EXTRACT FROM SOUTHERN CHANCE by NATASHA MADISON

"Kallie, we can do this in two ways. The easy or the hard way. "

"I don't even know what that means," I say, opening the door and jumping out of his truck. "Honestly to God, Jacob, I have no idea what that means."

The sound of his door, which closes, fills the still air. "Aren't you tired of running?" he asks.

"Fuck you, Jacob," I spat at him and turned to go to the stream. "Let's get this over with so I can go home tonight and forget."

During the whole walk to the stream, I only get angrier when he demands this shit and the boldness of him forces me to do so. "I don't know why we have to do this," I finally say when I hear the stream. "There's really not much to say."

"What are you talking about?" he says.

I see the rock and stop and turn to look at it. I don't know why looking at him makes my stomach flutter. I don't know why there is suddenly a lump in my throat. Maybe it's because he says things that I don't want to hear. "I'm talking about this conversation. It's pretty self-explanatory."

"Is it?" He puts his hands in his back pockets and his chest is so much bigger for some reason. Or maybe it's the darkness or the shadows.

"It is." I cross my arms over my chest and say, "Everything we had was a lie."

"What?" he asks in shock.

"So how long did you fuck Savannah?" I ask, ignoring the lump in my throat and the tears in my eyes. "Was it all the time?"

"It's not what you think," he says, and I shake my head.

"Eight years!" I scream. "After eight damn years, can you imagine it's not what you think?"

"Callie." He hisses my name and I get angrier. My stomach feels like a tsunami with all the nerves I have.

"I'm here, Jacob." I throw up my hands. "You wanted to talk about that. Well, I'm asking my questions. "

"It's not that easy," he says quietly, looking down.

"When did it happen?" I ask what I've been asking myself for the past eight years. "When? Was it on my face all the time?" He shakes his head. "Is that it? That is all you have?"

"I can only say that it is not what you think," he says and I am now losing the battle of my tears.

"When did you fall in love with me?" I ask him quietly.

"Never," he says, his voice is almost a whisper and I have to laugh.

"Why?" I ask. "Why did you do that? Why didn't you just break up with me?" My voice breaks and he takes a step closer to me, but I take a step back. "Why, Jacob?" I put my hand over my trembling lips. "Why didn't you marry her?"

"Because she wasn't you," he says. He stands right in front of me and puts his hands on my face while he holds me there with his eyes on mine. "I never loved anyone but you," he says, and the tears roll down my rims and onto his thumbs. He brings his head closer to mine. "I've loved you all my life," he says just before his lips meet mine and my hands go to his waist.

I dreamed of this kiss every day no matter how much I told myself I hated it. He would sneak into my dreams, dreams that were full of kisses. But nothing can be compared to his real kiss.

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