USA TODAY Bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly.
talking about my ever-ailing phone or the temperamental Smart Board in my
classroom. I’m talking about the internationally hailed “Tech Genius” formerly
known as the boy I used to love.
staring back at me from my newsfeeds, the gossip sites, and—fine—the
scorchingly hot men’s fitness magazine I bought in a moment of weakness. But
now he’s back home, teasing me with the memories I’ve tried to leave behind,
crowding into my space and taunting me with the kiss I can’t resist. I know
it’s only a matter of time before I lose him again. He’s already told me he
isn’t staying, warned me he’s changed. I know better than to let him get too
close, so why can’t I push him away?
last week a headline touted me as the billion-dollar geek keeping Silicon
Valley’s panties wet. Try living that down. Strip away the media BS, and I’m
just a tech-minded guy with my eyes on the future and no time for a past I
can’t change. So what am I doing following the sweet sound of its laugh back to
the woman who passed on our chance at forever?
see her smile. Just a few minutes to pretend we’re still the “us” I thought
would never end. But once I’ve had a taste of the too tempting woman she’s
become, a few minutes isn’t enough.
wants, and I want her.
hand and remember the thousands of times I’ve done it before. “I’m glad we got
to talk. It’s been too long.”
strands of her hair catch in the breeze and I tuck them behind her ear. Only
just like with hearing my name and holding her hand, the tactile sensation from
the soft strands between my fingers stirs up memories I thought safely put to
bed. It gives me ideas I shouldn’t be considering.
Abby whispers, quiet and confused. “What are you doing?”
mind. “Giving us a better goodbye.”
curl in so the backs of my knuckles stroke her soft cheek. This is so messed
up. I know what I’m doing is wrong, but she’s looking up into my eyes.
standards, it isn’t much of a kiss. A single brush of my mouth against hers and
a lingering contact I’m not quite ready to give up. And yet that barely-there
kiss has my heart slamming against my ribs and fire racing through my veins.
I’m fifteen again. Except instead of this being my first kiss with Abby, it’s
our last, and I don’t want it to end.
talking about not wanting it to end like I didn’t want all the other Abby stuff
to end before.
Want. This. To. End.
soon, that soft clinging contact is gone, leaving only the warmth of her breath
against my lips.
eyes, realizing I’m not the only one still holding on. Abby’s free hand, the
one that isn’t still trapped in mine, is wrapped around my tie.
passes over her eyes. “You’re not in Chicago for good.”
really asking, but she wants to hear me say it anyway. She wants to remind us
both that fundamentally nothing has changed. That we need to stop this before
it goes too far, and hell, I know
Tomorrow’s just a business trip, but all indications are I’ll be out of Chicago
in a few months if this deal goes through.” And even if it doesn’t, there will
be something else. There’s always something else.
deal breaker that lost me this woman ten years ago. After the way Abby grew up,
she couldn’t watch me leave and she wouldn’t wait for me to come back. I didn’t
understand until it was too late the first time around, but now I do.
her in my arms, it’s good that neither of us loses sight of the fact that this
fundamental difference between us hasn’t changed.
her understanding, and I wait for her to take a step back, for the shake of her
head and quiet laugh. Only it doesn’t come. Instead, her eyes drop back to my
mouth and the world around us starts to slow. Because I know that look. I fucking love that look.
has to be a mistake. We aren’t teenagers. We aren’t starting something new.
I doing, uncurling my fist to sift my fingers into the dark silk behind her
ear? Using that hold to tip her head back? Waiting until her heavy-lidded stare
finds mine again?
doesn’t matter what I’m doing,
because then Abby is the one tugging at my tie to bring me closer. She’s the
one murmuring her agreement that this is a much better goodbye a scant inch
from my mouth.
one short-circuiting my brain, and now the only thing I’m thinking is that I
can do much, much better.
when my lips meet hers, there’s nothing barely-there about it. I kiss her hard,
gathering her close, then closer still as she opens beneath me with a
shuddering gasp I feel all the way through me.
knot in my hair, then race over my shoulders and neck. Christ, her touch is
electric, building the charge in my chest by the second.
breathless and frantic. Devouring each other with a hot need that edges the
line of control.
another minute and we’ll stop.
wraps in her hair and she moans around the thrust of my tongue.
my brain that’s still functioning is rolling through the data…
is camped out on the other side of the school.
serious, and this is the girl I learned how to love with.
stop. No maybe about it.
breasts are pressing into my chest as she wraps her arms around my neck, and
now there’s another part of my brain speaking up… and this is the part I know
better than to listen to. It’s the part that dirty-talked me into climbing up
the old oak outside Abby’s bedroom window… when her parents were home. It’s the
part that swore up and down security wouldn’t notice if I let myself back into
the lab at MIT after hours just to finish my experiment. And right now, it’s
casually noting the parking lot is empty.
me why, if the press knew we were back here, they aren’t calling my name to
score a frontal face shot.
gasps, and there’s no more mental chatter. I press her against the car, pinning
her with the weight of my body.
romantic, stress baker, and housekeeper non-extraordinaire, Mira Lyn Kelly is
the USA TODAY bestselling author of
more than a dozen sizzly love stories with over a million readers worldwide.
Growing up in the Chicago area, she earned her degree in Fine Arts from Loyola
University and met the love of her life while studying abroad in Rome, Italy…
only to discover he’d been living right around the corner from her back home.
Having spent her twenties working and playing in the Windy City, she’s now
settled with her husband in rural Minnesota, where their four amazing children
and two ridiculous dogs provide an excess of action and entertainment. When she
isn’t reading, writing, or running the kids around, she loves watching the
Chicago Blackhawks and action/adventure movies, blabbing with the girls, and
cooking with her family and friends.