“Not unless you plan on withdrawing from Cleveland and staying here to go to culinary school. I’d definitely pick you over Josh for a live-in roommate.”

“Ummm.” She was smiling; I could tell. “I very much appreciate the offer, but Cleveland is where I belong. How was your day?”

“Uneventful. Read a few early articles for the fall, fixed a few things on my car, and apparently made my best friend upset.”

“Somewhat upset…She’s not the psycho-jealous type.”

“Hmmm.” I suddenly didn’t feel like driving anymore so I tried to find a parking spot. “What do I have to do to make it up to you?”

“You can give me a foot massage.” She laughed. “That seems like something you wouldn’t enjoy.”

“I can do that,” I said. “Open the door.”


“I’m outside your house. Open the door.”

“What part of ‘Hell no to you coming over tonight’ didn’t you understand?” There were papers rustling in the background.

“I must’ve misinterpreted that text…Open the door.”

She hung up and the door opened seconds later.

“Yes?” Arizona narrowed her eyes at me, trying to look upset but failing at it. “Something I can help you with tonight, Carter James?”

“Letting me inside would be a good start.” I stepped forward. “Or I can force you to if you’d like.”

“I’d like to see you try…”

She stood there, not moving, so I picked her up—tossing her over my shoulder and made my way inside. I carried her over to the couch and tossed her onto it, and then I shut the door.

“You really only made one éclair to celebrate?” I asked.

“No.” She grinned. “Yours is on the counter.”

“Thank you.” I walked over and picked it up—devouring it before joining her on the couch.

“That was very good,” I said, smiling at her.

“Thank you…” She started to lean against me, as if I was going to wrap my arm around her shoulders, but I prevented her from doing that. Instead, I pulled her into my lap so she was facing me, so I could look into her eyes and taste her lips a few times.

“This doesn’t seem like you’re getting ready to prep for a foot massage,” she whispered. “Do you know how those work?”

“I know exactly how they work.”

“So why are your hands cupping my ass instead of my heels?”

“Because, while I will definitely be giving you a foot massage to make up for my completely minor offense tonight, I’m going to fuck you senseless first.”

Her cheeks turned red.

“That is the point you were trying to get across when you sent me all those evasive texts before your exam this morning, correct?”

“Maybe…” She blushed again and I kissed her lips, slowly pushing her out of my lap.

“Bend over the couch…”

Track 17. Come in With the Rain (5:12)

I lay in bed on Friday night—anxious and unable to fall asleep. There was a light rain falling outside my window, and rounds of thunder were roaring in the distance.

My heart was begging me to text Carter, to ask what he was up to and if he wanted to come over, but my brain overruled it. Mostly because he’d just left my house a few hours ago.

God, I can’t be this infatuated with him…

I rolled over and grabbed my headphones, thinking that maybe music would be all I needed to fall asleep, but then my phone vibrated. A text message from Carter.

Hey. What are you up to?

Attempting to fall asleep. You?

Same. Would you like to go somewhere tonight?


I’ll pick you up in twenty.

Practically jumping out of bed, I slipped into an old summer dress and flats. I pulled my hair into a low ponytail and decided to put on a little makeup. I brushed some shimmery pink eyeshadow over my eyelids and accented my eyes with mascara.

Just as I was putting on lipstick, Carter sent me a text—letting me know he was outside.

I looked myself over one last time and grabbed my purse before running downstairs.

“You’re meeting me at the door now?” I stepped back once I opened it, shocked to see him standing there. “You normally wait in the car.”

“You’re putting on makeup now?” He smirked, lightly tracing the crease of my left eyelid with his fingertips. “You usually don’t wear any if it’s just me and you.”

“I was already wearing makeup. I was trying a few different looks in the mirror.”

“I thought you were attempting to go to sleep.”

I blushed and looked away, caught in an easy lie.

He let up an umbrella and held it over my head. “You want to walk along the beach?”

“No,” I said, dodging puddles as he led me to his car. “Even if it wasn’t raining, hell no.’

“Why not?”

“Because you and late night strolls on the beach never end well for the girl…”

“Fair enough.” He laughed. “What about the movies?”

“We did that yesterday.”

“Yes, but we didn’t actually watch the movie. Maybe we can actually try to pay attention to it this time.”

I fastened my seatbelt, now remembering how one second we’d been sharing popcorn in an empty theater, and the next he’d had me in his lap—saying his name until the credits rolled.