He left eight years ago for the military. That was the hardest time of my life. Xavier was the boy who’d sneak into my bed at night and hold me as my parents fought in the next room.
My best friend.
The man I was in love with.
The man I’d saved my virginity for.
And now he was back home for good. Too much time had passed. I was done keeping us in the friend zone. I wanted him in my life in every way that counted.
So if he wasn’t going to make the first move then I would, even if it might ruin what we had. Because I had to take that chance.
She was my life, the very reason I breathed.
I saved my virginity for Cora because no one else compared. No one else ever would.
It was time I man up and tell Cora that she was the only girl I’d ever loved, that no matter how much time had passed she’d been it for me.
But how could I go about doing that when eight years had gone by? Admitting how I felt was hard as hell seeing as we’d always just been friends. How could I not cross any lines and screw up the relationship we had?
Easy. I’d tell her I loved her and propose.
Warning: Sit back, relax, and dive into a double virgin friends-to-lovers romance that’s so sugary sweet your teeth will ache. Although it’ll tug at your heartstrings, make no mistake it’s as filthy as can be. A standalone romance with no drama and just the juicy bits, this story features cameo appearances by Asher, Cash, and Trevor Mayson from Aurora Rose Reynolds Until series.
I took the few steps it required to get to the front door, reached out, and curled my hand around the brass handle. I pulled it open and a little bell above the door jingled at my entrance.
“Welcome to Sweet Treats,” Cora said, her back still toward me. “I’ll be right with you. Just got to put these buns down,” she said and laughed softly. I couldn’t help but smile that she still had that sense of humor, the one where she’d laugh at her own jokes.
God, her voice sounded like angels singing. I felt dizzy, lightheaded with being so close to her. She didn’t even know I stood only feet from her, the anticipation building inside of me.
She had a tray in her hands as she turned around, her focus on the baked goods. I found myself taking a step closer, and then another one. I swear I could smell her, this sweet, floral scent that brought back memories, that was completely Cora. Her scent was stronger than the bakery aroma, the one of donuts and rolls, sweet little treats that they baked by hand.
And then she lifted her eyes and our gazes locked. For long seconds we just stared at each other, the realization that I was standing just feet from her covering her face. It was the sound of the tray she held crashing to the floor that had me rushing back to reality.
Something in me snapped and I couldn’t help myself. I stalked toward her, placed my hands on the counter that separated us, and scaled the fucker. I had her in my arms seconds later, her body so much smaller than mine, her scent slamming into my head and making me drunk. I was so damn possessive. All I wanted to do was throw her over my shoulder and take her far from here.
Silence stretched between us, but it was perfect.
“Is this really happening?” she whispered against my chest and I tightened my arms around her. “Are you really here, Xavier?” I could hear the tears in her voice, knew she was probably crying. I was on the verge of crying myself.
I don’t know how long I held her, seconds, minutes, Hell, maybe I’d been standing there for hours. She was the one who pulled back, but I didn’t want to let her go. I looked down at her, at the tears tracking down her cheeks. I reached out and brushed them away, wanting to bring that wetness to my mouth and memorize it, take it into me.
“You’re really here,” she whispered again and I couldn’t help but smile.
“I’m really here.” And then I pulled her in for another hug, wanting to just kiss her senseless, but also knowing that I needed to take this slow. I needed to work up to that, tell her how I felt, that I was so madly in love with her I could barely breathe.
I needed to do a lot of things, but I had all the time in the world.
Jenika Snow, a USA Today bestselling author, lives in the northeast with her husband and their two daughters. She prefers gloomy days, eats the topping off of her pizza first, and prefers to wear socks year round.