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A deep breath of air fills his lungs and he looks at me. Something dances in his eyes. With a trembling hand, he brushes my hair out of my eyes. “If someone would have told me that you’d walk into my life and turn it completely upside down, I’d have told them they were crazy.” He drags my hand into his and brings it up to his mouth. “For far too long, I was far too happy to keep everyone on the outside. And then you came along, and for the first time in so long, I felt something.”
“Me, too.” Tugging at our hands, I bring them to my mouth, feeling the shaking in his hands relax marginally.
“I was too afraid to let myself love anyone, thinking that I’d lose them somehow. The fear of loss kept me closed off from my own life. And now, with you…it’s not like that,” he pauses, looking for the right words. “What I mean is,” he clarifies, focusing his deep blue eyes on mine, “that with you, it’s not about being afraid of losing you.”
“I’m that easy, huh?” I joke. The look of growing frustration on his face tells me I’ve misunderstood him, and that now is not the time for jokes.
“No, that’s not what I mean. I’m petrified of losing you. When you fell yesterday, the only thought I could put together was one of sickening concern. What if he hits his head? What if he’s permanently injured? What if he blacks out and never comes back? But then, when I saw you were okay, the only thought going through my head was that there was no way in hell I could ever go through the rest of my life without you.”
His words cut through me. Stripping me bare, they reflect the exact same way I feel about him.
“You see, with you, the thing that scares me isn’t the thought of losing you. What scares the shit out of me is not having you in my life in the first place,” Dylan says, softly.
He lowers his face to mine, cradling my jaw, and searching my eyes. “I love you, Conner. You brought me back to life simply by just being here. And I don’t ever want to picture a life that you’re not a part of.”
With the softest of caresses, he strokes his thumb against my lower lip before pressing his own in the same spot. As his forehead rests against mine and our breaths mingle in the small space between us, I inhale him. This sweet, angry man who turned everything I thought I knew about my own life completely upside down.
“I’m not as good with words as you are, but know that I love you, too.”
With hands and hearts joined, we fall asleep, a sense of peace that, before this moment, was foreign to both of us, covering us like the warmest of blankest on the coldest of nights.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.
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