Broken…Random Snippet #5

Broken 3.02.2010

Left alone with Sara once more, he studied her face.

She dragged her tongue across her lips and Quinn could have gone to his knees. She started to talk and he had to focus just to understand her words.

“I think I’m going to head on inside.”

“Why?” he asked. He slid his hands into his pockets and rocked back on his heels, watching her.

“Because it’s hot,” she said lamely.

Quinn shrugged. “Wasn’t bothering you that much a few minutes ago.”

“Maybe the heat got to me.” Her gaze dropped to his lips, lingered for a moment, and then she took a deep breath. “I’m thinking a little more clearly now. I really don’t need anything complicating my life.”

“Complications are a pain in the ass.” Something twisted inside him. He didn’t fully comprehend it. Frustration. Need. Longing . . . loneliness. Smiling bitterly, he said, “You’re a smart lady for recognizing that.”

He circled around her, careful not to let their bodies touch. Fuck, he hurt, and it wasn’t just his damned dick, either.

“Quinn,” she called out from behind him, her voice soft and husky.

He stopped at the steps but didn’t turn around to look at her.

“Look, it’s not you—”

Now he did turn. With a bark of laughter, he turned and looked at her. Hooking his thumbs in his pockets, he said, “Please spare me that trite bullshit. It’s not you, it’s me. It’s not like we’ve got any kind of relationship going and you’re trying to give me a nice brush-off. You don’t want anything to do with me. I get it. Just leave it at that.”

“It doesn’t have a damn thing to do with you,” she snapped, glaring at him. She shoved her hair back from her face and then folded her arms across her chest. “My life is enough of a mess as it is—I don’t need to make it worse by getting involved with somebody. It’s a complication I can’t handle right now.”

“Can’t? Or don’t want to?” Even as he asked, he wondered why he was doing it. She’d made herself clear—he just needed to walk away. He couldn’t. He just couldn’t. Not without understanding why.

A sad smile curled her lips. “Oh, I want to. Like you wouldn’t believe. But I can’t afford it.” She didn’t say anything else, just stared at him for a long moment, the air between them hot, heavy, and tense. Then, wordlessly, she slipped inside the house and shut the door behind her.

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