“If you prefer fake tits, then something is wrong with you, Nate,” I say and sigh. “There is something to be said about feeling a woman, all woman, in your palms and you just can’t get the same feelings when you can feel a bag of fluid rolling around under your fingertips.”
They both look at me like I’m a fool, and I look between the two of them while playing my words back in my head, trying to figure out what the hell their issue is.
“Dude, two seconds ago, you agreed with me when I said big, huge, fake tits is the way to go.” Nate reaches out and puts his hand against my forehead before continuing. “Are you feeling okay there, big guy?”
Belatedly, it hits me that Dani might have heard me, and I groan.
“I’m fine, asshole. I just have a lot on my mind.” Which isn’t a lie. I have a shitload of things I need to do before I leave, and on top of all that, this thing, whatever it is, between Dani and me has me running in circles around myself.
“Sure you do, Coh. Do you need anything?” Nate asks, no trace of humor left in his tone.
“Nah. Just need to work on things myself. I’ve got some loose ends I need to tie up before I leave. Mom and the girls are having a hard time with it. Cam and Colt haven’t said as much, but I know they’re worried, and Dad is being Dad.” All true. I leave out that I also need to figure out what the hell I’m going to do with Dani too before I leave. If I leave things how they are, knowing I’ll be gone for a while, I’ll constantly be thinking about it. If anything, I need to sit her down and at least explain why I’m holding back when it’s clear we both want this.
Well, it’s clear to me that I want her and she wants me. I’m guessing she has no clue the depth of my desire for her.
“Makes sense. Don’t worry though. We’ll watch out for the girls,” Lee, ever the peacekeeper and do-gooder, says.
If Dani were best friends with any other guy, I would probably shit a green brick of jealousy, but not with Liam. He’s helped me chase off more guys than I can remember, and I have no doubt he will continue when I leave.
“Thanks, Lee.” I slap him on the shoulder and give him a nod before I head to the door in search of Dani. I almost run into her when she comes back in with a stack of shoeboxes taller than she is. “Whoa, Dani!” Reaching up, I snag a few boxes and smile when her flushed face comes into view. “Show me to your room?”
She nods, walks around me, and moves up the stairs. I watch her firm ass with rapture with each step I climb behind her.
Yeah . . . we definitely need to have a talk.
I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE. I just can’t. This hot-and-cold shit with him. Me suddenly forgetting how to act like a normal adult around him. All of it. I’m just so tired of it all.
I’ve always known he would be stupid to love. I’ve known it since before I made that last tumble ass over elbows and landed in a mass of limbs. I knew before the fall that it would be a painful tumble¸ but I still jumped and fell in love with him regardless.
“Dani, look at me,” he implores when we step in to my room and place the boxes on the floor of my walk-in closet. “Please,” he adds.
With a deep breath, I turn and look him in the eye. Gone is the boiling lust, and what’s taken its place is acceptance that we won’t ever be.
“Talk to me,” he pleads.
“What do you want me to say? You know how I feel, Cohen. I’ve told you before. I know you heard me in my sleep when I was sick. Plus, there is this . . . thing between us. Bottom line—you know how I feel and it isn’t your fault that you don’t return those feelings.” I sigh and sit down on my chaise lounge, which Nate and Lee just placed in the middle of my room. “I’m tired of feeling like I need to run or act a certain way around you. It used to be easier to hide the way I feel.”
“I don’t want you to hide. Not from me.”
I feel my brows pull in at his words, confused by the mixed signal.
“I don’t want you to be anything but yourself around me,” he continues. “I just don’t know what to do about this, Dani. I know what’s right here. I know what I should and shouldn’t do when it comes to you. It’s just getting harder to keep those lines from blurring.”
“What are you saying, Cohen? Spit it out in plain terms so I don’t get your words mixed up and seek hope when there isn’t any to be found.”
His face hardens, and he takes a step towards me, leaning down, placing his hands on either side of my hips, and not stopping his body until his face is level with mine. His harsh breaths hit my lips, and I lean back, only to stop when his body follows the movement.