This is War (The Checkmate Duet #1)(15)


by Kennedy Fox

Travis sits up calmly and crosses his arms over his chest, staring me down as if he’s asking if I’m finished. It’s more frightening because he isn’t saying a word. This is the calm before the storm but nothing can stop the evil smile creeping across my face. I’ve finally managed to push his buttons and it’s about damn time. I was beginning to believe nothing I did bothered him.

He stands up, completely naked, and heat rushes to my cheeks. Travis gives no fucks because his body is perfect, and he has the most beautiful man-ass I’ve ever seen. Muscles cascade down his sun-kissed back, and I pull my lips into my mouth to hold back any audible sound that might try to escape. He slowly pulls the jogging pants to his waist and the band snaps to his body, bringing me back to reality. As much as I want to run away, I stand my ground. I’m so pumped up on adrenaline right now, I actually feel like I could take him and all of his muscles.

“Girlfriend? I don’t think so, princess. I can’t believe that’s the best you have.” The frustration and annoyance in his voice isn’t lost on me.

When I realize he’s still moving toward me, I begin backing up, until my back touches the wall across from his bedroom door. He rushes through the doorway and for a split second I think about running to Drew’s room and locking the door, but I don’t. My traitorous body freezes.

His eyes go dark, and I know he’s just as pissed as I am. When I feel the hardness tucked in his pants graze along my stomach, I hold back a gasp. In a split second, Travis grabs both my wrists and pins them above my head against the wall. He arches his hips, pressing harder against me, making it very evident what he’s so worked up about.

I tilt my head, his mouth so close to mine that I can hardly breathe. I’m being suffocated by Travis King, and I am so bespelled that I cannot move.

I look up into his golden brown eyes and he’s studying my reaction, probably calculating my next move. I know he’s angry, but there’s something else in his gaze that I can’t make out.

“Tell me something, V,” he says in a husky tone. His lips don’t touch mine, but he’s dangerously close, being the asshole that he’s always been, teasing and tempting me with every breath he takes. I want to struggle and demand that he never call me that again, but he’s stolen my voice and my words, along with my mind. The control he has over me at this very moment is pathetic. My heart is racing, and I can smell him, an unmistakable fragrance that I wish I didn’t know so well. It’s sweet and manly and all Travis, but mixed with another woman’s perfume nearly knocks me right off my feet.

I ball my fists because I don’t know whether to love or hate what’s happening. Too many emotions swirl together and time feels like it’s frozen as he overpowers me. If he doesn’t let go, I’ll kick him in the balls and watch him fall to his knees. Back on the playground I was known for being a ballbuster and he, out of anyone, should know better. Instead of releasing me, Travis tightens his grip, and I let out an agitated grunt as I try to break free from him.

“What’s the game plan, Travis? Are you going to keep me captive all night?” I roll my eyes and shake my head, trying not to meet his eyes.

“That’s a good idea.” He holds me hostage with one hand and brushes the other against the light stubble that graces his strong jaw. “Let me think about it for a while longer.”

“You’re such an asshole,” I mumble, forcing my eyes closed because I don’t want to look at him anymore. My body is betraying me. I try to pretend I’m somewhere else, where I can’t smell or feel the warmth of Travis’s skin against mine.

“Now that my night’s been ruined, what am I going to do?” He searches my face, waiting for me to flinch, because usually closeness like this activates my flight-or-fight instinct, especially when it comes to Travis King. But I refuse to let him know it’s becoming uncomfortable and awkward. I try to relax as best I can, because this could go on all night. And if I know Travis, it will. The man doesn’t half-ass anything.

“I’m just doing her a favor. I’ve heard crabs are a bitch. The rash and itch.” My shoulders rise and fall, seemingly unaffected by the position he’s put us in. “You should know.”

He actually cracks a smile. “You’d think with how much you talk about my dick, you’d ridden it before.”

“You’re so vile,” I hiss, narrowing my eyes at him.

He tugs his bottom lip and runs his perfect teeth across the plumpness. It’s a pity those features are being wasted on such an asshole of a man. If I didn’t hate him as much as I do, those lips might actually be considered kissable. He leans in, his mouth too close for comfort and whispers in my ear. “You have no idea just how vile I can be.”

I grit my teeth and channel all the pent-up aggression I have toward him. As my body tightens, I twist my wrists, trying to loosen the grip he has on me. Strands of my hair start falling from my messy bun, and I can feel my chest and neck flushing.

I know I must look ridiculous. Adrenaline rushes through my veins as I try to gain control. After struggling for what feels like minutes, I drop my legs from under my body. If he wants to keep me here, he’ll have to hold me up with those big muscles he likes to flaunt around. But he doesn’t allow me to dangle for too long. Travis releases me, but on his terms— when he’s ready—and my ass hits the floor with a loud thump.

“Aww, little V is all worked up.” He stands over me with a confident smirk that I’m tempted to slap off.

I pull myself up on my feet and push a finger to his chest. “Touch me like that again and it’ll be the last.”

“Are you sure you’d want that, princess?” He’s not at all affected by my threat and it pisses me off even more.

“Fuck you,” I hiss.

“Now you’re talking about fucking,” he says with amusement in his tone. “All these mixed signals are getting confusing.” He glances down my body and pauses on my nipples that are so hard they could etch glass.

Quickly, I cross my arms but it’s way too late; they’ve already given me away.

He slowly lingers over my curves, and I realize every insecurity I have is on display for him to judge. As a sarcastic laugh escapes him, somehow I know it’s at my expense.

With nostrils flaring, I try to speak in the calmest voice I can as he moves toward the doorway of his bedroom. My hands find their way to my hips because I’m not standing down. Not this time. Not ever.