“Those were his dreams, Annie. Not yours. Why can’t you see that? You persist in being so damn obstinate that you can’t even see what you’ve turned into.”
Somewhere deep inside of her a tiny voice whispered that he was right. She knew that she’d changed. She knew that she was holding on to her stubborn pride. Diminished as it now was, it was the only thing that she had left.
When she continued to stare at him mutely, not allowing that voice to speak, something softened in his expression. He caught her close to his chest, wrapping his arms tightly around her. He buried his face in her hair, his mouth grazing her ear as he entreated quietly, “Don’t marry him, Annie. Don’t marry him. I’m selfish too. I’ve always wanted you for myself. But don’t think that’s why I’m begging this of you. Listen to me as the man who’s been your best friend for most of your life. Maxwell Fischer is bad for you. He’ll never keep his promises. Please. Trust me on this. Don’t go back to New York. Stay here. Come back to the things you seem to have forgotten. Be the Annie I know again.”
She couldn’t. She couldn’t. To do that would be to give up completely. She heard Maxwell’s voice in her head, his stern advice, his words that came from experience, power and influence. He’d helped her so much already. Jake was wrong. Maxwell would keep his promises. Maxwell would help her realize her dream.
“I can’t,” she whispered.
“You can,” he persisted. He pulled back slightly and cupped her face in his hands. “You can.” He pressed his mouth to her forehead, her eyelashes, her cheeks. “Please, Annie. Stay.” Then he took her mouth, kissing her roughly, urgently at first, then sweetly as he continued to whisper pleas against her lips.
An excerpt from Annie and Jake
Copyright © 2018 Margaret Desmond
This post is in response to the Daily Prompt: Slight