She stops for a second, catching her breath. “So I was a bitch.”
“Not going to deny that one.”
“I was already regretting what I said by the time I got home, and Dad set me straight even further. My issues with Sam have nothing to do with you and Thomas. I don’t know Thomas. He did this, and I know he did it for you, so he can’t be that bad. It was wrong for me to try to keep you guys apart because of my crap. I’m not going to do that anymore.”
Tears well up in my eyes and I pull her in for a hug. “Thank you, but I think it’s already too late. I fucked up this morning, and I know that I hurt him.”
She hugs me back, shaking me a little. “It’s not too late. It’s not. All you have to do is talk to him. It will be enough.”
An idea pops into my head. “Talking alone might not be enough, but I do have an idea.”
Fiona smiles. “Go get him, sister.”
After making a brief stop at my house, I drive to Thomas’s apartment. I know he’s there because I see his fancy sports car in the garage. In the building, I buzz his floor. There’s no answer, but I’m not giving up. I buzz again. And again. I’m relentless, until finally the elevator door opens, the button for the penthouse already selected.
Thomas greets me at the elevator door. His shirt is undone and hanging open, and he has a glass of what might be whiskey in one hand. “Here to add insult to injury?” he asks, taking a sip from the drink.
“Thomas,” I say. “Can I come in?”
He shrugs, and walks away. I follow him.
“I’m so sorry,” I say. “I know that doesn’t really help. It won’t for a while, probably. I can make excuse after excuse for why I reacted the way I did, but it won’t make the apology any better.”
He sits down on the sofa. “Try me.”
I put down my bag and come to stand in front of him. “I’m the rescuer. I’ve done it my whole life with my dad and my sister. I’m used to being in charge and knowing everything. Surprises usually mean that the worst has happened. And after that, I’m used to being let down. And so after all this time I was expecting it. I was ready for you to let me down, because I was scared of the alternative.”
Thomas had been looking out the window, but his eyes snap to me now. “What’s the alternative?”
I take a deep breath, because I’m not used to saying things like this out loud. “I was terrified that I’d fall in love with you. Because of what happened to my sister. Falling in love with a Logan was the last thing I wanted to do. But I already have, and the idea of losing you is worse than any of the feelings I was afraid of.”
He looks stunned, but not angry. Time for my master plan. I unbutton my jeans and start to take them off.
“What are you doing?” Thomas asks.
“I want to show you something.” I stopped at home to put on the sexiest underwear that I brought with me—crimson and silver that make me feel sexy even when I know that no one is going to see them. I strip my shirt over my head and I see Thomas’s eyes go dark as he takes me in. I see his pants tighten. “I know you like how real I am, and I promise that I’ll always be that girl. But the real me loves sexy underwear. Those boy shorts you saw are my lazy underwear, and I was actually embarrassed to show them to you.”
“This is the kind of underwear you wear every day?”
“Every goddamn day,” I say. “I hope you can live with that.”
Thomas starts laughing. Soft at first, and then a huge roar of laughter that fills up the apartment. He stands up and pulls me against him. “I think I can learn to deal with that.” And then he kisses me. I’m blown away. Stunned. This kiss isn’t like any of our others, and just like his pool skills, I think he’s been holding back.
“So you love me, huh?”
“Shut up,” I say against his chest.
His smile fades and I don’t think I’ve ever seen this look from him before. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him so serious. His eyebrows merge and the skin between his eyes gather. He holds the sides of my head and tilts it so that our eyes meet. “I’m going to let you in on a little secret,” he says.
“Yeah? What’s that?”
“I’ve always loved you.”
Wait, what? Did I just hear him right? “What?”
“It started as a crush when we were kids, but that night, when we kissed, I knew you were it for me. When I didn’t hear from you again, I was wrecked. I haven’t been in a solid relationship since because no one else measured up. Then when I heard you were back in town … It was my second chance and now that I have you, I’m never going to let you going. I’m going to spend the rest of my life making you happy. I love you Rose Monroe.”