How about a scene from ALWAYS when Cat finally gives Eamon an ultimatum?
Sometimes you have to go more than halfway to meet in the middle.Caitlin Moore has every reason to celebrate. She’s through with law-school finals, and out for some post-semester fun when she runs smack dab into Eamon Blake, the Irishman with whom she had a summer fling years ago. Time hasn’t dimmed their lingering friendship—or their sexual chemistry.
Eamon isn’t looking for love when he bumps into Cat while he’s in Seattle on a job. Yet over the next year, he finds himself involved in a rekindled long-distance romance that moves from casual to a lot more.
That’s the rub. Cat is determined not to repeat her past mistakes with men and give up the dream job for which she’s worked so hard. Independence is something she’s spent years achieving. Eamon can start over so much easier than she can—why shouldn’t he make the sacrifice this time?
But Eamon doesn’t much relish leaving the life he’s been building in Los Angeles—and he really doesn’t like ultimatums. At an impasse, goodbye seems the only direction to go. Ending it is the right thing to do…or the biggest mistake they ever made.
ALWAYS by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2008 Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing
“I’m not ready for this discussion. For this step, Caitlin. I feel very deeply for you. There’s no other woman in my life. There hasn’t been since December before last. But I have a condo and a business in Los Angeles and you have a job in Seattle. What do you propose we do about that?”
“Not ready? You can’t claim you didn’t know this was coming. I’ve brought it up multiple times. As for what I propose to do about our different situations? Nothing if you’re not ready to think about it. Which you clearly aren’t. I can’t be the source of panic in your life. I don’t want to be a responsibility or a burden and I don’t want to be a decision you make rather than a choice.”
“What the feck does that mean? Decision is the same as choice.”
It settled into her with horrible and yet certain reality. She had to take a stand here, no matter the outcome. Once she’d finally said the words there was no going back.
“No it isn’t. I want you to choose to make your life work to be with me. I’m asking you to make a move to Seattle work. I’m asking you to be the one who makes the sacrifice and moves. That’s choice. A decision is what you do when you have to take care of an ailing parent. It’s borne from responsibility and duty. I want to be a choice. I want you to want to be with me and to make it happen.”
“But you want me to do all the work. Because some arsehole fucked you over, you won’t move for anyone now.”
She shook her head, shoving back her frustration, wanting him to hear her. To understand. “That’s not it and you know it. It may have been at another time. It may have been even a few months ago. I’m willing to make many sacrifices for you. But being reasonable here, let’s lay it out. We can both have dreams in Seattle. Your business has you traveling all around as it is. I did some research on Seattle’s environment for a small business like yours. It’s just as good as Los Angeles considering how international you are anyway. My job is specialized. There aren’t a lot of openings for what I do. Add to it the fact that Washington doesn’t have reciprocity, meaning I’d have to go through the bar prep all over and essentially start from zero in another state without contacts when I have my dream job here. When you weigh that, my staying and you moving makes sense.”
“So now you’re making a spreadsheet about my life? So you can have me in Seattle? Because you think you love me?”
She touched his face. “I know I love you. I’ve known for months. But love isn’t everything, Eamon. It’s not enough.” She leaned in and kissed him softly.
“What does that mean?”
“After tomorrow, once we get back home it’s over. This isn’t enough for me. I need more. I deserve a man who’ll choose to be with me.”
“What? This is ridiculous. You say you love me and then you break up with me? All because I won’t give up my life to be with you? You knew from the beginning that I was based in LA.”
“I did.” She slid back down into the bed. “If you think moving to Seattle would be giving up your life I really don’t want to be with you. I’ve felt that way and I never want the source of anyone else feeling it. Especially you. We can still be friends. I don’t want to lose that. I can’t imagine you not in my life in some way. But just friends. We’ll have one last, lovely day and then we’ll both move on.”
He got up and began to pace. She desperately wanted to cry but wouldn’t. She didn’t want him to feel guilty nor did she want to feel like her tears would manipulate him.
“How can you just spring this on me now?”
“Spring it on you? Eamon, that’s not fair. I’ve tried to talk to you about this multiple times over the last few months. You said yourself we’d talk here and then you changed the subject over and over. Would you rather I did it on the phone? Via email? At the airport tomorrow? When is the right time to risk yourself and tell someone you love them and want more?”
“You’re giving me an ultimatum. That’s fucked up.”
She nodded. “I am and yes, it’s not fair. I’m sorry. I wish I could keep on this way but I realized as you were inside me just now, when I felt like I’d never been closer to any other person, that I can’t. I want all of you and I had to demand it since you wouldn’t just talk to me. I don’t want a hey let’s get together in two months and have sex for a week sort of relationship. Not with you. I love you. I want to be with you. I’m not trying to be unfair or unreasonable and yet, I can see why you think I am.”
“So you’ll let this go? Let us go on? Because I care about you. Deeply. More than I’ve ever felt for another woman and I don’t want to lose what we have.”
“No. I mean that part.”
He turned, his face plainly wearing the anger and frustration he felt. She knew he loved her, he didn’t need to say it back for her to know. But there had to be more.
She held her hand out. “Come back to bed. We’ll have this last day and when we go home, it’ll be as friends. Always that.”
“This is wrong, Cat.”
She sighed. “I’m sorry you feel that way. I don’t want to hurt you. We did this before and we came out just fine. We can do it again.”
“Five years ago I didn’t feel for you what I do now. You’re part of my life. I don’t want this.” He stalked back to the bed and grabbed her, hauling her against him and inside she broke at the knowledge this would be over in a day. He’d go back to his life, she to hers and there would be nothing else. For a moment, she considered relenting but she had to be strong.
His mouth was on hers, stealing her breath. His hands against her hips, fingers splayed, held her tight to his body as he continued to take from her with sweet, drugging kisses. She drowned in him and didn’t bother to try to save herself. She was already lost.
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