Prologue | Liam

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For two years I've been working this job. Countless times I've safely ushered some of the most gorgeous girls from the dark parking lots to their dorms as a proud member of the Cambridge all-girls college security team. Never once have I actually wanted to date any of them. Heck, I've never even really wanted to get to know them. It's easier to protect them that way. No distractions, no attachments. All that changed when I got called to the side stage in the fine arts building. That's when I saw her, her foot arched, her entire weight on the toes of one foot while she bent and unbent the knee of her other leg, briefly touching the toe of that one foot down to propel her body into a spin.

My mesmerized eyes fixated on her, and every time her face flashed in front of me for a beat, I was pierced by her blue eyes that stood out against her dark features. Even with her spinning, her exquisite beauty struck me. Maybe because her black hair was slicked back into a bun and the only thing I could focus on was her face, not her graceful arms, not her strong, toned legs. Just her face.

She stopped at the exact time the music I'd drowned out ceased. The auditorium fell so silent the rise and fall of her breaths reached my ears. She arched her spine, let her head fall back, and extended one of her legs out to the side while resting her weight on her other knee. The mounds of her full breasts were pushed up to her long neck. She wasn't like the other dancers. Instead of being so thin I could count all her ribs, she had curves in all the right places. I sucked in a breath as my brain conjured what it'd be like to run my hand from the side of her cheek down her neck, and then strum the delicate flesh of her breastbone before traveling further south. I exhaled, then inhaled, hoping to get a whiff of her scent, but she was too far away. Instead of applause filling the room, a man sitting behind a table in the empty audience leaned into a microphone. "That completes your audition. Thank you, Claire."

Claire.

She stood and turned toward me as she pranced off the stage. Her eyes connected with mine, and no matter how hard I tried to pry them away or sever this instant connection that drew me to her, I couldn't. The closer she got, the more her cheeks flushed. She tucked her head down as she passed me, and my body's temperature must have increased by ten degrees as I inhaled vanilla, flowers, and Claire for the first time.

A scent I knew I'd never forget. One I'd crave.

In less than two minutes, I'd become attached.

In less than two minutes, I'd wanted more than I ever knew I could have.

In two minutes, I'd started falling.

Worse than that, I didn't even know if I'd ever see her again.

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