Home > Verity(11)

Author: Colleen Hoover

His voice sounded like his throat was coated in honey. I held eye contact with him, wondering if it was an act. Could a man that good looking and presumably rich also be considerate? It felt more presumptuous than anything, but I was drawn in by his gall.

The bartender approached with impeccable timing. “What can I get for you?”

I straightened up, breaking eye contact with Jeremy. I turned and faced the bartender. “I’ll have a water.”

“Make it two,” Jeremy said.

And that was that.

It’s been years since that night, and it’s difficult to recall every detail, but I do remember being drawn to him in those first few moments in a way I’d never been drawn to a man. I liked the sound of his voice. I liked his confidence. I liked his teeth, perfect and white. I liked the stubble on his jaw. It was the perfect length to scratch my thighs. Maybe even scar them if he stayed down there long enough.

I liked that he wasn’t afraid to touch me while we talked, and every time he did, the graze of his fingers made my skin tingle.

After we both finished our waters, Jeremy led me to the exit, his hand on my lower back, his fingers caressing my dress.

We walked to his limousine, and he held the back door open for me as I climbed inside. He took the seat across from me rather than next to me. The car smelled like a bouquet, but I knew it was perfume. I quite liked it, despite knowing another woman had been in this limousine tonight. My eyes fell to a bottle of champagne that was half empty next to two wine glasses, one lined with red lipstick.

Who is she? And why did he leave the party with me and not her?

I didn’t care to ask those questions out loud, because he was leaving with me. That’s really all that mattered.

We sat in silence for a minute or two, staring at each other with anticipation. He knew he had me in that moment, which is why he felt confident enough to reach forward and lift my leg, draping it across the seat next to him. He left his hand on my ankle, caressing it, watching as my chest began to rise and fall in response to his touch.

“How old are you?” he asked. The question made me pause because he looked older than I was, maybe late twenties, early thirties. I didn’t want to scare him off with the truth, so I lied and said I was twenty-five.

“You look younger.”

He knew I was lying. I kicked off my shoe and ran my toes across the outside of his thigh. “Twenty-two.”

Jeremy laughed and said, “A liar, huh?”

“I stretch truths where I see fit. I’m a writer.”

His hand moved to my calf.

“How old are you?”

“Twenty-four,” he said with as much truth as I’d given him.


He smiled. “Twenty-seven.”

His hand was on my knee at this point. I wanted it even higher. I wanted it on my thigh, between my legs, exploring me from the inside. I wanted him, but not here. I wanted to go with him, see where he lived, judge the comfort of his bed, smell his sheets, taste his skin.

“Where’s your driver?” I asked.

Jeremy glanced behind him, toward the front of the limousine. “I don’t know,” he replied, looking back at me. “This isn’t my limousine.” His expression was mischievous, and I couldn’t tell if he was lying.

I narrowed my eyes, wondering if this man had really led me to a limousine that didn’t even belong to him. “Whose limousine is this?”

Jeremy’s eyes had left mine and were focused on his hand. The one tracing circles over my knee. “I don’t know.” I expected my desire to wane at the realization that he may not be rich, but instead, his admission made me smile. “I’m an entry-level scrub,” he said. “I drove my car here. Honda Civic. Parked it myself because I’m too cheap to pay the ten bucks for valet.”

I was surprised by how much I loved that he had brought me to a limo that wasn’t even his. He wasn’t rich. He wasn’t rich, yet I still wanted to fuck him.

“I clean office buildings in the city,” I admitted. “I stole an invitation to this party out of a trash can. I’m not even supposed to be here.”

He smiled, and I’ve never wanted to taste a grin like I wanted to taste the one that spread across his face. “Aren’t you resourceful?” he asked. His hand slipped behind my knee and he pulled me toward him. I slid across the seat and onto his lap because that’s what dresses like mine were for. I could feel him growing hard between my legs as he pressed a thumb against my bottom lip. I swiped my tongue across the pad of his thumb, and it made him sigh. Not groan. Not moan. He sighed, like it was the sexiest thing he’d ever felt.

“What’s your name?” he asked.


