“That’s not it.” He looked at me. “I don’t want you to leave.”

I smiled, and he reached over, running his thumb along my lips. After a few moments, we reluctantly got out of the Smurf and climbed into his car.

As happy as I thought I was lying in T.J.’s bed a few weeks before, sitting next to Trenton in his dilapidated Intrepid while he drove me home was so much better. His hand was on my knee, and he wore the utmost satisfied smile all the way to my apartment.

“You sure you don’t want to come in?” I asked when he parked.

“No,” he said, but he clearly wasn’t happy with his answer. He leaned over and kissed me with the softest lips, slow at first, and then we both began to tug at each other’s clothes again. Trenton’s shorts were standing at full attention, and his fingers tugged gently at my hair, but eventually he pulled away. “Damn it,” he said, breathless. “I’m going to take you on a proper date first if it kills me.”

I let my head fall back against the headrest, and I looked up, frustrated. “Nice. You can take a random girl home from the Red forty-five minutes after you meet her, and I get shut down.”

“This isn’t you getting shut down, baby. Not even close.”

I looked over at him, and my brows pulled in. I wanted to pretend that everything would be okay, and I could forget what I knew, but I had to warn him one last time. “I don’t know what this is. But I know if you knew the whole story, Trenton, you would walk away from me and never look back.”

He leaned his head against his headrest, and then held his palm against my cheek. “I don’t want the whole story. I just want you.”

I shook my head, tears threatening to well in my eyes for the third time that day. “No. You deserve to know. Certain things in our lives are so fragile . . . and you and me, Trent? We could ruin it all.”

He shook his head. “Listen to what I’m saying, Cami. If it keeps me from being with you, I know what it is.”

I looked over at him, my heart slamming against my chest, louder than even the sleet hitting the windshield or the Intrepid’s rumbling muffler.

“It’s in the way.” He leaned over to me, and touched my cheek with his hand the same time that his lips touched mine.

“Just remember later that I’m sorry for whatever happens after this, and I’m sorry that when you walked away like I asked, I didn’t let you go,” I said.

“I’m not, and I never will be.” The skin around his eyes tightened as he stared straight into mine. He truly believed in what he was saying, and it made me want to believe it, too.

I ran into my apartment, shut the door, and leaned against it until I heard the Intrepid pull away. It was irresponsible and selfish, but part of me wanted to believe Trenton when he said that what he didn’t know wouldn’t matter.

Just before the sun rose, and before my eyes opened, I felt something warm running along the length of my body. I moved just a centimeter toward whatever it was, just to make sure my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me.

I blinked a few times, and then focused, seeing a shadowed figure lying next to me. The clock on my nightstand read 6:00 AM. The apartment was dark and quiet, the same as it always was at that time of the morning. But the second the memories from earlier that morning crept into my mind, everything felt different.

Oh, God. What had I done? A boundary had been crossed, and there was no going back or going forward without real consequences. I thought from the moment Trenton had sat at my table at the Red that I could handle whatever he threw my way, but he was like quicksand. The more I struggled, the deeper I sank.

I was right on the edge of the bed, and tried to inch over without success.

“Why are you in my bed, Ray?” I asked.

“Huh?” Trenton said, his voice deep and raspy.

A jolt ran through my body, and I squealed as I fell off the bed. Trenton scrambled to the edge, reaching for me, but it was too late. I was already on the floor.

“Oh! Shit! Are you all right?”

With my back pressed against the wall, I quickly brushed my hair from my face. When recognition sunk in, I hit the floor with both of my fists. “What the hell are you doing in my bed? How did you even get in here?”

Trenton winced. “I brought the Jeep back about an hour ago. Brazil happened to be dropping off Raegan, and she let me in.”

“So you just . . . crawled into bed with me?” My voice was high-pitched and bordering on a screech.

“I said I wasn’t going to come in, and then I did. And then I told myself I’d sleep on the floor, but then I didn’t. I just . . . had to be next to you. I was just lying there awake at Dad’s.” He leaned over, and reached for me with one hand. His muscles danced under his smooth, inked arm. His hand grasped mine, and then he pulled me onto the bed next to him. “Hope that was okay.”

“Does it matter at this point?”

Half of Trenton’s mouth turned up. He was clearly amused at my early morning tantrum.

Raegan rushed down the hall and then whipped around the corner, her eyes wide. “Why are you yelling?”

“Yeah. Is that okay?” she said, breathless. Her hair was wild, and her mascara was smudged under her eyes.

“Why is everyone asking me after the fact? No! It’s not okay!”

“Do you want me to go?” Trenton asked, still smiling.

I looked at him, at Raegan, and then back at him. “No! I just don’t want you sneaking into my bed when I’m asleep!”

Raegan rolled her eyes and walked back down the hall, shutting her door.

Trenton hooked his arm around my middle and pulled me against him, burying his face between my neck and the pillow. I lay still, looking up at the ceiling, caught between wanting desperately to tangle my arms and legs with his, and knowing that from that moment forward, if I did anything else but kick him out and never speak to him again, no one would be to blame but me.

WITH ONE EAR AGAINST THE PHONE, AND THE OTHER EAR being kissed and licked quietly by Trenton, I tried to schedule a three-thirty outline. Normally Trenton behaved a little more professionally at work, but it was Sunday, we were painfully slow, and Calvin had taken Hazel to lunch for her birthday. Trenton and I were totally alone.

“Yes. Got you down. Thank you, Jessica.”

I hung up the phone, and Trenton grabbed my hips and lifted me up, planting my ass on the counter. He hooked my ankles at the small of his back, and then slid his fingers into my hair, combing it back just enough to provide a clear path to run his tongue up my neck until it reached its destination: my earlobe. He took the tender piece of skin into his mouth, applying the tiniest bit of pressure between his top teeth and tongue. It had become my very favorite thing . . . so far. He’d been torturing me that way all week, but refused to undress me—or touch me anywhere fun—until we went to dinner Monday night after work.

Trenton pulled me toward him and pressed his pelvis against me. “I have never looked forward to a Monday so much in my life.”

I smiled, dubious. “I don’t know why you have these strange rules. We could break them ten feet away in your room.”

I turned my wrist over to check my watch. “You don’t have anyone for an hour and a half. Why don’t you start outlining that shoulder tattoo we’ve talked about?”