"“Are you going to stop me from leaving?” she asked.
He blew out a puff of smoke. “I was thinking about it, but I don’t want you hating me.”
She dropped down on the edge of the bed and pulled on her sandals. “I can’t hate you, Max.”
He snorted and tapped off the ash on the end of his cigarette into a glass ashtray.
“That gives me hope.”
“Are you going to yank support for my book because of what I’ve told you?”
“No. I would look like even more of a bastard than I already am.”
She glanced up at the square mirror attached to the ceiling, trying to check for any other noticeable bruises or marks. Her reflection was too warped for her to see clearly.
“You have a black and blue right here.” He pointed to the side of his neck.
“You gave it to me when you got carried away in the bathroom.”
He drew on his cigarette. “I bet I have scratch marks on my back from your nails.”
“We’re even then. You can use that medicinal cream you keep around for your other lovers or whatever role they play for you when you get too rough with them.” She rose from the bed.
He lost his stiff smile and jabbed out his cigarette. “You’re the only lover I’ve had this past year. You’re the only one I want to be with from now on.” Jumping out of the chair, he approached her. “The only woman I can get it up for, the only woman who owns my cock, is you.”
“You have a wonderful way with words, Maxwell.” She opened her purse to take out her phone.
Throwing her purse on the bed, he locked his arm around her waist and cupped her nape. Her heartbeat quickened at his bold move. He drew her up to him, his mouth mere inches away from her own.
“You’re the one I love and want to spend the rest of my life with.” He took a deep breath. “How do those words work for you?”"