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"You think you hit the bottom?" I nod. "What was there?"

I think about it for a second and smile at him. "You were there. That night in the restaurant, that was the bottom of my pit. That ended the free fall, and everything shifted." Peter nods, but doesn't say anything. "You can't control everything; take it from someone who knows. Let go a little bit and see where you end up. It might not be so bad."

Peter squeezes my hand and lifts it to his lips. "I don't deserve you."

"I didn't think happiness was in the cards for me, but then I met you. You deserve a reprieve from anything you've done that's chewing you up inside. Stop thinking so much and see where life takes you. Who knows, you might end up in a car with a crazy girl and a cross-dressing vulture." Peter smiles warmly. I scoot into the middle seat and lean my head against his shoulder.


When we hit Pennsylvania Peter stops for gas. I run into the ladies' room while he fills up, and on the way out, I run into my twin—like literally run into him. Sam steps in front of me and I smack into his lean body. I look up, ready to apologize, but then see who it is.

"So you came." Sam's hair is hidden under a ball cap. He's wearing an old track T-shirt from high school with a pair of jeans. It's the same look he had before I left home. Sam's shoulders slump forward slightly from fatigue. He glances toward the refrigerator case at the back of the store where Dean is standing with his back toward me.

I keep moving toward the door. I'm not having another altercation at a mini-mart. "Of course I came." I make it to the front of the store and push outside. The door trips a bell that makes my blood run cold. I feel Dean's eyes on me. They drift over my back like a cold claw, but I don't stop. Get in the car. Get in the car. Get in the car.

"The guy's with you?" Sam looks around for Peter and sees him standing by my car, refueling it.

"Obviously. I'll see you at home."

Sam nods. His gaze narrows when he looks at Peter. "I don't like him, Sid. He seems a little off, like he might snap and go postal or something."

"Then don't piss him off." I finish speaking as I reach the car. Peter looks up, and anger flashes in his eyes when he sees Sam. "Come on, let's get out of here." I slip into my seat quickly and pull the seat belt across my lap. I don't need to say anything to Peter. He takes my cue and leaves, but not before staring both men down. I wonder if Peter is unstable, but brush away the thought. We're all unstable to some extent. Having someone watching my back isn't a bad thing.

After we're on the road, Peter asks, "Did he touch you?"

"No, not really. I walked into Sam. Dean didn't say anything. He just watched me like a creeper." Chills run over my skin. I smooth them out with my hand, but it takes a while for them to go away. I glance back at the turkey and wonder if he's dead. "He doesn't move much, does he?"

Peter glances up into the mirror. "Only at night when I'm about to have sex with you. It's like we have a chaperone." Peter seems tense, like he has liquid anxiety flowing through his veins instead of blood. "We're going to have dinner with my brother tonight, if that's all right. I need his help with something."

I nod, not really understanding why he's nervous. I keep looking behind us, wondering how far away Dean and Sam are. "Which brother is this?"

"Sean, the eldest. My younger brother is a free spirit, but Sean is more down-to-earth. He's dealt with shit, which is why I want to talk to him." Peter looks fine, but his voice is a little too tight, and his hands are at ten and two on the steering wheel. He only does that when he's pissed or worried.

"What do you want to talk to him about?"

"You and me. I don't want to share your pain with anyone, and maybe I won't have to, but Sean is kind of unpredictable. I need to know if I can mention what happened with you and your family—and Dean."

"You trust him, even after he killed his wife?"

"Yeah, but I have to say that I don't know what happened that night. No one does. Sean never spoke about it, but I don't think he killed her. He was so excited about the baby. It just doesn't make any sense." He's quiet for a moment, thinking.

I wonder what would drive someone to kill. I hate Dean, but I don't want to kill him, not when I'm rational or awake anyway. But if Dean got hit by a truck, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. I wonder if that's the same thing and suppose on some level it is.

I glance at Peter. "Say whatever you want. I just don't want the whole story plastered all over the Internet in the morning. And I don't want to hear it when you tell him, either. Tell me to go to the bar or something." My stomach flip-flops inside of me. I hate the idea, but if Peter feels like he needs his brother, I think it'll be good for him.

Being cut off from my family freed me in some ways, but I regret it. I didn't want things to end that way, but I had no idea how to fix it. This is a chance for Peter to mend fences with his brother. I want to encourage it even though the name Sean Ferro sends ice down my spine.


