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Chapter 6


That kiss. He didn't want to stop. Her lips tasted like strawberries and when he pressed her mouth to his, Trystan felt whole. There wasn't another word for it. He needed Mari like he needed air. When his hands tangled in her hair, she didn't protest. As he kissed her, he waited for her to pull away. When she didn't, when she ran the lines through the end of the scene, he didn't question his good fortune. Instead he concentrated on the taste of her lips and the shape of her mouth, the smoothness of her skin and the softness of her hair in his hand. It would be like this, he thought, if we were together. His body burned hotter than it should have with such a chaste kiss, but it was the closest he'd ever gotten to Mari.

Reluctantly, he ended the kiss by pulling away slightly. He tried to control his breathing, still holding her face in his hands. Her breath rushed over his lips as he lingered there. Trystan didn't want to stop. He had no idea why Mari let him do it. It should have gotten him slapped. When the door above them scraped open, he released her face. Immediately his hands felt empty, like they'd been holding the most valuable thing they'd ever touched and now it was gone.

"Be right there," he replied. He waited a beat for the door to click shut. Heart racing, he looked at Mari and asked, "What'd you think?" It was brazen, especially after deciding not to tell her, but he had to know.

"Better than yesterday," she said coolly. "Assuming Brie doesn't jump on you when you kiss her like that, you'll be good." She smiled as she spoke, like she wasn't affected by his kiss. Like it hadn't meant anything to her. Swallowing hard he realized that he wanted it to mean something. He didn't want to touch her, taste her, and kiss her - no, he wanted more than that. He wanted her to want him. He wanted more than the physical act. Inwardly he cringed. That thought was so unlike him, so foreign, but as he gazed at her, he longed for it. He wanted something with her, but her reply made it obvious that the feelings weren't two directional. Swallowing hard, he forced down a lump of regret that was nearly choking him.

He grinned to cover his real feelings, putting on the fucking mask that hid his real thoughts. He didn't want things to be like that with her, but that was the way things were.

Playfully, he said, "I thought that scene needed some tension. That worked, right?"

"Yes," she said softly. "It worked perfectly." Her dark curls were fanned across her shoulders. It was impossible to look at her and not touch her. Every instinct in his body was wrong. She didn't care for him, not like that.

He nodded toward the stairs, "I better get going." Without another word, he turned and walked away from her. It felt like something inside of him ripped.

I shouldn't have kissed her, he thought, climbing the stairs two at a time.

When he walked out onto the stage, he acted. Trystan was everything he was supposed to be, and no one knew any different. None of them knew him at all.

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