Twice The Charm Ch. 11bycassandraharper©
Scott wasn't the same, at least not to her. Aside from keeping up with his responsibilities with their daughter, ever since the incident at his place they rarely spoke. It was fine with Manni the first month and she allowed it to slide by the second month, but now they were going on to the third month of awkward avoidance and all she wanted was for things to go back to the way they had been before. She understood that he was still mourning the loss of his mother, but he didn't have to treat her as if she were a leper.
"Mommy," Star called bringing her back to attention.
"Are we going to see Daddy?" she asked kicking her legs into the back of the passenger seat.
"That's good," she replied, twisting in her booster seat to get comfortable.
"Why?" Manni asked on a chuckle. Her daughter had an adorable seriousness about her young face that made Manni smile.
"Because Daddy is lonely."
"What do you mean Daddy is lonely? Isn't he happy when you spend time together?" Manni asked her, frowning back at her in the rear view mirror.
"Yes, but sometimes he cries when he thinks that I'm sleeping," Star admitted, giving her mother sad hazel eyes.
"Yeah, I think he's sad grandma is gone. You should talk to him more, Mommy," Star told her waiting for her to agree. Manni nodded her head reminding herself that her four year old was very smart for her age, all thanks to her. Happy that her mother had listened to her, Star released a big yawn then closed her eyes to take a nap.
Manni felt her anger dissipate into worry as she slightly pressed down on the gas pedal. She pulled up to Scott's home shielding her eyes from the sun with her sunglasses before going to retrieve her sleeping daughter. She gave Star a motherly smile watching her wrinkle her nose in protest when she was lifted from the car.
She almost knocked then decided against it, remembering the many times Scott had scolded her for not using the spare key he had made for her. Switching Star to her other arm, Manni fished into her back pocket to retrieve Scott's key then unlocked the door. She was greeted with voices deep in conversation and when she finally found him, in his home office, she didn't like who she saw that the other voice belonged to.
"You're here?" Scott asked, standing to his feet in greeting. He smiled at her waiting for her to speak. When she didn't he decided to break the silence. "Manni, you remember Dana, don't you?" he asked referring to his old secretary. The same secretary that Manni had walked in on him with four years ago before their relationship had had an explosive finale.
"Do I," Manni replied unknowingly giving the woman a look over of disgust.
"Hello, Ms. Stanley."
"Manni will do just fine," Manni told her taking her guarded eyes to Scott. "I'll put her in her room."
"Manni, wait," he called after her when she turned to leave. "I can explain."
"You don't need to," she told him matter of factly. "We don't owe each other anything where it doesn't concern Star." She walked out of the room with him hot on her heels, cornering her in Star's room.
"Scott, I don't care what she's doing here or if you guys are picking up where you left off. It doesn't bother me," she lied not looking him in the eye as she tried to leave.
He grabbed her arm pulling her back to face him, "Would you stop being stubborn and listen?"
"I'm not being stubborn, I'm just simply telling you that I don't want to hear it."
"Manni, the woman is just doing her job and working for me," Scott told her, disregarding what she'd just said.
"I guess that she'll be working directly under you again," Manni told him not hiding the double meaning in her words.
"Damn it, Manni, do you want to know what really happened that day in the office?"
"Yes, she came onto me. Yes, I touched her. Yes, I thought about screwing her brains out except I couldn't because you kept coming into my mind."
"That's funny," Manni told him looking up into his furious green eyes. "It looked like you were two seconds from diving deep inside--"
He slammed his mouth on top of hers to cut her off, catching her by surprise and making her glare at him. "I had told her to put her clothes back on and to get out of my office literally two seconds before you had walked through my door."
"Is that supposed to make it any better?" she asked, hearing her voice break. "Well, it doesn't matter any more because it was in the past."
"Apparently, it does since you're not able to get over it to this day," Scott told her, tightening his grip on her arms when she attempted to squirm away.
"Let go of me," Manni told him trying to keep her voice down with their sleeping daughter in the room.
"No," Scott said with a determination in his eyes that made her stomach quiver. He was going to have this conversation whether she wanted to or not.
"You're hurting me," she told him looking distressed.
His eyes softened as he raised one hand up to her cheek while wrapping the other around her waist. Manni really began to fight then. She didn't want him conjuring up feelings that she had finally been able to bury after three months of hard work. "Manni, please don't leave me like this."
Her stomach dropped at the vulnerability in his words, nevertheless, she shook her head in denial. "You don't want me to stay. You made it clear three months ago. You don't want me. So just go back to Dana."
He kissed her again this time more urgent than the first angry kiss he had given her. His lips softened as he became more gentle, kneading his fingertips into the soft skin of her waist.
