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Ssdei: Captive to the Dark(5)

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“Your looks have nothing to do with it.” I glanced back at him. “They’re very nice.”

“Then, what?” The way he cocked his head to the side told me he was genuinely interested in my dismissal. And why had I brushed him off so quickly? I’d planned to make it not so obvious. If he told my father, it was bound to make us take a step back. The hard work I’d done to repair our relationship would be wiped out. Why was I so torn on how to handle things?

My mind scrambled for the right things to say. “I’m not completely opposed to getting to know you, I’m just not going to jump into having a formal status with you because that’s what everyone wants. You’re right about one thing. I don’t date. School is my main focus. Plus, I work two jobs, pay my own bills, and I like it that way.”

Jordan studied my face. “Then we have something in common. I don’t let daddy take care of me either. I seriously think we’re going to have a lot more before this is over with. You’ll like me. I know you will.”

“Kind of cocky, aren’t you?” I stood, ready to get out.

“Not cocky. Confident. We’re more alike than you know.”

Water dripped down from by body and I reached over, grabbing my dress. The anger rushing through me came out of nowhere. “You have no idea who I am. Don’t presume anything, because ten to one, you’re wrong.”

The cool air made me shiver as I headed through the door, right into the living room area. White leather couches angled each other giving way to a large flat screen television. I didn’t even pause to look to see what was on it. Bethany glanced up from cutting vegetables, a frown darkening her face.

“Out so soon?”

How could I tell her I’d just probably blown things with the first and only guy our dad had chosen for me? She’d be upset and then this trip would be a complete bust. “Just going to take a shower real quick. I’ll still hang out when I’m finished. Not in the water, though. I don’t want to push the sea sickness thing.”

“I forgot about that.” A piece of carrot flew across the cutting board, swirling before coming to a standstill on the edge. “You’re probably right. Well, head straight back, you’re the second room to the right. You’ll be sharing a restroom with Jordan, but there’s a lock on the inside of the door. You won’t have to worry about anyone invading your privacy.”

“Thanks.” Was she mad? I couldn’t get over the fact that she didn’t look very happy at me leaving Jordan outside.

Water ran down my legs and the air conditioning made me begin to shake. I hurried into my room, more fleeing from my sister’s possible disapproval than freezing to death. Deep red silk with gold embroidery covered the bed. Although it probably resembled elegance to some, the color combination reminded me of lust. Hot, passionate sex full of pain and pleasure. That’s all I saw when I looked at where I was going to be sleeping. Instantly, my body came alive. Shit. It was only the first night. What was I going to do? Getting myself off under this roof wasn’t necessarily something I felt comfortable doing. I’d have to try to contain the cravings as best as I could. Which, from the past, I knew could be a bad thing.

The entrance to the restroom stood open. I grabbed some clothes from my suitcase and didn’t hesitate to lock the adjoining door. The last thing I wanted was Jordan accidently barging in on me. He may be attractive, but I didn’t want him knowing my secrets. Nothing good would come out of introducing him to the real me. If I consented to anyone, it would be to a stranger; someone who didn’t know me, or whose daughter I was. That was the safest way. The only way.

Within minutes, steam filled the entire space. The large mirror that covered half of the wall was completely fogged up. The see-through walls made me nervous, but no one could get in. I would be okay.

Grey marble floors led into the large shower. Designer shampoo and body washes lined the shelf on the wall. My eyes scanned the fragrances including Plumeria, Juniper, but I settled for Vanilla Bean. The moment I slid it across my skin, I instantly regretted it. The scent was so strong it nearly took my breath away. Surely they wouldn’t make it so potent. I turned the bottle around, reading the back.

Apply a small, dime sized amount. I sighed. Figured. The palmful had been way too much. Instead of smelling like a single bean pod, I was going to be walking around like I had the complete vanilla orchard blossoming from my skin.

The bottle swayed as I sat it down. In my haste to catch it, three bottles toppled over, scattering at my feet and sliding around the bottom. “Dammit.” Tonight was just not my night.

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