I tried to pull away, to move out of his arms, but he held me tight. Luke had been so good to me, almost too good. I was starting to feel like I had been taking advantage of him. I definitely didn’t feel like I deserved his love. I was in human form, but I didn’t keep my snakes hidden, choosing instead to keep them out most of the time. I didn’t want to feel like I was hiding. I wasn’t…anymore. I couldn’t hide from my past any more than I could forget it.
Luke readjusted, pulling my body down on top of his. We were stretched out on his oversized couch, finishing yet another movie. “Where do you think you’re going?” He smiled up at me, his dimples on full display. He seemed to be back to his old self. Either that or he was getting better at hiding his emotions.
I shrugged, forcing my body to relax, and explained, “We’ve been lying around the house for two days. You can’t just keep putting your life on hold to be here with me.” Feeling argumentative, I ducked my head, letting my snakes fall over my face, then forced my gaze up to meet his eyes.
Luke’s smile slipped for just a moment, and I felt guilty. He never asked anything of me. Even now, he was just trying to give me a few days of pampering and relaxation. “I know you’ve been having nightmares.” His voice softened, and he said, “You cry in your sleep. You need to take some time to process everything that’s happened over the last year. It’s not just the last couple of weeks. It’s the whole year.”
I sat up, snapping out, “What about you? You go through a bunch of crap, and you don’t even mention it!” I instantly felt terrible and wished I could take back my words. I took a deep breath before continuing, “You don’t need to treat me like I’m going to fall apart.”
Luke rolled off the couch, going to his knees in front of me, and taking my hands in his. “I already told you I’m sorry. I promise I will stop keeping things from you. Let’s put all of that behind us, at least for today. This is your last day off for a while. I want to enjoy it with you.” He knew my moods and didn’t seem to be taking this one to heart. Instead, he was trying to snap me out of it.
Staring down at our joined hands, I sighed, wondering why I couldn’t relax. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” I did my best to paste a bright smile on my face as I squeezed his hands. “What did you have planned for today?” So far, he’d had something planned for each of the three days I’d had off. Yesterday’s plan was to lay around eating junk food and watching old movies. The two days prior weren’t much different. I was getting bored. Like, really bored. Maybe that’s where the attitude was coming from.
Pulling me up, Luke wrapped his arms around me in a tight hug. “I thought we’d go to a spa. I’ve heard that women love going. I thought we could try it. What do you think?” he asked.
I thought it was the worst idea I’d ever heard, but I couldn’t tell him that in case he was serious. I pulled back to look him in the eyes, searching for something to say. “I…um…is that something you want to do?” I asked, hoping he’d realize how ridiculous the idea was. Instead, he looked thoughtful.
“I think it could be fun. We could get massages and maybe try that hot stone thing,” Luke offered, letting go of me.
Laughing, I said, “Hot stone thing? That sounds a little kinky.”
“What? No, it’s where you lie there, and they put hot stones on you,” Luke said.
I laughed more and said, “Isn’t that a medieval torture method?”
Luke stammered, at a loss for words, then laughed with me. “You’ll see. It will be fun.”
I was unconvinced. “I don’t know. I’m sure we can find something else to do.” I gave him a sexy smile, trying to distract him.
“I know what you’re trying to do, and it’s not going to work. I want to take you out today, and I think a spa day will be fun,” Luke insisted.
I pretended not to know what he was talking about, watching as a snake slithered around my finger. My mind raced as I tried to think of a way to get out of spending the day at a spa. When I realized Luke would probably try to get me into a mud bath, I thought about picking a fight to sidetrack him but discarded the idea just as quickly. “Are there any other options for today?” I asked.
“Nope. Now go get ready,” Luke instructed, then gave me a quick kiss. “Hey, maybe we can take a mud bath.”
I groaned. I was starting to think he was using me as an excuse to spend the day getting pampered.
He pulled off his shirt, smelled it, tossed it on the couch, then went to the bedroom. I heard the shower turn on, so I guessed he hadn’t passed the sniff test.
I stood, staring after him with my mouth open. My snakes hissed, and I knew they were snickering. Men were gross. After a moment, I looked down, pulled the front of my shirt away from my body, and sniffed. I probably needed a shower too.
After stripping off my clothes, I ran my hands over my snakes, replacing them with dark blonde hair as I did. They didn’t like the shower, and it was easier to wash without having the snakes in a hissy fit.
I walked through the house naked, entering the bathroom, which was already fogged up and steamy. Luke enjoyed hot showers, and I was hoping I could make this one even hotter.
He looked surprised to see me when I opened the shower door, and I did my best to give him a seductive smile. A wicked grin quickly covered Luke’s face, his eyes heating as his gaze traveled slowly down my body.
I stepped in and Luke pulled me into a kiss. He pressed me against the wall, grabbed my thighs, and lifted me so I could wrap my legs around his hips. I grinned against his lips, knowing how we would spend the rest of the day. It wouldn’t be at the spa.