by Claire Contreras
He was my older brother’s best friend.
He was never supposed to be mine.
I thought we would get it out of our system and move on.
One of us did.
One of us left.
Now he’s back, looking at me like he wants to devour me. And all those feelings I’d turned into anger are brewing into something else, something that terrifies me.
He broke my heart last time.
This time he’ll obliterate it.
Excerpt #1: Meet Oliver & Elle
What’s wrong?” I asked as she wiped her tears and shook her head. Her face was no longer wet, save for the dip over the top of her lips. I’d never noticed how full they were before then. I’d never noticed how rosy and defined her cheekbones were, or the way her eyebrows turned into a slight frown when she looked at me. I’d never paid attention to how ridiculously alluring her eyes were. The different shades made them look like the marbles I used to collect when I was a kid. My gaze drifted down to her neck, where I noticed her swallow, and then over her tits, which were now full, not like the last time I’d seen her in a bathing suit when she was still flat chested. Jesus Christ, this girl was hot.
The clearing of her throat made my eyes snap back to hers, putting an end to their voyeuristic journey down her now grown up body.
“You’re so grown up,” I said before I could stop myself and cringed at the voice I said it in, all needy and husky and fuck my life, desperate. I expected her to roll her eyes, the way she normally did when I said anything to her, but this girl, this freaking girl looked at me and smiled the sexiest smile I’d ever seen. And I had just been at a party full of hot girls smiling, but Elle’s was slow and sensual when she wasn’t trying to make it be. It was just her smile, the one I’d been seeing for as long as I could remember. Putting that smile on this grown up version of her should be down right illegal.
“Are you hitting on me?” she asked, with a sultriness in her voice that surprised the hell out of me.
“That depends,” I said, inching to sit closer to her, somehow completely forgetting that I was in my best friend’s house and this was his little sister. The thought of Vic finding us crossed my mind, but I pushed it down. In that moment, under a sky full of stars with a sad Estelle, all I could think about was making her smile.
“What does it depend on?” she whispered.
“Whether or not it’s working,” I whispered back, lifting my hand and running it down her back, a motion I shouldn’t have done because now I knew Elle wasn’t wearing a bra under the oversized sweater she had on and that knowledge woke up everything in my lower region.
“Look at me, Elle,” he says, using the deliciously low demanding voice that once made my toes curl and my eyes roll back, and I have no choice but to tilt my head to give him my attention. “Forget those lame guys you’re dating.
Let me take you out.”
My heart, if possible, spikes further in my chest, overriding all warning of the impending chaos that’s sure to come. I try turning my attention to the poster hanging beside me, but the kissing couple makes me look back at him and the deep green eyes that are burning into mine. My stomach does a flip-flop, the way it always does when he looks at me that way and I try to take my hands back because these feelings are too scary for me to deal with right now, but he holds them tighter, bringing them up to his mouth and kissing the tip of my ring finger. Why did he pick that finger to kiss? I pull harder and he finally lets my hand drop.
“I can’t,” I say, my voice coming out hoarse.
A myriad of emotions flash in his eyes before they settle on determination and I’m forced to take a step back, away from his scent, away from his warmth, and into the cold closet behind me.
I sigh, finally looking away, back down to his naked feet. “I just can’t.” He knows why not. He shouldn’t ask me that question. “What’s Vic doing, anyway?”
His body moves into mine so quickly that I don’t have time to react to his large hands clutching my arms or his face dropping until we’re nose to nose. I just stare, wide eyed, waiting for his lips to fall over mine, but they don’t. He just looks at me, breathes on me, lets me breathe on him, and he groans. And that fucking groan travels from his body into mine and crawls into the core of me, draping over every fiber inside of me.
“What do you want, Oliver?” I whisper against his lips. “What do you want from me? You want to kiss me? You want to fuck me? You want to come into my life like the hurricane that you are and tear down everything I’ve rebuilt and disappear just as quickly?”
His lips brush slightly against mine, just a breath of a touch as he stands there, crowding me like he’s about to devour me. But he won’t. He never goes in for the kill. He just lures me, casts me, reels me in and pulls away. His hands drop and his face leaves mine with the same quickness and I feel a pang deep inside me that I wish wasn’t there.
“I’m sorry,” he says quietly, shaking his head in a movement that makes his hair sway back and forth. His eyes are soft on mine now and I can almost hear his thoughts: I should have never kissed her. I should have never—
My brows rise in surprise at the apology, though. There are so many things I can say to him, but the sudden defeated look in his eyes keeps my mouth shut. Finally, I exhale and push off the wall, standing in front of him, with enough distance between us that we can’t reach out and touch each other.
“It’s okay just… don’t do it again. The kiss the other day was a mistake…” I stop talking and walk past him, putting my bra away and sorting through my underwear drawer like it has some sort of hidden treasure or something. This time when I feel him come up behind me, I drop my head and exhale. He really needs to stop sneaking up behind me.
“Oli—“ I start and gasp when I feel his lips on the back of my neck, soft and warm. My heart thunders and my hands begin to shake inside the drawer so I close my eyes and focus on breathing. He drops another kiss right beside that spot. I never knew the back of my neck was so sensitive. The feeling sends a ripple of sensation down my arms and through my body.
“It wasn’t a mistake,” he says in a husky whisper that makes my flesh break out in goose bumps. “You’ve never been a mistake. You want me to tell your brother that I want to take you out? Is that what it would take?”
Claire Contreras graduated with her BA in Psychology from Florida International University. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, two little boys, and three dogs.
Her favorite past times are: daydreaming, writing, and reading.
She has been described as a random, sarcastic, crazy girl with no filter.
Life is short, and it’s more bitter than sweet, so she tries to smile as often as her face allows. She enjoys stories with happy endings, because life is full of way too many unhappy ones.
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