“I drove around for a bit then went to Jax and Ellie’s.”

“You did?” I whisper in disbelief, and his face softens.


“He and I are good. He knows how I feel about you, and I needed his advice on how to proceed. You’re not exactly an open book.”

“Oh, Lord,” I groan. “I can only imagine what he said to you.”

“Nothing bad. He told me to get over myself, that I’m the first man you have ever been serious about and I need to give you time to adjust to us being an us.”

“That’s good advice.” I nod, and he shakes his head in denial.

“I don’t think so,” he mutters, dropping his forehead to rest against mine. “I want all of you. Your mind, your soul, and most importantly your heart. I want every breath you take to be for me. I want to imprint myself into your skin so you’ll crave me like a drug and never want to be without me.”

“I think you may be crazy,” I cut in, studying the sincerity in his eyes. He really does want that from me, and the scary thing is, I think I already feel that way about him.

“I’m in love with a woman who has made me crazy.”

“You’ve made me crazy too,” I say quietly, and his face moves closer to mine.

“No more fighting about the things that don’t matter. We have enough to deal with without fighting each other.”

“You need to take your own advice.”

“I’ll try,” he agrees, kissing me once more. “Now let’s go eat, I’m starving.”

“Okay,” I agree, letting him lead me out of the house to his car that is parked in the driveway.

Once we are both in and buckled, he backs out of the drive and heads down one street after another, out of my subdivision, with his hand wrapped around my jean-covered thigh while his fingers stroke my skin through one of the many holes in the material.

“You’re going to make that tear enormous if you keep doing that.” I place my hand over his, catching him smile out of the corner of my eye. Running my fingers over the top of his hand, I watch the screen on his dash light up, announcing that he has a call, and my body freezes when I see the she-bitch-from-hell’s name pop up, catching me off-guard.

“Fuck me,” he mutters, pressing deny on the call after the second ring.

“Why is she calling you?”

“Probably because her parents have been calling and I’ve not answered their calls.” I try to take a few breaths before I speak, because I don’t want to sound like a crazy woman when I do talk, but seriously, what the hell?

“Why are her parents calling you?” Okay, good, that came out sounding halfway normal and not screeched at the top of my lungs like it did in my head.

“Are you ready to talk about her and me?”

God, am I? I don’t think so, but I really need to understand what the hell is going on.

“I’m taking that as a no,” he mutters, sounding disappointed.

“Are you close with her family?” I question, figuring that’s a safe place to start.

“My brother and I lived with her parents after ours passed away,” he says, and my hand over his spasms. Flipping his palm upright, his fingers lace with mine and his thumb rubs gently over the rapid pulse in my wrist.

“What about your grandparents?”

“My grandfather passed the year before my parents, and my grandmother had been in the hospital for a while with dementia and passed away my second year of college.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It was a long time ago,” he says softly, but I still catch the twinge of pain in his tone.

“Maybe, but I’m still sorry.” I squeeze his fingers. “How did you end up with her parents?”

“My mom and her mom were sorority sisters in college and opened a law practice after they graduated. They were in our lives since I can remember.”

“You didn’t have any other family?” I ask softly as he pulls up in front of the pizza place and parks diagonally in one of the empty spots.

“My dad has a brother, but he didn’t have the ability to take two teenaged boys on. His plate was full with his wife and three girls, and my mom didn’t have any siblings. Her parents were older, much older when they had her, and they weren’t in a place where they could take us in either.”

“So her family took you and your brother in?”

“Yeah, the Trent’s were our saving grace. They lived close, so we didn’t have to change schools or make any huge adjustment. They were like family to us.”

“And they were okay with you dating their daughter?” That is something I find hard to believe. There is no way my dad would be okay with me dating a boy who lived under the same room as me. No way in hell.

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