“Why…what am I doing here?”

His eyes run over my hair and face for a moment and he looks toward the door. “I came back last night and you were trashed,” he says with his eyes on the door while running his hand through his hair.


“I asked for a cab,” I tell him, and his gaze drops back down to me.

“I wanted to keep an eye on you. You were pretty out of it, and I didn’t want you to be alone if you got sick.”

“Oh,” I whisper, sitting back on my knees and wrapping my arms around my waist. This is awkward—or more than awkward, whatever that is.

“It’s not even six. Come back up here. You can get up in a bit,” he says quietly, and my eyes move around the room. It’s small, with a double bed, and a single dresser under a small window. There is nothing personalizing the space, but it’s clean and I see a bathroom off to the side.

“I should go. Do you mind if I use your bathroom before I do?”

His answer is a jerk of his chin, so I get up off the floor and head for the bathroom. Closing the door, I look at myself in the mirror above the sink. My image is distorted through the shattered glass. Raising my fingers to the broken mirror, I see blood imbedded between the broken pieces. Pain slices though me, along with understanding. I’m not sure what happened to Evan when he left, but the man I saw last night—the guy who spoke to Jordan like he would lay him out and not stop to check his pulse—isn’t the guy I fell in love with. This Evan is different. He’s scary and angry, and I can tell he’s fighting demons, but even with all that, I find myself wanting to soothe him.

Biting my lip, I turn on the water and splash my face to get rid of the tears that started to fill my eyes. I want to fix him, or hug him.

Yeah, because you’re a glutton for punishment and half-idiot! my mind screams.

Finding some toothpaste in the drawer, I use my finger as a brush, rinse out my mouth, and then take care of business before washing my hands and opening the door.

Evan is no longer in bed, but up and putting on a pair of jeans. His eyes come to me, and I brace myself, running my hands down my hair in an attempt to smooth it out. I don’t know what to expect from him anymore. He always seems to be in a rush to get away from me.

“Would you have breakfast with me?” he asks after a moment.

I hear the question, I know I do, but my mind is solely focused on his shirtless torso as he moves across the room to the dresser. He always had a great body, but now it’s bigger, stronger. There are muscles on top of muscles, and definition that wasn’t there before. I feel my face heat when he turns toward me. He’s beautiful. His body is a work of art, and I want to touch him. I want to know what it feels like to have his bearded face against my delicate skin. I want to know if the rough edges I see now are smooth to the touch.

“June.” My name in his coarse tone gets my attention, but when our eyes meet, it’s not anger he’s looking at me with. It’s raw, powerful, hungry possessiveness. My legs go weak, and I’m surprised I don’t topple over where I stand. He starts toward me, closing the distance between us. Realizing he’s coming at me, I back up and hit the wall with nowhere else to go.

One of his arms wraps around my waist while the other rests on the wall above my head. He’s still shirtless, so I feel every inch of his hot skin through the material of my thin dress as he presses me into the wall at my back.

“Back up,” I breathe, turning my head away from him, feeling his warm breath against my cheek and his hand slide up my waist, burning my skin as it moves.

“I can’t. You know I fucking can’t.” His fingers dig into my side and I squeeze my eyes tighter. “Look at me, June.”

“Back up,” I repeat as my pulse races, and tingles shoot through my system.

“Look at me, baby.” His voice is soft again as his hand moves to lock around my jaw.

“This isn’t a good idea,” I whisper the God’s honest truth as my eyes open to meet his. I may think he’s beautiful—I may even have at some point decided he needed a friend and that I was going to be that friend to him—but this isn’t a good idea. Him touching me, calling me baby, isn’t smart for either of us.

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