“No to the movies,” I said. “I don’t trust you. What’s the best place you think you’ve ever taken one of your um…”


“Yeah.” I realized we still weren’t attempting to address what we were. “What about that nice grove where you took Sarah? Oh! And didn’t you take Emily to that old train station? I remembered you telling me you loved that, so maybe there? Or, what about where you took—”

“Stop.” He leaned over and pressed his finger against my lips. “You know how we’ve somehow adopted the unspoken rule that we’re not telling anyone that we’re having sex, how we’re continuing to hang out with our other friends—pretending like we’re not fucking each other recklessly every night?”

I nodded, unable to keep the redness on my cheeks from forming.

“Okay,” he said, lowering his voice. “Well, even though I tell you everything—and I do mean everything, I have a new, unspoken rule of my own: the last thing I honestly want to do when I’m out with you is talk about what I did with someone else…So, whenever we’re together from here on out, we’re not going to talk about anyone outside of us. Okay?”

I blushed again. “Okay.”

He drove out of my neighborhood and onto the main streets, holding my hand in his lap.

“What time does the docking section of the pier normally close?”

“Midnight, sometimes one o’clock if the employees feel like it.”

As we approached a red-light, he looked over at me. “Well, since you work at the marina—”

“Worked.” I cut him off. “I think I got fired today.”

“What? How do you ‘think’ you got fired?”

“It was my turn to take a break first for a change and I took it...I just never went back.”

Laughing, he squeezed my hand. “Good for you. I was actually going to ask if you’d ever been on one of your company’s boat tours.”

“No...” I said. “Ironic, huh?”

“Very, and I think we should fix that. Would you like to go on one?”

I nodded and he made a U-turn—speeding off into the night toward the other side of town. When we got there, we had to rush to the box office to buy tickets before they closed.

I silently thanked God that neither my manager nor Ashley were working tonight. Instead it was the tour guide himself, and since it was raining, he said we would be the only people aboard.

Undaunted by the small audience, he stated the trivia enthusiastically as the boat sailed across the dark Atlantic. He even gave us free drinks during the lags when there wasn’t much to say, acknowledging that most of his jokes were terrible, but we laughed anyway.

Carter’s arm went around my shoulder halfway through the tour and remained there for the rest of the ride. And every now and then, for no reason at all, he would tilt my chin up and kiss my lips for several minutes at a time.

“And now…” The tour guide said, as the captain steered the boat near a small island of lights. “This is Infinity Island. In the daytime, you’d normally be able to see people out and about and lounging on the sand, but since it’s so dark…” He looked at his watch. “I usually pause the tour here and let the tourists get up and take pictures for about twenty minutes before the next stop so...”

Carter and I exchanged confused glances.

“So, for my OCD purposes, I’m still going to have the captain stop here.” He laughed. “Feel free to tour the boat and be back in twenty for the rest.” He put down his mic and took out an e-reader, speaking into the small radio that was attached to his jacket. “Twenty minute stop, Barney. Three more stops and then we’re done for the night.” He held the reader up to his face and ignored us.

“Okay…” Carter took my hand and stood up. “Maybe you can give me a tour of the boat?”

“You’d probably know more than I do…I have no idea where anything is.”

“They didn’t teach you anything about the boat itself in your orientation?”

“They probably did…But I’m pretty sure I was reading a cooking magazine instead of the information manual that day.”

Laughing, he pressed his hand against the small of my back, and we walked up to the top level where there was no covering. The rain was still falling—drizzling slightly, and we couldn’t see anything in the distance.

I took out my phone and handed it to him. “Would you mind taking a picture of me? I want to remember this.” I stepped in front of the railing.

“Night vision?”

“Yep.” I smiled, holding it for the camera, but his finger didn’t press the button. He was staring at me, looking confused. “Um…” I said. “Do I need to explain how a cell phone works? Have you forgotten?”

“No.” He walked over to me and pulled me against his side. Then he held the camera above us. “Let me know when to press the button…I want to remember this, too.”

“Oh…” I smiled. “On three. One…Two…Thr—”

He kissed my lips and snapped the photo at the same time.

“Is that good enough?” he asked, handing my phone back to me.

“No.” I was still smiling. “I think I need a few more of those before we go back.”

“Photos or kisses?”