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Prologue I watched as my beautiful child played by the clover patch I had been running my hands across. He looked up at me, smiled his perfect smile, and then he rushed to me and plopped his head on my lap. He looked up at me with his gorgeous hazel eyes, with their beautiful little flecks of gold. To me, he was perfect in every way. I smiled at him and I pulled him into my arms, holding him lovingly as I
watched the water on the lake seem to stand still like a mirror. He pulled his chubby hand to his mouth and began to suck his thumb in exhaustion. “I guess it’s nap time for somebody,” I said looking up at my handsome husband. He smiled, the corners of his crystal blue eyes crinkling. He began to gather the remnants of our picnic as he caught my eye and winked flirtatiously, letting me know he was always thinking of me. A smile spread across my face. “I love you,” he whispered,
letting little Andy fall asleep in my arms. He gently kissed his forehead and then mine. “Are you ready to get going?” he asked quietly. “Yes,” I said as I slowly stood up, holding our son. Our son. I stood there looking at his beautiful face with unconditional love. Chance pulled his arm around my shoulders, “He looks just like his father,” he managed to whisper, his voice full of emotion. “Yes...yes he does,” I smiled,
thinking of Drew.
Chapter 1 Four years earlier… The first memory I have of Chance being the boy that I liked was when I was about five. He had picked me a flower after I fell off my bike and scraped my knee. He’s always been sweet like that. The first time that I thought he was the “cutest boy ever,” I was about eleven and we were having our pictures taken by our parents as we got ready for
our first day of middle school. He smiled on cue, and I finally understood why all the girls in school wanted to be my friend and hang out with Chance when they came over for sleepovers. The first time I thought a guy was hot, was the day his older brother Drew got in trouble for fighting. I was about fourteen and we were freshmen in high school. Chance and I had just gotten to his house and were about to start our homework when we heard the arguing from downstairs. Drew was raising his voice with his parents and claimed the
other guy deserved what he got. I lied and told Chance that I needed a bathroom break and I had eased out into the hallway to peek, just in time to hear Drew bounding up the stairs toward his room. We locked eyes and I knew if I ever had the chance to act on the electricity that flowed through the air in that moment, I was in big trouble. He grinned knowingly at me, accenting his dimples, and then went to his room. That was it. Just like that. If I didn’t talk about how fast my heart was beating and my head was spinning, you
would never understand how it felt to have him look at me like that. There was almost a hunger in his eyes. My heart was beating fast enough to make me light headed and I grabbed the doorframe for stability. Drew was everything I could never have. He was bad and older, and he was Chance’s brother. Oh dear Lord, was he sexy. And because he was older, and although they shared the same genes and similar good looks, Drew had filled out more. He had the broader shoulders and the bigger arms. He was trouble for
any girl’s heart. I kept our little exchange to myself, vowing never to tell anyone. Thankfully, God had a better plan than to let me be distracted by both Mitchell boys at the same time. Drew ended up moving away to college. To be exact, he moved about four hours away, with minimal weekend and holiday visits. That was his choice. He was getting into being a frat guy, I guess. His absence left me to drool over his little brother and my childhood best friend. Chance was a whole other problem, in a good way, because he
helped me forget the way Drew had always made feel. Consumed. ********** I was deep in thought as I watched him walk toward my lunch table. It was like in a movie when everything around you freezes and it’s just you and him. That’s how he made me feel…as if time stopped when he was around. Chance had a reputation for
being a ladies’ man, but I didn’t care. I still let him flatter me and I still let him unload his life and problems on me. Having Chance divulge his conquests to me hurt, because it wasn’t me, but it meant that I had his attention. Any attention was better than no attention, right? Of course, he had to stop and talk to at least ten other people and high-five some jocks from the football team, as he made his way across the high school cafeteria.
He was the all-American guy. He was my crush, not to mention, next-door neighbor, childhood playmate, and best guy friend. Yeah, that’s Chance Tyler Mitchell in a nutshell. Well, something like that. “Hey Sonny!” he said as he plopped himself into the seat next to me. Sigh. Sonny is my inescapable nickname. I don’t blame anyone. My name is Sonnenschein Maria Schneider. Who wants to pronounce that mouthful? Anyhow, my name means Sunshine, so, Sonny it is. He lightly
squeezed my shoulders as he looked down at the papers in front of me. “Hey Chance,” I smiled as I turned to face him. “Shouldn’t you be with your jock friends or something?” I teased. “I’m gonna ignore your sassy mouth and forgive you, but only if you help me with something,” he smiled that gorgeous Mitchell smile. I melted. I was at his mercy. He could have asked me to set the school on fire at that moment and I probably would have.
“What do you want?” “So, Drew is supposed to be coming home for the weekend and I was hoping you could help with a little get together for him. He hasn’t been home in a long time and I wanted to surprise him with a party. You’re really good at planning and stuff like that, so, I figured you were the best one to help me. Anyhow, I was thinking we could have it at Chris’ place since his parents would be out of town.” “I’m good at planning. So, that’s like a compliment then?” I laughed
lightly, referencing his comment. “Yes, of course, Sonny. Why wouldn’t I compliment you? You’re amazing,” he shook his head and looked away as if embarrassed to say something sweet. My stomach tied in knots hoping there was more to his compliment. “I’ll help. No problem. So what all do you need me to do?” “I was thinking, since you and Drew are pretty good friends, maybe you can find a reason to drive him around until everyone shows up and then I can
just text you and you two can show up to a crazy busy party,” he looked to me hopeful, seeking approval, that his idea would work. I shrugged. I’m sure I could hang out with a hot guy for an hour or so while they got everything ready. No harm in that, right? “So, you’ll do it?” He asked hopeful. “Of course, Chance. Anything for you guys.” He grinned big and hugged me, wrapping me in his spiced cologne. I sighed to myself.
“Thank you so much, Sonny! You’re the best friend anyone could ever have.” “That’s me, best friend,” I said, forcing a smile. “I knew I could count on you,” he smiled as he stood up. He planted a quick friendly kiss on my forehead and jogged toward his group of friends. I sighed as I shook my head and turned my attention back to my apple and math book. Finals were coming up and I had a lot of work to do. I had to work a little
harder if I wanted to ensure my spot as Valedictorian and secure scholarships, to ease the financial burden on my parents. We weren’t struggling by any means. We lived in a beautiful suburb and had the manicured lawns with picket fences throughout the neighborhood, but if I could use my academic achievements to cover parts of my college education, then why not help my parents out? “Why do you torture yourself like that?” Snapping from my thoughts of Chance and scholarships, I turned to my
best friend Maggie, who had sat down while I was lost in my thoughts. “What?” “Oh please Sonny, I have been your best friend since the 6th grade. I have no idea why you do that to yourself. Just tell him how you feel about him. You might be surprised. Maybe he feels the same way and just hasn’t told you either.” “I can’t do that. He is way too good for me and besides, you see the kinds of girls he goes after,” I said as I nodded toward the table of blonde
cheerleaders, “I am just another plain girl, lost in a sea of normal. Brown hair and brown eyes. Booooorrrring.” “He is far from being too good for you. I don’t think you are boring at all. I think you are gorgeous. Also, I think that you have amazing hair, regardless of the color. As a matter of fact… I’m jealous of your hair and mad at myself for cutting mine off. I love the way your curls just kind of bounce all over your back. As for your plain eyes, they are far from plain. I wish I had brown eyes. You can wear any eye
shadow you want and you have lashes that never end. With my green eyes, when I wear purple eye shadow, I look like I have a black eye!” She laughed, “Sonny, you are the one that is too good for him. I hope one day you can see that.” I smiled at her, “You have got to be the best friend anyone could ever have.” I playfully nudged her with my shoulder. “I am, and that is why I gotta get going, so you can finish that math and then work on whatever you need to get
those scholarships you’re always talking about,” she smiled and stood up to leave, but then turned, “As for Chance, if he doesn’t get it, he doesn’t deserve you. Cliché, I know, but true. Have a good weekend.” “Thanks Maggie,” I said as I bit into my apple and worked on a math problem that probably wouldn’t even matter in the real world. Chance and I carpooled, so I was usually stuck waiting for him to finish football practice after school. I
was sitting on the bleachers, facing the football field, tapping away on my laptop. That day, I was finishing some college applications while I waited on Chance. I took a break to look up and glanced up just in time to see Chance pull the bottom of his shirt up to wipe the sweat from his eyes, exposing his perfect set of abs. The older he got, the more he resembled Drew, filling out in all the right places. I felt a slight blush as I quickly looked back down to my computer screen. I had to quit thinking
about him. Both of them. It was becoming distracting. Oh…but what a distraction, I smiled to myself. “So, Sonny, do you have a minute?” I looked up. Her perfect blonde hair and piercing blue eyes were practically in my face. She looked like a Greek goddess and there I sat looking like a Greek tragedy. I fidgeted with my sloppy ponytail as I smiled to her. I gently shut my laptop and gave her my full attention, attempting to wipe
the expression from my face, giving her a clean slate, “Sure, what’s up Ashley?” “Look, I know that you and the Mitchell brothers are, like, best friends. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind, maybe, well uh, hinting to Chance that I would be interested in going out with his best friend Chris sometime to like a movie or something? Or maybe, that I would like him to ask me out to do anything, really…” she waited, absentmindedly playing with her pompoms, running her fingers through them as if they were hair. I tried not to roll my
eyes at her as I took a deep breath. It was difficult to not like Ashley. What was not to like? She was gorgeous, funny, and popular. I mean, cheerleaders had a reputation, but who knows how much of those rumors were true. Besides, most of all, she was a genuinely good person. If a student needed help with a problem in class, she was the first to help and if someone was walking down the hallway and dropped a book, she was the first one to rush over and scurry to help them pick things up. “I will talk to Chance on the
way home, but I’m sure Chris likes you. He’d be blind not to,” I saw her face light up like a Christmas tree. “Oh! Wow Sonny! Really?” I could practically see her planning their wedding in her head. I nodded to reassure her. She glanced over her shoulder to see Chance walking toward us. “Thank you,” she whispered as she walked away quickly to join her friends. I guess it was like a fairy tale. Guy likes girl, girl likes guy, guy and girl get together. I groaned at how whimsical
it all seemed. “So, what was that all about?” he smiled, leaning on the side of the bleachers, as he watched her walk away. I felt a tinge of jealousy watching him check her out. “I’ll tell you on the way home,” I smiled, half-heartedly, gathering my things and shoving them into my backpack with a huff. “Let’s go. I have a lot of homework to do,” I began to walk toward his Jeep, slinging my backpack
over my shoulder. Brilliant oranges, reds, and a tinge of purple painted across the sky as the sun was beginning to set. The whole irony of my heart breaking and the sun setting was almost too much. I took a deep breath as I willed the tears away. Why didn’t he look at me the way he had, checking out Ashley? With a blink, one made its way down my cheek and I quickly wiped it away. I hopped into my seat in the Jeep and waited for him to get in. He started the Jeep and pulled
out of the parking lot slowly. We drove in silence for a few minutes until the quiet in the cab of his Jeep was growing more uncomfortable with each passing second. He didn’t want to initiate conversation and I knew what he wanted to know, so I decided to stop prolonging the inevitable. Reluctantly, I briefed him about my conversation. “Ashley really wants to go out with Chris and she was hoping that maybe you could talk to him,” I said out loud, staring out the window, into the
early evening. I tried my hardest to hide the sadness from my voice and thankfully, he was too excited to notice. “Yeah, sure, whatever,” he laughed, “anyways, so back to the Drew party. Chris is going to check with his parents and then we should be set. If not, I have a backup plan to ask Shayne,” He was quiet for a moment as he tapped the steering wheel and glanced at me quickly. “What’s wrong Sonny, are you okay?” I guess my emotions were all over my face.
I turned toward him, trying my best at convincing him I was fine, “Nothing. I am just a little stressed trying to get everything done. I just wish this year was over so I could move away from here.” “Awe come on Sunshine, it’s not that bad here, is it?” “No, not really. I just need a change. I need to get away from small town life, that’s all. Sometimes suburbia and her perfections are too much for me. I want more,” I said. Really, though, I needed new, not more. I needed a change
of scenery. Some place that didn’t involve being near either of the Mitchell brothers. “I know what you mean. Just a few months left of football. I only get a few more looks from scouts and then we see what happens with college,” he smiled. Of course he was great at everything he did. He was an amazing football player and he was good at baseball, too. His options were endless. He leaned forward to turn up the radio and started to sing loudly. Badly, at that. I smiled to myself. Okay, maybe
he wasn’t good at everything.
Chapter 2 I had come to terms with never having my chance with Drew and I would do the same with his brother. Honestly though, could he really not see how I felt about him? After all these years, could he really not feel the tension between us? I guess he thought it was just a close friendship. Would it even make a difference either way? I didn’t know how he felt and he never gave any indication that we were more than just friends. I guess the
feelings I had were not even close to how he saw me. Oh well, at least I still had Maggie. She was my best friend, who looked like a glamorous movie star from the ‘20s. She had short, wavy, jet-black hair and stunning green eyes. As we sat there, she nudged me to get my attention and pulled me away from my trance. “I can’t feel sorry for you if you won’t even tell him,” she said as she chewed on her sandwich. I sighed. She could see it all over my face and she was right. I hated to admit it, but she was
absolutely right. “UGH! I am being so stupid. I should just tell him and see what happens. I feel like I missed the perfect chance when I didn’t tell Drew before he left for college. Now, there are probably all kinds of college girls throwing themselves at him. I missed my chance and now I’m doing it again. Everything could be so perfect, but I’m too chicken to speak up,” I sighed. “You and Chance have chemistry. The way you two look at each other and always know what the other is thinking
is the makings of something real. The two of you are the ones that are made for each other. I don’t understand why you two are so stubborn. You both obviously have always been in love with each other. Sorry about the “L” word, anyhow, we have a student council meeting to go to, Miss Prezzzident,” she said as she stood up. I grinned, “After you Miss Vice Prezzzident,” I teased as I stood up and motioned for her to go first. We both giggled and walked to our meeting. Today’s agenda was planning the
upcoming winter formal, where Chance, no doubt, would be crowned king and some cheerleader would be crowned his adored queen. ********** I sat on my bed, with my ear buds in and reading my note cards for an upcoming exam. The winter formal was only weeks away and I was getting stressed just thinking about it. Luckily, the planning and other efforts were a good interference for my brain not to
wander to thoughts of Chance. I looked at the scrawled notes on my bed and the scattered papers that had various chicken-scratch and copies of receipts for deposits for the dance. The mess aggravated me, so I scooped the notes into a neat pile and shoved them into my backpack, which I dropped to the floor next to my bed. I stood up and began to pace as I read, trying to stay awake. I was becoming frustrated reading the same information over and over again, and I felt as if I wasn’t absorbing what I was
reading. I yanked my ear buds out and stood there, looking at my bedroom door, debating whether I wanted to go downstairs and maybe make myself a snack. Everyone was asleep. Shaking my head at myself, I decided not to because I didn’t want to wake anyone up. I glanced at the clock on my bedside table. It was 1 a.m. on a school night. I needed to get some rest. As I walked toward my light switch, I heard a noise behind me that made me jump and spin around.
“Oh my God, Chance, you scared me!” I whispered to him. Chance and I usually left our window unlocked for each other if we needed to get out of our own house. “Sorry. I was hoping you were still awake. I couldn’t sleep so I called Drew and talked about football for a while. Then he had to go and I saw your light on, so I figured you couldn’t sleep either,” he whispered over his shoulder as he quietly closed my window. “It’s okay. You just scared me,” I said as I walked to my bed and sat
down. “So, why can’t you sleep?” “I don’t know,” he stood at my window looking out across the space between our bedroom windows, “I just have a lot going on and with the dance coming up, I just, I don’t know. I guess I’m kinda stressed out about football scouts and actually taking someone to a dance, too. I was hoping I could just go solo like I always have and hang out with you. Just two friends going to a dance. No pressure. You know what I mean?” He asked as he turned to me.
There’s that word again. Friend. “I guess so,” I replied, my heart breaking, “Just go and enjoy yourself, and just be yourself or some cliché stuff like that.” “Funny,” he half laughed. “So, who are you going to go with? I mean, I know you have plenty of options, just, are you going to go with anyone?” I blushed slightly. That was almost good enough to count as a compliment. “I wasn’t planning on it. I have a lot of work to do and I need to get my
applications submitted and I just, I don’t know if I will even go. Plus, if I do, I don’t think I will stay. Just make an appearance as student council president and then duck out,” I was rambling on. “Look,” he was facing me and had grabbed my hand, “I just don’t want you to be alone. I mean, you and I have been friends since before we can remember, and I want you to…” he shook his head as if clearing his thought. Did I seem lonely? “Anyhow I talked to Drew and he suggested that we do our thing and go
together. Actually, first he joked that he would come down and rescue you, but then he suggested me. Well, what do you say? Wanna go together?” Why couldn’t Drew actually come rescue me? Carry me away into the sunset. Or better yet, into his bed. I grinned slightly. No, he suggested another option for his little brother’s friend. “Sounds fun.” “Good. I was hoping so. So, I had talked to Chris and about us all riding together, since he is taking Ashley,
and he mentioned that he had always had a little thing for you, but that for some reason he thought that you and I were… umm,” he stopped and laughed nervously as he let my hand go, “it’s silly. Nevermind. Do you want to ride with them, like a fake double date?” Of course. It couldn’t be a real double date. It had to be fake. “What’s silly?” “Well, you and me,” he replied. “Why is that silly?” I asked defensively. “Well, because we are best
friends and we don’t look at each other like that and…” “Speak for yourself,” I muttered under my breath. “What?” he asked. “Nothing. You’re right. We are just friends. It’s not like that. We have always been friends and that’s just how it will always be, right?” “Sonny, why are you getting so worked up? I didn’t mean anything by it. I just thought, well, we have never, I mean, we have never approached the subject. Is it something we should be
talking about?” he stammered. “Whatever. Forget it. I think I am just tired and rambling as usual and…” I trailed off, trying to change the subject. “Come here,” he pulled me into a hug and held me close. I breathed him in, letting my heart race, as he let me snuggle into him. “Quit worrying, I think that the winter formal is going to be amazing. Quit stressing so much. Just breathe.” And that was exactly what I did; I breathed him in as I closed my eyes. After a moment, that was longer than any
friends hug, I finally pulled back slightly to look at his face. “You think?” I asked teasing. “I mean, I know it will be great. Absolutely,” he smiled back, “You always do great things. Why would this be any different?” “Thanks Chance,” I said as I nuzzled back into his chest. Slowly, he pulled away from me and looked down at me as if to say something but then let me go and walked to the window. He opened the window, and then quickly and quietly hopped out.
He stood outside of the window on the roof, looking at me. I knelt down on my side of the window, eye level with him. “I mean it, Sonny. You are amazing,” He said as he leaned a little closer. “Thanks, Chance,” I whispered as we looked into each other’s eyes without moving. Just then, Chance leaned forward and moved a lock of chocolate brown curl out of my face. I blushed slightly as his hand hesitated on my cheek. He leaned forward and then his lips met
mine. Slowly. Softly. He cupped my face with both hands as he kissed me passionately. I felt my heart race as I melted into the moment. Then, just like that, he stopped and pulled away from me. “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I just did that. I just,” he started. “It’s okay,” I replied catching my breath, “It was nice. I mean…actually, I think I liked it. I mean…well, I don’t think, I know. What I meant to say is, I just, I am just going to go to bed. I’m pretty beat. Good night Chance,” I
replied as I quickly reached up to pull the window down. He stopped the window. “I’m sorry Sonny. I don’t want things to change. I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess. I don’t know. I have been thinking about you a lot lately and a lot about ‘What if?’ I just can’t shake these thoughts about you. I find myself thinking about you all the time. I think of you when I eat and during practice. I was actually kind of flattered or something that Chris thought we had a thing, which is where it kinda started.
Well, where it got worse, I guess you could say. What if we did have a thing and what if we were a couple? I know it sounds corny, but I can’t stop considering the possibility of us.” “Look, Chance, it’s nothing. Consider it forgotten.” “See, that’s just it. There are things you do that lead me to believe that maybe, just maybe you and I could, I mean, the way I see you looking at me, and it might be my imagination, but I feel like you look at me as if you have something to say. Maybe it’s wishful
thinking, but I imagine you telling me you feel the same way…” he was falling all over the words and barely making sense anymore. Yet, through all this jumbled talk, I knew exactly what he was trying to say. Then, I made a stupid move. I decided to divert instead of professing my love for him too. “Chance, please stop. This is crazy. I have to go to bed and you are hardly making any sense. I think you let your imagination run wild sometimes. We are just friends and nothing more. Please go home and sleep on it. You will
see things differently in the morning.” He climbed back into my window and faced me, “Sonny, please believe me when I say that I do care about you. I don’t just mean as a friend,” he whispered as he faced me. “Say it again,” I blurted at hearing him say exactly what I needed him to say. “I really care about you?” he said with a question. “No, the other part,” I grinned ear to ear. He smiled knowing what I meant.
“Not as a friend,” he smiled, saying it. “Not as a friend,” I repeated, feeling my whole body light up. I wasn’t just the friend next door. I wasn’t just the girl that he grew up with. I was more. “Chance, I care about you too. I always have,” I admitted, finally feeling the weight lift. It felt good to tell him after all this time. “You’re amazing, Sonny. I will see you in the morning, okay?” “Yep, bright and early,” I smiled.
“I don’t know about bright, but early for sure,” he said as he climbed across our roofs to his window. We had a tree that was on the property lines between our houses and our windows faced each other’s. It was just a matter of grabbing the tree and swinging to the other roof. Chance and I had used this method for years. It always felt weird to use a door. I watched as he slipped into his window and into the darkness. I sighed and slid down onto the floor leaning against the wall. What now?
I guess tomorrow was a new day. ********** Thursday was a gross, rainy day. I climbed into Chance’s Jeep and we headed to school. He reached over and held my hand as he drove and I smiled up at him. “I don’t know what I’m doing… but I’m glad it’s with you,” he said glancing over at me. “Geez, Chance, we’re just going to school!” I said, jokingly.
“Not that,” he laughed, lightly lifting my hand and eyeing it, “this.” “I don’t think it will be all that different, do you?” “Us being a couple?” “Yeah, that.” “I guess you’re right,” he said, thinking. “So, I just basically get to kiss my best friend all the time.” “Don’t do that,” I cringed. “Do what?” “Call me your friend. That’s been a stab at my heart for a long time, Chance.”
“Okay, you got it,” he smiled understandingly, and kissed my hand and I smiled contently as he drove us to school. Finally. I had my guy. I sat through my morning classes replaying our night. I didn’t know what to think of everything that had happened because it still felt like a dream. The way he kissed me was amazing. When his mouth touched mine, I felt weak. I could barely concentrate throughout my classes.
The bell rang and I sighed in relief. Finally! Lunchtime. I rushed to the cafeteria. Hurriedly I sat at our usual lunch table and waited for Maggie as I flipped through my History book, impatiently. I heard Maggie set down her books and sigh loudly. “Hey you!” I smiled, anxious to get feedback from my friend. “Hey. How is your morning going?” “Good I guess. I mean, there is one thing…”
“Oh my gosh, Sonny! How about this morning, in Biology, Mr. Freemont was showing us how to mix a,” she stopped. She analyzed my face and looked quizzical, “I’m sorry, what were you saying? What’s wrong?” “Nothing’s wrong. Why?” I asked as I stared across the room at nothing in particular. “There is something going on, what is it? You look different, somehow. Did you do something? Oh my gosh, did you give up your V card?!” “What? No! No. It’s nothing
like that, I was just thinking of things,” I turned to her and tried to change the subject, “How about we meet here on Saturday with the rest of the committee and measure the gym to make sure we have the right stuff for set up and lay out the decorations? Like a test run? I hate last minute rushing.” “That sounds fine,” she smiled as she pulled out a planner for student council. We began to go over plans and pricing materials. I was in the middle of discussing color schemes, when I stopped and dropped my hands into my
lap in mock defeat and looked at Maggie, as if to ask “what?” “Okay, Sonny, what is going on? I have been here, listening to you talk for 30 minutes and every time I glance up, Chance is fixated on you. Then when I catch him, he turns away as if a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar. What is going on?” “I don’t know,” I said innocently. I squealed like a five year old inside. He was focused on me! “Sonny, we have been friends for how long? I know you better than
that. Did you say something to him or did something happen between you two? You better not be holding out on me.” “Not really,” I said as I looked away, “I mean, we may have accidently kissed, but nothing more happened.” I wanted to take it back as soon as I had said it. All of a sudden, I felt as if whatever was happening between Chance and I, I wanted to cherish and keep it to myself. “You accidently kissed? How do you accidently kiss? Did you trip and his lips caught your fall?! This is huge!
This is it. You two are gonna be together! What did he say, like, after? What did he do? Tell me!” she laughed. I was laughing, “No. I mean, it happened, and we are just kind of going slow and taking it a day at a time. It’s all still very new to both of us,” I smiled. “Okay. But if he keeps staring this way, I will walk over there and say something about how he should stop drooling over you!” she teased. I glanced over my shoulder to catch him looking my way, causing me to blush. I grinned at him and turned back to
Maggie. “It’s sweet,” I reassured her, tucking a lock of hair behind my ear. “Okay. Whatever,” she smiled and went back to the notebook in front of her. I sighed, and turned to help Maggie with the assignment. When school was over, it was still pouring down rain. Bummer. I only liked rainy days if I was at home, snuggled in my pajamas so naturally, I couldn’t wait to get home. Today was the perfect day to be
alone with him because it was Thursday. Chance’s parents were usually out very late on Thursday because his mother loved bingo, and our parents always went together. Chance and I had always kept each other company on these Thursday nights. It was the perfect opportunity. I ran to the jeep and opened the door. When I swung the door open, to my dismay, there sat Ashley smiling down at me. “I hope you don’t mind if I sit up front, Sonny,” she said through her
perfect smile. I felt a tinge of jealousy. I always sat in the passenger seat, next to Chance. I smiled back at her, forcing my face not to show the emotion I truly felt. What I wanted was to yank her out of the seat and throw her into the rain, but instead, I opted to get into the jeep with a nonchalant attitude. “Of course not, Ashley,” I said. “Actually, Ashley, sorry, but my girl always sits up front, with me,” Chance winked at me, patting the seat after hopping into the driver’s seat. Ashley got into the back seat and I
smiled at my insignificant victory. I looked to Chance, questioning him as to her presence. “Chris has after-school tutoring and Ashley needed a ride home. I’m gonna take you home and then go drop her off and pick up some dinner on the way back, unless you think your mom left something for us to eat.” “I doubt it. That’s fine.” He reached over and took my hand and stroked the top with his thumb as he drove. Ashley leaned forward, between us, smiling.
“So, you two finally got together, huh?” We exchanged glances and I turned to her. I wasn’t quite sure what we were. Chance quickly cleared up any doubts I had. “Yep. Sonny’s my girl. It’s been a lifetime in the making,” he winked again and I melted. They talked quietly about last week’s football game, as I stared out of the window and tuned them out. I was his girl and he was willing to tell the
world. I smiled watching the rain as he drove to our houses. Finally, Chance pulled into my driveway. I hopped out and Ashley climbed over into the front seat, quickly buckling herself in. I turned to walk away, but Chance had jogged around to the passenger side. He shut the door and turned to me in the rain. “I won’t be long,” he assured me. I nodded. “I’m just gonna drop her off and then meet you at your house, okay?” “Yep.”
He leaned in and kissed me but pulled back faster than I would have liked. “What’s wrong?” I frowned. “You really want to make out in front of Ashley?” he laughed. “You’re right. Hurry back.” With that he gave me a quick hug and then he hurried to get out of the rain.
Chapter 3 After I had gone up to my room to change out of my rain soaked clothes, I came downstairs and into the den. I flopped onto the couch and popped the top on the soda I had retrieved from the fridge. I sipped on it slightly and set it gently on the coffee table in front of me. The shows flew by as I flipped through the channels on TV and finally stopped on a meaningless show on the history channel. I pulled the throw blanket off of
the back of the couch and wrapped it around me, stopping the chill that settled in the room. As I listened to the rain pound against the windows, I felt my eyes get heavy. I finally gave in and felt my muscles relax, inch by inch, as I drifted to sleep. I heard the knock lightly at first. I wished it away as I snuggled further into the couch. Then it came faster and louder. I groaned and whispered “Shhh,” into the darkness. The knocking persisted and grew
louder. I sat up aggravated and my eyes shot open. I was surrounded by darkness, and the dim light of the TV illuminated the entire room. I heard the knocking again. It was coming from the French doors in the den that led to the backyard. It could only be one person. I sighed as I pulled myself off of the couch and slumped to the back door with the couch throw wrapped around me for warmth. I pulled the door open slightly. Chance pushed the door open further to let himself in and then
pulled the door closed behind him. He bent down to take off his wet shoes as he looked up to me. “It took you long enough. Were you going to let me stay out there all night?” I shrugged slightly, “I guess I had fallen asleep. Sorry. Why don’t you just come right on in?” I said a bit sarcastically. I was grumpy from being woken up. “I figured as much. I tried to text you, and you didn’t reply. That was about an hour ago. I was going to grab a
bite to eat after I took Ashley home but I wasn’t sure what you might want…” “Sorry,” I tried to smile. I shuddered as a chill hit my shoulders. Chance reached over and pulled the throw back over my shoulder, hesitating a moment and then he quickly dropped his hand. “So,” he started as he walked toward the couch, “about last night. I mean, I cannot stop thinking about us. This is good, right? I just don’t want to ruin our friendship,” he sat down and looked at me. I didn’t know how to
respond. I quickly walked over and sat next to him. I intentionally left enough space between us but he quickly filled the gap, scooting closer to me. I sunk into the couch as I chose my words carefully, “I don’t know Chance. I mean, I know we have been friends forever, so I don’t want to ruin a great friendship, either. I have loved you my whole life, but…” I felt my ears burn with the last part. Had I said too much? Would that push him away? “You do? I mean, I feel the same way, I just thought that, well, I just
thought you didn’t see me like that,” he shook his head. I felt as if I wanted to jump up and down, but I remained calm. How I remained calm, I have no idea. He felt the same way. I smiled up at him through my eyelashes, “I have always liked you and not just as a friend,” I swallowed hard. I watched his face carefully for a reaction. I saw him raise an eyebrow as he processed that. He nodded slightly, and then he reached over and cupped my face as he leaned me back into the
couch. His mouth was warm all over my neck and face. He slowly pulled my shirt over my head as he continued to kiss me passionately. His hand ran up and down my side, slightly tickling me, causing to me to quietly giggle. He grinned as he pushed my curls from my face and kissed my mouth slowly. I closed my eyes and let him surround me. Things were moving fast, but I didn’t care. This was Chance. I wanted this and I wanted him. He pulled me closer and just as I began to sink into the moment, I heard a
car door slam. I felt my heart race as I panicked and jerked up, gently pushing Chance away. I could see the look of fear on his face as I quickly pulled my shirt back over my head. I straightened my hair rapidly by combing my hands through it and Chance moved away from me. Just as my hands dropped from my hair and as Chance picked up the remote control to change the channel, my mother walked into the den. “Hey guys!” she smiled as she glanced down at Chance and to the TV.
