He reached forward and curled a hand around the back of my neck. His fingers kneaded softly, and goose bumps prickled across my skin. The gesture was intimate, and the need to know what happened the other night rose up again like bile. And before I could think too much about the answers I didn’t want to hear, I said, “What happened the other night?”

He hesitated, and then his hand slipped off my skin.

“Why don’t you tell me what you remember, and I’ll fill in the blanks.”

I leaned my shoulder against his bunk and squinted up at him.

“The last thing I clearly remember is arguing with you. I’ve got bits and pieces of other things. Conversations. I remember holding a drink, maybe two, but that’s it.”

“Nothing else?”

He looked both relieved and disappointed.

I swallowed and shook my head.

He sighed and touched my shoulder, lightly this time and only for a few seconds.

“Let’s get off the train, and then I’ll tell you whatever you need to know.”

I nodded. “I need to look for Jenny, too. We were supposed to meet before the train, but I couldn’t find her.”


“I’ll help you look.”

I followed behind Hunt, trying to remember for sure where that tattoo had been. Before he descended the stairs down onto the platform, he said, “By the way, that argument we had? You probably don’t remember this, but you totally apologized and said you were wrong. Just so you know.”

I scoffed, and pushed him to the stairs. “Even without my memory, I know that’s bullshit.”

He took the stairs quickly, and then held out a hand with a smile.

“It was worth a shot.”

He helped me down the stairs and released my hand quickly after my feet were on the platform.

“Better luck next time, soldier.”

I flashed back to last night, to before the argument. I remembered the way he looked at me, and I could almost recall the way it had felt when he’d trailed his fingers up my leg. And now he only touched me for chivalry’s sake. What did that mean? We’d argued, but he still took me home, so the argument couldn’t have been that bad. But he was treating me differently. The question was why.

Together we searched the platform, looking for a familiar form. I climbed the stairs leading up into the main part of the station, but even from that vantage point, I didn’t see Jenny. We walked from one end of the station to the other, talking as we searched.

Even though he’d promised answers, I didn’t ask any questions. Not yet. I kept wavering on whether or not I actually wanted them.

Instead, he asked, “So what are you going to do in Prague?”

I shrugged. “I’m not really sure. Something fun. Something to remember.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know. An adventure. I don’t want to just do the tourist thing. I want to do something original, you know?”

He nodded. “I get that.”

I checked the stalls in the women’s restroom while he waited outside, and I did the same while he checked the men’s. After nearly half an hour, we exited the station in a last-ditch effort to see if perhaps they were waiting outside.

They weren’t.

“Well, what do we do now?” Hunt asked.


“I’m following you, remember?”

That was one of the few things I remembered.

“I don’t know. I guess we’re on our own.”

I could have made more of an effort. I could have found Internet access somewhere and messaged her on Facebook. And maybe I would later. Right now, I was more intrigued with this “we” idea of Hunt’s.

“In that case, let’s go explore Prague.” He hitched his backpack higher on his shoulders and started walking.

I stayed where I was and called, “Should we find a place to stay? I think they have a metro system here and trolleys.”

“We’ll get to all that. For now, let’s just walk.”

My jaw dropped. He couldn’t possibly serious. I was tired and cranky and my backpack was heavy.

“Why would we do something as stupid as that?”

He smiled. “Because you wanted an adventure.”

Then he started walking, and this time he didn’t stop when I called. I stood in disbelief for a few seconds before jogging to catch up with him. My lungs protested from the twenty seconds of almost-running, so I had a feeling they would start an all-out revolution on this “adventurous” walk.

I said, “I can have an adventure without gaining bunions and ruining my pedicure.”

He shook his head. “I’m fairly certain it’s in the dictionary that it’s impossible to have an adventure while worrying about things like pedicures.”

Hunt had picked up a map at the train station, and he said there was a neighborhood not too far away that should have plenty of inns and hostels to choose from. We’d go there first.

It wasn’t exactly my idea of an adventure. I still would have preferred a taxi or the metro. But I did have to admit, it was refreshing to walk the stone sidewalks and take in the architecture. There were plenty of modern buildings and restaurants, but occasionally we’d turn a corner, and I’d feel like I stepped straight into a fairy tale, complete with stone gargoyles staring down at us from half the buildings we passed.

Hunt and I argued over how to pronounce words we saw on signs. Some of them used almost every consonant in the alphabet with only a few vowels. We argued about what the words meant. I always chose the most unlikely meaning possible, just to see how riled up I could get him.

“There is absolutely no way it means that.”

“You don’t know. Do you speak Czech?”

“Maybe I’ll learn, just to prove how ridiculous you are.”

“Good luck with that, soldier.”

