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“I don’t like feeling like this,” Will said.
I sucked a breath through my teeth. “Feeling like what?”
“Like this.” He took a step toward me, and I fought
not to step backward. Will had a quiet authority about him, and in the shadows
of the moon, his shoulders seemed to broaden, his legs seemed to lengthen. He
seemed larger than life.
When he had me backed up against the porch railing, he
raised a hand, floating his fingers around my jaw, over my cheeks, but never
actually touching me. I arched toward his hand. I couldn’t help it. But he
hovered, never making contact.
“You make me feel…” Will started. “Out of control.”
I couldn’t move. “Oh?”
“Like I actually have to care about what someone else
thinks. Like I’m not alone anymore.” He paused. His eyes opened wide, following
the path of his fingers as they took hold of a strand of hair in my ponytail
and twirled. “And for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I don’t
want to be.”
He tugged lightly on the strand, and I felt the slight pinch
like an arrow through my body, shooting down my arms and legs, and coming to
throb in that place no man had been for so, so long. I bit my lip. Will’s eyes
“Tell the truth, Lil. What do you want?”
You. The word echoed distantly, like a bell tolling
from miles away. I didn’t understand it. I was broken. A mess. What should I
want with this man? We had a connection, sure, but overall, he was nothing but
trouble. He was grouchy. A loner. Clearly had serious social and emotional
And yet. There was no denying that something was here. Since
we met, it certainly felt at times as if the universe itself was tilting on its
axis, trying to knock me into him. Breakdown after breakdown. Meeting after
meeting. And now…
I tipped my chin up so I could look directly at him, drawn
like one of the moths circling the porch light. Winging through the dark, ready
to dive into his golden inferno.
“I don’t want Lucas,” I said quietly, drifting my gaze up
and down his naked torso. A sheen of sweat glimmered in the moonlight, which
also made the shadows of his muscles—the square pectorals, the solid rack of
abs, the lickable V that dipped beneath his shorts—that much more
Will followed my gaze, and his hand dropped. He stepped
between my legs, and his unique scents engulfed me. Working all afternoon only
made them that much stronger—the scent of pine trees, lake water, and man swallowed
me with a heady rush that made me shake slightly. And it was then, only then, that
he finally touched me. My waist was encircled by his wide palms, so broad that
his fingers nearly touched on either side. It was relatively innocent, but the
intent was clear. Just like last night, he held me still; I couldn’t move
unless he wanted me to. For that moment, I was his.
When I looked back up, his eyes were fixed on my lips.
Unconsciously, I licked the lower one. His pupils dilated even more.
“Lil,” he whispered as he leaned a little closer.
“What are you waiting for?” I murmured. Now I was the one
staring at his mouth—so soft and full under his newly trimmed beard.
I panted. Will swore.
“Fuck it,” he growled. “I don’t fucking know.”
Sometimes you don’t know you wanted something until you have
it. Sometimes you don’t know you need something until it’s there.
His mouth found mine in a fury, one that surprised me for
about a half second before. The hands at my waist gripped so tightly, I almost
couldn’t breathe, and I felt like I was strangled—not for lack of oxygen, but
for lack of him. Will’s lips made me feel like I was breathing for the
first time; like I’d been under water my entire life, and he was the air I’d
never known I needed.