Later that week, Jax and I were hanging out in my room comparing notes for Journalism and I found out we had Media Law together as well. Studying with him was fun, we usually veered way off topic and just started joking around, pushing our textbooks aside.
“Are you guys doing anything tonight? I don’t think Quinn and I have plans.”
“I have to work; I’m not sure about Jace and Cole though,” he answered, looking bummed.
“So is the radio station meeting your internship requirement?” I asked him.
“Yeah it is. At first, I was leaning more toward Broadcast Journalism, so that’s why I took it. All these classes are kind of opening my eyes to more areas, so now I’m not so sure what area I want to major in,” he responded.
“I wish I could get my internship done with over the school year, but I’m excited for it this coming summer.”
He set down his pen to look at me. “Where is yours at?”
“I’m majoring in Humanitarian Journalism, so mine is abroad this summer.”
“No shit? Aren’t they going to like Prague, Salzburg, or some other amazing European city?”
“Nothing so glamorous. We’re going to Africa.” I was still really nervous, but I knew it would be a great opportunity.
“I think that’s kind of the point. Going out there and getting the story that needs to be told, about the people that have been forgotten.”
Uncomfortable with his compliment, I replied, “No I’m not, I haven’t even done anything.”
“You will. You’re going to do great things. One day, we’ll hear all about the great Emerson Moore: Humanitarian Journalist.”
When I came back from work one night, I sat down on the couch and realized Quinn wasn’t home. She usually shouts for me when she hears me walk in. Right as I was pulling out my phone to text her, she sent me one.
Quinn: I’m down at the guys’ place. Come down when you get here, we’re watching movies.
I was exhausted; all I wanted was a shower and my bed. But, I thought I should at least go down and say hi to everyone. I slipped off my shoes and walked down the hall barefoot.
When I walked into their place, I saw them all sitting in the pitch dark watching a movie, but I could barely see all their faces. Cole had bought this huge sectional couch that could easily fit ten people. “Hey, Emmy,” Quinn and Cole said at the same time. I turned to where I heard their voices and noticed Quinn was lying with her head on Cole’s lap. I walked over to her and gave her a half hug since I couldn’t get my arms all the way around her while she was lying down. Jaxon was sitting down past Quinn’s feet. I figured if we were cuddling up on the couch together, the person I wanted to sit next to was his hunky body.
I sat down next to him and leaned into him to lay my head on his shoulder. “Hey, handsome, long time, no see. Thanks again for helping me with those notes. Oh, and the rides home as well.” I patted his rock hard stomach and took an extra second before lifting it off of him.
“Well, hello to you too gorgeous. I would love to see you anytime, but trust me, I think I would remember if I gave you a ride and that is something I don’t remember doing.” His tone was slightly off and extremely flirtatious. I sat up, giving him a puzzled look. What was he talking about?
As I was staring into his gorgeous blue eyes, I heard someone clear their throat from the other side of the couch, “I think you were looking for me?” There’s that voice I wish I could cuddle inside of and hear all day. I turned around and looked right at Jaxon with the blue glow of the movie on his face.
I jumped up and ran across the room to flip the light switch on. When I turned around my mouth hit the floor. It wasn’t my most attractive moment. Twins. Identical Twins. Identical freaking hot-as-hell Twins. Oh, I would kill Cole later for not telling me about this. “What? How? Why didn’t you tell me there was a smoking hot carbon copy of you? How have I been right down the hall and never known there were two of you?” I hollered at Jaxon while looking back and forth to Jace. Jace sat there with a smug smile on his face, looking pretty pleased with himself. It was crazy how much they looked alike. Jace even had that imperfection I loved on Jaxon; the slightly turned in front tooth. The only difference I could notice so far was that Jace didn’t get the sex god voice like Jaxon was blessed with.
