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Finn Rhodes Forever: Chapter 23


MY PULSE TOOK off as I settled in Finn’s lap, straddling him. His eyes were on me, heavy and clouded. He gripped my waist, head tilted up to me, watching with wonder. Under my hands, his shoulders were warm and firm. My finger traced the skin above his collar, and his breath caught. Between us, the air crackled with tension.

No smirk in sight, I noticed.

My heart slammed in my chest as I studied his face. He was so fucking handsome. I’d never seen someone as good-looking as Finn, not even celebrities whose job was to look hot.

Something about Finn, his face and his body, the knowledge of those tattoos lingering under his clothes, it lit my blood on fire.

I lowered my mouth to his, and he groaned into it. On my waist, his fingers dug in as I brushed my lips over his. My hands slipped into his hair, and it woke something up in him. He sat up straighter, his arms slid up my back, and he coaxed my mouth open, sliding inside.

This. I shuddered as his tongue swept over mine, steady and firm and unrelenting. This was so like Finn to kiss like this, like he knew exactly what I needed. Like he’d been thinking about it forever. Like he was ready to take what he wanted.

Heat spread through me, over my skin, through my chest, building and swelling at my center. My fingers twisted in his hair and when he sucked my tongue, I think I pulled his hair a little because he groaned again, low and desperate.

“I should teach you a lesson for biting me the other day,” he said in between kisses, and my thighs clenched around him. A low laugh rumbled against my mouth as he leaned into me.

Every sensation blended together—the scrape of his stubble against my chin, the slick, hot glide of his tongue against mine, his hands, one on my ass and one threaded in the hair at the back of my neck, pulling lightly, and the thick, firm press of his cock beneath me. I was pulled under, drugged, intoxicated, totally fucking addicted to the hot bliss that was making out with Finn Rhodes.

“Fuck, you’re hot,” he said, kissing down my neck. “I can’t stop thinking about you, Liv. Every night, I fuck my fist thinking about how good your pussy feels.” His eyes were so dark as he said this, and he pulled me back to him for another hungry kiss. “I remember it like it was yesterday.”

A shiver ran through me. “Want a reminder?” I gasped as he squeezed my ass. Between my legs, I was aching, wet, needy. I should have been embarrassed at how fast that happened, but I was too drunk on Finn to care.

I sucked on the side of Finn’s neck and he moaned—the sweetest sound I’d ever heard — and I rocked against him. The sharp, delicious sensation of my clit against him made me gasp.

Finn stiffened.

“We should stop,” he rasped, breathing hard. By the dim light of the fire, I could see his pupils were blown.

What? I sat back, frowning, breathing hard. “No.”

He blinked a few times like he was clearing his head. He pulled his hand out of my hair and sucked in a deep breath. “Yes. Liv. Come on.”

Disappointment, shame, rejection—they squeezed the lust of out me and I hurried off his lap, blinking like I’d been slapped.

I thought he wanted me.

Ugh. This was exactly what wasn’t supposed to happen. I was supposed to be cold, calculating, and careful, and here I was, melting for him, practically offering myself on a platter.

Want a reminder? I was going to die of embarrassment. My face burned.

“I don’t want to rush this.” His words were quiet but determined, and his eyes were full of heat.

Anger and frustration bubbled up in me. “Then what the fuck is with all the cheek kisses and hugs and stuff? Are you trying to drive me crazy?”

There was that wicked grin again, quick as a flash before it faded into something more serious. “I don’t want this to be a fling. No friends with benefits bullshit.”

I didn’t say a word. When Sadie and Holden tried being friends with benefits, it ended just how Holden had wanted—with them married.

Finn traced a line down my arm and when I glanced up at him, his eyes were soft. “I’m playing the long game,” he said before gesturing at the front of his pants. His erection stretched out the fabric, and another twinge pulsed between my legs. “Don’t think that I don’t want you.” He snorted. “I’m going to have blue balls all weekend, if that makes you feel better.”

“It does,” I said, and Finn laughed. A smile cracked on my face. “It really does.”

A warm, heavy weight expanded in my chest, pushing the shame out. Finn wanted more from me, more from us. The Finn I grew up with shot first, thought later. Usually it was shoot first, apologize later. That’s how we got into this whole mess in the first place.