There was a home renovation show on. “Hey, mom! How was bingo?” I asked casually trying to slow my racing heart as I took a deep breath. “Nothing as usual, but we had fun. Same ‘ole game, same old ladies fighting over bingo,” she laughed slightly, “So are you two staying out of trouble?” “Always, Mrs. Schneider,” Chance smiled and turned back to the show on TV. My mother raised her eyebrow and smiled. “Right,” she said sarcastically.
She smiled and walked out of the room. I felt my ears turn hot as my face turned crimson. It felt as if she knew that seconds before she had walked into the room, Chance and I had been in a compromising position. Chance turned to me. He smiled that perfect smile as he leaned over to place a quick kiss on my cheek. “I have to get going. It is getting pretty late and I have a long walk home,” he said as he glanced up to the clock on the wall. It was right after 10 p.m. I
giggled lightly at his lame joke. “Okay….so…. I guess I will see you tomorrow?” “Yeah,” he stood up. “So, Chance, how does this work?” I asked. “What do you mean?” “Well, us. What happens now?” “I don’t quite know. We will just take this slow.” “I just want to be with you...” I finished quietly. “I know. Me too…” he was actually blushing, “I gotta go. I really
would stay if I could, but I have to get going.” “I know,” I said as I reached up and pulled his face to mine, “sweet dreams.” I leaned into him and wrapped my arms around his neck as I kissed him. It was a bold move for me, but worth it. He kissed me back slowly and then pulled away slightly. “I really have to go. See you in the morning,” he whispered into my hair. I nodded slightly as I dropped my arms. He walked to the back door, slipped on his shoes, and then he was gone.
I was in a dream. That’s what it felt like, anyways. I never thought that we would actually tell each other anything about how we felt, let alone, make out. I could still taste him and feel his mouth on my neck. I sat on the couch for a few more minutes wallowing in my moment and then finally found motivation to pull myself out of my daydream. I sighed as I walked up the stairs. “Sonny?”
I stopped halfway up the staircase and turned, “Yes ma’am?” I asked as I turned to look at my mother at the foot of the stairs. “Umm, good night sweetheart,” she said. She had said it as if she had something more to say. Did she know? I waited a moment more and then replied “Good night mom. I love you.” “I love you too sweetheart,” she replied. I smiled and then ran up the rest of the stairs and into my room. I threw myself on my bed, smiling the whole time. I don’t even
remember falling asleep that night, but I remember dreaming about him and replaying our special moment all night, over and over again. ********** I was a bit anxious to get ready to go to school the next day. I couldn’t wait to see him. I felt like we had been apart for weeks. Wow. This is what love does to you. It makes you crave someone. Not that I hadn’t always craved him and treasured all of our
encounters, but there was something different now. He had acknowledged that he felt the same way I did. By doing that, he had sparked something more, something inside of me that I couldn’t explain. I decided today was the day I would actually dress like a girl. I wanted him to notice me, not that he didn’t, but I wanted all of his attention. I think it had to do with Ashley and proving to myself that I was just as desirable. My usual attire consisted of a pair of jeans and a t-shirt or hoodie,
with my hair in a ponytail. I decided today would be different. I stepped out of the shower and let my curls hang loosely as I brushed the tangles. I left my hair down to dry as I looked for clothes and finally decided that leggings with a fitted sweater dress, and knit boots were going to be the outfit for today. I might get some attention from the rest of the school, but this was about Chance. I wanted him to see that I could be “that girl.” I needed him to know that I could be the girl that he could show off to the world. I wanted him to watch me
the way he had watched Ashley, before. I quickly swept on mascara, a tinted lip-gloss, a spritz of my new perfume, and I was out the front door. Chance was in the driveway waiting, so I quickly jumped into the Jeep. I took note of Chance’s face as I turned to close the door. He still had not put the Jeep into gear. He was sitting there gawking at me and all I could do was grin with satisfaction. Was it that much of a change? Maybe I should run inside and change?
Maybe I should pull my hair up, or maybe…never mind. His face was worth the outfit and possible stares when we got to school. “You look…wow, Sonny,” he said as he turned to the steering wheel. “Thanks Chance,” I said quietly as I blushed. “And you smell amazing,” he said quietly under his breath, as he pulled out of the driveway. “Thanks.” The whole drive to school he continued to steal glances my way as I
tried to focus on the road as if I didn’t notice, but beamed the entire time. I had his full attention. After all this time, a Mitchell brother was completely focused on me. When we got to school, I became self-conscious. I suddenly began to question myself again as I scanned the school parking lot filled with small clusters of students lingering. Did I really need to dress up for him? What would people think? Chance and I have known each other our whole lives.
Then when the stares began, I got worse. Well, when I noticed them anyway. I could feel people watching me as I emerged from Chance’s jeep. I guess that is what I get for being plain Jane most of the time. Chance walked up and stood next to me at the back of his jeep, facing the parking lot, “I don’t think they’re looking at me, Sonny,” he whispered with a grin. “I guess not,” I whispered through a smile, “Here goes nothing.” I began to walk toward the
school building with Chance beside me, holding my hand. Then Ashley walked up to the two of us, before we were even able to open the door. “Wow Sonny, you look great,” she looked me up and down, then she turned all her attention to Chance, “So, has Chris talked to you yet?” “No, why?” “Oh, nothing,” she turned to me, explaining, “his parents are good with us having a party. Are you good to keep Drew occupied while we get everything ready or did you want to be at the house
to help with food and stuff?” “I can keep Drew company. No problem,” I assured them. “Thanks babe. He’ll be home a little later tonight, so I don’t know what you’re going to do with him tomorrow to get him there.” “I don’t either,” I laughed. What would I do to get Drew to hang out with me, without his brother? Chance laughed and kissed my cheek before we parted ways and I headed to my locker. I was spinning the combination
on my locker when I felt as if someone was staring at me. I turned to my left and almost screamed. “Oh my God, Mags, you scared the mess out of me!” I gasped as I had my hand on my heart taking a big breath. “I’m sorry Sonny. I didn’t mean to scare you. So, umm, I have a question for you? Why are you dressed like that? Like you should be over there?” she asked as she nonchalantly waved her hand toward the group of jocks that was headed down the hallway. “I don’t know. I just felt like I
wanted to be cute today.” “Really?” “Yes. Why are you worried about how I dress all of a sudden?” “The question is, why are you worried about how you dress?” she rebutted. “I just…I just wanted to look nice today.” “Whatever. It’s cool. I don’t care. You look really nice,” she smiled as she gave me the once over again. She was being a little weird. I shrugged. I grinned back, “I cannot wait
until lunch; I have so much to tell you.” “About what? Tell me now!” “Not yet. Lunch. Deal?” “You’re cruel. Fine, I guess. See you later, okay, hot stuff?” she teased. I smiled as I nodded and headed to class. ********** “You did what?!” Maggie was in disbelief. I could feel my face change color as I nodded.
“I really thought my Mom caught us. She was looking at us like she didn’t believe us, or maybe it was my imagination because I was paranoid. What do you think?” “You’re probably just paranoid,” she grinned, “Wow! You and Chance. So where is Prince Charming?” she asked as she looked across the room at his usual lunch table. “I don’t know,” I said following her gaze to where Chance normally sat. Suddenly, someone came up behind me and covered my eyes with their hands.
He leaned forward, letting his warm breath tickle my ear. “Guess who?” his whisper sent chills down my back. I grinned. “Drew?” I teased, pulling his hands from my eyes and looking to him. “How is that remotely funny?” he asked, pretending to be appalled. “Hey you,” I blushed. He kissed my cheek and planted himself next to me. “We were going over the dance stuff, Chance. Stop distracting my best friend!” Maggie scolded him, playfully. “Hey now. Your best friend, you
say? Don’t you know boyfriend trumps bestie?” he smirked, his blue eyes twinkling. Boyfriend? I melted. “Not on your life, buddy,” she teased. “Wanna bet?” he challenged. “Okay, you two. Enough. Maggie and I have a lot to talk about. If you want to be bored by student council crap, you’re welcome to stay,” I teased. He shook his head and got up slowly. He sweetly kissed me on my forehead. “I’m good. See you after school, babe.” I watched him walk off and
turned back to Maggie to get serious. “What?” I asked Maggie who was grinning at me. “You two are so cute,” she giggled. I agreed but tried my hardest to get the stupid look of love off my face. “Shush. Anyhow, enough about boys, I have work to do. Well, we have work to do. Where are we with the dance?” I asked as I began to pull out my planner. Maggie laughed and pulled out her planner too.
Chapter 4 Drew had gotten home last night and I was pacing trying to figure out how to get him alone and distract him long enough for Chance and them to get everything ready. I finally pulled out my phone and called him. On the first ring, his deep voice answered. “A phone call, huh? No text? “Hello to you too, Drew.” “Hey, kid. What’s up?”
“So, I have a request.” “Okay,” he said skeptical. “For student council, we are trying to help the yearbook committee by getting candid pictures of seniors. Well, I was thinking, how cool would it be to have pictures of you on the ball field and then pictures of Chance to show him like, following in your footsteps?” I heard him chuckle, “I really hope you’re just not trying to get me alone to make out with me.” “Drew Mitchell! How dare you!” I laughed.
“Fine. I’m game. Where do you want to shoot?” “On the ball fields. I think if we get out there at the right time later today, the sunset will give me even better pictures.” “Sounds good to me. So what is your boyfriend gonna be doing while I’m with you? “Drew, what….” “Don’t act like I wouldn’t know,” he laughed. “Fair enough. I’ll meet you out front in a little bit, okay?”
I stopped in my tracks. Dramatic? A little. But I was looking at a more grown up, filled out version of Drew. A man. I sighed. Did I just really sigh? I shook my head. I couldn’t let myself get distracted by this more handsome version of Drew. But, oh if he didn’t do something to me. My body betrayed me and tingled just thinking of being alone with him. What was wrong with me? I was dating his brother. This was wrong. I took a deep breath and walked to my car. I needed to drive. It
would force me to focus on the road, and not the hot guy next to me. “Hey beautiful,” he said, pulling me into a tight hug, crushing me into his hard chest. Dear Lord. I was not ready for that. Did I just close my eyes and breathe him in? Yes. Yes I did. “Hey back,” I pulled back looking up into his amazing hazel eyes. He let me go and started to walk to the passenger side. “We better get going before the ‘perfect lighting’ is gone. You know,
since you’re trying to get me alone at sunset and all,” he winked. Darn if I didn’t focus on his dimple as he ducked into my car. We both slammed the doors to my car in unison as we got out and looked across at the baseball fields. The baseball fields were a good half mile behind the high school and the four of them were laid out in a square with the score boxes all in the middle. I couldn’t remember the last time I was even on the fields. I think it was
for a game to watch Chance last summer. I looked across the field looking at the sun starting to set. These pictures really would look great. “Man. It’s been a long time since I came out here,” he said over my shoulder, as he walked up behind me. “I bet.” I said, keeping my distance as I walked toward the dugout. “Maybe I can get a few shots of you on the pitcher’s mound and maybe the dugout and home plate…” I trailed off as I got excited pulling out my camera.
“How about this?” I turned to see him posed on the bench of the dugout with the most seductive ‘come hither’ look on his face, his perfect face propped up on his hand. He grinned and the light caught the hazel of his eyes. Stop it. Just stop it! With your amazing features. Those Mitchell genes were perfection. I pulled my camera up and snapped the picture before he could get up. “Don’t go turning that into a poster for your bedroom, Sonny. I
couldn’t live with myself knowing I replaced the posters of your boy bands,” he teased referencing my adolescent crushes. “Those posters are long gone, Drew!” I laughed, turning to snap a picture of the field “Well, then, don’t go replacing all your pictures of Chance with mine. I know how much of a crush you have on me.” I spun around with my eyes wide as saucers. Did he know about my crush? He was looking out at the field,
all nonchalant. Mini heart attack averted. Thankfully, he was just teasing me. Right? I watched his face to try to figure it out. “You okay,” he asked, turning his gaze to me. Great, now he was rendering me speechless and making me look pathetic. I cleared my throat and changed the subject. “Let’s get these shots before it gets too late and I lose this beautiful sunset,” I said waving my hand toward the orange and purple sky. “You got it boss. Just show me
what to do.” I asked Drew to pose various ways and showed him what I wanted. He teased me, constantly, but in a playful way. In a flirtatious way. It gave me butterflies. I’m pretty sure this is what they call ‘playing with fire.’ This was my boyfriend’s brother. This was a no flirting zone. I chose my words wisely but I couldn’t help but wonder if that perfect mouth gave the perfect kisses, too. Just as I was looking at the last shot and the last of the red and oranges
faded from the sky, I got a text from Chance. We’re ready. Everyone is here. See you in a bit. I tucked my phone into the back pocket of my jeans and almost frowned. My time with Drew was coming to a close. Drew eyed me curiously. “Is everything okay?” “Chance wants me to stop by Chris’ house for a minute. You don’t mind, do you? It won’t be long. I’m the only one with a curfew so I can’t stay out anyway.”
“Aren’t they having a guy’s night or something? No girlfriends allowed” “I guess it started out like that, until Ashley stopped by. Chance misses me.” “Or so he claims,” Drew mumbled under his breath. “What does that mean?” “Nothing. Hey, is your friend, Maggie going to be there?” he asked, changing the subject. A stab at my heart. Was he interested in Maggie? “Maybe. Why? You interested?” I wiggled my eyebrows.
“Not particularly. Just curious.” He left it at that as he opened the car door for me. I dropped into my seat confused, but not even sure what I wanted to ask, so I drove quietly. As we rounded the corner of the street, Drew saw the house and all the cars. “So, there’s a party going on?” his tone almost sounded aggravated. “Drew, it’s…” “Sonny, I’m not in a party mood. I’ll wait in the car.”
“But, Drew, maybe you can just stop in….and…” “Seriously, Sonny. I came home for a quiet weekend. I get enough parties at the frat house.” I slumped defeated as I parked the car across the street in the only spot left. I turned to Drew. “I have a confession,” I started, “Chance threw a surprise party to kind of welcome you home. You’ve been gone for a long time this time, and everyone missed you. That house is full of people that are waiting to see you, not
just Chance and them. A lot of your friends from high school are in there. Please don’t ruin this. My only job was to entertain you while they got everyone there, and then I was to deliver you,” I looked hopeful. He shook his head, smiling. That was a good sign. “And here I thought that you wanted to get me alone and snap pictures for your weird Drew inspired scrapbook. Oh well, wishful thinking,” and then he winked, “let’s get this over with, you little conspirator, you.” I breath of relief whooshed out
as he jogged around to open my door. He held his hand out to me. I hesitated, but then let him pull me out of the car. He tucked my hand into his as we walked to the front door. Was I the only one focused on the electricity flowing from our two hands touching? Probably. Drew seemed very unaware. That, or he was a really good actor. I looked up to him and looked for anything in his face. Something. There was nothing out of the ordinary. The usual twinkle in his eyes and fun loving smile on his lips. Sigh.
His lips. I snapped back to reality when we got to the door and I could hear the music on the other side. “Sonny,” he looked down to me, “I had fun today. Thank you. I know it was all part of a little plot or whatever, but for what it’s worth, I really did have fun spending time with you.” Tension. It was all around us. “Me too. I …” I stopped as the front door swung open. Chance looked at us. I froze as he looked down at us holding hands. I quickly pulled my hand away and wrapped my arms around him.
“I missed you,” he whispered into my hair. “Chance, what’s all this about?” Drew asked, looking into the house behind him. “Welcome home party?” he shrugged playfully and smiled. “Well, then, let’s get started!” he said, pushing past us and into the house. Chance looked after him and then to me. “You cracked. You told him, didn’t you?” he wasn’t mad. “He didn’t want to come to a party, so I told him it was for him,” I
admitted. “Oh Sonny, what am I gonna do with you?” “You could sweep me into an empty bedroom and have your way with me,” I suggested. I needed to refocus. I needed that reminder from Chance, that he was my guy. “Don’t tease me.” “I’m not.” That’s all he needed to pull me into the house and past the party and straight up the stairs. He pulled me into Chris’ parents bedroom at the end of the hall and locked the door.
This was it. ********** I was sitting on the bed waiting for Chance to make a move. The guy was supposed to make the first move, right? After all, we were both virgins. I had no idea what I was doing. Chance had more experience than I did. I needed him to take the lead on this. He came over to me and sat on the edge of the king size bed. I scooted over to the middle to make room for him
to sit down. He kicked off his shoes and slid under the blanket by me. Then he moved closer and pulled me to him. I felt my body tense up as I anticipated his next move. “Hi,” he whispered playfully. “Hi.” “Look, thank you for earlier today. You know, with Drew and everything,” He leaned in closer to me. Please stop mentioning his name right now, I pleaded silently. “You’re welcome,” I
swallowed hard. “Are you okay? Is this okay?” he softly kissed my forehead, looking for approval. “I’m just nervous.” “Me too. But I want us to be together.” “Me too. I just, what if someone comes in?” “I locked the door,” he assured me and I relaxed a little as I bit my lip nervously. “Sonny, I love you. I always have.”
I pushed him away slightly to read his face, “It shouldn’t be this big a deal, right? It’s just sex and all that, right?” I giggled nervously trying to minimize the moment. In reality though, losing your virginity is a big deal. It’s a moment that technically, you should share with someone that means everything to you, because you give them all of you. I was being a real girl about this. I was making this bigger than it needed be. No. I was trying to distract myself. I was trying to talk myself out of it. Why?
“Right. Just sex. With me…and you,” he laughed lightly. I nodded slightly. I wanted Chance. But, something inside of me told me to wait. Something was nagging me and I couldn’t figure out why I was so hesitant. Maybe I wanted everything to be perfect. Every girl wants a perfect first time. Perfect was not on his best friend’s parents bed. With a dip in the mattress and him getting even closer to me, thoughts of anything perfect drifted away as my body betrayed me. With him this close to
me, I was putty in his hands. He leaned in and slowly began to kiss me as he held my face, gently. As we began to kiss more fervently he pulled his shirt off and then mine, running his hands over my body. He hastily pushed my curls from my face as he kissed down my neck. “Chance, wait,” I whispered as I gently pushed him a few inches from me. “What’s wrong,” he asked as he studied my face with concern. “I just…I don’t know if I am
ready for this. Maybe we should slow down. All these people here…” “It’s okay, Sonny…it’s me, remember? We’re best friends. If you want to stop, we can stop. Just know that there is no one in this world that I want my first time to be with more than you. You and I are great together,” he whispered as he kissed my cheek softly. “I feel the same way…” I started. He sat back slightly, “Sonny, if you don’t want to do this that’s fine. I saw you tonight standing at the door with
Drew and all I could think is how hot you are. I just can’t stop thinking about how you smell…and how you taste… and I can’t stand the thought of another guy with his hands on you…it gets me really riled up…” he trailed off as he kissed my neck. He was referring to Drew holding my hand. His own brother. It didn’t even mean anything, right? Friends…hold…hands, right? “Chance, I really care about you. I really…really…do, let’s just go slow,” I interrupted. He stopped me with a kiss and
leaned into me again. He carefully slid my shorts off as he kissed me softly. I was fumbling with the buttons on his jeans, so he reached his hand down to help me. “Sonny, you make me crazy,” he whispered as he kissed my ear. I moved my hand back to his neck as he kicked off his jeans. We continued to kiss and caress each other. Then as he softly stroked the side of my thigh, he slid off my panties and softly let them drop to the floor. He had his hand on the inside of my thigh
but stopped before going any higher. “I want you Sonny. I want to be with you, but I need to know you want this too. Don’t hesitate. Say yes or no. Please…” he groaned into my ear. “I want you, Chance,” I whispered back as I kissed his lips, reassuring him, a shiver running down my body. With that, he pulled back and leaned over the side of the bed. I heard him fumble for a moment and then sit back up to face me. “Shit!” he whispered loudly. “What is it? What’s wrong?”
“I left my wallet on my dresser and I don’t have anything with me,” he explained. “What do you mean?” “Sonny, I don’t have any condoms,” he snapped. “Oh…well…..I,” I started and stopped, “what if and then we can…we can just….” “It’s fine Sonny. We can wait. I didn’t ask you to come over for sex anyways,” he said as he sat up and began to pull his pants on. He may have insisted that he wasn’t worried about not
having sex, but he was mad; I could tell. He tossed me the few items of clothing that were mine and pulled his shirt on. I quickly slid into my clothes and hopped off the bed. I felt ashamed. I shouldn’t have, but I did. I felt as if I had done something wrong. “I’m sorry, Chance,” I said softly as I lightly touched his arm. “It’s okay. I’m not mad at you babe. I just feel like I am letting you down. This is probably a sign that we shouldn’t be doing this kind of stuff anyhow. Not yet, and especially not
here, with everyone right outside that door, like you said.” He reached over and gently kissed my forehead. “Let’s just go downstairs and enjoy the party, okay?” He held his hand out to me. “Okay,” I smiled reassuringly. I kept a straight face as he held his hand out to me to pull me off the bed. I was confused. I wanted to have sex with him, but I didn’t. I wanted him to keep looking at me like I was the only girl in the world, but if we didn’t have sex, would that look change? Was sex that
important to him? It sure seemed that way, with the face he made.
Chapter 5 Another Friday night, and again I was at home, surrounded by books. The wood grain on my desk seemed to fade in and out as I struggled to stay awake. I wondered how the game was going. Tonight was an away game, so I had decided not to go and stay home to work on some homework. I assured Chance I would see him tomorrow. I sighed as I turned back to the books surrounding me. My eyes grew
heavier by the second. Thoughts of Drew and Chance had been dominating my time. My eyes fluttered closed as questions continued to run through my head. Suddenly, I felt as if I were floating. I jerked from my sleep to feel arms around me, holding me close. My eyes fluttered open, and I saw Chance’s gorgeous features illuminated by the glow of my computer screen. He was carrying me to bed. “Hey you,” he whispered down to me as he sat me down on my bed, “I
guess you fell asleep studying,” he smiled. I yawned, “How was the game,” I asked casually, ignoring the fact that we had been awkward since Drew’s welcome home party, but frankly, too tired to care. “We won,” he smiled. “Hmmm…..” I smiled sleepily as I felt my eyes grow heavy again. “Sonny, I know it’s late, but I have a lot I need to say and there is a lot I want you to try to see from my side…” I sat up sleepily, willing the
exhaustion away, “Look Chance. I don’t know why you are so…” “That night at the party,” he started. “You were mad. About sex,” I finished. “No, I was mad, yeah. No. Maybe more disappointed. Like, I really want to have sex with you, but it’s not just about sex. I like being with you and just hanging out with you. You’re my best friend.” “Is it all about sex or not? Chance, I don’t want to just have sex. I
want it to be amazing and mean something. I want to make love, not just have sex.” “C’mon Sonny, it’s just sex. I love you, but it is,” he tried to convince me. “It’s not just sex to me!” I snapped back, raising my voice. My hand shot to my mouth as if to take back yelling at him. I froze as I heard footsteps on the stairs. I shot a finger to his mouth to quiet him. I grinned as I heard the steps move closer to my door. I rushed to the door with Chance close
behind me. I cracked the door to meet my mother’s face as I quickly shoved Chance behind the door. “Are you okay?” she asked as she attempted to peer into my room. “Yeah. Everything is okay. I was just on the phone. Sorry, I didn’t know I was getting so loud. Just a little…ummm…debate,” I replied as I tried to hide the grin on my face and shield her from my room. “Anything you want to talk about?” she asked concerned.
“Nah. Just stuff.” “Honey, look…I think we need to talk about some things,” she started. “Mom,” I interrupted, “Please, it’s late and I was just going to bed. Can we talk tomorrow or something? We can go to breakfast. You know, girl time?” I smiled my best smile. She seemed satisfied as she nodded. She smiled, “Alright. Tomorrow.” She turned and headed back down the stairs. I waited until I heard her at the bottom of the stairs, then I
closed my door. I exhaled deeply as I looked at Chance. I grinned at the thought that I had just gotten away with something, and giggled slightly. I covered my mouth to stifle my laugh as I winked at him. “That was a close one,” I whispered to him. “Yeah,” he smiled, “too close. What do you think our parents would do if they caught me up here this late?” “Probably lose their minds and be convinced that I am having sex with you. I wouldn’t be able to convince them
otherwise. They would probably bolt my windows and…and...I don’t know. No telling,” I looked up to him as I shrugged. He was closing in on me again. “Chance. Don’t you want it to be special too?” I could feel my heart rate quicken with anticipation, but I pushed through the butterflies in my stomach. He ignored my question, reaching around me and locked the door as he smiled at me. “We don’t lock doors in this
house. I will get in trouble,” I whispered to him. He kissed me on the cheek, and then slowly down my neck as he smiled. “Seriously, Chance, my parents are right down stairs,” I urged. I didn’t want him to stop, but it was risky. “I don’t care,” he whispered into my ear, “I really don’t care what anyone says or does, anymore. I’m done trying to act as if not being with you doesn’t bother me. All I care about is you, I always have…” He stopped kissing me and looked deeply into my eyes.
“I love you, Sonny.” He smiled as he kissed me again, slower this time. He pulled my shirt over my head as he continued to kiss me gently. I pleaded with my eyes, for an answer. Anything. He pulled me closer to him, holding me against him as he let out a long breath. “I want you,” he whispered into my ear, “all of you and only you. And yes, I do want it to be special.” I felt as if my heart was in my throat. I counted in my head, attempting
to calm myself down. I took a deep breath as I kissed him back. Suddenly, I froze as I heard the door handle jiggle behind me. “Sonny, open this door!” I heard my father say sternly. I couldn’t breathe. I grabbed my shirt and covered myself, as I shot to unlock the door. I gently cracked open the door to meet my father’s face. I shielded my body with the door. “Why is this door locked?!” he demanded. “I’m sorry, Daddy, I was
changing,” I smiled glancing down at myself. “Oh God, right, sorry. Sorry….ummm….have a good night,” he pulled the door shut and continued to talk through the wood, “Your mother was yelling good night on our way to bed and you didn’t reply. Didn’t you hear her?” “Sorry Dad, I guess I had my music up too loud,” I giggled as I looked at Chance next to me. “Oh. Okay. Good night sweetheart,” he finished. “Good night, Dad,” I replied
through the door. I grinned as Chance grabbed my waist and pulled me to him again as my father’s footsteps faded down the hallway. “I want you so bad,” he whispered as he nibbled on my ear. I smiled as I turned the lock on my door again. I looked up at him through my lashes. “I’m ready, Chance. I want you, too,” I whispered back. “Are you sure?” he asked as took a step back to look at me. “I know, for sure, that I want it
to be you.” “You’re sure?” he asked. I nodded as I swallowed hard and dropped my shirt to the floor. I grabbed his hand and walked toward my bed. He flipped the light switch and followed me. I stopped in front of my bed and turned to face him. Slowly my jeans slid off my body and I climbed under my quilt. He quickly followed me and pulled the blanket over us as he climbed on top of me. I was so tense and tried to take deep breaths to calm my nerves. I had no idea
what to expect or what to do. “I’m really nervous. I just want this to be right, Sonny, for you,” He whispered as he kissed a path down to my bra. He fumbled a bit, but then he undid my bra all the while gently kissing and caressing me. “I’m nervous too, but I know that I want it to be you, Chance…” I whispered back, assuring him this is what I wanted. “Me too, I’m just….I want it to be good. Not good. That’s lame. I mean perfect. Good for a first time, anyway.”
He slipped out of his boxers and looked at me. He reached down to his jeans and I heard him rustle for a moment. He came back up and held the shiny square up to me. I nodded as I waited. “You still sure, Sonny?” he asked again as he gently stroked my face and moved my curls out of the way. I nodded. A tear fell down my cheek. This was it. I was a ball of emotions but I was finally going to lose my virginity.
“Sonny, are you okay?” a look of concern flooded his face, “do you want me to stop? I don’t want to hurt you…are you scared?” he studied my face. I shook my head. I kissed his cheek and pulled his shoulders down, willing him to continue, “Well, yes, scared, but no Chance, I want this…,” I smiled. Then suddenly, Chance did stop. “I love you, Sonny,” he assured me as he kissed my cheek. “I love you too, Chance,” I replied, willing him to continue.
