Ugly Love Book Chapter 9 Free Read Online

Full Read the Online Chapter 9 – TATE of the Ugly Love book PDF by Colleen Hoover for free.

Ugly Love book PDF by Colleen Hoover Chapter 9 Read Online – TATE

“Nurse!” Corbin yells. He walks into the kitchen, and Miles is following behind him. Corbin steps aside and points toward Miles. His hand is covered in blood. It’s dripping. Miles is looking at me like I’m supposed to know what to do. This isn’t an ER. This is my mom’s kitchen.

“A little help here?” Miles says, gripping his wrist tightly. His blood is dripping all over the floor.

“Mom!” I yell. “Where’s your first-aid kit?” I’m opening cabinets, trying to find it.

“Downstairs bathroom! Under the sink!” she yells.

I point toward the bathroom, and Miles follows me. I open the cabinet and pull out the kit. Closing the lid on the toilet, I direct Miles to take a seat, then I sit on the edge of the tub and pull his hand to me. “What’d you do?” I begin to clean it and inspect the cut. It’s deep, right across the center of his palm.

“Grabbed the ladder. It was falling.”

I shake my head. “You should have just let it fall.” “I couldn’t,” he says. “Corbin was on it.”

I look up at him, and he’s watching me with those contrastingly intense blue eyes of his. I look back down at his hand. “You need stitches.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah,” I say. “I can drive you to the ER.” “Can’t you just stitch it up here?”

I shake my head, realizing I lack the necessary supplies. Sutures are what I need. It’s pretty deep.”

He uses his other hand to rifle through the first-aid kit. He pulls out a spool of thread and hands it to me. “Do your best.”

“It’s not like I’m sewing on a damn button, Miles.”

“I’m not spending the whole day in an emergency room for a cut.

Just do what you can. I’ll be fine.”

I don’t want him to spend the day in an emergency room, either. That means he wouldn’t be here. “If your hand gets infected and you die, I’m denying any part in this.”

“If my hand gets infected and I die, I’d be too dead to blame you.” “Good point,” I say. I clean his wound again, then take the supplies

I’ll need and lay them out on the counter. My current angle isn’t ideal due to our positioning. Swiftly, I stand up and rest my leg on the edge of the tub. I guide his hand to my leg.

I put his hand on my leg.

Oh, hell.

This isn’t gonna work with his arm draped across my leg like this. If I want my hands to remain calm and not shake, I’m going to need to reposition us.

“This won’t work,” I say, turning to face him. I take his hand and rest it on the counter, then stand directly in front of him. The other way worked better, but I can’t have him touching my leg while I do this.

“It’s gonna hurt,” I warn.

He laughs as though he knows pain and to him, this isn’t pain. I pierce his skin with the needle, and he doesn’t even flinch.

He doesn’t make a sound.

He watches me work quietly. Every now and then, he looks up from my hand and watches my face. We don’t speak, like always.

I try to ignore him. I try to focus on his hand and his wrist and how it desperately needs to be closed, but our faces are so close, and I can feel his breath on my cheek every time he exhales. And he begins to exhale a lot.

“You’ll have a scar,” I say in a quiet whisper. I wonder where the rest of my voice went. For the fourth time, I push the needle in. Despite the pain, he doesn’t let it show. Every time it pierces his skin, I have to stop myself from wincing for him.

I should be focusing on his injury, but the only thing I can sense is the fact that our knees are touching. The hand of his that I’m not stitching is resting on top of his knee. One of the tips of his fingers is touching my knee.

I have no idea how so much can be going on right now, but all I can focus on is the tip of that finger. It feels as hot against my jeans as a branding iron. Here he is with a serious gash, blood soaking into the towel beneath his hand, my needle piercing his skin, and all I can focus on is that tiny little contact between my knee and his finger.

It makes me wonder what that touch would feel like if there wasn’t a layer of material between us.

Our eyes lock for two seconds, and then I quickly look back down at his hand. He’s not looking at his hand at all now. He stares at me, and I do my best to ignore the way he’s breathing. I can’t tell if his breathing has sped up because of how close I’m standing to him or because I’m hurting him.

Two of the tips of his fingers are touching my knee.


I inhale again and try to focus on finishing his stitches.

I can’t.

This is deliberate. This touch isn’t an accidental graze. He’s touching me because he wants to be touching me. His fingers trail around my knee, and his hand slips to the back of my leg. He lays his forehead against my shoulder with a sigh, and he squeezes my leg with his hand.

I have no idea how I’m still standing.

