First Kiss Friday
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Every Friday I share the first kiss from a book. This week it’s Rock House Grill by D. V. Stone.
One man’s choices. One woman’s impact.
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He put a finger under her chin and tilted her head back. “Stop apologizing. I said I’m here for you. But can we go over to the couch? My legs aren’t used to standing for so long.”
“Of course, I’m—”
“What did I say?” He interrupted her. “No more sorries.”
A few awkward steps later, with her help, they settled on the brown-leather sofa along the wall. Shay hitched a leg under and faced him.
He lifted a hand and brushed her cheek. “Shay, I’ve come to care about you. I want you in my life as more than an employee.”
Aden’s brown eyes searched hers.
“I know Nick spent the night with you. I also know you just talked. Forgive me for being a jerk? I should have been at your side with all you’ve gone through.”
“You have nothing to apologize for. This is my mess, and you have more important things to do.” One of the weights sitting on her chest lifted, and she looked away. At least he believed she hadn’t slept with Nick.
“Right now, nothing is more important than you.”
Aden lifted her chin. “Look at me. It’s true.”
“And I care about you too,” she whispered. “But I’m worried. What if, when you’re healed and can walk, you realize I’m not what you want?”
“Is that what you think?” He yanked his hand back. “You think so little of me? I only want you because you’re convenient?”
“No, Aden. It’s not you.” Shay lowered her eyes again and gnawed on her bottom lip. This was so embarrassing. It hurt to know she was always the alsoran, not only in her parents’ eyes but in Nick’s too. She started to rise, but Aden held her arm in a gentle grip.
“Don’t,” he said. “Let’s talk and get this all out in the open.”
“Okay, honesty.” Instead of pushing away, she relaxed back into the sofa. “What if you decide you want to move on? Where does it leave me? If we start a relationship, I’m afraid I’ll fall for you and…”
“I’ve already fallen for you.” Aden interrupted her.
She did a double take then held his gaze. “What?” Was he serious?
“Shay, I’ve been getting in deeper every day with you since the accident. Your voice, without even seeing your face, called to me.” Aden’s voice grew gravelly. “Every day I watch and listen to you. Your gentleness and kindness, to Liv, me, and everyone you come in contact with—Shay, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met, inside and out.”
She knelt up on the couch, careful of his legs, and placed a hand on each of his shoulders. “Aden…”
His large hand slid into her hair and around the back of her head. He pulled her close until their foreheads touched.
“Please, give us a chance.”
“Aden,” she breathed his name.
“Shh.” He silenced her with his lips.