Friday dawned bright and disgustingly gorgeous. Or at least Morgan assumed that it had, since she didn't actually get out of bed until well past noon. When she finally stumbled downstairs, Reese was sitting at the kitchen table with a calculator in one hand and a pencil in the other, frowning down at a notebook covered in what Morgan blearily deciphered was a mess.

"Oh, good, you're up," she said, not bothering with a greeting. "What the hell is a sigma squared?"

Morgan rubbed a hand over her face. "What are you working on? An art project?"

"Cute, Mo." Reese made a face at her. "It's Statistics."

Morgan pulled open the refrigerator and bypassed the water, juice, and soda for a straight shot of caffeine in the form of an energy drink. "I am the wrong person to ask about that, as you well know."

"You have to know something," Reese whined.

"Says who? If you're really desperate, I'll give you Genna's number. She's a genius at things with funny symbols and inappropriately placed punctuation."

Scowling, Reese threw down the pencil. "I hate you sometimes. All right, write it down. I'll call her later."

Morgan took a sip of her energy drink and leaned back against the counter. She made no move toward the pencil. "If you're giving up, you can help me find Braden a costume this morning."

Reese rolled her eyes. "In that case, he's going as my bitch. And on a side note, it's not morning anymore."

Setting the rest of her drink on the counter, Morgan just shrugged. "It's morning somewhere. Call him, will you? I need to find clothes."

"Or you could skip them, going with the theme of the day," Reese answered, but she picked up her phone anyway. "Write down Genna's number before you go."

Morgan obliged, then ran upstairs to change into a ratty pair of jeans and an old tank top. She really needed to do her laundry at some point. All of her new clothes were too nice to wear to a trip to the mall – the last thing she wanted to do was look like she was playing dress-up.

As it turned out, they didn't end up at the mall anyway. Braden dragged them to a costume store in a large warehouse instead, and by the time they left, he had more props than he'd ever be able to carry. Although he claimed they were for that evening, Morgan wasn't entirely sure he hadn't capitalized on the store's sale to feed a few of his fetishes.

The rest of the day passed quickly, and it was time to leave for Angie's almost before Morgan had realized it. She'd gotten ready in a state of nervous anticipation, not exactly taking extra care with her makeup, but not exactly applying it as carelessly as usual either.

She'd just finished putting on her jewelry when Reese yelled up the stairs for her.

"Coming!" she yelled back. And, grabbing her purse, hurried out the door without stopping to look in the mirror another time. She knew if she had, she never would have the courage to walk out of the house.

When she entered the living room, Mika's eyebrow shot up and even Reese looked surprised. "I thought—"

"Yeah, I know," Morgan interrupted. "Everyone does. Let's go."

Snickering, Reese led the way out to Mika's car. Mika had been elected to drive because she was the least likely to drink, which meant they had a much better chance of getting home, never mind in one piece.

When they walked into Angie's kitchen fifteen minutes later, Devon nearly dropped his drink. "Morgan, you're hot, don't get me wrong, but just because this is a porn party doesn't mean you shouldn't wear clothes –" He squinted at her. "Oh, that is a shirt."

"Barely." Angie grinned approvingly. "Very thematic."

"Believe it or not, it actually wasn't intentional," Morgan answered. The outfit really hadn't been. Morgan was a bit of a clothes whore, and there was a specific website she frequented far more than any other. It had the best sales she'd ever seen, and the shirt she was currently wearing had cost her exactly $7.95, down from $45.00. As far as she was concerned, that made it worth it.

It was also very appropriate for the porn party, since it was a skin-tone lace halter top that looked sheer, even though it really wasn't. Thank goodness for lining. At first glance, though, it really did look like she wasn't wearing anything at all. She'd paired it with a slate gray pleated skirt and matching knee-high boots. She looked good, and she knew it.

"Dude, why aren't you wearing a shirt?" This from Braden, who wasn't wearing one, either.

"Why aren't you?" she countered.

