Updated: Jan 23
Fall With Me
By Jennifer L Armentrout
Published by Avon Books
Book Four in the Wait For You Series
Eleven months ago,
bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.
Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.
But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy New Adult Happy Ending
Trigger Warning: This book deal with stalking and harassment. Be advised.
Fall With Me by Jennifer L Armentrout is the fourth book in the Wait for You series, and stick's around Mona's bar, this time centering on Roxy, the short and feisty bartender that is known for her funny shirts, and Reece, the sexy officer who she has been avoiding for the last year after a disastrous one night stand. An officer who was her neighbor, and she was in love with him since she was 15 years old. On top of her confusing feelings of Reece, she is also getting messages from someone, that get more frightening and violent as time goes on, and her best friend since childhood, who lives in a long-term facility after being the victim of a hate crime, is not improving, and the person responsible for the crime wants to make amends - with both of them.
Fall With Me is an entertaining, and emotional, read on all fronts. The romance between Roxy and Reece is all kinds of yummy and sweet, and you can't help but root for them. The arc with Roxy and her best friend, who is in a long-term care facility and has what I assume is unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (a vegetative state), is heartbreaking and brutal, for several reasons. Aside from the fact that it's the loss of a person, a good person, Roxy has lost her best friend since birth. Her person. In an event she feels partly responsible for. Roxy's devotion to him is beautiful and heartbreaking, because if you put yourself in those shoes, it's brutal just to imagine. Then the whole stalker plot, which becomes increasingly more tense throughout the book, until the conclusion. My only gripe with this, is I thought it was pretty obvious who was the stalker. There might as well have been big ol' lit up signs pointing to the person. That put aside, this book is pretty informative of the small signs one might miss in this situation.
How could you not love Roxy? She's spunky, fierce as hell, and funny. She has an attitude which I am all for, but also is very vulnerable. When she loves someone, it's done 100%. Her love for her friends is steadfast, and she is incredibly loyal. She doesn't date men she could be serious with, because she loves Reece ... even when she doesn't want to. Reece is all kinds of alpha male, sexy, but super ... sweet. It's obvious right away how he feels about Roxy, and I'm all for it. Getting updates on all the previous Wait for You series "cast" is always awesome, and getting a little sneak peek of who is next on the roster (pretty sure it's our favorite quiet bartender Nick, and Cam and Jase's ex fling, Steph, which should be all kinds of interesting).
Fall With Me is entertaining in all the right ways. There are bad things happening to women in the area, and Roxy seems to be next on the stalkers list. The mystery and action leading up to that keeps your interest, right along with the hot as hell chemistry between Reece and Roxy. Seriously. Scorching. Hot. Chemistry. The multiple things going on in Roxy's life lead to a wonderful, climatic story that you can't help but love.
Reece cornering Roxy in the bar's storage room
Reece having Roxy "watch" him.
The first time they have sex
Nick coming when Roxy called him scared after finding the picture on her phone
Reece forgiving Roxy for lying, and wanting to start over
Roxy bringing Reece with her to her parents, and her mother freaking out with happiness
Reece fighting for Roxy when she tries to push him away after Charlie's death
Reece and Henry saving Roxy
Katie's prediction about Nick
Where to Buy:
Reece: "How about you actually say hi to me first?"
He pursed well-formed lips and said nothing.
My eyes narrowed from behind my sunglasses
Roxy: "Hello ... Officer Anders?"
Reece: "I'm not on duty, Roxy."
Roxy: "Hello ... Reece."
Those lips curved up at the corners, a smile that said he was proud and he should be. Me saying his name at this point was a major accomplishment on his part, and if I had a reward cookie for him, I'd shove it right in his face.
Reece: "Was that so hard?"
Roxy: "Yes. It was hard. It blackened part of my soul."
Melvin: "You need to get with a real man."
Roxy: "You volunteering?"
That got a deep, throaty laugh out of him.
Melvin: "If I was younger, girl, I'd show you a good time."
Roxy: "Hey. Guess what?"
He raised a brow
One side of his lips kicked up.
Nick: "Is that like a code word for something."
Roxy: "Nope. Just felt like I needed to say it. But wouldn't it be a weird safe word during BDSM play? Like the chick yelling banana in the middle of sex? That would be so awkward."
Nick stared at me.
Roxy: "I read this book once where the girl yelled cat right before they were about to get some bow-chicka-bow-wow. It was high-larious."
He murmured before wandering away
Jax: "What the hell are you two talking about?"
I grinned at him and Calla.
Roxy: "Safe words used during BDSM."
Calla: "Um, all right, wasn't expecting that."
Tess: "I'd never do such a thing. He's great arm candy to have around."
