The Secrets We Keep
A standalone Love We Find novel.
A first love. A weighty secret. One last chance to make it right.
Adam is either the man Cade loves to hate or the man he hates to love, and it changes hourly. They’ve been stuck in a cycle of hookups and breakups since Adam’s infidelity ended their relationship four years ago. But when a guys’ trip to Hawaii results in the engagement of their close friends, Cade and Adam decide to give it one more shot—a real shot. Monogamy, dating, communication . . . the works. But Cade has a secret, and if Adam finds out, it could easily blow their fledgling relationship apart.
Adam knows this is his last chance with Cade, and he’s resolved to show he’s changed. He’s distanced himself from his toxic family, shed his immature ways, and become a thriving graphic designer. He’s determined to regain Cade’s trust and prove once and for all they are meant to be together. But in trying so hard to be the perfect boyfriend and support Cade through a family crisis, he might miss what’s happening right under his nose.
When Cade’s long-concealed eating disorder relapses, he faces a choice: confide in Adam and risk destroying their last chance to be together, or keep it hidden and risk his recovery. But if he can find the strength to forgive and have faith in Adam again, he might be able to have both.
Reader discretion advised. This title contains the following sensitive themes:
Emotional Abuse (past)
Suicide mentions (past)
Child Abuse (past)
Caution: The following details may be considered spoilerish. Click on a label to reveal its content.
Themes: abandonment, acceptance, angst, atonement, bipolar, cheating, child abuse / neglect, commitment, duty, eating disorder, family, first love, found family, hurt / comfort, illness / injury, isolation, kids, mental illness, protection, recovery, self-discovery / self-reflection, the power of stories, trust issues, vacation romance, wedding
The invitation came as I was brushing the taste of regret and day-old cigars out of my mouth. I forced open my eyes, which were more red than blue thanks to my neighbor, Bryan, and his friend Jose Cuervo. Blinking hard against the sunlight streaming in through the window, I read the message. Guys trip to Hawaii?
I spat and rinsed my mouth, then wiped my hands on my boxer briefs and popped off a response. Hell yes, I want to go to Hawaii. When?
My phone rang, and I answered it on the way back to my bedroom.
“Don’t freak out,” Brady said before I could say hello. “I’m going to propose to Josh, but I’m sort of worried it’s too much.”
“Hawaii for a proposal? No way. That is just the right amount of much. Josh will love it.” I paced back and forth in my room, cradling the phone to my ear while looking for my bottle of ibuprofen. “But your text said a ‘guys trip.’ If you’re dropping to your knees, shouldn’t you two be alone?” Grinning despite my hangover, I listened to Brady stutter for a few breaths. I couldn’t help myself. After all the years I’d had to be so careful about encouraging his crush on me, I loved that I didn’t have to censor myself with him anymore. Not after he got his head out of his ass and realized his perfect match was actually the other six-foot, one-hundred-eighty-pound jock with sandy-blond hair we’d known since college. I might have been Brady’s type, but Josh and Brady had some next-level-soul mate shit going on. Knowing I’d played a role in getting him to see that still filled me with pride.
“You propose on one knee, you perv. Get serious for a sec. This might be a horrible idea.” I sat on my bed and rummaged through my bedside table while Brady walked me through his proposal dilemma. “I bought a ring, and I’ve been waiting for a big occasion to ask him for like months already. Since he’s back in school full-time, we can’t afford to go full balls-to-the-wall elaborate on things like vacations. But I don’t want to do something generic.”
Yes! I extracted the bottle and swallowed the capsules dry before returning my attention to my friend’s faux crisis. Josh might have been the biggest romantic of the group, but he wasn’t pretentious, and there was absolutely no way his response would be anything other than enthusiastic acceptance. “Josh doesn’t care about how much you spend.”
