She stuck her lip out, trying not to smile at me, her hands on her hips. In a tank top, no bra, and cute shorts with a bow on them, she was not giving me the intimidating look I knew she was trying for.
I reached down, slid my hand inside her shirt, and cupped her breast. She gasped, her eyes closing, and I leaned into her. She pushed back against the door, and I nuzzled her just under her chin. I’d learned it was the spot I liked the best. If I kissed her at just the right angle, her entire body would shiver in my arms.
I murmured over her neck. “Knowing my mom, she probably has an entire spread upstairs waiting for us—complete with homemade lattes and gourmet cappuccino, if that’s a thing.”
She shivered, just as I knew she would, but she pushed me away. “No. I want to know.”
I sighed. “Aspen.”
“Blaise.” She grabbed my chin, yanking me down to look at her.
There was a lot of glaring.
“I want to know,” she said again. “Honesty—I deserve that, and you know it.”
Damn. She was right. But I still didn’t want to.
I did anyway. “We’re moving fast, and you only told me two weeks ago how old you really are.”
My words even sounded stilted to me.
Her hand fell, and I saw the hurt flare in her eyes as she looked away.
She stepped out from my arms, ducking behind me.
I whirled with her. “Hey.”
She hugged herself. “You weren’t thinking like that when you touched me last night and this morning.”
“I’m a guy, but I’m trying here. I’m trying to be honorable.”
She frowned, her eyebrows pulling together. “Honorable?”
“You’re young. I’m a really big dipshit. I just—I’m too selfish to walk from you, and I’m not going to. But I don’t want to… I don’t know.”
I felt like I was going to do all three of those things, but I couldn’t deny her. Never that. That’d be like ripping my own heart out.
“I’m just trying to do the right thing here. For once in my life.”
Her eyes narrowed. She chewed at her lip. I hated when she did that, because then I wanted to chew at her lip. She shook her head, slowly. “Well, stop. That’s stupid.”
I laughed. “That’s stupid? Trying to do the right thing?”
“Yeah.” Her hands came to my waist and her fingers tucked into my jeans. “We’re together, right?”
“Fuck yeah.” This girl had such power over me. I cupped the back of her neck, unable to hold back the surge of possession I felt. She was mine. Mine to protect. Mine to care for. All mine.
A smug-but-happy look pulled at her mouth, and her eyes twinkled. “Then stop with this bullshit of holding back from me. I don’t like it. I actually detest it.”
I lifted my head. “You detest it?”
“I like your honesty. The problem is you think being honest is being mean. You don’t get that being honest is actually being kind. If someone else doesn’t want that truth, that’s on them. That’s not me. I respect honesty, whether it hurts or not. Be honest with me. Don’t change because you assume I can’t handle it.”
Crap. She was right.
“Okay.” But fuuuck. “Are you sure?”
“Stop.” Her fingers moved deeper in my jeans. “Got it?”
She yanked me back to her, her mouth already angling up to meet mine.
It was a little longer before we went up to breakfast.
Later that day, I sat in Blaise’s Wagon, waiting.
That seemed to be the theme for the day.
We went to Zeke’s, and waited.
We drove to the parking lot, and waited.
We waited even longer.
Then we went to a camping place, and waited. Or I waited. Blaise got out, going inside with Zeke and a couple of the other guys. So far eight other vehicles had joined us.
Then Blaise came over with Zeke, and both stared at me long and hard.
“Yeah?” Was the world ending, and they didn’t know how to tell me?
Blaise closed his eyes, tipping his head back.
Zeke’s grin was wide, and he clapped Blaise on the back. “So, your boy and I had a discussion inside. Guess what we decided?”
Blaise’s eyes opened and they were bleak, seriously bleak.
Zeke was loving this. “We rented another camper, for guests.”
Blaise shook his head, cursing.
“The girls coming with us are bitchy,” Zeke explained. “That’s just how they are, and you’re coming with us, so I talked Blaise into getting some allies. Guess who we invited?”
I waited again. “Who?”
He nudged Blaise, who answered, “My siblings are coming, with their entourages.”
Entourages? “Who are they?”
