I dated one of the team’s cheerleaders last year, but she wasn’t for me. She was beautiful, but that’s about as deep as it went.

Friday snorts. Paul shoots her a look. “Sorry,” she whispers dramatically. She sticks a finger in the corner of PJ’s mouth and pops him off her boob. “Don’t look, Sam,” she says.

I turn toward Paul and watch him, instead. He looks at Friday like she’s his whole world. With the way he’s looking at her, I have to look at her too, just to see if her face mirrors his. She meets his eyes, her face soft and inviting. It’s intimate and perfect and I’m so fucking jealous that I can barely see straight.

“So…about Peck,” Paul says. “What did you do wrong?”

“What makes you think it was me?” I ask, pretending to be offended.

I lean back against Friday’s knee and she reaches out to scrub a hand across my cropped hair. It feels good, so I put my weight on her. She laughs and scratches her fingernails against my scalp for a minute. I preen like a kitten.

“Sam,” she says, her hand slowing. She jerks my head so that I have to look at her. “Have you ever actually talked to Peck?”

“We went out a few times,” I rush to say.

She shakes her head. “That’s not what I mean.”

I think back. Did I? I’m sure I did. “Yeah.”

“Nothing,” she chirps. She runs her hand over PJ’s head to wake him up. He’s about to fall off the boob. He roots around and latches back on, and goes back to sucking. Man, he has the life.

Hayley stirs and rolls over. Her blue eyes pop open and Paul groans. “The sun is shining,” she says.

Paul chuckles. “So much for finishing that nap.”

“Can I go play with Joey and Mellie?” she asks.

Paul follows her down the hallway and drops her off with Matt and Matt’s girls. He comes back and sits down on the edge of the bed.

He just stares at me and doesn’t say a word.

“You have to help me here!” I don’t know how to say what I want to say.

“She’s the one you want, huh?” Paul asks.

“She’s the one I want to get to know. But she won’t let me.”

“How does she communicate with you?” Friday asks.

“Sometimes.” I shrug. “Sometimes she talks. Sometimes she signs.”

I think back. I’m not sure she ever spoke to me when she wasn’t tapping. When she doesn’t have drumsticks in her hands, she signs. “No.”

“So, there’s your answer.” Friday is all smiles, like she just solved the secret of the universe. “Get her to talk to you. Without the tapping.”

“Because I have a feeling that getting her to talk will be much more intimate than getting in her pants.” She looks up at Paul. “Don’t you think so?”

“I’m afraid so,” he says with a sigh.

“I don’t get it.” I throw my head back and groan.

“How many dates does it take to get in a girl’s pants?” Paul asks.

“There haven’t been many of those.” I scrub a finger down my nose, because I need something to break up the stupid look I’m sure is on my face.

“Okay, so think about it like this. All the energy you would normally put into getting in her pants, you need to put into getting her to talk.”

I look at Friday and lie on her leg again. “When did you two start speaking this fucked-up language?” I ask.

“You two were no help.”

PJ falls off Friday’s boob, and I see a flash of her nipple. I look away as quickly as I can, because I don’t want to embarrass her. But, good God, looking at Friday’s boobs is like looking at Paul’s chest. I see nothing that makes my heart trip a beat in a sexy kind of way.

Friday lays PJ across her lap and buttons her shirt.

Paul watches her fingers, his eyes going smoldery as she covers herself up. Fuck, I need to get out of here.

Paul walks over to Friday and picks PJ up. He pats his back until he belches and then he holds him out to me. “Take this, will you?” he says. Then he shoves me and PJ out the door and closes it in my face.

“It’ll only take a minute,” Paul yells through the door.

Friday laughs, and I hear her say, “It had better take more than a minute.”

I look down at PJ. “I hope you have a full tummy, dude, because I don’t have any boobies for you.”

He burps again and his little eyes close.

I take him out on the deck and sit down, letting the wind blow across us as we hang out together in the shade. PJ sleeps on my chest, and I watch the waves, trying to figure out what the fuck I can do to get Peck to talk to me. To really talk to me.