My gaze traveled back to the silver-eyed hottie known as Jase.
Roxy: "True dat."
Jax: "Okay, I think it's time for me to go."
Jax dropped his arm as he pressed a kiss to Calla's cheek
Jax: "Jase is dreamy, though! I'd do him."
He's said that loud enough that Jase sent us a confused look that he somehow managed to make look sexy, and I cracked up into a fit of hyena-type giggles.
Whoa. Girlie parts engaged, locked, and ready for takeoff.
Reece: "I'd give anything to remember that night. Anything to remember what it felt like being inside of you."
Roxy: "How's work tonight?"
Katie: "So boring I almost fell asleep while sliding down the pole."
Roxy: "That would've ended badly."
Dean: "So you're off Sunday, right?"
Dean cut in, clamping his arms close to his sides as if he were afraid of touching Katie and catching something from her.
I did not like that.
Katie snickered as she curled her fingers with an icy blue manicure around the shot glass.
Katie: She is off, but she ain't going to be spending it with you unless your last name is Winchester. And you are so obviously not Dean Winchester."
Nick: "Is he going to be a problem?"
Roxy: "No, he won't be a problem. I think he got the message tonight. Besides, I'm not your little sister that you've got to run all the boys off."
Nick: "I don't have a little sister."
Nick: "I have a younger brother, though. And Roxy, I do not see the word sister when I think of you."
Nick: "I'd totally get with you."
His lips curled up in a half grin
Nick: "But then I couldn't work here anymore, so that isn't going to happen. I'd probably make an exception for you, but that's not the main reason why I wouldn't ..."
He moved one hand and tapped the tip of my nose.
Nick: "Go there with you."
Roxy: "Thanks. I think."
Reece: "It's late. You live alone. I'm going to follow you home and make sure you're safe. Either you can be okay with it or I can follow you home like a total creep."
My brows shot up.
That damn grin was back as he dipped his chin.
Reece: "Don't let me be the creep."
A laugh burst out of me.
Roxy: "Okay. Follow me. Creeper."
Reece: "I told you that I missed you and I was done missing you."
Roxy: "Yeah, yeah you did."
Reece: "But that's not the only thing. Obviously there is something between us. Drunk or not, that night would've never happened if there wasn't."
Roxy: "Wait. You said you regretted that night. That you-"
Reece: "Yeah, I wish that night didn't happen, Roxy. Only because I want to remember the first time I got inside you. I want to recall every second of thrusting into you, inch by inch, and commit that to memory, babe. That's why I regret it, and fully plan on rectifying that situation."
Reece: "You go out with these tools while you'd turn and run from me."
Roxy: "You're worth my time?"
Reece: "Babe, you have no idea how worth your time I am."
Reece: "What did that bastard do to make you throw a book through his windshield?"
Roxy: "He really didn't do anything. I just lost my cool. He wanted to talk to me, and I didn't want to talk to him."
Reece: "You don't have to talk to him."
Roxy: "That's what Dennis said, but I shouldn't have damaged his car."
Reece: "That's true. Damn, Roxy, can't say I'm surprised."
My brows flew up.
Roxy: "You're not?"
He laughed under his breath.
Reece: "Babe, you've always had a hell of a temper on you."
Roxy: "Is that a good or a bad thing?"
Reece: "A sexy thing, but vandalism and destruction of property doesn't look good on you, sweets."
Roxy: "No. It doesn't match my manicure."
I raised my hands, flashing him the blue nails.
Roxy: "What are you going to do with me?"
Reece: "I have lots of ideas."
Reece: "God, you're going to drive me insane."
He pulled my hips down as he grinded up, hitting the right spot through the thin yoga pants.
Reece: "I don't think you're going to be happy until you do."
Panting, I let my hands slip down the sides of his neck, to his shoulders.
Roxy: "I want you insane for me."
Reece: "I'm already insane for you."
He captured my lips in another scorching kiss before breaking away, trailing a hot, shivery kiss before breaking away, trailing a hot, shivery stream up along my jaw.
Reece: "I think you know that."
Tipping my head back, I held on tight.
He moved those kisses down my throat, stopping to nip above my pulse. He soothed the erotic burn with a soft kiss.
Reece: "Every time I saw you this past year, I wanted you here. Right here."
To punctuate what he said, he rolled his hips, pressing the bulge in his jeans against my core.
Reece: "And every time you turned and walked away from me, I wanted to give chase."
I pressed a tiny kiss against the corner of his lips
Roxy: "What do you want me to do?"
His eyes were full of blue fire.
Reece: "Baby, watching you come made my night."
Reece: "Damn, Roxy. You're going to make me want to keep you."
