I nodded. I knew he would. Nora tells me you like animals, Sharon. Do you have any pets?

I swallowed. Shut your face. I’m fucking starving.

Leave. He didn’t wait for her response, instead pressed me against that doorframe and kissed me breathless, tilting his mouth over mine to get the deepest, sweetest angle.I was dizzy and ready to strip him by the time he finished. What was that for? I asked, unable to tear my eyes off his mouth.

Now it has the next chapter of my story. I’ll never look at it again without thinking of the way you taste.Excuse me while my panties evaporate. I swallowed and tried to get my reaction under control.Grayson Masters! his Mom called from the back of the house.

Coming, ma’am, he responded, but his eyes sparkled in a way I hadn’t seen since before the disaster of a party. Maybe kissing him was my best weapon, the key to keeping my Grayson in the world that demanded Gray.Your accent isn’t as strong as theirs.

My dad’s a northerner. I always tried to emulate him, so I guess mine was never as heavy.

We walked onto the deck, and my hand tightened reflexively around Grayson’s. The family stood around a perfectly set beach-themed table, and Grayson led me to a set of empty chairs so I’d be sandwiched between him and Mia. He held out my chair and then pushed it in as everyone sat. His dad did the same for his mom.I’m sorry for everything, I said to Grayson as he cleared my plate after dinner, the other three having left. I’m not normally so…

Drunk? he supplied, keeping his wide back to me as he loaded my plate in the dishwasher.My cheeks burned. Yeah. I know I’m a giant inconvenience. Hell of a first impression, right? He stilled, took a few breaths, and I stood as he turned toward me. His face was unreadable, which I was beginning to think might be the status quo. I’m going to head to bed and hope today was all a nightmare. Thank you, seriously.

Samantha, he called as I was passing the half wall that divided the kitchen from the living room.You’re not an inconvenience. Maybe a pain in the ass, but you’re not an inconvenience. And if there’s something I’ve learned from living here, it’s that Josh and Jagger make you family. We’re a dysfunctional one, but family nonetheless, and now you are, too.