He moved to stand in front of me and, slowly, carefully, he placed his hands on my shoulders. “I’m going to say something right now that I know is going to scare the shit out of you because it scares the shit out of me. But I have to say it.” He paused, waiting for me to look at him. But I knew what he was going to say. And I didn’t want to hear it. Finally my eyes met his.
“Please, don’t,” I whispered.
He closed his eyes, clearly disappointed. When he spoke, his voice was shaky. “I love you, Emilia. I love you so goddamned much that I can’t breathe when I don’t know where you are or how you are doing. This last month has been torture. I wonder if it’s possible to have room in my heart for anything else but these feelings.”
“I can’t promise that things will be perfect, Emilia. But I can promise you that I will never give this up. Because I don’t think I knew how to live before you came into my life.”
Parce que je ne pense pas que je savais comment vivre avant que tu entres dans ma vie
“grin. “If I’m going to lay down a fortune for the privilege of experiencing your quivering virgin flesh, I think it goes without saying that I expect to do it without a barrier.” I sat back, clenching my teeth so hard that my head started to ache. My gaze was held fast by the challenge in his ebony eyes. He might have been the most gorgeous creature I’d ever laid my eyes on, but he was also an asshat. He tilted his head at me, puzzled. “Why is that a problem? If we are both cleared by a physician—” I unclenched my jaw just long enough to reply. “Recent medical clearance is not sufficient for me. I’d require celibacy for at least the previous six months, so—” “Then there isn’t a problem.” I highly doubted that. I opened my mouth to call him a liar when Heath leaned forward and put his hand on the table in front of me. Drake’s lawyer cleared his throat, throwing a bland look at me and turning to Drake. “We can work all these details out later in mediation. Mr. Drake does have a plane to catch later today.” Drake’s eyes darted to Heath and back to me. I could tell he was trying to gauge our relationship. It wasn’t the first time a person had looked at the two of us in that unsure, questioning way. Heath was not obviously gay in any way. He wasn’t “fabulous” or flamboyant. He was very masculine in his behavior and mannerisms, so he rarely set off people’s gaydar. My gaze turned back to Drake, drawn to him like a flame pulled into a hot, dry wind. I resented the heat on my cheeks. I was not a habitual blusher. Hardly ever, actually. But this man was bringing my Irish up, as my mother liked to say. And what was worse, the more annoyed I grew with him, the more amused he seemed to be. Drake flicked a glance at Heath and then his lawyer. “Gentlemen, could you excuse us for a moment? You’re free to wait just outside the door.” Then, almost as an afterthought, he glanced at me. “If, of course, that is okay with the lady?” My face flamed hotter and I folded my hands on my lap. “Fine,” I said
“if you love him, don’t choose to be alone.”
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