Three Shades of Sinful

Chapter 1

“You seem wound up tight today, Miss Austin,” a deep voice murmurs in my ear, making me almost choke on my water. “I mean…more than usual.”

Without even turning my head, I know who it is. I focus on closing my water bottle with slightly trembling fingers, replying sweetly, “As charming as ever, Collin.” As charming as vinegar in the eyes.

Collin’s been a thorn in my side since I started hanging out at table 19 in UCLA’s cafeteria. It’s not just because he has a swarm of girls constantly fawning over him, inflating his ego beyond belief. Though that’s a big part of it. The second reason is that his literature essays always outshine mine, even though he’s far from nerdy. He’d rather be playing basketball in his free time.

“Give her a break,” Finnick chimes in, smirking at his best friend’s remark, and sweeps back his chaotic, caramel-colored hair. “Juna’s just stressed today ‘cause of our Psych exam.”

It’s true. I hate exams. Almost as much as I hate Collin taunting me with his provocative comments during our one-hour lunch break.

Finnick, on the other hand, is different. He’s funny and charming. His calming presence before exams is something I’m grateful for, even if it means putting up with Collin McAllister.

“I know some excellent ways to relieve that tension,” Collin teases from across the table. His dark blue eyes sparkle through his blonde bangs, as if he’s privy to all the universe’s secrets. I’d even believe he knows half of them. But as he leans back in his chair, casually placing his hand too close to his crotch on his thigh, subtly wiggling his fingers, I roll my eyes and shake my head. He’s out of his mind!

Despite my annoyance, the thought of Collin touching me sends unwelcome warmth up my neck. I can appreciate a good-looking guy, too. “Not interested, but thanks anyway,” I say as firmly as possible.

Collin crosses his arms over his chest, causing his black leather jacket to tighten slightly at the shoulders. He lets all four chair legs hit the ground, his smirk a full-on challenge. “Why not? Scared you might enjoy it?”

I’m afraid I would, yes. And I hate myself for it.

“Hardly. You just don’t have the right-sized equipment,” I shoot back, surprised at my own wit in the moment.

Two guys at the table burst into laughter. Collin, however, isn’t one of them. He leans across the table, slow and seductive like a red flag in front of a bull, resting his arms on the smooth surface. In a deep, hushed tone, he asks, “Why? Is your sweet little pussy so pristine that only an XXS tampon can breach it?”

I’m no virgin, not that it’s anyone’s business! And I want to shout it at his two friends, who are clearly getting the wrong idea from Collin’s snarky comment. Now they’re both staring at me, their faces alive with eager anticipation.

I glare at Finnick, who’s sitting next to me at our usual table for six, though it’s just the four of us who eat together every day, and swat his arm with the back of my hand. “Quit making that stupid face! I’m not some naive virgin, and you all know it.”

From the moment Finnick sat next to me in Psych class at the beginning of the semester, we sort of connected immediately, and when he invited me to have lunch with him and his buddies, I told them about my breakup with my boyfriend of three years last summer. So, okay, I might not be a connoisseur of ‘steamy love affairs’ like Collin, but I lost my virginity back in high school and not just last weekend, thank you very much.

Finnick rubs his bicep playfully, feigning pain, but he’s laughing. “Well, she hits like a kitten anyway,” he jokes with his friends.

“That’s what you’re into,” chimes in the third member of the group, flashing a mysterious grin before standing to grab a soda from the nearby vending machine. Alex is the enigmatic one of the trio. I haven’t quite figured him out yet, though I’ve always felt at ease around him. The towering six-footer is a gentleman, with short black hair and a slight curve in his dark eyebrows that make him devilishly handsome. He never fails to grab a napkin for me when my hands are full with my lunch tray. And he’s on the college rowing team—his sculpted upper body is hard to miss, even beneath his snug, dark gray T-shirt.

“He really is,” Collin murmurs across the table to me, smirking like a sly fox, and waggles his eyebrows once in Finnick’s direction. “He’s got a thing for wallflowers. Ever since he brought you to our table, he hasn’t looked twice at anyone else. Our Casanova is saving himself for you.”

Finnick sticks his tongue out at me and snags a fry from my plate. Grinning as he pops it into his mouth, he gives an innocent shrug, as if to confirm Collin’s accusation.

Cute, but total bullshit. If Finnick were into me, he would have asked me out weeks ago. I’ve been daydreaming about it since our first conversation. Sadly, it seems I got stuck permanently in Finnick’s friend-zone. But that’s okay. It’s not so bad here, either.

