I’ve watched this movie a few times in my life—along with Rudy and Miracle, it’s one of my father’s all-time favorites, and without a son with whom to watch his beloved sports movies, the job fell to me. Truth told? I loved a rainy afternoon watching movies with my Dad, and I relax into Cassidy’s couch as the movie flashes back to the 1960s, showing a neighborhood baseball scene on the small screen.
I’m so into the movie for the first fifteen or twenty minutes, in fact, taking handfuls of popcorn on auto-pilot, that when my hand brushes against Cassidy’s in the bowl, I’m jolted back to the reality of where I am…and with whom.
My heart flutters as I yank my hand away. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay,” he says, and when I glance over at him, his lips are trembling in the bluish TV-glow, like maybe he’s trying not to laugh.
“Are you nervous?”
“A little,” I admit.
He gives me side eyes. “Which one of us has never been on a date to the movies? You or me?”
“Don’t overestimate me,” I say. “This all feels pretty new to me right about now.”
“Good,” he says, picking up the bowl and putting it on his left side so there’s nothing between us anymore. “Because I have no idea what I’m doing.” He slides next to me until our hips are flush. “I’ve seen the yawn-slash-arm-around-the-shoulder move in other movies, you know. I guess I could give it a try.”
“Unless you’re actually tired,” I say, grinning up at him, “you can skip the yawn.”
On one hand, I’m accustomed to him touching me. I mean, Cassidy and I have already been physically intimate to a certain degree. He carried me on his back. He’s undressed me, bathed me, stitched me, and slept beside me…but this is different and we both know it. This is deliberate. Any time we touch each other from now isn’t about caregiving or comfort…it’s about want. It’s about need. It’s about sex.
So when he raises his arm and settles it around my shoulders? My breath hitches.
And as the warm, heavy weight of his palm lands on my shoulder, I am so turned on, suddenly I wish we weren’t at the beginning of the movie. Damn it, but I wish we were at the end. He squeezes just a little, pulling me closer, and I shift left on the nubby brown couch so that I’m leaning against him. I draw my feet up onto the cushion and put my head on his chest, just below his shoulder. When I glance up at him, he’s completely focused on the movie, so I look back at the small screen, forcing myself to calm down and concentrate on the movie.
And little by little, I do, until my heart’s beating normally, and my attention is focused on the story of a little boy who moves to a new neighborhood and makes friends playing baseball.
Well, until the pool scene.
As I realize what’s coming, I’m hyper-aware of Cassidy sitting beside me.
We’re about to watch the scene when one of the boys fakes drowning so that the lifeguard he’s crushing on will give him CPR and he can steal his first kiss.
“I love this part,” he says, reaching for the popcorn bowl and offering it to me.
“No, thanks,” I whisper, staring at the TV, my entire body on high-alert.
“Do you remember your first kiss?”
I nod. “Of course.”
“When was it?”
“I was fourteen. He walked me home after a track meet.”
“And kissed you.”
I realize that Cassidy’s staring at me, his gaze searing as I continue to watch the movie.
“They say you never forget your first kiss.”
“You don’t,” I murmur.
My skin is flushing everywhere and I can’t hear the movie anymore. I can’t concentrate on it. I can’t concentrate on anything except for Cassidy beside me and what’s about to happen between us.
“Brynn,” he says. “Look at me.”
“I’m calling my shot,” he tells me, lowering his lips to mine.
My name is Cassidy Porter . . .
My father, Paul Isaac Porter, was executed twenty years ago for the brutal murder of twelve innocent girls.
Though I was only eight-years-old at the time, I am aware – every day of my life – that I am his child, his only son.
To protect the world from the poison in my veins, I live a quiet life, off the grid, away from humanity.
I promised myself, and my mother, not to infect innocent lives with the darkness that swirls within me, waiting to make itself known.
It’s a promise I would have kept . . . if Brynn Cadogan hadn’t stumbled into my life.
Now I exist between heaven and hell: falling for a woman who wants to love me, while all along reminding myself that I must remain . . .
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Thirty 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.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese cat create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.
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