“To be your fifties wife. But I can’t wait to marry you.” Her eyes unfocused as she continued to run her hands through my hair.

“Rach? Hey.” When her blue eyes came back to me I rolled to the side and pulled her with me. “Where’d you just go?”

“Can we elope, Kash?”

That was definitely not what I was expecting when she’d just spaced out on me. “Why? Don’t you want the big wedding and the dress? Don’t you want the Jenkinses and your friends there?”

“No, I just want to marry you. Please? We can get married this weekend. Candice still won’t talk to me about it. I just feel like no one really wants us together except for us, and there’s no point in waiting.”

“That’s not true. My parents want us together.”

She blinked her blue eyes quickly. “Wait . . . What? They do? You and Mason never talk about your families . . . like, ever. Mason told me I reminded him of his little sister and that is literally the only thing I’ve heard about either of your families since the weekend you moved here. And I know Mase loves me . . . but whenever we talk about getting married around him, he always looks mad. Have you noticed that?”

Yes. “He’s not mad, I promise. And my parents do want us together, and they want to meet you. So we can’t get married until that happens, sweetheart.” My parents had no idea I was engaged. They just knew that I was seeing someone, because I’d accidentally let Rachel’s name slip once in one of our very few conversations. I hated hiding her from them, but just as I had to hide them from her, she had to stay hidden from them until this James Camden case was over. And even though I would do anything to marry the girl in my arms as soon as possible, there was no way I could do that to her until she knew that I wasn’t really Logan Hendricks. She needed to find out about Logan Ryan and his real life before I ever made her vow to spend forever with me.


“Rachel,” Candice said as she burst into the room, “can I use— Oh! Oh my God, that’s Kash’s ass. Um . . . I’m leaving . . . oh, wow.” She shut the door quickly behind her and yelled from the other side. “And get ready, we’re going to be late!”

Thank God for Candice’s perfect timing.


Rachel turned a bright shade of red before bursting out laughing and crawling off the bed. “Come on, you need to go so we can both get ready.”

I pulled on my clothes and kissed her thoroughly, hoping she knew how much I loved her and how keeping myself a secret was worse than any deception I’d ever been a part of, and that it was eating me alive. “I love you, Rach.”

“Mmm, I love you too, Logan.”


ALL I WANTED was a long, hot bath. The two classes I had that day had been easy and flown by. That wasn’t what was bothering me. It was the creepy glares that Blake had shot my way every time I saw him during the first class, and the note tucked into my windshield wiper again. There were never any on the days that Candice and I drove home together. But if she had cheer practice, it never failed. Every one of those days these first three weeks of school there had been a note. Three words. Never signed. Always typed. And always crumpled up and left in the parking lot after I got it.

you. are. mine.

I cringed thinking about them and wished there was something I could do. But honestly, what could I say? That I knew they were from Blake? I couldn’t prove it, and I knew Kash would most likely believe me, but he’d go crazy and I didn’t need that right now.

As soon as I opened the door to my apartment, I knew something was off. It was the what that I wasn’t sure of yet. I took a hesitant step inside the apartment but left the door open in case I needed to scream for one of the guys. Another step and my chest started burning from the breath I was holding. I let it out quietly and did a double take at the door to my room just as the noise from the kitchen filtered into my brain.

What the hell?

My body rocked back and forth as I debated which way to go first. “Kash? Mase?” Other than the sound of the dishwasher going, silence greeted me. “Guys, this isn’t funny . . .” I took quick and quiet steps to my open bedroom door and looked down.

Sitting in the middle of the door frame, all lined up next to each other, were my journal, a black lacy bra with purple ribbon going through it, a pair of dark purple lacy underwear laid out like it was on display at a store, and my laptop. I’d just bought the lingerie a few days ago and the tags were still on it; I hadn’t even told Kash about it yet. The laptop was opened and had iTunes up. Nothing was playing, but “I’ll Be” was highlighted.

This is so not funny. Only Kash knew where I kept my journal, and he knew it wasn’t just private. It was incredibly personal and the only thing I had here that connected me to my parents. To take it out and leave it here with these things was disturbing, and if Kash had read it . . . a breath caught in my throat. That was an invasion of privacy to the extreme. Tears pricked the back of my eyes and my throat began burning as I tried to hold off on the tears. Grabbing at everything, I hastily returned it all to where it belonged and took deep breaths in an attempt to calm down. This is going too far. Why would he do this to me?