Despite this, I can’t help but gather my long, dark brown hair into a high ponytail, exposing the nape of my neck. I love how Finnick’s gaze always flicks to it for a split second when I do this, like he can’t help himself.

Collin’s eyes do the same. But his linger a bit too long, and he even runs the tip of his tongue over his lips. I’m embarrassed that I can’t look away from his face, which does have an undeniable allure.

As his gaze meets my eyes, still locked on him, the corner of his mouth lifts slightly, and he only forms the words, “Caught you”, with his lips.

Heat rushes through me like molten lava. Oh, God, he’s right! I should be ashamed, but the truth is, Collin not only throws me off balance with his biting remarks, but also with the things he leaves unsaid. He’s the stuff of a girl’s dreams—the dangerous ones. The ones you wouldn’t even tell your best friend.

I’d much rather be fantasizing about Finnick.

Blushing, I lower my gaze and snatch a fry from my plate. Eating is a welcome distraction, and fries are perfect for the job. I give it a quick ketchup dip and pop it into my mouth.

“Is that your ideal size?” Collin teases, making me squint and silently wish for the lunch break to end or for someone else to catch his attention. “I guess I’ll have to tickle you with my pinky finger the first time, huh?”

Heat floods my cheeks and, with my head lowered, I mumble with resignation, “Why are you always so mean to me?” He knows full well how embarrassing these things are for me, even if they’re unnecessary.

“Because I find that rosy blush adorable.”

Startled by the sudden change in his voice, I glance up. Instead of playful, it sounds almost—

“Besides, I need to know what I’m getting into with you.”

—tender. And just like that, Collin softly brushes my cheek with the back of his fingers, causing me to forget how to chew.

“Well, sadly, I have other plans tonight,” he announces a moment later, his tone shifting back to a sturdy resolve. “But if you want to unwind after your exam, you should definitely swing by our place.”

“Your place?” I blurt out, disbelief seeping into my voice as I tuck my knuckles beneath my chair. What a peculiar invitation. “For what?”

“Well, you know…” Collin bats his eyes innocently, and Finnick coughs a little too loudly. “For dinner. A glass of champagne. And some other enticing delights…”

“Knock it off,” Finnick warns him, usually a fan of their antics but quick to draw the line when it comes to certain things. I suspect he just doesn’t want me invading his private life, especially when things are going so smoothly here at the lunch table.

“Yeah, Collin, it’s enough,” Alex adds, his voice oddly subdued as he returns to the table and takes a swig of the lemon soda he’s grabbed.

“What?” Collin scoffs, narrowing his eyes in defiance. “You two have been drooling over her for weeks, just like my grandma’s shepherd dog when a cocker spaniel struts past the fence.”

Oh, God. My jaw drops, as if it’s trying to reach my collarbone. He didn’t really just say that, did he?

“At least I have the guts to admit it.”

Oh yes, he did.

I can’t even swallow anymore; my mouth and throat feel as parched as a lunar crater.

“Collin—” Alex growls, taking a swig from his bottle and shooting a fierce glance at his friend, as if Collin had just trespassed into the inferno itself. But he doesn’t say more.

He doesn’t need to. Collin’s already rising from the table, leaving his untouched sandwich behind. He approaches me, his warm fingers gently lifting my chin and tilting my face toward him. I’m too stunned to resist.

“See you, Juna,” he says, his voice a complex mix of softness, a hint of sin, and a touch of provocation. His gaze flicks to Alex for a split second before he leans down and kisses my right cheek—close enough to brush the corner of my mouth with his lips. “Good luck on the exam,” he murmurs, his eyes locked with mine, before finally letting me go.

I pause, gasping for breath. Finnick gives me a gentle nudge on the shoulder before rising to his feet, his presence acting as a much-needed jolt.

“Let’s get a move on,” he suggests, laying his untouched slice of cake on my tray. “Gotta give you time to prep for that exam, right?”

Somehow, he’s already learned my test-time quirks in the brief moments we’ve shared between classes and meals. I’m all about being prepared—a water bottle, backup pens, sour candies to soothe my nerves, and tissues for any potential disasters.

I tuck the dark cherry cake, wrapped in cellophane, into my backpack for later. As we carry our trays to the dish cart near the windows, Alex grabs Collin’s plate, too. At the towering glass doors, we finally part ways. “See you later, Alex!” I say, offering a casual wave.