“I can’t. Not here. Not with your parents down the hall. I’m scared shitless that they are going to catch us. I’m sorry. I can’t. I don’t even know if I could get into it thinking of them being home right now. I love you, babe, but I can’t get caught naked in your bed,” he said looking down at me. I understood what he meant. I had already waited this long. What was another day? I nodded gently and he slowly rolled off of me. We stared at the ceiling quietly, for a long time, snuggled into each other.
I kissed his shoulder as he pulled his shirt on. He smiled over his shoulder and kissed me softly. He pulled my shirt on, over my head and kissed me again as my head popped out of the hole at the top, causing me to giggle slightly. He glanced over at my alarm clock. It read 2:07 a.m. “I wanna stay with you all night, but I really gotta get going,” he said as he stood up. He walked across the room and unlocked my door and smiled at me. “I wish you could stay,” I breathed.
“Me too,” he assured me as he bent down to kiss my forehead. He turned to leave and stopped. Sonny…” he started. “Yes?” I asked as I sat up in bed. He was by the window, about to climb out. “When I say I love you?” “Yes?” I cringed, scared where he was about to go with that statement. “It’s not to get you to have sex with me. It’s not in the moment, I really mean it. I do love you.” He turned to hop out of the window. I breathed a sigh
of relief. “Goodnight babe,” he whispered into my room before he pulled down the window. I heard his light footsteps fade away as I pulled the blanket up to my chin and closed my eyes.
Chapter 6 “Rise and shine, beautiful!” My mom smiled cheerfully as she burst into my room, later that morning. I groaned and pulled the comforter over my head. She tugged slightly on the blanket at the foot of my bed. “Alright, Sonny, that’s enough sleep for now. It’s almost 9. Looks like our outing is going to be a brunch. Now get up!” She was way too cheerful for me. I slowly sat up and stretched. “Okay mom, I’m up,” I smiled.
She seemed satisfied. “Alright, dear. I will meet you downstairs in 30 minutes. Okay? 30 minutes,” she reminded as she walked out of my room, leaving the door open. I swung my legs over the edge of the bed and stared down the hallway in a daze. I began to recap the night before and smiled. Things were going to be very different. I guess Chance was as nervous as I was, but there was no one else I wanted to go through this with, than him. Patience would pay off for our first time.
I quickly took a shower and threw on my usual garb, jeans, and a tshirt. Just to be on the safe side, I grabbed a cardigan, in case it got a little chilly. My mother was waiting down stairs for me when I was finished. She opened the door and gestured for me to exit, “Shall we?” she smiled. I picked at my eggs as my mother drank her tea. She had been pretty quiet, as if she really wanted to say something. Finally, she set her cup down and
lightly tapped the rim as if in thought. I glanced at her as I continued to pick at the food on my plate. “What’s wrong mom?” I asked as I set my fork down, giving her my full attention. “Well, nothing really….I just feel as if there are some things that you are not telling me, or that maybe there are things going on right now that you won’t share with me. I thought we have always been really close and I thought you would always come to me. I feel bad that I am initiating this conversation, but
it looks like you won’t come to me on your own.” I studied her face. It was filled with concern and hurt. I felt awful. She was right. We were best friends for a long time. I took a deep breath. I would share a bit but not everything. Not yet. “Well, just, I don’t know, I guess. I just. Okay, so what age were you when you first had sex? Was dad your first? Do you really have to wait and be in love? I mean, it has to be perfect right? I mean, I’m not ready yet, I want to worry about school and all that, but, how do
you know that he’s the one?” I was jumbling all my words and I could see worry cross her face. “And who is this he you’re referring to?” “I didn’t say it was anyone in particular. I just have questions. I mean, I just…there are so many kids at school already doing it, I guess I wonder what all the fuss is? Am I putting sex on a pedestal? Is it really not a big deal?” her eyes got wide, so I quickly tried to recover, “I mean, I know it’s a big deal, but, is the person you hook up with
really as important as I make it?” “Okay,” she started, “Well, your father was my first and only sexual partner, for starters. We were in college when we finally had sex and it was awful.” She laughed slightly “Awful? Why?” “Well, you kind of imagine this perfect moment. It wasn’t perfect. It was awkward. We were both scared and nervous and well, it gets better. I can tell you that much.” “You waited until college?” I asked skeptical. How many virgins were
actually in college? I’m guessing none. “Well, yes. Honestly, I was scared that I would get pregnant, like Chance’s mother. We were all friends in high school, and when she got pregnant with Andrew, it was kind of an eyeopener.” “Chance has mentioned that.” “So, you and Chance talk about sex?” she asked trying to sound casual. “Mom, he is not sleeping with anyone and neither am I, if that’s what you mean. He’s focused on sports and I’m focused on school.”
“Oh. I guess I thought that he was a bit...active, and not in sports, if you know what I mean. His mother was very concerned, but I guess she has nothing to worry about then does she? Well not with Chance, anyways.” I knew she was talking about Drew. What was he doing that could possibly concern his mother? I guess I hadn’t considered that away at college, he was probably running through girls. He was older and with that came experience. “No, not with Chance. He is all about football. Actually, he is still a
virgin too,” I blurted out. That was probably a secret for me to keep. Not many people knew he was a virgin, well, if any. I had recently found out, myself, so it wasn’t common knowledge. “Oh thank God!” “That makes you happy? I didn’t know his status was so important,” I replied confused. She smiled as she reached across the table and patted my hand. “No honey, I didn’t mean that… you said too. I cannot express how relieved I am that you are still a virgin. I
mean, I know the day will come and the guy will come, but I am relieved that you have waited this long. It is a rare treasure to find a young lady that is almost 18, who is still waiting for marriage.” “I guess I just feel there are more important things right now,” I lied. “I’m really glad to hear that. You know, it’s kind of funny though.” “What is?” “Well, when you and Chance were little, you used to make him play ‘wedding’ all the time. His mother and I
thought it was the cutest thing. Andrew would be the pastor and you three would have us laughing so hard. We were actually talking about it the other day, and I am just amazed you two never dated. I wouldn’t blame you, you know. Chance is turning out to be a very handsome young man.” “Mom…umm….what umm… what would you think if Chance and I did date?” she thought for a moment, as if to consider if I were asking a question or confessing something. “Well,” she smiled, “I think that
you two would make sense. You have grown up together and are best friends. I can’t say I would be very surprised.” I smiled as I took a drink of my juice. “Is there something you want to tell me?” she asked. “Not yet.” “Alright, I am here when you are ready,” she replied as she sipped her tea. She had that look though. She knew about Chance and I. Whether she would admit it or not, she knew.
When we pulled up into the driveway, Chance was in his driveway washing his jeep. He looked as if he was almost done, so I decided I would walk over to him. “Mom, I am gonna go over and talk to Chance for a minute. Is that fine?” She glanced over to him as she put the car in park. She nodded as she smiled at me. I quickly hugged her and hopped out of her sedan. “Thanks for brunch…and everything,” I said.
“Hey you,” I smiled timidly as I walked up to him. “Hey you,” he replied back. “What do you have planned for today?” I asked as I leaned on his bumper. “Not much,” he replied. He continued to dry his jeep. I guess I expected him to act differently, but he seemed preoccupied with his jeep. It was actually kind of annoying me. “Oh, so you wanna hang out?” “I can’t.” he replied, still
focused on drying off his jeep. “Oh, okay….” I sulked “I am going to Chris’ house later,” he replied looking down. He walked over to me and gently stroked my arm before dropping his hand quickly. “I was just gonna go hang out with the guys. They’ve been giving me a tough time for blowing them off to be with you all the time. Don’t be upset. I can come see you later if you want,” he explained. I nodded in understanding. “I just wanted to spend time with you,” I confessed.
“I know. Well, I can come by after, if you want to do something later tonight,” he winked. I grinned. “Maybe…maybe not,” I teased. “Awe come on…don’t make me beg,” he smiled. I melted, “Definitely. Text me when you get back or whatever.” “What do you want to do?” he asked. “I don’t really care. I just want to be with you.” “You drive me crazy, you know that, right?” he whispered as he looked
down at me. I reached up and wiped some soap from his cheek as I winked at him. “I’m beginning to…” “Seriously, Sonny, you drive me nuts. I was thinking about you all day. I barely slept last night. It was like Christmas Eve, I just couldn’t wait to see you. Now that you’re here, I just want to throw you against my jeep and do bad things to you. That’s too much, huh?” he stopped, “I’m pretty sure we have an audience,” he glanced over my shoulder. I quickly snuck a peek and saw
the curtains in the window fall at my house. “What do they think we are gonna do, make out right here? Sheesh.” I shook my head in disbelief. He lowered his voice even more as he leaned closer to me, “I can’t wait to be alone with you, and pick up where we left off last night.” He quickly kissed my cheek and then turned back to his jeep, pushing the towel in circles as he dried the side. I blushed slightly as I stepped away from the jeep so he could finish.
“See you later, Chance.” With that, I headed home. I sat on my bed tossing my phone back and forth in my hands. Suddenly, my phone rang. It startled me and I dropped it on the floor. I watched it move on the floor as it rang and vibrated. I quickly reached down and picked it up. “Hello?” “Hey, I am on my way home, what are you doing?” it was Chance. “Just sitting here…nothing
really,” I replied “Do you want to go to the lake?” “I guess.” I shrugged. “Okay, cool. Meet me out front in like 15 minutes or so, okay?” “Okay.” I replied and then I heard a click. He had already hung up. I quickly ran a brush through my hair and pulled it into a quick bun. I grabbed my favorite hoodie and jogged down the stairs. “Where are you going?” my mother called from the living room as
my hand grabbed the door handle. “With Chance. Just hanging out,” I yelled as I swung the door open. “Not too late, sweetie, okay?” “Yes Ma’am,” I answered as I pulled the door shut behind me. I smiled when I saw the jeep in my driveway. I quickly jogged to his vehicle and hopped into the passenger seat. I turned to Chance and grinned. He reached over and quickly kissed my cheek and held my hand as he drove into the night. We passed the lake and he kept
driving. His face was focused and he had not said a word the whole ride. He was beginning to make me anxious, as if something was wrong. Finally, he made it to the cliffs above the lake. The cliffs over looked the lake and the town. The views were breathtaking and many people made the trip up that way to go hiking or parking. I had a feeling that a trek through the woods was not on the agenda. He pulled onto a winding path and found a place to park. Finally, he turned off the ignition and sat looking
over the cliff into the night. He cleared his throat and continued to look ahead. I became a bit uncomfortable. “What’s wrong, Chance?” I initiated conversation as I stroked the top of his hand. “I was just thinking…about us,” he started. “Like what?” He turned to me and I knew. “Sex?” “Sonny, I don’t want you to think that I’m just this sex obsessed teenager, but it is on my mind. A lot. I’ve had a lot
of girls throw themselves at me, but I wasn’t ready. It’s different with you. I’m beyond ready.” “You know I feel the same way. Kinda. But now, ever since I had brunch with my mother, she’s got me scared that I’ll get knocked up or something.” “You told your mom about us?!” “No. I just…had questions and then she brought up your mom and getting pregnant with Drew.” “I get that. I’m scared too,” he said looking out the windshield into the night. He gently grabbed my hand and
pulled me into his side. I looked up to him and kissed him softly on the cheek. “Maybe, we can try other stuff...” he suggested. “Like…other…sexual stuff?” I swallowed hard. “Have you ever done other stuff?” “Chance, seriously, who would I even do those things with?” “Well, I know that Maggie is a pretty popular girl, if you know what I mean. I guess I thought you had at least messed around with another guy from
going out with her all the time or something.” “No. No one else. I’ve barely ever kissed anyone else.” “Oh.” He got quiet again. “Is that bad?” I asked worried. He grinned. “No. Not at all. We’ll go slow,” he leaned forward and kissed me deeply, letting his hands wander under my shirt. After moving his hands over my breasts, he gently guided my hand to the zipper of his pants. After opening his zipper and pushing his briefs out of the way, he
moved his hand over mine. “Like this,” he whispered into my mouth. I followed his lead and he moaned as I moved my hand with his. Eventually he let his hand drop, leaving me in charge. “Yessss….” He hissed in approval as he dropped his head back on his seat. He adjusted himself and pulled his pants back into place. He used his undershirt to clean himself up and then tossed it to the backseat.
“Gross,” I scrunched my nose. He chuckled as he started the jeep. “I’ll throw it away,” he assured me as he kissed my hand and continued to hold it as he pulled out of our spot. It was another “first.”
Chapter 7 I felt my mother’s eyes on me the minute I walked in the front door that night. It’s like a mother always knows. It was either that, or I was paranoid that she would find out about Chance and I. Even the next day, I could tell she wanted to find out what was going on, but she just kept folding the laundry and shooting me glances as I sat on the couch across from her and flipped through the channels. I figured she had brought the
laundry to the den in an attempt to get me to talk, but I just sat there, staring ahead, trying not to show any emotion. I wasn’t ready to tell her. I don’t even know what I would tell her. Could I tell her that Chance and I were a couple? There was a knock on the back door, and she quickly walked to it. I made no attempt to move. There were only four people that used that door. Chance, Drew, and their parents. Chance walked from behind my mother as she presented him. “Sonny, you have company,” she
said as she walked back to her couch and continued to fold the laundry. I glanced to him to acknowledge him and scooted to the edge of the couch so he could sit down. He nodded at me and then had a seat. We sat quietly for a few minutes as I flipped through the channels. “So, you wanna go do something today?” he asked quietly, glancing at my mother. “Like what?” “I thought maybe we could go
hiking or something.” I raised my eyebrow at him and shot a quick glance to my mother. She was obviously paying attention, but trying very hard not to let me notice. “I think that sounds like fun. Maybe we could take a lunch or something,” I offered. “That sounds good. What time do you want to go?” “Probably sometime in a little while, would be fine, I guess.” “Okay, cool,” he finished as he sank into the couch and watched TV with
me. My mother seemed bored by our conversation, so she gathered her basket and laundry and headed upstairs. The moment she left the room, Chance pulled me to him into an embrace and kissed me slowly. “I missed you,” he breathed. I slowly pulled away from his hold and straightened my hair, searching to see if my mother had walked in or any sign of an audience. I smiled at Chance. “So, where are we really going?” I whispered. “No, really, hiking. To talk and
spend time together,” he replied. “Oh. Okay. Sounds fun.” “You sound disappointed. What were you thinking?” “Nothing. Hiking sounds fun.” “Nothing…like really nothing…or nothing like something?” I smiled at him, “Really… nothing, nothing.” I reached over and took his hand in mine as I turned my attention back to the TV. I looked down at the view behind me. We were pretty far up, but
we only had a little more to go. I wiped sweat from my eyebrow as I watched Chance move on, effortlessly, ahead of me. He stopped and turned around to offer me his hand. “Come on, Sonny, just a little more of a way to go,” he assured me. I grabbed his hand and hiked by his side. Finally we came to a clearing and I stood in amazement. The view was absolutely spectacular. I watched as Chance pulled a blanket from his backpack and laid it out on the ground for us to sit on.
I sat next to him and rested my head on his shoulder. We sat quietly like that for a long time, with his arm draped across my shoulders. Then he leaned into me. He slowly kissed me and we settled back onto the blanket to look up at the clouds and called out the shapes we saw. We talked about other things after that. School. Sports. Not anything important…or sexual. It reminded me of our relationship before we became a couple. When we were just friends. It
was kinda nice, actually. He propped himself up on his arm to look down at me. I saw nothing but love and adoration in his eyes. Then he gently kissed my forehead. “I love you, always, Sonny.” He pulled me into his side as we looked out across the clearing, waiting for the sun to set. It was our special moment. The ride back home was very quiet. Neither of us had said much since we had left the hiking trails or the
meadow. There was so much I wanted to say, but I just didn’t know how to put it into words. “You’re quiet,” I started. “Just thinking,” he said and shot me a smile before looking back to the road. “About what?” “Stuff.” “Like what kind of stuff?” I asked, curious to get in his head. He took a deep breath, glancing at me one more time before starting. “Sonny, that was an amazing
afternoon! Really…sweet. I was just thinking about how if just spending time with you is like that, I can’t wait to find out what sex with you is like.” I blushed slightly, “I love you, Chance.” “And I love you. I just don’t know how to think about anything else. Right now, I just can’t stop imagining what you feel like. I just want to spend every minute with you, but I don’t want you to ever feel like this is just about sex. I feel like a broken record, but it’s true…so I was hoping, well, today was
my way of showing you that we can spend time together without sexual tension. I really enjoyed it. It was like… before.” “I know how you feel,” I admitted. He pulled into his driveway and before we parted ways, he grabbed my hand and pulled me into a hug. He looked down at me with his amazing blue eyes. “I’ll see you later.” “Okay.” “Later…tonight.”
“Oh. Okay,” I blushed, understanding his meaning.
Chapter 8 My mother was calling my name from downstairs and I sat up in a panic. I quickly scanned the room. A wave of relief rushed over me as I realized that Chance was not there. At that moment, my mother walked in and looked at me sitting in my bed with a dazed look on my face. “I was saying, if you don’t hurry and get going, you are gonna be late for school.”
“Oh crap!” I yelled as I ran into my bathroom to take a quick shower. When I got outside, Chance was waiting. I quickly got into the jeep as he screeched down the driveway. “Good morning sleeping beauty,” he joked as he drove. “Sorry, I was running a little late. What time did you leave last night?” I asked as I turned toward him. “Early this morning, actually. It was about 4 or 5. I can’t believe I fell asleep in your bed. I woke up because I heard your mom get up. I gotta say, I was
pretty scared I was gonna get caught.” I giggled as I grabbed his hand. He pulled my hand to his mouth and quickly kissed it as he winked at me and then turned his attention back to the road. After school I was waiting in the bleachers for Chance to be done with football practice. After practice, Chris jogged over to me. I inhaled deeply and smiled as he walked up. “Hey, Chris,” I smiled. “Hey beautiful,” he said as he reached over to hug me.
“Where’s Chance?” “Umm,” he started, “Chance told me to tell you he has to stay a little later to review tapes with Coach. I can give you a ride if you don’t want to wait on him.” “Oh. Okay. I think I’ll just wait on him.” “Okay,” he said, impatiently, “Are you sure? I mean, I have to head your way anyways to go to Ashley’s. I don’t mind dropping you off.” He sat down next to me and waited. He scooted a little closer,
making me uncomfortable. “Umm,” I fidgeted, “No thanks. I’ll wait on Chance.” I smiled sweetly. “It might be late. I don’t mind.” “Well….I umm…but…” “No, it’s cool. By the way, thanks for talking to Chance to have him talk to Ashley. She’s great. I’m glad we finally got together.” More awkward silence. “So how are you two virgins working out?” He smirked in a condescending way. I felt disgusted instantly.
“What?” I said in disbelief, “that is none of your business!” Who was he thinking he could talk to me about my sex life, regardless if it was with his best friend or not. “Don’t get me wrong. I think you’re nice, but it’s too much work pretending to be a nice guy just for your V card. I figured you would be more like Mags. I used to think you would be pretty easy, but poor Chance has been walking around with blue balls ever since you two got together. You could at least suck him off, you know?”
“Oh my …gah…you are such a pig!” “Whatever…” “I used to think you were a nice guy. You are such a jerk!” “Look, if you get tired of telling Chance no, just let Maggie break him in,” he laughed. “How are you and Chance even friends?! You are disgusting!” He laughed, “When chicks find out Chance is a virgin or that he won’t make any advances at them because he is too focused on football…they
practically come begging me to take them. It’s a win, win situation. I guess I was wrong when I said I thought you were easy.” “Did you just call her easy?!” asked the voice behind me. “No, man, I said I thought she was easy…but with her not even sucking you off, we both know that’s a lie.” “Don’t talk about her like that,” said Chance as he stepped in front of me. “Chance,” said Chris as he stood up, “Look, man, I don’t have any problems with you, and I don’t want any.
I was just having fun with her. Just bang her already. This no sex thing is messing you up on the field. At least before, you were getting your dick sucked.” “It’s not like that, Chris. Sonny and I…” “Oh please! I shoulda just screwed her myself and told you whether it was worth your time or not,” he laughed. Chance started halfheartedly laughing, more of a mocking tone, and then before I knew what was happening Chance had flown forward and punched
Chris in the face. I looked around in a panic for anyone who could stop them from killing each other and I started screaming for help as I was pulling at Chance’s shirt, pleading with him to stop. I was finally knocked out of the way by someone in shoulder pads and the team was pulling them apart. I had tears streaming down my face as I stood in disbelief at what had just happened. Later that night, I was sitting on Chance’s bed looking at his face. He had
a slight cut on his bottom lip, but other than that, he looked fine. “So….how bad is it?” I asked “Well, I’m suspended for two games and I’m grounded. Aaaand, because I’m grounded, I can’t go to winter formal in two weeks,” he turned his head from me to look out the window. I could tell he was fighting back tears. We had made plans for that night. It was going to be the night to remember. Winter formal was the perfect night to finally lose our virginity, or so we had thought.
“I know it doesn’t help, but, thank you for sticking up for me like that.” “Are you kidding,” he sat forward, “He was saying you were easy and you are far from easy…believe me,” he winked. I smiled at him. “Chance, was that true what he said?” “About what?” “Other girls. I mean, if you want stuff like that I could try to…” “Sonny, it’s not like that. I mean, it was before, but not with you.
It’s fine. Really. The point is, I couldn’t let him talk to you like that,” He finished. “Thank you, Chance…I thi…” “Sonny, it’s time to go,” said his mother from the bedroom door. “Yes ma’am,” I nodded at her. She left the room, but I knew she would be right back. I quickly kissed Chance on the cheek. “Thank you, Chance. And I am so sorry. Really.” “Don’t worry about it. You’re
worth it,” he smiled. I smiled back and then quickly left. I was bored out of my mind. After a week of Chance being grounded, and not spending time together, I welcomed any and all company. I sat on the couch with my legs folded under me pretending to be engrossed in the show I was watching. Drew had gotten home earlier that day to start his winter break and was sitting on the couch with me, hanging out, just like old times. Lately, things had been
different. Ever since he came home to his surprise party, I had started to notice the building tension between us. I was older and he was older and so much more mature, not to mention the way his adult body had filled out. I quickly shook the thoughts from my head. I guess any chance I had at getting over him were demolished the moment he hugged me. If I could die thinking about the way his body molded around mine each time he hugged me, I could die happy. Can you keep a secret?
Chance had nothing on his brother. Oh yeah. Chance, I reminded myself. Focus on Chance. “So, before he got in trouble, Chance was going to take you to the winter formal?” asked Drew. “Well,” I started as I turned to him, “we were gonna go together, but it’s no big deal. I will just go without him.” “Are you sure? I mean, I could take you, if you want someone to go with you.” “Really?” I thought it over,
“Why?” “Why not?” “Cause you are Drew. I mean, you are Drew Mitchell, every girls’ dream and you want to take your next door neighbor to a high school dance?” He laughed, “I don’t know about being every girls’ dream, but I think that it would be fun. Besides, what are friends for?” Thanks for the reminder. Friends. As in the friend that lived next door. As in, your childhood friend. He made friend almost a dirty word, just like
Chance used to. “Okay. Fine. Sounds like fun.” “Good.” “Fine,” I giggled. “It will be just as romantic as the night our parents all went to winter formal in high school and fell in love, sigh,” He laughed at his own joke. “You’re so dumb, Drew!” I laughed harder as I flirtatiously swatted him with a couch pillow. He started laughing as he threw a pillow back. It was fun and silly, and just enough to make me want him a little more.
I was standing in front of the full-length mirror in my room looking at my dress. It was dark blue with a thin ice-blue ribbon sash at the bust line. It was perfect. I had opted to leave my hair partly down, with my curls hanging down my back. It would have been more perfect with Chance standing next to me, my dress enhancing his gorgeous eyes, but I had agreed to go with Drew, and that was still a pretty good deal. I turned to Maggie standing next
to me in her daring, tight red number. “You look so hot,” I told her. “Not as hot as you. You look so elegant, and you’re going with a college guy! What an amazing night for you,” she teased with a wiggle of her eyebrows. I laughed slightly. “It’s not the same.” “Well, if you don’t have a good time, let me know and I will gladly entertain your date,” she laughed making quotes with her fingers for the word date. “Funny. I just wish Chance’s
mom would have changed her mind about this, but I guess not.” “You still have prom,” she offered. I smiled sheepishly, recalling my vow to myself not to stay a virgin forever, “Yes we do.” “Anyhow, I’m finished; I will meet you down stairs.” “Right.” I walked to my window and looked across at Chance’s window. The light was off. He was probably in the den, sulking, watching TV. He had said
he didn’t want to see me in my dress because it made him feel guilty about not being able to take me. I shook my head slightly as I looked up at the sky. It was a clear crisp evening. The perfect evening for a dance. I took a deep breath and headed down the stairs. Drew was already at the foot of the stairs waiting on me. He held his arm out to me as my foot hit the hard wood of the first floor. “Shall we?” he smirked. I smiled up at him. He looked so handsome in his black tux with ice blue accents. My
mother must have talked to him or at least told him what color I was wearing. He completely complimented my dress. “Oh wow, Sonny, you look gorgeous, darling,” my mother said as she walked up to me, “Now don’t rush off, let me have my pictures!” I smiled my best smile for the next twenty minutes as my mother posed me, Drew, Maggie and her date. “Okay Mother,” I said finally, “can we please go now?” “Of course, sorry darling,” she said as she leaned on my father. With
that, we rushed out of the front door and into our respective vehicles. Maggie and her date were riding in their own vehicle, so Drew and I were alone in his pickup truck. As he pulled out of the driveway, I glanced up to Chance’s window, hoping I could at least wave. Still nothing. When we walked into the room, I felt as if everyone was staring at us. I wasn’t sure if it was because of me, or the fact that I had brought Drew. Either way, we had the attention of the room.
Various people, mostly football players, greeted us and talked to Drew. I scanned the room for nothing in particular. I stopped when I saw Chris. Stupid Jerk. Chris caught my eye and winked as he grabbed Ashley’s backside. I turned away from him and looked up at Drew. He was laughing with Mike, another senior, about “back when”. I noticed the twinkle in his hazel green eyes and his dimples when he laughed. Geez, he was handsome. I quickly tried to think about something else.
“Sonny,” he looked down to me, “Would you like to dance?” He didn’t wait for an answer. He quickly twirled me onto the dance floor and then fell into rhythm with the beat of a slow song. “So, Chance hit Chris, huh?” he asked as he swayed to the song, holding me close. “Yeah…pretty crazy, right?” “What on earth would possess my little brother to hit a guy he has been best friends with for years?” he smirked. I blushed as I turned my head
onto his shoulder so he couldn’t look into my eyes, “I have no idea.” “I see. So it wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that you two have been fooling around, then? It has nothing to do with you two being a couple?” I quickly looked up to him. “What? You didn’t think I knew? Of course I know. Chance told me. He’s my brother.” “Oh,” I managed to say, in almost a whisper. “Do your parents know anything
about you two?” “No. Not yet, and they won’t either, okay Drew?” I asked as I looked up at him. “Deal. My lips are sealed. Now, whether my parents say anything, I can’t say. Our parents have all been friends since high school. I doubt they keep secrets…” “They know?” “Well, I don’t know how much they know, but they have been teasing Chance about you two since I got home. I figured they knew something.”
“Oh, I see.” “It’s no big deal, you know. You two are almost 18 and free to do what you want. Plus, your parents let you date, so I can’t see a problem with it.” “I don’t think my parents would see it that way.” “Of course not, you are their daughter. Their baby girl. It’s always gonna be different when you have the girl instead of the boy. I always thought you would date more, but Chance said your head was definitely in the books. So, how did it happen?”
“What?” “You and Chance.” I smiled, “He didn’t tell you?” “Yeah, he did. I just wanted to make you blush again. You’re kinda cute when you get embarrassed.” “You suck, you know that,” I joked as we continued to dance. Finally, they announced the Snow King and the Snow Queen. Chris and Ashley. No surprise there. After word got out that Chance would not be there, I guess it was obvious who would win. I
rolled my eyes as I watched them take their solo dance. “You wanna go, or do you wanna stay and watch this?” “Please get me out of here,” I smiled as Drew took my hand and we walked out of the building. When we were back in his truck, we waited a moment for the truck to warm up. Finally, he put the truck in gear and began to drive me home. “Are you hungry?” he asked as he glanced at his watch. “Yeah, but I really don’t want to
go out to eat in this dress.” “No problem. How about we both go home, change and then go get something to eat?” “That sounds fine to me.” We both met back up at his truck, with more casual clothes on. He had on jeans with a green sweater embellished with his fraternity logo. It accented the green in his dreamy hazel eyes. I pushed the thought away as I tried to concentrate on the road while he was driving, nowhere in particular. Every
time his truck passed underneath a streetlight, the faint glow picked up the golden flecks in his eyes. I tried to shift my focus and not think about how handsome he was. I promise I did. I didn’t want to feel butterflies every second that he looked at me, but I did. My teenage hormones were definitely working overtime. I was trying so hard to not focus on him, that I didn’t even notice the awkward silence that had built up in the cab of his shiny black truck. “So, where do you want to go?”
he asked me finally, bringing me out of my thoughts. “I don’t care. Something quick and easy.” “Like drive thru or do you want to go sit down in a restaurant to eat?” “Whatever, you pick.” “Of course. Such a typical answer,” he laughed shaking his head. “Fine, Andrew. I want a cheeseburger. A good one too. Like from that diner out by the lake,” I crossed my arms as I looked at him, grinning. I got a smirk in return.
