I refuse to panic again. Panicking results in losing Jade. And I can’t afford to do that.

Releasing my hold on her face, I reach for her ass, curving my hands beneath it and lifting. She breaks the kiss first, staring up at me like I’ve lost my mind. “Put your legs around me,” I whisper.

When I lift her again her long, bare legs wrap around my hips, her feet digging into my ass. I grip the back of her thighs and press her into the door, rubbing my cock against her like an animal raring to fuck and her eyelids flutter when I make direct contact with her denim covered pussy.

“Feel that?” I thrust against her again, her lips falling open when I do, and she closes her eyes. “That’s what you do to me. Look at me, Jade.”

Her eyes pop open, hazy and full of hunger. Shifting closer, I press my mouth to hers, keeping my eyes open and she does the same. Slowly I shift my hips to hers and she moans, her eyes shutting again. I grip her chin. “Open your eyes.”

She does as I ask, blinking up at me.

“I’m sorry,” I whisper. “I was an idiot.”

Her perfect lips curve into the tiniest smile and my heart expands at the sight of it. “Yes, you are.”

“I need your forgiveness.” I touch her cheek, press my fingers to her mouth. She parts her lips, draws the tips of my fingers between them and when she starts to gently nibble them, I swear I see stars. I remove my fingers from her mouth before I completely lose it.

“I need to think about it,” she says and I kiss her before she can say anything else.

That’s enough for me. At least for now. I lose myself in the taste of her lips, the feel of her in my arms. I’m hard as steel, eager to tear off her clothes and fuck her but I can’t do it here, not in the bathroom of my frat house with a party raging on downstairs.

Talk about classless. Jade deserves more than that. She’s worth more than that.

“Come home with me,” I whisper against her lips.

She sucks in a breath and I pull away slightly so I can gauge her reaction. Her eyes are wide and she sinks her teeth into her lower lip in that innately sexy way she has. She drives me fucking crazy. “I don’t know…”

“I want you there. I want to be alone with you.” I lean in and whisper close to her ear. “I’m not going to fuck you against this door, Jade. I want to take you home so I can fuck you properly. In my bed.”

“You always say that,” she whispers.

“Because it’s true. You deserve so much more…” I clamp my lips shut, afraid I might say something that’ll ruin it. Like usual.

She’s trembling when I withdraw from her and I touch her face, press my hips to hers and wait for her answer.

“I’m scared,” she whispers.

Well, Christ. That’s the last thing I expected to hear her say.

“Why?” It’s what I did to her. She gives me a blowjob, makes me come like a geyser and I never contact her again. I’m a dick. I know this. I can’t explain why I ran like I did beyond offering up the scared explanation too.

But I can’t admit that to her, not now. She’d probably laugh at me.

“I’m not—” She releases a shuddery breath and tips her head down, her hair falling around her face, obscuring her from my view. “I’m not very good at this,” she admits in the barest whisper.

I frown. “At what?”

“At…sex.”

I don’t believe that for even a minute. “Are you serious?”

Her expression turns wounded. I swear she looks like she’s going to cry. “Don’t make fun of me.”

“I’m not,” I say quickly. Fuck, I’m walking a delicate line right about now. One wrong word and I could mess up everything. “It won’t be bad between us, Jade. I promise.” I lean in and press a light kiss to her lips. “It’ll be so fucking good you won’t ever want to leave my bed.”

She starts to laugh. “Awfully confident in your abilities, aren’t you.”

“Merely stating what I believe is true.” I kiss her again, my lips lingering, hers parting so I slip my tongue between them for the quickest moment. I need to convince her that this could work for us. “I’m not saying it’s going to be good because of me. It’ll be good between us because of…us. The connection we share.” I touch her. Cup her breast, run a thumb across the front of it, her nipple rising beneath the lace of her bra.

“I don’t know…” She sighs when I circle her nipple with my thumb, the sound going straight to my dick. “I don’t know if I can fully trust you, Shep.”

I go completely still, shame washing over me. I deserve that. “Let me prove it to you.”

“Prove to me what?” She’s frowning, her eyebrows draw together and damn it, I love every look she wears. When she’s happy, when she’s sad, when she’s mad, when she’s aroused, confused…

All of them. Every single one. I want every expression, every sound, every word she says. I want to know about all of them, I want to share these moments with her, I want them to be all for me and no one else.

Selfish. I sound like a selfish asshole and I’ve always been one. But I desperately want to be selfish with Jade. I want all of her. I need to convince her that I’m worthy to stand by her side. To be a part of her life.

“Prove that I’m worthy of you. That I can earn your trust back. That I’ll be there for you no matter what,” I tell her, noting the way her eyes go wide at my words. She probably doesn’t believe me.

I can’t wait to prove her wrong.

I got Jade the hell out of that frat house as fast as I could. She wanted to tell her roommate she was leaving and I could respect that. I didn’t much appreciate the dirty looks Kelli kept shooting my direction as Jade explained where she was going—my house—and who she was going with—me—but I figured I deserved those evil looks. After all, I’m the one who ditched her friend after an epic blowjob.

Meaning, I’m a complete idiot.

Thank Christ Joel wasn’t around when we made our escape. I didn’t want to deal with that kid. I’m still pissed at the way he kissed Jade right in front of me. Just fucking kissed her like he had the right to do so and holy hell, I’m seeing red just thinking about it.

“I have a question,” I say nonchalantly as we’re driving back to my house. It’s been oddly quiet the entire drive and I wonder if she’s having any regrets. I hope not.

“What is it?” she asks, sounding wary.

“You and Joel.” I take a deep breath, contemplating if I should ask her or not.

“Yes,” she answers before I can say another word. “I’ve had sex with Joel.”

What the fuck? This mind reading thing is freaky as hell. “You have.” My voice is flat and I exhale loudly, gripping the steering wheel.

“Yeah. We were together for months, Shep. I thought…” She shakes her head. “I sort of thought I was falling in love with him at one point, but I think I just liked the idea of being in love, not necessarily being in love with Joel, you know what I mean?”

I have no idea what she’s talking about. Liking the idea of being in love? I can hardly wrap my brain around it. All I can focus on is that Joel’s seen her naked. He’s touched her. He’s fucked her, the lucky bastard. I hate that he’s been with Jade in such an—intimate way that I haven’t.

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