“Because nine years ago, I walked up to the most beautiful girl in the bar, and tonight she's still the only person I want to talk to.”
“I will never, ever regret stopping you from walking out of my life a second time, Kyle," she said in an emotional voice. "And I can prove it."
She reached for the buttons on her trench coat and undid them, one at a time. Then she opened the coat and let it drop to the floor.
And even if she didn't say a single word more, Kyle knew he would never again doubt the way Rylann felt about him.
She was wearing his flannel shirt.
"You kept it," he said softly. "All this time."
She nodded. "For nine years, I've held on to this darn shirt, literally dragging it across the country and back."
Kyle touched her cheek, gently brushing away a tear with his thumb. "Why?"
She paused hesitantly, and then with a tender smile, finally put it all on the line, too. "I guess I always hoped you'd come back for it someday.”
“I don’t mind hot and spicy. Actually find that appealing in a girl. And chicken wings.”
“It may have taken nine years, and a whole lot of wrong turns along the way, but their story felt complete at last.
Because, finally, she was his.”
“Kyle had to give her credit; it took skill—plus no
heart and a serious abuse of the English language—
to break up with someone in fewer than 140
“There are some things a girl never forgets, Ry. And one of those is a kiss from the right guy”
“I told you not to take off work for this."
“And miss your big finale? No way.I’m all atwitter to see how things turn out.”
“That’s cute, Jordo.” Then he frowned as
Nick McCall was suddenly there, in their lives, and
Kyle was therefore being a little…cautious before
welcoming him into the family.
“Be nice, Kyle,” Jordan warned.
“What?” he asked innocently. “When have I ever
not been nice to Tall, Dark, and You Can’t Be
Serious About This Guy?”
“I like him. Get used to it.”
“I saw you laughing with your friends, and your smile sucked me right in.”
“Just because we haven’t met Mr. Right doesn’t mean we’re doing anything wrong. And by the way, you’re brilliant and awesome, too. If I were a
lesbian, I’d totally settle down with you and make lots of in vitro babies.”
“Then his gaze shifted to the wild bush sprouting from her head. “Wow. Did I do that to your hair?” He looked oddly pleased at the thought.
Rylann made a mental note to throw a flat iron in her purse the next time she had sex in the shower with a billionaire ex-con. Not that there was
going to be a next time. “Not all of us are lucky enough to have freakishly perfect, shampoo-commercial hair. This is what happens when I get wet.”
His expression turned wicked. “I know exactly what happens when you get wet, counselor.”
Yep, she’d walked right into that one.”
“I love you, Rylann." He cupped her face, peering down into her eyes. "And now I finally have a good answer to the one question everyone always asks me--why I hacked into Twitter. I didn't know it at the time... but I did it to find you again."
She leaned into him, curling her fingers around his shirt. "That may be the best justification I've ever heard for committing a crime." She looked up at him, her eyes shining. "And I love you, too, you know.”
“Ignore me. I don’t want to talk about my nonexistent love life today.”
“I see that you’ve
had the non-pleasure of meeting my sister.Jordo, this is
Jordan raised an eyebrow pointedly at Kyle.
An entire dialogue seemed to pass between them”
“It’s not the place that matters, It’s how good you are when you get there.” -Rylann”
“You’re right,” she acknowledged. “I don’t know you,
really. We spent all of about thirty minutes together
nearly a decade ago. Still, I think the Kyle Rhodes
who walked me home and gave me the shirt off his
back would do the right thing no matter how pissed
he was at my office. So if that guy is hanging around
this penthouse anywhere, tell him to call me.”
the image of his father wearing bell-bottoms,
smoking a joint, and calling his mother a “totally
groovy chick” was wrong on so many levels he
wanted to erase the whole thing from his memory”
“Listen and learn: you need fourteen characters, minimum. Use random letters, not words. Here’s a tip: think of a sentence, and use the first letter in each of those words. Mix it up between upper and lower case. Then pick two numbers that mean something to you – not dates – and stick them somewhere between the letters. Put a punctuation mark at the beginning of the password and then a symbol, like a dollar sign, at the end.”
