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DOUBLETEAM:AMENAGE

ROMANCE

SABRINAPAIGE

CONTENTS

Double Team: A Menage Romance

1. Author’s Note

2. Grace

3. Grace

4. Aiden

5. Grace

6. Grace

7. Noah

8. Grace

9. Noah

10. Grace

11. Aiden

12. Grace

13. Noah

14. Grace

15. Aiden

16. Noah

17. Grace

18. Noah

19. Grace

20. Aiden

21. Noah

22. Grace

23. Aiden

24. Noah

25. Grace

26. Aiden

27. Noah

28. Grace

29. Aiden

30. Noah

31. Grace

32. Grace

33. Aiden

34. Noah

35. Grace

36. Aiden

37. Noah

38. Grace

39. Grace

40. Aiden

41.

Grace

42.

Noah

43.

Grace

44.

Grace

45.

Aiden

46.

Grace

47.

Noah

48.

Aiden

49.

Grace

Epilogue

Prince Albert Synopsis Author’s Note Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28 Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32 Chapter 33 Chapter 34 Chapter 35 Chapter 36 Chapter 37 Chapter 38 Chapter 39 Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

What I’m working on…

Also by Sabrina Paige About the Author Acknowledgments

DOUBLETEAM:AMENAGEROMANCE

The President’s daughter. Two professional athletes. One giant scandal. They'll show her that two bad boys are better than one.

I can't stand arrogant bad boys - especially not when they're my loud, obnoxious new next-door neighbors. Not even when they come in muscled, tattooed, too- hot-for-their-own-good packages.

I'm a good girl - successful, responsible, and smart. I have to be - the eyes of the nation are on me.

I'm the daughter of the President of the United States.

Dating a filthy, cocky, possessive football player would be the ultimate scandal.

Falling in love with TWO arrogant athletes in the middle of my father's re-election campaign?

That would be another thing entirely.

I’m twice as screwed.

Copyright © 2016 by Sabrina Paige

Cover Design by Cormar Covers Cover Models: Alex Boivin, Mike Chabot, Sarah St-Pierre Photographer Sara Eirew Editor Daryl Banner Proofreader Sue Banner Formatting Vellum

This book is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real events, people, or places is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without the permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations used for review. If you have not purchased this book from Amazon or received a copy from the author, you are reading a pirated book.

The author acknowledges the trademarked status of products referred to in this book and acknowledges that trademarks have been used without permission.

This book contains mature content, including graphic sex. Please do not continue reading if you are under the age of 18 or if this type of content is disturbing to you.

NOTE: All characters in the book are 18+ years of age and all sexual acts are consensual.

To check out the rest of Sabrina Paige's catalog on Amazon, CLICK HERE!

acts are consensual. To check out the rest of Sabrina Paige's catalog on Amazon, CLICK HERE

1

AUTHOR’SNOTE

T his is a MFM ménage romance! So if you're not into the idea of two hot athletes

falling head over heels for one girl, then take a pass on this one!

THERE ARE NO M/M scenes – this is all about the woman. And this book gets pretty raunchy, so if lots and lots of explicit smut scenes aren’t your thing… well, you’ve been warned.

THERES BASICALLY no football in here, either. But let’s be real - are you reading one of my books for the football? ;)

I’VE INCLUDED a copy of Prince Albert, my royal romance (yes, he’s named after the piercing for a reason) AND at the end I’ve included a sneak peak of the book I’m working on now — Her Bodyguard — which is the follow-up to Prince Albert and tells Max and Alex’s story!

BOTH OF THESE are full-length novels, and Double Team weighs in at 100k words, so it’ll end around 55% on your Kindle, if you’re trying to keep track of the pacing. Prince Albert will end around 98%, and you’ll find the excerpt to Her Bodyguard at 99%. All of them are marked in the table of contents so you can easily find them.

ENJOY!

SABRINA

2

GRACE

I , Grace Monroe Sullivan, head of a charity foundation and daughter of Arthur

Sullivan, the very conservative President of the United States, am staring at a cardboard box of blow-up dolls. And no, these are definitely not kids' toys. I know the box contains blow-up dolls (free condoms and lube, too, apparently) because in bright orange lettering on the side, it announces the contents: LIFELIKE PERSONAL ROMANCE DOLLS! NOW WITH FREE GLOW-IN-THE-DARK-CONDOMS AND LUBRICANT! I suppose that could be helpful information if you're wondering which of your many boxes contains your personal romance dolls. I thought sex shops were supposed to be more discreet than that, but maybe broadcasting your purchases is the hot new thing. I wouldn't know because I've never even been to a sex shop. I mean, seriously, try to do that with your security detail in tow as they telegraph their judgment through their eyes despite their ever-stoic expressions. I've never ordered condoms and lube online, either. That’s just the kind of story the media loves to get ahold of, and pretty soon you're not the smart capable First Daughter who runs a foundation; you're the pervy First Daughter who orders stuff from a sex shop. No, thanks. "Do you think it's the lube or the condoms that glow in the dark?" Vi asks over the phone. I sip my glass of wine and stare at the box like it's going to answer that question. It doesn't. "Have you ever heard of glow-in-the-dark-lube?" "You ask that question like I'm an expert on sex accessories," Vi sniffs. "Really? You're going to go with the virginal-good-girl thing?" I tease. "Because I could remind you of our days in boarding school if you'd like." Vi and I attended boarding school in Switzerland. So posh, right? We're poster children for wealth, privilege, and power. I reacted to that by knuckling down, trying to stay out of the public eye as much as possible, and throwing myself into work. Even in high school, I was the ultimate good girl. Vi reacted to that by whooping it up and broadcasting her I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude far and wide. Her father thought that sending her off to a boarding school with other children

of politicians and world leaders would rein her in. Do you want to know what's

wilder than a boarding school full of the bored children of wealthy and powerful parents? Answer: absolutely nothing.

Vi is the exact opposite of someone I "should" be friends with, per my parents,

who are very concerned with that sort of thing ("You have standards to uphold,

Grace," my father reminds me sternly every time I see him), but the fact is, Vi and I were friends long before Switzerland. We were an unlikely pair – total opposites – thrust together in solidarity as children in the limelight when my father was Governor of Colorado and Vi's was Lieutenant Governor. "I'm monogamous currently." Vi laughs. "Well, mostly." Vi's flavor of the month is a professional snowboarder whose name I can't remember. "You're a paragon of virtue. But wouldn't glow-in-the-dark lube look like a scene out of CSI?" I wonder.

Vi snorts. "That's both true and repulsive."

"I'm not the one who ordered glow-in-the-dark condoms and lube," I argue,

squatting down to read the address label on the box. "Mr. Dick Balsac is."

Vi cackles. "Please tell me you'll deliver that box to your neighbor personally."

"Or I could have it redelivered to the correct address," I suggest. "It's right next door!" Vi shouts. "And you haven't met your new neighbor." "I don't need to meet my neighbor," I protest. "I've already heard him quite

enough, thank you very much." He moved in just last week and already I've heard enough loud music and splashing in the pool than any one person should have to endure. I swear the other night I heard him playing bongos. Who plays bongos other than Matthew McConaughey??

Vi snickers. "Yeah, you told me about the bongos. Don't you want to see if he

plays them naked?" I make a gagging sound. "Yeah, I want to see if my new next door neighbor, Dick Balsac, inflatable sex doll connoisseur, plays naked bongos in his backyard." "You know the blow-up dolls are a prank. Dick Balsac is the fakest name ever." "What if it isn't?" I take a sip of my wine and almost choke because I start giggling so hard at the thought. "What if that is his real, actual name?" "Then you have to meet him. Why don't we just look up online who bought the house? Maybe he's hot." "Yeah, right." I snort. I purchased my house in this quiet, off-the-grid historical neighborhood specifically because it was filled with retired professors and older business people. It's the most uncool neighborhood ever - which means that it's really private and people leave me alone. And that's exactly what you need when your father is the President and he's in the middle of a reelection campaign. Even if he is the incumbent candidate, reporters are still interested in digging up anything salacious they can on my conservative father, whose campaign is laser- focused on family values. That means that I'm under the microscope almost as much as he is, so this out-of-the-way neighborhood was the best place in Denver

to stay out of the limelight. It’s not like I would be hitting up the bars or clubbing or doing anything wild, even if I weren't under the microscope, anyway. Vi says I'm an eighty-year-old woman in the body of a twenty-six-year-old, and that's probably true. The wildest thing I do is drink a glass of wine and consider personally redelivering a box of blow-up dolls to my neighbor next door. "I bet he's hot as hell and tattooed and –" I interrupt her, laughing. "I'll give you a hundred bucks if Dick Balsac is under the age of sixty-five. I'm going to be delivering this box to a crazy old man who probably has a collection of blow-up dolls he has conversations with." "Whatever you do, don't step inside for a cup of tea," Vi advises. "That's how you wind up in a hole in the backyard rubbing lotion on your skin before someone makes a suit out of you." "Sage advice." "Go deliver the box," Vi demands. "Your life is boring. This is literally the most interesting thing to happen to you in forever." "It is not!” I protest even though I know she's right. You'd think that being the daughter of the President of the United States would be inherently interesting, but

it's surprisingly not. All of the scrutiny and expectations that come with being the First Daughter really just make your life dull.

In fact, this is the closest in proximity I've been to a condom in two years. That's

pathetic, right? I’m twenty-six years old. I’m pretty sure that most other twenty- six-year-olds are dating and hooking up and generally having lots of fun. But when you're the First Daughter, even going out on one date is a big deal. The man must

be appropriate, vetted, and a serious potential love interest. Good grief, I can't even imagine what would happen if I had an actual fling. Democracy as we know it would clearly collapse.

At

least, that's how my father sees it.

Vi

makes a kissing sound into the phone. "If I don't hear from you in an hour,

I'll assume your flesh is being made into a jacket." "I'm pretty sure my security detail would frown on that." "The new neighbor is going to be hot and you're going to owe me a hundred dollars." One more glass of wine later, I'm officially tipsy and emboldened. And, okay, curiosity is getting the better of me. I could just go online and look up who bought the house, but I kind of do want to see Mr. Dick Balsac with my own eyes. My own slightly inebriated eyes. I slip my shoes back on, hoisting the box up and carrying it outside. My day shift security detail, Brooks and Davis as they insist I call them instead of their first names Janice and Alice, reach out and steady the box as it threatens to slip from my grasp the second I set foot outside of my gated driveway. "I'm walking this next door," I protest, my heel catching on the sidewalk. In retrospect, maybe I should have changed out of my work attire - suit and heels - to

lug a box of blow-up dolls around. Or maybe I shouldn't have had that second glass of wine. Probably the latter. "Would you like some help, ma’am?" Brooks asks. I peer around the large box as I walk. "Hey, do you remember that time when my

father insisted that I have a security detail and I agreed, but only on the condition that my detail not interfere with my life in any way, shape, or form? That's a fond memory I have."

I swear I can hear Brooks and Davis rolling their eyes behind me right now.

They're just being polite by asking. It's against protocol for them to carry a box even if I wanted them to, since it would interfere with their job of protecting me. I’d be just fine without protection, though. My father’s approval rating is the highest of any president in the last ten years; the economy is good and there are no active threats to my life - that I know of, anyway. But my parents are overprotective, to say the least. And honestly, Brooks and Davis are not bad at all as far as security details go. They are humorless, of course. I think that's a job requirement. Contrary to popular belief, we are allowed to decline protection, although my father would probably

have an actual heart attack if I did. I only relented to having a security detail if they were female (how impossible would it be to have a relatively normal existence with a team of brutes in suits following me around?) and if they were not reporting my every move to my father. Follow me around… Fine. But I draw the line at them helping me with routine, everyday tasks. You know, like hauling a giant box of inflatable sex dolls and lube to my neighbor's house.

I stand outside the gate with the box, Books and Davis a safe distance behind

me, as a male voice answers. "Yo." Yo. Definitely not a retiree. "I'm your neighbor. I have something… well… um… of a personal nature that was mistakenly delivered to my house." He laughs. "Of a personal nature?" he asks, obviously mocking the formality of my words. I immediately bristle. I mean, yeah, I've gotten called stuck-up a lot and Perfect Presidential Daughter, but really, I'm doing this guy a favor. I could have just inflated his dolls and thrown them over the stone wall that separates our properties. On second thought, I definitely should have delivered the contents of the box that way. The gate opens and I stand there for a second, looking at his house. I've not seen beyond the gates of any of the houses in my neighborhood; I've never even met any of my neighbors. His driveway is short and cobblestone, just like mine; and his house is similar to mine except it's at least twice as large. It's fucking huge. Decorative trees line the edge of the wall between our properties and I make a mental note to landscape better. I'm more than halfway up the driveway when he steps out of the house.

Buck naked and carrying a set of strategically-placed bongo drums.

3

GRACE

I blink twice, stopping short as my neighbor casually walks toward me in bare feet.

Carrying bongos. Naked. Totally and completely naked, the bongos strategically covering the goods. He's definitely not a retiree. Nope. Not at all. He's young and fit and… Massive, I realize as he approaches me. My gaze reluctantly moves from the bongos upward, lingering for just a moment too long on his very muscular, very ripped chest and abs. I blame the wine for my lingering eyes. A tattoo covers one of his pecs, moving up to his shoulder and down part of his arm. His arms are just as huge as the rest of him – sculpted biceps and forearms and… good Lord, this guy looks like he should be felling trees or something. My eyes don't stay on his arms, though – they go right back to the bongos. And the fact that those bongos are covering his… bongos. “My package?" he asks. "What?! I'm not looking at your package," I protest. My voice seems to come out at least an octave higher than it is. I practically squeak like a mouse. The edges of his mouth pull up in a slow smirk. "I was asking if you wanted to hand over my package. It looks heavy." Heat rushes to my face. Oh God, I can feel my cheeks turning scarlet already. I clear my throat. "Yeah. Obviously. That's what I was talking about, too. " I force nonchalance into my voice. Eyes up, Grace. Make eye contact and do not look down, even if this is the closest you've been to an almost naked man in two years. "The package. Your package. Not your… package." I glance down at the bongos again. What the hell is wrong with me? "I can take a picture if you'd like," he says, grinning. "Of my package, I mean. If you'd like to revisit it on your own… in a more private setting." My cheeks warm. "Why would I want that?" He shrugs. "Just a neighborly offer." The box. I shove it at him. "Here are your inflatable personal romance dolls, Mr. Balsac." He doesn't even look down at what he's holding. "Is this a welcome-to-the- neighborhood gift?"

"Yes, I've come to say hello, but instead of bringing a fruitcake, I brought you sex dolls, condoms, and lube. Nothing screams 'Hi, neighbor!' quite like that." "I could take a pass on the sex dolls, unless you're into that kind of thing obviously. But a neighbor who looks like you bringing condoms and lube? Well, then: Hello, neighbor." He grins. Hello, neighbor. It's not explicitly sexual but I swear his words are saturated in sex. Hell, every part of this man is dripping with sex. He's one of those men who just exudes it from his pores. Heat pools between my legs. Okay, the wine has to be the problem because I

could swear this feels like attraction and I'm not attracted to guys like this – big, muscle-bound guys who look like they could pick me up and toss me over their shoulders and carry me up to their bedrooms…

I clear my throat. "I'm not into that kind of thing, for the record. Those are your

sex dolls. Like I said when I buzzed the gate. They were misdelivered to me. See? Right there?" I point at the address label on the box. "Mr. Dick Balsac." He glances down and chuckles. "Heh. Dick Balsac. Awesome." He looks up. "Who brings fruitcake to a neighbor?"

"Huh?"

"You said instead of fruitcake you were bringing sex stuff. Do people even eat fruitcake?"

I exhale heavily. "Fruitcake, Bundt cake, whatever."

"Bundt cake?" "I said whatever. I don't know what people bring to their neighbors." "A cup of sugar," he suggests, then pauses for a beat. "Or sex dolls and condoms." "You know, I usually try to not take my lessons in social etiquette from naked men with bongo drums." "Hey, you're the chick who showed up at my house with two girlfriends, bringing me condoms and – I'll admit, the blow-up dolls are new for me. I've never had a girl try to pick me up using inflatable –" "You think I'm trying to pick you up?" I ask in disbelief. "We've already established that you're the pervert ordering blow-up dolls. I'm just being a

courteous neighbor and delivering your box. I have zero interest in picking you up. Less than zero, actually. I have negative interest in picking you up. And those aren't my friends." Mr. Dick Balsac steps forward, and I swear I mean to step back and put more space between us, but I'm somehow stuck, rendered immobile by the way this guy smells – masculine, like soap and cologne and - Oh God, I need to stop smelling him. He's an arrogant ass who clearly thinks he's God's gift to women, and just because I had two glasses of wine and apparently lost all sense of reason doesn't mean I should stand here sniffing this guy. "Zero interest?" he asks, looking down at me. "You sure about that, sugar?"

smelled a man that my body is going haywire over one whiff of him? "Zero," I reiterate firmly. I clear my throat. "Less than zero." My body betrays me by sending goose bumps rocketing over my skin. I can feel my nipples harden under my bra. “Negative,” he says. “That’s right.” "That's too bad, because I'm definitely interested in picking you up." He pauses, and I suck in a breath of air between my teeth, my breath hitching in my throat. My

heart pounds furiously in my chest. "In fact, I'd be very interested in picking you up, throwing you over my shoulder, and carrying you right into my bedroom." My God, he's brazen. No one has ever spoken to me like that. Hell, no one would ever dare speak to the President's daughter like that – certainly not the far-too- appropriate men I've dated, the ones who wear suits and have the best educations money can buy. This man is in no danger of being one of those too-appropriate men. His gaze doesn't waver, his eyes on mine as he speaks. "I'd pull up that conservative little mom suit you're wearing and yank your panties down your thighs – you are wearing panties, aren't you? If you weren't, well…" He makes a sound low in his throat, feral like an animal. That's what this guy is: a brute. An animal who just said he wants to throw me over his shoulder and pull off my panties. I open my mouth to tell him exactly who he can go screw (himself) after talking to me like that, but instead I hear myself whimper.

I actually whimper.

A small, self-satisfied smile spreads across his face, and I'm instantly mortified

by my attraction to him. I should be absolutely repulsed. I should be high-tailing it out of here. This man has “bad choice” written all over him.

I clear my throat like I didn't just practically moan at his filthy words. "I am not wearing a mom suit. What the hell is a mom suit?" He chuckles. "I just made it up now. It's like mom jeans, but a suit."

I swallow hard, suddenly self-conscious. So my work clothes aren't sexy. I'm a

professional running a foundation. I didn't think I looked frumpy, though. I smooth out my skirt with my palms. Why does the fact that he implied I look frumpy – a mom suit?! – make me embarrassed? "Some of us work," I say, my voice curt. "In professional jobs. Where we have to look appropriate and not run around naked with bongos." "Oh, so you think I'm not a professional?" he asks, smirking. "You're the one with the nudity and sex toys." I find myself acutely aware of the

fact that this guy totally thinks I'm uptight, then irritated with myself that I care. "I'm leaving now," I announce primly, except I can't seem to make my feet move. "Obviously the box is a gag gift. Clearly, with all of this manliness I've got going on, I do not have to resort to inflatable pussy."

"Dick Balsac isn't my real name, by the way. Just to be clear." "Oh, I wasn't calling you Dick Balsac," I clarify. "I was just calling you a dick." "Hilarious," he says flatly. "So you're a comedian. I assume that's the reason for your entourage over there?" "They're - wait. You don't know who I am," I say, suddenly realizing. He raises his eyebrows. "I don't know who you are? A little full of ourselves, are we?" "You're one to talk, Mr. I-Have-All-This-Going-On." "Well, that's not being full of myself. That's just a fact, sugar tits." "Excuse me?" Irritation surges through me. No matter how good-looking this man is, he's totally a pig. Then I stop. "Wait. What are you doing?" He's bending over, that's what he's doing. He's bending over right in front of me. "I'm setting this box down." "I don't need to see your -" I avert my gaze as he turns to set the box on the driveway, giving me a view from the side of his perfect naked ass. Okay, I didn't avert my gaze. I wanted to. I intended to. But it was so muscular and perfect and… biteable. Did I just think of this man's ass as being biteable? I quickly look away before he stands, but he laughs anyway. "It's an ass, sugar," My cheeks warm again. He totally knows I was looking at it, but I interrupt him before he can call me that name again. "Yeah, there's definitely an ass in front of me." "I showed you mine. Maybe you'll feel more comfortable if you show me yours. Then we'll be equal." "I'm not aiming to be equal with a man who just referred to me as sugar tits, thanks anyway." No matter how perfectly muscular his ass – and the rest of him – is. "I'll see you later, Dick." I pause, my back turned to him, and take a deep breath. This caveman is not getting under my skin. "And enough with the bongos already." "You want me to get rid of the bongos?" he asks. "All right. If you insist." Brooks and Davis, both still facing him, don't crack a smile, but I can tell by the way their eyes widen what he's doing. "He set down the bongos, didn't he?" I ask them. "Yes he did, ma'am," Brooks answers, her gaze focused behind me. "Yes, he did." "Right, then." It takes everything I have not to turn around and satisfy my curiosity. Then I remind myself that a guy who calls me "sugar tits," threatens to throw me over his shoulder and pull down my panties, and plays the damn bongos is not a guy I need to see stark naked. Definitely not.

4

AIDEN

hat's that?" Noah plods down the stairs, his steps heavy. Being a six-four, two-hundred-and thirty-pound safety, he looks out of place in this historic

house. Actually, both of us are fucking out of place in this house, but Noah is a savant when it comes to real estate – actually, he’s a savant when it comes to most things financial and political and generally nerdy. Not what you'd expect from a football player. He bought this place as an investment property because he said it was a steal and he was tired of living in the neighborhood we were both living in where most of the pro players in town are. Too much fucking drama, he'd said. Noah's bright idea was to move out of his big-ass mansion close to the training center and into this place. He tried to convince me of the same – to "clean up our images." Noah is a contract holdout and I just signed a one-year contract with our team here in Denver, contingent on not publicly fucking up. It's not the best deal ever, but it's not like I've been angling for some big fat deal anyway. I'm a poor white trash kid from West Bend, Colorado. What the hell am I going to do with twelve million dollars a year? Noah is holding out for something better, mostly because he and our team’s head coach don't get along. Anyway, I'm not a grandma, so there's no way short of Hell freezing over that I'd actually move to this kind of neighborhood. Even if my ball-buster of an agent, the one with a mouth filthier than a sailor and a smoker's voice that comes from a pack-a-day habit, agreed with Noah: "Put a lid on all that frat shit, Aiden, and keep your dick in your pants." Noah and I have both been playing professional football in Colorado for the past few years. Noah landed a four-year contract here straight out of college in Florida, and I got traded back out here from Texas a year after that. Our head coach hates both of us, calls us hotheads, asshats, and whatever other expletive he can think of, but the General Manager loves us – me way better than Noah because, let's face it, I'm pretty damn good in front of a camera. Noah hates the interviews and photographs and autographs and dealing with fans. In fact, if he didn’t love the game so much, I’m pretty sure he’d be holed up out on his ranch totally shut away from the human race.

" W

Noah takes this stuff a lot more seriously than I do. I'm a work-hard-play-hard kind of guy. Football has always been my first love, but hell, if I can't blow off steam in my off time, what's the point? Noah loosens up every so often – mostly when moonshine or muddin' is involved – but otherwise he's nose-to-the-grindstone obsessed with the game. Most people think he's an asshole, but we've been best friends since grade school. His parents took in my sister and I during my senior year in high school after basically everything in my family fell apart. Last week after I signed the contract, Noah's mother – real name Bess, but my sister and I call her Mama Ashby – called and laid a big ol' guilt trip on me about setting an example for my younger sister and cleaning up my image so I don't waste the opportunity to stay here in Colorado. I can't really do shit to argue with that because I know it's true. So that’s why I wound up deciding to move into Noah's new place for the next couple of months while renovations are being done on my house. Apparently I need to lay low and act like an adult. Except I'm standing here not wearing drawers and holding a box of blow up dolls. So, all in all, I guess Noah is more of an adult than I am. "It's a box of blow-up dolls." I set the box on the living room floor. "The great Aiden Jackson is that hard up that he has to resort to inflatable women?" Noah gives me side-eye as he passes through the living room and heads toward the kitchen. "Of course not. I've got plenty of real live women throwing themselves at me. It was Moose screwing around. He sent it to Dick Balsac." The name makes me chuckle. Maybe I have the sense of humor of a twelve-year-old, but that shit's funny. Even if the very hot, infinitely fuckable girl next door thought I was some kind of blow-up-doll-screwing pervert. Noah has his head in the refrigerator pulling out vegetables and a family-sized package of ground beef. I can't see his face, but I know for sure his eyes are rolling hard because he thinks Moose's antics are stupid as hell. Moose, obviously nicknamed for his size, always sends prank shit to the team at the end of the season. It's a tradition, the same way I play the bongos naked before big games - and also randomly when the mood strikes, like this morning. The naked bongo playing started as a joke before my first game in Texas. I had too many beers and bought bongo drums and then thought it'd be funny to pull a Matthew McConaughey, since I was in Texas and all. Then we won, and clearly I could never stop playing them or we’d lose. That's how superstitions work. So the bongos have followed me around since then. Noah turns around and gives me a disgusted look. "Damn it, dude. Why are you coming into the kitchen with your junk all hanging out? I want to eat, not vomit." He pauses. "Wait. Were you in the front yard like that?" "I was playing out on the deck upstairs and the doorbell rang." "Some people put fucking clothes on to get the mail," he grumbles. "Get the

hell out of my kitchen." "You could have answered the door, man. You heard me playing." Noah shrugs. "I was in the shower." "Anyway, it wasn't the mail guy. Ask me who it was." Noah sighs heavily. "Do I care who it was?" "You would if you got a look at your hot as hell next door neighbor. She came by because the blow-up dolls got delivered to her." Noah groans. "You went outside buck naked to get a package of blow-up dolls from the next door neighbor when I just moved into this neighborhood last week?" He emphasizes the words “this neighborhood,” which is a quiet, old money kind of place – not the kind where you see naked football players running around. In other words, it’s stuffy as hell. I shrug. "I don't give a shit about the neighbors. Some old lady was probably across the road looking at my ass through her binoculars and thanking her lucky stars that I moved in here." Noah snorts. "I'm sure the neighbors appreciate it." "The chick next door did." He groans. "Come on, man. Don't shit where you eat. I told you that you could stay here for the summer only if there were no shenanigans." “I swear to God, Aiden. When did you become an eighty-five-year-old woman? ‘Shenanigans’?” “Since I’m negotiating contracts,” Noah reminds me. “And yeah, shenanigans. The kind I get in trouble for and then wind up with a shitty team and a shitty contract because I'm a liability. The kind you get in trouble for and then lose your contract with the team.” “None of our shit has gotten us into any real trouble,” I protest, rolling my eyes. “We only got arrested one time, and that was when we were back home in West Bend.” "That was last year," Noah argues "We were only even in jail for a few hours. Racing a couple of tractors down Main Street ain't exactly the crime of the century." "You ran into Old Man Johnson's fence and the cows got out." "A couple of cows." "His whole herd. One walked into the church the next morning during the preacher's sermon." "One cow out of the whole herd. And that was awesome. Barbara Jo Andrews was in the middle of singing her solo piece." “Uh-huh. How about the chick who was all over the tabloids because she said you knocked her up?” “And I didn’t knock her up, did I? I didn’t even sleep with her. And I wrap my junk, thank you very much. The last thing I need are a bunch of little Aidens running around." "That's the last thing this world needs," Noah replies. "What about the time you

streaked Coach Hardy’s front lawn?” “That was a dare,” I insist. “And fuck you! You were the one filming it. How were we supposed to know his wife would be home? Or that he'd pick that moment to walk outside? You’ve gotten into just as much trouble as I have, Mr. I-Screwed- The-High-School-Football-Coach's-Wife." Noah holds up a hand. "I did not screw Coach Tanner's wife and you know it." "Hey, I don't know what might have happened behind closed doors," I joke. Noah didn't screw our high school coach's wife, although she did practically hunt him down the day of our high school graduation. But neither of us are the kind of guys who'd bed another man's wife, so the cougar moved on to greener pastures. That didn't stop Coach Tanner from believing Noah screwed her, though, and coming after him with a shotgun – or me from giving him shit about it. "So don’t hassle me about shitting where I eat. I didn’t say I was going to bed your neighbor." Noah rolls his eyes. "I can see it in your eyes." "She's definitely hot," I remind him. In fact, the thought of her pretending I wasn't standing there naked, glancing away but then looking back at me because she couldn't help herself, makes my dick twinge. The girl is tightly-wound; that much was written all over her. And I could be the one to loosen her right up. “Get your naked ass out of my kitchen. And stop parading it around the front yard.” Upstairs, I glance out of my bedroom window toward Stuck-Up Chick's house. I told Noah she was hot, but hot is an understatement. The chick is the sexiest thing I've ever seen in a long time - not trampy and overdone the way most of the groupies who hang around the players are. And she didn't have a damn clue who I was. When the hell is the last time that happened? Noah and I are two of the most famous faces in the state, at least to people who follow football – Colorado's golden boys, born and raised in a little town in the middle of nowhere: West Bend. It's the reason we get cut a lot of slack for the crap we pull, like when we got arrested in West Bend. The whole prim-and-proper vibe the neighbor has going on is even hotter. I've never much been into chicks who look like schoolteachers, but I'd definitely let that one rap my knuckles with a ruler. I step inside the shower intending to shake off the image of the hot little next door neighbor, but instead I just wind up picturing her more vividly. The way she pulled her lush lower lip between her teeth when she looked at me. The way she sucked in a breath as her eyes lingered on my chest. The way she focused on the bongos like she wished they'd suddenly become transparent. The way she looked at me, her jaw set like she was offended by the whole naked with bongos thing, except she couldn't take her eyes off them. My cock twitches as I picture her standing mere inches away from me.

"I SHOULDN'T BE DOING this," she says, her voice breathy. "You practically begged for it." Her eyebrows go up. "I do not beg." "No?" I ask. "Well, I'll have to do something about that." "There's nothing you can do," she says, her jaw set, “because I'm not one of

your desperate little groupies who's going to lose my damn mind at the sight of Aiden Jackson's dick."

I like her sass. I can barely hold back a smile as I reach down with both hands

and slowly slide her skirt up her thighs. "No begging, right?" "None." She speaks the word matter-of-factly, except she inhales sharply as I yank the skirt roughly up over her perky ass. "Even when I do this?" I ask, sliding my fingers between her thighs until I find

the spot covered by her panties. I press my fingertips against the cotton fabric and she gasps louder. "You're soaked right through these." "So?" she asks. "Doesn't mean I'm going to ask for anything from you." The warm water from the shower pounding on my back, I stroke my hard cock as I picture her face upturned, inches from mine, and imagine sliding my fingers down the front of her panties.

I roll my fingers over her clit, and she grasps my biceps, her grip getting tighter and tighter as she gets closer and closer to orgasm. When she tries to close her

eyes, I order her to look at me, and she does, her eyes clouded by lust. She makes little panting sounds, her breasts rising and falling in the fitted button-down oxford shirt she wears, unbuttoned enough that her cleavage is visible.

I bring her to the edge. Then I pull my fingers away and she whimpers her response, the sound nothing more than a needy whine.

I STROKE my cock harder now, the image of her desperate and wanting pushing me closer to the edge.

SHE WHIMPERS AGAIN, her mouth opening and forming a word, but she doesn't speak it. Instead, she presses her thighs together.

I unzip my jeans, pulling them down and gripping my hard shaft. She looks

down and the expression on her face is agony. "Put your hand on my cock. Feel how hard you make me." She reaches for me tentatively, her thumb pressing against the tip where pre- cum drips from it. "Aiden," she whispers.

I reach between her legs again, my fingers slipping easily inside her and she

groans as she strokes me. "You're not going to come so easily, sugar," I warn her. "Not until you ask nicely. Not until you tell me how much you want to feel my hard cock inside your tight little pussy, filling you up." Her muscles clench down around my fingers, her swollen pussy warning me how

close she is. "Yes," she whispers. "Yes, you're asking me to make you come? Is this you begging me?" She whimpers as I stroke her, pressing my fingertips against the place inside her that causes her to make the expression of unbridled lust that I can't get enough of. "I want you inside me." That's what I wanted to hear. I slide my fingers from her and pick her up, pressing her hard against the wall behind us I thrust inside her in one easy stroke. She gasps loudly as I enter her. Fucking hell. She's warm, wet, tight, and smooth as silk. It's all I can do not to come the second I'm inside her. Soon, she's groaning loudly, making these little whimpering noises that come faster and faster as I fuck her up against the wall, one hand gripping her hair and the other under her thigh, pinning her in place. Then she's screaming my name, her pussy tightening around my cock suddenly as she climaxes and I can't hold back any longer. I let go, flooding her sweet pussy with my hot cum.

"SHIT!" I call out the word as the image pushes me over the edge, and I come. When I step out of the bathroom, I glance over at her house. The hot neighbor is sitting on her balcony drinking a glass of wine and reading the newspaper, a pair of glasses perched on the end of her nose and her long legs stretched out in front of her. Who the hell our age reads the newspaper anymore? God, she is such a little nerd. A sexy little nerd just waiting to be defiled. Noah thinks that staying in this neighborhood is going to make me behave? Yeah, right. Behaving is overrated.

5

GRACE

take it that since I'm talking to you, the neighbor wasn't totally psycho?" Vi asks on the phone. "Well…" That's up for debate. My cheeks warm at the thought of the sexy

neighbor and the way I laid in bed last night fantasizing about what exactly I'd like that over-muscled brute to do to me. "You owe me a hundred bucks, don't you?" Vi asks, her voice light. "How did you know?" "Because you have a tone in your voice."

"What tone?" I ask. "There is no tone. I simply said, ‘Well he could completely be psycho."

Vi ignores me. "I did some digging on your neighbor. Do you want to know what

his name is?" "Nope," I say primly. "I'm not the least little bit interested." I'm lying. "Right," she says. "He's a - " "La la la." "Very mature."

"You're worse than my parents, Vi. I don't want to know what you found, spying on my neighbor." Vi sniffs. "The next time I see you in person, I'm going to slap you for your insolence, comparing me to your parents." "For most people, being compared to the President and First Lady would be a compliment."

Vi and I both know that neither of us is like most people, and we know far too

much about the President and First Lady to consider the comparison a compliment.

That indicates that

"

I

'

Vi snorts her response. "Where are you?"

"It's ten in the morning," I say, glancing at my watch. "I'm working. Where are you?" "Lying in a hotel, waiting for room service," Vi says, her voice languid. I can practically hear her stretching like a cat over the phone. "Room service?" I ask absently, squinting at the projections for next quarter on

my desktop. Those numbers can't be right. "Where?"

"Where?" Vi pauses. "I'm actually not sure. Where are we, baby?" I hear a rustle and the sound of a sleepy male voice. "New York." "Is that your skier boyfriend?" "No, that's old news," Vi says dismissively. "I thought you were in L.A.?" "I was, but we flew out to New York yesterday. Keep up, doll."

I laugh. "I'm trying my hardest. But seriously, Vi, I have to go work."

"You have a trust fund. Ditch the grind and come to Miami with me." "I'm sure the kids the foundation helps would appreciate that," I note absently, staring at the spreadsheet. Projected donations are down from last quarter. "Bill has a private plane," she points out. I don't ask who Bill is – a celebrity or an athlete, for sure, since that's Vi's preferred dating population. "Besides, when's the last time you had a vacation? And, no, your family trip with the parents doesn't count, either. Everyone knows that being around your parents is stressful enough to require another vacation." "I go on vacations all the time," I protest. "In fact, I have a summer vacation coming up." That's almost true. The statement could be true if you kind of squinted and looked at it through one eye from far away. It's a vacation – it just happens to be a vacation involving at-risk kids and a ranch. I'm hands-on with the foundation I run, even though I'm supposed to take more of an administrative role than a direct one. But I'm not ashamed in the least to say that I'm married to my job – I love it, and that's never going to change. One of the charities the foundation supports takes at-risk kids from Colorado and teaches them leadership and life skills, using outdoor experiences like wilderness treks and ropes courses and camping. A couple of years ago, I decided to personally participate in the inaugural two-week trip for the summer season. I've been doing it yearly ever since. The next trip is in two weeks, although this summer

is a little different than most. A professional athlete donated his ranch for the summer, so the team designed a summer program around working on a real Colorado ranch. So that's my vacation – a working ranch vacation. That totally counts, right? "You need a vacation that involves no responsibility," Vi says. "Maybe your neighbor could help you with that."

I roll my eyes. "He definitely screams ‘no responsibility’. Also, no manners and no social skills, either." "But he's hot, isn't he? Admit it. I could tell by your tone." "There was no tone."

"I could also tell because I looked him up online."

I sigh. "He's only hot in a college frat boy sense. He also came to the door stark naked with bongo drums hanging from his neck." "Oh, so you got a peek at the package, then?"

my neighbor's more-than-chiseled body mere inches away from mine. I could have reached out and run my fingers over his muscular chest, down those rippled abs, and lower… I shift uncomfortably in my seat as heat radiates through my body at the thought, heading right between my legs. I sigh exaggeratedly. "I did not. And I have a meeting in three minutes." "Don't act like you didn't sneak a glance. Hot naked guy in front of you?" She pauses and I hear a man's voice. "Of course, baby. Yes, there is a hot naked guy in front of me." "I was not looking at his junk," I sniff. My administrative assistant, Janice, chooses the perfect moment to knock on my door. "Come in, Janice! I'm so sorry that I won't be able to continue this conversation, Vi." Vi laughs. "Are you blowing me off for a fake meeting?" She giggles at whatever her flavor-of-the-moment is doing. "Say hi to Vi, Janice," I order, holding out the phone and mouthing the words “thank you” to my assistant. "Hello, Violet." "See? Unfortunately, I have to go." "I'll let you get to work," she says, giggling again and squealing at her new beau. "Don't forget the fundraiser next week," I remind her. "Bring your wallet." "Always, darling." It's the foundation's semi-annual fundraiser and a huge black tie event. My father will be attending because he's in the middle of campaigning for re-election (even though he just won the Colorado primary by a landslide) and "children always poll well. Who doesn't like needy kids? And because you're my daughter, of course." My father, always the pragmatist. He does bring a lot of funding, though, and funding is always good – especially considering the low projected donations for next quarter that I just saw. I hang up the phone and look at Janice. "You have a meeting in five minutes," she says.

6

GRACE

hat the hell?" I'm changing out of work clothes getting ready to go for a run when I hear music blaring from outside, barely muffled by the walls of the

house. Something country, but I can't quite hear the words. It's the neighbor. I know it's him without even having to look. No one else in the world is that obnoxious. Or that sexy. I put that thought right out of my head, because his obnoxiousness definitely overrides his hotness. After wrangling on my sports bra, I pull on a tank top and grab my sneakers from the closet, pausing in my bedroom. I give the thumping of the music another thirty seconds before I'm officially annoyed. Sure, it's not like

it's two in the morning, but this neighborhood has always been quiet. Or at least it was, before Bongo Dude moved in next door. When I yank open the sliding glass door and stomp out onto the balcony, the music assaults my ears. It's definitely country. And that's definitely the hot neighbor I can see over the wall riding a lawnmower around his expertly manicured lawn - shirtless. It takes me a second to hear the chorus of the song and to place it: She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy.

" W

I nearly choke.

That could not be directed at me, could it? I'm not sure whether to be flattered, amused, or annoyed. As he rounds the end of the lawn, he looks up at my balcony and holds his can of beer up in a mock “cheers” gesture – because of course he's riding a lawnmower and drinking at the same time. Then he grins. Unmistakably cocky and smug, his grin is what pushes me over the edge. The same guy who, upon meeting me, called me “sugar tits” is now riding a lawnmower around shirtless while playing She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy? He's totally trying to bait me. That grin of his suggests he thinks he has.

I roll my eyes dramatically, as if he can see my expression from up here, but it

seems like a necessary gesture in response to his ridiculousness. Then I whirl

around and close the door behind me, standing with my back against it for a moment as a laugh threatens to erupt from my chest. He's juvenile. Completely and utterly juvenile. I shouldn't be laughing – the things he said to me, telling me he wanted to throw me over his shoulder and pull my panties down my thighs, would have been far beyond inappropriate even if I were a "normal" woman and not the President's daughter. But the fact that I'm the President's daughter definitely makes them worse. Even so, it's not the most awful thing in the world, seeing him with his shirt off yet again. I flush warm at the memory of what I imagined him doing last night when I had my fingers between my legs. That does not mean I'm attracted to the jackass out there on a riding lawnmower. I know his type. He's the kind of guy who's used to getting away with frat boy antics, the kind of man who thinks he can whip out an arrogant little grin and women will fall all over themselves for him. I'm not one of those girls.

I tell myself that again as I peer through the blinds like a nosy old lady, straining

my neck to get a glimpse of him in his yard. Yep. I'm definitely not one of those girls. Fifteen minutes later, I'm running down the road, trailed by Brooks and Davis at a safe distance, my pace a little faster than usual - which has nothing to do with the fact that Bongo Dude was outside shirtless in his yard and I might have a little pent-up frustration to run off. Absolutely nothing. We're not more than half a mile into the run when I hear the rumble of a motor, and turn to see Bongo Guy. In the middle of the street, coming up behind us, driving the riding lawnmower like it’s a car. Still shirtless, even though it's not exactly a warm summer evening in Colorado.

I pause as Brooks and Davis stop and reach for their weapons. Rolling my eyes, I

put my hand up. "Seriously, I'm a million percent certain my neighbor is not trying to assassinate me by running me over with a lawnmower." "You never know, ma'am. Protocol," Davis reasons. I can't tell if she's actually serious, but at least she and Brooks refrain from drawing their weapons.

