His firm touch guided me forward in line to order. The barista stared at me blankly. Shit! I couldn’t get my mouth to work.

Braydon leaned down to my ear. “You like coffee?”

I nodded, my head bobbing on my shoulders.

“Two medium coffees, please,” he ordered for us.

I was reduced to pointing and nodding. God, this man turned me into a pile of hormones and sex. I needed medical help. Stat!

After handing the barista some cash, and dropping his change into the tip jar, Braydon accepted the two cups of coffee and led me to a table in the back. After making sure I was seated, Braydon turned to me. “Would like you cream? Sugar?”

“Yes, please. Both.”

I watched his cute butt as he strolled across the room to doctor up our coffees.

Emmy and Ben entered as Braydon was making his way back to the table. We shared hugs and stories from last night while Braydon went to stand in line again to order for the happy couple.

Once he’d rejoined us, sliding into the empty seat next to me, Emmy’s mouth curved up in a grin. “I was just thinking about last night . . . you know, when you lost your contacts,” she said, using air quotes.

I kicked her under the table.

“Ouch!” She bent down and rubbed her shin.

“Sorry. Reflex,” I apologized weakly.

“Seriously, though, will you guys be okay while we’re gone?” Emmy asked, her eyes darting back and forth between me and Bray.

Braydon’s hand disappeared under the table and closed around my knee, giving it a playful squeeze.

“Of course,” I stammered.

“Braydon will take care of her, won’t you Bray?” Ben asked.

Braydon looked straight at me, his brilliant blue eyes fringed in dark lashes smiling at mine. “I surely will.”

Emmy looked skeptical but shrugged. “With you two, I don’t know if I’ll find you in a closet tearing each other’s clothes off or with Ellie ripping your throat out.”

“I like it rough.” The low growl emanating from Braydon’s throat caused my ni**les to harden against my bra. “I’m in.” Braydon grinned.

“Not happening,” I barked, taking a sip of my coffee. Damn! Too hot. I winced, pushing the paper cup away from me. Being near him was maddening. I wanted to lash out at him one second and f**k him silly the next. My mood swings were going to give me whiplash.

“Excuse us a minute.” Emmy grabbed my hand and yanked me from the table, practically dragging me to the restroom.

“Ouch . . . sheesh.” I wrenched my hand free, splaying my fingers open and closed in an attempt to get some of the blood to return to the digits.

“You and Braydon . . . oh my God, tell me everything!”

I splashed cool water on my cheeks and washed my hands. Emmy handed me a wad of paper towel, watching me closely in the mirror.

“What the hell happened last night?”

“Umm . . .” I accepted the paper towels, drying my hands and blotting my face. I didn’t know how to answer, what to say.

“Seriously, you better spill it. I tell you everything about me and Ben. Every single detail.”

It was true. She did. I’d listened to every sordid tale and given her advice when they first started dating—and every time he’d done something foolish to mess it up.

“Did you guys get it on? I know that crap about contacts was a lie, so you better just come clean.”

“We fooled around a little. We didn’t have sex.”

A slow smile curled on Emmy’s lips. “Did you see his piercing?”

“What piercing?”

She blushed feverishly. “Never mind. So what in the world happened? You fight with him constantly.”

“I know. I guess all that bickering gave way to sexual tension and, I don’t know. I just stopped fighting it last night.”

“Okay, so are you guys, like, hanging out now?”

“No. It was a one-time thing. A stupid mistake. I’m just glad I didn’t let it go any further than it did.”

I hadn’t really opened up to Emmy about my lonely and miserable state. I hadn’t wanted to rain on her parade. She was deeply in love, planning a wedding, a honeymoon, and running Ben’s charity. She had a lot on her plate. And even though I hadn’t said the words out loud, I thought, deep down, she knew I’d had a string of bad relationships and wanted something real. I was done wasting my time on Mr. Right Now. My heart was sick of all the games. I was looking for the real thing.

“Okay. So we’re still Operation: All Men Are Dicks.”

I nodded. “Correct.”

“Okay, well, just so you know, Bray’s not really a dick. He’s actually a really good guy.”

Yeah, a good guy who’d seduced me with flirty glances and dirty words and stripped me of my panties in a public restroom. But when I reflected on last night, he hadn’t expected anything of me. He’d gotten me off—twice, as he reminded me—and then let me flee the scene. I chuckled at the memory. It was rather odd for a hookup. Not like most guys, who would’ve wanted something in return.

“What?” Emmy asked.

“Nothing. Let’s go back out there before Ben sends in a search party after you.”

“He’s not that bad!” She smiled. We both knew he was, but she loved him and all his possessive, dominant ways too much to argue.

We rejoined the guys at the table and finished our coffees. Braydon kept quiet and sipped his drink, every once in a while lifting his blue eyes to mine. I pretended not to notice. Ben checked his watch and announced they needed to get going if they were going to make their flight. I was getting used to her busy travel schedule, but still, the idea of not seeing Emmy for a month was not something I looked forward to.

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