The past…

One of my favorite moments…

Do you remember when it happened? What book?

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Mike stood up when she came out and she looked down as she walked to the couch. He sat on the chair and waited, hating that she couldn’t even look at him.

“I owe you an explanation,” she said as she finally met his gaze.

He shook his head and smiled.

“You don’t owe me anything. I pushed my way here and it’s obvious you are really uncomfortable around me. I don’t want to leave you alone, so I’ll call Julie and I’m sure she can come over for tonight,” he stood up and crossed his arms.

“I’m really sorry I put you in this position. I guess I just wanted to help you,” he looked at her and sighed. “Just so you know, I would never make you look at me. I know my injuries were bad, and I know it’s not something you should have to look at, but I didn’t realize my shirt was ripped. I’m truly sorry.”

She was stunned.

“What? What do you mean your injuries?”

He shrugged.

“I just figured you were afraid I was going to take my shirt off and you would have to see the scars from what happened. I just wanted you to know that I wasn’t going to do that. I would never do that, you know, force you to look at me.”

Realization dawned over her and she felt the air go out of her lungs. “Oh my God,” she sat there and put her head in her hands, her hair flowing over her fingers. “I’m such an idiot.”

He was confused. Should he leave?

She stood up and walked over to him.

Mike scarcely took a breath as she reached up and moved his hands, which held his shirt together. She placed her hands on his shoulders and looked into his eyes.

“You are so amazing. You are smart and strong and incredibly handsome. There is no part of you that I would be afraid to see.”

He reached to her face and stroked her cheek.

“You don’t know what happened. You say that, but you don’t know how bad it is,” his voice quivered as he looked into her eyes.

She smiled at him and shrugged.

“Then let me see.”

He didn’t expect that.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Do you think that little of me?”

His eyes were wet as shook his head.

“No, but I don’t think I could stand it if this changed.”

She reached up and cupped his cheek in her hand, her thumb stroking his skin. She could feel his fear.

“If what changed?”

“The way you look at me,” he said.

She said nothing and slowly unbuttoned the rest of his shirt before she pushed it off his shoulders. He watched her every move as she removed the fabric and looked at him, this being one of the most profound moments he had ever experienced. His scar was from the middle of the left side of his chest and went almost completely to the other side and down to his waist. She couldn’t see below, but she figured it went farther.

What pain he must have endured.

Jade placed her hands on his chest and looked up at him. “I think you’re beautiful,” she said as her slate gray eyes sparkled at him.

He felt a tear spill over his cheek as he was at a loss for words. He bent down and softly brushed her lips with his, barely touching them. He hesitated, not sure if she was comfortable until she moved her arms around him as he connected with her mouth again, wrapping his arms around her, his heart pounded as the soft fullness of her lips made his blood rush through his veins. He had wanted to kiss her for so long that he was afraid he would hurt her with the passion and intensity of the moment.

She smelled of coconut shampoo and she tasted like mint. He cradled her head in his hand, his fingers tangled in her hair as his other hand moved to the small of her back, pressing her to him. He forgot that he had ever kissed anyone else before. She simply had his heart.

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