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She didn’t say anything for a long time, just staring at the grass beneath us. Another breeze blew past, my nightgown billowing around me.

“Are you afraid that if my mom and I make amends, that you’ll lose an ally in me? That I’ll turn against you?” I asked, studying her face. I took a step forward. “You know I’ll never forget what my mother did to you.”

I tried to reach out and touch her but she yanked herself out of my reach and stared up at me with frightened eyes. “Don’t go. It’s too much in one place.”

She still didn’t make sense but it didn’t matter. She was worried that my mom and I might make up. She probably feared that I would shun her or that my mom would do the same to me as she did to her. It explained why she looked so frightened.

“Pippa,” I said slowly, hoping to convince her not to worry. I knew what was best for myself. But my grandmother was already fading before my eyes.

“Too much, too easy,” she said, her voice croaking and then lowering itself until it was just a shadow of what it was. “Too much. Too easy.”

And then she was gone.


I woke up to Dex’s warm hand sliding up underneath my shirt, teasing at the soft area underneath my breast. I smiled and relaxed into it, momentarily forgetting about everything that happened. I pushed the thoughts of Uncle Al, of his warnings, of my dream, all the way to the back of my head. They wanted me to think about them, to weigh down my heart with worry, but I wouldn’t give in.

I’d only give in to the naked man beside me.

“Good morning, sunshine,” he whispered into my neck, his lips gently trailing down to my collarbone.

I lazily reached up and ran my hand through his thick hair. “Morning, baby.” I glanced around us for a clock, seeing only framed horror movie posters. The twins must have decorated the room. “What time is it?”

“No idea,” he said, and from the way his teeth grazed the outside of my ear, I could tell it didn’t matter. “I think everyone else is up. But then again, so am I.” He took my hand in his and placed it under the sheets, right on his cock. No surprise, it was hard as stone and felt hot beneath my touch. He groaned in response, the sweetest sound to my ears.

I gave him a sly look, putting pressure on my hand, my fingers gripping him. Still, I told him quietly, “I don’t think this is a good idea. That door over there doesn’t lock and anyone could come in at any moment.”

He sat up slightly and put his hand behind my head, holding me there hard. His eyes looked like a fire had been lit in them. “I don’t give a fuck if anyone sees us or hears us. Do you?”

I swallowed hard, surprised at his intensity. The way his eyes were burning into mine, I knew that this had to do with what Uncle Al had talked to him about last. Hell, I don’t know why I wasn’t feeling like giving him a big fuck you either.

I shook my head. “No, I don’t.”

“Good,” he growled and then kissed me, tangling me in a wet, passionate kiss that made our tongues dance. I felt my body relax under his touch as his hands began to slip my underwear and shirt off. He tossed them across the room then put me on my back, his firm body pressing down on me. “This is real,” he said, voice oh so low, so gruff it made me throb. “This is nothing but real. You and me. Us. You know that, don’t you?”

I nodded. “I know.”

“Perry, I love you,” he said, his gaze drifting to my lips. “I’m not…” He paused. “I’m here. I’m staying here, by your side. This is more than just two people shacking up together. This is so much more.”

“Dex,” I said, my fingers trailing down his face. “Are you okay?”

He watched me for a few loaded beats before he closed his eyes. “Yes. Sorry. I’m okay, I’m just…I’m your fucking man, baby. That’s all there is to it, I’m your fucking man. That is never going to change.” He looked at me and grinned, his hair falling in his face. “And now I’m going to fuck you till we embarrass ourselves.”

Before I could say anything to that, his mouth was on mine again and his fingers were sliding between my legs. He let out a moan when he felt how wet I was. It only took a minute of his deft exploration before I was close to coming so I shimmied out of his grasp and turned my self around so my mouth was at his cock. Naturally, my ass was at his face.

“Holy fuck,” he said under his breath, and while I placed my hands firmly around his shaft, he gripped my hips and pulled me back a bit toward his face. Dex and I had been pretty adventurous in our relationship—I mean, nothing really compared to that night we had in the hotel New Orleans. But a sixty-nine was something new to me.

So while I concentrated on licking him from balls to satiny shaft, working him with my mouth, hands, and tongue as best I could, he was trying to get me off at the same time. And though I was one of those rare females who actually got turned on while giving a blow job (it helped that Dex was so perfectly endowed), it was hard to continue when his own tongue was sliding along my pleasure spots and making me forget where I was. Long story short—the sixty-nine position doesn’t work. You both get too turned on to keep going. It’s a beautiful failure.

“Fuck this,” I said, letting go of him and turning around. I placed my legs on either side of his hips, straddling him, and guided him into me.

“You’re taking charge today,” he said, staring up at me with feverish eyes. He bit his lip as I started rocking into him and moaned again.

“You might want to keep it down,” I whispered, vaguely conscious that Uncle Al, Marda, my cousins, and Rebecca were just a few rooms away.