“Wow. Clearly, I need to find myself an ex-con. Since prison is probably the only place in this city I haven’t looked for Mr. Right yet.”
“Oh God, that hurts,” she whimpered.
“What hurts?” Kye asked, sounding concerned.
“The invisible man pounding spikes into my head.”
“That doesn’t sound good. Maybe you should take out an invisible Taser gun and zap the son of a bitch.”
“One of the few times I’ve ever wished for a penis,” she said to Rae when the bartender stepped up to take the order of yet another male customer. They’d been waiting to be served for over twenty minutes. She’d even worn the red magic boob dress tonight, but unfortunately, its mojo offered no help in this particular situation.
“You haven’t had sex in six months,” Rae said. “If I were you, I’d be wishing for penises every night.”
“I don’t mind hot and spicy. Actually find that appealing in a girl … And chicken wings.”
Rylann turned her head and stared at him. “Did you really just compare me to chicken wings?”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing. Chicken wings are the bomb.”
“You came along and changed everything. I don’t want to be some guy you’re fooling around with anymore, Rylann. I want to be with you all the way.”
“She nodded approvingly at Kyle. “I like her already.”
“Jordo…” he said warningly.
“What? That was a compliment.” She turned back to Rylann. “Question: you’re not secretly a money-grubbing skank, are you?”
Kyle looked pained. “My God, Jordan.”
“What? It’s a fair question given your past predilections.”
“You are just as annoyingly cocky as you were nine years ago.”
“Yes,” Kyle’s gaze fell to her lips. “And we both know how that turned out.”
“AS IT TURNED out, Rylann wasn’t quite as good as she’d thought she was.
Over the last five years she’d prosecuted cases, she’d become quite skilled at reading defendants and their lawyers at the initial court
appearance. Given Quinn’s obvious nervousness, she’d originally predicted that his lawyer would be calling her within two weeks to negotiate a
Instead, it took him two weeks and three days to make that call.”
“Once again, Rylann tried to catch the eye of the female bartender working Firelight’s main bar.
“One of the few times I’ve ever wished for a penis,”
“So here’s the question,” Melinda led in. “Who’s Tall, Dark and Smoldering?”
“Unfortunately, she did. “Do you think any of us will ever be normal again?”
Rae considered this. “I’m told that somewhere around third year, we lose the urge to cite the Constitution in everyday conversation.”
“Her body trembled as she finally caved. “Touch me, Kyle. Now,” she begged.
Thank fucking God.”
“He was Kyle Rhodes, and he was a tech god.”
“1. She switched her breakfast to a high-protein meal (at least 30% protein) à la the Slow-Carb Diet. Her favorite: spinach, black beans, and egg whites (one-third of a carton of Eggology liquid egg whites) with cayenne pepper flakes. 2. Three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), she performed a simple sequence of three exercises prior to breakfast, all of which are illustrated in the next few pages: One set: 20 two-legged glute activation raises from the floor One set: 15 flying dogs, one set each side One set: 50 kettlebell swings (For you: start with a weight that allows you to do 20 perfect repetitions but no more than 30. In other words, start with a weight, no less than 20 pounds, that you can “grow into.”
“I would like to be able to gently drift in and out of existence when I wanted to.”
“I move onward, through the colors and cheers and music, floating into my future, and it is a clear, open space that stretches wider that the sky and higher than the Andes.”
“You must not be unkind, especially when it happens that you're right.”
“Another of the hard things about being in a war, grandchildren, is that although there are times of quiet when the fighting has stopped, you know you will soon be fighting again. Those quiet times give you the chance to think about what has happened. Some of it you would rather not think about, as you remember the pain and the sorrow. You also have time to worry about what will happen when you go into battle again.”
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