He nods, calling out, “Good luck!”

As we head towards the lecture hall, Finnick is uncharacteristically silent. I figure the exam’s got him on edge, too, but when he pulls me aside just before the entrance, letting others pass, I realize there’s something else on his mind. Apparently, he’s been weighing some options. Even now, the choice isn’t fully formed in his eyes, it seems. Still, he asks, “You in?”

I think I know what he’s alluding to, but I need to hear him say it. “In for what?”

“Dinner. At our place.” He shrugs. “Alex is a killer cook. And as for the rest of the night—” A grin spreads across his face, impossible to pin down as either shy or suggestive. It’s a blend of both that I find undeniably alluring. “I’m sure we’ll find something to keep us entertained.”


Chapter 2

I can’t believe I let myself be roped into this. But after that brutal exam, my aversion to cooking, and Finnick’s tempting promise of a decadent dessert, dinner at the guys’ place sounded like a fantastic idea this afternoon. Now, standing in front of their cozy bungalow, light streaming through the windows, I can’t help but second-guess my decision.

My fingers nervously smooth out the black, flirty skater dress I picked for tonight, paired with modest two-inch heels. It features a playful V-neckline in the front and back. I wanted to strike a balance between not-too-fancy and not showing up in my usual ripped jeans and oversized sweatshirts I wear to class. And yes, the ponytail is intentional.

Finnick, ever the classic, sports a crisp white polo—there must be a staple in his wardrobe.

“Hey, no need to stress!” he chuckles, catching me fidgeting, and drapes his arm around my shoulders. His warm hand on my skin sends a shiver of unexpected closeness through me. With a confident stride, he guides me to the brown front door. “I promise we won’t do anything you’re not comfortable with tonight.”

That statement alone is enough to make me anxious. Finnick seems to realize it too because he stops on the doormat, giving me a sheepish, apologetic look. “That came out wrong. I’m sorry. I just meant tonight’s supposed to be chill.” He rubs the back of his neck and flashes a crooked smile as he unlocks the door. “If you’re not having fun, I’ll drive you home after dinner. Your call.”

Though I’ve only known Finnick for a short time and not too intimately, I have no doubt he’s genuine and will keep his word. It’s just something about his aura. He’s still got an air of mystery, but it’s rare to find someone as open and honest as him. He’s a paradox, but I trust him.

Despite this, I cast a hesitant glance back at his sporty VW Golf. He drove me here since I don’t have a car, and I only found out today that the three guys I’ve been lunching with for weeks live off-campus, on the outskirts of town.

“Ready?” he asks gently, holding the door open as I turn back to him.

I adjust my dress straps, nod, and flash a confident smile before following him inside.

The warmly lit hallway smells divine—like fresh spices and lemongrass wafting from the open-concept kitchen and dining area. I set my purse on a console table and call out, “Hi, Alex!” to the dark-haired computer-science student and avid rower stirring a saucepot with a wooden spoon by the stove.

“Hey! Grab a seat and make yourself at home.” He throws me a quick glance over his shoulder before returning to taste the simmering sauce. “Dinner will be ready soon.”

As I survey the room, I’m struck by the stunning, modern decor. Black furniture dominates the space, but the light flooring cleverly offsets the moody vibe. “Do the three of you live here alone?” I ask, thoroughly impressed—not only by the design but by how spotless everything is. It’s not what I’d expect from a bachelor pad.

“Yeah. This place belonged to Collin’s grandma. She passed a couple years back and left it to him,” Finnick shares, pulling out a chair for me at the impressive walnut dining table.

I glance around again, wiggling my toes in my sandals as I settle into the plush leather seat. “So, is there a German Shepherd here?” I remember Collin’s story from earlier.

“Nope,” Finnick chuckles, and a melodic laugh drifts from the stove. He moves into the kitchen and grabs some plates from the cabinet. “That’s his other grandma. She’s still kicking it in Santa Barbara.”

“Ah, got it.” I exhale, relieved. “So, no slobbery kisses under the table.”

Both boys pivot towards me, their faces a mix of shock and amusement, as if I’ve caught them red-handed. Seriously? It wasn’t that scandalous. And I didn’t mean for it to be.

They exchange a loaded glance, and Alex mouths “dining table,” arching his eyebrows suggestively before pressing his lips together in appreciation. He’s clearly just hatched some cheeky plan. I have no idea what he’s thinking, and I don’t particularly care, so I don’t bother asking.

