Suddenly, I heard boots hitting the sidewalk at a quick pace. I knew he had to be Jaxon because he doesn’t like to let anything go. He was still pretty far away and I realized he wouldn’t be able to see me, since the truck was facing him and I was sitting on the tailgate.

He continued running down the street and I watched as he passed right by me. His body froze and he whipped around to face me. I made eye contact with him as he stalked toward me with a determined look on his face. The air around me grew warmer and there was a current charging between us. He came right up to my legs and placed his hands on my knees. I gasped as he shoved my legs apart so he could come even closer to me while his hands rested on my thighs.

With his intoxicating voice at a low tone he asked, “You reckless, frustratingly beautiful girl, why are you out here all alone? Don’t you know it’s not safe to be on this street alone with all these drunken, idiotic frat assholes?”

“Why have you been torturing me by making me think that you were sleeping with all those guys?” He pointed back to the house.

“Because I wanted to sleep with all those guys.” I watched him wince, and knew I needed to clarify. “I mean I wanted to WANT to sleep with them. I don’t like Emerson; she’s too confusing and complicated. I just wanted to be Em again. But every time I went upstairs with one them, I always chickened out,” I said the last part barely above a whisper.

I felt his hands flex on my thighs. I imagined what it felt like for those hands to lift me up as he always does. How it felt to wrap my legs around his waist. I scooted forward even closer to him so he would be further between my thighs. He brought his face down to the side of mine and with his nose he moved my hair to the side so he could bury it in my neck. I panted at his proximity. Once again, a month and a half had been a long time for me.

On a groan he said, “You’re driving me f**king insane. The only reason I can stand coming to every single one of these parties is because some crazy-ass masochistic side of me needs to know when you come out of those bedrooms that you’re still okay. But every time I watch you walk up those stairs with some new douchebag, I beg Cole to stop me from going up there, pounding that guy into the ground and throwing you over my shoulder because I know you would be pissed at me,” he exhaled on a long breath. “Emerson, tell me what you want.” Each word was said in a short, clipped tone.

I clutched the waistband of his jeans as tightly as I could manage and spoke directly to his chest. “I don’t know how.” I turned my head up to run my lips across the edge of his jaw. He seemed to be unconsciously squeezing my thighs now, am I’m sure I’ll have bruises there tomorrow. I’ll welcome them if it means I can be with him tonight.

“Tell me that you want me,” he whispered.

“Only you.” Had there ever been anyone else?

He shuffled around, feeling at his pockets. When he found what he wanted, he reached in and pulled out a pen. The second I saw it, I knew what he wanted, so I stretched out my hand toward him with my palm facing up. He grinned at my forwardness and grabbed my wrist so he could turn it. I closed my eyes and let the tickle of the ballpoint consume me. At this point, I didn’t care what he wrote as long as he continued stroking it across my skin. He finished quickly, closed my fingers into my palm, and kissed them. I slowly uncurled them to read his message, which was written boldly across the expanse of my palm. One word that screamed a whole lot more.

I lifted my eyes up to his and nodded. Quickly, he slid his hands underneath me and lifted me up around his waist. He slammed the tailgate shut and walked around to the driver’s side. I don’t know who leaned in first, but our lips were crushed together and I felt safe again in his arms. Safe from myself.

“Do you have the keys?” I asked through his lips.

“No, I don’t need them.” I watched as he pressed a series of numbers on the keyless entry system just above the door handle. I was confused how we would drive home without keys, but at this moment I couldn’t find a reason to care either.

He didn’t open the front door, instead opened the door to the backseat and slid inside with me still in one arm. He closed the door behind us and the heavily tinted windows, along with the night sky, provided us with complete privacy.

When I gave him a confused look, he said, “I can’t drive, I’ve had too much to drink, but I can’t wait until everyone else is ready to go home either.” He smashed his lips back to mine. I pulled back and looked into his gorgeous eyes. He had a faint scar above his eyebrow where Cole had punched him, so I lifted up and kissed it softly and his eyes fell closed.

I pushed off of his chest and knelt down on the floorboard between his legs. He looked down at me from under his long eyelashes and the look he gave me spurred me on. I reached up, released his button and unzipped his pants.

“No underwear?” I smiled at him as I pulled him out.

He moaned when I wrapped my hands around him. When I bent my head down, I heard his head hit the glass window behind him. I continued to look up at him the entire time my mouth worked up and down because the emotions running across his face were enough of a turn-on for me. His blue eyes looked impossibly silver in the light of the moon.

“Fuck, baby, that feels so damn incredible.” I loved his term of endearment coming out of his mouth. “But you don’t have to do this, come back up here.” He tugged on my arms.

“Shit…” He closed his eyes in frustration.

“Let me do this. I want to.” It was true, I did want to. If I couldn’t tell him how I felt, I wanted to at least try and show him.

After I had tucked him back in his pants, I came back up to sit in his lap and nuzzle into his neck. He was so warm and had a light gleam of sweat on his body from his exertion. The smell of his cologne mixed with his perspiration was an intoxicating mixture. We just sat there for who knows how long, his fingers running through my hair while I listened to the thump of his heart slow to a normal, steady pace.

“What the hell’s wrong with my truck?” We instantly sat up when we heard Jace’s voice outside. “The windows are all fogged up!”

I heard Cole’s irritating laugh break out immediately afterward. “Fifty bucks says Jax went to make sure Em was okay.” I heard the mocking tone in his voice when he said the word ‘okay.’

“Guys, we should go back. Wait until… they’re…. done…. you know.” I heard Quinn say uncomfortably.

I shoved Jaxon a bit to get his attention that we should tell them we were decent and we absolutely wanted to get home. I didn’t need to say anything because I knew he felt the same way.

He propped open the back door. “Get in here, assholes.”