Zeke pounded Blaise once more on the back before turning to walk away. “This should be fun,” he called over his shoulder. He whistled all the way back to his truck.
Blaise got in, and we waited once again.
“What’s happening?” I asked.
“There’s a spot we can go dune buggying not far from here, but Zeke and the guys want to camp. We rented campers for everyone, and now we’re waiting for my brother to show up with his group.”
“You don’t want them to come?”
He shrugged, sighing. “I don’t know. It’s...it’ll make Taz happy, I know that much.”
What was I missing here? “Why would you need allies if these are your friends?”
“You mentioned meeting my brother and his friends, remember?”
“Well, Bren still has a hard-on for you. Figured you could do to have some backup.”
“Oh.” Warmth spread through me. “You did that for me?”
“Taz and Bren are not actually bad people to hang with. I’m more worried about Cross’ two other friends starting fights. They can be dicks.”
I snorted. “Then they’ll fit right in.”
Blaise grinned at that, and that made me grin back.
We ended up waiting an hour before a large truck pulled in, with another truck beside it. Cross hopped out, heading over to Blaise’s window, and Blaise rolled it down.
Cross stopped, looking past Blaise to me and giving me a nod. “We’re here,” he said. “Bren wants to do this.”
Then four large campers and one smaller one pulled out from behind the main building. Each had its own driver.
Blaise nodded toward them. “We rented one of those for your group. The rest are for us.”
“Okay, but what’s the setup?” Cross watched the campers roll by.
Zeke’s truck started off, picking up the trail behind the last camper. He slowed, saluted us with two fingers, and proceeded forward.
“None of us has the license to drive those things, so their drivers are taking them out. They’ll get them set up. We’ll use ’em for the night or two nights, and they’ll come back to get them. You guys are here for—” Blaise motioned to me. “Thought maybe Taz and your girl wouldn’t mind a camping night with their men?”
Cross’ eyes skimmed over me, narrowing slightly.
It was eerie how similar these two were. Besides their looks, I could see both were smart, both were alphas, and I was pretty sure both were not to be messed with.
“Food? Water? Booze? That shit?”
Blaise shrugged. “We’ll stop at a store somewhere.”
Cross nodded and let out a silent sigh. “You remember us?” he asked me.
“Hi! Yeah.” I waved.
Blaise’s mouth twitched, but he looked down at the steering wheel.
My greeting had come out a bit too excited. But this was Blaise’s brother, and this was a big deal. A mundo deal. And yeah, he was almost as hot as Blaise. The two together? Lethal.
“You remember my girlfriend? Bren?”
I nodded, trying to keep it cool.
Blaise’s shoulders were starting to shake, just slightly.
“Yeah. Bren. She’s nice.”
Now Cross’ lips were twitching. “Uh-huh. Yeah.”
I just smiled. That seemed the best option here.
“Okay.” Cross stepped back. “We’ll follow you guys, but I can’t guarantee Z and Jordan will play nice.”
Blaise’s eyes darkened. “Just keep to your side of the campsite, yeah?”
Cross’ face grew frosty. He didn’t answer, just walked back to the large truck. He climbed into the backseat, and I got a glimpse of his girlfriend inside.
I sucked in my breath. I’d forgotten how beautiful she was.
Blaise raised his window, eased the Wagon around, and we began to leave the lot. We were the last besides those two other vehicles. The others had followed Zeke.
“Who are Z and Jordan?” I asked.
“My brother’s moron friends.”
I jerked forward. “Wait! I remember them. The shorter one was a dick to me, asked if I had problems or something.”
“What?” Blaise turned to look at me sharply.
I felt the air in the truck roll with danger. Tension.
I swallowed, leaning back. A shiver went down my spine. “It was nothing. He just, well, he asked if I had problems socializing, and I do actually. I don’t think he meant it to be mean.” I lowered my voice, “You asked the same thing, Blaise.”
He bit out a hard laugh. “Yeah, but I give a fuck about you.”
He didn’t bring up the topic the rest of the drive, but when we stopped an hour later for provisions, he glared at the shorter guy that got out of the truck with Cross in it.
Zeke noticed too and nudged Blaise. “What’s up?”
“I’ll tell you later,” Blaise said under his breath, moving forward into the store.