“Is it safe?” I tilt my lips up slightly.

“I won’t break,” he insists.


He pats his palm on the bed next to him.

“I don’t want to hurt you, though,” I say, hesitating.

“Trust me. The only thing keeping me going the past couple of days was knowing I’d get to see your beautiful face and kiss your soft lips.”

“Well, I see the accident didn’t affect your ability to charm.”

“It’d take a lot more than that.” He winks.

I give in and sit on the edge of the bed next to him, careful to keep my distance.

“I know we should probably talk,” I begin, “but when you’re feeling better. You should be resting so you can get back to your cocky-ass self.”

“Let’s talk now,” he insists, pushing himself up higher on the pillows, but I can tell by the way he cringes that his body is still sore.

I shake my head. “When you feel better, we will. You’re all drugged up on pain meds.”

“It doesn’t have to wait, I’m fine,” he tries to brush off the pain, but I can see right through his bullshit.

“Really?” I give him a pointed look. “How many elements are in the periodic table?”

He furrows his brows. “Seventy-five?”

“Wrong. It’s one hundred and fourteen!” I respond confidently. “See, you’re not in the right state of mind.”

He leans his head back and laughs. I watch as his throat moves and think about the last time we were together in his bed. “To be fair, I wouldn’t know the answer to that question, either way, you little nerd.”

I narrow my eyes at him and hold back a smile.

“Look at us—having an actual conversation without arguing,” he says, covering his hand over mine.

“Don’t get cocky,” I tease. “When the drugs are all out of your system, you’ll be back to pissing me off, I’m sure.”

“I can do that while I’m on drugs,” he mocks.

I laugh because this is the first time in years Travis and I have had a normal conversation.

“Glad to see nothing’s changed then.”

“Princess, come on. I might be bruised in places I didn’t even know could bruise, and my ribs might be fractured and hurt like a motherfucker, but I can see the questions written all over your face. So, just ask me. You know you can ask me anything.”

I pull my lips into my mouth and exhale through my nose. “Fine. Why was Mia naked in your backseat?”

“Going right for the jugular,” he teases.

Maybe I shouldn’t have blurted that out.

“Never mind.” I start shifting off the bed.

“Wait…Viola, please don’t go,” he pleads, and I wait. “There’s a lot we need to talk about. I’ve been lying in bed the last week, and the physical pain is nothing compared to having you walk away from me, knowing I can’t chase you.”

“Then just tell me, because the thought of you with someone else makes me sick.”

“Viola, it’s not what you’re thinking.”

I exhale, staring intently at him. “So, girls just magically end up naked in the backseat of your car?”

“Well, I recall you in the backseat of my car not so long ago…” He smirks, and I hate that the memory sends shivers down my spine. “But why don’t you ask me what you really want to know.”

Heat rushes through me, and I’m too scared to ask if they had sex. The truth is, I want to know everything, every detail. But I’m afraid it will break my heart into a million little pieces, and I’m not sure if I can handle that again.

I shrug, not sure where to even start. I like this side of Travis—sweet and vulnerable, even though I know it won’t last long. “I don’t think I can handle knowing right now.”

“You want to know for the same reason I wanted to punch Axel’s face in.”

“Andrew,” I correct.

He rolls his eyes. “So, just say whatever it is you’re so busy overthinking about.”

I slide farther onto the bed, leaning my back against the wall and crossing my legs. “Which part? Why you were in such a shitty mood when you got home from work? Why did you even leave the house? Why wouldn’t you talk to me? How did you end up out of the city, with Drew’s crazy ex-girlfriend? I mean, I don’t even know if I want to know the answers to the questions swirling around in my mind.”

“And why she was naked in the backseat of my car?” He arches a brow, knowing damn well it’s driving me insane.

“Well, I can do the math in my head,” I say shyly, bowing my head because I don’t think I’m strong enough to hear it.

“You really think that?” I hear the pain in his voice, and I cringe at the way his words cut through me.

“Well, your track history isn’t very promising. Like when you asked my friend, Heather McNeil, out and promised her a good time, only to ditch her at the movie theater when you ran into Betsy St. Clair and ended up making out with her in the parking lot.”

Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic
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