“Tate,” he whispers. He says my name painfully, so I pause what I’m doing and wait for him to tell me it hurts. I wait for him to ask me to give him a minute. That’s why he’s touching me, isn’t it? Because I’m hurting him?

He doesn’t speak again, so I finish the last stitch and knot the thread. “It’s over,” I say, replacing the items on the counter. He doesn’t

release me, so I don’t back away from him.

His hand slowly begins to slide up the back of my leg, all the way up my thigh, around to my hip, and up to my waist.

Breathe, Tate.

His fingers grip my waist, and he pulls me closer, still with his head pressed against me. My hands find his shoulders, because I have to grab onto something in order to steady myself. Every muscle in my body somehow just forgot how to do its job.

I’m still standing, and he’s still sitting, but I’m positioned between his legs now that he’s pulled me so close. He slowly begins to lift his face from my shoulder, and I have to close my eyes because he’s making me so nervous, I can’t look at him.

I feel him tilt his face up to look at me, but my eyes are still closed. Squeezing them a little tighter, I don’t know why. Right now, I don’t know anything. All I know is Miles.

And right now, I think Miles wants to kiss me.

And right now, I’m pretty damn sure I want to kiss Miles.

His hand slowly trails all the way up my back until he’s touching the back of my neck. I feel like his hand has left marks on every single part of me he’s touched. His fingers are at the base of my neck, and his mouth is no more than half an inch from my jaw. So, close I can’t distinguish if it’s his lips or his breaths that are feathering my skin.

I feel like I’m about to die, and there isn’t a damn thing in that first­ aid kit that could save me.

He tightens his grip on my neck …  and then he kills me.

Or he kisses me. I can’t tell which, since I’m pretty sure they would feel the same. His lips against none feel like everything. Like living and dying and being reborn, all at the same time.

Good Lord. He’s kissing me.

His tongue is already in my mouth, gently caressing mine, and I don’t even remember how that happened. I’m okay with it, though. I’m okay with this.

He begins to stand, but his mouth remains on mine. He walks me a few feet until the wall behind me replaces the hand that was on the back of my head. Now he’s touching my waist.

Oh, my God, his mouth is so possessive.

His fingers are splayed out again, digging into my hip.

Holy hell, he just groaned.

His hand moves from my waist and glides down to my leg.

Kill me now. Just kill me now.

He lifts my leg and wraps it around him, then presses against me so beautifully that I moan into his mouth. The kiss comes to an abrupt halt.

Why is he pulling away? Don’t stop, Miles.

He drops my leg, and his palm hits the wall beside my head as if he needs the support to continue standing.

No, no, no. Keep going. Put your mouth back on mine.

I try to look at his eyes again, but they’re shut. They’re regretting this.

Don’t open them, Miles. I don’t want to see you regret this.

He presses his forehead against the wall beside my head, still leaning against me as we both stand quietly, attempting to return air to our lungs. After several deep breaths, he pushes off the wall, turns around, and walks to the counter. Luckily, I didn’t see his eyes before he opened them, and now his back is to me, so I can’t see the regret he obviously feels. He picks up a pair of medical scissors and cuts through a roll of gauze.

I’m stuck to the wall. I think I’ll be here forever. I’m wallpaper now. That’s it. That’s all I am.

“I shouldn’t have done that,” he says. His voice is firm. Hard. Like metal. Like a sword.

“I         didn’t mind,” I say. My voice isn’t firm. It’s like liquid. It


He wraps his wounded hand, then turns around and faces me.

His eyes are firm like his voice was. They’re also hard, like metal. Like swords, slicing through the ropes that held what little dangling hope I had for him and me and that kiss.

“Don’t let me do that again,” he says.

I want him to do that again more than I want Thanksgiving dinner, but I don’t tell him that. I can’t speak, because his regret is caught in my throat.

He opens the bathroom door and leaves. I’m still stuck to the wall.





I’m no longer stuck to the bathroom wall.

Now I’m stuck to my chair, conveniently seated at the dinner table next to Miles.

Miles, whom I haven’t spoken to since he referred to himself or us or our kiss as “that.”

Don’t let me do “that” again.

I couldn’t stop him if I wanted to. I want “that” so much I don’t even want to eat, and he probably doesn’t realize how much I love Thanksgiving dinner. Which means I want “that” a lot, and “that” isn’t referring to the plate of food in front of me. “That” is Miles. Us. Me kissing Miles. Miles kissing me.

I’m suddenly very thirsty. I grab my glass and down half of my water in three huge gulps.

