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I snuggled deeper into the softness around me. The familiar, crisply fresh laundry smell had me burrowing in farther, trying to absorb more of the comfort. I wanted to wrap it even tighter around myself and never wake up, a reverse Sleeping Beauty. I hoped my alarm didn’t go off. Do I have lunch money for Alyson? Have I overslept for my shift at the bakery? Screw it—I don’t even care.

My face was pressed against the hard plane of a chest, and smooth skin rubbed against my cheek. My head moved in time with each breath of his rising and falling chest.

“I think they doth protest too much.” The loud words startled me from my warm cocoon, and I slowly got my bearings. Other sounds sank in slowly—seagulls, no cars rumbling by…

I wasn’t home. I was at the beach house. I opened my eyes and shot up, my head whipping around to see Declan, Mak, Heath, and Kara staring back at me. His arm was around my shoulder and my face had been nestled in the crook of his neck. My arms were wrapped around his waist with my legs across his lap. I could smell his leather and mint scent since my nose was right against his skin, and the urge to throw my leg over his and straddle his body, take him out of his pants—what the hell am I thinking? This was what happened when I’d been sex-deprived for too long.

I turned my head with wide eyes so big I might as well have been a Looney Tunes character, and I stared at my own personal snuggle pillow.


The night before came rushing back—the beach, grilling, Noah coming over, Emmett leaving, and the storm…the horrible way my stomach had knotted…trying not to lose it in the bathtub before he’d shown up…and then us watching movies.

We disentangled ourselves from each other and shot up off the couch. Emmett squeezed the back of his neck. At least he looked as unsettled as I felt.

I crossed my arms over my chest, suddenly feeling more naked than I had the previous night in front of Emmett with my soaked-through clothes.

Kara stepped up from beside everyone else and held out her hand, pointing to us. “This summer has been better than any show I could ever have dreamed up.”