“I don’t even know where you live,” I say, taking a bite of the eggs with extra cheese. The flavors hit my tongue. God, this man can cook. How does he do everything so perfectly? He has to have another fault besides being a morning person.

He smiles. “A floor down.”

“What?” I say, louder than I intend. “Does everyone live in this building?” What the hell? I really shouldn’t be shocked by this. No wonder he can pop out of nowhere sometimes.

“I’ve worked with Miles for years. It’s easier this way.” That makes sense. It’s easier to be close. He’s been guarding Miles since before I came into the picture. Captain has always been around. I wonder how close they are. Probably not super-close. Miles doesn’t really let people in. Not until recently, anyway, and that’s a major work in progress as it is.

“God, I used to dislike you so much.” I shake my head, thinking back to the times I saw him before Mal and I came to live in New York permanently. I hadn’t seen him that often, but it was enough. He was with Miles so much that when I checked in, he’d be there. Sometimes he was worse than Miles with the questions. Sometimes, after I’d report to Miles, Captain would call and grill me again. He’d even shown up at our school a few times, wanting a detailed rundown of things. He’d demand I show him around the campus so he could see where all our classes where. He even inspected our dorm room. Sometimes I wasn’t sure who was more obsessed with operation Keep Mal Safe?Captain or Miles.

“You wanted me?” It finally hits me. That’s why he was such a pain in the ass! “That’s what all the questions were about! I thought you thought I was incompetent!” I throw my hands up in the air, shocked I hadn’t seen it sooner. How did I miss it?

“I told you, Paige. I’ve loved you since the moment I laid eyes on you.” He makes no apology for his words or actions. He’s not even a little embarrassed at being caught half stalking me.

My stomach flutters again. That’s the second time he’s said the L word to me. Mal is the only other person who’s done so. I think I felt it, but I wasn’t sure how to communicate it to her.

“She’s starting to get it,” he says, standing up from the breakfast bar and placing a kiss on top of my head. I sit there, running through all the conversations we’ve had over the years. They always focused on what I’d been up to. Where I’d been going. How my classes were panning out and if I needed anything. Anything at all.

“You’re like Miles. Two peas in a stalking pod.” I debate if I should be irritated, but I bet those little hearts Mal gets dancing over her head are dancing on mine right now. I was always jealous of how much Miles obsessed over Mal, worrying about every tiny thing. I don’t think Captain is that bad, but I like his way better. It’s subtle and less controlling, but still possessive.

He comes over, moving in on me, and I lean back. “You’re going to kiss me.” It’s not a question, but I answer it, anyway. “Nope.”

I jump off the chair and go in search of my bag to take to work. I can feel his eyes on me as I check to make sure I have everything I need. I have to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from smiling. It’s been five minutes and he’s already losing it with the not-kissing thing. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

By the time we make it to our office building, I remember why I haven’t gone on a kissing strike sooner. Because I like it as much as he does. Making out on the couch like teenagers, it’s like making up for lost time. It’s a simple things girls do, and I’d missed out on it. Now I wonder who’s going to break first. God knows if Captain really wants a kiss, I’m going to be pinned to a wall. So my best chance is to beat him to it.

When the elevator door closes, I throw myself at him. He catches me easily, pulling me to him. He grabs my ass, his fingers digging into me. I go straight for his mouth, kissing him like I haven’t seen him in years. I pour everything I have into it, giving him all the emotions he’s made me feel over the past week. I tell him without words that I think I’m falling in love with him, too. I want him to finally give in and give us both what we want. I want to share something with him I’ve never shared with another person in my life.

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