She licked her lips quickly and looked to the side as she rummaged through her bag until she found her keys. Her hands shook as she kept trying to get the key off, and as soon as it was in my hand, she took off. I wondered just what kind of warrants that piece of trash had. Bryce really needed to set higher standards.

I jogged back into the restaurant and found Bryce mopping up the floor. I glared at him as I slammed his key on the bar in front of him. “I’ll talk to you later. Where’s Rachel?”

“Rod pulled her into his office. Look, man, I’m sorry. I didn’t know she’d do that.”

“Grow the fuck up, Bryce. You’re a great guy and all, but you’re in your thirties, and you’re still doing the same shit that guys are doing in high school and college. Act your damn age. Get a girlfriend or something and settle down.” I didn’t wait for him to respond, I just walked back to the office. I smiled when I heard Rachel.

“I’m fine. I’ll just clean up, and we’ll all get over it.”

“Rachel, I would feel a lot better if you would just take the rest of the night off.”

“I agree with Rod.” Rachel turned to glare at me and I smirked at her. “You only have a few hours left. Just go home.”

Rod gestured toward me. “You’re outnumbered. Go home. I’m sorry about what happened tonight.”

She huffed and quickly left the office, but I grabbed her arm and brought her back to me when she hit the hallway. “I’m fine, Kash. You’re both being ridiculous.”

“I know you are,” I said softly, and brushed her cheek. She flinched when I touched the red mark. “But you have a handprint on your face, and you’re covered in beer, and I swear to God if anyone touches or looks at you again I won’t be able to stop myself from ripping into them.”

Her blue eyes softened and she momentarily leaned into my hand. “That was actually a really impressive slap. It shocked me.”


A grin tugged at my mouth and I brushed a kiss over her forehead. “I could tell. I’m proud of you for not reacting though. It would’ve just caused more trouble, and since you work here, it wouldn’t have gone over well. What did you call her though?”

“A two-dollar whore.”

God, she was cute. “And she got mad? I think that’s a compliment for her.”

“Right?” Rachel pushed at my stomach. “Go back to work. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Sleep well, Sour Patch.”



I looked over toward the parking lot and offered up a small smile as Kash came running over to me.

“Please tell me you haven’t been sitting out here this whole time.”

“Um, I haven’t?”

He closed his eyes and muttered something too low for me to hear. “Is she in there with Mason?”

“Yep, and neither are answering their phones.”

“Shit, I should’ve just come home with you. I’m so sorry.”

“No, no, it’s fine.” I struggled to get up but almost fell over from my butt being numb and legs being asleep.

Kash caught me around my waist and held me close until he was sure I could stay standing. My heart started pounding being this close to him again and I prayed to God he wouldn’t hear it. I licked my suddenly dry lips and forced my hands to not curl into his shirt. I could feel the hard planes of his chest beneath my fingers and part of me wanted to run my hands over him, though the other part was telling me I needed to push him back. That voice was very small right now, though.

I’d let my guard slip and somewhere along the way I’d let Kash in. It terrified and thrilled me, but I couldn’t keep pretending anymore. I couldn’t act like my world didn’t practically revolve around him. Like our “lock-out” times together weren’t something I secretly craved. And like I didn’t think about that damn kiss every second of every day. Kash took care of me and treated me like I was the only person in the world who mattered, even though I’d made it clear we could only ever be friends. He wouldn’t be like Blake or Daniel. He’d never hurt me in any way, and he’d always protect me. Tonight was proof.

He cleared his throat and took a step back. “So, lock-out night?” His voice was rough and low, and after a few moments he had to force his eyes from mine before he turned for his apartment.

“Uh, yeah. Yeah, lock-out night. Do you mind if I take a shower first? I’m still covered in beer.”

Did Kash just growl?

“None of Bryce’s girls will be bothering you again, Rachel. I promise. And yes, you know you can take a shower, you don’t have to ask. Just grab whatever clothes you need. I’ll get the movie ready. Any preferences?”

I shook my head and started toward his room, but he grabbed my arm and brought me back to him. I could feel the heat coming from his body and tried not to let my eyes flutter shut as I caught a hint of his cologne and cinnamon gum.

“You sure you’re okay after what happened tonight?” His gray eyes searched my face when I could only nod, and he brushed his lips against my forehead; the metal from his lip ring had goose bumps running up and down my body. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there to stop it right away. But like I said earlier, I am proud of you for how you handled it.” He whispered against my forehead and pressed his lips there one more time. “Go take a shower, Rach. I’ll be waiting for you.”

