Sidequest for Love - Page 29

Neil stared at me, eyes wide with horror. “Please tell me you didn’t talk to her.”

“Of course, I didn’t talk to her. I merely observed.”

At this, he seemed to relax a little, but he still looked perturbed. “And what did you observe?”

“Not a lot, honestly.”

“Okay, well, please don’t ever do that again,” Neil said, exhaling in relief.

“It’s just that—”

Neil’s eyes flashed to mine. “What?”

“I may have seen her and one of her co-workers making fun of two overweight women while they were working out. I’m not one-hundred percent certain, but it seemed like Annabelle was laughing at them.”

His frown returned. “I can’t imagine Annabelle doing something like that.”

“Yes, but you hardly know her, not in person. For all you know, she could be the one catfishing you into believing she’s a nice lady when in reality she’s the type who—"

“Can we not talk about this until I get back to London?” Neil interrupted gruffly, and I fell silent. “I just want to enjoy watching this show with you because honestly, I’ve been looking forward to it all day. Let’s leave Annabelle out of the conversation for the time being.”

“Oh.” I was taken aback, blinking as I asked, “You’ve really been looking forward to this all day?”

Neil sighed again. “Yes, I have. It’s come as a great surprise to me, but I actually enjoy your company, Afric.”

I fell silent again. I had no words, which was a rare occurrence for me. A warm, tingling sensation took up residence in my chest. Finally, I whispered, “Neil.”


“I enjoy your company, too.” A pause. “And I’m sorry for spying on Annabelle. I won’t do it again.”

In the small square in the corner of my screen, I saw his lips twitch in a smile. “I’m glad to hear it.” A pause. “Now, can you be quiet? I’m about to press play, and I’m sick of you talking through all the good bits.”

I chuckled, making a show of zipping my lips before setting my empty plate aside, burrowing under the covers, and hitting play at the same moment Neil did.



“What?! It can’t just end there,” Afric exclaimed.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

She threw her hands up into the air. “I mean, after all that longing, I thought they’d at least give us a decent sex scene. I feel like writing a strongly worded letter to the BBC.”

“Their period dramas aren’t exactly known for having graphic sex,” I pointed out, mildly amused. Afric and I had just finished watching the final episode of North and South, and she wasn’t impressed with the ending.

“True, but I still think it’s ridiculous that all we get is a kiss. I feel short-changed. My flatmate, Sarita, and I binge-watched Bridgerton at Christmas, and I’m telling ya, they didn’t pull any punches. Neil, your glasses would’ve fogged up at the absolute raunchiness.”

I smiled in bemusement. “Well, sadly for you, this isn’t Bridgerton.”

“You can say that again!”

“You’re surprisingly worked up about this. It might’ve been just a kiss, but don’t you think it was still a very romantic one?” I asked.

“Well, sure, it was romantic, though personally, I’ve never been big into kissing.”

I furrowed my brow. “Seriously?”

Afric shrugged. “It just doesn’t float my boat.”

I was perplexed. “But … when you’re with someone, what do you do? Just … avoid their mouth?”

“Pretty much. I mean, if push comes to shove, I’ll endure a kiss, but my preference is not to do it at all.”

“That is so bizarre,” I said, shaking my head at her. And her lips were far too pretty not to be kissed. I pushed away the errant thought, no idea where it had come from.

“It really isn’t. Some people don’t like chocolate cake. I don’t like kissing.”

“So, you’ll let a man put his penis in you, but you won’t let him kiss you?” I blurted, then instantly regretted it when I saw the mischievous glint in her eye.

“Say ‘put his penis in you’ again,” she encouraged. “That was rather sensual.”

I felt warmth heat my cheeks. “I’m being serious. Why don’t you like kissing?” I was unexpectedly bothered by her preference, and some part of me needed to get to the bottom of it.

“I don’t get why you’re so shocked. It really isn’t a big deal.”

I was stumped as to the reason, too. But I simply couldn’t abide by her not liking kissing. It was one of life’s true pleasures, especially when you found someone you shared a connection with. The first kiss had the potential to be mind-blowing.

“What about when you’re in a relationship? Do you like kissing then?” I went on.

“I don’t do relationships. Not anymore.”

“You don’t? But what about Dev?”

“Dev was the last straw. I’m sick of being broken up with all the time. It’s obvious I’m just not suited to being in a couple.”

“Just because you were dumped doesn’t mean you should completely write-off relationships,” I countered. I was no stranger to being dumped myself.

Tags: L.H. Cosway Romance
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