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Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra

  
Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra

  

Author:Virginia Kantra
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Published: 2019-12-02T16:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER 13

Jo

I’m starving,” I declared on Monday morning.

Eric’s eyes crinkled.

“What?” I said. “We must have burned up, like, a million calories.”

His lips curved. “Indeed.”

I punched his arm. “From the run.”

After a warm-up jog along the High Line, we’d descended the stairs at 18th Street. Energized by the cold and the city’s pulse, we ran, past graffiti-decorated Dumpsters and storefronts, through the crowd of office workers and artists bundled in scarves and boots, around parents pushing strollers. Four miles, five, our feet hitting the cobblestones, our breath making puffs of fog in the air. I was glowing inside and out.

In my kitchen, I stretched, trying not to hit Eric with my elbow, sensitive to the twinge of underused muscles. “I’m not used to all this activity.”

Eric lowered his water bottle. “I pushed you too fast.”

Yes. No. I pulled out my hair elastic and put it back in again. Was he talking about the run?

He hadn’t pushed me. I was the one who got physical, right? Determined to move on with my life, confident of my ability to set the pace. Go, me. But now . . .

“I’ve never had a guy spend the night in my apartment before,” I blurted. “Not all night.” Except for Trey. Another twinge. “I don’t know what to do with you.”

A hint of a smile. “I am not that complicated.”

“But you’re here.” In my space. Even when I’d lived with Ashmeeta, our different schedules meant I had plenty of alone time.

The amusement faded from his eyes. “You want me to go.”

I had always been comfortable alone. Curled up with a book, holed up in my attic room. I flushed. “No.”

“Ah.” He regarded me for a moment before he took me in his arms. He held me for a long time, until my muscles slowly relaxed, until our breaths matched, in and out, the way they did when we ran. He was so big. Maybe I was a little worried he would take over, the way Trey tried to do. That he would fill my thoughts, my space, until there wasn’t any room for me anymore. “Jo.” The sound of my name rumbled through me. “Maybe you stop overthinking things, yeah?”

Stop looking for something to go wrong. Stop looking for a way out. “I don’t know how,” I mumbled into his chest.

“Be in the moment.” He stroked my back, my hair. “Be.”

My body softened, molding to his. He was already half-aroused. I was, too. “I’ll try.”

His large hands cupped my head as he tipped my face back. Smiled into my eyes. “I will cook for you.”

“What?” I blurted as he released me.

“I will cook. Breakfast.” He maneuvered around me to open my fridge. “You don’t have food.”

I couldn’t afford to buy a bunch of groceries. Which is why I always ate the family meal. “There’s leftover Chinese.” I spied a carton, lurking on a shelf. “And eggs.”

“Eggs will work.” He took them out. Taking charge, the way he did at the restaurant.

I folded my arms, watching as he cracked the eggs into a bowl.



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