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Her head snaps up. “You know I can’t do that, and there is nothing wrong with Tess.”

Reed looks at the ceiling like it holds a secret message. “Of course there is nothing wrong with her, Mom. But thanks to your friend”—he points at her like it’s her fault—“she suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. I’m the only one who calms her.” He is literally the master of persuasion. I stare at him in awe.

“Reed, she is no longer a little girl. She’s your girlfriend.” Caroline, starts to sound unsure, then straightens her shoulders.

Shaking his head, he says, “Mom, you’re making a big deal out of something that is nothing. All we do is sleep!” Silence is all we hear. I don’t know when Mozart got turned off, but I wish he was still playing.

“Well,” she says, clearing her throat, “as the adult, I can’t allow this to go on. She will sleep in her room. Tess?” My eyes shoot up to hers. “Are you okay with that?”

Standing up, I’m completely horrified that Caroline thinks I’m a crazy person who can’t sleep alone. Though, she is my mother’s best friend, so God only knows what she’s heard.

“Um, yes, I’m fine. You’re right. We aren’t kids anymore. I have no problem staying in my room. Thank you for taking care of me.”

“Unbelievable, Mom.” Reed throws his hands up in full protective mode. “I knew you would make her feel guilty. She gets enough of that with her own parents.”

“Wow, good times in here, huh?” All of us turn to Jax. “How come I was not invited to this family gathering?” Tall and athletic, he walks into the room carrying a basketball. “I can hear you guys all the way down the hall.” Tossing the ball on one of Caroline’s priceless French chairs, he grins as she cringes.

He grabs my waist and pulls us both down onto the couch. “Don’t worry, sis. I’ll protect you.”

“Jax,” Reed warns, “get her off your lap.” He turns to Caroline. “If it’s anyone you should be lecturing, Mom, it’s Jax. He has done way more than Tess and I have.”

“Nice, brother, way to throw me under the bus.” Jax stares at Reed.

Reed shrugs. “Whatever.”

Jax eyeballs him and smirks. “Mom? If you need me to sleep with Tess, I will. That way I can report that nothing funny is going on with her and Reed in your house.” His lips start to twitch. Reed looks like he wants to kill him.

“What? I’m only trying to be helpful.” Laughter bursts out of him, and I can’t help but giggle. Jax is ridiculous.

“Jax, I’m not kidding, let Tess go and never talk about sleeping in her bed again.” Reed almost spits it out.

“That’s enough.” Caroline has her hands together as if she is praying—like that’s going to stop them.

“Whoa… Mom, did you hear that? Reed, called Tess, Tess. He’s mad.”

“That’s it.” Reed lunges for Jax, who drops me onto the couch.

“Boys, stop. I swear to God, if you break anything,” Caroline screams, holding her antique table in place, stopping her Tiffany lamp from being destroyed. “Stop it, you two! Tess, do something.”

Taking pity on her, I jump up. “Reed, stop.” They ignore me. “Reed, please, I… I need you!” It’s the first thing that comes to mind.

That stops him. He looks up at me and our eyes connect. Stepping toward him, I notice how intense his eyes are. He needs me as much as I need him. This is how it is with us. Neither of us is complete without the other. He roughly shoves Jax away.

“Don’t touch her, Jax.” They’re both out of breath. Reed keeps his hair longer than Jax, so his dark curls fall over his turquoise eyes.

The Saddington twins are drop-dead gorgeous. Both are tall, already over six feet. Both have dark curly hair, and both have a dimple on each cheek. So hot! And Reed is all mine.

I’m not going to lie—seeing him go crazy like that is such a turn-on. I stare greedily at his beautiful face. A small evil smirk appears on his full lips as if he knows what he does to me. I can’t look away or hold back a smile.

“What am I going to do with you three?” Caroline is pissed, like really pissed. The last time I saw her like this was when we all snuck out, and a cop on a horse brought us back.

“You know what, Tess?” She points at me. “Come with me. Reed, Jax, knock yourselves out.”

I have no choice but to follow her. Turning back, I see Jax wink at me and Reed smack him in the stomach, causing him to double over.

Caroline takes me upstairs to her bedroom and shuts the door. It’s been years since I was in this room. Brad and Caroline’s room has always been off-limits, which only made us want to sneak in. After numerous adventures of playing spies and never finding anything interesting, we quickly lost interest and moved on. Caroline must have redecorated because the walls are yellow instead of green. The ornate ceiling now has what looks to be gold inlay. And she has added a huge chandelier in the middle. It’s so elegant in here, I almost don’t want to move in case I mess something up.