“Burgers it is. Call it in.” We picked up our brown bag specials and Drew drove to the park close to the diner. He pulled his truck into a parking spot and turned to me. “Is this fine?” “Sure,” I shrugged. We munched quietly with only the sounds of burger wrappers rustling in the cab of his pickup truck. I glanced at Drew. He looked as if he was deep in thought as he stared out of the truck’s windshield, chewing on his burger.
“What are you thinking about,” I asked, curiously. He was quiet for a moment and then almost choked on his words, “Nothing really.” “That doesn’t sound like nothing to me,” I pried. “Well,” he threw his unfinished food into the paper bag and turned to me. He hesitated for a moment as he studied by face, but then took a deep breath and started, “I feel pretty crappy saying this, but I’ve wanted to say it for a long time. There’s never a right time, so, well,
I’ve, well, okay, here goes…I always kinda had a thing for you. So taking you tonight, probably meant more to me than you. I mean, Chance and I never talked about it, me and you, that is, because I knew how he felt about you. He admitted he had a thing for you, and I never admitted it, so I guess he beat me to it. Even when he didn’t admit it, I know my brother better than anyone, and he has definitely had a thing for you for a long time. So, then, I figured going to college and meeting new people, I could shake that, well, this feeling, but seeing you
tonight just brought back a lot of feelings I had tried to keep buried deep inside. Do you remember that…the time that...” “Drew, I had no idea. I mean, really? Why would you have a thing for me?” I interrupted. Why would he feel like that? Or maybe I was just fetching for a compliment. I liked the way he made me feel. I liked the way he looked at me, but no matter how many likes I had at that moment though, I started to feel a tinge of guilt. Chance. “Are you serious? Can’t you see how amazing you are? You are
smart, and funny, and completely gorgeous.” “Why didn’t you just tell me?” “Because I was sure you and Chance would end up together and who am I to mess with destiny, right? I could never date a girl my brother was interested in. Well, it turns out, I guess I was right. You two make a cute couple and are pretty good for each other.” Another awkward silence, then he cleared his throat looking out the window again. “He told me you two have been
talking about having sex…” he changed the subject and paused, waiting for me to answer. “I can’t believe he told you about that,” I whispered mortified. “Sonny, don’t be embarrassed. It’s not like I’m gonna tell your mom,” he joked, trying to lighten the mood. “Still, it’s kind of private.” “But can I ask you something?” “Okay, but I won’t promise to answer.” “Are you ready to have sex?” “That’s pretty personal, Drew.”
“So don’t answer then.” If I could talk to any other guy besides Chance, it was Drew. I sighed, “I think I’m ready, but it’s like there’s never a perfect time, you know?” I looked to him for understanding. “Sonny, there won’t be a perfect time, but there will be a perfect guy. The question is, have you found him?” “I think so.” “Sounds like you might want to wait until you know so.” Another awkward silence. I
was trying to process everything. Drew had a thing for me. Had? Has? Does it matter? I have a boyfriend. His brother. “I had no idea how you felt, you know.” “I know. I just figured that you and Chance were the better fit, so I left it alone.” “Oh.” It got quiet again. “And why are we a better fit, Drew?” “It’s an age thing, I guess. Your parents would never approve of us. And
I was trouble back then. You know that. I’m the guy that moms dreaded seeing their daughters with.” “Age. So it bothers you that I’m younger?’ “Not really. Well, yeah, kinda. I mean, if you were 18 and moved out, I guess it might be different. Your dad would kill me if I even looked at you as if I wanted you.” “Oh.” I slumped back into the seat. So, Drew never pursued me because of Chance and my age. In a weird way, it made me want him more. It
was as if I wanted to prove myself. I wasn’t just some kid that lived next door. I was older. Dare I say more mature? That might be pushing it. Plus, he was absolutely right about my over protective father. He huffed loudly, “Anyhow, I guess I better get you home…” “Okay.” We rode quietly back to my house. When we got to my house, Drew pulled the truck into his parent’s driveway. “Let me walk you to the door,”
he offered. I nodded as I met him outside the truck. He slowly walked me to the front step. The porch light was off and the house was dark and quiet. I guess my parents had gone to bed already. Apparently they felt I was in good hands with Drew. “Well,” he reached over and hugged me quickly, “Good night Sonny.” “Drew,” I started. “Yes?” “I really wish you would have
told me before…maybe things could be different.” “Sonny, just, leave it alone. I shouldn’t have said anything. Please don’t say any more about it. Okay?” he asked. I nodded. He leaned in to hug me again and then he lightly kissed my cheek. As he was pulling away, he paused just an inch from my mouth. I felt him breathing on me. I was holding my breath waiting for him to kiss me, but the moment quickly passed, to my disappointment. I exhaled as I took a step back
from him. “I’m sorry,” he said as he nervously ran his hand through his short sandy hair, “I guess I will see you later or something. Goodnight Sonny.” He turned to leave. “Drew?” I stopped him. He turned to me with hope in his eyes. “Umm…Goodnight Drew,” I whispered. I quickly went inside, pulling the door shut behind me. With the faint click of the door, I leaned against it and took a deep breath as I collected my
thoughts. I felt my head swimming with thoughts of Drew and as much as I tried to shake them, it was no use. I was dizzy as I thought about him, just like the first time I had locked eyes with him and I knew that he was the epitome of sexy. The way he held me on the dance floor came back to me too. I had not given it much thought until just tonight. The way his cologne smelled sweet as I leaned into him and most of all…the way he lightly kissed my cheek and had paused as if to kiss me on the lips.
The more I thought about it…the more I wondered, what would it be like to kiss Drew? What would it be like to kiss a guy like Andrew Mitchell? I quietly rushed up stairs to settle in for the night. I changed in my dark room and then stood by the window, looking into Chance’s bedroom. It was dark. Still. I shrugged as I snuggled into my bed from the cold night. That night, I dreamed about his
lips on my neck and the way he held me. I dreamed about dancing with him and the way he gently wrapped his arms around me gliding me across the floor, whirling past all the faces causing them to blur…I imagined the way he had lingered for a kiss, and then…in my dreams…his lips crashed into mine. Finally. “Oh Drew,” I breathed with satisfaction.
Chapter 9 “Sonny?” I jerked up from my sleep and turned around. “Chance? What are you doing here?” “I came to see you. I wanted to know how the dance went.” “Oh. Hey,” I leaned in to kiss him. He sat back to stop me. “Were you dreaming about my brother?”
“What?” “I was trying to wake you up, and you called me Drew.” “No I didn’t,” I argued. “Yes, you did. You said Drew…clear as day…” “Chance, you must be wrong.” “I don’t think so, Sonny.” I tried to laugh it off, “Chance, I was asleep. I can’t help what I do in an unconscious state of mind!” “I realize that, but you were dreaming about my brother. That’s….that’s kinda weird.”
“Umm….I’m sorry?” “You don’t have to apologize. It’s not really your fault, I guess. It kinda caught me off guard that’s all. It’s cool, whatever. So, tell me about your night.” I told him about the dance and then how Drew and I went to eat at the park. Of course, I left out a few little bits about Drew. The little bits that could easily be misconstrued, of course. After all…it meant nothing, didn’t it? The way he had held my hand to rescue me from the dance and even the way he had kissed me on the cheek. Totally platonic,
right? I ended with, “He gave me a hug and I came up here, completely exhausted and fell asleep.” I stopped and watched his face, “I missed you,” I said as I reached up to touch his face softly. “I missed you too, babe,” he said as he leaned in to kiss me. I pulled him close to me. He grinned as he snuggled closer to me, “I mean, I really missed you.” I giggled as I pulled the blanket over us. The next day was a quiet
Saturday morning. Less than two weeks until Christmas. I was beginning to get so excited I could barely contain myself. Christmas was my favorite holiday. I was sitting on the back porch in the cold weather wrapped in a blanket, drinking hot chocolate, staring into the woods at nothing in particular. There were two squirrels that seemed to be playing tag with each other. A smile crossed my face. Every year, my parents hosted a holiday party, so my parents were busy at the grocery store buying food and
supplies for that evening. Our friends and family would be there later this evening. I sighed as I watched the squirrels. They didn’t seem in any rush to do anything. I smiled at the simplicity of it. “Can I join you?” “Sure, Drew, have a seat,” I smiled as I patted the chair next to me. “Whatcha doin’?” “Not much,” I laughed as I pointed toward the woods, “Just watching the squirrels. Look…” He followed my eyes and
laughed. We sat quietly for a few minutes as we watched the woods and its activities. I didn’t dare bring up our conversation from the night before. “When is the last time you were up in that tree house,” he asked noting the wooden fort my father had built for me years ago. I laughed, “Too long to remember. Remember when we were kids and we used to have sleepovers up there? My parents would build us a campfire and we would roast marshmallows and then later that night
we would go up and sleep in the tree house? Man that was a long time ago.” “I remember. And you would never sleep out there all night. Me and Chance would tell scary stories and then next thing we know, you would find a reason you needed to go inside,” he was laughing hysterically. “You were so mean,” I laughed, “Like the time when we went camping and you put a frog in my sleeping bag!” “Whoa! That was not me! That was Chance,” he laughed.
“No way! That was sooooo you!” I laughed harder. We were both catching our breath as we slowed our laugh and I stared into his eyes. He was starting to have an effect on me that I was unsure about. Did I like the way he made me feel? Did I like the fact that he made me wonder what it would be like to be with him? He stood up suddenly and broke our uncomfortable moment. “Hey, you wanna go see what that club house looks like now?” he held his hand out to me.
“Sure,” I grinned as I stood up. “Race ya!” I yelled over my shoulder, getting an unfair head start, as I sprinted across the backyard to the edge of the yard. When I got to the edge of the woods, I stopped under the tree that held my childhood sanctuary. I made a huge gesture as I tagged the tree dramatically. “I win.” I teased. He knocked me down when he made it to me. He laughed as he lay on top of me, our chests heaving against each other. Then, he stopped laughing and locked eyes with me. I’m pretty sure
my heart was in my throat and I didn’t trust my voice to even get a word out. Say something, Sonny! Nothing. “Sorry for knocking you down,” he said as he stood up quickly as if I had an infectious disease. He held his hand to me, pulling me to my feet, “I guess it’s the jock in me. Come on,” he said down to me as he began to climb the ladder to the tree house. I brushed off the dried pine needles and quickly followed him into the wooden structure. We stood in the
one room shack looking out the front window of the fort at my house. “Funny, it used to seem a lot bigger,” he joked. “Yeah, I know what you mean.” He stepped up behind me and was practically breathing down my neck. I felt a chill run down my body as I envisioned how close he was to me, without turning around to face him. If I had turned around just then, I would be close enough to kiss him. Our lips would practically smash into each other. “You should ask your parents to
remodel this and see if you can move out here,” he walked to another window in the room, “I mean look at the view? And rent would be cheap!” he teased as he noted the creek below surrounded by woods. “Funny. And I guess you will be my roommate? To make sure I make rent and all, of course.” “Sure. Absolutely. I hope you like bunk beds!” He laughed. After our laughter died down, we stood quietly for a moment. It was uncomfortable again. “Umm, Drew, last night…” I
started. “Sonny, can we not go there? Just forget it.” I walked toward him and stopped in front of him. I reached up and gently stroked his cheek as I looked at him with so many questions in my eyes. I leaned in and gently kissed his cheek, then stopped and looked at his face. He reached up and grabbed my hand to stop me before I could settle my curiosity and kiss his pouty lips. “Don’t.” “But Drew…” I protested.
“Sonny, listen, we should probably go. Being up here alone is not a good idea,” he said as he dropped my hand and turned to walk away. “Aren’t you the least bit curious?” I pushed, wanting him to claim me, “I mean, ummm…” “Are you kidding?!” he raised his voice as he spun on his heel, “Of course. I think about moments like this all the time! But, what are we doing here? What is going on between us? The answer should be, nothing! You are my brother’s girlfriend! You belong to
Chance!” “I don’t belong to anyone,” I said angrily. “You know what I mean, don’t be like that,” he said calmly. I sighed, letting the rage melt away quickly, “You’re right. I’m sorry. I just mean that I don’t belong to him. I am my own person. I am not property.” “Sonny, I know what you mean. I’m sorry I said it like that. I just mean that you are his girl. You and Chance are together.” “I love him, but what if there
are other things I want? What if the love I feel for him is not like a romantic love, but more of a family love?” “Sonny, you can’t have it all. You have to make choices.” “Okay, but, what if there are some things that I feel like I need to do before I settle with Chance?” “Then maybe you’re not really in love with him.” “Maybe it’s not love at all. Maybe I am intrigued by how new and secretive it is and that is what I am really in love with. Maybe I am so in
love with the idea of being in love, that I have mistaken this infatuation with Chance for real love for a long time!” He shook his head, “you don’t mean that. Just stop. I shouldn’t be having this conversation with you.” “Drew, I’ve always come to you about everything. We just finished talking about my sex life last night, for God’s sake! Why can’t we talk about this? Because it involves you? I care about you. You have always been a part of my life and maybe there is something that I have missed between us,” I argued.
“Please stop,” he started. “Why?!” “Because…you are with Chance. He is my brother and it’s a really messed up situation. You know what I mean?” “Yes, yes I do.” I turned to hide the tears that I felt burning in my eyes. “God, why did I have to open my big mouth? Please don’t cry, Sonny.” he said as he reached out to wipe my face with his sleeve. He shook his head as if he couldn’t believe what he was doing,
“You have always made me feel something that was indescribable. I’m scared to chase it. I was then and I am more scared now, but what if it is the real deal and I miss out on something, rather, someone, that was in front of me my whole life?” “Exactly. What if we end up missing out on something incredible?” “But on the same note, what if it’s nothing and you jeopardize everything with Chance and that what you have with him was actually the real deal? What if the way we flirt is in fact
just innocent flirting?” “Drew, I don’t think so. This is more than a silly little flirting and I want to know.” I stepped closer to him again. “I can’t, Sonny,” he said taking a step away from me. I tried again, “Drew…I want to know what it’s like to kiss you. The other night, you wanted to kiss me, didn’t you?” “Sonny, I don’t want to answer that.” “Why?” I plead. “Sonny, please quiet down,” he
attempted to calm me, “Let’s just leave it alone. Just leave it alone, ok? Please?” I stepped close to him again, blocking his exit. “What if….” I cried, “What if I don’t want to be with Chance, anymore, at all?” “You don’t mean that. I think you might be confused right now, but deep down, you know that Chance is the one for you. Let’s not do anything that would risk what you two have. Okay? I mean…if it doesn’t work out, which it will…but if it doesn’t, then maybe we
could try…” he sighed, “Sonny, I really need to go. I will see you tonight at the party, okay?” “You’re coming?” I asked. I had already forgotten about the party. “Yeah. Why wouldn’t I? I come every year, don’t I? We’ll talk tonight, okay?” he said as he began to climb down the ladder forcing our conversation to a halt. “Right…see you later.” Two hours into the evening and after we had had our fill of adult
conversations, Maggie and I made our way up to my room. “Are you missing your honey bunch?” she joked. “Yeah,” I sighed looking over at his window. “He’s been pretty quiet the last couple of days.” “Good thing you have Drew to keep you company,” she teased. “It’s not like that!” I snapped, surprising myself. “Um, I was just teasing.” “Sorry Maggie. I’m a little defensive.”
“If I didn’t know any better, I would swear you still had a crush on the bad boy,” she smirked. “It’s not a crush…it’s…we’re friends. Nothing more.” She shrugged, “Okay. Whatever you say.” I told her about Chance and how we were doing and she told me about her and her new fling, Shayne. Shayne was one of Drew’s friends from high school. He was a local fire fighter and quite handsome. I gave her kudos for
going out with him. We giggled late into the night. Finally, it was time for her to go. I decided that I wanted to stay to see if maybe Chance would sneak over, or even if Drew would stop by. There was no chance in me getting any sleep yet, because my parents were still up with their friends, joking, and laughing, and being loud. I was almost asleep, when there was a tap on the door. I saw Drew’s head poke in.
“You want some company?” he asked. “Where have you been all night?” I asked anxiously. “I met up with some guys from high school, and we had a few drinks… nothing big,” he smiled as he lay down on my bed. “Are you drunk?” “Shhh…” he teasingly scolded as he lay back on his hands and closed his eyes. “So, you are?” I asked in disbelief.
“God…you smell so good….” He mumbled as he closed his eyes. He reached out for my hand. “Drew?” I asked as I held his hand. “You smell amazing…” he said pulling me onto his chest and wrapping his arms around me. “Drew…” I said up to the ceiling. I was disappointed. I don’t know what I had expected from that night. I wanted to continue our conversation from earlier that day. I wanted him to kiss me when he held me
close like that. I wanted so much from him and I got nothing. “I just need you…” he slurred. We laid like that for a long time, letting his words hang in the air. “Drew…I…” I stopped suddenly. I heard the creak of the roof and I sat up, pulling away from him. He leaned up on his elbows to look, too. Chance quietly climbed in the window and looked to me and then Drew and back to me. “He’s been drinking, huh?” he laughed, unaware of how close we had
just been. Great. I would have to wait until another time to talk to Drew. “Just a few. Shayne dropped me off earlier and I stopped by to see what everyone was up to,” Drew explained. “Are Mom and Dad still downstairs?” Chance asked. “Yeah, we better get home before they notice you’re gone,” Drew mumbled as he got off the bed and gave me quick hug. “I swear, this grounding thing sucks out loud.” “You’ll learn. A pretty face
always causes problems,” he joked nodding my way. “Yeah, but she sure is cute,” Chance smiled at me as he leaned forward and kissed me on the mouth. Drew looked away and headed to the window. “Come on lover boy, let’s hurry,” he said as he jumped out. Chance gave me another quick kiss on the cheek and followed him. Drew turned around one last time when Chance passed him. He held my gaze, but gave nothing away as to what he was thinking.
“Night Sonny.” “G’night, Drew,” I managed to choke out in a whisper. New Year’s Eve I was supposed to go to Shayne’s house for a party. When Chance and I got there, it was already crowded. Everyone was there. The football team, cheerleaders, friends who had graduated a few years ago, and many more people were all crowded into his house. Drew was in town, and without a doubt, already in the house somewhere,
but I had not seen him, yet. I secretly hoped I would get to see him and maybe spend time with him, alone. Our last encounter had been the night of my parents’ party, and had ended, kind of suddenly. We had not spoken or emailed since then, so I was hoping that I might get a few words in with him. Hopefully. “Chance, you wanna get in on this game of beer pong?? We need one more,” said a random guy as he pulled Chance from me by the shoulder. He looked at me for approval. “Go,” I assured him, “I will
mingle.” He quickly kissed my cheek as he grinned and headed toward the garage. I squeezed through the crowded room as I made my way to the kitchen. I poured myself a non-alcoholic drink and sipped it slowly as I looked around. Everyone was smiling and laughing, but I felt all alone in that crowded house. I felt as if no one could or would ever go through what I was dealing with inside. I talked to a few people and hung out for a while, but easily got bored. Where was he?
It was getting crowded pretty quickly as more people arrived, so I decided to head downstairs. I had not seen Shayne yet, and I was curious as to where he was. It was his party after all. I pushed through a crowd of people toward the downstairs part of the house, and made my way towards the recreation room that Shayne had converted to a cozy den. He had a pretty nice house for an unmarried firefighter. Sure enough, he was there with his arm around Maggie sitting on the couch watching the Times Square
special on the big screen TV in front of him, waiting for the ball to drop. I smiled as I walked toward them. “Hey Mags,” I said as I plopped down onto the plush leather couch. “Hey,” she said as she pulled from his side and gave me a quick hug, “Where’s Chance?” “He’s playing beer pong. So, what are you doing down here? Did you two need alone time?” I winked. She laughed, “Na, we were just talking about spring break. We were
thinking of heading south to the beach. What do you think?” “I don’t know. Maybe. I just don’t think that my parents will let me go out of town on an overnight trip. I just, I can’t wait to turn 18 like you!” I laughed. “True.” We settled back to watch the live concerts that were being performed in Times Square as New York waited for the official countdown. We were finally down to the last 5 minutes before the ball was going to drop and I sprang to my feet.
“I guess I better find Chance for my midnight kiss,” I said as I walked toward the door. I began to make my way up stairs and through the crowded living room and kitchen without luck. I began to move quickly as I made my way to the garage. It had emptied out by now and everyone was in the living room. I began to panic as I heard the countdown from 60. Where was he? I took a gamble and rushed up the stairs. Maybe, for some reason he had made his way up there. I stood at the top of the staircase
and looked over the crowd, scanning for him. While the crowd counted down from 20, I thought I spotted him, and turned to rush down the stairs. Just as I turned, I ran right into Drew’s chest. “Sorry,” I mumbled as I froze looking at him. The dim lighting made the caramel of his eyes even dreamier. I took a deep breath as I tried to focus, still dazed from the contact. “What’s wrong?” he asked noting the urgent look on my face. “I’m…I’m just…looking for
Chance,” I explained quickly. The numbers in the background continued from the crowd downstairs, 11…10… 9… “He was just downstairs,” he replied. In the background: 7…6…5… 4… “3…2…1,” he said to me and then quickly pulled me close and kissed me softly on my lips. I let his tongue invade my mouth and take me away in those few seconds. It felt like it lasted forever as he lightly held me by the waist and cupped my chin, taking me in.
“Happy New year, Sonny,” he whispered as he let me go. I felt the tingle on my lips and his taste was still in my mouth. I didn’t dare move, wishing the moment wouldn’t pass, thankful it wasn’t a dream. I stared at him in disbelief as he adjusted his hat and looked away as if embarrassed. “Happy New Year Drew,” it was all I could think to say as I stood before him dumbfounded. We stood looking at each other fighting to find the words to say next. “Now you know….” he finally
said burning into me with his eyes. I looked at him quizzically, “Know what?” “What it’s like,” he explained quietly. I realized what he was talking about our conversation. Before I could say another word, I was jerked away from in front of him. Chance pulled me into his arms and planted his lips on me, forcing me to taste the beer he had been consuming since we had arrived. He finally pulled from his sloppy drunken kiss and looked at me.
“I was looking for you,” he slurred, “Happy New Year baby!” He turned and hugged his brother and then swayed in front of me again. I shook my head in disgust. “You’re trashed,” I accused. He laughed and nodded his head. “Yes ma’am I am…” he replied as I glared at him in disapproval. “Come on, let’s go home,” I said as I reached for his hand. He quickly jerked from me as he became angry. “I am not leaving. If you wanna go, you can go, but I am staying here.”
“To do what, throw up in the garage?” “Actually Sonny, I think he is just gonna stay here for tonight. I got him. We can’t go home with him like this. My mom is gonna be pissed,” explained Drew. “That’s right, see…at least he loves me,” said Chance as he pointed to his brother drunkenly. “Fine. Whatever,” I said as I turned to leave. “Baby, don’t go,” he said as he grabbed my wrist, looking at me with his
sad puppy dog face. I gently pulled from his hold and looked him over. “I can’t deal with you like this.” Drew quickly stepped in and put his arm around Chance, “I am gonna take him to the extra bedroom and we will stay the night. Do you need a ride Sonny?” “No, I haven’t had anything to drink. I’m fine,” I assured him. “If you need anything, let me know, okay?” he said sincerely. I nodded and quickly ran down the stairs. Safely inside my car, I sat in
front of the steering wheel with my car parked by the road. I was still not able to put the car in drive. Technically, I should be pissed about how intoxicated Chance was and how he had abandoned me at a party for some silly drinking games. You know, they say that whoever you kiss at midnight will be who you kiss for the rest of the year, so your “midnight kiss” is supposed to be special. I should be upset that he tried to plant a halfhearted drunken kiss on me at midnight. But I wasn’t. I wasn’t even
thinking about him. The car was running and I had my hand on the gearshift, but all I could think about was Drew. I did finally know, and kissing him was more than I thought it would be. It was unbelievable. All I could think was that I wanted more. I wanted to be with him. I quickly snapped out of it and pulled away from Shayne’s house. I let the trees fly by as I drove home through the icy night.
Chapter 10 Suddenly, after driving for at least fifteen minutes, my phone rang through the silence in the cab of my car. “Hello?” “Where are you?” “About ten minutes from home.” “Oh,” he was quiet for a moment. “Drew…about earlier…” “Look…Chance is passed out and I was hoping, I mean, can I see you?”
“Now?” “Yeah.” “Where?” “Where ever.” “Well, my parents are gone to a party for the night, so, if you wanna come over, that’s fine.” “Okay, I should be there in a little bit.” “Okay,” I said as my heart raced. I heard the line go dead and I dropped the phone into my lap. I took a deep breath, taking a minute to think about what could happen. What I hoped would
happen... I stood by the front door anticipating his arrival. I had already heard the roar of his truck’s engine and I knew he was seconds away. I heard the rustle outside the front door and swung it open immediately, surprising him. He looked stunned for a moment, but quickly stepped in and quietly shut the door behind him. “Look,” he started, “about earlier…” “Please don’t say anything
Drew,” I said as I put a finger to his mouth, quieting him. He looked at me for a moment and then grabbed my hand. He spun me around and up onto the front door as he pressed against me. “You make me feel things and do things that are just not me.” “Me too,” I whispered. “I shouldn’t care about you the way I do. I shouldn’t have you in my thoughts every minute of every day,” he whispered sharply holding my gaze. “But you do,” I finished as I picked an imaginary piece of lint from
his shirt, looking away from him. “But I do,” he replied. He wrapped his arms around me, “But I do,” he repeated. He leaned down and lightly kissed my mouth. His kiss became more passionate as he cradled my face with both of his strong hands. I didn’t hesitate. I grabbed his solid shoulders, pulling him closer to me, willing him to do more. I ran my hand up his back, under his shirt. I could feel his shoulders tense with my light touch as he continued to kiss me. Time stopped as we
devoured each other. After a while, he pulled back and looked at me hesitantly, both of us catching our breath. He was having a battle with himself. I could see it all over his face. “Damn it. I gotta get going,” he said quietly, looking at his phone. “Don’t go,” I whispered. I guess if I whispered, then what I was doing wasn’t so bad, because no one could hear me. That was my rationale anyways. He gently stroked my cheek, “I
really need to go. I promised Shayne I’d come back.” “Why did you come in the first place?” I asked, hoping for the words I wanted to hear. I wanted confirmation that my feelings were reciprocated. He dropped his hand as he took a deep breath and studied my face, “I don’t really know why I came. Well, I know why and I know that when I kissed you earlier, it was amazing. I guess I just can’t help but wonder...” “So this is just about settling your curiosity?”
“No. Not like that…just…” “So what is it Drew?” I questioned. Did he want the same things I wanted? Did he want to take me up the stairs and throw me onto my bed, because that is exactly what I wanted him to do? That is exactly what I had imagined while I waited on him to get there. “Damn it, Sonny…I can’t explain it to you. There’s just something about you and me together. I feel like I need to be with you all the time. The second you left, I felt that feeling of something
missing and it’s only filled when I hold you or when I’m near you. I tried soooo long to deny this, but now, I can’t anymore.” I was flattered. He quickly kissed my cheek and grabbed the door handle to open the door. I lightly rested my hand on his to stop him. “I don’t want you to go,” I whispered, “Stay. Please. Maybe… we could... I mean…come upstairs with me, Drew,” I pulled him gently toward the stairs. “What do you think will happen,
Sonny?” He stopped me. “I don’t know…I just…..” “My brother is my best friend. I have continuously hurt him, and he doesn’t even know it!” he whispered sharply. He lightly punched the door in frustration. I blinked at his quick little burst of anger. “I want to be with you. Please Drew, stay. Try. For me,” I pleaded. He studied my face and then shook his head, almost as if he were disgusted. I hoped I was reading that look wrong. “Sonny, I will talk to you
tomorrow or something. Happy New Years,” he swung the door open and took a step forward. “So, just like that? You’re just gonna go?” I asked stepping into his path. “Sonny,” he sighed heavily, “this is getting complicated. You’re not exactly available, you know.” “I’m not stupid, Drew. I know…I just…” “What? You just…” he waited for me to fill in the blanks. “Like I said before, what if I am
making a mistake with Chance?” “What if the mistake is actually me?” he asked, “You can’t have both. You can’t just take the best parts from each of us and act as if you have the complete guy. I won’t play games, Sonny. It’s all or none and I know you are not ready to break up with Chance, are you?” I stood glaring at him without saying a word. What could I say? Was I trying to combine the best of both worlds? I blinked forcing the burn of tears away. Crying was not an option at
that point. “That’s what I thought. Your silence speaks volumes,” he said finally as he stepped forward again, “I’ll call you.” He closed the door behind him. I knew that it would probably be a while before I saw him again. He was heading back to school and wouldn’t be back until probably spring break. At this point, I doubted he would even call, let alone message me. Keeping feelings, for someone like Drew, all to myself, was a chore. I
had to choose my words wisely or dance around any conversation that involved him. When Drew came up in conversation, I could feel my ears burn and I immediately shut my mouth, from fear that I would say something that would give a slight hint as to the ache he caused my heart. I wanted to be with him. I wanted to give myself to him more than I had ever wanted to give myself to Chance. But, I acted as if nothing had happened when I was with Chance, or anyone else for that matter. I acted as
normal as possible. However, when I was sitting at my computer doing homework, I couldn’t help but teeter over the button that opened my instant message window. Then, after it was almost too much to not talk to him, I finally gave in one Saturday afternoon. I sent him a text while I was doing homework. Me: What are you doing? A long pause. He probably wouldn’t respond anyhow. I was convinced he was avoiding me.
