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Meet Selena: Selena Bodine escaped into the United States Air Force to leave behind a painful past and the one man who she refused to let herself love. Years later, an urgent call from her father brings her back to Pearl, Ohio and face to face with the man she still loves. But will the secret that Cullen is investigating her threaten their second chance?
She closed her eyes and sucked in the indescribable ache hitting her ribs with a force of a jagged knife. Not only did she walk away from him, she crossed a line with her sisters. What must they think of her? “Thank you for the beer.” She set her bottle on the table and rose.
He moved, blocking her path. “No,” he snapped. “You’re not walking away again.”
She recoiled, gazed into the blue eyes she loved, and couldn’t stop the quiver in her chin. “I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you.”
He brought her wrist up between them, and set her hand on his chest. “There’s nothing to be sorry for.” His words filled with such affection, such determination, tingles raced over her skin.
“This is messed up,” she whispered, yet didn’t remove her hand. She couldn’t leave his comfort. Curling and uncurling her fingers, she spread her hand further to touch more of him. “I feel things that scare me. Remember things I didn’t know I did.”
He pressed a kiss to her forehead. “We’ll take it slow,” he said and tucked his chin until her gaze settled on his. “Okay?”
She nodded, and he pressed his mouth to hers in a feather-soft caress filled with gentleness and longing. His hand stayed against her lower back and the curve of her butt.
Through her yoga pants, heat radiated from his fingers. She prayed he’d move them lower.
As if he’d read her thoughts, he cupped a butt cheek and squeezed. His lips and tongue moved over hers like a fine-oiled machine, as if they’d kissed a hundred times.
She snuggled into him further, melted into the contour of his body, his hard plains aligning with her perfectly.
But she had to go. She needed time, distance, air. “I can’t.”
A low growl vibrated from him. She placed a kiss on his neck and laid her head against him, absorbing his comfort and warmth.
“The paper I gave you,” she said slowly, unsure exactly how she would proceed in bringing up what she’d done and the reason for it.
“The sketch?” He lifted a brow, confusion and something else she couldn’t name stretching across his features, and placed a hand on his pocket.
Her heart leapt so hard, she feared it would jump out of her chest, which made the raw emotions she faced harder.
“It may look like lines, a drawing, but it’s more. It reveals what I want most from life.” The pain of sharing something so deep, so personal with someone was difficult, yet with him, it felt right. “Research it. At the time, I couldn’t give any more,” she whispered next to his ear and kissed his cheek. Forcing a smile, she moved past him, down the steps, and headed home.