Excerpt: Managed Hearts – Jerica MacMillan

Managed Hearts (1).jpg

“Do you really not remember, Matt? Do you not remember that summer we were together?”

He stared at her in shock for a minute. She remembered? “Of course I remember. How could I not?”

She shook her head at him again. “On Monday you stared at me like you maybe recognized me and couldn’t place me. I figured you didn’t remember anything.”

He grunted. “I didn’t know what to do. I was in complete shock when I saw you, so I just got on with the meeting. You didn’t act like you recognized me, and it wasn’t exactly the best place to hash out our past.” He let his eyes wander over her, taking her in. Her hair shorter than when he’d known her before, her breasts and hips fuller, softer, more lush. “I like you hair like this. What are you even doing here? Weren’t you going to go to school somewhere else? UW, right?” He said U-dub, like the locals.

She tilted her head, eyeing him, her expression and tone flat. “Yeah. I changed my mind.”

He nodded. “Yeah.” Did she change her mind because of him? If so, that made him feel like an even bigger jackass for the way he’d just stopped responding to her. “When did you recognize me?”

Her mouth opened, but nothing came out. She closed it and looked away down the street, huffing out a laugh and shaking her head. “Immediately.”

He nodded, taking that in. “You covered it well.”

“Yeah, well, it seemed like the best choice at the time.”

“I get that.”

She studied him, her arms wrapped around herself, her hands rubbing at the goosebumps on her bare shoulders. “So, what now?”

He tilted his head, reaching for her. “I wouldn’t mind a repeat of what we were just doing.”

She laughed again, a light chuckle coupled with a small head shake, but she allowed him to pull her closer and wrap his arms around her again. “We shouldn’t.”

“Why not? I enjoyed it. You seemed to like it too.” He knew they shouldn’t. He’d get in so much trouble at work if anyone found out. But he couldn’t help himself. That feeling of rightness that he’d just found again was too good to let go.

She stared up at him again, doubt in her eyes that he wanted to soothe away. He rubbed his hands up and down her back, reveling in the way she pressed against him and closed her eyes at the feel of it. When she let out another soft moan he couldn’t resist her anymore, and he took her lips in another kiss. A slow, languorous, torturous kiss. After an eternity or a heartbeat he pulled away, looking down into her green eyes, hazed with desire. “Let’s find somewhere warmer.”


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