I break the kiss and park my body in between her thighs, lifting one beautiful leg after another to rest each foot on the tops of my thighs. The view in front of me is f**king phenomenal. I want to consume her legs, since they are featured in about fifty-percent of my dreams about her. I imagine her legs in the air, wrapped around my waist, intertwined with my legs, and my favorite, draped around my face.

My lips begin to trace an invisible line that stretches from her ankles up to her inner thighs. She grabs onto my head and tugs my hair. I shake my head back and forth without removing my lips or even looking at her, “Hands on the desk, Audrey.” With a strangled moan, she immediately latches onto the desk. Audrey craves the surrender and I need the control; this is one of the many reasons why our bodies cry for one another.

I lift my eyelids and see that lust engulfs her. As my mouth lightly caresses the skin on her thighs, I watch short little breaths soar in and out of her lips, which form the shape of an ‘o’. Her fingers clamp down onto the edge of the desk and her knuckles are turning white, a sure sign that she’s barely containing herself. I smile against her soft skin at the tenacity of this woman.

Slowly my fingers catch up to my mouth and I rub across her sad excuse for panties. When she whimpers, I lift up so I’m eye-level with her and lick at the edges of her lips until she opens, and then cover her mouth with mine. Her body begins to rock against my fingers, so I slide the fabric over to feel how ready she is.

Groaning, I say, “God, I can’t wait to be inside of you. It’s been too damn long, but I remember exactly how you feel.”

Her eyes continue to watch mine as I thrust two fingers inside, causing her to arch her back into me. She lets out a long, uninhibited moan and I’m on fire. It’s taking every ounce of strength I have to keep this just about her at the moment. I’ll have my turn.

“Quiet,” I reprimand, stilling my fingers. “Lane doesn’t get to hear this, this is mine. Not a peep or I’ll stop.” Yeah right, a f**king bulldozer couldn’t stop me now.

I watch as she bites down on her bottom lip to stop herself from letting any sound slip through. My fingers begin their ministrations again and her heels dig into my thighs, so I flex my legs to give her something steady to push off of. Slowly, I take her higher and higher with the slow, rhythmic, in-and-out movements. Her back begins to arch toward me again and I cup one of her br**sts in my hand. She fits perfectly.

Right as her legs begin to shake, there’s a loud bang on the opposite side of the door and she jumps an inch off the desktop. My fingers remain motionless inside of her, but my opposite hand holds her down so she doesn’t bail. I forget how jumpy she can be.

Lane hollers through the door, “Doll, we’ve got class, hurry it up!” Cock-blocking bastard.

Her eyes are focused on the door and it’s obvious she’s lost her momentum, but my fingers aren’t about to give up. Fuck the class. Why would anyone want to be anywhere else right now?

Quickly, I stand and wrap my free hand around her head and tilt it up so I can completely surround all of her senses. The second her attention is back on me, I steal her lips with mine. The kiss becomes hungry and needy. I need more of her; I’ve always needed more of her. She quickly falls back into the moment as she grabs onto my shoulders, and it feels so damn good to have her nails in my back and her chest pressed up against mine. Skin-t0-skin is a magical f**king thing. It doesn’t take long to bring her to the brink again.

In the quiet of the room, she screams, “Jace!” and I feel her clutch my fingers harder and harder as her body crashes back down.

Through her heavy breathing, I kiss her lips softly. “I’ll let that one slide because how can I resist hearing you scream my name?”

She lets out a relieved sigh and I can’t hold back any longer. As I step back to rip my boxers off, she hops off the desk. My body naturally follows her path.

“Damn, I needed that. Thanks babe,” she swiftly offers without any emotion. Then she reaches down, scoops up a shirt off the ground, and throws it over her head. She digs clothes out of her dresser and pulls a brush off of her nightstand, all while I’m standing here shell-shocked.

What. The. Fuck? Did I just get used?

My face must convey what I can’t find the words to say because as she reaches for the doorknob, she throws over her shoulder, “That’s what you said.” Then she retreats out into the hallway before I can ask any questions.

I slump down into the seat and try to replay the reel of what the hell just happened. What did any of that just mean? When realization hits, I smack myself in the forehead. Jace, you stupid idiot. That’s what I said to her after we had sex in my car last winter. How could I have done that to her? I thought I just felt used? What was she feeling when I barely said more than three sentences to her before I pulled her in the backseat and finished with a line like that? Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

I pull on my shirt and jeans quickly, then shove my feet into my shoes and run out of her bedroom. When I get into the living room, everything is silent. The dog is lounging on the couch, wagging his tail and looking like he’s about to take a mid-morning siesta already. Lane and Audrey are gone. My stomach begins to hurt, and I get a sinking feeling that I just messed up another chance for us.

As Lane and I leave class and walk to our last one of the day, my feet are dragging and my stomach is rumbling. I’m feeling sluggish and light-headed. I didn’t have time to grab anything to eat this morning on our rush out the door. I barely had time to throw on my clothes while trying to escape Jace. We only have a ten-minute block between the two class periods, and I don’t have enough time to hunt down a vending machine. I still don’t know this campus very well, so I would more than likely end up lost.

“Lane, do you have any food in your bag?” I moan. He usually always carries some around with him wherever he goes.

“I ate it all in class, why?” he responds.

“I’m dragging. I don’t know how I’m going to stay awake in this class.”

“Well, guess you shouldn’t have been getting another taste,” he teases.

We walk into our Accounting 582 class, Mergers and Acquisitions, which is bound to bore me to sleep. Unfortunately, a nap is unlikely in this small classroom, where professors are more likely to call me out than they were in the auditorium classrooms I’m used to. Despite this, the smaller rooms for the graduate programs are actually one thing I have learned to enjoy.