“Oh, yeah, I realize. But it’s Josh, so he wants it to be perfect, and I want it to be perfect because he wants it to be perfect. I’ve been thinking about it for a while. I’d considered asking him on a hike or a run, but we’re always rushed for work or school. Then yesterday, Matt mentioned he owned an investment property on Kauai that he wants to sell.” The mention of Matt explained why Brady’s brain had gone into overdrive. Since I was fairly sure this wasn’t going to be a quick call, I fished some joggers out of my hamper and slid them on, then set the phone down to slip on a T-shirt. Brady unloaded every angsty detail on speakerphone.
“He’s taking a private plane because he’s Matt. He invited Sid to join him, then Sid wanted Cade to come, then Cade invited Josh and me, and there are four bedrooms, so tell it to me straight—is this perfect, or will I be sleeping on the couch all week?”
I rolled my eyes. Josh had turned Brady into the biggest overthinker. “Hmm. Let me think. Proposing to your man in one of the most romantic places on the earth or refusing a free trip because you’d be staying with your ex-turned-boss that your man is mad jealous of.”
Brady huffed. “Yes, except one date does not an ex make, and Josh insists he’s no longer jealous.”
“Counterpoint—you still fucked on that one date, and Josh punched me in the jaw trying to punch Matt.” I rubbed my stubbled jaw at the memory.
“Fuck. So I should pass, right? I knew it.”
“No, I’m just busting your balls, man. It’s risky but also kind of perfect. I mean, a practically free trip to Hawaii and the romantic proposal he’s been dying for should soften any protest. Speaking of exes, does Cade know you invited me?”
Brady made an uncomfortable throat-clearing sound, which I took as a sign that our friends had already had multiple conversations about the potential awkwardness of the situation. “No progress on that front?”
Brady’s sigh effectively handed me the angst baton, so I ran with it. Unlike Brady and Josh, who’d completed the friends-to-lovers journey, Cade and I were on a lovers-to-sort-of-friends-path by way of Heartbreak City. “I realized yesterday that it’s been four years since we broke up. Since then, we’ve burned through every version of friends with benefits, fuck buddies, and casual dating trying to find something that works. Some days friendship seems like a mountain too big to climb.”
Brady released a discontented huff. “Damn. You guys seemed like you’d finally made it to a good place when Josh and I first got together.”
We had been, and that was the problem. We were always in a good place until I tried to get back what we had. “I asked him to move in again. He said he’d think about it, and a month later—kaboom. I love him so much, but . . . The last time was awful, man.”
Cade knew how to land a verbal punch. All I had to do was complain about him flaking on me for dinner, and we were right back to the day after my drunken moment of immaturity ruined us. I’d lost count of how many times we’d tried.
“Don’t lose hope. Look at Josh and me, how long did it take us to get here?” Brady asked.
A brief flicker of nostalgia made me smile. Some days it seemed like we’d all known each other forever, but in reality, it’d only been about eight years. We’d met freshman year of college. Josh and Brady were roommates, and I lived next door in a single on the second floor. We’d met Cade a week after the fall semester. Sid got inducted within a few weeks of classes beginning, and he and Cade became roommates not long after. The five of us were a unit throughout college. I would never not be happy for Josh and Brady, but there was one glaring difference for Cade and me that everyone seemed to gloss over.
I closed my eyes and recalled the way my heart had raced as I approached the short, sinewy twink from the fourth floor that Josh and Brady had nicknamed Tinkerbell. I’d never struggled with flirting before, but I was so sprung on him, my stomach did somersaults while I fumbled my way through an introduction. “You and Josh had that entire friendship foundation down solid. Cade and I burned hot from the first night. There’s no safety net with Cade; it’s like a free climb.”
Brady grumbled. “Rock climbing? Dude, I swear you and Josh sit around dreaming up sports metaphors just to annoy me.”
I rolled my eyes. Before Josh, Brady lacked the ability to distinguish a layup from a line drive. “You love it.”
“No, but I love him. Please come. You’re the only one who helps me think through these things. Nothing is stopping you and Cade from working on your relationship without your dicks getting in the way.”
