Damn me straight to hell and back. I was never drinking again. Fuck beer and the keg it rode in on.

Jase’s eyes held mine, and what felt like an eternity stretched out before he dropped his hand and cursed. “Get in the car, Tess. And do not argue with me.” He started to turn, but then whipped back toward me. “Fuck it.”

He didn’t even give me a chance to follow him. Like the first day he joined music class, one second I was standing and the next second I was over his shoulder. The world tilted and my hair fell forward in a tangled mess.

“What the hell?” I shrieked, grabbing fistfuls of his shirt. “Put me down!”

“Hell no. I’m not standing out here arguing with you.” He stalked over to the Jeep and yanked open the door. “You and I are going to talk—­”

“I don’t want to talk to you!” I slammed my palm into his back. He didn’t make a sound as he turned around, dropping me onto the front seat. “You—­”

“You move out of that seat, I swear to God, I will sit on you,” he warned.

“I don’t—­what? Sit on me? What are you? Two?”

Jase gripped the door. “Stay there.”

“I’m not a dog.”

He leaned in, putting his face right in mine. Up close, his eyes were a stunning shade of silver. “Stay here. If you get out, I will chase after you. Like a dog.”


I scrunched up my nose. “That’s an attractive mental image.”

“Focus on that image for a few seconds.” Backing up, he slammed the door shut.

There wasn’t enough time to truly debate the whole running and him chasing me option. He was in the car and it was moving before my brain caught up with what was happening.

“That cupcake wasn’t for her.”

I didn’t believe him.

“It was for you. Shit, I can’t believe you were going to walk home, ” he said, shaking his head as he thrust his fingers through his hair. “Why? Because of me?”

“No. Absolutely not. I just wanted to go home.”

“Yeah. You’re a terrible liar.”

“You have terrible perception,” I snapped, folding my arms. The beer sloshed in my stomach. “And why are you even here? Don’t you have a half-­naked chick waiting for you in your bedroom?”

“And that didn’t have anything to do with why you left?”

I opened my mouth, but closed it. Crap. I stared out the window, pressing my lips together. “I was obviously interrupting.”

“Actually, I was glad you interrupted.”

I barked out a laugh. “Sure you were.”

There was a beat of silence as he hooked a right. “That wasn’t what you thought. What was going on in there? Nothing was going to happen.”

“I’m not stupid, Jase. And, honestly, do you even owe me an explanation? No. We’re friends, remember? You can talk to or screw whoever. And I can talk to and screw whoever. After all, I just want to get—­”

“I do owe you an explanation, damnit.” He gripped the steering wheel. “And wait—­screwing whoever? Who the f**k do you—­”

My breath caught in a god-­awful way, burning my eyes. “I don’t want to talk.”

“We need to talk,” he interrupted, voice hard. “We needed to talk since yesterday.”

“And I have a phone.” I whipped toward him in the seat, planting my hand on the dashboard. “You haven’t called or anything.”

He sent me a side look. “I figured I’d let you calm down. I would’ve talked to you tonight if Cam wasn’t around.”

“Oh, but I guess you were too busy, huh?” God, I knew I sounded snide and snotty. I needed to shut up.

Jase took a deep breath. “I didn’t invite her up there, Tess. She came up on her own.”

“And I guess she just took her shirt off? Does that happen to you a lot without any warning?” I laughed harshly. “What an interesting life you must lead. Falling on girls’ mouths and having them whipping their shirts off.”

That half grin appeared. “Well, I do live a charmed life . . .”

“Shut up.”

He sighed. “Tess, I’m not lying to you. Okay? Her name is Steph. We’ve messed around a few times, but not recently. I didn’t even know she was going to be here tonight. She came up and she took her shirt off.”

I snorted.

A muscle throbbed along his jaw. “She wanted to do more. I’m not going to lie, I briefly considered it because I’m a guy, but I didn’t, because she’s not who I want. And nothing happened. Her shirt came off a minute before you walked in.”

