Oh. My. Gosh.

We were going to be…

I swallowed hard. “We’re staying somewhere overnight?” This time you could hear the nerves in my voice.

“Unless you’re not…”

“I am!” I practically yelled. Clearing my throat, I calmly added, “I mean, yes, I am. Give me two seconds to run back upstairs, I forgot something.”

His smile grew bigger as he sat down on the sofa in the living room.

I ran past Gage and barely noticed him following me into my bedroom.

“So? Y’all are going somewhere overnight, huh?”

Digging through my closet, I came to a stop and glanced back at him. “Go away, Gage.”

He laughed. “Did you forget something?”

I placed my hands on his chest and pushed him out of my bedroom. “Go. Away!”

“Fine. I’ll just go downstairs and give Rip ‘the talk.’ You know, since Dad isn’t here.”

Jerking the door back open, I grabbed his arm. “If you do, I will never be on your side again when you need me to convince Mom and Dad of something. Never is a helluva long time, bro.”

He looked thoughtful for a moment. “Fine. I’ll just go talk baseball with him. You might want to leave before Dad gets home, though.”

“Thank you! And why do we need to leave before Dad gets home?”

Gage laughed. “Okay, do you really think Dad is going to be like, ‘Sure, Rip. Take my daughter away for few days and have sex with her.’”

I crinkled my nose at him. He shrugged. “Dad will ask a million questions about where y’all are going. Then he will give Rip the lecture. The last time he lectured Rip, he scared him away from you for years.”

My eyes widened in shock. “Right.”

Rushing back into my bedroom, I searched for something special to wear. I had nothing. A few pair of Victoria’s Secret matching panty and bras, but nothing sexy. I grabbed what I thought would make Rip happy and put it in my bag.

I took in what I had. A bathing suit. A towel. Some changes of clothes. My favorite big sleeping T-shirt that was Rip’s from high school football days, and a baseball cap for my hair. A few pair of sexy panties, a couple lace bras. Toothbrush, soap, and sneakers.

“Dad just called. They’re at Waylynn and Jonathon’s house and are about to head home!” Gage called out.

I grabbed my little stuffed goat that Rip bought me when we were eight years old. I had yet to sleep a night without him. I stuffed it in my bag, and I raced down the steps. Rip jumped up when I came tearing into the living room.

“We have to leave! Now!” I cried out, running past him and out the front door.

“Chloe?” Rip cried, following me down the porch steps to his truck.

“Have to hurry. If my father finds out we’re spending the night together, he is going to flip out.”

Rip had the oddest smile on his face. When he pushed his hands into his pockets, I stared at him.

I motioned for him to get into the truck as I said, “Rip. I don’t think you understand the severity of this situation.”

“Chloe, take a deep breath. I’ve already talked to your dad. He knows where we’ll be.”

My mouth dropped open. “So we’re not having sex any time soon?”

His cheeks turned a deep red. I loved that he had that reaction to my outburst. Was he just as nervous as I was? I was scared shitless, truth be told.

“Well, it was on my radar to make love to you, but your father is not going to be coming and dragging me away, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

I swooned when he said make love. That was so like Rip to describe our first time together in such a real and honest way.

“Okay. I trust you.”

He nodded. “Good. Now stop worrying. Did you bring comfortable clothes?”

“Honestly, I’m not sure what I brought. I sort of freaked out and started grabbing things.”

Rip laughed and kissed me on the lips. “Well, hopefully you’ll be free of clothes for the next few days.”

My lower stomach pulled, and I almost moaned. Wait, I did moan. Rip’s eyes turned dark with desire.

“Come on. Let’s go.”

I climbed into the seat of his truck and watched him walk around the front. If he was nervous, it didn’t show.

Once he headed down the driveway, I let out a sigh. Being alone with Rip was always one of my favorite pastimes. I felt like I could breathe and nothing on this Earth could bother me when he was with me. I never had to be on my guard or worry. He had always brought such a calm to my life.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“We’re going camping.”

My face broke out into a grin. “Do you remember the last time we went camping?”

“Hell yes. I’ll never forget it. You ended up having to sleep in my tent because the tent you were going to use was ripped open, and Alyssa and Mike refused to not sleep in the same tent.”

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