I turn, ignoring the fact that a shirtless man is following me on a lawnmower,

and resume jogging, but at a slower pace. "Need a lift?" Bongo Guy asks, grinning widely. He takes a swig from his can of beer. "From the guy who's drinking while driving?" I ask, glancing over at him. I'm glad I'm running because I can return my gaze to the road ahead instead of ogling his bare naked, excessively muscled chest. "I’m fairly sure a lawnmower doesn’t count," he protests. "Um, it counts." "I've only had one beer," Bongo Guy says. "Promise." He crosses his heart with

his finger and looks innocently at me - as innocently as someone who's so obviously not angelic can look. Focus, Grace. The last thing I need to think about is how obviously not angelic this man is. "Should I even ask why you're riding a lawn mower down the road?" "Should I ask why you're being followed around by a couple of suits who are obviously packing?" he counters, referring to them as "suits" even though they're in running gear. I open my mouth about to speak the words, “I'm the President's daughter!” except that I don't. I hesitate. I don't know why I don't just come out and say it. No, that's not true. I know exactly why. It's because this is the first time in as long as I can remember that someone hasn't recognized who I am. Being the President's daughter is a privilege, of course. I have opportunities most people don't have, and I'm grateful for that. But it also means that's all anyone sees when they look at me. I'm labeled as my father's daughter and that's it. Hardly anyone wants to know anything about me beyond that. Sure, there are the people who know me for my work with the foundation, but personally? Not so many. So the fact that this guy doesn't seem to have a clue who I am is, oddly enough, liberating – even if he's crude. "Sightseeing," Bongo Guy says. "Pardon?" "The reason I'm riding the lawnmower. I'm sightseeing." "Sightseeing what? Old houses?” "Nah. I'm partial to another view." I'm grateful for the fact that I'm running and already flushed right now, because otherwise I think my face would have just turned bright red. "Do you usually drive around in a lawnmower following women?" "Actually, it’s the first time I've used a lawn mower for this purpose." "But it's not the first time driving around and following a woman?" "I used a tractor the other time." I can't help but laugh. "Classy." "It’s a long story." "I assume it's one that involves beer?" I ask. "Perceptive girl." His eyes crinkle at the edges as he grins. Even when I turn back to look at the road, I'm acutely aware of his gaze still on me. "So following me around is your idea of a good time?" I'm running slightly faster now, wondering if his lawnmower can keep up. How fast does a lawnmower even

go? "Well, it's certainly better than following around Mrs. Johnson." "Who's Mrs. Johnson?" "The woman who lives across the street. You don't know your neighbors?" "I know my neighbors," I protest, feeling slightly defensive. "I mean, I don’t ‘know them’, know them. I wave hello. I'm a nice person. I don't need to know

their names." "How long have you lived here?" "A couple of years." Okay, now I'm totally defensive. "You're obviously friendlier than I am. With your nudity and riding lawnmowers and…whatever it is you spend your time doing." "You don't know what I do?" He asks the question like he's pleased with himself. "Something that gives you enough time to play the bongos naked and ride

around the neighborhood, clearly." He grunts his response. I continue to run, my steps pounding a steady rhythm on the pavement. "Are you waiting for me to ask you what you do?” “Most women want to know these kinds of things.”

I choke back a laugh. "You're full of yourself. And I’m not most women.”

“Clearly.”

I run in silence for a few more minutes before exhaling heavily. "Fine. What do you do?” “I can’t tell you.” “You can’t tell me?”

“It's top secret." He takes another sip from his beer and grins. “Wait, don’t tell me. You’re a secret agent living undercover as an obnoxious frat guy.” “Frat guy? You think I’m a frat guy?”

I shrug. "You’re the one with the bongos and canned beer and –”

“What kind of secret agent frat guy lives in a house like that?” “One named Dick Balsac?” He laughs. "It’s actually Aiden.” “Aiden,” I repeat. "Huh. Dick suits you better.” “Funny. Do I just keep calling you sugar or do you have a name?” “You can stop calling me sugar,” I say. "It’s Grace." I deliberately leave off my

last name, although I’m not entirely certain that Aiden would recognize me as the President’s daughter even if I told him. “Grace with the bodyguards.” “That’s right.” “So you’re someone important,” Aiden says as I keep running.

I laugh. "That’s definitely debatable.”

“Or someone who needs bodyguards. So you're someone people want dead.” “Is this your version of I Spy or something? You’re going to try to guess my identity?” “You got something better to do in the next… how many miles are you going?” “Five.” “Shit, I don’t know if the lawn mower can go five miles.” “That’s a real shame. Looks like I’ll have to run these five miles on my own. In silence.”

“Don’t worry. I've still got plenty of juice left in this baby.” He’s talking about the lawnmower, yet his words definitely sound sexual.

I try to put that thought out of my head, focusing my attention on my cadence

and the sound of my feet on the pavement. One-two. One-two. Hot bare-chested guy a few feet away. Focusing isn't my strong suit right now. Aiden's words break through my thoughts. “So you’re someone people want dead.” Do people want me dead? Not right this minute; at least I don't think so. “I didn’t say that.” “Are you going to tell me if I guess right?” “Are you going to tell me who you are?” I counter.

“Nah. I like it this way. So… have you ever hooked up with someone whose last name you didn’t know?”

I choke back a laugh. "Is that your lame version of a pick-up line?"

"I'm just trying to get to know my neighbor, Grace No-Last-Name. It's a reasonable question." "It's not a reasonable question." He ignores me. "You don't look like a pop star or a model, so that’s out.” "Hey! What's that supposed to mean? Are you following me just so you can heckle me?" This time when I glance over at him, I see his cheeks redden. Is Mr. No Shame embarrassed? “I meant that you’re not all, like, super skinny and shit.” “That's not helping."

“If you want me to tell you exactly how hot your ass looks in that running gear, I can. I was just trying to class it up a bit.”

I laugh. "That’s appreciated.”

“So you’re not a rock star or a model and you’re not super famous -” “How do you know I’m not super famous?” “You don’t have any fans following you.” “This is a gated neighborhood.” “Good point. But you don’t look super famous, which clearly means that you're in in witness protection.”

“You’re suggesting that I’m being followed by bodyguards because I’m trying to not call attention to my brand new government-provided identity?” “Well, when you say it that way, it just sounds ridiculous.” We’re rounding the corner, and when Aiden slows down, I find myself slowing down and then stopping instead of running ahead. "Had enough of guessing?” He looks at his watch. “I have to be somewhere.”

I raise my eyebrows. "Hot date?”

I don’t even know this guy’s last name, but the thought of him with another woman sets me on edge.

“Jealous?"

“Definitely not jealous,” I lie, giving a casual shrug. "Have fun on your date, Bongos.” "It's trainin—uh, work," he says. He starts to back up his lawnmower and spin around as I turn to jog away. Then he pauses, looking back at me to call, “You’re a drug lord, aren’t you? Some kind of crime kingpin.” I laugh. "You got me.” “See you around, sugar."

7

NOAH

A iden stands in my kitchen in workout clothes, making a protein shake. When I

walk in, he whistles. "That’s some fancy-ass shit.” “Shut up, jackass." I straighten the collar of my shirt. I feel as ridiculous as I look in this outfit. There’s a reason I don’t wear tuxedos. Aside from the fact that I try to avoid doing anything that requires a tux (or a suit, for that matter), they don’t make tuxedos in “football player” size. This thing had to be tailored for me, which seems like an insane amount of effort and expense to go to in order to attend a swanky ten thousand dollar per plate fundraiser. Going to the fundraiser was not my idea. It was my agent’s idea, since apparently I'm more marketable if I show up at a public event or two, mind my manners, and pretend I like being around people. The real reason I’m going is that it’s for a good cause, even if it's going to be a room full of uber wealthy snobs eating caviar to benefit a foundation run by the daughter of the President of the United States. "Why are you going to this again?" Aiden asks. "Because I'm donating my ranch to a foundation for the summer, and this fundraiser is to benefit the foundation." "For what?" "The foundation gives deserving kids a chance to spend time on a ranch – learn life skills, that kind of thing." "Shit, are you having a mid-life crisis? First you move into this place, and now you're not going to spend the summer at your ranch being grouchy and avoiding everyone? You're going to let a bunch of kids have the run of your property? You don’t even like kids.” "Fuck off." Aiden presses the button on the blender in response. When he stops, he pours an extra-large protein shake into a cup and takes a swig. "Remember to put your pinky up when you're drinking champagne. It's classier like that." "I think I'll pass on the etiquette lessons from the guy who walked into my kitchen the other day with his junk hanging out."

W HAT THE HELL was I thinking, agreeing to this? I've been here for an

WHAT THE HELL was I thinking, agreeing to this? I've been here for an hour, and so far it's been a parade of rich old men and their trophy wives or girlfriends asking to take photos with me while offering condescending condolences about the team's big game loss in February, as if I'm personally crushed because the team didn't win. I’m not, by the way. I'm still a little pissed off about it, though. More so now that I’ve been reminded of it about a hundred times.

I knew this fundraiser was a bad idea. Normally, I'd never do something public

like this. Make donations? Sure. I've done lots of those. But I’ve never donated my

ranch before – it was the first major thing I bought after I got signed in Denver. For the past few summers, in between seasons, I go out to the ranch and decompress, away from everything and everyone. This summer is different, though, because I’m in negotiations and I can’t hole up away from everybody, as much as I want to do just that. So when my agent came to me a few months back with info about this charity, the idea of donating the ranch just popped into my head.

I should have anticipated that my cutthroat agent would want to maximize the

public relations part of that donation as much as possible, which is why I’m reluctantly at a fancy event where I’m supposed to smile and pretend to be interested in what a bunch of wealthy people who are completely out of touch with

reality are talking about. I realize the irony of saying that when I've played on a multi-million dollar contract for the past four years, but even now, I have a hard time seeing myself as wealthy. I'm still the same poor kid from West Bend, and I always will be. Before long, I find myself at the bar, asking for the bartender to put something into a glass - anything, just to take the edge off. "Surprise me," I tell him.

I down the liquid – whiskey - grimacing as the alcohol burns my throat before

crossing the room and dodging too many self-important people outfitted in black tie attire to count as I walk out of the ballroom to the front hallway, planning to head outside to get some fresh air. Okay, I’m actually planning to hide out and maybe read on my phone for a little while until I dart back inside to make an appearance at dinner, then get the hell right out of here. The hallway is deserted compared to the crowd in the ballroom, only a few stragglers on their cell phones and one couple walking toward the entrance to the ballroom. A man with salt-and-pepper hair and a young redhead on his arm brags loudly to her about the size of his private jet. Talk about overcompensation. As I brush past them, the redhead gasps. “Noah Ashby!” I nod and smile, dodging them before I’m dragged into another boring conversation. I’m so preoccupied with congratulating myself for my expert evasive maneuvering that I don’t notice the girl in front of me – or her dress – until too late. Everything that occurs next seems to happen in slow motion. I swear, the sound of tearing is amplified by a million. I look down to see my foot on the back of a long

red dress that trails on the floor. My eyes follow the dress up as the silky material skims softly around the curves of a woman’s hips, to her trim waist, to the creamy smoothness of her back where the material – Oh shit. I broke the straps on her shoulders – the straps that were on her shoulders when I stepped on the back of the dress. I lift my foot quickly, but instead of moving away from her dress, the material somehow clings to my shoe, and I step down again, catching it under my foot a second time. The woman shrieks, stumbling backward against me. Reaching out instinctively, I catch her as she lands with oomph, her back colliding with my chest. Then, a flash goes off in my eyes. Someone – probably some asshole reporter covering the event – just took a photo of the brunette whose arms are draped over mine. I look down at the woman. The woman whose dress I just stepped on, tearing the straps and causing the top to slide right down over her breasts. The woman who’s struggling to upright herself, reaching for the top of her dress to hold it up, only to find it’s caught under my feet and when I try to step off of it, she falls back against me even harder. The brunette who someone just grabbed a photo of topless. As the next flash goes off, I do the only thing I can think of. I hold my palms up in front of her tits to block them from the guy taking the photo. But she chooses that exact moment to stand upright, lunging forward and straight into my hands. Specifically, pushing her tits right into them. Which means that I’m now standing here, wearing a tuxedo at a fancy- schmancy charity event, holding the boobs of some rich girl. She shrieks. “Oh my God, are you groping me?” Before I can answer, hands are on my arms. “Mr. Ashby, step away from the President’s daughter.” The President’s daughter? Oh, hell. The woman whirls around, one hand gripping the top of her dress and yanking it up over her breasts, her green eyes flashing. Brown hair frames her face, cascading in waves over her shoulders. Her cheeks are flushed scarlet, although whether it’s from anger or embarrassment, I can’t tell. Probably embarrassment. Scratch that. She looks pretty damn irate. “Oh my God. I recognize you. You’re the – the football player who’s donating his ranch,” she hisses. Her nostrils flare again. Holy shit. The photos of her in magazines don’t do her a damn bit of justice. They’re absolutely nothing compared to the woman standing in front of me right now. The one whose tits I just grabbed. Shit. I just felt up Grace Sullivan, the daughter of the President of the United States.

And it was caught on camera. Good publicity from this event just went right out the fucking window. Hell, I’m probably about to end up getting waterboarded in a windowless room somewhere. If I'm lucky. I hold my hands up as two agents pat me down. Meanwhile, the President's daughter stands there gaping at me, her mouth open. For a fleeting moment, I consider asking if she's staring at me because she's stunned by my good looks or because she's never taken a photo with a football player's hands on her tits before. But I reconsider that since she's wearing stilettos and I'm certain she wouldn't hesitate to use one as a deadly weapon. She looks like she'd have good aim. “I was not groping you,” I begin my defense. Her hand grips her dress around her breasts - the same breasts I just cupped. I glance down because now I can’t stop thinking about her tits. When she notices, the flush on her cheeks intensifies and her eyes go wider. “Your hands were on my boobs.” “Ma’am, the Secret Service will detain and -“ “Wait, detain me?” I was a good boy and stood still for a second while the Secret Service agents patted me down, but detain me for what was clearly a fucking accident? I don’t think so. “I stepped on your dress, but the whole boob-groping thing was really your fault, not mine, sweetheart.” “Sweetheart?!” She straightens up, standing taller as she steps closer to me. One of the agents puts her hand up to separate us, but she swats it away. “I can handle a belligerent drunk, Brooks." “Belligerent drunk?” I ask, bristling. “First of all, I’m not drunk. And just because I'm right doesn't mean I'm belligerent." "Because you're right? So those weren't, in fact, your hands on my breasts?" "Look, sweetheart. I don't go around groping women. I stepped on your dress, but you fell into me. And that flash went off because someone was taking a photo, so I put my hands up to shield your tits from the photo. Like a gentleman.” “Like a gentleman?” she squeals. “That's right. I wasn’t even touching your tits. Not until you pitched forward and fell into my hands. That was your doing, not mine.” "You've got to be kidding me," she starts. Then a look of panic passes over her face, and she pauses. “Who took the photo?” She looks up at Brooks and Davis. "Obviously, the photos need to be deleted… Oh, God. My dad is going to be here any minute. He'll flip out." Her dad. The President of the United States. "I'll take care of the reporter,” I blurt out. The last thing I need is for a photo of me groping the President's daughter to circulate around the tabloids. I could kiss a potential lucrative contract right the hell goodbye. "He went out the front door. He won’t have gotten far." One of the agents puts up her hand to stop me. “Sir, you need to stay here.” Yeah, right. “I think I can take care of a fucking reporter,” I growl. “Unless you want to keep questioning me about whether or not I touched her tits on purpose.”

The Secret Service agent stares at me, her expression unchanging. “Seriously?” I look at the President’s daughter. "Let him," she says. The agent looks at her questioningly, and she shakes her head, sighing. "The groping…it was accidental.” At least she admitted it. As if I’d purposely grope a girl, much less the President’s daughter. I take off after the reporter. I can see the headlines now – Football Player Assaults Daughter of the President. Hell, could this night get any worse?

8

GRACE

G od, could this night get any better?" Vi stands in front of me in a private room

in the event building with a needle and thread in her hand, sewing the straps back onto my dress. Fortunately for me, Vi has always had a penchant for fashion design and carries a sewing kit in her purse "for fashion emergencies." Her skill with a needle and thread has come in handy on more than one occasion, and the girl can work magic with a little duct tape. "Are you insane? Better? What on Earth could make this night worse?" "I don't know. Let's see… assassination attempt? Someone chokes on their steak at dinner? Car accident? Poisoning? You lean over a candle and your hair catches fire?" "That was a rhetorical question. You're a little morbid tonight." "It's a gift." Vi shrugs. "Oh, here's another one." "Another cause of death?" "Of course not. Another thing that could make this night worse." I exhale heavily. "What?" "If it hadn't been Noah Ashby that had ripped your dress off and touched your ta-tas. If it had been Senator Richards, that would have been infinitely worse…" I nearly choke. Senator Richards is approaching eighty and has a reputation for being rather handsy. He's an equal-opportunity groper, too, crossing party lines and earning him the disgust of pretty much every woman on the Hill. "That's disgusting, Vi." "You had Noah Ashby's hands on your boobs. By default, that makes this the opposite of a bad night." Heat rushes through me when I think about Noah Ashby's hands. His very large hands, calloused and rough, warm against my skin. The entire thing – my dress tearing, flashing the world, falling against Noah's massive chest… and getting groped by Noah Ashby… was unexpected, to say the least. So was my physical reaction to his touch, the arousal that coursed through my body like electricity. I tell myself that it was just a physical reaction, pure instinct, and occurring solely because it's been a long time since a man put his hands on my breasts. That’s what I told myself as I watched him take off out of the building after

"

the guy who took the salacious photos, and that’s what I reassured myself again as I walked back to this room, the throbbing between my legs insistent. It was purely a physical response that had nothing to do with Noah Ashby. The man was unlikeable in every way, a gruff, arrogant caveman who called me “sweetheart” like I needed a pat on the head. He was a stereotypical cocky professional athlete. Of course, he did donate his ranch to the charity for the summer.

I refuse to cut him any slack for that. Professional athletes are always doing stuff like that just to get good press.

I clear my throat. "Not by choice," I tell her primly.

Vi clucks her tongue. "I'd let him touch my boobs anytime. He's delicious." A look of annoyance must flicker across my face because Vi laughs. "Relax, girl. I'm not going to go after your hot neighbor." "What?" I ask, confused. "What does my neighbor have to do with Noah Ashby?" "Noah Ashby is your neighbor! I told you, I looked up who bought the house. It

wasn't exactly public record, but I was curious, so I asked this guy that I used to date - anyway, how I found out is beside the point. I tried to tell you before you went over there, but you weren't having any of it. You've already seen him naked and now he's grabbed your boobs. You might as well get it over with and get his throbbing rod inside you already."

I ignore Vi's crude euphemism because I'm preoccupied with the whole neighbor

thing. "But I didn't see Noah Ashby naked. He's not my neighbor." She looks at me skeptically. "Are you sure? You did have wine that night. You know how you get after two glasses of wine. You have the lowest alcohol tolerance of anyone I've ever met." That much is true. You'd think with all of the dinners and events I've had to attend, I wouldn't be such a lightweight, but that's definitely not the case. In fact,

I'd be a terrible spy – three glasses of wine and I'd be spilling state secrets like crazy.

I bring my attention back to Vi. "Yes, I'm sure. I was tipsy, not blind. And the

neighbor is definitely not Noah Ashby." "So you've gotten to second base with Noah Ashby and you got a private nudie show from another hot guy in the last few days? And you're asking how things could get any worse? You should be thanking the universe for dropping two hot guys in your lap – especially after the long drought you've had." "It was not a nudie show," I correct. "At least, not for me. Brooks and Davis saw more of my neighbor than I did." Two hot guys. My heart skips a beat thinking about her words. Two hot muscled guys who were shamelessly flirting with me. Well, one of them was, anyway. Noah wasn't flirting. The only reason I was inclined to believe that he wasn’t purposely groping me was that he seemed more irritated about touching my boobs than anything else. That fact alone makes my physical response to him all the more

pathetic. My "long drought", as Vi put it, clearly has made me desperate. Vi's laughter interrupts my thoughts. "Oh wow. You have the hots for both of them." My brow furrows. "I do not." "Oh, please. I saw that look on your face. How long have I known you? As if I don't know what that look means." "It means nothing because there was no look. I spent exactly one minute with Noah Ashby, and I think he’s the most obnoxious person I’ve ever met,” I protest. “He’s almost as bad as my neighbor. Anyway, Noah is just a donor, and I’m going to go out there and thank him for his donation and never see him again. And we’re both going to pretend that he never saw my boobs.” "Technically, he's only felt them, since you were facing the opposite direction." "I'm sure he'll see them on the camera, if he can get the photos from the reporter. And if not, he'll see them on the cover of a tabloid, just like everyone else in America. I can already picture the headlines now: "‘First Boobs! President Sullivan's Daughter Bares All! Singlehandedly Destroys Father’s Chances of Re- election!’” "'Star-Spangled Tits,'" Vi chimes in. "Oh, God, what if Noah is getting hold of the photos so he can sell them?" I ask, panic rising in my chest. “Why didn’t you just send Brooks and Davis after the guy?” “They can’t go take down a reporter. That would make things worse. My Secret Service detail suppressing a reporter’s First Amendment rights in order to get photos of my boobs back? That would make a great article.” The prick of a needle stings my skin. "Ouch! Watch where you're pointing that thing, Vi!" "Maybe if you'd hold still for a second, I wouldn't be stabbing you with a needle," Vi admonishes, yanking on the strap in her hands for emphasis. "Maybe if you'd hurry up, we could go see whether I need to have a full-fledged panic attack because I'm going to be half-naked on the cover of magazines across the country - or whether photos of my boobs are going to be passed around the locker room of the football team like some kind of joke - before my dad gets here." "Holy shit, your dad will have an absolute meltdown. Do you think he'll have Noah murdered?" she jokes. "Even worse. He'll do that thing he does." I mimic my father's voice. "'Grace Monroe Sullivan, I'm profoundly disappointed by the fact that you've caused the spotlight to be focused on you and not on the re-election campaign.’” Vi snorts. "Oh, please. Family values, my ass. If that photo of you and Noah polled well, your dad would make it his freaking campaign poster." I wrinkle my nose. "Can we not talk about my father and a topless photo of me and a football player in the same sentence again?" "Fine. Let's go find these incriminating photos. Just so you know, I'm totally going to look at them, by the way, since I missed all of the excitement earlier." I slap her lightly on the arm. "I forbid you to look at the photos. And I’d like to

point out that you wouldn't have missed anything if you hadn't been putting the moves on that tech billionaire." "What can I say? Stanford Jones is hot in a rich, nerdy way. Beside, it's not like I have two gorgeous men throwing themselves at me." "No one is throwing themselves at anyone," I remind her as we step out of the room. Standing just outside the room in the hallway, Brooks is talking into her earpiece. "Ma'am, your father is en route." I groan. So much for tracking Noah down and finding out whether he got the photos. "So soon?" "Yes, ma'am." "Did the football player get the camera?" I whisper the question to Brooks, even though we're the only ones back in these rooms, which have already been cleared and secured by the Secret Service in preparation for my father's arrival. She doesn't have time to answer before I hear my father's voice booming down the hall. "Grace Monroe Sullivan, why on Earth are you back here instead of soliciting donations?" I'm not sure if he's talking about soliciting donations for the foundation or for his campaign. Actually, scratch that. I'm positive he'd pick his campaign over needy kids. That statement sounds bitter, but it's not. I came to terms with my father's single-mindedness a long time ago. It's not that he doesn't care about other people; he does, and he's done great things as President that have helped a lot of people. That's why his approval rating is so high. Well, that and my father is immensely charismatic. But he does have priorities, and priority number one is getting elected to a second term. At this point, that's really considered to be in the bag. But that won't stop my father from campaigning to win until he's certain the election is entirely locked down. It's what he does, part of who he is. Beside me, Vi snickers. "Grace Monroe Sullivan," she says softly, her voice low in an imitation of my father's. "Hello to you too, Dad," I call as my parents approach, flanked by their Secret Service personnel. "And Mom." "How many times have I told you not to refer to me as 'Mom'?" Katherine Sullivan stops short of me, her eyes scanning down the length of my body. I know what she's doing without her even having to say a word. She's evaluating me, deciding which part of my attire or presentation should be changed. It's what she's always done for as long as I can remember. It hasn't stopped, even though I'm an adult. Actually, I think it's gotten worse over the years. "You know that I can't stand that casual language. I've always been 'Mother' and that hasn't changed in the month since I last saw you." Standing beside her, my father rolls his eyes, but she doesn't catch it. Or more likely, she caught it and ignored it. "Katherine, leave the girl alone. At least she still calls us Mom and Dad, and not Kathy and Art."

I

giggle at the thought, even as my mother visibly recoils, her face contorted in

an expression of horror. My mother has never been the casual type. Even when my parents campaigned in the mid-west and my mother tried to dress "like a regular person”, she still looked out of place. She's one of those women who belong in another decade. The magazines call her this century's Jackie O, and my mother couldn't be more pleased with the comparison. She's always been more “afternoon tea and country club” than “jeans and shopping at Target”. "Honestly, Arthur, you shouldn't even joke like that. It's unseemly." Her eyes linger on my shoulders and she narrows them slightly. "Is your dress torn?" "Not anymore," Vi says. "I stitched the straps back into place." "Well, you simply can't wear that dress, Grace. Where's your backup gown?" "I don't have a backup gown." "How many years have you been attending events like this, Grace? You didn’t bring a backup gown?" "It doesn’t look torn," my father interjects. "It looks fine to me." "Well, you would be wearing plaid ties if I didn't dress you," my mother says stiffly. "I like plaid ties. They're distinctive." "They're not Presidential." "They could be your trademark, part of your brand," Vi suggests. "The President in Plaid." "Am I a brand?" my father asks. "Of course you're a brand," my mother sniffs. "Aren't we all," Vi adds wistfully. "No, we're not all brands," I protest, more out of discomfort with the notion than in disagreement. If my parents had their way, I'd be wearing campaign attire twenty-four hours a day. As it is, I'm enough of a walking advertisement for my father just by being his daughter.

"Don't be obtuse," my mother says, sighing. "Well, at least you're wearing red, Grace. Thank God for small mercies. Red doesn't wash you out nearly as much as some other colors."

I clear my throat, anxious to get my mother to direct her attention away from her critique of me and my wardrobe choices. "Should we go?"

"Sure thing, kiddo," my father says. He puts his hand on my shoulder. "Now, what am I talking about tonight?"

I groan. "Dad, it's the foundation fundraiser. You already know "

"I'm kidding, Gracie. Of course I know it’s the foundation fundraiser.”

I exhale heavily. "I'm a little on edge."

"It's because she needs a vacation," Vi chimes in. "Or a good hard –" "Let's go out there already, Vi," I say, heavily emphasizing her name as I give her a "cut it out" look. "A good hard what?" my father asks, oblivious to the innuendo behind Vi's words.

"Nothing," I reply, clearing my throat again. "Shall we go?" My mother doesn't miss the implication. "You know, I spoke with Eleanor Redding last week. Her son Brandon is attending tonight with her and I told her that you'd be thrilled to connect with him. He graduated tenth in his class at Yale, law review at Harvard Law School, and he's working in international –" "Thanks, Mother, but this is a charity event." I cut her off before she can say anything else about a lawyer I should be dating. Or a banker I should be dating. Or the billionaire son of billionaire parents who are politically well-connected that she'd love to marry me off to. The last guy she forced me to go out on a date with spent the whole time showing me photos of his yacht. No thanks. "I'd rather focus on the charity, if it's all the same to you." "Perfect. You can sweet-talk Brandon into donating to the foundation," she says. Great job, Grace. I walked right into that one. But I'd rather sweet talk Noah. The thought pops into my head, causing my cheeks to heat as we walk to the ballroom. What the hell is wrong with me lately? It's bad enough I can't stop fantasizing about one totally inappropriate guy, but two?

9

NOAH

some kind of miracle, I make it through all five courses of the dinner – or was

it six? I endure the man beside me who badgers me for inside information about

other players so he can place wagers on next season's games, wink-wink-nudge- nudging me as he downs scotch after scotch and talks about how he understands

the game because he played football in college. I even survive the old woman next to me who insists on showing me photos and giving me the phone number of her married granddaughter, despite my protests against it, because "her no-good husband doesn't deserve her and you look like a fine young man".

I don't stab anyone with a fork, which is really commendable, in my opinion. I

B y

don't make any scenes. Somehow, I even manage to smile during the meal. All of that is a big deal – after all, my public demeanor has gotten me into hot water

before. Apparently, telling reporters to “fuck off” when they’re up your ass trying to interview you after a game is frowned upon.

I blame my tolerance for this bullshit on her – the President’s daughter. I’m

distracted by her during the entire dinner, catching glimpses of her from across the room. She's hard to miss in that red dress, although truthfully she could be wearing a paper bag and she'd still be the hottest woman I’ve ever seen. I catch her eyes at one point, and I think I see her blush, an immediate reminder of where my hands were earlier tonight. I’d give just about anything to put them there again. The thought of my hands on her breasts makes my cock twitch, and I have to shift in my seat, returning my thoughts to whatever the hell boring bullshit that the guy beside me is talking about, just so that I don't get a boner right here in the middle of this event. And for the President's daughter, no less. I've got no call getting a hard-on for a girl like that. First of all, she’s out of my league. Even if she weren’t the President’s daughter, every part of the way she carries herself would telegraph that fact loud and clear. She’s classy, practically regal, every inch of her political royalty. She’s also a rich snob. I remind myself of that fact. A girl like her, born and bred into a family like that is definitely not down-to-earth. That much is true, no matter how hot that girl is. No matter how much the thought of her soft skin and her firm

breasts make me want to pick her up and press her hard up against the nearest wall, thrust my cock inside her, and make her moan. She’s one of the rich and powerful. Hell, she’s the daughter of the most powerful man on earth. People like Aiden and I – poor kids from Colorado who got rich because we play sports – don't get with girls like that, even if we have all the money in the world. And I wouldn't want to anyway. Rich girls are the exact opposite of my type. Still, that doesn't stop me from watching the way that silky dress skims over her curves as she walks, or the way she smiles as she tucks an errant strand of hair behind her ear when she talks to someone. The President makes a speech at the end of the dinner, with Grace standing behind him on the stage with the First Lady. He talks about charitable giving and the foundation and how proud he is of his daughter - and his campaign, of course. This event is obviously a thinly veiled way of drumming up campaign donations, more than it is about supporting his daughter's charity work. When he mentions his campaign, Grace's face pales, but she smiles and applauds with the rest of the room. Her smile doesn’t quite reach her eyes, though. It rubs me the wrong way that she's standing there behind him like a prop accompanying him on the campaign trail when it's her foundation that should be the focus of the evening. I'm irritated by it and I don't know why. I shouldn't be, because it's none of my business. I don't even know the first thing about her, or any of them. All I know is that in the few minutes out there in the hallway, the girl I saw – the one who stood with her hands on her waist, glaring at me with her nostrils flared – had some fire in her veins. She didn't seem like the kind of girl to hang back and smile demurely while deferring to anyone, which is exactly what she's standing there doing right now. I shake off those thoughts, because it's none of my damn business. After the speech, I head right for the door because I'm tired of rich people and I’m pretty sure the longer I stay here, the greater the chance there is of me doing something that's not good for my image. I'm going to sneak out quietly - or at least as quietly as a guy my size can. Until she catches me. I know it's Grace’s hand on my arm before I even turn around to look. "Mr. Ashby." "Ms. Sullivan." When I face her, I’m looking down into those striking green eyes. Hell, everything about this woman is striking. She pauses for a moment, her lips parted just slightly. She's wearing this lipstick, fire engine red, that perfectly matches the color of her dress, and I can't stop staring at it. In that moment, the image of her on her knees, those bright red painted lips wrapped around my cock, flashes into my head. My dick twitches just thinking about it. Getting a hard-on in this setting is the last thing I need. I clear my throat and try to push that thought out of my head before she decides I'm some kind of pervert.

Then Grace leans close to me, her lips turned up at the edges in a playful smile. "I think, since we've been to second base already, you can call me by my first name." Well, maybe Little Miss Perfect has a sense of humor after all. "Okay. Grace, then." She pulls the corner of her lower lip into her mouth and I think I hear her inhale sharply. She's standing so close to me that I can smell her perfume, light and airy and not at all what I'd imagine someone like her – cool, calm, and professional – would wear. "Noah," she says, her voice soft. The second the word leaves her lips, I picture her calling out my name, her head against the pillow, her face upturned toward mine as I drive into her. Noah… Noah. Just standing near this girl is killing me. "Grace!" a woman's voice interrupts, and whatever moment passed between us is immediately broken as Grace turns to smile politely and answer a few questions. I could easily take the opportunity to leave, and that’s what I should do, except that I find myself not wanting to go. Grace breaks off the conversation quickly, gesturing at me to follow her as she weaves through the crowd. She smiles graciously at people, but her security detail does a good job of subtly whisking her out of the room. They open a door manned by a Secret Service agent, and I follow Grace down a hallway and into a private room as one of the women in her security detail clears the room perfunctorily and then walks wordlessly outside. I wait until the agent is gone to speak. "If you wanted to get to second base again, all you had to do was say so," I say, regretting my words nearly the second they leave my mouth. Yeah, that’s fucking classy, Noah. A look of confusion passes over her face. "I didn't want to – you think I brought you back here so I could… so we could –?" "First you put your tits in my hands, and now you're dragging me to a back room." I don’t know why I say it, except for wishful thinking on my part. There’s just something about this girl who got so riled up in the hallway earlier, with her cheeks flushed pink and her blue eyes flashing, that brings out some juvenile part of me. I just want to get her riled up again. She’s so damn hot when she’s angry. She narrows her eyes. "I did not put my tits in your hands," she says. "And I certainly did not drag you back here so I could do… whatever with you." She actually looks offended - offended and pissed off. I'm not going to lie, though, pissed off is a damn good look on her. "No?" She hesitates. "No.” “Well, that’s disappointing.” She blushes. A faint pink tinge colors her cheeks and I’m unnaturally pleased with myself for causing that blush. I know I shouldn’t be hitting on her – this is a bad idea on so many levels – but somehow I can't seem to help myself.

"Did you get the… you know? The photos?" "They're gone. Erased." Her eyebrows go up. "You got them?" "The photos aren't going anywhere." I leave out how much I agreed to pay the guy to delete the pictures. I thought about keeping one just to show Aiden – and maybe to print out and frame because he’d never believe what happened otherwise - but I didn’t. I deleted all of them because of the principle of the thing. Sometimes having principles is a real drag. "Is the photographer…alive?" she asks. "No, I killed him and left his body outside in the middle of the street with a sign that says, ‘This is what happens when you take photos of the President’s daughter.’” She narrows her eyes. "There's no need for sarcasm. You're… large and a football player. It's not an entirely unreasonable question." I choke back a laugh. "Because I'm a football player, you think that I pummeled some reporter into the ground over a few photos?" "Isn't that what you do for a job?" she asks. At first, I think she's joking, but she looks at me blankly. It makes me irritated, the way she asks it, like I'm some kind of hired thug. "I play football. I don't break people's legs for a living." She shrugs, but her cheeks are pink again, embarrassment coloring her face. "I don't really watch the game." "Of course you don't." "What's that supposed to mean?" she asks, her voice tight, obviously bristling at my statement. "Girls like you don't watch football." "Girls like me?" She draws herself up straighter, standing closer to me, her hand on her hip. "You're not a drink-beer-and-watch-football kind of girl. Let me guess. You have season tickets to the opera?" "You don't know anything about me." "I know your tits aren't fake." Her face colors. "You're a pig." I think I must be a pig, because hours after touching this girl, I can still feel her skin under my hands, smooth and soft and silky. Now I want more. In fact, I’ve never wanted to tear a dress off a woman as much as I want to destroy the silky little red number that Grace is wearing right now. "Why did you really bring me back here?" I ask, stepping closer to her. I shouldn’t be stepping closer to a girl like this. I should be backing off, walking the hell away from her. I half-expect her to push me away – or hell, call for her security – but she doesn't. She doesn’t move an inch. "To ask you about the pictures," she says, her jaw set but her voice falters. "To ask me about the pictures," I repeat. "The ones with my hands on your

breasts." She swallows hard. "That's right." I can’t help doing what I do next, even though it’s the last thing I should be doing. I touch my fingertips to her arm, running my fingers over her skin until I reach her shoulder. She doesn’t flinch, doesn’t pull away a bit when I touch her. Instead, she makes a little whimpering sound. Oh, hell. That sound makes me hard as a rock. My cock immediately springs to attention under my tuxedo, and I slide my hand to the nape of her neck, pulling her hair as I turn her face toward mine. I’m very nearly about to crush her lips under mine, when there's a knock on the door. Fuck. I think I groan the word aloud. "Ma'am, the President and –" The Secret Service agent barely finishes what she's saying before a woman pushes her way inside the door. "Grace, your Mom and Dad are –" Grace jumps away from me like she's been shocked by electricity, clearing her throat loudly. "Vi, this is Noah Ashby. Noah Ashby, this is Vi Scott." "Oh," Vi says, smiling as she looks between us. She makes no attempt to hide it when she checks me out, her arms crossed over her chest as her eyes trail down the length of my body. When her gaze reaches my pants, tented by my obvious erection, she raises her eyebrows and grins. "Ohhh." "Vi, this is not what it looks like –" Grace starts. "Oh, please. I hope this is exactly what it looks like,” Vi says, rolling her eyes. “You – Boob Guy. Good work with that. She hasn’t gotten to second base in a long time. She’s practically a nun.” “Vi!” Grace exclaims. “Oh, yeah, one other thing. Your parents are right behind me, Grace.” "Gracie, your mother and I are –" the President's voice booms as he enters the room, and it's a good thing Grace's friend barged in just a second before, causing my boner to rapidly deflate, because meeting the President of the United States while sporting a hard-on isn't one of the things on my bucket list. "Noah Ashby." "Mr. President." Fucking hell, the President of the United States knows my name? I might not like the guy – he’s always had kind of a smarmy, self-important air about him, with all his preaching about family values – but I’ll admit that I’m a little star-struck right now. He looks back and forth between me and his daughter, his brow furrowing for only a second before his face brightens in an affable smile. "That was a hell of a game you played at the end of last season.” "Thank you, sir." I think I remember hearing that the President was a big football fan, but it’s a completely different experience hearing the President congratulate you personally. "Shame about the last quarter.” “Yes it was, Mr. President.”

“You’re working with Grace’s foundation, isn’t that right?” he asks. Beside him, the First Lady gives me a cool stare. “I’ve donated my ranch for one of the summer programs.” “That’s fantastic. I’m always impressed when athletes are willing to get personally involved in charities, especially when they’re such good ones.” The way he says it, I’m not sure he even knows what the cause is. “I’m sure the kids are going to be thrilled to have you working with them one on one.” One on one? That’s a big assumption. Kids and I don’t exactly get along. “Oh, I don’t -” “He’s donated his ranch,” Grace says. “I'm sure Mr. Ashby doesn't have the time to be personally involved in the actual session at the ranch, especially since it’s two weeks away.” The First Lady puts her hand on the President’s arm. “Just because our daughter insists on camping with children every summer doesn’t mean that everyone has the inclination to do the same. I’m sure you have plenty of summer training to do, don’t you, Mr. Ashby?” She smiles at me, but her voice is unmistakably chilly. I get the distinct impression that she’s doesn’t like the fact that she and the President walked in on her daughter and I in this room alone, and it irritates me. That’s the only possible explanation I have for why I say what I say next. I’ve never taken kindly to people telling me what I should and shouldn’t do, and the fact that this woman seems bent on discouraging me from being near her daughter only makes me want to do it more - even if she's the First Lady. “Actually, I've been looking for opportunities to be more directly involved in charitable organizations," I say, my voice even. "In fact, I really enjoy being hands- on." Grace’s friend Vi hides a smile behind her hand even as Grace's face pales.

10

GRACE

N oah Ashby would be a good celebrity endorsement," my father notes not less

than a minute after Noah walks out of the room. My cheeks still feel like they're on fire after the lingering glance Noah gave me before he left - the look I hope my parents didn’t catch. Of course, Vi did, which is why she’s giving me a wide-eyed meaningful stare from across the room. I know that expression – that's Vi's "we so need to talk about this right away" look. "He would," Vi says, raising her eyebrows as she looks at me again. "You should talk to him about that, Grace." "Me?" I squeak. "I don't think that –" "I’m sure you’ll be working with him closely, since he’s involved with the charity,” my father says. “Very closely,” Vi says, and I give her my best glare of fury. My mother narrows her eyes at us, but my father is completely oblivious, preoccupied with the campaign. “Endorsements from professional athletes play well with a younger crowd." "But you already have the Colorado vote sewn up," I protest. "You won the primary by a landslide. You don’t need a celebrity endorsement. Besides, you don't even know his political affiliation. He might not be a Sullivan supporter.” "More votes never hurt," my father reminds me. "His political affiliation is irrelevant. You know as well as I do that endorsements are purchased. Everyone has a price, and I want to know his.” As soon as my father speaks the words, I know he’s made up his mind. He’s already decided that Noah Ashby is going to be at the ranch, and there’s no changing my father’s mind once he’s made a decision. My mother purses her lips. "I don't think she'll necessarily be working with him that closely with the charity," she interrupts. "And he'd need to be vetted before an endorsement, of course. If any sort of scandal is attached to his name…" Vi snorts. "You're joking, right?" "Pardon?" my mother asks, her lips pursed again, her tone practically saturated in disdain. She's never liked Vi, not even when Vi's father and mine worked together in Colorado. Vi is well aware of that, which is why she enjoys pushing my

"

mother's buttons. "If there's a scandal attached to his name?" Vi asks, clearly determined to get under my mother’s skin by pointing out how my father has already decided that I’m going to be working with someone who’s the exact opposite of the kind of man my mother wants me to date. "Noah Ashby isn't exactly a choirboy." "See? Scandal. He's out," my mother tells my father. "Your entire platform is based on old-fashioned family values. Any whiff of a scandal would taint the campaign." "What kind of scandal?" I ask before I even realize I'm speaking, my curiosity immediately overruling any common sense I have. I shouldn’t care about Noah Ashby’s scandals, I tell myself. I don’t care, because I’m not the least little bit interested in the professional football player. Not at all. Besides, I’m sure he hasn’t done anything as scandalous as my neighbor Aiden and his public nudity. That makes two men I’ve met recently who are definitely not choirboys. Two men who make my heart race. Two men I shouldn’t be the least bit interested in. "Nothing terrible," Vi says. "No drugs or anything like that." "Domestic violence?" my mother asks. "No. Adolescent male behavior. Streaking, boozing, that kind of thing." "So that's adolescent male behavior now?" Despite the seriousness of the conversation, I can’t refrain from teasing Vi, who was infamous for leading our high school senior class in streaking through the library. Always the mature adult, Vi sticks her tongue out at me. "We'll vet him first," my father decides, dismissing everyone's concerns with a quick wave of his hand. "Isn't he up for contract renewal?" My father asks the question casually, as if he doesn't know the answer. It’s one of my father’s tricks – the casual question. In reality, my father never asks a question he doesn’t already know the answer to. He’s an avid football fan. He clearly already knows everything about Noah Ashby without any of us telling him a thing. "What does that matter?" presses my mother. "If he's up for renewal, he has to play it straight. Everyone loves a redemption story. Grace will be working with him. Run it by him, will you, Grace?" It's not a suggestion or a question. It's a direct order from the Commander in Chief. I clear my throat. "Yes, Dad.” Working closely with Noah Ashby? I don’t know whether to be excited or terrified. "Speaking of redemption stories," my mother interrupts, “you really need to be seen with someone appropriate during the campaign season, Grace. People are starting to wonder if you're a lesbian, and a lesbian daughter doesn’t poll well with voters.”