Drew: Nothing, really. You? Me: Homework. Drew: Me too. Homework and watching football highlights. Me: So, are you coming home for spring break? Drew: No clue, that’s over 2 months away. I hesitated. Me: I really want to see you when you come home. Drew: I don’t know if that is such a good idea. Me: Why?
Drew: Because, I think we have already crossed enough lines. Me: Oh yeah? Such as…?? Drew: Stop it. You know what I’m talking about. Me: Drew. I want to give you and me, a chance. Drew: And what about my brother? Me: I don’t want to say that I don’t care about him…but I don’t think that Chance and I still work. Drew: Because of me or because you two are really not working out? According to him, things are “fine”.
Me: No, because it’s not the same with him. You know what I mean? Drew: I guess. I just think that you and I are treading dangerous waters… Me: I want to be with you (I was being bold) Drew: I can’t lie and say I don’t feel the same way, but that doesn’t make it right. That doesn’t make this or any of it right. Me: Why do you want to be this good guy all of a sudden? Drew: When I got arrested my senior year and had community service, I had
a lot of thinking to do and I made a decision that I was done doing stupid shit. Me: So this is stupid? Drew: No, but we could end up doing something stupid if we keep talking like this. Me: Tell me you want me. Drew: I won’t. Me: Fine. Tell me you don’t. Drew: I can’t. It was enough for me. I blushed slightly as I stared at the phone screen. I couldn’t help but
close my eyes and imagine him there with me. I wished he was there so that I could show him how I felt. I needed him to pull me close to him after a comment like that. I was beginning to understand that I had feelings for him that far surpassed what I felt for Chance. What I was starting to feel was intense and mature, and beginning to make my relationship with Chance seem more of a puppy love. “Sonny?” I looked up to see my mother standing in my doorframe. I
lightly shut my laptop and looked up at her. “What’s up?” I asked innocently. “Can you please come down to the dining room? I need to talk to you about something.” “Right now?” “Umm, yes, please…” she turned and walked down the stairs. When her steps faded into the house and I looked to my phone. Drew hadn’t replied. I sighed, tucking my phone into the back pocket of my jeans. I guess there will be other opportunities. Well, I hoped
anyways. I walked into the dining room and stopped. Sitting at the table was Chance, his mother, and my mother. “What’s going on?” I asked as I looked at their faces. Chance shrugged. I walked and had a seat by him. My mother stood up and faced Chance and I. She was quickly joined by his mother, Beth Anne. “Maria, did you want to start?” she asked my mother. Curiosity had the best of me. I sat waiting patiently. I
glanced at Chance who looked just as nervous as I felt. My mother cleared her throat and looked at me, “I know that we have had discussions about things and I thought that you and I were on the same page. Well, Beth Anne and I have to take a different approach at parenting, because we have children of different genders, but one thing is the same. We want what is best for our children.” I looked on in confusion as to where my mother was going with all of this. She noted my face, “Let me get to
the point,” she looked at Chance, “Beth and I have kinda known that you two have been an item, but…” she stopped to consider her words. “But,” Mrs. Mitchell interrupted, “we expected that you two would be a little smarter about your decisions.” I glanced at Chance. How much did they know? Or, how much did they think they knew? “What are you talking about, Mom?” Chance asked. “I found this in Sonny’s room,” my mom said holding a small foil square
in her hand. I realized immediately what it was and felt the color rush from my face as I turned white as a sheet. She knew. They both knew. Well, they thought they knew. The truth was that we hadn’t…yet. It had to have been from the night that we almost went all the way. Almost. Either way, I was mortified. Chance reached to me and took my hand to reassure me as I hung my head in shame. “Before either of you attempt to deny this, here is what we know,” she
stood up and walked in front of us, “Sonny, you and Chance have been spending a lot of extra time together and we have known you two have been together since before the winter formal. Now, Chance’s father and I had a discussion with him about being active and his father made sure he had condoms, just in case. Then, all of a sudden, Maria comes to me in a panic because her daughter has an empty condom wrapper in her room. Who’s could it possibly be? Low and behold, the same brand that Chance’s father had
purchased to give him not too long ago. I don’t think that is a coincidence.” I looked at my mother who was staring at me, with a hurt look in her eyes. I guess, in a way, I had betrayed her. She was probably waiting on me to say something, but I just couldn’t find anything to say. What could I possibly say? At this point, she wouldn’t believe me if I told her that we didn’t. “Sonny, we talked about this and you assured me you were not doing anything. I mean, I am not mad, I am just disappointed. You lied to me, but most
of all, what if you get pregnant? I want you to have the best opportunities possible.” “Mom, I’m sorry, it’s just that… well…Chance and I do care about each other, but we didn’t…” I said looking to him for help. “Mrs. Hoffer, I love Sonny. I know that you will probably think that we are too young and haven’t experienced anything, but we care about each other, and hopefully we will be together for a long time,” he squeezed my hand lightly as he smiled to me. I
beamed at his affection. My mother paced as she looked at us, “Beth, please say something. I don’t think they get it.” She looked at us as she took a deep breath, “look, I got pregnant with Andrew in high school. I don’t regret that one bit, but I know that there are a lot of things that I was not able to do, to include going away to college. Luckily I had your father and he was supportive, but we were so young. There were so many opportunities that I missed out on. I do not regret Andrew, but I refuse to
promote teenage pregnancy. I refuse to let you two throw away everything on stupidity and hormones!” she had raised her voice and was now looking at us for a reaction. “Mom, I am really sorry,” Chance started in a quiet voice. “Look, I know we had a talk and made sure you had protection, but, I guess I just never expected you to use them! I mean, I hoped you would use them, but I guess I wished there wouldn’t be an opportunity to!” She slumped down into a chair across the table from
us, “Chance, I love you, but I want you to have a future, like your brother. We had enough issues with him, I can’t imagine throwing a newborn into the mix. I want you to go to college and play football, and be something great.” “I know Mom,” he said sincerely, as he dropped my hand and reached across the table to hold hers, “I would never want to disappoint you. I’m sorry about all this and I’m sorry for sneaking around.” “Sonny, is there anything you want to add?” my mother asked.
I looked at her and thought for a moment. What was left to say? “So, are you saying you want Chance and I to quit seeing each other?” “No. I just want you two to be a little smarter. Now, I have not talked to your father about this, but I will be telling him that you and Chance are dating. I think that we should leave him under the impression that his little girl is still his little girl, if you know what I mean. Chance is the only one, right?” she asked me bluntly. I blushed slightly, “Mother!” I
exclaimed quietly. “Okay. I just wanted to make sure, I mean, I don’t want to pry, but I really believe while you are under my roof, it is my business.” “I get it.” “Okay. So, I guess you two should feel a little relieved, now that you two being a couple isn’t a secret anymore,” she said as she looked to me and Chance. I nodded in agreement. “Okay, well, I guess we are done here. You two can go do whatever you were doing,” she said as she took a seat
next to Mrs. Mitchell, “Do you want a cup of coffee?” she asked. Mrs. Mitchell smiled as she nodded and looked to us. I knew they wanted us to leave so that they could continue the conversation without us. I quickly got up from my seat and pushed the seat in with Chance at my heels. I swung around the banister and began to ascend the stairs with him close behind. “Door stays open, you two,” my mother called from behind us. “Yes Ma’am!” we both chimed in unison. I grinned to him as I took the
stairs two by two all the way up. Chance was lying on my bed flipping through the channels on TV while I sat at my computer working on a paper that was due on Monday. “Pretty crazy, huh,” he said to me without looking away from the TV. I turned from my computer and stretched over the back of the chair, “I guess. I mean, I’m actually a little relieved. It kinda makes things a little easier, don’t you think?” He dropped the remote on the
bed next to him, “No. Now I feel like every time I look your way, they are judging me as if I would only look at you because I want you, sexually. I am not just some horny teenager; it’s different with you, Son.” “Awe, thank you, Chance.” “I mean it, I love you.” I got up and walked over to him. I gently sat on the bed and rested my head on his shoulder, “you are too sweet.” He kissed my forehead and went back to watching the show on TV. I
sighed as I thought about what Chance and I had. He was my first real relationship, but was he my true love? Most people don’t end up with their first love, and I highly doubted that Chance and I would end up together. We didn’t stand a chance when my head was wrapped up in Drew. Weeks passed and there was still no word from Drew, and I was back to burying my feelings for him. It had been a while and I missed him, but he wouldn’t respond to my texts with
anything more than one word answers. Maybe I had pushed too much. Maybe I had said too much. Chance and I were sitting in the den holding hands, watching a scary movie. Well, he was watching it, but my head was elsewhere. “Chance,” I started as the credits filled the screen, “I’m kinda worn out. I think I am just going to go to bed.” “Okay babe.” I turned to walk away from him. He quickly grabbed my wrist and spun me to face him.
“I don’t even get a good night kiss?” he joked, tapping his cheek. “I’m sorry.” I quickly pecked him on the cheek. “Is everything okay?” he asked, “I mean, are we okay? You have been sort of standoff-ish,” he lowered his voice, “And it’s not about sex for me, and you know that, but we haven’t done anything in weeks. Ever since Mom talked to us.” “I’m fine. I just need some rest.” I reassured him. “Okay babe. I’m just worried
about you, that’s all.” “I’m fine…really,” I said as I forced a smile. “Maggie agrees with me. You haven’t been yourself lately. What’s going on?” “You talked to Maggie about us?” I exclaimed “Who else am I supposed to talk to, when my girlfriend looks like she’s miles away? We’re worried about you.” “We? What the crap?” “And Drew said…” “You talked to Drew?!” I almost
perked up at the mention of his name. “Well, yeah, but he wasn’t helpful. He’s been moody lately too.” Drew was hurting as much as I was. I knew it. The one thing we both needed, he was avoiding. Each other. “Okay. So, spring break is coming up and we were thinking of taking a road trip to the beach. You think you might want to go? Maybe it will pull you out of your funk.” “Umm, I don’t know Chance. I really don’t think that my parents will let
me go on an overnight trip, especially not for a week, and definitely not unchaperoned with you.” “Okay…so, you’re just gonna stay here and hang out, or what?” “Chance…” “You’re not even gonna ask? Just stay here and stay in your mood? What the hell, Sonny?” “I’m sorry.” “You’re not even trying. This could be great for us to spend time together,” he persisted. “Chance, you know my parents
won’t let me go. Especially not my mom. After everything, I would be stupid to present my case for an overnight trip with you!” “I am really getting tired of all the sneaking around we do. Your parents won’t let you stay out late and they won’t let you do this or do that. Ever since they found out about us, it seems like everything is different with us. They know we are together, what is the problem?” “That is what makes it more of a problem, because now they will think
that we would do stuff every chance we get to be alone together.” “Who cares anymore!? We have already done almost everything we can….what’s left to worry about? They already think we had sex, so what does it matter when we actually do?” He raised his voice. “Why are you yelling at me?” I demanded. “I gotta go.” He turned from me in frustration. “Chance, wait, what is happening? Why are you so mad? What
did I do?” “It’s what you don’t do!” he stopped at the realization at what he had said. “Sex,” I whispered. It always came back to that. “I gotta go Sonny.” He left, just like that, leaving his admittance of sexual frustration with me.
Chapter 11 We didn’t talk for the next week. I drove my car to school and he drove his. It was as if we didn’t know each other. It was miserable, but, in a way, didn’t I want this? Hadn’t I wanted the distance and potential break up to pursue my feelings for Drew? I tried to find the positive side of our fight. What was more miserable was when I watched from my window, as Chance loaded up his jeep for spring
break. The tears fell faster than I could wipe them. I lay back on my bed as my friends were about to go on a vacation that I didn’t even fight to go on. My parents might have let me go, but I just didn’t fight for it. I had no desire to go and I didn’t even know why. That night, Maggie came by to tell me goodbye, but my mother told her I wasn’t feeling well. I just didn’t want to deal with anyone. I guess you could say that I was having a pity party…for one. She was going to be riding with
Chance, which didn’t bother me, but I was jealous that she would at least be carrying on a conversation with him, which is more than we had done in the last week. I cried the rest of the evening and moped around the house the next day. I stood looking out of my bedroom window, at the truck in the driveway. Drew had not made any attempts to call me or speak to me, but he was home. His truck had been gone each night since he had gotten home, but
he was always home during the day. I was disappointed. I thought for sure he would make contact when he got into town, but it had been three days. I quickly dialed the numbers on my keypad. I would not stand by and let both of those Mitchell boys ignore me. “Hello?” “Hey.” “Hey.” There was awkward silence for a moment. “Look, I saw that you were in town, and I was wondering if you wanted to go do something later on
today…or whatever…..” “Sonny, I don’t know…” “Fine, well if you change your mind, you know where I live!” I snapped and hung up. I immediately regretted it, but didn’t call him back. I let the tears well up as I jerked from the window. This was what rejection felt like. I had anticipated him to jump on the idea of spending time with me, but he hadn’t, to my disappointment. I stormed downstairs and made myself a glass of water, lingering with
the door to the refrigerator open as I scanned the shelves for a snack. I decided nothing looked appetizing at that moment, so I slammed the door to the refrigerator in frustration. I jumped when I saw him standing there, on the other side of the door. “Sorry, your mom was out back and told me to come on in,” he studied my face and reached up to wipe a tear away. “What’s wrong?” he asked softly. “Nothing.” I said quietly looking into my water to avoid his gaze, and
hopefully shield my humiliation. “So, what was all of that on the phone?” “Drew,” I started, but looked up to see my mother walking by, “You want to go outside?” He nodded as he followed me onto the deck outside the back door. We both took a seat in the chairs and sat quietly. “So, why didn’t you go on the trip?” he asked finally, trying to break the tension. I turned to him, “Because, I was
sure my parents wouldn’t let me and besides, Chance and I are fighting.” “Because of mom finding out about you two?” I turned in shock, but quickly reminded myself the secret was out. Of course he knew. Chance tells him everything. How could I even act surprised anymore. “Yeah, partially. It’s been kind of awkward.” “I can imagine,” he said finally. He was quiet again as he looked across the yard. “So, what are you gonna do for
the rest of the week?” I asked trying to break the awkwardness. “Well, I am leaving Friday morning, but tomorrow we are going up to the river to go swimming and cliff diving. Did you want to come with us?” “Who is ‘us’?” I asked skeptical. “Some guys from school. No one you would know,” he stood up to leave, “Anyways, we are leaving early, so be outside about six in the morning, if you want to go. It’s a two hour drive, and I want to get the fun started early,” he winked.
I felt my ears heat as I nodded, “I’ll be outside. See you in the morning…” I melted into the chair as he walked away. Would there ever be a time when I could have a conversation with him and there wouldn’t be butterflies in my stomach? I sighed quietly as I closed my eyes and let my body bask in the sun. I smiled as I imagined his hazel eyes devouring me. “Drew…” I whispered as I let out a breath. Surprisingly, my parents didn’t
have a problem with me going to the river with Drew for the day, so I was leaning against his truck, bright and early with my bag in hand, waiting. I watched him quietly shut the front door behind him and turn toward the truck. He smiled when he saw me, “Well, well, well…look who got up before the sun.” “Whatever, let’s get going before I change my mind and go back to bed,” I teased. “Oh, that’s right, you are definitely not a morning person. How
could I forget?” He pulled the truck out of the driveway with a quiet roar and off we went. After driving quietly for a while, he leaned forward and turned on the radio. It was a country station and at that moment there was a love song on. He glanced at me and quickly tried to change the station but I shot forward and pushed his hand away. “No. Leave it. I like this song,” I smiled as I held his hand. He hesitated but let me have my way. I looked forward and began to sing quietly to
make my case. I felt him watch me as I sang and pretended to ignore him. “Hmm. Gorgeous and she has the voice of a song bird,” he winked and looked ahead, without letting my hand go. I blushed slightly as I looked out my window, singing into the early morning. When we got to the riverbanks, I could already see the vehicles that were, undoubtedly waiting on Drew. He parked the truck and got out, holding his hand out to me. I smiled as I willingly
took it. I jumped out of the truck and looked around. There were six of us, so far, and aside from one other girl, there were all guys. I looked up to Drew. “Do they know that you were bringing me along? I don’t want to make this weird.” He smiled as he draped his arm across my shoulder, pulling me into his side, “Yes, everyone knows I was going to bring you.” We walked toward the banks where everyone was. Drew said hi and introduced me to everyone as Sonny. Not
his friend or girlfriend or anything, just…Sonny. I guessed that was a good thing. No label to make things weird. I could feel everyone giving me the once over. The girl, Natasha, was there with one of the guys. She grabbed me lightly by the arm and pulled me away from the guys. “We are gonna stick together. We HAVE to. They have us out numbered, but we will make it,” she joked as she led me to a blanket and lay down. “I
plan on working on my tan. Do you want anything to drink?” she asked as she pointed to a cooler. “No thanks,” I said as I dropped my bag and stretched. I watched the guys as they began to drop their shirts and hats, among other things, onto another blanket that was only a few feet away from ours. Drew pulled off his shirt, revealing his already bronzed body. He caught me watching him and winked as he turned to jog into the water with the other guys. I felt my ears burn as I quickly turned back to my blanket.
“He sure is something…I mean, not as handsome as my Tim, but handsome none the less,” she grinned watching them swim across the water hole and to the cliffs on the other side. She put on her sunglasses and lay back on the blanket. I shrugged and turned away from the water to pull off my shirt and shorts. I was never very comfortable with my body, but knowing that Drew was somewhere nearby, was now making me even more selfconscious. I hesitated with my shorts, and then quickly threw them off as I took
a breath. I quickly rolled on my stomach and closed my eyes. “No need to act so shy, Sonny, you have a smokin’ body. I’m sure Drew tells you that all the time,” said Natasha as she sat up slightly. “It’s not like that.” “You and Drew? You two sure have a lot of chemistry from what I can see.” “We are not together, if that’s what you mean. We are just…well… kinda friends. We grew up together.” She smiled, “So it’s like the guy
next door kinda love story, huh?” “Not exactly.” “I don’t buy that, and if you two aren’t together, could you get your friend on the same page? He sure does talk about you a lot,” she grinned. “Really?” I asked, trying not to sound so hopeful. “Yeah, all the time. I’m just glad I finally go to meet you. For a while, I was debating whether you were even real. I figured he made you up so we would stop trying to hook him up with other girls,” she joked and then lay back
down on the blanket. I smiled as I turned my head to my other side, to where I could see the guys. I watched them on the cliffs and felt the heat of the sun begin to make me drowsy. Drew was standing on top of the cliff and he waved slightly at me as he dove off. I smiled and then closed my eyes and went to sleep in the warm sun. I wasn’t asleep long, when I heard the guys around us. They were laughing and I heard the tops on soda cans popping and fizzing as they dug
sandwiches out of the coolers. I squinted through the sun as I rolled onto my back. Just then, Drew sat next to me, and handed me a soda. I quickly grabbed my towel, covering my half naked body. He looked at me as if to ask a question but stopped as he watched Natasha sit up. “I’ll be back. I am gonna go grab a beer. You want anything, Sonny?” she asked as she stood up. I shook my head and she walked over to everyone else. “You’re not bored are you?” asked Drew quietly as he sipped his beer and looked at me.
“No. Just sun bathing,” I smiled reassuring him. “Seems boring to me,” he said standing up. He finished his beer and then grabbed my arms, pulling me to my feet, letting my towel fall to my feet. He stood quietly for a moment admiring my body, “You are so gorgeous, Sonny. I hope you know that.” “I do now,” I flirted. He quickly broke from our moment and pulled me behind him, walking toward the water. We passed everyone as they cheered us on.
“Bout time you got ‘er in the water, Drew,” someone joked from behind, as we walked toward the water hand in hand. Before I could let the water touch my toes, Drew swept me up into his arms and continued to walk us into the water. Then suddenly, he hurled me into the air and I came crashing into the icy water. I shot up out of the water, and glared at him as the shock of the cold water died down. He smirked as he swam toward me. “You suck!” I teased as I
splashed him with water. He splashed back playfully, as we commenced a splashing war. As he got closer, he grabbed my hands by the wrists to stop me. He pulled me closer as he glanced over his shoulder. Everyone was still on the beach, lounging on blankets, laughing and drinking, having lunch. “Come on, I want to show you something,” he said as he dropped my hands and began to swim to the other side of the river. I followed his path as he climbed out of the water on the rocky edge and onto the first big boulder. He
reached down and pulled me up quickly to his side. Instead of following the path up the rocky edge where they had been jumping from earlier, he led me around the rocks onto the other side of the cliff. There was a huge swimming hole and a narrow path that followed the rocks to the other side where there was an amazing waterfall that flooded into the swimming hole. “It’s amazing, Drew,” I said looking up to him. “Come on,” he said as he dove into the swimming hole. I grinned as he
popped out of the water below and waved at me. I quickly jumped from the rocks and into the water. The water on this side of the cliffs was much warmer, to my surprise. I emerged from the water and searched for Drew. He was already swimming toward the waterfall so I hurried to catch him. By the time I made it to him, he had already climbed out of the water and was looking down at me. He grabbed me up from the water and set me next to him. I loved the way he was able to effortlessly pick me up.
We quietly climbed our way to the waterfall, and then Drew showed me the way behind the waterfall. It was gorgeous. Absolutely amazing. There was echoing from the dripping of the water from the ceiling and loud roar of the water falling down in a blanket in front of us. I blinked through the water in my eyes to Drew. I wiped my face as I wrung out my hair “It’s awesome!” I yelled across the small grotto. He turned to me and nodded as he made his way to the other side of the cave, and then walked back
to me. “Sorry, I’ve seen the waterfall a few times before but I’ve just never come up here behind it. I was curious and thought it would be nice to share with you…” he said when he had made his way back to me. “Drew, listen. About, well….everything….” I started. “Can we just pretend that for this one day, we have no reservations? Can we just act like we don’t have this insane amount of tension, and just enjoy each other’s company?” he asked.
“Okay…” “No, seriously, I mean, why can’t we just enjoy each other and try to have a good time. I know there are, like a million things you want to say, and so do I, but why ruin a beautiful day?” he asked as we walked toward the opening that led back to the water hole. I pulled his hand before he took another step. “What?” he asked curiously, as he spun around to me. I hesitated then I threw my arms around his neck and forced myself against him. We were close enough that I
backed him into the cool wet wall of the cave. I looked into his eyes and then I leaned forward to kiss him. I kissed him harder trying to show him what I felt for him. He responded and grabbed me up, pulling my legs around his waist and turning us into the wall, so that my back was on the wall. I gasped slightly when my back hit the chilled rock wall. He stopped to look at me, “sorry,” he whispered, as he kissed my jaw line and neck. “I want you so bad, Sonny,” he whispered, barely echoing into the cave.
He gently pulled me off of him, “but not here.” He stepped from me, but still held my hand, stroking the top of it gently. I was beginning to get sick of every guy trying to tell me when the right time was. “Then when, Drew!?” I yelled in frustration, forgetting the echo. I flinched slightly at the sound of my own voice. He pulled me into a hug and kissed the top of my head, “Not today, Sonny.” I took a deep breath in
aggravation. When would this charade stop? When would he let me win and let me have my way? And when had I transitioned from wanting Chance to be my first to wanting Drew, instead? Something in me knew, just knew, that Drew would treat my first time and my heart the way it was meant to be treated. Gently. “Quit pouting, beautiful,” he said to me as he held my chin in his hand. I stuck my lip out a bit further. He leaned forward and lightly sucked on my bottom lip and then smiled at me, “Not today.”
I felt like I melted into the floor. I forgot just that quickly about being a brat and not getting my way. If it were any other guy, I’m sure I would have pleaded my case and gotten my way. Not with Drew. “Okay,” I managed to get out. As hard as I tried not to, I couldn’t help letting the smile spread across my face. We swam back across the swimming hole and then made our way to the top of the cliffs. Below, everyone was back in the water and oblivious to our absence. We jumped in together as I
giggled. The sun was beginning to set and the guys started to build a campfire. Apparently, everyone else was staying the night there at the river. The tents were set up and more people, who had shown up throughout the day, were gathered around the campfire, drinking and laughing. Drew had a blanket draped around us as I snuggled into his side. I watched the campfire, letting it warm my face as the chill came in from the mountains.
“Are you still cold, or did you want a sweater? I have my sweater in the truck,” he whispered into my ear, gently grazing me with the stubble on his face. It sent chills down my body. My body knew what it wanted before I had ever even had it. Sex. I wanted to feel that stubble up and down my body, feathered with kisses. I wished he would just take me away and devour me, but he had made it clear, that it was not happening. “No thanks,” I snuggled closer to his abnormally warm body, “I’m fine.”
He tightened his arm around me and leaned his head on mine. After the sun had set completely and the campsite was surrounded by darkness, it was time to head home. Apparently Drew was not staying the night. I hoped it wasn’t on my account, but I guessed that was probably the case. We said our goodbyes and piled into the truck. As he pulled onto the highway, I spread across the bench seat with the blanket on me. I rested my head on his lap as he drove. He gently stroked my
hair as my eyes became heavy. It was truly an amazing day. “When are you leaving, again?” I mumbled into the dark cab as music played softly in the background. “Tomorrow morning,” he said quietly. “Why so soon?” I asked sleepily. “I gotta get back to do laundry and get ready for school next week. Plus on Saturday we have a fund raiser for the Frat house.” “Oh,” I yawned, “I wish you could stay. I’ll miss you.”
He was quiet for a moment and then, “well, at least you will have Chance to keep you company.” I rolled my eyes, “Yeah, at least I will have that,” I said with sarcasm. “Sonny, you know you choose him,” he said still stroking my hair. I sat up and looked at him to see if he was teasing, being sarcastic, or if he was serious. I couldn’t read his face very well in the dark cab of his truck. “Why do you always do that?” I demanded, deciding he was being serious.
“Do what?” he asked, confused. “Every time we are having a special moment and are enjoying each other, or are on the verge of anything, you bring up Chance. It’s like that’s safe for you. If we hit a certain point, bringing up Chance is your bailout! Why? You act like you’re scared to be with me? Drew, I would break up with him for you, do you not see that? Can you not tell how much I want you?” He slowed the truck and pulled to the side of the road, jerking the truck into “park” and turned to me.
“That’s just it. I don’t want you to break up with him for me! I don’t want you to look at me the way you once looked at him. I feel like I am betraying my own brother. The worst part is, the absolute worst part is, I can’t stop myself from feeling how I do. I have tried to push you to the back of my mind. It’s useless, though, because you are always on my mind. You are special to me, in every way possible, but you are the one girl I can’t have. …” “But I’m telling you that you can!” I pleaded.
“I am telling you I can’t. He is my brother, Sonny. It’s not right. Breaking up with someone for another person is wrong. You should break up with him because he doesn’t make you happy. And if he doesn’t make you happy, then you should have broken up with him a long time ago. So, which is it Sonny, are you playing games with me or him?” “I’m not playing any games Drew. This hurts me…all the time…” “Does it hurt when you are with him? Do you think of me when you are
with him, or do you forget me, like you do him, whenever you are with me? Like today, in the waterfall, did you pretend you were single and available to me? Or, do you just pretend I don’t exist until it’s convenient for you?” “That is not true, Andrew, and you know it. I had tried endlessly to contact you since you left. I care about you. I think about you all the time. I feel like I have this huge secret that I can’t even share with anyone. I have to be conscious of how many times I even say your name in a conversation! I can’t
even tell my best friend about you because I don’t want anyone to know, because then Chance could find out and I don’t want to hurt Chance…” “Because you care about him.” “Of course I care about him, but it doesn’t even begin to compare what I feel for you!” I felt the tears well in the corners of my eyes as I pleaded my case to him. “Sonny, I can’t be that guy. I can’t be the jerk that takes his brother’s girl. He loves you too much, and he has for a long time.”
“Well, you have too. Why didn’t you just tell me!?” “Does it matter? Are you going to keep bringing up old crap? It’s done and over. What do you want me to do? I can’t change the past.” “Okay….but you can change the future! Be with me…” I cried desperately. “I can’t be with you until you are completely done with him. There are a lot of things that need to happen before ‘we’ can happen, Do you get what I’m trying to say?”
“Whatever, Drew. I think you are being ridiculous. You are just playing it safe. I’m not gonna hurt you, Drew! You know what, forget it. Just take me home!” “I…Sonny…come on…Sonny, don’t get mad…” I folded my arms across my chest in protest and looked straight ahead, taking a vow of silence. “Fine,” he said sharply and swung the truck back onto the road. We rode in silence all the way home.
I jumped out of the cab of his truck and slammed the heavy door. I turned to storm off, but he grabbed my arm and pushed me into the truck’s door before I could get away. He pinned me against the truck with his body, making it impossible for me to even want to get away. “Look, I want to be with you. Don’t ever misunderstand that, but I refuse to be with you until you are available, both literally broken up with him and emotionally ready. Okay?” It was hot, the way he
commanded the situation. I nodded slightly, letting out a slow breath. “And, don’t cry like that again,” he teased as he wiped a tear that rested on my cheek, “It’s not fair. I am completely weak for you, and then you throw in the water works, well, it’s just not fair at all.” He smiled as he pulled me into a hug. “Thanks for coming out to the river, Sonny, I had a great time,” he assured me as he kissed my forehead. “Me too,” I said quietly as I
hugged him back, not wanting our day to end. I looked up to him, locking eyes with him, and his lips dropped to mine. It was the sweetest kiss he could have given me to end our day. “I’ll see you soon, okay?” “Will you call at least? Or at least answer my texts?” I asked, hopeful. “Of course.” He finally let me go and we parted ways. I didn’t know when I would see him again, but I knew it would be almost unbearable until I did. I was beginning to come to a point where
he was all I wanted anymore. I wanted to eat, breath, and sleep Drew. Rather, sleep with Drew.