As Finnick busies himself arranging dishes, napkins, and cutlery on the sleek marble countertop, I get up and carry everything to the dining room, setting the table. Elegant light gray woven placemats already wait. Discreet ceiling spotlights cast a warm glow, causing the silverware to gleam like it would in a swanky restaurant. A candleholder with two white candles and a slender vase holding a single dark red rose adorn the gray felt runner. The ambiance is perfection.

For now, I leave the three plates in the kitchen, where Alex is plating a mouthwatering pasta dish. It’s pasta smothered in a velvety salmon sauce, garnished with delicate lemongrass and fresh tarragon. My mouth waters just looking at it.

Upon Alex’s nod, I light the candles, and a loud pop jolts me. Finnick has uncorked a bottle of champagne, and the luxurious liquid foams wildly. He catches what he can with his mouth, taking a generous swig.

“Really, Fin? Show some class! We want some, too!” Alex chides, snatching the bottle from him. He wipes the opening with a dish towel and pours the effervescent drink into three elegant flutes. Handing me one, he keeps one for himself, and Finnick raises his in a toast after placing the bottle in a silver champagne cooler.

“Here’s to a truly unforgettable getting-to-know-you,” he croons, a mischievous grin dancing on his lips.

Alex clinks his glass against mine, gazing into my eyes with a hint of mischief and a whole lot of charm. “I’m glad you’re finally here.”

I think ‘finally’ doesn’t quite fit, but I let it go and bring our three glasses together with a warm smile. “Cheers.” And we all take a sip.

Wow. This stuff is leagues beyond your average supermarket champagne. It’s almost like sweet nectar. Impressed, I take another sip from my glass, then we sit down to eat, and the evening truly begins.

A candlelit dinner for three—I’d never experienced anything quite like it. No one had ever cooked for me who wasn’t my grandma or my mom. This feels so exclusive. And now, I’m beyond grateful I picked the lovely dress over the worn-out sweater and sneakers, even though Alex is still rocking his earlier ensemble.

The food is as divine as it appears, practically melting in my mouth. Spicy little toasts accompany the meal, and Alex dishes out generous seconds for all. He plans to save the leftovers for Collin when he arrives later.

After dissecting our exam with Professor Hastings, Finnick and I find ourselves eager for a break. Alex, clearing our empty plates, chimes in with a suggestion. “Let’s play a game,” he says, feigning a pout. “One where I can actually join the conversation, and we can get to know each other better.”

I’m game. “What do you have in mind?”

“Three Nuts for Collin…”

The words spark an immediate fit of laughter. “What kind of game is that?” I almost hiccup.

Finnick smirks as he brings the champagne cooler to the table. “We invented it for those nights when Collin was being insufferable.”

“Alright, so how do you play?”

Alex refills our champagne glasses before explaining. “You reveal three things about yourself: something cool, something funny, and a spicy detail”—he winks flirtatiously, his dark lashes framing mischievous eyes—“from your love life.”

Oh boy. I’m never good at games like this.

“Anyone with a matching detail has to drink.”

I nod, relieved that the rules are simple enough. “Deal.” Since the guys want me to start, I spin my champagne glass, deep in thought.

“New rule,” Finnick declares, chuckling. “No more than ten seconds to think.”

Jeez! I try to come up with something, but—

“And go!” Alex commands.

Their intense gazes make me blurt out the first things that come to mind. “Uh, I’ve bungee jumped before. I was in the audience when the principal rip one during a speech. And, um—” I scramble for something. “I’ve never, um, sucked dick.”

Oh, no.

No, no, no!

Instant regret washes over me. This can’t have happened!

Finnick and Alex stare at me, thunderstruck. Then they burst into laughter so raucous, I’m pretty sure it isn’t about the principal’s flatulence.

“Hey! You pressured me!” I protest, my in face burning flames, which I try to hide behind my hands. “That was cruel!” And it’s so mortifying! I don’t usually share such things with strangers—or even friends. They caught me off guard, and my choice of words left much to be desired. “I don’t want to play with you guys anymore.”

Their laughter intensifies, and Finnick nearly collapses on the table. “Please don’t say that!” he pleads between gasps.

“Yeah, we’ll just find another game for you, promise,” Alex chokes out, already holding his belly.

“Knock it off!” I grumble, but a smile creeps in anyway. I fidget with the stem of my glass. “You guys are impossible.”

“And you’re adorable,” Finnick retorts, finally stifling his laughter. He rests his chin in his hand, fixing me with a roguish gaze. “But now, a completely different question comes to mind.”

