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It does no good to stake a claim on someone’s heart. Unless they give it to you, it isn’t yours to take. All you can do is share your heart and hope she wants it. All you can do is offer it and hope she takes it. All you can do is love her and hope to God she finds a way to love you back.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered.
“For what?” she asked.
“For tryin’ to force you to love me.”
“Oh, Woodman,” she said, her voice thick with emotion. “I do love you.”
“I know you do. Like a best friend. Like a brother.”
She shrugged helplessly. “And at times . . .”
He waited for her to continue.
“There have been times,” she said softly, “when I thought I felt somethin’ more.”
With his good foot, he pushed off and the swing rocked gently as he processed her words; those times—those precious moments—when she’d felt possible for him, he’d felt possible for her too. It gave him hope. It restored his patience.
“I love you,” he said gently, staring straight ahead at an old oak tree that was blocking the setting sun. It created a sunburst of orange-gold that made the tree look like it was on fire. “I’ve been in love with you for as long as I can remember.”
“Woodman,” she sobbed.
He didn’t look at her. He stared at the tree as the orange-gold sun set the grass on fire and watched as the old oak was slowly bathed in a calming lavender.
“If you told me ‘no,’ Gin, if you told me ‘never,’ I’d leave you be. You know that, don’t you? It would damn near kill me, but I’d . . . I promise you, I’d walk away. But until you say those words, Ginger, I will keep hopin’ and keep waitin’ for you.”
She took a deep, sobbing breath beside him, and he knew if he looked at her, he’d see tears spilling over the rims of her eyes, but he didn’t look. He watched the grass turn lavender, then purple. He focused on the dying light.
“Gin,” he whispered, hating the question but needing the answer, “are you in love with Cain?”
Peripherally, he saw her shake her head back and forth, letting her neck fall forward until her chin rested on her chest and her shoulders shook the swing with silent sobs. And then he knew for sure. It had happened. Somehow in the space of just a few days she’d fallen for Cain again.
“Gin,” he said gently, putting his finger under her chin and tilting her face up to look at him. Her blonde hair shone in the porch light over their heads as the rest of the world darkened into purple dusk little by little. “Cain is my cousin and I love him, but I just . . . I just don’t think he’s right for you.”
“Why?” she demanded, her voice breaking on the simple, pleading word, as though she truly wanted an answer, as though she’d already posed the question to herself and come up with nothing.
Because he’s cock deep in Mary-Louise Walker right now while you’re weeping over him. The words sat perched on the tip of his tongue, but he couldn’t bring himself to say them—he couldn’t bear to hurt her like that, and frankly he didn’t want to villainize Cain like that, not even if meant winning Ginger.
“I see you with me, not him,” he said simply. “Darlin’, I’d be so good to you. Don’t you know that?”
She nodded, tears streaming down her lovely face, limp with sadness.
Reaching down, he took her hand gently, lifting it, bringing it to his chest and placing it directly over his heart.
“You can have this heart to break,” he said softly, devoutly, surrendering everything to her—his dignity, his control, his very soul—“if there’s even the smallest chance you might want it someday. Because here is what I know: even if you can’t ever give me yours, mine already belongs to you.”
Don’t Speak is only 99c FOR THIS WEEK ONLY!
“Swoon. Sigh. Beautiful, gorgeous love story.” -Mia Sheridan, New York Times bestselling author of Archer’s Voice
Amazon US → http://amzn.to/2uGKW1B
iBooks → http://apple.co/2txTXFM
Nook → http://bit.ly/2txOhvx
Kobo → http://bit.ly/2t8CILP
*Sale ends on Sunday, July 30.*
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.
Twenty-five books later, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled, New York Times and USA Today Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other standalone novels and novellas.
Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1-4, became a New York Times E-book bestseller.
In 2016, Katy signed a print-only agreement with Spencerhill Press. As a result, her Blueberry Lane paperback books will now be distributed to brick and mortar bookstores all over the United States.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.
Website/Newsletter Signup: http://katyregnery.com/