Katie: "All right, you guys definitely did something of the fun and naughty kind based on the way you suddenly look like you just took a hit of ecstasy."
Katie: "Look, I totally get why you haven't said anything. It's like telling one little lie and then telling another little lie to cover that one and so on. Then it all builds uo. I get that. A lot of time has passed and how would you explain what really happened? Hey Reece, would you like to play with my tits? Oh, by the way, we never had sex."
Calla almost choked again
Calla: "That ... that sounds like an awkward conversation."
Reece: "You. I want you. Badly. And I need this - need you right now. But if you want to slow this down, I can do that. I will do that. Just tell me now, Roxy, because I'm feeling like a live wire and when I get you naked, there's going to be no fucking around. I'm going to be in you."
Reece: "Thank God you're prepared. Because I'm not - oh fuck yeah."
My brows pinched
Roxy: "Are you that excited over a condom?"
Reece: "No. Hell no. I'm excited about this."
Roxy: "Holy shit."
In his hand was my trusty and often handy vibrator. How in the fuck did I forget my vibrator was in the same drawer? Face burning, I stared at what had been my boyfriend for a while. And it was one of those really nice ones. A Rabbit. And it was pink - hot pink.
Roxy: "I need a bridge to jump off of. Now. Right now."
One side of his lips curved up.
Reece: "No. I love this. I love the idea of you using this."
That grin turned into pure wickedness.
Reece: "And we are so going to use this."
Reece: "I didn't hurt you, did I?"
Roxy: "No. Quite the opposite. It was ..."
Reece: "Fucking perfect?"
My giggle was muffled
Roxy: "Yes, it was fucking perfect."
Reece: "I'm having a dilemma. I really want an omelet."
He nipped at my shoulder as he rolled those magical hips again.
Reece: "I think I might have dreamed about that omelet."
Reece: "Yeah, babe."
He slipped his hand up my waist and then under me, cupping my breast. He squeezed gently.
Reece: "But I also want to fuck your senseless."
Oh my God.
Roxy: "Reece I - Oh God ...."
Reece: "I know you want that omelet, and let me tell you, I made a damn good omelet."
His knee spread my legs further apart, and I braced myself on my forearm.
Reece: "You'll have a mouth orgasm once you have the pleasure of that omelet."
There was a good chance I was about to have an orgasm now.
Brushing my hair over my shoulder, he pressed a kiss at the base of my neck.
Reece: "But how in the hell do I walk away from this?"
His fingers did something truly sinful with my breast, and my hips pushed back again, and it happened. I don't know how. Call it an act of God, but the very tip of him slipped in.
Reece: "Damn. Fuck the omelet."
In a heartbeat, he was inside me, buried all the way.
Reece: "I pulled out. We'll be fine. And if that didn't work ..."
He kissed the corner of my lips
Reece: "We'll still be okay."
Reece: "By the way, I really want to fuck you when your glasses are on."
Roxy: "You are so naughty."
One side of his lips kicked up
Reece: "Babe, you have no idea all the things I want and plan to do to you. Years' worth of ideas."
Katie: "Calla and Teresa are coming up next weekend. The four of us need to get together and get shitfaced. Like, we need to get stupid drunk, talk about how stupid boys are, and then wake up wishing we never see another bottle of liquor."
Katie: "Like as drunk as the night before Calla left us. Remember? You were convinced that one of those plastic closet organizers could hold your weight?"
Roxy: "It did hold my weight."
She threw her head back and hooted with laughter.
Katie: "Yeah, for like thirty seconds. You shoved yourself in that damn thing, with your legs touching your chest."
Roxy: "You zipped me up!"
Katie: "And that thing broke and I thought you broke your ass."
I thought I broke my ass. So did Calla and Teresa, which reminded me how grateful I was that I hadn't broken anything, because none of the girls could stop laughing long enough to make sure I was even alive.
Katie: "I've got to go drop it like it's hot, and yes, this is hot."
Smacking her ass, she laughed.
Katie: "Peace out, homie homes."
Roxy: "Are you reading to go?"
Charlie: "I've been ready to leave since we got here. But you had to get your stalking out of your system. And look what happened? No good comes from stalking, Roxy."
Roxy: "I hate you."
He laughed as he draped his arm over my shoulders, tugging me against his side.
Charlie: "Come on. Let's head back to my place. Parents are still at the lake house and I found the key to the liquor cabinet again."
Roxy: "I love you."
Nick glanced at Reece. His eyes narrowed.
Nick: "You sure you're good here now?"
Nick stopped at the door. The grin on his face warned trouble.
Nick: "By the way, loved the bows on your panties."
Oh, for fuck's sake.
