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She has the nerve to roll her eyes. “I’m supposed to believe that?”

“Believe whatever you want.” I stalk into the bathroom and just barely stop myself from slamming the door. I take a few seconds to clean up and calm the fuck down. No one twists me up the way she does. No one.

When I emerge, a little more rational, she’s sitting in the bed with her knees drawn up, the sheet covering her right to her chin.

“I’m sorry,” she says softly. “You’re the only…don’t worry. I haven’t been with anyone else in a long time. We’re good.”

Any lingering anger disappears, and I pounce on the bed, ripping the sheet away from her and replacing it with my body. “Really?” I ask, drawing the word out until I get her to laugh.

“Yeah, really. Don’t be so smug.” She reaches out and cups my cheek, her soft fingers brushing against my skin. “I think you’ve ruined me for any other man.”

“Nothing wrong with that.” I move in closer for a kiss and she makes this little noise that sounds like either agreement—

Or denial.

I could get used to waking up with Lilly next to me.

Even after the broken condom fiasco.

She makes me think about all sorts of things I never considered before meeting her.

But Lilly’s a tricky one. I try to talk to her about us moving from fuck buddies to serious couple, she shuts me down.

Every fucking time.

It’s annoying. And if she wasn’t the hottest fuck I’ve ever had as well as the smartest chick I’ve ever spent time with, I would have lost her number long time ago.

Soft scratching at my bedroom door pulls me out of bed. The pups wriggle and dance their way into the room. After being displaced last night, it was a miracle they hadn’t howled or scratched at my door all night. “Uncle Sparky take care of you?” I whisper as I bend down to scratch behind their ears. “I owe you two extra cookies.”

I throw a quick glance at Lilly—still sound asleep and slip on a pair of sweats before running the dogs downstairs and outside.

A few guys are still up. Stash and Ravage are busy smoking dope in the living room. Dex is there too but seems to be halfway sober. Swan’s sort of passed out in his lap. I lift my chin at her. “She okay?”

“Yeah,” he answers slowly.

“You should have seen the show she put on in the champagne room last night,” Ravage says, wiggling his eyebrows or emphasis and earning a scowl from Dex.

Great. Always has to be some complication around here.

“Where’s Willow? She go home?” I ask.

Stash raises his eyebrows and points to the basement door. “With Sparky.”

“Really?” Man, I can’t wait to rib Willow this week at the club.

Stash shrugs, but there’s a lingering smirk that makes me want to press him for details.

“Oh my God, why are you guys up at this hour?” Trinity asks from the hallway. I turn and find her dressed to work out, an inexplicable smile stretched across her face.

“What are you doing up so early? Shouldn’t you be exhausted from your maid of honor duties? Or from your man?” Ravage asks.

“Watch it,” Wrath growls coming up behind her and yanking her against him. He leans down, whispering something in her ear that makes her laugh softly and smack his chest. Without saying anything else, she turns and heads back down the hall.

“Why so grumpy?” I ask.

Wrath grins. “Oh, I ain’t grumpy at all.”

Intrigued, Ravage and Stash sit up. “What’s up, bro?” Ravage asks.

“Nothing. Later.”

With those cryptic words, Wrath turns and walks down the hall.

“Something’s up with those two,” Ravage says.

“Wow. You could be like a detective or something,” Stash snarks at him before lighting another joint and inhaling deep.

“Fuck off.”

“This has been fun, but I’ve got a hot, naked chick in my bed.”

“Need some help with that?” Stash asks, just to be a dick.

“No, ya fuck,” I growl at him.

The two fuckwits have a good laugh. Dex just rolls his eyes. The pups jump up on the couch and settle into the cushions behind Swan.

“Watch them?” I ask.

“Yeah. No problem,” Ravage answers.

I take the stairs two at a time and let out a breath when I find Lilly still sound asleep.

Fuck, I like having her here.

I slip into bed next to her and watch as she slowly wakes.

“Morning.”

She gives me an uncertain look before stretching.

“How long have you been up?” she asks in her sexy-morning-husky voice.

“Few minutes. Had to run the dogs out.”

She picks her head up and looks around. “Where are they?”

“Downstairs.”

“Sorry. You didn’t have to kick them out because of me. I like dogs.”

In a sweet gesture that I don’t think she gives much thought to, she leans in and kisses my forehead before tossing the covers back. I admire her naked ass all the way to the bathroom and wait for her to come back.

She returns wearing one of my T-shirts.

“I can’t vouch for how clean that is if you picked it up off the bathroom floor,” I warn her.

Her nose wrinkles and she pulls at the shirt to smell it. “It smells good. Like you.”

She jumps on the bed and crawls back under the covers, snuggling up to me.

This is nice.

Real nice. I could totally get used to this.

Maybe it’s time to stop fucking around and be straight with her. No more jokes or half-ass attempts. Real shit.

And when she says no, I’ll fuck her until she says yes.

Lilly

I hate how much I liked waking up in Z’s arms. I like my independence. Sleeping in my own bed. Not having to worry about impressing someone twenty-four-seven.

But I really like Z. I’m comfortable around him. Something I never expected.

He’s so warm and hard against me, I wriggle, trying to get closer. Not because I’m cold, but because I like how he feels. How this feels.

Tipping my head back, I catch him staring at me with an intensity I’ve never seen. Not sexual.

Something’s on Z’s mind. On the outside he seems calm, but I see his pulse at his neck fluttering. I reach over and place my hand over his heart. It’s racing.

“What’s on your mind, Z? You look like you’re about to have a stroke.”

He doesn’t even crack a smile at my idiotic teasing.

“Last night. Remember how we both admitted we’ve only been seeing each other?”

“Uh, I don’t think that’s what we said.” He keeps staring at me until I fidget. “We said we hadn’t fucked anyone else besides each other.”

“Same thing,” he growls, clearly frustrated with me.

But it’s a lie. I’ve dated a bunch of guys in between seeing Z. I just haven’t wanted to sleep with a single one. None of them. Try as I might to find someone else, my lady bits were on strike when it came to anyone other than this intense, sexy beast of a man.

“How about we officially only see each other.” He doesn’t really phrase it as a question. His voice never wavers and his eyes never leave my face, but he’s so strained. So serious. And I have the feeling it’s killing him not to declare I’m his. Like a caveman.

“You want me to be your girlfriend, Z?” I ask, just so I know we’re both on the same page.

“I’m a little old for girlfriends, Lilly.” He closes his eyes and when he opens them he’s staring somewhere over my shoulder. “But we can start there if that’s easier for you.”

Wow. I don’t know what else to think. My mind keeps repeating wowwowowow. “How does that look? You work in a strip club. You live here. Have girls around just to service you when you’re feeling randy. You’re on the road a lot. How…?”

The hardenin

g of his expression makes me lose track of my own words.

“You never said anything about Crystal Ball before,” he finally says.

“You never wanted to be a couple before.”

“Bullshit,” he mutters.

“I didn’t say no. I’m asking questions.”

“Fine. You want me to quit my job?”

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