Manni's body tingled in response and she hated herself for being unable to break away from Scott's drugging kiss. She hated even more how Scott knew exactly what to do to make her become putty in his hands. "Scott, no," she replied huskily, her voice clouded with desire.
He pulled her closer, pressing his arousal into her soft stomach for her to feel. "Don't say that I don't want you, Manni. All I've ever wanted was you."
"Was an idiotic mistake," he interrupted. "I swear on my mother's freshly dug grave that I told her I couldn't do it. I came to my senses and told her that I loved you too much to hurt you like that. The only reason she's here is because, coincidentally, she works for my new company and she was sent to help me catch up on a few assignments," Scott continued willing Manni to believe him with his pleading eyes. "I didn't know that they would send her to be my secretary, muchless that she even worked there. I haven't seen or spoken to her in four years since everything happened. I swear."
Manni looked away feeling her throat clamp shut, "it still doesn't make a difference," she hoarsely whispered while willing her pounding heart to slow down.
"What do you mean it doesn't make a difference?"
She could hear the hurt in Scott's voice and she huffed out a deep breath before bringing up the touchy subject of their last time together in his bedroom. "That time, you...you sent me away when all I wanted to do was be there for you."
"Manni, I wanted you to stay," Scott told her, watching as she shook her head.
"No, you didn't," she refuted once more making an effort to pull out of his arms.
"Yes, I did," he emphasized,, making her gasp in surprise as he literally lifted her from the ground to make her look into his serious eyes. "But what do you think would have ran through your mind afterwards?" he asked, waiting for a response.
"I don't know," Manni muttered, feeling like a little girl in his arms. "Put me down."
"You would have thought that the only reason I had slept with you was because of my mother's death. I couldn't have you thinking that way. I don't want you to have any doubts when I take you to bed. Hell, I'm willing to do it right now, but you'd probably reason it away by saying that we had angry sex or something. Do you realize how much stress you're causing me because of your stubbornness and unwillingness to actually believe me when I speak?"
A soft kiss landed on her pink lips and she shuddered once more encircled within his arms. "Manni, I want you so badly that it hurts," he told her almost wincing from the tautness of his erection against the zipper of his jeans. If it got any bigger, Scott was afraid that his penis would explode.
"But you avoided me for practically three months," she pointed out wanting an explanation.
"Because I had a lot of work to catch up on and I didn't want you to think that I was having a hard time since my mother's death."
"Star tells me that you're sad and that you cry a lot," she said softly, looking down at his strong arms.
"I don't cry a lot just every once in a while," Scott admitted slightly embarrassed.
"Everyone needs to cry every once in a while."
Scott smiled at her efforts to make him feel comfortable, but there was still one thing that he needed to know before he would end their conversation. "Manni, I want--no, I need you to tell me what you want from me. Do you want me?" he asked, watching her cower by burying her face in his nicely toned chest. "And be honest with the both of us, not just me. Manni?"
"Yes," she heard her voice quiver out in response. "So you can let me go now."
"Never again," Scott told her, shaking his head so hard that his red hair bounced about. "If I take you to bed, do you know what that will mean?"
"That we both really needed to get laid?" Manni asked hopefully.
He smiled shaking his head once more, "it will mean that you and I will make it work, not just for us, but also for Star. It will mean that we're not going to fool around this time, but get it right. It will mean that this time around when I put a ring on your finger, we'll be leaving Star with your parents so that we can go on our honeymoon. It will mean that we're stuck together forever," he told her, lifting her chin to look into her big brown eyes. "Are you ready for that? Are you ready for me to take you to bed?"
Fear and uncertainty clouded her pupils at Scott's revelation. She was starting to panic, she didn't know what to say and her brain wasn't being very helpful now that it was empty and had completely stopped functioning.
Scott planted a kiss to Manni's forehead, refusing to pressure her into making a decision. "Think it over because I won't touch you until you give me the go ahead," he said then leaned closer to her ear to whisper huskily into her ears. "And believe me, Manni, all I want to do is touch you. And when I do...you won't be able to run."
He took her lips possessively, coaxing a rise out of her frozen body until she lifted herself on tiptoes and wrapped her warm, silky arms about his neck. Hungrier than a starving wolf, Scott hoisted her up pressing his arousal between her thick thighs that he really wanted to be kissing. He dug his hips into her, swiveling about until she was moaning feverishly against his lips, then just as quickly as he had advanced, he placed her back down on the carpeted floor and walked away, leaving her to compose herself.
"Damn," Manni whispered, with his depart, in a desire broken voice.