I stared at him for a moment and then looked away. Believing him was equivalent to walking in front of a car. And damn, I wanted to believe him. The thumping in my chest was begging me to believe him.

“Shit, Tess, I even picked up that cupcake for you.” There was a pause. “Do you really think I would’ve been screwing a girl knowing you were at the party?”

“You didn’t know I was there.”

“I did,” he shot back.

Okay. Whatever. I shrugged.

“Damnit, Tess, you really think that?” He swore again. “You think that?”

“You’ve kissed me and regretted it. You’ve said things you didn’t remember when you were drunk, so—­”

Jase hit the brakes and we stopped in the middle of the dark street. My eyes widened as I twisted toward him. “What are you—­”

“Nothing has happened between Steph and me for months, Tess. Nothing. And you know what? I’ve never kissed her.”

I blinked. “What?”

“Never. And it’s been years since I’ve actually kissed a girl, so don’t sit there and think you know what happened. You don’t.”

There was a good chance someone was going to come speeding down this road and plow into us. “But you’ve kissed me.”

“I did. Shit, I did kiss you and . . .”

“How can I believe that?” Better yet, why should I believe that? Didn’t matter. Not really.

Jase cursed again, and then his hand was wrapping around the back of my head. When he tugged me forward, my heart jumped. He kissed me. There was nothing slow about it. The kiss was fierce and hard. He kissed me like he was staking a claim or like he hadn’t done so in a very long time. Blood turned to lava in my veins. He broke the kiss, and all I could do was stare at him, my heart pounding crazy fast.

I believed him.

I don’t know why or how a kiss could prove what he said, but it did. To the day I died, I would believe what he said.

He returned to his seat, breathing heavy, and hit the gas. The car started to moved again. “That—­that is what didn’t happen between her and me. Not ever, Tess.”

Maybe it was the beer. The need to prove that I could be as sexy, daring, and alluring as the girl in his room without taking my shirt off or having her breasts. Or maybe it was the kiss. It could’ve been all the emotion rising in my chest and the lust that caused heat to pool between my thighs. Maybe it was all these things. It didn’t matter. My brain had clicked off, and I was already moving before any rational thought could form or I could think about the consequences. Or about the fact that Jase had a lot going on. Or about hurt feelings.

I leaned over the center console, pressing my lips to the corner of his mouth. He didn’t jerk away as I slipped my hand between his legs, cupping him. Then he jerked, but against my hand. He was hard, straining against the zipper.

“Jesus,” he groaned, and as I pulled my head back, I saw his hand farthest from me white knuckle the steering wheel. He cast me a quick sidelong glance with heavy hooded eyes. “What are you doing?”

“Looks obvious, doesn’t it?” I moved my hand up, following the rather impressive length.

He took a deep breath, shifting his gaze to the road. “Nothing is obvious when it comes to you.” He could’ve removed my hand or told me stop. “Nothing you do in this f**king world is obvious.”

The words mingled with the strange, warm haze invading my thoughts. My hands knew what to do. I’d done it before. Only a few times, but I imagined it was like riding a bicycle. You really couldn’t forget or do it wrong.

Well, that was really an unsexy way to look at it.

I flicked open the button on his jeans, carefully tugging the zipper down. The tinny sound seemed louder than the air coming in from the partially rolled down windows.

Jase was breathing heavily as I reached in and wrapped my fingers around the warm, hard skin and eased him out. “Tess,” he ground out. A shudder worked its way through him, and he jumped against my hand as I palmed him. The Jeep slowed.

His skin was red-­hot, smooth as silk, and I was incredibly awed. There were a few seconds when I was mystified by the feel of him. I felt him from his base to the tip, and my stomach hollowed.

“Aw, God, this is going to drive me crazy.” His voice was thick. “You really—­”

I stretched as far as I could go and lowered my head. The salty taste of his skin danced over my tongue. I moved my hand down slowly as I kept exploring, bringing him deeper into my mouth.

