Prologue

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"I love you. I'm in love with you," I tell him, and he meets my eyes. His eyes are a stormy blue today, and I could stare into them forever.

"We can't do this," he replies after a moment, his eyes flickering away as he pulls away.

"Don't you love me?" I ask, grabbing his forearm. He meets my eyes again, and he pulls his bottom lip between his teeth.

"Yes. I love you," he says, and I smile slightly. Sliding my hand back into his, I move closer to him.

"Don't you want me?" I question, and he swallows nervously.

"Yes," he admits, and I squeeze his hand gently before moving my other hand to his face. He closes his eyes, his long eyelashes nearly brushing his cheeks. The dark stubble on his face makes him look ruggedly handsome.

"Then what's stopping you?" I ask, leaning in.

Before our lips can meet, his eyes snap open, and he lurches back. He gets up on his feet, and I do the same.

"Gale!" I complain.

"I just can't do this. Don't you understand?" he asks, and I cross my arms over my chest, feeling embarrassed. I let out a breath before lifting my glasses up onto my head and recrossing my arms.

"You know what? I don't understand." He furrows his brow, and I look away.

"Becca—"

"No, Gale. I'm tired of this." I uncross my arms before promptly crossing them again. "I'm tired," I repeat, and he sighs.

He runs his hand through his black curls. He looks as if in pain. "I'm sorry I can't give you what you want."

"The thing is, you can. You just refuse to do it," I counter, and he meets my eyes. He opens his mouth to say something, but realizing I'm right, he says nothing and closes his mouth again. "You won't even kiss me," I say bitterly, looking down again.

Before I can comprehend what's happening, he's moved in front of me and wrapped his arms around me. His musky scent floods my nose, and when I look up, his lips meet mine.

It's even better than I'd ever imagined. He tastes how the sunshine feels. I tangle my hands in his soft hair, pulling him closer. I don't want this moment to ever end. He moves his hands to my hips, but I want him to touch me. I want him to touch me like he's scared I'll disappear. I want my need for him to be mirrored in his movements.

"I love you," I say breathlessly, and I feel him smile against me.

"I love you, too," he responds, and I move my hands down to the bottom of his hoodie. I start tugging at it, but that's when he pulls away.



A/N

new book woooooo

so I had this dream, and this is based on said dream. I've loved writing this

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