"I don't get arrested for public indecency if I forget mine." He wandered closer. "That is sexy, Mo. Can I borrow it for Halloween?" Everyone in the kitchen stopped to look at him. "It wasn't my idea," he protested. "Carlos is the one who wants to go as that chick band on TV."

Angie was the first to recover from that shocking statement. She gaped at him a moment, then turned back to the girls, apparently deciding it was best not to comment. "Here're your lists," she said. She quickly passed one to each of them.

Morgan frowned down at hers. There were five "tasks" that had to be completed. The first was the kissing booth, then the provocative pose, then the lap dance, the bondage area, and last but not least, the body shot. "And what am I supposed to do with this?"

Reese shook her head. "I still can't believe you missed this last year. Here, look—" she took the list out of Morgan's hand. "You can do them in any order, but you have to do all of them."

"Actually," Angie interrupted, "you don't have to do anything. But if you want an excuse for drunken debauchery, consider it provided."

Braden fiddled with one of the buckles on the many leather straps crossing over his chest, trying to get it lay flat. "Just find Carter. You'll be done in no time."

Morgan gaped at him.

"Shut your mouth, Morgan. He's right." Reese waved the paper in front of her face. "Take this back. I've got my own."

"You really don't have to participate," Angie reminded her.

Reese shoved the paper into Morgan's hands. "But where's the fun in that?"

Mika linked her arm through Morgan's and dragged her out of the room before she could do Reese bodily harm. "Come, my dear, let us find our first victim."

Morgan sighed. "I am never going to live this down, am I?"

"I don't know what 'this' is," Mika answered cheerfully, snagging a beer for Morgan from one of the coolers lining the hallway. They barely paused before Mika dragged her into a closet labeled "The Kissing Booth" in bold, black letters. Without so much as hesitating, she kissed Morgan on the cheek. "There you go. First one's done. Here, give me that so I can initial it."

"Er, does that count?" Morgan asked in confusion as Mika hastily scrawled her initials across the box for the kissing booth.

"It was a kiss, in the kissing booth." Mika shrugged. "Why wouldn't it?" She shooed Morgan out of the closet. "You'll have to find your own victims for the other ones. Sorry, but I'm not letting you give me a lap dance. It might screw up the roommate dynamic we've so carefully cultivated."

Morgan blinked at her. "I agree, although I'm not entirely sure what you're talking about."

Mika handed her the beer she'd picked up earlier. "Go. Flirt. Be merry."

"You are so weird."

"Something I've long since gotten over," Mika shrugged. She glanced over Morgan's shoulder. "Oh, hey, Iago."

"Cariña," he acknowledged. He gave Morgan a quick hug. "Guapa."

Mika snatched his paper away, too. "Let's see who you've been snogging this evening," she said, perusing it idly, then she frowned. "Iago, why does this look suspiciously like my writing?"

He grinned at her. "Because I forged your signature. I would have forged Morgan's, too, but I can never get her g's right."

Looking miffed, Mika replied, "If you're going to put my name down, you should at least let me make it memorable." She glanced down at the paper. "Oh, look, you put me down for 'provocative pose.' Let's go put something incriminating on film."

"I'll be fine by myself," Morgan said dryly, when they both looked at her. "You two go ruin your chances at a future political career."

No sooner had they turned the corner than Morgan spotted Quinn smirking at her from the doorway, apparently just having arrived. She nodded coolly at him, but nothing further. She hadn't been kidding when she'd said she wasn't going to actively seek him out. Let him do the chasing.

And it didn't take him long. He disappeared long enough to reappear with a beer in one hand. He hadn't dressed for the occasion, opting instead for his usual uniform of jeans and a crisp button-down shirt. She had the sudden urge to walk over and just bite him.

God, what a horrifying thought.

She smiled tightly at him and took that as her cue to flee. What was she thinking? Worse, what would he think if she actually did it? Both questions had horrifying answers that she really didn't want to explore too deeply. She stepped onto the porch, nodding at a few people she knew. It seemed to be the designated body shot area, or at least that was the most likely explanation for the ten bottles of tequila, the bowl of limes, and the entire box of salt.

