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“You wouldn’t know how to handle me.”

“I won’t even try to deny that. You and Reed are pretty much destined to be together. You know he inherited that famous Saddington temper. He reacts before he thinks. And when it comes to you, he goes insane. So, forgive him.” He swats my butt.

Reed clears his voice from the doorway “Are you two done?”

He’s dressed in a black T-shirt and dark jeans. His wet dark hair is curling around his ears. I walk over to him and our eyes lock. Slowly, I run both my hands through his thick hair, trying to tame the untamable. God, I love him even when he hurts me. I need him to breathe, to function.

“According to your brother, I need to forgive you.”

Snatching my hand, he pulls me with him. “We’ll be back later,” he says over his shoulder.

“You didn’t need Jax to tell you that,” he whispers.

“Reed?” I stop him before we get into the elevator.

“What, Kitten?” His voice is gentle as his eyes search my face.

“I hate feeling like this, and I hate that you did this to us. I’m scared you ruined us.”

His thumb is on my bottom lip, rubbing it, and my stomach clenches. Why can’t I stop wanting him so much? I’m doomed, and he knows it. His eyes are so deep, it’s almost like I’m drowning in them.

“I’m going to make this better, Kitten. After today, you won’t ever be scared again.”TESSJay is waiting for us. He gives me a grin as he opens the door. Sliding in, I’m hit with new car smell. The Saddingtons have so many vehicles, I lose track of them. Clearly this is a new one. Reed enters and I’m instantly on his lap. His warm hands cup my face. Slowly he leans down to kiss my puffy eyes and my nose. I shift so I’m closer as he kisses the side of my lips. When he gets excited, his turquoise eyes switch to green—they’re green now.

I poke his dimples and his head falls back and a mischievous smile crosses his face. Bringing my finger to his lips, he sucks my pointer.

“I need you to forgive me.”

Watching, I’m fascinated with his pink tongue as it circles my finger. “You promise you will never hurt me again?” I pull my finger away.

He sits up. “I won’t. This never should have happened.”

“Hey, Tess?” Jay interrupts us. “I need you to put your seat belt on, please.”

Though I try to scoot off Reed’s lap, he holds me tight. “Just drive, man. We’re almost there.”

Jay shakes his head. “Reed, you need to control that temper.”

“Jay, this doesn’t concern you.” He glares at him and presses for the partition to zoom up.

“Reed!” My eyes open wide.

“Shh, I’m done talking about it. I fucked up. It will never happen again, and I don’t need a lecture from Jay about my temper.” He positions me so I’m straddling him.

“I only need this mouth.” He pulls my head down into a deep kiss. Our tongues seek each other and tangle. I tentatively try rubbing myself against him.

“Yeah, that’s it, Kitten.” He grabs my ass, guiding me. I feel him. Like, I feel him. And he’s hard and big. A warmth creeps up my belly straight to my chest. My nipples tighten.

“Jesus, Tess… that’s so good. Tell me what it’s like for you.” He breathes into my mouth, stealing my very breath.

“It feels so good.” My core moves against the thick bulge in his jeans.

The car slows down and stops. Suddenly the passenger side door opens for us. I almost tumble out. Thankfully Reed has strong arms.

“We’re here.” Jay’s dry voice breaks us apart. “Jesus Christ, you two, come on. I can’t have a teenage pregnancy on my watch.” He rubs his neck, looking up and down the street.

“Jay? What’s your deal?” Reed sneers, steadying me as I get out.

“Watch it, Saddington. You need me.”

Reed rolls his eyes. Holding hands, we step onto the city street. New Yorkers are swarming, their busy lives making mine seem insignificant. Horns blow, cocooning us in a tunnel of racket. Faces pass so quickly, never slowing down enough to truly be seen. The scent of frying hot dogs invades my nose, making my stomach rumble. My appetite is back. A couple words, some kisses from Reed, and I’m starving.

As I clutch his hand, we all walk up to a dark gray building. There is no doorman, so Jay pushes the intercom. A loud buzz allows us in.

Jay has obviously been here before because he takes the dark stairs two at a time.

I look up at the steepness of them wondering how people don’t kill themselves. “Wow, you would think if you are going to paint the stairs and walls black, you would at least put a light in here,” I whisper.