Meant for Me

By: L.P. Dover

The silence in the car was deafening. The beat of my heart pounding in my ears was all I could focus on as Claire drove me to the airport with tears streaming down her cheeks.

Claire.

What the fuck had I done? I knew it was a mistake to let things go as far as they did, even though we both promised none of it would mean anything. It was a lie.

My flight back to North Carolina would be departing in three hours, and it would put thousands of miles between us. My life was back in North Carolina with my badge and my gun while hers was in California managing her family’s vineyards. I didn’t belong there. We were completely different people, but there was a spark in her eyes that drew me to her when I met her through my cousin, Melissa, years ago. It was the same spark that ignited every desire, every hope of being able to touch her just once. One time was all I wanted, or at least that was what I thought.

The spark that I loved so much about Claire wasn’t in her blue gaze as I peered over at her from the passenger’s seat. She was pissed at me and I couldn’t blame her. Hell, if I was her I would’ve beaten the shit out of me for doing what I did.

My cousin was the reason I was in California in the first place, and if it wasn’t for her wedding I wouldn’t have stepped foot on this side of the United States. Melissa used to live in North Carolina, too, but she inherited part of the vineyards from Claire’s family when Claire’s mother died. Brett was her fiancé at the time, and once he had everything squared away with his job they both packed up and moved across the country. They had just gotten married a couple of days ago and were already on their honeymoon in St. Croix … hence, the reason why I had no one else to take me to the airport other than Claire. I could’ve called a taxi, but Claire insisted on taking me.

I wanted to make things right, but there was nothing I could say that would make up for what I did. I screwed up and let my dick take the reins on my behavior. I couldn’t deny the chemistry Claire and I had, especially the sexual tension, and every time she brushed up against me when we danced my cock immediately sprung to attention. It wasn’t until later that night—when I found her laying across my bed with nothing but a pink, lacy babydoll that I could see straight through—that I finally gave in to my desire.

I wanted to taste her, to feel her … to finally get her out of my system. What I got was an addiction, and what’s worse was that I craved her even now.

We finally passed a sign for the airport indicating we only had one more mile to go, and I knew I was running out of time. The tension hung heavy in the air as I turned to the blonde haired knockout clenching the steering wheel so tight her knuckles were turning white. She wore a bright pink tank top with exceptionally short denim shorts that showed off her long, tanned legs. She was beautiful.

“What do you want me to say, Claire?” I asked softly, hoping to get something out of her instead of silence. “I told you I was sorry. What can I do to make you talk to me?”

What I did to her was something I would regret for the rest of my life. After a long, wild night of sex, love making, whatever you want to call it, it finally came time to wind down. The look in her eyes when she told me she was falling in love with me would forever stay ingrained in my mind. My reaction would haunt me forever as well.

Being the asshole that I was, I told her I wasn’t good enough for her, grabbed my pants off the floor, and left the room. I realized my mistake as soon as I shut the door, but it was too late. The damage had been done. Claire cried for what felt like hours, or maybe it was my misery that made it seem longer. Meanwhile, all I did was sit there, leaning up against the door and listening. I wasn’t prepared to hear those words come out of her mouth, and I sure as hell wasn’t ready to face her this morning.

Holding her chin defiantly in the air, Claire kept her eyes on the road. However, I couldn’t miss the undertone of hurt in her voice when she said, “Look, Mason, I get it. You don’t do relationships. I was the one stupid enough to think that after the night we shared things would be different. I guess that’s what I get for thinking.”

I wanted things to be different between us, to be something real, except I knew it wouldn’t work with the way we lived our lives. Sighing, I tried to reason with her even though I knew it was hopeless, “We would never see each other, Claire. I work long hours and the work that I do is dangerous. You deserve so much better than me. Someone you wouldn’t have to worry about all the time.”

She pulled up to the airport terminal and put her FJ Cruiser into park before crossing her arms over her chest. Her breasts peeked up over her tank top, and I could see on the mounds of her breasts where the stubble on my chin had rubbed her skin raw. I wanted to kiss her again and tell her everything would be all right, except the look in her eyes when she turned to me let me know I had missed my chance. All I saw was anger … and pain.

Leaning over my seat, she reached for the handle on the door and pressed it down, opening it wide. Closing my eyes, I breathed in her scent—which always smelled like raspberries—as her body brushed up against mine.

“You’re going to be late for your flight. It’s time for you to go,” she snapped.

I reached for her chin to get her to look at me, but she jerked away from my touch. Gritting my teeth, I released a heavy sigh. I slid out of her car and fetched my bags from the trunk. Before I went inside the airport, I leaned into the window of her car and let every ounce of regret I had pour into my words when I apologized, “I really am sorry, Claire. I need you to believe that.”

Pursing her lips, she nodded her head and met my gaze head on, narrowing those gorgeous blue eyes in disdain. “Yeah, well … I’m sorry, too. However, there is one thing you were right about in all of this.”

Knowing the final blow was coming, I had to ask, “What exactly would that be?”

A tear escaped the corner of her eye and she hastily wiped it away, ashamed at letting me see her pain. “It would be the part where you said I deserved someone better than you. Before I would’ve said you were completely wrong, but now … you were absolutely right. Good-bye, Mason.”

With those final words, she turned her face away and sped off out of the terminal, never once slowing down or looking back. I had lost her, and after today there was no way she would ever come back to me.

I was a fucking idiot.





Four Months Later




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