"I love you."
She watched from beneath her side-swept bangs as he stepped toward her, his broad shoulders blocking out the light from above them, his hands outstretched as though motioning for her to take them.
It wasn't that simple.
"I don't know," she whispered as she clasped her hands awkwardly behind her back. "I don't know."
Confusion. His hazel eyes narrowed and he inched closer, closer, closer until her back was pressed up against the beer-stained walls of the bar. From the corner of her eye she could see bodies pressed up tightly against each other, could hear someone belting out the lyrics to "Bad Girlfriend", and could practically taste the alcohol that was being passed freely among the more-than-slightly-intoxicated crowd.
The veggie burger she'd eaten for dinner was threatening its reemergence.
"You're scared," he growled, the low baritone making goose-bumps erupt on her skin. "Aren't you?"
"No, of course not." Lies, all lies. Her grandmother, bless her heart, would have washed her mouth out with soap if she could have heard the way her voice wavered on the edge of desperation. She had never considered herself a good liar—she couldn't even feign sick when her friends came calling. Over the phone.
She was pathetic.
The crowd abruptly began booing as the song switched to something that sounded more akin to the ocean's waves crashing over jutting rocks than the ever popular lyrics that had to do with prostitutes, drugs and the occasional song that talked of Lol's and smiley faces.
"Look at me."
She couldn't, she couldn't, she—didn't appear to have the choice as he cupped her chin in his hand and tilted her face up so that his hazel eyes bored into hers, and her lips parted in anticipation, and her heart beat in a rhythm that was both even and erratic all at the same time and oh God, this was her favorite part.
The kiss was brief, his lips brushing hers in the lightest touch before he pulled away and stared down at her. "I love you."
"I love you, too."