“Okay,” I say. “I’m ready.”

“Finally,” Travis mutters under his breath.

I frown. His comment stings, but I let it slide. After all, here I am – Emma Hadley, luckiest girl in the world. Travis could have asked anyone, but he didn’t.

He asked me.

“So, um, how are your classes going?” I ask as we plod along under the hot rays of the sun. I can feel the skin on my face burning and I hope that I don’t look too awful. In my excitement of getting ready to go out with someone as hot as Travis, I forgot my usual sunscreen.

“Fine,” Travis says.

I bite my lip, wondering when he’s going to start showing any interest.

“Mine are good, too,” I chirp. “I mean, except biology. It’s my least favorite subject and I hate Dr. Callahan! He’s so rude,” I continue. “He staples Burger King applications to your test if you don’t get at least seventy-five percent!”

I expect Travis to laugh or even commiserate with me but he plows through the trees like I haven’t even said anything.

“Hey, are you okay?” I ask. I stop walking and shove my hands into my pockets. “Travis?”

At the sound of his name, Travis stops. He turns to face me and I can see the irritation on his face.


“Are you okay?” I repeat. “You’re not really saying much.”

Travis shrugs. “Yeah, fine,” he says. “I guess I’m just distracted.”

“Is there something going on? I mean, we can talk about it if you—”

“Let’s just keep hiking,” Travis says. His frown disappears and he flashes a big grin at me. The sight of his gorgeous smile is enough to make me forget my annoyance.


Travis leads me deeper and deeper into the woods. At first, I’m really glad for the trees overhead – the shade feels cool and soothing on my burned skin. But after a while, it starts to feel kind of chilly.

“Should’ve brought a jacket,” I mutter as I trot along behind Travis’s sculpted butt. “I’m such an idiot.”

“We’re almost there,” Travis calls over his shoulder. “Wait ‘til you see it!”

I listen for the sound of water rushing over rocks but all I can hear is the chirping of birds and rustling of trees. Still, I’m pushed on by the prospect of a steamy make-out session with Travis…or maybe even something more.

I still can’t believe he asked me out. To be honest, I’ve never actually been asked out before. I know it’s embarrassing to be a virgin at my age – I’m almost twenty-one! – but I’ve never even been kissed.

Crap, I hope I know how to do it well enough to please Travis. My best friend, Lacey, told me once that you could just lie there and let a guy do whatever and he’ll be grateful, but I don’t want that. I want something more. I want romance and passion and excitement.

Maybe Travis just hasn’t grown into his romantic phase yet. I know college guys aren’t exactly the most thoughtful creatures on the planet.

Or maybe he’s saving it all for the falls.

“Are we ever going to get there?” I call out. “Travis, we’ve been walking for hours!”

I expect Travis to face me with another scowl but when he turns to look at me, I see that he’s grinning. He looks playful and sexy, and a shiver runs down my spine at the look in his sparkling green eyes.

“Almost,” Travis says. “I promise.” He steps closer, bridging the distance between our bodies and I shiver again. He’s so close that I can see the blonde stubble on the cleft of his adorable chin.

I swallow nervously and my heart starts to thud in my chest. This is it – this is finally the moment that I’ve been waiting for since he first asked me out. He’s going to put his hands on me and kiss me and oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’s finally happening!

“I’m really glad you asked me to come,” I say shyly. “This is really nice.”

Travis smirks. He looks hungry, like I’m the last bite of food on his plate and he wants to devour me.

“Yeah,” he says. “Listen, I gotta pee – I’m just going to go off in those trees over there and then I’ll come back and we can go to the falls. Sound good?”

“Sure,” I say. The thought of his cock out in the open makes me blush. Travis sees the color on my cheeks and laughs.

“Don’t worry,” he says. “I’ll make sure you can’t see.” He licks his lips and leans in even closer. “I want you to wait right here for me,” he says in a low growl. A chill of arousal runs down my spine at his words. “Don’t go anywhere, Emma.”

I blink at him. “Go anywhere?” I repeat. “Why would I do that?”

Travis shrugs and laughs. “I don’t know,” he replies. “Girls are weird sometimes.” He snickers as he sprints away into a clump of trees, leaving me in a small clearing with a tree stump and some rocks.

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