Deadre gives out a lilting laugh.
“How did I end up with a mini copy of my brother as a son? His father was so different! Have you actually met my brother, dear?” Oh, fuck, the relief! She was not saying what you thought she was saying.
“Couple times.” An understatement of the century, Wren.
The door opens behind you, and Deandre smiles. “Oh the tea!”
You turn and feel the smile freeze on your face. Dr. John Thorington is balancing the cardboard tray in his hand. There are three cups on it.
“I sent Philip for your paperwork. They are letting you out of your treacherous prison.” His voice is warm and humourous. You feel your eyebrows going up. It’s like a different person!
He carefully gives her a cup, and then finally looks at you. You see leftover affection in his eyes and defiantly lift your chin. He frowns and gives you your cup. His fingers brush yours, and you feel like hissing. He just makes you so angry! God, you are absolutely livid.
He takes a sip from his coffee and sinks in a chair by the window. He is so tall that he has to stretch his long legs all the way to the middle of the room. She’s smiling to him lovingly and turns to you.
“So Wren, those tests you mentioned, how are they going?” Bloody fucking great they are going! To be honest, surprisingly so, considering all the madness.
“Quite well, thank you.”
“You are in BioChem, aren’t you?” The Sun of Modern Neurosurgery supplies a line from his chair. His low voice is so irritating! And sexy! And irritating! You suddenly remember this same voice raspily moaning in the middle of orgasm, and you feel heat licking your nape.
“What’s your upcoming thesis topic, Miss Leary?” Are we having a small talk now? Wanker.
“Molecular structure and functions of microcephalin.” Go to hell with your blue eyes and sensual lips.
“Fetal brain development? An ambitious topic.” He’s looking at you over the rim of his cup. And you bet he thought you’re a brainless trollop. Well, you are a trollop, but top of her class trollop, thank you very much
“Haven’t you received that Katransky grant last year?” he asks. What?! How?.. He slihgtly tilts his head, studying you. “I was in the committee. A really impressive proposal, Ms. Leary.”
Your head is spinning. He knew about your research… What the actual?..
Deadre laughs. “That would be the first time I hear you complimenting anyone in years, sweetie.” Sweetie? Him complimenting? First time in years?! Send help! Wren’s brain is fried.
“I do compliment. When it is deserved. Ms. Leary has shown a fair amount of innovation and creativity in her approach and deserves high praise.”
“Are you quoting your own report, Dr. Thorington?” Is that you talking? Sounds like you… Why can you never keep your gob shut?
He’s suddenly laughing, an open loud guffaw, white teeth and wrinkles in the corners of his eyes.
“Busted!” He takes another sip from his cup, licks his lips, and gives you a sly smile. “But your research is indeed stupendous.”
What in the name of Rassilon is this fuckery?
You chat some more with Deadre, about your tests and her dogs. Thorington’s silently sitting in his chair. Sometimes you feel his eyes on you and fight the desire to rub the back of your neck. Just don’t think about that night, Wren! You absolutely moved on, it was a one time thing. You shagged – sort of – your scientific hero when you got a chance, and that was fun. Case closed. He could have been a bit more gracious in the morning, but it’s all fine.
Killian returns with Deandre’s bag and papers. Phil’s apparently bringing over the car. That’s your cue. You let her hug you and promise to give her a ring.
“I am happy you are alright, Mrs. Durinson.” She is smiling to you.
“Thank you, love. I hope I will see you soon.”
You nod, wave to Killian and turn to Thorington to give your most polite and insincere goodbyes.
“I’ll walk you out,” he rumbles nonchalantly. God, please don’t!
You silently walk out of the room, and you open your mouth, but he interrupts, “Wren…” His voice is low and coarse.
“Please, tell me you are not going to apologise!” Filter, you need to develop some sort of a filter between the brain and the mouth.
He hikes up his brows. “What would I apologise for?”
Really? You tosser. Oh nevermind.
“Indeed. You were saying?..” He licks his lips. That is a very bad habit you have there, Dr. Thorington. Utterly distracting.
“I understand we started off on a wrong foot.” That is one way to put it. He continues his even polite speech, “But I believe we could reach some sort of an agreement.”
What the actual fuck?! He is not proposing what you think he is proposing!
“We are obviously attracted to each other, Wren, and you seem to have no more desire for any commitment than I do…” He lets you finish the thought in your head.
You really feel like pouring the tea left in your cup on his head. You clearly envision how the lukewarm liquid is dripping from his glorious strands and long nose. But then you stop yourself. What other impression would he have from you based on what happened? You did jump his bones in the first ten minutes after crawling into his tent uninvited.
Be reasonable, Wren. If the cap fits, and such. You exhale slowly to calm down and say, “Dr. Thorington, I am afraid we indeed have started off on the wrong foot. I don’t normally affiliate with men the way we… started off. And I have no desire to continue the same association with you.” He gives you a long appraising look and then nods.
“Thank you for your honesty. May I ask what was not to your liking in my proposal?” Seriously, are we going to continue a decorous discussion about it? “You surely have had one night stands before. Why not turn it into a comfortable arrangement? Or is it me personally you do not approve of?”
You literally see red. Your fists are clenched, and your jaws are pressed together so tight that it hurts.
“I do indeed have one night stands, but I am not that cold about it. It’s more impulses than a calculated approach.” Why are you explaining yourself? He’s just so dominating, suffocating, you feel pinned to the floor.
“May be it’s time to grow up and move to the next level, Ms. Leary.” His tone is sardonic, patronising, so very him.
And that is when you slap him. His head jerks back, and he is pressing a palm to his cheek. His eyes are livid.
“Listen, you wanker, I slept with you because I wanted to! Because I thought there’s something under this fucking cold exterior of yours! I wasn’t trying to achieve anything, and even less so I wanted to become your doxy. I’d rather shag a random wanker in a club bathroom, because we both feel like it, than this!.. I bet there is even a contract enclosed to it! You are such a dick!”
You realise you are yelling. You swirl around and run. You are only sorry you can’t hold back the sobs long enough for him not to hear them.