Lane and I have claimed two seats on the far left of the room, somewhat close to the front. By this time, everyone has already chosen the seats they will sit in for the semester, so I’m surprised when I see items that don’t belong to me on my desk. Although there’s no one in the seat, someone clearly left their to-go coffee cup and a bakery bag on my desk. It must be from a previous class. People are so rude sometimes. How hard is it to clean up your own mess?

When I reach for the trash, I notice that the cup is still warm, too warm to have been sitting here since the previous class. I set it back down and see my name written in black marker on the side in all capital letters. I step away from the desk and point at the cup as if it insulted me.

“Lane… it has my name on it. What does that mean?”

He leans over my shoulder and studies the cup for a couple of seconds. I feel him shrug his shoulders and then he says, “Usually that means it’s for you.” I can hear the amusement in his voice.

I sit down in my seat and study what’s in front of me. Who did this? A quick scan of the classroom proves what I already knew; I don’t know anyone in here. So how could someone have left this for me on my desk?

“It won’t bite you, just drink it,” Lane whispers from his spot directly behind me.

I pick it up and recognize the name of the coffee house that’s printed in red ink on the side. I haven’t tried that one out yet, although it’s not far from my house. Hoping for more clues, I spin the cup around and then see extra script on the back.

I’ll make it up to you, I swear.

Please, don’t write me off just yet.

I already know what the contents of the cup will be before I place it to my lips and swallow the warm, spicy mixture. A chai tea latte. The delicious drink makes me smile and laugh to myself at his gesture. I still don’t have any idea how he knew what class I had today or even that I attend this school, but right now I’m grateful for the gift because this will be my saving grace for the next hour.

I lift the brown paper bakery bag next and unroll the folded top to peek inside. Lying on top is another note.

It’s my fault you didn’t get to eat before you left.

I’ll make that up to you as well.

Go to dinner with me tonight?

He wrote down his phone number at the bottom, and looking at the familiar area code, I’m almost certain that this is the same number he had four years ago. I still have that number programmed in my phone from the day he wrote it down on a piece of notebook paper for me. I never had the guts to use it before.

Lane leans over my shoulder again, examining my goods. “Damn, he could have at least gotten me something. Douchebag.” I elbow him back to his spot so I can enjoy this moment, even though I know he’s just trying to have a good time with me.

When our instructor enters the room and begins the lecture immediately, I zone out, thinking about Jace. He’s asking for a shot. At least, I think that’s what he’s asking for. Or maybe he’s just curious how the only story he’s ever known could be any different. I would always regret it though if I didn’t hear him out. Before I can change my mind, I pull out my phone and send a text to Jace.

Within seconds, my phone vibrates and his reply is displayed across my screen.

Sunday for lunch then. Please? I’ll pick you up.

Sunday lunch? That doesn’t sound like a date time. That sounds like an I’m-curious-about-your-story-but-nothing-else time. Not that I would have been able to do Saturday anyway, because I finally relented to Em’s endless pursuit to go to the beach party tomorrow. Thankfully, Lane is going to tag along with me. I can’t help but wonder if Jace has a date tomorrow night, and that’s why he suggested Sunday. Forget it, Audrey, just get Sunday over with. I quickly text back that I will meet him and then put my phone away for the remainder of the class.

Tonight is my last night of training with Em. It’s been a lot of fun and this place will be kind of boring on the nights I have to work without her. She definitely keeps it interesting. Since I never really needed any training in the first place, we’ve been able to talk during our shifts, and I’ve slowly been telling her everything. Tonight, I finally just spit it all out. I told her all that’s happened between Jace and me, starting from the moment I met him on the sidewalk in Texas, all the way up to this morning.

Her silent, stunned face has me cringing, so I turn to put away the last of the glasses. The bar is finally empty and Mark is sweeping under the pool tables, leaving Em and I to get everything squared away for tomorrow’s shift. After minutes pass, I glance back her way and see that she still hasn’t moved from her spot. She’s staring off into space, as if she’s just been given some life-threatening news.

“All of that could not have happened to one person,” she finally says.

“I wish I could say I made it up.”

In a kind-hearted tone, she says, “You weren’t lying when you said you’re a mess.” She pouts her lip out in a sad expression. “But I think you’re just a victim of circumstance.”

I laugh and reply, “Yeah, the circumstance just so happens to be my life.”

That makes her laugh and her mood immediately lightens. “Surely you’ve drawn the last chip out of the bad luck jar. I mean, from here on out, I bet your life is gonna be fabulous.”

I give her a look that clearly says, ‘Yeah, right…’

Then, her face lights up and she claps her hands. “Jace! Oh my God, this is going to be so much fun! You and Jace!”

“Umm… I don’t think you heard every roadblock I listed earlier. I wasn’t kidding when I said the fates are not in our favor.”

She shakes her head back and forth stubbornly, “Nope, this is happening. He sounds CRAZY about you. It all makes so much more sense now!”

She’s getting way too excited about what will most likely amount to nothing. “What makes sense?” I ask.

“Wait, what happened last winter when I saw the two of you talking together in the store back in Texas?” she asks, avoiding my question altogether. “He said it was nothing and that you cornered him,” she adds.

“So that’s not what happened? I just remember that you weren’t happy to see me either.” She sticks out her bottom lip in a fake pout.

I shake my head back and forth in reply and laugh. “I felt like every time I saw you, Jace had his arm around your shoulders. Of course I wasn’t happy to see you,” I laugh.

She giggles with me and says, “Okay, that I can understand.”

“Remember that night I told you about, where we hooked up for the first time in his car?” She nods her head quickly, obviously loving the prospect of hearing some juicy gossip. I smile and continue, “Well, after he said what he did, I couldn’t be there anymore. So once he passed out, I got out of the car and walked back to the hotel Lane and I were staying in.”