Page 29

Maybe everything there is to say can be said in the silence of this room.

In the dark of night.

Between the space of two sheets.

Griffin’s head turns toward me and his sleepy eyes blink open. I continue to feather my fingers over his back and the sexy curve of his ass—defined, firm, and inked.

“What time is it?” he mumbles.

I glance at his alarm clock. “Almost two o’clock. Go back to sleep.”

“Why aren’t you sleeping?” He rubs his face into his pillow and rests his cheek on it, blinking heavily.

“I can’t sleep. I still feel terrible about—”

“Shh …” He palms my ass and pulls me closer.

“Don’t you think we should talk?”

Griffin rolls onto his back while sliding me onto his stomach. “No talking yet.”

“Why not?” I whisper.

He sits up until we’re nose to nose, my legs straddling his lap, his erection sliding against my clit. “Because I’m not done taking.” Guiding my hips up a few inches, he lines himself up and slides me down onto him. We both let out a slow moan and close our eyes.

Demanding lips silence the pain.

Possessive hands soothe it.

The rock of our hips push it away.

And when we fall apart—sweaty, breathless, and exhausted—we are a little bit better. A single touch can say things twenty-six letters can’t even begin to say.

*

I wake to an unfamiliar beeping. “Griff … your alarm,” I mumble, burying my head under the pillow.

When the beeping continues, I notice there’s not a warm arm draped over my body or a muscular leg entwined with mine. I don’t like the emptiness. My hand slaps at the nightstand until the beeping stops. Easing to sitting, I rub my eyes. Next to the alarm there’s a note.

Good morning.

Working all day.

The only words that matter are these: your grocery store guy loves you. And …

You owe me a birthday blowjob.

~Grif

“Totally sex-crazed.” I roll my eyes, but my face hurts from grinning so big. It feels like I went to Hell and back in three days. I had no idea that Hell is simply my life without Griffin Calloway.

After a quick trip home to shower and grab breakfast, I text Nate to let him know I may be a few minutes late, but I jump out of my car and jog to the door with thirty seconds to spare.

“Good morning.” Nate smiles while screwing on the lid to his stainless steel coffee mug.

Morgan’s dressed and kicking around in her swing, which he has in the middle of the great room. Some kind of classical music plays from the TV while pictures of nature drift across the screen.

“Good morning.” I set my bag down and give him an appreciative grin when he hands me a cup of coffee. “How was your weekend?”

Nate slips his laptop into his computer bag and latches it. “Good. My parents came over for dinner on Saturday night.”

“How are your parents?”

He slings his bag over his shoulder. “They’re good. My mom has been struggling with fibromyalgia, but she’s managing the pain. I’m sure my parents are much different than you remember.”

I shrug. “Your memories, not mine. But it’s good that they’re good, right?”

Nate gives me a concentrated look for a few seconds before nodding. “Yes. They reconciled years ago. Counseling. Church every Sunday. At one time I thought I was the only reason they decided to give it a real second chance, but twenty-one years later … they’re still together, and it’s not for my sake.”

“That’s pretty rare. I don’t think most couples try that hard to make things work.”

“True.” He sips his coffee. “How was your weekend? Did everything go well Friday?”

“Friday …” I chuckle, the kind that hides the pain. “Friday’s appointment went well. I have another appointment this week, but it’s early. I should be done before you need me here.”

“That’s fine.” He walks toward the back door and stops. “And for the record, I always need you here. Morgan still likes you better than me. It’s such a sad truth.” Glancing back over his shoulder, he winks.

I giggle and shake my head. “Go to work, Professor. I have to snoop around your house before you get there and can see me on your spy cameras.”

“I can rewind the footage.” He quirks a cocky brow. “But snoop away. I have nothing to hide.”

Who is this guy? It’s all I can think when he shuts the door behind him. I like playful Nate. He’s proving to be everything I imagine the boy in my mind would have grown up to be.

Kind.

Fun.

Strong.

Sexy.

