An all-new friends-to-lovers romance in Tessa Bailey’s Beach Kingdom series is coming next week, and we have the stunning cover, as well as a little sneak peek. This is Andrew and Jiya’s story.
Jiya looked up and found Andrew watching her intently. “What is this, Andrew?”
“We’re dancing,” he rasped, his gaze slightly unfocused.
“You’ve never danced with me like this before.”
His gaze strayed to her lips, before he resolutely dragged them away. “Do you want to stop?”
“No and that’s the problem.” Come on, Mrs. I Don’t Play Games Anymore, bring up the elephant in the room. It’s not going away. “You’ve been different with me lately. Is it…” She took two bracing breaths. “Is it because I’m dating?”
He started to deny it, then changed his mind. “Might be. Yeah. I know that’s fucked up,” he said. “You’ve always been min—my best friend. We won’t have this if you start dating someone seriously. If you…”
“Get married?” His complexion turned gray. “Mmm.” Cement caked her insides, but she was used to it by now. She’d loved Andrew since she was a child. She’d waited patiently for him to love her back—as more than a friend—and he hadn’t. He’d done nothing about it. So while she yearned to dissect his every word and rejoice in them, ached for what he was feeling, she couldn’t do it anymore without being a fool. “Ask me the question, Andrew. The one you ask me every night.”
A line formed between his brows. “Can I do anything for you, Jiya?”
“Yes.” She took his face in her hands. “You can stay my friend. No matter what happens. Fine, things are changing in my life. But I couldn’t bear it if I ever lost what we have. Just stay my friend. Promise me.”
His jaw bunched. “You know I’d cut my heart out before saying no to you, right?”
“Then you have your answer.” He wet his lips. “But we’re finishing the dance.”