Chapter 12 Early the next morning, I woke to the sound of his truck roaring to life. I sprung from my bed and watched out of my window as he drove away, smiling to myself as I cherished our day together. I recalled the waterfall and felt my ears burn. It was one of those moments I could never share with anyone but I wanted to share with the world. Sigh. One day. Chance came back later that day,
sometime after dinner. When his jeep pulled up, I was sitting on my bed flipping through channels on TV, waiting on him to come over, or rather, hoping he would. We had a lot to talk about. He had left with us fighting, but I knew he would come to see me. Of course, within minutes of him coming home, he was in my room, sitting on my bed as if nothing had happened. We sat quietly for a while until I finally initiated conversation.
“How was the trip?” “Great. Me and Shayne roomed together.” “Good.” “Did you know that him and Maggie broke up?” “No, she never mentioned it.” “Yeah,” he sighed, “She was telling me how he wanted to be really serious and she just wanted to have fun. It was a little awkward” “I can imagine.” “How was your week?” I paused for a moment, “Well, I
had a lot of time to think about some things and I just wanted to say that I am sorry for the way I have been acting. I have really pushed you and Maggie away from me since Christmas and I don’t really know why.” Liar, liar, pants on fire. I did know. It was Drew. “I’m sorry too. I guess I could have been a little more understanding or supportive of whatever it is you have been dealing with.” “Yeah…” “What’s been going on?” he asked concerned.
“Well, not much and a lot at the same time,” I confessed as I thought about Drew, again. “Anything I need to be concerned about?” “I don’t know. I’m really confused.” “So, what happened?” “Nothing,” I lied. “Did you do anything fun, or just stay in the house all week?” “Actually, Drew invited me to the cliffs yesterday.” “Drew? Oh really?”
“Yeah, it was a lot of fun. There were a bunch of guys from the frat house and one other girl. She was a sweetheart. Drew was amazing for inviting me and forcing me to get out of the house,” I stayed cautious with my wording. He sat watching my face and looked deep in thought. “Did you cheat on me?” he asked bluntly. “What? Cheat on you? What are you talking about Chance?” “You have no idea what I’m talking about?” he asked unconvinced. It
was now or never. “Chance, look,” I said as I held his hands, “I care about you, but I think we need some time apart. We need a break.” He thought for a moment, “You want to break up?” “I don’t know. I just think we need time apart. To think. There has been a lot going on the last few months. I guess I thought you and I would be an easy thing. I never thought it would be this complicated,” I felt a tear burn at the corner of my eye.
“Sonny, great things take time.” “I know,” I admitted. “I just know that what we have is makings of something great…so it will just take time. I love you.” “Me too,” I was still allowed to tell him I loved him right? If we didn’t stay together, it wouldn’t change how I felt about him. I would always care about him. “I’m sorry…for everything,” he apologized as he pulled me into his arms. I felt secure in his hug, as if nothing could ever happen to us. But I
knew…something would. I knew I would ruin us and I would do it for my chance with Drew. “I love you,” he whispered as he kissed my forehead, “be right back,” he said as he let me go and walked toward my bathroom. Just as I heard the door click, his phone buzzed. I looked down at it vibrating on my bed. Then it stopped. But, it started to vibrate again… and again…until finally, curiosity got the best of me. I took a deep breath and picked up his phone. The uneasy feeling
in my stomach told me I wouldn’t like what I found. I miss you. Did you tell her? HURRY UP, Chance! I want to feel your mouth on me again. Just get over here already. I stood in horror as I read the texts and I couldn’t move. I stood frozen, holding his phone when he walked in. I don’t know if I had the right to be mad, considering my weekend, but I couldn’t
help being furious. The color had drained from my face. “What’s wrong?” he asked. “Chance…what is going on?” I asked softly. “What do you mean?” “Why is my best friend texting you?” “We are just friends…what’s the problem?” “Why does she want your mouth on her...AGAIN!?” I raised my voice. I saw the blood rush to his face as he stood stunned, “Why are you going
through my phone?!” he asked defensively, trying to turn this situation around, snatching the phone from my hand. “What did you do!?” “Nothing…it was nothing….” “It doesn’t seem like nothing. Just be honest with me.” “Please calm down and sit down. We need to talk.” “What happened?” I asked, fighting tears. “Please, Sonny, let me explain. It was a crazy week and Maggie and I just
started talking about how you have been acting lately. We talked about how you have been pulling away from us and how much I missed you. We were pretty trashed and then, she reached over and kissed me, and I kissed her back…next thing I know, we were kinda hooking up.” “You didn’t kinda’ hook up. You did hook up. What are you doing to me?” “What am I doing to you?! What about me?” “This isn’t about me. It’s about you. Do not turn this around!”
“Really?” “Yes, really, Chance!” “Right,” he said sarcastically. “What is that supposed to mean?” “What happened with Drew?” “Nothing. What are you talking about?” “Maggie said you two slept together” “And you believed her without asking me!?” “Why would she make it up?” “Why wouldn’t she? She
obviously wanted you! You should have asked me!” “Well…I thought….” He started. “So you thought you would sleep with my best friend to get back at me?!” “So, nothing happened with Drew?” “Chance, I did not sleep with your brother!” I defended myself, careful with my words. “I don’t know. I just…I gotta go. I need to sort some things out.” “No. Please don’t leave. Why would you think that?”
“Well, because after the way you talk about him more often and then you going to the river with him yesterday, it made sense to me. It answered my questions of why you have been acting so weird and why you are pushing me away, but you still talk to him.” “I’ve just been a little distant. I am not pushing you away.” “Yes you are,” he said as he stood up to leave. “Where are you going? Are you going to her house?” “Yeah, I am. I need to talk to her.
Besides, you don’t even know what you want anymore.” “I know what I want and I thought I had what I wanted. Maybe it’s you that doesn’t know what they want.” “I know what I want. I wanted to be with you, but I can’t keep riding this emotional roller coaster with you, Sonny. I need a break, and that is why I gotta go. I need space.” “You mean she has sex with you whenever you want…or is it that she gives blow jobs? Chance, it was supposed to be us, you and me, the first
time.” “Sonny, I’m sorry. It has nothing to do with sex. We’re just not good for each other right now.” “Fine, we probably aren’t good for each other ever, then! So let’s give each other space.” “Like I said, I need a break…” and then he left, slamming the door behind him. I stood in shock as I heard the front door, downstairs shut behind him. A break?! He wanted a break? I didn’t
know what to do, or did I? Should I go after him? Should I stop him? Did we just break up? Either way, I couldn’t just stand there. Didn’t I want this? Was this my out? This was my chance to go after what I really wanted. This was a sign. It was after 8 o’clock that night and I knew I had to get out of my house. I ran to my car and pulled out of the driveway with a screech. My cell phone began to beep signaling a text message. Where are you going? It was my mother. I ignored it and continued to
drive, as I turned my phone off completely. I didn’t know where to go or what I was going to do. As I thought more and more, I made a decision and continued to drive for a few more hours until I pulled up in front of a house. I didn’t know what the Greek letters stood for and I wasn’t impressed by the toilet paper on the trees in the yard, but the address was right. I fixed my face, wiping the trails of mascara that ran down my cheeks and put on lip gloss in an attempt to look half decent. I
got out of my car and walked up to the door as I took a deep breath, hoping for the best as I rang the doorbell. A guy wearing a cowboy hat and no shirt answered the door. A hot guy, at that. I blushed slightly… “Helllll---ooooo darling,” he said, breathing on me as he leaned forward. The smell of beer invaded my nostrils. Great. A party was in the works. “Umm. Hi. I am looking for Drew Mitchell. Is he here?” “Wo ho ho…lucky lucky Mr.
Andrew. Come on in. He is up in his room. Go on up. It’s the last door on the left.” I walked up the stairs slowly, cautiously making my way down the hallway, and then paused in front of his door. I knocked gently and waited. I began to regret my decision. What if he didn’t want to see me…or worse…what if he was with someone else? I quickly shook the thought. Not Drew. He wasn’t that kind of guy. There was a bit of rustling around and then he opened the door.
He stood there, without a shirt, and only his pajamas pants on, hanging just right on his sculpted body, looking incredible. His eyes were squinting, as if he had just woken up and his hair was tussled. My stomach clenched with want. “Sonny? What are you doing here?” he asked sleepily as he opened the door wider. I was momentarily distracted by his defined chest. “Well…actually…I…uhh…” and then I broke down into tears. He quickly pulled me into his arms and closed the door behind us.
“Awe honey, what happened?” he asked as he guided me to his bed to sit down. I wiped the tears as he pulled on the shirt that was on his bed and then he pulled me into his arms to hold me again. Through my tears and babbling, I ended up telling him Chance had slept with Maggie. I sat there quietly and watched his face. “I am so sorry he did this to you. Are you okay? I mean…I know you aren’t okay, I just…umm, what can I
do?” “There is no one that I can go to. Chance is acting like a jerk, Maggie slept with him, and I don’t trust anyone else, except you. I really needed you right now, Drew, and a phone call wouldn’t do it.” “Babe, come here,” he pulled me close and pulled a blanket around us. He stroked my hair softly as I lay my head on his chest and let the tears soak into his shirt. I was exhausted. I had my boyfriend and lifelong friend cheat on me, my best friend betrayed me, and I
had driven hours on a whim for a guy I was sure I was falling in love with. I realized quickly, it was all worth it, as I lay on Drew’s chest, breathing his sweet smell in. He lightly kissed my hair as he held me tighter. Before long, I heard his breathing grow steady and he snored lightly. I smiled as I closed my eyes and dreamed of nothing at all. It was where I felt the safest, in his arms. I woke up to Drew talking on the
phone. I pretended to be asleep with my back to him as I listened. “Yeah…she’s here…She’s fine….Yes Ma’am. I know….I think she had a rough night. No, I haven’t talked to my brother…oh, he told you…okay….I won’t. Yes Ma’am…I will. Okay…bye.” There was silence and I heard him huff loudly in exhaustion, as he paced the floor. I imagined he probably ran his hand through his hair in frustration, in that sexy way only he did. Poor Drew. He must have been on the phone all morning dealing with our
families. Then his phone rang again. I heard him groan before he answered it. “What?!...No, I haven’t heard from her….What did you do?!....serves you right, I don’t blame her for leaving…No, I won’t call her for you, are you insane?!...She listens to me because I didn’t break her heart, stupid!...Chance, listen to me, you hooked up with her best friend. What is she supposed to think?...Well, I wouldn’t give you another chance…I don’t think so….whatever…okay…bye.”
I smiled slightly to myself. I heard him walk around the room for a moment and then he crawled in bed behind me and wrapped his arms around me. “Sonny? Are you awake?” I stirred slightly as I stretched and turned to him, slowly opening my eyes. “Good morning beautiful,” he smiled, flashing his dimples to me, “How did you sleep?” I wrapped my arms around his neck and held him close. He lightened
his grip around me as he spoke, “I talked to your mother. She is worried sick. Well, okay, let me start over, first my mother called me because you mother was frantic, so I confessed that you were here. I told her you were fine, so then your mother called me. Apparently you left without a word and your phone is turned off. So, you left without telling anyone anything?” I nodded. “Sonny, you have to be more responsible than that. Your mother is really worried. You shouldn’t make her
upset like that. She didn’t do anything to you, babe, she loves you.” I nodded again. He was right. Wow. What a change from the bad boy he was in high school. Back then, he would have encouraged me to ignore my parents’ rules and advice. Actually, he used to try to convince Chance and I to party with him. I lay there admiring him, gazing into his eyes, when suddenly, he got out of bed and broke the sexual tension that was trying to build. I dropped back into the pillow,
frustrated. “Look, I hate to leave, but I have to run out for a little bit. I laid you out some of my football sweats if you want to take a shower. I have my own bathroom, so you don’t have to worry about anyone bothering you. Hmmm, let’s see, mostly everyone is gone right now, we all have a function, but, whoever is left here is aware that you are here. If you need anything, I know they will be happy to oblige.” He winked and walked across the room to his dresser.
The keys jingled as he picked them up and put them in his pocket. He smiled as he walked back toward me, turning his ball cap backward. He was just so incredibly handsome, that I wanted to pull him back into bed with me, but I resisted. “I really need to get going,” he bent down to kiss my forehead, “but I will see you in a little while.” I melted into the blankets as I nodded slightly. When he left, I sat up and began looking around at his room. It was so
clean and tidy; it was hard to believe a guy who lived away from home kept such a room. I noted the sweatshirt and sweatpants folded neatly on the dresser by the bathroom door. I got out of bed and walked across the room to the pile of clothes. On top of the sweats, was a toothbrush, unmistakably brand new. He had even left one of his t-shirts for me to wear under the sweatshirt. I smiled to myself as I thought of how he had considered even the small things, just for me. I pulled myself out of my half
asleep state and into the shower, where I stood letting the hot water run down my body. The water pressure was a bit more than I was used to, but it felt so amazing when it beat on my back, massaging out the knots, that I stayed in there for longer than usual. After brushing my teeth, I stood in the steamy bathroom, looking for a comb, or brush, or something. Drew kept his hair cropped shorter, so the chances of a comb were probably slim to none. I figured it was a lost cause, so I ran some conditioner into my hair to dilute it and
combed it with my fingers. I turned to look at myself in the mirror. Well, I guess that is about as good as it gets. I quickly pulled on the oversized sweats and emerged from the bathroom. I settled back into Drew’s bed and turned on the television. I flipped through the channels until I found a comedy I had seen at least a hundred times, and slowly, I drifted back to sleep. I had no idea how long I had been asleep, but when I woke up, the
television had been turned off and the room was dark from the night. Dang it, I had slept the day away! I quickly sat up and fumbled in the dark until I made my way to the door. Before I grabbed the handle, Drew opened the door, causing me to stumble back. “Wow, you’re finally awake,” he smiled as he shut the door behind him. “Yeah. I felt like I hadn’t slept in years. I was just so comfortable, especially, knowing I was here with you,” I wrapped my arms around him.
He eased out of my embrace, “Sonny, look, you can stay here and I enjoy you here, but you know you have to go back home and back to school to face everything, right?” “I know.” “Just so you know...” he teased. “Yeah, it just sucks. Everything sucks. Well, everything except being here with you.” “So,” he changed the subject, “You must be starved by now?” “I am kinda hungry. What are you thinking?”
“Let’s go grab a burger or something.” “Umm…Drew, this is not exactly appropriate attire for me to wear out in public.” I said noting the sweats I donned. “Look, if anyone says anything to you, which they won’t, I will deal with them. Besides, I think you look gorgeous no matter what you wear.” I blushed, “I didn’t mean like that, I just feel weird.” “Oh please, you are the biggest tomboy I know. Since when have you
cared how you dress, little Miss t-shirt and jeans? The only time I have ever seen you in a dress was the winter formal! So, for you, we won’t go anywhere fancy. Ok?” I was laughing, “Okay, you, let’s get out of here.”
Chapter 13 He decided on a local burger joint. As we sat quietly chewing our food, I watched out of the window at the traffic of people in and out. Mostly college students, from what I could gather. “So, this must be a popular place?” I asked turning my attention to him. He nodded, “Yeah. It’s a mom and pop joint and they have great food.
Don’t you think? How is your burger?” “Actually, it is pretty amazing,” I grinned. We grew quiet again. “Do you wanna talk about it?” “Talk about what?” I asked “Chance.” “I told you everything.” “Not everything.” “What else do you want to know?” “Are you through with him or what?” “Yes,” I said point blank. “Are you sure and I mean 100%
sure? Maybe you should talk to him and see what happens?” he asked. I glared at him, “Why are you encouraging me to go back to him? You know how he treated me. This isn’t just about Maggie or even the Ashley thing. What I am most mad about is that we were going to lose our virginity to each other. He went and blew it on Maggie. That’s a really big deal to me!” “Yeah, but you know how he is. He loves you so much and really wants to be with you.” “I can’t let myself be with
someone that insists on hurting me. He obviously can’t handle being tied down to anyone. I’m just gonna let him go have his fun.” “Look, I just mean, maybe you should at least listen to him. I don’t think he went back to Maggie. I think he probably just went to tell her it was a bad idea and a mistake.” “You think or you know? Did he ask you to talk to me?” “Well, to be honest, he did ask me to talk to you. My intention is not to get you two back together, but you two
have known each other your whole lives. You should at least try to be friends.” “I see your point, but right now, he just, I am just disgusted to be around him.” “I think that will pass Give it time...” “I don’t know Drew,” I said as I took another bite and watched people walking by with their trays of food. As I chewed, I began to take interest in one girl. She was exceptionally gorgeous. She had long flowing blonde hair and amazing, seemingly clear eyes that were
framed by dark lashes. She laughed with two other guys and playfully punched one as she giggled flirtatiously. I quickly looked away so I wasn’t staring. I wish everything was still that simple for me. There was a time when I would just giggle with Chance and there was never another thought about anything. No thoughts of the possibilities of Drew, clouding my thoughts. That was a long time ago, or so it seemed. That was before we confessed our attraction to each other, before I wanted to lose my virginity to
him and before I fell in love with his brother. Sigh. His brother. I looked at Drew, “I don’t know...I guess just, we will see what happens.” “I bet you two will be friends again one day.” He took another bite and then put down his burger and smiled. The gorgeous girl was standing next to our table looking down at him. “Drew, hey you…” she said as she slid into the booth next to him. “Hey Krissa, what’s up?” he asked as he leaned back and put his arm
across the back of the booth. They seemed very familiar with each other. It sparked a small twinge of jealousy. “Drew, why do you insist on wearing your hat like that?” she asked as she reached up and turned his hat to face forward. “Cause I like to aggravate you,” he grinned, showing his award worthy smile. He reached up and turned his hat back. She rolled her eyes in disgust and then turned to me and smiled. “Oh, sorry. Hi. I’m Krystal, but everyone else calls me Krissa.” She was
really nice. “I’m Sonny.” “I don’t think I have ever seen you around here. So, how do you know Drew?” she asked “Dang Krissa, you are so nosey!” said Drew cutting her off. I laughed at him. “Drew and I grew up together and I was just visiting him.” She studied my face and then I saw a look cross her face as if she was pulling up a distant memory. “Oh my God!! You are Sonny,
like…THE Sonny. Oh wow. Drew did not do you justice. You are absolutely breath taking.” I blushed, “I don’t know that breathtaking is a word I’ve heard to describe me. Thank you. I’m sorry, he hasn’t ever mentioned you.” She smiled, “No need to. I’m not the one that has his interest. Does she even have a clue, Andrew?” she asked turning to him. “Krissa, please stop prying,” he said quietly. “Sorry, Drew. She is so
beautiful. She really is. Absolutely worth it.” He smiled shyly, “yes,” he said looking at me, “yes she is.” “Well,” she started as she looked to the two guys that were with her, waiting by the door, “I gotta go. But, dang it, ok, Drew is gonna kill me. Sonny, if it helps, he refuses to date anyone else because there is someone very special back home. Of course he broke my heart, but now I can see why. It makes so much sense now. Anyhow, I gotta go. It was really nice to meet you,
Sonny, really.” “Bye Krissa,” said Drew. I waved slightly as she walked away and then we were quiet again. Then, I turned to Drew with a million questions on my tongue. “Sooooo...” I started. “Yeah. About that,” he smiled adjusting his hat nervously. “You dated her?” “For a little while my sophomore year.” “Oh.” I realized there was a lot that Drew never talked about. I always
talked to him about my problems and never considered he had another life, outside of the small town we had grown up in. “It was nothing and we only dated for about three months or so and then we just decided to be friends. After that, we went to a couple of functions together as friends, but nothing big.” “Why did you break up with her? She’s gorgeous and so sweet?” “I uh, I guess she just wasn’t right for me.” “Oh, I see,” I said as I took a
drink of my soda and tried to decide if I wanted to pursue this any further. He watched me quietly as he took a drink from his water. He began to gather our wrappers and used napkins onto the tray. Before he could stand up, I put my hand on his. “Did it have anything to do with me?” I finally asked. He pulled his hand from mine and stood with the tray to throw away our trash. He took a big breath and looked down at me, “It had everything to do with you.”
We finally got back to the frat house around 11 that night. By then there were a lot more people at the house, and another party had started. Drew had a hard time getting his car into his designated spot, but he finally did. We wove in and out of people giving him high-fives and waving to him. Several guys pleaded with him to join a round of beer pong. Drew ignored the festivities and steered me back upstairs to his room. Once we were safely in his
room, I kicked off my shoes and sat on his bed with my legs crossed. Drew had not said much since the burger joint, and I wanted to break the tension that had increased by the second. “So, what do you want to do now?” He sat down next to me, “You want to watch a movie?” “Sure. I guess.” That was probably his way of avoiding the conversation that I felt needed to happen. I felt stupid, always wanting to talk, but I always wanted to know what was going
on in his head. We sat and watched the movie on his bed. When it was over, Drew changed the channel to a sitcom. He turned to me and lay back on his bed as he took off his hat and began to fidget with the brim as he became lost in thought. “Sonny?” “Yeah?” “Why did you come here, to me?” “Drew, you know why.” He put his hat back on his head,
leaned in and moved a lock of hair from my face as he stroked my cheek. He leaned even closer until he was less than an inch from my mouth, just like the night he dropped me off after the dance. I swallowed hard as my heart beat faster waiting for his lips to meet mine once again. “No, I don’t know. Tell me,” he breathed as he looked deep into my eyes. I felt as if I were under his spell. “Well, because you are easy to talk to,” I said, and he gently kissed my cheek, “and you understand what it’s like
to deal with, ummm, stuff,” he gently kissed my other cheek, “and umm….” He lingered by my mouth, teasingly, “And ummm?” he whispered, taunting me. “Ummm,” I started as I took a deep breath. My head was spinning with him this close to me. He leaned in and slightly sucked on my bottom lip and then he kissed me. I felt as if I were floating as he leaned me back onto the pillow, ever so gently and continued to kiss me. He kissed me passionately, as his hand
caressed under the oversized sweatshirt. I stroked his belt line, and gently tugged at his pants pulling him closer. He moved my hand to his side and he leaned back slightly to look at me, “I don’t want to rush this, Sonny. Maybe we should stop.” I pulled his face back to mine, “No, Drew, this is perfect…” He eased out of my arms, “No, seriously, Sonny, I want to take this slow.” “Okay,” I pouted. “Don’t be upset. I want every
move I make with you to be perfect in its own way. You’re not just ‘some girl’ to me. ” “You’re right.” I agreed as I smiled at him. He pulled me close to him and we lay there, with our arms around each other and began to doze off. I felt like I had just closed my eyes to drift off when suddenly, I jerked awake. I couldn’t have been asleep long, I figured as I scanned the darkness, the music from the party downstairs still in the background. I watched Drew’s
face, illuminated by the little light from the moon that crept through the window. He was so breath taking and looked so peaceful while he slept. I bent forward and kissed his mouth slowly. I felt him stir as he pulled his arms around me and kissed me back. He gently rubbed my back as he kissed me slowly, still half asleep. I continued to kiss him and then, he began to kiss me harder, as he became more awake. We held each other tighter as we kissed and caressed each other, rolling around the bed and breathing
heavily. I wanted him. Surely he knew that. He pulled his shirt off as he kissed me, never missing a beat. Then, he slowly slid his hand down between my legs, but I gently pulled it back onto my hip. He again put his hand on the inside of my thigh and I gently placed it on my hip again. He stopped kissing me and leaned back a bit. “What’s wrong?” he whispered. “Nothing. I’m just, I’m a little nervous. I never know what you are thinking and I don’t know what I’m
doing,” I admitted. “Don’t be nervous. I am thinking about how perfect you are and how lucky I am and that’s basically all I am ever thinking when I’m with you,” he ran his hand across my stomach and traced my curves. “I…umm, you’re…ummm….” I stammered through my nerves. “Do you trust me?” he asked as he kissed my neck. “Of course.” “We’re not gonna have sex. Just take a deep breath, close your eyes, and
trust me then, okay?” he kissed me again. “Okay.” I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I tried to relax as he gently pulled of the jogging pants I was wearing. He began to caress me as he continued to kiss me slowly. I felt my breath quicken and my skin felt like it was on fire with each touch. I reached up and pulled off my sweatshirt, as he continued to touch me. I felt like my skin was going to melt, as his expert hand explored every part of me, all the while kissing me. I was becoming very sensitive
the more he touched me and began to squirm and move as if I didn’t have control of my own body, my legs quivered from his skilled hands. Then, I set my hand on top of his to stop him. He stopped kissing me for a moment. I didn’t know what was happening to me. I wanted his touch, but I was nervous beyond words. “Did I do something wrong?” he asked, genuinely concerned. “No. Nothing. I just, I feel strange, not in a bad way, I just, I don’t know how to act.”
“Sonny, you don’t have to be embarrassed to let go,” he kissed my neck, “Just relax, and let go.” I looked at him with a question in my eyes, “Let go?” “Sonny,” he kissed me as he talked, “just trust me. Let it go. Whatever you feel building, let it.” I nodded as I put my hand around his neck. I experienced a first, at the hands of Drew, and I wouldn’t have wanted it to be anyone else. It was perfect.
“Mmmm,” I hummed in approval into the dark room. He grinned as he lightly kissed my forehead. “Drew. That…that was… I never knew it could be like that…” He laughed slightly and then stopped, “Wait, have you never…?” “What?” “Well, you know, had an orgasm?” he asked as he nodded to me. “I uhh….I guess not. I mean, I thought that I had. Before when I was with Cha….I mean, I thought it was the real deal, but no, I guess not. Drew…” I
pulled him to me and kissed him again. I wrapped my naked legs around him as he kissed me harder, pulling me closer. “I don’t think we should keep going. Let’s just stop here tonight. We have plenty of other opportunities ahead of us…” “No, Drew. This is the perfect time! How about, let me do something for you. Show me.” “Trust me, I will be fine. Hearing you moan like that was enough for me…”
I blushed, “sorry,” I whispered. “Don’t be sorry. It was sexy.” He smirked as he kissed my neck. I blushed even more. I was so glad it was just dark enough that he couldn’t see the red in my face. “Come here,” he whispered as he pulled me into him, “let me hold you.” He lightly kissed the back of my neck as he nestled into me, “Goodnight Sonny.” I was still tingling as I felt sleep settle in. I knew from that tingle what I had been missing and that I
wanted more. I willed my racing heart to slow down as I reluctantly closed my eyes and gave in to sleep. The next day, we decided it was time for me to go home. Drew promised he would call me and see me when he could. Everything was different with us. I don’t know what was in my future, but I did know that it was all about Drew. I was reluctant, but I headed back home. I wanted to stay with him and just be with him. I wanted to lay my
head on his chest and just let him hold me. It was the most perfect place to be. With Drew. Luckily I had a long ride home to think about everything. I pulled into the driveway only to find that my parents weren’t home. I had called my mom and assured her I would be home by dinner. Due to my early departure from Drew, I was home a couple of hours early. The house was empty, which was a little depressing with my elated mood. At the least, they
could have been home. I guess they figured I was in good hands. I sighed as I headed up the stairs to my room. What made them trust Drew so much? Was it that they believed that, him being the older brother, we would never be more than just friends? I was pulling off the sweatshirt I had on and I stopped halfway to inhale deeply. Drew’s sweet cologne was on the sweater and it engulfed me as I pulled it over my head. I gently dropped it on my bed and walked to my dresser to find some fresh clothes. I stood there
in his sweatpants and my tank top contemplating what to wear. “You’re home,” I heard from behind me as he shut the window. I spun around to see him standing there. I don’t know why I expected him to look different, but he didn’t. He was handsome as ever, but I couldn’t even look into his eyes. He would never look the same to me again, I imagine. I could feel him giving me the once over and then stopping on the small Greek letters on the hip of the sweatpants.
“What?” I demanded as I crossed my arms across my chest and looked at him, waiting for an answer. “Are those Drew’s pants?” “You haven’t seen or talked to me, you slept with my best friend, and all you want to know is if these are your brother’s pants?! Well, you know what? They are!” “Why do you have on my brother’s pants?” “Why did you sleep with Maggie?” “Did you sleep with Drew?”
“I asked you a question.” “So did I.” “Well, Drew and I are none of your business, but if you must know, the answer is no.” “Drew and I? What is that? A status?” I blushed slightly, “It’s none of your business, that’s what. What about you and Maggie? Are you two together now? What is going on with you? You are acting like every other guy in high school, Chance! You were supposed to be different.”
“So, now it’s us high school guys,” he said disgusted, “Sonny, I went to Maggie’s house when I left here to tell her it was a mistake and she was not the girl for me. You are. I know I keep screwing up, but, through everything, I have realized that I am only right, when I am with you. You are made for me. Please let me prove that I can be good to you.” “It’s not that simple Chance.” “Because of Drew?” “It’s not about him; it’s about you and how you treated me. We just
don’t click anymore.” “Sonny, please. I am so sorry. I need you in my life.” “And I need someone that cares about me.” “I do care about you. Just let me be with you. I love you. Being away from you is torture.” “Well,” I contemplated, “You should have thought of that, but maybe we can just work on being friends for now.” “No, Sonny. I love you, I want to be with you. I want to marry you one
day.” I stood there looking at him in disbelief, trying to let what he had just said sink in. I took a deep breath and turned my back to him to dig through my dresser for clothes. “Sonny, please say something. Anything. Please?” “Chance, I told you that you and I were through. I meant that. I am offering you my friendship. That is all I have for you right now. I refuse to put myself in a position to be hurt again.” “Okay. Fine. So what happens
now?” “We stay friends and that’s it.”
