Noise rushed in her ears, as if she’d turned on all of the electric appliances at once; heat flushed through her like she was standing in front of an open oven door.
She could feel his tension, his muscles coiled to move away. Duncan was a man who kept things so tightly bottled inside… until she felt him break, and he crushed her to him.
Moments—or eons—later, he ended the kiss, pressing her head to his broad chest, tucking her head beneath his chin.
“That was a mistake.” She was so close that his words rumbled beneath her cheek. Stubble from his jaw caught in her hair, tugging the fine strands at her temple.
“It doesn’t feel like a mistake,” she said, heart now pounding with more than adrenaline from their kiss. Somehow, she’d found a way inside the walls he kept up to protect himself. Would he push her away?
She wrapped her arms more tightly around his waist, willing him to hold on to her.
“It does to me.” Gently, he set her away from him.
She blinked beneath the harsh kitchen lights, away from his warmth and the protection of his arms.
“I would never… purposely… do anything to hurt you.”
Then why was he pushing her away? It had to be some misguided sense of honor, because of what everyone in town thought about him. Everyone but her.
He turned away, one hand on the back of his neck. Headed for the door. “I shouldn’t have come. I should—we should stay away from each other.” He sounded so determined, but she also heard the thread of doubt underscoring his words.
Luckily for the both of them, his statement only sparked a new determination within Lacy—to find a way to make things right for him.
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