I stuffed the check in my back pocket over the foil package of a waiting condom. I’m no saint. I knew what I wanted. Cold water dripped from drenched hair down my bare back, but I’d wait. My arms were awkward at my side, unmoving when I wanted to soothe her. We both had our needs.

She turned around, scraping messy bangs off her face. “As of right now, we’ve known each other for about twenty-four hours.”

“So?” My voice was rough.

“So, we went deeper than most people do in months.” Her hollow laugh echoed my empty living room. “You want to know why I showed up when I had every reason not to?”

Abbie’s blue-green eyes glazed like dark pieces of glass, making me forget about my water-logged jeans and bare feet on cold tile.

“It was you. When I weighed all the pros and cons, it all came down to you. All my senses come alive when I’m near you. I love your smell. Your voice. Your caustic way with words…how you look at me.” She groaned a deep primal sound at the back of her throat. “For all your bark and bite you have this other side. It’s like you read me and understand exactly how I need you to see me.” Her chest heaved and she clutched the row of buttons resting on her breast bone. “I feel you.”

With rain-drenched hair and mascara-ringed eyes, this Abbie had more in common with pagan warrior women than the docile, tea-sipping bookstore clerk. She was a wild thing, beautiful and unscathed. She got my heart thumping.



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