I take my iPad, grab my blanket, and head inside before I can say something that will make one or both of us change our minds. I have no idea what we’re doing. All I know is his messages are sweet and it felt good to open up a little. His family is amazing and his house is so relaxing and I like spending time with him more than with any other human on the planet. He likes Cat, and Cat is me, and we’re going upstairs to have sex.
I’ll worry about everything else tomorrow.
Inside, I’m hit with a wall of sound as soon as I open the door.
“Oh good.” Ed’s face brightens when he sees me, and he steps forward, gripping my arm and pulling me into his conversation. “Mills, tell them about that girl I met on the cruise. The one with the leg,” he says, and motions for me to take the floor.
His cheeks are pink from what I can only guess is a case of beer, and he’s got that cartoonish grin plastered on his face. I don’t have to see Reid to know he’s watching me with amusement from outside, wondering how I’ll extricate myself from happy, tipsy Ed. Once he gets going it’s almost impossible to get away.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, I have to get in and out before anyone notices I have my I’m about to have sex! face on.
I frown. “Actually, I think I’m heading to bed.” I rub my stomach. “Feeling sort of . . . oof.”
Sharon stands, and the look of concern on her face is so similar to her son’s, I’m momentarily thrown. “You’re not feeling well, honey?”
I wave her off, wishing I’d been stealthier when sneaking in. In hindsight, hopping the fence to come in through the front door seems a lot easier than this. “I just really enjoyed the ribs, I think.”
Ed’s face falls, and Rayme sticks out her bottom lip in a sweet pout that is thoroughly catalogued by every nonrelative male in the house—including, I notice, Chris.
“But you’re not really even drunk yet,” she says.
I point to Ed. “He’s drunk enough for both of us. Can’t let that one out of your sight.”
With that, I’m allowed to make my escape.
Unfortunately, victory is short-lived, because once I’m in my room, panic descends: what tripped my mood wasn’t just how sweet Reid was being, it was the sudden, heated flash of awareness that if Daisy and Reid hit it off, Daisy will see Reid naked.
I may not have a clue what I want beyond tonight, but I certainly don’t want anyone else to see Reid naked but me.
And then there’s the reality that he agreed so easily. Has he been thinking about doing this again and waiting for me to take the initiative? Am I going to make an enormous knot of confused emotions with my best friend?
I am immediately distracted by something equally pressing. “Oh my God.” I haven’t shaved my legs in . . . ho boy.
Trying to triage this appearance situation—and knowing I don’t have time to shave all my parts before Reid gets here, even if he does get waylaid by Tipsy Ed—I pull my hair out of its bun, fluff it, but then tie it up again. I throw off my clothes and pull on my pajamas, but then start to put all my clothes back on again so I don’t seem too . . . eager? I manage to get my shirt on before I catch my reflection in the vanity mirror, noting the eyeliner situation currently pooling beneath my lids.
I pull out a makeup wipe, trying to scrub away the mess, but then Reid knocks, walks in, and does a mild double take in reaction to the mess of my mascara all around my eyes.
“Wow. What’s up, Rocky?” His eyes drop to my shirt, which I’ve put on backward, and my bare legs beneath. “You . . . okay?”
“Shit.” I scrub at my eyes. “Yes.”
“Aww, Mills. You’re primping for me.”
“You’re freaking out.” He comes up behind me, looking over my shoulder and meeting my eyes in the mirror. “Aren’t you?”
“I’m . . . no.” I turn around and face him. “Not freaking out. This is not the face of someone who is freaking out. This is the face of someone who . . .” Just realized that she’s a petty, jealous asshole and really wants to have sex but is also worried about the consequences.
I blink up at him. “Wait. How did you get up here so fast?”
“I witnessed your ambush and went through the garage.” He stops short as his eyes travel down my body again, and he takes a step closer.
I cannot express how much I like intense, about-to-get-laid Reid.
Gripping my hip, he teases the elastic waistband of my underwear. “Here I was thinking I’d get to undress you.”
Even through the fabric of his clothes, I can feel the heat of his body against my stomach, where the fronts of his thighs rub against the fronts of mine. “I didn’t shave my legs.”
We’re so close; I feel his quiet laugh more than hear it. “You keep tampons in my bathroom and once used lube you found in my dresser to unstick a zipper. I don’t think a little leg hair is going to shock me.”
“I know, it’s just—that’s one of the things you do when you’re planning to have sex. Shave your legs, brush your teeth, wax your . . .”
His brows go up. “You should know that I don’t care about any of those things.” He runs his nose along the curve of my jaw before straightening again. “Okay, except the teeth brushing part. We can continue to prioritize that.”
“Noted,” I say, eyes closing when his fingers trail lower, tracing my hip bone. I feel the way he smiles against my chin, along the column of my throat. “Everyone’s downstairs.” Open mouth, breath hot against my skin. “Should we do something else until they go to bed?”
My head falls back against the wall and I very clearly identify with the phrase short-circuited. I’d like to think there’s at least one rational thought still bouncing around inside my cranium, but I’m incapable of retrieving it.
“Something else?” I say, voice a little wavery. “Like play Go Fish?”
His hands move up, dragging my shirt over my head before sliding my underwear down over my hips. He touches me like every part is worth something immeasurable.
His voice is a whisper against my shoulder. “I’ve never had sex in my parents’ house before.”
This catches my attention. “Never?”
He smiles again, moving lower, and dropping open-mouthed kisses between my breasts and over the cotton of my bra. He sucks on my nipple through the fabric and I arch into the touch. Big hands move around my ribs to my back, getting rid of the bra altogether with a casual flick.
Finally, he shakes his head in answer. “Never.”
My fingers twist in his hair. “I assume it’s the same”—I gasp in a breath as he opens his mouth against my skin, sucking—“only quieter.”
Reid looks up at me, wearing a smug, devious grin. “I’m not sure I can do quieter.”
Every single neuron in my body is firing, I swear it. “Oh.”
Reid straightens to his full height and I have to look up to meet his gaze again. I’m completely naked—bra on the floor, panties pushed down—but Reid is still dressed.
“Should we stay here? Maybe against a wall . . .” he says, bracing one hand near my head to cage me in. He nods back over his shoulder. “The bed might squeak.”
The idea of the mattress squeaking, of being able to hear what we’re doing, causes heat to explode through my body.
I stretch to kiss him, and push against his chest to send him a step back. Then another, and another, leading him to the small double bed beneath the window.
There are suddenly too many clothes between us. I slide his shirt up his torso, stopping when he gets the hint and tugs it off himself. I’ve seen his body before. We swim together and go to the gym, not to mention that Reid knows what he looks like and struts around shirtless all the time. But it was pretty dark when we had sex, and I was a little drunk. Right now the lights are on and I am mostly sober. I’m going to look and touch and enjoy every inch that I can.
“I can be quiet,” I tell him.
“That’s good,” he says, amused as I struggle with his belt. “Otherwise my dad will think it’s the pipes or something and we’ll have an audience of at least one.”