“Where are you?”
He went hot and then cold at the sound of Jessie’s voice in his ear. “I need to apologize again.”
“I think it’d be better if we talked face to face. Where are you?”
There was no turning back now, even if he wanted to. He’d let Jessica Jackson get away once before, and he’d be damned before he sat back and let her walk out of his life a second time. “The old drive-in.”
“I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
He didn’t ask how she was getting there. In the end, it didn’t matter. It was still the longest ten minutes of Jake’s life. When he saw Jennifer Jackson’s shiny silver Audi bumping along the road to where he’d parked his truck, he breathed a silent sigh of relief. Now wasn’t the time for relief, though.
It was time to double down.
He met Jessie as she climbed out of the car. Her gaze went over his shoulder to the shit he’d spent the last hour setting up, but he had things to say before they got there. “I’m sorry.”
“You know, we seem to be in an eternal circle of apologizing to each other.” She gave a faint smile.
A smile was better than shoving him into traffic. Jake held out a hand. “I have some things to say if you’re willing to listen.”
“I have some things to say, too.” She hesitantly put her hand in his. “But you can go first.”
“Much obliged.” He led her to where he’d laid out something of a picnic in the bed of his truck. It was late enough in the evening that the heat had finally broken, but he still questioned the intelligence of choosing this location. “Sit here.”
She let him set her on the tailgate and eyed the food. “What’s all this?”
“We have a lot of history, love. Good, and bad, and even a bit ugly at times. Hard to know a person for most of your life and not have bad to salt the good.” He took her hand again, because standing so close to her without touching felt downright wrong. “I’ve loved you since I was ten years old and decided right here at this theater that one day I’d marry you.”
She laughed. “I remember. You twisted a ring out of the long grass and then tackled me when I wouldn’t wear it. My mama was all kinds of mad about the grass stains on my dress.”
“We were at this very theater for our first date. I let you pick the movie even though my friends gave me a boatload of shit.” He held up his free hand when she opened her mouth. “And we were here when we fogged up the windows while we made love the first time.”
“Where are you going with this, Jake?”
He took a deep breath. “My point is that we have a whole lot more history that that single moment where you left—and the other moment when I lied. Catfish Creek is our past, but that doesn’t mean that we have to be in the past. I love you, Jessica Jackson. I love you so much, it makes me crazy, and I say and do the stupidest shit sometimes, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been living half a life for the last ten years. I missed out being with you for a full fucking decade. That was just as much my fault as yours. If you give me a chance, I’ll spend the rest of my life making it up to you.”
Jessie looked away. “Jake.”
“A chance, Jessie. That’s all I’m asking for.”
“Oh, hush. You know very well that I love the holy hell out of you. I’ve admitted as much several times in the last forty-eight hours, though maybe not in as many words. I…” She took a big breath. “I overreacted. I was embarrassed and off-center after that confrontation with Leah, and neither of those things are an excuse, but I need you to know where I was coming from. I let my temper and hurt speak for me, and I said some terrible things.”
“I think it’s safe to say we both said terrible things.” He held perfectly still, determined not to interrupt her again.
“As a wise woman recently pointed out to me, our relationship has been nothing but ups and downs, and that’s part of what makes it ours. And if you’re willing to forgive what I did when we were eighteen, I’d have to be some kind of special self-righteous asshole not to forgive you now.”
He couldn’t draw a full breath. “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying yes, Jake. Yes, to trying, to figuring this out, to us. I love you like crazy, and I think that after all we’ve been through, a little thing like a couple of states’ distance between us is a minor hurdle.”
He kissed her. She framed his face with her hands and kissed him back, keeping the contact light and sweet before she leaned over to look at the food. “Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Popcorn and Milk Duds. Takeout from The Hamburger Shack.” Her eyes went wide. “You recreated the food from our firsts here? Oh, my God, have I mentioned lately that I love you?”
“It might have come up. We’ve had so many firsts here. I couldn’t think of a better place to take the first step into the future with you.” He stepped between her knees and wrapped his arms around her. “The rest of our lives starts now, love. And I wouldn’t want to spend it with anyone but you.
A Bad Boy Homecoming
Thank you so much for reading Prom Queen! Jake and Jessica’s story is part of the fun and sexy Bad Boy Homecoming series. Each book is a complete stand-alone but we hope you’ll go through each of the romances to see your favorite characters make special appearances and see just how the reunion went down. Ea
ch book carries at least one of our favorite tropes as well as a few high school flashbacks that make us smile and shake our heads. If you enjoyed the book, we’d love if you would please leave a review to show us how much. Reviews help authors every day and we totally appreciate it.
Thank you for coming to the Bad Boy Homecoming reunion and we hope you’ll not only find a romance you love, but a few authors as well.
The Books of Bad Boy Homecoming
Dropout by Carrie Ann Ryan
Trouble by Avery Flynn
Prom Queen by Katee Robert
Honor by Kennedy Layne
Rock Star Stacey Kennedy
About Katee Robert and Her Books
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it “a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.” When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
The Hidden Sins Series
Book 1: The Devil’s Daughter
Book 2: The Hunting Grounds
The O’Malley Series
Book 1: The Marriage Contract
Book 2: The Wedding Pact
Book 3: An Indecent Proposal
Book 4: Forbidden Promises
Book 5: Undercover Attraction
The Foolproof Love Series
Book 1: A Foolproof Love
Book 2: Fool Me Once
Book 3: A Fool for You
Out of Uniform Series
Book 1: In Bed with Mr. Wrong
Book 1.5: His to Keep
Book 2: Falling for His Best Friend
Book 3: His Lover to Protect