Today’s prompt was to focus on genre. This one was easy for me when pretty much everything I write is some form of romance. And I’m at the perfect place in Paint Me a Picture to show that. In fact, with a few added sentences, I should be able to add this in to the current scene. Getting a little steamy at the end, but it’s more implied than explicit.
Kirsten closed the door softly behind her after shutting off the light, leaving only the soft glow of a nightlight on in her daughter’s room. It had been a long day, and Cora had even fought to stay awake.
Now, Kirsten looked around the apartment. It was still mostly clean. Cora had been at her grandparents’ all weekend, so there hadn’t been much of a chance for it to get messy after her cleaning spree Saturday morning. Which Rylan had helped her with. That still surprised her that he’d been so willing to do that. When she knew it wasn’t the only reason he’d come over. They’d gotten to that, too. Her body heated, just remembering.
Speaking of Rylan, she figured he’d be right behind them. He’d left the restaurant at the same time. She figured he’d be practically following them up the stairs. But, he still hadn’t shown up. Had he had second thoughts?
No. Not with the way he’d been looking at her at dinner. She couldn’t believe he’d just decide not to come over.
Well, at least that meant she’d have a chance to change and make sure her bedroom still looked decent. The thought of getting ready for her lover almost made her laugh, it was so strange. Four years ago, she thought she’d be content if another man never touched her, not after getting away from Kenny. But, Rylan was the opposite of everything he had been. He didn’t push, didn’t pressure, just took care with her.
But, he didn’t treat her like she was fragile, like she was afraid people would if they knew what Kenny had done to her. Instead he saw her strength and helped bring it out. He trusted it, even if he still would rather face her problems for her, but he seemed to know that wouldn’t work.
Kirsten had just finished changing into a satiny camisole and a pair of matching shorts and was pulling a brush through her hair when she heard a knock on her apartment door. She’d left it unlocked so he could just come in. But, of course, Rylan wouldn’t just assume he was welcome. He wasn’t like that, never had been since she’d first known him, when her brother had been married to Rylan’s sister. In fact, it had seemed like he’d always expected to not be welcome.
She pushed those thoughts out of her head and put the brush down before hurrying out to the door. “Come in,” she told the man who stood on the other side of the threshold. It looked like he’d taken the time to change as well, though he’d looked good for dinner, he looked even better now. His dark green shirt bringing out the flecks of green in his otherwise brown eyes. All the red stubble had been shaved from his jaw, though she did almost miss that, knowing the way it would feel against her skin.
His gaze caught on her, and heat flared in his eyes. Yeah, taking the time to change had been worth it.
“Is Cora still up?” he asked, taking a step forward.
That was his first question? It surprised her, though it probably shouldn’t. She knew he cared about her daughter as well. And it warmed a part of her she hadn’t quite realized was cold.
“No, she was worn out. She usually is after a weekend out at the ranch. My parents don’t exactly enforce a bedtime, and she spends almost all day outside with dad and Sophie.” Her little sister had been the only one of them who had wanted to stick around to work the ranch with their father. Jason probably would have, he still did the cowboy thing, if he and their father didn’t constantly butt heads.
Rylan seemed almost disappointed, surprising her once again. “I’d hoped to help tuck her in.” He must have seen the expression on her face, because he said, “I want that, too, Kirsten. Not just this thing between us but everything.”
Everything? It was too much. She was still too afraid of being swept away to give him everything. But, that didn’t mean she wouldn’t give him anything, or take anything from him. So, she pushed up so their mouths could line up and pressed her lips to his. “Come on in, Ry,” she murmured.
The disappointment left his face replaced by a heat she recognized. His hands went to her waist, and he pulled her closer, his mouth slipping to brush her jaw then down her neck. His hands slipped under the hem of her shirt, the tips of his fingers teasing her skin. Pleasure seared through her at his touch, and she wanted to drag him back to her bedroom. But, he seemed content to stand right where they were.
“Ry,” she finally whispered when she didn’t think she could take it anymore, “let’s go to bed.”
He lifted his head, his gaze catching hers. “Yes,” he said, “Let’s.”