“I know,” he said with a deep tone of voice. When I turned back to him, my throat burned as a scream escaped me. I was staring at a huge, green man who was holding me against his body. His eyes were glowing green and he held me up. “Incredible Hulk wants to smash you!”

“Holy shit!” I screamed, shaking myself from a very weird, twisted nightmare. Within seconds, Tristan was standing at his bedroom window, looking at me.

“Are you okay?”

I looked down to see I was wearing a white tank top with white panties and no bra. I screamed again, covering my chest with a blanket. “Oh my God, go away!” I hissed, freaking out.

“I’m sorry! I heard you scream and…” He paused and raised an eyebrow, looking into my eyes. “Did you just have a sex dream?” He started chuckling, covering his mouth with his hand. “You just had a sex dream.”

“Go away!” I said, leaping up from my bed and closing my window shades.

“Okay, okay, you nasty woman, you. I told you about those books.”

My cheeks blushed over, and I collapsed back on my bed, pulling the cover over my head.

Freaking Incredible Hulk. Freaking Tristan Cole.

Chapter Twenty


“You’ve been avoiding eye contact with me all day,” Tristan said as he moved some items around in Needful Things. I sat at the counter, watching Mr. Henson make me an herbal tea mixture. Emma and Zeus were running around on a hunt for random objects in the store. We’d been coming to Mr. Henson’s shop weekly now for tea, hot cocoa, and every now and again a tarot reading. I was beginning to love the place. “You don’t have to be shy about it, I’m pretty sure it happens to everyone,” Tristan explained.

“What are you talking about? I’m not avoiding you. And I don’t know what happens to everyone because nothing happened to me.” I huffed, totally avoiding his stare. Each time I looked at him I couldn’t stop blushing and imagining his shirt bursting open as he transformed into a beast.

“It was just a sex dream,” he said.

“It wasn’t a sex dream!” I vocalized, sounding a little too guilty.

Tristan turned to Mr. Henson with a smug smirk on his face. “Elizabeth was having a sex dream last night.”

“Shut up, Tristan!” I screamed, slamming my hands against the table. My face was beet red, and I couldn’t stop it from heating up.

Mr. Henson looked at me, and then at my tea mixture, and added a few more herbs. “Sex dreams are normal.”

“Was it a good sex dream?” Tristan badgered me. I was five seconds away from figuring out a way I could beat him up.

My lips parted to deny the dream, but I couldn’t. My hands cupped my face and I sighed heavily. “We aren’t talking about this.”

“Come on, you have to tell us now,” he said, walking over to sit on the stool beside me.

I twisted away from him.

He took my stool and twisted me back toward him.

“Oh crap,” he muttered, looking at me with eyes filled with understanding.

“Shut up, Tristan!” I muttered again, unable to look at him for too long.

“You had a sex dream about me?!” he hollered, and I slugged him in the arm as a reflex at his words.

Mr. Henson chortled. “Plot twist.”

A wicked smile spread across Tristan’s face and it was official: I. Am. Dying! He leaned in and whispered, “Did I do that thing with my tongue to your lips?”

I blushed. “Which lips are we talking about?” I whispered back.

His wolfish grin deepened. “You filthy, filthy girl.”

Pushing myself off my stool, my eyes met Mr. Henson. “Can I get that in a to-go cup?”

“Oh, come on, Elizabeth, I need to know more!” Tristan said, laughing at my embarrassment. I ignored him and took my tea, which Mr. Henson had transferred to a to-go cup.

“I’m not talking to you,” I said, moving to leave the store. “Come on, Emma, let’s go.”

“Just a few more details!” he begged as I held the front door open.

A heavy sigh left me and I turned his way. “You took me to a green room where you transformed into a green monster and started smashing me around the room. And I mean ‘smashing’ in every possible sense of the word.”

Blinking eyes. Blinking eyes. Blank stare. Blank stare. “Come again?”

His paramount confusion almost made me burst into laughter. “You wanted to know.”

“You’re a really, really odd woman.”

Mr. Henson smiled. “Ah, the same thing happened to me during the summer of 1976.”

“You had a sex dream?” I asked, confused.

“Dream? No, honey. I was tossed around a green room and smashed.”

Awkward moment number five thousand four hundred and forty-two of my stay in Meadows Creek. “On that note, I’m leaving. Thanks for the tea, Mr. Henson.”

“I’ll be by to cut the grass later today,” Tristan said.

I knew there was nothing dirty about his words, but still, I blushed as if there was.

That afternoon, Faye came over because I wanted her help picking out the best designs and paint colors for Tristan’s house. She always had such a solid eye for the tiny details.

We sat on the front porch with the three design boards I’d created, but instead of her focusing on the task at hand, she was watching the handsome man cutting my grass. Standing on his feet, helping him push the lawnmower was Emma, who was convinced she could cut grass better than Tristan. She argued with him the whole time, telling him how he was doing a terrible job. He just smiled and sassed her back. Faye stared at Tristan, almost awestruck at his transformation. She hadn’t seen him since he’d cut off all of his hair and revealed his strong bone structure. She also hadn’t ever seen him smile until today. His beard was already growing back in, and honestly I was happy about that. I loved his beard almost as much as I loved his smile.