“Oh,” she moaned, looking down to watch me.

“I saw the ring in Jax’s room,” she admitted, her voice shaking. “I know about when you came home. I feel terrible, and I don’t know that I should, but . . .”

The tip of my tongue prodded her entrance while she spoke, and she squirmed against my lips, wanting more.

I pulled away, rubbing circles over the nub of her clit with my thumb. “I was shattered when I had to leave you,” I explained. “I hated myself, but I had to go. I had to do it. Just like you had to try to move on and live in a world I didn’t try to dominate all the time.”

I gripped her sexy-as-hell ass and brought her in again, eating and taking her hard.

“Jared,” she whimpered. Then: “Why did you want to marry me?”

Huh?

I leaned back, seeing her desperate eyes, on fire with love but rippled with need.

Standing up, I wrapped my arms around her and held her body close. “How could I not?”

How could she not know that she was it for me?

“Twelve years,” I continued, “and I have never stopped wanting you, Tate. Not for a single day have I been free of you.” I put us forehead to forehead, nose to nose. “I want everything. I want you to finish school. I want the wedding with our friends and family. I want the house, and I want our kids, Tate.”

I pressed my lips to hers until I could feel my teeth digging into the inside of my lips.

“And if you don’t want some of that or any of that,” I pointed out, “then I’ll bend, because above anything else”—I looked her in the eye—“I want you.”

Her beautiful blue storms pooled like the rainy days she lived for, and I pulled back, unbuttoning my jeans, never satisfied that I’d have enough of her.

Lifting her by the backs of her thighs, I slid her down my cock, kissing her to drown out her sudden cry.

Thrusting inside of her, I whispered against her mouth. “Forever.”

She closed her eyes, a blush crossing her cheeks. “Forever,” she complied. “After we settle an old score, of course.”

And I shot my eyes up, seeing her lips curl with an idea.

“An old score?”

“Mmm-hmm,” she confirmed, keeping her eyes closed. “You and I have unfinished business, Jared Trent.”

Shit.

Chapter 17

Tate

“I don’t get the point of this.” Jared pulled on his black hoodie. The rain had cooled everything down considerably.

“Simple,” I explained. “We’ve had two races, and I haven’t won one yet. I want one more chance before we start a new slate.”

“What are you talking about?” he shot back, running his hand through his brown hair and making it stick up in perfect messiness. “You won the first one we had four years ago,” he pointed out.

“Did I?”

His face fell, and he looked annoyed as he arched a brow at me.

I smirked, reaching through my open back window and grabbing my own hoodie.

“Tate.” He came up, placing his hands on my waist. “You and I don’t need to race.”

“We do.” I put my foot down. “This is my last race, Jared.”

He fell silent, and I turned around, looking up at him studying me. Taking his hand, I leaned back into the car and pulled him close, wanting privacy from the Loop crowd a few feet away.

“We’ll always share our love of cars,” I started, keeping my voice even. “And we’ll have a lot of fun driving and pulling our own little stunts in the years to come, but . . .” I took a deep breath, trying to find the right words to make him understand.

“Growing up, I always thought I’d share this with you,” I admitted. “From the first time you mentioned the Loop when we were ten, it was going to be Jared and me at the race. Jared and me in our car. Jared and me a team.” I swallowed down the dream that really never came to fruition.

I cleared my throat. “When you left, it was like what you were talking about when you were on your bike on the track . . . about how it was the only time we were together. Remember?”

He stayed still, studying me warily. I could tell he was concerned that I’d be giving up something I loved for the wrong reasons.

“Well”—I nodded—“that’s what the Loop has been like for me ever since you left. A way to be close to you when I fooled myself into thinking it helped me survive without you.” I shook my head, dropping my eyes. “It didn’t,” I confessed. “I have no glory to seek here, and I have no interest in pursuing anything more advanced. Medicine is where my ambitions lie, and although I love driving, the only way I want on this track from now on”—I met his gaze—“is if we’re in the same car.”

I liked driving, but it wasn’t love for me like it was for Jared. And I didn’t want to enjoy it without him anymore.

I tightened my arms around his waist. “I know your heart is on the track, but I don’t need this, and I don’t want it unless I’m sitting next to you. It’s time my energies went elsewhere.”

He grazed his fingers down both sides of my face, sending shivers down my arms. “But you love this,” he maintained, looking at me with concern.

“I like this,” I corrected him. “I love it with you.”

He tipped my chin up, kissing me, and in less than a moment, my body heated. I loved the way he tasted.

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