“Oh,” I murmured, blinking away and trying to make some order of the chaos inside my head. “It was dinner and blah blah blah, I took a cab home. You’re sure I didn’t wake you?”

He sighed long and deep, gesturing for me to lead us inside. “Unfortunately, no.” He tossed me a blanket from the back of the couch. “I haven’t been able to fall asleep yet.”

I wanted to pay attention, but I was suddenly surrounded by so many pieces of Will’s life. His apartment was one of the newer buildings in the area, and it was modern, but modest. He flipped a switch to a small fireplace against one wall, and the flames bit to life with a soft whoosh, washing the honey-colored walls in flickering light.

“Warm up while I get you something to drink,” he said, motioning to the rug in front of the hearth. “And tell me more about this date that ended at nine.”

The kitchen was visible from the living room and I watched as he opened and closed cupboards, filling an ancient-looking kettle before setting it to heat on the stove. His place was smaller than I’d have imagined, with wood floors and bookcases packed to the brim with dog-eared novels, thick genetics texts, and an entire wall dedicated to what looked like a rather impressive collection of comic books. Two leather couches dominated the living room and simple framed art lined the walls. There were magazines in a basket on the floor, a stack of mail tucked into the mantel, a glass full of bottle caps resting on a shelf.

I tried to focus on what he was asking, but every object in his apartment was a fascinating puzzle piece to the story of Will. “There’s really not much to tell,” I said distractedly.

I groaned, taking off my jacket and folding it over the back of a chair. “My head just wasn’t in the game, you know?” I said, and stopped at the expression on his face. His eyes were wide, his mouth open as his gaze moved slowly down my body. “What?”

“What are you . . .” He coughed. “You came all the way over here in that?”

I looked down and if possible, became even more mortified than I’d been before. I’d gone to bed in shorts and a tank top, only taking time to throw on a pair of pajama pants, my fuzzy boots, and Jensen’s giant old coat. My shirt left nothing to the imagination and my ni**les were hard, completely visible beneath the thin material.

“Oh. Oops.” I crossed my arms over my chest, trying to hide the fact that it was obviously very, very cold outside. “I probably should have paid more attention but I . . . I wanted to see you. Is that weird? It’s weird isn’t it? I’m probably breaking about twelve of your rules right now.”

He blinked. “I, uh . . . I think there’s a clause in there to make an exception for any rule-breaking while wearing an outfit like that,” he said, managing to pull his eyes from my chest long enough to finish up in the kitchen. There was an unfamiliar sense of power in being able to fluster him, and I tried not to look too smug as he walked out, carrying two steaming mugs.

“So why was this date so uneventful?” he asked.

I sat on the floor in front of the fire, legs stretched out in front of me. “Just had other things on my mind.”

“Liiiiiike . . .” I said, dragging the word out long enough to decide if I really wanted to go there. I did. “Like the party?”

A moment of long, heavy silence stretched between us. “I see.”

“Well, in case you hadn’t noticed,” he said, glancing over at me, “I wasn’t exactly sound asleep here.”

I nodded and turned back to the fire, not sure how to proceed. “I’ve always been able to control where my mind went, you know? If it’s time for school I think about school. If it’s work, I think about work. But lately,” I said, shaking my head, “my concentration is crap.”

He laughed softly next to me. “I know exactly how you feel.”

“Yeah.” He scratched the back of his neck, looking up at me through dark lashes.

“I’m so f**king wound up I can hardly sit still,” I admitted.

I heard the sound of his exhale, a long, measured breath, and only then did I realize how close we’d gotten. I looked up to see him watching me.

His eyes searched every inch of my face. “I don’t know . . . if I’ve ever been this distracted by someone,” he said.

I was so close, close enough to see each of his eyelashes in the firelight, close enough to make out the tiny scattering of freckles along the bridge of his nose. Without thinking I leaned in, brushing my lips over his. His eyes widened and I felt him stiffen, frozen for only a moment before his shoulders relaxed.

