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Betting on You: Chapter 52

Charlie

As Bailey looked up at me with those gorgeous eyes that had the uncanny ability to see every single part of me, I felt fucking jittery. Like there was literally a damn tremble in my hands and I wanted to touch every inch of her, just to convince myself it was real.

That she was real.

It took losing her for me to realize that loving her wasn’t even a risk.

At all.

She might not love me back, she might love me for a while and then stop, but every minute that I had her was worth the fall that might (or perhaps might not) eventually come.

I still thought happily ever after was sketch as fuck, but why not lean into the incredible, fucking lucky gift of Bailey’s presence for as long as I could have it?

“What are you thinking?” she asked, her dark brows lowering. “Your face is weird right now.”

I rubbed a hand over Puffball’s head and felt happy. “I’m thinking that I’d like to take you out. Officially.”

“Where?” she asked, gnawing on the inside of her cheek so I wouldn’t know she was pleased.

I fucking loved her mind.

“Everywhere I’ve ever fantasized about kissing you,” I said, then realized that was a fucking amazing idea. “The Jumpoline, my car, your car, the airport, Zio’s—”

“You never thought about kissing me at the airport,” she interrupted, grinning. “We hated each other at the airport.”

“No, you hated me.” I looked down at her freckles and couldn’t believe it was still her. “I saw you at the baggage claim, after we landed.”

“What?” she asked, a heavy dose of skepticism in her voice as she smiled. “Seriously?”

I nodded. “You didn’t see me, but I watched you roll on lip gloss and then blot it onto a Kleenex.”

She coughed out a laugh. “You’re kidding with this, right?”

I shook my head, remembering. “There was something about your lips and the way I’d smelled that strawberry gloss for the entire flight that intrigued me.”

Bailey reached out and petted Puffball, smiling at me in a way that made me feel like she didn’t need anything else in the world to be happy. She said, “And then you fantasized about kissing me.”

I nodded and lowered my mouth. “And then I fantasized about kissing you.”


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