“It is…” I couldn’t believe this shit. The second he walked away to check it out, I glared at Ari. “I need to talk to you right now.”

“I don’t think so.” She shrugged. “I’d be more than happy to talk to you over dinner later today, though. I want to take Sean to Gayle’s. I already texted Josh and he’s agreed to meet us there at six. You interested?”

“I need to talk to you alone.”

“If I have time while I’m here…” She sat on the couch and fluffed a pillow. “I’ll think about it. Can you hit the light please?”


She stood up and hit the light herself, returning to the couch. “It’s nice seeing you again, Carter. You look really good. Happy.”

“I’m not happy…”

“Well, I am.” She gave me a look that said, ‘go away’ and it took everything inside of me not to turn the light back on and pull her up, to make her listen to what I had to say.

To prevent myself from losing my shit, I went into the guest room and slammed the door shut.

Track 29. I Wish You Would (3:44)

I couldn’t breathe.

I was pretty sure I was going to pass out in the middle of this awkward dinner if Sean didn’t lean over and resuscitate me soon.

Four of us—Josh, Sean, Carter and I were sitting at a table in the back, and with the exception of Carter, we were all getting along. We were going over the menu—pointing all of the best things that he had to try, and Carter was glaring at me. Not saying a word.

I couldn’t deny that when I’d first seen him earlier today that my heart had nearly jumped out of my chest in excitement, had almost screamed, “You still love him!” but I’d kept my face stiff and as emotionless as possible.

Even though one touch of his hand had sent my body into a familiar state of overdrive, I was still hurt. Besides, my heart was a fucking idiot.

Sean met all of my spreadsheet specifications perfectly: Smart, witty, subtly stylish, and one hell of a kisser. True, we hadn’t had sex and the thought of doing so had yet to even cross my mind, but I was waiting for my heart to lose all hope of Carter before plowing ahead one hundred percent.

Get your shit together, Heart…The man sitting across from me broke you…Remember that…

“So…” Sean looked confused. “This place only serves breakfast food and dessert?”

“Yeah,” Josh said. “It’s amazing. You can’t go wrong with whatever you try.”

“I’m not much of a breakfast guy…” He flipped the menu. “Not that big a fan of dessert, either.”

“Then why the fuck are you a chef?” Carter muttered under his breath.

Sean didn’t hear it, but Josh threw him a pointed look.

“You have to try this,” I said, clasping his hand. “Trust me, your life will never be the same.”

“Well, when you put it that way…” He leaned over and kissed me. “I’ll get this week’s specialty waffle plate.”

The waitress stepped over at that moment, unknowingly giving us a much needed breather. “Alright, my favorite people…Josh, what are you having?”

“I’m going to try the caramel waffle with peanut butter chips. I’ll also have strawberry syrup with it, unless you all have finally taken my suggestion about creating some that’s weed flavored?””

She hit his head with her notepad and laughed. Then she pointed her pen at Sean. “What about you?”

“I’ll have the specialty waffle plate.”

“What type of syrup?”

“Regular maple will be great.”

“Okay, then.” She folded her pad and tucked it into her apron. “I’ll bring out some more orange juice and some more napkins. Your orders should be ready pretty soon.”

“Wait a minute.” Sean cleared his throat. “You only took two orders. You didn’t get Arizona’s or Carter’s.”

She gave him a blank stare, furrowing her eyebrow. “Good one. I like your sense of humor.” She walked away.

“Okay…” He looked at me, confused. “Is only taking half of the orders per table a local quirk I’m not understanding?”

“No, um…” I smiled. “I used to come here a whole lot with—”

“Me,” Carter said, interrupting. “And since we always order the same thing, there’s no need to ask for our order.”

Not catching the rudeness in Carter’s tone, Sean smiled at me.

“So, Sean…” Josh tried to salvage the night. “Tell me about yourself. Where are you from?”

I tuned him out and sipped my water, meeting Carter’s gaze.

I didn’t want to admit it, but he looked even sexier now than he did before I left. His jet black hair was cut a little shorter, his lips—even though they were currently pressed together in an angry line, were making butterflies fly around in my chest at the thought of them reconnecting with mine.

I noticed a new tattoo on his forearm, tucked underneath one of his cypress branches, but I didn’t dare ask what it was. I wasn’t going to ask him anything right now.

Our waitress stepped over to the table again, handing out our orders, and as if she could tell something was wrong with Carter, she didn’t bother smiling in his direction. “Let me know if you all need anything. I’ll be around…”