Ch. 15 Toe Sucker?

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How he mustered the strength to leave Beth in the bed alone was a mystery, but he succeeded. Against every screaming desire in him, he went to his room and locked himself in. Russell threw himself on his bed that was too bouncy and tried to get some sleep.

By 5:47 am, He was staring at the ceiling. Apparently, it did not matter what time zone he was in, he woke up an hour earlier than necessary and had to stare at the ceiling, deciding what he wanted to do.

Smoke a cigarette, he thought. But that wouldn't solve his problem. What he wanted was to crawl under the covers with Beth and feel her warm body pressed against his; her hips nestled in his abdomen, her delicious buttocks rubbing against him. He could stroke the silk skin of her stomach and ribs until she arched into him, inviting him to caress more. The memory of carrying Beth sent a wave of heat through his loins.

He didn't mind casual sex and one night stands. In fact, he was all for them. But he respected Beth too much and would have to face her every day at work. Every day he would have to lie and pretend she didn't mean anything to him if he let himself be with her.

He could go get a coffee. Coffee. Not exactly a satisfying second choice to joining Beth in her bed, but he couldn't go to her room. She was sleeping off too many drinks. Perhaps she would have enjoyed a night with him, but he could not cross that line with her. Not with Beth. It would be too easy to want more and impossible to give her what she deserved. After that jerk Brian, she deserved more than a shallow fling. She should have a man who had time and life to off her. What could he give her? A night of wild sex?

He went rock hard at the thought. What would he give for a night of wild sex with her? Anything he could-that was the problem. He didn't have anything left; not since Erica was gone. If his resolve weakened even a fraction, he could crack and break for Beth. It couldn't happen-sooner or later she would see how empty he was.

Some get-away this was turning out to be.

He groaned and tried to stand up, telling his erect would-be partner in crime to calm itself so he could go to the bathroom. He showered, dressed and headed to the restaurant for breakfast. It was only 6:30; he figured he should let Beth sleep in a little longer.

By 7:15, he was knocking on her door, calling her name. There was no answer, so he went to his room to read the news off of the internet.

By 8:15, he was knocking on her door again, wondering if he should use the key he took from her to go in and check.

By 8:30, he was letting himself in with the key he had swiped and crept up to her bed. The urge to lift the covers and lay down next to her nearly overpowered him. He breathed in deeply, thinking about taxes, oils spills, kidney stones and anything else depressing that came to mind in order to fight the urge back. He shook her shoulder and said her name a couple of times.

She looked up at him with confused, half open eyes.

"You're back. You changed your mind?" She reached out both arms to him, smiling sleepily.

"Beth, it's morning," he said. He had to force his mouth to continue. "It's time to go to work."

"Work?" She groaned and put a pillow on her head. "I can't work today. I can't get up. I'm never getting up again. Do you have any aspirin?"

"Let me find you some," he said. He went to his room to fetch his travel case. At his door, he paused. She wasn't drunk this morning, and she still wanted him. Why didn't he just give into this temptation? He grabbed his travel case and dug through it until he found the aspirin. Because this trip is to help her for her upcoming divorce, he told himself, as well as to help her save her job. He returned and gave her a glass of water and two aspirins, then said he would wait for her in the restaurant.

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