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|Before Jamaica Lane(On Dublin Street #3)(72) by Samantha Young|
I glared at him.
‘Aye, Sylvie didn’t think that was funny either.’
My lips twitched. ‘Don’t make me laugh. I’m trying to be stern.’
‘Stern?’ He huffed. ‘Stern? I’m going to be on medication for the rest of my life and I have to cut out my favorite food. My entire life is going to be stern from now on. I don’t need stern from a pretty girl too.’
‘Fine,’ I agreed. ‘I won’t do stern.’ I glanced around the room in confusion. ‘Where is Sylvie?’
‘Och, I sent her home. She’s absolutely shattered. She wouldn’t leave me.’ He tutted. ‘Had to get my doctor to make her leave so she could get some rest. I’m going to pay for that later.’
I snorted. ‘I’ll bet.’
‘Nate’s downstairs getting coffee, if you were wondering …’
My gaze was sharp as our eyes met. ‘You know, don’t you?’
‘The two of you didn’t exactly do a bang-up job of hiding it when you came to visit. I am sad to hear it didn’t work out, though … Which begs the question … What are you doing here?’
I answered belligerently, ‘Is a person not allowed to be worried about another person?’
‘Aye, of course. You being a nice girl, I think you probably were worried about me and that’s appreciated, but I think more than anything you’re worried about my son. Which makes two of us.’ His brows dipped in concern. ‘He misses you.’
‘I miss him too,’ I confessed softly.
A throat cleared behind me.
Turning, I discovered Nate standing in the doorway, stirring a cup of coffee. He pinned me to my seat with the weight of his stare.
‘Nate.’ I finally found my voice. ‘I just wanted to stop by and see how Nathan was doing. I should get going.’ I stood up.
‘Nonsense.’ Nathan stopped me, gesturing to me to sit down. ‘There’s still half an hour left. Sit. Talk.’ He looked up at his son. ‘Sit down.’
Nate looked like he wanted to laugh as he casually took the seat beside me.
My eyes, with a will of their own, traveled over the long sprawl of his legs. Tingles hit me unexpectedly as I lifted my gaze to his hands, continuing to stir his coffee. He had beautiful, masculine hands – graceful, strong fingers that were callused from work and judo. The soft roughness of his hands had always felt wonderful. And the T-shirt he was wearing showed off his strong forearms. I looked quickly away from the thick vein that ran up his muscular arm. I’d licked the entire length of that vein with my tongue.
Hurriedly, before I expired on the spot, I turned my attention to Nathan.
He was smirking at me.
Great. Even sick, the guy could tease.
‘So how have you been, Olivia? Nate says you’re seeing someone.’ His tone had turned disapproving.
‘I’m not seeing someone,’ I answered irritably. Technically, I wasn’t seeing Ben. Yet.
Nate sat up. ‘You’re not?’
I flicked a look at him before directing my answer to his dad. ‘It’s just been a couple of dates.’
Nathan frowned. ‘That constitutes as seeing someone.’ He looked at his son. ‘What do you think?’
‘Agreed,’ he answered tersely. ‘And it definitely looked serious.’
Starting to feel uneasy, I exhaled. ‘Can we talk about something else?’
‘Why? Nothing else is as interesting.’
I groaned. I was so not ready to do battle with two Sawyer men. ‘Fine, then I should definitely go. Nathan, I’m so happy you’re going to be okay.’ I leaned down and pressed a kiss to his cheek, ignoring his bemused expression.
Not looking at Nate, I quickly exited the room.
‘Olivia, wait,’ Nate called as I hurried down the hospital corridor.
I did not wait.
That’s why I found myself caught in his hard grip and unceremoniously hauled into a dark janitor’s closet.
‘What are you doing?’ I hissed, feeling his breath against my cheek as he pressed me back against the door.
His answer was to kiss me.
I froze in shock at the move, but soon the shock wore off under the feel of warm, coaxing lips. Perhaps it helped that he wasn’t aggressive or fierce. His kiss was soft, yearning. My lips answered to that and I found myself kissing him back.
Nate pulled away first, panting heavily as he nuzzled my cheek, his hands iron bands around my biceps as he breathed me in. I was surrounded by him. The familiar strength of him, his scent, his taste on my tongue, even the slightly bristly feel of his cheek on mine.
I closed my eyes, tears clinging to my lashes.
Maybe I was wrong. Maybe the loss of him wasn’t the most painful thing in the world. As I stood there in his arms, knowing that he would never really be mine, it occurred to me that more than loss, it was the longing that hurt.
‘You’re the first person I thought of,’ he told me hoarsely, his words vibrating against my ear and causing an involuntary shiver. ‘The only one I wanted here with me.’
Swallowing past the burning, choking ball of unshed tears in my throat, I whispered, ‘I’m sorry I ignored your call.’
‘Don’t be. You came. That’s all that matters.’
Needing some kind of distance, some kind of break from the intensity between us, I cracked, ‘I think there’s an inappropriate joke in there somewhere.’
He laughed against my skin before pulling back. ‘Fuck, I’ve missed you, Liv.’
‘Nate.’ I pushed gently against him until he got the message. His hands dropped from around my arms, leaving me bereft. ‘I’m glad your dad is going to be okay, but I have to go.’
‘Liv, please –’
‘Ben’s waiting,’ I lied impulsively. I had this sudden fear that Nate’s calls and his confession that he missed me were leading somewhere. And I didn’t know if I was strong enough to do the right thing, so I wasn’t going to give him the chance to mess with my head. ‘I’m meeting him.’
He was quiet in the dark for a moment.
And then …
‘We need to talk.’
‘No. We really don’t.’ I fumbled for the door handle and managed to slip outside. He didn’t follow.
I took that to mean that he understood there was no point.