Alex follows suit, and I feel my unease grow. “What?” I ask hesitantly.

In unison, they ask, “Why not?”

Their implications are crystal clear, but it’s not a topic I’d like to discuss. Especially not now!

“Come on,” Alex teases. “We won’t tell anyone.”

Cringing, I shrug lightly. “I don’t know why. It just hasn’t happened yet.”

“Wait, your ex of three years never asked you for a blowjob?” Finnick exclaims, eyes wide with disbelief. I guess that’s a big deal to guys.

“Well, yeah, he did,” I confess, sinking lower into my seat, shoulders pressing against the backrest.


“But nothing.” This starts feeling like one of those awkward lunchtime chats with Collin.

Alex’s eyes widen even further. “You left the poor guy high and dry?”

I wouldn’t exactly put it that way.

“What stopped you?” Finnick presses, as if the fate of every elephant in Africa depended on this conversation.

Clasping the stem of my champagne flute, my hands feel shaky and sweaty. My shy gaze drifts to the ceiling, cheeks burning. It takes me a moment to mumble, “I just wasn’t brave enough.”

When I glance back at the guys, Finnick’s face softens into an “Aww.” His smile holds a hint of pity. Alex, however, studies me like I’m some complex algorithm. Classic computer science major.

Eventually, Alex stands, collecting the champagne glasses and taking mine. As I watch the empty space between my fingers, a thought strikes me, though. “Hey, shouldn’t you both be drinking now?” Those were the rules, right? And I doubt either of them has ever given a blowjob.

“You said you didn’t want to play anymore.” Alex smirks then starts the sleek espresso machine in the kitchen. “Let’s have coffee.” And almost inaudibly, he adds, “I really need one now.”

Sighing, I turn to Finnick, whose teasing has vanished at last. Instead, he nods toward the living room. “Come on.” With a hand on my back, he guides me to the plush, dark gray leather couch. “It’s cozier here.”

I settle onto the luxurious sofa, with a soft green blanket draped across the back. Finnick returns to the kitchen and, at my request, whips up a cappuccino. I take advantage of the solitude to regain my composure and forget the mortifying conversation. Thankfully, my flushed cheeks begin to cool.

When Finnick reappears with my aromatic Italian coffee, he perches on the adjacent two-seater. As an afterthought, Alex brings a plate of Giottos, adding it to the bowl of vibrant fruit. He sinks into the roomy armchair opposite me and downs his espresso in a single gulp.

I love these Italian sweets and can’t help but savor the delicate treat. Finnick and Alex, however, seem more drawn to the fruits, though their appetite appears to have waned. Alex just sniffs his orange and idly spins it, while Finnick twirls the stem of his red apple until it detaches.

“You guys seem more into playing with dessert than eating it, huh?” I quip, attempting to rekindle the conversation. My remark earns a wicked grin from Alex and a smoldering glare from Finnick, making me feel like I’m on fire. Oops, did I say something wrong? My mouth turns parched under their scrutiny, and I cautiously take a sip of cappuccino to wet my lips.

“Playing with it…devouring it… Why not both?” Alex purrs, his thumb stroking the curve of the orange so deliberately and tenderly that I can’t tear my eyes away. Images of him performing the same caress on a woman’s body flood my mind.

Oh God, I’m suddenly hot. It must be the earlier conversation. They’re just trying to tease me.

Just then, a cell phone blares a rock ringtone in the kitchen. Tense as I am, I practically vault off the couch. Laughing, Alex rises and says casually, “Chill. It’s mine.” As I settle back down, he approaches the kitchen counter where his black phone lies on the marble top, glancing at the display before answering. “Hey, what’s up?” Listening to the person on the line, he turns back to us, watching me with a slyly conspicuous, tilted head. “I’d say things are going well.” Next, his gaze drifts to the ceiling, and he chuckles nonchalantly. He then perches on the countertop, crossing his legs in a tailor’s pose. “Yes, we’re behaving, and no, she hasn’t fled the house screaming, if that’s what you mean.” His eyes fall back on me, smirking impishly. “But you should’ve been here for dinner. You would’ve had a blast.”

Oh. So, that’s probably Collin on the other end. The insinuation about my precarious secret was uncalled for.

But as Alex’s eyes suddenly darken, like a wolf in the woods that’s just spotted its prey, a shiver races up my spine. Frozen, I’m ensnared in his gaze. He does this so much better than Finnick. I’ve noticed at the university that Alex effortlessly commands a room when he enters. He’s like a dark sun that everything revolves around.

