“Yeah, just a minute,” I call out, needing to find some clothes first. I rush through my bags and slip on a pair of old pajama bottoms and one of Drew’s old basketball shirts. “Okay.”

He opens the door and wrinkles his nose, looking around. “Smells girly in here.”

“You mean it smells clean in here? You’re just used to it smelling like sweaty balls and old shoes.”

“Please, Viola,” he says sarcastically, pressing a hand to his chest. “I prefer the term athletic scent.”

I snort. “You can prefer it all you want, but your room reeks like old man dick.”

He laughs and wraps his arms around me. “I knew I missed you.”

“Of course you did.” I smile. “I missed you, too.”

“Sorry to come home early and ruin your sleeping arrangements,” he says, shuffling his things around. I freeze, wondering if he’s talking about Travis.

“My sleeping arrangements?” I ask. Does he know I snuck back into his room last night?

“Yeah, I mean, sleeping here. I can dig up my old air mattress out of the basement if you want? Sleeps better than that damn couch,” he says, rubbing a kink out of his neck.

“Oh,” I remark. “Whatever, I’ll be fine.”

I bite my lip to keep the grin off my face. Hell, if only he knew.

No. He can never know.

“So did things smooth out between you two? Last I heard, Travis was pissed you stayed out all night and brought home some random guy from the bar?”

I face him and scowl. “Don’t get all big brother on me. I’m allowed to go out, you know.”

“Perhaps,” he says, his shoulders rising and falling. “But to me, you’re still my nine-year-old little sister who peed in the Millers’ pool.”

I gasp, laughing and lunging toward him. “You’re such an ass!”

He laughs and shifts his body just in time so only our shoulders collide. “What about you? You’re the one who peed on an electric fence!”

His head falls back as he lets out a roar of laughter. “Shit, I forgot about that.” His hand instinctively covers his crotch. “That fucking hurt.”

As I gather my stuff, I grab my phone off the nightstand and see an unread message from Travis. I tell Drew I’m going to get into the shower and walk out before he sees the guilt written all over my face.

Once I’m in the bathroom, I lock the door behind me and swipe the screen on my phone.

I couldn’t fall back asleep without you next to me. I’m so fucking tired. But it was so damn worth it.

My face flushes, and I know I’m blushing like an idiot. Sorry, Casanova. If it makes you feel any better, looks like I’m out on the air mattress from now on.

It takes less than a few seconds for his response to come through. He’s making you sleep on the air mattress?! What the hell. You can take my bed. I’ll take the couch.

No, that’ll look suspicious! We can’t act any different than we normally do or he’ll know something’s up.

Oh, so now you’re the one embarrassed by me?

Okay, I deserved that.

No, actually. I was super tired this morning. I didn’t mean to overreact.

Wait a minute. Did hell just freeze over?


Did you just admit to overreacting to a situation? Viola, is this really you?

I bite my lip and chuckle. A sense of contentment floods over me. Travis knows me inside and out. He knows all my quirks, my habits, my body language. He’s taking over my heart again and the thought of that scares me.

Yes, it’s me, you idiot!

Okay, that sounds more like you.

Ha ha. I’m getting in the shower now.

Don’t forget your vibrator this time.

I laugh and set my phone back down. Damn him.

He really has shown me a different side of him, but that doesn’t mean I trust him. In fact, the whole thing with Alyssa still doesn’t sit well with me.

Once I’m showered and dressed, I meet Drew out in the living room. He’s pacing, and I know something’s on his mind.

“You all right?” I ask, softly, knowing it’s probably a stupid question to ask. “I mean, considering…”

“You mean, considering my girlfriend threw all my shit out, tossed me out in the middle of the night, and now won’t answer my texts or calls?”

I pinch my lips together, holding back what I really want to say. “Yeah, that.”

He shrugs, his face tense. The stubble over his jaw lets me know he hasn’t shaved in a couple days. Things must not have been getting better like he said. I see the wrinkles forming in his forehead and the black circles under his eyes. He hasn’t slept.

“Want to go get some breakfast?” I ask, changing the subject. He looks like he needs a distraction. Hell, I could use a distraction, too.

“Sure, let’s go, little sis.”

After we pick up my car from Good Times, we end up at IHOP where we both order the big breakfast. Pancakes, eggs, ham, hash browns, toast, and of course, a little fruit bowl. Our table looks like two people who haven’t eaten in a week.

Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic
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