After looking around quickly and making sure nothing else was out of place, I made my way to Candice’s room and searched around in there. Nothing seemed different about her room, but I couldn’t be positive. Shutting her door behind me, I went to the front door, shut and locked it, then made my way into the kitchen.

The dishwasher was running and almost done with its cycle. I thought back to this morning. I could have sworn I’d emptied the dishwasher, because I needed clean plates and coffee mugs when the boys came over. There was a possibility I hadn’t fully emptied it since I was still in zombie-Rachel mode . . . but Candice had left for classes with me and was still at practice, and I’d been gone for four hours. Even if I had started the dishwasher before I left, it would have been done by now. And I didn’t even understand fully how to do the delay on it. Oh my God, I’m going insane.

Jumping up on the counter, I stared at the dishwasher until it was done, it had gone through the heated dry cycle, and the door unlocked. With one more deep breath and chanting to myself that I was just losing it and had actually started the dishwasher before I left, I opened the heavy door and blinked rapidly after the steam gave me a facial.

It was empty.

What in the actual hell?!

I shut the dishwasher door roughly, opened it once more to confirm that it was indeed empty, and shut it again. My phone chimed and after staring at it like it might explode, I grabbed it to check the text.


Hey babe, just got done doing inventory. You home yet? Gonna pick up dinner.

I didn’t respond. He’d left to do inventory at the same time we left for campus. Why was he lying about this? He was the only one who knew where I kept my journal. Granted, Candice knew I had one and knew about the song as well . . . and she had given me the approval on my new lingerie. But she’d been in classes all day and was in practice now. She wasn’t supposed to be home for another hour. My head shook back and forth as I looked around my apartment, which now looked exactly as I’d left it that morning, and I went to sit on the couch. I just—I don’t understand. Am I going crazy? Am I doing all this to myself and just not realizing it?

Ten minutes later, Kash called, but I let it go to voice mail. Same with the next call from him a few minutes after that. I pulled my legs up onto the couch and rested my chin on my knees as I played the morning in my head over and over again. And that’s how Kash and Mason found me some time later.

They didn’t knock, but then again, they never did. They walked right in and both heaved sighs of relief. And I knew I’d locked that door earlier.

“Did you not get my messages?” Kash asked, and planted himself directly in front of me, legs spread, arms crossed over his chest.

“I didn’t listen to them.”

“Are you okay? What’s—”

“Where have you been?” I demanded, and looked directly into his gray eyes.

His head jerked back. “Taking inventory at the restaurant. Exactly where I said I was going.”

“Where have you actually been?” Turning my head to look at Mason, my eyes narrowed. “And where were you?!”

They exchanged a look that I didn’t understand, but it made my heart beat faster, and not in a good way. They were lying to me. I knew it.

“I went to help Kash since he helped me with inventory at my bar the other day.”

I shot up off the couch and leveled my glare at both of them. “Don’t lie to me! What you guys did isn’t funny!”

“Wait. What? What did we do?” Kash’s eyes were massive and he looked . . . nervous?

“You’re really going to act like all the shit around here wasn’t done by either one of you?”

Now neither looked nervous. Just incredibly confused. “Babe. What the hell are you talking about?”

“The dishwasher and the—” I cut off quickly and pointed at the floor of my doorway. “The stuff there! Why would you do something like that to me? That’s cruel.” My voice shook and I tried to swallow past the lump in my throat. “Did you really think I would find all that shit funny? You’re such an asshole, Kash!”

Kash looked over at the bare carpet before looking back to me. “Woman. You’re starting to piss me off, always accusing me of doing something. We’ve been gone since you left this morning.”

“It had to have been you,” I whispered, my anger quickly fading. I looked at Mason. He looked lost. “It was one of you . . . right?”

“What was?”

I jerked away from the tone of Kash’s voice. I’d never seen him mad at me like this. “It wasn’t you?” My body collapsed onto the couch and I grabbed my head in my hands. Oh my God, this is what going insane feels like! “I’m going crazy.”

Most Popular