It was entertaining enough that I didn’t pay too much attention to the slight ache in my feet or the hitch in my lungs or the pinch in my back from the pulling weight of my bag. Or not for a while anyway. After about an hour, my feet were bitching and my back ready to mutiny. I had to concentrate on breathing and talking so that I didn’t start panting. Then I looked up at one of the buildings we were passing and stopped in my tracks.

“Jackson! Do you know where you’re going?”

He held up the map and said, “Of course I do. We’ll be there any minute now.”

I let my backpack slip off my shoulders and plopped it on the sidewalk. I was not moving one more step.

I pointed and said, “Why is it, then, that we’re passing the Vodka Jell-O Shot place again?”

“I told you, Kelsey. There is no way Minutková Jídla means vodka Jell-O shots. That’s clearly a restaurant.”

“Yeah, a restaurant that serves Jell-O shots.”

“It has to be something to do with a minute or minutes.”

“That’s because it’s instant Jell-O! But the point is . . . we’ve already been here.”

He looked then at the restaurant, and I saw the confirmation on his face.


“We’re lost.”

“We’re not . . . well . . .” He consulted his map again, twisting it in few different directions and said, “We might be a little lost.”

“This is your idea of adventure? I thought soldiers were supposed to be good at navigation.”

“I have a solution,” he said.

My backpack was starting to look like a very tempting chair, but I convinced myself to stay standing. I placed my hands on my hips and said, “Let’s hear it.”

He crossed to me with the map in his hand, and came close enough that he could probably smell the sweat trickling down my back. I should have been self-conscious, but when I craned my head back to meet his gaze, his smile tore through my thoughts like a tornado, and left them scattered and in pieces. He leaned in, and my heart jumped.

He reached out an arm, and dropped the map in a trash bin just behind me. He stayed there, our chests less than an inch away from touching and said in a low, deep voice, “Problem solved.”


That’s your solution to getting us lost?”

He shrugged. “If we’re not trying to get to any particular place, we can’t ever really be lost. We’re just exploring.”

“But we need to find a place to stay and put our things and—”

“Later. It’s still early, Kelsey. We’ve got all day.”

He might be patient, but I wasn’t. I was just about to demand that we find a place to stay or get a cab when his hand touched my elbow and skimmed down to my wrist.

“Trust me,” he said.

I shivered.

I did trust him . . . which made abso-fucking-lutely zero sense. My memory of the night before was a black hole. I should be wary of him. I sure as hell shouldn’t be alone with him now, not without knowing what happened last night. But with his hand circled around my wrist, he could have led me anywhere.

And now I was supposed to go off with him, no plan, no map, no idea where we were heading? It was the opening plot of a horror movie. I might have been in Hostel, the reality TV version.

I made myself say, “Tell me what happened first.”

His hand slid down from my wrist, and he caught my fingers between his.

“I wouldn’t hurt you, Kelsey. And I wouldn’t let anyone else either.”

“So, someone drugged me. Then what?”

“I don’t know that for sure. I just know you were fine. Feisty and ready to take my head off. Then we—”

“We what?”

His eyes dropped to my lips, and he shook his head.

“We were talking, and it was like you were drunk out of nowhere. You were babbling and slurring your words, and you couldn’t stand up straight.”

“So you took me to a hotel?”

“I didn’t want to leave you in a hostel, not when you’d be passed out cold and sharing a room with a dozen people. I took you to my hotel room, then I got another one for me.”

“That’s it?”

“I suppose I could also talk about you calling me a pansy for not taking your clothes off.”

“I did WHAT?”

He chuckled and bent, scooping up my backpack. He threw my bag over his shoulder along with his. Then he tugged on my hand, and started pulling me down the street.

I could have dug in my heels and refused. Or maybe I couldn’t have. Not where he was concerned.

“HOLD ON. You can’t say something like that and not elaborate.”

He smiled. “You can when it’s a bribe. I’ll tell you later. After I’ve shown you my kind of adventure.”

My mind steered straight into the gutter every time he mentioned an adventure. It was inevitable with a guy who looked like him.

He took a random turn, and pulled me along.

I said, “For the record, I think this no-map thing is a terrible idea.”


“Things could go incredibly wrong.”

“Or incredibly right.”

I dragged my feet a little as we walked, but I was more intrigued than I let on. With him carrying my backpack and our fingers laced together, I was fine with wherever we went.

We walked a few blocks before happening upon a metro stop. He glanced at me over his shoulder, and then pulled me toward the stairs.

“Oh, so now we don’t have to walk to have an adventure?”

He shot me a look, and I said, “Fine. I get it. Trust you.”

We descended the stairs, and I expected something dark, dank, with that lovely decay-meets-urine smell that seemed to hang around most subway stations. Shockingly, the station was shiny, clean, and modern. Hunt pulled me over to a large map of the metro stops. He dropped both our bags on the ground, stepped in front of me, and said, “Close your eyes.”

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