“Yeah, because we hadn’t thought of that.”
Brady huffed. “Yeah, but have you ever actually tried it?”
“Only ten billion times.”
“Parading men in front of each other isn’t exactly working on your friendship. What’s the longest streak you and Cade have ever gone where you were both single, on speaking terms, and not fucking?”
I sighed. As dysfunctional as our romantic relationship was, our sexual relationship was crazy good. Cade and I had zero success in the platonic hanging out department. Even when pissed off, one drunken, You up? text, and it was game on. “Whatever, man. I don’t care anymore.”
“Uh-huh.” Brady packed a lot of sarcasm into those few sounds. “Because you are so welcoming to the guys Cade’s brought to Sunday Brunch.”
I liked to think, like me, Cade had met no one he cared as deeply for, but it was more likely he couldn’t find someone to dick him out as well, and I was just desperate enough for him that that distinction hadn’t curbed my thirst. “I told him he’s free to date whoever he wants.”
“Well, if I had a dollar every time I heard one of you say that, I wouldn’t be needing to bogart Matt’s trip to propose to my man. Since you clearly care, he’s definitely not seeing anyone right now, and you’re single, so . . . I dunno, do whatever you want with that info, but I’m trying to not be single ever again, so will you please come to Hawaii?”
Brady’s plea reminded me this wasn’t about me and Cade. He and Josh were two of the best guys I knew. Of course I wanted to be there for that milestone. “If Cade’s okay with it, then I’ll come.”
“He said the exact same thing about you. He knows I’m inviting you.”
“Fine,” I sighed. “I guess count me in.”
I said my goodbye to Brady and pocketed my phone before throwing myself on my mattress. I grabbed a pillow, covered my mouth, and screamed.
A week in Hawaii with Cade?
We hadn’t spoken since our latest falling out six weeks ago, but experience dictated stage one would last up to eight. We’d stay away as long as we could, until something would flip, and our magnetic field or our friends drew us back together. I’d gone out multiple times with my work buddies and some guys I’d met in my building, trying to stay busy. To not be the one who flipped. That had been hard enough, but face-to-face and on vacation? There was no way we’d be leaving Hawaii without serious regret.
* * *
The timing of this vacation could not have been worse. My seniors had a severe case of senioritis, and based on the first six research papers I’d graded, about half of my junior AP class would be surprised to learn that the Hulu version of The Handmaid’s Tale did not strictly follow the book.
Still, I’d told Siddharth and Matt, who then told Brady and Josh that I’d go. Even if it would be the most awkward week for me personally, I’d been on a whole self-improvement kick—new healthier diet, regular exercise, better choices with men, and keeping my commitments.
I picked up another paper and sighed, forcing myself to write a parent-friendly critique instead of circling the entire paragraph about Offred’s rebellious nature and writing one big WTF in red letters. I didn’t care so much that they didn’t read the book, but Atwood wrote it in 1984, so yeah . . . Offred didn’t attend the Women’s March.
Twelve papers later, I took a break to start packing. Siddharth lived closer to the airport, and since we had an early flight time, my plan was to pack, drop by my sister’s, and get to Siddharth’s late enough to go straight to bed. Hopefully, with no discussion of Adam—because I didn’t fucking have a clue what to do about that situation.
History had proven it wouldn’t matter. A plan for how to handle Adam was pretty well useless. I might well say what I wanted to do all the livelong day, but as soon as I saw him, that guy giving himself the insanity-must-end pep talks was full of shit.
I dug my suitcase out of its storage place, tossed it on my bed, and started gathering what I’d need: reading glasses, sunglasses, workout gear, a week’s worth of shorts and T-shirts, and toiletries . . .
I headed to my bathroom and tossed my toothbrush and contact solution into my Dopp kit, then sorted through the bottles of products I’d amassed trying to find some magic combination that would give my baby-fine blond hair a chance at surviving a style that didn’t involve an elastic band.