Reece: "I think we did this wrong."
He threaded his fingers through mine.
Roxy: "We did?"
Reece: "No bullshit, right? I have something I need to tell you."
Roxy: "No bullshit."
One side of his lips kicked up.
Reece: "The first time I noticed you - like really noticed you - was when you just turned sixteen, and you were out in the backyard with Charlie. I had no fucking clue what you two were trying to do with a Slip'N Slide and honestly didn't care, because you were wearing the tiniest bikini I'd ever seen."
Roxy: "I have no recollection of a Slip'N Slide."
He tugged me a step forward.
Reece: "I do. It was in June. It was around two in the afternoon, and I was watching you from the kitchen window. I kept telling myself you were way too young to be thinking the things I was thinking."
Roxy: "What things were you thinking?"
Reece: "Things a teenage boy things when he sees a hot chick in a bathing suilt that barely covers her ass. I don't think I moved from that window until I couldn't take it anymore, and I don't think you want to know what I did when I left the window."
Roxy: "What did you do?"
He arched a brow
Reece: "Give you two hints. Shower. My hand."
He murmured, and tugged me another step forward. My leg pressed against his knee.
Reece: "Then it was when you were seventeen and you made me a homemade birthday card. I don't know why, but when you smiled at me and handed that card over, you came onto my radar and you never left. When I came back from overseas and I saw you ..."
He shook his head.
Reece: "That hug you gave me. Never been hugged like that before. I didn't understand why you were the first person I really wanted to see when I got back. I didn't get it for a long-ass time why I started going to that shit hole that used to be Mona's. And when I did finally put two and two together, and came up with the fact that I wanted you, then the shit happened with the shooting. My head wasn't in the right place to act on it. The reason I came to Mona's became more about getting shitfaced than seeing you, and then ... yeah, that night happened between us. That's why I regretted it. Because I was drunk and my head was in a bad place. I didn't want anyone around that, especially you."
His eyes searched mine intently
Reece: "By the time I figured out what I was feeling for you, we weren't talking and as always, shit just gets out of hand."
Roxy: "What are you saying, Reece?"
That crooked grin appeared again as he curled his arm back. I gasped as he hauled me right onto his lap, my hip cradled between his strong thighs. Still holding my hand, he wrapped his other arm around my waist as he leaned back into the chair. Having no choice, I went with him and ended up stretched out across his chest, my free hand landing on his shoulder.
We were face-to-face.
Reece: "And because of that - all of that, we did this wrong. Not that I regret getting in you. Fuck. No way. Looking back, I'm a hundred percent glad that was our first time. But I should've done more for you. The dinner. The movie. All of that. You deserved that. I think after all this time, we deserve that."
Roxy: "I'm not going to fall in love with you."
Reece's grin spread into a full-fledged smile that wrapped around my heart.
Reece: "Sure you're not."
Colton: "What's going on, little brother?"
Reece: "What's it look like?"
Colton: "Looks like my hand is about to do a meet and greet with the back of your head."
Reece chuckled deeply and I couldn't repress the shiver in response to the deep, rolling sound.
Colton: "Is he doing good by you?""
Colton: "He better."
His voice dropped low as he shot a warning look at Reece, who in return simply smirked.
Colton: "Or I'm sure your father and either one of your brothers will kick his ass."
Roxy: "Okay. I guess I can stay with Katie or my parents until then."
Reece: "Babe, you can stay with me. Nope, I can see your head working and your mouth is about to start working -"
My eyes narrowed
Reece: " - You'll be safe here. No doubt about that, and I'm sure you'd rather be here than with your parents or Katie, because both of them live a hell of a lot further away from Mona's."
He grinned at me
Reece: "Plus, I'm just better company."
Nick: "Hey, I wanted to make sure you're not staying at your place tonight."
Roxy: "I'm not."
Roxy: "How did you guess?"
He shot me a bland look.
Nick: "I'm psychic. Instead of falling off a stripper pole, I hit my head on a liquor bottle."
Laughing, I smacked his arm.
Roxy: "Shut up."
Affection for Nick rose, and I didn't think before I acted. Springing forward, I wrapped my arms around his waist. He stiffened like someone had dropped cement down his spine, but I squeezed him tight, ignoring the awkwardness of the hug.
Roxy: "Thank you for last night. Thank you ... thanks for caring."
His arms came around me and he awkwardly patted my back.
Nick: "Uh, it's not big deal."
Roxy: "It's totally a bigger. You're a really good guy even though you have questionable dating practices."
He grinned then.
Nick: "Keep that knowledge to yourself."
Reece: "I still have some time left on lunch."
He caught the lobe of my ear between his teeth.
