Authors: Kelly Jamieson
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary
"I felt I owed you. You and Connor. After what I did."
He turned his head and their eyes met, his serious, but a hint of a smile playing at the corners of his mouth. “You're a good person, Ash. I'm really sorry."
She nearly fell off her stool.
"I'm sorry I was so mad. I'm sorry I didn't believe that you couldn't tell Connor. I'm sorry I didn't drive you home that morning. I feel like shit."
"Oh.” She was stunned. “But you had a right to be mad.” Then she smiled. “But you have a right to get over it, too. I'm fine with that."
She grew serious again. “I came here to tell you something."
"Ashlyn!” Doc McCue was there behind the bar. “Hey, how are you, gorgeous?"
"Oh, I've been better,” she said with a wry smile.
"Can I get you a Gold Coast Pale Ale?"
"What did you want to tell me?” Zach asked in a low voice, looking down.
She took a breath. “I want you to know that I do trust you. I really do. I didn't know myself that I trust you completely until I talked to Jessica."
His head came up sharply. “You talked to Jess? When?"
"Today. She called me and wanted to meet. She told me some stuff that I didn't need to hear."
"Huh?” He looked endearingly confused.
Doc McCue placed the beer in front of her with a smile and disappeared. She picked up the bottle and took a big swallow.
"She told me about the second sex decoy she hired."
Zach snorted. “I love my sister-in-law, but man, she has issues."
Ashlyn nodded. “But it sounds like she's working on them. And after hearing about Melissa, you can't blame her for being a bit worried. Anyway, her point was, you were being tempted, and you had no interest whatsoever."
He looked at her steadily. “Of course not. She wasn't you."
She smiled. “So I
trust you. But
point is—and I do have one—I didn't need to hear that. I already knew you're the most honest, trustworthy, faithful man I've ever met. Well, you and Connor, I guess.” She smiled. “You two guys have restored my faith in men. I love you, Zach."
He let out a long, shaky breath. “Oh Ash."
"I trust you enough to let you pin me down and hold me there while you take from behind,” she said, and his eyes darkened. “I know you'd never hurt me. And I trust you enough to do kinky things in a sex club. And I trust you enough to make love without a condom. I know you'd never put me at risk. And I know you'd never cheat on me."
Their eyes met and held.
"Thank you,” he said in a choked voice. “I love you too, Ash."
"It was tearing me up inside, not being able to tell you and Connor what had happened,” she told him earnestly. “You have no idea. But I also have to confess...” She looked at him steadily. “I was selfish too. Because the longer it took to get hold of Jessica, the more time I had with you. I knew when you found out we'd be done. When it started off, I thought it was just fun. But then it changed."
"Not fun anymore?” His lips quirked.
She shook her head, smiling. “Still fun. I mean, it changed because I fell in love with you. I never wanted to hurt you."
"I know.” He glanced around. “Wish we weren't sitting in the middle of a bar right now, because I'd really like to kiss you."
She grinned and leaned toward him. Their mouths met and clung warmly, and it felt so good. She put her hand on his cheek and drew back. Love and laughter lit up his eyes.
"I just have to ask, though,” he said. “Is there anything else you need to confess to me? Please tell me now. I can't take any more surprises. Sex decoy jobs, Klub Kink and black leather, male roommates..."
"Well ... there is one thing..."
"Oh God. What?"
She paused. “I don't really like beer."
There were a few heartbeats of silence.
Zach looked at her half-empty bottle, and then back to her face.
"You don't like beer?” he asked in stunned confusion. “How can that be?"
She moved her shoulders. “I just don't like it. Well, the truth is, it's kind of growing on me. A little bit."
He still looked at her uncomprehendingly.
"But you've been drinking beer all the time. Ever since we met."
She nodded, biting her bottom lip uncertainly.
Please don't let him be really mad,
This can't be that big a deal.
Then a smile slowly spread across his face. “I guess that shows how much you really love me,” he said, his dark eyes twinkling, and a wave of such intense relief washed over her that she actually giggled girlishly.
"Oh, yeah.” And despite their location, she climbed onto his lap, wound her arms around his neck, and kissed him with all the love and passion and trust she had for him.
Kelly Jamieson lives in Winnipeg, Canada with her husband, two teenage children and sucky lap dog.
Since her life as a working mother is so ordinary, she started making up stories about the neighbors, much to the concern of her family. She then decided to start inventing characters and writing stories.
She is a member of the RWA, the RWA On-line Chapter and several other on-line writing groups.
Visit her website at www.kellyjamieson.com.
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