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It’s Jack.


I jump up and Blade does the same. “I’ll go see him. You go to the bathroom and get some panties on.”

I nod and wait for him to disappear out the door before rushing down to the bathroom to fetch my panties. I pull them on and straighten up before heading out. Of course I have no doubt Jack knows what Blade and I have been doing, considering I’m wearing his shirt, but I don’t have time to ponder that.

When I get into the kitchen, they’re standing beside the counter, speaking. Both turn to stare at me and Jack reaches out a hand. “Come here, honey.”

I hesitantly go over and stop next to him. He looks at both Blade and I, then starts speaking. “I spoke to Nancy tonight, and she made things a little clearer for me. She also made me realize that what you two are doing isn’t awful or wrong. It might not be ideal and we’ll deal with whatever is thrown our way, but you have every right to choose who you want to be with, and considering you met before us, I hardly think it’s my place to tell you to change it.”

My heart softens and I smile.

“You’re both good kids and I hope it works out, for all our sakes.” He looks to Blade. “But if I know my boy, which I think I do, then I know he doesn’t give his heart easily.” His eyes go to me. “So if you have it, honey, then I am all for it.”

My heart explodes and I fling my arms around his neck, hugging him tight. “Thank you, Jack.”

He hugs me and when we let go, he turns to Blade. “Take care of her, yeah?”

Blade nods. “Will do, Dad.”

“Then I think we’re done here,” he says, grinning at us both before heading towards the door. “I’ll catch you later.”


“Later, Jack.”

When he’s gone, I turn to Blade and my smile is so big I can feel it stretching my lips. Blade scoops me into his arms and flattens my body against his, and like this he holds me for a long, long time. “Fuck, this might just be the best day of my life.”

“I think you’re right about that.”

He puts me down, and stares into my eyes. “It’s only forwards from here.”

“Only forward.”



Three months later

“Oh my god, you look so hot it’s unfair!” Melanie cries, crossing her arms.

I study her tight red dress and raise my brows. “And you look like you’ve been dragged from a dumpster.”

Of course I’m being sarcastic. She looks freaking gorgeous.

“I probably do,” she huffs, running her fingers through her hair. “Maybe we shouldn’t go.”

“It’s Brody’s birthday. We’re going, and you’re going to like it. You’re only worried about how you look because you worry that he won’t notice.”

She slaps me across the back of the head and I laugh.

“You’re a horrible friend.”

I snort. “Probably.”

“Do you think he will notice, though?” she says hopefully.

“Honey,” I say, spinning and grabbing her shoulders, “if he doesn’t notice you, he’s mad.”

“He hasn’t this far,” she says, casting her eyes downwards.

“You haven’t exactly told him you want his attention. Maybe it’s time you do.”

She shakes her head sadly. “If he rejects me, I couldn’t handle it. I think it’s best I try and move on.”

“Or,” I say, picking up my purse, “you maybe try and be his friend before anything else.”

She looks up at me hopefully. “You think?”

“Absolutely. Let’s go.”

We head out of the room and go outside to wait for the guys. On time, as always, they arrive in Blade’s SUV. It’s Blade who jumps out. When his eyes fall on me, he gives me a look of pure, male appreciation. My cheeks heat and I smile. When I reach him, he leans down, curling his arm around my waist and pulling me close. His lips brush mine and he rasps into my ear, “You’re fuckin’ beautiful.”

I beam up at him and then step back to take him in. He’s wearing a pair of black jeans with a gray sweater. He’s got a leather jacket over the sweater. His blond hair is messy and his eyes are bright, more blue than gray tonight. He looks gorgeous, as always. “You look pretty good yourself,” I breathe.

He turns us towards the car with a wicked grin, a grin that tells me I’ll find out later just how good he thinks I look. We climb into the car and I see Brody’s eyes are on Melanie’s ass as she tries to slip in next to Ripley and Matty. I wish he would just open up and admit he is interested. That would make us all happy.

I throw my arms around him as soon as I’m in and cry, “Happy birthday, Brodes!”

He snorts. “Don’t call me that.”

I scoff and sit back. “Don’t be a sad sack. It’s your birthday. Yay!”

He gives me a look, but I ignore it. After our little spack, things haven’t changed. He got over it and so did I, and neither of us mentioned it again. We’re back to normal, we said what needed to be said, and that’s all that matters.

“Hey there, sister,” Ripley says and I beam at him.

“Hey dude, how’s it hanging?”

“To the left tonight.”

I roll my eyes and turn to Matty. “Hey Matty.”

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