I wanted to say those kisses started meaning so much more after our kiss on my kitchen floor. But that would have been a lie. They’d been making my entire body warm and knees weak for weeks before the kiss had ever happened. I stumbled toward his room and into the bathroom. After turning the water on, I put my hair high up in a bun and shrugged out of my beer-covered clothes. It felt like I was in a fog as I slowly washed my body and dried off. I opened the side drawer that held an extra toothbrush and deodorant for me in case of nights like these, freshened up, and turned off the light. By the time I was standing in Kash’s room again in nothing but a towel, I had made up my mind.


I wanted whatever this was with him. I was tired of keeping him at arm’s length, and honestly, I didn’t know how we’d even lasted this long. As I went over the last couple months with him, it seemed so obvious that we were meant to be together and I could hardly remember why I’d told him we could only be friends.

Grabbing and putting on one of his old T-shirts, which hit me right at midthigh, I glanced at the top drawer that held all of his boxers and workout shorts but didn’t open it this time. Pulling my hair out of the bun, I ran my fingers through it and tried to give it some fluff before taking a deep breath in. My heart was already racing and my hands were shaking, and I was still alone in his room. Looking down at my bare legs, I made sure the shirt covered me enough and then almost laughed out loud at how ridiculous that thought was with what I wanted to do. Before I could change my mind, I turned off the light in his room and rounded the corner to the living room.

Kash was sitting on the couch, the room dark except for the glow from the TV. He was pressing buttons on the remote and turned to look at me, then did a double take. Through the light coming from the screen, I watched his eyes drift over me as I walked toward him. Without saying anything, I pulled the remote out of his hand and dropped it onto the coffee table before placing one knee on the couch, followed by the other so I was straddling him.

“Rachel . . . ,” he whispered, and looked down to where I was almost sitting on him before meeting my gaze.

I placed one hand on his chest and smiled softly when I felt his heart beating just as fast as mine. “I’m done playing this game, Kash. I’m done hiding.”

His hands cupped my cheeks as he continued to stare at me, and slowly—so slowly—he brought my face down to his and brushed my lips with his once . . . then twice, before pressing them firmly against my own. And just like the first time, I had the overwhelming feeling that I was exactly where I belonged.

Pulling away, he looked at me for a few heavy moments. “You’re sure?”

Hoping my actions would be answer enough, I lowered myself until I was sitting on his lap, his growing erection pressed firmly against my heat, and I almost moaned as I captured his mouth. Our lips moved against each other, and soon, his tongue was torturing mine in the sweetest way possible. I rocked against him, and the goose bumps came back full force when he moaned into my mouth. His hands left my cheeks, slowly sliding down my neck and breasts, his thumbs brushing over my hardened nipples before continuing down until he was grabbing my hips and pressing us closer together.

Our kisses started getting rougher, our breathing heavier as I continued to rock my hips against him. Running my tongue across his bottom lip, I hit metal and lightly bit down and tugged on his ring. The sexiest growl I’ve ever heard worked its way from Kash’s chest, and his hands left my hips to slip under the bottom of the shirt I was wearing. I lifted myself off his lap and his warm hands moved up my thighs, over my hips, and to my butt, where they stilled momentarily before quickly going back to my hips.

Kash leaned away and looked down at my legs as his hands made their journey back to my butt. A devilish grin flashed across his face before his lips made a trail up my throat as one hand came back around my hip to my thigh. “You’re not wearing anything under this shirt?” he asked softly against the sensitive skin behind my ear.

“Kash . . .” I pulled his head back to press my lips to his and pleaded, “Touch me.”

The hand on my thigh slowly trailed over and up but continued to stay just on the inside of my thigh. I started to lower myself, but the hand on my butt flew to my hip, and both hands squeezed to keep me where I was. An aggravated groan left me, and Kash laughed softly against my mouth.

“Be patient.”

He released his hold and I didn’t move as he dipped his head to suck on my breast through the shirt. The hand on the inside of my thigh went back to making lazy circles, each one bringing him closer to where I was aching for him. My breathing was getting rapid and I had to grab on to the back of the couch for support as he continued to tease me. I thought I would die if he didn’t touch me soon. Each circle on my thigh and teasing bite to my hard nipples had the heat in my stomach growing. My whole body was buzzing and I was so turned on I was afraid I’d fall apart the second he finally did touch me.

Most Popular