Becca couldn’t believe what he admitted. It shocked her more to know he’d wanted to kiss her when they’d met than it did that he’d actually kissed her.
She’d wanted him to kiss her almost as long as he wanted to, and if she hadn’t thrown him out of her life… She didn’t want to think about that.
“How is that possible?”
Charles shrugged, irritatingly casual about his confession. “You were the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. Now, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”
Becca ducked her head, not comfortable accepting a compliment from him. She wanted to believe him, but the most beautiful he’d ever seen? She knew he was giving her a line.
His hand cupped her jaw and rose her face up to look at him. “I’m serious, Bex. I’ve always wanted you. Jeff never knew, but I’d like to think he would have been okay with it. He always asked me to watch out for you, to help him make sure you were safe. I don’t know if he knew he wasn’t going to be around long enough to see you grow up or what, but he always wanted me to look after you.”
Tears filled Becca’s eyes. She hated the thought of her brother believing he would die young. It broke her heart to imagine him thinking he wouldn’t be there, and hated even more that he wasn’t there. She knew he’d have loved to see her end up with Charles. Jeff was Charles’s biggest fan.
“He would have been thrilled to see us together. He loved you.” Charles swallowed hard and Becca could see how much he was still beating himself up. “I forgive you, you know. I was hurt and emotional back then, but I’ve come to realize throwing you out of my life wasn’t fair.”
“I was never really out of your life. I’ve always tried to find out everything I could about you. I was surprised when you showed up here, but I shouldn’t be surprised. You always knew how to find me.”
Becca nodded. “I guess we were meant to be in each other’s lives. Even if we end up as just friends.”
Charles growled. “I’ve got you. I’m not letting you go. It’s going to take an act of God to get me to let you go ever again. I’m in this, Bex, I’m in this for good.”
Becca smiled and leaned in to kiss Charles again. When she pulled back she looked up at him through her lashes and said, “I hope you live close by.”