you hear me? You can get down now. What do you want from me anyway? I don’t have any money.”
Jainie’s heart sank. She certainly did not need lessons in the art of seduction. All men had their price and if a woman was pretty enough, men had their way regardless of whether or not it was mutual. Desperately, she reached for his belt buckle, but as she started fumbling with the clasp he grabbed both of her wrists again.
“Get dressed,” he commanded. “Then tell me why you’re in my room.”
Janie pouted. “Isn’t it obvious?,” she asked, sliding off of him.
Those beautiful brown eyes hardened as they stared relentlessly back at her. They narrowed but did not blink as she stared back at him, trying to gauge his true level of interest. In his eyes, she thought she saw disgust, possibly hatred. Tears threatened to spill from hers, so she turned her back, picked up her robe, and put it back on in silence.
She headed for the door without another word. She paused for just as second, but she did not dare risk a backward glance. Then she rushed down the stairs and bolted straight out the door into the bright sunlight where she mixed with the crowd of people walking the busy streets and her heart could resume its normal pace. She needed a new plan and she had to come up with it fast.