“If I wanted to what?” I ask when he doesn’t say anything else.

He clears his throat. “I wanted to know if you’d like to uh, stay with me. For the summer. At my house.”

“Are you serious?” I squeak. No way can he be serious. We hardly know each other. I mean, okay yeah, we know each other, but it’s only been a month. It’s like he’s asking me to move in with him.

Which is insane. Insane. I can’t move in with him.

Can I?

Somehow we arrived at my dorm hall. He pulls into a parking spot and cuts the engine, turning to look at me. “I’m dead serious. I’ve been trying to work up the nerve to ask you all week but it never seemed to be the right time.” He shakes his head, looking irritated with himself. “Scratch that. More like I couldn’t work up the fucking nerve to ask you because I was afraid you’d tell me no.”

Aw. That is like the cutest admission ever. “Why did you think I’d tell you no?”

“Because you love to tell me no, Jade. I think that’s one of the things I like best about you. You’re not afraid to tell me how you really feel. You don’t fall for my crap like every other female I’ve encountered on campus. You’ve challenged me from the first second we’ve met and while I love that about you, it can also…scare the hell out of me.”

I start to laugh. “Are you saying I scare you?”

He nods, a slow smile curling his perfect lips. “Yeah. More than anything, the way I feel about you scares the fuck out of me.”

My laughter dies. “What do you mean?”

He cups my face with one hand, his thumb smoothing across my cheek. “You know I’ve never done this sort of thing before. That first moment when I touched you…when I kissed you…slipped inside you, I knew.”

My heart threatens to pound right out of my chest and gallop away down the street. “You knew what?”

“Exactly what I told my mom—that you’re the girl for me. No one else, just you.” He leans in and kisses me, his damp mouth lingering on mine, his tongue sneaking in for a quick tease. “I’m falling in love with you, Jade.”

Oh God. Did he really just say that? Did he just use the word love? Yes, yes he did. “Shep,” I whisper against his lips but he cuts me off, deepening the kiss, making me moan as I reach for him. But he breaks away before it can get any more out of control and falls back heavily against his seat.

“I can’t fucking believe I have to go work tonight.” He runs a hand through his hair, messing it up in that way I prefer. He is so sexy I can hardly stand it. I hate that he has to go to work, too. “I want you in my bed waiting for me. Are you sure I can’t convince you to go pack a bag and I’ll drop you off at my place?”

“Um…” I want to. I want to say yes to all of the above. There’s so much for us to discuss but he has to go and it really, really sucks. Talk about bad timing.

“Just say yes. We can talk when I get home. We can talk tomorrow before you have to go to work. Whatever. Just say yes, Jade.” He pauses, his dark gaze meeting mine. “Please.”

“Okay,” I whisper, unable to stop the smile from spreading on my face. I feel so giddy I swear I’m going to float right out of this car. “Yes.”

I can’t remember the last time I was this exhausted.

It’s more of a mental thing. If I wasn’t busy ignoring the texts from my mom insisting that we talk before they leave town, I was breaking up fights at various tables and kicking out people who claimed they were robbed after losing all their money. Gabe and Tristan were just as busy. The house was chaos, we had to kick out a few belligerent drunks and basically beg everyone to shut the fuck up before they called the cops on us.

The very last thing we wanted to deal with. What Tristan, Gabe and I are doing? Is totally fucking illegal. We could end up in jail. That is some serious shit.

Yet we keep on doing it.

Once we finally got the last person out of there, I raced home, anxious to slip into bed with Jade. I know we need to talk. There’s a lot to discuss. I admitted I was falling in love with her for Christ’s sake.

But damn, the only thing I want to do is hold my girl in my arms and fall asleep.

I left before Tristan but I know he’s right behind me so I hurriedly walk through the house, quietly entering my bedroom and locking the door behind me. The curtain that covers the sliding glass door is still open, letting in soft, silvery light from the moon. There’s a perfect lump lying dead center in the middle of my bed and I smile, reaching for the buttons of my shirt when I hear a soft voice say,

“Let me do that.”

Jade sits up, letting the sheet fall to her waist, revealing her naked chest to my gaze. My heart stutters in my chest as she leans forward, the sheet slipping off her naked body as she crawls toward the edge of the mattress on her hands and knees.

Oh, fuck. Guess I’m not going to sleep anytime soon.

She rears up on her knees in front of me, her hair a haphazard mess around her head, her body on blatant display. My gaze bounces everywhere, too many good parts for me to look at and she reaches for the front of my shirt, slowly undoing each button.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” she murmurs, her fingers brushing against my bare skin, making me shiver.

“I can see that.” My voice is scratchy and I clear my throat.

“How was your last night there?” She tilts her head back, causing all of that glorious red hair to spill down her back and I’m tempted to grab hold of it and give it a tug.

“Awful. Busy. Exhausting.” I suck in a sharp breath when she spreads my shirt wide and leans in to drop a kiss on my stomach, just above my navel. I shrug out of it hurriedly, letting the shirt drop to the floor as I watch her kiss me again and again. Fuck, I think she’s trying to kill me.

“I can make it better,” she whispers against my skin, her mouth traveling downward as her hands curl around the waistband of my pants.

“I bet you can,” I mutter, grunting when she slides her hand down the front of my pants, right against my erect cock.

She pulls away with a smile. “I’ve been thinking long and hard about your offer and I’m going to say yes.”

I frown. She’s confusing me, kissing my stomach and talking about offers. “What offer?”

Her smile turns coy. “For me to live with you for the summer. I’d love to. Thanks for asking me.”

“Oh.” Relief floods me. “Good. Thanks for accepting.” I’m mimicking her response, making her smile. But I decide to turn it serious. “I didn’t want to be without you for months on end, Jade.”

“I didn’t want to be without you either.” She undoes the snap on my pants, then pulls the zipper down, spreading the fly open so she can see how my cock strains against the front of my boxers. With a hum she presses her lush mouth on my erection, delivering feather soft kisses along the length and driving me out of my fucking mind with wanting her.

Yeah. She’s definitely trying to kill me. Slay me dead.

“Fuck, Jade,” I choke out and she smiles up at me, her hands reaching upward so she can shove my pants and boxers down with one push. My cock leaps toward her and she grips the base, wrapping her mouth around the head and drawing me into her warm, wet mouth…

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