Home > Caught Up in Her (Caught Up In Love 0.5)(10)

Caught Up in Her (Caught Up In Love 0.5)(10)
Author: Lauren Blakely

I reached for her hand. “It’s the start of an amazing career you’re going to have,” I said and soon we reached a tiny little Japanese manga shop. I’d stumbled upon this shop when I went to NYU, and it was perfect for Kat. “This is your surprise.”

She arched an eyebrow. “You want me to become a comic book fan?”

“I’m not trying to convert you to comic books. Just go in. You’ll see.”

Once inside, she was the proverbial kid in the candy store, wide-eyed and slack-jawed when she saw the display of Hello Kitty jewelry, bracelets and necklaces. Fine, it was bling. Bright, shiny, Hello Kitty bling, but Kat loved the kitschiness of it.

I smiled the whole time as I watched her take it all in. Seeing her happy was like a drug. I’d do whatever I could to get this reaction from my girl. “I thought you might get a kick out of it. But, you make such amazing stuff this might all seem silly to you. Especially now that you’re being recruited for your necklaces.”

She reached for me, wrapped her hand around my arm. “I love it. No matter what I make, I will always love Hello Kitty. It’s a life-long kind of thing we have going on.”

“Good. Pick anything you like.” Fine, it wasn’t Tiffany’s. I wasn’t some loaded hedge fund manager bringing her into a swank jewelry store and promising diamonds. But this was Kat’s Tiffany’s, and judging from the way her brown eyes seemed to twinkle, it was as if I’d brought her to Aladdin’s cave and she was discovering gems and rubies. I ran my hand along her lower back, unable to resist touching her. She sighed and inched closer to me as she checked out necklaces and rings. She held up a ring that she liked, showing it to me.

“Cute,” I murmured as I brushed my lips against her neck. I slipped my hand under the back of her shirt, tracing her soft skin. “You feel so good,” I whispered.

“You’re distracting me,” she said, but she moved closer too, and I was damn near ready to tug her into my arms, thread my fingers through her hair, and kiss her deeply right in the store.

The woman behind the counter cleared her throat, and that was my cue to keep it PG. Kat picked out a sparkly necklace with pink stones for the cat’s ears.

“Wait for me outside,” I told her, then went to the register to pay for the gifts.

A minute later I left the store, tucking a tiny white bag into my wallet. I’d save the gift in the bag for the next time I saw her. I asked Kat to turn around. She lifted up her hair, and I kissed her lightly on her neck, savoring that sweet sexy moment when she shivered under my touch. “I could do this all day,” I said, as I fastened the necklace.

“Put jewelry on me?” She teased.

“No. Kiss you,” I said, then dropped my mouth to her neck once more, kissing my way up to her ear, as she pressed her body against me. “I love kissing you. I’m so crazy for you. And I know this is just a little necklace, but I wanted you to have something from me. Something you liked.”

She turned around, looping her arms around my neck. “I love it, Bryan. I totally love it.”

That word burrowed into my heart, and I wanted to say it, to tell her all that I felt for her. But I kept it inside for longer, wanting to take things slow with her. She had the world ahead of her, and I didn’t want to rush a thing.

“Let’s go walk around NYU. You’re going to be there in just a few weeks.”

We wandered over to campus, and as she peered in the buildings, checking out dorms and classrooms, she had the most excited look in her eyes. “I can’t believe I’m going to be here soon. It’s going to be amazing. Did you love it here?”

“Absolutely. Every second of it,” I said. “College is everything they say it is.”

“What do you mean?”

“That it’s the time when you find yourself. When you figure out what you want. And when you have a ton of fun.”

“I can’t wait to start.”

As we reached the campus bookstore, my phone chimed with an email. I slid my finger across the screen.

“I’ll be right back. I need to see what my boss wants. I’ll meet you in the store,” I said to Kat. I clicked open the email and the subject line read Paris. I read the rest of the note. “Looks like there might be an opening soon in our Paris office. You’re fluent, right? Let’s talk Monday about this.”

Equal parts excitement and surprise raced through me. My boss had mentioned working abroad, but it had never occurred to me it might happen so quickly. Nor had it occurred to me I might be separated from Kat by an ocean. I wanted to stay, but I wanted to go.

When I found her in the bookstore, she asked if everything was okay.

“Yeah, it’s great actually,” I said because I did want this. I did want the opportunity to learn and grow in my career that was just starting. “I might be going to Paris soon. To work.”

“That’s amazing,” she said, and threw her arms around me.

“You’ll have to come visit me,” I said to see how she’d respond, even though it wasn’t fair to ask her to do that. She wouldn’t want to anyway, would she?

She pulled back to look at me, a wide smile on her gorgeous face. “You know I’d be there in a heartbeat to see you.”

And maybe that’s when it hit me. At that moment, everything came to a screeching halt with her words. I knew staying together was going to be a problem. I hated myself for knowing this. I hated myself for what I had to do. But I had no choice. This was the only way, and I did it for her.

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