We get to New York pretty late. Peter calls his brother when we get to the hotel. We shower and dress quickly. As I'm applying eyeliner, I see Peter walk by behind me. He has a towel around his waist and his hair is damp and tousled. From where I stand, he can't see me unless he looks up in the mirror. The wall outside the bathroom extends into the room, giving the illusion of privacy. I freeze and wonder if he saw me change before. I can't remember where he was standing, but I don't think it was over here.

My eyes dart toward movement and I catch sight of Peter dropping the towel. He stands with his back to me, totally naked. The eye pencil hovers as I blink rapidly, taking him in. Peter's body is perfection, except for that scar at his waist. The gash is a thin white line that extends down and wraps around his side. His back is all muscle, but I knew that before.

What I'm staring at—what I can't rip my eyes off of—is that perfect ass. He's all toned muscle, every bit of him, and that butt is no exception. My mouth gapes open as I stare, wondering what it would be like to have that naked body sliding against mine with my nails biting into that perfect behind. There isn't a rational thought in my head. I just stare, thinking about feeling every inch of him beneath me, wondering what that would be like. That's when he bends over to grab his boxers and I nearly die. A breath catches in my throat as I shift my position in front of the mirror to get a better view. That's when I manage to jab the pencil into my eye.

Peter spins around to see what happened, thinking that I can't see his gorgeous naked body. I squeeze my eye shut and mutter expletives. When I look up I can see his beautiful blue eyes in the glass, they lock with mine, and a wicked smile spreads across his face. "Were you watching me, Miss Colleli?"

"No, I just thought about that pirate thing you said last night, so I—" What the hell am I saying?

"So you stabbed yourself in the eye?" He's walking toward me, which makes me so nervous I can't stand up. My heart hammers inside of me as nervous energy races up and down my arms. I slam the pencil onto the counter and blink repeatedly, trying not to look at him. I've never had any interest in looking at a naked man before. I never saw what all the fuss was over. I mean it's not like that whole hairy package area was appealing, but oh my God—on Peter it's completely…Ideas ricochet off of my mind and simultaneously bounce in a million directions. I want to touch and slide my hand along his stomach, my lips tingle as I think about kissing him below the belt, and my tongue—it's like I've lost my mind. Totally foreign thoughts whirl through me and rip away things I put on my I'll never do that list.

Before I realize he's crossed the room, Peter is behind me. He steps close to my back and looks over my shoulder at us in the mirror. One of my eyes pretty much has a black line over it since I drew on my face after I stabbed myself. I look ridiculous, but I so don't care. His naked proximity shoots tension through every bit of me.

"You were watching me, Colleli."

"You're nice to watch, Granz." I say it too confidently, as if I look at naked men all the time. Then, I point to my red eye and say, "I hope you have a thing for pirates. I'm pretty sure I—" An involuntary noise emerges from my throat as Peter puts his hands on my waist. I'm so high strung, so lust ridden, that I can't think. We watch each other in the mirror.

Peter's eyes are so dark. His voice is deeper than usual when he speaks. "Turn around, Sidney."

I shake my head even though I want to turn and look. I'm so lying to myself. I want more. I feel it coursing through me. I don't want to look; I want to touch and do things that I never thought I'd do. Oral sex doesn't sound so bad at the moment, and I wonder about it for a second. Before now, I wasn't interested in anything, and the idea of sitting on some guy's face or kneeling and sucking his…I can't even finish the thought. My lips twitch as I consider it, which makes the sexy smile on Peter's face brighter.

Peter hesitates, but then slowly lowers his lips to my neck. His mouth brushes against me lightly when his hands slip to my shoulders. The touch is gentle but firm. My head tips to the side, and I close my eyes. Peter pulls away but doesn't release my shoulders. I glance at him in the mirror. The only thing I can see is his chest. "We better get dressed and go downstairs." I try to nod, but my head doesn't actually move. My God, he broke me. I couldn't form a coherent sentence right now if I wanted to.

I try, and my tongue tangles in my mouth. "They'll think we're not coming."

Peter's lips twitch. "For someone who's never made love, you use a lot of double entendres." He winks at me before kissing my cheek and crossing the room. A shiver tickles the skin on my back, running down my spine and landing between my legs with a tingling that won't stop.