This scene takes place when Ash and Camila are teenagers. They met while they were both on vacation in Barcelona. Soon afterwards, Ash stands up for Camila when her cousin insults her, but he ends up cutting his hand and needs stitches, so Camila takes him to the hospital.
I love how vulnerable they both are in this scene. Ash is a rugby player, but he's still a virgin who's a little insecure about his lack of experience with girls. Camila isn't used to guys treating her very well and has started to believe the horrible things they say about her. These few moments together after the fight give them both the opportunity to see themselves differently and to start falling in love. Enjoy!
Terrified, Camila stayed with him the whole journey and throughout the long wait to see a doctor. When he was taken into a treatment bay, she came and sat on the hospital bed next to him as the doctor stitched him up. She couldn’t bear to be separated from him. Couldn’t bear not to touch him. She laid her hand on his knee and gave him a squeeze that was intended to reassure herself as much as him. Her whole body trembled from the shock. She’d seen fights before, so that wasn’t what left her feeling catatonic.
He’d stood up for her. He’d risked himself to prove that she mattered. That she was better than those things Sergio had said.
“The only person who’s ever stood up for me like that is my brother Gabriel.”
He gave her a sharp look. “Has he had to stand up for you a lot?”
She hadn’t intended to say what she’d said out loud, so she didn’t really know how much more to reveal about herself, her family. “A few times. But I try to do it for him, too, because he gets the same crap I do.”
“What crap is that?”
She glanced at him in surprise before the truth hit her. “Don’t you speak Spanish?”
“Just a couple words.”
“Oh. The way you reacted back there, I thought you understood what Sergio said to me.”
The doctor pushed the needle into part of his arm that apparently hadn’t been numbed, because he winced and watched the doctor work for a few seconds. Blood had never made her queasy before, but seeing his did. She tried to focus on the strong line of his jaw as he answered. “I didn’t understand his words, but I could read your body language perfectly well. Whatever he said, he deserved a good kicking.”
She swallowed hard. “I agree. I just wish I could’ve been the one who gave it to him.”
He tugged her closer and pressed his lips against her temple, murmuring, “I’m sure you could. Thank you for letting me take care of it this time, though. Made me feel all manly and tough. Intimidating.”
Her body shook as a snort of laughter escaped her, and the anger and fear began melting away. Not just the bad emotions Sergio had sparked in her tonight, but the ones that had gathered in her gut her whole life. This guy—the one who spent his days sitting on a towel talking to his buddy about girls and a sport with weird, dirty-sounding vocabulary she couldn’t even begin to understand—he’d stood up for her and shown her she mattered.
She snuggled closer and stared up at him as her body flushed hotly with true, genuine desire. Not lust, and not the desire to fit in—the kind of desire that had led her into boys’ arms before. No, this was warmth and passion and appreciation all rolled into a sweet, fiery package that unfurled inside her. “I don’t think you have any problems with manliness, Ash.”
“You don’t?” He kept his voice light and teasing, but she could hear the insecurity behind it.
“No,” she whispered. She tilted her head and swayed closer. Ash met her halfway, gently settling his lips on hers. Teasing her. Tasting her. He tasted amazing. Not like cheap beer or chewing tobacco but just like…like a sweet, tender guy with his own hang-ups.
One thing he didn’t need to have any hang-ups about was his ability to kiss. Dear God in heaven, the boy could kiss...