“We both should have done things differently.”

Her hand turns over under mine and she laces our fingers together. “I wasn’t ashamed of you, and I didn’t think you weren’t good enough for me. I don’t know what I was thinking back then, but that wasn’t it.”


“I know, baby,” I agree just as quietly, then listen to her laugh when Ninja sticks his head between us and rests his jaw on her shoulder, where it stays until we pull up in front of the cell phone store.

“I need to make a phone call. You go on in and I’ll be there in a minute,” I tell her, finding a spot in front of the double doors so I can watch her while I’m on the cell.

“You don’t need to come in. This shouldn’t take long,” she says, unhooking her belt and picking up her purse from the floorboard.

“I’ll be in,” I repeat, and she rolls her eyes as she exits the truck and heads into the store.

Picking up my cell, I press Send and put it to my ear. My brother called yesterday. We’re not close, we haven’t been for a long time. The year before I went into the military, he went to prison for possession of drugs with the intent to sell. His life was starting to look like my parents’, and I knew I wanted nothing to do with that shit. A month ago, he was released after serving his time. When we spoke a few days ago, he told me he was trying to figure out his life, and I told him if he stayed clean, he could stay with me.

Hearing the ringing go to voicemail, I watch June through the glass windows then mutter, “Fuck no,” when a guy moves from behind the counter with his eyes on her ass. I’m out of my truck telling Ninja to stay, and walking into the store before my brain even has a moment to catch up with where my feet are taking me.

“So the only difference is the front-facing camera?” I hear June ask, while inspecting the phone in her hand, flipping it back over, and studying the screen.

“No.” The fuckwad next to her smiles like she’s adorable and leans closer. “There are a lot of different features. The front-facing camera is just one of them.”

“I don’t know.” She bites her lip studying the phone. “I don’t really want to pay four hundred dollars for a phone that is basically the same one I had before, a phone I got for free when I signed my contract,” she states as I move to her side, and I watch the guy’s eyes move from the phone in her hand to her chest. I hear a growl and soon realize it’s me who’s growling.

His eyes fly to me and his Adam’s apple bobs. “Um…” He clears his throat, while I wrap my hand around June’s waist and pull her against me, keeping my stare locked on his.

“We’ll take the phone,” I declare, and I feel June looking at me, but I ignore her and grab my wallet out of my pocket, drop my hand from her waist, pull out my card, and hand it to him.

“You’re not paying for my phone,” she hisses, but I continue to ignore her, keeping my eyes on the man in front of me.

“Get one from the back and set it up. We’ll be here.”

“Um…” He swallows, looks between us, and then whispers, “Sure,” before disappearing, without another word, to the back of the store.

“Seriously, Evan?” Her hand goes to mine at her waist and attempts to pry my fingers free. “I may as well just get you a club to hit me over the head with.”

“Do you want me to be charged with assault?” I ask, dropping my eyes to meet hers.

“What?” She frowns, and I dip my face toward her then drop my eyes to her shirt.

“He checked out your ass when you walked in, your tits when I was standing next to you.”

“That’s not true,” she gripes, leaning forward.

“Baby, he fucking did, and that shit is not okay, especially when I’m standing right fucking next to you.”

“You’re being ridiculous. He was doing his job.” She waves me off.

Grabbing her wrist, I tug, forcing her to fall into me, then wrap my arms around her waist, hauling her even closer before dipping my mouth to her ear.

“I’m glad you don’t notice when a man is checking you out. I’m fucking thankful that you’re not the kind of woman who seeks out a man’s attention, but it doesn’t change the fact he was flirting with you and”—I give her a squeeze—“checking you out while I was standing right next to you.”

“The whole cave man act you got going on is annoying,” she whispers, leaning back and looking up at me.

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