Easy Nights (Boudreaux #6)

By: Kristen Proby

Book Six in the Boudreaux Series


Fifteen Years Ago…


“You cut your hair,” Ben says as he comes into the dining room. He stops short when he sees me, a frown covering his handsome face.

He noticed!

I weave my fingertips through my dark brown hair and give him a tentative smile. “Just yesterday.”


I frown at his harsh tone.

“Because I wanted to.”

He sits next to me, like he does every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, and I can’t help but take a deep breath, absorbing his smell.

Ben always smells amazing. Like sunshine and hard work and… sexy.

“Van?” he says, getting my attention.

“I’m sorry, what?”

He shakes his head, a smile tickling his lips now. “You’re such a daydreamer.”

Only when you’re around.

I would never blatantly say anything like that. Flirting with my older brother’s best friend isn’t the smart thing to do. Eli and Beau might make Ben stay away from me, and that just can’t happen.

I love him so much it hurts.

“What do you think of my hair?”

He shrugs one shoulder and grabs my math textbook, opening to the chapter we’re currently working on. I am horrific at math, but Ben is a genius at it, and he’s been helping me with my math homework for the past three months.

It’s heaven.

“It’s fine.”

“You don’t like it.”

He shrugs again. “I liked it long.”

For half a second, I regret chopping it off, taking it from almost reaching my butt to just barely reaching my shoulders.

It’s so much lighter!

But then I let it roll off of me because I do like it. I have to live with it. No man is ever going to tell me how I should wear my hair. This isn’t the dark ages.

“Did you do your homework from last night?” he asks, and I nod, handing him my notebook so he can look over my work.

I’ve never loved math so much in my life.

He’s biting the inside of his cheek as he looks over my paper and when he’s finished, he turns those blue eyes to me with a smile. “You’re picking it up really well. You won’t even need me once I leave next month.”

And just like that, my happy mood crumbles like a sandcastle under the tide.

Ben’s leaving. He’s going away to college, and the closer the time comes, the more panicked I am. I don’t want him to go.

Ben nudges me with his elbow.

“I’ll still need you,” I mumble, not able to look him in the eyes because I’m afraid that he’ll see right through me, and he’ll be repulsed at the idea of his best friend’s little sister having the hots for him.

Or, far worse, he’ll feel sorry for me, and the thought of that makes me want to throw up.

“I’ll check in on you when I’m home on my breaks,” he says and sets my notebook in front of me as he turns to this week’s chapter.

For the next two hours, he walks me through the steps that the teacher showed us in class, but Ben’s voice is so much easier to listen to, and he explains things thoroughly, making sure I understand before we move on.

He’s an excellent teacher. In fact, he’s going to college to be a teacher. He will rock it.

I just wish he didn’t have to go so far away to college. Beau’s been there for a year already, and Eli and Ben are going to the same one, and they’re all going to rent an apartment together.

I frown and try not to think about all of the college girls that will be around, hitting on Ben. Will he sleep with them? Date them?

Eventually marry one of them?

Jesus, I hope not.

“Why can’t you focus today?” Ben finally asks, bringing my attention back to the here and now.

“Sorry,” I whisper.

“What’s wrong, Vanny?”

I roll my eyes. “I hate it when you call me that.”

His lips twitch in humor. “I know. Talk to me. What’s wrong?”

“Maybe I just didn’t get enough sleep last night.” It’s not a lie; I didn’t sleep well last night.

“Hmm.” He studies me closely for a second. “You look well rested.”

“I’m fine.”

He tilts his head to the side. “Don’t ever lie to me, Savannah.”

His eyes are narrowed, and between that hot look and his firm voice, well, I guess you’d say I’m all kinds of turned on.

So of course Eli pokes his head around the corner, interrupting us.

“Ben, are you going to come shoot hoops with us?”

“Yeah, we’re almost done here.”

Eli nods and disappears, and I want to beg Ben not to go. Don’t go shoot hoops, don’t go away to college.