“No, I couldn’t find it, so I crawled in through your bedroom window. Did you know it’s been unlocked?”

The front door slammed, and Trenton and I both sat up.

“He was being nice! He just didn’t want me to drive in the snow!”

“There’s no snow on the roads! They’re just wet!”

“Yeah! Now!” she said. She stomped down the hall, and Brazil followed her, slamming her bedroom door.

Brazil’s muffled voice filtered through the wall. “Because you can’t ride around with your ex-boyfriend, that’s why!”

“Maybe if you had taken me to work . . .”

“Nuh-uh, don’t pin this on me! If I had done the same thing . . .”

“What does that mean? What do you mean, Raegan? Has someone said something to you?”

“Nothing! I don’t know what you do when you’re out! I’m not even sure I care anymore!”

It got really quiet then, and after several minutes, they continued speaking in lowered voices. Ten minutes later there were no voices at all, and just when I thought to go check on Raegan, I heard her moaning and yelping, and her bed was knocking into the wall.

“Living together is sounding better all the time, isn’t it?” Trenton said against my neck.

I settled in next to him. “It’s been less than four months. Let’s pace ourselves.”

Trenton touched my knee, and then let his hand slide upward until his fingers were touching the cotton piece of my panties. “I know you fairly intimately.”

“Really? You want to get it on with Buffy and Spike next door?”

“They’re fighting, and then they . . . never mind.”

“Not in the mood, huh?” he asked.

“You got jokes!” I said as I dug my thumbs between his ribs. He tried fending me off, grunting and laughing as I tickled him. Eventually, he began emulating Raegan’s high-pitched cries. I covered my mouth, giggling incessantly. Raegan grew quiet, and Trenton fist bumped me. Then we settled down again.

Half an hour later, Brazil and Raegan crept down the hall and then the front door opened and closed. A few seconds later, my bedroom door flew open and the light turned on. “Assholes!”

I turned to look at him. Three bloody scratches were on his cheekbone, and his lip was split. I jerked to a sitting position. “What happened to your face, Trent?”

“I haven’t thought of a good lie to tell you yet.”

“I thought you went to Chicken Joe’s with Olive tonight? You went to that biker bar, didn’t you?” I said, my voice thick with accusation.

Trenton chuckled. “No, I went to Chicken Joe’s. So did Chase and Colin.”

Raegan gasped, and so did I. My eyes filled with tears. “They f**king jumped you? When you were with Olive? Is she okay?”

“They tried. She’s fine. We went outside. She didn’t see much.”

“They won’t try to jump me again, let’s just put it that way.”

I covered my face. “Goddammit! Damn it!” I picked up my phone and sent the same text to Colin and Chase. It only said one word.

Trenton’s phone buzzed, and he picked it up, and then rolled his eyes. I’d sent the text to him, too.

“Hey. They came after me.”

“They’re hurting. They’ll hurt worse in the morning. But it’s done.”

My face compressed. “Trent! Damn it! This has got to stop!”

“I told you, baby, it’s done. Coby was with them. He didn’t jump in. He tried to talk them out of it. I beat their asses. They agreed to back off.”

My phone chirped. It was Chase.

Sorry. We worked it out. It’s all good.

How does your face feel?

Raegan’s eyes widened a bit before she backed out and walked to her room.

“What did you want me to do? Let them beat my ass?”

My face smoothed. “No. I hate that it happened in front of Olive. I’m worried about her.”

Trenton climbed out of bed, flipped off the light, and then crawled back in beside me. “You’ll see her tomorrow. She’s okay. I explained it to her, and then I explained it to her parents.”

“A little. But not at me.”

“Do you need an ice pack or anything?”

I relaxed against him, but it took me quite a while to fall asleep. My mind wouldn’t stop racing, and I could tell from his breathing that Trenton wasn’t asleep, either. Finally, my eyes got heavy, and I let myself drift off.

When my eyes finally opened, the clock said 10:00, and Olive was standing next to my bed, staring at me. I held the covers against my chest, aware that I was nearly naked beneath them.

“We went shopping this mowning. He said you wuhr out of a few things, but he has six sacks.”

I leaned over but only saw the open front door.

Brazil stepped into the hallway, his dark bronze skin covered only by a pair of green plaid boxers. He yawned, scratched his ass, and then turned around to see Olive. He crossed his hands over his groin that was just waking up as well.

“Got here as Trent was leaving.”

“Put your damn clothes on, you don’t live here.”

Olive shook her head, scolding him with her sparkling green eyes.

Brazil retreated to Raegan’s room, and I nodded toward the door. “Beat it, kid. I’ve gotta get dressed, too.” I winked at her, and she grinned before skipping into the living room.

I shut my bedroom door and dug into my drawers for socks and a bra, then slipped on a pair of jeans and a cream sweater. My hair still stunk like forty packs of cigarettes from working at the Red the night before, so I pulled it back into a tiny ponytail, sprayed some body spray on it, and called it good.

When I walked into the kitchen, Trenton was joking with Olive, putting away canned goods, among other things. All of the cabinets were open, and they were all full.

“Trenton Allen!” I gasped and covered my mouth. “Why did you do that? You’re supposed to be saving money!”

“I spend a lot of time over here, eating a lot of your food, and I am three hundred bucks ahead, especially after Travis’s year-end fight.”