Straight From The Heart
Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Curtis A. Cooper
Word Count :78218
Publication Date :2016-01-01
Series : The Heart#1
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-0602-8
A successful city woman escapes her stressful life and finds love in a small town, where she never believed she would be accepted for who she was.
Markie, a girl who grew up in the Big Apple, takes a drive to escape the stress of her city life. When her car breaks down in small town New York, she is offered a chance to see a side of the world she only imagined. Still licking her wounds from a failed relationship, she finds love where she wasn’t looking. As her feelings deepen, she is troubled by secrets she is harboring that could send her life into a tailspin if they got out. Will her past catch up to her and destroy everything, or will love prevail?
Driving down the hill, they held hands, Mike occasionally lifting her hand to his lips, Markie placing his hand to her heart in return. He turned onto her street and pulled into her designated parking spot. Shutting off the engine, he turned to her, holding the keys for her to grab.
Markie took the ring but didn’t open the door of her SUV. “You wanna come up for a nightcap?” she asked, looking at him quickly, but almost immediately glancing down.
Mike nodded gently. He got out and played the gentleman, opening the door for her as usual.
She led him upstairs, unlocking the deadbolt before turning the knob. Once inside, they both walked to the kitchen. Mike took the first chair he reached. Markie realized she still had no alcohol. She drank so infrequently that it was very low on her priority list.
“I’m sorry. I never got around to buying anything yet. I have orange juice, coffee—”
“Coffee is fine,” he interrupted so she didn’t need to finish the list.
“Whatever you have works for me.”
Markie filled two cups with bottled water from the refrigerator and placed them in the microwave to heat up. Once hot, she removed them and stirred in the freeze-dried coffee crystals. Setting the cups on the table, she grabbed the carton of non-dairy cream from the refrigerator. The sugar was already on the table.
“Markie, you have totally changed my outlook on life. I’ve never felt this way before. It’s like, up until now, there was a void inside of me I never knew existed, but since I’ve gotten to know you, I understand what a relationship is supposed to be.”
Markie listened intently, old emotions mixing with others she was not aware she was capable of feeling. Memories she had locked up inside from years of hurting. She was afraid to let them out now. It would leave her more vulnerable than she had ever been before, but she could not stop them coming. She smiled uncomfortably, feelings from her past catching up with her. She’d thought she would never feel this way. She flashed back to her childhood and her father. Not wanting to go there, she blinked back to the present. At the same time, she noticed Mike was telling her all this, but he acted as though he was compelled to, like he thought she needed to hear it from him.
“I find that so hard to believe,” Markie said of Mike’s comments. “You have done everything so naturally. Maybe girls around here have come to expect to be treated the way you treat me, but in all my life, I’ve only seen a glimpse of manners like yours. And that was only in the movies. You are honest and genuine.”
Mike quickly drank half of his coffee. “I’ve never been with anyone who deserved it as much as you. I know that if you return to the city, I will no longer settle for just anyone.”
“We don’t need to worry about that right now.”
“No, we don’t. We have the present. And right now, I’m the luckiest man on Earth.”
Markie sat there, genuine shock raising her eyebrows. She was unable to open her mouth, much less comment on what Mike had just said.
Mike took one more sip. “I’d better go. I am saying things I didn’t want you to know.”
Markie scraped up enough presence of mind to ask, “Why not?”
“Because anytime I open my heart, I get stomped on. I guess I’ve come to expect it. But even when expected, it doesn’t make it any softer. You have a good night, Markie. I’ll call you tomorrow.” He stood and walked toward the hallway.
In one fell swoop, Mike had changed the game in Markie’s eyes. She was so caught up in the moment she’d let all her walls crumble. “Mike?” she pleaded as she got up from her chair.
He stopped and turned around.
They both stood looking at each other in silence for a long moment. Suddenly, Markie rushed to him, wrapped her arms around him, her lips seizing his. In a frenzy, she moved her arms all over him, her tongue lashing against his with a ferocious appetite.