“You took polls on my sexuality?” I ask, utterly appalled. I don’t know why I’m surprised in the least. Nothing my parents do when it comes to campaigning should surprise me anymore. "Well, there was that time in boarding school…" Vi jokes. I throw her an icy look. "What people are wondering this?" I ask, my voice frosty. "I don't see why I need to date someone because of the campaign. I didn't date anyone during the first one." "You're older now, dear. I have a few candidates. I'll leave their files with Brooks. And be nice when they call you." "Mom," I start. "Mother. I am not dating someone just because –" "Gracie, we need to run," my father interrupts, looking at his Blackberry. He steps close to me and kisses my cheek. "Humor your mother, okay? She’s really asking out of concern for you. She just doesn't want you to die alone." "Thanks a lot, Dad," I mutter. "I'm sure that's the reason." "Don't be caustic, Grace," my mother says. "It doesn’t suit you.” When my parents have left the room, Vi waits approximately two seconds to turn to me, her eyes wide. "So… Noah Ashby." I shrug and muster the most innocent-looking expression I can. "What about him?" "Oh, please. Don't play coy. I know you. You have the same look on your face right now that you had when you crushed on Jared Caulder in tenth grade." "I do not!" "You do, and you're just as defensive as you were then. Grace and Noah, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S—" "Oh, shut it, Vi. You're as bad as my mom." "Mother," Vi corrects, laughing. "Don't ever call her Mom." "I sometimes forget how insufferable she is since I don't see her that often anymore." "I can't believe you just compared me to her." "You're right. I feel like a bad person." "You're a terrible person," Vi agrees. "But look at you, you big hussy.” "Vi!" I squeal. "Two hot men after the President's daughter," Vi says with a wistful sigh. "Which one will she choose?" "There are no men after me," I protest. "And there's no choosing going on." "You're right. I can't say they're both hot without verifying this for myself. Personally. I thought Noah Ashby was your neighbor, but now I'm intrigued. I'll need to check out Naked Bongo Guy for myself." "That's exactly what I need," I say, laughing. "You sitting on my balcony with a pair of binoculars and a tub of popcorn." "Screw the popcorn - too many carbs. I'd have a bottle of wine." "You realize wine has carbs too, right?"

"Alcohol carbs don't count." "I don't think you're nutritioning correctly." "I think you should have them both.” “Wine and popcorn?” I ask.

“That too. But no, I think you should do them both,” Vi states, matter-of-factly, like we're talking about two glasses of wine and not sleeping with two men.

I choke. "I'm not doing either of them."

"Oh, honey. Noah looked at you like you were a piece of steak and he was a hungry lion." "He did not." "He did," she assures me. "But the way you looked at him put that to shame. It's the same look you get talking about Naked Bongo Guy, for your information." "I'm not doing anyone," I reiterate, looking in the mirror on the wall to push my hair back into place. "There will be no doing." "There's been no doing for how long now?" Vi asks. "Five years?" "It's only been two years!" "Dear God, two years?! I was only kidding about five years. I thought it had been six months, maybe. But two years?? Did you take a vow of celibacy that I'm not aware of?" "No," I say, suddenly defensive. "I just… it's… you know it's hard to date anyone." Vi arches an eyebrow. "It ain't that hard to get laid, honey." "I… don't have the same kind of freedom that you have, Vi," I protest. Sometimes I wish I did. Okay, a lot of times I wish I did. The children of governors or senators or congressmen don't exactly have the same kind of public scrutiny as the daughter of the President. Of course, I don't know that public scrutiny would change anything for Vi. She lives her life the way she wants to live it and makes no apologies for it. It's something I've always envied her for.

"I know, darling," Vi says, her face softening. "But two years?"

"It's hard to meet someone," I argue. "No one wants to date the President's daughter except men who want to climb the political ladder –" "By climbing you," Vi interrupts, wiggling her eyebrows. "Exactly. Or guys who are more into my father than me." "Or the guys your mother chooses," Vi says, laughing.

I can't help but laugh with her. "They're the worst."

"You should go out with Noah Ashby," Vi says. "And your neighbor." "I couldn't," I protest. "You're the one who said Noah was surrounded by scandal."

"Well, he's also going to be surrounded by you at his ranch," Vi interjects. "Specifically, surrounded by your legs when you –"

I hold my hand up. "Yeah, I got the picture."

"When he bangs you," Vi finishes anyway. "I'm not banging him or the neighbor. I'm not seeing either of them. I don't

even know how to do that. See two guys at the same time? Isn't that weird?" "Well, you see, when a woman and two men really care about each other, or they get really drunk, sometimes one takes her from behind and the other –" "Violet Anne Marie Scott," I interrupt. "I can't believe you just said that. I was not talking about a… a…" "Threesome?" "A…" My voice drops to a whisper. "Yes. A threesome." Vi sighs. "Oh, to be sandwiched between two attractive, muscular men. A girl can dream." "I can't believe you just said that," I gasp. The strange thing is that, as scandalized as I am by Vi even joking about a threesome with Noah and Aiden, the thought keeps popping into my head the rest of the evening, even as I make my final rounds in the event, making small talk and thanking donors. When I realize that Noah has already left, I’m not quite sure if the exhale I let out is one of relief or disappointment. Later, when I'm lying in bed, thoughts about Noah and Aiden rush into my head again, totally unwarranted. Obviously I'm some kind of pervert because my mind drifts to Aiden and that cocky grin he gave me as he stood in front of me, nearly naked. Then it flits to Noah and the way he smelled – raw and masculine – when he stood close to me. I picture Noah reaching for the nape of my neck the way he did at the event, except this time, he pulls me close to him, his mouth crashing down hard on mine.

NOAH'S LIPS press against mine, his tongue finding mine urgently with no sense of hesitation. When he kisses me, I think my heart stops beating for a minute. I melt against him, lost in every sensation as he runs his hands through my hair, sending goose bumps across my skin. Then, as quickly as it started, he stops. Breathless, I look at him questioningly, but not for too long before Aiden is standing there taking my hand and pulling me toward him. I crash against Aiden's bare muscular chest, glancing at Noah for his reaction, but instead of being upset, Noah just nods. "Kiss him," he tells me. I do. When Aiden's lips touch mine, I kiss him back, my body melting against his as his hands roam the length of my back to my hips, finding the edges of my panties and sliding them down my thighs before I can even protest. As if I want to protest.

MY HEART THUMPS wildly in my chest as I slide my fingers between my legs, rolling them in circles over my clit. One hand stays on my breast as I give in to lustful thoughts about the two men. It's a ridiculous, completely absurd, totally ludicrous fantasy that I've never had before. Except that every part of my body is on edge right now, ignited by electricity that

runs through me at the mere thought of being with Noah and Aiden at the same time.

NOAH SLIDES TO HIS KNEES, yanking my panties to my ankles as he kneels on the floor, then tossing them to the side. Before I can register what's happening, Aiden is behind me, the warmth of his chest against my back, his hardness pressing against my ass cheek as his hands run over my arms, then down to my breasts. Noah's mouth envelops me, his tongue finding its destination between my legs where he licks and sucks my clit like he’s an expert in the act.

I close my eyes, relishing the sensation of Aiden's breath on my neck and his

tongue flickering over my earlobe before he finds the sensitive spot on the size of my neck that makes me go crazy. I hear someone moan loudly far too loudly to be appropriate, and it takes me a minute to realize that it's me. I'm far too turned on to be embarrassed, though, considering what Noah is doing with his fingers.

I moan at the sensation of his fingers inside me, stroking me, his fingertips

pressing against that spot in me that makes my toes curl. Their hands seem to be everywhere – Aiden's hands on my breasts, my nipples coming to attention as he pinches them; Noah's cupping my ass, pulling me against his face as his tongue caresses my clit.

I THRUST my fingers inside my slick pussy, imagining that it's Noah's fingers inside me. When I palm my breast, my fingers squeezing my nipple, I picture Aiden's fingers there. I'm so wet, so needy, so on the verge of coming at the thought of both men wanting me, touching me – fucking me - that I hear myself moan aloud in the stillness of my bedroom.

"YOU LIKE THIS, don't you?" Aiden asks. "I knew you were filthy the moment I saw you."

I groan my response, unable to articulate any words right now.

"When I told you I wanted to throw you over my shoulder and carry you into my house and fuck your brains out, it turned you on, didn't it?" Aiden asks. My muscles clench their response around Noah's fingers as he pulls away from my pussy, looking up with a grin. "Don't pretend otherwise, Grace," he says, “because you can't hide the way your body responds." "Are you wet for us?" Aiden asks, his breath hot against my ear. I swear that I get wetter the second he asks the question. "Does the idea of two men fucking you turn you on?" The moan escapes my lips before I can stop it, and Noah groans, sending vibrations between my legs. I don't think I can hold out any longer – the sensation

of both men touching me is too much. "Say it, Grace," Noah orders. "Tell us you want to feel us both inside you." "Mm-hmm," I murmur. "We want to hear you say it," Aiden commands, his fingers under my jaw as he tilts my head back toward him. His other hand pinches my nipple harder, sending a shock of pain through me, except that instead of hurting, it adds to the sensation. "Tell us how you want us to fuck you. Do you want Noah's cock in your mouth while I take you from behind?" "Shit." I exhale the word, my breathing erratic as Noah pulls my clit into his mouth for emphasis. My hands go to his head, pulling him against me, demanding more of his mouth on me. I want more of his fingers inside me. Hell, I want Noah's cock inside me. Or Aiden's. Oh, God, I want both of them. "Or do you want to ride Noah's cock, feel his mouth on your tits while I slide my dick into your tight little asshole?" "Oh my God." I breathe the words, overwhelmed by Aiden's filthy words and by what they're both doing to me. The sensations are almost too much to take. I'm too lost, too far gone to think logically or coherently, too turned on to be self-conscious about being taken by two men. Aiden's words trigger the image in my head – riding Noah while Aiden fucks my ass – and the prospect of being filled up by both of them at the same time sends me hurtling over the edge with the intensity of a freight train.

I FUCK myself with my fingers again and again, my orgasm enveloping me so strongly that I cry out louder than I think I ever have in my life. The pleasure is white-hot and blinding, so overwhelming that when it's over, I fall back against the pillow, my chest heaving as I try to catch my breath. It takes a few minutes before my heart rate returns to something less than near- heart-attack intensity, and I lie in bed, looking up at the ceiling and wondering what the hell has gotten into me. I've never had a fantasy like that before, not even once. I've always been as straight-laced in the bedroom as I am outside of the bedroom, although to be fair, the men I've dated haven't exactly been sexually adventurous. But this? Fantasizing about two completely inappropriate men I just met? Bringing myself to orgasm at the idea of them fucking me at the same time? This goes beyond adventurous. It's just plain madness. I tell myself that it's just a fantasy and that it means nothing. Except I'm not a hundred percent sure I mean it.

11

AIDEN

L ate night?" I ask, closing the front door behind me. I was up at six and off to a

cross-training session at the training center – off-season training means cross-training, which is a nice break except for when I'm feeling a little… frustrated, like I am right now. What I’d like to do is pound out a really heavy weight session, or go out to the field and run plays over and over until my mind is totally consumed by football. I haven't been able to get the hot-ass neighbor chick out of my head, and using my hand has been no substitute for the real thing. Last night, I declined a text from a cheerleader who’s been after me for months, because I was too preoccupied with Hot Neighbor. I even hung out on the balcony, craning my head to see if I could catch a glimpse of her, but she never emerged from her house, probably because a girl like that has a boyfriend, or a string of boyfriends. Except that she was flirting with me, that much I'm sure of. Fuck. I can't remember the last time I was this wound up about a stupid chick. I need to just go get laid. The problem is that I don’t want to just get laid by some girl. I want Hot Neighbor. "Not really," Noah says. He walks into the kitchen and peels two bananas, tossing them into the blender. "You're so domestic, making me a protein shake," I note. "Fuck you," Noah grumbles. "This is my breakfast." "You're testy this morning." Noah grunts a response as he unscrews the lid to the protein powder. "Aw, did playing nice with all the rich old ladies last night put you in a bad mood?" I ask. I can't resist messing with Noah when he’s pissy because it only makes him angrier. But instead of lashing out at me, he just ignores me and dumps four scoops of protein powder into the blender. "Oh, I got it. You had a little thing with one of those rich old ladies and you're having a little morning-after regret? We've all been there, dude." Noah glares at me. "I didn't screw anyone." "Okay, that's the problem. I can pull out my phone numbers if you want.

"

There's this girl, Audrina, who's a total tiger in the sheets. She's a little crazy, though – “ "Shut up, man. I'm not hard up. I just –" The expression on his face clinches it for me. "You met a chick," I say, realizing what the pained look on his face means: he has a major case of blue balls. "You met

a chick and didn't get in her pants." Noah turns on the blender to drown me out. As soon as he stops it, he tells me to go fuck myself. "I didn't meet a chick. I mean, not really. I’m out a hundred grand because I groped the President's daughter, and –" "You paid a hundred thousand dollars to feel up the President's daughter?" I

ask, confused. "This was a charity auction? My mind is blown. I really need to start looking into doing more charity work." "No, it wasn’t some kind of pervy charity auction, dickhead." "The President has a daughter?" Noah looks at me like I'm an idiot. Yes, the President has a daughter. Don't you ever watch the news? Do you even know who the President of the United States is?" "Of course I know who the President is," I say. “Stop getting off-topic. You paid

a hundred grand to grope an ugly chick?" "She's not ugly." "Obviously she is, or you wouldn’t be so upset about it. You really need to raise your standards." "You have no idea at all who I'm talking about, do you?"

I shrug. "I don't care about politics, dude."

"What's wrong with you? Read a fucking newspaper or something, man. Stuff these politicians do affects your life, you know."

I grab an apple from the bowl of fruit on the counter and bite into it. "Doesn't

affect mine. I've got a house and job security." "Sometimes I want to slap the sense of entitlement right out of you." "Entitlement, hah. Go for it, bro. Remember when I whooped your ass senior year of high school? I'll do it again." Noah snorts. "I'd like to see you try." "Not right now. I’m not going to be distracted. I want to hear about how you paid money to grope the President's daughter. Is she a hooker?" "Yeah, Aiden. The daughter of the President of the United States is a fucking prostitute and I paid a hundred grand to bang her." "That's reasonable. Was it good?" I ask, then stop myself. "For a hundred grand it should be. But obviously it wasn't or your attitude would be better today." Noah gulps his protein shake before setting down the cup on the counter. He sighs loudly, the way he does when he's exasperated with me. "I – no, I didn't pay money to bang her! It’s complicated, all right?” “Seems pretty simple to me. You felt a girl up for a hundred grand.” “I stepped on her fucking dress, and then she fell into me with her boobs out and I was putting my hands up because someone got a photo of her but she stood

up and – oh, hell, I don't know why I'm even telling you this." "So then you paid her money? If she's the President's daughter, isn't she rich already?" "I didn't pay her money," Noah says, exhaling dramatically. "I paid the photographer to delete the photos." "A hundred grand." I whistle. "To delete photos of your hands on some chick's boobs." "Not some chick. The daughter of the President of the United States." "Photos like that would give you some bragging rights - if she's not homely, I mean," I qualify my statement. "Maybe even if she is homely. If she's the President's daughter, that means she's famous, yeah? A minor celebrity? That’s probably about the equivalent of a reality star, I think. Still, it’s some bragging rights." "Are you finished now?" Noah asks. "Maybe. Do you have the photos?" "No. They're deleted." "How do you know they're deleted?" I ask. "I erased them from the asshole’s camera. Personally." "Did you make sure they didn't get uploaded somewhere?" I point out. It's obvious Noah didn't think of that by the way he glares at me. "If the guy publishes them, I’ll hunt him down.” "Noah Jackson is going to go all mafia-style on his ass?" "Shut up." "So…here’s the most important question: How were the tits?" I ask. "I'm not talking about that with you, asshole." "You paid a hundred grand to keep her tits out of the tabloids and you're not going to tell me about them? You do have a crush on her." "I don't have a crush on anyone," Noah protests. "I'm just not a total dick." I was just calling you a dick. An image of the hot neighbor chick – Grace – with her hands on her hips, leaning forward just a little so I could see the top of her cleavage in her business suit, flashes through my mind. Shit, I've got to get that chick out of my head. Or… get her ass into my bed. Instead, I bring my attention back to Noah and his little crush. "You've always aimed high, I'll give you that." Noah rolls his eyes. "I'm not getting with Grace Sullivan. First Daughters don't get with pro football players." Grace. I take another bite of my apple. "Huh. You know, Hot Neighbor is named Grace, too. Funny coincidence. That would be weird if we were both hooking up with chicks named Grace." Noah gulps down the rest of his protein shake before turning to rinse the cup at the sink. "I'm not hooking up with the President’s daughter - and you're not banging my next door neighbor, do you hear me? I don't want some crazy girl egging my house because you screwed her and then dumped her."

"There was only one egging in our old neighborhood," I protest. "No Hot Neighbor," Noah growls. "No Hot Neighbor," I say, my tone insincere because I'm already thinking about how I can get Hot Neighbor in the sack. "I swear."

how I can get Hot Neighbor in the sack. "I swear." "A IDEN P AUL J

"AIDEN PAUL JACKSON, I swear to God I will kill you!" Annie's voice echoes loudly through the house over the speaker on the phone, and I hold it away from me, not even bothering to try to hide my laughter. I know exactly why my sister is calling me. Noah looks up from the sofa, where he's sprawled across the entire length, scrolling through something – probably some boring article on the economy - on his tablet. "I told you it was a bad idea. You were really asking for it this year." "You knew about this, Noah?" Annie squeals. "Why did you let him?" "Annie Banannie!" I interrupt. "Did you think I was going to let a birthday go unnoticed? What kind of a big brother would I be? Admit it. You'd be upset if I didn't do it!" "Noah," Annie sighs exasperatedly. "Tell Aiden I'm not talking to someone who sends a human banana to my workplace for my twenty-first birthday." "You work at a bar," I protest. "It's probably not the first time a singing banana has shown up there." "It's a restaurant," Annie argues. "And you promised you wouldn't do it this year." "It's your twenty-first birthday!" I protest. "Noah, explain in reasonable terms to Annie that tradition requires the singing banana and there’s nothing that can be done about it. You can’t buck tradition, Annie.” "This one tap-danced, Aiden. That's completely over the line." Noah snorts. "I'm not getting involved in this argument." "Look, do you know how hard it is to find a tap-dancing banana in Colorado Springs?" I ask. "I thought nothing was going to top last year's banana, but it did, didn't it? Tell me it did. They promised a good video of it, but the clip I got was kind of grainy and I didn't get the expression on your face." Annie groans in frustration. “You guys are such children.” "At least a banana in a bikini didn't pop out of a giant cake the way it did for your birthday last year, Annie," Noah points out helpfully. "He really toned it down this year." "The banana had backup dancers," Annie protests. "With instruments. It was practically a marching band of bananas." "Well, you needed a reason to get good and drunk on your twenty-first birthday, right?" Noah points out. "Your brother's embarrassing sense of humor is a good excuse." "You mean the way my brother continues to emotionally scar me?”

“Are you seeing a counselor at college?” I ask. “I have lots of money. I can pay for a good shrink.” Annie ignores me. “Noah, did you know about the bodyguard?” Noah cocks his head to the side as he looks at me. “Really, Aiden?” “Like I’m going to let my kid sister go out with her girlfriends and get shitfaced with no protection?” “We had condoms!” Annie yells. I shout to drown out her words. “Ahh! What the hell, Annie?? I don’t need to know about that.” "Were the bananas the bodyguards?" Noah interrupts. "No. Unfortunately, the bodyguard refused to put on a banana outfit and sing or tap-dance, so I had to use two separate companies. You really can't find good talent these days." Noah snorts as he gives me a onceover. "Truer words have never been spoken." “I feel like that’s some kind of commentary about me, but I’m going to ignore it. I told you I was sending someone, Annie. He was basically a designated driver. You should be thanking me." "You totally cock-blocked me, Aiden!" she squeals. "Noah, tell him!" "Okay, first of all, I'd like to go through the rest of my life without hearing my sister use the term 'cock-blocked' ever again, thank you," I point out. "And second of all, I don't see how me sending a bodyguard out to bars with you had any negative impact on your evening other than getting you all home safely." "No one wants to hit on girls surrounded by thugs in suits," Annie protests. "Noah, back me up here." "Well, I'm sorry that no guy was man enough to hit on you despite the suits," I say, shaking my head and mouthing "not sorry at all" across the room at Noah. "You're so annoying, Aiden," she tells me. "Admit that your birthday wouldn't have been the same without the banana." The banana has been an annual tradition since ninth grade in high school when I rented a banana outfit to sing Happy Birthday to Annie during a sleepover with all of her friends. Totally worth using two weeks of the money I earned mowing lawns. She was annoyed by it, which only encouraged me to do it again the next year – and then every year after that. It's been my mission to top the banana experience each time. It's practically my brotherly duty. She sighs loudly. "Fine. It wouldn't be the same without the banana. But seriously, you're going to eventually run out of ways to embarrass me, dude." "That'll never happen, Annie Banannie.” "Yeah, he'll always be naturally embarrassing," Noah jumps in. "Happy birthday, by the way." "That's true," I add. "Sorry. You're stuck with being humiliated forever, just because you're related to me." Annie groans. "Great. Thanks for giving me something to look forward for the rest of my life." She sighs loudly, then her voice softens. “Besides, I guess mom

always did think the banana was funny.” Noah clears his throat and stands up, taking Annie's mention of our mother as his cue to leave. “I have to get going. My gift is in the mail, kiddo.” “I hope it’s not a banana!” Annie yells. “You only have to worry about that from your brother,” he says before walking out of the room. I take Annie off speaker, putting the phone to my ear as I walk upstairs. "You didn’t have a shit time on your birthday, did you, kid?” “You know it’s always hard without mom around,” she says. “I can't really stop doing the banana thing now, you realize. It wouldn’t be right.” Annie is silent for a minute. "I know. You’re not missing dinner at Mama Ashby’s next week, are you? She’s going to be pissed off if you do. You missed it last month.” “No way. I’m there,” I assure her. “I’ll give you my real birthday present then.” “Oh, you have something for me other than a marching band of bananas?” “Yep. But it has to be delivered in person.” “I’m scared to ask why. If it’s a snake, spider, scorpion, or an insect of any kind, I’m never speaking to you again.” “I’m sad that you question my gift-giving ability.” “You gave me a snake in a shoebox when I was nine, Aiden.” “Mom freaked when it got loose.” I laugh at the memory of my mother holding a broom and standing on a chair in the middle of the kitchen, yelling for my sister and I to rescue her from the snake. “Yeah.” Annie’s voice is wistful. “Love you, Anna Banana." Annie sighs exasperatedly. "I know, A-hole."

12

GRACE

I down several gulps of water from my bottle, my heart still racing after my run

while Vi updates me over the phone on the latest developments in her business life.

"I'm on my way to Miami," Vi informs me. "I’m looking at samples for the new line.” Last year, Vi developed her own resort wear line of clothing inspired by places she’s traveled around the world. She got good reviews and after a big Hollywood celebrity was photographed wearing one of her designs, she was put in some exclusive boutiques in Miami. “Send me photos?” “Top Secret photos,” she says. “I’m in Miami for a week, unless you’d like me to stay in Denver to help make sure you take advantage of the whole two hot guys situation." "You're such a generous person. But I'll pass, since there will be no ‘taking advantage of two hot guys’." Vi sighs exaggeratedly. "I saw you with one of those two hot guys, and trust me, Noah Ashby looked like he would be more than happy to be taken advantage of, specifically by you." "Nothing is going to happen between me and Noah Ashby, Vi –" "You heard your father. He wants you to milk that football player for an endorsement." "Is that an innuendo? Because if it is, I'm not even going to dignify that with a response." Vi laughs. "I give the both of you a week at the ranch before Noah Ashby has you bent over a fence.” "Who says Noah Ashby is even going to the ranch?" Suddenly, I'm suddenly distracted by a loud buzzing noise. "What the hell?" A remote-controlled helicopter appears above the wall between my house and the neighbor's, a plastic object dangling from it. Oh my God. "Is that a… blow-up doll?" "Where? What's going on? Is this your neighbor's blow up doll we're talking about?" Vi asks.

As if there are any other blow-up dolls in my life. But I'm too preoccupied with what's happening to immediately answer. I watch the helicopter hover above the wall just inside my backyard, the plastic doll dangling from it with limbs askew. "I'm not entirely sure what's happening…"

I don't get to finish my sentence before the crack of a gunshot pierces the air.

The helicopter bursts into pieces, and the blow-up figurine zigs and zags erratically back and forth a few times before collapsing into a heap on the grass. I turn, my mouth wide open as Brooks materializes in the backyard, giving orders into her earpiece. "Get inside the house, ma'am," she commands. "Brooks, you realize that’s just the neighbor's –" "Step back inside the house, ma'am." "What's going on, Grace? Was that a gunshot?" Vi asks. "Are you okay?"

I step inside the kitchen, closing the French doors and watching Brooks intently.

"I'm fine. It's not me who’s being shot at. Brooks shot a toy helicopter… or maybe the blow-up doll. I'm not sure. It might have taken down both." "What?" Vi asks, laughing. "A toy helicopter and a blow-up doll? What the hell is happening at your house?" "I'm not sure, but I'm going to find out," I answer, crossing through the house to the front door. Brooks might have told me to stay inside, but she can't be everywhere at all times. "I think the neighbor flew a toy helicopter into the yard." "And your security detail shot it down?" Vi asks. "How exciting. Wait, what does the blow-up doll have to do with it?" "Vi, I'll call you back." "No way! Put me on speaker! I want to hear what's going on," Vi begs. "Um…” I say, distracted by the insanity of what just happened. “I need to talk to Brooks and Davis." "Grace Monroe Sullivan, if you cut me out of the drama, I swear I’m going to

ditch Miami and show up at your front door!" Vi yells just before I hang up.

I make it down the driveway to the gate before Brooks spots me, following down

the driveway behind me at a fast clip. "Ma'am, I told you to stay in the house." "Why?" I ask. "Because you think there was an assassination attempt made on me by a remote-controlled helicopter and a blow-up doll? Really? Death by blow- up doll?" I ignore her order, pushing open the gate to find Davis outside. With Aiden. Aiden has his hands over his head and his palms pressed against the stone wall in front of our houses. For a second, I just pause, sucking in a deep breath as I gape at him. He's shirtless, of course – at this point, I'm not convinced the man actually owns any shirts - his rippled back muscles on full display. It’s the most distracting thing I’ve ever seen. When he sees me, he grins. "Well, sugar, I have to tell you, I'm disappointed to be getting felt up by your security guard and not you." He looks over his shoulder at Davis. "Would you mind trading places with her real quick?" In response, Davis puts a hand firmly in the middle of his back, pushing him

harder against the wall. "Shut your mouth." "Davis!" I protest. "Come on. Be reasonable here. He's obviously not trying to kill me." "Kill you?" Aiden asks. "Why would I be trying to kill you? I was just trying to get your attention." "You were trying to get her attention by flying a sex doll into her yard? Yeah, you're a real Romeo," Davis says. "The bomb squad will be here to check for chemical weapons in a minute," Brooks notes. "What the hell are you talking about?" blurts Aiden. "Chemical weapons? Are you insane? That was a joke. It's a blow-up doll, for shit's sake." "Seriously, Brooks. Chemical weapons? Do we really need all the hoopla?” I ask. I think my voice might have gone up a full octave. “You know this is nothing. Let's not be completely ridiculous here." "This is not nothing. This is protocol, ma'am,” Brooks asserts, her tone forceful. She looks at me, her expression entirely devoid of humor. “Someone flew a drone into your backyard with a plastic inflatable object attached that could be carrying anything – chemical weapons, drugs, a bomb - ” “A bomb?” Aiden yells. “Why would I fly a bomb into the backyard of a hot girl I want to bed? Seriously, who the hell are you?” I cock my head to the side and look at Brooks, raising my eyebrows for emphasis. "Does my neighbor look like a criminal mastermind? He doesn't even know who I am, Brooks." "You shot my freaking drone!" Aiden shouts. Did he just say I was hot and that he wanted to bed me? "What the hell is going on?" a familiar voice calls out, and I look up to see Noah Ashby materialize at the end of Aiden's driveway a few yards away. Everything is so chaotic that I don’t have time to process what the hell Noah is doing in my neighbor’s driveway – because said neighbor is currently being frisked by my security detail. This incident is really not going to go over well with the homeowner's association, who I had to assure that there would be no security issues related to me living in this neighborhood. Up until now, there had been none. "What the hell did you do? Why are you being arrested?" Noah asks, focused momentarily on Aiden, who’s being placed in handcuffs. Then he looks up at me, and his eyes go wide. "What are you doing here?" he and I ask each other at the same time. "This ain’t the first time I’ve been in cuffs, if you know what I mean,” Aiden deadpans, still not taking any of this seriously. “Wait, how do you two know each other?" "I met Grace at the event the other night," Noah says, his eyes never leaving my face. "Wait a second. This is the girl you paid a hundred thousand dollars to grope?"

Aiden asks, his jaw dropping. "What?!" I squeal. "You told him you paid money to grope me?" Noah holds his hand up. "Wait, wait, wait. That is not what I said happened. At

all. I said I groped you, but I didn't pay anything. I mean, before I groped you."

I put my hands on my hips. "Oh, so you just told him you groped me for free,

then?" "Aw, shit. This isn't coming out right at all," Noah says, groaning loudly. "What do you mean you didn't pay anything before you groped me? You paid something after?"

"I paid to delete the photos, not to grope you!" Noah says loudly. "I don't think you're a hooker." "Thanks for not thinking I'm a hooker," I reply sarcastically. "You paid a hundred thousand dollars to get those photos back?"

I don't have time to think about that before Aiden interrupts. "You said you

groped an ugly chick, not Hot Neighbor!" "An ugly chick?" I blurt.

I look back and forth between the two of them, my heart pounding in my chest.

How pathetic am I, thinking two hot guys might be interested in me, when they're clearly both clearly insane? "I didn't call her ugly!" Noah bellows. "You're the moron who assumed that the President's daughter was ugly." "On second thought, Brooks, the whole testing for chemical weapons thing is totally fine with me," I huff, crossing my arms. "Wait. You're the President's daughter?" Aiden asks.

I should be so pissed off right now. After all, I think one of these guys called me

ugly, the other might actually think that I'm a prostitute, and in a minute there will be bomb squad guys crawling all over my yard. Then I'm going to get a call from my father, and I'm going to have to explain that my neighbor, who has the sense of

humor of a twelve-year-old boy, flew a drone with a blow-up doll dangling from it over my backyard. But instead of storming off, I just stand there staring at the two men, who are

clearly pissed off at each other. Then I glance at Brooks and Davis, who are taking this whole event entirely too seriously. I can see the news reports already:

"President's Daughter and Her Sex Drone! Live at Eleven!"

I can’t help it. Laughter begins to bubble up in my chest, overflowing as I try to

stifle it by putting my hand over my mouth. There's nothing I can do to contain it. The entire situation – not even this situation, but all of the past encounters I’ve had with Aiden Jackson and Noah Ashby – is ridiculous. But this most recent incident takes the cake. It is absolutely the most insane thing that's ever happened to me. So instead of answering Aiden's question, instead of saying, “Yes, I'm the President's daughter and this is a situation I can't be involved in,” I start giggling. Loudly. Like a crazy person.

The problem is that once I start, I can't stop. And no one else is laughing.

They're just staring at me like they're trying to figure out where they might be able to locate the nearest straitjacket. "Ma'am?" Brooks asks. "Are you okay?" "Did you put something in the blow-up doll that's doing this to her?" Davis asks. The fact that she thinks it's plausible I'm laughing because of some kind of chemical weapon makes me laugh even harder. "You mean, did I fill the doll up with laughing gas?" Aiden asks. Now, I hoot. Loudly. I think there are tears coming out of my eyes. "Shut up, dumbass," Davis says, pressing her hand into the middle of his back again for emphasis. "This is the President's daughter you're talking about. You flew a drone into Grace Sullivan's backyard. Why the hell did you think you were getting patted down, anyway?" "Well, obviously I thought I was being frisked because you saw my junk the other day and wanted a little more personal experience with it–" Aiden starts, but Davis shoves him hard up against the wall. "All right now! That’s getting a little rougher than I usually like it." "You want to see rough?" Davis asks. "Keep running your mouth." "Holy shit. This is Hot Neighbor," Noah says. "So you walked out of my house naked in front of the President's daughter??" "Not entirely naked!" I shriek with laughter. "He had bongos." "Yeah, I had bongos over my junk," Aiden calls. "Did you just snort?"

I clasp my hand harder over my mouth. "I did not snort!"

"Actually, I think you snorted," Noah says. "That was a snort, ma'am," Brooks interjects. "That was not a snort!" I object. "I do not snort when I laugh!" "Whatever you say, ma'am," Brooks returns. Then the realization suddenly dawns on me. "Oh my God. Do you two live together?" My mind is spinning. The two hot guys – the two men I fantasized about fucking me at the same time the other night – are standing right in front of me. Together. Because they live together. Oh. Oh, no. I might have misread things. Maybe neither of them are interested in me… because they're interested in each other. Maybe what I mistook for flirting was their idea of humor. My cheeks flush hot. My face must be bright red. What's redder than red? Whatever that shade is, that's what color my face must be right now. What if they

can tell I'm attracted to both of them? Suddenly, I have the illogical thought that my filthy fantasies are somehow written all over my face. What if they know I touched myself thinking about being with both of them at the same time?

I might die of actual embarrassment right here and now.

"We're your new neighbors," Aiden announces. "Yes, neighbors. You…live together because you're… together." I say, my voice

soft. "That…. yeah, totally. Makes sense." "What??" Noah blurts. "We're not together." "Wait, you think we're together-together?" Aiden yells. "I – obviously I misread – um, I – oh, God." I seem to have lost the ability to form a coherent, rational thought. "Hell, no, I'm not with him," Noah says, his nose wrinkled in disgust. "Seriously. You think I'm with that guy?" "Hey, what's that supposed to mean?" Aiden asks. "I'm a fucking catch. You can ask anyone. You're a damn snob who would be lucky to be hooking up with me." "The guy who didn't know who the President's daughter was?" Noah asks. "Yeah, you're a total keeper. I'd definitely bring you home to meet the parents." "Oh, screw you. Mama Ashby would be thrilled to have me as a son-in-law," Aiden yells. I look back and forth between the two of them. "I'm – obviously, I'm in the middle of something here, and I –" "You're not in the middle of anything," Noah says, his brow furrowed. "Although I can see how this might look like we're –" "A couple?" Aiden asks. "We're not a couple," Noah insists. "That's not what you said last night –" Aiden calls. "Shut up," Noah growls. "It's not funny. She actually thinks we're a couple. And these Secret Service agents actually think you're a terrorist. What do you think is going to happen when Coach Hardy finds out you've been arrested for domestic terrorism because you threatened the life of the daughter of the President of the United States? You think you're going to keep the contract you just signed once the media gets wind of this shit?" Suddenly, everyone is silent, including me. I'm definitely not laughing anymore. "Well, hell," Aiden says. "I wasn't trying to kill you. I was just trying to get you in bed." "With a blow-up doll? That’s real classy, dude," Noah says, shaking his head. "Hey, it's the truth," Aiden insists, looking over his shoulder at me. "I mean, obviously I didn't know who you were or I might not have used the blow-up doll. Or the whole ‘She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy’ thing. I'd have tried to class it up a bit more than that." "'She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy'? Is that why there's a riding lawnmower parked in my yard?" Noah asks. "Are you two related or something?" I ask. "They're teammates, ma'am," Brooks says, sighing loudly. "You both play football," I realize. Why didn't I ask Brooks and Davis for intel on Aiden after I met him? In hindsight, my ignorance seems less like bliss and more like stupidity. "On the same team." "But we don't play for the same team, if you know what I mean," Aiden says, emphasizing the word play. He pauses for a beat. "We don't fuck each other. In

case I wasn't clear." I choke out a laugh. "Yes, I see." "I think she got that, Aiden," Noah grumbles. "She's not an idiot." A sedan drives down the street, slowing momentarily before passing us – one of my neighbors, no doubt - and I look desperately at Brooks. "Please, please, please tell me we can dispense with the whole bomb squad and domestic terrorism investigation?" "You know that Mrs. Johnson has been poking her head through the curtains on her window for the last few minutes," Aiden says. "Who?" I ask. "Mrs. Johnson, your neighbor who lives across the road. She probably has photos already. I helped her set up her social media accounts yesterday so she could see pictures of her grandchildren that her daughter uploaded. She bakes great banana bread." “Shit, Aiden. Stop getting to know my neighbors,” Noah interjects. "I'll talk to Mrs. Johnson," Davis says. "Brooks, this man is obviously not a threat. Do you think we could take all of this away from the front of my house? Or could we at the very least do away with the handcuffs?" "Wait. Can I keep the handcuffs?" Aiden asks. “I might need them later.” "Do you want me to have you brought in for questioning?" Davis asks. "All right, all right. There's no need to get all huffy about it. I get your point." A cocky grin spreads across Aiden's face as Davis uncuffs him. "So, you're the girl Noah's all wrapped around the axle about. Does this mean we're both competing for your attention?" "No one's competing for anything, jackass," Noah growls. Two hot guys. Vi's words echo in my mind, and for a fleeting moment, the prospect of two of the most attractive men I've ever met being interested in me is appealing. Then I come to my senses. These might be two of the best-looking men I've ever seen, but they’re also two arrogant football players who have absolutely no regard for appropriate behavior or social decorum. My father would absolutely have a coronary if he knew I were the slightest bit attracted to either one of them. And I'm not the least bit interested. Really, I'm not. Obviously, my lust-addled brain is confused by the fact that I've not dated anyone in a million years, causing me to have little fantasies about the two men. I just need to get control of my mind. If there's anything in life that I'm a master of, it's maintaining discipline and control. I'm the daughter of the President, after all. I've lived most of my life in the public eye. The word impulsive is not in my vocabulary. "You're right. With me here, there's no real competition," Aiden says, gesturing down the length of his body. "Not when she has all this in front of her. You might as well just count yourself out of the running."

Noah rolls his eyes. "I'm sure she's interested in a guy whose idea of romance is flying a blow-up doll into her backyard." "You mean romance like tearing off her dress and getting photographed grabbing her tits?" Aiden asks. Noah starts to respond, but I interrupt the bro-argument, annoyed by the increasing amount of testosterone on display. Okay, I might be more annoyed by

the very small part of me that might possibly find all of this testosterone slightly attractive, especially since their caveman attitudes are so over the top that they should disgust me. What I need to do is start thinking with my brain and not my hoo-hah. And my brain is definitely irritated right now. I clear my throat, shoving aside the part of me that’s attracted to them. "Excuse me? I'm pretty sure I get a say in this, since you're discussing me like I'm not even here. And in case you're wondering, I'm not some kind of prize for the two of you to compete over." "We weren't saying you were a prize, exactly," Noah attempts to clarify. "But if we were competing, the obvious choice would be me," Aiden notes. “I’m the hot one.” “Shut up, asshole,” Noah growls.

I don't bother to stifle my groan. "You sent blow-up dolls to my house and then

answered your door naked when I brought them back to you." Aiden grins, clearly pleased with himself. "Yeah, I did." "And you," I say, pointing at Noah. "You ripped my gown and put your hands on my breasts at a charity event!" "Well, hell, when you put it that way, it just sounds awkward," Noah answers.

"Actually, it sounds more like assault," Aiden clarifies. “Pretty sure that’s a crime.”

I turn back toward him. "Says the guy who flew a drone into my backyard?"

"Drone makes it sound all nefarious and shit.” “Big word. Did you get that from a word-of-the-day calendar?” Noah glares at Aiden. “I’ve learned lots of big words that way,” Aiden says, making a hmph sound. “It was a remote-controlled helicopter, really. An expensive one, but still." "I feel like we're not presenting our best selves here," Noah notes. "Speak for yourself," Aiden says. "I'm coming off just fine." From behind me, Brooks snorts loudly. "If you think this is 'just fine,' I'm curious to see what 'terrible' is." "Look, sweetheart, I'm doing you a favor by donating my ranch to your charity," Noah grumbles. "Oh, sure, go for the whole good-guy-donates-to-charity thing," Aiden jabs sarcastically.

I bristle at his words. "Doing me a favor? Well, I guess I should be grateful that

you're doing me a favor after groping me in public." "You asked for that one." Aiden whistles low, raising his eyebrows as he looks at

Noah, whose face reddens. "I can't believe you called her sweetheart." "Says the guy who called me sugar tits on meeting me?" "In my defense, I didn't know you were the President's daughter." "Somehow I doubt that would have changed anything." I turn to Noah, my irritation only increasing. "You can keep your favor, and you can keep your ranch. And you can keep your hands-on approach to charity, too, because spending time with you on a ranch, even if it’s for deserving kids, isn’t worth it at all.” "You’re going to your ranch with her?” Aiden asks. His nostrils flare, and for a second, I think I see a look of possessiveness cross his face. The problem is, instead of turning me off – which is how the logical part of me would react – the expression sends a thrill of arousal rushing through me. But I shake off that feeling, crossing my arms as Noah gives Aiden a look of pure fury. "Not anymore. Right now, I'm going back into my house where I'm going to have a cup of tea, read the newspaper, and forget all about the fact that two of the most immature men I've ever met have disrupted my life the way they have over the past week." I don’t wait for a response before turning to walk away, aware that I’m practically flouncing away from two professional athletes with bodies made for sin, both of whom apparently find me attractive. I try not to think about either of them when I go into my empty house and make my cup of tea, or when I flip through the newspaper. I definitely try not to think about the fact that I just threw a bit of a fit and angrily rejected Noah’s donation of his ranch for the summer camp that starts in exactly one week. And I try not to think of the fact that I’m going to have to eat crow and apologize to him in order to get the ranch back. I totally lost my cool out there and let my temper get the better of me. I can’t remember the last time that happened. I’m usually calm and collected, no matter what, but these two men seem to get me flustered. But honestly, where does Noah Ashby get off with the snide comment about doing me a favor by donating his ranch? After what happened at the charity event, that's certainly the least he could do.

You know that having Noah's hands on your breasts wasn't exactly the worst thing in the world to ever have happened to you. A tingle of arousal spreads through me at the memory of Noah's warm hands cupping my breasts, at the way my nipples immediately hardened in response to his calloused palms, at the heat that rushed through my body at his touch. He really was doing you a favor by donating his ranch, and besides, he made the donation before the charity event, which means it had nothing to do with what happened. Even so, the way he said it – “I was doing you a favor” – got under my skin. He did pay a hundred thousand dollars to get rid of those photographs. But getting rid of the photos of Noah groping me was definitely in his self- interest. It was hardly just a gentlemanly gesture. Photos like that could ruin his career, especially if he's trying to stay away from negative press. The thought of

those pictures making their way into the newspapers makes me shudder. I can't even imagine the scandal that would cause for me and him - and for my father. Still, the two of them also talked about competing for me, like I'm some kind of prize at the county fair. The very idea of two men fighting for me is the dumbest, most lame-ass macho thing I've ever heard. Right. That's exactly why you fantasized about it the other night - because it's just so lame. I try my best to shove the thoughts out of my head. What I need to do is focus on work. Obsessing over two athletes who seem to have a knack for making me lose my cool is the last thing on Earth I need to be doing.