“Do you have a girlfriend, Miles?” my mother asks.

Yes, Mom. Keep asking him questions like that, since I’m too scared to do it myself

Miles clears his throat. “No, ma’am,” he says.

Corbin laughs under his breath, which stirs up a cloud of disappointment in my chest. Apparently, Miles has the same view on relationships as Corbin does, and Corbin finds it amusing that my mother would assume he’s capable of commitment.

I suddenly find the kiss we shared earlier a lot less impactful.

“Well, aren’t you quite the catch, then,” she says. “Airline pilot, single, handsome, polite.”

Miles doesn’t respond. He smiles faintly and shovels a bite of potatoes into his mouth. He doesn’t want to talk about himself.

That’s too bad.

“Miles hasn’t had a girlfriend in a long time, Mom,” Corbin says, confirming my suspicion. “Doesn’t mean he’s single, though.”

My mom tilts her head in confusion. So, do I. So does Miles.

“What do you mean?” she says. Her eyes immediately grow wide, though. “Oh! I’m so sorry. That’s what I get for being nosy.” She says the last part of her sentence like she just came to some realization that I still haven’t come to.

She’s apologizing to Miles now. She’s embarrassed.

Still confused.

“Am I missing something?” my dad asks.

My mother points her fork at Miles. “He’s gay, honey,” she says.

Um …

“Is not,” my dad says firmly, laughing at her assumption. I’m shaking my head. Don’t shake your head, Tate.

“Miles isn’t gay,” I say defensively, looking at my mother.

Why did I say that out loud?

Now Corbin looks confused. He looks at Miles. A spoonful of potatoes is paused in midair in front of Miles, and his eyebrow is cocked. He’s staring at Corbin.

“Oh, shit,” Corbin says. “I didn’t know it was a secret. Dude, I’m so sorry.”

Miles lowers his spoonful of mashed potatoes to his plate, still eyeing Corbin with a perplexed look about him. “I’m not gay.”

Corbin nods. He holds up his palms and mouths, “I’m sorry,” like he didn’t mean to reveal such a big secret.

Miles shakes his head. “Corbin. I’m not gay. Never have been and pretty sure I never will be. What the hell, man?”

Corbin and Miles are staring at each other, and everyone else is watching Miles.

“B-but,” Corbin stutters. “You said …  one time you told me … “

Miles drops his spoon and covers his mouth with his hand, stifling his loud laughter.

Oh, my God, Miles. Laugh.

Laugh, laugh, laugh. Please think this is the funniest thing that’s ever happened because your laugh is also so much better than Thanksgiving dinner.

“What did I say to you that made you think I was gay?”

Corbin sits back in his chair. “I don’t remember, exactly. You said something about not being with a girl in more than three years. I just thought that was your way of telling me you were gay.”

Everyone is laughing now. Even me.

“That was more than three years ago! This whole tune, you’ve thought I was gay?”

Corbin is still confused. “But … “

Tears. Miles has tears he’s laughing so hard. It’s beautiful.

I feel bad for Corbin. He’s kind of embarrassed. I do like how Miles thinks it’s funny, though. I like that it didn’t embarrass him.

“Three years?” my dad says, still stuck on the same thought I’m still kind of stuck on.

“That was three years ago,” Corbin says, finally laughing along with Miles. “It’s probably been six by now.”

The table slowly grows quiet. This embarrasses Miles.

I keep thinking about that kiss in the bathroom earlier and how I know for a fact it hasn’t been six years since he’s been with a girl. A guy with a mouth as possessive as that one knows how to use it, and I’m sure it gets used a lot.

I don’t want to think about it.

I don’t want my family thinking about it.

“You’re bleeding again,” I say, looking down at the blood-soaked gauze that’s still wrapped around his hand. I turn to my mother. “Do you have any liquid bandage?”

“No,” she says. “That stuff scares me.”

I look at Miles. “After we eat, I’ll check it,” I say.

Miles nods but never looks at me. My mother asks me about work, and Miles is no longer the center of attention. I think he’s relieved about that.


I turn off my light and crawl into bed, not sure what to make of today. We never spoke again after dinner, even though I spent a good ten minutes redressing his wound in the living room.

We didn’t speak through the entire process. Our legs didn’t touch. His finger didn’t touch my knee. He didn’t even look up at me. He just watched his hand the entire time, focused on it like it would fall off if he looked away.

I don’t know what to think about Miles or that kiss. He’s obviously attracted to me, or he wouldn’t have kissed me. Sadly, that’s enough for me. Who cares about liking at this point? I mean, who cares if he likes me? I just want him to be attracted to me because the liking can come later.