“Verity.” He said it twice. “Verity. That’s really pretty.” His eyes were on my mouth, and he was about to lean in and kiss me, but I pulled back.

“What’s yours?”

His eyes flickered back to mine. “Jeremy.” He said it fast, like it was a waste of his time, an inconvenient interruption to our kiss. As soon as the word left his mouth, his lips touched mine, and as soon as they touched mine, the interior light kicked on above our heads and we both froze, our lips grazing, our bodies suddenly stiff as someone climbed into the driver’s seat of the limousine.

“Shit,” Jeremy whispered against my mouth. “What an untimely return.” He pushed me off of him and opened the door. He ushered me out of the car just as the driver realized someone else was in the car with him.

“Hey!” he yelled into the backseat.

Jeremy grabbed my hand and began to pull me after him, but I needed out of my shoes. I tugged on his arm, and he stopped as I slipped my shoes off my feet. The driver started heading in our direction. “Hey! What the hell were you doing in my car?”

Jeremy grabbed my shoes in one hand, and we ran down the street, laughing in the dark, out of breath when we finally reached his car. He hadn’t been lying about it. It was a Honda Civic, although it was a newer model, so that counted for something. He pushed me against the passenger door, dropped my shoes on the concrete, and then swept a hand into my hair.

I looked over my shoulder at the car we were leaning against. “Is this really your car?”

He smiled as he reached into his suit pocket and pulled out his key fob. He unlocked the doors to prove it was his, which made me laugh.

He stared down at me, our mouths thisclose, and I could swear he was already imagining what life with me would be like. You can’t look at someone the way he looked at me—with the entirety of his past—without also imagining the future.

He closed his eyes and kissed me. The kiss was full of both desire and respect—two things a lot of men didn’t seem to know could go hand in hand.

His fingers felt good in my hair, and his tongue felt good in my mouth. I felt good to him, too. I could feel how good I felt to him in the way he kissed me. We knew very little about each other in that moment, but it was almost better that way. Sharing a kiss that intimate with a stranger was like saying, “I don’t know you, but I believe I would like you if I did.”

I liked that he believed he could like me. It almost made me believe I was likeable.

When he pulled away from me, I wanted to go with him. I wanted my mouth to follow his, my fingers to stay wrapped around his. It was torture remaining in the passenger seat of his car as we drove. I was burning inside for him. He had lit a fire in me, and I was determined to make sure it didn’t go out.

He fed me before he fucked me.

Took me to a Steak ’n Shake, and we sat on the same side of the booth, eating French fries and sipping chocolate shakes between kisses. The restaurant was mostly empty, so we were in a quiet corner booth, far enough away that no one noticed when Jeremy’s hand slid up my thigh and disappeared between my legs. No one heard me when I moaned. No one cared when he pulled his hand away and whispered that he wasn’t going to give me an orgasm in a Steak ’n Shake.

I wouldn’t have minded.

“Take me to your bed, then,” I said.

He did. His bed was in the middle of a studio apartment in Brooklyn. Jeremy wasn’t rich. He could barely afford the Steak ’n Shake he had bought me. But I didn’t care. I was on his bed, lying on my back, watching him undress, when I realized I was about to make love for the first time. I’d had sex before, but never with more than just my body.

There was so much more of me invested in that moment than my body. My heart felt full—of what, I don’t know. But my heart had felt empty with the men who came before Jeremy.

It was amazing how different sex felt when a person used more than their body. I involved my heart and my gut and my mind and my hope. I fell in that moment. Not in love. I just…fell.

It was as if I’d been standing on the edge of a cliff my whole life, and finally, after meeting Jeremy, I felt confident enough to jump. Because—for the first time in my life—I felt confident that I wouldn’t land. I would keep flying.

Looking back, I realize how crazy it is that I fell for him so fast. But it was only crazy because it never stopped. Had I woken up the next morning and slipped out of his apartment, it would have ended as a fun one-night stand, and I wouldn’t even be recalling any of this all these years later. But I didn’t leave the next morning, so it became more. With every day that passed, that first night with him was further validated. And that’s what love at first sight is. It isn’t really love at first sight until you’ve been with the person long enough for it to become love at first sight.

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