Blue-Eyed Devil (The Travises #2)

And it occurred to me that friendship was a lot more dependable, not to mention long-lasting, than love.

Bad divorce?" Hardy asked, his gaze falling to my hands. I realized I was clutching my purse in a death grip.

“No, the divorce was great,” I said. “It was the marriage that sucked.

Because letting someone in close meant they could hurt you. I knew all about that kind of fear. I lived with it.

But sometimes normal just isn't happening. Sometimes crazy feels too good to resist.

But when you started dating someone, you could never be sure what you were getting into. You had to give someone a chance to show you who he really was . . . and believe him when he did.

Hardy! Hardy —” He had come for me. I nearly lost it then. In the wild torrent of relief and gratitude, there were at least a dozen things I wanted to tell him at once. But the first thing that came out was a fervent, “I'm so sorry I didn't have sex with you.”

I heard his low laugh. “I am too. But honey, there are a couple of maintenance guys with me who can hear every word we're saying.”

“I don't care,” I said desperately. “Get me out of here and I swear I'll sleep with you.

He had found my worst weakness: I was one of those people who was desperate to be needed, to matter to someone.

He liked cheap women, fast cars, late nights, and hard liquor, especially all together. In Jack's view, you are obliged to sin on Saturday night so you'd have something to atone for Sunday morning. Otherwise, you'd be putting the preacher out of business.

He was my confidant, the person who was always on my side even when he wasn't taking my side.

I feel the curve of his smile against my skin. But as he lifts his head and looks into my eyes, his grin fades. "Haven . . . I don't know if I'm going to be a good father. What if I don't do it right?"
I am touched by Hardy's concern, his constant desire to be the man he thinks I deserve. Even when we disagree, I have no doubt that I am cherished. And respected. And I know that neither of us takes the other one for granted.
I have come to realize you can never be truly happy unless you've known some sorrow. All the terrible things Hardy and I have gone through in our lives have created the spaces inside where happiness can live. Not to mention love. So much love that there doesn't seem to be room for bitterness in either of us.
"I think the fact that you're worrying about it at all," I say, "means you'll probably be great at it.

I felt the kind of loneliness that can happen in a roomful of people when everyone but you seems to be in on the good time.

I had to admit the man looked amazing in jeans. The ancient denim clung lightly to his hips and followed the long lines of some remarkable thigh muscles. And although I made a point of not checking out his rear view, my peripheral vision was having a very good day.” ~ Haven Travis on Hardy Cates

I lacked some essential skill for attracting people, for giving and receiving love easily. It meant too much to me. I seemed to be driving away the people I most wanted. Finally I had realized that getting someone to love you was like trying to coax a bird to perch on your finger . . . it wouldn't happen unless you stopped trying so hard.

I'm not that complicated, Haven. The truth is, I've wanted you ever since I met you in that damned wine cellar. Because I got a bigger charge out of that five minutes than I have with any woman before or since...

I no longer believed in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.

It was a train wreck happening right in front of me and I couldn't do anything about it, except that not only was I watching, I was also the train.

I wanted more of those sweltering kisses. I felt terrible about that. But the warm sunny fragrance of him...he smelled better than any human being I'd ever met. "Okay" I said unsteadily, "forget what I said about not exchanging names. Who are you?"
"For you, honey...I'm trouble." -Haven & Hardy

I was a new person in the same world, which was a lot more difficult than being the same person in a new world.

I was going to have to leave you anyway. Because I loved you too much to drag you
down with me."
My hand crept up to caress the rigid line of his jaw. "Why'd you change your mind?" I whispered.
"After I calmed down a little and had a chance to think, I figured . . . I love you enough to try and deserve you. I would do anything, be anything, for you.

...just a little touches her and there. He puts his hands on your arms or back, he stands close to you, getting you used to him... it's a mating ritual. Like March of the Penguins.

Make your choice and accept the consequences.

One of the blessings human beings take for granted is the ability to remember pain without re-feeling it. The pain of the physical wounds is long gone …and the other kind of hurt, the damage done to our spirits, has been healed. We are careful with those scarred places in each other.

So are you bisexual?” I had asked, and Todd had laughed at my insistence on label.

“I guess I'm bipossible,” he had said.

Sometimes an imitation of love can be pretty damn convincing.

Sometimes a simple question could have a complicated answer.

Sometimes I'm not nice for a reason. It's a way to find out what someone's made of.

The look of experience suited him, especially because somewhere deep in those eyes, there still lurked a dangerous invitation to play. He had a quality of masculine confidence that was a thousand times more potent than mere handsomeness. Perfect goodlooks could leave you cold, but this kind of sexy charisma went straight to your knees. -Haven Travis

Weddings are never about the bride and groom, weddings are public platforms for dysfunctional families.

What you should really be sorry for," he continued, "is that for the rest of my life, I'll have to avoid wine cellars to keep from thinking about you."
"Why? Was kissing me that bad?"
A devil-solf whisper. "No sweetheart. It was that good.

You know what it is you smell on him, Haven? Testosterone. It's leaking out of his pores.