ThrowbackFull Throwback copyright © Zeia Jameson 2015

“I’ve never really dated anyone because I learned pretty quickly that most guys attracted to me are only interested in what’s underneath the threads.” I place my hands on my boobs for articulation. Jeremy’s eyes go wide. I’m such an idiot. I clear my throat. “But you talk about how you like things about me that aren’t physical. And I really like that. It…” I have his full attention, but I can’t say it.
“It what?” he asks.
Inhale. Exhale.
“Before our first date I liked you because you were so easy to talk to and you never once tried to make moves on me. It was nice. But it was nice like he’s-a-great-pal kind of nice.”
“Um?” he begins.
“Let me finish, please. At the end of our first date you told me how you liked my laugh and appreciated my work ethic and it seriously threw me for a loop. And since then…”
“Since then?”Jeremy repeats.
God, I can’t believe I’m about to say this. I look into his eyes, unwavering. “Well it really kind of…turned me on.”
His eyebrows raise.
“I mean, I’ve never been really turned on by guys before. I thought I had but once you said those things I knew what I felt at that moment was the real thing. You were standing there telling me all those sweet things about how you were attracted to my personality, while being as non-physical as possible, and I was standing there thinking how I wanted to throttle you and rip your clothes off.”
Jeremy audibly swallows and clears his throat. Is he sweating? Wrap it up, Livy, so he can run away.
“And that’s all I’ve thought about since. You in my bed. Or the couch. Or the countertop. Don’t get me wrong, I like your personality too. And your smile. And I like that you listen to me when I talk. But I love your cologne and the way your hair feels in my fingers and you are lucky that damn timer beeped before dinner because otherwise we’d be on that living room floor right now, naked and hungry.”
That should have done it. Too much information. He’s terrified. Exit stage left. Instead of doing an about face and bolting, Jeremy picks me up and sits me on the counter. He locks his gaze with mine briefly, then kisses me with the same magnitude as before. I throw my arms over his shoulders, fingers instantly in his hair. I wrap my legs around him and pull him as close as I possibly can. He smells so good. My hands explore and slide down to his biceps, reminding me how exquisite they are. I reach down and grab his ass. Holy Jesus, it’s such a nice ass. Jeremy groans, lifts me off the counter and begins walking towards the living room. He breaks our kiss momentarily and tilts his head. “This floor?”
I nod. No time for words. Back to kissing please. He gets the message and kisses me again. His lips move away from mine to my jaw line and neck as he lowers me to the floor. My whole body is tingling and my heart may just literally explode. What a mess that would be. The first guy that actually makes me feel this way and I might just die before we even do anything serious. He puts his hand under my shirt and brushes it over my stomach. “I’ve wanted to touch you since the first time I saw you, but I was scared you’d kick my ass.”
I laugh.
“And when you flashed me in the back yard earlier, I thought I was going to lose it.”
“What’s a girl to do? You were questioning my femininity.” I bat my eyelashes. He kisses my neck again and moves to my collarbone. He moves his hand up, still under my shirt and runs his fingers over my bra. The sensation I have from his lips and his hands working simultaneously is overwhelming. I let out a tiny groan of my own.
“God, Livy. You are so fucking sexy.”
He said my name. He’s kissing my chest just above the neckline of my shirt. His hands are inching their way under my bra. My body is going to burst into flames. Noises are coming from my mouth that I’m not sure I’ve made before. My fingers are in his hair, writhing and begging him for more. I never want this to end.

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00025] Titanium copyright © Zeia Jameson 2016

“Why are you here?” I ask as I sniffle.

“Have you been crying?” Kevin replies, setting the bowl down onto the coffee table.

Placing the backside of my hand under my nose, I lie. “It’s just a cold.” I reach for a box of tissues nearby.

“I don’t believe you.”

I turn back to him, raise my arm, and point toward the door. “You can leave,” I demand.

“Kat, please. Don’t shut me out. I thought…I thought we were in a good place with each other.”

I shake my head. “Don’t act like you want to be close to me. You and Jo are only using me as some sort of humanity project.”

“It’s not like that at all. We want to help you heal,” Kevin implores.

“I have Robitussin. I’ll be fine.”

“No, that’s not what I mean and you know it. We want to help you heal from what’s made you so bitter about life.”

“Why do you care?” I asked, agitated by his efforts.

“Because I do.”

I sit on the sofa with a huff. “I’m fine.”

