out flat. The red stands out amongst the dark blue tray and the greenery of the trees.
“Up ya go,” he says all too cheerily. I know instantly why and gawk at him.
“You know I’m not going to be able to get up there without your help or without flashing you.”
“And the problem is?” he smirks, leaning against the tailgate.
I nod and restrain from laughing. I guess I played right into that one. After a quick deliberation, I realize having him help is way less embarrassing then having him see me struggle and heave myself up there and maybe flash him more skin then I’d like. So I brace my hands on the cool steel of the tailgate and look over my shoulder. “Okay, I’m ready.”
He claps his hands together and rubs them. “Me too.” And before I can say anything about his double meaning comment he has my hips and hauls me up so I’m on my knees and I’m pretty sure he has an eyeful of my butt. Clearly I didn’t think this through very well at all. Before I can recover he gives me a slap on the butt-cheek and chuckles as I give a squeal and fall to my side, glaring at him in mirth.
“ What ?”
“Serious?” I choke.
“Come on, I’m a male.”
He winks, places one hand on the tailgate and one on the side of the truck bed before he swings his leg up and he’s in. Easy and humiliatingly smooth compared to my ascending. I scoot to the back of the truck, smoothing out the soft red blanket and he joins me Lying back, patting the truck bed beside him. He looks so delicious, Lying back, one hand behind his head. He has the cheekiest smile; the kind which hints at his thoughts toward me. That look right now, makes my skin pucker like a plucked chicken.
I think I’m in trouble.
His black tee and blue jean-shorts contrast against the rich red of the throw that he pats beside him again. I smile a true smile I can’t hold back and, honestly, I don’t want to. He makes me really smile and I lie down and rest my head on his arm, looking up at the changing sky trying not to obviously smell him.
Yup. I’m in serious trouble.
“Go,” he says, ready for our game.
I turn to him, our faces inches from touching. At this rate my heart won’t hold up. Lying next to him, his warm, hard arm below my head was maddening. And then there were my hands; what do I do with my hands? I don’t know, so fold them over my stomach.
Concentrate, Harper. Concentrate. “What is the stupidest lie you ever told?”
He scrunches his face, it’s cute. “What a sucker-punch. I was right to be nervous; you went right in for the kill.”
“Only if it’s something bad,” I say, laughing.
“Uh-huh. Well you asked for it,” he grins, “I buy them for the articles.”
I gasp and burst with laughter. I instantly really, really like this game and he laughs too.
“My turn,” he says as he studies my face and I rein in my laughter and clear my throat, ready. “Can I tell the guys you’re off limits tomorrow?”
I want to pass. No, I want to say yes. I want it so bad it itches. But this is the part where he deserves the truth before he gets the wrong idea of forever when forever isn’t in my future. I sigh, “No.”
He rises on his elbow, pulling his arm free and hovers over me confused. It’s hard to breathe all of a sudden with the last of the sun’s shining rays of orange light through the canopy of trees before the sky opens up in the clearing. But none of that even sparks a light in me compared to the depth of his eyes which call to me. He is the reason my body responds. “Why? I know you feel it. I can see it makes you miserable to deny it.”
“I won’t lie, you’re totally right. I feel it, I feel everything. I want it, but I can’t.”
“I don’t date. I can tell already you’ll be my best friend, but I can’t go out with