I laugh. In another life I would have crushed on Professor Hunt pretty hard. But that life would have been one where we didn’t have a fifteen year age difference, and that would have been a life without Griffin. That’s not my life nor is it one I ever want to imagine again after the events of the previous days.

Last night … my mouth turns up into a giddy grin thinking of Griffin’s body over me, beneath me, inside of me. I grab my phone to shoot off a text in response to his note this morning.

Swayze: Hope you’re working “hard” knowing that my mouth will be wrapped around your cock later. xo

Trapping my lower lip between my teeth, I press send.

“Lazy Daisy, how are you this morning, sweet baby?” I take her out of her swing. “Let’s get you some floor time. Whatcha think about that?” I spread out a blanket and lay her on it.

After she gets tired of floor time, I warm up a bottle and sit in the recliner to feed her. My phone chimes with a text from Nate. I glance up at the camera. “Yes, Professor?” Resting the bottle against my chest to keep it tipped up for Morgan, I open my messages because all that showed up on my home screen was:

Professor: Um …

“Um what?” I give the camera another quick glance while tapping the message icon.

It’s just “um.” I don’t get it. Until … I glance at the previous message I sent HIM instead of Griffin.

“Oh my god!” I whisper, panic sending my heart nosediving to the pit of my stomach. The only part of my body that moves is my eyes blinking over and over. This cannot be right. I’m not seeing this correctly. There’s no way I sent that text to the wrong person.

It hits me that I just clicked on my messenger, forgetting that the last person I texted this morning before the cock text was Nate about possibly running a few minutes late.

I can’t look up.

I can’t move.

I can’t breathe.

And I definitely cannot ever come back from this. It’s like accidentally seeing someone naked. You can’t unsee that. Nate will never be able to unread this text.

“Oh god …” I whisper again. What if he thinks it wasn’t an accident? What if he thinks I meant to send him the text?

Morgan fusses as the bottle drops to my lap. I grab it and tip it back up for her. My chest aches and my skin burns with searing embarrassment. I didn’t think I could possibly hate these cameras more. Wrong. I hate them so much more right now. He’s watching me die from the inside out, right here—live.

By the time Morgan finishes her bottle and drifts off to sleep, my shirt is soaked in sweat. I still have not given the camera a single glance. With my chin down, I take Morgan to her room and lay her in the crib. Keeping my gaze affixed to my feet, I snag my phone and go into the bathroom away from his creepy cameras.

I take off my shirt and splash cold water onto my face and chest. “You stupid idiot, Swayze,” I scold the overheated, messy blonde in the mirror.

To text or not to text, that is the question. I can’t have him thinking it was meant for him, so I make the digital walk of shame.

Swayze: Kill me now! I’m so monumentally sorry. That text was not meant for you. I hope you know that.

I press send and decide I should say more.

Swayze: I’m embarrassed beyond words, even though I seem to be finding plenty to text you. If you don’t fire me, can we pretend this never happened?

I press send again. Maybe I should also say …

Swayze: I’m not that person. I don’t usually send those texts to anyone, even the right person. I had a fight with Griffin and we made up last night, and he left me a note and the text was in reference to the note.

I press send and I reread the messages. “What the hell? Why did you say all of that?”

Swayze: Ignore the last text. It was TMI.

Send.

Swayze: I’m just nervous.

Send.

Swayze: And really scared for you to come home. It’s going to be awkward.

Send.

I wait. He’s not responding. Why is he not saying anything?

Swayze: Are you getting my messages? Why aren’t you saying something?

Send.

Swayze: I suppose you’re busy. You are at work.

Send.

Swayze: Last text. I promise. Just at least send me a quick emoji or even just a “K” so I know you know what I need you to know.

Send.

“So I know you know what I need you to know? What is wrong with me?” I shove my phone into my pocket to prevent my fingers from typing every single thought that pops into my head.

My phone buzzes. I grab it like it’s a bomb and I have three seconds to disarm it.

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