It was official.
I have lost my ever-loving mind.
That was the only explanation I could find as to why Luke Rus was currently in my apartment looking like a bull in a china shop.
If that wasn’t weird enough, the man looked fidgety.
Luke Rus, Mr. Confident, looked nervous. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Luke nervous.
And to my utter misery, he looked adorable.
“Nice place,” he finally said, making a chuckle slip out before I could stop myself.
Don’t encourage him!
“No, it’s not. But it’s home, our home, and that’s what counts. Now, sit down, would you?” I suggested, gesturing toward the rickety couch I reconditioned myself.
I knew I wasn’t the best host or anything, but it was Luke. It didn’t matter that we were barely on speaking terms, the man owned my heart at one point in time. He was my Luke.
“Uhm... sure.” He looked at me skeptically but did as I asked.
Here’s what I learned from what happened next:
1. Apparently, my couch is not only tiny, but you need to be careful how you place your weight when you sit if you’re a huge man, because it tips over.
2. Watching your ex fall in slow motion is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, and I’m going to hell for laughing my ass off first and only helping him up after.
In my defense, I never experienced that before because... well... I was small.
I was just about to turn around and head into the kitchen when I saw Luke throw his ass onto it, then the couch fall backward, taking him with it.
The man even propelled his arms, trying to prevent the fall!
Unable to contain myself, I collapsed onto the ground and laughed like I never have before. I laughed until no sound came out and tears were streaming down my face.
“You...” I shook, as I tried to get the words out. “You... are you hurt? Oh, you should’ve seen your face!”
“Yeah, laugh it up. How about helping a man out once you’re done?” he grumbled but I could hear the humor in his voice.
“I gotta say, helicopters have nothing on you. You almost took flight!” I bellowed in laughter.
“Shut it, would you?” Luke snapped, but again I could have sworn I heard him chuckle.
“Alright, alright. I’m done,” I finally said, then jumped to my feet and made my way over, stretching my hand for him to grab on to.
And he did.
Only instead of helping him get up, the law of physics kicked in, causing me to fall over.
Landing right on top of him.
“Oomph,” I grunted at the impact, then I opened my eyes and I knew I was in trouble.
Because it took my whore of a body roughly point two seconds to process that not only was I lying on top of a hot piece of man candy, but that man candy was none other than my first love. The man who could fuck the daylights out of me like no other… that man.
Our mouths were also conveniently millimeters away.
Luke seemed to have realized our predicament the same time I did, because I was ninety-nine point ninety-nine percent certain the thing poking my thigh was not his handgun.
Which reminded me of his beautiful cock. In my experience, that part of a man’s anatomy had no business being called beautiful, but Luke’s? Jesus, the guy’s manhood was magnificent. All hard, thick and veiny.
“Camilla…” he huskily whispered, licking his lips as he stared hungrily at my mouth.
And I shit you not, as soon as the thought crossed my mind, my hips involuntarily moved, causing just the right amount of friction.
Luke’s eyes darkened with desire, just the way I remembered they did. The man was looking at me like a wolf ready to pounce as an unintentional moan escaped my mouth.
I needed to get up, and I needed to do it fast, but my horny body refused to cooperate. She wanted to be fucked every way imaginable right then and there.
She didn’t care about the consequences.
To be honest, I had a hard time concentrating and thinking about doing the right thing, when all I could feel were muscles upon delicious muscles.
“Millie…” He growled and thank Jesus he did. Because that did it.
The use of that nickname snapped me right back to reality faster than a bucket of ice cold water would have.
“Coffee. We need coffee,” I mumbled, scrambling to my feet, and to my utter embarrassment, accidentally humping his shaft a couple of times as I did so.
“Coffee, my ass. I need a cold fucking shower.”
I promptly ignored Luke’s mutter, as I hightailed it into my kitchen like my ass was on fire.
Something is on fire all right, it just isn’t my ass.
“Just pretend that nothing ever happened,” I instructed myself under my breath while I waited for the coffee to brew.
“We most certainly won’t pretend like nothing ever happened.” Came from behind me, causing me to shriek like a damn banshee.
“Don’t sneak up on me like that,” I scolded. “Also, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I added, shrugging and playing dumb.
“That.” Luke pointed in the general direction of my living room. “Was not nothing.”
“You came here to talk,” I reminded him, pointedly raising my eyebrow. “So talk.”
“That was before… before… we had a moment.” He growled, refusing to take a seat at the counter I gestured to.
That was a pet peeve of mine. I hated when I sat and the person I was with refused to do so, and stood instead. No clue what it was about the act that made me uncomfortable, but it did.
It made me feel on edge.
“Here are the rules. You sit down and stop talking about the supposed moment we had, or you get the fuck out. I was under no obligation to hear you out, let alone invite you into my home. I decided to do so. I’m also the one who’ll throw your ass out faster than you can blink, without feeling bad about it if you test me.”
“You haven’t changed at all.” He chuckled, obviously amused by this whole ordeal.
“Alright. I’m listening.” I leaned back in my seat once he sat down across from me.
“Since we already established that you haven’t changed since… well, since I last saw you.” Since you decided to break my heart and abandon me without a word. “I know that there’s no way I can talk you out of competing.”
“Right. I do have a proposition for you.”
“What could that be?” I scoffed, already not liking where this was going.
“I’m going to train you.”
“Like hell you are.” I chuckled, knowing where this was going. “I’m good, thanks.”
Me voluntarily spend time with him on a daily basis for weeks? That’s a recipe for certain heartbreak.
Thanks, but no thanks.
“Are you, though?” he challenged, leaning forward and placing his yummy veiny forearms onto my counter.
“Come on, Camilla. You’re a great fighter. I know that, because I’m the person who trained you to be one. But the men we are going to be fighting next? They don’t fight fair.”
“I already know that,” I argued.
“You almost lost against Trip last night,” Luke unnecessarily pointed out, then cut me off as soon as I opened my mouth to speak. “And don’t you dare reply with ‘but I didn’t’. You almost lost!”
Taking a sip of coffee, I remained silent and thought his words through.
He was right.
I was a good fighter, but I wasn’t anywhere near as good as he was.
“I have no idea what’s going on, and I won’t try to pressure you into telling me. There’s a reason you're so hell-bent on competing, I know there is, because the Camilla Garcia I knew wouldn’t have decided to enter something like this for shits and giggles.”
Again, he was right.
I wasn’t known to be aggressive or volatile. Even back then, I only used violence when I or someone I loved was in imminent danger. As it should be used.
Luke must have mistaken my silence as me disagreeing with him, because he took my free hand that wasn’t wrapped around my coffee mug into his.
“I want to help you, Camilla. I need to help you. I swear I won’t overstep, just let me help you.”
If this was any other situation I would have wrenched my hand away like he burned me, but the sincerity in his dark eyes made it impossible.
There was something in those eyes of his that pulled me in, something that hadn’t been there a decade ago.
Which is why I found myself nodding and saying, “You’re right. I do need your help. Can you please train me?”
What I’ll never forget was the way his eyes lit up with childlike joy as the words left my mouth.