What do you think?
Rate this book
400 pages, Paperback
First published September 1, 2020
My breath catches. What is he doing? He wouldn’t kiss me, like he threatened. Would he? No way. But he’s so close…
He leans even farther—and then plucks the notebook right off my lap.
Right. That’s what he was going for. The notebook.
Fueled by a sudden clarity, I reach out and touch his sleeve. I want to take back my words. I want to get past our sniping. I want to be friends again.
Before I can say anything, he rips away his arm and takes off.
Mat’s smug, annoying face comes into focus. He leans over, so close that his hot breath caresses my skin.
“Gotcha,” he says very, very softly.
He takes a shaky breath. “I’m proving that one thing has nothing to do with the other. For example, you could kiss me right now. And I’d let you. In fact , I’d kiss you back. But that wouldn’t change my feelings toward you. I’d still loathe you just as much as I did before.”
I narrow my eyes. Because I don’t believe him.
“You want me to say that you’re stunning? That I wish I could take a photo, so that I can look at you all day? That the material is soft and touchable— and as skimpy as it is, it still covers way too much?” His eyes are black and furious and mesmerizing. I couldn’t look away if I tried. “Yeah, I could’ve said all that. No doubt, that’s what Taran’s going to be thinking. But I didn’t, because I have too much respect for you. Even after everything we’ve been through.”
“You’re lying,” I croak.
He raises an eyebrow.
I peek at him. The sun’s on its descent, dappling his face with shadows. I have the strangest sensation that he’s not the boy I’ve hated all these years. It’s almost as though he were someone new and yet familiar…
“Why?” he whispers.
A live wire stretches between us. From his hands to my hands. From his lips to my lips. I desperately want to close the distance between us. To see what sparks we could produce if skin pressed against skin.
But I can’t.
I don’t know why I’m defending him, but every minute we spend under these stars brings him closer to the boy he used to be. The boy my heart wants to protect.
“You’re such a dork.” I raise my hand to smack him, and he ducks out of range.
“No touching, remember?” he says, his eyes bright.
I shake my head, pretending to be exasperated, but I can’t quite stop my lips from curving.
You’re not the person I thought you were.
Eight words. A simple sentence. One that’s not even intrinsically unkind, if you take it word by word.
How can they hurt so damn much?