“Let me be clear, la mia tigrotta. I’m taking you to bed. I’m going to strip off your clothes, bury myself deep inside you, and make you come so many times the only word from your lips will be my name, begging me to do it all over again.”
“My Maggie, mia amore, I love you. I want to live with you, grow old, and have bambinos with you. You wrecked me. Completely … You belong with me.”
The love spell...
A man with a sense of loyalty.
A man with a sense of family.
A man who is a good lover.
A man who can be my friend.
A man who can challenge me.
A man I can confess my secrets to.
A man I can trust.
A man with confidence.
A man with an open heart.
A man who will fight for me.
A man who can love me exactly as I am.”
“You will serve your husband dinner tonight by your own hand....not because you are beneath him...because you are more.”
“If you love someone, you fight for them, again and again.”
“Every woman should know how to make one signature dessert. Not for anyone else but herself.”
“You are an amazing woman, Maggie Ryan.” He gazed deep into her eyes and told the truth. “Stay with me.”
“She had so much to give, but no one to give it to. She buried all those messy, writhing emotions deep in a hidden secret place and pretended it was okay.”
“In a wacky way, she felt as if they belonged to each other. Two stray, bad-ass loners who didn't know how to handle people.”
“Well, it's better than those yellow sticky labels you suggested tagging to his ass, when we first met.”
“It doesn't matter if you never see someone again, I told myself. There are millions of people in the world, and most of them never see each other in the first place.”
“Oscar’s breath warmed the back of her head, his lips brushing against her hair, loosened from a braid. He drew a lock away from her neck and kissed the skin just beneath her earlobe, against the throb of her quickening pulse. Like the blackness outside the dome of lamplight, there seemed to be nothing more in the world than his lips, his touch, and the flood of heat consuming her.
With a gentle nudge, Oscar turned her toward him. He looked at her the way he had in the Grampains meadow-as if she was the most fascinating woman he’d ever seen. Under his gaze she felt fascinating, too. Capivating…wanted. He traced her jaw with his lips, kissing the angle of her neck ever so tenderly, as though he weren’t certain she wanted him, too. Camille closed the inch of space left between them, her body pressing against his. The muscles in his chest and arms tightened. He was wanted, and she needed to show him how much. No one was there to watch, no one to judge, or tell her the lips caressing her were unworthy of tasting her skin.
With those very thoughts, Oscar’s grip loosened. His lips retreated.
“This isn’t right,” he whispered, catching his breath.
Camille stared at him, her hurt and disappointment plain on her face.
“You’re engaged, Camille.” He looked around the room. His eyes rested on the bed. “I shouldn’t be here.”
All of a sudden, Camille completely and fully detested Randall. Good, sweet, well-meaning Randall infuriated her with his mere existence, with his big sapphire ring and his marriage proposal and his bright, wealthy future as the savior of Rowen & Company. She didn’t want any of it if it meant she couldn’t have Oscar’s kisses, the return of his hands, and his body pressed close to her own.
“I want you here,” she said, the words unable to express the desires stampeding her mind.
Oscar licked his lips but stepped toward the doorway. “I can’t. If you’re going to marry Randall-“
Camille hushed him. “No, don’t. Please, don’t.” She didn’t want to hear Randall’s name coming from Oscar’s lips, not when she so desperately wanted to kiss them.
“He’s not here. And you are, and…what if you stayed?” she asked, unable to believe the words had come from her mouth. He lost the tense hold of his shoulders and stared at her with disbelief.
“Nothing improper, of course,” she added quickly. “What if you just stayed until…until I fell asleep?”
Citrus and cloves charged through her sense with their dizzying effect as Oscar stepped back inside the room.
He tilted his head and looked sideways at her. “Just until you fall asleep?”
She nodded, her throat too tight with nerves to speak.”
“It wasn’t that she didn’t want to die. Nor was it that she wanted to live. She just didn’t want to give up.”
“It’s the correct thing to say that a man needs no more than six feet of earth. But six feet is what a corpse needs, not a man. And they say, too, now, that if our intellectual classes are attracted to the land and yearn for a farm, it’s a good thing. But these farms are just the same as six feet of earth. To retreat from town, from the struggle, from the bustle of life, to retreat and bury oneself in one’s farm—it’s not life, it’s egoism, laziness, it’s monasticism of a sort, but monasticism without good works. A man does not need six feet of earth or a farm, but the whole globe, all nature, where he can have room to display all the qualities and peculiarities of his free spirit.”
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