“If you love someone enough, you can make them invincible. Like your feelings for them are so strong they work as a magical shield, protecting them from all harm and pain.”
“You’re the warm sun that shines when everything else is dark,” he went on, lifting his hands to rest them on the wall on either side of my face. “A smile and a hug in a roomful of disapproval. You’re…” Wincing, he pressed his forehead against mine. “You’re everything.”
“Can I touch you?”
His lashes closed, resting on the tops of his tanned, sculpted cheeks as his smile grew broad. “You don’t have to ask.” I reached out immediately but paused within inches of contact. He must’ve sensed my hesitation because he reopened his eyes. “What’s wrong?”
I swallowed, utterly overwhelmed. “I don’t know where to start.”
Mason’s gaze warmed . He wrapped strong warm fingers around my wrist and drew my palm forward, leading me where he wanted my hand to follow. When he set it on the center of his chest, right over his heart and pressed my flesh to his as if fingerprinting my soul to his. I blinked back gratified tears.
“Start here. No one’s ever touched me here before.”
“Are you seriously going to walk out of here right now after I just confessed my soul to you, cool as a cucumber, without reciprocating at all?”
“What?” I sent him a blank look. Then I rolled my eyes and reached out to ruffle his amazing hair. “Mason Lowe, if you don’t know by now that I’m attracted as hell to you, you’re freaking blind.”
He stared at me a moment before muttering, “There. Was that so hard to admit?”
“See, your laugh is exactly what's keeping me away, woman. I just want to kiss those lips and hoard that sound all to myself.”
“I took my first sip. When I moaned, he arched an amused brow. “Would you two like to be alone?”
I tucked my latte protectively close. “Yes. Could you give us fifteen, twenty minutes tops? I have a feeling things are about to get real obscene up in this house.”
“Every woman treats me that way, Reese. I’m not a person to them. I’m just…a good time or something vile to be avoided at all costs. And then you came along and you…you hugged me. You are the first person who sees me, Mason, not sex for sale.”
“So, you don’t give out freebies? Like ever?” That just sounded so bizarre to me. I would’ve thought a gigolo would be a complete man-whore, even off the clock.
But when his jaw went dead still as he stopped chewing and he said, “Are you…asking for one?”
“Holy guacamole. Was that a double entendre? I swear that was a double entendre. Someone hold my panties on for me because Mason Lowe was freaking flirting with me, using double entendres.”
“If I touch you right now, that’s it. I won’t be able to stop. I wanted to make sure you have all your playtime in before I get started.”
“Aww … Thinking of me first. That’s so sweet. Thank you.”
“Yeah, I’m a frigging saint. Now will you please touch my dick like you mean it before the damn thing explodes?”
“You’re the warm sun that shines when everything else is dark,”
“You might not have charged me a fee, but kissing you is too big of a price for me. I didn’t sign up for this. Now let me go.”
“Eva was right. I could never deserve you. You’re too good for me. You’re out of my reach. You’re…you’re Reese Randall.”
“You’re wrong. I’m not.” I wasn’t really Reese Randall, and I certainly wasn’t out of his reach. “All you have to do is stretch out your hand, Mason.” Pressing my palm against my chest, I whispered, “I’m right here.”
“So...goddamn...good. But I don’t want it to end yet.”...
“Oh screw it.” I dug my fingers into his firm ass and moved with him, urging him to quicken the pace. “We can have long, drawn-out slow sex later.”
He groaned again, though this was more like a whimper. “Promise?”
I nodded. “Yes. Yes. Right now, just light me up. Please”
“On it.” His hips slammed against mine. And...damn.”
“One more laugh, and Mr. Lowe might as well pick out the flowers I'd be leaving at his grave.”
“All you have to do is stretch out your hand, Mason.” Pressing my palm against my chest, I whispered, “I’m right here.”
He shook his head. “I can’t. I’m tainted.”
“His sense of responsibility toward his family was everything to him. Everything. He didn't care if his obligations made him do things that caused him to feel trapped or had him feeling dirty until he hated a part of himself. He wasn't going to stop taking care of Dawn and Sarah in the only way he knew how. He had sold his soul to ensure every bill his mother forgot to pay was taken care of, even the fricking babysitter's bill.”
“That sucks. He can ask you out and take you to dinner and try to steal a goodnight kiss. He can go as far into it as you’ll let him take you. And I can’t even compete.”
“God, he looked good. Up close, from a distance, it didn’t matter. The boy didn’t have a bad side.”
“You're quirky ... and yet conventional. Innocent but worldly. Reserved yet outgoing. Candid yet guarded. Trendy but also practical. And childlike while still managing to be mature. It's like ... you're the perfect contradiction.”
“I couldn’t wait to meet his cherry-popping, cougar pimp landlady again. Said no one ever.”
“It made me want to close my eyes, and just… liquefy.”
“He touched me with such reverence, his fingertips light and curious as they cruised up my spine while his mouth was bold and knowing, his tongue lavishing taut, puckered skin with deadly precision.”
“I melted, my emotions softening into this huge, gooey ball of adoration. I wanted to laugh and cry and hug him until I decided having a boyfriend who slept with scores of other women for money wasn't really that big of a deal.”
“I didn’t care. The spider was still alive and that was not cool. “What am I supposed to kill it with?” he demanded, looking harassed. My hysteria rising to titanic proportions, I shrieked, “With your big freaking foot, you idiot. You have what, like, a size twenty shoe. Smash that thing.” “I wear a size twelve.” He scowled, clearly”
“I reached out and petted the length of it with two fingers as if timidly greeting a live, rabid animal.
Sweat beaded on Mason's brow. He looked tortured, but he appeared to love every second of his suffering. "You are such a comedian. You know that's not what I meant by touch it. It's not a freaking dog."
"Um, no. I'd say this thing is more the size of a bull.”
“I will find work wherever I am. But I won't find another you.”
“It had to be the most surreal, embarrassing, awkward moment of his life, standing petrified in his mother's backyard in front of a broken lawn mower, sporting a woody and discussing sex for sale with the landlady.”
“Name brands were utterly overrated. Except when it came to clothes. Or shoes. Or bacon.”
“By the time we'd moved into that rambling, lopsided wooden house, I'd already fallen in love with reading. I think my love for books sprang from my need to escape the world I was born into, to slide into another where words were straightforward and honest, where there was clearly delineated good and evil, where I found girls who were strong and smart and creative and foolish enough to fight dragons, to run away from home to live in museums, to become child spies, to make new friends and build secret gardens.”
“Let me put it more artistically, with greater sophistication:
They left us in the toilet. In the deepest pile of shit. And we're coated in the crappy residue of their desicions. But that does not mean we are the one who pooped, Moritz. And neither are we the poop.
Never think that. We're not the poop.”
“whatever I decide, I might be making a mistake. But if I'm going to make a mistake I want it to be passionate”
“People don’t expect a small Japanese girl to be able to break a man’s arm. “They didn’t assume you were a ninja?”
“Rumo!" said Rumo.
"That's right!" Smyke exclaimed. "You Rumo, me Smyke."
"You Rumo, me Smyke." Rumo repeated eagerly.
"No, no." Smyke chuckled.”
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