13

NOAH

hat the hell was I thinking?” I don't believe I heard my idiot roommate correctly. I have to remind

myself that Aiden is also my idiot best friend and that he's been my idiot best friend since we were in high school, because if I didn't remind myself of that fact, I'd be punching him right now. I'm unnaturally pissed off about the fact that Grace Sullivan is my neighbor. More specifically, I'm pissed off that Grace Sullivan is the girl that Aiden has been lusting after – and acting like a complete moron over. "You agreed to go to the ranch with her and a bunch of kids?" Aiden asks. "You can barely stomach being around me, let alone a bunch of other people – especially children. Seriously, do you even know how to talk to a kid?” "There's a reason I can barely stomach being around you," I growl. “It was a passing conversation with the President. I barely agreed to anything." A conversation where I implied that I’d get personally involved with the camp, just because the First Lady seemed to be hell-bent on communicating that I shouldn’t be looking at Grace the way I was. I'd really enjoy taking a hands-on approach to helping. That's what I said, or something like that. The mere thought of taking a hands- on approach to Grace Sullivan makes all the blood in my body rush straight to my dick. "The President, huh?" Aiden asks. "Well la-di-dah." "Oh, fuck off." "The girl is clearly more attracted to me than she is to you," Aiden says casually, bypassing me as he walks into the kitchen and opens the refrigerator where he immediately begins rummaging through my groceries. "Why the hell am I letting you stay here for the summer again?" I ask, watching as he opens a container of my leftover spaghetti and grabs a fork from the nearby cabinet drawer. "She's hardly more attracted to you than she is to me. The idea is laughable." Except that I'm not laughing. In fact, the prospect of that girl being attracted to Aiden at all grates on my last fucking nerve. It shouldn't. After all, I don't know the

" W

first thing about her and I have no claim over her. Hell, I only even met her the one time at the charity event. She's not mine, and logically I know that. Except that from the second I put my hands on her, every part of me wanted to claim her as mine. It's not a logical response, that much I'm aware of. It's some kind of weird, abnormal reaction, and I should absolutely not entertain the faintest notion of touching Grace Sullivan again. Except that she’s the only thing I want. "How exactly is that laughable?" Aiden asks, shoveling a giant forkful of spaghetti into his mouth. Watching him eat my leftover food makes me irrationally angry. "When's the last time you got with someone?" I grab the container from his hand and toss it into the trash, just because he’s pissing me off. "I'm sure someone like her is totally interested in a guy who's screwed half of the cheerleaders in Denver. And with that little stunt you pulled, you're lucky if she doesn't get a restraining order against you." Aiden leans back against the counter, crossing his arms and eyeballing me silently. "You're jealous." "Are you insane? You’d have to be certifiable to think that I’m jealous of you.” Aiden grins. "Dude, I know you. You're jealous because you have the hots for her and you think she's got a thing for me." I choke out a laugh, except it rings hollow. "Keep saying dumb shit like that, Aiden. If you think a woman like that is going to hook up with you, you're crazier than I thought." "And you think she's going to hook up with you?" "It's more likely than her getting with you." "All right. You want to bet on it?" "I'm not betting on whether or not the daughter of the President of the United States is going to hook up with one of us." Aiden makes a squawking sound. "Don't be a child. I'm not a chicken." "Then you wouldn't mind a friendly wager." "We're not betting over a girl. Especially that girl." "So you're not going to compete for her, then?” "We are not competing for her," I reply. "And if we were, I'd be leagues ahead of you anyway." "Because you're going to go hang out with her at your ranch." "Because I don't have some kind of weird need to seduce her with blow-up dolls," I say. "And yeah, because I'm going to go hang out with her at my ranch. Alone.” “You mean with a million kids running around? At the ranch you just told her you donated because you were doing her a favor? The same ranch she just told you that you could stick up your ass?” "Yeah, the ranch that - oh, screw you, Aiden," I grumble. "We're professional football players. There are plenty of girls throwing themselves at us on a daily

basis. We don't need to go after the same damn woman."

I turn to storm out of the kitchen, every part of me on edge. Fuck this and fuck

him. I don't need to compete with him when it comes to a woman. What I need to

do is worry about negotiating a contract and staying out of trouble. Laying low is my priority. Chasing after the President's daughter is the opposite of laying low – and it's profoundly stupid. It's the last thing on earth I need to do if I take my career seriously. And I take my football career very seriously. "So that means you're definitely not interested in her, then?" Aiden calls after me. "Not talking about this anymore, Aiden." "That's what I thought," he says, laughing. "All right, then. May the best man win."

I storm upstairs. There's no way on Earth that Aiden Jackson is the best man for

a woman like Grace Sullivan. And you think you are?

I try to shove the thought out of my head, even as I hit a session at the gym. But

Aiden's words still linger, replaying over and over on a loop. “May the best man win.” This isn’t a competition. That girl is mine.

man win.” This isn’t a competition. That girl is mine. "D O I need to search

"DO I need to search you?" the Secret Service agent asks the question, her expression cold. "Do you usually search people who have meetings with Ms. Sullivan?" I ask. I actually don't know the answer to that question. Maybe the agents do search everyone Grace Sullivan comes into contact with at the foundation. I feel a sudden pang of sympathy for her. That would be a hell of an awkward way to go through

your life, with everyone around you being patted down before they even get close to you. But I guess she’d probably be used to it by now. The agent raises her eyebrows, the rest of her face unmoving. "She doesn't usually meet with people who have been involved in public incidents with her." Heavy emphasis on the words “public incidents”. As if I was going to forget what happened at the charity event – or in front of my house, although that really was Aiden's fault, not mine.

I don't point out the fact that I don't exactly have an appointment with Grace.

It's too late, because her secretary notices that for me. "I'm sorry, Mr. Ashby. I just don't have you in her appointment books. But I'd be happy to pencil you in for –"

The office door swings open before the secretary finishes speaking and Grace Sullivan stands in the middle of the door. She's wearing a conservative suit – a plain black jacket and skirt with a white Oxford shirt – with her brown hair pulled back into a ponytail. On anyone else, it would look businesslike – professional and

unflattering, even. But the suit seems to be made for Grace Sullivan, cut to cling to her hourglass figure, the stark color of the suit somehow managing to set off the green in her eyes. When she sees me, those green eyes go wide for half a second and her lips fall open slightly. I think I hear her inhale sharply, but those are the only reactions of

surprise she exhibits before her jaw clenches and a veil of disinterest falls over her face. "Noah Ashby." Her tone is frosty. "I'm surprised to see you here. I'm sure you have better things to do with your time than do me any favors by dropping by the foundation." Okay, so she definitely hasn't forgotten about what I said. I clear my throat, suddenly self-conscious in front of her secretary and the Secret Service agents, far too aware that I was a shithead, telling her I was doing her a favor by donating the ranch. I came across as a spoiled celebrity, one of those assholes who demand a dressing room with only blue M&Ms in the candy dish. "Wait. I know I don't have an appointment, and you probably have other things to do." Probably? Of course she has other things to do. She runs a foundation. "Shit. I don't mean ‘probably’. You definitely have other things to do. But I wanted to come here and apologize." Grace raises her eyebrows. Okay, she's definitely not having any of the apology.

I clear my throat. Fuck, this is embarrassing. I can't remember the last time I

apologized for something. "I know, you're probably wondering what exactly I’m apologizing for. Am I apologizing for the comment about doing you a favor? Or the whole blow-up doll incident? Or the ” Grace's face pales. "You know, outside of my office isn't really the place for –" Her assistant clears her throat. "Ms. Sullivan, if you'd like, I can pencil Mr. Ashby in for another time." "I didn't mean to come in here and talk about blow-up dolls."

I think I hear the Secret Service agent chuckle, but Grace's face flushes pink. I can't tell if she's mad. Are her nostrils flaring? "Stop talking," she says, her voice tight.

"Shit. None of that came out right. I'm really not normally an idiot, even though I seem to be when I'm around you." I exhale heavily. "You know what? Yes. Pencil me in for another time." "Excellent, Mr. Ashby. If I can just –" Grace's expression softens as she looks at me, and she puts her hand up, stopping the secretary. "Janice, could you hold my next appointment?" "Ms. Sullivan, you know how –" Grace gives her a look. "Just for a few minutes." "Absolutely, ma'am."

I follow her into her office and start talking as soon as the office door closes

behind me, oblivious to anything else. "Look, I'm man enough to apologize when I say something out of bounds.” I don't know why, but I'm driven by a need to have

this girl not think I'm a total moron – or a narcissistic celebrity jackass – even though I seem to wind up acting like both when I'm around her. “And I don't know why I said I was doing you a favor by donating the ranch, because it's not true "Noah, I think you should know that –" “Grace.” I cut her off before she can continue because I know that if I don't spit my apology out right now, I'm going to be so distracted by the fact that she's standing here less than a foot away from me, looking up at me the way she's doing right now with her wide eyes and plump, perfectly kissable lips, and… Oh hell, what was I doing again? That's right. I was apologizing. "You're really doing me a favor, letting me donate the ranch. I need the good publicity." Shit. Why did I say that? I do need the good press, that's true. It's why my agent suggested I do something with a charity right now. But my ranch is my refuge during off-season. I can count on one hand the number of visitors I've had there. Even Aiden knows not to bug me when I go there to hide out. When I found out about the summer camp that Grace's foundation runs, I wanted to do it because it was a cool cause. Except now this girl thinks I'm an asshole who only cares about his public image. Grace blanches. "The good publicity. Right. You're up for contract renewal. Of course." "That's not what I meant, exactly. Fuck, I'm not saying what I mean here." "It's okay," she says. "Aiden already explained." "Explained what?" Aiden talked to her already? Grace's cheeks flush pink, giving her this glow that automatically makes me think of sex. Hell, everything about this girl makes me think about how much I want my hands on her. "I explained that you're in the middle of negotiating contracts." Aiden steps into view from where he's apparently been standing on the other side of the office. What the hell is he doing here? "So you explained that I'm donating the ranch to help my contract negotiations?" I have to ball my hands into fists at my side to keep from slugging Aiden. I swear, if he weren't my best friend, he'd be dead right now. The best friend part of things is beginning to be questionable, too. "He didn't say that, exactly," Grace says, smiling at Aiden. When she looks at him, it sends a rush of possessiveness through me. "He explained that the ranch is really important to you and that it was a big deal for you to donate it for the summer." "Did you?” I ask, my voice flat. I don't like the fact that he and Grace have been in here talking, and I like it less that Aiden had time with her to explain my motives for anything. "Well, not really. I told her you're basically a hermit with no social skills, and that you don't let anyone near your ranch." I glare at Aiden, until Grace looks at me. When her eyes meet mine, I swear

"

there's something between us, the same magnetic pull I felt that night at the charity event when I nearly pressed my lips to hers. "I'm not a hermit," I say lamely. A smile tugs at the edges of Grace's lips. "It's okay. I completely overreacted. The real truth is, you are doing me a huge favor by donating the ranch – and your time - and the foundation is grateful for it." Her face colors again. "I'm really grateful for it. Personally, I mean. If you are donating your time. I don't mean to assume that you're still interested in showing up at the camp – or that you were even interested in donating your time to begin with before my father put you on the spot." "I told her you may not have time, what with all of your other obligations," Aiden interrupts. "My other obligations?" I ask, narrowing my eyes. "Aiden explained how busy you are with training ” "I’m not." I glare at Aiden. "Although I appreciate Aiden looking out for my time commitments." Aiden grins. "No problem, man. Don't mention it. I told her I'd be happy to donate my time in your place." "That's shocking." If Aiden thinks for one second that I’m going to let him cock-block me and make a move on this girl at my own ranch, he doesn’t know me at all. Grace's brow furrows. "If there's a problem –" "There's no problem," I insist. "I actually don't have any other commitments that conflict with the summer camp. I'm happy to take a more personal, hands-on approach with the charity." I look meaningfully at Grace, whose eyes widen. She takes a corner of her lip between her teeth and in that moment, I know she's thinking about what happened between us. Aiden has no chance with her. I watch her swallow hard. "Um, yes. Right. Your contributions – both of your contributions – are extremely generous." "Well, both of us are really good at being hands-on," Aiden adds, winking. Then Grace looks at him and does the lip-biting thing again. The fact that she does it when she looks at Aiden makes me unreasonably annoyed. She moves to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear, the gesture self-conscious, even though there's not a single hair out of place. "Um. Hands-on. Both of you. Exactly. So…" She clears her throat and takes a deep breath, her expression settling into one that's completely professional, her tone businesslike. "The kids would really respond to two famous athletes spending any time at all with them. It would be a great way of kicking off the inaugural camp session and I think it might encourage other athletes or celebrities to get involved, too." "So it's settled. Two weeks at the ranch," Aiden says. "Two weeks?" Grace asks. "Oh, no. I didn't expect that you would be there for the entire time. I figured you could show up and give them a motivational speech,

or sign some autographs. Most celebrities donate just a couple of hours or so to charities like this." "Are you going to be there for the full two weeks?" Aiden asks. "I always go to the first camp of the summer," Grace says. "Then I'll be there. I'm highly motivated to provide a personal touch," Aiden says, grinning. That grin makes me want to punch him. He thinks I'm going to let him spend two weeks at my ranch alone with Grace? He's out of his damn mind. I clench my jaw as I speak. "Two weeks? No problem. I'll be there too." "Um. Okay. Well, I didn't expect –" She looks down at the ground before taking another breath and making eye contact with us again. "The fact that both of you are willing to donate your time for two entire weeks is… generous. Really generous." "It's for the children," Aiden says piously. Smarmy bastard. I could slap the shit out of him right now. "Charity is important to us," I say before I can stop myself, sounding almost as transparent as Aiden. "I see," she says. Her cheeks flush pink again. "Well. I don't want to doubt your generosity, but…" Her voice trails off and she takes a deep breath. "I don't want you coming to the camp because you have some kind of ulterior motive." "Ulterior motive?" Aiden's face is choirboy innocent. Grace's face reddens again. "Since, I mean…" She exhales heavily. "Both of you have said – or done - some things that aren't exactly… professional, and this camp would be a purely professional setting." The thought of what Aiden might have said to Grace that's less than professional makes me want to explode. "So we'd need to behave appropriately," I say for Aiden's benefit more than anyone else's. A look of relief washes over Grace's face. "Yes. Exactly. And I think we're all professionals here." "I think some of us are professionals," I agree. Part of me is wondering what the hell I'm doing here. A week ago, I was donating my ranch for the summer so a bunch of kids and camp counselors could run around and ride horses and make s'mores. That was as personal as it was going to get. Hell, giving up my summer getaway was charitable enough. Now, I'm standing here agreeing to two weeks of businesslike behavior with the hottest woman I've ever seen and the best friend who's determined to cock-block me. "Oh, I can definitely behave professionally," Aiden assents – though his words sound anything but. Grace looks doubtful. "It's a children's summer camp, so no, um –" "Nakedness?" Aiden asks. "Oh God," Grace breathes. I have the sudden image of her, underneath me and breathing the phrase in the exact same way. Fuck, I just agreed to two weeks of professional behavior when this woman can utter a single phrase and have me rock hard. "I'm sure we can all agree that the blow-up dolls and the um… nakedness…

are not appropriate?" "I'm not sure Aiden is capable of keeping his clothes on for two weeks," I note. Grace blinks. "Yes. Um, you can't really take your clothes off –" "I'll agree to keep my shirt on, as long as Noah stops ripping your dress off." Grace's hand flies to her mouth. Is it my imagination that the breath she lets out might betray her sexual frustration? I can barely suppress the growl that rises in my throat. I'm definitely not making any promises when it comes to not tearing this girl's clothes right off her body. "There's no reason for anything unprofessional to happen," Grace says, her voice trembling. "We're adults. Professional adults. There's no need for anyone's clothing to come off, right?" She laughs nervously. That laugh. It's warm and awkward and makes her more likeable than she was before. Oh, hell. Getting her clothes off is absolutely the only thing I want. When I look up, Aiden grins at me. Screw professional behavior. May the best man win - and there's no fucking way that's going to be Aiden Jackson.

14

GRACE

" U m, yes. I just need a few minutes before the meeting, please?" My words are coming out rushed, like I've just downed four shots of espresso, and I can't

seem to make them slow down so I sound like a halfway normal person. Is Janice looking at me weird? She's totally looking at me weird. "Are you okay, ma'am?" Janice asks, her brow furrowing. "You look a little flushed. I heard there's something going around. I can get you some Vitamin C if you'd like. Or maybe a cup of tea?"

"Okay. I'm okay. I'm totally fine. I think it's allergies. It must be allergies. I just need a minute. Sixty seconds. A few minutes, maybe." I turn around and dart back into my office before she can say anything else, closing and locking the door behind me before collapsing back against it. “Oh my God.” I hear myself breathe the words aloud. They sound like they're coming out of someone else's mouth, throaty and hoarse.

I stand there, my back against the door, my chest heaving. Every cell in my body

seems like it's on high alert, every inch of me so turned on that I don't think it's possible for me to catch my breath. My arms are dotted with goose pimples, my nipples hard inside my bra.

I don't even think about what I do next before I do it. I yank the sides of my skirt up over my hips, completely disregarding the nagging little voice inside my head

that asks me what the hell I'm about to do right now in my office, when Janice and Secret Service agents are right outside and I'm already late for a meeting.

I practically stumble as I walk to my desk, drunk with lust, my palm landing flat

on a pile of papers that slips forward, sending pages scattering to the floor on the other side. Normally, I would care about the fact that I just sent what are probably important documents hurtling to the ground. Of course, normally I would have better control of myself. Normally, I wouldn't be so consumed with lust for two men – two men! – that I yank my panties down over my hips in the middle of my office. It's just that Aiden – lighthearted Aiden with his inappropriate humor and playful charm - showed up at my office offering to attend the summer camp, looking like he was daring me to object as his eyes drank in every inch of me. And

Noah – brooding, gruff, intense Noah – stood so close to me that if he wanted, he could have pulled me against him and finished what he started that one night. And Heaven help me, that's exactly what I wanted him to do. My panties around my thighs, I reach between my legs, stifling the moan that threatens to escape my lips as my fingertips press against my clit. I imagine Aiden giving me that cocky, sure-of-himself grin as he looks up from between my legs, before his mouth returns to its work. I rub circles around my clit, my movements frantic not just because I'm in a totally inappropriate place to be touching myself but because I'm already nearly driven to the edge by how badly I want Aiden. I want to feel his tongue inside me, to collapse as he brings me to orgasm, his mouth pressed between my thighs. I want to run my hands over his muscled chest, down his chiseled abs, to wrap my fingers around his hard cock and guide it into my mouth. I practically salivate thinking about the taste of his pre-cum as it touches my tongue and the way his hard cock feels between my lips. And then there's Noah… With one hand firmly on the desk, I bend forward, biting down hard on my lip as I thrust two fingers inside my slick pussy. I imagine Noah letting out a low growl under his breath as he grasps my ass cheek with his hand, his other hand guiding the tip of his cock to my wet entrance. I picture him thrusting inside me, his dick filling me up in one swift movement, the head of his cock pressing on the spot that sends arousal coursing through me in waves. Bent over with my skirt bunched up around my hips and my panties halfway down my thighs, I fuck myself with my fingers, gathering momentum as I picture myself being filled up by Noah at the same time that my lips are wrapped around Aiden's cock. When I imagine them coming inside me – Noah letting go as he thrusts his cock deeper and deeper into my wet pussy, Aiden's hands in my hair as he fucks my mouth – I crash over the edge. My orgasm overtakes me, leaving me standing there taking short erratic breaths. My office phone rings as I'm standing there with my fingers inside me, trying desperately to compose myself. With my free hand, I press the speaker button. "Yes?" I recognize the voice of one of the White House operators on the other line. "Please hold for the President of the United States." Fuck. I barely have time to slip my fingers from between my legs and compose myself before my father is on the line. "Yes, Dad?" My heart still races, pounding so hard it threatens to beat out of my chest. I can feel how flushed my face has become, and I struggle to sound normal when I've just been interrupted in the most disheveled, completely undone state I've ever been in. Once upon a time, I thought I could have a normal life in Denver, far removed from Washington, D.C. politics and my parents' careers. What a joke. Normal people don't get phone calls from the President when they're masturbating.

careers. What a joke. Normal people don't get phone calls from the President when they're masturbating.

"I DONT KNOW what's gotten into you, but I love the new Grace. I wish I were there to see it in person." "There's no ‘New Grace’, Vi," I protest into the phone, flipping a page of the newspaper even though I've read nothing on it. The words are a blur, the large block print of the headlines melting together to become undecipherable. My evening routine involves reading several newspapers – it's old-fashioned, given that all of the news is online now, but I like it – except that tonight I've been staring at the same newspaper for an hour without seeing a single word on the pages. "Are you sure about that?" Vi asks. Am I sure? Hell, no.

I agreed to spend two weeks on a ranch with two of the hottest, most available

professional athletes in the world, one of whom I've seen nearly naked and the other of whom has had his hands on my breasts. I've now had too many fantasies about both of them fucking me – at the same time – to be in any way normal, and

the other day I had to shut my office door behind me to masturbate thirty seconds after they left because I couldn't contain myself.

I don't even know where the hell Old Grace – the girl who has been functioning

just fine on a diet of all work and no sex – is right now. New Grace seems to have taken over my body. "Totally sure," I lie. "Because it seems to me that New Grace could be a bit of a ho," Vi jokes. "I am not!" I protest, trying to suppress the image that flashes into my head of me bent over my desk, finger-fucking myself to the thought of Aiden and Noah both taking me. "I only agreed to this because it's a good idea for the charity. Two professional athletes at the camp will be great for the kids. They're going to love it."

"Right. This has nothing to do with having the hots for those professional athletes." "Okay," I admit, my voice faltering. "This thing on the ranch might be the worst idea ever. What's gotten into me?" Vi snorts. "Well, it's obvious what you'd like to get into you

"I don't want either of them getting into me, thank you very much. They're – completely inappropriate. Aiden flew a blow-up doll over my house because he wanted to get my attention!" "It worked, didn't it? I mean, he already grabbed your attention pretty well when he answered the door naked, let's be honest." "Sure, Aiden is attractive. Obviously. He's all ripped and tattooed and he definitely has a bad boy thing going, but –" "So does Noah," Vi points out. "Noah is different." Noah isn't over-the-top the way Aiden is, the one who's clearly used to women throw themselves at him. He's quieter than Aiden, more intense. When I think about the way he looked at me that night of the event, like he

"

wanted to consume me, it makes me wet. I clear my throat. "Neither of them is a good choice. They're both about as far from appropriate as you can get." "Are you trying to convince me or yourself?" Vi asks. "Because I'm not the one who conveniently arranged to have a private two week getaway in the middle of nowhere with two of the most eligible bachelors in professional football." "I did not ‘arrange for a getaway’," I state firmly. "This is a charity camp, and I do it every year for the first set of campers, thank you very much. I didn't start doing the camp because Aiden Jackson and Noah Ashby showed up to volunteer their time." I'm suddenly very defensive, my words spilling out more and more rapidly. Vi laughs. "Whoa, girl. Slow down. I didn't say you started doing the camp because two hot-ass football players showed up." I swallow hard. "Obviously. Because that's clearly not what's going on here." "I just said that you arranged for two of the most eligible professional athletes to be alone with you while chopping wood shirtless and building fires and –" "Do you have any idea what we do at the camp?" "Well, right now I'm picturing Noah Ashby and Aiden Jackson shirtless and sweaty." Great. Now I can't help but picture Noah and Aiden shirtless. Apparently I pause for longer than I think, because Vi laughs. "Clearly you are, too," she observes. "The summer camp isn't going to be a problem," I declare, more for my benefit than for hers. "Keep telling yourself that, Grace."

15

AIDEN

" O h my Lord," Mama Ashby says, her hand flying to her mouth. She stands in the middle of the living room in the same tiny split-level

house she and her husband Paul have lived in for the past forty years. Noah periodically tries to buy them a new house, but they refuse every time. Bess Ashby jokingly accuses him of trying to get them to settle in a retirement village full of old people, “and we're not old!" "Do you like it?" Annie pauses just inside the living room. "Where did half of your hair go? And did you fall into a vat of fruit punch?" Bess wipes her flour-covered hands across the front of her apron, giving Annie a half- amused, half-appalled glare. Annie grins, pleased with herself for eliciting the reaction from Bess, practically running across the room and dodging four yippy Jack Russell terriers to throw her arms around the woman. "It's cute, right?" she asks, her hand going to her head. I roll my eyes. "Cute isn't exactly the word I'd use." "Shut up, Aiden. You're so old, how would you know what's hot right now? I like it and my friends like it.” Annie sticks her tongue out at me. “Super mature, Banannie.” "It's very…pink," Mama Ashby observes, looking at me from across the room, her eyebrows raised. I give her a what-can-you-do gesture, then return to surfing the internet on my phone. Noah sits on the other side of the room, half-sprawled across the sofa because that's about all of him that can fit on the furniture, pointedly ignoring me. Ever since the whole Grace Sullivan thing, he's been cranky as hell. "Thanks! I figured I'd try something different." "I need a change, too," Bess says, laughing. "Should I go pink?" She pats her greying hair, pulled back into a bun on the top of her head. "Definitely," Annie says. "Paul would love it. He's cool. He has tattoos and works at a garage. You could rock the pink hair, Bess." Bess laughs warmly. "Those tattoos are from his Navy days back when he was eighteen years old. Can you imagine? I'd be the only one at the Thursday night bridge game with pink hair."

Annie wanders over to the kitchen counter and picks through baked goods. "Did you make raisin bread for me?" "Of course I did," Mama Ashby says, "Five loaves. Just in case your brother and Noah want a little light snack." "Light snack," Annie scoffs. "You need to watch your weight, big brother." "Whatever. I'm in my prime." Even if I were watching my weight, I'd throw that right out the window with Mama Ashby's cooking in play. She's always been of the belief that family dinners and a good dessert could solve most any problem, which is why come hell or high water, Noah, Annie and I are required to come back to West Bend for monthly dinners. I missed last month – the first time in a year – and got an earful from Bess. "You know I made apple pie for after dinner," Bess calls from the kitchen. "Did Aiden tell you what he did for my birthday?" Annie asks. She leans back against the counter, biting into a piece of raisin bread. "Are you going to just eat that right in front of me?" I yell. "Why don't you get me some while you're up?" "You're so lazy, Aiden," she calls back. "Get up and make a piece of toast yourself." "Just toss the rest of the loaf of bread at me. You know I'm going to eat it anyway." "Were you raised in a barn, Aiden Jackson?" Bess stands with her hands on her hips, her expression stern but her eyes twinkling, indicating she’s not at all angry. I immediately jump up anyhow, crossing the kitchen to kiss her on the cheek. “No ma’am.” She swats me on the arm. “Don’t you forget your manners just because you’re rich and famous now.” I grab my sister’s toast from her hand before she can object and shove half of it in my mouth, jumping backwards when she tries to hit me. “He doesn’t have any manners!” Annie yells. “I have tons of manners,” I protest, but it comes out more like mmph-mmph- mmph because my mouth is full of bread. “You’re so gross,” Annie says. “Your son’s angling to be the rich one,” I say, glancing at Noah, who’s apparently too engrossed with what he’s doing on his tablet to pay attention to us. “I settled for my contract already.” “He says he settled,” Mama Ashby says, rolling her eyes. She passes me in the kitchen, swatting me on the ass with a wooden spoon. “We should all be as lucky to ‘settle’ for getting paid millions of dollars to do what we love.” “That did sound spoiled, didn’t it?” I ask, laughing. “Uh, yeah,” Annie says. “Where’s my birthday present, anyway?” “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I lie. “You stole my toast and now you’re reneging on my birthday present? Some

older brother you are.” “You’re awful quiet over there, Noah,” Mama Ashby notes. Noah looks up from his tablet and grunts before swiping something on the screen. When I cross the room to grab Annie’s gift from my bag, Noah tosses me a dirty look, obviously still pissy about the whole Grace situation. I should ignore it, but what can I say? I’m an overgrown child and I like pushing Noah's buttons. “He’s just in a mood lately.” Now Noah gives me an even angrier look. “No reason I can think of for that.” “Are you two getting on each other’s nerves being roommates?” Mama Ashby asks absently as she reaches into the cupboard for dinner plates and hands them to Annie. “You’re only staying with him until your renovations are done. Right, Aiden?” “Yeah, if I don’t kill him first,” Noah growls. “The two of you have always been so close, but you’ve also always been at each other’s throats,” the woman notes. “Everything is a competition with you boys.” Noah makes a grunting sound from the sofa. "Nothing's changed," he says bitterly. Noah and I have known each other our whole lives. Even before the Ashbys took Annie and I in, we were best friends. But our version of friendship has always involved a shitload of competition. It's that competition that drove us to be great at football. Despite being competitive in sports, Noah and I have never gone after the same girl. We’ve never had a reason to before. I’ve been perfectly happy with the girls I hook up with – mostly hot chicks just looking for a good time and nothing else. It’s not that I’m a player; it’s just that I’ve never much seen any reason to tie myself to one woman. I’d rather keep my options open. Of course, I’ve never exactly been interested in a girl like Grace Sullivan before, either. She’s way out of my league, that’s for sure – leagues above any of the women I’ve ever hooked up with – smarter, prettier, and just a hell of a lot classier. Plus, she’s uptight and everyone knows that uptight girls are the wildest in bed. They just need a little push. And I’m the one to give her that push. Unlike Noah. On the surface, he seems like he’d be more Grace's type – nerdy, smart, and way too damn serious – but that’s exactly why he’s not right for her. Besides, I can’t even remember the last time he got with a girl. He’s obsessed with football. There’s “work hard, play hard” - that’s my philosophy - and then there’s “work all the fucking time,” which is Noah’s life’s motto. A girl like Grace Sullivan needs someone to help her let loose. So, competition? In my eyes, there’s no competition. This race is already won. Mama Ashby eyes me skeptically. “What are you two competing over? You’re off-season and you’ve already signed a contract.” “Is that my present?” Annie interrupts, unknowingly letting me dodge a bullet with Noah’s mom right there. She doesn’t wait for me to say yes before she grabs the folder out of my hands and flips it open.

“Okay, help yourself,” I say sarcastically. Annie looks down at the folder and then up at me. “No way.” “That's not the real thing,” I explain. “The travel agent just gave me that so I’d

have something to give to you so it would be less lame than just saying, ‘Here, I got you a plane ticket.’” “A plane ticket? Where’s he sending you?” Bess asks, her hand on her hip. “Europe!” Annie runs at me, slamming into me and throwing her arms around my neck before I can respond. “I guess you're happy about it?" “Are you serious? It’s like an open-ended ticket!” Annie yells. “Did you tell him to get it, Noah?” Noah grins for the first time since we got here. “I didn’t. But I’m glad he saw reason and got it for you. You’ll have a great time.” “Oh my God. I have to call Lucas and Avery. They’re going to be so stoked. They’re leaving in three weeks. Shit. The restaurant’s not going to let me go.” “I already talked to your manager,” I tell her. “Besides, you’re going into senior year. You shouldn’t be working at a restaurant. You’re supposed to get something work-study, or at least something that’s going to help you get a job after college. That's what Noah tells me, and you should listen to him since he graduated magna whatever-the-fuck.” “Watch your language!” Bess yells. “Just because you’re all grown up, doesn’t mean you can drop the f-word in my house.” “Yes, ma’am,” I reply, hanging my head. “Magna cum laude,” Noah corrects.

I snort at the word cum.

“Thanks, Aiden!” Annie squeals, already across the living room and heading for the front door with her phone in her hand. She flings open the front door, nearly bowling over Noah’s dad Paul. She gives him a one-armed hug, her phone pressed

to her ear. “Where are you off to, girl?” Paul asks. “Europe!” she exclaims before bouncing out the door. Paul raises his eyebrows and shakes his head, slipping off his work boots. He’s

still in his coveralls from the shop, grease slicks down his tattooed forearms. When he makes it into the kitchen, he heads straight for Bess, the way he always does. Bess laughs as he half-slips an arm around her waist, swatting him away playfully. “Get your grubby hands off me. Go wash up.” “You’re lucky I don’t leave a grease-stained handprint on your ass, woman.” Bess gasps in mock surprise and hits him with a dishtowel. “Paul Ashby, what’s gotten into you?” Paul turns to me. “Your sister’s going to Europe with pink hair?"

across the room at Noah. "What are you doing over there ignoring everyone?" "I was going to say hi, but you didn't let me get a word in edgewise," Noah says. "These two are fighting about something," Bess says, giving Paul a look. "No one's fighting about anything," Noah roars. Bess raises her eyebrows. "Uh-huh." "Oh, Lord." Paul rolls his eyes. "Don't break anything." "We're not going to get injured," I assure him. "I wasn't worried about you two. I was worried about my furniture." "Thanks for the concern, dad," Noah calls as his father heads off to clean up. Paul and Bess are fixtures in West Bend, Colorado. They were born and raised here, and Paul has been running the only auto repair shop around for thirty miles since he finished his enlistment in the Navy when he was twenty-two. Noah was supposed to follow in his footsteps and take over the family business, but it was pretty clear mid-way through high school, after the football team won our second state championship and Noah and I were identified as rising stars, that Noah wasn't heading in the same direction as his father. Luckily, his sister Denise turned out to have a knack for auto repair and was perfectly happy taking the mantle – not that Paul is ever going to stop working. The man will probably keep working until he keels over. "Where's Denise?" I ask. "She and Ed had to drive over to Gunnison for an OB appointment. They're all nervous because this is their first baby. Wanted to get some fancy OB doctor over there instead of Dr. Allen, even though Dr. Allen's been delivering babies for the last thirty years. Delivered both of you and you turned out just fine." She shakes her head and makes a tsk-tsk sound before she gets distracted by the image of the President and First Lady on the television in the living room. "You know, he came through Denver last week," Bess says, nodding toward the television where a video clip plays of the First Couple waving to a crowd at some kind of political event. "I'm voting for the other guy. I've never much cared for either of them. I've always thought he was just kind of smug. I know people say she's so fashionable and all, but she's always seemed off to me. Cold." Noah grunts. "Exactly." "Noah met him," I tell her. "The President?? Noah Ashby, you're lying here on the sofa like nothing's going on, when you met the President of the United States?" "I thought you didn't care for him," Noah says. "That doesn't mean I don't want to hear about it!” Bess exclaims. "I swear, the two of you with your celebrity lives, do you think us mere mortals don't want to know who you're hobnobbing with?" "It's not a big deal," Noah grumbles. "We're working with his daughter on a charity thing," I say, unable to resist riling Noah up since he's had such an attitude problem when it comes to this. I guess I'm not all pissed off - because I'm confident in my ability to land Grace

myself. "Noah donated his ranch." "Yeah, and Aiden decided he was suddenly all about charity," Noah adds. "I've always been about charity. What do you think hanging around your sullen ass is, if it's not charity?" "Maybe you should take your charitable ass and get it out of my house," Noah suggests, his tone biting. "Leave my neighbors alone." "I think your neighbor is fine with my not leaving her alone." "Enough," Bess interrupts. "Are you both arguing over some girl?" "Not just some girl," I say. Paul walks into the room. "The two of you can work out your crap somewhere else," he booms. "We got more important things to talk about here – like what smells so good in the kitchen, Bess?"

16

NOAH

T his place is crazy.

What were they thinking, giving these kids ice cream? I don’t know jack shit about kids, but even I know that giving sugar to twenty kids and turning them loose to set up campsites is a recipe for disaster. There are four camp counselors trying to establish order in a field a few hundred yards away from my house – the area I designated for the campsite. Aiden and I spent most of lunch – hotdogs and burgers – fielding questions from a bunch of kids, some of whom were super excited we were here and some who didn’t know who the hell we were. I preferred the kids who didn’t know who the hell we were. The camp only started today, but already I think I’ve answered more questions than I did from reporters all last season. I glance back at the house, wondering if anyone would notice if I ditched the tiny terrors out here and caught a workout in the gym. Or shit, just enjoyed ten minutes of silence. Grace Sullivan has been all business since she got here. Professional doesn’t even begin to describe her attitude. She’s been cool as a cucumber ever since Aiden and I met with her in her office. There were a few times the past few days when she called me personally to ask questions about the ranch, questions that I could swear an assistant could have asked. I thought she was calling because there was something between us, but even during those calls she was all business. When she introduced Aiden and I at the beginning of the camp, it was like we were any other celebrities. There was one moment after she finished the introductions, however, when that she met my gaze and something passed between us. It was enough to make her cheeks flush, but that was the only hint I was given that she might be attracted to me. Fortunately, I’m not the only one who’s been kept at arm’s length. Aiden hasn’t gotten any alone time with her, and that’s how it’s going to stay if I have anything to say about it. The camp counselors are all required to camp outside with the kids, but I “generously” opened the main house to Grace and the field house to the support staff who needed space during the week but wouldn’t be staying overnight.

Grace started to protest that it wasn’t necessary and that she usually stays with the

support staff, but her security detail stepped in and said that it was a better setup from a security point of view. Score one for the Secret Service agents. A boy darts past me with a bunch of tent spikes in his hand, and I grab him by the back of the shirt. He looks up at me. “Dude.” “Dude,” I repeat, letting go of him. “Anyone ever tell you not to run with scissors?” “Uh, these aren’t scissors.” “Yeah, they’re spikes, Louis,” I correct, reading the name tag on his shirt. “And I’m pretty sure that’s worse.”

“Why?”

“You want to trip and fall and get a spike through the eye?” “That would be gnarly.”

I roll my eyes. “Where’s your tent?”

He shrugs. “I don’t know.” “You’re just running around with a bunch of tent spikes for no reason?” “That kid has it. I paired up with him.” He points to a nerdy blond kid with

glasses twenty yards away who’s holding a tent and looking like a stiff wind could knock him over.

I exhale heavily. “Have you ever been camping?”

“No.” “Where are your counselors?” He shrugs and points to a counselor helping a pair of kids with a tent. Then he turns back to me and asks, “Do you know how to set up a tent?” At the same time, I catch a glimpse of Aiden on the other side of the field, walking toward Grace. She’s squatting down in her jeans and cowgirl boots – the most inauthentic bright red boots ever, but the second I saw her in them, I couldn’t

help but think of her in nothing but those boots. She smiles as she talks to a kid. When Aiden reaches her, she tucks a lock of hair behind her ear and directs that smile toward him. Walk over and take Grace out of Aiden’s hands or help a couple of kids set up a tent? It isn’t even a question. Inwardly I groan; outwardly, I sigh. “Ah, shit. Yeah, I know how to set up a tent.” “Don’t sound so happy,” Louis says. “Are you a camp counselor? You’re not supposed to cuss.” “How old are you?” I ask. “Ten.” “I’m pretty sure your ears aren’t going to fall off if you hear the word ‘shit’.” “You’re kind of an ass,” he notes as we walk. All right, these kids might not be so bad after all. "Did you just call me an ass?"

“That's what my mom calls people sometimes when they cut in front of her in traffic. Who are you, anyway?” “I’m a football player.” He looks at me with his nose wrinkled. “You don’t look like a football player.” “What’s that supposed to mean? What the hell do you think a football player looks like?” “Rich,” he says, matter-of-fact, as we get to the campsite. The twiggy little

blond kid is standing beside a pile of tarp and various supplies, looking helpless. “And I don’t look rich?” Louis shrugs. “Whoa,” the blond kid breathes, looking at me with wide eyes. “I know who you are.”

I look at Louis. “See? Told you. I’m famous.”

The blond kid, Spencer, as I note from his nametag, nods. “You’re on that TV show.” “You’re on a TV show?” Louis blurts. “Well, why didn’t you say that?” “Because I’m not on a TV show,” I grumble. How’d I wind up paired with the only two kids here who don’t know who I am? “Weren’t you paying attention when they introduced us earlier?” Louis shrugs for the fifteenth time. “Not really. I get bored a lot.” Spencer interrupts. “Yeah, I remember that other guy over there. He’s a football player,” he says, pointing to Aiden. “We’re both football players. Famous ones,” I say, exhaling heavily in exasperation. I glance at Aiden on the other side of the field, who’s standing way too close to Grace to be appropriate. “Do you know that’s President Sullivan’s daughter?” Spencer asks, oblivious to my frustration. “President Sullivan has been in office for eight hundred and eighty-two days. He’s married to Katherine Sullivan, and they have a dog named

Ruffles.” “What, are you an encyclopedia?” I ask. “I had to do a report last week,” Spencer replies. “What’s an encyclopedia?”

“It’s a reference book. People look stuff up in encyclopedias when they want to learn about things.” “You mean like asking Siri?” Spencer looks at me blankly.

I exhale heavily. “Yeah. Exactly like that.”

Louis looks at me, his nose wrinkled again. “You see those other counselors? They seem nicer than you.” “They’re smiling more,” agrees Spencer. “Are you here because you’re doing community service or something?” asks Louis as he bends over and begins to pull out a tent. “My mom’s ex-boyfriend had to do community service once. But he picked up trash at a park.” “This is my ranch, smartass.” I grab the tent from the mouthy kid’s hands. “You guys are my guests.”

Louis looks doubtful. “Are you sure?” “You’re asking if I’m sure it’s my ranch or if I’m sure about having you kids here? Because I’m starting to regret the latter.” Louis and Spencer stare at me blankly. I exhale heavily. This is going to be a long damn two weeks, although if I’m being honest, I’ll admit that Louis and Spencer aren’t so bad. They’re even kind of funny - for kids. “How about less talking and more setting up the tents?”

17

GRACE

Y ou’re good with the kids,” I note, trying to sound casual as I wipe my palms on my jeans not just because they’re dirty but because I’m slightly nervous being

around Aiden now that we’ve finished setting up the tent. Aiden took over, teaching the two kids how to pitch the tent while cracking jokes that made all of us laugh. The second they were finished, Niall and Drew ran off to tell their camp counselors they were done, leaving Aiden and I standing here alone. Well, as alone as you can be in a field with twenty kids running around and a bunch of camp counselors. I’m definitely aware of that fact when I take a step back from Aiden, putting a respectable amount of distance between me and the too- handsome athlete, who’s the epitome of small-town sexy in his blue t-shirt and faded jeans. He and Noah both look at home here on the ranch, not at all like you'd think a couple of football players – or celebrities – would look plunked down in the middle of Nowhere, Colorado, although I guess that's not surprising, since this is Noah's ranch, after all. “I have a pain-in-the-ass younger sister,” Aiden says. He runs his hand through his hair and shrugs. I laugh. “I can definitely see you as a pain-in-the-ass older brother,” I say. “How old is she?” “Twenty-one. She’ll be a senior next year in college.” “You and Noah grew up in Colorado, right?” “Did you read up on us?” Aiden asks, a wide grin spreading across his face. “Actually, I didn’t,” I admit. “I remain blissfully ignorant about both of you.” “Because you’re not interested, or because you’d rather get to know us personally?” Aiden asks. The way he asks the question is unmistakably sexual, and the “us” part of the question doesn’t escape my attention. Reflexively, I glance to the other side of the field where Noah is helping a couple of kids with their campsite. You’d like to get to know Aiden and Noah very personally. I clear my throat. “I have this thing about not getting intel on people I meet in real life.” “Intel from your security?”

