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Stripping it Down
When you lose all hope, what's left to live for?
There was no escaping it and no one to bring Raine out of it. The burden of loss weighs heavily on her, reminding her every day that there are no guarantees in life. Every day is a struggle. Every day she puts on a facade just to get through. She's already lost so much.
But a chance encounter with Sly Wilkes is all it takes to come completely undone.
Sly Wilkes is always in control, in every situation, including the bedroom. He's mysterious, and Raine has definitely piqued his interest. However, getting to know her isn’t all that easy. Raine’s guarded and believes she deserves to feel the pain and the darkness that surrounds her.
Will Sly be able to help Raine see she deserves more?
Or will the pain forever remain?
I put my ear buds in, and I’m out the door. The rain stopped on my way home, and I’m glad I won’t be cooped up in the house. My runs provide the escape I need and crave. It’s so late that only the street lamps are providing a dim light across the street.
I have to work tomorrow, so I have that to look forward to. Running against the wet sidewalk causes my sneakers to start squeaking. As soon as I make it close to home, my feet fail me and I slip on the wetness, hitting my knee hard against the concrete. I limp into the house. Stripping off my now wet clothes, I reach for the first aid kit under the bathroom sink and clean the blood from my knee. I wince when I put the peroxide on it and it bubbles up. Taking a cotton ball, I dot some ointment on it and place a Band Aid over the wound.
I take a hot shower, trying to avoid the water from hitting my knee, as it still stings. Warmed up from the hot shower, I exit and wrap my plush robe around my body. Padding out to the living room, I make myself some hot cocoa, and then hear a knock on the door.
The clock reads three a.m., and I’m concerned for my safety. Who the hell is knocking at my door at this time? I look through the peep hole, and see a familiar face. Sly. Shit, I forgot to text him when I came back.
I swing my door open. “Sly, what are you doing here?”
“I wanted to make sure you’re safe. You never texted me, so I came to see for myself.”
“Well, you could have just called,” I say, adding a little annoyance to my tone.
I motion for him to come inside.
“Overrated. Besides, I’m more of a face to face kind of guy. But I see you are perfectly fine.” He scans my body. “Except I didn’t see that earlier. What happened?” He points to my bandaged knee.
“Um, I, uh, slipped during my run. It’s no big deal,” I brush off with a giggle.
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“I promise. I’m fine. Can I offer you a cup of coffee, cocoa, or something?”
“Oh no, I’m fine, thanks for offering. While I’m here though and see you are okay, would you be interested in going to dinner with me tomorrow night?”
Dinner. Tomorrow? I’m in my robe and Sly is asking me to dinner. Kill me now.
“Okay, yes, I’ll go to dinner. Just text me a time to be ready,” I say, trying to edge him toward the door, so I’m not suffering anymore embarrassment. I don’t know what I was thinking, offering him a drink. He chuckles and moves to leave. I just agreed to go out on a date.
“Goodnight, Raine. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Goodnight, Sly.” He exits to go to his car.
Closing the door, I rest my forehead on it and sigh heavily. Did that just really happen? Why am I having these feelings? Why do I care what he thinks of me?
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