Page 20 of Chapel

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“I miss you, Chap. I’m glad we can talk like this.”

“Yeah, well… we have to work together, and I do want us to be able to get along. As long as we all have boundaries in place and show each other respect, I think we’ll be okay.”

He stared at me, and I wasn’t sure if it was because he was impressed or because he didn’t believe me. Either way, I wasn’t going to look at him to figure out which one it was. While I fixed his coffee, we talked about our weekends. I didn’t bother telling him that I’d spent mine with Jerry or that we kissed… three times. That was a secret that had my cheeks lifting to my eyes as I grinned.

Those kisses played repeatedly in my head. Mm. His juicy lips were as soft as they looked. His tongue was thick, and hedefinitelyknew how to work it. Just thinking about how it swirled around mine and how he sucked my lips and tongue… Jesus. And when he moaned… I never thought Jeremiah Simpson would be the vocal type.

I didn’t realize how deep I was in my fantasy until Nova gently squeezed my shoulder. My fingers were over my lips, wishing Jeremiah’s were there.

“You good?” Nova checked as I cleared my throat and put some space between us.

“Ye-yes, I’m fine. Close your eyes while I get my secret ingredients.”

Though Nova chuckled and shook his head at my antics, he did as I said. When I was sure he couldn’t see what I was doing, I grabbed what I added to his coffee and lattes to make them taste so good—a little bit of cinnamon and raspberry syrup. His go to for his coffee had always been sweet creamers, but in his lattes, he liked spice. With the combination of these two things, it didn’t matter what creamers he added, they were always perfect.

“Okay, here you go.”

He opened his eyes and accepted the mug. We’d been drinking coffee since our college days and had tongues of steel. Nova didn’t bother to let it cool down before he was taking a sip. His eyes closed and his body swayed before he leaned against the counter and moaned his pleasure.

“Mm, damn.” With a chuckle, Nova took another sip. Pure bliss covered his face as his eyes glossed over while he smirked. “I haven’t had a cup of coffee this good in a year. No matter where I went or what I tried, nothing has ever been this good. Thank you, Chapel.”

“You’re welcome,” I agreed earnestly.

“It’s crazy how this coffee is just like you. Something that can’t be duplicated by anyone else. Losing you is truly a loss, sweetheart. Truly a loss.”

“Well, you’ll get along without my special ingredients, just like you’ll get along without me.”

Our eyes remained locked longer than I wanted them to. He stepped closer, assaulting my nostrils with his intoxicating, spicy scent.

“Chapel, I…”

“Nova, please,” I begged softly.

“Let me make amends.”

“You can’t. There’s nothing you can do to fix what you did. You know about my parents, my past. How could you think I would be okay with you cheating?”

“I wouldn’t have done it if we were married.”

Scoffing, I clutched my chest, fighting back a laugh.

“Oh, okay. So it’s fine to cheat while we’re engaged but you draw the line at marriage?”

“That’s not what I’m saying…”

“Then what are you saying?” Tiffany asked, resting the weight of her body on her left side.

Nova massaged his temples and released an irritated breath.

“Can you please give us a moment, Tiff?”

“You have got to be out of your mind if you think I’m going to let you finish any conversation alone with her privately.”

Done with the conversation, I walked away. “Chap,” he called, reaching for me, but I pulled away. “We need to talk about this.”

“Just let her go,” Tiffany said.

“We need to talk. I need closure,” I heard Nova say, and I was surprised he was being so honest with her. That was good. At least he didn’t keep secrets from her. Maybe they would survive after all.

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