I knew this was bound to happen. The Maysons are close. I knew this before, from stories June would tell me when we first got together, and then learned it firsthand when I moved to town. The difference between those times and now is that before, I had to suffer hearing about June and what she was up to secondhand from her uncles and cousins, and even her dad a couple times. Now, they know we’re together, and know we had been very fucking together, as in married, before. I don’t expect tonight to go well. The men in her family, just like her cousin Sage, who I’m still pissed at, are protective. I know this isn’t just a get-together. This is them wanting to see first hand June and I together.

“Do you want me to tell them we can’t go?” Feeling her hands on my chest, my gaze moves to her. I was so caught up in my thoughts, I didn’t even realize she had closed the distance between us.

“No, baby,” I mutter, wrapping my fingers around her hips.

“Are you sure? I don’t mind.”

“I’m sure,” I say on a squeeze. Her eyes search my face. Her mouth opens and closes, as if she wants to say something before thinking better of it, and then she lays her cheek to my chest, wrapping her arms tighter around my waist.

“It will be fun, I promise.”

“Not sure about that, baby.”

Her head tilts back and her bottom lip disappears between her teeth once more. “We don’t have to go.”

“Do you love your family?” I ask, and her face softens when she nods. “Then we do. I’m not going to let us have them between us.” I know she knows what I’m saying. I should have done so much shit differently before, but this time, I’m not going to make the same mistakes.

“We can leave early if it becomes…” She pauses, giving me a small smile. “Intense.”

Ignoring her comment, I pull her closer, until her body is pressed the length of mine, and breathe against her mouth “You can make it up to me tonight.”

“I can do that,” she replies, leaning even closer.

“What do you want, baby?” I smile down at her, watching her eyes slide half-mast.

“You to kiss me,” she murmurs, pressing closer, rolling up onto her toes, but still not close enough to reach my mouth. Sliding my arm around her waist, I haul her up and drop my mouth to hers, kissing her until I hear her moan then rip my mouth away and rest my forehead against hers, breathing in through my nose in an attempt to get myself under control.

“Let’s cancel,” she says, and my eyes open, meeting hers.

“Go get ready,” I say with a laugh, standing to my full height. “I’m gonna feed Ninja.”

“I’m really okay with not going,” she insists, sliding her hands up my chest to the back of my neck, putting pressure there.

“Baby, as much as I want to fuck you—and I really do want to fuck you right now—I can’t,” I mutter, clasping her wrists and pulling them from behind my neck.


“Go get ready.” I kiss her swiftly then move away a step before I toss her over my shoulder and take her to bed, which is what I really fucking want to do, especially when she’s looking at me with heavy eyes, her nipples hard through her thin tank, and her lips swollen from my kiss. “Baby,” I growl.

Her eyes widen, as she says, “I’m gonna go get ready.”

“Good idea.” I grin, watching her ass sway as she takes off toward the bedroom.


“Here,” Sage says, holding out a beer to me while folding his body into the chair next to mine. Since our blow up, we haven’t spoken unless it has had to do with work. I’m still pissed about the shit he spewed, even if I do understand it.

Taking the beer, I mumble, “Thanks,” and move my eyes to where June is standing with her mom.

“Look,” Sage starts, and my eyes move from June to him. I watch him sit forward, putting his elbows to his knees. “I know you love her, and you’re still breathing, which means we all know you love her,” he says, and I raise a brow and his eyes narrow. “I’m trying to apologize.”

“Is that what that was?”

“I’m not going to say sorry for worrying about her.”

“You accused me of setting her up in order to get her back,” I remind him quietly, working to hold my temper in check. I don’t need to get into a fistfight with him in June’s parents’ backyard with her family in attendance.

“Yeah, that was fucked. I didn’t mean it, but seriously, you’re so fucking secretive with everything.”

“Have I ever left you hanging or put you in danger?” I ask, and he shakes his head. “I’m not the kind of guy to sit around and spew out my life story to anyone.”

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