I placed my bread on a pad on the counter and gestured for Tavor to bend down. He placed his hand on the counter, his arm almost brushing against me as he leaned over, his nearly bare chest only a foot away. I fought the urge to back away from the overly close proximity. I was the one who’d asked him to come closer, but hadn’t he been the one who was weird about me touching him moments ago?
The room suddenly felt warmer and I wasn’t sure the oven was entirely to blame. I stared at his ear when I spoke, since it seemed safer than looking into his eyes—or at his chest. “You need to make your bread warm too, or he’ll know which one is mine.”
He didn’t react, and I wondered if I’d spoken too quietly. Then his finger gently caught the bottom of my chin and turned my face until our eyes met. Heat flooded me again. Did that mean he was causing this? But he wasn’t upset this time, right? His eyes were amused, with a hint of something else I couldn’t decipher. His voice held an edge of laughter when he spoke. “I’m sorry, from the direction of your gaze, I wasn’t sure if you were talking to me or to the wall. Can you clarify that for me?”
I glared at him, my face burning red as I tried to find my voice. “You—” I cleared my throat. “You were too close,” I accused quietly. Light was probably wondering what was taking so long, and I prayed none of the other genies were watching. Not that we were doing anything wrong. Or that I even knew what we were doing.
“Too close?” His voice took on a lyrical quality, almost like he was hypnotizing me. He removed his hand from my chin, placing it on the counter so he boxed me in. Then he took a step closer. I backed up until my back hit the counter, my eyes wide.
He leaned down until his face was only inches from mine. “This,” he whispered, his breath brushing my face, “is close.”
“Okay,” I squeaked, not sure what the point was.
“Now, why don’t you try telling me what you wanted to before, but actually talk to me when you do it?”
My eyes met his and my breath caught at the intense look in them. They weren’t filled with amusement like before, but his attention seemed riveted on me.
“Um, you need to make your bread hot, too, so Light won’t know which bread is mine?”
He smiled, straightening and letting his hands slide from the countertop. One of them brushed against my hip. “There. Was that so hard, Kitten?”
I shook my head, not understanding what had just happened. If I’d seen the scene on TV, I’d assume the guy was flirting, but this wasn’t a show, and Tavor was a genie. Had he been flirting? The thought was ridiculous. He was an incredibly powerful, thousands-year-old genie, and I was a barely legal nerd who thought a relaxing weekend meant an uninterrupted night with my textbook. Maybe it was a play for dominance? I hadn’t thought about how humans might factor into the whole dominance thing genies seemed to have going on between them sometimes, but maybe that was what had happened. I was beating him in the competition, after all. Losing might have set off some dominance instinct.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish