The Kiss (Playboy Pact 1) - Page 19


I knew it because I felt it too.

—Mila—

Once we got off on the exit for Tullahoma, I smiled again.

He wouldn’t.

No way.

Not after all these years…

“Why are we in Tullahoma?” I questioned, looking at him like he was crazy.

“For a little piece of paradise, Mila.”

I let him have this and didn’t press for more. Ten minutes later, he parked his truck on the side of the road by the woods and I couldn’t hold back any longer.

“Leo, are you taking me hiking? I don’t have boots for th—”

He placed a wrapped gift on my lap. “Your first happy ending.”

“Did you wrap this?”

He nodded.

“Wow. You did a good job.”

“I watched a YouTube video.”

“For me?”

“Always for you.”

I could see Leo grinning like a fool from the corner of my eyes. “It’s so pretty I don’t want to open it.”

“I knew you’d say that.”

“Then you shouldn’t have made it so nice. Did you make the bow too?”

“I did.”

I peeked up at him through my long, dark lashes. “This is really sweet, Leo. Thank you.”

“You haven’t even seen what it is yet.”

“If the wrapping job is any indication then I know it’s going to be amazing.”

“Open up the gift, Lala.”

“So bossy.”

Slowly and carefully, I unwrapped the box that read Merrell on the lid and loudly shrieked, fully aware of what it was. Quickly, I opened the shoebox and there in front of my eyes were my very own pair of black hiking boots with light pink laces. I’d been begging Leo to take me hiking with him since it became his hobby when he started driving. He always said he’d take me when the time was right.

“You even got my size correct.”

He raised his eyebrows with a challenging yet amused expression before opening the door and stepping out of his truck. I laced up my new hiking boots and followed his lead, only to be met with a hiking stick and a water bottle in his hands.

“Once we get to the side of the mountain, you grab and step where I do, understood?”

I nodded, eager to get this journey on the road. I’d never been hiking before, at least not like this.

By the time we began climbing down the side of the mountain, my legs started to shake. “Don’t go so fast.”

“Mila, I’m going as slow as I can.”

“I know, but shit! Why didn’t you ever say how dangerous this was? You do this by yourself? Why?”

“To get away from all the crazy women.”

“Me included?”

“You’re the first one on the roster.”

I giggled, “Leo, don’t make me laugh or I’ll fall.”

“Just make sure you keep grabbing and stepping where I am, and you won’t fall.”

“How reassuring of you.”

“I’d never let you fall.”

“If I do fall,” I smiled, “I’ll make sure to fall on you.”

He peered up at me from the rigged spot he was standing on. “Why do you think I’m below you?”

“To catch me if I fall?”

“To move out of the way if you do.”

My mouth dropped open.

“I’m kidding. Of course, to catch you if you fall.”

“Well, now I’m questioning your motives.”

“I promise once you see where I’m taking you you’ll be on my balls to bring you back.”

“How much further?”

“Not much.”

“You keep saying that.”

“You keep asking.”

“Are we close?”

“We’re getting closer.”

He glided down with precision, as if he remembered every step he needed to take by memory. Where to grab, where to hold, it was effortless for him. I knew he loved hiking, however seeing him actually do it was a completely different experience.

“And we have to climb back up to leave, right?”

“Yes, that’s the way it works.”

“What if I don’t make it? My legs already feel like they’re going to give out on me.”

“We’ll take a long break when we get down there.”

“How are you carrying that heavy ass backpack and still not breaking a sweat?”

“I’m used to it.”

“Are you even tired?”

“Compared to all my hikes, this one is one of the easiest to get to, but lucky for you, it’s my favorite.”

“I thought the Smokies was your favorite? Why this one?”

“You’ll see.”

“The only thing I see is me plummeting to my death.”

“Has anyone ever told you that you talk too much?”

“Yes. You.”

“Now you understand why I’ve never brought you here with me.”

“Hey! It’s my birthday!”

“So you’ve said for the fifth time in the last hour.”

“You’ve been counting?”

“I needed the distraction from your constant badgering.”

“Leo!”

“Mila!”

The pitch in my tone had me losing my footing. “Oh shit!” I stepped in the wrong patch, and almost slid several feet below.

Leo grabbed my leg. “I got you.”

“Damn,” I exclaimed, my heart beating a mile a minute. “I guess you’re the one with the cat-like reflexes.”

“Love.”

“Yes…”

“I’m going to need you to stop talking now.”

“Fine, but only because you just saved my life.”

“So dramatic.”

After what felt like an eternity later, we finally made it to the bottom of the mountain, and I immediately understood why this was Leo’s happy place.


Tags: M. Robinson Playboy Pact Romance
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