Reece: "And I want dessert. It's really all I've been thinking about."
He slid his hand down my throat, to my breast. My nipples immediately beaded in response as he smoothed his fingers over the tip.
Reece: "It's fucking distracting as hell, how bad I want you."
He nipped at my skin
Reece: "Oh, you should feel sorry. I've been hard as rock all night long."
Roxy: "That's got to make for some awkward traffic stops."
Reece: "Listen to you. I want you, Roxy."
Roxy: "You have me."
Roxy: "What are you up to?"
Reece: "What does it feel like? In case you need a helpful hint. You said you were mine. I'm acting on that."
Roxy: "Please, Reece, I need it."
He withdrew his hips, pulling out until only the head remained in.
Reece: "This isn't what you need."
Roxy: "Yes, it is. Like for real."
He rocked those powerful hips, hitting that spot.
Reece: "You need me. Not just my cock. Me."
Reece: "Don't give me any lip. I'll turn you over my knee. Actually, that sounds like a fantastic idea."
Yeah, it kind of did. I wondered if he'd order me to stay still when he did? That made me hot.
He groaned as he stepped forward, curving his hand around my jaw.
Reece: "I can read your face like an open book. You'd like that."
Reece: "There's no maybe. You would. Just like you liked it in the kitchen."
Roxy: "Do you know if Colton got ahold of the guy who can hook up the security in my place?"
Reece: "What? You're done staying with me already?"
I grinned at the light tone
Reece: "My heart. You broke it."
Reece grinned as he glanced at me.
Reece: "Want to make a bet?"
Roxy: "That by the end of this visit I'm going to want to toss myself under a train?"
Reece: "No. That your mom welcomes me to the family by the end of the visit."
Roxy: "God. I am not making the best, because she totally will. She'll probably start making booties for the nonexistent baby."
He laughed again.
Sighing, I forced myself out of the truck and we didn't even make it across all the flagstones before the front door flew open and my mom barreled out, her eyes wide as they darted from me to Reese to me and back again.
I swallowed a curse.
Mom stopped at the edge of the porch, clapping her hands together. Literally. SHe actually clapped.
She was smiling so widely that I thought her face might split into two.
Mom: "Are you about to make your momma proud?"
Roxy: "Oh my God."
Reece laughed under his breath as he stepped around me and climbed the steps. Before he could say or do anything, Mom enveloped him in a hug I knew could kind of be painful and dizzying, because when Mom hugged excitedly, it involved a lot of squeezing and swaying side to side.
Roxy: "Mom. Reece probably can't breathe."
Mom: "Shush it. It's not often I get to hug a good-looking young man that's not my son."
Roxy: "Oh dear God."
Reece's laughing didn't help, but when he was finally able to pull away, he glanced over his shoulder at me and winked.
Reece: "I have a feeling my girl is about to make you proud."
My mouth dropped open.
Mom: "My girl? Oh!"
Mom flapped her hands in front of her face as she called for my dad.
Mom: "Best news I've heard all -"
Roxy: "Mom. That is not why we came here and -"
Mom: "Don't ruin this doe me."
She turned as I rolled my eyes. Dad was at the front door, brows raised.
Mom: "Wit, you're not going to believe this! Reece called our baby girl his girl!"
Dad drew the word out, then nodded at Reece.
Dad: "It's about time, son."
As I passed Reece on the steps, I shoved my elbow into his stomach, nice and hard, too. He grunted, and that gave me a measure of satisfaction.
Gordon: "Did you know she's had a crush on you since she was fifteen?"
Reece: "Oh, I know."
Gordon: "Everybody knew. I'm pretty sure she sketched a picture of you on the wall in her bedroom, and Dad had to paint -"
Roxy: "Gordon! Shut up!"
Mom: "You still got that shotgun? Wait."
She held up a hand, glancing at Reece.
Mom: "Earmuffs, boy. Because I'm about to suggest some laws be broken."
Reece: "Baby, make yourself at home."
Roxy: "I always thought that was such a weird thing to say. Why would you want people to make themselves at home in your house? If people did, they'd be running around your place naked."
Reece: "If it's you, I wouldn't mind at all. Actually, I'd prefer it."
Reece: "You got the potato salad?"
He gestured at me feet
Reece: "The potato salad that we bought at the store that you insisted on putting in another plastic container so it looked like you actually made it when I'm sure there's no one here going to believe you actually made that."
Roxy: "Oh! I totally made this."
Roxy: "Shut up."
Roxy: "Cam can cook, right?"
Avery: "Yeah, he can cook."
Reece squeezed my hand
Reece: "I bet his omelets aren't as good as mine."