“Tess,” he growled, his body flexing as I tasted him for the first time. As I moved up, I swirled my tongue along the head. “Holy shit, where did you learn that? Fuck. Don’t answer. I don’t want to know. I prefer to think you were born with that talent.”

A laugh bubbled up and vibrated over him. He swore and his body tightened in response. Hmm. I had no idea a laugh in this position would do that to him. He was throbbing in my hand and in my mouth. Instinct seemed to take over as I matched my hand to my mouth.

“You’re going to kill me—­kill us.” His h*ps jerked, and I heard the engine roar. “Fuck,” he growled as I picked up the pace. “You’re killing me.”

I smiled around him as I flicked my tongue along his head. Heat swamped me, moving down my body. I ached between my thighs. The few times I’d done this before I’d never been aroused. Not like this. It was like this was the first time I really wanted to do this, and that made me hot.

A murmur of triumph was muffled as his free hand dropped to the back of my head. He threaded his fingers through my hair, loosening the bun as he placed the slightest weight on my head. He guided me for a few moments and then his hand slipped down, wrapping around my neck. His thumb found my pulse, gently massaging the skin until I was squeezing my thighs together.

“I’m not going to last. Ah fuck, I’m . . .” His h*ps powered up and he shook. He gripped the nape of my neck. “Tess, you have to stop or I’m going to—­”

I wasn’t going anywhere. I don’t know why. I never swallowed before. The idea of it wigged me out, but not with him. Apparently, it was my inner p**n star. It took one more twist of my tongue, slide of my hand, and he shouted my name as he pulsed and spasmed.

When it was over, I pressed a kiss to him before I lifted my head, tucked him away, and zipped up his jeans. His hand trembled against the back of my neck as I returned to my seat, the pressure of his fingers carving a brand into my skin.

Jase stared straight ahead, lips parted and his chest rising and falling swiftly. Nothing was to be gained from his expression. I glanced out the window. The road was long and dark. I recognized nothing, so I knew it wasn’t Route 45. I was surprised he hadn’t wrecked.

My gaze swung back to him when he lowered his hand. His jaw was tight, and he was still breathing heavily. My heart skipped and then took a magnificent tumble. Oh my God. I shouldn’t have done it. There was a thousand—­no, a million—­reasons as to why I shouldn’t have done that. So many I could write an epic guide on how to do the wrong thing. Maybe you shouldn’t give guys who had kids road head? How was I to know?

I immediately started working up excuses. I’d been drinking. And I was buzzing. I hadn’t eaten much today. Maybe I had diabetes and was prone to random acts of head. Oh yeah, that sounded believable. Must write that one down for later.

Without saying a word, Jase glanced over to me—­no, to the side of the road. He cut over, slamming to a stop on the shoulder. I threw my arm out, catching myself before I face-­planted on the dashboard.

Car idling, he was eerily silent as he opened the driver’s door and got out. He got out of the car! The overhead light came on.

“Holy shit,” I murmured as I watched him step in front of the headlights, his striking profile cast in harsh, yellow lights.

Was he going to remove me from the car? Make me walk back from the middle of nowhere? That seemed like an excessive response. Right? After all, I think I gave him a pretty damn good orgasm. He should be thanking me—­

Jase wretched open my door, and my gaze immediately dropped. The top of his jeans were still unbuttoned and clutch my pearls, that was hot.

I took a deep breath. “Jase—­”

He clasped the sides of my cheeks and his mouth was on mine. The kiss was like the one before I came up with the brilliant idea of a bl*w j*b. Demanding. Hungry. The kiss brokered no room for anything but tasting and sensation. His tongue parted my lips, capturing the gasp. His head slanted, deepening the kiss as his hands slid under my skirt, wrapping around my hips. Lifting his mouth, he kept his eyes riveted on mine as he turned me in the seat toward where he stood.

I squeaked as he tugged me forward to the edge of the seat. Reaching back, I slammed my hands down on the driver’s seat, elbows bent. A fierce, raw tautness etched into his face as he lifted my butt off the seat and hooked his fingers into the band of my leggings.