Troy woke to the sunlight beaming from the wrong side of the room. He was definitely not in his own bed. Before the thought fully registered, he felt the unmistakable dead weight of Melissa’s body resting on top of his.
Oh crud. He didn’t want to admit to himself that he had slept with Melissa, but… he had slept with Melissa. In his arms. On top of him. She was still on top of him, thankfully fully dressed. If they hadn’t been fully dressed, he might have done the unthinkable. He might have rolled her over and—okay, he needed to go home right now.
The noise that escaped his throat was almost a whimper and the sound—and his uncomfortable shifting underneath her—woke Melissa and she snuggled closer.
He’d never felt anything so incredible in his life. He’d never felt more tortured in his life. He’d never felt his willpower so tested in his life.
“Melissa,” Troy whispered. “I need to go home.”
“Okay…” She settled onto his body and he groaned.
“You’re on top of me.”
A soft, involuntary smile played across Melissa’s full lips and she hitched her leg up and wrapped herself around him.
“No, no, no.” Troy slid out from under her, dropping Melissa onto the sofa, startling her awake.
“Oh my gosh, what are you still doing here?” Melissa’s question was laced with panic.
“We fell asleep.” Troy scrambled to get away from her before he climbed back on that couch and kissed her until he couldn’t see straight, or worse. He didn’t need to have any experience to know there was only one way to make this pain go away and that was not an acceptable scenario. “I need to leave right now.”
“When will I see you again?” The vulnerability in her words reminded him that he’d disappeared for several days twice since they started dating. Her concern was justified.
“Soon, I promise,” he said, kneeling on the floor beside the couch, his body calming down now that he didn’t have the woman he loved draped all over him. “I want to take you over to see my parents and I want you to come to church with me, and I want to go to church with you. We need to know more about each other before we jump into marriage. Because to me, marriage is for life. Divorce is not an option.”
“Divorce isn’t an option for me either.” Melissa reached up and laid her hand on Troy’s cheek. While he turned his head so that he could inhale the essence of her wrist, she continued, “But… uh… in my religion, marriage can be forever.”
“That is definitely a difference in interpretation of doctrine,” Troy said, kissing the inside of her wrist and seriously reconsidering climbing back on that couch. “Matthew twenty-two, thirty states that in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage.”
Melissa sighed and gripped his face tighter. “Yet in Matthew sixteen, nineteen, it states that whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. And in Mark ten, nine, what therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”
“I would very much like to be joined together with you.” Troy’s breathing increased as he leaned into her hand and closed his eyes.
“Eternal marriage was taught by a modern-day prophet,” Melissa whispered.
“Another point of doctrine on which we disagree.” Troy gave up trying to be strong and crushed his lips to Melissa’s, climbing back up on the couch and pulling her into his arms.
She intertwined her legs with his and gripped her hands into his hair, her passion dissolving Troy’s willpower.
“Okay, guys, time to come up for air,” Jamie said from the doorway to the living room.
Troy fell off the couch and landed on the floor, glad for the plush carpet, and for the interruption. He startled out of his daze and glanced up sheepishly at Melissa’s cousin.
“Melissa and I need to get to our jobs, and I’m sure there’s a field somewhere that has a tractor you’re supposed to be sitting on.”
“A… a field, tractor, right. I’m sure there’s something I’m supposed to be doing right now.” Troy sat there on the floor a moment more, trying to regain his bearings.
Melissa hung her face off the side of the couch with a cheesy grin. “Sorry.”
Troy leaned close and spoke next to her ear. “Probably shouldn’t talk about scriptures together until we’re married.”
“Probably a good idea.” Melissa kissed his cheek and Troy turned his head, capturing her mouth again.
“Troy, get out of my house!” Jamie called playfully.
“Yes, ma’am.” Troy scrambled away from Melissa and hurried over to the door, yanking on his shoes without fully tying the laces. He glanced one more time over at Melissa, who was still lying on the couch. “Goodbye, my love.”
“Get out!” Jamie pointed at the door.
Troy was still grinning as he stepped onto the porch, adjusting his clothes and tucking in the parts of his shirt that had gone askew. Trying unsuccessfully to shove thoughts of their kiss out of his mind, Troy looked up to see his brother Craig standing beside his truck with an angry scowl and arms crossed over his chest. Oops.
Book Club Discussion Questions: Interesting topic of conversation. Divorce is another thing that would get Troy excommunicated from his church, however unlikely that would be for these two. Mute point since he's going to be excommunicated if he marries her. Poor Troy. Sorry, not really a question per se. Just a topic of conversation.