“Hey! Don’t call my girl an asshole,” Cole shouted and wrapped his arm around Quinn’s shoulders. I watched as he gave her a kiss on the temple.

“What? No! Quinn, I swear I wasn’t saying that toward you.” He gave her an apologetic look. His puppy-dog eyes were so sweet. If he ever directed them at me, I would give him anything he wanted.

“Don’t worry, Jax, I know you weren’t talking about me,” Quinn responded as she bumped Cole in the chest. “Give him a break, Coley.” Cole grimaced at his girlfriend using my favorite nickname for him.

Sarcastically, he looked back at me. “Ems, have I ever thanked you for that nickname? Because seriously, it’s the best…” We could all hear the satire dripping from his voice, which made everyone besides Cole fall over laughing.

Jace drove us all home; I never saw him drink, ever. If he actually came out to a party with us, he was nice enough to be our DD. I was so happy in this moment with all four of these people, and it was amazing how close we had all become in only a few short months. I felt like I could share almost anything with them. Like I could be at my worst around them and they would still be there for me. I know I would do it for any of them. Apparently, when you start opening the emotional gate, they all come flooding out.

“Your smile is breathtaking right now. What are you thinking about and please tell me how I can keep it there?” Jax leaned over to whisper in my ear.

I shook my head because I didn’t know how to describe to him what I was feeling. I leaned in and laid my head on his shoulder. He laid his head on top of mine and kissed my hair.

When we got back to our apartments, we all just stood in the hallway staring at each other. I guess trying to figure out who was going with whom and into which apartment. Jace shoved past all four of us.

“You guys are nauseating,” he said before going into their apartment.

“Emerson will be in my bed,” Jaxon said while dragging me behind him. I laughed at his caveman attitude.

“Love you, Emmy!” Quinn shouted before going inside our apartment with Cole.

The next morning, I woke up immersed in the scent of Jaxon. I was lying on my stomach with my arms stretched out underneath my pillow. He was laying his head on my bare back and had one hand cupping my breast. I felt like we had just gone to sleep when I began waking up. The two of us had been up late last night getting to know each other in this new way; it was the greatest night of my life.

I started flexing out my fingers underneath the pillow to get them to wake up. Pins and needles were running up and down my arms. Jaxon must have realized I was awake because he started kissing a line down my spine. I began thinking about last night and it hit me that I had passed my three-limit rule with him. I knew it was going to happen, but the thought shocked and frightened me at the same time. My body stiffened with my terror.

“Shh, baby, relax. Don’t freak out.” Somehow, he knew I would start to panic at this moment, and he was trying to tamper my fear with his soothing kisses. “Just be here with me, don’t freak out,” he repeated.

My breathing evened out and my heart rate slowed to normal with each time his full lips touched my skin. When he was satisfied with my calm, he grabbed my h*ps and flipped me over onto my back, and I couldn’t stop the yelp from flying out of my mouth. He had a sexy, guilty smirk on his face.

“I’ve always thought it was the sexiest damn thing in the world to see you na**d in my bed.” Oh God, his voice only got better with the roughness of sleep added to it. I started to squirm underneath him, needing him in between my thighs. “But I was wrong.”

I started moving out from under him. “Well, you sure know how to ruin one of the best moments,” I grumbled.

His hands came down to hold me in place. “I was wrong, because you waking up na**d in my bed is even more incredible and sexy. I want you to wake up here every morning.” He bent down to start kissing my neck. “And I’m glad you think this is one of the best moments, by the way.”

“I can’t move in here,” I said, in between heavy breaths.

“You don’t have to move in, just sleep here every night,” he replied with a huge grin on his face. “If it makes you feel better, we can sleep in your bed every once in a while, but I like seeing you here with your hair spread out across my pillow.” When he dipped his h*ps down to move against me, I closed my eyes at the wonderful feeling. With Jaxon, there was no begging for my sex drive to flip on. All he had to do was look at me with those blue eyes and I was in full gear, ready to go.

I ran my hands over his chest and noticed a black mark that wasn’t normally there. At a closer glance, I realized it was the mirror image of the writing on my hand. I giggled at the backward “Mine” on his skin as I ran my fingers across it. I must have slept with my hand right here last night. He dipped his chin down to see what I was chuckling about and he smiled broadly when he realized what it was.

“I kind of like that.” I was mesmerized, tracing the backward letters. When he looked up into my eyes proudly, I whispered, “It’s like you’re mine as well.”

After a second, I realized that the sun was already up, so I turned to look at the clock on the bedside table. “Shit! We have to be in class in thirty minutes.” I started scrambling out from under him.

“So what, let’s skip,” he laughed at me. “Stay in bed with me today.”

“Jaxon, I can’t, I’ve already missed way too many classes. Patterson will drop me if I miss anymore this semester, and then I’ll lose my internship.”

“Okay, it’s not that big of a deal, we’ll go. You’re extremely adorable when you get flustered like this though,” he laughed.

When I got up, I noticed he stayed in bed, not attempting to get out. I gave him a questioning look.

“Yeah, you go ahead. I… kind of have a situation... I need to wait out.” He gestured at himself under the sheets. “I’ll be set by the time you’re ready to leave.”

I leaned forward with my hands on the bed and knew he was enjoying the view of my na**d body. “Join me in the shower and I’ll relieve… your situation.” I winked at him.

I’d never seen him move so fast as he sprang from the bed. I bounded out his door laughing, completely na**d and ran straight into the bathroom. I knew no one had seen me, but at the same time, it didn’t even occur to me to care if they had. When I reached the shower and turned on the faucet, I felt large hands on my h*ps from behind.

“Emerson, I’ll be honest right now, I’m not going to handle guys seeing my girlfriend na**d very well,” he growled in my ear.