“That too. But I meant internet-searching people I meet in real life." "Your whole life is public knowledge," Aiden comments. "Yeah, exactly. That's why I don't like looking up other people. People make lots of assumptions about me because they can find articles about my life, going back to when I was in grade school. They think they know who I am before getting to know me." "Being a player isn't too different from that," Aiden admits. "It's all PR. Just like with me and Noah. People like the whole 'Colorado golden boys' story." "You both grew up out here by the ranch?” "You literally don't know anything about us?" Aiden seems stunned by that revelation, and I'm not sure if he's offended or amazed. "You're not that famous," I tease. Aiden lets out a warm laugh. "Whatever, we're famous as hell. But… you really don't follow sports at all?" I shake my head. "Don't tell anyone," I whisper, putting a finger to my lips. "On paper, I'm a Colorado football fan, through and through. But um… not really. My dad actually is a die-hard Colorado fan, though." "We didn't grow up here," Aiden tells me. "Not on this ranch, I mean. Noah bought this place a couple years ago. It's his place, really. He doesn't let people out here ever, either. After the season ends, he usually disappears for a month or so, doesn't talk to anyone, just holes up here like a hermit." I glance over to Noah, who's still working with his kids on setting up their campsite. "He doesn't look like a hermit." Aiden laughs. "Noah and people don't go together. Trust me." Noah leans over to pick up something from the ground, and I find my gaze lingering on his ass for just a moment too long. I clear my throat, mentally chastising myself for ogling another man when I have a ridiculously attractive man right here in front of me. What's wrong with me? I intend to change the subject. I don't want to talk about Noah with Aiden – and I definitely don't want to think about how attracted to both of them I am right now. "You and Noah grew up together?" Way to change the subject away from Noah, Grace. "In the smallest town imaginable," Aiden says. "West Bend, Colorado." "The smallest town imaginable, huh? I'm picturing a little Main Street with a bunch of shops, looking like something right out of the 1950s?" "Ah, so you've been there?" Aiden teases. "I've been to places like it, for sure," I say. "Actually, I probably have been there with my father during one of his campaign seasons. His campaign managers love to pick those small towns for town hall sessions or photo ops in a local diner." "During one of his campaign seasons?" Aiden asks. "This is only his second time running for President." I laugh. "My father has been in politics since before I was born. I was in campaign photos before I could walk. Councilman, state senator, United States

congressman, Governor of Colorado… You name it, my father’s done it. Political royalty – that’s what they call my family." Aiden grunts. "I don't really follow politics." "Well, I gathered that much when you didn't know who I was when you met me," I tease. Aiden looks down at the ground, digging the toe of his shoe into the dirt. "Yeah." Is he embarrassed, and why do I find that so endearing? "It's okay, you know." "Noah stays on top of political stuff. It's never really been my thing." "Most of the people I meet are way too into politics," I admit. "They want to talk to me about my dad, or about the foundation, or want an edge somehow with their political career, or their causes." "Yeah?" Aiden asks. "I guess it's the same with football. The only people I meet are fans." "So I know nothing about football and you know nothing about politics. What are we going to talk about for two weeks?" Aiden turns toward me, the proximity too close to be simply friendly. My heart races as I look at him, and I tell myself to step back away from him before someone out here sees us and gets the wrong impression… or the right one. But for some reason, I can't make myself back away. "Talking wasn't on my list of priorities." The look he gives me is sheer lust – animalistic, primal, I'm-going-to-devour- you lust. Even as warmth rushes through my body in response to his words, I try to muster the wherewithal to rebuff him. I clear my throat. "I hope you didn't come here with the intent to do anything but talk, Mr. Jackson," I say. My words sound false even to me. Aiden chuckles. "I'll talk.” He steps forward, his lips near my ear. "In fact, I'll tell you exactly what I want to do to you.”

I step back from him, my heart racing. There's a damn good chance my face is as

red as the shade of the boots I'm wearing. "I thought I made myself clear when you and Noah signed up to join me at the ranch," I state primly. "Nothing's going to happen that's unprofessional or inappropriate." Aiden grins. "I think you're the first woman to play hard-to-get with me ever."

I bristle at his arrogance, despite my body's obvious attraction to him. "First of all, I'm not playing hard-to-get, because this isn't a game." Aiden doesn't seem put off at all by my statement. "It's definitely a competition." "Second of all," I continue. "I find it hard to believe that all women throw themselves at you. Wait – what do you mean, it's a competition?" "You find it hard to believe that women throw themselves at me? With all this I have going on?" he asks, gesturing to himself.

I roll my eyes. "Your humility is admirable."

"No reason to be humble when you're honest, sugar. And you're not being

honest with yourself." "Of course I'm honest," I sputter. "What in the world would I not be honest about?" Aiden gives me his crooked grin again. "That Noah and I are going to be professional or businesslike or friendly or whatever-the-hell." My eyes narrow. "You agreed." "Oh, I'll be appropriate – right up until you ask me not to be." I raise my eyebrows in disbelief. "You think I'm going to ask you to be inappropriate?" "I don't think so. I know so." "You're appallingly arrogant.” Aiden shrugs, nonplussed. "I'm honest." "And you honestly think I'm going to ask you to cross a line with me?" I fold my arms over my chest. "Yep." He grins. "Admit it. You've thought about me." "We want to hear you say it," Aiden commands, his fingers under my jaw as he tilts my head back toward him. His other hand pinches my nipple harder, sending a shock of pain through me - except that instead of hurting, it adds to the sensation. "Tell us how you want us to fuck you.” "I have not." I practically choke on the words, my mind consumed by the thought of what I’ve imagined Aiden doing to me. Aiden lets out a laugh, low under his breath. "Liar," he says softly as he leans close to me, his mouth near my ear. I shiver as the heat of his breath wafts over my skin, sending goose bumps across my body. "It's written all over your face. How did I do it when you thought about it? Did I pull up your skirt and bend you over the desk in your office? Was I on my knees with my tongue in your pussy?" I put my hand firmly against his chest, intending to push him immediately away, except it lingers for a second too long, my fingers pressing against his hard muscles. For a second, I think he's going to kiss me. Then, I want him to kiss me. I want him to pick me up and take me straight to the ranch house. I want him to do a million dirty things with me. No. I exhale heavily, stepping back from him. "No," I lie, my voice thick with lust. "I'm not going to ask you to cross a line. It's never going to happen." "Never?" Aiden asks. "That's right," I reiterate firmly. "That's a shame," he says. "How long has it been since you’ve been fucked, good and hard? I mean, really fucked. Like toe-curling, hair-pulling, back- scratching, break-the-bed and scream-down-the-walls fucked?" He asks the question like he's asking when's the last time I had scrambled eggs for breakfast, like this is a totally normal topic of conversation. The answer is never, by the way. As if I'm going to admit that to him. "Last week," I lie, attempting to sound breezy.

Aiden arches one eyebrow, clearly skeptical. "Last week?" "Yep." "Liar." "Could have happened." "Not a chance." "Of course it could have. You don't know." "Oh, I think I know when a woman is in need of a good fuck." "That's probably one of the most misogynistic things I've ever heard." "Don't know what that means, sugar tits.” He winks at me. I roll my eyes. "Classy." One of the camp counselors waves at us, heading in our direction, and Aiden grins. "I'm going to go be professional now." "It's always good to learn a new skill," I say. "Mr. Jackson," the camp counselor interrupts from yards away, waving him in her direction. Aiden turns to walk away when I realize he never answered that one question I asked. "Wait. What did you mean by competition?" Aiden turns around to face me. "Between Noah and I," he answers. "For you, obviously." "I'm not a prize," I call to his retreating figure. Aiden laughs. "Neither are we, sugar."

18

NOAH

" O of,” Grace lets out a sigh under her breath as she rounds the corner in the hallway and collides with me. When she falls against my chest, my hands go

automatically to her waist to keep her from falling. Score. I'm touching her again. I'm so distracted by the fact that I'm holding her, and she's looking at me the way she's looking at me right now, and by the fact that I want to kiss her, that it takes me a few seconds to register the cool wetness spreading across my stomach. Grace looks down at the bottle of chocolate syrup in her hands and then up at me. Chocolate sauce is splattered across her breasts, dotted on her shoulder, and dripping from her hair. A comparable amount of syrup is splashed on my shirt. "You're determined to ruin every article of clothing I wear, aren't you?" she asks. I can't hide the growl in my throat at the prospect of ruining all of Grace Sullivan’s clothing. "If that’s what it takes to get you out of your clothes, I'll go destroy your closet right now." "Is this your version of flirting?" she asks. My hand is still on her waist, the other on the small of her back. I should let her go. I'm sure Aiden is around here someplace – he disregarded the fact that I housed him with the camp counselors and helped himself to a room in the ranch house - and the last thing I want is a moment like this with Grace ruined by Aiden's stupid ass. But I've never been much good at doing what I should do. "Nope. This isn't flirting. Flirting would be if I licked the chocolate sauce off of you." Grace's eyes go big and her lips part before I even lean in close to her. What I'm about to do is the opposite of professional, yet I can't seem to resist this girl. She should be the last woman on Earth I'm attracted to – rich, privileged, powerful - even if she seems down-to-earth and charitable. My lips are close to her ear, yet she doesn't make a move to extricate herself from my arms. She doesn't turn away. In fact, I hear her sigh softly, the sound barely audible but so damn hot that it only encourages me. Leaning in closer, I put my lips on her neck, tasting a dab of chocolate syrup on her skin.

This time, there’s no mistaking the sound that leaves her mouth as anything but absolutely sexual. She definitely moaned the second my lips touched her neck, that’s for sure. I slide my hands around her back, moving lower until I cup her curvy ass. My hands linger there and I pull her against my hardness. “Noah,” she whispers, pressing her hand against my chest. I can’t tell if she’s encouraging me or protesting. “Grace,” I echo. “I’m two seconds from picking you up and carrying you to my room and using the rest of that chocolate sauce to paint your naked body.” “Noah, I can’t- ” “You didn’t let me finish. Then I’m going to lick you from head to toe. Or toe to head. Either one. I’ll give you the choice.” Her cheeks flush pink, but she doesn’t move from my arms. She just looks up at me with big green eyes and perfectly lush lips that are practically begging to be kissed. “I… shouldn’t.” “Because it’s not professional?” “No. I mean yes. It’s not professional,” she protests. Then her voice drops to a whisper. “It's just that… I’m attracted to you and A-” “Hey Noah, I- ” Aiden. That fucker. Grace jumps away from me like she’s just been electrocuted. Aiden stands in the doorway looking at me through narrowed eyes, but I don’t give a shit whether he saw Grace and I together or not. In fact, I hope he saw us together, because I’m staking my claim on this girl. “I should go clean up,” Grace says quickly. “The chocolate sauce. Noah and I are into each other – I mean, we ran into each other.” She laughs nervously. “We forgot the chocolate bars for the s’mores for the kids outside. I found the chocolate syrup in your refrigerator. I thought it might work in a pinch.” A sly smile spreads across Aiden’s face. “Hey Noah, I was just trying to find you to tell you your package arrived.” “What package?” Aiden looks at me meaningfully, his eyebrows raised. “You know. The one with the prescription cream for your…” He nods his head, gesturing toward my crotch. “Sores.” Grace clears her throat. “I’m just going to um… go change.” That jackass. “I didn’t want to say anything in… you know.” Aiden’s voice drops to a whisper before he continues: “Mixed company.” “He’s obviously screwing around,” I say quickly, glancing at Grace, who looks increasingly uncomfortable. “You can’t take anything he says seriously.” I glare at him. “He’s not a serious person.” “I’m pretty sure that your doctor told you that the sores are no joke,” Aiden insists, his expression earnest. “Um… I’ll see you both later.” Grace slips out of the room before I can offer any

other explanation for Aiden’s stupidity, although I’d think his stupidity would be self-evident by now. “Really? Cream for my sores? That’s the kind of juvenile shit you’re resorting to now?” Aiden grins. “I prefer the term creativity.” “Well, I’d prefer to beat your ass.” “Don’t get all worked up just because Grace thinks that your junk is a petri dish,” Aiden says, laughing. “That’s real funny from someone who’s probably screwed half the women in Colorado.” “I think you mean that it’s real ironic.” “Big word for a small brain.” “I know. It’s a good thing I have my looks and my giant cock to make up for my low IQ.” “As long as you keep your cock away from Grace.” Aiden laughs. “That’s not going to happen, Noah. You make your moves on her. I’ll make mine. I’m sure she’ll choose the best man. By best man, I obviously mean me.”

choose the best man. By best man, I obviously mean me.” A FTER CHANGING , I

AFTER CHANGING, I go out to the campfire mostly because I’m hoping to get a chance to tell Grace that I do not in fact have a sexually transmitted disease. Or any disease at all.

Except for my best friend Aiden. He’s like a growth I can’t get rid of. I don’t get to talk to Grace at the fire, though. Neither does Aiden, which is a small consolation. Grace is preoccupied with helping the kids roast marshmallows – either that, or she’s making a distinct effort to avoid Aiden and I. I think it might be the latter. She doesn’t make eye contact with me when I pass her. She doesn’t actually think that what Aiden said was true, does she? After s’mores, I head back to the ranch house. Grace stays behind to talk to the camp counselors. I try to avoid thinking any more about the incident with Grace earlier. The incident. Like it’s some kind of tragic experience. Kissing chocolate sauce off of Grace’s neck was about as far from a tragic experience as I’ve ever gotten. That moan she let out gave me the impression that it was the same for her. Of course, Aiden’s whole “prescription cream” bullshit could have changed things. I shove that thought aside as I go out to the large deck that wraps around the upstairs bedrooms on the side of the house. The deck is one of my favorite things about the ranch house. During the day, you can see for miles out across the meadows to the rolling hills in every direction. In the winter, when the countryside

is blanketed by untouched snow, the reflection of the sunlight is so bright it’s practically blinding. And it’s quiet out here when it’s not being overrun by children and camp counselors. I could sit on this deck for hours just immersing myself in the stillness of the place. But tonight, instead of soaking up the quiet – because even though the kids are heading to their tents for the night, they’re not exactly church mice – I flip through my phone, responding to personal emails and text messages. I generally try to avoid the social media bullshit like the plague not only because I suck at it, but also because when you’re a professional football player everyone has a damn opinion about your plays and your performance last s’eason and what you’re going to do next season, and the wager on where you’re going next year. Listening to all that crap, all those opinions that become voices in your head, is enough to make you crazy. That’s especially true right now when I’m trying to figure out what the hell I want to do when it comes to my entire career. “Noah?” Grace’s voice breaks through my thoughts as she steps out onto the balcony from the guest bedroom. She’s wearing a pair of jeans, sneakers, and a thin grey pullover with her hair pulled back in a ponytail. The outfit makes her look more like a college undergraduate than the head of a foundation. “What’s up?” I pull myself out of my Adirondack chair, trying to look casual and not like I’m jumping up like a damn puppy dog at the sight of her. “What’s up?” Fucking A, Noah. You’re not a teenager. Try sounding slightly more intelligent. “Uh… hey,” I say. Damn it. That might be even worse. You told her you wanted to lick chocolate sauce off her naked body, but you can't muster anything better than “Hey, what's up?” She pauses when she reaches me then quickly breaks eye contact and turns away to look out at the horizon. “The stars are so bright up here. It’s amazing. You forget about that in the city.” “Yeah. It’s one of the things I love about being out here.” “Oh, I didn’t notice you had a telescope,” Grace says, walking over to it. “A Celestron. Nice.” “You know your telescopes?” I ask, watching her bend toward the eyepiece. Focus. Don’t get distracted by her ass. Her perfect ass. Her curvy ass. The ass that fit so well in my hands. “Oh, yeah. My dad is an astronomy buff. When I was a kid, we used to go outside at night and he’d teach me all of the constellations. Then when he was traveling, he’d call and tell me what the sky looked like where he was, what constellations he could see.” “That’s cool.” That’s cool. Nope, I’m not doing any better at not sounding like an adolescent

boy. “I didn’t have as nice of a telescope as this, though, that’s for sure,” she notes. “The White House doesn’t have a telescope?” “Well, I stayed in Colorado when my dad got elected President, so I haven’t lived at the White House. I’ve only visited,” Grace notes. “I can’t remember there being one, but my dad has hosted astronomy nights on the south lawn for the past three years.” “Huh. I didn’t know that.” She laughs. “He gets really excited about them. I flew in for the first one they put on. It’s all these kids – little geniuses who are way smarter than me – running around mixing with scientists and astronomers. They’re all so thrilled to be at the White House and meeting the President, but what they don’t know is that my dad completely geeks out about it himself. The morning after the first astronomy night, he spent the entire time during breakfast talking about it.” “Are you and your dad close?” She smiles, but I can tell right away she’s giving me her media smile. “Of course. My parents are both wonderful people who have always been devoted to me.” “That sounds like the most bullshit press statement ever.” She bends over and looks through the telescope again, momentarily silent, before she turns, her eyes searching mine. “You wouldn’t be trying to get me to say something bad about my family, would you?” “What? No. Shit. Is that what you think? That I’m fishing for dirt?” I’m so blindsided by the question that I don’t know whether to be shocked or offended. Her brow furrows before she relaxes. “No, I don’t.” “I guess you probably get that a lot – people who have another agenda for getting close to you.” She exhales heavily. “Of course you would understand that,” she says, her expression softening. “I forget that you’re in the public light as much, if not more, than I am. I… don’t have many friends. Not close ones. So I’m not all that great at talking about myself.” “You should be great at it, with all of the interviews you have to do,” I tease. “I think the same could be said of you.” “Well, I’m not digging for dirt on your family,” I tell her. “Just so you know. And I’m not great at small talk either.” “Okay, fine,” she declares with a smile. “Then we won’t do small talk.” “So what’s the opposite of small talk?” I ask. Getting naked. The opposite of small talk is getting naked. “Super deep talk?” she jokes back. No. It’s getting naked. “Is this where we talk about the meaning of life or some philosophical bullshit?” Grace wrinkles her nose. “Ew. No.” “Well, no small talk was your idea, sweetheart.” Damn, that last word sounded way too… normal leaving my mouth. When I called her sweetheart before, it was

sarcastic, totally meant to push her buttons and wind her up. Right now, it just rolled off the tongue like I’ve said it a hundred times. “Okay. Tell me something no one else knows about you.” “Is that how we’re going to play this? You accuse me of prying for dirt on your family, but ask me to reveal all of my secrets?” I raise my eyebrows. "That's a bold move." “Fine. You can ask me mine,” she says, laughing. “I already know yours.” “Is that so?” “Yep.” She crosses her arms over her chest. “All right, I want to hear this. What dirty secret of mine have you dug up?” “I didn’t have to dig. It’s written all over you." "What is?" "The fact that you totally want me.” “Well, that is a dirty secret.” “I was hoping it could be.” Her face flushes red, but she laughs. “You’re avoiding the question. Unless you want to go back to small talk.” “I was hoping no small talk meant we could pick up where we left off last time." "Noah, I –" I cut her off because I don't want to hear her say what I suspect she was trying to say before – that she's attracted to me and Aiden. “Okay, I’ll show you my dirtiest secret.” “Are you about to show me your dick?” “That is not my dirty secret, contrary to what Aiden might have you believe. The prescription cream thing was not true, you know.” Grace laughs. “Yes, I assumed that much.” “Also, my dick wouldn’t be a dirty secret, either, because I’m pretty proud of it." She raises her eyebrows. "Oh, are you?" "Yeah. I'll take it out if you want to see why I'm proud." Grace laughs. “Come on. Out with it – the secret, not the dick.” “I’ll show you, if you swear not to laugh.” She makes a solemn face and holds up her right hand. “On my grave.” “I think you’re supposed to swear on the grave of someone who’s already died.” “You’re avoiding the original question.” “You have to promise not to tell anyone. Do I need to go get a non-disclosure agreement?” “You can. Or I can pinky swear not to tell a soul.” I gasp dramatically. “That’s the most sacred of swears, you know.” “I know.” When she links her pinkie with mine, a twinge of arousal rushes through me and I consider yanking her against me and finishing what I started earlier. Instead, I

sigh loudly. “Fine. Come with me.”

19

GRACE

N oah opens the deck door to his bedroom, and my heart skips a beat. “Is this your

way of getting me into your bedroom? This isn’t very subtle.” “I've never been good at subtle.” I look around his bedroom – “bedroom” doesn’t accurately describe it, though. It’s a huge master suite with light grey walls and log beams that run across the ceiling and match the rest of the house. It’s understated and masculine, with a sitting area on the other side of the room outfitted with several leather chairs and a television. When my eyes flicker toward his bed, I have to force them away. Do not think about Noah and his bed. Or what you might want him to do to you on that bed. Or on the floor. Or the chairs. Heat rushes through me at the prospect of Noah doing me anywhere in here, but I swallow hard and clear my throat as he walks to the far side of the suite near the sitting area where a set of closet doors lines the wall. I notice the keypad on the doors before he even touches it. “Wait,” I say, stopping him. “Are you about to show me something completely weird? Ohhh… were the blow up dolls really yours and not Aiden’s?” “Okay, I’m not showing you. Forget we talked about it,” Noah grumbles. “So they were yours.” “No, they were not mine.” “Okay, show me.” “Nope, you’re going to think it’s weird.” “I promise I won’t.” I cross my fingers behind my back. Okay, I might. Especially if he has a bizarre fetish. What if he collects locks of women’s hair or something? Noah grumbles under his breath again as he unlocks the closet and slides open the door, revealing a set of cabinets topped with shelves that reach the ceiling. The shelves are filled to the bursting point with yarn. Skeins and skeins of yard in a million different colors and textures. He looks at me silently. “Um… is this some kind of BSDM thing? You tie women up with yarn?”

Noah sighs exaggeratedly. “It’s exactly what it looks like, all right? There you go. You’ve seen my dirty secret.” When he moves to close one of the doors, I stop him. “Wait. I don’t get it.” “I knit.” “Excuse me?” “You heard me the first time. I knit. In my spare time, I knit things. Socks, scarves, blankets. Christmas stockings.” “You knit.” “No one knows. Including Aiden. Shit, especially not Aiden. Or anyone on my team.” A giggle builds up in my chest, and I cover my mouth to prevent it from coming out. It doesn’t work, and now Noah is looking at me with a dark expression. “Okay, see, I wasn’t going to tell you,” he growls, closing one of the doors. “I’m not laughing at you,” I promise, suppressing a giggle. “It’s just that… you knit? That’s your dirty secret? The way you acted, I was afraid this was going to be filled with body parts.” “Body parts, really? Shit, if the guys on the team found out about the knitting, I’d never hear the end of it. It would be worse than a closet full of body parts.” I mock-button my lips. “Mum’s the word.” “You promised not to laugh.” “Nervous habit,” I say, rapidly changing the subject. “Show me something you’ve knitted.” “Are you done laughing?” “I swear.” He sighs. “Fine. But don’t make me regret showing you.” He slides open a drawer in the cabinet and pulls out a long grey scarf. “This is one I just made. It’s angora.” “Wow. This is…” He sighs. “Yeah, I know. Lame.” “That’s not what I was going to say at all. I was going to say, it’s… not what I expected from you.” “Look, I love football. It’s my whole life. But a couple of years ago, I was having a hard time getting my mind off the game at night, which gave me problems falling asleep. The team has this life coach that players sometime see – I’m not crazy, though.” “I didn’t think you were.” “Doc sent me to her to fix my sleep, and…” He laughs under his breath. “She was pregnant and she was knitting when she talked to me. I thought it was the dumbest fucking thing I’d ever seen. She said I should try it because it might help me clear my head.” “Does it?” He shrugs. “I started doing it at night and stopped having sleep problems.” “Whatever keeps you in the game, right?”

Noah gives me a funny look as he takes the scarf out of my hands and slides the closet doors closed. “You must have knitted a million things by now. What do you do with them?” “I donate them to charities. Anonymously,” he adds, emphasizing the last word. “Okay, I have one more question.” He crosses his arms. “Go ahead.” “Can you do ugly Christmas sweaters?” Later, when I snuggle under the covers, thinking about big gruff Noah and his knitting makes me smile.

about big gruff Noah and his knitting makes me smile. T HE NEXT MORNING , we’re

THE NEXT MORNING, we’re up at dawn to work with the horses. When the kids find out what they have to do, they all groan. “We have to clean poop?” Niall asks, making a gagging sound. He’s echoed by the moans of several of the kids and a chorus of barfing noises. “That’s right.” Bryson, one of the seasoned counselors, crosses his arms. “Before you get on a horse, you need to learn how to take care of them. That means learning how to brush them after you ride, and put on a saddle, and check the horses’ hooves and… muck the stalls.” “You mean shovel poop,” one of the other kids says flatly. “Yep. Do you know why we have you muck the stalls first? Because you have to learn the not-fun stuff before you learn the fun stuff,” Bryson says brightly. Noah’s standing a few feet behind me and I hear him speak softly. “It’s really

because kids are free labor. But also because sometimes in life, you'll have to deal with shit. So you should get used to shoveling it."

I spin around and give Noah a wide-eyed glare at the use of his profanity, but the

kid beside him nods knowingly. “And you can’t let shit get you down,” the kid says.

Noah fist-bumps the kid. “Good philosophy, Louis.”

I glare at Noah, who seems oblivious. “No profanity.”

“What?” the kid protests. “That’s what my mom says.” “Your mom is a wise woman,” Noah adds. “Yeah. I know. Are you going to help muck the stalls?” “Are you crazy?” Noah blurts. “So you’re going to just watch us do it?” “That’s right. I’m going to stand here and enjoy my cup of coffee, because that’s exactly the way my dad taught me. Circle of life, man. I’ve done my time mucking stalls. Now it's your turn." “Huh. I thought you were supposed to be a regular guy, not a stuck-up athlete,” Louis grumbles. “But I guess once you get rich, you’re too good for this kind of thing.” Noah groans and rolls his eyes dramatically. “Fine. Go get two pitchforks. Make that three – find your co-conspirator, Spencer. But you know you’re a pain in the

ass, Louis.” “Noah!” I exclaim, my eyes big. Louis grins. "Yes! I knew you would cave.” “Did you just guilt me into shoveling crap with you?” Noah asks. Louis’ grin gets even broader. “Deal with it, bro. You got played.” Noah tries to keep from laughing. “Get out of here.” When Louis runs off to grab shovels, Noah shakes his head. “He’s a total manipulator.” “You can’t call him a pain in the ass,” I tell him. “Why not?” Noah asks, looking at me blankly. “I called him a pain in the ass because I like him. And because he’s a pain in the ass.” “Number one, it’s profanity and we don’t use profanity at camp. Number two, you can’t just go around calling the kids names.” “He called me an ass yesterday when we met,” Noah protests. “I’m pretty sure I’m not hurting his delicate feelings or exposing him to any profanity he doesn’t already know.” “Well, at least he seems to have an accurate assessment of you.” “See? You agreed that I’m an ass right there, and you like me.” I raise my eyebrows. “I like you?” “Oh, please. Don’t pretend like you don’t.” Noah grins. I step closer to him, dropping my voice to a whisper as I lean in. “Yeah. There’s nothing that gets me hotter than a man who knits me socks.” “Ohhh….” Noah steps back, shaking his head as he laughs and puts his hands over his chest. “Going right for the jugular. I thought we said we’d never speak of that again.” “I said I wouldn’t tell anyone else. But I made no promise to never speak of it.” Louis and Spencer interrupt, arriving with pitchforks in hand. “Let’s get this over with,” Louis says, rolling his eyes. Noah shoos the kids toward a stall, pausing for a second to whisper in my ear before he passes me. “If knitting you socks gets you wet, sweetheart, I’ll knit you a whole damn wardrobe.”

20

AIDEN

I hope you don’t mind if I use the kitchen,” says Grace, looking up from the counter where she’s chopping vegetables. “The kids are cooking over the

campfire and I just couldn’t stomach the prospect of hotdogs for dinner.” “It’s Noah’s place, so you absolutely have my permission to use whatever you want.” She laughs as she slides vegetables off the cutting board into the bowl. “Where is your roommate, anyway?” “Gym.” I’m irritated that she cares where Noah is. Not to be completely arrogant or anything, but I’m not used to girls not falling all over me. I’m rich, stacked, and a football player; I don’t have trouble getting women. But Grace isn’t like the girls who usually throw themselves at me. She seems oblivious to my annoyance, and it’s hard to stay irritated as she dices up another pepper and slides it from the cutting board into the bowl, looking fucking adorable in a navy skirt and white t-shirt, her hair pulled back in a high ponytail. I have to look away from her because if I keep ogling her, I’m going to start thinking about throwing her right up on this counter and putting my face up under that skirt. And if I start thinking about that… Shit. My dick is hard now. I cover by sliding into one of the high-top seats at the granite countertop. “I looked up West Bend,” Grace says. “I thought you weren’t in the habit of internet searching.” She grins. “I didn’t look for you guys,” she protests. “Just photos of West Bend. I was curious whether I’d been there with my dad. I have, by the way. I recognized the Main Street.” “It’s pretty much exactly like the Main Streets in a hundred other towns across the U.S.” “True.” She turns, going to the refrigerator and pulling out more veggies. “But I remember the general store because they sold dresses. I spilled ice cream on my shirt before this lunch at some diner, I think? My mother was really upset about it. She brought me in there to get a new dress and the thing was like something

straight out of Little House on the Prairie.” “That sounds about right for West Bend.” “It must have been fun growing up there.”

I laugh. “Fun isn’t the word for it. West Bend is… small.”

“Like homey and quaint?” “Yeah, and also boring and uptight.” She chops more vegetables and then looks up. “Are you and Noah hungry?” Fuck, yes. “I’m definitely hungry.” I don’t add the part about what exactly I’m hungry for, but when her eyes meet mine, the expression on her face tells me she understood exactly what I meant.

“I - ” She blushes and stammers. “I picked up some stuff at a little grocery store I saw on the way out here.” She looks down at her phone. “The recipe says it makes four servings. Should I double that?” “We’re football players.” “Point taken. So I should quadruple it?” “In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not exactly small.” I pause for a beat. “Anywhere.” “Thanks for the clarification.” Grace is silent as she picks up a cucumber. Then she pauses midair, cucumber in hand, and her eyes meet mine. Yep, she’s definitely thinking about cock. Her face turns bright pink and she sets the cucumber back on the counter. She clears her throat again. “So, what position do you play?” “Whatever you want.” I give her another grin and she tosses me a dirty look. “Fine, fine. I’m a cornerback.”

“Quarterback?”

I sigh loudly. “You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?”

Grace laughs. “Not a bit.” “You really don’t know anything about football?” “I told you I didn’t!” “Well, I’d be glad to teach you some plays.” She bites her lower lip. “I know you would.” “In fact, there’s this one play I have…” I stop talking as I get down from the high-top chair and walk around the island to where she’s standing. I’m so close that I can smell her perfume – maybe it’s her shampoo – clean and light and floral. Her chest rises, giving me a glimpse over her shoulder of her cleavage in her shirt. “Aiden…” she breathes. I can’t tell if she’s saying my name as a warning or if she’s saying it because she wants me to touch her. “This play starts with me yanking up this little skirt you’re wearing.” I slide my hands down the sides of her thighs, pulling the cotton fabric up as my fingertips brush her skin. When I lean in close to her, my lips near her ear, she lets out a whimper. A fucking whimper.

My cock hardens immediately, like some kind of reflex. I’ve never gotten hard because of a sound before. I pull the skirt up over her perfect ass. Her perfect, nearly bare ass. She’s wearing a little black thong under the skirt. I want to tear it off her ass right now. Instead, I palm her perfectly round cheek before pulling my hand back and giving it a light slap. “You did not just spank me,” she whispers. I think about how exactly she’s going to look bent over like this while I fuck her from behind, and my cock throbs in response. “Tell me how much you want me to bend you over and slide my cock inside you right now,” I whisper. She moans softly as I speak the words, my lips so close to her ear. “Tell me how much you want to feel me slap your ass as I fuck you.” “Aiden…” “All I have to do is slide my fingers around your thigh,” I say softly. “If I reach between your legs, will I find that your pussy is ready for me?” She lets out a frustrated groan and squirms against me, but doesn’t move to step away. “Say yes.” She lets out a long sigh. “Aiden, I just… no. I can’t do this with you and No-“ Damn it, fucking Noah. I hear the clomp-clomp of his footsteps on the floor before I see him. What a cock-blocker. “Hey Aiden,” he calls. Grace leaps away from me like a pole-vaulter, leaving me with what is going to be the most massive case of blue balls in recorded history. “Fuck.” I mean to say “what” but that’s what comes out instead. I clench my fists, trying to suppress my irritation with Noah because the last thing I want is for him to think he’s getting to me – or worse, that I’m having trouble scoring with Grace. Noah grins and holds up his phone. “A couple of cheerleaders texted me looking for you. Apparently they want to make an ‘Aiden sandwich’.” He uses air quotes. “Tell your hookups to stop texting me.” “I’m going to just… um… I’ll be right back,” Grace says, practically running out of the room. “Really? Fake threesome? That’s all you’ve got, Noah?” He shrugs. “Prescription cream for my sores?” “Now that was funny.” “Aw, you don’t think an Aiden sandwich is funny?” he asks as I storm out of the room.

sandwich is funny?” he asks as I storm out of the room. T HE THREE OF

THE THREE OF us don’t end up eating dinner together. Grace goes out to do something with the campsite, leaving her salad half-completed on the counter. The campsite

is obviously an excuse to avoid what happened between us – and Noah walking in on us – so I knock on her bedroom door later in the evening. When she pulls it open, she gives me a look. “You shouldn’t be here.” “I’m not trying to get in your pants.” Grace raises her eyebrows. “Or under my skirt?” “Is that why you’re wearing jeans now?” “Today – earlier – was…” “There’s no Aiden sandwich.” I interrupt her before she can say anything else. “The text message thing – Noah was getting me back for saying he had an STD.” “No cheerleaders?” She crosses her arms and makes a serious face, except I can tell by the way that her lips pull up at the corners that she’s about to smile. “Cross my heart. No cheerleaders, no sandwich. I came by to tell you that. That’s it. And to mention that you never made dinner.” “You came by to point out that I never made dinner for you? How gentlemanly.” “You can make me dinner anytime, you know. I’m just saying.” “Are you finished?” I grin. “Not really. Where are your two grumpy guardians?” “They’re keeping a lower profile. They’ve cleared the house, so it’s not like they need to be posted in front of my room.” “Ditch them.” “Excuse me?” “Have you ever lost them before?” Her eyes go wide. “No.” “Not once?” “No. I’ve never done anything I’d need to ditch them for.” “You’ve never done anything bad?” I tease. “I thought you just had bed- shaking, toe-curling sex last week.” Grace rolls her eyes. “Obviously that wasn’t true.” “Obviously.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” “Nothing. I’m just saying that if you’d had bed-shaking, toe-curling sex with me last week, you wouldn’t be running around here camping.” “Where would I be?” “In my bed, clearly. Because when I fuck you, you’re not going to make it out of my bed for a week.” “When you fuck me?” she asks, eyebrows raised. “Yeah, when. Just so we’re clear.” Grace lets out a loud exhale. “I can’t go any… further with either of you.” “Because you want both of us.” She bites her lower lip. “And both of us want in your pants.” “I think so,” she whispers. “You think so?” I ask. “No, that’s a fact. We definitely both want in your pants.

So I think it’s pretty clear what has to happen.” “What’s that?” “I show you that I can rock your world harder than Noah can.” She laughs. “Is that why you want me to ditch my security? So you can rock my world?” “Nah. You’re not sure yet. I want you to want me so much that you beg me to fuck you.” She shakes her head and sighs. “No one talks to me the way you and Noah do.” “Sugar, if I said half the dirty things that came into my head when I look at you…” Grace puts up her hand. “I’m not going anywhere with you unless you promise no hanky-panky.” “I’ll be a perfect gentleman. Cross my heart.” When she narrows her eyes, I roll mine. “Come on, already.” She grins. “Okay. Let’s ditch the Secret Service.” “You’re being a very bad girl, Grace Sullivan.” We make our daring escape out of a side door near the gym, and Grace giggles as we run not-so-silently behind the stable and out into the meadow. “Where are we going?” “Shh, loudmouth, someone’s going to hear you.” Grace repeats the question in a whisper. “There’s a pond down here. You can’t see it from the house, but I noticed it yesterday when I took some of the kids up on their horses. Let’s go skip rocks.” “I’ve never skipped rocks.” “What kind of horrible, tragic upbringing did you have?” “I don’t know,” she says. “I’ve never really gone camping, either.” “Uh, aren’t you running this camping thing with the kids every summer?” “Well, I go with them and I do the day activities – it's usually ropes courses, trust-building things and stuff… but there’s always some of us who stay in a building and hang behind if they’re doing an overnight trek.” “You can’t be serious.” “What?” Grace squeals. “I don’t have to camp in a tent in order to help the kids. The ground is… hard.” I have to tell myself that if I don’t focus on what she’s saying and not on the fact that her ass looks so damn good, then I’m going to be the one who’s hard. “I knew it,” I tell her. “What?” “You’re spoiled.” “I’m not spoiled!” “Sleeping on the ground is hard?” “It is. Are you going to argue otherwise?” “Next you’re going to tell me that you’ve never been fishing or mudding or drank moonshine.”

“Okay, now you’re just being a jackass. You already know my answer is going to be no to all of those things.” I shake my head at her in mock disappointment. “I didn’t grow up in the country!” she protests. “I grew up in Denver.” “You live in Colorado.” “Wait,” she says. “I ski a lot. I definitely skied a lot during boarding school in Switzerland, too. That’s outdoorsy, right?” “Now you’re just making it worse,” I tell her. When we reach the pond, I try not to be distracted by the way her ass looks in those jeans when she bends over to pick a rock up off the ground. “How’s this?” she asks. “Wrong kind of rock. You need the skipping kind – thin and flat. Like this.” I hold up a perfect skipping rock and demonstrate, watching it ping across the surface of the water. “Five skips. I’m a master at this.” She laughs. “You’re a rock-skipping master?” “We all have our gifts.” “Is this what you did growing up in West Bend?” “I told you there was nothing to do in that town.” I hand her a rock. “Try it.” She tosses it into the water and it lands with a ker-plunk. “That’s embarrassing.” “Maybe rock-skipping isn’t your thing.” “Oh, shut up.” She’s silent for a few minutes as she looks for rocks. “You and Noah have been friends for a long time.” “We have.” She’s silent for a minute as she picks up another rock and throws it, watching it plop into the water. “I don’t want to come between that.” “Try this one.” I hand her a flat rock, moving around behind her and taking her wrist in my hand. Fuck, she smells good, and she feels so damn good against me. “You have to flick your wrist.” I let go and she tosses it. This time it skips twice. “How about that,” she breathes. “You’re not going to come between us.” Unless she wants to come between us. Where the hell did that thought come from? Grace turns around, still close to me. “How do you know?” “I’ve known Noah my whole life. We grew up next door to each other. Our moms were best friends. We’ve always been…” “Jackasses?” she teases. “I was going to say tight, but jackasses works too.” “Are your families still close?” She steps away now, bending over to pick up another rock. “My sister Annie and I are close with his parents, yeah. My dad was only in the picture until my mom got pregnant with Annie. Two kids were one too many for

him, so he ran off. He tried to contact me three years ago when I signed my contract because suddenly I was his son, but you know the saying – too little, too late.” “So your mom raised you.” “Yep, single mom. She worked at a factory thirty miles out of town to put food on the table for us. That’s one thing that still gets me now – not having her here to see how her work paid off.” “She passed away?” “Car accident in high school. A tractor-trailer truck ran a stop sign and slammed into the side of her car. It was instant.” “I’m sorry.” “Life kicks you in the nuts sometimes.” I shake off the pang of sadness I always get when I think about it. “Anyway, Noah’s mom and my mom were best friends and our jerk-off father didn’t turn up, Annie and I went to live with Noah’s family after that.” “That’s why you guys are close.” I shrug. “We were tight before that. But that’s why you shouldn’t worry about getting between us. Both of us know the score.”

21

NOAH

T hings have been getting more heated between Aiden and I over the past week,

which is why the charity’s idea to have us head up a bunch of kids for a touch football game before the end of the camp was a disaster waiting to happen. “Total accident,” I call loudly after I trip Aiden on the field. Yeah, it’s a low blow, but since that fucker put a laxative in my food the other day right before we were about to head out for a trail ride, I’m not playing clean anymore. Aiden stands up, glancing around at the kids and smiling as he gestures at them to back away. “I’m totally fine, kids. It was just an accident. Noah gets clumsy sometimes and can’t seem to control his limbs.” Standing on the sidelines with her arms crossed, Grace looks less than pleased. Aiden gets in my face. “In front of the kids, Noah? Real mature,” he says, his voice low. “Says the guy who put laxatives in my food.” The kids are goofing off, quickly losing interest in the game. But Aiden smiles broadly and fakes a laugh for anyone watching us, like we’re standing here joking around. He yells, “We’re just… talking about plays. Take a timeout, kids!” Then he drops his voice low again, his smile turning into a snarl. “You put itching powder in my boxers.” I shrug. “Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Maybe that threesome with the cheerleaders just got you more than you bargained for.” “The fake threesome you made up,” Aiden says, stepping forward and pushing my shoulder. “You’re going to really lay your hands on me?” I warn. “I’m bigger than you.” “Huh. That’s not what Grace seems to think.” I push him back, ignoring the yell of several of the camp counselors on the sidelines. “Did you screw her?” I growl. Aiden stumbles back a few feet, giving me a smug look. “Jealous?” I don’t wait for him to say anything else about Grace. I just rush him, knocking him to the ground hard. Grace is suddenly beside us, yelling loudly. “Noah and Aiden were just demonstrating a football play. Kids, take five. Or twenty. Counselors, can you find

another activity to do? The players are going to practice and they’ll show you some

plays later.” Before either of us can hit the other one, she squats down and glares at us, fire in her eyes. “Stand. The. Fuck. Up.” She punctuates each word with a sharp inhale of breath. Shit.

I get up, adrenaline still coursing through my veins, but I don’t lay a hand on

Aiden as he rises and wipes his mouth with the back of his wrist, looking more smug than before. “You should get your anger under control, Noah,” he taunts. “Wait until later,” I warn. “No,” Grace snaps. “The two of you jackasses are going to turn around and wave at the kids and pat each other on the back. Then you’re going to laugh and pretend

like you didn’t just try to start a fucking fistfight in front of a bunch of children who see you as role models.” Chastised, we do exactly as she directs, grinning like a couple of idiots and clapping each other on the back for show. When I lean in to slap Aiden on the back – extra-hard – he grins broadly and fake-laughs, all the while glaring at me. “Sorry you didn’t make your move on Grace before I did.”

I lean in to bro-hug him, a fake smile plastered onto my face. “Later, I’m going

to kill you,” I reply, my voice equally pleasant. "Maybe in your sleep." “Enough,” Grace says harshly. “Turn around and walk back to the ranch house like you’re not five-year-olds who have to be told to keep their hands to themselves.” Both of us walk silently toward the house with Grace behind us. Yeah, of course, the mature part of me feels like an asshole for getting into a fight with Aiden in the middle of a touch football game. The rest of me thinks I should have slugged him when I had the chance. When we reach the front door, Grace turns to her security detail. “There’s

probably going to be yelling. A lot of yelling.” One of the agents looks like she’s almost about to crack a smile. “Roger that, ma’am,” she says. “If we hear screaming, we won’t assume you’re in distress.” Grace opens the door and walks inside without saying a word, her stride brisk, and we follow her through the living room. Okay, apparently she doesn’t want to have a conversation in the living room where there are seats. Nope, she’s going for the kitchen. Where there are knives. Aiden must be thinking the same thing because he raises his eyebrows as he looks at me. “Why don’t we get a drink, maybe a little chocolate, and talk about this like adults in the living room?” “A drink?” Grace asks. I think her nostrils are flaring. “Chocolate?” “What?” Aiden asks, putting his hands up. “I thought maybe, you know, you might want some chocolate since you’re kind of upset right now…” “Oh, shit.” I hear myself say the words aloud. Even I’m not dumb enough to say what I think he’s about to say.

