Chapter 20

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"He leans down and brushes his nose against mine, our heartbeats thundering in the almost invisible space between us. Our hearts synchronize, allowing this dangerous dance,allowing us to become one."


I have always been loved.

My parents made sure none of us felt left out, they smothered us with their love, basically, and I wouldn't ever dare to say they never did anything heartwarming to me. I am thankful for the loving childhood I had.

But the way Lincoln doted on me, all night... It's something I haven't felt before. People assume I don't need displays of affection like these because I'm not fragile, weak, or quiet. I'm loud, I'm impulsive as hell, and to top it off I'm also really fucking stubborn. But that doesn't mean I don't need this. That doesn't mean I don't need to be shown affection.

And honestly, the way Lincoln took care of me the whole night almost brought me to tears. Because I've never felt this feminine, this adored by a man.

"You know, there are studies that show that kids who regularly eat chocolate pudding are happier than kids who don't. It releases endorphins and even helps with the bone structure of young children."

I look up at him after I scoop a spoonful of Mousse of Chocolat into my mouth, a quiet chuckle escaping my throat as I swallow it. "Really?"

He nods his head, pushing his empty bowl to the other end of the table as he smiles, and I swear once again I'm having issues grasping just how beautiful he looks when he does that.

"Yeah. It's funny, isn't it?"

"It is." I finish my bowl and push it to the side as well, interlacing my fingers on the table before looking back at him. "Thank you... For tonight."

He doesn't say anything, just nods his head, apparently knowing what I want to say. And I'm glad, really. I'm an open book, generally. But I find it hard to express my emotions at times.

"You're welcome. It's the least I could do, really..."

There's this glimmer of appreciation sparkling in his eyes, and just by looking at him, I feel the sparks flying again, feel my skin tingling, every fiber of my being pulling me toward him. But I stand still, knowing that I already rushed things tonight.

And like he read my mind he suddenly gets up from his chair, rounds the table, and sits down next to me on the bench, this sudden sense of urgency emanating off of him in waves. His hands find my own, studying his fingers when they interlace with mine, a deep breath escaping his throat before he looks back up at me.

He just looks at me, really looks at me, studies every inch of my face with those storming blue eyes, almost like he's trying to tell me something telepathically. And I think I know what it is, but I cannot allow myself to jump to that conclusion, now.

"I..." he suddenly whispers, and I think he's just about to say what I read in his irises. But then his eyes fill with tears, and he releases a shaky breath, untangling his hands from my own to place them on my cheeks. "You're so soft..." he mumbles. His grip is so firm, it almost feels like he wants to make sure I'm alive, that I'm here with him.

And I let him, I let him hold me as long as he needs to, god knows I need the same today.

Every minute that passes just electrifies the atmosphere even more, and I feel the way he ignites as well, how the heat travels through our connected bodies, until he finally, finally leans forward and brushes his lips against my own. It's a kiss so gentle, that it's almost hard to believe that it's there, but it's enough to awake something in me, and so I sigh against his lips before my hands move around his neck, gently tugging him closer.

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