“You know what, I will take this, but only because you owe me an ice cream.”

“I do?”

“Yes. You stole mine last week—or did you forget already?”

“Huh.” He looks out at the parking lot, grinning. “Must have slipped my mind.”

The lights are illuminating him in a way that makes him look like the god everyone seems to think he is.

Shep in jeans and a tee is hot enough. Shep sitting on the bed of a truck in a tux?

I might as well just throw my panties on the ground right now because holy shit.

Watching him work the room tonight was…unexpected. He was kind, polite, patient—basically the exact opposite of the cocky-in-a-not-so-sexy-way Shep I knew throughout college. Tonight, it was almost like he was the Shep I knew before.

The Shep I miss.

But the man he was tonight doesn’t align with who he was last month…which is as confusing as it is concerning.

I’ve been trying to bite my tongue, but there have been so many questions rolling around in my head since we left.

What did that guy mean when he said I’m the one who caused the fight Shep was involved in last month? How would that even be possible? I wasn’t anywhere near that area. Hell, we weren’t even on speaking terms then. I still hated him.

Well, hated him as much as I could.

“Quit staring. It’s rude.”

Caught red-handed, I avert my gaze.

Just ask him.

“You can ask, you know. I’ve been waiting for it all night.”

I sit up straighter, weirded out that he knows what I’m thinking. “Ask what?”

“Don’t play games, Bucky. It doesn’t suit you. You can ask what Braxton meant.”

“What did Braxton mean?” The words tumble from my lips even though I’m scared of the answer.

“You remember Jacob Gerard from college? Played on the team with me?”

“I can’t picture his face but the name sounds familiar.”

I watch the muscles in Shep’s jaw jump. “He remembers you, Den—quite well, actually.”

“Okay,” I say, stretching the word out, confused. “What about him?”

“Last month I was up north, hanging with some guys from the team and some from college after one of the games. Gerard was there. We were sitting around…” He pauses, trying to choose his next words carefully. “Let’s just say we were talking about our college experiences.”

The way he says it gives it away.

“You mean your college conquests.”

He shuffles around uncomfortably, and I can’t help but laugh.

“Trust me, Shep, I know you’re not a virgin. The whole fucking college knew you weren’t a virgin. No need to act shy about it now.”

“You weren’t exactly an angel yourself.”

“You’d be real damn surprised,” I mutter.

He’s right, I wasn’t an angel in college. I had my fair share of flings and fun, but I didn’t sleep around as much as people tended to say I did. In fact, most of the guys I brought home with me just ended up getting to second base and that was as far as things went.

I knew they were running back and telling their friends they were scoring homeruns, but I didn’t care, because I knew it was pissing Shep off.

Hence why I “dated” half the baseball team.

He’d get so mad every time he’d see one of his teammates with me. I loved to see the way his teeth clenched together, the nagging that could have been mine feeling that shone through his eyes.

Was it petty of me to flaunt that in front of Shep? Sure, but it was wrong of him to break my fucking heart too.

Fair is fair.

“What does that mean?”

“Nothing,” I tell him. “Tell me what I have to do with what happened last month.”

His knuckles turn white as he clenches the edge of the tailgate, staring out into the parking lot with rage and annoyance on his face.

“You might not remember Gerard, but he definitely remembers you. I had to sit through a rather detailed description of your…time together before he told us your name.”

He’s upset—fuming almost.

“And your asinine conversation earned him a good beating because…”

“Because it’s you, Den!” he explodes, leaping off the truck. “Because I had to hear in excruciating detail about all the things that should have been mine!”

His? HIS?!

“You have got to be kidding me, Shepard. You ruined us!”

I take a few deep breaths, trying to calm myself, not wanting to let him get the best of me yet again.

“It was you,” I repeat, quieter. “Not me. You don’t get to be mad at me for moving on with my life, especially not when you more than moved on. If you think I haven’t had to hear all about your escapades, you’re dead wrong, buddy.”

