His throat tightened. He slowly bowed his head, his lips inching closer to hers.
Hertha’s breathing was ragged, her mind a mushy mess. As Alaric’s lips drew near, she swallowed hard and closed her eyes slowly.
Seeing her with eyes shut, eyelids fluttering like butterfly wings, her breathing heavy and erratic, Alaric knew she was nervous.
His lips brushed against hers.
Hertha felt his breath fan across the bridge of her nose, the undeniable masculine scent overpowering her senses, sending her heartbeat into a frenzy.
Alaric’s lips grazed hers, and Hertha shivered, sweat beads forming on her forehead.
But Alaric’s kiss didn’t linger. It was just a brush against her lips before he whispered teasingly in her ear, “Thinking of turning this act into reality?”
His low murmur tickled Hertha’s ear, sending a shiver down her spine. Her heart skipped a beat; her eyes flew open and saw his playful gaze.
Embarrassed and furious, she kicked out and sent him tumbling off the bed.
“Alaric, you jerk!” Hertha exclaimed, sitting up quickly.
Having felt the impact against his leg, Alaric had rolled off the bed on his own. He sat on the floor with a mischievous grin on his face. “So you’re really going all out for the bed, huh? Fine, it’s yours. I’ll crash on the floor.”
He was used to sleeping alone, which was boring. Now with someone to challenge him for the bed, he couldn’t resist the temptation to tease Hertha, ready to concede the bed if she gave in.
He’d never met a woman as funny as her. His usual flings were always so compliant, afraid to cross him. They were utterly dull.
The floor was carpeted with soft wool. It wasn’t cold to sleep on in summer.
Alaric lay down right there.
Hertha glared at him, “If you’d just given in sooner, you wouldn’t have been kicked, would you?”
She settled herself into the bed confidently, pulling the blanket over her stomach and closing her eyes to invite sleep.
Resting his head on his arms, Alaric did the same.
The room quieted down with only the sound of their breathing filling the space.
Before long, Hertha had fallen asleep.
But in the latter half of the night, she felt increasingly hot. She kicked off the blanket, her body drenched in sweat. She was tossing and turning, unable to get back to sleep.
Thinking the air conditioning might have been set too high, she turned it down to the coldest setting, but the heat was still unbearable.
Alaric was also awoke drenched in sweat on the floor. Wearing only boxer shorts, he wished he could peel them off too, rolling restlessly on the ground.
Parched and overheated, Hertha got up to find some drinking water.
In the dark, she forgot Alaric was on the floor beside the bed. She stumbled and fell right on top of Alaric.
“Ouch!” A muffled groan escaped Alaric as Hertha pressed against him, her scent filling his nostrils. His already heated body tensed further, on the verge of snapping.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to…” Hertha scrambled to get up.
But Alaric’s arm snaked around her waist, pulling her tight against his chest, “How about we make this act real? I want you…”
Hearing his husky voice, Hertha’s breath hitched. Her heart raced, and her body melted into his embrace.