“Chocolate,” Grace says flatly. “Because why, exactly?” Oh God. I stare at Aiden with my eyes wide, trying to telegraph to him not to say what I think he’s about to say. Don’t say it, man. Say anything else. Say you think she might like chocolate because she’s looking a little thin. Or because you heard chocolate was good for you. Do not remotely suggest that she might have PMS. “Uh…” When Grace turns to look at him, I mouth the words “she’s too thin” and point at Grace. Aiden squints as he looks at me, obviously confused. “Did I say chocolate?” he asks. “I meant chocolate… syrup?” Nice save. I give him a thumbs-up. Grace glares at us with her hands on her hips for what seems like an eternity. “You got into it in front of my campers. Kids who look up to you.” “That was unfortunate,” Aiden admits. Shit, man. He’s worse than I am at apologizing. I didn’t think that was even possible. “We’re sorry about the football game,” I say. “If it helps, I’m positive that the kids really believed we were just practicing plays,” Aiden chimes in. “No. That does not help.” Grace looks like she’s fuming. The problem is that when she’s fuming, she looks really hot. A couple of pieces of hair fall out of her ponytail and she pushes them furiously back in place, but they tumble down again, irritating her more. Her cheeks are flushed and she’s breathless as she looks back and forth between us. I think she might be really angry until she pauses for a second, pulling her lower lip between her teeth as she catches her breath. It’s the same thing she did before, when she and I collided in the hall and she looked at me like she wanted me. “You’ve been acting like complete… idiots these past few days! Stupid adolescent pranks? Getting into a fight at a charity camp?!” “To be fair, the stupid adolescent pranks have been going on for a while,” I say, my eyes on hers as I step closer to her. I don’t give a shit about how mad she is anymore. All I can think about is how much I want her clothes on the floor. She puts her hands on her hips again. “So the pranks have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the two of you have apparently decided that you need to act crazier and crazier because… I don’t know… you have some misguided notion that can impress me this way? Or you’re trying to actually drive me insane…?” “Maybe it’s the fact that you want us that’s driving you insane,” Aiden points out. He’s suddenly standing on the other side of her, just as close as I am to her but neither of us makes any kind of move on her. My eyes meet Aiden’s and something unspoken passes between us, a silent understanding that she’s either about to choose one of us, or… it's possible that she’s going to choose both. “Want you? Right now, I’m not even sure I like either of you!” Grace bursts, then pauses, inhaling deeply. “You are two of the most arrogant, juvenile, completely inappropriate men I’ve ever met. And you think that I’m going crazy because I’m

lusting after you?!” “That’s right.” The words come out low in my throat, my own desire for this girl apparent even in my voice. “We think you’re lusting after both of us,” Aiden agrees, equally intense. Grace sucks in a deep breath, her hands going to each of our chests. She grips a fistful of our shirts, and I glance at Aiden, half-certain she’s about to push us way the hell away from her. Instead, she exhales heavily, closing her eyes. “Both of you,” she whispers. “And I can’t just… choose.” “Then don’t,” I say at the same time that Aiden says, “Okay.”

22

GRACE

O kay.” I echo Aiden’s words, my voice a whisper because I’m not sure I actually heard either of them correctly. My hands are still there, paused as I grip Aiden

and Noah’s shirts, unmoving because I’m terrified to do what I think I want to do next. I’m afraid of what it might mean. The President’s daughter does not have a threesome. She certainly does not have a threesome with two professional athletes. And she definitely does not have a threesome with two arrogant, frustrating, holy-crap-hot men in the middle of a kitchen during a charity camp while her two Secret Service agents are outside the house. “You don’t have to choose between us, because we both want you,” Noah growls. I inhale sharply, my palms unfurling before I even realize what I’m doing. Flattening my hands, I brush along their chests, my fingers exploring their muscular bodies over the thin fabric of their t-shirts. When I hear myself moan, it takes me by surprise. So does what happens next. Noah reaches for me, gripping a handful of hair at the nape of my neck and pulling it back so that my face is angled toward his. “Is that a yes?” “Yes.” I barely breathe the word before his lips crash down on mine in a powerful, all-consuming kiss that overrides all of the uncertain thoughts in my head. I practically melt against him, losing track of everything as the world spins on its axis. The kiss seems to last forever, and when Noah finally pulls away, his hand still gripping my hair tightly, I’m breathless. I don’t have any other word except yes. I think I breathe the word again as Aiden moves to stand behind me, his lips near my ear and his hands on the sides of my hips. “Is this what you want, sugar?” The heat from his breath on my neck sends arousal rushing through my body, setting every part of me on edge. “Do you want both of our lips on you? Both of our hands on your body? Both of our cocks inside you?” Yes.

Yes. Yes. Hearing him speak the words out loud makes them seem a million times filthier than even the dirtiest fantasies I’ve had of the three of us together. Even so, I don’t feel self-conscious as Aiden kisses his way down the side of my neck, his hands sliding around my waist, his fingertips under the waistband of my jeans. Before I know it, Aiden is lifting my shirt over my head and Noah’s hands are on my jeans, pulling the fabric down over my hips. They undress me right there in the kitchen until I’m standing between them wearing only my bra and panties. Noah kneels between my legs, his eyes heavy-lidded and his expression filled with lust. “I’ve been picturing you in my head, but those images don’t compare at all to what you look like right now.” “Is she wet?” Aiden’s voice is low in my ear, his hands cupping my breasts. He slides a finger inside the fabric of my bra, and my nipples immediately harden to his touch. Noah’s eyes don’t leave mine. “Are you wet, Grace?” I moan my response as his face disappears between my legs, the heat from his mouth radiating through my panties as he kisses me. He inhales deeply and groans. “I’ve definitely thought about this,” he murmurs, his voice muffled as he presses his lips against my clothed pussy. “She’s soaked. Right through her panties.” “Is that true, Grace?” Aiden whispers as he slowly removes my bra, his tongue teasing me, flicking over the place underneath my ear that makes me shiver. “Yes.” I barely choke out the word as Noah growls and tears my panties off my body, ripping them at the seams like an animal. Aiden’s hands replace the cups of my bra – holding, stroking, kneading my breasts. “Your tits are amazing, Grace. I can see why you wanted to keep them to yourself, Noah.” “He never had them,” I start. Noah interrupts, his voice gruff and angry. “I never had them the way Aiden does right now. But he never had this.” He grips my thighs, pulling me roughly forward as he buries his face between my legs. When his warm, wet mouth covers my pussy, I nearly lose my balance, but Aiden holds me up, pressing his erection against my ass cheek. I’m lost as Noah devours me. There’s no warm-up, no teasing or slow start to his movements. He’s all in, eating me like a starving man, his tongue stroking my clit, his groans sending vibrations through my pussy and thrills of arousal through my body. Aiden’s hands are everywhere, caressing my breasts, his fingers pinching my nipples. When I reach behind me, palming his leg, searching desperately for his hardness with my hand because I want to feel him, he just laughs softly in my ear. “Not yet, sugar. This is all about you, so fucking enjoy it.” Two hot men making it all about me? I don’t know whose life I just stepped into,

but this certainly isn’t mine. My head lolls back against Aiden’s chest and I surrender to their hands, to their fingers, to their mouths as they continue to bring me higher and higher, my breath coming in shorter and shorter gasps. Noah’s fingers are magic. He finds a spot inside me that makes my toes

practically curl, and he strokes it gently as Aiden whispers dirty things in my ear. “Have you touched yourself, thinking about the three of us together?” I moan loudly before choking out the word “Yes,” barely coherent as Noah curses, his voice muffled as he sucks my clit. Aiden’s voice is a low rumble in my ear. “That day we were in your office, you weren’t fantasizing about me bending you over the office desk and fucking you, were you? You were thinking about both of us.” My groan gives me away.

I grip Noah’s head as his fingers stroke me faster and his tongue swirls around

my clit, trying to hang on to him because I’m afraid I’m losing control. I’m trying desperately not to explode this instant, but I’m already on the verge, brought so close so quickly. “Tell me, what did you think about? Was I fucking you from behind while Noah’s cock was in your mouth? Or was it the other way around?” Aiden’s fingers find my mouth and I’m taking them in, sucking them between my lips like it’s his cock. His other hand grips my ass cheek, and when he pushes a finger against my asshole, I’m too far gone to protest, too far gone to be self- conscious even though no man has ever done that before. Then he whispers. “I can’t wait to make this perfect, tight little asshole mine.” As soon as he speaks the words, I explode. None of my straight-laced, uber- conservative boyfriends have ever spoken that way to me before. I go soaring over a cliff, sent by Aiden’s finger against my tight hole, Noah’s tongue on my clit, and Noah’s fingers inside of me.

I think I scream. I suck harder on Aiden’s fingers, trying to mute myself as I

climax so hard I think I might faint. They don’t let me recover. I’m still coming as Noah slides his fingers from between my legs, my pussy throbbing at the absence of his touch. “No,” I beg. “Don’t stop what you were doing. Please.”

Noah grins. “Please?” he asks. “You’re a hell of a lot more polite since you’ve just had an orgasm.”

I try to glare at him but fail because my muscles are throbbing, my pussy still

squeezing tightly over and over, and I don’t have the willpower to muster a stare. Noah smiles as he puts his wet fingers in his mouth, licking every drop of me from them as he groans. “You taste fucking perfect,” he declares. “You should taste her, Aiden.”

replaces Noah between my legs, touching his tongue gently to my swollen clit. I don’t know where to look – at Aiden’s rapturous expression as he begins to lick me, or at Noah as he stands a few feet away, pulling off his shirt and dropping it to the tile floor, his obvious erection tenting his pants as he watches us. “I jerked off thinking about exactly what you’d taste like, sugar. And it’s better than I imagined.” I moan as Aiden’s tongue laps me gently – probing me, exploring me as he licks every bit of my wetness. His movements are softer, more languid and slower than Noah’s. He’s taking his time with me, savoring every bit of it, not devouring me with the intensity Noah just did. It’s different from Noah but just as hot, and my body responds the way it did when Noah was between my legs – immediately, like it’s been waiting for the two of these men forever. This should feel so wrong. Not more than a few minutes ago, another man’s face was between my legs, another man’s tongue on my clit, his fingers buried deep inside me as I screamed my orgasm. But it doesn’t. Instead, it feels perfect. The throbbing emptiness gives way to overwhelming arousal again as Aiden’s tongue enters me. Aiden fucks me with his tongue, moving in and out where Noah’s fingers were a few moments ago. I close my eyes, surrendering to the sensation. Oh my God. I’m already close to coming a second time. But I stop myself. “No,” I whisper. I think the orgasm might have made me bold. Or crazy. Probably both. That’s the only explanation for why I say what I do right now. “I want more… I need more than your mouths on me.” As the words leave my mouth, my heart pounds wildly in my chest, even as the fearful part of me reminds me again that First Daughters don’t have sex with multiple football players. They have lights-out, missionary-style, good-girl sex with their long-term boyfriends who are Wall Street legends, or prominent attorneys, or independently wealthy billionaires. But then Aiden pulls away from me, standing to disrobe, and he and Noah are both in front of me naked and the fearful thoughts are replaced with one single thought:

Holy. Fucking. Shit. I just stare. "You're…" My voice drifts off as my breath hitches in my throat. "Um… huge." Everywhere. They're both massive - walls of rippling muscle, defined abs, and… the biggest, hardest cocks I've ever seen. When they begin to slowly stroke those cocks right in front of me, my face warms and the throbbing between my legs reminds me of what I want. "Well, I'm bigger," Aiden says. "Really? You fucking think so?" Noah challenges him. “Maybe we should let Grace decide,” Aiden responds, his eyes on mine. He gives me a cocky smile. “What do you think?”

Think? There’s no thinking going on right now because all of the blood in my brain has shifted downward. I think my IQ has dropped significantly, rendering me stupid and incapable of forming a complete thought, let alone articulating a coherent sentence. “I think…” My voice drifts off as I summon the courage and words to say exactly what I think. “I want…” “Don’t tell me you’re speechless,” Noah teases. “Yeah, I want to hear that pretty little mouth of yours describe exactly what you want,” Aiden chimes in. Noah groans, his hand running down his length. “So do I.” “I want… your cocks.” I pause, exhaling and then taking a deep, slow breath before I continue. My heart races wildly in my chest. Okay, I’m going to say it. “I want your cocks. In. My. Mouth.” I gulp a deep breath between each word not because I’m trying to be emphatic, but because I’m trying to maintain my courage. “I want to taste both of you.” For a second, they just stand there unmoving – both of them staring at me, their hands on their dicks. Shit. Did I say the wrong thing? “Okay. This wasn’t the exact reaction I was hoping for." Aiden swears under his breath, something unintelligible. “Holy fuck, that mouth,” Noah says. “Are you sure?” Am I sure? I’m about to get on my knees and put my mouth on the cocks of two football

players. No, I’m not fucking sure. I think I might be temporarily insane – or hell, permanently insane.

I nod, swallowing hard. “Yes. I’m sure.”

“Grace,” Aiden says, his voice low in his throat. He kisses me softly, and I taste a hint of me still on his lips. His gentle kiss is followed by Noah’s powerful one, each distinct and sexy in their own way.

I slide my palms over their chests and down their abs until I reach their cocks. I

kneel in front of them, taking their cocks in my hands. "Fuck," Noah groans. "Keep stroking me just like that." When Aiden moans, it’s all the encouragement I need. “I’d rather have you between my lips.” “Shit, Grace, you have such a filthy little mouth,” Aiden says. New Grace seems to have taken Old Grace's inhibitions and thrown them out the window. New Grace is dirty as hell. I smile at Aiden, taking his cock in my hand and licking it from base to tip. Then I do the same to Noah. “That’s right,” I agree. “And I want you to fuck my filthy little mouth.” “You keep talking like that,” Noah starts, his voice faltering as I put my lips around the head of his cock, “and doing what you’re doing, and I’m going to come in that filthy mouth of yours.” “We both will,” Aiden says. My core throbs its response. Why does the prospect of taking both of them –

tasting both of them – make my body respond the way it does? “Promise?” I ask. Both of them growl. Literally. Like animals. I’ve never watched porn before, but I feel like a porn star kneeling with two men’s rock-hard cocks in my hands – like I’m sexy, and powerful, and in control. My hand gripping Noah’s shaft, I turn to the side, touching my tongue to the tip of Aiden’s dick and tasting the salty-sweet pre-cum where it beads. “That’s so fucking hot,” Aiden says, looking at me with half-lidded eyes. Lightly stroking Noah, I wrap my lips around Aiden's cock. I suck, taking him deeper for a few strokes, teasing him by pulling away to direct my oral attention to Noah. I alternate back and forth, taking each man in and savoring the differences between the way their cocks feel in my mouth and the way their wetness tastes on my tongue. When I close my eyes for a moment, Noah orders me to open them. “Look at me, Grace. Look at us. We want to see you.” So I do. My eyes don't leave theirs, the connection with each of them intensifying as I quickly find a rhythm. Their hands tangle in my hair – Noah's grasp firm, Aiden's more gentle. Everything about this should feel wrong. Except it doesn’t. They talk to me the entire time, telling me how wet and warm and tight my mouth is, how it feels when my tongue flicks their dicks, how they want me to swallow them deeper and deeper. The throbbing between my legs intensifies in response to their dirty talk until I’m moaning as I suck them, my entire body turned on by the act of pleasuring both men at the same time. My nipples are erect, begging for attention, my clit so swollen that I can barely keep from touching myself. “It’s like your sweet little mouth was made for us,” Aiden says, his hand caressing my face as I move down his shaft. "It was made for both of us," Noah growls when I turn to him. His fingers entwine in my hair as he fucks my mouth, his movements less gentle than Aiden's, and I think he's starting to lose control. I think I might like it. When I take my attention away from him, substituting my hand for my lips as I turn to Aiden, Noah lets out a long, frustrated groan. "Your mouth is heaven." "Did you think about this, Grace?" Aiden asks, his eyes searching mine. "Did you think about sucking both of our cocks when you touched yourself?" I pull away to answer, stroking each of them in my hands, their cocks well- lubricated by my saliva and their pre-cum. "Yes," I answer, breathless from my own arousal. Right now, I want them so badly I can hardly think about anything else but the incessant throbbing between my legs. Right now, I want to jerk them off until they come all over me. Right now, I want to swallow them whole. "Knowing you have both of us in the palms of your hands makes you wet,

doesn't it?" Noah asks. "We're at your mercy and you love it." Fuck. “Yes.” Aiden groans loudly, and I think he might explode as I stroke him. But Noah

growls, taking my hand away. "Slide your fingers between your legs right now.” "Show us how wet you are, sugar," Aiden agrees. He takes over for me, his cock in his hand, watching me.

I already know how wet I am.

But now I show them. Slipping my fingers between my legs, I coat them with my slickness and hold them up so they can see. "I’m… really wet.” I'm turned on by the fact that these two men are standing over me jerking themselves off. I'm not sure who I am right now. “Have you ever touched yourself in front of two men before?” Noah asks.

“I think you already know the answer to that question," I reply. "I’ve never done it in front of one person, let alone two." “Oh, hell,” Aiden groans. “Slide your fingers between your legs, Grace. I want to see you touch yourself. Show us how you touched yourself when you were thinking about us,” Noah orders. So I do. With one hand braced against Noah's muscular thigh, I press my fingers against my clit as I watch both of them stroke their cocks above me. Their expressions are already strained and I know they must be close to exploding.

I want to taste them when they do.

The thought makes me even hotter. “Fuck yourself with your fingers,” Aiden says, as if he can read my mind and my desires. Whimpering, I do exactly that. My pussy is slick and my fingers slip easily

inside. I can’t suppress the moan that escapes my lips as I press the palm of my hand against my clit.

I want more. I want them inside me. I want them in my mouth.

I want to taste everything from them.

I'm practically delirious, out of my mind with lust as I bring myself closer to the edge. I fuck myself with my fingers, wanting it to be their cocks instead. Then Noah warns me: "Fuck, Grace, I'm close. I'm going to come all over those perfect tits of yours if you don't tell me not to." "Not before I do," Aiden chimes in. I’m about to chide them for the competitiveness – competitive coming?! – but I don’t. Instead, I look up at them and I open my mouth. It's literally an open invitation for them. "Is that what you want, Grace?" Noah growls. "You want us to come in your mouth?" Yes.

I nod, no time to speak the word before the prospect of tasting them pushes me

over the edge and I'm coming. I grip Noah's thigh, my fingernails digging into him as I cry out.

My cries mix with theirs as they come on my open mouth. The taste of their cum mingles together, the combination salty and sweet and familiar and new all at the same time. I feel filthy. Absolutely filthy. And I've never felt more alive.

23

AIDEN

H oly shit.

Grace kneels on the floor with her face turned upward. Grace, the head of a foundation. Grace, the woman volunteering her time with a children's charity.

Grace, the fucking daughter of the President of the United States of America. Grace, who’s classy and smart and funny and pretty and… covered in my cum. Our cum. What the hell was I thinking? What the hell were we thinking? She opens her eyes and looks at me with flushed pink cheeks, her face radiant. Then she takes her index finger, wipes it along a droplet of cum near her chin and… puts it in her fucking mouth.

I think I could come again watching her suck her finger clean.

It's like a switch was flipped in her or something – timid, hesitant, self- conscious Grace is gone and in her place is a shit-sure-of-herself vixen. Noah and I reach for her hands and pull her to her feet. Then she pauses, a flicker of doubt in her eyes. "That was…" Her voice trails off. “Fucking hot,” Noah says quickly. “Really fucking hot,” I agree, kissing Grace tenderly on the lips. I’m afraid that the expression that just passed across her face means she's thinking about what

just happened, that she's regretting it, and that she's about to run screaming out of the kitchen. I'd do just about anything in the world to keep her from doing that. “We should get you cleaned up.” "Let's get you to the shower," Noah suggests.

I just came, yet my cock twitches at the suggestion of getting into the shower

with Grace, even if it’s with Noah at the same time. I don’t care how I have to have

this girl. I just want her, even if I have to share her. “We can definitely take care of you in the shower.”

I slide one arm behind Grace's back and the other under her knees, picking her

up before she can protest – or Noah can pick her up himself. She feels so tiny in my arms. “I’m perfectly capable of walking down the hallway,” she argues. “I know. I’m just concerned you’re going to have second thoughts and take off

out of here, and I don’t want that to happen before we get you in the shower.” “It’s for your own good,” Noah chimes in, walking ahead of us toward his room. “For my own good?” “We made you a mess, we need to clean you up,” he explains. “We really, really made you a mess,” I agree. “So the shower is solely for my benefit, huh?" Grace's face is close to mine and I just want to kiss her again and again. “A hundred percent,” Noah assures her. “We don’t have any untoward intentions, do we, Aiden?” “I don’t know what untoward means, but if Noah is suggesting I’m not going to

try to put my penis in you the first chance I get, you should know he doesn’t speak for me. Because I’m going to. So don’t drop the soap.” Grace slaps my chest playfully. “Has anyone ever told you that you're a pig?" Noah snorts. I ignore him because, well, I can’t really get mad at anything right now, not after Grace’s lips were just wrapped around my cock. In fact, I'm practically fucking whistling as I walk. “In the shower, I’ll show you just how much of a pig I can be,” I reply, my voice exaggeratedly seductive. Grace wrinkles her nose. “I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds terrible.” Noah groans. “Seriously, dude. I never realized how little game you actually have.” “Good thing I have a big dick.” Grace can’t even hide the way she blushes when I say it. “You are a big dick,” Noah says.

I carry Grace inside the master suite – Noah’s master suite – and into the giant

shower. When I set her down on her feet inside on the marble tile, I bump into Noah and for a second, it's probably the most uncomfortable and awkward situation in human history, even if there is a naked girl standing right in front of

us.

After all, Noah is my best friend in the world. And yeah, I’ve seen him naked more times than I can count in locker rooms, but that doesn’t mean I want to see him naked in any other context. Or that I want to see him fuck a woman. Or that I want him to watch me fuck a woman. Or that I want a woman to give us blowjobs at the same time. But I really, really want Grace. And what happened in the kitchen a few minutes ago wasn’t all that awkward when it was happening. Watching Noah put his mouth between Grace’s legs should have made me jealous as hell, except it didn’t. In fact, something about watching them together turned me on.

I don’t know what the hell that means.

I don’t have time to think about it, though, because just then Grace slips a little

on the wet tile in the shower, letting out a little shriek as she slides into me. I react quickly, grabbing her arm to hold her up. When she laughs, she falls against my

chest and my arms slip around her back like it’s the most natural thing in the world. The instant she touches me, I’m hard again. It’s like I’m a teenage boy and she’s the first girl I’ve ever crushed on. It’s embarrassing as hell how much I want this woman. Grace looks up at me, her hands on my chest, her green eyes wide and bright. When I press my lips to hers, she opens for me. Her tongue seeks out mine, almost like she's suddenly uncertain, even though she just had my cock between her lips. The fact that she’s hesitating makes her more endearing. I'm floating on a damn cloud. So much so that I don't even mind when Noah kisses her. Or when his hands cup her breasts. We’re so competitive about everything in the fucking world, yet somehow we stand here with Grace in the shower, soaping her wet body like this is a damn team effort. “I think I’m probably clean now,” Grace whispers as I run my hands over her breasts again. “Are you sure? We should be certain,” I tell her. “Like… right here, for example. Definitely want to make sure.” I slide my fingers between her legs where she’s warm and already so slick. This time, I'm in front of her. This time, I get to see her expression change – the way her eyes get heavy, the way she bites on her lip as I slowly probe her with my fingers. Behind her, Noah runs his hands down her hips and over her ass. "What about here, Grace?" he asks. I can't see what he's doing, but her eyes widen just a little. "Such a tight little asshole. Has anyone been here before?” “No." She doesn't speak the word. She moans it, and her pussy tightens around my fingers, her response to his touch immediate. I thrust inside her with my fingers, stroking her as Noah presses his fingers against her asshole. As I build momentum, she grips my biceps tightly for support. “No one has been inside you,” Noah says. “Which one of us is going to take your sweet, tight little virgin hole?” "I… I'm not sure," she whispers, her eyes searching mine. "Which one of you wants it?” Noah chuckles under his breath. "I guarantee you, both of us want it.” I watch as he presses his cock against her ass cheek, and a surge of jealousy rushes through me. “If you think for a second that you’re going to take it now - ” I growl. "I'm so close," Grace begs, her voice soft, a reminder to keep my focus on her pleasure. She reaches for my cock, distracting me from arguing with Noah by running her hand down my length as she whimpers. I press my fingertips against the textured spot inside her, provoking a long moan. "Come on my fingers, sugar," I tell her. "Come on my fingers and then you’re going to come on my cock.” “And on mine,” Noah interrupts. “But, first mine.”

“Oh my God. Fucking. Stop. Arguing.” Grace gasps the words, letting go of my cock and gripping my arms as she comes hard, her words lost in her moans. Her muscles clench down on me so tightly, I swear my damn fingers are about to break off, but I stroke her and stroke her until she finally calms down, the large convulsions turning into gentle flutters. The first thing Noah says when Grace stops moaning is: "Fine. No arguing." He waits only seconds after I slip my fingers from between her legs before he spins her around to face the shower wall, pulling Grace's hands above her head and placing her palms flat on the marble. The water from the shower runs over her naked body, falling down her skin in little rivers. “But you’re mine. I mean ours. And we are going to take every inch of you.” “Both of us,” I add. “You guys,” she warns. “At the same time." I modify my words. "Both of us are going to take you at the same time. See? We're capable of sharing." "We can share. We’re going to share," Noah echoes. I watch as he stands behind her, guiding his cock between her legs. "Fuck, you are so warm and wet. I want to slide my cock inside you right now. Except that would leave Aiden out. And you want us both at once, don’t you?” Grace whimpers. “Yes.” Noah steps to the side abruptly. “Feel her wetness on your cock, Aiden.” When I step behind her and press my cock between her legs, she sighs contentedly. I drag the head of my dick along her slit. Her recent orgasm is still evident, her pussy lips still swollen when I touch them. I want to be inside that pussy so bad right now. Instead, I step back, admiring the view of her ass. "Look how fucking mature we are, Noah." “You want us to work together, Grace?” Noah asks, his hand moving down his length. “You want us to take turns? You want us to play nicely?” “Yes." “Push your ass out,” I demand. “Arch your back and show us your pretty pussy and your little asshole.” Noah grabs a handful of her ass. “We’re both going to claim you, sweetheart.” Grace looks over her shoulder, her lips pouty as she arches her back more, proudly displaying herself to us. She’s like a fucking wet dream right now. Her eyes survey us as we jerk off, each of us with a hand on her ass cheeks, spreading her so we can see everything. "This belongs to us," Noah declares. I stroke my cock, watching as he comes right on her asshole, marking it as his. Ours. Fuck. I’ve never jerked off on a woman the way I am right now – and never after another man.

Yet I can't help it. There's something primal about seeing Noah mark his territory – our territory – and knowing that she’s going to give herself fully to both of us. She’s bent over, completely on display, and I mark her as mine. She stands there with our cum dripping down her, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anything so damn hot in my life.

24

NOAH

T his fucking girl.

Grace lies on her back on the bed, her face flushed from the orgasm in the shower, her expression a mixture of satisfaction and longing.

I want to erase the longing part right off of her face. I want her to be satiated.

This girl has me wound so tight, so pent up from lusting after her, that I’m hard

again, even after coming twice. Her mouth wasn’t enough for me. Jerking off on her and marking her mine wasn’t nearly enough either. I want to feel her pussy tight around my cock. I want to feel her scream her orgasm as she comes on me. After the shower, Aiden and I took her to bed, laying her down between us – teasing and kissing and tormenting her again nonstop until she was writhing, begging to feel us inside her. Now, Aiden's face is buried between Grace's legs. Her moans echo loudly in the quiet of the bedroom.

I don’t know how the hell the three of us ended up like this. The idea that I’d

share Grace with anyone – especially my best friend – is insane. I’m not a generous man, and I’ve never shared a woman. Except here I am with her and Aiden. It makes no damn sense at all. It makes no sense that I’m watching Aiden

between the legs of the girl I’ve been lusting after and that I don’t want to kill him with my bare hands for daring to touch her. And it makes no sense that the thought of Aiden and I being inside her at the same time makes my dick so hard I think it might explode.

I reach for a condom in the nightstand and tear open the wrapper, rolling it onto

my length as I listen to Grace’s moans and whimpers as Aiden licks her. Her moans are like music, a fucking symphony that fills the room. She tilts her head back, her gaze meeting mine to linger only for a moment before it travels down the length of my body and settles on my cock. She does that thing where she takes her lower lip between her teeth, the thing she does when she's turned on. As I make my way back to the bed, Aiden looks up at me, a dark look passing over his face. His jealousy that I'm about to be inside her is transparent, and Grace

notices, her expression softening as she brings herself up to a kneeling position in

front of him on the bed. She kisses him, long and sensual, and I let them have their moment. When she pulls away, the look is erased from Aiden’s face and replaced by lust.

I kneel behind her on the bed, my hands exploring her body from behind as

Aiden's roam the front of her. “Is this what you want, Grace? You’re sure?” She lets out a long moan. “I’m sure.” Aiden groans. “You’ve thought about sucking my cock while Noah fucked you?” She whimpers. “Yes.”

I put a hand in the middle of her back, pushing her down to her elbows so she’s

on all fours between us. “Like this?” I ask, caressing her ass cheek. Her pussy lips peek out from between her legs, glistening with her wetness, and I know the answer to my question already but I want her to say it. “Yes.” Her voice cracks as she answers. “I want to see you put Aiden’s cock in your mouth,” I demand, and she does, whimpering as she wraps her lips around him. His hands are on the back of her head as he begins to thrust into her mouth. “You thought about sucking Aiden's cock while my dick was buried inside you, and it made you come, didn't it?" I reach between her legs. She's so damn wet. She moans her response, her voice muffled by Aiden’s shaft. I can’t wait any longer. Pressing my cock to her pussy, I pause for a moment just inside her entrance, savoring the sensation of her tightness giving way to me. She arches her back and pushes her hips toward me, obviously greedy for my cock. So I give it to her. Gripping her hips, I plunge inside her in one swift movement until I'm buried deep, my balls pressed against her pussy lips. She's so tight that it nearly takes my breath away, and I have to pause for a second as she adjusts to my girth. She moans, long and loud. But that’s not the only sound I hear. Aiden groans, too – low and guttural and totally primal, unlike anything I’ve ever heard from him before. When I look at him, his expression is one of torment. Gripping Grace's hair, he thrusts into her mouth harder than he did before, clearly stirred up by seeing me fuck her. I think that it must be jealousy that has him so wound up, until he speaks. “Fuck her.” His voice is raspy as he encourages me. When he pushes deeper inside her mouth for emphasis, Grace moans, rocking her ass against me and spurring me on. “Fuck her and tell me how her pussy feels.” Then I realize that he’s not jealous. He’s turned on. Oh, hell. I thrust harder inside her, my movements quickening as she adjusts to me. “Her pussy is the best thing on Earth.” It's not an exaggeration. I'm being honest. It's the best thing I've ever felt in my life. "It’s warm. So fucking warm and wet and tight. Hell, it’s insanely tight. Her pussy fits me like a glove, Aiden.” "Oh, God," Grace breathes, her words muffled. She moans over and over as she meets me with every thrust, bucking against me to impale herself on my cock.

"Just like her mouth," Aiden murmurs. "Her warm, wet, tight, perfect mouth."

I bring my hand down hard on Grace's ass cheek, causing her to yelp. Her

muscles squeeze my cock tightly in response to the blow. "Is this what you like, Grace? Using your perfect mouth to suck Aiden's cock while I'm buried inside you? Being totally filled up by both of us?" She pulls away from Aiden long enough to answer. “Yes. I love it.” I can’t get enough of her. "You want us to come in you, don't you, sugar?" Aiden asks. "You want us to fill you up from both ends?" "Oh, God," she moans again, her words muffled. "Rub your clit, sweetheart," I tell her because I'm already starting to lose

control. I want her to come on my cock, to feel her pussy squeeze me until there's nothing left. "You're going to come on my cock and you're going to swallow every last drop that Aiden gives you." "Oh, hell," Aiden growls. Grace reaches between her legs, balancing on her knees and one hand as Aiden fucks her mouth faster now. Arousal builds inside me as I plunge my cock deeper into her, reveling in the fact that she's so damn wet for us.

I lose track of time. I lose track of everything except how Grace feels as she

squeezes my cock, how her ass looks as I pull in and out of her, and how she bobs on Aiden's dick. The only thing I'm aware of now are sensations – the sound of my heavy, filled-to-bursting balls against the bottom of her pussy, her whimpers that turn into little grunts as she gets closer to climax, Aiden’s dirty words encouraging her to suck harder, faster, deeper. Everything is sensation now – slickness and sweat, groans and grunts, moans and cries. Tightness and wetness and the softness of Grace against me. Until she cries out loudly, her voice breaking through every other sensation as she comes. The second she starts to orgasm, her pussy squeezes my cock, setting

my orgasm off in an instant. I grip her hips, pulling her as tightly against me as she can possibly fit, fucking her harder and harder as I let go. Her muscles squeeze me, milk me, and demand everything from me. I don’t close my eyes. I come inside her with my eyes open, watching as Aiden's face screws up and he yells, clutching her hair at the roots as he comes in her mouth. And I watch in fascination as she swallows everything from him, even as her pussy continues to squeeze my cock. For a few minutes, everything in the room is still. The only sound is our breathing –more like panting – as the three of us struggle to catch our breaths. Fucking hell. The sense of release is insane, like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, the pent-up frustration that came from being near this girl and not being able to bury myself deeply inside her. Until now.

I let out a long exhale. The problem is, I know before my cock even stops

throbbing that this girl is going to be an addiction. I’m only going to want more.

And wanting someone like her is a dangerous temptation because she's totally out of reach.

25

GRACE

I t’s midnight. That’s what the clock on my phone says, and I know that because

I’ve checked it approximately three hundred times. It’s midnight and I, Grace Sullivan, the head of a charity foundation and daughter of the ultimate spokesman for good old-fashioned American family values – am lying in bed between two men. Two really hot men. Two really, really hot men who just fucked the hell out of me, carried me into the shower again and cleaned me up, and then deposited me right back in this bed. Two football players who pulled me against them like this was the most normal situation in the entire world. And then promptly fell asleep. Now I’m sandwiched between Noah and Aiden, who are lying on their backs on either side of me, snoring loudly. These aren’t regular snores, either. They’re like two freight trains. Or chainsaws. Dueling snorers. I wonder how the hell I slept in this house without hearing them through the walls before. I should be exhausted after four orgasms. Four! The most orgasms a boyfriend had ever given me before in a single night was exactly one, and that wasn’t anything compared to this. I’m not sure what I had with anyone before Noah and Aiden was even an orgasm. What happened tonight with them was earth- shattering, toe-curling, axis-tilting sex. Filthy, uninhibited, holy-shit-what-am-I-doing sex. With two men. Two football players with wild reputations. Two men who were very good at what they did tonight – with their mouths, with their cocks. Sharing me. They’ve probably done this before, you know. The thought pops into my head, and my breath catches in my throat, my heart skipping a few beats. No, that’s not true. You saw how they fought over you, how they competed for you. These men aren’t in the business of sharing women. Except that they’re athletes. Football players have lots of groupies, don’t they? Women throw themselves at them like they’re rock stars.

Kind of the way you just threw yourself at their feet? An image flashes in my head: me on my knees in front of them in the kitchen, sucking on their cocks one right after the other and then begging them to come on my lips. What the hell am I doing, begging for two men to fuck me? Sexually confident, drunk-on-her-own-lust Grace has suddenly disappeared,

replaced by Scared Shitless Grace. This Grace is totally consumed by thoughts about the implications of what just happened between the three of us. We could get found out so fucking easily. It only takes one person walking in at the wrong time, or one person noticing a gesture or a look and…

It would be on headlines across the world.

Why did I let my libido get the better of me? Making impulsive decisions is not what I do, and this is the ultimate in impulsive decision-making. Panic rises in my throat, and I scramble out of bed. I have to get out of here.

What if there was a threat, a reason my security had to find me in the middle of the night? That’s my rationalization for running away, even though the likelihood of that happening is infinitesimally small.

I move cautiously, soundlessly, careful not to wake the slumbering giants. I

shouldn’t be worried, though, because neither of them stir. I open a drawer in

Noah’s dresser, lucking out that the first one I pull on is full of t-shirts. I slip a shirt over my head and sneak out the bedroom door, tiptoeing through the house and back to the kitchen for my clothes. For all of our clothes. Cleaning up the evidence. I’ve seen enough episodes of Law and Order to know that cleaning up the evidence isn’t really possible. Things like this are always discovered. Someone always finds out.

I take the clothes back to Noah’s room, setting them in a small pile by the

bottom of the bed. For a second, I consider getting back into the bed with them. I consider not being a chicken shit and going to sleep between them, waking up with

them, and repeating what happened last night tomorrow morning. But I’m not that brave. Instead, I tiptoe back to the guest room, collapsing into bed and pulling the sheets up around me. I sit there for a few minutes with my phone in my hand before I muster the courage to text Vi. She’s the only person in the world I can trust to talk about what happened. She responds in less than a minute.

You’ve been radio silent, you know. I was wondering when I was going to get this text. Call me.

When I do, she answers the phone after one ring, her voice expectant. “Well?” “Well, what?” “You’re the one frantically texting me at midnight. Spill it or I’m going to start trying to guess what you did.” I groan. “You’re not going to guess, because it’s ten times worse than anything

you could imagine.” “Worse?” Vi cackles. “Oh, honey, tell me it wasn’t disappointing.” “You know what I’m talking about?” I ask, my voice going up an octave. I drop to a whisper. “You know why I’m calling?” I can practically hear Vi’s eyes roll over the phone. “Let’s see. I only have a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and not my private investigator’s license, but I’ll give it a shot. You left for a camping trip with two of the hottest football players in the world, out in the middle of nowhere at a luxury ranch.” “How did you know it was a luxury ranch?” I interrupt. “Let me finish,” Vi chides. “And, please, of course it was luxury. Noah Ashby is a multi-millionaire. He’s not living in a tiny log cabin without indoor plumbing. Anyway, two hot football players, a luxury ranch, and one uptight and repressed Presidential daughter? I don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that you got plugged six ways from Sunday.” “I’m not uptight and repressed,” I protest, even as I wince at her blunt words. “And plugged? That’s really disgusting.” “That’s right. Repressed,” Vi reiterates. “And sex is inherently disgusting – bodily fluids, ham-hocks slapping against each other, spooge-shooters spraying spooge…” “Oh my God. Spooge? Who even uses that word? What is wrong with you?” “I was just showing you that using the phrase plugged six ways from Sunday is in no way, shape, or form as disgusting as I am capable of being.” “Can you spare me the evocative descriptions?” “If you tell me why the hell a women who was spit-roasted by two very fine men is calling me at midnight when she should be in the middle of a football player sandwich.” “Spit-roasted?!” “You know, a cock in both ends,” Vi elaborates. “I assume that’s how it went down. Unless you were going right for double penetration from the get-go, in which case you’d have my very enthusiastic congratulations and utmost respect.” “I’m being serious, Vi.” “So am I. If you took it up the butt and in the cooch, I would offer you a very sincere congratulations, with only the tiniest hint of jealousy.” I’m silent for a moment, pointedly ignoring her crude words. “I ran out of the room.” “Oh my God, Grace. You fled the scene when they were sticking it to you?” “No, not when they were sticking it to me,” I clarify, exasperated. “That part was… well, good.” “Good,” Vi interrupts. “You just had a threesome and all you have to say is that it was good? That doesn’t sound very good.” The ache between my legs reminds me of exactly how good it was. “It was… crazy, Vi.” I don't do crazy. I don't do wild or crazy or impulsive. I do… measured. In

control. “Uh huh. And that’s why you’re now hiding under your covers in your room, talking to me in whispers on the phone instead of sucking the spooge out of a football player’s dick.” “Stop saying spooge.” “Why. Does it make you hot?” “Are you high?” “Sober as a judge,” Vi says. “And for the record, I’m just trying to get you to laugh about this shit. You can’t take everything so fucking seriously or you’re going to drop dead of a heart attack.” “I screwed two guys. Well, one. I went down on the other one. Vi, this is not what I do.” “I know. That’s why I’m congratulating you. If you did it all the time, it wouldn’t be special. Grace Sullivan, the most tightly-wound girl I know, had casual sex with two men at the same time.” Casual sex. Her words hit me like a punch to the gut. She’s right. That’s all this was and nothing more. Noah and Aiden are professional football players who have women throwing themselves at them all the time, and I’m the daughter of the President. It can’t be anything other than casual… even if I haven’t had sex in two years and I just dove right into the deep end of the pool, making it feel as uncasual as possible for me. “You hooked up with two men and the world didn’t end,” she continues, but instead of reassuring me it just reminds me again that someone could find out. “It very well could. We both know that.” “That’s just slightly dramatic, don’t you think?” “You know what I mean. The political world would explode if anyone discovered what happened.” “So don’t let them find out.” “Everything comes out, Vi,” I hiss. “It’s just a matter of time.” “Don’t be ridiculous. People keep secrets for years. Think of all of the romance novels written about secret babies. Hell, think of all the politicians hiding affairs and secret babies. The three of you are mature, consenting adults who are perfectly capable of keeping secrets.” “Well, I don’t know about the mature part,” I joke. “Do I detect a hint of humor under your overstressed voice?” Vi asks. “Slightly,” I admit. “That’s a start,” Vi says. “Now, in all seriousness… tell me everything.” “I’m not kissing and telling,” I protest, feeling protective of what happened between Noah and Aiden and I. “But it was good?” “It was good. Really, really good.” Too good, in fact. Even now, exhausted after being “fucked six ways from Sunday” as Vi put it, my body craves their touch. This is casual. It needs to be casual.

Someone needs to tell my body that, because right now it feels like it very well could be an addiction. “So get back in the game,” Vi says. “Go get ‘em, tiger. Break a leg. Suck a cock – or two. Wake those boys up and put them inside you.” I exhale heavily and roll my eyes, even if she can't see my face. “When you date athletes –" "Screw," Vi corrects. "When I screw athletes. I occasionally date them, but go on." "When you screw these jocks who are used to filthy, juvenile locker room talk, are they ever the ones appalled by your dirty mouth?" "All the time, doll. All the time."

26

AIDEN

M mm.

The heat from Grace’s body radiates onto mine and an image of what happened last night flashes in my head before I even open my eyes. In my not-yet-awake state, I reach out to pull her against me, my hand grazing her ass cheek and – What the fuck. That’s not Grace I’m snuggling up against. I practically leap to the other side of the bed at the same time that Noah growls, “If your hand so much as gets within a foot of my dick, so help me I will- ” “Dude. Why are you snuggling up on me?” I ask, my voice loud. Noah is already standing beside the bed, scrambling into his boxers. “You had your head on my chest, asshole.” “If I did, it’s only because your chest feels like a woman’s.” I dig around for my clothes in the pile on the floor. “You might be getting a little soft. You really need to reevaluate your off-season training.” “Fuck you,” Noah grumbles. “Where the hell is Grace?” “Gone, obviously,” I respond without thinking. Then the realization hits me. “Did she actually screw us and leave?” Noah’s brow furrows and he turns to head to the bathroom, totally ignoring me. Well, maybe Noah is used to chicks running away screaming after he screws them, but I’m sure as hell not. I’m the one who leaves. I’m the one who has to figure out a clever (or not so clever) excuse to ditch out on a girl after we hook up. Not once in my twenty-six years has a woman ever pulled a - well, an “Aiden Jackson”. The middle-of-the-night bail is one of my trademark moves – not that I’m proud of it, but I’ve never been with a girl I wanted to stick around and see the next morning. Not once have I ever been the one who was ditched in the middle of the night. I already have pants on and I’m pulling on a t-shirt when Noah walks back out of the bathroom, pausing in the doorway. “Why, are you sad she didn’t stick around and cuddle with you?”

