Breathless Page 6

Oh, wow. She had to grab the handle over the door to even get into this thing.

Adam was standing there, watching her.

No. He was watching Nick. Nick, who was pointedly not looking back at him.

“So, tomorrow morning?” said Adam.

“Sure,” she said, even though he wasn’t even looking at her. “Nine?”

“You coming, too?” he said to Nick.

Nick shrugged and looked at the sky. “Can’t. I told my brother I’d help with a job.”

“So can I get your number then?”

Nick sucked in a breath, looking thrown, like Adam had socked him in the stomach.

Quinn stifled a giggle at his reaction. If Nick Merrick was into guys, half the female population at Old Mill would be sobbing. “Adam, he’s not g*y.”

For the first time all night, Adam lost the smile.

Nick ran a hand through his hair, looking completely unnerved. “Sorry, man—I just—”

“Nah.” Adam shook it off, and a shadow of his smile reappeared. “It’s cool. My bad.” He gave Quinn a wave and said, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Nick was quiet when they headed out on the road.

“Sorry,” she said, trying to warm her hands by the vents. The truck cab was freezing, and the engine didn’t seem to want to blow warm air. “He didn’t mean anything by it.”

Nick’s voice was somewhat hollow. “It’s okay.”

“He’s not usually that bold. I can’t believe he asked for your number.”

Nick didn’t say anything. Quinn wondered if he really was pissed.

That made her frown. “It’s not catching, you know,” she said.

He glanced over, and his voice was mild. “Quinn, I’m not upset about it.”

She chewed on that for a minute and wondered whether to push or to leave it.

Before she could make a decision, Nick reached out and touched her cheek. “I think you sell yourself short. You’re an amazing dancer.”

His hand was warm, and she leaned into the contact. “Thanks heaps, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He laughed. “I guess. But I couldn’t see any great disparity between you and him.”

“Disparity. God, sometimes it’s a wonder you and Gabriel are twin brothers.”

Nick sobered. “Why?”

“You’re like a walking SAT prep book. I guarantee if you went home, Gabriel wouldn’t even know the meaning of the word. On the outside, you’re absolutely identical, but on the inside, it’s like you’re polar opposites.”

He sighed and ran his hand through his hair again. “Trust me, I know exactly what you mean.”


Nick threw the truck into park in the lot in front of Quinn’s condo building.

He made no move to kill the engine.

She made no move to get out.

In fact, she was staring out the windshield, clutching her sweatshirt to her chest again. The moonlight traced silver along the lines of her face, leaving her eyes in shadow. Her jaw was tight.

“Do you want me to drive you to Becca’s instead?” he said.

She shook her head and glanced over. “Can I crash with you again?”

Nick kept his eyes on the steering wheel and didn’t say anything. He’d let her spend the night once, after Gabriel had cut her self-esteem to shreds by making a bunch of cracks about her weight. Quinn had been so full of rage and self-hatred that Nick had been worried she’d go home and find a set of razor blades or something.

He’d never let a girl spend the night before.

He’d never wanted to.

He didn’t want to now.

Besides, if Michael found her there, he’d make damn sure she left, and he’d probably make it as humiliating as possible, just to be sure Nick wouldn’t try to sneak a girl in again.

But maybe sharing his bed with Quinn again was exactly what he should do, just to shake loose all the indecisions rattling around inside his head.

And she obviously didn’t want to go home.

“Please?” she whispered.

Nick let a breath out through his teeth. His thoughts felt stuck on a spinning roulette wheel, bouncing along, never settling where he expected, leaving him half-hoping it would keep spinning—and half-hoping it would stop.

Quinn read too much into his hesitation. She crawled across the cab to climb into his lap, until she was pinned between him and the steering wheel. Her hands traced their way up his chest, and she whispered against his lips. “Need convincing?”

Maybe he did.

Nick kissed her, tasting her lips, teasing her mouth with his tongue. Her waist fit between his hands perfectly, and in the close confines of the truck cab, he was very aware of every motion of her body. She was warm and smelled like sugar cookies, and it was . . . pleasant.

It was always pleasant.

Not just with Quinn—with any girl. Not great, not electrifying, not earth-moving.


When he was younger, he’d thought maybe it was a maturity thing. Gabriel had barely been thirteen when he started talking about boobs and  p**n  and whatever else he ran on at the mouth about. And of course he’d shared everything with Nick.

Nick hadn’t really cared. He’d pretended to care, because their parents were gone and he was so desperately terrified of losing anyone else, especially his twin, so he’d done everything he could to live up to his brothers’ expectations of him. He’d gone along with it, thinking that hormones would catch up at some point, that one day he’d wake up imagining cheerleaders soaping up in the shower or something.

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