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|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(44) by Samantha Young|
I shook my head.
In answer Logan took my hand in his and led me through the flat to the bathroom. “I’ll let you get cleaned up and then we need to talk.”
Locking myself in the bathroom, I did as he suggested, my skin burning as flashbacks from the sex hit me again and again. I leaned against the sink and stared into the mirror at my flushed cheeks, my too-bright eyes, and my hair, which was tumbling out of the grips that pinned it in place. What was going on with Logan? He was acting affectionately, but strangely for someone who had just had mind-blowing sex.
And he couldn’t deny it was mind-blowing. I felt how hard he’d come. Just as hard as I had.
I flushed again.
What did “we need to talk” mean?
There was only one way to find out. Butterflies alive and well in my belly, I kicked off my shoes in the hallway and tried to walk calmly into the kitchen, where Logan was sitting on a stool at the counter.
I slid onto the stool next to him.
He turned his head to meet my gaze, and the look in his eyes told me everything I needed to know.
Everything I didn’t want to know.
And the rejection, the pain, was awful.
It was this burning ache in my chest… quite unlike anything I’d ever felt before.
Logan lowered his gaze, appearing so solemn, that the ache intensified and began to crawl up my chest toward my throat until it felt like a hand choking me.
“This can’t happen again, Grace,” he said, confirming all that I’d seen in his eyes.
And I’d never felt loss like it. It was different from the pain of walking away from my family. I’d deliberately lost them.
I didn’t want to lose Logan.
It hurt, and that hurt was only magnified by the loss of something else. Hope.
Before this I hadn’t even realized that underneath my claims of logic and rationality I’d clung to the fantasy of Logan and me, but I had. That fantasy had sustained me in a way that I knew probably wasn’t good for me in the long run, but it had made each day a little brighter and filled with anticipation.
I couldn’t respond past the constriction in my throat.
“I have to focus on Maia. Every day I’m reminded that I’ve lost out on fifteen years of being her father, and I still haven’t scraped the surface of the damage Maryanne did to her. I need to make up for it, Grace, and the only way I can do that is by giving her all of me right now. She deserves that. She deserves to be number one. I can’t be in a relationship at the moment.”
The sudden flashback of Logan moving inside of me no longer inflamed my skin. Instead I felt cold. I felt vulnerable.
Oh, so bloody stupid.
Why did I give him that part of me when I knew all along what he wasn’t saying, what he was hiding behind his excuse of Maia – he couldn’t be in a relationship with me.
“Grace,” he said when I didn’t say anything, his beautiful eyes asking me to understand. “I should never have with you… I acted on impulse. I have to stop.” He ran a hand over his head, clearly frustrated with himself. “I have to take control of my life. Be a fucking man. Look where impulse has gotten me. It put me in jail, for Christ’s sake.”
Anger opened up my throat and vocal cords. “Are you comparing having sex with me to what you did to get yourself imprisoned?”
“Of course not.”
“Oh good,” I said, as I slid off the stool away from him. “I might have taken exception to that.”
“You’re pissed.” He sighed. “Shit, Grace, I never meant to —”
“Fuck me? Yeah, I got that memo.” I was suddenly desperate for him to leave before I was humiliated further by crying in front of him. “You can go now, Logan.”
He stood up, his features tightening. “Don’t be like that. Please. You’ve been so good to Maia and me – you have to know that you are the last person I’d ever want to hurt. I’m a dick, okay.” He held up his hands in surrender. “I shouldn’t have done it. I care about you, and I’m attracted to you – of course I’m fucking attracted to you; look at you – but I had no intention of crossing that line with you and spoiling what the three of us have. You know how Maia has been acting when she gets even the sniff of a woman in my life. I can’t do this. Please understand.”
I narrowed my eyes, too hurt to hear his explanation of why not. All I really wanted to know was why. “Why did you, then?” I said, unable to hold that hurt inside. At least my anger seemed to be stemming the tears. “I was content in the knowledge that you didn’t reciprocate my feelings for you, so why did you cross the line?”
Remorse blazed in his eyes. “I let jealousy get the better of me,” he admitted hoarsely.
I gave a huff of disbelief. “So you’re saying you got upset because another boy was playing with the toy you hadn’t had a chance to play with yet?”
“Don’t,” he warned. “Don’t make this worse. I had no idea how you felt about me.”
“Oh please, Logan. That may have been true when we first met, but we have been past the antagonistic-neighbor routine for a while now.”
The muscle in his jaw ticked. “I suspected you were attracted to me, but nothing deeper. I never imagined you could.”
“Because that’s me… the shallow hookup girl. You know me better than that.”
“Apparently, I don’t,” he snapped, eyes dark with anger. “But if you want me to take full responsibility for this, then I will. I’ve been an arsehole, I hurt you, and I hate that I’ve hurt you. I do. I am sorry,” he ended on a whisper.