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He rolled up to a stoplight and eased on the brakes. “No. No boyfriend either.”

I giggled. I couldn’t help it. My body relaxed and slipped to the side, sagging against the door. With a hiccup, I turned and watched him from beneath heavy lids. “You’re funny.” And panty-dropping hot. The insane impulse to crawl across the seat and press my mouth to his neck seized me. Alcohol motivated, I’m sure. That and the fact that it was a Saturday night and I would typically be tangled up with a boy by now.

He considered me with his brown eyes, making me feel all soft and fuzzy inside. The cab of the truck felt warm and cozy. I could doze off right here. “So how come you don’t have a boyfriend like your friends do, Emerson?”

“Too much trouble.” I sighed sleepily. “A boyfriend would just keep me from doing whatever I wanted to do.” Was that my voice all throaty?

His gaze, bottomless and deep, gleamed in the shadows of his truck. He eyed my legs, encased in snug denim. I felt stripped bare under his regard and the sensation wasn’t entirely bad. “And what kinds of things do you want to do?” His voice dragged over my skin like a physical caress.

Smiling, my head rolled against the back of the seat. I was buzzing, floating in a feel-good state. I felt a little dangerous, untouchable, which was a heady thing. Deceptive maybe, but I felt empowered . . . in control again. “Oh, all kinds of bad things.”

And then, because I couldn’t stop myself, I stretched toward him as far as my seat belt would allow. Until the tip of my nose brushed his neck. My lips moved against his skin as I spoke, “Things like this.”

A small hiss escaped him. I pulled back and looked up at him.

His voice rumbled up from his chest, deep and tight sounding. “Go on then. Show me.”

My smile widened at the challenge. I never could pass up a dare and that sounded an awful lot like a dare to me. I brought my face back to his neck and breathed him in. He smelled good. Like soap and winter and fresh-cut wood. No overpowering cologne on him. I nuzzled his neck like I was some kind of purring cat desperate to get closer. And then I licked him. Tasted his warm, slightly salty skin with a small, satisfied growl. I followed up with a moist, open-mouthed kiss on the side of his throat.

His breath caught just above my ear, fluttering my hair. I felt him swallow, his throat working against my lips.

Everything in me felt all melty and liquid-hot. Like my muscles had dissolved into heated butter. I wanted to crawl inside him. Press my body to his until I experienced every part of him. Every line and dip and hollow. All his hardness. My belly tightened, the ache there throbbing deep.

A sudden surge of need shook me to my core. It wasn’t like anything I’d felt before and that rattled me. I’d made out with enough guys that I should have felt this way before, but something about this, about him, was different.

I leaned closer, ready to crawl into his lap, but my seat belt locked hard and caught me, keeping me from going farther. It was enough. Enough to bring me back.

Enough for me to remember that I did not fling myself at guys like him. I settled back on my side of the truck, my gaze turning wary as I watched him, his jaw locked and tense, eyes glittering with a predatory light. He looked like he wanted to say something . . . or do something. Like maybe haul me into his lap.

I tensed. I knew better than to tease guys who couldn’t be managed. It was a line I never crossed except I just had.

A horn honked behind us. He blinked and turned his attention to the road.

I willed him to hurry, to get us across town so that I could dive into my dorm and forget tonight. Forget him.

He stared straight ahead, one hand draped casually over the top of the steering wheel. “I don’t think you’re the bad girl you pretend to be. Not even close.”

I compressed my lips and watched the blur of lights flash past as we entered the city. No point in arguing. Not unless I wanted to prove to him that I was a bad girl, and I didn’t dare do that.

“You’re drunk,” he announced. “Tomorrow you’ll wake up in your warm bed and not even remember my name.”

I sank deeper into the seat, bringing my legs up to curl on the bench. The fog of euphoria shrouding me began to fade away. My head was starting to throb, pulse right at the temples. My heavy lids slid shut, instantly easing some of the pressure that was building between my ears. I’d rest them for just a moment. Until he got to campus and then I’d tell him which dorm.

Shaw. His name flitted across my fading consciousness. I’d remember. I’d remember his name.

Chapter 3

IT TOOK PRECISELY FIVE seconds upon waking to realize that I was naked. Well. Mostly. I was wearing my panties and bra. My gaze shot around the room, and my next thought to chug through my mind was even more alarming. Where the hell was I?

The bed was big and comfortable. A contrast to my single bed back in the dorm. Not as big as the California king I had back home, but I spent so little time there that this bed felt vast and beyond strange to me. It smelled good, too. Like soap and freshly laundered sheets.

I racked my brain for memories of the night before. Not too difficult. I wasn’t so drunk that I couldn’t remember. I recalled perfectly Annie ditching me. And I remembered Shaw.


Oh. Hell. He was imprinted on my brain like a fire-burning brand. Shaw, who’d offered to drive me home. I closed my eyes in a slow, pained blink. And I’d accepted that offer. I’d gotten into his truck—in the truck of some hot, dangerous biker boy.

I yanked up the covers and looked down at my body as if I could identify evidence of . . . well. Sex.

My eyes burned, tears prickling the back of my throat. My last memory was of sitting in his truck. And—God—I had licked his throat. What happened after that?

My body looked the same as it always did. Slightly flaring h*ps that just barely saved me from looking like an eleven-year-old boy. Less than impressive br**sts. Skin too pale, but bearing no marks. Still, I was hardly satisfied. I wriggled around, trying to detect any difference, any physical sensation that might reveal the effects of last night’s activities. I mean I would know if had sex. Right? Tears pressed hotter against the backs of my eyes as the possibility sank in that maybe I had and didn’t even know it. God. I was trapped in an episode of 60 Minutes.

This shouldn’t have happened. I shouldn’t be here.

My flight instinct kicked in. I needed to get out of here. I scanned the room, looking for my clothes. Bare wood walls stared back at me. I was in a single room, large and airy despite the darkness of the walls. Light streamed in from several windows in the kitchen area. A pair of double glass doors to the left of the bed granted me a marginal view of the outside world. I glimpsed blue skies and snow-draped ground. Morning light glinted off the bare, ice-crusted branches of a large tree just beyond this door.