I fill the void, giving a slight cough first. “How’s Sam?”

“He had a rough day with you being gone.”

My guilt wells until it threatens to choke me. “Listen… I’m here. I need to get this done.”

“Good luck,” my father murmurs… sadly, because he doesn’t think this is the right decision.

But I know it is.

“Bye, Dad,” I whisper before disconnecting.

Returning the phone to my purse, I replace the gun on top and zip it closed. It defeats the purpose of needing quick access, but I’m almost a hundred percent sure no one followed me. Nobody in Vegas knows me or why I’m here. I doubt August is a physical threat, unless he went totally off the rails, and… I can’t show up at his door with my piece showing.

After I exit the rental car, I sling my purse over my shoulder and make my way down the street to his house. I glance over my shoulder at least ten times before I reach his driveway. There’s a two-car garage, which I assume has a vehicle tucked inside. Hell, maybe two. He could be married or in a relationship for all I know. Suddenly, I realize I might not be getting ready to disturb just him. It could be an entire household for all I know.

Regardless, I shore up my resolve, take a confident step forward, and continue up the driveway to the tiny concrete walkway connected to the front porch. A yellow-lighted sconce illuminates the area.

I hesitate, remembering the last time I saw August. We were barely eighteen years old. My dad was on a “business” trip, and we had the house all to ourselves. That was an all-too-common occurrence since my dad traveled a lot, and I didn’t have a mom to watch over me. Add in the fact we were deeply in love—or so we thought—and horny teenagers, it meant we spent a lot of time having sex in my pink-walled bedroom.

August was still inside me, and I was flush with the completion of an intense orgasm. God, he sure knew his way around a woman’s body, which was impressive given how we were each other’s firsts. We’d started dating our sophomore year in high school, and we’d given it up to each other within just a few months. I once asked him how he knew so much—how he was doing things to me that none of my other sexually active friends were even considering doing—and he just smiled slyly and said, “Porn.”

I never knew if it was true, but I was thankful either way.

“Just twenty-nine more days,” he said, eyes on mine. He was still hard inside me. Sometimes, he had the power to go again. I wondered if this was one of those times.

I glanced over at the clock beside my bed. It was past midnight. I grinned. “Twenty-eight days now.”

“Rest of our lives together,” he murmured. He bent to kiss me, then started moving inside me again.

Just thinking about it causes a pang of sexual longing between my legs. It’s been a long damn time since I’ve had sex. Thinking about August and the last time we were together is not helping matters.

We’d planned to go away to college together. Although my father and his parents weren’t crazy about it, we were going to share an apartment. We were going to be adults, on our own and living our lives together forever.

Sucking in a long breath, I hold it for several agonizing seconds. Just as I start to get a little dizzy, I let it out in a massive rush. I imagine all of my fears and doubts purging out of my body along with the carbon dioxide my lungs expel.

Once again, I straighten my spine before stepping onto the porch. After locating the doorbell, I place my fingertip to it, hesitating a nanosecond before I depress the button. Inside, it chimes loudly and I physically cringe.

No dog starts barking. Everything is silent. I wonder if August is even home, but then a light comes on through the frosted glass panes of the front door.

My pulse picks up as I hear the front door unlock—a regular lock and a deadbolt—and then the door swings open.

And there stands August. He looks so much like he did almost ten years ago, yet so vastly different.

The first thing I notice is how much he’s filled out. He’s in a low-slung pair of sweatpants and nothing else. His brownish-red hair is slightly longer than how he wore it in high school. It sticks up at various angles, indicating he was most likely soundly asleep when I rang that doorbell. He has a layer of scruff on his face, brown with red highlights. The tattoos on his arms and chest are definitely new, and they make him look like a badass. I have no clue what he does for a living, but I approve of the ink.

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