“Ugh…it’s not that simple,” he confides in Collin, scowling a little into nowhere. Then he sighs deeply and smiles at me. “Well, it’s because she’s just too damn sweet. And so innocent.”

At this point, I can’t tell if that’s a compliment or an insult. And I have no idea how to quell the strange, hot fluttering in my stomach because of him.

Alex confuses me like hell!

But right now, nothing seems to faze him. “You should see Fin,” he continues. “The guy’s seriously getting twitchy because he can’t figure out how to make a move on her. He’ll probably devour all the decorations if this keeps up.”

Slowly, I turn my head toward Finnick. And my world shatters. He’s reclining on the couch, legs sprawled wide, clutching only the apple core he’s annihilated in the past thirty seconds. Seductively, he laps up the last droplet of juice from his bottom lip. His chestnut-brown eyes lock onto me, conspiring with his devilish grin to foretell an intriguing twist in tonight’s tale. I catch my breath for a second.

Then I realize Alex has finished his call and I pivot to face him. He sets the phone down on the marble countertop next to him, leans forward, and weaves his fingers together as he rests his forearms on his knees.

He doesn’t expect me to—? No way.

“Okay, guys, hold on!” I stammer, standing up and raising my hands defensively. I’m laughing now, but I’m not sure why—I’m definitely not in the mood for it. Maybe it’s because I read somewhere that laughter can relieve tension, and Lord knows I’m feeling tense after everything that happened during dinner. “The food was amazing, and I appreciate the invite. But whatever twisted idea you guys have in mind, I’m not your girl.” I back away from the couch, creating ample distance between myself and Alex as I make my way to the door. Tonight is definitely not the night for any kind of intimate adventure with Juna.

“We don’t have anything twisted planned,” Finnick protests, appearing slightly flustered. But as he rises and advances toward me, I dramatically extend my right arm to halt him.

“Hold it right there!” I order, which is pretty ridiculous considering he’s my ride home. Ugh, forget it, I’ll take the bus. Frantically, I spin around to locate the exit. Where’s my purse?

“Juna!” a sharp voice calls out from behind me, making me jump and freeze in my tracks. Hesitantly, I glance back over my shoulder.

“What the hell was that about?” Finnick hisses at his friend.

Alex shrugs, sheepishly. “Sorry. It just slipped out. Force of habit.” Then he extends his open hand toward me, his gaze as tender as it had been when he told Collin on the phone how innocent I was. “Come here. Please…”

Taking two deep breaths, I hesitantly approach him at the kitchen island.

“Damn, things really spiraled, huh? To be honest, your revelation earlier was quite the surprise and threw us off track. Besides, it’s usually Collin reeling in the ladies, not Finnick. And they’re always clued in.”


With a baffled look, my eyes widen to the size of truck tires, while my heart pounds a riot beat. “So, what’s the deal here?” I whisper, my voice barely there and tinged with caution. Do I even want to know?

Alex cradles my hands in his, the warmth of his fingers mirroring the tenderness in his gaze. In contrast, I feel like I’ve been touched by a spectral chill.

“It’s just some friendly fun.” His sincerity is palpable, making it seem like there’s really nothing more to it. “Let loose. Nobody’s gonna hurt you or make you do anything you don’t wanna do.” He leans into those last words, lacing his fingers with mine playfully as if the enjoyment starts right here, right now. A genuine smile graces his lips. “It’s all about pleasure. A whole lot of yours, and just a smidge of ours.”

“And if I’m not into it?” I question, feeling torn. To be honest, it doesn’t sound half bad. Alex hasn’t given me any red flags that they’re aiming for some twisted BDSM situation. And if no one’s expecting me to go down on them or give up the goods in the back, a little adventure could be fun. It’s been ages since my last time—though, in relationships, sex is often more about routine than adventure.

The thing is, I’m not sure I can handle double the attention. But then again, they’re both incredibly hot, and I genuinely like them. Am I being a total prude?

“If you’re not into it, no worries,” Alex reassures me, his thumb soothingly stroking my hand. “We’ll drop it, Fin will take you home, and we’ll all meet up for lunch at the university tomorrow as usual.”

As usual…

I know he didn’t mean to wound with those words. But they ignite something in me. I don’t want to be ordinary. Not in his eyes. And especially not in Finnick’s.