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Legend (Page 66)

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I miss Maverick.

We have just arrived in New York.

Ward and Seneca have gone back to Pensacola. They “got s**t to do” but they “leave our Mav with you, Lucky Charm and Water Walker, so don’t fail us.”

They told me at the club about fearless Maverick, who broke every single bone in his body before he turned sixteen.

They told me about stubborn Maverick, who would do everything he was told he couldn’t do.

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They told me about Maverick’s mom, who is a teacher—exactly what I’ve decided I want to be, I’m now sure—and who used a gentle hand when raising a rebel like Maverick.

“She’d cook us the best meals just to keep us getting together at her place, just so she could keep an eye on our mischief,” Ward added. “Can’t believe he hasn’t told you all this, but then again, I can. Seneca and I are glad to have been witnesses to his mischief, or the rebel acts would have gone unrecorded.”

Maverick accompanied them to the airport and then dove straight into training, since those two consumed him for forty-eight hours.

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For forty-eight hours I haven’t seen him.

I miss his face, his smile, his voice. His hands. My heart feels like it’s being blown up into this big balloon; I’m not sure it can fit inside my chest anymore. I crave him. I feel like I’m on this high.

I find myself tucking Racer into bed and then walking down the block, to his hotel. With the key that he sent me. It’s midnight, and I can feel streetlights whispering across my face as I head toward him.

I can’t think straight but all I know is that it’s six days to the final and I need to be with him right now. My stomach is in knots; my heart is pumping blood, adrenaline, and a million kinds of drugs.

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My mind is focused on one thing and one thing only: him.

Time slows down, and every step closer to him it slows down even more. I’m trying to temper my pulse but I can’t, because I know what’s waiting for me when I get there.

I enter his hotel and I text him that I’m in the elevator.

One minute and ten eternal seconds pass before I see a door crack open and he’s in my space. Before me. His smell is intoxicating. He’s just gotten out of the shower.

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He’s in jeans and a navy V-neck shirt. I force myself to look at him, and he gives me this look. This f*****g look. A cocky smile, and he asks, “Where are we going?”

I don’t say anything. I just look down at the basket I have and grin.

The whole way to the elevator, and down the blocks to Central Park, he is driving me nuts. I’m surprised we don’t crash against a tree or something. He takes my hand while I walk and slowly traces his fingers along the veins at my wrist. He rubs my palm softly with his thumb. Then he raises my knuckles to his lips and gives each one of them a quick, soft kiss. By then I am walking on automatic. Like I said, I’m surprised we don’t ram into a tree or stumble on a rock.

Then he has his hand on my hip. And the longer I walk, the higher his hand goes, up my rib cage. I don’t say anything, but I can feel my face stuck in a huge, excited, childish grin. His hand is large, warm, his calloused fingers rubbing against the bit of skin revealed under my top.

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I can feel him looking at me the whole walk, but I can’t look at him. I just feel him. His intoxicating, addicting presence only a few inches from mine.

“We’re here,” I say, showing him my perfect spot.

Right in front of one of the park’s shimmering lakes.

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The moon is out. The air is warm. I had to bring him here from the moment I discovered this spot when I pushed Racer up the bridge this morning, and now I stand here dumbly until Maverick takes my hand and leads me to a small clearing where the grass is cut short and the edge of the water is only a few feet away.

I sit on the grass, and he takes a seat behind me.

“I missed you,” he says. He leans over and traces his lips along my shoulder. I stay completely still. He pushes my hair to the side and starts kissing along my neck.

His chest isn’t touching me, but I can feel the heat of his body completely envelop mine. My heart is squeezing and I want to cry from how exquisite this feels.

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I barely hear myself whisper “Kiss me” to Maverick.

He stills on my neck and takes me in his hands and turns me to face him. He cradles my cheeks in his palms, his steel eyes drilling into my soul.

He slowly kisses my chin. And then my nose, then rubs his lips along mine. I can feel my self-control slowly melting away and I know in this moment, I am completely at his mercy. Maverick Cage owns me. Every part of me.

I can hear myself breathe, feel it. In every pore of my body. Every part of me wanted him, longed for him. He is so close but I need him closer. His hands belong on me. His lips were made to kiss me. I was made for him. Never in my life has something felt so right.

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And just then, he kisses me. Soft, long, hot, wet. Exquisite. Painful. Hot. Completely, totally right.

“You were made to be mine,” he says against my lips, kissing me between breaths.

“You know that?” he asks. “You’re mine. My hands were made to touch you; my lips were made to love you,” he says as he sucks along my neck, his tongue trailing down my throat.

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He goes lower and bites my shirt, pulling it down with his teeth, kissing my chest.

“My eyes were meant to see you,” he whispers in his voice of thunder as he slowly unbuttons my shirt.

“My tongue was made to taste you,” he moans against my breasts. His kisses sucking, licking, branding me.

Then I feel him leave me, and I see him fall back until he’s lying on the ground. I find myself following him. He takes my leg in his hand and hooks it on his hip so I’m straddling him. The wind brushes my hair against my back, and he’s lying beneath me, his arm behind his head, his other hand brushing the outside of my thigh, rubbing me just how I need him to. But his eyes. F**k, his eyes. They are drilling into me. Looking at me. Looking for me.

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