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Sean tried to call Talia for the sixth time that week.
“This is Talia, you know what to do.” But obviously she doesn’t or she’d answer her damn phone!
He hung up without leaving a message. He’d left messages earlier in the week. Sent a couple texts. No response. She was still pissed. But damn it, she’d kissed him. He wanted to explain himself. Explain his reasons for pushing her away. But she wouldn’t answer his call.
Sean pulled his arm back to sling the damn phone at the wall, but he’d just have to replace it. His hand itched for a handset to slam down. Jabbing at the touchscreen would never satisfy like slamming a receiver down so hard the phone rang.
Sean tossed his phone on the table and sank down onto his couch with a sigh. One kiss and he acted like a lovesick puppy. Frustrated the hell out of him. He was a grown-ass man who should have better control over himself than that. Maybe it was a side effect of two years of self-imposed celibacy, you idiot.
Not dating for five years while he got the club going seemed like a good plan. Until a beautiful, soft woman pressed her lips to his. He never should have kissed her back. He should’ve shoved her away the moment she stepped between his legs.
Should have, but didn’t.
Oh, no, he pulled her tight to his chest and kissed her until they both gasped for air and he thought his lungs might collapse from lack of oxygen. Then he’d moved to that delectable throat, savoring the feel of her pulse beneath his lips. He’d marked her, leaving evidence of their passion on her pale skin. He’d thoroughly enjoyed her soft curves pressed against—
He had to get out of this apartment.
He hardened just thinking about that one little kiss. Okay, not so little, but he had to find something to occupy his time before he lost what was left of his mind. Sean grabbed his keys, snatched up his phone, and hurried out the door before he put his fist through the wall. He had no plan beyond finding something—anything—to keep his mind off Talia.
He had no business imagining kissing her. No business remembering the feel of her against his chest. He’d done time. Ex-cons like him did not date fresh-faced twenty-year-old college girls like Talia. Regardless of how fucking good she felt. Or how perfectly she fit in his arms.
He got in his car and drove. It wasn’t until he’d crossed over the bridge at the lake that he realized where his subconscious was trying to send him—Talia’s house. He pulled into the marina parking lot and cursed his stupid self. Banging his head on the steering wheel, he tried to knock some sense into his stubborn head. The sooner he convinced himself Talia was off-limits, the better off he’d be.
He walked down the beach and came to that rock they’d cuddled on that night that seemed so long ago. Losing himself on a sandy beach would be a hell of a lot better than falling in love with a girl he couldn’t have. A girl he’d shared only a single kiss with. A girl he could see himself growing old with. Fuck. This wasn’t helping.
He jogged back to his car. The beach used to be a good distraction, but now held memories of Talia. He didn’t need to be somewhere that gave him more reason to think of her.
Pulling back onto the road, Sean headed to the gym. Several rounds with a punching bag exhausted his body, but did little to quiet the stream of memories. He went home and showered, but the loneliness of his apartment ate at him.
He headed back out. Maybe he could find a new book. A new distraction to keep him from the thoughts that threatened to devour him. He couldn’t keep doing this. Talia deserved better than him, and he wasn’t sure he had the willpower to keep resisting her. Getting her off his mind became his top priority.
He deleted her number from his phone. But it didn’t matter. He’d memorized it the day she gave it to him. A tiny slip of a woman had him tied in knots.