Returning to my bedroom, I dropped the Dopp kit into my bag and surveyed the room, considering what else . . . Fuck.
With a sigh, I pulled open the top drawer of my dresser and shoved the contents around, sifting through clothes I never wore in search of swimwear. A small splash of color gave me a weird, uneasy feeling. My eyes slammed closed as a memory rushed through me.
“Oh, you are so getting these.” Adam smiled mischievously and dangled the hanger holding the tiny green briefs with a rainbow across the ass on his finger, letting it sway back and forth.
“I don’t think Mexico is that gay-friendly.” I caught a glimpse of the price tag. “Seventy bucks for a swimsuit? That’s insane.”
Adam pouted at me. “For St. Patrick’s Day. C’mon. It’s festive.” He held it to my face. “It matches your eyes.”
“No.” I snatched the hanger from his hands and hooked it back on the rack.
“We leave in two weeks, and you’ve barely bought anything. You can’t wear sweatpants and my hoodies to the beach.” He gestured to my attire, which was getting harder and harder to explain as Winter yielded to Spring.
I hugged my arms around the bulky gray terry cloth sweatshirt that had practically become my uniform. My fingers found the edge of my last rib, and I followed it toward the swell of my gut, hiding my revulsion with a swallow. God, how was I going to tell him I couldn’t go? Why I couldn’t go. He was going to hate me. I gulped back the burn of acid racing up my throat. Closing my eyes, I tried to form the words. “Look, Adam—”
“Save it. I decided I need to see your fine ass in this. I’m buying it for you.”
I shook the memory and the guilt out of my head and selected two pairs of board shorts and some rash guard shirts and tanks. While I packed, I worked on reminding myself that I had nothing to apologize for. Adam was . . . Fuck. Adam was not part of my program. I was moving on. Finding someone better. Being someone better.
By the time I finished justifying the sexy underwear and condoms I absolutely did not pack for Adam, I didn’t feel prepared to see my family or my friends. Not until I worked off some of this energy vibrating through me.
Some ab and oblique work with the exercise ball I kept in my living room settled most of my anxiety. In the back of my mind, I knew I didn’t really have time, but if I was going to be in a bathing suit, my stubborn winter blubber layer needed to go.
I was ninety-seven crunches in toward my hundred crunch goal when the phone rang. I sped up, pushing aside the burn as I hurled my upper body toward my lower half. Ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred. I reached for the phone on the fourth ring and hit the Talk button. “Hello,” I said breathlessly.
“Are you still coming over? Hayley is waiting up to see you, and I really need to get to bed.” My sister sounded exhausted. I glanced at the clock. Shit. It was after nine o’clock. I’d exercised for far longer than I’d intended. Springing into action, I carried the phone with me to the bedroom to gather the rest of my things.
“I, um— Sorry, Maura. Not sure if I’m going to be able to stop by before I leave after all.”
“Are you okay? You sound out of breath.”
My lip slipped between my teeth. “I’m still packing, ” I lied.
“Cade, are you sure this is a good idea? I don’t think—”
“Maura, I told you. It’s under control. I’m being careful.”
She sighed unhappily. “Fine. But please don’t do anything stupid. I mean it, Cade. Promise me.” I heard my niece’s voice draw closer to the phone demanding to speak to me. “Stop it. Wait a minute, Hayley,” Maura barked sharply.
“Maura, I told you already. You need to focus on you. I’m fine.”
“Have you talked to Adam?”
“Not since the flip-flop debacle.”
Maura exhaled a breath of exasperation. “You had every right to be angry. Telling you he wanted to fuck someone less complicated was some bullshit.”
I cringed. Technically I’d been the one to tell Adam to find someone less complicated. He’d only agreed with me after I lost my shit at him. “Maura, I was throwing shoes at him, warning him not to leave in one breath and making him promise to stay away in the next. Nothing he said justifies me embracing the full trailer trash cliché. I sounded like Mom.”
