The Heat is On
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Panic spiraled through her body like a relentless tornado. How was this actually happening? This damn threesome was her way to try and put some distance between her and Matt. All those dates and talks and the staggeringly amazing sex… It scared her. After the fierce jealousy she’d experienced when learning that Annabelle had slept with Matt, Savannah had realized just how close she was to developing real feelings for this man. It was like she was falling off a cliff and had two landing options—the water, which meant being safe and happy but alone, or the jagged rocks, a relationship that, like all the others, would end in heartbreak.
She didn’t want to crash into those rocks. Her first priority had always been herself, and so she’d tried pushing Matt away by bringing another man into their bed.
And he’d liked it!
She’d seen the passionate fire burning in his eyes when both he and Aidan had been f**king her. And now he was telling her he loved her?
“You can’t actually mean that,” she burst out. “And is this really the time you want to declare your love, after I just slept with your friend?”
“It was just sex,” he said with a shrug. “But you and me…that’s more than sex, Savannah. I think you know it but you’re too freaking scared to admit it. We get along—”
“So?” she cut in. “I get along with my dentist—that doesn’t mean we love each other.”
“We laugh together,” he went on, ignoring the interruption. “We like the same shitty horror movies, we have mind-blowing sex, we never run out of things to say to each other.” Looking aggravated, he put on his T-shirt, then buttoned up his jeans. “So yeah, all those things make me think this is more than a damn fling.”
She bit on her thumbnail, reverting back to an old nail-biting habit she only turned to when she was seriously panic-stricken. He couldn’t really mean any of this. Or at least, the love part of it. They’d known each other two weeks, a month if you counted the first meeting at the bank. That wasn’t enough time for him to fall in love with her.
She didn’t want him to fall in love with her.
Matt released a ragged breath. “Why does it not surprise me that you’re reacting this way?”
She bristled. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means you’re a coward, Savannah. You act all tough and confident, like you don’t care about anything but having a good time, but we both know that’s a big fat lie. You want a relationship—you’re just too damn scared.”
Her lips tightened in offense. “I told you, I’m not a relationship person. They never last for me.”
Matt barked out a humorless laugh. “Because maybe you haven’t found the right man, ever thought of that? If you’re not meant to be with someone, obviously the relationship will end. But when you find the right person…” He let the comment hang.
“And I suppose you’re the right person for me?” She scoffed. “We’ve known each other a couple of weeks, Matt. Besides, it won’t work out between us.”
He raised one dark eyebrow. “Do you have psychic powers I’m not aware of? How do you know it won’t work out?”
She raked the fingers of her left hand through her hair in an aggravated gesture. “Because it never does. Not for me, anyway. Something always ends up going wrong.”
“Maybe it won’t this time,” he said quietly.
“And maybe it will.” She stuck her chin out stubbornly. “I made the decision a long time ago not to take that chance anymore. I don’t want any more broken hearts. And I’m tired of the awful sense of boredom and sadness I feel when the thrill ends up dying out.”
Realizing she was still naked, she scrambled off the bed and angrily rummaged on the floor for her clothes. She shoved on her jeans without bothering with underwear, threw her shirt over her head, and crossed her arms. “Look, I really do like you,” she said, softening her tone. “Enough that I don’t want to come to the point where I don’t like you anymore, or where you don’t like me.”
“And what if we never reach that point?” he challenged.
Her shoulders sagged wearily. “I always get to that point.”
Frustration creased his forehead. “So you’re just planning on living the rest of your life in fear, avoiding anything good that comes your way? Because damn it, Savannah, we are good. And you’re a fool to throw it away.” His voice hardened. “I told you how difficult it is for me to talk about my emotions, but I was willing to take the risk, to tell you how I feel.”
Pain circled her heart. “Matt…”
“Whatever,” he muttered darkly. “Obviously you can’t take a risk of your own.”
“That’s not fair,” she protested. “I’ve made it clear from day one what I wanted out of this. I never lied to you, or misled you.”
He released a heavy sigh. “You’re right. You didn’t. But things have changed since day one. We have the potential to be really good together, and you’re too scared to give us a chance.”
To her dismay, tears stung her eyelids. But the fact that she was about to cry only brought a spark of anger to her belly. Why was he pushing her? She’d told him her feelings about relationships. Just because he’d suddenly decided he was in love with her didn’t mean she was going to launch herself into his arms and profess her undying love.