“And this is how rumors get started. No! No one is pregnant. Well, at least I’m not.” I throw my hands up in the air.

“Not yet,” Viola says with a laugh. She couldn’t even keep a straight face when she said it.

“Don’t you dare jinx me!” I give her evil eyes but they don’t faze her anymore. She’s one hundred percent immune.

Travis starts chatting with Logan and Jackson and the next thing I know we’ve all eaten and drank way too much. I’m so full it hurts to laugh.

“I probably need to let Buddy out,” I say, excusing myself. Kayla comes running up behind me and we walk inside together. I crack open the door to my room and see that Buddy is sound asleep, laid out across my bed. “Buddy, outside?” He lazily lifts his head and drops it back down. “We’re going to the dog park more often.”

We walk in the room and Kayla goes to him and kisses his head and pets him. He wags his tail, but he’s looking at her like she’s ruining his doggy sleep.

“Sure you don’t want to go outside?” I ask again with a laugh. “Guess that’s a no.”

Before we walk out of my room, Kayla stops me. “So, about Tyler.”

“Single. Rookie. Runner. And come to think of it, I don’t really know much about him. I’ll have to ask Drew since he spends so much time with him.”

She’s smiling. “He asked me to go out to dinner tomorrow night.”

“And?” I light up.

“I said yes, because why not?”

“Awesome. So, I guess Logan is out of the picture?” She hasn’t mentioned him in a while.

“We had coffee the other night. He basically told me it wasn’t the right time for him, but there’s just something that draws me to him.”

“All I can say is don’t give up then. If I would’ve given up on Drew, no telling where we’d both be right now. I know it’s hard to have patience, and I don’t know what’s going on with him, but I honestly don’t think he’s seeing anyone else. I don’t think it’s anything like that and Drew is sealed tight when it comes to Logan, so I can’t help you there.”

She gives me a big hug. “I don’t know. I think I’m going to date other guys and try to move on from him. I feel like a stupid lovesick teenager or something because we’ve not even kissed. I’m ridiculous.”

“You’re not. You’re just being human.”

Buddy pushes his head under the pillow to block out the light and we take that as our hint. I shut the door and we walk down the hallway and everyone is crowded in the living room. Travis walks in with a silver tray full of the leftover meat and wraps it before setting it into the fridge. Jackson follows behind him carrying a bag of trash from the mess outside.

“We cleaned up. It’s time to open presents,” Viola says, clapping her hands together. I almost think she’s more excited than Drew.

He sits at the table like a kid. “You all really didn’t have to do this. I know how busy everyone is, and I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.”

I place my hand on his shoulder and squeeze as he reaches for the present from Viola and Travis. Drew shakes the box and looks over at them. Travis’ arm is wrapped around Viola and they are both beaming.

Drew rips the paper off the box and opens it and smiles big as he pulls out a new pair of running shoes. “Guys, you didn’t.”

Travis chuckles. “Yeah, we did. It’s time you get rid of those stinky sneakers you’ve been running in for the past five years.”

“Thank you,” Drew says.

I whisper a thank you to Viola and Travis and they smile really big.

The next present is in a plain gift bag. Tyler is smiling.

Drew opens it and pulls out a pocketknife. “Thanks, Tyler. This is awesome.”

Drew’s name is engraved on the side and I know he’ll get tons of use out of it. He continues opening gifts and laughs when he opens Kayla’s and its treats and toys for Buddy. I lean over and give him a hug and whisper in his ear. “You’ll get a gift from me tonight.”

He pulls me around and kisses me and I turn and see one last gift on the table. It’s in a small box with a ribbon and I remember setting it there with the others. I grab it and hand it to him. “This one’s from Jackson.”

Jackson shakes his head. “No, ma’am. I found that in the mailbox and grabbed it.”

I look at Drew, confused. On the side is an address label with Drew’s name on it. He shrugs and opens it and now we’re all confused when he pulls out a small piece of plastic.


Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic
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