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Neither of us spoke for a long moment and then he laughed softly, the sound bringing a smile to my lips.

“Damn, Roxy.” He cleared his throat. “You’re going to make me want to keep you.”

My heart was tugged in two opposite directions as my befuddled head tried to make sense of what that meant. Already, I was beginning to apply a crazy amount of meaning to what he said. Did it mean that he wasn’t planning on it? This was just for fun? But he’d said he wanted to be more than friends. Did it even matter? No, it didn’t, because there was no lying to myself.

I wanted him to keep me.

Chapter 11

I hadn’t meant to doze off, but somewhere between watching Hilary remodeling an old farmhouse and David showing a peculiarly picky couple houses on HGTV, I’d fallen asleep on my side, with my back curled against Reece’s front.

I’d never fallen asleep on a couch with a guy before. Seemed like such a simple thing that I imagined millions of people took for granted, but it was something entirely new for me.

At first, I wasn’t sure what woke me up. I blinked open my eyes, confused. There was an infomercial on TV, selling the newest Bowflex machine. I stared at it for a moment, seconds from drifting back to sleep, when I felt Reece jerk behind me.

My heart jumped at the unexpected movement. His arm was lax under me, but when I looked over my shoulder, I could see the tension practically pouring off him. He was on his side but his face was turned up to the ceiling. His jaw was locked in a tight, hard line and his brows were furrowed. Every couple of seconds, those thick lashes would twitch. His lips moved, the words silent, but his chest rose with a sudden, ragged, and broken breath.

“Reece?” I whispered, but he didn’t hear me. His chest rose again, the breathing more rapid. I twisted onto my other side, facing him as I pressed my hand on his chest. “Reece.”

He jolted away, his gaze fixed on the ceiling, and for a moment, he looked so far away, as if he wasn’t even aware of where he was. Seconds ticked by and then he turned his head toward me. His expression relaxed. “Hey,” he murmured.

“Everything okay?” I asked.

He swallowed. “Yeah.”

I didn’t really believe him. “You sure?”

Reece’s arm curved around me as he tucked me against his side. “Yeah, sweets, everything is fine.” As he threaded his fingers through my hair and guided my cheek to his chest, he sighed deeply. “Everything is good now.”

“You got some this weekend.”

I nearly choked on my soda as I looked up. Katie slid into the booth across from me, a bright pink-checkered bandana wrapped around her head. Her off the shoulder fuzzy blue sweater looked like it had it out with a bedazzler and lost the battle. She wasn’t alone.

Calla sat down next to Katie. She’d come back into town yesterday morning and had worked at the bar last night. Grinning, she tugged her blond hair up into a ponytail. I remembered, when I first met her she’d always kept her hair down to hide the scar. Not so much anymore.

Ignoring Katie’s somewhat astute comment, I nodded at Calla. “I’m surprised Jax let you out of his house to have breakfast.”

“He knows better than to get between me and food and my friends.” Flipping open the menu, she raised delicately arched brows at me. “So, is Katie right? You get some?”

Katie grinned. “I’m always right.”

I rolled my eyes as I sat back against the booth. Reece had fallen back asleep after what I guessed was a nightmare, and I’d taken him home yesterday morning. Before he’d climbed out of my car, he’d leaned over and kissed me. Just thinking about that scalding kiss made me want to fan myself, and then it made me think of what I’d watched him do.

Goodness, I needed a cold shower.

He’d worked the night shift, and I figured he was probably sleeping right now. He’d texted me right before I’d gotten off, a quick message telling me to let him know when I got home, and I did. The request was . . . cute, like he was thinking of me, and it made me feel all girlie.

“The tips of your ears are burning,” Calla pointed out, eyes narrowing. “Come on, fess up.”

The waitress saved me for a few minutes while she took our orders. Katie ordered half the diner, going for every version of bacon and sausage they had. “I need my protein,” she said as Calla and I gaped at her. “Dancing and climbing a pole is one hell of a workout. You guys should try it.”

I giggled. “No thanks.”

Katie rolled cornflower-colored eyes. “You guys are no fun.” She twisted toward Calla. “When is Teresa coming back up? She wanted to learn how to shake it until she breaks it.”

“I think she and Jase are coming up in a few weekends with me.” Calla smiled as the waitress returned with two coffees and a fresh soda for me. Then she pinned me with a look. “Did you and Reece

hook up?”


At the same time, Katie answered, “Yes.”

I shot her a baleful look. “How do you know if we hooked up? Were you hiding in my house?”

“I know things,” she replied. “I know lots of things. And you totally just assumed that I’d be hiding in your house, which means something of the fleshy kind went down in your house.”

Calla propped her elbows on the table. “And Jax told me Reece came in on his night off and waited for you to get off. That you drove him home.”

“Jax gossips like a thirteen-year-old girl,” I retorted, but I wasn’t upset with the line of questioning. I was glad both girls could do breakfast this morning, because I really, really needed to talk to them.

A moment passed and then I leaned forward, unable to keep quiet about it a second longer. “Okay. We kind of did hook up Friday night. We didn’t have sex, but . . .” I trailed off, pulled back to those early-morning hours. I could see him then, his hand wrapped around—

“All right, you guys definitely did something of the fun and naughty kind based on the way you suddenly look like you just took a hit of ecstasy,” Katie said.

Calla clapped as she bounced in her seat. “For real? Okay, girl, I’m happy for you, because Katie is right, you look like you just slipped into a sex coma.”

“Something you know a lot about,” I said under my breath.

She itched her nose with her middle finger. “But you wouldn’t even talk to him just a few weeks ago. Every time he walked in or even looked in your direction, you bailed. I’ve always known something was up between you two, but I’m confused as to what is going on here.”