No Backward Glances
by Kat Schuessler
When Lorelai Todd has her heart shattered by her boyfriend, she vows to never trust a man again. Six months later, she’s called to the hospital where she works to help with an emergency. She speeds to get there and is pulled over by Jay, a handsome cop who will eventually threaten to break down the walls she’s built around her heart.
After giving the sexy woman a warning and sending her quickly on her way, Jay regrets not asking her out. Fate seems to intervene when he’s called to the hospital to identify a potential kidnap victim and finds the nurse in charge is Lorelai, the beauty he pulled over for speeding.
He wastes no time in asking her for a date and she accepts, but hesitantly.
They learn they have much in common – from music to movies. But the most incredible thing they share is an amazing chemistry. The sex is red hot, they can’t keep their hands off one another.
Jay is falling for Lorelai fast, but he’s worried if she’ll ever be able to let her guard down and trust him. While he's wooing Lorelai, Jay is caught up in the investigation to find the kidnapper who shot the young victim who brought them together. Lorelai finds herself involved, in more ways than one.
Their relationship is complicated by a mystery, danger and ghosts from their past.
But one thing is clear, their hearts are involved.
Can they beat the odds and find a future together?
Because there’s one thing for certain –
In the game of love – there should be NO BACKWARD GLANCES.
“So...I'm sorry if this seems a little forward, but I've been wanting to talk to you about something,” Jay said, sounding nervous.
“Well, we've known each other a while now and we've been hanging out a lot, but I'm still not really sure what we are. Relationship-wise.”
Rory immediately felt her stomach plummet to the ground. She wasn't ready for this talk yet; in fact, she'd been dreading it.
“Oh, really?” She replied. She hoped he wasn't going to push the issue, but knowing Jay, he would. She didn't want to hurt him, but she was absolutely terrified to agree to any kind of commitment.
“Yeah. And I was just wondering what you thought, because I'd really like us to become kind of an exclusive thing.”
Rory felt her throat go dry, and she swallowed and forced herself to speak evenly. “I'm not really sure, either. I mean, we're great together. I'm just not sure if we should put a label on it quite yet. I know it feels like we've been doing this forever,” she said, trying to do this the right way, “but really, it's only been like, two weeks. Maybe we should just see where we're going first. For right now, I'd just call us friends with benefits.
“To be honest,” she continued, “That doesn't even feel like the right term. We seem like we're more than that, which is why I say we should avoid labels, just for now. For now, we're just..dating.” Rory refused to look at Jay. She wasn't sure what his expression was, and if it was sadness or disappointment, then she would feel awful. So she just kept her eyes on the road and made the turns that the GPS told her to make.
“Okay,” Jay replied.
The rest of the ride was silent.
Rory pulled into the parking lot and parked next to Jay's car, they got out of the car, and they walked up the stairs and into Jay's apartment, all without saying a word. Guilt was worming its way through Rory's body, and a momentary thought flashed in her mind; was this how Matt felt when he broke up with her? Did he feel as awful about hurting her as she felt about hurting Jay?
She sure as hell hoped so.
Rory took off her coat and shoes as Jay set up the movie and popped popcorn, even though they just ate and they each agreed that they couldn't eat another bite. Now she looked at his face, and it didn't tell her much. There were no emotions, just simple focus on the task at hand. It was almost like he was on auto-pilot, going through the motions but not really focusing on them. That worried her a little bit; Jay didn't do auto-pilot, not with her. He always talked to her while he did everything, no matter what it was. This was bothering him, and she knew it.
She wanted to say something, do something to fix this, but she wasn't sure what that was, so she just sat on the couch and waited for him to finish. He split the popcorn into two bowls, as he always did, brought them over, sat down on the couch and pressed “play” on the remote control. They sat through the first ten minutes before he paused the movie and turned toward her.
“Lorelai...are you seeing somebody else?”
“What?” She gasped, putting her bowl on the table in front of her. “Of course not. Why would you think that?”
“Then why won't you commit to me? I know that's what this is about; you don't want labels because you don't want to commit. Well, I do. I want to be able to be with you and say, 'Hey, this is Lorelai, my girlfriend, and for you to be proud to introduce me as your boyfriend. I want this to be something real, and possibly permanent. Why don't you?”
Rory sighed. “Jay...I don't want to go too deep into it, but the last guy that I really committed to broke my heart. It nearly killed me, and I'll be perfectly honest; I'm terrified. Just that first dinner with you scared me, let alone the idea of fully committing to you and opening myself up to you completely. Please understand that it isn't anything wrong with you; you're amazing. I just can't shake the fear that it's going to happen again.”
Jay took a minute, and then met Rory's eyes with his own. “Lorelai, you mean the world to me. There is nothing I would ever do to hurt you, not in a thousand years. If it will take a little longer to prove that to you, then that's okay; I'll do it. But even if I can't consider you my girlfriend, I want you to consider me your boyfriend, because I'm not going anywhere. Understand?”
Rory's heart melted, and she nodded, unable to speak. She leaned forward and kissed him, and he put his arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him.
“Now that we're speaking again,” he said, picking up the remote, “Let's watch this movie and actually enjoy it. Deal?”
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