Sidequest for Love - Page 104

I nudged him with my elbow. “So, have you had a nice day?”

“Yes, aside from having to avoid a mountain load of dairy, it’s been very pleasant.”

“Afternoon tea is quite dairy heavy, isn’t it? I never realised before.”

“So much clotted cream,” Neil groaned, and I chuckled.

“I salute your willpower for resisting. But damn it, now I have to rethink my birthday plans. I was considering making it an afternoon tea.”

“No girlfriend of mine plans her own birthday,” Neil chided. “And besides, I already have a surprise in mind for you.”

“Oh?” I said, curiosity piqued. “What’s the surprise? Give me a clue.”

Neil’s lips twitched as he bent close to murmur. “It might involve me dressing up as a certain actor from a certain episode of Lip Sync Battle.”

My eyes widened in delight. “Oh my God, seriously? I’m going to die of anticipation. Why does my birthday have to be so far away? The wait will be agony.”

“Speaking of agony,” he said, lowering his mouth to my bare shoulder and delicately scraping his teeth across my skin, awakening all the tiny nerve endings that lived there. “I’m surprised I’ve managed to keep my hands off you in this dress.”

I arched my back as Neil’s hand drifted lower. “Be careful,” I whispered. “You’ll scandalise the other guests.”

“Most of them are drunk on champagne and refined sugar. I doubt they’ll notice,” he whispered back, nipping my ear and soliciting a quiet moan.

“Can I stay over at yours tonight?” I asked, turning to gaze up into his handsome brown eyes.

“You can stay at mine every night if you want.”

I moved closer, pressing my lips to the underside of his jaw. “That’s a dangerous invitation, Mr Durant. I might end up leaving a toothbrush in your perfectly ordered bathroom.”

His eyes glinted. “Do it. I dare you.”

“What if I clear out a drawer for myself and leave all my night things in it? Won’t that mess with the neat structure of your personal space?”

He was already shaking his head. “I welcome you to be as messy as you like. In fact, I insist. My life has been way too ordered for way too long. It’s about time I let in a little chaos.”

I reached up, placing my hand on his neck, and he practically undulated at my touch. “Okay, then,” I said close to his mouth. “Dare accepted.”

He smiled right before I kissed him, and then his hands were in my hair, and he was backing me up against the railing. We were being incredibly inappropriate for a daytime affair, but I was too lost in him to care. Besides, Neil was right about most of the guests being drunk on champagne. I was pretty sure I spotted Michaela’s dad, who was a vicar, cheekily pinching his wife’s backside as they danced to Michael Bublé.

Neil groaned into the kiss, and my body melted into his. His hand in my hair gripped firmly, tilting my head so that he could deepen the kiss. I had so much love for him there was excess slipping out and going everywhere like someone left the bath running too long and water and suds were overflowing. I loved him so much I would fight to the death for him. I’d climb mountains for him. I’d do anything to ensure his happiness and health, and I knew the feeling was mutual.

I never imagined I’d find someone like Neil. Someone who didn’t get tired of my overzealous personality or my gaming or my need to tease him relentlessly. He loved me for those things instead. He loved me for exactly who I was, and that was a rare feeling, indeed.

Looking back, I couldn’t believe I’d considered his friendship merely a sidequest when the whole time he’d been a brand-new adventure, an all-encompassing journey that wouldn’t be completed in a few short hours but would instead last an entire lifetime.


Tags: L.H. Cosway Romance
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