“You behaved like a child so I’m going to treat you like one.”
I hunched my shoulders at the c word—not that I could protest. He was right; the clock seemed to have turned back and instead of the mature thirty-four year old I’d become I was acting more like the teenager I’d been when I’d left. “Meaning?”
“I think you deserve a spanking for the way you treated me.”
Time froze all around me and my face froze along with it, torn between a perplexed frown and a laugh. I stared at him, unblinking and he stared back. It was a surreal reminder of the staring contests we used to have as kids, which was what tilted the scale toward laughter. “Come on, Brody,” I said when I finally found my voice. “That’s not funny.”
“It’s definitely not, and I’m dead serious.” His eyes showed me that he meant every word; there wasn’t an ounce of laughter to be found in them.
I kept waiting for his grin, for him to drop that stern, commanding voice and say, ‘Gotcha!’ or even ‘Just don’t do it again’ but it never happened. I felt something charging the air between us and this time, I wasn’t sure I liked it. “I don’t think I can let you do that,” I said softly, dropping my eyes once more and tugging at a string coming loose from his boxers.
“Why is that?”
This time, I did smile. What kind of question was that, anyway? “Because! Because I’m thirty-four, because I’m a grown woman, because it’s ridiculous, that’s why.”
“I believe I’ve already addressed the issue of your age.”
I could feel his eyes boring into me, but no way was I looking at him. He seemed to have some kind of crazy, diabolical power over me and I just knew if I let myself look at him long enough, I wouldn’t be able to remember why this idea was crazy.