"A couple of days ago, I got up and thought 'fuck this'. So I cut my hair and left."
Forgetting myself, I reach a hand and touch the short hair above his ear. "You had long hair?"
My hand slides across Dylan's face as he turns to look at me, his cheek smooth above his stubbled jaw. "For the last eight years, yeah. I'll show you a picture sometime. You might recognise me then."
"That's a long time. It must be weird looking in the mirror and not recognising yourself."
"I didn't recognise myself for a long time even before I cut my hair." He picks at his food and looks back to the sea.
Despite avoiding talking about each other’s lives, things slip in. Like this explanation for the tightly wound Dylan I met a few days ago.
"Maybe I should cut mine, I can recreate myself too. This is the longest my hair's been for a few years."
Dylan strokes my fringe from my face, fingers trailing across my forehead. The touch ignites nerve-endings across my face. "I'm sure you'll look great whatever you decide to do with your hair."
"Grant said girls with short hair don't look right."
I clamp a hand over my mouth. Real life things. Secrets. "Just some dickhead who used to be my boyfriend."
"I wouldn't think you were the kind of girl to date dickheads."
I huff. "Yeah, some of them slip through the net and I don't realise until it's too late."
"How can it be too late? You weren't married, were you?"
I splutter Fanta over my cooling chips. "Hell, no."
"Once you fall in love, it's harder to let go; even with dickheads."
"But you let go? Is that why you're here?"
This isn't fair. He's poking at what I came to escape from - letting things into our bubble world. I set the meal onto the sand next to me. "I don't want to talk about this."
Dylan’s scrutiny traces a pattern over my face, leaving a trail of heat. How does he do that?
"Such a shame I'm a dickhead," he says in a low voice.
"I'm sure you can't help it. Part of the Y chromosome disability, unfortunately," I say lightly.
Reaching out, he brushes salt from my lips. An embarrassing sound escapes my throat as he rubs the rough fingertip along my lips.
"Remember what I said about your sarcastic mouth?" he asks.
Of course, I remember, how am I going to forget? But all I can do is stare back like some wide-eyed idiot and nod.
He removes his finger and licks the salt off the tip; the move is impossibly sexy and fires arousal through me.
"I know kissing you is the wrong thing to do to you, but I'm starting to get obsessed."
My brain struggles to keep up. "Wrong?" I ask.
"When you look at me the way you do, I love and hate it at the same time. When you don't look at me the way I want you to, that's even worse. Every funny thing you say, every time you blush, even just being in the same room fills me with an urge to kiss you. I don't understand, because this isn’t what I want."
"That makes no sense."
"It doesn't, does it? But nothing in my life makes sense to me.” He moves the fish and chips from his lap onto the sand.
Excruciatingly slowly, Dylan leans towards me. My heart somersaults and cheerleads in my chest as his mouth approaches mine.
"So about kissing your sarcastic mouth...?"
The words are spoken millimetres from my lips and as his mouth moves, his lips touch mine. He's good at this.
"Yes, you remember, or yes, you've changed your mind and want me to kiss you?" Dylan rubs his cool nose along my cheek towards my ear.
Lisa is an author of new adult romance and writes both paranormal and contemporary, often with a side of snark. In between running a business, looking after her family and writing, Lisa sometimes finds spare time to do other things. This often involves swapping her book worlds for gaming worlds. She even leaves the house occasionally. Lisa loves all things from the Whedonverse and preferred vampires before they sparkled. Lisa has four books published: the ‘Butterfly Days’ series, and two in her urban fantasy series Soul Ties. She is currently working on a new contemporary romance series Blue Phoenix and the first book, Summer Sky is due for release in April. Lisa is originally from the UK but moved to Australia in 2001 and now lives in Perth in Western Australia with her husband, three children and dog.
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