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I was so never going to drink again.

Tanner flashed a brief half-grin and walked in. As I closed the door behind him, he dropped his arm, and I couldn’t help but watch the way his biceps stretched the shirt he wore.

I folded my arms across my chest as he turned toward me. “Can I get you something to drink?”

He shook his head and then turned, heading toward the couch. Sucked to admit this, but he looked damn good in nylon sweats. He sat on the edge and patted the cushion next to him. “Sit for a sec?”

Okay. The smidgen of curiosity expanded, as did the anxiety. The band around my chest was back. Walking past him, I tried to ignore the kernel of self-consciousness growing in my stomach. I really hoped my butt wasn’t hanging out of my shorts. I sat beside him, sending him a quick side-glance. “So, what’s going on?”

Blue eyes so bright they almost seemed unreal met mine, and his gaze snared mine, hooked me in. Unsure of why I couldn’t look away, I tensed. “How are you feeling?”


That grin appeared again, and was gone way too fast. “You were…a little out of it last night,” he reminded me.

“Oh. Yeah.” I felt my face heat as I shrugged. At least he hadn’t said I was trashed. “I’m okay. Had a bit of a hangover this morning.”

“I can imagine.”

I pursed my lips. “Is that why you came by? To ask me how I was feeling? Because if so, I’ve got to say, you must be either really bored or high.”

Tanner laughed, and my insides got all squishy at the deep sound. “I actually wanted to come by and make sure everything was going to be cool between us this week.”

My arms relaxed, settling in my lap. I was relieved, but also wary. “Why wouldn’t they be?”

One eyebrow lifted. “Is that a serious question?”

I yawned loudly as I leaned against the couch cushion. “Sure.”

Another smile greeted me, and I thought he was smiling at me a lot tonight, which made a weird, fuzzy memory wiggle loose. Something about smiling? “You and I? Well, we don’t exactly get along often.” He paused, like he wanted to choose his words wisely. “And I just don’t want to ruin it for Kyler and Sydney, you feel me?”

I jerked a little. “I would never ruin their time together.”

He turned the unnerving, piercing stare toward the TV. “Not on purpose.”

I started to frown, but ended up yawning again.

“I mean, it’s not just you. It’s me, too. I know I upset you a couple of days ago,” he said, and my mouth sort of dropped open as he smoothed his palms over his bent knees. “I’m sorry if I…if I hurt your feelings.”

All I could do was stare at him. Was I hallucinating?

“We joke around so much, and sometimes I think we both cross a line. So…yeah, I just wanted to make sure we’re going to be cool.” He looked at me then and his lips twitched. “You okay?”

I blinked, about to tell him that I was fine, but something totally different blurted out. “You don’t even remember, do you? We had, like, two classes together my freshman year.”

Now Tanner looked puzzled. “What?”

Shaking my head, I wished I’d kept my mouth shut, but my tongue was loose tonight. “Do you remember Clara Hansen?”

His lips tipped down at the corners. “Not really. I’m not following where this conversation is going.”

He didn’t remember Clara? Seriously? Wow. Part of me was pissed off on her behalf and the other part was disturbingly gleeful. “Never mind,” I said after a moment. “Everything will be fine. I’ll be on my best behavior.”

Tanner eyed me. “I don’t know if that’s possible.”

I snickered, not sure if that was possible either. I mean, expecting the two of us not to argue would be like expecting me not to chase after the ice cream truck.

“Who’s Clara?” he persisted, and when I didn’t answer immediately, he looked away again, his eyes squinting.

Tired, I felt like I was sinking further into the cushion. “You know, you could’ve just called or texted me.”

“True,” he murmured. “But I was on my way past here.” There was a pause. “Did we really have two classes together?”

I nodded. “Yep.”

“Are you sure? I would’ve remembered you.”

The way he said that as he frowned didn’t really leave me with the warm and fuzzies. I sighed. My thoughts were slowing down, but I was almost positive that the fire department he worked for was not on the way to my place. I didn’t know what to make of that as I watched him.

Tanner opened his mouth as if he was about to say something, but then seemed to change his mind. A moment passed. “You kissed me last night.”

My heart stopped. He dropped that little bomb like it was nothing, like he was telling me that it was almost ten o’clock. “What?”

“You kissed me last night, Andy.”

I leaned forward and to the side, away from him. “First off, stop calling me that and finally—most importantly—you’re so full of shit. I did not kiss you.”

Even as I said those words, I knew there could be a horrifyingly embarrassing possibility that what he said was true, since I didn’t remember everything.

His eyes took on that heavy hooded look that always made me want to squirm. “First off, I can’t help myself. I have to call you Andy, because I know you secretly enjoy it and finally—most importantly—”