Home > One King's Way (On Dublin Street #6.5)(16)

One King's Way (On Dublin Street #6.5)(16)
Author: Samantha Young

He settled back in his seat and lifted his mug to take a sip as he stared at me. He stared so long I was practically squirming in my chair. “I’d like to sit here and have my coffee with you. Talk to you.”

Uneasiness moved its way through me because more than anything I wanted to sit and have my green tea with him. Talk to him. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

“Well I’m sure enough for the both of us.” He threw me a wicked grin that caused a familiar flush of attraction inside of me.

I rolled my eyes and looked away. “Of course you are.”

“So, Rain Alexander, what was it like growing up in Inverness?”

I guffawed at the question. “If you want me to stay at this table with you, you might want to lead in with a less loaded question.”

“Loaded?” He raised an eyebrow at me. “Interesting.” When I treated him to an unhappy look he nodded. “Fine. Why Edinburgh?”

“I tried London at first. I moved there when I was eighteen. For a while I enjoyed it. Had a job in a vintage clothing store—as you can imagine that was right up my alley. I thought I fell in love but after a year together I realized I wasn’t in love with him. It was the catalyst for moving back to Scotland. I’d always intended to come back for Darcy when she was eighteen anyway. The guy didn’t want to move and it was the last in a long line of issues between us.”

“What kind of issues?”

Craig seemed genuinely interested and it occurred to me that this might be the way to put him off me. While most girls would hide their craziness until they had their hooks well and truly sunk into the object of their desire, I decided, in that moment, just to put it all out there.

“I wanted to be the center of his universe—and I wasn’t.”

He frowned. “How so?”

I shrugged. “I’m a romantic.”

“That still doesn’t explain anything.”

“A relationship . . . an epically great, romantic relationship should be a partnership, right?”

“Right,” he agreed.

“Well that’s part of it. Our relationship wasn’t. I started to realize that I was constantly compromising for him, but he never did the same for me in return. Everything was about him and what he wanted. I want to be with a man who isn’t happy if I’m not happy, and vice versa.”

“That doesn’t seem like too much to ask. That seems fair.”

I scowled. “It’s not just about that, though. I expect a guy who loves me to think of me. A lot. Surprise me, and not simply on birthdays, but just because.”

Craig shifted in his seat, his eyes narrowing. “You mean spend money on you?”

“It doesn’t have to be about money or shiny gifts.” I shook my head adamantly. “It could be about making me breakfast in bed, or taking the dog out in the morning even though it’s my turn just because he’s happy to let me have a long lie for a change. It’s everything and nothing, the big stuff and the little stuff.”

He was giving me this small, tender smile that increased my uneasiness. He wasn’t reacting to my honesty the way I’d hoped he would. “Anything else?”

“He should be territorial without being overly possessive because I don’t like the idea of women flirting with the man I love and I’d hope he’d feel the same way—if only to make me feel better about being the possessive type.”

His gaze turned speculative . . . and heated. “You’re the possessive type? I’d certainly like to see that.”

Where was I going wrong? This was not the way I’d expected a one-night-stander to react to my confession! I huffed and he grinned like he knew exactly what I was trying to do and he was enjoying my failure.

I attempted to relax, realizing that this stubborn man was not going anywhere anytime soon. Unless of course I made the conversation extremely awkward . . . “What about you?”

“What about me?”

“Have you ever been in love?”

He raised his eyebrows in surprise. “I’m not allowed to ask you about growing up in Inverness but you’re allowed to ask a question that heavy?”

I shrugged. “I could just finish my tea and go.”

Craig narrowed his eyes. “Try it and I’ll tackle you.”

I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not. “What?”

Amusement lit his eyes. “You heard me. And I’ll answer your question. No. I’ve never been in love. How many times have you been in love?” he immediately said before I could respond to his answer.

“I’m not some fickle creature who falls in and out of love easily. In fact I’ve never been in love. I’ve been close though. I don’t throw my whole heart into the relationship before really getting to know the guy, and by the time I’d gotten to know my past boyfriends they proved themselves not up to the task of loving me the way I wanted them to. And vice versa.”

Craig chuckled. “Are you trying to tell me you’re high maintenance, Rain?”

“Yes,” I answered honestly. “Not with general life stuff or daily living. I don’t nag about tidying up or having the boys around for boxing night or video game night every weekend . . . but emotionally I know I’m high maintenance.” I bit my lip at the confession, surprised I’d given away so much. What was it about him that made me feel so comfortable that I started blurting out these terribly personal pieces of information?

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