“Pfft. At least that way she’d have been between us and I wouldn’t have woken up next to your stupid ass.” “You were the one trying to grope my stupid ass.”

“Only because it felt like a woman’s.” I pause. “Seriously. It’s baby-soft. What kind of moisturizer do you use?”

A dark look passes over Noah’s face. “I use Shut The Fuck Up Lotion.”

“You’re really damn testy this morning. Obviously getting laid doesn’t do anything to make you less of an asshole.” “I was doing just fine before I woke up,” Noah growls. “You think Grace freaked out?” “Fuck, I don’t know. Maybe. Probably. After the shit that happened last night, wouldn’t you?” “I just woke up in bed with you. I already am freaked out.” That’s not a lie. “Well, that makes two of us. It’s not like I wanted to wake up with you in my bed.” This is awkward as hell. Noah and I have been best friends for as long as I can

remember having a best friend. We’ve been through a lot of situations together. This situation has never come up before.

I exhale heavily and clear my throat. “Should we… uh… talk about it or

something?” Noah screws up his face into a grimace. “Do you have feelings you need to share?” “Hell, no, I don’t have any fucking feelings. What’s wrong with you?” “You’re the one who wants to talk,” Noah says, huffing as he digs in a dresser drawer and pulls out gym clothes. “Well, we need to talk to Grace, don’t we?” I ask. Noah’s shoulders slump. “Yeah, I guess.” “You guess? I’m asking you. Chicks don’t run out on me after sex.” “You think I have experience with this?” “Girls running away from you? I think you might be an expert.” Noah scowls. “You don’t think she left the ranch and went home, do you?” Shit. I didn’t think of that. “I didn’t think the sex was that bad.” Noah looks at me like I’m stupid. “It wasn’t. I mean, I didn’t think it was.” “It wasn’t,” I agree, then say it again to reassure myself. “It wasn’t. It was kind of hot, being with the same girl. I mean…” I clear my throat. Noah shrugs. “Yeah, I guess. I mean, it wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be, watching you with her.” “Not as awful? You seemed to like it just fine. You were the one telling her how much you wanted to watch her swallow my cum while you came in her.” I say it before I think about what I’m saying, mostly to get under Noah’s skin. Noah’s face turns red. Holy fuck. In all the years I’ve known him, I’ve never seen Noah embarrassed. I almost feel bad. Almost. He shuffles his feet and clears his throat. “Are you finished now?”

“Yep. No more talking. You want to find Grace or go to the gym?” Find Grace is the right answer. That’s what we should do, at least that would be the sensitive thing to do, but I suddenly have the need to something that doesn’t involve me being in bed with my best friend. “Gym,” Noah grunts. “What are you benching?” “More than you,” I challenge. With that, everything is back to normal. Or whatever the hell normal is now.

27

NOAH

I t’s been almost twenty-four hours since what happened between Aiden and Grace

and I. Aiden and I are good. We spent a few hours in the gym one-upping each other and lifting weights and not talking about jack shit. But it’s weird with Grace. She’s barely been around all day, off hiking in the morning with the campers, and then breezing through the house on her way to some kind of trust exercise in the afternoon that she pointedly did not ask us to join in on. Now, the campers are gathered around a roaring fire on the last night of the camp roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Aiden and I are out here hanging out with the kids trying to make up for being dickheads the other day and getting into a near-fight in front of them. We even spent the last hour before the hot dog roast throwing footballs and teaching them plays. Grace has definitely been avoiding us. She’s hardly made eye contact, and she’s either really fucking busy with the camp or she’s pretending to be so she doesn’t have to talk to us. I don’t know what the hell that means. Either she’s totally freaked out by what happened or else she thinks it’s no big deal. Regardless, she can’t just avoid talking to us forever, at least I hope not – especially because I want what happened to continue happening. “Now it’s going to be really awkward having her as a neighbor,” Aiden says. “I told you it would be weird.” “You said no such thing,” I correct. “In fact, I’m the one who told you not to shit where you eat.” “That was good advice.” Grace has been making the rounds, talking to all of the campers and counselors, and she chooses that exact time to greet Louis and Spencer, who are standing near us elbowing each other and cracking jokes about wieners. “Did you guys get hot dogs yet?” she asks them. Spencer nods. “We’re about to go get wieners.” He heavily emphasizes the word wieners before snickering. Beside me, Aiden chuckles under his breath. “Wieners,” he repeats. I give him a look.

“I want a big fat wiener,” Louis says, snorting. “Do you want a big fat wiener, Spencer?”

“Go get hot dogs from the counselors over there,” Grace says sternly, obviously trying to change the subject. “And don’t run with the roasting sticks.” “Yeah,” Spencer says, elbowing Louis. “Walk to get your wiener.” “Can I get a stick to roast two wieners at the same time?” Louis asks. “I’m starving. I want two.”

I think I hear Aiden snort. Grace’s face pales.

“Don’t be greedy,” Spencer says. “The counselors said one at a time, not two. Only greedy people want two.”

I cut him off. “Go get your hot dogs.”

There’s an awkward moment of silence between the three of us, before Aiden breaks it. “Yeah. So, speaking of two wieners…” Fucking hell. Grace’s eyes get big and she clears her throat. “No, no, no,” she says, shaking her head before she mumbles something and grabs the arm of a counselor passing

by, pretending she needs to talk to the counselor but it’s obvious as hell that she’s just trying to get away from us as fast as she can.

I glare at Aiden. “Fuck, Aiden. Really? That's what you lead with? ‘Speaking of

two wieners?’” “What? They were laughing about two wieners. Come on. You weren’t thinking the same thing?” "That's besides the point," I hiss. "She's already uncomfortable, obviously. Way to make it even more uncomfortable." "You're assuming she's uncomfortable. Maybe she just wants to hit it and quit

it."

"Do you want to hit it and quit it?" Aiden looks sheepish. "No." "Well, then we need to talk to her. And we need to make it less awkward. Got any bright ideas?" "Flowers," Aiden suggests. "Chicks love flowers."

"Great idea," I tell him sarcastically. "Why don't you go run out and get flowers at seven o'clock at night? Maybe the gas station down the road has some classy bouquets." "Yeah, well, maybe you should knit her a scarf." "I don't know what you're talking about." "Oh, I think you do."

I look at him through narrowed eyes, my fists clenched at my side. "Who told

you?" "You left your knitting needles out one day." "One day when?" I ask, increasingly pissed off. "Did you go through my shit?" "One day like six months ago," Aiden admits. "At your old place."

"You've been sitting on that for six months?" "I know. It was a real gold nugget of information. I was waiting for a good time to drop it." "Your sense of timing is fantastic." "What can I say? I'm Aiden Jackson." "Go find some flowers," I tell him. "And take your fucking time. Take all damn night, actually."

28

GRACE

O kay, so I ran. It was poor form, getting up and leaving in the middle of the night.

I know that. But I really need my sleep and the two of you are insanely loud snorers,

so I left. Have you thought about getting those nose strips?

I exhale heavily. Nope. That's definitely lame. Worst apology ever.

I take another deep breath. Just be honest. I can be honest. I was freaked out.

Who wouldn't be freaked out, anyway? I don't have sex for two years and my first foray back into dating – no, not dating, casual sex - is having two men come in my mouth. And on my ass. And bend me over in the bedroom… Oh God. My face feels like it's on fire. I'm not sure if Noah and Aiden even want to see me tonight, not after what happened at the campfire. But come on! Aiden and that wiener comment right in the middle of the campers and counselors? Someone could have put two-and-two

together. It was far better to get out of there than to faint, which was probably what was about to happen next. It's also the last night of the camp and we're leaving tomorrow. Even though Noah and Aiden and I are going right back to being neighbors, I'm feeling a sudden sense of urgency to apologize. Or run back to my house and never see either of them again. The rational, responsible part of me says I should do the latter. It would be safer, easier, and less complicated. Yet I've been wandering around this house looking for the two of them and going over my explanation in my head. And now I'm standing here in front of the only door in this house that I haven't tried.

I take a deep breath and knock before pulling the door open. Noah is sitting in a

deep leather chair in the corner of the… whatever this is. A library? A man cave?

The room isn't as rustic as the rest of the house. In here, it's mostly mahogany and rich colors with books stacked in shelves from floor to ceiling. One corner of the room holds an immense wooden desk and another wing of the room holds a pool table.

I feel Noah's eyes on me. He makes no attempt to hide his gaze trailing down

the length of my body, making me all too aware of the fact that I showered and

changed out of the jeans and t-shirt that I wore earlier in the evening at the campfire. My reasoning was that the campfire made my hair smell like smoke, but that's not really the entire truth. At least, it doesn't explain why I changed into a dress – casual, black cotton, nothing fancy – and added mascara and a hint of lip- gloss. "Impressed?" Noah asks. “Mildly.” "She does have a sense of humor, after all." "I have a sense of humor," I protest. "Just not when it comes to…" "Wieners?" Noah asks. "Exactly." "And staying the night?" My face warms. "About that…" "About that." Noah looks at me, his expression blank, except his eyes are intense, focused on me. "I came down here to explain," I start. "Actually, I've been wandering around the house for a little while, looking for you and Aiden." "Aiden's been gone for a…" Noah looks at his watch. "Couple of hours now." "Oh." "He went out to the store. So he could be back here soon… or else in a few days we might find out he flew to Canada because he decided on a whim that he needed real maple syrup or Canadian beer." I bite my lip to hide a smile. If I'd just met Aiden, I'd think Noah was trying to be possessive and keep Aiden out of the way, but that sounds exactly like something Aiden would do. Noah crosses his arms. "So, you came down here to grovel?" "Does this require groveling?" Noah's gaze remains on my face for a long moment and I feel naked under his stare, heat rushing through me just like it did when I was with him and Aiden before. I squeeze my thighs together, thankful that I'm wearing a dress that hides the needy gesture. "Fleeing in the middle of the night?" Noah asks. "I think a little groveling is in order." He doesn't move. He just sits there in his chair, his legs spread, looking at me with hunger in his eyes. Even if I couldn't see the bulge in his pants, I'd be able to tell exactly what he wanted just from the expression on his face. The thing is, it's what I want, too - at least until Scared Shitless Grace takes over my brain. When I forget about everything outside of this room, I'm certain this – with them - is what I want. I cross the room, stopping when I'm standing between Noah's outstretched legs. But I don’t drop to my knees to grovel. It doesn't feel right somehow, not without Aiden here. But not having Aiden here doesn't stop Noah from running his hands up the

inside of my thighs, the warmth of his large palms radiating into my skin. It also doesn't keep my thighs from quivering in response to his light stroke, or my pussy from throbbing at the thought of him sliding his fingers up just a little more. "I freaked out," I explain. It's not much of an explanation, though; it’s more like a statement of fact. "Do you freak out a lot?" Yes. About everything. "Only when I have crazy sex with two men," I say, my voice light. Noah's fingertips dig into my thighs as he narrows his eyes, and I swat at his hands. "Does that happen a lot?" he asks. "It's happened once," I whisper as he pulls me down onto his lap, my knees on either side of him. "It's going to happen again," he growls, his hand going to the nape of my neck as he takes my mouth. His kiss is punishing in its intensity, practically bruising as he demands my mouth, my tongue, and my everything. I'm dizzy and breathless when he pulls his lips from mine, his hands still on my cheeks. "You're not going to freak out this time, are you?" I'm about to say that I don't see two men here, and so I'm not in present danger of having sex with two men, but Aiden chooses that exact moment to throw open the door to the library, carrying a bag. "Whoa, whoa, whoa,” he exclaims. “Is this seriously happening without me?" Noah grins. "You snooze, you lose." "Nothing happened," I protest, but I don't move from Noah's lap. "Yeah, it did," Noah disagrees. "She groveled." Aiden's brows go up. "Not on my knees," I say quickly, imagining how Aiden pictures me groveling. Aiden crosses his arms and gives me a stern look. "You should grovel. Because you ran off in the middle of the night, I had to feel up Noah's ass." "Had to?" I ask. "Quit using that as an excuse," Noah interrupts. "You were feeling up my ass because you wanted to." Aiden shrugs. "It felt like a woman's." "You're saying that Noah's ass feels like mine?" I ask. "Should I be insulted?" "I have a great ass," Noah scoffs. "You should take it as a compliment." "I think I remember seeing your ass, but I can't be sure. Maybe I should remind myself of what it looks like," I say, biting down on my lip as Noah growls and pulls me tighter onto his lap, grinding me against his hardness. "I have more interesting things for you to check out," Noah says, his voice gravelly. "So do I," Aiden interrupts, holding up a paper shopping bag. Noah narrows his eyes. "Did you go to the liquor store? I thought you were getting flowers." "Yeah, I brought tequila instead of flowers," Aiden scoffs. "Come on, give me

some credit." "Flowers?" "To say we were sorry," Aiden explains. "Because we made you uncomfortable and shit at the campfire." Now I cross my arms as I look at Noah. "You sent him to get flowers to apologize, but you made me grovel?" "Yeah," Aiden says smugly. "I guess we know who the real gentleman is here." "What you did wasn't remotely groveling," Noah corrects me, pushing my skirt up over my hips and gripping my bare ass with his hands. In the thirty seconds I'm preoccupied with what Noah is doing, Aiden somehow manages to strip off his clothes. "Wow. That was fast," I observe. "I'm sure that's what all the women say about him," Noah deadpans, and I slap his arm playfully. "You can grovel over here if you'd like." Aiden waggles his eyebrows dramatically as he nods toward his hard cock. Noah puts his hands on my forearms. "She doesn't have to grovel. She was freaked out before." "No shit." Aiden walks over to the chair, proudly displaying his nakedness. "And neither of you were freaked out?" I ask, not sure whether to be impressed or concerned by how blasé they are about this entire thing. Of course, they have no reason not to be, right? They're not the ones whose father is in the middle of a re-election campaign. They're football players. It'll only add to their reputations to be fucking the President's daughter if it were to become public, but I'll be the punch line of locker room jokes for years. Fear should keep me from doing this. "Of course I was," Noah insists. "I told you that dickhead grabbed my ass." He punctuates the statement by squeezing mine. "I'd prefer not to repeat the snuggling experience again," Aiden says. "But everything that happened before that…" "I'm cool with everything that happened before that," Noah echoes. His hands go to the sides of my dress and I don't stop him as he tugs it over my head. Fear takes a back seat to lust that overpowers everything else in the world. As soon as the dress is gone, Aiden's hand is in my hair, pulling my head back as arousal and adrenaline course through my veins. "Shouldn't we…" Shouldn't we talk about how crazy this is, or set some ground rules, or… not fucking do this? Noah's hands slide up my body and cup my breasts. He slips off my bra and tosses it to the side as Aiden pulls my hair back and leans over, kissing me hard on the lips. His teeth drag across my tongue and catch my lip, and I arch into Noah's touch. Screw talking. Or rules. "Fuck me," I whisper. "Soon," Aiden promises. "Shouldn't we… what?" Noah asks, his voice thick.

"Mmm… I forget," I murmur as Noah's fingers slip inside the front of my panties and find my clit. Aiden moves to stand at our side. I turn toward him, opening to take him in a Noah strokes me. I taste Aiden on my tongue, reminding me instantly of the night before. My body remembers him too, and arousal floods through me as I take his cock deeper into my mouth. "Let me see how wet you are," Noah growls. With my hand stroking Aiden's length, I pull myself up to my knees, revealing a dark spot where I sat on Noah's lap. Noah reaches between my legs, touching his fingers to my pussy and then pulling them away. A gossamer strand of my wetness clings to his fingers, and he opens his mouth and touches his fingers to his tongue. “She is so fucking wet," Aiden groans, moving behind me and sliding his fingers between my legs. He finds my entrance quickly, slipping his fingers inside me. A wave of arousal nearly blows me over, and when I lurch forward, Noah's mouth is on my breast immediately. Noah swirls his tongue around my nipple until I'm so dizzy with anticipation

and desire that I can't see straight. I want his clothes off. I want the fabric barrier between me and him to be removed. I want to feel him.

I want to feel both of them.

When I open my mouth, the word "please" comes out. It sounds nothing like me – it's needy and desperate, filled with longing. But instead of giving me what I want, Aiden slips his fingers out from between my legs. I let out a whimper, silently cursing my lust for these men. "I almost forgot… I did find you flowers," he says. "As our apology." I'm so breathless that I'm nearly panting, and my thoughts are so muddled, I don't think I hear him right. Flowers? I don’t care about flowers. I want you to fuck me. "Flowers? Now? Um, okay. Yes. Flowers." "Not now, Aiden," Noah growls, pulling his shirt over his head. I run my hands across his broad chest, watching his pecs jump at my touch. He reaches for the

waistband of his jeans. I stand to help him pull them off as Aiden struts over to the shopping bag he brought with him earlier. "You'll like these flowers," Aiden assures me, reaching inside the bag and

pulling out another bag, this one black velvet. From that bag, he pulls out a floral- patterned object. Noah coughs. "You were going to use that to make things less uncomfortable?" Aiden grins, obviously pleased with himself. "I couldn't find flowers, but this has flowers on it. And we needed one if we were going to…" "Is that a… vibrator?" I ask. Aiden chuckles. "No, sugar." My face reddens and I feel embarrassed and naïve, but Aiden's expression softens. He takes my hand and pulls me against him, tilting my chin up and bringing his lips down on mine. He kisses me softly and tenderly before pulling away. "Do you trust us?"

I raise my eyebrows. "Hell, no."

Noah laughs, his palm on my ass. "She's not stupid."

Aiden glares at Noah. "Okay, do you trust that we wouldn't do anything to hurt you?" The expression on his face is so earnest. Is he only talking about sex? "Yes," I answer. Aiden leans close to me, his breath on my ear as he reaches between my legs, brushing his fingers against my clit, then slipping them inside me again. I relax into his masterful touch, barely flinching when I feel Noah spread my ass cheeks, a finger pressing against my asshole. "You want to fuck both of us, don't you, sugar?" Aiden whispers. More than anything. Against every rational part of me that continues to scream, "Don't do it! This is a bad idea!" "Yes," I breathe instead. My palm is on Aiden's chest, my fingertips pressing against his hard muscles as they twitch and flex. "Both of us at once," Noah says, his voice low. My heart stops. "Yes." "Well, that's what the butt plug is for," Aiden whispers. "To get you ready for both of us." I breathe in sharply through my teeth. I'm not sure if I'm more scared or turned on by the thought of both of them being inside me at the same time. "I've… definitely never done anything like that before," I whisper. "We're not in a rush," Noah reassures me. "You decide when you want both of us. Right, Aiden?" Aiden strokes me with his fingers, his eyes locked on mine. "We definitely want to take our time."

29

AIDEN

N oah and I take our time with Grace. I pick her up and carry her to Noah's desk,

her legs wrapped around my waist and my lips planted firmly on hers. We lay her out on the surface, her legs splayed out and her perfect body fully on display for us.

Then both of us devour her. Our mouths are on her lips, her neck, her shoulders, her breasts, her thighs… and her perfect pink pussy. We take turns licking her, fingering her, bringing her to the edge of orgasm over and over, but always pulling away. We tease her until she's panting and desperate, all frustrated groans and sighs and completely undone, the opposite of perfectly put-together Grace. I want to see her like this every day – totally unraveled, moaning and pleading, her cheeks flushed with desire and need. We don't let her touch either of us, not once, even though it would be so easy to tell her to wrap her lush lips around our cocks and suck us dry. Instead, we focus entirely on her until she's begging over and over for release. "Please," she says again, her voice a cross between a whisper and a whine. Noah looks up from where he is, bent with her breast in his mouth. "I don't know, Aiden," he says. "What do you think?" "I think," I start, my voice trailing off as I run my tongue up her wet slit, "that Grace should tell us exactly what she wants." "Yes," she breathes, as I pull her clit into my mouth. Her hips arch, and she squeezes my head between her thighs, but I pull away, causing her to moan loudly in frustration. "Is this what you want?" Noah asks, guiding his cock toward her lips. She opens her mouth, but he pauses just above her tongue. "Tell us exactly," I demand, pausing to tear open a condom and roll it onto my hard cock. Her eyes flicker over me as I apply lube to the butt plug and show it to her. "Yes," she whispers. "Yes, what?" I ask. "Yes to everything." Yes to everything. But that's not enough for Noah, who growls his response. "Tell me just how

much you want to wrap your lips around my cock," he says, as I push the butt plug right to her entrance and pause there. "I want your cock in my mouth," Grace moans. "I want to swallow you while Aiden fucks me." "And you want this?" I ask, pressing the lubed-up plug against her hole and pushing to slide it slowly inside. "Yes." She tenses initially, then relaxes, groaning as it settles inside her. Noah grabs her hair and guides her mouth to his cock. She's lying on her back on the desk, her head turned so that Noah can fuck her mouth, and her ass nearly off the end of the desk so that I can fuck her. And I'm definitely going to fuck her. Now, there's no more foreplay, no teasing strokes or gentleness. My hands under her thighs and pulling them against me for leverage, I slide easily into her wet cunt. "Oh, fuck, you're tight," I groan, my breath catching as her tightness envelops me. "Her pussy is fucking perfect," Noah agrees, fisting her hair as he pumps his cock inside her mouth. Noah and I quickly fall into a rhythm, one at each end of Grace, her body jostling back and forth as we fuck her. She makes little muted moaning sounds that get quicker as our rhythm builds in speed. Noah is right; her pussy is fucking perfect. It's warm and tight and so damn wet, I can't get enough. I want to feel her bare on me, with no barrier between us. I have no idea how long we fuck her. It seems like forever. Each thrust of my cock inside her pushes the butt plug into her ass, and her moans turn into little grunts. Her pussy swells around my cock, and it takes everything I have to wait until she comes, her body convulsing and her pussy squeezing my cock so tightly I can't help but let go inside her. I pull her tightly against me, holding her thighs around me as I come in a white- hot explosion. Then Noah groans loudly, his hand still gripping her hair tightly as he pumps into her mouth. She's moaning and swallowing and I can't fucking believe I'm inside her, her pussy muscles milking me of everything, as I watch Noah come in her mouth. Everything about it feels incredibly wrong. Grace was right to freak out and run when she did. Even I know this is a disaster waiting to happen. We can't just keep fucking the President's daughter. Someone will find out – and that would ruin all of us. I'm supposed to play it clean… and this is exactly the opposite of playing it clean. This is playing it really fucking dirty. But then I look at Grace, her head tilted back against the surface of the desk, hair mussed and eyes smudged with mascara. She probably thinks she looks like a train wreck – Grace is nothing if not totally put-together – except she doesn't. I just stand there for a second practically gaping at her because I want to memorize what she looks like right now.

I want this picture permanently etched in my brain – Grace on her back on the desk, flushed and breathless after Noah and I ravished her. Grace's hand goes to her hair and then to her lips, and she breaks eye contact, looking suddenly self-conscious. "I… don't know why I keep doing this," she says, her voice soft. I grin, playing it more casual and confident than I really am. "Yeah, you do, sugar. Because for the first time in your life, you're having toe-curling sex and you don't want to stop." She lets out a loud exhale. "I don't want to stop, but I think about someone finding out, or –" "Less thinking, more fucking," Noah growls. "Can we all agree on that?" "I told you that if I got you in bed, I wasn't letting you out for a week," I remind her. "Double that time frame, since there's two of us," Noah says, his lips turned up at the corners. "I hope you didn't have plans for two weeks." Grace's eyebrows go up. "We have to leave here tomorrow." "Well, it's a good thing we're very friendly neighbors."

30

NOAH

L ater, in my bed, Grace sits naked with her knees pulled protectively up to her

chest and her back against the pillows. For a few minutes, Aiden and I sit there on either side of her and none of us say a damn thing. It's really fucking awkward. The things we've done with her are some of the filthiest and intimate I've ever done. We've come in her and on her, and now we're all sitting here silent. Fuck it. I might be all right with hanging out here at the ranch and stewing silently, but that's when I'm alone, not when I'm with Grace. I slide my arm around her shoulder, pulling her against me, and as she stretches out her legs, Aiden reaches for them. I exhale as she settles into me, her legs overlapping Aiden's. That's more like it. Then Aiden breaks the silence. "What's that lock on the closet for?" Grace giggles. "Dead bodies," I say. "Oh, God, it's all your yarn, isn't it? All of your knitting bullshit?" "Fuck off." Grace slaps me lightly on the chest. "You told me it was a big secret, that no one knew about it." "I thought no one knew about it," I grumble. "I just want to know how you've been knitting stuff for years, and I'm your best friend and I've never even gotten a damn scarf," Aiden complains. "I'd like to put in another request for an ugly Christmas sweater," Grace suggests. "When you retire, this could be your second career. Knits by Noah Ashby. Ashby Knits. Nah, the name needs more testosterone. Can you do anything other than scarves?" "Like knit men's sweaters?" asks Grace. "That's not more manly," Aiden protests. "Cock sweaters. Now, that would be more manly." I groan. "Cock sweaters?" Grace's hand goes to her mouth and she giggles again. "Or little penis hats?"

"Like Christmas stockings," Aiden says. "For your dick." "Both of you are assholes," I growl, but I don't really mean it, especially not when Grace's shoulders are shaking against me as she laughs. God, I fucking love her laugh. It sounds so different from the way she is normally, so serious and focused. It feels so damn good to have her in my bed that I want her to stay in bed with us for as long as we can keep her. "Socks for cocks?" Grace asks. Aiden slaps her leg lightly. "You're a fucking genius. That's brilliant. They'd be like dickwarmers. Dick cozies. I wonder if anyone has a patent on those." Grace snorts. "I think it's highly unlikely." "You snorted again," I point out, half to change the subject and half because it's adorable. Damn it, I can't believe I'm thinking of anything as adorable. I can't believe I'm thinking the word “adorable”. "Did not." "Uh, yeah, you did," Aiden concurs. "I don't snort when I laugh," Grace protests. "We told you before that you totally snort." Grace lets out a hmph. "This is coming from the guys who snore like freight trains." "We'll get you the best earplugs money can buy," I assure her. "Or Noah can knit you some earmuffs," Aiden chimes in. Grace laughs. "So you think I'm going to keep staying the night?" Suddenly the room is still. "Uh, didn't we literally just say you were stuck with us for two weeks?" Aiden asks, breaking the silence "Yeah, I think we said two weeks of not letting you out of our bed," I add. It's suddenly become our bed, like this is a normal thing. "Is that right?" Grace asks, her voice light. I slide my hand down her side to her ass cheek, grabbing a handful. "That's right." "Do you regularly just kidnap girls and keep them in your bed for weeks?" Grace teases. "I'm pretty sure Noah has to resort to that, but most women are chaining themselves to my bed and refusing to leave." Grace laughs. "I'm sure." "There was the girl who handcuffed herself to your car," I recall. "Oh yeah," Aiden groans. "That was really not my fault, either. I didn't even know her. She cuffed herself right to the door handle." "That's dedication," Grace says. "No one's ever chained themselves to a car door for you?" I ask. Grace sighs dramatically. "Not even once, sadly. Two guys did send a drone with a blow-up doll into my yard, though." "That was one guy," I point out.

"It would have been a winning plan if your Secret Service agents had a better sense of humor," Aiden points out. "They don't," Grace informs us. "No one does, when it comes to me. Which is why I don't date or… Look, out here at the ranch, it's risky enough being with you. But at least there's a plausible reason for us being in the same house. There's no reason for you to be in my house or me in your house when we're back in Denver." "Do your security people report to your father?" I ask. "No," Grace says quickly. "Not really. I mean, I don't think they have. It was part of the deal when I agreed to protection. But they could." "And then they'd be out of a job, right?" I ask. “Or at the very least, out of this position guarding you, which honestly seems like a pretty cushy one.” "That's true," Grace agrees. "Well, it's not like we're trying to broadcast what we're doing to the world," Aiden says. "What… What are we doing?" Grace asks. "Well, you see, when two guys think a girl is hot and she won't choose between either of them…" I start. "I mean, this is crazy," Grace protests. "I don't know how this is supposed to work." "I don't know how this is supposed to work, either," I tell her. "It's not like Aiden and I have ever done this before." "Well, you seem to know exactly what you're doing." Aiden grins and reaches over to high-five me. "We're naturally skilled." "And modest," Grace adds. "Why be modest when you're this good?" Aiden replies. "I've never done anything like this before," I reiterate. "Neither have I," Aiden says quickly. "Not even with any cheerleaders." Grace laughs. "That's… good to know." "The point is, we don't know what the damn rules are either," I tell her. "We should make our own," Aiden says. "The only rule we need is that you don't grab my fucking ass," I grumble. "Or try to cuddle with me." "And no crossing swords," Aiden says. "I don't want to touch your…" "Throbbing manhood?" Grace suggests. "Neither of us touch each other's junk," I interrupt. "That should be assumed." "And in the case of accidental touching, there's no mention of it again," Aiden says. "Total silence," I agree. "Also, you're ours." Aiden nods. "I think that's a given." "Excuse me?" Grace asks. "You heard me," I say, squeezing her ass cheek again. The gesture sends arousal coursing through me and my cock twitches. "You’re ours. We claimed you." "All of you," Aiden reiterates. "In the shower."

Grace face flushes scarlet. "I remember," she says. "I'm not some kind of toy, you know. Or your property." "I guess now isn't the time to bring up the 'Property of Aiden and Noah' tattoo we wanted you to get?" Aiden asks. "Property of Noah and Aiden," I say. "Alphabetical order is only fair," Aiden argues. "Bigger dick goes first," I reply. "Oh, so it would still be me." Grace sighs loudly. "Are you two finished?" "Not quite," I tell her, sliding my hand between her legs and pushing her thighs open. Aiden holds her right leg so that she's wide open between us, and I slide my fingers between her legs. "Rule number one – the real one this time - is that this is ours and only ours." "The two of you are pigs," Grace whispers, but her breath catches when my finger begins circling her clit. "We're possessive," Aiden says and Grace laughs. "Is there something funny about that?" "I haven't been with anyone in two years," Grace says. "And now I'm hooking up with two men." I'm hooking up with two men. The way she says it, casually like it's no big deal, sends a pang of irritation through me. Except it isn't a big deal. It can't be, not with who she is, and who we are – and the fact that I'm negotiating with teams outside of Colorado. But when I hear her say it that way, it sounds wrong somehow. It also feels wrong that I haven't told her I'm taking offers from teams outside Colorado. But I shove that thought aside. "Well, you can hook up with just one of us if you want to," Aiden says. "Obviously, I'd be the better choice, especially since I'm stay—" Staying in Colorado. That's what that fucker is about to say. I interrupt him. "Or we can just pass you back and forth," I joke. "Wow, I can't imagine why either of you are single," Grace says. "First you own me, now you're talking about passing me back and forth? You really know how to sweet-talk a girl." "I'm better when I'm not talking," Aiden admits, grinning as he pulls himself up and moves between Grace's legs. I watch as he dips his face to her pussy and drags his tongue up the middle, stopping suddenly to look up. "Wait. Can we?" "Can you what?" she asks, already distracted. My cock hardens at the sight of Grace like this, her back arched and her breasts in the air, nipples erect like perfect little buttons. "Can we proceed if one of us isn't around?" Aiden asks. "Uh-huh," she moans, her hand on Aiden's head as he buries his face between her legs. She reaches for my cock, wrapping her hand around my shaft as Aiden eats her. "If you and Aiden want to fool around with each other when I'm not around, that's fine."

She yelps, the sound turning into a long moan as Aiden thrusts his fingers inside her. "Just for that, I'm not going to let you come until both of us do," he says, and I agree. We're true to our word, too. Aiden brings her to the edge over and over until she's panting and breathless and wanting. She sits upright against a mountain of pillows with his face between her legs, and I kneel in front of her. When she wraps her lips around my cock, it's all I can do not to thrust my length down her throat. I hold back, even when I'm pulling her hair and fucking her mouth. I hold back even when the moaning sounds she makes send vibrations up my cock that make me want to come that instant. I hold back because I can't get enough of her warm wet mouth on my cock. I can't get enough of the way she looks up at me as she sucks me, the way her eyes try to close as she heads towards climax, the look of frustration on her face when Aiden pulls away and doesn't let her come. It's the look of frustration that does me in. I let go, filling her mouth, and she swallows every last drop. Then we switch places, Aiden's cock in her mouth and me between her legs. The ultimate good girl – prim, proper, raised by the President - arches her hips up and squeezes my head between her thighs, trying desperately to fuck my face as she sucks another man's cock, right after I just came down her throat. There's something about how filthy, forbidden, and crazy this is that makes it impossible to resist. And I'm done with resisting it. I want Aiden and I to fuck the hell out of this girl and I just don't want to stop.

31

GRACE

" A ren't there secret tunnels under the White House and shit?" Aiden asks, spearing another forkful of pancake. We're sitting at a long farmhouse table in

the kitchen with a ridiculous amount of breakfast food on platters in the middle of the table – not plates, but platters. The kind you'd use to serve a large family. Noah scrambled a dozen eggs, fried up a pound of bacon, and made a stack of pancakes a mile high. It's one in the morning, and both of them insisted they couldn't possibly sleep on empty stomachs, so here we are, sitting around the table. Noah and Aiden are in shorts and t-shirts and I'm wearing one of Noah's shirts that's approximately twenty sizes too large for me. Sitting here with them is familiar and comfortable and… so damn easy. Noah rolls his eyes. "Strippers aren't coming into the White House through secret tunnels." "Just saying. There had to be a way for Marilyn to get in to see JFK," Aiden says, pointing at us with his fork. "You literally know nothing about politics, but secret tunnels and Marilyn Monroe, these are the things you retain in your brain?" Aiden grins. "It's a gift." "It's something." Noah snorts. "The Playboy mansion had secret tunnels under it too," Aiden points out. "In the seventies. True fact – I read it on the internet." "When did you learn to read?" Noah asks. "Wow, Noah. Sex really makes you funny," Aiden replies. "Wait, nope, it doesn't." "Have you two always been like this?" I ask. "You mean brilliant and charming?" Aiden asks. "She means you're annoying," Noah chides. I laugh. "That is not what I meant." "We're worse when we go back to West Bend," Aiden says. "You mean, you're worse." Noah shakes his head and munches on a piece of bacon. "Keeping him from doing stupid shit used to be my full-time job." Aiden snorts. "He's a liar. He used to do plenty of it with me."

"Nope," Noah disagrees. "Remember when you tied mattresses to yourself and got on our roof and jumped off?" Aiden laughs. "I'm lucky Mama Ashby didn't kick me out on my ass after that. She was pissed. I mean, cat-in-a-bath pissed off. You were the one doing the tying, though, so don't act like you're all innocent and I was just a stupid kid." "Did it work?" I ask, laughing. "The mattresses, I mean. Did they cushion you?" "Obviously, they did not. He hit his head," Noah says. Aiden grins. "It's okay, my brains are all in the head between my legs." "Say what you will about him, but at least he's honest," Noah says. "Your poor mothers," I say, then immediately regret my words, thinking of Aiden's mother who died. "I didn't mean –" "It's okay," Aiden reassures me. "Shit, if my mom were alive, she'd say the same thing. I gave her so much grief as a kid. Hell, Noah and I both did. If we weren't getting into trouble at his house, we were getting into it at mine." "It sounds fun," I say. "Small town life, I mean." "Says the girl who grew up jet-setting around the world," Aiden replies. "Uh… no," I say, laughing. "I mean, sure, boarding school in Switzerland –" Aiden and Noah raise their eyebrows dramatically and give each other meaningful looks as they pick up their glasses, pinkies extended. "It wasn't like that," I protest. "Boarding school in Switzerland wasn't fancy?" Noah asks, his voice skeptical. "It was a little fancy –" I start. "Were there uniforms?" Aiden shovels a bite of what has to be his sixth pancake into his mouth. "At boarding school? Yes, but –" "Plaid skirt?" Noah asks, suddenly enthralled with where this conversation is going. "Navy blue, but –" "Pleated?" Noah asks. "Pigtails and a white shirt, tied up under your –" Aiden starts. "No, boarding school was not a Britney Spears music video," I say primly. "It was serious." "You were a nerd, weren't you?" Noah asks. "Not… really." “Were you valedictorian?” Noah asks. “Did you research me?” “Just a hunch.” “Fine. Yes, I was valedictorian.” “Totally a nerd,” Aiden says. “Did you date any jocks?” “In high school or in college?” I ask. “Either.” I exhale. “No.” “No jocks, huh?” Noah asks, eating a bite of eggs. “What was your type, then?”

My face reddens. “No one in high school.” “You didn’t date anyone?” “It wasn’t a priority,” I answer, suddenly defensive. “I was studying.” “Like Noah.” Aiden nods toward him as he puts another pancake – his seventh? – onto his plate. “He’s practically a monk.” “Football was my priority," Noah replies, an edge in his voice. Aiden grins. “You know what my priority is right now?” he asks, his eyes on mine. “Dessert.” I raise my eyebrows. “Dessert? After all this?” Noah and Aiden exchange glances. “Yup.” “I can’t believe you guys can even eat anything else after - ” I’m cut off mid-sentence as Noah stands and picks me right up out of my chair, flipping me over his shoulder with my ass in the air. I let out a shriek as they carry me back to Noah’s bedroom and show me exactly how much football players can eat.

32

GRACE

I thought that the return to Denver, back to my normal life and the foundation,

would take whatever was happening between Noah and Aiden and I down a notch. After all, the threat of my security detail leaking details of my personal life to my parents is hanging over me like a black cloud. Except that threat hasn't done anything to dampen what's happening with the three of us. I’ve become reckless - completely and utterly reckless. I told Brooks and Davis that I was working on a football-related charity project with Aiden and Noah that required visits to their house and vice-versa. It was quite possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever said to anyone while keeping a straight face. To their credit, they didn’t flinch or say anything other than “Noted, ma’am.” I haven’t gotten any frantic phone calls from my parents, so Brooks and Davis haven’t ratted me out – yet. I tell myself that Secret Service agents keep all kinds of secrets, that even if they suspected anything they have zero evidence that anything untoward is happening. I tell myself that they’re professionals. Unlike me. I used to be a professional, but my level of professionalism might be very quickly spiraling downward. “Your call with Robert Brownstone was rescheduled.” Janice’s voice is loud over the speaker on the phone. “Perfect. I’ll catch up on –“ “Wait. The call was rescheduled, so I slid a donor into the spot,” Janice says. “He’s here now.” “Great.” I keep my voice cheerful, even though I really would rather watch paint dry than schmooze a donor right now. At least, that’s true until I see who the donor is. “Ms. Sullivan,” Noah says, his words clipped, his tone professional. He’s wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and his hair is wet, like he just got out of the shower. “Mr. Ashby,” I say, extending my hand to shake his. Electricity runs through me at his mere touch and my body aches for him, despite seeing him and Aiden last

night. He holds my hand a few moments too long before releasing it. “Janice, how much time do I have?” “Thirty minutes,” she says before answering another call. “Plenty of time,” Noah says gruffly, his eyes locked on mine. I turn around, the throbbing between my legs almost too intense to bear as I walk back to the office with Noah behind me. I can feel his gaze on me as I walk. Inside the office, he closes the door and locks it immediately, his hand going straight to the nape of my neck before I even turn around. “I couldn’t wait until tonight.” “Who said there was going to be a tonight?” I whisper as he pushes me forward, going straight to the window that overlooks a busy street. He puts my palms flat on the glass, his hands going to my skirt and yanking it up at the sides. “There’s going to be a tonight,” he growls, his voice low in my ear. “You didn’t even ask if this window was see-through from the outside,” I whisper, as he hikes my skirt over my backside and yanks my panties down my thighs. “If this window was see-through, you wouldn't have let me pull up your skirt, Grace," Noah growls. Okay, so maybe I'm not that reckless. I might be reckless enough to let Noah Ashby pull my panties off and push me up against my office window, but not reckless enough to screw him in public. Yet. At the rate I'm losing my inhibitions, I may be fucking Noah and Aiden in the damn White House next week. That should strike fear into my heart, but in this moment, all I can think about is how much I want them. “Aiden’s not with you,” I say, half a question and half a statement, but I'm immediately distracted by Noah’s fingers between my legs. “Fuck, you’re so damn wet already,” Noah growls. He doesn’t need to tell me to spread my legs. I step wider to give him access, like some kind of reflex, and he pushes his fingers inside me so easily. “I think I’m wet all the time,” I whisper. I think I’m walking around in a constant state of arousal now, between being fucked by them and thinking about being fucked by them. It’s a high, some kind of addiction they’ve triggered, and I don’t want to come down from it. “Aiden's coming soon. Right now, you’re all mine.” Oh, God. I’m close to coming already myself. “This pussy is so wet for me, Grace,” Noah whispers, his voice gruff. “So ready all the time. Tell me how ready you are.”

I whimper softly as he pulls his fingers from between my legs and the crinkle of

a condom wrapper fills the room. “I’m so ready,” I whisper. “Tell me how much you want me to fuck you,” Noah growls. “Tell me how much you want to feel my cock inside you.”

cock inside - ” He doesn’t wait until I’m finished telling him before he enters me. With one long, swift thrust, he's inside me. I breathe in sharply at the sensation of fullness, at his hands on my breasts through my shirt, at the way he pulls me against him over and over as he begins to fuck me. This isn’t like other times he and Aiden have fucked me, when they’ve taken their time, brought me to the edge over and over just to torment me before letting me have my release. This time is raw. It's primal. It's all about taking the edge off. I think that’s true for both of us. He fucks me hard, and I meet every one of his thrusts with mine, pushing my ass back against him, one palm on the window and another on my clit. I’m just as greedy as he is, not waiting for my pleasure but taking it from him, losing myself in him as he thrusts faster and faster inside me. His hand is on my hair, pulling my head back, using it for leverage as he rides me. “God, I want to come inside you, sweetheart,” Noah growls, his hand yanking my hair for emphasis, sending shocks of pain radiating through me, that are mixed with pleasure. I think I’m drunk, intoxicated by my near-climax, my fingers moving faster and faster over my clit as I fly higher and higher. “Oh God, I want you to come inside me,” I beg. “I want to feel you.” The thought of him and Aiden, both bare inside me, both filling me up with their hot cum, makes me climax. I don’t just crash over the edge; I fucking free-fall, my cry muted only when Noah puts his hand over my mouth to muffle me. I’m lost, biting down on his fingers because otherwise I’m going to scream for the entire world to hear. But in this moment, I don’t care because my climax is blinding, white-hot and all- consuming. I’m hardly aware of Noah pulling out of me, barely aware of his muffled groan. I just barely decipher his words: “Arch your back, sweetheart.” And I do. As I arch my back and push up my ass, from the corner of my eye I see him rip off the condom and toss it on the ground. Then he comes on me. He comes on my ass and my pussy, and it drips down the sides of my thighs. He comes on me in the middle of my very professional office with its very professional décor. He comes on me with my skirt pulled up to my waist and my panties pulled down my thighs. Then he leans close to me, his breath wafting over my skin. "You're like a damn drug," he whispers. "I can't get enough of you like this." I shiver. "I know." "Aiden is in the lobby downstairs," he says, pulling my panties up. They're damp, a mixture of him and me, but he doesn't wipe me off. He pulls my skirt down over my ass and tugs the fabric down my thighs. "I think you still have fifteen minutes before your next call. I'll see you later tonight." He kisses the back of my neck, and turns, walking out of the office and shutting the door behind him, leaving me throbbing and filthy and used. I feel dirty and sexy and out-of-control. It's terrifying and exciting and I don't want it to stop.

