One More Chapter
A New Contemporary Romance by K.S. Thomas
Cover Art by Najla Qamber Designs (www.najlaqamberdesigns.com)
Photo by Laura Carlson of LCPhotoart
Model: Mikhaila Hamilton
Having overdosed on the cold, unyielding aspects of reality at an early age, books became a welcome escape I was happy to dedicate my life to. Editing romance novels seemed like the perfect career choice for the girl who craved fantasy and a world she could exercise a little control over. Bottom line, I like having a happy ending I can count on.
Where I prefer to have my head in the clouds, unattached to the tumultuous roller-coaster of real life, his feet are so firmly planted on the ground, they're sinking in and getting buried there.
Jensen seems an unlikely hero for any story, let alone mine. He's moody. And confused. And pretty damn sure there's no such thing as happy ever after.
But then that's the thing about all the best happy endings. They show up when you least expect them to.
“I don’t know how to do this.”
“Which part?” Because if it’s a simple matter of explaining the polite way to end a casual weekend sleepover, which incidentally was sex free, I can help him out no problem. Anything beyond that and we’re probably both in over our heads here.
Finally, his gaze moves to meet mine. Only now I feel compelled to look away.
“Walking away. It's the right thing to do. It's what you should have done when I told you to. But you didn't. And you made me do it. And I did." He pauses to take a deep, painful breath but his eyes never waver from mine. “Then you came back and now... I don’t know how to walk away from you this time, Karma. But I can’t stay. I have nothing left to give you if I stay… And plenty I want to take.”
“What if you can have it?” I breathe.
He shakes his head slowly. “I can’t.”
“Because it would be wrong.”
I swallow hard several times, the intensity wearing on me. “Maybe it would be wrong not to. Maybe there’s a reason neither of us can figure out how to walk away even though walking away would clearly be less complicated. Maybe we’re not supposed to.”
“I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Then stop trying to pretend this isn’t happening. Whatever it is, you and me, it’s something. It’s real.”
He exhales loudly, his chin dropping to his chest and I breathe in until the air fills my stomach, making up for the shallow breathing I succumbed to during this conversation.
His hand is still in my hair, his wrist loosely resting on my collar bone. Who is he kidding? He can’t walk away. He can’t even let go.
Then he realizes it too. His grip on my curls tightens and when his jaw rises up enough for him to look down on me, the brazen look in his eyes is beyond anything I’ve ever seen in them before.
“I’m going to fuck this up,” he whispers.
“Probably,” I say quietly, “but you might get it right. It’s a chance I’m willing to take.”
“You’re crazy,” he murmurs, his mouth moving dangerously close to mine.
“Certifiably.” And I close the gap between us just to prove it.
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