Now, let me say, I love love. I love romance. I just don’t care for the way it’s often done in romance novels. Some authors get it and are down and dirty and gritty about it and that is what I love, that’s the kind of ‘love-type speech’ I want. I don’t want it sweeter than my birthday cake. I want it to feel real… I want my toes to curl and my belly to flutter, not my gag reflex to kick in.
I have a few books where love is mentioned, but not often.
Because it’s the official start of racing this weekend, I’m picking from Stick Shift again, cause well, I can.
“You left me.”
He walked into her house as though he owned it. What was he doing there? And why did he look so damned good? His jaw was shadowed from not having been shaved recently, and he looked tired, on edge. She’d been gone, what? A day?
His scuffed cowboy boots, faded jeans, and an untucked white button-down shirt made her drool.
She nodded to the box in his hands. “What’s that?” Neutral territory, she figured. Take the focus off her for a second until she could get her brain to register with the rest of her that Cam Carter was actually standing in her living room looking better than she remembered, and she’d remembered in really vivid detail.
He set the box down on the couch and then faced her with his hands on his hips. “Don’t try to change the subject. You left me. Why?”
Slowly, she dragged her gaze away from his hands, away from the long, strong fingers she remembered touching every inch of her skin. Inside and out. His mouth was set in a firm, unsmiling line, and his eyes were narrow in her direction. She didn’t like that look. “I thought it would be best.”
“Yes. I was just trying to do the right thing, Cam.”
“For who? You?”
“No, of course not for me. For you.”
“For me? If you were trying to do the best thing or the right thing for me, you’d have stayed with me instead of leaving town. You’d have talked to me, told me what you were thinking about doing. Dammit, Lily. You are what’s best for me.”
“Cam…” She wanted to reach out to him, touch him, hold him. Hell, she wanted to strip naked and then strip him naked. She wanted him to take her on the couch, on the floor, in her bed — she didn’t care where. Her body missed him, her heart missed him, and it was taking everything she had to stay plastered against the panel of the front door.
“No, I’m not here to listen to it. We’ve talked about age and fame, so those aren’t it. I don’t know what it is, and frankly, I don’t care anymore. I want you. Did you think that not talking to you, not seeing you, not having you in bed with me would change that? ”
He’d taken one step after another as he talked, until he was standing in front of her, so close she could feel his breath against her hair. She stared at a button on his shirt and refused to look up. If she did, she’d be lost. She might be older than him and she might not be famous like him, but she was every inch a woman who wanted him, who needed him. She’d been freakin’ damn miserable without him for all of a damn day. She didn’t want to find out how she’d feel without him for a week, a month, a year.
“I don’t need you to run from me or to run away because you’re trying to protect me. I don’t need protection. I don’t need a mother, Lily. I’ve got one. I need you. You are the one who gives me peace and eases me.”
“Cam…” Her heart ached for him. She had been trying to protect him.
“I was trying so hard to make you see how much you needed me, how much you wanted me, so that you wouldn’t leave. I didn’t take into account how much I would need you, because I didn’t think for a moment that you’d actually go. Whatever problems I’m having on the track are not your fault. Not in the way everyone thinks, at least. I don’t know how to balance the two things I want most in life when I want to be doing both at the same time. I need you for that. I need you to help me figure it out. I need you to be the haven, the calm.”
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Have a great weekend! I’ll be watching the Daytona 500 tomorrow! Woot! Let’s Go #18!