Exactly how many people was Angie expecting? There were about fifteen people on the porch, and she'd probably seen about thirty inside, but ten bottles of tequila?

"I see you're running away from Quinn," Reese said disapprovingly from behind her.

Morgan turned to glare at her. "I'm not running from anything," she said.

Reese snorted. "You're such a liar, Morgan." She glanced around the porch and apparently found the rest of the crowd lacking. "Want to do a body shot?"

"Isn't the whole point of this thing to pick a guy?" Morgan wondered.

"Of course not." Reese rolled her eyes.


Reese laughed and picked up a shot glass, filling it to the brim with tequila. "It's for fun, Mo. I don't plan on hooking up with anyone tonight, although I'm not saying I won't." She shrugged. "It's not like we had anything better to do this weekend."

Morgan raised an eyebrow. "What about that paper that's due next week?"

"I'm learning from you." Reese beamed at her. "Apparently there must be some value to starting a few hours before it's due, or you'd start at a reasonable time like the rest of us."

"I thought you were here to get drunk, not take potshots at my studying habits."

Reese laughed. "When opportunity knocks—"

"Yeah, yeah." Morgan handed her a lime. "If that's how you justif—what the fuck?" She found herself pressed against a hard chest, someone's hand far too close to forbidden territory, another resting on her hip.

"Whoever it was nuzzled the side of her neck, nipping at her jaw line. "Ignoring me, are you?"

It figured it was Quinn.

She felt him smile against her hair. "Hey, Reese."

"Carter!" Reese squealed.

Morgan wanted to hurt both of them. "Why is your hand on my ass?" she snapped.

"Smile pretty, sweetheart. It's me or the creep in the corner."

His name was David, and she knew him from her Poly Sci course. He'd leered at her every Tuesday and Thursday morning for the last two and a half weeks. Her skinned crawled.

That didn't mean she was going to let Quinn off easy. "Darling, if you wanted to cop a quick feel, all you had to do was ask." She bared her teeth at him. "There are plenty of other bimbos here who would be more than willing."

He smiled down at her, the look in his peridot eyes patronizing. "But I'd have to retrain them, and where's the fun in that?" He leaned down so that his breath kissed the spot just below her ear, right where he knew it made her shiver. "You knew exactly how to turn me on."

"Tempting, Carter." She carefully removed his hand and sidled to the side so that she was facing him.

"Now, sweetheart, don't be like that. You'll make him think we aren't serious."

She didn't have any warning. One minute he was glancing at David with a calculating look in his eye, and the next she found herself pressed against the side of the house with his mouth moving against hers. If she could have found the motivation, her knee would have met with a very sensitive area, but... Why waste a good thing?

As soon as that thought sprang up, she balked. No, no, no, Morgan! There is nothing good about this!

She jerked her mouth away from his. "I'm pretty sure this constitutes sexual harassment," she said breathlessly. Damn her for sounding like she'd been enjoying it.

"Mmm-hmm." He continued to nibble at the side of her neck. "I have a pair of handcuffs if you feel the need to slap them on me. Justice first."

It felt too good to pull away just yet. "If you trust me with handcuffs, you don't know me well enough."

His answering grin was quick and wicked. "The uncertainty's half the fun."

Twisting so that her lips grazed his, she murmured, "Just don't expect to come out unscathed."

"I didn't realize you were into that," he whispered back.

Reese cleared her throat, ruining the moment. "Every time you two do that, I want to run for the nearest fire extinguisher. Tequila?"

They looked at her blankly. "What?"

"Oh, gosh, you're even answering in unison." Reese handed Morgan the shot glass. "Drink up, kids. Show the rest of the people on the porch how to do it. I definitely learned from the last time."

She was gone before Morgan could yell at her.

Quinn took the shot out of her hand and set it on the table behind her. "I don't think we'll need that tonight," he said. He laced his fingers through hers and maneuvered her closer, so that she was standing between his thighs.

