He was always very hands-on when he got off work.

And if I counted the amount of time that passed from when he hit the bed to when he was inside me, it was probably around a couple of minutes. If that. Which was also something I had a hard time wrapping my head around. With other guys, I needed foreplay, lots of foreplay. With Reece, just the feel of his skin moving against mine aroused me enough for some between-the-sheets shenanigans.

I also discovered that he hadn’t been joking when he’d said he only slept a few hours here and there. There’d been a few times when he’d gotten up before me, even after falling asleep after me. On Thursday, I’d woken up to find him gone, sitting out on the balcony, his feet kicked up on the railing and his expression far away, focused on something he hadn’t really been willing to share with me, but the shadows in his eyes told me it had to do with that shooting.

It still haunted him, and I hated that I had no idea how to help him with that. Or if he wanted my help. That morning, when I tried to talk to him, it had been a no-go, so I resorted to one way that I knew put that carefree smile back on his handsome face. I’d gotten on my knees between him and that balcony railing . . . and we definitely broke some public decency laws.

If my dumb nervousness was showing on the way to Jax’s—which it had to be because I was as twitchy as a tweeker—Reece didn’t let on that he noticed. Instead, he kept the conversation light, steering away from talk about Charlie, Henry, and the whole angry, creepy stalker dude who may or may not be Henry.

All we did know was that it wasn’t Dean Zook. Colton had interviewed him after the break-in, and apparently just the sight of a detective showing up at his place had caused the guy to break out in hives. According to Colton, Dean might be persistent and rude, but he wasn’t getting a stalker vibe from him and he doubted that I’d hear from Dean again.

Okay. I wasn’t going to think about that—any of that. Tonight was going to be normal and fun and all things good.

When we pulled into the parking lot and Reece killed the engine, I felt my stomach drop and land on my feet as my gaze locked with a cerulean one. “Did I tell you that you look beautiful today?” he said.

My lips parted as I nodded. He had. That morning.

“Oh. I’m going to tell you again. You look beautiful.”

Wordless, all I could do was stare at him. He was so handsome, but it was the openness in his steady gaze, the acceptance of me and all my crazy that really undid me.


You’ve fallen, an insidious voice whispered and I wanted to smack that dumb bitch upside her head, because another chirpier voice was pointing out that I probably fell when I was fifteen. It was just a long, slow-motion kind of fall at this point.

“You got the potato salad?”

“Huh?” I murmured, distracted by the warring voices in my head.

He gestured at my feet. “The potato salad that we bought at the store that you insisted on putting in another plastic container so it looked like you actually made it when I’m sure there’s no one here going to believe you actually made that.”

“Oh!” I bent over, scooping up the tub. “I totally made this.”


“Shut up,” I hissed, yanking on the handle, but the door wouldn’t budge. I rolled my eyes. “Can you unlock my door?”

He chuckled and hit the button. I all but fell out of the damn thing, and then was stunned that within a heartbeat, Reece was by my side, taking the potato salad out of my grasp and grabbing my hand with his.

We were holding hands.

Like boyfriend and girlfriend.

We were totally holding hands as we crossed the parking lot, and I was torn between punching myself in the lady bits and skipping like a schoolgirl.

I needed therapy.

The door to Jax’s townhome was unlocked, and as soon as we stepped inside the house, we almost plowed into a beautiful redhead coming down the stairs.

“Hey!” I squealed. “Avery!” Then I frowned. “Are you okay?”

Avery looked a little green as she gave me a wobbly smile. “Hey,” she replied in a much more subdued voice. “Sorry. I’m getting over a stomach bug. The stomach is still a little woozy, but I’m not contagious or anything.” She glanced at where my hand was mating with Reece’s, and her grin strengthened. “Hi, Reece.”

He nodded. “Are you sure you’re okay? Do we need to get Cam?”

Avery’s laugh was airy. “Yes, I’m sure. And besides, I doubt you’ll pull him away from the grill. I’m pretty sure he kicked Jax off grill duty. He does that everywhere we go. It’s weird.”

“Probably a good thing. Cam can cook, right?” I asked as we followed her to the kitchen and out the back door.

Her eyes got this dreamy look that was goofy and cute, and I wondered if I looked like that when people mentioned Reece. Probably not as adorable, and more whacked. “Yeah, he can cook.”

Reece squeezed my hand. “I bet his omelets aren’t as good as mine.”

I snorted.

His eyes narrowed on me as his lips twitched. “You wait and see if I make you another omelet anytime soon.”

Avery’s avid gaze bounced back and forth between us. “So you guys . . . um—”

“Joined the league of the incredibly good-looking couple secret organization of annoying hotness?” Katie appeared, popping out of a wall for all I knew. Dressed down today—sort of—she was wearing hot-pink jeans and an off-the-shoulder black shirt. “Yes. The answer would be yes.”

Most Popular