Falling Away - Devon Ashley

Devon Ashley - Falling #2 - Falling Away

Falling Away (Falling #2)
Devon Ashley

young romance/fantasy/new adult

1

“I can feel you watching me.”

He chuckled, and the bed sank the tiniest bit as he leaned over to kiss my forehead softly. Robert’s hand was atop mine on my stomach, gently stroking the tops of my fingers. “Sorry. It’s just rare to actually see you when I wake up in the morning.”

Smiling, I murmured, “You could always quit swimming and those stupid five A.M. practices.”

He ignored me ‘cause we both knew that would never happen, I just liked to tease him when he brought up our lack of time together.

“Did you know your nose twitches when you sleep? Kind of like a squirrel.”

I huffed under my breath. My lips pursed and my free hand swatted, but I hit nothing but air. I still hadn’t opened my eyes, not wanting to give up on a rare morning of sleeping in. Light permeated my eyelids, ruining the darkness I craved to fall back asleep. We’d left the windows cracked last night, so a soothing chorus sung by several chickadees drifted in.

Robert’s hand trailed away from mine, and the cool air licked the warmth away. A second later he poked my side. Then again.

“Stop it,” I muttered. Poke. “Stop it.” Poke. I swatted several times, this time finding an arm.

Well, that did it. He launched into a full tickle assault against my waist. I yelped and rolled sideways, playfully slapping at his hands, trying to quiet the giggles to keep from waking Sophie and Jhett in the next room over. “Stop it!” I urged in a hushed voice.

“Wake up and talk to me and I will.”

“Fine. Fine! I’m up!” His hands retreated and my eyes fluttered as they adjusted to the morning light glowing through the cream and black toile drapery. I rubbed my face a few times before really looking at him, fairly certain I looked an absolute mess. That was one benefit to him leaving so early most mornings. He rarely got to see the lovely morning hair I typically rocked.

Hitched up on his elbow, Robert grinned at me, surely paying notice to every lock of hair that came loose from my ponytail. I yanked on the rubber band and released my hair, shaking the tangles free and fully embracing the bed head look he loved. His hand reached out and landed on my hip, his thumb gently stroking back and forth. With that tantalizing grin and the way he stared me down, that look was just wicked.

All right, not wicked. Incredibly sexy. But I promise there was something dirty going on in that head of his.

“Happy?” I muttered, still a little cranky over losing my sleepy haze.

“Always.” Leaning in, his lips gently brushed mine a few times. “Good morning.”

Yeah, right. “It’s morning, but you’re gonna have to give me a few minutes to wake up and consider it a good thing.”

“Fair enough.”

I twisted my body and glanced at the French-inspired clock on the wall behind me. Eight-thirty. I whined as I rolled back.

“What?”

“Sophie made an appointment at eleven for some wedding shop in town.”

“You have to make an appointment for that?”

I chuckled. Boys. So clueless sometimes. “Yes, Robert. Especially when you wanna try on dresses on a crazy day like Black Friday.”

“How long is that going to take?”

“I don’t know. Knowing Sophie and her inability to make a decision quickly, it’ll take all day, several shops over the course of several weeks, and probably then some.”

He groaned dramatically. “Can’t you spend the day with me? We hardly see each other anymore.”

“You can come with me,” I teased in a sing-song voice.

His forehead furrowed and I could already sense the answer his brain was concocting. “Sorry. I’m not allowed to see the bride’s dress before the wedding.”

“That only applies to the groom, not the best man.”

“Transference. Sorry. Wouldn’t want to risk bad luck against their marriage.”

I snorted, and we lay there for a moment, silently smiling as his fingers lightly stroked back and forth between my thigh and waist. It was sweet, but I couldn’t help but think about the rut we’d been in. He was right about our schedules not blending. We may share the same apartment, but our days were spent apart ‘cause we attended separate schools. He went to Yale and me the community college.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Robert’s father was a favored alumnus of Yale and could’ve gotten me on a list to get in even though I didn’t apply, but I politely turned him