For the fifth time, I try to fall asleep, closing my eyes, but it’s in vain. Rolling onto my side, I orient myself toward the door, and I spot the shadow of someone’s feet nearing it. In suspense, I anticipate the door’s opening, yet the shadows fade, and footsteps echo down the hallway. I’m almost positive that was Miles but only because he’s the only person on my mind right now. I release a few controlled breaths in order to calm myself down enough to decide whether I want to follow him. I’m only on the third breath when I hop out of bed.

I debated brushing my teeth again, but it’s only been twenty minutes since I last brushed them.

I check my hair in the mirror, then open my bedroom door and walk as quietly as I can into the kitchen.

When I round the corner, I see him. All of him. He’s leaning against the bar, facing me, almost like he was expecting me.

God, I hate that.

I pretend it’s just a coincidence that we ended up here at the same time, even though it’s midnight. “Can’t sleep?” I walk past him to the refrigerator and reach for the orange juice. I take it out, pour myself a glass, and then lean against the counter across from him. He’s watching me, but he doesn’t answer my question.

“Are you sleepwalking?”

He smiles, soaking me up from head to toe with his eyes like a sponge. “You really love orange juice,” he says, amused.

I look down at my glass, then back up to him, and shrug. He takes a step toward me and motions for the glass. I hand it to him, and he brings it to his lips, takes a slow sip, and hands it back to me. All these movements are completed without his ever-breaking eye contact with me.

Well, I definitely love orange juice now.

“Even though I never answered him,” he says, “I love it, too.” Gripping the edges of the counter, I push myself up and find he’s still everywhere, invading my entire being.

The entire house.

It’s way too quiet. I decided to make the first move.

“Has it really been six years since you’ve had a girlfriend?”

He nods without hesitation, and I’m both shocked and extremely pleased by that answer. I’m not sure why I like it. I guess it’s just so much better than what I imagined his life was like.

“Wow. Have you at least . . .” I don’t know how to finish this sentence.

“Had sex?” he interjects.

I’m glad the only light on is the one over the kitchen stove because I’m absolutely blushing right now.

“Not everyone wants the same things out of life,” he says. His voice is soft, like a down comforter. I want to roll around in it, wrap myself up in that voice.

“Everyone wants love,” I say. “Or at least sex. It’s human nature.”

I can’t believe we’re having this conversation.

He folds his arms across his chest. His feet crossed at the ankles. I’ve noticed this is his form of personal armor. He’s putting up his invisible shield again, guarding himself from giving too much away.

“Most people can’t have one without the other,” he says. “So, I find it easier to just give up both.” He’s studying me, gauging my reaction to his words. I do my best not to give him one.

“So, which of the two do you not want, Miles?” My voice is embarrassingly weak. “Love or sex?”

His eyes remain the same, but his mouth changes. His lips curl up into a barely-there smile. “I think you already know the answer to that, Tate.”


I blow out a controlled breath, not even caring if he knows those words affected me like they did. The way he says my name makes me feel just as flustered as his kiss did. I cross my legs at the knees, hoping he doesn’t notice it’s my own personal armor.

His eyes drop to my legs, and I watch him softly inhale.

Six years. Unbelievable.

I look down at my legs, too. I want to ask him another question, but I can’t look at him when I ask it. “How long has it been since you kissed a girl?”

“Eight hours,” he replies without hesitation. I raise my eyes to his, and he grins, because he knows what I’m asking him. “The same,” he utters quietly. “Six years.”

I don’t know what happened to me, but something changed. Something melts. Something hard or cold or covered in my own personal armor is turning to liquid now that I’m realizing what that kiss really meant. I feel like I’m nothing but liquid, and liquid doesn’t do a good job of standing or walking away, so I don’t move.

“Are you kidding me?” I ask, disbelievingly. I think he’s the one blushing now.

I’m so confused. I don’t understand how I’ve pegged him so wrong or how what he’s saying is even possible. He’s good-looking. He has a great job. He definitely knows how to kiss, so why hasn’t he been doing it?

“What’s your deal, then?” I ask him. “You have STDs?” It’s the nurse in me. I have no medical filter.

He laughs. “Pretty damn clean,” he says. He still doesn’t explain himself, though.

“If it’s been six years since you kissed a girl, then why did you kiss me? I was under the impression you didn’t even really like me. You’re really hard to read.”

He doesn’t ask me why I’m under the impression that he doesn’t like me.