Chapter 14 The next two weeks were awkward. Apparently the spring break trip was a huge success and Chance and Maggie’s little rendezvous was the topic of gossip. Everyone knew. People that I didn’t even know were asking me if I was okay. It was so weird. Then, it had been over a month since I had gone to see Drew. He rarely called or emailed. He was always too
busy with frat stuff or sports, and class work. I understood he was a guy and he got busy, but I missed him. I was getting depressed. I had had enough, so one Friday night, I decided to go to the tennis courts and hit some balls to let out my aggression. I was getting mad at everyone for being in my business and I was getting mad at myself for putting my heart out there. Most of all I was upset because I hadn’t talked to Drew. I had talked to him the day after I got back, but
barely since then. What was he doing? Was he reconsidering? Did he regret anything we did? The more I thought about everything, the madder I became. I started hitting the balls harder as they came out of the machine. I imagined him running into that stunning girl, Krissa and how they would be a perfect couple. I imagined the way she giggled at him and how she looked at him, hoping there was a chance. I began to hit the balls even
harder, as the sweat rolled off my brow. Finally, the machine was just making a clicking noise because it was empty. I threw my racquet in anger as I listened to the machine. Stomping over to it, I flipped the switch to silence it. When I reached down to turn it off, I realized how sore my arm was and there were balls all over the court. I felt like that ball court just then. Everything was a complete mess. I huffed as I used the ball hopper and began to walk around the court picking up balls.
“You want some help?” I quickly spun around and dropped the ball hopper. He was leaning against the open gate casually. The balls escaped from the ball hopper and bounced all over the court, as I ran into his arms. “Drew!” I wrapped my arms around him, letting a few tears spill onto his shirt where I had buried my face into his chest. “Hey beautiful,” he whispered softly, squeezing me tighter to him. “I missed you so much!” I
sighed. “Sorry I haven’t called. I have been busy trying to finish up classes and stuff. Hey, don’t think for a minute you haven’t been on my mind every second of everyday,” he said as he looked down at me, lifting my chin to look into my eyes. I instantly forgave him for everything and grinned up at him, “So, why are you home?” “We have a teacher work day on Monday and it seemed like a great weekend to spend time with you. How
have you been?” “Fine I guess.” “Really? You didn’t look fine just then.” “How long have you been standing there.” He chuckled slightly, “long enough to feel sorry for those balls. You look kind of frustrated out there.” “I was just thinking.” “Oh yeah?” he asked as he began to walk across the court to my tennis bag, “How about I help you clean up these balls, and then you quit playing
a machine and you play me?” “I would like that,” I said as I pulled out an extra racquet and handed it to him, “Is this one fine?” “Sure. I mean, it doesn’t matter about the racquet. I could beat you with a vintage kid’s racquet from the 1800s,” he teased as he took the racquet from me. I playfully punched him, “Yeah right, Dewy!” He laughed harder, “Dewy!? Wow. You haven’t called me that since we were little. I mean, it’s been ages! I like it. I think I’ll have it put on my
jersey.” I was laughing hard. I hadn’t laughed in a while and it felt good to laugh like that, especially with him. I sighed as I watching him spin the racquet and bounce a ball. “Ready?” he asked, about to serve the ball. “Yes.” The next day, Chance and Drew were in the backyard at their house, tossing a football back and forth and talking. I watched them from my
window, trying to think of different reasons I could go down there and talk to Chance or Drew. Honestly, I just wanted any excuse to be around Drew. After realizing there was not one thing I could go to them for that wouldn’t make it obvious about me and Drew, I gave up. I finally just made my way to the back patio and sat in one of the patio chairs, letting the sun warm me as I propped my legs up on another chair. I listened to them talk in the distance as I put on my sunglasses and
then my earbuds. It was classical music. I closed my eyes and let the music take me into a state of relaxation. Suddenly, I felt someone kick my feet off of the chair they were propped on. I quickly pulled off my ear buds and yanked off my sunglasses. “What the crap!?” “Didn’t your mother teach you to keep your feet off of the furniture?” I peered up at them looking down at me. I smirked at Drew and quickly looked at Chance, “No, besides, I do what I want.”
“Oh yeah?” he asked. I began to raise my legs to reposition them again, but he grabbed the chair before I could lift my feet and sat down. “Drew and I are going to go bowling later, you know, just to get out of the house. Did you want to come with us?” “Who all is going?” “Well, me and Drew and some of the guys that graduated with him, maybe some kids from school, and Chris and Ashley.” “I don’t know, Chance,” I
started, knowing that it was the makings of an awkward situation. After the whole Chris incident, I had avoided both of them like the plague and ever since Chance I had broken up, I had pretty much avoided everyone from school. “Come on Sonny, quit being a homebody. Chance told me that you barely leave the house anymore. What’s that all about?” I looked up at Drew and caught him wink, “Well, I guess I could get out. What time?” “Eight. I’m driving my truck,”
said Drew, “Everyone else is meeting us there.” “Fine. I will be ready and meet you two out front.” We walked into the bowling alley and headed straight over to a group of people. There were all guys, some I knew and some I didn’t, and Ashley. She was sitting in Chris’ lap watching someone roll the ball. I caught her eye and quickly looked away. I don’t know how she felt about me, but I didn’t want to chance a confrontation.
“What’s up Drew?” Shayne said as he handed him a beer. Drew glanced at me and winked. I shook my head in fake disapproval, but smiled. Drew noted my face and turned to Chance. “Here Chance, it looks like you’ll be driving home,” Drew held his truck keys out to his brother. Chance took the keys and slipped them into his pocket, “Okay, Drew, but not too much. Mom would be pissed.” “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I hear you
nagging just like her,” he joked. “Drew, seriously, you know how she feels about you drinking.” “Whatever. I’m 21. It’s not illegal anymore,” he laughed. “Alright. Whatever, your funeral,” Chance joked as he settled down on the chair next to me and draped his arm across the back of my chair. I glanced at him uncomfortably but stayed in my seat. Drew looked over at him and then finished his drink in a big gulp as he turned his attention back to the guys at the table.
Ashley walked over to me and stood in front of me. “Can we talk?” she asked. I looked at Chance and he nodded, got up, and walked over to Chris and had a seat. “Have a seat,” I motioned to the empty seat that was now next to me. She sat and clasped her hands in her lap as she watched Chris and Chance start to bowl. “I just want to say that I am happy for you and Chance. I know it has been rough, but you two are really good together. I know it’s crazy, but when
Chance and Chris got into that fight, it brought us close and I saw a side to him that I love. I know he seems like a jerk, but he has this whole other part to him that’s super sweet. It is really crappy how it all got started, but look at us now. We both got the guy we wanted,” she smiled warmly at me. “Ashley, I’m sure you’re right. Only thing is, Chance and I are not together anymore.” “Oh, come on Sonny, you don’t have to hide it anymore.” “No, really,” I turned to her,
“Chance slept with my best friend. We are done.” She cleared her throat uncomfortably, “I...I’m sorry. I didn’t know. Are you okay?” “Actually,” I glanced over to Drew, who was watching my every move, “I will be fine. Chance and I are still friends. We have come a long way, but somehow managed to salvage a lifelong friendship.” I smiled reassuringly. “Wow. That is really great...good for you.”
“For what it’s worth, Ashley, I am happy for you.” “Thank you and like I said, it all worked out,” she looked to Chris adoringly, “I actually feel like I got the better end of the deal.” I laughed lightly, “I guess you did.” With that we both got up and took our turns on the lanes. Ashley had a point. It all had kind of worked out. Though, my happy ending wasn’t one I could share with the world, just yet. Through the night, I carefully
paid attention to Drew and noted that he had the one beer the entire evening. I was impressed. By the end of our fourth game I knew it was getting too late for me to be out. I glanced at the clock on my cell phone. It was getting to be just after 11 p.m. Tonight my curfew was at midnight, probably because I was with both Mitchell brothers, so my parents felt it was okay. I walked to Drew at the table where they were drinking and joking, and lightly touched him on the shoulder. “Drew, I really have to get
home soon.” He looked up at me and then over at his brother, “Are you almost ready to go, Chance?” he asked him. Chance tossed Drew the keys to the truck. “Actually, I am headed to a party with Chris and Ashley. You want to go?” Drew looked to me and then back to Chance, “No thanks. I gotta get Sonny back before midnight. You sure you got a ride?” “Yeah. If things get crazy, I will
just stay at Chris’ house.” He said nodding in Chris’ direction. “Okay. I guess we are going to head out then,” said Drew as he stood up and pushed his chair in, “Thanks for coming out guys,” he said to the table and then turned to me, “You ready?” “Come on Drew, come to the party. It will be like old times,” pleaded one of the guys at the table. Drew shook his head and draped his arm loosely across my shoulders. “Not this time. I gotta take Sonny home before she turns into a
pumpkin.” Everyone laughed including me. With that, he steered me out of the bowling alley and into the parking lot towards his truck. He opened the door for me and waited for me to jump in before he slammed it shut. I slid across the bench seat and unlocked his door before he made it around the truck. After he had gotten in and turned the keys in the ignition, he sat for a minute without moving. “What?” I asked concerned. He snapped his head to me and smiled, “Nothing. Just thinking about
you.” He grabbed my hand and kissed it before he sucked on the end of my index finger, “and the things I would love to do to you, right about now…” I grinned as I leaned in to kiss him. He gently cupped my face with both hands and kissed me tenderly. After a minute or so, he pulled back slowly and looked at the clock on the dash. “I really do have to get you home, though.” I sighed in frustration, “yeah, about that, technically, yes. I mean, I am
almost 18 and I am with you. It shouldn’t matter what I am doing. I just, I don’t care. I want to be rebellious! I want to blow off my curfew for once!” “I don’t think that is such a good idea, Sonny. Your parents trust me.” “I know but don’t I get a break too?” I exaggerated with my hands. He smiled as he gently put my hands in my lap, squeezing them lightly in reassurance, and then put the truck in reverse. “”Yes, you do, but not tonight.”
“I don’t think I like this new Drew. Why can’t I get the fun, bad Drew for one night?” I saw him smirk out of the corner of my eye, and then he reached over and took my hand to hold it. I began to stroke his thigh and watched his reaction. He raised his eyebrow, but kept his eyes focused on the road. “Why can’t I get the Drew that doesn’t care about curfews?” I continued to rub on his thigh, a bit higher this time, as I kissed his neck. I may not be experienced, but I knew how to turn a
guy on. I continued to kiss his neck and nibbled his ear as I undid his pants. I gently eased his pants down enough to get my hand in to touch him. “Sonny, maybe this isn’t the best time for…ummm…..” he hesitated without stopping me and kept both his hands on the steering wheel. He took his hand closest to me off of the steering wheel and began to rub my back. I began to kiss down his neck and down his stomach, pulling his shirt out of the way. I stopped by his jeans as
I looked up at him. He rubbed my ear and massaged my hair. I felt him gently nudge me down as the truck slowed. I began to kiss down further before taking him in my mouth. Then he moaned as I pretended to know what I was doing. I pulled my hair back into a ponytail as I looked out of the windshield. Drew had pulled the truck over onto the side of the road and he was busy tucking his shirt in and adjusting his pants.
After he got back into the truck, he looked over at me and grinned. “So, um, wow , ok, Sonny…” I smiled shyly, “umm….thanks….” He pulled me into him with his arms around me, “that was pretty good. You know…for someone who hasn’t done that…you seem practiced. ” “Shut up, ” I said as I playfully punched him. “I’m teasing you, babe. Seriously though, that was impressive…” he said as he began to
kiss me again. “What if, what will happen if you are late tonight?” he whispered onto my mouth. “I don’t’ know,” I sucked his bottom lip, “and I really don’t care…” “We can’t stay here.” “The lake,” I said suddenly. “The lake? No way Sonny. How typical. No, the lake is overdone.” He began to drive as he thought it over, “How about…the high school?” “The high school? Where?” He snickered, “The ball fields.”
“The ball fields.” I repeated. I sat back into the seat as my heart raced. Memories of taking his pictures came flooding back. I wanted him then and I wanted him still. He passed the high school and took a small dirt road behind the school. It passed the practice football field and the tennis courts, and finally we were at the baseball fields. He shut off the truck and got out quickly. I climbed out of his side of the truck and stood in front of him facing the field. I wrapped my arms around him
and leaned into him, letting him hold me close. “You wanna run the bases?” “Yeah! Actually, I do,” he said as he followed my lead. We started on home plate and then took off at a full sprint around the bases. Drew easily passed me and made it to home plate as I rounded third base. He grabbed me into a bear hug when I rammed into him coming into home base. We laughed hysterically as we leaned into the fence behind home plate. He kissed my forehead as he looked up.
“What?” I whispered. “I wonder if the scorekeepers’ box is unlocked,” he said looking up again and grinning at me. He grabbed my hand and walked me through the dugout and up the stairs to the little building. My heart began to beat faster with each step we climbed. He reached for the door and I heard a click as it swung open. He turned to look at me and smiled. “After you,” he said as he pushed the door open more. I stepped in front of him and into the scorekeepers’
small office. There was a single desk in the office with an office chair pushed in and a couch with an old blanket on it. I wrinkled my nose as I looked at Drew. “What’s wrong?” “It’s kind of stuffy up here,” I replied. Drew reached behind the door and turned on the air conditioner that was in the window. The air conditioner hummed quietly as he shut the door and locked it. He walked over to me and
gently lifted me onto the desk as he kissed me slowly and then pulled my shirt over my head. I grasped his belt, pulling him close to me, letting him know how much I wanted him, but he moved my hand away. He shook his head at me, “No, ma’am. It’s my turn now,” he said as he carefully pulled my pants off. He sat down in the chair and pulled my body toward him. He slowly kissed up the inside of my thigh and then back down. I giggled from the tickle of his slightly unshaven chin.
He laid his hand on my stomach to lay me back as he began to kiss up my thigh. I felt my legs begin to twitch, as he worked his way higher. My breath caught in my throat as I moaned slightly. It was a repeat of the night in his frat room, only he was using his mouth not his hands. I was a goner, for sure. “Oh my God Drew,” I whimpered as I began to shudder. I softly grabbed onto the collar of his shirt as my body began to shake. He firmly held me by my thighs to keep me in position.
“Drew…” I breathed. We quietly made our way back to his truck and headed away from our secret place. I sat as close as possible to him on the ride home, nuzzling into his shoulder and then I fell asleep before I could stop myself. “Sonny, wake up.” “Hmmmm….” I stirred. I felt him lift me out of the seat of his truck and stand me up. I wrapped my arms around him sleepily to steady
myself. “Sonny, we’re home. Wake up, babe.” My eyes fluttered open as I realized my surroundings. We got out of the truck quietly until we were standing next to his truck, in front of his house. I stretched and yawned before I turned to him and grinned. “I had a really great time tonight, Drew.” “Me too,” he said as he scanned his surroundings. He kissed me quickly on the mouth, “so, I guess I will see you
tomorrow?” “Yeah, unless I’m grounded.” “Right, hopefully it won’t be as bad as you think it will be.” I glanced down at my phone. “I’m only 30 minutes late anyways.” “I don’t think your parents will look at it like that. 30 minutes is a long time.” “I know. I gotta go.” “Hopefully I will see you tomorrow.” “Hopefully,” I sighed as I turned and headed home.
********** “Of course I got grounded,” I whispered into the phone, as I paced my room the next morning. “What are you grounded from?” Drew asked. “Well, I don’t really know. I still have my computer for school and I still have my phone for emergencies and my car for school. I guess I am just grounded from going out.” “So, a movie or something is
out of the question?” “Definitely.” It was quiet for a moment. “You think I could come over and see you?” “I really want you to, but I don’t know.” He was quiet again, probably thinking. “I miss you already,” he said quietly. “Me too.” Butterflies. In my stomach. “I am gonna drop by today. Are your parents mad?”
“Not really, just disappointed. They just said how I should have called…blah blah blah.” “You think they are mad at me?” “No. I don’t think Mom even knew who dropped me off. They were in bed last night when I got home and then she talked to me at breakfast with Dad sitting there. He said I should have been more responsible and called. She said she heard me come in and if I hadn’t been in by one that she was going to get up and start looking for me. I don’t know…whatever.”
“You know she just worries about you.” “I know but I am probably the only senior with a curfew,” I whined. “I doubt that. Besides, it’s not about their curfew; it’s about the state curfew. It’s illegal for you to be out after midnight under 18. I think your mother is just trying to keep you out of trouble.” “When did you become the voice of reason?!” “Look Sonny, you know I went through a lot of crap when I was in high school, and hopefully you and Chance
learned from that. I mean, I was lucky to have a good coach and parents that care about me and worked so hard to keep me out of real trouble. It could have been bad.” “I know, but sometimes I just feel like going crazy. I want to go do things I have never done. I want to get trashed and stay out all night and…” “Sonny, stop. You don’t want to do all that, and you will be thankful you didn’t. You are too smart to be so dumb.” “And you are too hot to keep a
secret.” He laughed finally, “Whatever. I will come by later or something. I need to squeeze in one more day with you before I have to go back to school.” I was quiet for a moment. He did have to go back, and I realized that, but I just didn’t want to think about it. “Sonny?” “I’m here.” “What’s wrong?” “Nothing. I just don’t like to think of you having to be so far away all the time.”
“It’s only a few hours.” “But you don’t visit the way you used to, like when you first left for school and you don’t call as much. All I get from you is an email or text every other day if I’m lucky.” “What if I try harder? I will try to make every three day weekend and maybe some in between. Besides, it’s almost summer break. I may just wait to take a job until after August.” “Drew, when are we going to be open about us? Don’t you think your parents will wonder why you come
down for weekends all of a sudden?” “When you are 18. My parents would kill me if they knew I was messing around with you. You’re only 17 and I’m 21, and on top of that, they thought so highly of you and Chance. It just doesn’t look good, you and me.” “Okay.” “Besides, I still need to find a way to tell Chance.” “You don’t think he knows?” “Actually, I know he doesn’t. He asked me and I told him a bold faced lie and said that it wasn’t like that for
you and me and that I had been seeing someone.” “Oh.” “Yeah, so, yeah. There are a few things that just need to fall into place before we can really be together. Besides, I don’t think you should get too wrapped up in me. You need to stay focused on school work.” “That’s kind of being a hypocrite, don’t you think?” “How so?” “Because you say you are just as into me and want to be with me and
now you are telling me to back off.” “I am not telling you to back off; I am asking you to stay focused. I will still be here when you graduate; there is no need to rush.” “How exactly do you feel about me, Andrew?” I asked a bit sharply. “Awe….come on Sonny. You know how I feel.” “No, really, I want to know where I stand with you.” “I can say that I have never felt for a girl what I feel for you.” “Yeah, but…do you lo…”
“Sonny,” he interrupted, “I gotta go. Mom is calling me to help her. I will see you later, okay?” “Okay.” I said as I heard the phone click. Okay, I guess that conversation would be avoided at all cost.
Chapter 15 Later that evening, I was sitting on the back patio when Drew walked across his backyard and toward me. I had lit a fire in the fire pit and was just watching the flames and poking them with a stick. He pulled a seat up and sat across from me. The nights still got pretty chilly sometimes, so I had a blanket across my lap. The flames danced in Drew’s eyes, hitting each fleck of gold, as he watched the fire.
“Drew?” I started. I stopped suddenly and looked up to see Chance walk up the steps to the patio. What was he doing here, I wondered in disgust? I needed these last few hours alone with Drew. I wanted to spend as much time as possible…ALONE...with him. “Hey Chance,” I mumbled. He pulled his hands from behind his back and presented a bag of marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers. “I figured we could have s’mores,” he said as he took the chair
closest to me and began to open the bags. He handed me a marshmallow and smiled, “I know how much you love them,” he said as he took my stick and then the marshmallow he had just handed me. He pierced the sugary treat and handed me the stick. I smiled and took my spear from him, placing it over the flame. Chance began to talk about the party as he started to assemble his sandwich and then passed the ingredients to Drew. He continued to talk and became more of a background
noise for me as I fixated on Drew and kept his gaze. Drew watched me as I caught my marshmallow on fire and blew it out, seductively, of course. A chance to tease him was something I just couldn’t pass up. He slightly raised his eyebrow and smirked to acknowledge he was thinking dirty thoughts too. I made my s’more sandwich and took a big bite, then playfully licked the extra chocolate from the edges of my mouth. I winked and then grabbed another marshmallow to roast it as if
nothing had happened. “So, what did you do last night?” Chance asked as he leaned back in his chair and took a bite, as he looked up into the sky, oblivious to Drew and I. He chewed as he waited on me to answer. “Well,” I swallowed quickly, “Drew brought me home and then I went straight to bed. I was pretty tired.” “Oh,” he replied, “and what did you do, Drew?” he asked as he turned his head to face his brother. Was it me, or was he fishing for an answer as if he
already knew something? “I dropped off Sonny and went home.” “Hmm….” he said as he took another bite. “Hmm, what?” asked Drew, noting his brother’s tone. “Nothing.” “What is nothing?” “Well, it’s just that, this morning, I was talking to Mom and she said you got home after midnight, maybe closer to one. I kinda brushed it off and then I thought, you left the bowling alley
kinda early. So, how does a ten minute car ride turn into an hour and a half?” he asked looking at me and then Drew waiting for an answer. I froze as I looked to Drew to answer. “Well, we left there, got something to eat, and then came here. We sat in the truck, eating our dinner and then talked for a while. The time got away from us and next thing you know, it was later than we thought.” Thank God Drew was a quick thinker. “I see,” said Chance, sounding
unconvinced. I watched his face and I thought for a brief moment he looked hurt, “Well, I gotta get going. I am meeting up with Chris later. Sonny, did you want to come?” “I can’t,” I said quickly, “I’m grounded.” “For what?” he asked in disbelief. “Missing curfew.” “Last night?” “Yeah.” “But, you were right out in front of the house.”
“Yeah, well, my mother didn’t know that, and I didn’t stick my head in and let her know I was home,” I thought quickly. The lies were already starting to build. I didn’t like it. “Oh. Oh well. Maybe next time?” he asked as he stood up. I could tell he wasn’t buying my story but left it alone. “Sure. Tell everyone I said hi.” “I will,” he said. He hesitated and then reached down to hug me. He stopped to look me in the eyes, “can I come see you later?” he whispered.
I slowly shook my head. “Alright. Whenever you’re ready,” he said and then quickly kissed my forehead before he left. I watched him walk away before I stuck another marshmallow on my stick. As I placed my marshmallow into the flames, I looked up at Drew. “What was that all about?” he asked curiously. “Nothing. I just think that Chance may think there is still a possibility for us to get back together.” “Well, is there?” asked Drew
as he looked down at the fire. “Of course not!” I said in shock that he would even ask. “Okay. Just checking,” he said as he got up and took the seat next to me, “Cause, I really need to know that I am not wasting my time loving you…” I blushed slightly. “You’re not wasting your time, Andrew,” I said as I carefully picked the burnt layer off of the marshmallow and ate it. I would almost take that as him saying I love you to me. I swallowed and looked him in the eyes, “Are we going to work?” I asked.
He thought for a moment and then took my face in his hands. He quickly glanced around us and then he kissed me slowly and pulled me closer to him. Well, as close as we could get without me being in his lap. He leaned away from me to gaze into my eyes. “There is no one that I would try harder with to make sure it did.” I smiled at how sweet he was. “You always say the right thing.” “You bring out the best in me, I guess.” He kissed my hand and then held
it as we watched the fire crackle in front of us. My high school graduation was the next time I got to see Drew. I was in my bedroom, zipping my graduation robe, when he walked into my room. “You look amazing,” he said as he walked across the room. He pulled my Valedictorian sash over my head and paused to look at me. “Are you excited?” he asked. “Yeah, and nervous, and sad, and happy….and about five billion other
emotions. I just wish it was over already.” “I got you something,” he said pulling a small box from his pocket. He flipped the top of the box open revealing a small silver charm bracelet with three charms already on it. A book, a tennis racquet and a #17 charm was already on the bracelet. “Your jersey number?” I asked. He nodded as he began to take the bracelet out of the box. I held out my arm for him to fasten the bracelet around my
wrist. After he had clasped the bracelet, I wiggled my wrist admiring the gift. I threw my arms around his neck. “I love it Drew!” I whispered into his neck. “I guess it could be your ‘good luck’ charm today,” he smiled. “Thank you. I really do love it,” I said without releasing my hold on him. There was a soft tap on my door and I immediately sprung away from him to face the door. It cracked open and dark brown hair peeked inside. I felt tears come to my eyes when I saw her
face. It was in that moment that I realized everything with Chance didn’t even matter anymore. Glancing at Drew, I knew right away that I already forgave Maggie. It wasn’t even an issue anymore. We would need a lot of work, but we had a long history of friendship to work from. “Can we talk?” she asked as she leaned into my room. I rushed to her and threw my arms around her small frame, “I am soooo sorry!” she cried into my
hair. “I forgive you…” “It was stupid and we let our emotions take over.” “It’s okay,” I assured her. “No, it was so dumb, and I was supposed to be your best friend.” “I forgive you Maggie.” She continued to babble through tears, “I was the worst friend ever!” I held her close and let her cry, “It’s fine…really, I’m over it. I just miss my best friend.” “I miss you too.”
I pulled back from her and held her shoulders, “Are you ready to graduate?” She nodded, and then looked over my shoulder at Drew. She smiled half-heartedly, “Sorry about all that, Drew.” “It’s fine. You girls better hurry up and get ready. I gotta get down stairs and meet up with my parents,” he walked across the room and stopped in front of me. He hesitated as he looked at Maggie, but then he kissed my forehead and walked out. I smiled shyly as he
disappeared through the door frame. “So, is there something you want to share with me?” Maggie asked as the door shut. “No. It’s not what it looks like. Drew and I are getting closer, but we are just friends.” “So, you wouldn’t mind if I took a stab at him?” she joked. I raised my eyebrow, daring her. “HA!! I knew it! Are you sleeping with him?” she pried, lowering her voice. “I told you, it’s not like that.”
“Okay…if you say so.” I knew that tone; she didn’t believe me. “Drew has been a comfort through everything,” I said defensively. “So…that’s where you ran away to?” “I didn’t exactly run away, it was more like a mini vacation,” I laughed. “Your mom was frantic. She called me and then Chance called me and then, I mean, it was nuts. They were terrified that you might have, well, done something to yourself…” “I’m sorry. It was stupid. I just
didn’t know what to do and I felt like there was no one that could understand what I was going through. I felt trapped. I needed space.” “It really was a mistake, Sonny. A very big drunken mistake…” “Well, it’s over and we are about to go graduate high school. No big deal. Let’s just move forward.” I think the main reason their hook-up no longer bothered me, was because I had Drew now and I would be a huge hypocrite if I hated them for hooking up when I was messing around with Drew.
“Right. Are you ready to go?” she asked holding her arm out to me. I laughed and held her arm as we headed out the door. We headed down the stairs and met up with our families. My mother grinned at me as if she knew what all had happened up stairs. “I’m glad you two are friends gain,” my mother whispered as she leaned into me, on our way out the front door. I smiled, “me too.” “If there’s hope for you and
Maggie, maybe there is hope for you and Chance.” I shrugged, “maybe.” Doubtful, I thought. ********** That night our parents threw a huge party for us at Chance’s house. Everyone that was near and dear to us came. It was definitely a full house. I sat on the back porch trying to get some fresh air as I listened to the noise inside. It was almost just as loud
on the back patio, so I walked down into the yard and toward the back of the property. My head was pounding from the noise. I needed fresh air. There was an old bench swing that hung from the tree. I had a seat and swung slowly as I watched the movement in the house through the big bay window overlooking the back yard. Everyone was walking, laughing, and joking. I smiled as I thought of high school. It had gone by quick and now it was over. What a ride it had been. I closed my eyes and thought back to my
first day in high school. Chance and I had rode to school that day with Drew. We had just gotten out of his truck and Chance had walked ahead. Drew leaned into me and had said, “If it gets tough or anything happens and you need to get out of here, text me and I will meet you here, and we will leave, okay? No questions asked, Sonny. I’ll be here for you.” I smiled at the memory. What if I had taken him up on that offer? The first day wasn’t hard or anything, but what if I had felt as if I wanted to get away and
play hooky? Would Drew have told me how he felt back then? “What are you thinking about?” I smiled as I opened my eyes, “you, actually.” “Really?” he asked standing in front of me. Drew held both ropes of the swing and stopped me from swinging as he looked down to me. “I was just thinking of my first day in high school. Do you remember?” He laughed slightly, “Yeah. I think that was the first time I actually
tried to kinda tell you about my crush on you, but I chickened out.” “I knew it,” I giggled. I stood up and faced him, “I wonder what would have happened, don’t you?” “Actually, no. It’s fine the way it is now, well, almost fine.” “Right. My birthday is in less than two months. Are we gonna tell everyone then or what?” “Look, I’ve been thinking a lot lately, and…” “What is it?” I asked as I held his hands.
“Well, I just want to know that you are going to be focused when you start school in the fall and that you are going to do what you need to do.” “Okay….”I dragged out the last syllable. “I want you to be great…not worry about what is gonna happen to us. Besides, I have a job offer to consider next year. I start my externship and….” “Where are you going with this Andrew?” I panicked. “Well, I just want to do what is right, so I was thinking that if this is real
and is truly meant to be, and we have worked through so much and if we can last through all that, maybe we should slow down until….” “Are you breaking things off with me?” Drew looked as if he were in physical pain as the tears came to his eyes, “I can’t do this the easy way because there is no easy way.” “So, you are breaking things off with me?!” I raised my voice. “It’s not a permanent break up, just, kind of taking a break.”
“There is no taking a break, Drew! Oh my God! This can’t be happening. You and I are perfect together. There’s no reason to take a break! Drew, you and me...we…” “Sonny, I can’t think of anything else to do…my hands are tied.” “Umm, how about just wait two months and then tell everyone. We won’t have to sneak around and all the effort I have ever put into hiding us I can use to focus on other things. You get your way where I’m focused on school and I get you. It’s a win win, Drew!”
