“You keep asking me to show you the real me, all of me, even when he’s been here the whole time,” Ashe began. “You keep insisting you need to see the man that I used to be when I was with her, even when the man that I am now is the man I want to be. I’ve been made a better man by your love, but that doesn’t seem to satisfy you.”
Riley looked up, her blue eyes meeting his as her brow furrowed. How beautiful she was in the early morning light that filtered through the blinds, he thought. Ashe brought his hands up to her neck, his fingers curving at her nape, his thumbs stroking her jaw.
“This is me, and this is who I am with you. I will never be any other man but this.” Ashe bent his head and kissed her, just brushing his lips against hers before pulling away. “I would rather let you go than destroy you more than I already have, and I’d rather sell my soul to the devil than show you the man that I was: arrogant and cruel because I didn’t know then what I really wanted. That part of my past will remain in the past, even if it means not having you in my future.”