Trenton stopped next to my window, waiting for me to crank the window down. He readjusted his white ball cap and sat his hands on his hips, waiting for me to speak.

My eyes ran over the definition of his pec muscles, and then traveled down to appreciate all six of his beautifully protruding abdominals.

He shook his head. “Just got out of the tub.”

I bit my lip, trying to think of something to say.

“What are you doing here, Cami?”

Looking forward, I shook my head and pressed my lips into a hard line. “I have no idea.”

He crossed his arms over the edge of my door and leaned in. “Would you mind figuring it out? It’s cold as f**k out here.”

“Oh! God! I’m sorry,” I said, turning on the Smurf. I turned up the heater. “Get in.”

I crawled over the gearshift and console, and bounced when I hit the passenger seat. Trenton hopped in, shut the door, and rolled the window up until there was just a crack.

“You got cigarettes?” he asked. I handed him my pack and he pulled out two. He lit them both, and then handed one to me.

I took a drag and blew it out, watching him do the same. The tension was thicker than the smoke swirling between us. Tiny bits of ice began tapping at the windows and the metal frame of the Smurf, then the sky opened up and the sound of ice tapping against the car intensified.

“You’re right. I did go home with girls,” Trenton said, raising his voice over the noise of the sleet. “More than just the ones you saw at the Red.”

“You don’t have to tell me.”

“I needed to get my mind off of you.” When I didn’t respond, he turned to me. “I would let a girl rescue me from that torture every night of the week, but even when I was with someone else, all I thought about was you.”

“That’s not really . . . a compliment,” I said.

Trenton hit the steering wheel with the heel of his hand, and then blew out another puff of smoke. “I’m not trying to compliment you! I thought I was going to go out of my damn mind thinking about you being in California. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t call you, and when you got back, I was going to accept your choice. But you drove to my house. You’re here. I don’t know what to do with that.”

“I just didn’t want to miss you anymore,” I said, not knowing what else to say. “It’s so selfish, I know. I shouldn’t be here.” I breathed out all the air from my lungs and sank back into the ratty passenger seat as far as I could. Being that truthful made me feel so vulnerable. It was the first time I’d even admitted it to myself.

“What the f**k does that mean?”

“I don’t know!” I yelled. “Have you ever wanted something that you knew you shouldn’t have? That it was wrong on every level, but you knew you needed it? I liked where we were, Trent! And then you . . . we can’t get that back.”

“C’mon, Cami. I couldn’t keep going like that.”

“I know that it wasn’t fair to you. To no one else but me, really. But I still miss it, because it was preferable to the alternatives: to be with you under false pretenses, or to lose you altogether,” I said, wiping my nose. I opened the door, put my cigarette out on the runner, and then tossed the butt on the floorboard. “I’m sorry. This was such a shitty thing to do. I’ll go.” I began to step out, but Trenton grabbed my arm.

“Cami, stop. You’re not making any sense. You came here. Now you’re leaving. If there wasn’t . . . the thing, whatever it is . . . what would you do?”

I laughed once, but it sounded more like a cry. “I walked away from you in the airport. And then I spent the next two days wishing I’d stayed.”

“But there is more to it than that, Trenton. I wish I could tell you so it’s out there, but I can’t.”

“You don’t have to tell me. If you need me to say that I’m okay with whatever I don’t know, I’m okay with it. I don’t give a single f**k,” he said, shaking his head.

“You can’t say that. You wouldn’t if you knew . . .”

“I know there’s something you want to tell me but can’t. If it comes out later, no matter what it is, I made the choice to move forward without knowing. That’s on me.”

“For anything else, that would be enough.”

Trenton flicked his cigarette out the window. “That makes zero f**king sense. None.”

Trenton rubbed his face, beyond frustrated. “What do you want from me? I keep telling you I don’t care about this secret. I’m telling you I want you. I don’t know what else to say to convince you.”

“You need to be the one to walk away. Tell me to f**k off, and end it. I’ll quit Skin Deep, you find a different bar. I can’t . . . you have to be the one.”

He shook his head. “I am the one, Cami. I’m it for you. I know because you’re it for me.”

I watched him, begging him with my eyes. It was such a strange feeling, hoping for someone to break my heart. When I realized he was going to be just as stubborn as I was being weak, a switch inside of me flipped. “Okay, then. I’ll do it. I have to. It’s better than you hating me later. It’s better than letting you do something I know is wrong.”

“I’m so tired of this cryptic shit. You know what I think about right and wrong?” he asked, but before I could answer, he grabbed each side of my face and planted his lips on mine.

I immediately opened my mouth, letting his tongue slip inside. He grabbed at my skin, touching me everywhere, as if he couldn’t get enough of me, and then he reached across me for the seat lever. The seat leaned backward slowly, and at the same time, Trenton climbed over the console in one smooth movement. Keeping his mouth on mine, he grabbed each of my knees and hiked them up to his ribs. I planted my feet on the dashboard, and lifted my hips up to meet his. He groaned into my mouth. His shorts didn’t conceal his excitement, and he pressed the hardness against the exact spot where I already wished he was.

His hips moved and rolled against mine as he kissed and nipped my neck with his teeth. My panties were instantly soaked, and just as I slid my fingers between his shorts and his skin, his kisses slowed, and then stopped.

We were both breathing hard, staring into one another’s eyes. Every window of the Jeep was fogged over.

He shook his head, looked down, and then laughed once before raising his eyes to meet mine. “I’m going to hate myself later, but I’m not doing this in a car, and definitely not in fuzzy slippers.”

“Take them off,” I said, planting a dozen tiny kisses on his neck and shoulder.

He half hummed, half sighed. “I’d be just as bad as every other dick who doesn’t treat you the way you deserve.” He leaned away from my lips, giving me one more sweet peck. “I’m going to go warm up the Intrepid.”

“I don’t want you driving home in this shit, and the Intrepid has front-wheel drive. Handles better. I’ll drop off your Jeep before you wake up in the morning.” He pulled the door handle and jumped out, running into the house for a few minutes, and then reappearing, this time with sneakers, a hoodie, and keys in his hand. He started the Intrepid, and then ran back to the Smurf, hopping in and rubbing his hands. “Shit!”