For the First Time (Book Excerpt)

“Thank you” he breathed. He didn’t need to explain. Lauren leaned forward and kissed him so tenderly and softly it was almost as if their lips weren’t touching at all. The next kiss was deeper, and the next deeper after that. His hands found her neck and hers found his waist. The kisses got deeper, until they eventually slowed. Their lips came apart just slightly, but they stayed there, their foreheads touching, until their breathing slowed.

“Should we get to bed now?” asked Max.

Lauren dropped her eyes, slowly coming back to reality. “Oh, yeah, we probably should.”

There was a bit of awkwardness getting into bed with Max after they had kissed, or maybe only Lauren felt it. Max almost instinctively extended his leg so his foot was resting on top of Lauren’s, as if the small bit of physical contact made him more comfortable. The feel of his touch made a calmness come over Lauren. It was as if, for once, since they had met, Max needed her just as much as she needed him.

She didn’t know why, but after a few moments of laying in silence, Lauren turned to face Max. She leaned into him, resting her head below his chin. He kissed her forehead and wrapped his arms around her. Lauren’s breathing slowed match the rhythmic beating of Max’s chest, and her whole body relaxed. She felt safe in his arms engulfed in his warmth. It didn’t take long for her to drift off to sleep. She hadn’t slept so well in years.

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