Love Beyond Words (City Lights: San Francisco Book 1)

Love Beyond Words (City Lights: San Francisco Book 1) by Emma Scott

Book: Love Beyond Words (City Lights: San Francisco Book 1) by Emma Scott Read Free Book Online
Authors: Emma Scott
extremely displeased. Did my phone call do that? He thought it just might have. Julian stood in his customary stance that meant he was trying to regain control of his fiery temper: stiff and still, like a statue. David knew it well. Julian was a passionate, emotional man. He had to be, David supposed, to write as well as he did. His temper was slow to burn but when it flared, he used his talent with words to cut the object of his anger to ribbons. He struggled painfully with it, and, David was pleased to note, he was struggling now.
    “How uh…how did your date go?”
    “Not well, thanks in no small part to your incessant phone calls.” Julian’s blue steel gaze could have frozen boiling water, but David had his defense planned and prepared. “What the hell were you doing, David?”
    “I know,” David said, all contriteness and regret, humbling himself like a groveling dog. “I feel terrible. I absolutely loathed interrupting your date, but the credit card company has never been so insistent before.”
    Julian’s rigid posture didn’t bend an inch. “It was humiliating.”
    Music to my ears. David’s face was a perfect mask of agony. “Oh Christ, Julian, I’m so sorry. I thought that might happen but I worried they’d cut you off and you’d be more humiliated trying to use the card and be denied with—Natalie, was it?—standing right there.” He held up his hands in a helpless gesture. “Lesser of two evils.”
    Julian remained stony for a moment more and then released himself from the prison of his rigid stance and sank onto the couch, his back to David, his voice ripe with defeat. “I can’t lay all the blame at your feet. Or any of it, really. I thoroughly wrecked the date at the end. Until then, it had been exquisite.”
    David bit back his smile of triumph. “What happened?” he asked. “If you want to talk, I mean…”
    “What the hell am I doing?” Julian said. “Five months. Five months and I finally work up the nerve to ask her out and then I spoil it with more hesitancy and awkwardness.”
    David sat in the chair across from Julian, keeping his face open and sympathetic. “You’re being cautious. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
    “Cautious?” Julian snorted. “I’m being insanely defensive. She’s going to think I’m a lunatic, if she doesn’t already.”
    “Julian, in light of what happened with Samantha—”
    “This is different,” he snapped. “I think Natalie cares for me. I know she does. But I’m too pessimistic to believe she feels as strongly for me as I do for her.”
    “You feel…strongly about her?” David’s stomach began to twist the triumph of his interference right out of him.
    Julian hung his head between his hands. “I’m in love with her.”
    David was proud he managed not to flinch, given how Julian’s words slapped him.
    “But I’ve likely ruined it.”
    A ray of hope. “What happened? I mean…aside from my terribly uncouth interruption.”
    “I wanted to tell her everything. I owe it to her, before we...start anything. But she loves the writing so much…” Julian carved his hands through his hair. “Guess who her favorite author is? And not her favorite the way someone prefers blue over red, or cats over dogs. She feels spiritually connected to… him . I thought if I told her the truth she’d feel trapped in the car with a madman, and I just…I bumbled everything. I couldn’t speak. I’m supposed to be so deft with words,” his voice dripped sarcasm, “and I couldn’t find any to properly explain myself. So she left—escaped, really—and I don’t blame her.”
    David hadn’t heard much after, I wanted to tell her everything. After those words, his blood had turned to sludge in his veins. “The secret keeps you safe,” he managed. “You know that.”
    “Maybe. Or maybe not. I feel as though some horrid twist of fate is testing me and the vow I made to my mother. I’m telling you, David, I was ready to throw it all

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