Author: Noelle Adams
Release Date: February 21, 2014
Genre: Adult/New Adult Contemporary Romance
“Did you hurt your arm?” Gideon asked.
I blinked in surprise, and he nodded down at my arm, which I was still rubbing compulsively.
I dropped my hand immediately. “Not really. It’s just a little tendonitis or something.”
He reached over and took my wrist in his hand, and I jerked away from him.
“What the hell?” he asked, his eyes searching my face in that intrusive way again. “I was just going to rub it for you.”
I didn’t want him to. I didn’t want him to touch me. I wanted him to just go away so I could push myself into battered oblivion again. But, if I objected, it would just give him more ammunition for his concerns, so I relented and stretched my arm out.
He took it again and very gently started to rub the inside of my wrist.
I tried to relax back against the couch so he wouldn’t see that it bothered me. His eyes were focused on the television, as if his massage was simply an afterthought, hardly on his radar at all. But his touch seemed strangely careful, starting softly and growing more firm as he moved slowly from my wrist up to my elbow.
He had to touch me over my sleeve as he moved up my arm, since I was wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt. It was a warm night, but I felt safer without any skin showing, so I never wore tanks and shorts anymore.
He didn’t say anything. He seemed to be thinking only about sports. But he kept up the massage for a long time.
It actually felt good. Really good. Easing the sore muscles, soothing them with pressure, causing pleasant sensations to ripple up through my shoulder. His fingers were strong and gentle at the same time, and I didn’t really understand how they could be both.
I took a shuddering breath and tried to pretend I wasn’t reacting. But I was. I was.
I didn’t want it to feel good. My body couldn’t feel good. It didn’t match how the rest of me felt, and so it was a jarring incongruity. Upsetting in a way I couldn’t articulate.
Something inside me was shaking, but I used all the will I could muster to force it down, to keep the shaking from moving into my body.
He was just rubbing my forearm. He hadn’t even moved past my elbow.
He’d massaged back down to my wrist, and I thought he was nearly finished. But then he started up my arm again, and this time his fingers were under the fabric, pushing up my sleeve as he went.
It felt even better and even worse. He was touching my skin, and the resulting sensations were pleasant, soothing, really good. And I simply couldn’t feel good.
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