“You were spending time with your family! Hold on. Hayley, knock it off.” Maura covered the phone as she scolded my niece; when she returned, I could hear she was reaching her limit. “Listen, Hayley is gonna lose her shit if I don’t let her say goodbye. Have fun, Cade, but please . . .”
“I know, Sis. I’m good. Trust me.”
I wasn’t sure if Maura heard me, because Hayley grabbed the phone and talked a mile a minute about the book she’d finished reading. As much as I loved and shared my niece’s passion for literature, I didn’t have time for her detailed book report. By the time I managed to get off the phone, it was well after nine thirty.
Hurriedly, I loaded the car and drove thirty minutes across town to Siddharth’s house. Unfortunately, it was too late to enjoy the canopy of trees that formed over the beautiful historic neighborhood not far from where we’d gone to school. I drove past row after row of charming houses in architectural styles from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, any of which I’d kill to call my own. When Siddharth started house hunting, I’d pushed him toward the walkable neighborhood that primarily attracted young professionals with money just to have a reason to see inside some of them and dream.
I pulled into the driveway of Siddharth’s Craftsman-styled home and parked in the rear, as usual. My chest tightened as I spied the group assembled around Siddharth’s firepit.
“Cade’s here. The Loman Hall reunion can begin,” Josh cheered.
I exited my car, smiling as I unlatched the gate of the white picket fence leading to a yard that was so fucking quaint it’d actually been featured in a landscaping design magazine. My eyes searched out Siddharth, who was using his boyfriend, Matt, as a human jacket. My best friend did not fuck with cold, and even with the fire, the spring air still carried a chill.
“Just wait till we get to Hawaii.” I said to Josh, as I hugged him and Brady, then dipped to kiss Siddharth.
“Hey, now,” Matt protested, pouting at Siddharth. Siddharth twisted, his face full of affection, as he tilted his chin up toward Matt and chased my kiss with a much more passionate one.
I stiffened as a rush of cold hit my neck, instinctively reaching for whatever it was and finding only wetness. “What the—” I twisted around.
“Hey.” Adam’s playfulness dulled my irritation. He held an ice-cold bottle of beer in one hand and a stemless wine glass in the other, which he extended to me. “I still had a few bottles of the rosé you like.”
That was my problem. Adam could be thoughtful when he wasn’t a total dick. I swallowed as I accepted it with a gracious smile. Even through the worst of our fights, we’d always tried to keep our drama from making our friends uncomfortable. If he played nice, I would too.
“Thanks,” I mumbled.
He nodded and took his seat on the other side of the pit next to Brady. The conversation was lively, and I tried to stay upbeat as I peppered Matt with questions about what to expect from a private plane and the area. I sensed Siddharth’s curious brown eyes watching me or, more accurately, watching me not watch Adam. He was probably worried it annoyed me he didn’t tell me the entire gang was attending our sleepover. And I was annoyed, but not at Siddharth. Only at myself for the steady flood of not-hateful thoughts I kept having as I listened to Adam dole out support, love, and charm to our friends.
I lost the battle with myself and allowed one glance. He was sitting next to Brady, wearing track pants and a fitted T-shirt, like he’d planned to go to the gym and hadn’t made it. Relaxed, he leaned back in his chair with his long legs extended and ankles crossed, hands clasped behind his head, showing off drool-worthy biceps he didn’t deserve. If I worked out until my arms fell off, they’d drop to the floor with the same level of definition, but Adam could lift an empty box and gain an inch. It was so unfair.
He somehow managed to appear even sexier through the smoky filter and crackles popping up from the fire. Brady said something in a near whisper that must have been off-color, because Adam tilted his back and laughed mischievously, and the sound traveled straight to my cock. When our eyes met, I knew he’d caught me lusting after him. The fucker gave me a little wink, which had never, ever failed to make me want him.
“Cade,” Siddharth said, and my treacherous eyes whipped back to him. “Come inside with me. It’s too cold.”