His eyes narrowed on me as his lips twitched.
Reece: "You wait and see if I make you another omelet anytime soon."
Avery: "So you guys ... um -"
Katie: "Joined the league of the incredibly good-looking couple secret organization of annoying hotness? Yes. The answer would be yes."
Reece raised his brows
Katie: "What? I dare you to deny such a label. Do it. Make my day."
Reece: "I wasn't going to deny it. But thanks for stealing our thunder."
Unabashed, Katie rocked back on what appeared to be six-inch heels. She spun around, clapping.
Katie: "Reese and Roxy, whose names link together in an incredibly cute way, are totally doing it!"
Roxy: "Oh my God."
Reese: "Well, that's one way of making an announcement."
Jax raised his hand and gave us a ... he gave us a thumbs-up? Really?
Nick: "I'm so proud of our babies. They're all grown up now. What shall we ever do?"
Cam: "Wanted to grill some chicken, but Jase didn't want to wait so long."
Jase: "Especially when you want to baste it like you're fucking Betty Crocker or some shit."
Cam: "Don't hate on Betty Crocker."
Marcus: "I don't know any of these people."
Jacob: "That's probably a good thing. Half of them are insane."
Tess: "Hey! We're not insane. We are eccentric."
Katie: "Speaking of insane, have you thought anymore about trying out that pole?"
Jacob choked on the beer he was drinking and turned sideways quickly, waving a hand in front of his face. Before he could say anything, Jase's head swiveled around so fast I thought it might spin right off.
Tess grinned as she bit down on her lip.
Tess: "Nothing, honey."
Cam: "No. Seriously. That's not a 'nothing.' I don't ever want to hear my sister's name and the word pole in the same sentence that involves dancing. No offense."
She shrugged a shoulder
Katie: "None taken. Only the few and the proud can handle it."
I scrunched my nose
Roxy: "Isn't that the Marines' motto?"
Katie: "Roxy is stupid. She thinks she's not in love. Or she doesn't want to be in love, and probably has no idea that he's already willingly taken that leap, so she's trying to protect her whittle heart."
Avery: "I'm pretty sure most of us here have been there."
Calla: "Yup. Been there, done that, and got the T-shirt."
I arched my brows at them
Tess: "Am I the only one who went after a guy? Because I totally knew I wanted to make sweet, sweet loving to Jase from like before day one."
Katie: "That's because you have lady balls. The rest of them just have ovaries."
Tess: "He was dating a girl in high school and she got pregnant. Instead of putting Jack up for adoption, Jase's parents legally adopted him and they raised Jack as Jase's brother. Jase finally told Jack the truth a couple of weekends ago."
Roxy: "Wow. How'd that go?"
Tess smiled sadly
Tess: "Jack understands, but in a way, he doesn't. He's old enough to get what Jase is telling him, but he's looked at him as an older brother since he was born. It's going to take a while to get used to the fact that he's his father. The great thing though is that Jase's parents have been really supportive, and since Jase just closed on a house, it's a good place for Jack once he's ready. And hey, it's like a practice run for me."
Avery: "Oh dear God, don't let Cam hear you say that."
Tess: "He needs to get over the fact I have sex. Lots of sex. Look at Jase. Who wouldn't?"
Katie: "That boy would never leave my bed."
Jacob: "Mine either. Hell, I'd take all these boys."
Reece: "There's one thing I never thought you were and that's a coward. But you are acting like one now."
Reece: "Don't do this. Stop acting like a coward."
Roxy: "I'm not being a coward! I just don't want to do this anymore with you. It was fun, but that's it. I want to go home. I want to move on with my life -"
Reece: "Oh, for fuck's sake, you can lie better than this. You've wanted me since you were fifteen and now that you have me you aren't willing to risk getting hurt for me? What kind of shit is that?"
Roxy: "W-what do you mean getting hurt?"
Reece: "You think I don't know? You are afraid, Roxy. Afraid of getting hurt - ever since what happened to Charlie. You don't want to feel that kind of pain again. I get that. But you can't live your who life like that, throwing everything away - throwing this away - just because you think you are going to get hurt. And it's not just with me. It's with everything. What? You leave today, are you going to go back to dating a string of losers who aren't worth breathing the same fucking air as you, because when it comes down to it, you really don't care about them? Your heart isn't in it, so you're safe? But with me, it's different."
Roxy: "You don't understand."
Reece: "I don't understand? Babe, I know what it's like to be afraid. I watched friends die overseas. I come home and every day I go to work knowing it could be my last. I think about my brother, knowing he faces the same shit I do. I'm afraid of losing you."
