I Love How You Love Me (The Sullivans #13)(16)


by Bella Andre

He knew his mother was warning him that the route to Grace’s heart might not be a smooth one. But stormy seas had never scared him. “Do you know why Mason and I bonded right away?”

“Why?”

“Because we both have great moms.”

“You’ve always made it easy, honey. Now, your brother Adam, on the other hand…I’ve never seen anyone so immune to falling in love.”

“All the more reason that we’re going to love watching him get twisted up in knots when it finally happens. Got anyone in mind who’d be capable of turning him into a pretzel?”

His mother made a considering sound. “Actually, now that you mention it, I just might. I need to give Rafe and Brooke a quick ring.”

“You’ve got something up your sleeve, haven’t you?”

“Always,” she said with a laugh. “Have a good time with Grace and Mason tonight, sweetie.”

“I will.” He had absolutely no doubt about that. Just as he knew that despite what Grace tried to tell herself about last night’s kiss being their one and only, more kisses were definitely on tonight’s menu.

* * *

Writing had always been easy for Grace. She’d loved her English classes in high school and college and when other students had been moaning about having to write their essays, she’d focused on fine-tuning hers until they sang. Writing for a newspaper had been intense with tight deadlines that had no room for error, but she’d enjoyed rising to—and meeting—those challenges. Once she’d gone freelance and that career path had gone well, too, she’d assumed that it would always be an enjoyable ride from idea to finished story. Writer’s block had been something she hadn’t been able to comprehend, not when the words always flowed and the process of putting them down was such an enjoyable one.

Until she got pregnant.

Of all the publications she’d written for, and all the topics she’d covered, amazingly, pregnancy hadn’t been anywhere on the list. Which meant the brain fog from rapidly shifting hormones during her first trimester hit her from completely out of the blue. It didn’t help, of course, that she’d also been dumped and that her ex’s family had tried to pay her off at the exact same time.

The words that had always been right there for the plucking were suddenly much harder to find. But she’d had continual deadlines from all the magazines and newspapers that kept accepting her pitches, so she continued to slog through her writing days.

Mason hadn’t been a difficult baby, thank God, but without the extra money to pay for child care, she had been fitting her writing in at nap time for the past ten months. Naps that were, she noted as she heard her son carry on a cheerful conversation in baby language with his stuffed giraffe in his crib, getting shorter and shorter all the time. Mason didn’t want to waste his time sleeping. He wanted to be out exploring and playing.

Figuring she probably had another fifteen minutes to make a final pass through her story on paying off a mortgage early before Mason insisted she come get him from his crib, she was very glad that by the time she finished her final edit, the words had started to come a little bit faster. Earlier in the week, she’d been struggling to put this piece together so that it read like the fun, energetic article she’d promised the magazine editor. Today, however, for the first time in a year and a half, instead of feeling like she was pulling and yanking the words, she had simply been trying to get them down as fast as they came to her.

She hoped that today would be the beginning of a long string of good, flowing writing days. But had her writing finally started to click again because of the simple passage of time bringing her innate gift back to her? Or were her juices flowing again because of the great evening—and mind-blowing kiss—that she’d shared with Dylan Sullivan yesterday?

Earlier, before Mason had gone down for his afternoon nap, she’d multitasked by playing with her son and transcribing the interview while he was happily absorbed with one of his toys. Mason had looked up when he’d heard Dylan speak and had grinned widely before crawling around the small apartment to look for the man who had clearly already become one of his favorite people. When he couldn’t find Dylan and had begun to get upset, she’d distracted him with some Cheerios, then decided to wait until he went down for his nap to finish transcribing so that he wouldn’t be so confused about why his new friend was hiding from him.

Some writers hated the transcription process, so much so that they would hire companies to do the work for them. But Grace loved having the chance to pick up on things she hadn’t noticed during the actual interview, from a slight nuance in her subject’s voice to an important detail. Particularly when she’d been slightly distracted at Dylan’s parents’ house by hoping that Mason was being good with Claudia…and also by how difficult it had been to turn off her hormones around Dylan. More than difficult, actually.

Pretty much impossible.

Grace tried not to beat herself up too much about that, though. Not when she was certain that even the most hardened journalist would soften around him. Not only because of his good looks and easy charm, but also because his answers were intelligent and insightful. For all that he loved the sea and his boats, he didn’t make sailing out to be perfect. On the contrary, he was honest about the dangers, and about the fact that it could be both scary and lonely.

It would be so much easier to guard her heart against Dylan if he were simply a good-looking man who also happened to be a great kisser. Instead, he was surprisingly balanced despite the fact that he could have held the entire world in his hands if he’d wanted to. Olympic medals. World Cup racing wins. And the most beautiful women in the world.

Somehow, she’d need to keep herself from doing anything stupid tonight. Their one sizzling-hot kiss last night had been hard enough on her peace of mind. Especially now that she knew for certain precisely how dangerous the sexual energy simmering just below the surface of Dylan’s easy smiles was…and worse still, how every part of her wanted to find out just how exciting and explosive it would be when he lost control.

Mason’s conversation with his giraffe was rising in volume by the time she forcibly corralled her X-rated thoughts. She was about to close the screen on her laptop when a picture caught her attention on the news page that had popped up when she opened her email to send the mortgage article to her editor.