I nodded, silently thanking him for the escape, before I followed him into the house. He led me to the little breakfast nook in his kitchen and started putting a plate together. I took a minute to admire the familiar elements of his home—the natural wood floors and exposed beams. It was perfect, modern, and welcoming. Not a hint of ostentatiousness.
He set the snacks down in front of me without a word. I sized it up, my stomach clenching. I did some quick math. With the wine, I had to be careful or I’d blow my diet. So I took an olive and popped it into my mouth.
Siddharth picked up some vegan cheese, put it on a cracker, then handed it to me. I made a face. “I’ll never understand vegan cheese.”
Siddharth laughed, prodding me to eat but saying nothing when I didn’t. “How’s Maura?” he asked, lowering his voice.
“Better,” I said with a half smile. “She extended her medical leave a few more weeks. Her psychiatrist upped her antidepressant, and she’s on the antipsychotic again, so she won’t get manic.”
“She’s good. Worried about her mom, you know? But Aislinn’s coming on Tuesday to hang out.”
“Aislinn’s coming? Aw. I’m surprised she had time off already. How does she like Boston?”
“She doesn’t have time off, but she works twelve-hour shifts, so she can group them to cobble four days together. She said the spring is much better. The winter almost killed her.”
Sid laughed. “I still can’t believe that tiny teenager who begged us to get her a fake ID is an emergency room nurse?”
“Right? I’m proud of her. Maura is too, although she’s still upset that she moved to be near her dad.”
Siddharth nodded. “It makes things harder for you.”
I shrugged. Aislinn and Maura were technically my half sisters. Maura and I were three years apart and had grown up together with our mother. Aislinn’s father had gotten custody of her when she was a baby, then remarried a lovely woman, whereas Maura’s father was in prison and mine had fucked off before I was born. To say we had vastly different childhoods was an understatement. Aislinn pitched in when she had time, and she adored Hayley, but Maura didn’t lean on her the way she did me.
The patio door slid open. Josh, Brady, Matt, and Adam filed in, carrying empty bottles and dishes and in hysterics.
“What did we miss?” I asked, focusing my attention on Josh, who seemed to be the one with the story.
“Oh, just Brady’s face when I told him that the speedo I bought the other day was for him, not me. Adam asked him to model it for us.”
“Not going to happen, beautiful.” Brady’s deadpan delivery didn’t do much to cover for the blush on his cheeks or the small puff of his broad chest that he got when anyone commented on his weight loss.
“You’re gorgeous, babe. If you really don’t want to, then fine, but don’t let old insecurities stop you from showing this body off.” Josh’s encouragement made my stomach clench. Brady’s distinctly buffer physique was partially owed to Josh, who’d always kept all six feet of his enviable body in perfect condition and had gotten Brady into running and working out. It would be so much easier if I had someone like that supporting me during my program, but after Maura’s overreaction, I decided it was just something I’d keep to myself.
“I show it off . . .” Brady said to Josh with an indulgent smile. “For you.”
Josh shimmied up to Brady, wrapped his arms around him, and kissed him on the nose. An uncomfortable feeling—not exactly jealousy, but close—made me turn away. It was still weird seeing them like that. Not because I hadn’t suspected they would end up together—I always had faith—but for the longest time it had been Adam and me who’d been the couple of the group. Seeing their easy affection always reminded me of what I’d lost.
Brady sighed. “Fine. At the pool.”
“The house has a pool?” I chuckled at Josh’s outrage.
“Yes,” Matt said matter-of-factly as he went to discard the bag he’d been using to collect trash from around the kitchen.
“Wait. You are going to sort that, aren’t you?” Josh chastised. Matt frowned before picking out the cans and bottles from the food waste with two fingers and placing them in the blue bin. While Josh was our resident environmentalist, he seemed to take extra enjoyment in calling Matt out.
Siddharth shook his head at Josh, clearly unbothered but nonplussed by their dynamic. “Thank you, hon.”