Everyone was covering their eyes with their hands and trying to adjust to my assault of sudden brightness. “Emmy, so what if they’re twins, it’s not a big deal. Turn the lights off, we were watching a movie,” Cole said impatiently, and I noticed Quinn had sat up straight.
“My life just got a little more amazing here, Coley. Quinn, a little heads up next time would be awesome. You know just a little text message saying, ‘Oh, by the way, when you get home, there will be two way too hot for human kind identical freaking twins, living right next door.’ Something like that, no big deal,” I scolded her while my finger was pointing to my phone.
Quinn had a huge grin on her face. “I would not have missed this reaction for the world. I mean, what a way to introduce yourself to Jace.”
“Trust me; my introduction was a thousand times better,” Jaxon said to her with a smirk on his face.
Quinn was about to ask what he was talking about when I slapped the lights back off and went to sit between Jaxon and Cole. Quinn laid her head back down on Cole’s lap, but I knew she would ask later. I left a gap between both guys on each side of me. “Em, you’re more than welcome to come back down here with me. I thought we were getting pretty cozy,” Jace loudly whispered over to me.
I started laughing but Jaxon answered for me, “She’s good right where she is, dude.”
Once everyone settled down and got back into the movie again, I rested my head on the cushion behind me. I felt an arm come around my shoulders and pull me into a hard chest.
“You smell like an ashtray and beer,” Jaxon whispered into my ear.
“That happens when you work in a pool hall as a bartender, sorry,” I murmured against his chest.
Unlike me, he smelled delicious, freshly showered and manly. I tried silently to inhale, but the way his hand slightly tightened on my shoulders, I think he knew what I was doing. My head slowly drifted down to his lap as the movie went on. I don’t even know what we were watching. When my head hit his legs, he started running his hands through my hair. He grabbed my ponytail holder and gently tugged it out, without pulling any hair. When my hair had been released, his fingers began massaging my scalp. I faded to sleep with his fingers moving around my head.
The alarm on my phone started going off the next morning and without opening my eyes, I blindly grabbed for it from my nightstand. I realized I was in my own bed when I felt the glass top of the table, but I don’t remember getting up and coming back to our apartment last night. The last thing I can remember was Jaxon’s amazing hands on my head. Rubbing those hypnotizing circles. If I could just get him to do that every night, I would never have any sleepless nights again.
I jumped into a quick, hot shower because I had class in two hours. As I was washing up, I noticed a black stain dripping from my hand. I brought it up out of the water before it all washed away.
You’re beautiful even when you snore.
I knew this handwriting; I’d seen this handwriting in notes every day. Jaxon had written on my hand last night when I fell asleep. Now I remember dozing off in his lap last night. Oh God, he’d heard me snore? I’m pretty sure I didn’t snore, usually people tell you this kind of thing when you sleep with them. I stared at the beautiful handwriting a little bit longer before I let it wash down the drain from my skin.
When I finished running a straightener through my hair to control some of the frizz, I walked down to the kitchen to see Quinn with her wild bed head. No matter how crazy her hair was now, she would soon have her shiny brown locks perfectly sleek and stylish before she stepped out of the apartment. She was setting up the coffee maker for both of us. I started to get out the pans to make breakfast.
“Man, Quinn, I was wiped last night. I don’t even remember walking back down here to go to bed. Thanks for setting my alarm by the way,” I told her.
“That’s because you didn’t, dummy. Jax carried you down here and put you in bed. He covered you up and everything. He even asked me if you needed to be up at a certain time this morning, so he could set the alarm on your phone. I was pretty impressed. He was so sweet. You didn’t seem to mind either, with your hands wrapped around his neck and your face buried into his shoulder.” She smiled mischievously.
“Oh no, did I drool on him? Please say no. You didn’t hear me snoring, did you?” I smacked my palm to my forehead. I shouldn’t have let myself get so comfortable in his arms last night.
“No, I don’t think you did. He seemed to be happy carrying you. He’s totally hot, right?” she asked while grabbing two coffee mugs from the cabinet.
