“Yes, and no. Of course I’m worried about that, but I wish that were all it was. If it were, this would be so much easier.”

I lean into him, letting his arms come around me more solidly. He’s shielding me from the cold, and I want so badly to touch every part of him. What could possibly be so bad that he won’t tell me what it is? How deep does this run that it would cause this kind of agony? I don’t know. And still after everything, I trust Tristan. I trust him to tell me when he’s ready to tell me.

My lips meet his before I realize what I’m doing, and he captures my mouth, pulling me deeper. Just like yesterday, it’s like a fire has been lit inside me. Delicious and perfect and all-consuming. I can’t fight this. I’ve been waiting for him too long, and I’ve kept my promise to him. I’m all his, and that’s all I want to be.

Yes, it’s complicated. But denying what we’ve both wanted for years is only going to cause us both more pain. “I need you,” I breathe. “Please.”

Fiery green eyes stare into mine. “Tell me first. Have you changed your mind? Do you want me to stop?”

I bite my lip. “No,” I say. “I’m terrified of what might happen, but I’ve never doubted my feelings. I’ve always wanted you, Dash.”

“Fuck,” he says softly against my lips. “I love it when you call me that.”

Before I can kiss him again, he’s pulling me toward his car. “I don’t want to go back to the office,” I tell him.

“That’s not where we’re going,” he says. “My place, if that’s all right. Because this has to happen between us, and I’m not going to have your first time be in the back of my car.”

I blush. Oh my god, this is actually going to happen. Everything that I’ve been dreaming about; the fantasies that play out when I touch myself in bed, at night, alone. Tristan helps me into his car and shuts the door. He peels out of the parking lot with a screech. He holds my hand across the console, but he’s singularly focused on the road.

“Are you okay?”

He smirks. “I’m trying to concentrate on getting home and not pulling over to ravish you on the side of the road.”

“If it weren’t for the snow, I don’t think that I would mind.”

“I’ll keep that in mind for springtime.”

Springtime. When we’ll still be together. The way he talks, it’s like it’s actually going to last. And I want it to, but I’ve spent so long thinking the opposite that it’s hard for me to actually believe it. My heart is pounding, and I can’t believe that I’m going to do this.

When I woke up this morning, I had been so determined to stay away from him. To make it easier for everyone and not rock the boat. But I deserve happiness. We both do.

Tristan pulls up to a gorgeous townhouse near Leighton City’s downtown, and I’m so eager to get inside that I almost beat him to the door. “I would have opened your door for you,” he says, pressing a kiss to my neck before he unlocks the door.

“I’m perfectly capable of opening a door by myself, Dash.”

“I know you are, but as long as you’re with me, I would like the honor of it.”

I raise an eyebrow as I follow him inside. “That’s a little old-fashioned.”

He grins. “I am a little old-fashioned. Now come here.” Without warning he yanks my body against his, pushing my coat off of my shoulders. And then I’m being lifted into his arms as his mouth crashes on mine. Nerves play in my gut as he carries me up the stairs. I’ve always been sure of this—of Tristan. I am not afraid of him, but I am nervous for this. Isn’t everyone, for their first time?

Pushing the bedroom door open with his foot, we enter a bright and open space. There were moving boxes downstairs, so I know that he’s not fully settled. But there’s a bed, and it’s a fucking big one. It dominates the space with four posts and dark sheets. God, I’ve never thought this about a piece of furniture, but that bed is sexy as hell.

But Tristan doesn’t put me down on it, not yet. Instead he sets me down slowly, letting my body drag down his before my feet touch the floor. Everything hangs in the air between us, ready to break. I want everything from him.


“Kiss me,” I whisper, and that’s all it takes to make him break.

Tristan’s mouth crashes down on mine with unyielding fire. This kiss is different from all the others. He’s not holding back and neither am I. For the first time I actually get to feel his body under my hands in the way I’ve always wanted to, and I can’t enough.

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