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♥ Excerpt ♥
Mad For You
2013 © Anna Antonia
“How many years was it?”
I looked at him in confusion. It was difficult to think while his finger continued its slow slide up and down across my warm cheek. “How many years was what?”
“How many years did you like me, Emma?” His gaze darkened as he stared at my mouth. “How many years did you like me like I liked you?”
There were too many ‘likes’ in that sentence. A girl should have some secrets, but standing there, so close to his exquisite face and seeing myself reflected in his crystal blue eyes, I decided this was one I didn’t have to keep anymore.
“Longer than even I realized. Long after graduation.”
Gabriel nodded slowly, seemingly still fixated on the shape of my mouth. “I wish I had figured it out back then.”
A small hum appeared in my throat. I swayed towards him. His hand left my face, moving down until his fingers curled around my wrist.
“Did you almost want to die of regret?” Gabriel asked abruptly, in a harsh near-whisper.
My eyes widened. Shocked by his question, I looked over his shoulder, seeing the still silent assistant now standing there with back discreetly turned to us.
“Don’t look at him! Stay right here with me.”
I obeyed immediately, gaze refocusing back on his. My mind was in too much of a jumble to make sense of my uncommon reaction.
“Did you ever regret saying no to me? I need to know, Emma.”
I dangled on the question, feeling like I shouldn’t answer just because he demanded it of me. It was instinctual. I didn’t want to be controlled by anyone, no matter how alluring the command. Still, Gabriel never truly fit in the parameters I set for myself and the outside world.
He never had and that’s why I knew Gabriel for the walking danger he was. He threatened me by being like the sun, for tempting me to love him for simply existing and staying forever out of my reach.
So did I regret saying no? Of course I did. But then again, maybe I was crazy because I still couldn’t face the possibility of yes.
“I did but—”
“No, I don’t want to hear the rest.” Gabriel closed his eyes. A shudder went through him. His entire body relaxed, unwinding from tension I didn’t see he carried until it was gone. “I finally know what I needed to know.”
Moments passed with suspended anticipation before I asked softly, “Which is?”
Gabriel speared me again with his brilliant gaze. “It wasn’t just me.”