Hello, It's Me Book Excerpt
This is all wrong, and this is so right, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s wrong or right because Annie wants it to happen. More than that, it’s meant to happen.
Everything happens for a reason, Annie.
Deep inside her, restraint takes flight, leaving in its wake only urgent, aching need.
She closes her eyes and James’s lips brush hers lightly; too lightly, pulling back all too soon.
Frustrated, she opens her eyes and sees his tentative gaze. Touched by his cautious uncertainty, Annie allows the last of her own to fall away like a thick woolen coat on the first warm day of spring.
“It’s okay,” she whispers and tiptoes up to meet him this time, welcoming the exquisite pressure of his mouth against hers.
He kisses her hungrily, or perhaps she kisses him hungrily; she can no longer discern where her own desire gives way to his. Boundaries have been crossed and inhibitions shed; there is nothing but here, and him, and…
And then something clatters in the kitchen, severing the ethereal bond in a shattering instant. With a gasp Annie springs away, clasping her mouth as though she’s been branded there.
“Mommy! Milo dropped the pot lid and made a mess!” Ella calls.
“Don’t touch the stove!” Annie hurries toward the back of the house, half afraid that James won’t follow her, and half afraid that he will.
In the kitchen, she finds Milo picking up the lid and Ella setting the table. Kettles simmer away on the stove, emitting fragrant tendrils of steam.
“What’s going on?” she asks, dazed at the sight and scent of it all.
“We made pasta!” Milo informs her, climbing on a chair and stirring.
“With what?” She plucks him off the chair, pulls it away from the stove, and removes the saucy wooden spoon from his saucier hand. “That’s dangerous. You could fall or get burned, Milo.”
“I was being careful,” he says, and adds, “We made it with tomatoes and onions and noodles.”
“And chicken,” Ella reminds her brother, as Annie peers into one bubbling pot, and then another.
“Where did you get all this stuff?”
“We didn’t. James did,” Milo tells Annie.
“He left you alone to go shopping?” asks Annie, who left them alone to go to sleep and is consequently feeling guiltier by the minute.
“No, I had the stuff delivered,” James’s voice says in the doorway behind her.
She turns to see him watching her.
“You had tomatoes and onions delivered?”
“And pasta and chicken.”