Sidequest for Love - Page 98

I reached across the table to take his hand into mine. “I have a matching hurt in the exact spot.”

His eyes flickered back and forth. “I guess we should forgive each other. To make the pain go away if nothing else.”

“You’re the one who needs to forgive.”

He shook his head. “Not true. As I said, it was wrong of me to string you along and involve you in my Annabelle mess. I’ll never do anything like that ever again.”

Hope bloomed. “Ever again? Does that mean—”

He squeezed my hand. “I want to be with you, Afric. I want you to be mine. The way you make me feel, I’ll never have that with anyone else.”

My eyes lowered to the table, an unusual feeling of shyness coming over me when I said, “So, you want to be my boyfriend?”

“Yes. I want that. More than anything.”

Water filled my eyes. The tenderness of this moment was too much.

“Hey,” Neil said, leaning across the table and lifting his other hand to wipe at the tears rolling down my cheeks. “Why are you crying?”

I lifted my gaze to his, sniffling. “I was just so worried that you’d cut me out of your life. It’s happened to me before too many times.”

“Afric,” Neil said. “Please listen to me and believe me when I say this. The way I feel about you is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. I could never cut you out of my life, not even if I wanted to. You’re in here now,” he said, touching his chest again. “I need you.”

“I need you, too,” I whispered. And he had no idea how much I’d needed to hear those words, how much I needed the reassurance.

Amid the chatter of the small café, his fingers weaved through mine as he brought my hand to his mouth and pressed a sultry kiss to my knuckles. I felt it all the way between my legs. He stared at me with such male possession that I had to look away, using my free hand to lift my mug and take a small sip.

“There’s just one outstanding matter,” I said as I set the mug back down.

Neil arched an eyebrow. “Oh?”

“We’re currently even on the giving and receiving of orgasms front,” I said and relished the faint hint of red that marked his cheeks as he glanced around to make sure no one was listening. “But where it concerns the revealing of secrets, I’m one up on you. So, this means you have my permission to tell everyone about the time I fashioned an adult nappy for myself before failing to achieve the world record I was trying to break. I think that one is sufficiently humiliating.”

At this, Neil gave a low chuckle. “I thought you said Michaela and Sarita already knew about that.”

“Oh, feck, you’re right. That means it’s technically not a secret anymore. Okay, how about this one—”

“Let me stop you there,” Neil interrupted. “You can tell me as many secrets as you like, but I won’t be revealing them to anyone.”

“Why not?”

He gave my hand another squeeze. “Because I don’t want to. And also, because the secret you revealed was one I should’ve revealed myself months ago.”

“I still hate that I did that to you. Normally, I’m like a sealed vault when it comes to secrets.”

“I know that. It was an unusual circumstance, not to mention alcohol was involved.”

I nodded, falling silent as I continued to sip my coffee. I felt Neil’s eyes on me as I brought my gaze to his. I shot him a questioning look. “Why are you staring at me like that?”

“I actually wanted to ask you something.”


“How do you like being your own boss?”

“Um, it has its pros and cons, but mostly the pros outweigh the cons. Why?”


“What does ‘hmm’ mean?”

“I’m thinking of starting my own business,” he said, and my eyes widened.

“You are. That’s exciting. What kind of business?”

“Event planning.”

“Oh! That’s perfect,” I said, remembering him once telling me how much he enjoyed that part of his job as an assistant. “You and Michaela seem to be constantly planning birthdays and special occasions and private screenings and whatnot.”

“Yes. All the Annabelle drama aside, I thought it was about time I moved on with my career. I don’t want to be an assistant forever.”

“You seem happy about this decision,” I said. “It’s a good look for you.”

“You’re a good look for me,” he shot back, and I barked a laugh.

“Oh, my God, I love flirty Neil. He’s my favourite. Wait, since we’re officially boyfriend and girlfriend, does that mean you’re going to start taking me on dates? Will you wear a shirt and tie? Will I get chocolates and flowers?”

“Yes. Yes, to all of that. In fact, we should make Michaela and James’s engagement party next weekend our first official date.”

I grinned at him. “I’m excited. This is very exciting.”

Tags: L.H. Cosway Romance
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