“I shouldn’t want this,” he said. “I have no idea what we’re doing.”

We weren’t kissing, not really, just teasing, breathing the same air. I could smell his soap, a hint of toothpaste. Could see my own reflection in his pupil.

He tilted his head and closed his eyes, moving in just enough to kiss me once, lips parted. “Tell me to stop, Hanna.”

I couldn’t. Instead I reached up, cupping the back of his neck to bring him closer. And then it was he who pushed forward, harder, longer, and I had to grip his shirt to keep myself steady. He opened his mouth, sucking on my lower lip, my tongue. Heat pulsed low in my belly and I felt like was dissolving, melting until I was nothing more than a racing heart and limbs that twisted with his, pulling us both to our sides and down to the floor.

“I don’t . . .” I started, breath tight. “Tell me what I should do.”

I felt the shape of him hard against my hip and I wondered how long he’d been that way, if he’d been thinking about this as much as I had. I wanted to reach down and touch, watch him fall apart like he had at the party, the way he did in my mind every time I closed my eyes.

His lips moved over my jaw, down my throat. “Just relax, I’ll make it good. Tell me what you want to do.”

My hand moved under his shirt and I felt the solid strength of muscle in his back, his arms as he rolled us over to hover above me. I said his name, hating how weak and unfamiliar my voice sounded, but there was something new there, something raw and desperate, and I wanted more.

“I used to imagine what it’d be like to have you on top of me,” I admitted, not sure where the words were coming from. He rested his body more fully on mine, his h*ps settling between my open legs. “When you were lounging in the living room with my brother. When you’d take your shirt off outside to wash the car.”

He moaned, moving a hand to my hair, his thumb drawing a path along my face and pressing into the skin along my jaw. “Don’t tell me that.”

But it was all I could think about: how I remembered him from those years, and the reality of him now. I couldn’t possibly count the number of times I wondered what he would look like without his clothes, the sounds he’d make when he was chasing his release. And here he was, heavy on me, hard between my legs, beneath his clothes. I wanted to catalog every tattoo, every line of muscle, every inch of his carved jaw.

“I used to watch you from my window,” I said, gasping as he shifted so that the length of him pressed directly over my clit. “God, when I was sixteen you starred in every one of my dirty dreams.”

He pulled back just enough to meet my eyes; he was clearly surprised.

I swallowed. “Should I not have told you that?”

“I . . .” he began and licked his lips. “I don’t know?” He looked dazed and conflicted. I couldn’t look away from his mouth. “I know I shouldn’t think that’s hot but Christ, Hanna. If I come in my pants you have no one to blame but yourself.”

I could do that? His words lit a fuse in my chest and I wanted to tell him everything. “I would touch myself, under the covers,” I admitted in a whisper. “Sometimes I could hear you talking . . . and I would pretend . . . wonder what it would be like if you were there. I used to make myself come and pretend it was you.”

He swore, dipping back down to kiss me again, deeper and wetter, his teeth dragging along my bottom lip. “What would I say?”

“How good I felt and how much you wanted me,” I said into his kiss. “I wasn’t very creative at the time, and I’m pretty sure your mouth is way filthier in reality.”

He laughed, the sound so low and rough it was a physical pressure on my neck where he breathed. “So let’s pretend you’re sixteen, and I just snuck into your room,” he said, moving his mouth just over mine, his voice coming out the slightest bit unsure. “We don’t have to take our clothes off if you aren’t ready.”

And I wasn’t sure what to say because yes, I wanted to be completely bare under him, to imagine what it would feel like to have him na**d and over and inside me. But actual sex with Will tonight felt too fast, too soon. Too dangerous.

“Show me?” I asked, “I don’t know how to with clothes on.” I paused, adding in a whisper, “Or even off, I guess. I mean obviously.”