Her knees were melting, she was sure of it. That was the only explanation for why she was sinking into him. "I disagree," she managed.

He shifted her even closer, although she wasn't quite sure how that was possible. His mouth was a mere breath away from hers. "I can think of better things to do than get intoxicated."

"Are you sure this doesn't count?"

That perfect mouth curved, then he closed the distance between them. He tasted like oranges and mint, sweet and sharp at the same time. Her hands slipped around to rest at his lower back. He pressed her closer and slipped his tongue into her mouth, one hand curved around her neck and the other whispered over her arm. A second passed before she slipped her hand beneath that sharply pressed green shirt to find bare skin. His back arched beneath her touch and pressed his hips into hers.

This time, it was she who deepened the kiss, fighting him for control. One hand snaked around his neck, pulling him close enough that she was sure they were breathing the same air and taking up the same space. The other dipped to the small of his back and held him even closer against her.

He broke away to lick her collarbone and she tilted her head back to give him better access. And then suddenly he was gone.

Disoriented, she swayed away from him. He slid his hand so that it was anchored around her waist, keeping her from sliding onto the porch. Collapsing against him, she tried to figure out what had just happened.

Iago's voice cleared her head like a bucket of ice water. "I thought we'd gotten all the exhibitionism out of your system the other night, guapa. Qué haces?"


Braden, Iago, and Devon burst into laughter. "Nice job, man," Braden said. Angie smacked Devon on the back of his head.

"Hey!" he yelped. "What was that for?"

"Encouraging them," Angie retorted.

He rubbed the back of his head and pouted at her. "Kiss it and make it better?"

"If I wanted it to feel better, I wouldn't have hit you in the first place."

Quinn bit Morgan's ear. "Let's take this somewhere else," he said.

She took a fortifying breath. "What makes you think I want to?"

"I don't see you protesting too strongly," he murmured.

"Some chick is looking for you, Mo," Braden interrupted. He concentrated for a minute, his brow furrowing. "She looks kind of familiar, but I don't know why."

Morgan pushed away from Quinn, albeit reluctantly. "Is it Genna? My friend that you randomly invited at the coffee shop?"

Braden sent a furtive glance at Devon, who remained oblivious. "Maybe?"

"Right. Never mind. Which way?"

"She's in the kitchen," Angie answered. "Or at least she was before she went to look for you."

Morgan nodded, moving toward the door back into the house. "Well, obviously she didn't find me. I'll be back, okay?"

Varying degrees of acknowledgment echoed back at her. She slid a quick glance at Quinn before she slipped through the door. His green eyes were trained on her, but his face betrayed no emotion. Even after last weekend, when she'd essentially warned him off, he was still going after her. Part of her admired his tenacity, while the other, substantially larger part of her wanted him to just leave her alone.

He was trying to wear her down, and as much as she hated to admit it, it was working.

"Stop scowling," Genna said from behind her.

Morgan turned to face them. Surprisingly, Matt had his hand resting on the small of her back. They looked… comfortable, something that astonished Morgan, especially after Genna's characteristically destructive relationship with Chad. Her opinion of Matt was skyrocketing, since Genna wasn't the most trusting of individuals. If this was how they were after only a week, he must be something special.

"I can't help it," she retorted. "He's irritating and way too confident of his own prowess."

Genna looked momentarily surprised by this outburst. "Who?"

Matt laughed. "I think I want to miss this discussion. Anyone want a drink?"

Morgan had lost her beer somewhere on the porch – another strike she could hold against Quinn – so she nodded. Genna shrugged noncommittally, which both of them took affirmatively.

"I'll be back," he said.

Genna watched him go. "Sometimes he's so perceptive that I'm just a little creeped out."

"He seems really nice," Morgan protested in his defense.

"Oh, he is." Genna's mouth curved into a smile. "He's smart, too, and isn't afraid to tell me when I'm wrong. He's not overbearing about it, either. It's kind of refreshing."