I think if it’s obvious to me that he’s different when he’s around me, it’s been intentional on his part.

“It’s not that I don’t like you, Tate.” He sighs heavily and runs his hands through his hair, gripping the back of his neck. I simply want to dislike you. I don’t want people to like me. I’m not looking to date anybody. No one should be loved by me. I just … ” He folds his arms back across his chest and looks down at the floor.

“You just what?” I ask, urging him to finish that sentence. His eyes slowly lift back to mine, and it takes all I have to stay seated on this counter with the way he’s looking at me right now like I’m Thanksgiving dinner.

“I’m attracted to you, Tate,” he says, his voice low. “I want you, but I want you without any of that other stuff.”

I have no thoughts left. Brain = Liquid.

Heart = Butter.

I can still sigh, though, so I do.

I wait until I can think again. Then I think a lot.

He just admitted that he wants to have sex with me; he just doesn’t want it to lead to anything. I don’t know why this flatters me. It should make me want to punch him, but the fact that he chose to kiss me after not having kissed anyone for six straight years makes this new confession seem like I just won a Pulitzer.

We’re staring at each other again, and he looks a little bit nervous. I’m sure he’s wondering if he just pissed me off. I don’t want him to think that, because, honestly, I want to yell “I won!” at the top of my lungs.

I have no idea what to say. We’ve had the strangest and most awkward conversations since I met him, and this one definitely takes the cake.

“Our conversations are so weird,” I say. He laughs with relief. “Yes.”

The word yes is so much more beautiful coming from his mouth, laced with that voice. He could probably make any word beautiful. I try to think of a word I hate. I kind of hate the word ox. It’s an ugly word. Too short and clipped. I wonder if his voice could make me love that word.

“Say the word ox.”

His eyebrow rises like he’s wondering if he heard me right. He thinks I’m weird.

I don’t care.

“Just say it,” I tell him.

“Ox,” he says, with slight hesitation.

I smile. I love the word ox. It’s my new favorite word.

“You’re so weird,” he says, amused.

I uncross my legs. He notices. “So, Miles,” I say. “Let me see if I’ve got this straight. Six years have passed since your last sexual encounter. Or love. But you’re a guy. Guys have needs.”

He’s watching me, still amused. “Go on,” he says with that unintentionally sexy smirk.

“You’re drawn to me even though you don’t want to be. You don’t want to date me, but you want to have sex with me. You don’t want to love me either. Additionally, you don’t want me to desire to adore you.

I’m still amusing him. He’s still smiling. “I didn’t realize I was so transparent.”

You’re not, Miles. Believe me.

“If we do this, I think we should take it slow,” I say teasingly. “I don’t want to pressure you into anything you aren’t ready for. You’re practically a virgin.”

He loses his smile and takes three deliberately slow steps toward me. I stop smiling because he is seriously intimidating. When he reaches me, he places his hands on either side of me, then leans in close to my neck. “It’s been six years, Tate. Believe me when I tell you . . . I’m ready.”

Those all just became my new favorite words, too. Believe and me and when and I and tell and you and I’m and ready.

Favorites. All of them.

He pulls back and can more than likely tell I’m not breathing at the moment. He steps back to his spot opposite from me. He’s shaking his head like he can’t believe what just happened. “I can’t believe I just asked you for sex. What kind of guy does that?”

I swallow. “Pretty much all of them.”

He laughs, but I can tell he feels guilty. Maybe he’s afraid I can’t handle this. He might be right, but I’m not about to let him know that. If he thinks I can’t handle this, he’ll retract everything he’s saying. If he retracts everything he’s saying, that means I don’t get to experience another kiss like the one he gave me earlier.

I’d agree to anything if it means I get to be kissed by him again.

Especially if it means I get to experience more than just his kiss.

Simply thinking about it makes my throat dry. I pick up my glass and take another slow sip of my juice while I silently work this out in my head.

He wants me for sex.

I kind of miss sex. It’s been a while.

I know I’m definitely attracted to him and can’t think of anyone else in my life I’d rather have casual, meaningless sex with than my airline pilot, laundry-folding neighbor.

I set the cup of juice back down, then press my palms into the counter and lean slightly forward. “Listen to me, Miles. You’re single. I’m single. You work way too much, and I’m focused on my career in an almost unhealthy way. Even if we wanted a relationship out of this, it would never work. Our lives wouldn’t fit one. We also aren’t really friends, so we don’t have to worry about our friendship being ruined. Do you want to have sex with me? I’ll totally let you. A lot.”

