Home > Until I Break(6)

Until I Break(6)
Author: M. Leighton



She sighs and rolls her eyes. “Fine. I promise.”

I smile, feeling better already. “Good. Now, can we just enjoy our coffee?”

“That would be great if we had coffee.”

I glance at the table that’s empty but for my notebook. “Oh.”

I look up at Chris and we both start laughing.

“Wow, maybe you’re right. Maybe it’s best to leave this one alone. He’s already making you an idiot.”

“Your confidence in me is touching,” I say dryly.

Before I can even think twice, I’m glancing over my shoulder again. I’m trying to pull my eyes away just as he pivots in my direction.

I know I should look away. But I can’t. It’s as though some part of me is so compelled to see those eyes again, those haunting pale green eyes, that I physically can’t turn my head away.

When his gaze meets mine and stops, the bottom drops out of my stomach. He stares, unabashedly, his expression curiously blank.

For a few seconds, I’m lost in those eyes. They’re so familiar, they evoke so many emotions, both wanted and unwanted, that I find myself waiting breathlessly for him to do or say something that only Mason would do.

It’s the rise of one raven brow that breaks the spell. More blood rushes into my cheeks and my eyes widen in shock before I spin away.

“Oh God, oh God, oh God,” I whisper, closing my eyes.

“What?” Chris says, a smile in her voice. “What the hell is wrong with you? That was a serious moment you two just had. Let’s go buy you some silk panties for your first date.”

I know she’s teasing, but I’m in no mood to appreciate it.

“What if he recognized me?” I whisper, keeping my head down.

“How? Even I barely recognize you in your LD garb. There’s no way a perfect stranger would put that together after two minutes of looking at you.”

I glance up at Chris. I know she’s right. The chances are extremely slim. But still… It’s enough to make me feel a little panicked.

A shadow falls over our table from behind my shoulder. I hold my breath, afraid to look back. My heart is pounding.

A familiar voice cuts into my anxiety.

“Two grande nonfat cinnamon dulces with extra whip.”

I look up. It’s Sean. I smile and sigh in relief, taking one of the collared cups from his outstretched hand.

“Thanks, Sean.”

“Enjoy it, chica,” he says, nodding at me then at Chris before turning to make his way back to the counter.

As I watch him go, I can’t help that my eyes flicker to where Alec Brand is standing in line. He’s like Aurora Borealis—colorful, fascinating lights twinkling in the dull, black expanse of my internal sky—and I can’t help but fixate on him. He draws my eye, my thoughts, and some deep and tragic part of my soul toward him. I’m practically helpless to resist.

Blood rushes into my cheeks again when my eyes collide with penetrating green ones. For just a moment, I wish I was safely ensconced in Laura Drake. Not only has she already met Alec, but she’d know just what to say, how to act, how to handle herself in this situation. In any situation.

But I’m no Laura Drake. Without her façade, I’m a wallflower with scars that only I can see.

Feeling the rise of insecurities that are as familiar to me as my dark red hair, I turn quickly away, hoping Alec won’t get a glimpse of them. I don’t know why I even care, really. It’s not like I’ll ever see him again. Twice is already some kind of bizarre fluke. The odds of it happening again are astronomical!

But still…he’s my Mason. If this is the only moment I ever get with him, that’s not how I want it to go—all bungling and embarrassment on my end.

“Da-yum! You two really do have some kind of thing going on, don’t you? Maybe he does recognize you.”

My heart drops into my shoes. “God, Chris, don’t even say that!”

“Calm down, calm down. You know that’s not even a remote possibility. What I’m really diggin’, though, is the fact that he’s attracted to both of you. Maybe he’s the man that can see beyond the surface,” she says, dropping her voice into a soft, mystical tone. “Maybe he can break through your walls, heal all your wounds, banish all your insecurities.”

“Stop it, you dork. This isn’t a romantic comedy.”

“No, your life is definitely a drama! A dark, twisted one.”

I say nothing to her comment. My mind is still firmly on the man standing somewhere behind me. It’s not until Chris starts freaking out that I have some idea of what’s coming.

“Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod!” she hisses through lips that hardly move. “Here he comes!”

I freeze. I don’t move one single muscle. I just stare into Chris’s wide eyes until a shape appears at my right. Slowly, I turn my head and look up, falling headlong into the most amazing eyes I’ve ever seen in real life. I see them in my head all the time. And I saw them from somewhat of a distance yesterday. But no amount of exposure could’ve prepared me for the reality of them up-close. They’re like drops of cool lime with a splash of warm cream.

He glances away from me and nods to Chris before his eyes return to mine. He tilts his head slightly to the side as he considers me. Still, he hasn’t said a word. Still, my pulse is racing out of control.

“Can we help you?” Chris says from across the table. I can hear the smile in her voice.

He doesn’t answer for several long seconds.

“I know you.” It’s a statement, not a question.

A voice inside my head, one that I only listen to when I’m writing, cries out emphatically. Yes, yes, yes! You know me inside and out! Just like I know you.

But I shush her. He doesn’t know me. He couldn’t possibly. And I couldn’t possibly know him. Even though he looks and, thus far, acts exactly like the man that arose from the core of my imagination, from my darkest desires and deepest fears, I can’t let myself forget that he’s not Mason Strait.

“No,” I reply.

He falls silent again, his continued perusal making me increasingly breathless. Finally his eyes narrow on me. “I want to.”

I don’t know what to say. I want to know him, too. In a way. But in a way, I get the feeling that a man like this could be the end of me, the end of my life as I’ve known it. I write about star-crossed love every day, about people who need so deeply and feel so passionately that their world caves in around them. I’d be crazy to risk something like that.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
» Fixed series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)
» Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels #1)
» Norse Mythology