“Hi, Josh.”

“How are you?” he asks, tucking his hands into the front pockets of his jeans.


“Really good, and you?”

“Good, good.” He nods then looks around the table, smiling at everyone and saying hi. “My mom and I are actually moving to Knoxville next weekend.”

Okay, so maybe there were a few reasons why I stopped seeing him besides the fact he was annoying. He also lived with his mom and still had her cooking, doing his laundry, and cleaning up after him. She even filled his car up with gas when it needed it.

“That’s great.”

“Yeah, it really is.” He nods then tucks his hands farther into his pockets, making his shoulders shoot forward. “I was going to call you to see—”

“You’re not calling her,” Dillon cuts in, and I hear someone, probably Michelle, giggle.

“Uh… what?” Josh frowns, pulling his eyes from me to look at Dillon.

“You’re not calling her. There’s nothing for you two to talk about. Now, if you could step away from the table, we’re in the middle of dinner,” Dillon continues, and my shoulders stiffen. I couldn’t care less about Josh, but there is no reason for him to be so harsh.

“Oh. Yeah, sorry about that. I didn’t think.” He looks at me, and I give him a weak smile, because I have no idea what else to do. “See you around.”

“You won’t,” Dillon mutters. “Bye,” I say, watching him move back through the restaurant.

“You know Ash has dated a lot, right?” Jax asks, and I turn to look at my brother, wondering where the hell he’s going with that statement. “You gonna do that to all of her exes?” He lifts his chin in the direction Josh just left.

“Maybe.” Dillon shrugs, and I bite the inside of my cheek. Feeling eyes on me, I turn to look at Michelle, who is sitting next to Ellie, and they both have bright smiles on their faces.

“You’re gonna be busy,” Jax says quietly, wrapping his arm around Ellie, who rolls her eyes but cuddles into him.

“I know,” Dillon says, and my insides twist.

“I’ve had enough of that to last a lifetime,” Luka puts in, and Michelle turns to glare at him. “Just sayin’, baby. You and Ash have run the men in this town through the ringer.”

“Excuse me?” Michelle voices my question, but he’s right. I’ve dated a lot, probably too much, but what was I supposed to do? How else is a girl supposed to find the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with? I can’t help that most every guy is an idiot.

Feeling fingers trail lightly down the skin of my back, I turn my eyes to Dillon, seeing his worried ones looking back at me. I don’t know if he’s worried I’m pissed, or that Luka is right. Leaning closer, he presses a kiss to my ear and whispers, “Mine,” sending a shiver down my spine and making me wonder if it’s wrong that the one word turns me on. I don’t have time to think about it for too long. Our meals arrive, and I use eating as an excuse to ignore the feeling in my chest.

Standing outside the restaurant saying goodbye to everyone an hour and a half later, I give out hugs then let Dillon lead me to his car and help me inside. Once I’m in, I buckle up and turn to watch him fold his tall, lean frame behind the wheel.

“I need to stop at my house and grab some stuff,” he states, starting up the car and putting on his seatbelt without looking at me.

“Okay,” I agree softly as we pull out into traffic. I have no idea what to say to him or how I feel. We didn’t really talk at dinner after the whole Josh thing. I don’t know if I’m mad at him for how he acted, or happy he feels so possessive over me. If you would have asked me three months ago how I’d feel if a guy, any guy, went caveman and basically pissed on my leg, I would have told you I’d hate it, but with Dillon my emotions are totally jumbled.

“What the hell?” I squint through the dark and blink when I see a For Sale sign planted in Dillon’s yard, close to the road. “You put your house up for sale?” I turn my body and eyes toward him.

“Yep,” is all he says as we park out front of his house, near the obnoxious fountain in the middle of the driveway. Shutting down the car, he gets out, slamming the door, then jogs around to my side, taking my hand and helping me out.

“You didn’t tell me you were putting your house on the market,” I accuse as he takes my hand and leads me up the steps toward the front door.

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