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She starts to move past me toward the record player when something strong and instinctual—something that feels like fate—gives me a hard punch in the chest. I grab her hand and pull her back to me. Surprised, she stumbles a little, and her palms break her fall on my chest. When she recovers, she meets my gaze, and I don’t try to interpret it. Instead, I move her arms around my neck, wrap mine around her waist, and start to move.
Her eyes narrow, but they have a glimmer in them. “Oh, so now you want to dance.”
I cringe a little. “I don’t think you can call this dancing. And to be fair, I don’t think you can call what you were doing dancing either.”
Not even her harsh glare can hide the amusement she finds at my joke. She purses her lips to hold back her laugh then swats at my chest before moving her hand back around my neck. “At least I was having fun.”
“Oh, I was having fun watching you. Besides, you didn’t seem to have a problem with my moves at prom.”
Her cheeks redden, and when my gaze slips down to her neck, I find that part of her skin is changing color too. She’s flushed all over, and I can’t help but get excited that I’m doing that to her.
“Yeah, well, you also bribed me with a dozen pink roses, a tent, and a pretty necklace, so we probably shouldn’t compare experiences.”
At the mention of her necklace, my gaze locks on her throat, even though I already know it isn’t there. When she picked me up from the jail, she wasn’t wearing it then either. The disappointment weighed heavily, and as much as I want to ask her where it is, I choose not to go there. I had no right to question it back then, and I still don’t. “Just give me a few minutes, and I can rectify all that.”
She smiles gently back at me, and the mood shifts from playful to serious. “You would, wouldn’t you?”
My heart pounds so hard that I can feel it between my ears. I cup her neck while slowly moving a finger across her cheek, and I glance at her lips before locking on her eyes. “I would do anything for you, Camila. That hasn’t changed, and it never will.”
She blinks, as if she can’t believe me. I drop my forehead to hers, and when her eyelids flutter closed as a shaky breath rushes past her lips, I know she feels the same.
“How does this feel so normal?” Her words are just a whisper. “I close my eyes, and it’s like I’m right where I’m supposed to be.” She shakes her head. “I don’t understand.”
“What’s to understand? Our roots are deep, just like your vines, which adapt to every season. No matter the harsh weather, there’s always new growth.”
“Are you comparing our relationship to the life of a grape?”
The teasing in her voice makes me chuckle. “No. I’m comparing us to a whole damn vineyard. We’re the root.” I lean in, brush her lips with mine, and whisper, “You and me, Wild One.”
A shiver racks her entire body, and I tighten my hold around her, as if it could help. The way she’s engulfed in my arms brings me the most comfort I’ve felt in years. Camila’s right. This feels so normal and natural, like we were always meant to fit.
I brush my lips against hers again, almost expecting her to pull away and tell me it’s too soon or too late. Either one of those responses would be understandable. But when her fingernails dig into my back, I don’t ignore the message. I mold my mouth to hers and kiss her hard.
Her firm lips respond to mine immediately, and she steals every bit of my air as she breathes me in. I explore the taste and feel of her like it’s the very first time. In a way, that’s exactly what this is. It’s been ten years since our lips last touched, and though I’ve dreamed about it, nothing could have prepared me for the real feeling of our mouths moving as one, our breaths tangling with heat and desire, or our hands wandering as our mouths keep a slow and steady pace. The kiss is so consuming and powerful that I feel an awakening within me. And when she parts my mouth with hers and sweeps her tongue over mine, a growl rumbles through me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
K.K. Allen is a USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author and interdisciplinary arts and sciences graduate from the University of Washington who writes heartfelt contemporary romance stories that are as real as they are inspiring. K.K. is a Hawaiian girl who was raised in Seattle, and currently resides in central Florida. She works full time as a digital producer for a leading online educational institution and is the mother to a ridiculously handsome little dude who owns her heart.
K.K.'s publishing journey began in June 2014 with the YA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy, The Summer Solstice. In 2016, K.K. published her first Contemporary Romance, Up in the Treehouse, which went on to win the Romantic Times 2016 Reviewers' Choice Award for Best New Adult Book of the Year. With K.K.'s love for inspirational and coming-of-age stories involving heartfelt narratives and honest emotions, you can be assured to always be surprised by what K.K. releases next.
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