“You sure Evan doesn’t mind me being here?”
“He probably hates that you’re staying the night, but he’ll get over it.” I take a step toward him and pat him on the shoulder, marveling at the solid feel of muscle beneath my palm, beneath the thick fabric of his sweatshirt. Has he gotten taller since the last time I saw him? Broader? He’s so big, standing next to him makes me feel small. “Do you need anything else?” I remove my hand from his shoulder, wishing I could touch him more.
“Nah. I’m gonna change, brush my teeth and go to sleep.” He smiles, looking cute, like a little boy and my heart flutters. When he reaches for the hem of his sweatshirt I step away, watch in silent fascination as he pulls the fabric over his head, taking the T-shirt he’s wearing beneath it upward so I catch a glimpse of his flat, perfect stomach, the little trail of dark hair that starts just under his navel.
I’m breathless, my skin is tingling and when he tosses the sweatshirt onto the couch, I start to walk backwards. “Okay well, good night.” I need to get away from him before I do something really stupid.
Like jump him.
“Night, Reverie,” he calls after me as I hurry to my bedroom. Glancing over my shoulder, I find him watching me with that penetrating, thoughtful gaze and I turn away, practically tripping over my feet in the hall. I rush into my room, shutting the door quietly before I slump against it, closing my eyes and pressing my forehead against the rough wood.
My feelings for him haven’t stopped. I still want him. I’m still in love with him. So why am I denying myself from being with him? Because I’ve changed and I’m worried he won’t accept me for who I really am? And because my life is so crazy the last thing I need is another complication to muck it all up?
Valid reasons, but why would I deprive myself from being with him? He’s the only one who understood me. Who listened to me. Who cared about me.
I think he still does.
Cracking open my eyes, I push away from the doorway and shut off the light before I crawl into bed. I lay there in the dark, listening to him move about inside the bathroom, which is right next to my bedroom. He finishes brushing his teeth before he exits the room and I swear I can feel him standing on the other side of my closed door, waiting. Listening for any sign of life coming from within.
I can’t move. I’m frozen, holding my breath, waiting for him to knock on the door, to turn the knob, anything to show that he wants to see me. I want him to both respect my brother’s wishes and defy them. I want him overcome with need yet cautious. I want…everything.
All of him.
Disappointment crashes through me when I realize he is definitely obeying Evan’s wishes. He doesn’t sneak into my room, doesn’t attempt to talk to me, nothing. I should be happy. Pleased that he doesn’t want to upset anyone.
Instead, I’m sad.
Rolling over on my side, I punch the pillow beneath my head and settle in for the night, willing myself to fall asleep. I get to spend pretty much the entire weekend with him. Maybe we can work it out then since we’ll have plenty of time. But for now I’ll have to settle for Nick visiting me…
Only in my dreams.REVERIE READING ORDER