“So gorgeous, Quinn! I can’t believe there are two of them.”
“Did you know he calls you Emerson? How did he even know that was your name?” she questioned me.
“He found out in Journalism, we had to keep up a dialogue for the whole class period. How did you know he called me that?” I asked.
“Oh, yeah, I forgot, when he carried you to your bed, he saw your textbook on the side table and he said he was going to borrow it to study last night. He asked, ‘Can you let Emerson know I borrowed it?’ I didn’t even realize he had called you that till after he left,” she confided.
“Crap, I hope I didn’t miss something that we were supposed to study,” I grumbled.
“Cole’s worried about you sleeping with them, you know,” she said nonchalantly.
“Why is he worried? He doesn’t care who I sleep with. It’s not like they would ever move out of the apartment because I slept with one of them.”
“He’s not worried about them moving out, he’s worried about us moving away, if there were ever any bad blood,” she said while shrugging her shoulders.
“I’ll reassure him we aren’t moving anywhere.” Cole had never gotten worried when I slept with his friends. I don’t get attached to guys and I don’t let them get attached to me. I always do well with continuing a friendship after their three times are up. He was being silly. “So did you and Cole have this conversation while you were snuggling up in his lap last night, or was this conversation later in the night when everyone else went to bed?” I teased her.
I saw her flush a bit before she turned to grab the French vanilla creamer from the fridge. At some point last year, I noticed Quinn and Cole starting to act different around one another. She started to care whether she had makeup on before he came over and he started not approving of every guy she dated. I have a strong suspicion they both really like each other more than friends would. Quinn still dated guys and Cole still slept around, so I didn’t really know what to think. I’ve never deliberately poked fun at Quinn about it before, just tried to subtly bring it up. I just didn’t understand, if they liked each other, why didn’t they just get together? They’re perfectly normal, non-ruined adults, unlike myself.
“Don’t say stuff like that, Emmy, we’re friends. You lay on Cole all the time,” she said defensively while avoiding my eyes.
“The difference is when I sit up, Cole doesn’t get frustrated and he definitely doesn’t rub my back like he was doing with you last night.” I winked at her.
“You’re delusional. I’m going to go get ready. I have to tutor three students today at nine-thirty. Hurry and get ready so we can ride together.”
Nice deflection, Quinn. “I’m ready now, I’ll be down at the guys’ place, come get me when you’re leaving,” I told her as I reached for the door with my coffee.
When I walked into their apartment, Jaxon, or was it Jace, was sitting on the couch in just his dark green boxers eating a bowl of cereal. Holy crap, he had the hottest tattoo wrapping around one of his shoulders. The intricate black lines started near his collarbone and went all the way down to hug his enormous bicep. I wanted to trace it with my fingers or tongue, whichever got there first.
“Well, good morning, Beautiful, come on in, and don’t even bother knocking.” Jaxon. If I could get them to talk, I could easily figure out who was who. He was teasing me about not knocking, but I guess since Jaxon and Jace live here now, I should consider doing that before just barging in.
“Sorry, I’m used to just walking in when it was only Cole,” I apologized. “Besides, it looks like you were expecting me anyway. Thanks for wearing my favorite outfit of yours, I’ll expect you to be in this whenever I come over.” I winked at him. His abs went on for days and all I wanted to do was smooth my hands against his wide hard chest.
I was so focused on his abs, I became mesmerized when they starting shifting with his laugh. He interrupted my ogling and said, “I’m guessing this goes two ways? I can just walk in anytime I please to your place?” He gestured with his finger between the two of us.
“Of course. I’m usually na**d between two and three, so come on over, the more the merrier.” I provoked him.
Just then, Jace walked in the room, “Hell yeah, Em, you are the hottest girl I’ve met so far in California. I’ll be over around two-thirty, I expect you to be ready.” He gave me a sexy smirk. He kept walking to the kitchen and began pouring himself some cereal.