Teresa grinned as she bit down on her lip. “Nothing, honey.”

“No. Seriously. That’s not a ‘nothing.’ I don’t ever want to hear my sister’s name and the word pole in the same sentence that involves dancing.” Cam glanced at Katie, wielding a slotted spatula, causing Jacob to sidestep a spittle of grease. “No offense.”

She shrugged a shoulder. “None taken. Only the few and the proud can handle it.”

I scrunched my nose. “Isn’t that the Marines’ motto?”

“Yes,” sighed Reece.

Jase eyed his girlfriend and then shook his head. Giggling, Teresa rose from her seat and went to his side. Stretching up, she clasped his cheeks and whispered something in his ear. Whatever it was turned the frown upside down. She returned to the seat, cheeks flushed.

Before I could do anything, Reece dipped his head and kissed my cheek and then wandered off to where all the boys were converged around the grill.

“Sit.” Teresa patted the chair next to her. “Sit down, girl who’s dating a hot cop.”

My heart did a happy little twirl at that as I sat next to her. Calla and Avery joined in while Katie remained standing, nursing her beer. “Cops are hot,” she said, eyes squinting. “Well, any guy in a uniform is hot. Wait. Not any uniform, but you get what I’m saying.”

I had to agree with her.

“Have you heard anything more about the stalker?” Avery asked in a quiet voice.


Calla leaned forward, expression serious. “Your place was broken into, right?”

I nodded. “Yeah, last weekend, but nothing else has happened since then. I know Reece’s friend is coming out on Monday or Tuesday after he gets off to go ahead and wire the place, so hopefully that helps.”

“That’s so frightening,” Avery said, shaking her head. “Yeah, I know that makes me Captain Obvious, but God, that’s just crazy. I’m glad you’re staying with Reece.”

Teresa shuddered. “So am I. If I were you, even with a security system, I wouldn’t want to be alone until they found the freak.”

“Have you thought about just staying with him until they find out who’s doing this?” Calla asked, glancing to where the guys were laughing over something Jacob had said. “I doubt he’d be against that.”

Crossing my legs, I couldn’t even try to hide the grin that pulled at my lips. “I don’t think he would either, but I don’t want to impose on him any more than I am.”

Teresa cocked a dark brow. “I so doubt you are doing any imposing.”

“True, but . . .” I shook my head, unsure of how to put it in words I didn’t want overheard. I didn’t have to worry long, because Katie did it for me.

Voice low, she said, “Roxy is stupid. No offense,” she said to me, and I glared at her. “She thinks she’s not in love. Or she doesn’t want to be in love, and probably has no idea that he’s already willingly taken that leap, so she’s trying to protect her whittle heart.”

Avery tucked a strand of strawberry-colored hair back behind her ear. “I’m pretty sure most of us have been there.”

“Yep,” commented Calla as she raised her glass of tea. “Been there, done that, and got the T-shirt.”

I arched my brows at them.

“Am I the only one who went after a guy?” Teresa asked, her expression puzzled. “Because I totally knew I wanted to make sweet, sweet loving to Jase from like before day one.”

“That’s because you have lady balls,” announced Katie. “The rest of them just have ovaries.”

“Do I want to even know what you all are talking about?” Jacob asked, appearing behind Avery. He gripped the back of her chair and leaned over her.

Calla laughed. “Probably not. So how much longer till we eat?”

He glanced over at the grill. “Another five minutes, I guess? What the fuck do I know though.”

Teresa stretched her legs out in front of her, sighing as she smiled. “I’m glad we all were able to get away and hang out.”

“Yeah, this is probably going to be the last time for a while,” Avery said, smacking at Jacob as he picked up a strand of her hair and tossed it in her face.

“Why?” I asked.

“After this semester, I’m moving back here,” Calla said, a sad smile on her face as she looked at me. “You will be stuck with me, but I’m going to miss seeing Avery and Teresa.”

“With Cam’s schedule, he’s got a lot of traveling coming up. I try to go with him when I can, but it’s not always possible,” Avery said. “But we got a wedding to plan, so don’t forget that.” She grinned at Teresa. “I’m totally leaving that all up to you and Brit, by the way.”

“Fine with me. You’ll be wearing red instead of white.”

Avery rolled her eyes. “Yeah, because that will go great with my hair. Thanks.”

Jacob patted her head sympathetically.

“Weekends are going to be hard for Jase and me to get away. With his new job at the agriculture center, he’s working all week and our weekends are pretty packed right now since Jack will be staying with us during the weekends for now,” Teresa continued.

“Isn’t Jack his brother?” I asked, hoping something wasn’t going on with his parents that meant they couldn’t care for him.

“Uh . . .” Jacob straightened. “I don’t think Roxy knows, Tess.”

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