He laughed, kissing over to my ear and growling quietly as he nipped at my earlobe. The way his hands moved over me, the way his lips slid across my skin . . . touching like this seemed as second-nature to Will as breathing.

He exhaled into my neck, groaning quietly. “Move under me. Find what feels good for you, okay?”

I nodded, shifting beneath him and feeling the hard press of his c**k between my legs.

“Can you feel that?” he asked, pressing meaningfully against my clit. “Is that where it feels good?”

“Yeah.” I moved my hands to his hair and pulled hard, hearing him hiss in a breath as he rocked against me, faster and faster.

“Fuck, Hanna.” He pushed my tank top up over my ribs, bunching it above my chest. And then he bent, gripped my breast, plumping it, and sucked a nipple deep into his mouth. The air left my lungs, my h*ps pressed up from the floor, searching. I scratched at his skin, and was rewarded each time with a mumbled curse or groan.

“That’s it,” he said. “Don’t stop.” His mouth followed his hands everywhere and I closed my eyes, feeling the heat of his tongue as it moved over me. He kissed my lips, my throat. The ache between my legs grew and I could feel how wet I was, how empty, how much I wanted his mouth against me, his fingers inside. His cock. We slid along the floor and I felt something wedge beneath my back, but didn’t care. All I wanted was to chase down this feeling.

“So close,” I gasped, surprised to find him looking down at me, lips parted and hair falling across his forehead.

I nodded, the rest of the world blurring as the feeling between my legs grew, becoming hotter and more urgent. I wanted to claw at my skin and beg him to take off my clothes, to f**k me, to make me beg.

“Fuck. Don’t stop what you’re doing,” he said, rocking his h*ps forward against me, the perfect drag of heat and pressure exactly where I needed. “I’m almost there.”

“Oh,” I said, my fingers twisting in the thin fabric of his shirt as I felt myself start to fall, closing my eyes as my orgasm moved down my spine to explode between my legs. I cried out, calling his name and feeling him speed up as he moved against me. His fingers pressed tightly into my h*ps as he pushed once, twice, grunting into my neck as he came.

Feeling seeped back into my body one limb at a time. I felt heavy and limp, suddenly so exhausted I could hardly keep my eyes open. Will collapsed against me, his breath hot on my neck, his skin damp with sweat and warmed by the fire.

He pushed up onto his elbows and looked down at me, his expression drowsy and sweet and a little timid. “Hi,” he said, a crooked smile sliding into place. “Sorry for sneaking into your bedroom, teenage-Hanna.”

I blew the bangs from my forehead and smiled back. “You’re welcome there anytime.”

“I . . . uh,” he started, and laughed. “I don’t mean to rush off but I sort of . . . need to clean up.”

The absurdity of the entire situation seemed to bubble up out of nowhere and I started to laugh. We were on his floor, I think I had a shoe or something lodged under my back, and he’d just come in his pants.

“Hey,” he said. “Don’t laugh. I said it’d be your fault.”

I was suddenly so thirsty and licked my lips. “Go,” I said, patting his back.

He kissed me softly, twice on the lips before pushing himself to stand and walking into the bathroom. I stayed there for a moment, sweat drying on my skin and heart rate slowly returning to normal. I felt both better and worse. Better because I was actually tired, but worse because the new echo of Will’s c**k moving between my legs was infinitely more distracting than the memory of his fingers.

I called a taxi, then walked into the kitchen to splash some cool water on my face and get a drink.

He came back into the room wearing different pajamas, and smelling of soap, and toothpaste.

“I called a cab,” I assured him, giving him the don’t-worry look. His face fell—or it seemed to—but it happened so fast that I wasn’t sure I believed my eyes.

“Good,” he murmured, walking over to me and handing me my sweatshirt. “I actually think I’ll be able to sleep now.”

“Actually,” he said, voice deep, “I’d tried that a few times already tonight. It hadn’t worked so far. . . .”