Reece: "Yeah, you. You, Roxy. You have a fucking stalker. I'm scared shitless for you. It goes beyond that. You could get into the car and crash. I've seen the way you drive."
Reece: "Anything can happen to you at any moment, but you don't see me running away from what we have - what we could have. You've got to deal with what happened to Charlie. That doesn't mean you have to deal with that alone."
Reece: "No. You're going to her me out on this. For almost a year, I dealt with what I had to do by drinking instead of talking to someone - anyone about it. If it weren't for Jax, I probably would've swallowed a goddamn bullet, because let me tell you something, I had to make that choice between life and death enough times in the fucking sandbox to know making that call fucking sucks. I still chose to be a cop knowing I could face that again. Didn't make it a goddamn bit easier when I had to. But Jax got me to talk about it. He got me to take the damn counseling the department required I take seriously. And you're right. I still don't deal all that well with it, but at least I'm fucking trying. I'm not pushing you away. I'm trying to deal. But you haven't tried once, not in six years."
Unable to stand to hear any of this, I tried again to pull free, but he wasn't letting me get anywhere.
Reece: "You're going to college for a degree you don't want, because you're too afraid to admit and accept that you like working at Mona's. Not because you don't have any drive, but because it gives you time to do what you love - paint. Bit you won't even take that risk. You'll continue on, just to stay safe. To not take any risks."
Roxy: "Shut up."
Reece: "Yeah, the truth is a fucking bitch, right? What I don't understand is how what happened with Charlie made you so afraid to do anything, but you want to know what I do know? I love you, Roxy. Charlie's death isn't going to change that. This isn't going to change that. And I know you feel the same way."
Roxy: "If I had just kept my mouth shut, we all would've walked away and everything would've been different. I am scared. You're right about that. I'm so scared of losing you and feeling that kind of pain again, but it's more than that. Why do I deserve to get to do whatever I want when Charlie never will? I ran my mouth. I took the situation to the next level. Haven't they put people in jail for that kind of thing? Accessory to assault - to murder? Why do I deserve you? Why do I deserve to do what I love for the rest of my life?"
Reece: "Words. You threw out some words. Just like Henry did. And you know that words can do a lot of damage. I'm not saying they don't. Sometimes they can cut deeper than a knife, but you did not pick up that rock. You did not throw it. Henry made that decision. It's one that he seems like he regrets more than anything and I doubt he ever truly thought he'd hurt Charlie the way he did, but he can't change that. And you can't change what you said, but Roxy ..."
He dropped down on his knees in front of me and slowly, carefully, cradled my face in his hands.
Reece: "What happened to Charlie was not your fault. You did not hurt him. Henry did. And I know it's going to take more than just my words for you to really accept that, but I'm going to be here for you every day to remind you that you so deserve every fucking thing this life has to offer."
My voice hitched on a sob. The backs of my eyes burned. His face blurred and my cheeks were damp.
Reece: "Remember everything I said in the bedroom? I'm scared, too. And there are times I question what I deserve, but we;re in this together. So fall with me. Let yourself go and fall with me, and baby, I will catch you. I will get you through this. You just got to take that risk."
Roxy: "I'm sorry I cried all over you."
Reece: "That's what I'm here for. I'm your personal tissue. Among other, more fun things, but I'm multipurpose."
Roxy: "I like those more fun things."
Reece: "I know."
Reece: "I don't like to ever say good-bye."
Roxy: "I ... I remember you saying that once."
Reece: "I did. I told you we never say good-bye. We kiss instead. Hell, we can say anything to each other, but not good-bye."
Reece: "It's too permanent, especially in my line of work, the last thing I ever want you to hear from me is good-bye. And that sure as hell will never be the last thing I say to you."
Roxy: "Do you think I'm crazy now?"
Reece: "Babe, I've always thought you were a little crazy. that's what I love about you."
Reece: "I saw them."
Roxy: "Saw what?"
Reece: "The paintings."
Roxy: "The paintings?"
I swallowed and started to sit up, but he didn't let me get very far.
Roxy: "The paintings at my place?"
When he nodded, I felt my face heat like I was out under the summer sun.
Roxy: "The ones that are ...?"
Reece: "Of me?"
I squeezed my eyes shut.
Roxy: "Oh my God. Seriously?"
Roxy: "They were in my closet. Why were you in my closet?"
Reece: "Looking for a psycho stalker."
My eyes popped open
Roxy: "That ... that was like two weeks ago! You saw them back then and didn't say anything."
Reece: "I didn't say anything, because I figured you'd respond this way."
Roxy: 'Of course I'd respond this way! It's embarrassing. You probably think I'm some kind of freak. A stalker - a creepy stalker who paints pictures of you when you're not around."
