“I’d like to talk to you,” Noah said to Cassie.
Cassie looked at Noah and then back to the blond.
“Noah,” she said. “I’m talking to Kyle.”
Noah looked at Kyle. Kyle smiled. At least until he saw the look in Noah’s eyes.
“You were,” Noah said. “I need to speak you. Please.”
Cassie smiled and said, “Can’t it wait?”
“No,” Noah said.
She rolled her eyes, but grabbed Noah’s hand and brought him to one of the empty bedrooms. Once inside, she put the beer bottle down on a dresser and closed the bedroom door.
“What?” she said, all trace of humor gone.
“You need to go home,” Noah said.
“What?” Cassie said. “Why?”
“You’re drinking,” Noah said. “That’s your fifth beer. You’re going to…”
“What?” Cassie said. “I’m going to what? Have a good time? Get lucky? What business is it of yours? I’m a big girl.”
“I know that,” Noah said, taking a step closer.
“I don’t need you riding to my rescue,” Cassie said. “Is that all you know how to do? What do you want from me?”
“I don’t know,” Noah said. “Maybe that is all I do know how to do. Ben just told me out there that he considers me his friend. I’ve never had my own friend before.”
Cassie blinked at the revelation. It was the first real private thing Noah had ever shared. “I didn’t…”
“I don’t let people in, Cassie,” Noah continued. “I don’t know how. What I do know is that you’d probably be better off without me. I feel like the best thing for me to do is let you get together with Blondie out there…”
“Who cares?” Noah said. “Here’s the thing. I can’t. I can’t stand to watch you with him like that.”
Cassie put her hand on his chest. She could feel his heart pound in his chest like it was trying to escape. What in the world was scaring him so much?
“Then do something about it,” she said. “You’ve got to tell me what you want. You have to…”
Noah crushed his mouth against hers, his body pressing her against the wall. This kiss was even more powerful and wanting than their first, and it ended even more abruptly.
Noah backed away quickly, leaving Cassie gasping for breath. His eyes narrowed.
“What?” she asked. “For the love of God, don’t stop.”
Noah moved toward the door.
“You’re leaving now?”
Without ever taking his eyes off of hers, Noah grabbed the beer bottle off the dresser and sniffed it.
Cassie bit her lower lip.
Noah took a small sip from the bottle.
“This is water,” he said, showing her the bottle.
Cassie shrugged. “I never said it wasn’t.”
Cassie watched Noah quickly replay everything in his head. The quick looks between Brady and Cassie and the blond guy named Kyle. The beer bottles that Cassie kept downing one after another.
“You set that whole thing up,” Noah said. “Just to get under my skin. It was probably Brady’s idea.”
Cassie squeaked. “I’m sorry.”
Noah stepped forward. She smiled meekly. He leaned down and kissed her again. This time, he didn’t pull away.
“I’m not.” he said. “Maybe I needed it.”
“You did,” Cassie said.
Noah kissed the top of her head and held her. “I still may need to take things slow. This is new for me.”
Cassie nodded into his chest. “As long as we take it slowly together.”
When Cassie Shaw looks at Noah Hunt, she sees a knight in shining armor, but she’s convinced he sees her as nothing but damaged goods.
Noah saved her from a brutal assault, talked her through a panic attack, and held her when she broke down crying.
Noah is a mystery. He avoids talking about his past, his phone rings with calls from four women he won’t talk about, and he receives texts from over a dozen more. To add to the intrigue, when Cassie tries to kiss him, he gets a look of sheer panic in his eyes.
Cassie finally finds a chink in Noah’s armor, and realizes that he’s even more damaged than she is.
He saved her. Now it’s her turn to save him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Vincent Morrone now resides in Upstate NY with his wife. (Although he can still speak fluent Brooklynese.) His twin daughters remain not only his biggest fans, but usually are the first to read all of his work. Their home is run and operated for the comfort and convenience of their dogs.
Vincent has been writing fiction, poetry and song lyrics for as long as he can remember, most of which involve magical misfits, paranormal prodigies and even on occasion superheroes and their sidekicks.
As they say in Brooklyn: Yo, you got something to say to Vincent?