Page 17

Without ever saying the words …

Griffin. Is. My. Person.

An hour later, I’ve run out of words. I put it all out there so he can share this burden with me.

After the silence becomes loud in its own way, I slip off Griffin’s lap and tuck my legs under me. “Weird. Paranormal. Right?”

His forehead tenses, eyes narrowed a bit. “You think you know what he looks like naked?”

“No. Well … I’m not sure.” I close my eyes and rub them. “God! This is crazy. It’s not just Nate either. I’ve seen other people that I feel like I know—really know. This couple at my bank about a year ago. I wanted to describe their house to them to see if reality matched what was in my head, but you just don’t walk up to people who don’t seem to know you and start saying crazy things like that.”

“Yet, that’s what you did to your boss at Dr. Greyson’s office.”

Arching my back and stretching my hands over my head, I yawn. “Yeah, but I honestly thought he knew me. It wasn’t until three shitloads of diarrhea were out of my mouth that I realized I didn’t know how I knew him.”

Griffin stands, doing his own stretching from side to side. “We’ll figure it out. Just get some rest and don’t let it consume you.”

“How can I do that when I see him every day?”

“Maybe you need a new job.” He takes my hand and pulls me to the bedroom.

“I have that interview tomorrow. Hopefully they offer me the job. But it’s temporary, and I can still watch Morgan after school and on Saturdays.”

“What I’m saying is maybe you shouldn’t watch her anymore.” He pulls off his shirt and tosses it on the back of my desk chair.

“I can’t just leave them.”

His head jerks back. “Them?”

“Her. She needs me and he needs me to watch her.” I grab his shirt and push it into his chest. “We can’t.” I shake my head and frown. “I’m going to be up late finishing my project and I know you have stuff to do too.”

He studies me with an intense expression, chin tipped down, eyebrows knitted together. “Are you saying no?”


“That’s my girl.” He slides his hands up the back of my shirt and unsnaps my bra before I can get a single word out.

I step back, hitting the edge of my desk. “I meant yes I’m saying no.”

Griffin nods slowly, still scrutinizing me like I’m something he needs to solve. “Huh,” he says like a half laugh filled with disbelief.

“Don’t be mad.”

“No.” He shakes his head and slips on his shirt. “I’m not mad. I just wondered when we’d get here.”

“Here?” I follow him to the front door where he puts on his boots.

“When one of us doesn’t want sex. I’m not complaining. We’ve had a good run.”

“We’re over?” I say with a screech to my voice.

“No.” Griff laughs, grabbing my face and pressing a firm kiss to my lips. “We’ve changed. That’s all. We’re comfortable with each other. I no longer feel the need to warn you before I come in your mouth, and you have no issue sharing paranormal experiences and your lack of desire to have sex with me.”

I can’t believe I called him an old soul. Right now he’s the epitome of a young twenty-something.




“You think I’m crazy. Just say it.”

He opens the door, steps out into the hall, and turns toward me. “I think you’re sexy as fuck.”

“But crazy.”

After one last kiss to my forehead, he descends the stairs. “Crazy for not wanting to get naked with me tonight, but I love you. Night, babe.”


First official teaching job.

Okay, official might be a stretch. I’m covering for someone on maternity leave, but for eight weeks I get to mold the minds of twenty-five fourth graders.

After shooting off the same I got the job text to my mom and Griffin, I haul ass across town to make it to my other job—if I still have one. The way Nate dismissed me last night felt final. As close as I feel to him for whatever unexplainable reason, I can’t forget he’s my boss and he wasn’t the one who wanted to hire me.

“Hello?” I call just above a whisper as I slip off my shoes and set down my backpack.

Rachael usually greets me with a fed Morgan, clean diaper, and a smile of gratitude. Not today.

“Hell-ooo?” I peek around the corner down the hallway.

“In the bedroom.”

I cringe at the sound of Nate’s voice. Why is he here? Let me guess … I’m fired and he’s home early until they find a replacement for Crazy Swayze.

“Hey.” I drag my feet into his bedroom. I’ve never been in here before. This will be a first and last, all-in-one big “you’re fired.”

Morgan’s swing ticks softly in the corner by the window as she kicks and coos, hands and feet jerking in every direction. The master bedroom is … wow. Curiosity tugged at my conscience many times, but he always has the door shut and those pesky cameras spying on my every move.

A modern king-sized bed engulfs the middle of the room—not next to a wall, just … in the middle like the centerpiece. Everything is gray and white with accents of yellow, not what I expected. Then again, I’m not sure what I expected. Maybe dark blues or black—something more manly. Crazy. This was their bedroom, not just his. Light slants in through the white shutters. I think Morgan is trying to kick and punch the sun’s rays.

I grin. “She’s in a good mood.”

“And without you. That’s rare, huh?” Nate emerges from the closet with a box. He drops it on the bed.

Without me. I think that says a lot, as in they don’t need me.

“Did I miss a message?” I go for the innocent approach. “Did you tell me you were going to be home and I forgot or missed a text or something?”

He disappears into the closet again. “Nope. I’m working from home today.”

Am I fired?

“So … you don’t need me?”

With another box hugged to his broad T-shirt clad chest, he glances at me while repositioning it next to the other box. “I’m about done here. I still need to work on my paper I’m writing for a journal.”

“Okay.” We’re good. That’s good. Well, I’m still not good, but that might be a lost cause by now. “What’s in the boxes?”

“Clothes.” Nate plants his hands on his hips and watches Morgan.

Her clothes. He’s clearing out Jenna’s clothes. That’s good, I suppose. My mom still hasn’t done a damn thing with my dad’s stuff, but that’s between her and Doctor B for Bunz.

“I had an interview for a teaching job, just temporary, but … I got it.”

Nate’s gaze shifts to me, a wrinkle of concern creasing his brow. “Well, that’s bad timing.”

“I think I can still be here by four.”

His chin dips as his teeth drag over his bottom lip again and again.

It’s not familiar. It’s not familiar.


It’s so familiar. He has something to tell me, but he can’t find the words. That bottom lip of his takes the brunt of his worry. It has for years. Fuck my stupid brain for knowing that or reading his mind. Whatever the hell this is.

Keeping his chin low, he glances up at me. I smile. Nothing to see here. I’m not thinking weird shit at all.

“Rachael wants to go to grad school, but she insisted on taking a year off to help with Morgan.”

I nod. “Yes, she told me that.”

“It’s not fair to her. I told her to go.”

I nod again, even though I’m not following where he’s going with this, especially since his words are so pensive.

“I want you to watch Morgan for me. Full time.”

My eyes widen as he chews more on his lip. This is the opposite of firing me. I don’t know what to say.

“But … you’ve taken a job now and I knew this could happen, so … it’s my loss.” He slips his fingers in the pockets of his cargo shorts and they slide down exposing the gray waistband to his briefs. Nate’s all boy right now with his casual attire, turned in shoulders, and nervous grin. Not a hint of Professor Hunt anywhere to be found.

“You’re offering me a full-time job?”

“Yes, but I understand it might be too late.”

“Yeah. I’d have to turn down the job I just accepted.”

“You would.” He says it like he’s not trying to sway me in either direction, but I think that means he wants me to turn down the job I just accepted, otherwise he’d tell me to forget about it and insist I keep the teaching job. Right?

“I thought …”

Morgan’s coos escalate to grunts that we both know will lead into cries of frustration. When Nate makes no move to get her, I stop the swing and lift her to my chest, nuzzling my nose in her hair that’s growing in thick with ginger highlights like her daddy’s.

“You thought?” He grabs her sock that fell off when I lifted her out of the swing.

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