Reece: "I don't think you're a stalker, babe."
I screwed up my face
Roxy: "I can't believe you saw them."
He chuckled, and me eyes narrowed on him.
Reece: "Honestly? I really didn't know how you truly felt about me until I saw the,."
Roxy: "I thought you were all knowing."
Reece: "I had my suspicions that you were in love with me from the first time you laid eyes on me."
Roxy: "Oh dear baby Jesus in a manger."
Reece: "But I don't think I was a hundred percent until I saw those paintings, especially the one of me in the kitchen. You painted that after ... after I left. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. I think it's sweet."
Reece: "I don't give a fuck what most people do. I live you. You love me, even though I haven't heard those words yet. So if we want to move in together now, we move in together. What-the-fuck-ever."
Roxy: "I'd like to see you explaining it like that, with so much grace, to my parents."
Reece: "What do you think your parents are thinking we're doing while you're staying with me now?"
Roxy: "They think we're playing cards and knitting blankets."
Reece: "They know we're fucking each other's brains out whenever we get the chance."
Roxy: "Ew. They think we're doing pure and wholesome things."
Reece: "Your parents?"
Reece: "They're probably hoping we give them a grandbaby by next summer."
Roxy: "No way, no ..."
Roxy: "You're probably right."
Roxy: "I would like to paint you."
Reece: "With me knowing?"
Roxy: "With you being naked."
Reece: "I'm so fucking down for that."
Reece: "I'm going to be real with you, Roxy. I would not know what to do if something happened to you. The very thought o losing you kills me. And know how close I came to doing just that isn't something I can easily forget."
Roxy: "I know."
Reece: "But I'm going to try, because that's what I asked you to do with everything, and I know that's what you're going to do."
My smile was wobbly but wide and then he lifted his head off the pillow, kissing me gently, mindful of the cut on my lip.
Reece: "I love you. Baby I love you."
Roxy: "I never told you what Katie told me once about you."
Reece: "Should I be worried?"
Roxy: "No. She told me once, about two years ago, that I'd already met and fallen in love with the person who I'd spend my entire life with. I didn't believe her, even when she said it was you."
Reece: "For real?"
Roxy: "She did. And I didn't want to believe her, but I think I knew in the back of my mind that she was right, because I already knew you and I've loved you a lot longer than even I wanted to admit."
He stared at me, a mixture of amusement and disbelief written across his face
Roxy: "She also told me once she was drinking moonshine a relative brought her from the South and she ended up in the woods and talked to fairies all night. And then this other time, she told Nick that he already met the chick he was going to be with, and he looked like he wanted to run for the hills. SO maybe that's just her M.O.? Wait! She also said - "
Reece: "Back to the you loving me part. She really said that to you years ago?"
Roxy: "Yes, she did."
Reece: "Oh, babe."
He leaned in, resting his forehead against mine as he curved a hand around the back of my neck. He kissed me, and I melted like an ice cube in the sun.
Reece: "Katie really does have psychic powers."
Katie: "Think you kind of look badass with the black eye. Like I should be afraid you could kick my ass.:
Calla: "She could probably kick all of our asses. The skinny ones are always the scrappy ones."
Roxy: "It's true. Watch out."
He set the limes on the bar.
Katie: "Yes. You! I have something to tell you."
Calla: "Oh no."
Katie: "She's coming tonight."
Nick arched a brow.
Nick: "I don't know who the lucky lady is, but I sure hope so."
Katie: "It's her. The one you're going to fall for and fall hard. Oh, boy, you have so met your match. Totally."
Beaming at a now silent Nick, she spun toward us and laughed.
Katie: "Toodles, my bitches."
Roxy: "Oh, snap. SHe's totally right about these things."
Nick: "Shut up."
Calla: "No. She was right when it came to Jax and me. he's like the stripper love psychic or something."
He looked horrified.
Nick: "Both of you shut up."
I giggled gleefully.
Roxy: "I cannot wait for this."
The door to the bar swung open and all of us whirled toward it. A laugh burst out of me, a high-pitched cackle when I saw who it was.
Roxy: "Oh my God."
Aimee with two e's Grant walked in, frowning in our direction.
The girl was hot, but she also had no concept of personal space, plus she'd been a total bitch to Calla, and I was so not okay with that. But the idea that Nick would fall for her? I about died.
Laughing so hard, my stomach hurt as I smacked my hands down on the bar top.
Roxy: "Oh my God, it's her!"
Calla: "That's sick. I don't know if I can be friends with you now."
Nick rolled his eyes.
Nick: "I can tell you right now that Katie's juju is broke as shit because no part of my body is getting hear that."
Roxy: "Whatever. It's true love."