"I'll take your word for it." She paused. "I'm so glad you came."

Genna laughed. "Yes, even us pseudo-intellectuals have to take some time off, although I see a few people from my Poly Sci courses that will no doubt be engaged in pointless policy discussions before the night is over."

"Happens every party," Morgan shrugged.

"Sadly enough," Genna agreed. "So who were you ranting against?"

The scowl returned at an alarming speed. "You don't know him. His name is Quinn."

"And what did he do, exactly?"

"Mostly he just breathes and looks hot, but occasionally he opens his mouth, too. That's when the problems usually start." Frowning, Morgan gnawed on her lower lip. "I accidentally ended up in bed with him. Now he seems to think I'm his favorite sex toy."

"I'm still missing the problem."

"I'm really attracted to him," Morgan confessed reluctantly. "But I think he's a jerk. And my morals refuse to compromise with my body and vice versa."

Genna considered her statement for a moment. "You know, what I'm about to tell you would get me stoned or executed in several societies on several continents. But maybe you should just use him the way he's trying to use you."

"What do you mean?"

"You're not dating anyone. Sleep with him until you get bored with him, and then drop him."

"That's—" Words failed Morgan. "I don't even know what to say to that."

Genna looked almost sympathetic. "I'm just saying: Make the conscious decision to treat it like what it is, and then you can stop worrying about it. You can get it out of your system and move on."

"You realize that sounds like a fairy tale, right? Or like an ad for diet pills? 'Watch Quinn dissolve away like magic!'"

Her eyes filled with amusement, Genna answered, "Don't knock it until you've tried it."

"Have you?"

"Once upon a not so distant time ago, yes. It worked like a charm." Matt came back then and Genna accepted a drink from him. He handed the other to Morgan. "What's it going to hurt?"

And that was precisely what Morgan was worried about.

She'd dated her last boyfriend two years ago. Unlike Genna's experience with Chad, Morgan's breakup had been decidedly lackluster. They'd dated, she'd gotten bored, and then she'd ended it. She wasn't anti-relationship, she was just distrusting and far too picky. Besides, historically speaking, the ones she wanted didn't want her.

Having never consciously entered into a relationship where the primary goal was sex (although she had had one misfortunate relationship where that ended up being the guy's chief and hidden agenda), she was a tad wary. Then again, Genna was right – by entering into it with no illusions, she had a much smaller chance of getting hurt.

And there was the fact that she'd already slept with him once. Okay, a few times, if you counted the morning after as well. The point was that he was a known entity, and in the morning following their hazardous first meeting, she'd learned that he was indeed disease-free and that protection was not something he took lightly. Both of these details were ones she greatly appreciated. She only wished she hadn't been stupid enough to engage in behavior that even made this a risk.

Besides, the whole idea made her feel vaguely slutty.

"I just think it's a bad idea," she hedged.

Genna shrugged. "You need to do whatever you feel is most appropriate. And by appropriate, I don't mean what our Puritanical society deems as proper. I mean whatever you believe is the action that will benefit you most psychologically. The only one stopping you is yourself."

Her outward appearance non-committal, inwardly, she knew Genna was right. "Well, come on," she said. "I want you to meet Iago and Braden and Angie and Devon. You might as well meet Quinn, too."

They traipsed outside, and Morgan made the introductions quickly. Genna, Reese, and Mika had met once or twice before at some random bar or another while they were out. The others didn't know each other, but they seemed to be getting along famously in no time.

When Genna met Quinn, the look she gave Morgan was disbelieving. This is what you're turning down? her raised eyebrows seemed to say in comical incredulity.

It only took him approximately five minutes to make his way back to her side. This time, at least, he didn't touch her, although in some ways that was almost worse. Every time he moved she steeled herself for the feel of his hand on her back, her arm, her hair. It was nerve-wracking. But other than standing beside her, he largely ignored her.