“Kat, look at me. You are not fine. Just tell me why and I’ll listen.”

“I don’t need a protector.”

“That’s apparent from the ninja skills you performed the other night.”

I roll my eyes. “I don’t need a babysitter either. I am a grown up.”

Kevin sits beside me, a little closer than I’m comfortable with. “I don’t want to protect you. I don’t want to babysit you. I want to be your friend. Maybe, more than a friend.”

My eyes go wide. I have no response.

“I care about you and I don’t care if you want me to or not. I do and it’s out of my control. And I don’t care whether you believe that I care about you. I’m not trying to use you. Neither is Jo. We’re not going to give up on you–” he points a finger to his chest, “I’m not going to give up on you.”

I take in his words but quickly reject them. “Sometimes, giving up is not your choice to make,” I say, sternly, trying desperately hard not to cry.

“Whose choice is it then?” Kevin asks.

I look at him. “Whoever controls fate.”

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ProperIrish_digital Proper Irish copyright © Zeia Jameson 2017

I stare at him as he closes his eyes and inhales deeply. His eyes open again. “You smell like honeysuckle.”

“I’m a little surprised that you know what that smells like.”

“It’s all around the city. How can I not know?”

“Good point.” I close my eyes and inhale. “You smell . . . Irish.”

“What the bloody hell does that mean?”

“I have no idea, but I like it.” I open my eyes to see Padraig’s face coming closer to mine. He tilts his head, and suddenly our lips are connected and his hand is cupping the back of my head. My entire body quivers. He’s taken me completely by surprise, and I enjoy it thoroughly. He didn’t ask permission or make subtle hints that he wanted to kiss me; he just did it. And I take every second of it. I grasp his shirt with both hands for balance and inhale more of his Irish scent. My head swirls, not even concerning myself with the fact that I’m being kissed by a stud on the side of a bustling Savannah street. I think I hear catcalls in the background. Padraig breaks our connection and sears me with his smoldering gaze. I want to ask him to come upstairs, but as excited as I am to think what could happen, I’m also too scared at the moment to find out if it’s a possibility. I run my hands up his chest, feeling the firmness underneath his shirt.

“Padraig,” I start. Padraig kisses me again, a quick kiss.

“Aoibhinn, my sweet honeysuckle.” He brushes my hair from my face. “I will see you again soon.”

I nod. “Okay.” Other than that, I’m speechless. One last quick kiss with his fingers in my hair and then he turns without saying another word, shoves his hands into his pockets, and walks away into the night.

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00030] Sawyer & Fin copyright © Zeia Jameson 2017

“What are we doing?” he questions, as he pulls hastily from our kiss. He shakes his head. “We can’t do this. I can’t do this with you.” He backs away a step, taking the heat of our passionate moment with him.

I step forward, not wanting to let it go. “We can do this. It’s okay. What are you so afraid of? We need this. And you are lying to yourself if you say or think otherwise.”

We stand silent for a moment. Then, I make a decision for us both. I lean in and curl my fingers around the back of his neck. I brush my lips against his and he takes them forcefully while wrapping one arm around my waist, pulling me tight to his body. He gently tugs at my braided ponytail.

“You have no idea how much this braid drives me wild,” he speaks into my lips with a wicked grin.

“You could show me just how much,” I speak back, attempting to match his expression.

He lets out a low growl and my insides burn. I want all of him to consume all of me. We kiss more, hard and fast, and our hands roam and explore each other. I move my hand under his shirt and rake my fingers up his taut abs. As I make my way up his chest, I feel a raised line of skin.

The scar.

My mind races over what could have caused such a sizable mark. I’ve had my fingers on it for no longer than a second when Sawyer flinches and pulls away again. He removes my hand from his shirt and then runs his fingers brashly through his hair.

“I can’t do this, Fin. I can’t. I want to. Believe me. But you deserve better.”

I look down at my feet while my hands wring within one another. “You have no idea what I deserve,” I say, ashamed at thinking for even a second I had a chance at being happy again.

“You know why I’m here, Fin. And you know I’m no good for you. I have so many secrets. Secrets that if you knew, you’d run away faster than the wind.”

“So tell me!” I exclaim in frustration. “Make me run. That’s the only way you’re getting rid of me.”

He shakes his head again while gripping the back of his neck. “I can’t.”

I sigh.

I step toward him again, my inner daredevil taking control of me. I lean in close to his ear and whisper.

“If you tell me your secrets, I’ll tell you mine.”

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