It was for the best that we stopped. We were playing two different games, and I was dangerously close to fucking it all up. I rubbed my arms as the chill in the air gave me goosebumps.


I nodded. “I haven’t camped out here in a while. I forgot how cold it gets.”

He stood and walked to his pack.

“It’s fine,” I started, but he turned and held his hoodie up for me.

“Come on.” He gestured for me to stand up. “Don’t be stubborn, Liv.”

I snorted and tried to take the hoodie from him but he held tight, eyes dancing with amusement.

“Arms up.” His mouth curved as I rolled my eyes.

“I can dress myself.”

“Maybe I want to do it.”

I wanted him to, if I was being honest. So stupid, so meaningless, and yet when I held my arms up, the way he slid the hoodie over my head so slowly and carefully made me feel warm and loved.

He was messing with my head. Camping was a terrible fucking idea.

“I’m going to go to bed,” I said quickly. “I’m tired and I won’t be able to sleep once the sun’s up.”

He nodded with a small smile, like he thought I was cute. My stomach flipped over as he stepped forward.

“Alright. Goodnight, Liv.” He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me in tight to his chest. “Thank you for bringing me beer.”

I let myself close my eyes for five seconds, counting in my head, inhaling him and leaning my face against his chest.

“Goodnight,” I whispered.

He let me go and I felt the absence of his warmth but unzipped my tent and got inside. I lay in my sleeping bag, listening to the sizzle of the fire as he put it out, the soft thumps of his boots on the ground as he headed to his tent. The zip of his tent’s fly, the rustle of him getting into his sleeping bag, and finally silence, punctuated with noises from the forest—a coyote yipping, an owl hooting.

I was starting to like Finn, not just lust after him. We were becoming friends again, pulled together like magnets. I burrowed further into my sleeping bag, trying to warm up. With my nose against the neck of his hoodie, I inhaled a lungful of Finn.

He wouldn’t do any sexy stuff with me because he didn’t want it to be a fling. It prickled in my head, the shame of rejection coupled with the spike of pleasure at knowing he was willing to wait for something good. Me. I was that something good.

I pictured what my mom’s expression would be if she ever ran into Finn and me together. She’d see right through me. She knew me better than anyone. She would know I was—

I was what? Falling for him?

No. I wasn’t.

I squeezed my eyes tight, breathing in his scent again. I was totally stealing this hoodie. All of this shit? I’d deal with it another day. So Finn and I were becoming friends again. So what. So I wanted to sleep with him. So what.

In a few months, I’d be searching for a new job, with or without a PhD, and that might mean leaving town if there was nothing in the immediate area.

But right now? I wanted my friend back. No one understood me like Finn, no one made me simultaneously flustered and at ease.

I was happy to know him again, even if it was temporary.

I WOKE to my tent’s fly being zipped open. My chest shook from the cold, hands and feet almost numb. A phone flashlight lit up the tent.

I lifted my head, squinting. “Finn?”

The tent rustled as he crawled in, crouching while he did the fly back up. He was shirtless.

“What’s going on?” My voice was gravelly with sleep.

“Your teeth are chattering so loud they can hear you back in town.” He unzipped my sleeping bag and cold air rushed in.

I squeaked and burrowed further into the sleeping bag. “Why do you hate me?” I demanded through my sleep-fogged haze.

Finn slipped in beside me, sitting to zip the bag back up before looping his big arm under my neck and pulling me backwards into his chest.

I moaned. Oh my god. Warm. He wrapped his other arm over me, tucking me under his chin. His hand found mine, hidden within the long sleeve of his hoodie, but I could still feel his heat.

“Better?” he murmured. He caught my feet with his.

“Mhmm.” The tension in my muscles eased and my shivers slowed. “Thank you.”

His hand squeezed mine. The sleeping bag was meant to fit one person, not two, but instead of feeling claustrophobic, it was cozy and snuggly. Finn’s body melded against mine and I felt the beat of his heart against my back.

“Go to sleep, baby,” he whispered into my hair.

I closed my eyes and was out within a minute.


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