Colton’s hand stilled along the center of my back. “You have my attention.”

I closed the hand that rested on his chest because it was starting to shake. “I…I really loved Kevin. He was more than my husband. He was my closest friend too, and when he died, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever feel that way about someone else. I wanted to, but I…I just wasn’t sure.”

He didn’t move. There was a good chance he wasn’t breathing.

“Even though I was with Kevin in high school, I still noticed you and I still…God forgive me, had a crush on you.” I squeezed my eyes shut. “And well, what I’m trying to tell you is that I…I love you.”

He still didn’t move. Or breathe.

My eyes opened and I added in a rush, “And I know it’s soon and it’s probably too soon for me to be saying that to you, but I wanted you to know that I do. I do love you, and I know you probably are seconds from freaking and—”

“I am freaking out.”

Oh dear.

Colton rolled onto his side and suddenly we were eye to eye. “I’m freaking out in a good way.”

“Oh,” I whispered.

His hand curled around my cheek. “It’s not too soon. Or if it is, we’re both feeling it too soon.”


My breath caught. “You…you love me?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I do.” His lips brushed over mine. “I think I fell in love with you the moment you said you thoroughly enjoyed crepes.”

I laughed as tears, the good kind, filled my eyes. “Really? It was the crepes that made you fall in love with me?”

“They had something to do with it.” He kissed me softly. “And so did your sweet ass,” he added, and then I laughed again. “Your smile had a lot to do with it. So did your strength. And your kindness. Everything about you actually.”

“Wow,” I whispered, resting my forehead against his. “That’s all very sweet.”

“It’s the truth.” His hand slid into my hair, holding it back from my face. “I love you, Abby.”

With my heart full of love and my mind empty of all fears and concerns, I threw the sheet back, pushed him over, and climbed onto him, straddling his hips.

Colton grinned widely. “I like where this is heading.”

Laughing, I placed my hands on his chest. “You know what?”

“What?” His fingers skimmed my sides.

I leaned down and kissed him. There was barely a space between our lips when I spoke. “I’ve dreamed of you for so long.”

Colton picked up my hand and brought it to his mouth, kissing my palm. “You don’t have to dream anymore.”

My lips curved into a smile.

He was right. I didn’t have to dream anymore.

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