This isn’t a dream. This is real.

He slid out from me and twisted me around so I was facing him.

His hands grasped around my behind, and he lifted me, forcing me to wrap my legs around his waist, his body the only thing that kept me from falling. Our foreheads fell against each other’s as he slid back inside me. “Don’t close your eyes,” he begged. His eyes were filled with lust, with passion, with…love?

Or maybe it was my own love I was seeing shining through him. Either way, I liked the feeling it created in me. He kept entering me hard and pulling out slow. My core was shaking, my eyes wanting to close, but I couldn’t. They had to stay open. I had to see him.

I was seconds away…

Seconds away from my body giving way to him. Seconds away from losing myself and finding myself with Tristan Cole inside me. “I’m going to…” I muttered, my body shaking as the orgasm overtook me, my words falling away. My eyes closed and I felt his lips press against mine as my body shook against him.

“God, I love that, Lizzie. I love it so much when you lose yourself against me.” He smiled against my lips as I moaned into him.

“I want all of you,” I begged. “Please.”

“I’m yours.”

That night we fell asleep in each other’s arms. In the middle of the night, we woke up, and he slid inside me again, finding ourselves together, losing ourselves together. Early the next morning, we touched each other again. Every time he entered me, it was as if he was apologizing for something. Every time he kissed me, it was as if he was begging for my forgiveness. Every time he blinked, I swore I saw his soul.

Chapter Twenty-Four


When I woke up, I rolled over and noticed Tristan was missing from my bed. A part of me wondered if the night before had been a dream, but when my fingers landed on the pillowcase beside me, I picked up a note.

You’re so beautiful when you snore. —TC

I held the paper to my chest before I reread it over and over again. The sound of a lawnmower was the only thing that stopped me from reading the note again. I tossed on a pair of shorts and a tank top, wanting to go watch Tristan cutting my grass and kiss his lips gently, but once I stepped onto my porch, I stopped.

He wasn’t mowing my grass.

He was cutting his lawn.

To everyone else in the world, it wouldn’t have seemed like a big deal, seeing a man cutting his grass. But I knew it meant more. I knew Tristan Cole had spent months sleepwalking through life, and today, he was slowly waking up.

Tristan and I started leaving Post-It notes around each other’s houses for one another. Unlike Mama and Dad’s, ours weren’t as romantic. Most of the time, they were corny and silly—which kind of made me love them even more.


I think you have a cute butt. –EB


Sometimes when I’m cutting the grass and you’re sitting on your porch reading your dirty books, I see your face blush when you get to a really good part. That Mr. Darcy must have done some crazy shit to Elizabeth’s body. –TC


I don’t know if I should be worried or turned on that you know the names of the characters from Pride and Prejudice. –EB


You. Are. So. Fucking. Beautiful. –TC


Knock knock. –EB


Who’s there? –TC


Me. Naked. At midnight. In my bed. Join me. Bring an Incredible Hulk costume and your huge green monster. –EB


Please, please, please never call my penis a green monster. On a scale of 1-10, that’s a solid ‘fucked up’. –TC

P.S. I won’t argue with the word ‘huge’ though. I even think you should look into other words like: Enormous. Massive. Gigantic. Heaven-sent.


I want you to hold me tonight. –EB


You know that place in between nightmares and dreams? The place where tomorrows never come and yesterdays don’t hurt anymore? The place where your heart beats in sync with mine? The place where time doesn’t exist, and it’s easy to breathe?

I want to live there with you. –TC

Chapter Twenty-Five


Weeks began to pass, and if Tristan wasn’t kissing my lips, he was in a sassy argument with Emma. They fought over the weirdest things, but would always end up laughing together.

“I’m telling you, Tock , Iron Man is the best Avenger,” Tristan said, throwing French fries at Emma from across the table.

“No way! He doesn’t have a cool shield like Captain America, Tick! You don’t know anything about anything.”

“I know something about something, so take that!” he said, sticking his tongue out at her. She laughed and stuck her tongue out at him.

“You don’t know ANYTHING!”

A conversation like this happened each night, and I was starting to love our new normal.

One night after I put Emma to bed, Tristan and I lay on the living room floor, books in our hands. I held on to Harry Potter, while his eyes were fixed on the Bible. Sometimes I would turn to glance at him and I would catch him staring at me with a small smile on his face before he went back to reading.

“Okay,” I said, laying the book in my lap. “Your thoughts on the Bible so far.”

He laughed and nodded. “It makes you think. It makes you want to know more about everything.”

“But?” I asked, knowing there was a ‘but’ coming.

“But…I don’t understand at least ninety-six percent of it.” He chuckled, placing the book down.

“What do you want to be, Tristan?”