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“May as well go see what’s in the kitchen. I’m awfully hungry.” Drake rubs his stomach.

“Aren’t you always?” Bridger rolls his eyes. It sure as hell feels good to be home, even with these knuckleheads.



One Week Later

Leo and I have become closer in this past week. It also helped that we were basically on lockdown for the exception of the gang coming over one night. Even when Slade was wholly against it, I guess Taylor couldn’t be stopped once she put her mind to it and gave as good as she got.

It was a lot of fun to interact with everyone, like we were all one big happy family. I didn’t think about my parents, the hired hit on my head, or the fallout that is surely going to happen. My last name comes with a lot of publicity, to the likes that I don’t want to deal with any of it. Yet I know it’ll be a necessity to go back to Washington once Slade and Travis’s plan comes full circle.

The smorgasbord of food that was brought in when Taylor, Kellie, Raelynn, Cam, and Giana came bustling in with their men following had me cracking up. The girls carried the drinks, and the men were grumbling about how they think we’d eat all this. Everything from chips and salsa, fajitas, cheesecake, and donuts were brought. I think Leo and I ate off the leftovers for two days straight before they were gone.

“What are you thinking about that has you so lost in thought?” Leo comes in from the garage; he was tinkering on something out there. I didn’t pry, mainly because I’ve been online dealing with my college back in Washington and see what it would take to transfer to one here in Virginia. I’ve already decided I’ll be dropping my business major and picking up more creative writing style classes and keep working on my English degree.

“I just got off the phone with Seattle University. They said something that didn’t make any sense to me,” I tell Leo.

“Fuck, something wrong?” He sits beside me. Leo’s home is warm and inviting. I have a feeling his mom has something to with do it. There’s a flair of modern to it, in the side tables, coffee table, and TV console, but the brown leather couch, loveseat, and chair are fluffy and inviting. It doesn’t make things seem closed in, especially now. Leo stated we have to keep the curtains closed at all times and I’m to remain away from the windows, which really sucks. I’ve wanted nothing more than to go on his back patio. He has an outdoor fireplace, a hot tub, and it overlooks the forest. I want to watch as the trees sway in the breeze, how the snow lies heavily on the branches, and feel the crunch of the grass beneath my feet.

“No, well, maybe. They unenrolled me from my classes already. I haven’t done that. Did Easton start the process?” I ask. I’ve learned a lot about the Nighthawk men. When a task comes to them, they go full throttle.

“Not that I’m aware of. How difficult is that going to be for you to enroll out here, and have you figured out what college you’d like to attend?”

“Seattle said it would be a breeze, but if Easton didn’t do it, you think my parents did? I’m not sure yet, most of these classes I can take remotely, which might be best even in the long run.” Leo’s gaze is heated as he looks at me. He knows exactly why I’m saying that. Two nights ago, he came inside of me. It didn’t surprise me, partly because I begged for it. Literally pleaded. I wanted to feel everything he had to give me.

“Might be. I’m going to call Nighthawk and see what we can figure out about Seattle. You going to be okay?” His hand moves to my lower abdomen, where we may have potentially created a life together.

“Of course, I’m going to do some research on which colleges are geared for what I’d like to do, then watch the new series of Botched.” He shakes his head at my need for watching my crazy reality TV shows. It’s my guilty pleasure.

“Okay.” He kisses my forehead, turns to leave, and I watch as he makes his way to the home office he keeps. Every morning, he gets dressed in mesh shorts, a T-shirt of some kind, socks, and sneakers before going to the gym in the basement. He’s tried to get me to go down there, but no way is that happening at stupid o’clock in the morning. By the time he finishes, I’m just rolling out of bed and he joins me in the shower. That’s my form of exercise. Not that Leo seems to mind. I swear when he works out, it not only gets my heart racing when I see him standing at the doorway to our master bedroom after his work out, without a shirt, toeing off his socks and shoes, glistening with sweat. It only makes us both yearn for each other even though it was only hours ago that we made love.

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