1) He’d been accepted to intern at the number one law firm in the city;

2) He was trying to get laid. ASAP.

From the looks of things, it was definitely going to happen.

The four of us moved from club to club—drinking, laughing, dancing recklessly. Every now and then, I felt Carter’s not-so-subtle touches in public: His hand on my hips whenever I danced, his fingers brushing against mine whenever we walked. And each time our eyes met, I felt my heart flip, felt it beat at a faster pace.

By the time we reached the seventh bar, Josh and his date had long abandoned us and we were tossing back weak shots alone.

“You have to tilt your head back, Ari.” Carter tilted my chin up. “Otherwise you won’t get the full effect of the liquor...”

“I’m knocking back cranberry juice.” I laughed. “There is no effect.”

“All of those are cranberry juice?”

“Yeah. Someone has to drive.” I pointed to the three large drinks in front of him. “We can’t both be inebriated.”

He looked at me a long time, slowly shaking his head. “They’re all Cranberry juice as well.”

“You’re not drunk? Not tipsy in the slightest?”


“Then… Since Josh left us, are you ready to go?”

“I thought you’d never ask.” He stood up and took my hand, leading me out and down the street. “My place or yours?”

“Yours…” I clasped his hand behind the gear shift and we rode to his place in silence.

When he pulled into the driveway, he looked over at me. “What time is your flight Friday?”

“Ten in the morning,” I said, knowing he already knew the answer to that question.

“What day are you unpacking everything and repacking it with a spreadsheet?”

I smiled. “Tomorrow.”

“Will you need help?”

I nodded.

“Okay.” He cut off the engine. “I’ll be there.”


He got out of the car and opened my door, leading me inside his house for what was probably the last time this summer. When we made it to his room, I took off the blazer he’d given me and opened my purse.

“I meant to give this to you weeks ago.” I pulled out the blue box my room-mates wanted me to pass along. “It’s a farewell present since they consider you a roommate, too.”

“Is it a bill for all the groceries I’ve eaten?” He untied the ribbon on top, and held up the small silver necklace that read, Arizona’s Best Friend Forever. “This is very cute, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never wear this…”

“They gave me one, too.” I laughed. “It says Carter’s Best Friend Forever…She said they were drunk when they picked these out.”

“Clearly…” He set the necklace on his dresser and pulled me close, running his fingers through my hair.

Looking into his eyes, I wanted to use our last full night together to tell him how I felt about him, to hear him say the same, but I couldn’t get the words out.

Instead, I took the safe approach. “Do you know that I’ve gotten used to you always being a few blocks, or a few miles away? You being accessible no matter what?”

“What makes you think I don’t feel the same way?”

“Do you?”

“Yes,” he said, kissing my lips. He slowly pulled my shirt over my head and unfastened my jeans.

I returned the favor, pulling his shirt over his head, unbuckling his belt.

Smiling, he picked me up and set me on the bed—slowly pulling the pants from my legs. I kept my eyes on his as he took his off, as he joined me in bed and immediately kissed my lips—not letting me control the tempo.

He kissed me and I shut my eyes—letting him caress every inch of my skin, listening to him whisper my name in between breaths. Within seconds, he pulled me on top of him and positioned me over his cock, slowly pushing me onto it. Grabbing my hips, he slowly rocked me back and forth—all while keeping his eyes on mine.

I pressed my hands against his chest, feeling the words “I love you” on the tip of my tongue, but soft moans came out instead.

I collapsed, falling forward and he slowly slipped out of me.

Catching my breath, I felt him getting out of bed. I wanted to ask where he was going, but he came right back, pulling me against his chest and kissing my forehead.

Neither of us spoke for a long time. We just looked into each other’s eyes.

“I’m going to miss you,” he said. “So fucking much.”

“If we hadn’t ever had sex would you feel the same?”

“Very much so…You’re the only person I talk to almost every day.”

“Unless you have a girlfriend.”

“No.” He blew a strand of hair away from my face. “I still talk to you the same amount even then.”

“That’s probably why they all hate me.”

He grinned, kissing me again. “Probably.” He rolled me off of him and trailed his finger down my side, stopping when he reached my tattoo—a small silver key.

“When did you get this?”

“The same night we got tattoos in eleventh grade.”

”I’ve never noticed it before.”

“I’ve never had a reason to get naked around you before.”

“Hmmm. What does it mean?”