In a daze, Erin went up the two flights of stairs to her apartment. She wandered around her place for a while until she realized she was sitting on her bed with her hands clasped together to keep them from shaking. They had been trembling as she rested them against his back, as Kai faced off with those men on the subway. As he stood between her and them.
It made her weak in the knees to think about it. Feeling how ready he was to protect her was almost worth being so scared. Even then, somehow she never doubted that he would do whatever it took to keep them away from her. Whatever it took.
He had been perfectly calm the whole time, assuring her in low, even tones and never once making her feel like he wasn’t in complete control. In such wild situation! When he told her to do exactly what he said as they got off the subway, standing there exposed on the platform with those angry men just steps away, with only his hand to hold her there…
She suddenly realized what complete trust she put in him. She had stayed there with him when every part of her wanted to run away.
And the way Kai had looked down at her as he insisted on walking her home. Like he wasn’t going to put down his sword until he knew she was completely safe. Erin didn’t think she had ever met a more manly man in her life.
What would happen when he got back to his station? Would that gang be waiting for him? What if they hurt him?
She felt so guilty for walking off alone to the subway. All of this wouldn’t have happened if she had just been sensible and waited for the car to come. But he never said a word of blame.
Instead, he had apologized for saying those things to her. Now when she thought about it, she felt embarrassed for making such a big deal about it. It was just teasing. But it still made her flustered to think about it, even more than remembering how long he had flirted with Allison.
Finally, Erin couldn’t stand it anymore; she was thrumming with nerves and too much adrenaline coursing through her body. She went outside and walked. New York was made for walking, and the night was really fine with a nice breeze off the river ruffling her hair. Everywhere she looked there was something new and interesting to see.
But she couldn’t stop thinking about Kai, the way his back felt under his T-shirt as her hands rested on him, and the way his hand enveloped hers, firm yet careful not to squeeze too hard.
She tried to tell herself to stop. He was off-limits for a lot of reasons. She was sure Alison would try, at some point, to cash the check he was writing. And watching Allison date Kai would be excruciating if she kept remembering the feel of his hands on her.
Erin couldn’t let Allison know that she had the hots for Kai, especially if they chose his design. Her boss would have no qualms telling Kai that Erin was mooning around after him. Then Allison would smile as she watched Kali squirm. That was not that going to happen. No way.
No matter how much she kept thinking about his tanned arms, and the way his muscles strained the T-shirt over his shoulders. No matter how much she thought about his blue eyes looking into hers, she couldn’t let herself believe anything would come of it.