By one in the morning, the porch was too crowded for comfort, Reese was yawning, and Mika was making excuses for why she had to get up in the morning. Genna and Matt had gone off to another party at least an hour ago. Iago had wandered off presumably to find something else to drink, but he'd been gone for half an hour with no sign of return. She had finished none of the assigned "tasks."

She was also doing her best to convince Mika that she and Reese didn't have to stay and babysit her. "I'll find a way home," she said. "And if worst comes to worst, I can fall asleep on Angie's couch."

"How much have you had to drink?" Reese demanded. She looked decidedly woozy.

"This is my third beer in four hours, Mom," she snapped, but the sarcasm was lost on Reese.

Her roommate nodded sleepily. "She's okay. Let's go home."

"Morgan, are you sure?"

"Yes, Mika," Morgan repeated. "Go home. Sleep."

"Be careful, okay?"

Morgan nodded and watched her roommates disappear into the crowd. She turned to Braden. "I guess that leaves you and me," she said cheerfully.

"And me," Quinn answered. He'd also disappeared at some point, but now rematerialized. "Do you guys want to go to our apartment? We can hang out on the porch."

"I don't know if we should be driving…"

"I live across the street," he told her.

Braden was nodding, warming to this idea. "Let me go find Iago."

That was how she found herself sitting on the porch of Quinn's spacious apartment with the three of them for the next hour and a half, her senses under continuous assault. He'd gotten them another round of drinks; Morgan was mostly letting hers get warm on the railing. Unlike his earlier tactics, he was now taking every available opportunity to touch her.

He brushed her hair behind her ear. Straightened the strap on her halter top. Brushed a leaf off her thigh. It was a never-ending game of contact. He couldn't have found a more effective war strategy if he'd tried.

During a lull in the conversation, she stood up. "Quinn, where's your bathroom?"

"Up the stairs, second door on the right."

She nodded, then disappeared into the house. She found it with little trouble. On her way back out, she noticed what looked to be framed artwork all around the living room area, which she'd had to walk through to get to the stairs. The homey addition surprised her, and she wandered closer. Surprised to see that the frames, although uniform, contained a mixture of various prints and framed photographs, she wandered closer.

She must have been gone longer than she thought, because Quinn came looking for her.

"I got distracted by the art," she explained, still looking at the contemporary frames on the wall.

He took a step closer. "Do you like it?"

She shrugged, then shook her head. "I hate him," she said, pointing somewhere in the vicinity of the nearest print.

Quinn managed to look both cautious and amused at the same time. He removed her hand from where she'd trailed it to his abdomen, lacing his fingers with hers. "Who?" he asked softly. Those green eyes had darkened, his lashes dropping, sudden lust shining in his eyes. He took a step closer and dropped a light kiss on her palm before turning it over and nipping at her knuckle.

Sucking in her breath sharply, she dropped her gaze to his full mouth, wanting to trace that full upper lip with her tongue. She leaned in with every intent of doing just that, but Quinn pulled away before she could. Morgan frowned at him. He settled his hand against the small of her back, angling himself so she couldn't quite reach his mouth.

"Who do you hate, Morgan?"

"What?" She squinted up at him. It took her a moment to regroup enough that she regained her train of thought. He did funny things to her head. "Oh, that French painter guy and his stupid melting clocks."

A grin twitched at the corner of his mouth. "Dalí?"

"Yeah, sure." The slow stroke of his palm against the bare skin of her back distracted her. "If he's the one who painted those damned melting clocks."

Quinn took another step closer. She could smell his cologne and the scent of beer clinging to his shirt. "He painted other things besides those, er, clocks. And he's Spanish."

Lifting her hand to brush her hair out of her face, she realized his fingers were still twined with hers. His hands looked like an artist's hands, the fingers long and lean but strong. Did his skin taste as good as she remembered?

She leaned forward and licked the jutting bone of his wrist. He still tasted like sex.

