“Thornton,” he whispered to her ear.

“W-What?”

“I know it’s how you’ve always thought of me.”

Blake could no longer help it. She just had to ask it out loud this time. “What’s happening? Am I dreaming?”

More laughter around them, but Blake didn’t care. She just wanted to know if this was real. Because if it was not…well, that was fine. She would just keep dreaming and make sure never to wake—

Ah!

She suddenly found herself being spun around, and the next thing she knew she was already staring straight up into the eyes of her beloved.

“Since the whole town already saw me making an ass of myself—”

Loyal as ever, Blake couldn’t stop herself from automatically denying this. “You weren’t!”

“There’s only one thing left to do.”

Blake’s heart started beating hard.

“I don’t want to see you with another man again.”

And fast.

“I want you to be mine, baby.”

Really fast.

“Will you?”

Chapter Eleven

Sometimes, words just weren’t enough.

He watched her lips move, but even when no words came, he still heard her loud and clear. Because the answer lay in her eyes, in the way she could only stare up at him, and it was clear as daylight. How could it not be when the desire in her eyes was the exact same thing messing him up from the inside?

Blake’s heart slammed against her chest when Thornton’s long, tanned fingers suddenly circled her wrist. She was barely able to draw her next breath when he suddenly moved, walking so fast that all she could do was work hard to keep up with him.

And yet…

Her eyes started smarting even as it was crazy funny, embarrassing, and thrilling all at the same time that all the locals around them were cheering, Ethan being the noisiest of them all.

He understood. He understood. He understood.

They were the most magical words in the world for her at the moment, so magical that it seemed he heard them, too, when he slowed down to let her catch up and fall into step next to him. Their gazes met, and her heart drummed a thousand beats in just a single second.

“Why are we leaving?”

“Because you wanted to.” He glanced at her. “Didn’t you?”

He did get it!

“I did,” she admitted. “I know I’m normally the TMI type, but I never liked people seeing me cry.”

“I’ve seen you cry a lot of times.”

“You’re not everyone.” She smiled up at him, a dreamy expression falling over her pretty face. “You’re perfect.”

Thornton nearly smiled. “I’m not.” What an adorable lunatic she was, with the way she kept saying such things out of the blue.

“You are,” she insisted feelingly.

Since today was technically their first day as the C-word, Thornton decided it was best to quit arguing and changed the subject instead. “Not gonna ask where we’re going?”

“No.”

Her voice was basic and without an ounce of hesitation. She had always trusted him without question, and he found this trait of hers touching and humbling. Arousing as hell, too, especially with the way she kept darting glances…at his mouth.

“Stop doing that.”

It was his John Wick voice again, but at the same time…it was different. Like it wasn’t a warning, but almost like…a gruff…plea?

“It’s distracting,” he murmured, seeing the confusion in her gaze. “Your eyes.”

Said eyes widened.

“They’re extremely good at trying to seduce me out of my senses.”

What?

“It’s saying, you want my mouth on yours.”

It did? But then Blake started seriously thinking about it. Well…yeah. Him kissing her had been on her mind the moment he asked her to be his.

The fingers around her wrist suddenly moved, trailing down to twine with hers. When she looked up at him in surprise, his dark gaze captured hers right away. “I want it, too.”

Her heart melted. “You do?”

“You were extremely good at making me crazy with desire for you,” he divulged in a self-mocking tone that had her flashing him a weak smile of apology. Oops?

“Kissing you was all I could think about for weeks.”

“Just kissing?” she couldn’t help teasing.

It was Thornton’s turn to just let his eyes do the talking, and her throat instantly went dry at the blaze of smoldering need in his gaze. Kissing was definitely just the start, she realized with a gulp.

A powerful shudder rocked Thornton’s frame when he finally reached the library’s VIP lounge and found it empty.

Blake was also thinking along the same lines. Empty. Empty. Oh my God, the things a man and a woman could do when a room was empty! She could feel her brain cells disintegrating at the thought, could feel her body start trembling and aching as she watched Thornton slowly close the door…and lock it.

He had locked it!

The door!

Locked!

And when he finally turned—

She just couldn’t bear it anymore.

When Thornton turned to face Blake, she had already launched herself at him, and while he caught her just in time, the force of it had his back hitting the door with a jarring thud. She burst into laughter at hearing him grunt (Blake – 1, Local John Wick – 0), but then she felt him adjusting his hold—


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