Matt flashed a toothy grin and kissed Sid. “You’re welcome. Always happy to do my part for the planet,” he said, then turned to face Josh and Brady with a smirk. “There’s also a hot tub, which is why I’m so glad the environmental footprint of my private plane didn’t stop you from joining us, Josh.”
Josh’s jaw dropped, and we all held our breaths to see if Josh would stop stammering to actually respond, but then Brady snorted and everyone dissolved into laughter.
“Oh, ouch, Josh. Did you need some ointment for that burn?” Adam ribbed good-naturedly and high-fived Matt. “Respect. Do you know how long I’ve waited for Mr. Sierra Club to slip up?”
Josh pouted as we all took our turn piling on until Brady wrapped his arm around his red-faced boyfriend. “C’mere, beautiful. I still love you.” It was a good reminder that Adam and I weren’t the only two-some in the group with a past. If Josh and Matt could keep a sense of humor about their situation, so could I.
“Fine. My concern for the planet does have its limits, but seriously, dude. How rich are you?”
As he often did, Matt ignored Josh’s question. “I’ve got a car coming at six o’clock, gentlemen.” He turned to Siddharth. “I’m going to say good night, babe. You ready?”
“In a minute. I want to get everyone set up.”
Matt nodded, said another good night, and headed toward Siddharth’s bedroom. The rest of them followed, migrating from the kitchen and lingering where the main living area met with the stairs and hallway leading to the master suite and Sid’s office, which was when it hit me that while Matt had a four-bedroom house, Siddharth’s was only three.
“Josh and Brady, you can take the room at the top of the stairs. I left fresh towels in the en suite.” They nodded, then Siddharth turned to Adam and me. “So, um, there’s the king in the third bedroom or one of you can take the pullout couch in the office.”
“I’ll take the pullout,” Adam said.
“What?” I twisted to glare at him, mouth tight as I gave him a face that asked, Why are you saying stupid things?
“Awe, baby. You want to share with me?” Adam said, his eyes half-lidded and his breath telling me he’d switched to whiskey after his beer.
“You’re six foot two and I’m five feet six. If anyone should take the pullout, it should be me.”
Adam held up his hands, palms out, a smile edging his mouth. “Whatever you want.”
“Okay,” Siddharth said. “I’m sorry. I should have considered the sleeping arrangements earlier.”
“We get it. One of us was always single,” Adam said.
I gave him a look. When would he realize we were not a we and he shouldn’t speak for me anymore?
“I’ll be fine,” I said. With Brady and Josh, there might have been an ulterior motive, but Siddharth? There was no way he’d planned this. He and Matt were new. If this had happened a few months ago, I would have slept with him in his bed.
After exhaling a breath of relief, Siddharth kissed me and hugged Brady and Josh before they excused themselves.
There was a beat of silence when Adam’s eyes fixed on my face. I cleared my throat, but before I could say anything, Adam spoke first.
“I was going to shower tonight, so just come into my room—”
Adam held up his hand for me to stop and rolled his eyes. “As I was saying . . . come up to my room in the morning so you can use the bathroom.” He smirked and all I managed to do was nod.
“Good. Glad that’s settled,” Siddharth said with a sympathetic quirk of his mouth. “Good night.” He left Adam and me standing together in the family room.
“So . . .” Adam said, ending my dilemma on where to look.
An odd sensation hit my chest, like my heart skipped a few beats. My eyes ran all over him before I could stop them. “So . . .” I parroted.
“It’s good to see you. I’ve missed you.” The low timbre of his voice still did things to me, but as badly as I wanted to, I shouldn’t. One nod and he would happily turn me inside out with pleasure. But nothing had changed. We were still the same two people who were fantastic at sex and terrible at everything else. I’d started to work on myself for a reason, and not falling into old patterns with Adam was an essential step in that journey.
I rocked up on my tiptoes and pressed a chaste kiss to his cheek. His arms came around me and my body reacted to his t