Pulling on him, she tugged until he was standing between her sprawled legs. She liked having him where she could touch him, she thought. Her hands traveled up his toned arms and across his chest. Did it make her a slut if she slept with Quinn even if she thought he was an ass? She traced a new path down his chest to the hem of his shirt, her fingers dipping beneath the edge to tease bare skin. Did it matter what she thought about him?

Her body told her it didn't. She slid her hands around to rest beneath his shirt, beneath his shoulder blades. His skin was sweltering. It was hot in here, wasn't it? Suddenly, she couldn't stand the weight of her clothes beneath the heat. "Quinn?" she asked. His eyes were a steamy emerald green when they met hers. "Can you take me home?"

"Why don't you stay here tonight?" he murmured, huskiness invading his voice. He placed a soft kiss at the joint of her neck and her shoulder, that exact spot that made her legs turn to jelly and her resolve melt into a waxy puddle on the floor.

She knew she shouldn't, but… What would it hurt? Her eyes drifted shut as he sucked softly at her pulse point. She'd already slept with him once – it wasn't like he'd think worse of her for sleeping with him again, right? It was just one more night.

Her fingernails dug into his back, one hand sliding down to press his hips against hers. He fit into the cradle of her hips perfectly. A soft sigh escaped her.

"Hey, Mo—" Braden stopped dead at the entrance to the room.

It took her a minute to focus on him, to drag her attention away from Quinn. He hadn't stopped seducing her neck even at the sound of Braden's voice, and if she were honest, she didn't want him to. Her fingers tightened and the muscles in his back jumped. He would have marks tomorrow. For some reason, the thought appealed to her.

Braden stood awkwardly in the doorway. "I guess you don't need a ride home," he said, his eyes crinkling in laughter. Morgan was too distracted by Quinn's ministrations to her neck to even get irritated. She simply raised an eyebrow at him. "Why do I feel like I just walked into something illicit?"

Quinn finally pulled away from her, stealing a brief kiss before he sent a sardonic smile in Braden's direction. "Maybe because you did?"

"Yeah, well," Braden shook his head, "you have a room, Quinn. For Morgan's sake, I'm going to ask you to use it." He turned to Morgan. "Are you going to be okay?"

She nodded. "Are you leaving?"

"Yeah, we're taking off."

"Okay." She leaned heavily against Quinn's shoulder. "Be careful."

The ensuing pause was filled with quiet warning, then he replied, "You, too."

As Braden let himself out, Quinn reached behind himself to grasp her fingers. Once he had a firm grip on her, he slipped the other arm around her waist and began guiding her toward his bedroom. She leaned heavily against him. He responded by swinging her into his arms.

At first, she tensed, but then she relaxed in his hold, taking the opportunity to catch his earlobe between her teeth and trace the delicate shell with her tongue. They were in his room before she realized it.

He dumped her unceremoniously on the queen-sized bed, his hands nimbly untying her halter top before she even knew what he was doing. He didn't remove it, though, just let the ends trail down her flat stomach. Her abdomen clenched when she thought about his mouth following those paths.

Urging him closer, she reclaimed his mouth. "What are you waiting for?" she demanded.

The smile that broke across his face was stunning. "Be patient, Morgan." His hand slid beneath her skirt to toy with the thin strap of her thong.

"Now, Quinn," she demanded.

When he laughed, the sound was low and sexy. "Baby, we're just getting started."

Sarahpor, how's less than a week instead?

Okay, this was superquick, for a few reasons. 1. I felt bad for how long it's been taking me to get chapters out. 2. Myrika is a horrible influence and I blame her for the fact that I wrote this instead of the ten page paper I have due at the end of the week. 3. This is a relatively slow week despite the paper, and so I was able to get away with it.

Don't expect anything other than atrocious lateness for Chapter 7, please. I can't guarantee anything, especially since I'm teaching a summer course and taking a Statistics class that will probably make me cry more than once this summer.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of my reviewers. I really, really appreciate the responses and suggestions I've gotten. I've said it before (and will say it again), but you're all wonderful, and I do appreciate it more than you know.

Now, to sleep, so that I can go to work in four hours. Boo.

Much love,