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“Screw you. Let me leave, please.” She pushed me, but I held her still. “Let me leave right now, Jake.”

“No.” I pulled her close and wrapped my arm around her waist, using my free hand to wipe her tears with my fingertips. I ran my hands across her back and kissed the edges of her mouth, softly biting her bottom lip to calm her down. “You know that I would never want to hurt you.”

“Do I?”

“You fucking should.” I bit her bottom lip again, harsher this time, and then I whispered against her mouth. “I need you to give ‘us’ another chance.”

“What makes you think I would be stupid enough to do that?”

“Because I’m not the only person here who has ever made a mistake.” My lips brushed against hers. “I recall the start of this being quite fucked up.”

“It’s still fucked up.” She looked as if she was about to cry again, but I wiped away the tears before they could fall. She began rambling, launching into one of those long, epic rants I actually missed and I couldn’t help but kiss her lips.

She tried to pull away from me, to act like moans weren’t escaping from her mouth, so I kissed her harder until she finally gave in to me.

“Are you having sex with someone else, Jake?” she whispered against my mouth.


“Have you been dating anyone else?”

“No.” I slapped her ass and yanked her hair out of its bun. And as she continued to ask questions like only she could, I kissed her until she was too breathless to ask another. Until she gave me a glazed over look that said she was actually willing to listen to me.

“We can talk tonight,” I whispered. I grabbed her hand and pressed it against the front of my pants, letting her feel how hard she made me. “We can talk about whatever the hell you want to talk about tonight...”



Paris (CDG)—-> New York (JFK)

Hours after landing in Paris, Jake pulled me close against him in his suite’s Jacuzzi. My back was pressed against his chest and he was running his fingers through my wet hair—kissing my neck every few seconds.

Despite what he'd said on the plane about talking about “whatever [I ] wanted,” no words were spoken when we first checked in. Instead, we’d spent most of the night re-connecting all over his room, letting our sex say all the things we still struggled to say aloud to each other.

It wasn’t until a couple hours ago, that he’d held me still and began to tell me about all the things that had plagued his entire life. His father’s lies. His brother’s assistance in protecting those lies. His ex wife. And the saddest story of all, his mother.

“That’s where you go every three weeks?” I asked.


I felt guilty for assuming it was something else. “Does your brother or your father ever go visit her?”


“Do they know where she is?”

“They do,” he said. “I’m sure they’ve sent things their money can buy. Maybe once or twice they may have snuck in under the guise of a charity event, but...”

“They can’t let the truth get out.”

“Exactly. That can never get out because it would ruin them both,” he said.

“But why haven’t you said anything about it at least?”

“There’s nothing to gain,” he whispered into my ear. “Do you mind if I change the subject?”

I shook my head and he slid his hands underneath my thighs, slowly turning me around until we were face to face. He leaned forward to kiss me—letting his teeth slightly bite my bottom lip, and then he grabbed both my hands.

“I want us to make this work,” he said, looking into my eyes. “I need us to make this work.”

“I said I was willing to give us another chance when we were on the plane.”

“No, no, no...” He shook his head. “You don’t understand what I’m saying.” His eyes were still on mine, looking more vulnerable than I’d ever seen him. “Almost everyone in my life has betrayed me at some point or used me for some type of personal gain. Almost everyone...My father is a goddamn liar and a cheat, my brother is a manipulative hypocrite, my ex-wife is an opportunist and a father-fucker.”

“You on the other hand...” His lips found mine again and he pulled me down against his chest. “You’re my anomaly.”

“What do you mean?”

“Surely after all the crossword puzzles you’ve stolen from me, you know what the word ‘anomaly’ means.”

“I know what the word means, I mean in terms of us.”

“I mean that although I’m sure you’re practically incapable of doing any of the things my family has done, I don’t ever want to have to wake up and read the papers to find out about what lies your spinning, I don’t want to have to worry about you being with someone else, and something tells me no one else would put up with your incessant talking as much as I do, so this relationship would actually be in your best interest as well.”

“One of those clauses was not like the others...”

“I’m aware.” He let out a low laugh. “I just need you to promise to continue being my anomaly. And I’m also just not sure how to say I love you.”

I sucked in a breath, my heart immediately full of butterflies, and his mouth claimed mine with kisses, breaking down any playful resistance, cementing his feelings over my own.