He’s watching my mouth like all my words just became his new favorite words. “A lot?” he asks.

I nod. “Yes. A lot.”

He looks me in the eyes with a challenging stare. “Okay,” he says, almost like it’s a dare.


We’re still several feet apart. I just told this guy I would have sex with him without any expectations, and he’s still way over there, and I’m way over here, and it’s becoming clear that I definitely had him pegged wrong. He’s more nervous than I am. Although I think our nerves stem from two different places. He’s nervous because he doesn’t want this to turn into anything.

I’m nervous because I’m not so sure that just sex with him is possible. Based on the way I’m drawn to him; I have a pretty good feeling sex will be the least of our problems. Yet here I sit, pretending to be fine with just sex. Maybe if it starts out this way, it’ll eventually end up being something more.

“Well, we can’t have sex right now,” he says.


“Why not?”

“The only condom I have in my wallet has probably disintegrated by now.”

I guffaw. His humorous self-parody is my favorite. He smiles hopeful, “I do want to kiss you again, though.”

He slowly walks back to where I’m seated until my knees are on either side of his waist. I’m watching his eyes because they’re looking at me like he’s waiting for me to change my mind. I’m not changing my mind. I probably want this more than he wants this.

He brings his hands up and slides them through my hair, brushing his thumbs across my cheeks. He inhales a shaky breath while looking down at my mouth. “You make it so hard to breathe.”

He punctuates his sentence with his kiss, bringing his lips over mine. Every remaining part of me that had yet to melt in his presence is now liquefied like the rest of me. I try to recall a time when a man’s mouth felt this good against mine. His tongue slides across my lips, then dips inside, tasting me, filling me, claiming me.

Oh … my. I.

Love. His. Mouth.

I tilt my head so I can taste more of it. He tilts him to taste more of mine. His tongue has a great memory because it knows exactly how to do this. He drops his injured hand and rests it on my thigh, while his other hand grips the back of my head, crushing our lips together. My hands no longer have hold of his shirt. They’re exploring his arms, his neck, his back, his hair.

I moan softly, and the sound causes him to press into me, pulling me several inches closer to the edge of the bar.

“Well, you’re definitely not gay,” someone says from behind us.

Oh, my God.




Miles. Pulling away.

Me. Jumping off the bar.

Dad. Walking past us.

He opens the refrigerator and grabs a bottle of water like he walks in on his daughter being felt up by his houseguest every single night. He turns around and faces us, then takes a long drink. When he’s finished, he puts the lid back on the bottle of water and puts it back in the fridge. He closes the refrigerator and walks toward us, passing between us, putting even more space there.

“Go to bed, Tate,” he says as he exits the kitchen.

I cover my mouth with my hand. Miles covers his face with his.

We’re both completely mortified. He more so than I, I’m sure. “We should go to sleep,” he says.

I agree with him.

We walk out of the kitchen without touching. We reach my bedroom door first, so I pause and turn around and face him. He pauses, too.

To make sure we’re the only ones in the hallway, he glances momentarily to his left and then to his right. He advances and steals yet another kiss. My back meets my bedroom door, but he’s somehow able to pull his mouth away.

“You sure this is, okay?” he asks, searching my eyes for doubt.

I don’t know if this is okay. It feels good, and he tastes good, and I can’t think of anything I want more than being with him. However, the reasons behind his six years of abstinence are what I’m concerned about. “You worry too much,” I say with a forced smile. “Would it help if we

had rules?”

He studies me quietly before taking a step back. “It might,” he says. “I can only think of two right now.”

“What are they?”

His eyes focus on mine for several seconds. “Don’t ask about my past,” he says firmly. “And never expect a future.”

I absolutely don’t like either of those rules. They both make me want to change my mind about this arrangement and turn and run away, but instead, I’m nodding. Liquid doesn’t know how to be firm or stand up for itself. I’m liquid, and liquid flows. I’m liquid, and it doesn’t know how to be firm or stand up for itself.That’s all I want to do with Miles.


“Well, I only have one rule,” I say quietly. He waits for my rule. I can’t think of a rule. I don’t have any rules. Why don’t I have rules? He’s still waiting. “I don’t know what it is yet. But when I think of it, you have to follow it.”

Miles laughs. He leans forward and kisses me on the forehead, then walks toward his room. He opens the door but glances back at me for a brief second before disappearing into the room.

I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure the expression I just saw on his face was fear. I just wish I knew what he was scared of because Lord knows I know exactly what I’m afraid of.

I’m afraid of how this is going to end.

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