Anna And The French Kiss, 2010
“You’re the most incredible girl I’ve ever known. You’re gorgeous and smart, and you make me laugh like no one else can. And I can talk to you. And I know after all this I don’t deserve you, but what I’m trying to say is that I love you, Anna. Very much.”
I’m holding my breath. I can’t talk, but my eyes are filling with tears.
He takes it the wrong way. “Oh God. And I’ve mucked things up again, haven’t I? I didn’t mean to attack you like this. I mean I did but … all right.” His voice cracks. “I’ll leave. Or you can go down first, and then I’ll come down, and I promise I’ll never bother you again—”
He starts to stand, but I grab his arm. “No!”
His body freezes. “I’m so sorry,” he says. “I never meant to hurt you.”
I trail my fingers across his cheek. He stays perfectly still for me. “Please stop apologizing, Étienne.”
“Say my name again,” he whispers.
I close my eyes and lean forward. “Étienne.”
He takes my hands into his.Those perfect hands, that fit mine just so. “Anna?”
Our foreheads touch. “Yes?”
“Will you please tell me you love me? I’m dying here.”
And then we’re laughing. And then I’m in his arms, and we’re kissing, at first quickly—to make up for lost time—and then slowly, because we have all the time in the world. And his lips are soft and honey sweet, and the careful, passionate way he moves them against my own says that he savors the way I taste, too. And in between kisses, I tell him I love him.
Again and again and again.