Home > Who I Am with You (Unexpected Heroes #1.5)(13)

Who I Am with You (Unexpected Heroes #1.5)(13)
Author: Melody Anne

And what shocked her more than the fact that she was dancing in the rain with Travis was that she found herself smiling as their feet splashed in the puddles, water poured over them, and mud spit up at their legs.

Taylor had no idea how long Travis spun her in circles, but when she found herself looking up, the light from the front porch barely illuminating his face, her smile fell away. The man was always breathtaking, but with water cascading over him, and fire burning in his eyes, he was beyond description.

“I want you,” he whispered, his head moving slowly toward her, giving her an out if she wanted it.

Did she want it? Did she continue to fight whatever this was between them? They’d made love once and he’d walked out on her, but she had been young, she told herself, and then that thought infuriated her.

No. She wouldn’t make excuses for him, wouldn’t cast aside her feelings from that night so easily. Pushing her hands out, she wasn’t surprised when Travis released her. Travis would never force a woman to do something she didn’t want to do. Tease her, yes. Torture her, double yes. But force her, never.

“Good night, Travis.”

Turning, she walked back toward the cabin, not even attempting to do it with dignity. Her hair was plastered to her face, her legs covered in mud, and her body now filled with the shakes. There was no dignity for her this night.

She moved straight to the bedroom and stripped her sodden clothes off, then climbed into the shower. She wanted to stay there all night, but the cabin only had one bathroom, and Travis was just as soaked as her, so when the chill left her body, she wrapped herself in a robe and walked back out to the living room.

“All yours,” she muttered, then felt her eyes tear up when she saw the hot cup of chocolate sitting at the table waiting for her.

He didn’t say a word, just moved past her to the bathroom, quietly shutting the door behind him. That was Travis. He didn’t look for thank-yous, didn’t expect gratitude. Yes, he could be pompous and pushy, and a pain in the ass, but then he could be sweet and funny, kind and heroic.

She just didn’t know how to separate the two facets of his personality. She didn’t know how to separate how she felt. Life would be so much easier if she could figure it out.

“Pass the syrup, please.”

“There are a lot of things I can do with syrup,” Travis said.

Taylor’s head snapped up and she shot him a glare. “The comments are getting old, Travis. Do you have an original bone in your body?”

“Let’s not talk about my original bone, sweetheart.”

Several days had gone by since their dance in the rain, and neither had spoken again about it or the near kiss, but the last couple of days had certainly tested her limits as to how much she could withstand. When she’d awakened that morning to find the sun shining and no clouds to be seen, she’d practically done a dance in her bed.

If Travis were rude, or cold, or anything other than flirtatious and helpful, she would have been able to cast him aside so much more easily. But he was still the same man she’d fallen in love with years earlier, and she wasn’t having an easy time remembering why she didn’t want to fall into a relationship with him.

Not that he’d said he wanted a relationship. No. He was just making it more than clear every single day that he wanted them to share the large bed in the only bedroom. Taylor knew how good that would be, but she couldn’t make love with him again, because then he’d forever own her heart.

But didn’t he already?

No! Of course not. Soon, one or the other would give up on this game and leave the cabin. Hell, maybe both of them would. And when that happened, she would make sure they wouldn’t run into each other again. Her nerves couldn’t handle it.

For now, though, they were locked into a routine. Eat breakfast, clean up the cabin, maybe play some board games, have lunch, then maybe hike, or swim, or talk by the fire. Thank goodness for cool summer nights, because Taylor really enjoyed a blazing fire. There was something very comforting about the lights and shadows and the sweet smell of the burning wood.

“We finally have sun. What sounds like fun today?” Travis asked without his usual flirtatiousness—for now.

“Getting out of here,” she said, thinking that’s exactly what she needed.

“You know you’re free to leave anytime,” he told her. The same comment he’d made to her each time she whined about how boring the cabin was.

“Wouldn’t you just love that?”

“Actually, no,” he replied, seemingly in all seriousness. “I find that even when you’re in a grumpy mood, I enjoy being around you.”

“Travis . . .” She gave a long-suffering sigh.

“What? Do you want me to lie? I love being with you. I think the two of us began something several years ago that needs to be finished. Just because it wasn’t right back then, doesn’t mean it isn’t right now. You need to get that through your thick skull. And that scares the hell out of you, doesn’t it?”

“No!” She wouldn’t admit how very scared that did make her. “I just think it’s pointless for us to pursue anything together. We missed our chance.”

“There are no missed chances, Taylor. Only people too damn stubborn to see what’s right in front of them.”

“There are many missed chances in life, Travis. You see, this is just one more area where the two of us differ. I am a ‘glass is half empty’ kind of girl. You’re the guy who believes the glass is always half full. We just don’t fit.”

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