“You might want to shut up and keep fucking me,” he answered with a lazy smile.

That I did. I gently rocked back and forth on his cock, sitting up straight, my long black hair flowing over my shoulders as Dex enjoyed the view. I knew I wasn’t the prettiest, skinniest chick around, and now especially, but from the way he always looked at me with my body on display like I was a platter of ripe fruit, I knew I had to at least try and work it. I played with myself, building up to an orgasm before he swatted my hand away and replaced it with his thumb.

“Don’t take away my job,” he murmured, and then pulled me down toward him, my palms pressing into the strength of his shoulders, my breasts swinging near his face. With his free hand he took my nipple into his mouth and sucked hard enough to make me cry out from the sweet pain.

When he finally pulled his mouth away, he gazed up at me. “This is real, baby. This is us. Now, always, us.”

I could only pant from the increased pace from his thumb.

“That’s it, ride me raw.” He took a hard hold of my hip and made me ride him harder, faster, until I was coming at the same pace, my head thrown back in ecstasy. “Let me know how much you love to fuck me.”

A cry or two escaped my lips, the throws of my orgasm flowing through every part of me and he didn’t hold back either, muttering a stream of delirious obscenities as he grunted to completion, the headboard banging hard against the wall.

I collapsed on his chest, our breath heavy, our bodies sweaty and spent, while my mind slowly rolled around from being on cloud nine to being in…Uncle Al’s house. My face burned red hot with the reality.

I looked up at Dex. “I was loud, wasn’t I?”

He stroked the top of my head with his hand. “You’re always loud, kiddo.”


“Told you I’d embarrass us. Well, embarrass you. I don’t get embarrassed.”

“No, you really don’t,” I mused, brushing his hair out of his face. My god, I loved staring at him after sex. Every feeling I had for him was heightened and he could not have looked more handsome and comfortable.

A few moments passed, the both of us relishing each other’s post-coital company before we heard a very faint knock at the door.

“Uh, guys?” It was Rebecca.

“We’ll be right there,” I said loudly before rolling out of bed.

“Sorry to interrupt, I thought I’d wait till you were done,” she whispered before her heels clicked down the hallway.

I turned around to see Dex beaming at me. Great.

So yeah, I’m pretty sure the entire house heard our morning antics. Thank god we had to get moving and were late enough that our departure was hasty, even though both Matt and Tony were smirking like crazy when they said goodbye to Dex.

My uncle, on the other hand, looked like he was ready to kill me. I gave him a light hug as we left and told him I’d stay in touch. He didn’t look too enthused, though just as I was leaving the house he grabbed my hand and squeezed it hard. “Take care, Perry,” he said. “I mean it.”

I could only nod. Whether he was concerned for the safety of my heart or the safety of my life, I knew I’d do what I could to be vigilant.

“Well that wasn’t so bad,” Rebecca said from the backseat, looking behind her at the house as we pulled out of the driveway and headed south on Highway 101.

“Says you,” I said. “You were the charming British friend. You didn’t have to answer to Uncle Al and his disapproval on repeat.” I looked over at Dex at the wheel, his shades covering his eyes. “By the way, what did Uncle Al say to you? What did you guys talk about out there?”

I knew it was a bit risky asking this when we weren’t alone but sometimes it felt like Rebecca was basically an extension of us, and it was obvious that something happened—I’d just been too carried away by my hormones that morning to figure it out.

He tilted his head, shrugging one shoulder like it was no big deal. “Nothing really. I just wanted to tell him that you were doing okay now. I didn’t want him or your parents to worry about you.”

“Didn’t go well, did it?” Rebecca asked with sympathy.

He glanced at her briefly. “No, it didn’t. He doesn’t hate me but he’s not a fan of the Dex charm. I guess first impressions really do stick around.”

“To be fair, Dex,” I pointed out, “most of your charm is in your dick. There’s a reason why you piss off half the population.”

“Ha,” he scoffed. “Anyway, I tried. But you know what, fuck Uncle Al. Sorry. Really, Perry. I know he’s your uncle, but his approval means nothing if he can’t see the big picture. All it does is make me want to prove him wrong.”

“Prove him wrong about what?” I asked.

He sucked in his lip before saying, “That we aren’t right for each other. That you plus me equals disaster.” He put his chin down and eyed me over his sunglasses. “Don’t tell me he didn’t make you feel the same way?”

He pointed out that we’ve only known each other for eight months, I thought to myself. But there was no point in voicing it. Dex knew it. I knew it. We all knew it. But we couldn’t listen to what other people thought, family members or not. I know my mind wanted to go there. I know it wanted to think about it, I know I craved the approval like nothing else. But it couldn’t matter. If Dex and I were to have a chance as a couple, it couldn’t matter at all. We just had to do what felt right to us.


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