What Claire wanted to do was obvious - She wanted to run up the stairs behind Gabe and rip his clothes off - But deciding what she should do was much more difficult.
It wasn't the fact that Claire had caught Gabe about to bang Chastity that was holding her back. He'd been right - it would be hypocritical of her to be upset about him being with another woman. No, what was holding Claire back was the fact that she wanted to have the right to be angry. And those were the feelings that scared her; the ones she'd been trying to avoid.
Claire was worried about what following Gabe up the stairs would lead to. Great sex - obviously - but what else? How many more times would she be able to leave his bed without leaving part of her heart behind? Claire wasn't prepared to have feelings like that for Gabe.
Leaning against the cool hallway wall, Claire took a deep breath in an attempt to clear the desire and drunkenness from her mind. She had to figure out what the bigger regret would be; passing up an opportunity to have mind blowing sex or having sex and making things between them turn more complicated than she was ready for.
Old Claire would have left. Heck, Old Claire wouldn't have found herself in a blue collared guy's house in the first place - no matter how unbelievably good looking he was. But being Old Claire hadn't helped her love life any. Old Claire usually ended up home alone with a pint of ice cream, creeping her exes' Intsagram accounts, watching other peoples' happiness unfold rather than her own. Claire knew that if she was determined for her love life to take a new direction, then she had to be committed to doing things differently.
With that thought, Claire swallowed her doubts and headed upstairs.
The anticipation for what was about to happen next heightened with each step that Claire took towards Gabe's room. She could see him as soon as she reached the second story of the house; his bedroom door was wide open.
Gabe was standing at the far end of the room, turned away from Claire looking out the window - already shirtless but still in his jeans. The moonlight streaming through the window bounced off of his hard body, highlighting every well defined muscle.
Claire knew that Gabe could hear her approaching, yet he remained with his back to her, only acknowledging her when she reached the threshold of his bedroom door.
"Claire, if you come inside this room, you're mine for the night." Gabe said with a tone that held the detached coolness of someone in command.
Gabe turned to face her, waiting for her to make the next move. Claire was almost startled by how razor sharp his features appeared; all the tenderness that his expression usually held for her was gone. Tonight, his gaze had a steely, predatory coolness that made being in the same room as him feel tantalizingly dangerous. Claire felt as if she were at the peak of a roller-coaster track, about to free fall the moment she stepped forward.
She closed her eyes for a moment to steady herself and then confidently stepped forward into the room.
"Good Girl." Gabe said approvingly. "Now take off your clothes."
"Gabe, what are you up to?" Claire asked in an uncharacteristically uncertain voice - Gabe's intensity making her feel a little shy.
"You agreed to be mine tonight - The short answer to your question is whatever the hell I want. You'll have to wait and see the long answer for yourself. Now strip." He ordered.
Hot damn. If anyone had asked Claire if she would like being bossed around she would have said a definite "no" - But she would have been wrong. The dampness between her legs proved she actually was very into being bossed around. Yup. She was game for whatever Gabe had planned.
Leaving her shoes on, Claire pulled the straps of her jumper off each shoulder and allowed it to drop to the floor. She stepped out of the pool of fabric at her feet and moved her hands towards her waist to slip off her thong.
"Stop. Leave the thong and the shoes on." Gabe said as he closed the distance between them.
Standing in front of Claire, Gabe softly caressed her check and then allowed his fingers to trail down her neck. Claire felt them flutter across her hard nipples and then tease along her panty line. Gabe then touched his lip to hers just as softly.
Everything Gabe was doing tonight was so controlled - so deliberately maddening. Claire tried to move into the kiss, to deepen it, only to have Gabe back away.
"Not yet." Gabe said as he began to slowly walk around her, taking in the view of her almost naked body from all angles.
Claire wasn't good at waiting for what she wanted and in an attempt to speed things along, reached out to grab Gabe's wrist as he passed her. She had wanted to pull him towards her but she was too slow. Gabe caught her hand, and in one quick motion, had moved behind her and had both her hands under his control.
"I said not yet..." Gabe breathed into Claire's ear.
"Not until I decide how to punish you for being such a bad girl this week."
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Love Like a Man - CHECK OUT THE REVISED VERSIONRomance
**This story was a top 55 SYTYCW15 Finalist!** Claire Warren felt like she had her life under control; she kicked ass at her job as an investment banker, had her own condo overlooking the City and spent her personal time knocking back G&T's at some...