My phone buzzes. It's Aiden.

I'm outside of your office.

I text him back.

I have a phone call in fifteen minutes.

He replies.

Tell your assistant I need five.

I smirk as I put Janice on speaker. "Send Mr. Jackson in, please, won't you, Janice? This should just take a few minutes. I just need to debrief him after the camping trip." Aiden closes and locks the door, walking straight over to me and yanking my skirt up roughly around my waist. "Noah just got finished with you, didn't he?" he asks, his voice low and gravely. The look on his face is jealous and possessive, despite the fact that the two men clearly planned this together. When he rips my panties down around my thighs, he growls under his breath. "I can feel him on you. He came all over you, all over these panties, didn't he?" "Yes," I breathe, but I don't get to say anything else before his mouth is on mine. This kiss isn't remotely like Aiden's usual kisses - the softer, gentler kind that take my breath away. No, this kiss is demanding, owning, trying to take all of me. And I give it all to him. I melt against him, letting go of everything else except

him in this moment. Right now, it's just Aiden and I with his hands between my thighs, pulling them apart, and his fingers exploring me. "This is his cum, isn't it?" "Yes." My pussy throbs its answer. I don't know who this girl is, answering yes with no hesitation. Yes, another man was just inside me. Yes, another man just came on me. Yes, I want your cock inside me next. Yes, I want you to come on me too. "You fantasized about me fucking you here, didn't you? Fantasized about us taking you right on this desk?" Aiden asks. "Tell me how you thought about it. Did I bend you over?"

I nod, biting my lip as he unbuckles his pants and pulls out his cock. It's already hard, pre-cum dripping from the tip, and I wrap my hand around his shaft, my thumb rubbing the pre-cum into the tip. "You bent me over the desk and fucked me until I came." "Bend over," Aiden groans. "Do it. Now."

I do it, exactly as he wants. I bend over with my hands on the desk, and he traces

the head of his cock along my slit. I want to open for him, to take him in bare and

unprotected, to feel his skin against mine as he fucks me. But he doesn't. He sheathes himself with a condom and presses his wrapped cock against me, without entering me. "Unbutton your shirt," he says, his voice husky. "Unbutton it and take out your tits. I know they're so sensitive." I do it, sliding the cups of my bra over my breasts and cupping them with my hands. My fingers play with my nipples, and they become almost immediately erect. I let out a little moan as Aiden enters me, one hand on my hip and the other reaching around to touch my clit. His grasp on me ensures he's buried deep inside me, his cock pressed into me as far as he can possibly go. He doesn't pull back to fuck me. Instead, he remains buried deep inside me, rubbing my clit in circles as he rocks gently against the spot in me that makes my toes curl. "You like that Noah and I came to your office, don't you? We've claimed you right here in your office." I bite on my lip to keep from moaning out loud, tasting blood. Then he stops dirty-talking to me and the only sound in the room is him fucking me with short thrusts. My palms slip on the wooden desktop and several papers go flying to the ground, but I don't fall. I'm so caught up in my desire that I almost don't register the sound when Janice buzzes through. "Ms. Sullivan," she says. "It's your phone call with the First Lady." With Aiden still lodged inside me, I reach for the speaker button on the phone. Aiden puts his hand on mine. "The First Lady, huh?" he whispers. "Take the call." "

"Do it," he growls. "Take the call." I press the button on the phone, my heart nearly about to pump right the hell out of my chest. "Put her through, Janice." Adrenaline courses through my veins. I've never done something so wrong. I've never taken risks like this, never dared to defy her, always said "Okay, mother" and "Sounds like a good idea" and done what they've asked of me. And now, I'm not only not in an appropriate relationship with an important person, but I'm fucking two football players. And one of them is about to be inside me while I talk to her on the phone. It doesn't get any more inappropriate than that. Aiden stays lodged firmly inside me, bending over and pulling me against him so that he can touch my breasts as my mother's voice comes over the speakerphone,

loud and shrill. "I can't believe I have to get on my own daughter's schedule to talk with her during the day," she starts. Aiden pinches my nipple between his fingers, sending a rush of arousal through me that almost makes me yelp, but I work to hold back my cry. "I have to pencil you

into my calendar to make sure you get my

attention," I say, my

breath catching as Aiden begins to rock inside me again. "I'm sure," she says, her voice tight. "You sound distracted." Her voice gets lower as she turns to talk to bark an order at someone in the room with her.

"Aiden, I can't

undivided

all," I say, my voice coming out much more

breathy than I intend as Aiden fucks me slowly from behind.

"Have you looked at the files I gave you? You can choose any of the men in there as a potential interest,” she says. Aiden stops moving, instead gripping the flesh of my ass cheek hard at the words "potential interest". I look at him over my shoulder, glaring at him and mouthing the words, "She's crazy." "I told you that I'm not " "Don't give me your excuses, Grace," she snaps. "You need to get on board. Your father's agreed to a family interest piece and your new boyfriend is going to be there with you. Pick one." Aiden thrusts inside me harder now, deeper. I feel his thumb against my asshole, his touch insistent. Angry, even. Heaven help me, it makes me hotter. His touch makes my skin erupt in goose bumps, sends arousal coursing through me all the way down to my toes, and I can barely keep myself from crying out.

someone," I say, trying to keep

my voice smooth as Aiden thrusts inside me with each word. I'm losing my mind

now, losing my train of thought, and definitely losing my ability to put up with my

mother's insistence on finding me a man. "I

"What on Earth else could you have going on that would prevent you from going out on a simple date with an eligible man?" she asks. Aiden fucks me harder now, his finger pressing into my asshole up to his knuckle, his dick bringing me higher and higher. My hand slips now, and a letter

organizer goes tumbling to the floor with a crash as I try to right myself, sending papers scattering all over the office. "What is that sound?" my mother asks.

"Nope, not

distracted

at

"I'll talk to you about

I can't just be picking

oh, God."

ugh," I moan, then bite on my lip as I right myself on the desk. Oh

God, I'm so close. My pussy is tightening more and more around him, swelling as his thrusts get more frequent and more urgent. I know he's about to come and it pushes me closer and closer to the edge. "Are you coming down with something?" my mother asks. "We have a family

interview scheduled after July fourth, so if you need to see Dr. Greene, make sure you see him."

I blurt out the words as my

orgasm overtakes me like a freight train. I grip the sides of the desk, biting my tongue – literally - as I climax right here in the office with my assistant just outside, and my mother, the First Lady of the United States, on speakerphone. I gulp big breaths of air, gasping as I try to maintain control even through the haze of my orgasm, trying to finish the sentence so it's not completely nonsensical. "I am coming… down with something." Aiden pulls out, spinning me around and shoving me hard up against the desk, the edge of the top pushing against my ass cheeks. He yanks off the condom,

"Nothing

"I think I am

oh God, I think I am

coming

"

dropping it on the floor. His eyes never leave mine as he strokes himself furiously. "You'll need a boyfriend for the interview," my mother says. "They're already vetted. They're all appropriate." "Appropriate," whispers Aiden. "Fuck appropriate." "What was that?" my mother asks. "Did you say something?" "I said I don't know about that," I say, pausing as Aiden narrows his eyes, his expression dark. Then he comes. I lean against the desk with my legs spread for him, my panties stuck around my thighs as Aiden Jackson comes on my pussy. I watch in fascination as my mother keeps talking, the First Lady of the United States providing the shrill, judgmental background noise for Aiden defacing me with his cum. It drips from his cock as he rubs the head of his cock over my clit, sliding to the entrance of my pussy, cum still dripping from the tip. "Then I'll choose," my mother snaps. "I'm not discussing this now," I say, cutting her off. "Don't think this is the last conversation we're going to have about this, Grace Monroe.” I cough loudly. "Oh, God, my throat is just so sore. I'm going to have to go, now." I pause for a second, about to rebel again. "Mom." "Grace, I've told you a thousand times not to call me that. What on earth has gotten into you- ” I fake a sneeze and hang up the phone. Holy shit. I just hung up the phone on my mother. The First Lady. I've never done something so irresponsible. My hand goes to my mouth. "I can't believe I did that.” "Fuck me while your mother was talking to you?" Aiden grins broadly. "That too," I say, gasping. Oh God, I did. I fucked him while talking to my mother. What the hell is wrong with me? "Hang up on her." "You really are the most straight-laced little thing," Aiden says, grinning as he pulls my panties onto my pussy, still covered in his and Noah's cum. "Shut up." That's the wittiest I can be after all of that. "So about those files… " Aiden says, his expression intense. I roll my eyes. "She's trying to set me up." "You'll need to tell them no," Aiden growls, drawing me tight against him. He's warm and when he wraps his arms around me, I feel safe and insulated from everything outside of us. "Why?" I ask. "Are you jealous, Aiden Jackson?" "You're damn right I am," he growls. "And so will Noah will be too if he finds out. We said you were ours and we meant it." He pulls away from me, reaching for my skirt and straightening it. "And think about that when you're wearing those cum-soaked panties today. I want you to walk around smelling like sex. Smelling like us." "That's… disgusting," I whisper. It is disgusting. So why does the thought of walking around with them between my legs the rest of the day, sitting in meetings

reeking of sex and them, make me wet?

33

AIDEN

Y ou went to Noah’s ranch with Grace Sullivan and you didn’t even tell me?” Annie squeals. I hold the phone away from me because she’s so loud.

“I didn’t tell you because it wasn’t a big deal,” I lie. It was a very big deal. “It was

this charity thing and - ” “I’m a poly-sci major, Noah! You hung out with the daughter of the President and that’s not a big deal to you?” “Say something,” I mouth, glaring at Noah and pointing toward the phone. Noah shrugs. “We didn’t really hang out with her that much.” Technically, that’s true. We didn’t hang-out at the ranch as much as we did fuck her. And cuddle with her. And fuck her some more. And then we came back to the “real world”, back to our regular lives in Denver, back to Noah’s new neighborhood and the place where Grace Sullivan is his next- door neighbor. The same neighbor we can’t seem to stop “meeting with” at our house or hers - that's the obviously bullshit excuse she gives her security detail. The same neighbor that I fucked while she was on the phone with the First Lady. We definitely didn’t just “hang out” with her. “So are you friends, then?” Annie asks. Noah and I are silent for a moment too long. What the hell are we? “Yeah, I guess,” I say, trying to sound casual. Except we’re not just friends. I don't want to let this girl out of our bed. Even more, I’m starting to really like having her around. That’s something I’ve never been able to say about a woman before. “We hardly know her,” Noah says. “Sorry to disappoint you.” “I mean, she’s Noah’s neighbor, so really that’s all- ” “She’s your neighbor?” Annie asks. “You guys don’t tell me anything. Oh my God, you should ask her to come to the Fourth of July celebration!” “Banana, that’s not happening,” I start before Noah chimes in. “Grace isn’t going to want to come to West Bend for the Fourth of July,” Noah says firmly. “Why not?” Annie asks. “Wait. You call her Grace?” “That’s her name,” Noah answers. "What else am I supposed to call her? Her

Royal Highness? She's a regular person, Annie." “She’s also the President’s daughter,” I say. “I’m sure she goes to the White House for the Fourth of July.” “Well maybe if you asked her… ” Annie suggests. “Didn’t you just hear us say we’re not friends with her? We’re acquaintances.” Acquaintances. I’m the biggest fucking liar in the world. “We barely know her,” Noah chimes in again. We’re both liars - the worst liars ever. Annie sighs heavily. “Fine. But both of you are going to come, right? It’s my going-away dinner, too, remember?” “Obviously, we’re not going to miss it. What kind of big brother would I be if I missed that?” “You better not, A-hole. Because I’m GOING TO EUROPE!” She screams the last part, her voice echoing through the entire downstairs. “Thanks for blowing out my eardrums, Banannie.” “Anytime.” After I hang up the phone, I look at Noah. “I’m sure Grace goes to the White House for July Fourth.” He shrugs. “Annie has a point. We could ask her.” “And what, bring her to West Bend? 'Hey mom, this is the girl that Aiden and I are fucking in his house at the same time. We thought you might want to meet her.'" Noah rolls his eyes. “That’s not exactly what I was picturing.” “It’s West Bend. No one can keep a damn secret in that town and all three of us need to keep this a secret. Hell, you’re in the middle of negotiations. If anything like this came out, it would ruin us. More importantly, it would ruin her." “We’re neighbors,” Noah reminds me, distracted by whatever he’s reading on his tablet. “There’s no reason to pretend we don’t know her. I’m sure she could come up with a cover story if she wanted to come to West Bend. Shit, I’m sure we could come up with a cover story.” “You just don’t want to be away from her for four days,” I realize. Fuck, I’m not sure I want to be away from her that long. Since we hooked up the first time, we've seen Grace every day. I’ve spent more time with her and Noah in the past few weeks than I’ve spent with anyone else in the past year. The weird thing is, I'm not sick of it at all. Usually, I can't stand to listen to a word that comes out of the mouths of the girls I hook up with. But Grace? Hell, it's all I want to do. Noah exhales heavily. “Fine. I admit it. I don’t want to be away from her for days while we’re in West Bend. Do you? She’s been in our bed non-stop since the camping trip.” “Fourth of July is weeks away,” I say. “She’s going to be in our bed nonstop until then. And you still haven’t told her about the thing that might take you away from her permanently. When are you going to tell her you’re looking at offers outside of

Colorado?” A flicker of annoyance crosses over Noah’s face. “Nothing's certain,” he grumbles. “So I’ll tell her when it comes up.” I shake my head. “It’s dishonest.” “She's never asked, and it's not like it's a big secret. It's all over the media. You’re only concerned about my honesty, right?” Noah asks. “Your concern wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that you might want Grace all to yourself, would it?” Noah stomps off to the gym without another word, the way he always does when he’s really upset. But he knows I'm right. He knows that he should tell her. Shit, I’m actually not even trying to get Grace all to myself. I've gotten used to the three of us being together. We've settled into a familiar rhythm. Sure, being with her the other day when we were alone was hot as hell, but being with her after Noah had fucked her was even hotter. It’s not just the screwing, though. It’s having her around here - laughing, stretched out casually across both of us after she’s come three times, her face lighting up as she tells us a story about the kids she’s worked with through her charities. It’s the way she breathes at night when she’s asleep, this little almost- snore she makes that’s so damn cute. I think I might finally understand the term “pussy-whipped”. Yesterday, an ex- hook-up texted me a shot of her boobs and I replied to tell her I was off the market. The idea of me, Aiden Jackson, being off the market is ridiculous. But it was the only thing I wanted to say. The thought of Grace's mother setting her up with some asshole in a suit makes me want to throttle him with my bare hands. All I know is that I want Grace to be ours - mine and Noah's. I want her in our bed and I don't want to let her go.

34

NOAH

"

Y ou've never had moonshine?" I ask.

Grace gives us that big smile of hers, one that seems to be plastered on her face more and more lately. Maybe it's the sex – I tell myself that it's probably just

the sex and nothing more – but she looks like she's calmer and more relaxed these days. "I lived in the Colorado governor's mansion, and in Washington, D.C. And I went to boarding school in Switzerland. Does this really come as a shock to you?" "The woman hasn't had moonshine, or gone fishing, or been muddin'," Aiden pipes up as he sits in an oversized cushioned patio chair in the back yard and kicks his feet up on the coffee table. "Or been camping." "How can you have never gone camping?" I ask. “I thought you did the charity camp every year.” Grace sighs dramatically and slouches back on the long outdoor sofa, trying her best to look exasperated, but it’s obvious that she’s not. The face she makes is fucking cute. She's fucking cute, with her hair pulled back in a swinging ponytail and her jeans and thin white cotton t-shirt that's practically transparent. "It's a long story." Aiden chortles. "No. Don't let her fool you. There's literally no story to it. She has never slept in a tent, because – " "Shut your trap, blabbermouth. I told you that in confidence,” Grace protests. "She’s never slept in a tent because the ground is too hard," Aiden finishes, imitating Grace's voice. She sticks her tongue out at him. "Really?" I ask, shaking my head. "That's actually appalling." "So I’ve missed out on fishing, mudding, camping, and drinking moonshine. Is that really a big deal?” I tsk-tsk her. “It is a big deal. In fact, it’s something that needs to be rectified immediately.” Grace kicks her feet up underneath her. “I’m not sure that I’ve missed out on anything by not growing up fishing.” Aiden gasps. “You take that back right now.” Grace laughs. “Doesn’t it mostly involve sitting around drinking beer and scratching your balls? And in case you haven’t noticed, I don’t have any balls to

scratch.” “Well, had you grown up near us, it would have involved drinking moonshine and scratching your balls,” I tell her. "Well then, I stand corrected." "Luckily, I can take care of one of the things on your list of stuff you've never done. You're going to sit your ass down and have some moonshine," Aiden says. "Where are you going to get moonshine?"

"Aiden is an idiot savant when it comes to the booze," I tell her. "He distills it. He’s been doing it since we were in high school.” "Since high school?!” "Damn straight," Aiden says. "I thought that was something people made in Kentucky, not Colorado.”

I exhale under my breath, shaking my head. "Now you’ve done it. You're in for a lecture." "There's a long and noble history of bootlegging ‘shine throughout this fair country," Aiden starts, his intonation formal.

"Just go get it for her," I interrupt. "I don't feel like hearing a giant speech about bootlegging tonight, if it’s all the same to you.” “Don’t worry,” Aiden says, looking at Grace. “I’ll save it for another time.” She laughs. “Lucky me.” Aiden returns with two glass canning jars and sets them in the middle of the coffee table. "Lemonade and blackberry," he says. "You made this yourself,” Grace says skeptically, her eyebrows raised. “That’s right. Lemonade and blackberry because we’re coming into summer. I make seasonal flavors.”

I nod. “If you’re a member of our family, you get a jar of ‘shine from Aiden for

Christmas.” “Dude, whatever, you make it sound like I give out coal. I give other presents, too.” “Aren’t you not supposed to make this stuff? Isn’t it illegal?” Grace asks. “You’re sleeping with a rebel, baby,” Aiden says. “And the accomplice to my crimes.” “But this stuff can kill you, can’t it? Aren’t there regulations for a reason?” Aiden rolls his eyes and sighs loudly, plopping down into his seat. “Yeah, if you

don't know what the hell you're doing. I, on the other hand, know exactly what I'm doing." Grace raises her eyebrows and eyes the jars of shine. "You sure?" Aiden sighs. "Dude, tell her I know what I'm doing."

Aiden shrugs. "I learned it from Old Man Johnson. He hired me on his farm for a few summers, and he had a still. He used to make it. I ended up having a knack for it.” "And seriously, we were high school kids with access to free booze – hell, with a way of making it ourselves,” I tell her. “He couldn’t have had a better hobby.” “I thought you were a saint,” Grace says. "Yeah, but I still got shithoused on Saturday nights," I say. "There wasn't anything else to do in town." “My moonshine has never killed a single person,” Aiden says. “I haven’t even blinded anyone.” "Well, that's a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one," Grace jokes. "I'm a total lightweight, though." "Oh yeah?" Aiden asks. "So if you have a few sips of this, you'll be dancing on the table and taking your clothes off?" "That's a good possibility." "Well, hell, drink up then," I tell her, and she swats my arm. "Okay," she says. "Do you have a glass?" Aiden rolls his eyes. "I didn't realize the President's daughter would be so high- maintenance. Now you want a glass. Next you'll be wanting silverware." "Fine," Grace says, reaching for one of the jars. "Do I drink this illegal concoction straight?" She picks up the jar, but right before she puts it to her lips, Aiden yells, “Wait!” “Oh my God, you’re going to give me a heart attack. What!?” Aiden guffaws. “If this kills you, did I just assassinate the President’s daughter?” “I certainly wouldn’t mind if you got thrown in a secret CIA cell somewhere,” I tell him. “Definitely. It's totally an assassination if this kills me. Probably even treason," Grace deadpans. “Okay. I was just checking. Carry on.” Aiden grins. Grace takes a sip of the lemonade moonshine, her face screwing up. "Oh God, that's pretty strong. Strong and good. I told you I’m a lightweight, right?"

Strong and good. I told you I’m a lightweight, right?" H ALF AN HOUR LATER ,

HALF AN HOUR LATER, and we definitely know that Grace is a lightweight. She is very tipsy, despite only having a few sips of the moonshine. She's sitting on the patio furniture, her legs stretched out on me while Aiden reclines in an armchair across from us, his feet on the table. We've been passing the moonshine around and as a result, Grace's cheeks are flushed light pink and she's far more animated and giggly than she normally is. We're sitting around talking about the things we've never done, and Grace has never been skinny-dipping.

"Never ever been skinny-dipping," she says. "How stupid is that?" "You're sheltered," I say.

"I'm not," she protests, wrinkling her forehead. "Okay, I am. But I'm not. Does that make sense? I've met foreign heads of state. I've met the Dali Lama." "But you've never been skinny dipping," Aiden says. Grace sits up, pointing at him. "I've never been skydiving, either."

I shrug. "I've never been skydiving."

"That's because you have a fear of heights," Aiden points out helpfully. "Just because I don't want to hurl myself out of a plane doesn't mean I have a fear of heights," I protest. "You're afraid of heights?" Grace asks. "I'm not afraid of heights!" "No skydiving for me either," Grace says. "Aiden, you're next. What have you not done?" Aiden looks thoughtful for a second. "I've done everything." Grace stands and takes the jar of blackberry moonshine from the table. "This stuff is getting less strong now," she muses. Aiden raises his eyebrows. "You better watch yourself. We don't need to be peeling you off the bathroom floor." "I've never been drunk," she notes. "You were a little tipsy when I met you," Aiden says. "I know!" Grace says, sipping from the jar, her eyes wide. "That was from two glasses of wine." "Alrighty then. I'm just going to take that from you for a little bit." "No, no," she protests. "This must be really weak. I can't feel it." Aiden gives me a look. "Are we going to be holding her hair back when she pukes later?" "Awww," Grace says. "That's so nice of you to offer. But you didn't say what you

haven't done. Rock climbing? Snowboarding?" "Done and done. Come on, I grew up in Colorado." "Scuba diving," she says.

"Done it. Got certified." He pauses. "Okay, I have one. I've never been in love." Then he grins stupidly.

I groan and make a vomiting sound. "That's so fucking lame, dude."

"It's not lame," Grace protests. The edges of her words slur a little. "I've never been in love, either." Aiden looks at me expectantly.

I roll my eyes. "Fuck, fine. Me neither. Are you happy now?"

"Actually, yes," Grace says, taking another gulp of moonshine. "You're getting cut off, darlin'," I tell her, reaching for the jar.

"Stop being bossy," she says, smacking my hand, but she lets me take it easily. "And you interrupted me."

"I was saying something important," she insists, then starts giggling. "Go on." She stares blankly at both of us for a minute, then sighs. "Nope. It's gone. I can't remember." "You were saying that–" Aiden starts. "Oh!" She holds her hand up. "Happy. I don't know if I've ever been happy." "You just said you were happy," Aiden says. "I am. That's what I just said," she says, exaggeratedly frustrated. "I'm happy right now. Here. I'm happy here. Oh, and skinny dipping." "Let's focus on the skinny dipping," Aiden says. "Nudity is my favorite topic of conversation." "We can fix the never-been-skinny-dipping thing," I point out. "The pool is right there." Aiden rolls his eyes. "That's bullshit skinny dipping. It doesn't count unless it's

a public place where you can get caught." "If we're loud, the Secret Service agents might hear us and catch us," Grace points out. "Well, shit, that's good enough for me." Aiden stands and starts undressing. "Get your ass out of that chair and take those clothes off, sugar." "What? Now? The water is going to be cold," she protests. "I know. The pool isn't even heated," I agree. "No excuses. We're checking two things off your list of shit you've never done, right here and now: drinking moonshine and getting naked in the pool. Move it, girl." Grace mock-salutes as she stands. "Yes, sir." "Ooh, I like the sound of that," Aiden says. Grace shimmies out of her shirt and jeans, then starts for the pool clad in her bra and panties until Aiden stops her. "What?" "Nice try. Take it all off, sugar. Besides, we've already seen the goods. Fuck, we've already been inside you tonight." Grace swats at him. "You're so crude. Both of you." "What did I say?" I ask innocently. "You were thinking the same thing," she accuses. "What?! Never," I lie. She leaves her bra and panties in a heap on the ground. "If my nipples freeze off, it's your fault," she says before running across the patio and jumping straight into

the pool. She hits the water and lets out a little shriek. "Oh my God, it's really not heated, is it?" The three of us make it in the pool for all of about ten minutes. Inside the house, I wrap Grace in a giant bath towel and she stumbles against me. "I think I might be

a little drunk," she says. "Checking more off your bucket list," Aiden says, grinning. "You guys are bad influ– influencesh," she says.

"Not me," I protest. "Aiden is the bootlegging lawbreaker." "You are!" She points accusatorily at him. "I've slept with a criminal." "Yeah, we're practically Bonnie and Clyde," Aiden deadpans. "Bonnie and Clyde." Grace points at herself and Aiden, then drunkenly at me. "And Clyde." I roll my eyes. "Thanks." She leans against me, standing unsteadily, so I pick her up and carry her to the bed, where I lay her down on the sheets. She settles in between me and Aiden, her head on Aiden's chest. Her eyes close softly, then flick open again. "Are you happy?" Aiden laughs. "Are you kidding?" "But you guys didn't want to share me before – when we started," she says. "Do you feel like if you're sharing me you’re shettling … shuttling … settling?" “I’m happy,” I say, even as her eyelids flutter closed again. And for the first time in my life, I think that’s actually true. The problem is that happiness like this – with this girl – can't last.

35

I

GRACE

’m surprised you made it out of the house,” Vi says, putting her champagne glass to her lips. “I was beginning to fear for your safety.” “It’s been weeks since I got finished with the camp, not months.”

Vi sighs. “I’ve been working eighty hours in Miami and you’ve been getting laid

like good tile in Denver. Our roles are suddenly reversed. The student has become the master.” “Keep your voice down,” I hiss. “Someone’s going to hear you.” “Oh, please. Half of the people here are wearing hearing aids anyway,” Vi says. “Why did you force me to fly in for this?” “Because you’re my only friend, so you have to be my plus-one. Don’t forget you

forced me to fly in to Miami back in March to help you cast models. And you get to showcase your new line on me.”

Vi cocks her head. “You were helping me cast male runway models. It was hardly

the equivalent of a boring political function.” “Trust me, listening to all of your lewd comments about the models was as taxing as this evening will be.” “What are you wearing tonight?” A reporter asks the question as we stop and pose in front of a backdrop with the event name printed across it while camera

flashes go off in my eyes. I’ve never ever gotten used to media attention, no matter how much I’ve been in the public eye. Being in Denver is a million times better than it would be anywhere else, but there are still events like this that I have to attend for the foundation or as a representative of my family. I've always hated them.

Vi on the other hand, is at home in front of the camera. Her hand around my

waist, she flashes a smile at the journalist who asked the question. “She’s wearing me, of course," she replies, her voice flirtatious. “I’m wearing Vi Scott,” I answer with a smile. Professional. “Are you here with anyone tonight?” a reporter asks. “No, I - ” “I’m her plus-one,” Vi says, kissing me on the cheek and kicking her leg up behind her before she pulls me out of the spotlight before she whispers in my ear.

“Even though you should have plus-two.”

My face flushes red, despite her whispering it low enough that only I could hear. “There is no plus-two. And thanks for that photo. It should play well with my mother.”

“I know.” Vi grins as she downs the rest of her champagne and links her arm

through mine. “I love screwing with her. Seriously, I don’t know why you don’t just go public with the whole two-men thing.” “It would literally give my parents a heart attack,” I hiss. “And I would be forever remembered as that whore, the President's daughter. I don't like the spotlight as it is – I'd be torn apart in the media."

Vi sighs heavily, waving dismissively at me. "I know, I know. We all remember

what happened to Monica." "Exactly. Besides, there is no thing." "I think there are two things." Vi giggles. "But there's no thing."

"Right. Because all you're doing is having the best sex of your life with them." "How do you know it's the best sex of my life?"

Vi cocks her head and looks at me like I'm an idiot. "You're saying they're not

pounding you like a piece of veal?"

I hiss at her to be quiet.

"No, wait. You're saying that what's-his-name, your college boyfriend – Stefan? Andreas?" "Stewart," I say flatly. "Oh, God. Stewart." She wrinkles her nose. "You're saying that Stewart rocked your socks more than the two hunks of man-flesh you're getting schtupped by right now?"

I give her a blank look. "It's plausible."

Vi grabs another glass of champagne from a passing waiter with a tray. "You're

delusional. And you're in denial." "Don't throw your fancy self-help words at me." "Seriously, you haven't dished a bit, and I'm your best friend. And you've been

holed up with them for weeks. As an aside, I'll point out right now that I had the self-control to not turn that last statement around to be a comment about how they've been in your holes for weeks."

I exhale heavily. "You're like a frat guy. How are we still friends?"

"We're yin and yang," Vi says, sipping her champagne. "I'm the id to your superego. And you love me." "I do love you," I agree. "And its… okay, the – " I glance around before leaning in close to her and whispering. "The sex is amazing. Insane. And we haven't even, you know… " "I do know." Vi raises her eyebrows. "One in the pink and one in the sti –" "Don't even finish that sentence. That is really the worst thing I've ever heard come out of your mouth," I reprimand her. "And yeah, that."

"What the hell have you been doing?" I cock my head to the side. "Do you want me to draw diagrams?" "Would you?" Vi smiles. "I can whip out my iPad right now. I have some graphic design apps." "It's more than just the… sex," I say, dropping to a whisper at the end. "We've been hanging out." "Does anyone know?" "I told my security I was talking to them about donations." "You really need to get better at lying, doll," Vi says, shaking her head. "That's the worst cover story I've ever heard." "Trust me, I know." "So you're hanging out and the sex is great. And your eyes light up when you talk about them," Vi muses, eyeing me. "Are you falling for them?" "What?" I squeal. "No. I mean, no. No way. Definitely not. It's exactly what you said before – it's casual. That's it. I'm having fun and they're really easy to hang out with." "Uh-huh," Vi says, her tone betraying her obvious disbelief. "So tell me about them." "What do you want to know?" "What do you think about them now that you've spent the last few weeks 'hanging out' with them?" Vi uses air quotes to emphasize her words. "Aiden is really outgoing and flirty and funny. I thought he was a goof off, that he didn't take anything in life seriously, but there's really a lot more to him than that. And Noah is this grumpy, grouchy asshole on the surface, but he's a good guy underneath and – why are you looking at me like that?" "Looking at you like what?" Vi bats her eyes innocently. "Like you are right now." "You're falling for them." "I certainly am not." "I know you better than anyone else. You can't bullshit me." "I'm not," I protest, then say it again, to reassure myself more than Vi. "I'm not." "Whatever you say, doll."

Vi. "I'm not." "Whatever you say, doll." "T HIS IS NOT the kind of press your

"THIS IS NOT the kind of press your father needs right now," my mother hisses. She stands in my living room wearing a light blue suit and a pillbox hat. A fucking hat. She flew here wearing this outfit, like she'd dressed up to be photographed for the cover of a magazine… fifty years ago. She looks insane. The fact that she's standing here, gesturing wildly as she berates me doesn't make her look any less crazy. "I just can't believe you flew to Colorado to lecture me about something so stupid," I snap. "I'm an adult. Even if I were in a relationship with Vi, which is

obviously silly, it wouldn't be any of your business." "Not my business?" she huffs. "My personal life is no one's business," I protest, suddenly more filled with bravado than I ever have been. "No one's. Not yours, or dad's, or the press, or anyone's. And if I were seeing Vi, it would be my relationship." "So you are seeing Vi." My mother's eyes go wide. "I'm not seeing Vi," I say, exasperated. "But if I was, I wouldn't stop just because you didn't think it was politically expedient." Look at me, all brave and… full of shit. Brave enough to talk about what I wouldn't do in the case of dating Vi, not brave enough to come clean about Noah and Aiden and I. "You're not seeing Vi," my mother repeats, her voice skeptical. "I'm not seeing Vi," I sigh, rolling my eyes. "She kissed me on the cheek. It's not like we were making out at the event. The whole thing is more than ridiculous." "Grace Monroe Sullivan," my mother cries. "I don't know what's gotten into you, but your language ill-befits a woman of your breeding." "My breeding?" I laugh. "I'm not a horse." She ignores the comment. "Brandon Redding. Harvard and Yale. He's going to be seen in public with you. You've been dating for three months, keeping things quiet so as not to distract from the campaign. You're hopeful about where the relationship is going and you can see a future with him. He's already been briefed. He'll pick you up at seven o'clock tomorrow night. Paparazzi are on notice." "I'm not going out with some guy you've hired to play my boyfriend," I protest, appalled. She waves at me dismissively. "He's doing it for free." "I'm not going out with him, mother." She ignores me. "He'll take you out this weekend, and he's already been told to clear his schedule for the Fourth of July. That will be your introduction to the Washington crowd." "I'm not–" She's out the door before I can even finish my sentence. Later, my father calls me. “Gracie, I heard about your mother’s visit.” "Your wife is insane. I'm not being set up with some guy for PR purposes, Dad." "You know your mother," he says. "She thinks it'll be good press. It will be good press. You're not seeing anyone, are you? She swore you weren't seeing anyone. Brandon is from a good family – he's even attractive, too. It’s not like she set you up with an ugly man." "No. I'm not seeing anyone," I lie. "So what does it matter? It's one date, Gracie. Do it for me and I'll owe you." "You'll owe me," I repeat flatly. "I'll owe you," he says again. "The President of the United States will owe you a favor. What do you need? Does the foundation need more donors? Is there another event I can attend?"

"Yes," I say, thinking of the quarterly report and the decrease in donations. "I mean, no. I don't need you to attend functions or lean on one of your corporate buddies." "I'd never do that," my father says, his tone the same one he uses when he talks to the press. "In fact, I'm shocked that you'd even suggest something like that." More of my dad's ass-covering in case the NSA is listening in, even though this is a secure phone line. I think he does it without even thinking about it now, his self-preservation instinct. I roll my eyes hard. "I'm not doing it, Dad. You can figure something else out." "Why are you being so difficult, Gracie?" he asks. "It's not like you. You've always understood that we all do what it takes to help the campaign. The campaign is the important thing." "Yeah, it’s always the important thing," I blurt out, before he can stop me, or before I can chicken out and just go along with his grand plan. "Dad? I have to go.”

36

AIDEN

I can’t believe she’s doing this,” I whisper to Noah. “I can hear you,” Grace whispers back. “I’m literally standing right behind

you.” “We just can’t believe you wanted to come to West Bend for the Fourth of July,” Noah says. “Or that you didn’t have something to attend at the White House.” A look of irritation passes across her face, but I can’t tell if she’s irritated at us or at the mention of the White House. The First Lady showed up at her house the other day, I know that much, and Grace was grumpy as hell afterward. It took three orgasms before she was less stressed out. Then when Noah mentioned the Fourth of July celebration in West Bend, Grace agreed immediately, surprising both of us. She shrugged off any mention of the White House celebration, saying that her parents didn’t decide where she could spend the holidays. Noah and I stayed far away from that topic of conversation ever since. "Boys!" Bess calls. She walks from the living room to the entryway, her arms outstretched wide, drawing Aiden and I in for hugs before she turns to Grace. "And Ms. Sullivan, we are just so honored to have you here." Grace blushes as Bess hugs her without blinking. "Mrs. Ashby, call me Grace," she says. "And I'm the one who should be thanking you for letting me join you for dinner. I hope my security wasn't too much of an imposition." "Well, it's not every day my house gets swept for bugs," Bess says, putting her hands on her hips. "At least not the listening-device kind of bugs anyway. And call me Bess, everyone does – or Mama Ashby. No one calls me Mrs., though, not even Paul." Paul pokes his head out of the living room. "Get in here, now." "Holy shit, Dad, are you wearing a tie?" Noah asks. "Language, Noah Ashby," Bess snaps. "I'm sorry. My boys weren't actually raised by wolves, although they act like it." Grace covers a smile with her hand. "It's all right. I've gotten used to it." Bess stops for a second midstride, and I can't see her face because her back is toward me, but I know exactly why she stopped. She just caught what Grace said – I've gotten used to it.

If there's anyone who would see right through all of this bullshit and our "just acquaintances" story, it's Bess. She's sharp as hell. I clear my throat. "Where's Annie? I thought she'd be all over Grace the second she stepped through the door." I turn to Grace. "My sister is really into politics, so be prepared. I'm pretty sure she thinks you're a real celebrity." "What are you talking about?" Grace grins. "I'm totally a real celebrity." "It's nice how you've remained so modest and unassuming," Noah quips. "The backyard is all set up," Bess says. "Now, I know you said it couldn't be a big thing, what with Grace coming and all, but you know Annie. It's just a few of her friends. We tried to keep it to a minimum, though." "Mom," Noah warns. "It can't be a big thing." "It's okay," Grace says. "Noah Ashby, give me a little bit of credit," Bess says, shaking her head. "You said this needed to be private, so your father confiscated cell phones and locked them up. No cameras, no phones." "Oh, you shouldn't have to go to all that trouble," Grace says. "Trouble?" Bess asks. "I've been wanting to take cell phones from that kid and her friends for years. All the kids have those stupid phones in their faces all the time, with their selfies and their twittering and their chats and snaps. I want to see my Annie before she flits off to Europe for two months – and I want to see her face without a phone blocking my view. So, taking their cell phones away from them was my pleasure." "Well, then, I'm glad I could be the excuse for cell phone confiscation," Grace says, smiling. As we follow Paul and Bess inside, Bess puts her arm around Grace's shoulder. "Now, my boys tell me that you're neighbors. They're not being rude and inconsiderate neighbors, are they?" Noah groans. "Mom, do you think she'd be here if she hated us?" "Grace, you don't have to answer her questions," I tell her. "I'm not interrogating her, boys," Bess says, smiling sweetly. "Why don't you go on and get some pie and let me chat with her. This is the first time I've ever had a real celebrity in the house." "We're real celebrities, too, Mom," Noah says. Bess pinches his cheek and his face goes dark red. "Oh of course you are, sweetie," she says. I stifle a laugh. If anyone else in the world dared to pinch Noah's cheek, they'd be laid out on the floor faster than you could say the words ass kicking. But he just stands there like a good son, letting his mom talk to him like a five-year-old. Grace covers her mouth with her hands and pretends to sneeze, but when she comes back up, she has tears in her eyes from laughing. "You boys go outside and find Annie," Bess orders. "Lord knows she'll be back here in two seconds, accosting Grace before you can stop her." "You mean, the way you are right now?" Noah asks.

"Oh, hush your mouth," Bess says. "I'm your sweet old mother." "Don't let her fool you," I warn. "She's younger than she looks." Bess swats me with a dishtowel. "Get your smart-asses out of here. You too, Paul. Go see if anyone needs anything outside. Grace here can help me in the kitchen with the pies." "If you need help, just yell," Noah says. "I won't need any help," Bess replies. "I wasn't talking to you, Mom. I was talking to Grace," Noah says. "Your father's best CIA interrogators don't have anything on my mother. She wheedles more gossip out of people than –" "Oh, get going before I pinch your cheeks again." "I'll try not to reveal any state secrets." Grace turns to give us one more look over her shoulder as we head out the back door to the yard. Outside, I pause for a moment. The whole yard is decked out – folding tables set up along the side covered in bowls of barbecue and side dishes and enough of Bess' home-baked pies to serve a small army. White lights are strung overhead, criss- crossing across the yard from one side of the fence to the other and bathing everything with a soft glow. Some of Annie's friends play corn hole in the corner of the yard, and some hang out in Adirondack chairs drinking beer. Mama Ashby went all out on Annie’s going-away party, which isn't surprising in the least. Annie was in junior high when our mother died, and that first year after she died, Annie was heading in a real bad direction. But Bess just took it in stride, the way she does with everything in life, and pulled her back from the brink. I adore Bess, but she and Annie have a special bond that goes deep. I stand there for a second, soaking it all in. Fourth of July in West Bend is one of my favorite times of the year. Granted, we've never done it this way before, hanging out in the backyard. Usually we're downtown for the celebration. Main Street shuts down and there's a carnival right in the middle of town. That's what all of my memories of July Fourth involve – eating cotton candy and riding carnival rides until I puke. "Your mom did a real nice job of this," Paul notes. "She did," I agree. "I'm sorry that we came in with Grace and she missed out on going into West Bend for the Fourth, though." Paul shrugs. "I think she was tired of the pie-baking contest anyway," he says. "Shit, I was tired of hearing her complain about how it was rigged every year and how Marla Johnson was going to win the pie-baking contest no matter what because she sweet-talks the judges." Noah snorts. "Mom takes the pie-baking contest way too seriously." Paul chuckles. "So do most of the people in this town." "A-hole!" Annie runs over and hugs me with all of the force of a freight train running at full speed. I let out an umph. "Shit, girl, you really should have been the pro football player."

"Where is she?"

"Yeah, hello to you too, sis," I say sarcastically. "It’s really nice to see you. I’m going to miss you when you go to Europe for two months and I’m glad I get a chance to hang out with you before I leave. I love you, too.” Annie hits me on the arm. "Don't cry, loser," she jokes. "I'm going to go find her." "She's inside with Bess," I tell her. Annie's eyes go big. "Why did you let that happen?" "You know mom, it's not like telling her no was going to stop her," Noah says. "Oh my God, you guys, she's probably showing her our baby photos right now." "She probably is," I groan. “Good thing I was a cute-as-hell baby.” "Nope," Paul says. "I already thought of that – locked up the baby photos with the cell phones in the gun safe.” Annie puts her hand up to high-five him. "You're wiser than you look." Paul shakes his head. "Don't be a shit, girl.” "I'm going to tell Bess you're cussing," Annie say, grinning. "Tell Bess I'm cussing and see if I let you set off fireworks," Paul says gruffly. "Do I look okay?" Annie asks, tucking a strand of hot-pink hair behind her ear.

I pretend to evaluate her thoughtfully. "Is your hair supposed to be that shade of pink?" "Shut up. I'm going to talk to her." "Don't freak her out, Annie." "I'm not going to freak her out! Honestly, you act like I'm crazy or something." "You're a little… intense when it comes to politics, that's all." "I am not," she protests, taking out a notepad. "But I knew you would take our cell phones, Paul, so I made notes."

I rip the pad out of her hands. "You're not interviewing her."

"These aren't interview questions. They're questions from a college student

who’s concerned about the future of our country."

I shove it in my pocket. "Nice try."

"Noah, tell him to give it back!" "You're not interrogating the President's daughter, Annie." Noah shakes his head. "Fine. I already have my questions memorized anyway." Annie bounces off toward the house. "Between Annie and your mother, that girl is going to run out of here screaming," Paul mutters, shaking his head.

37