Love Me Like That

By: Marie James

What the hell have I gotten myself into?

I’m in this big ass house, in a room larger than most hotel suites. I’m more concerned about the man wearing flannel driving a beat up old clunker. I can’t keep my mind from wondering if he broke into this place and he plans to chop me into tiny pieces and burn me in the fire.

He’s been courteous and respectful if a little put out by my being here. I sit on the side of the enormous bed and look around the room. It’s like something out of a home décor or Crate and Barrel ad. The bed is made up of expensive covers and sheets, including a thick duvet I’d love nothing more than to snuggle up in.

Actually, that’s the best idea I’ve had for a while. I use alternating feet to kick my shoes off. A glance at the door confirms there is a lock, but it’s not engaged. I push myself off of the bed and walk to the door.

Just as my hand reaches the knob, a thunderous boom echoes into the house from outside and the lights go out, throwing the room into pitch black nothingness. I stand stock still, terrified as my other senses try to account for my loss of vision. Several minutes of standing in the pitch black of the room reveals nothing other than the sounds of the storm outside.

Shouldn’t a backup generator kick in? It never does. The chill in the air from the heat not rolling through the vents is immediate, like icy fingers of death licking at the skin on my legs which are covered by only a thin layer of fabric. If I stay in here, it’s going to be just as bad as sitting in the damn car.

I turn the door knob and do my best to make it to the stairs from memory, praying I don’t tumble down them and snap my neck. Nothing says thank you for rescuing me from the car in the ditch like a snapped neck at the base of a flight of stairs. Keeping my hand on the banister and taking subtle, focused steps I make it to the bottom unscathed.

I want to call out to the man in the house, but I realize we never even told each other our names. Why wouldn’t he ask? Hell, why didn’t I ask?

I follow the faint glow of the fire through the house. A noise to my right catches my attention, and I turn my gaze just in time to see him coming back in the house and stripping out of his cold-weather gear. He’s grumbling and cussing, no doubt from the severe weather outside.

He walks back toward the fire and stops short when he notices me standing in the shadows.

“The damn generator isn’t kicking in,” he says as he rubs his hands together near the hearth.

No shit Captain Obvious.

“Can I…I mean is it okay for me to stay down here? The room upstairs was already getting cold again.” I give a weak smile because it’s the most I can manage after the day I’ve had. I shiver and rub my hands up and down my arms.

“Of course. Shit, let me get you a blanket.” He walks down the hall, and I hear a door open. Less than a minute later he walks back in and hands me a thick fleece blanket.

I wrap it around my back and settle on the couch in the spot closest to the fire. I should probably let him have his pick of places to sit seeing as this is his place, but he’s got at least fifty pounds or more on me so I figure he won’t get as cold as easily as I will.

He walks to a table just out of reach of the fire’s light, half of his apparently muscular body hidden in the shadows.

“You don’t need a blanket?” It’s the best I could come up with as far as conversation is concerned.

“Why? Do you plan on sharing with me?” I smirk at him and give him my best not-in-your-wildest-dreams look. He laughs. It’s deep and husky and even though I’ve had one of the worst days of my life I can still appreciate the sex appeal this man has rolling off of him in waves. “I have this to keep me warm anyways.”

I watch with wide eyes as he brings an exceptionally large bottle of whiskey to the small table in front of the couch and sets it, along with two tumblers, down on the wooden top.

I grin from ear to ear at his presumptuousness.

“Can you tell I’ve had a shit day?” I ask nodding toward the other glass.

“We’re stuck in a blizzard together, and we don’t even know each other’s names. Nothing says pleased to meet you like Jack Daniel’s.” I have to agree with him.

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