He stands there, breathing hard, chest pumping with adrenaline.

“Is that why you hit him? Because I had sex with him?”

“No. I hit him because he didn’t respect you enough to keep his fucking mouth shut about it.”

I’m taken aback by his words. “You say that like you’ve never participated in that kind of bragging before.”

“I have.” He nods. “You’re right. But I’m not that person anymore. I can’t be that person anymore. I have to be better. I’ve lost too much being that guy.”

“Lost what?”

“Never mind,” he mutters. “Point is, it wasn’t okay for Gerard to do that shit, so I taught him a lesson.”

“If you ask me—”

“I didn’t,” he interrupts.

I ignore him.

“I’d say it was just jealousy, not you wanting to teach him anything.”

“Jealousy?” He laughs sardonically. “No, Den, that was definitely not jealousy.”

“Sounds like it to me.”

Suddenly, he’s stalking toward me, not stopping until he’s shoved himself between my legs. My lips part on an involuntary gasp and his fiery hazel stare is drawn to the movement. Heat floods my core as his scent hits me, all man mixed with just a touch of cinnamon. My cheeks burn where his hand cups my jaw.

I don’t move. I can’t.

I’m entranced. Captivated.

And so fucking turned on it hurts.

“I wasn’t jealous, Den.”

“N-No?” I stammer.

“No, because I know if I wanted to—and I mean if I really fucking wanted to—I could have you, anytime, any place. You can’t say no to me, Bucky.”

“I can too.”

“Bullshit.”

“Bullshit bullshit,” I whisper.

His lips fall to mine with a gentleness I wasn’t expecting.

He pulls back, looking into my eyes, that angry fire now replaced by a yearning one.

Is this okay? they ask.

It’s not okay…yet it’s the most euphoric I’ve ever felt.

It’s not okay…yet I want it more than anything I’ve ever wanted before, even though I shouldn’t.

It’s not okay…but in this moment, I don’t care. I want it too badly to care.

I press my hand to his cheek, running my fingers over the stubble already growing there.

He takes it as the yes it is, and this time his lips aren’t gentle. They’re hard and demanding and filled with so much unvoiced want.

Want that’s been bottled up for years and years.

Want that’s been hidden behind facades and insults and lies to make ourselves feel better about what we really want.

Shepard Clark doesn’t hate me. He never hated me.

And I never hated him either.

Our tongues twist together as I wrap my legs around his waist.

Through my thin leggings, I can feel his cock brushing against my wet pussy, and I wish there were nothing between us, wish he would lift us up into the bed of his truck and have his way with me.

Without warning, he picks me up, carries me around the passenger side, and pulls the back door open. He tosses me inside like I weigh nothing, and I scoot until I’m on the other side of the cab, shoving my overpriced dress onto the floor. He climbs in after me, not stopping until I’m lying underneath him.

“That’s a lot better,” he mutters before his mouth finds mine again.

His dick presses back against my center and the friction nearly sends me over the edge.

It’s also enough to knock me out of the haze I’m in.

What the hell am I doing?

I can’t do this, not with Shep, and certainly not in the back of his truck.

I push at him and he instantly pulls away, but that doesn’t stop him from rocking his hips against me one more time.

“We have to stop.”

He rests his head against my chest, his breaths labored and erratic, matching my own. “I know, but I really don’t want to. My dick will probably fall off if we stop now.”

I laugh at his dramatics. “Guess you’ll just have to be dickless.”

“I don’t think you’d like me near as much then.”

“I don’t even like you now, Shep.”

That’s not a lie, and we both know it.

I don’t like Shep, but I don’t hate him either.

We’re walking this thin line, the same one we’ve always walked, and right now it’s too much. I don’t know what to do with it, but I know for sure I don’t want to do something I’ll regret later…like letting him fuck me in the back seat of his truck.

***

***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com

***