“It’s not that simple. Just believe me when I say that I have to do this.” “Drew why do you have to do this?” “Because I care about you. I want you to be happy and be afforded every opportunity possible. I want you to have a chance to do everything and anything, with no guy attached.” “You’re not making any sense, Drew. Just hours ago, we were fine and now, now you want to break up with me.”
“I never said I wanted to. I have to Sonny. Please just leave it alone. This is how it has to be.” “I thought you cared about me?” “I do care about you.” He said as he wiped his brow and the tear at the edge of his eye. “If you care about me, why are you breaking up with me?” “I just have to…” I took his hands in desperation, “Explain this to me. Why do you have to? Why Drew!?! If no one knows about us, why would you possibly have to
break up with me?” He dropped my hands and turned around, “I just have to. I will see you later.” He quickly turned, kissed my forehead and then walked up toward the house. I stood in disbelief as I watched him jog into the back door. My chest heaved up and down as I began to cry. The darkness of the night seemed to swallow me as I cried harder. I quickly stood up. I had to take a minute and wave away the dizziness that came over me.
I ran to my house across, our back yards, as quick as my legs would carry me. I slammed the door to my room and stood in the bedroom breathing heavily. The burning in my throat from running so fast and crying was almost unbearable. I quickly ran into the bathroom and grabbed my glass, filled it with water, and took a huge gulp of water. I stood looking at myself in the mirror. My face was red and splotchy and my hair was everywhere. I swept the mess into a ponytail and stood staring at myself.
My head was pounding from the running and crying. I opened the cabinet and took out my bottle of aspirin. I quickly took two with a glass of water and studied my face. Why was he doing this? Why was Drew doing this? How could he? We were perfect…we were meant to be together…how did this happen? I began to cry again. Then I suddenly stopped as I looked at the bottle in my hand. 100 count it read. There weren’t even 100 in there, but maybe…maybe… there were just enough.
I carefully poured another glass of water. I took two aspirin in my mouth and swallowed. That’s for never telling me how you felt! Another two. That’s for finally telling me and letting me care. Another two. That’s for breaking me and Chance up. Another two. For the first time you kissed me and made me fall in love. Another two. For the time you made my body feel like no other guy ever will. Another two. I became more mad the longer I stood and thought about him. The tears
came again. I took three at a time now. For holding me when I needed you to. And again. I began to take them by the handful until the bottle only had a few left. The bottle wasn’t full to start with, but I was sure by then, I had taken at least 60, if I had to guess. I stopped to look at myself. My face was still puffy and red from crying and my bangs were swept across my sweaty head. As I studied myself, I waited, until nausea set in and I began to feel as if I needed to vomit. I bent over the sink, but only dry heaved. The room
started spinning faster as I stood there. Then the drowsiness began to set in. I tried to steady myself as I waited for something to happen. I held the edges of the counter and then all of a sudden, I slid down the counter and fell to the floor. All I heard on my way down was the clanking of bottles from the counter and the shattering of glass around me from the bottles of perfumes and the glass of water. I closed my eyes and thought, “and this is for making me believe that
we could be together forever.” I sighed as the darkness closed around me and I saw his face. Drew’s perfect face. I concentrated on him. His cropped sandy hair and honey eyes. His dark lashes and stern eyebrows. The one cute freckle on his cheek that I would kiss whenever I kissed his cheek. I saw him smile his perfect smile with his full lips, bringing the dimples to his cheeks. I felt myself smile back as a floating sensation came over me. “Sonny?!” I heard him yelling my
name as I lay somewhat unconscious. Vaguely, through the darkness around me I saw the tears in Chance’s eyes as he held me close, shaking me gently. “Somebody help me?!” he yelled frantically, “MRS. SCHNEIDER!!” he was screaming in fear and panic, but he quickly drowned out and I heard nothing but the ringing in my ears. I vaguely saw his lips move through the haze around me. I didn’t move or even attempt to try. I forced my eyes closed again. I just wanted to die.
I heard a lot of commotion around me as I tried to open my eyes. My body felt weak and couldn’t sit up. I felt someone holding my hand as I fluttered my eyes open. The glaring starkness of the white light caused me to shut them immediately. “Sonny??” “Hmmm,” I made a noise to signify that I was awake. “Your mom will be right back. She went to get coffee. How are you feeling?”
“Tired,” I managed to mumble through my headache. “Just rest,” he stroked my forehead with a cool cloth. I kept my eyes closed as I listened. There was a lot of rustling around as I heard a woman talk to Chance. She must have been the nurse. Then I heard my mother talk to her. She had just walked back into the room “She just woke up,” said Chance as he dropped my hand. “Oh thank God. Sonny?” she
started as I heard her sit close to me and felt her grab my hand and stroke the top. “Mom?” I asked as I slowly sat up. Chance eased me back onto the pillow and used the buttons on the bed to lift the back so I wouldn’t have to hold my weak body up right. “Sonny, I am so glad you are okay. How do you feel?” she asked concerned. I felt tears fall down my cheeks as I closed my eyes again, “I’m sorry, Mom.” I turned my head away from them
in shame. “I love you honey,” my mother said. I was able to go home five days later, with a promise to talk to a counselor in the weeks to come. I spent a lot of quiet time in my room thinking about everything that had happened to me. I read books and listened to classical music. That was about all I could handle. Maggie had attempted to come by and carry on conversations with me, but I was not responsive. I would
nod and acknowledge, but I was, in no way, interactive. My mother and father tried their best to encourage me to go out or come out with them, but nothing worked. I was miserable. My mother had tried to approach the subject of what had happened, but I just blew it off and refused to talk, assuring her that I was fine. She tried to convince me that I should at least go out for my birthday, but that depressed me further. My eighteenth birthday was
supposed to the day everyone found out about Drew. I wallowed in my misery, wishing I could go back to a happier time, when Drew held me and loved me. I wanted a time when he cared about me, even if it meant to keep us a secret. I still wanted him. Slowly but surely, a month managed to pass by. I was sitting on my bed listening to the radio staring at the ceiling. It was a little after 10 at night and I just couldn’t sleep. I only had the light of my bedside lamp for any type of
illumination in my cave of a room. I let a tear fall down my cheek as I felt sorry for myself. I was pathetic. I closed my eyes as I tried to make everything melt away. Suddenly, there was a click from the window as it slid up and I shot straight up in my bed. “Chance?” I whispered sharply. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you. I saw your light on and well,” he shut the window, “the truth is I have been worried sick about you.” “Oh.” I patted my bed for him
to have a seat, “come here.” He walked over to the bed and had a seat with his back to me. “I have been really worried about you. Is there anything I can do? I mean, is there anything I can do or say or anything to help?” he asked as he turned to me I shrugged my shoulders slightly. He reached out and gently stroked my cheek. “I want to be here for you. I wish you would let me. I want to…I want to see you smile again.”
I looked down letting another tear fall. “What will it take, Sonny? Do I need to put a frog in your bed, or what?” he teased as he cocked his head to the side and smiled. I looked up at him and giggled. Then, I broke into a full laugh as I let it build inside me. It was a small thing to laugh about, but it was just enough. It felt amazing to let loose and laugh like that again. He began to laugh too as he pulled me into a hug. I was full of emotion as I sat
there holding him tightly. After a long while, I sat back from him and wiped another tear from my eye. This one was from laughing, though. Chance leaned close to me, “I miss you so much, Sonny.” The way he was looking into my eyes and I could see the absolute love and admiration. He wasn’t just the friend next door…he was more. Although I had gone through teenage hell and back, it made me realize, I did still care about him and I was capable of
caring for a guy. Even after everything, he was still there for me. It made my heart beat a little faster with almost the same beat it once had for him. Almost, but not quite. I knew…Drew still had the best of me. Without thinking, I leaned forward and put my hand on his neck as I pulled him forward, “I miss you too Chance.” I pulled him forward more and then let our mouths touch. The instant we began to kiss, the feelings I had once had for him came flooding back. I held him tighter as he kissed me, letting the tears
run down my cheeks. It was a really crappy move on my part, because I knew deep down, he was a rebound. He leaned me back into my pillow and continued to kiss me. I slightly pushed on his chest so I could look into his eyes. “What’s wrong?” “Baby steps, Chance. Baby steps,” I knew I should stop this. It wasn’t right because my heart wasn’t going to be in it for a long time to come. “Right,” he said smiling. “I just, I want to try being
friends again first.” “I respect that Sonny. I will be here for you as long as you need me to be.” “Thank you.” “For what?” “Always being there for me, no matter what. I know that sometimes, I can be a bit much.” “I will always be here for you.” He held me closely as I settled into him and drifted to sleep. It was probably the best sleep I had had in the last few weeks.
I woke up the next morning alone, but with a smile on my face. Leave it to Chance to make everything better. I hadn’t expected that, but maybe in a weird way I had actually hoped for it. Shortly after that night, I gave in to the feelings I had for him. I let him in and let him break down the walls I had put up after all of our drama. I gave him a fair chance and we finally dated with a fresh start. I let go of the animosity I had
for him in regards to Maggie. These were things I discussed with my therapist. She reminded me to go slow, but be fair. So, I did. Then, in the fall, Chance and I left for college. Together. In the fall was also when Chance and I began to date. Well, I don’t know if what we were doing was dating. We weren’t officially a couple, but we didn’t date anyone else and we spent all our free time together. Ok, so, I had a lot more free time than him, but that was beside the point. We tried to pick up where we had left
off, but there were a lot of awkward moments and things we were trying to work through. I found it hard to fall back into the physical side of our relationship too, so we just spent a lot of time doing things that distracted us from the sexual tension. Chance was very patient with me. When we were intimate, he stopped when I wanted him to stop and he never said a word. Besides, working hard at school and maintaining a functioning relationship would have been too much work. So, we had our friendship, but
with snuggling. Being at a college, out of state with someone that I was so close to, made being so far away from home that much easier, though. I was able to be away from everything that reminded me of Drew. That is, except those moments when Chance would smirk just so, or adjust a ball cap on his head. In those moments, he looked like his brother the most and I would fight the tears that threatened my eyes. I hadn’t spoken to Drew since the night of graduation, but by the fall, it
seemed like years ago, although it had only been a few months. The fall pushed into winter and things were starting to fall into a rhythm. Chance and I were doing great. We had evolved past awkward friends and back into a healthy relationship. I hadn’t gone all the way with him, but we still had our heated make out sessions. We were in a good place. Chance and I came home for Christmas break, that year. It was our first trip home since we had left for college that freshman year. I was excited
to spend time with family and friends. Christmas was my favorite holiday, after all. There would be parties and gatherings. There would be dinners with families and traditions to keep up. We only had two short weeks and a lot to fit in. Chance and I had decided to try to go back before New Year’s Eve to avoid traffic and prevent any hypothetical delays. Our families sat around the dinner table holding hands as we blessed the food on Christmas day. The
smell of fried turkey, warm vegetables, and fresh bread swirled the room as we bowed our heads. It was pretty much perfect. Well, almost. Drew wasn’t there. He had accepted a job out of state and was away on business. I was actually glad that he wasn’t there, because having him there would have been too much for me to handle. The way he had ripped my heart out was unforgivable, and now Chance was left to pick up the pieces. Sigh, but even after all that, he was still Drew. My
Drew, right? I know he was the ultimate reason that I couldn’t let Chance have all of me, no matter how hard I tried. Chance knew that something had happened with Drew and that was about it. Although it was devastating and I wanted to talk about it, no one knew about Drew and I, or what we had gone through. It didn’t really matter now. Either way, it was unspoken, but Chance knew that Drew conversations were off limits around me. He just didn’t really know why, and thankfully, he didn’t ask. I can only imagine that he had
attempted to talk to his brother, but he hadn’t gotten answers. I sighed as I thought about Chance. He had stood by me no matter what. I had had fits of rage and pushed him away and even fell in love with someone else, who quite frankly I secretly still cared about. It was hard for me to hate Drew, even after everything. My heart was still invested in him. Did Chance know about that? No. Would I ever tell him? Probably not.
Then, Chance was there by my side in the hospital and again when I came home. Aside from anything stupid he had ever done, he was an amazing friend and I could tell that he truly loved me. He had proven that time and time again through his actions. I smiled as I lifted my head and said “amen” in unison with everyone at the dinner table. Chance was sitting next to me and smiled as he continued to hold my hand. He lightly squeezed my hand and winked. I sighed. I was lucky to
have someone like him in my life. After meeting up at Shayne’s house and talking, we decided we would stay in town for his New Year’s Eve party, after all. I guess that’s what peer pressure will do to you. Besides, we didn’t have to be back at school until a few days after the first of the year anyways. It would be nice to catch up with some old friends. The night of the party, I was standing in my bedroom getting ready for
later that evening when Chance and I were going to meet up and suddenly my phone rang. I finished putting on my lip gloss and then swiped my phone open without looking at the phone number. “Hel….lo?” I asked in a sing song voice. I surprised myself as I realized I was actually in a good mood. It had been rare these last few months, but lately I had been in great moods and filled with optimism. Those were days when I didn’t let any thoughts of Drew creep into my head.
“Sonny?” “Yes, who is this?” I asked attempting to identify the familiarity in the voice. I felt my heart race as it quickly hit me. “It’s Drew. Are you home?” I swallowed hard in a failed attempt to calm myself down, “Yes,” I managed to squeak. “Can I come see you?” he asked quietly. “Are you here, I mean at home, like next door?” I stammered as I ran to the window and scanned the yard. I held
my breath as my eyes stopped on his pickup truck in the driveway. “Yeah. I just got in. Can I come over, or will you meet me somewhere?” “Drew, we haven’t talked in months, and now you want me to just come to you and what? Why? What do you want?” “I want to see you. I need to talk to you. Please.” I glanced at the time on my phone. I still had over an hour until I would meet up with Chance at Shayne’s house. He had left early because they
wanted to go get alcohol and other drinks. I sighed. “Fine. I will meet you out back in like, two minutes and then two minutes is all you get. Two minutes, Drew!” I huffed before he hung up the phone.
Chapter 16 I glanced at myself in the mirror and smoothed my hair before I flipped it over my shoulder. Why did I care what I looked like anyways? I rolled my eyes at myself and how pathetic I was. I was pathetic for wanting him to want me. I was pathetic for letting him see me. He didn’t deserve this opportunity and yet I was practically running to him. I quickly jogged down the stairs, out of the door in the den, and stood on the back porch. I looked up at the stars
hoping. I didn’t know what I wanted or what I expected, but he was coming to see me. He was coming to me. That had to mean something. I felt a smile creep across my face. Considering how he had hurt me, you could say it was a traitorous smile. He quietly emerged from the darkness. My heart raced faster as he walked closer and stood in front of me. His cologne quickly filled my nostrils. I missed that smell. Oh how I missed that smell. I tried to be disgusted. Honest I did….I tried to hate him, but I couldn’t.
I quickly crossed my arms defensively as I stood in front of him. I crossed them, to keep myself together, to try to maintain some kind of composure. He ran his hand over his hair and put his hat back on. A classic move to signal how nervous he was. And for the record, yes, he was still gorgeous as ever… “Hey Sonny, how are you? How you been?” “What do you want Drew?” I asked. “I just wanted to see you.”
“Really?” I asked, “Why?” “Sonny, I know I did something really hurtful to you, but I miss you so much. I can’t keep pushing my feelings aside for something that doesn’t even matter anymore.” I stood with my arms still crossed, in a classic defensive mode. I clenched as I held them tighter, determined not to let my guard down. He reached out and took one of my hands, uncrossing my arms and pulled me toward him. I glared as I stood closer in front of him.
I watched as he looked up into the sky, blinking away a tear and then back down to me. His voice cracked slightly as he began to talk, “I can’t say how sorry I am. I just, I can’t believe how insanely stupid you acted, I never intended for, for you to… I never wanted to hurt you like that. I didn’t think you would…” “Don’t mock me! I’m just so stupid aren’t I? Drew, you know, there are just some emotions that are so intense that you just can’t control yourself. I felt like I had no way out! I
needed you and you pushed me away like I was nothing! You threw me out like trash!” “Why would you try to hurt yourself? What would that have proven?” “As far as I was concerned, at that moment, I didn’t have anything to live for!” He watched my face as I tried to keep the tears away. I tried to act as if he didn’t have this hold on me. I tried to act as if I didn’t love him, but he saw right through me.
“There are so many people that love you and would have been devastated by losing you.” “Well, I guess the right person didn’t care enough!” I snapped. Being mad was easier than letting him win. Being combative was easier than letting him see the longing in my eyes. “That’s not fair, Sonny. I do care about you.” “Did, Drew, did. It’s all past tense. All of it. Gone, like anything we ever had.” “Umm, actually, no. I meant do.
As in, I still do care about you.” “What are you talking about?” Don’t let him in, Sonny… don’t let him hurt you again, I pleaded to myself. “I miss you and I just really needed to see you.” “Well, you saw me, so there. I need to get ready to leave. Not that you have anything constructive to say anyways.” He pulled me into a hug and looked down at me, “Look, Chance left over an hour ago and he will be trashed before you even get to the party. What if
you blow him off and we go somewhere, together?” I began to laugh sarcastically, “Why would I want to go anywhere with you?!” He hugged me closer and looked deep into my eyes until I stopped laughing, “Because,” he whispered as he put his hand on my cheek, “there are things I want to tell you that I can’t say to you here.” I rolled my eyes. No matter how handsome and mysterious he was, it did not matter to me. At least, that’s what I
tried to convince myself of. I’d be lying if I said he didn’t have me wondering. What could he possibly say? “Drew, I can’t just leave with you and I certainly can’t blow off Chance and then leave to go somewhere else. What do you want me to do? I can’t just run away with you and everything will be fine as if nothing ever happened!” I knew how much of a lie that was. I knew that if I did leave with him, it would all be okay. He would make it better and I would let him. If he
got me alone, away from my parents’ house, I would be weak and every attempt at acting so strong and angry would melt away. “Sonny, it’s not like that. I need to talk to you. Please. Besides, I just miss being with you and hearing you laugh.” He explained. I couldn’t help but smile, “You miss my laugh?” Darn you, Drew! Flattery from these Mitchell boys was a weakness of mine, “whatever, fine. Where do you want to meet up?” “Our special place.”
I knew right away where he meant. I blushed as the words brought up a fond memory, “Okay. I will meet you there in an hour. We can talk, but then, I’m going to Shayne’s party. You don’t get all my time tonight. I have plans.” Lies. I would give him all the time in the world. I quickly moved from him and turned to go into the house. “Sonny,” he started. I turned to face him with a questioned look. “Yes?” I asked “I, umm, I uh…” He took a deep breath, and smiled, “nothing. I will
see you later, in a little while, okay?” I smiled, nodded, and then went quickly into the house. After I had attempted to call Chance and had reached his voicemail each time, I finally decided to leave a message. I told him that I wasn’t feeling up to going to a loud, beer drinking party, and I would call him in the morning. The minute Drew asked me to meet him, I knew it wouldn’t be for just a little while.
I began to get butterflies as I drove down the little dirt road and parked next to his truck. I jerked my car to a stop and almost flew to the stairs. I quickly climbed the stairs to the score keeper’s box, anxious at what was in store for me. What would happen tonight with Drew? What did he have to say? Would it change anything? Everything? I swung the door open with a gush of air but stopped and gasped when I looked into the room. Drew was sitting in the middle of the floor on top of a pile
of blankets and pillows, surrounded by candles. I quietly shut the door behind me and walked to him. Aside from my heart pounding in my ears, the only other sound was that of a small space heater that Drew had set on the desk at the front of the room. I was in shock. It was so unexpectedly… romantic. I quickly sat down next to him, to find that the pile he had made was actually quite comfortable. “You came,” he whispered, “I didn’t think you would.”
“Umm, Drew, what is all this?” I asked looking around. “Well, I wanted to make it up to you that you wouldn’t be spending New Year’s Eve with your friends, so I wanted to make tonight special.” “Special why?” I asked in an icy tone, suddenly very skeptical as to his motives. Had I been deceived? Was he the older guy that was trying for another notch in his belt? No. This was Drew. The Drew who I knew loved me, even enough to tell complete strangers at his college
about me. I pushed those hateful thoughts away. He moved closer to me, “Sonny, I care about you and I was told to leave you alone. That was a mistake. I can’t just leave you alone. I mean, I respect your father, but I just can’t do that. And I won’t, for that matter. I stayed away long enough. I miss you.” “My dad!?” I asked in shock. “Yeah, your dad, Sonny. He told me you needed to concentrate and keep your head in the books, when he talked to me graduation night. I didn’t know
what to do. I was in shock. I told him that I really cared about you and I was determined to keep you focused. Then he told me if we didn’t stop seeing each other, he would turn me in for statutory rape. It was a lie, because we’ve never slept together, but I felt like I was out of choices. I knew he would do what he could to ruin my future and I was so close to graduating and getting the externship, that I felt like there was no way out. The plan was to come back and get you, but you moved on. You were happy and I didn’t want to ruin that.”
“Oh my God, Drew. How did he even know?” “Apparently he was awake that night I brought you home from the bowling alley. He saw me kiss you, but then he just didn’t say anything. He said he thought it was just nothing, but then you kept running off and spending more and more time with me, and if I encouraged you to blow off everything around you, I was not the right guy for you. He said it’s harder because he watched us grow up and we. Chance and I, are like his sons…” he shook his head
as he stood up and walked over to the heater. He turned it down and then walked to lock the door. I watched him as I talked, “Drew, I really wish you would have told me.” “And then what? He would have turned me in, because you would have lost your mind and gone off on him. Then he really could have made sure we could never be together. I just don’t see you holding in the anger you have right now, especially not back then…” “Do you know what I went
through without you!?” He quickly sat back down and took my hands, “I know. I cannot believe you would act so…so...Damn it Sonny. I couldn’t even come to you.” “I’m sorry,” I said shamefully. “What made you do something like that? You tried to kill yourself and then when you were in the hospital, I just felt helpless but I knew I couldn’t come see you, not with your dad always hovering. I wanted to be there for you so bad,” he hung his head as if reliving the moment again. I reached and wiped a
tear from his cheek and pulled him closer to me. He hesitated, but then pulled me into his lap, so that I was straddling him. “I’m sorry. Drew, I had no idea, I mean, there was no way I could have known. I’m so sorry,” I said looking up to him. I pulled his face to mine without hesitation and kissed him softly on the cheek. “I’m sorry I put you through any of that. I would never intentionally hurt you, Sonny. I mean that. Never.” He kissed me slowly and gently
as he laid me back onto the pillow. I shivered as his hands touched me. I craved his touch and the moment his hands were on me, I knew what I had been missing in my relationship. It wasn’t a what…it was a who. He began to kiss down my stomach and along my hip bone, but I pulled his face to mine and looked into his amazing eyes. “I want you, Andrew.” “I want you too, Sonny, but, I didn’t come here for that. I’m not exactly prepared.”
“I don’t care,” I said urging him as I kissed him down his neck. He stopped me, “I do Sonny. We can’t be reckless about this.” “I don’t care, I want you.” “We should use protection. I’d rather not.” “I’m on the pill, Drew. Doesn’t that count for anything?” He looked confused, “Why are you on birth control? Are you sleeping with someone? I don’t want to be someone that breaks up a relationship, again, that is. You know how I feel about
that…” “No. I take them to stay regular. I mean, are we really talking about this right now? I want you to make love to me, not ask me 100 questions!” He looked hesitant still. I kissed him slowly as I pulled off his shirt revealing his perfect body. “Sonny, I want our first time together to be…” “Perfect. I know and this is. So, shush,” I said placing a finger on his mouth. He smiled as he pulled my shirt over my head. We were both naked in
each other’s arms within minutes. Finally, after we were both to the point that we could no longer stand it, he began to make love to me. “You feel amazing, Sonny,” he moaned into my ear as he moved slowly, delicately. “Andrew,” I managed to gasp through my breath catching in my throat. I pulled tighter on his back urging him closer. I was laying my head on the pillow with him holding me, kissing my
neck. “That was perfect,” I whispered. “It was.” He agreed as he stroked my back. He looked at his phone and then bent in to kiss me passionately “Happy New Year, Sonny,” he whispered as he pulled away and lay on his side, looking at me. “Happy New year,” I replied. His eyes began to droop as he stared into mine. I smiled and moved closer to him as he wrapped his arms around me for warmth.
I woke up to the sun shining in my eyes and a winter chill that was almost unbearable. I tried to snuggle back underneath the pile of blankets. Suddenly, I jerked up in a panic. I was not in my bed, I quickly realized, shaking away all morning grogginess. “Drew, ” I said loudly, shaking him, “Wake up! Drew, wake up.” He stirred slightly and then opened his eyes. He looked around the room and then at me. We shouldn’t have slept there all night. I should have gone
home after, but we fell asleep. “Crap!” he said as he scrambled to get his clothes on. I hurriedly put mine on and then helped him to gather the evidence of our evening. We hurried down to his truck, where I put the blankets and heater in the cab. I stood next to his truck watching him, taking a breath. He was leaning against the truck with his phone in his hand. He quickly dialed a number and then smiled and winked at me. He had a quick conversation
with someone. I could tell it was his mother. No he wasn’t drunk. He had fallen asleep at a friend’s house. Blah, blah, blah. He told her he would be home soon. I covered my mouth to stifle my giggle as he hung up the phone. “What’s funny?” he asked as he approached me and pulled me close by the waist. “Nothing. Nothing at all,” I smirked as he kissed me. “I need to get going.” “I know. Will you, umm, are you going straight home?”
He grinned, “No, I will make a stop at the store and let you get a head start. We can’t be that obvious, now can we?” he said as he lightly kissed my forehead. “Fine. I have to deal with my parents anyways.” “Sonny,” he held me firmly by the shoulders, “You can’t tell your dad you know. Not yet.” I rolled my eyes, “Of course I can. This needs to be addressed. He had no right keeping you from me. After what I had to go through and the torture I
endured without you, I mean, no way. I am talking to him.” He cringed, “Please Sonny, for me. Don’t talk to him yet.” “Yet? Drew, we did nothing wrong. So what if we made out a few times, but we never did anything wrong,” I insisted. “We will tell them, when the time is right. Both of us, together.” “Of course. Together.” I liked the sound of that. It made us a team. We walked over to my car and
he opened the door for me. Before I could slip into my car, he grabbed me and leaned me against the door frame. He looked at me as if to say something, but then dropped his hold and quickly hugged me. “What, Drew? What is it?” “Nothing. Everything is perfect.” He whispered into my hair as he held me close. I looked at his face. “Are you sure? Is there anything else you wanted to tell me?” He hesitated for a moment,
“No, I mean, I just, I really care about you. I was sure you and my brother were going to get back together and all chances of us would be lost, but here we are. I’m just so glad you decided to come out last night,” he smiled. “Drew, listen, no matter what happens, no matter who comes into my life, it doesn’t matter at all. You have a piece of my heart that I will never get back or be able to replace with anyone or anything.” “I feel the same way Sonny.” He kissed my cheek and then I got into
my car and drove away from my secret place and my secret lover. I mean, he was not officially my lover, but I had finally reached a milestone. I wasn’t a virgin anymore. I pulled into the driveway only to find Chance sitting on the top step of the front porch. He looked upset, or maybe I was misreading that for hungover. I slowly walked up to the front porch and stopped in front of him. I sat next to him and waited for him to say something. Instead, I was answered with
an awkward silence. I let it build for a few minutes as I looked out onto the front lawn, but finally gave in. “Hey, what’s up?” I asked sounding as casual as possible. He looked up at me, his eyes looked red as if he had been crying, “Where were you?” “What?” He stood up and grabbed my arm, pulling me to my feet. “Owe, Chance, that hurts,” I yelped grabbing his hand in an attempt to loosen his grip. He tightened his hold as
I saw fresh tears pool in his eyes. “I asked you, where were you?” He was mad. I could read it all over his face. Mad and hurt all in one. Did he know? Is this how he would find out about Drew? “I was, out.” He grabbed both my shoulders, bringing tears to my eyes, “Where?!” “Chance, you are hurting me. Please stop!” I pleaded. He quickly dropped his hands. “You were with him, weren’t you?” he asked quietly as he looked
away, waving toward his house. “Who, Chance? What are you talking about?” “Stop playing dumb. You were with Drew weren’t you!” “What?? I…. Chance, listen to me, please, just listen and let me explain.” He was in my face shouting, “Stop avoiding my question! Just tell me the truth. You have been lying for over a year now, both of you.” “Chance, please calm down,” I tried to reach out to him, but he slapped
my hand down. I rubbed it looking at him with tears in my eyes. “Tell me the truth! I want to know, NOW!!” he was back in my face yelling. “That’s enough Chance.” It was Drew. He stepped between the two of us and was looking at Chance, daring him to make a move. In my confusion, I hadn’t even heard his truck pull up or heard him rush across the front lawn to stop what was happening. “Ohhh, well look who comes to save the day! Where were you when she
tried to kill herself? HUH!? Where were you then?! That’s right, NO WHERE! You were ready to let her DIE!” He said as he pushed Drew to the side. Drew quickly came back to his defensive position in front of me. He opened his mouth as if to say something, but he was cut off by Chance. “How long, ANDREW!?” “How long what, Chance?” “How long have you been messing with my girl?” “I am not your girl. Not anymore” I quickly added over Drew’s
shoulder. I saw hurt flood his face again. “So, what have we been doing for the last couple of months? Why have I been trying to get back into your heart? Sonny, we are meant to be together. Look at everything we have gone through. It was hard, but look at us now.” “Chance, listen, please…” Drew tried to calm him again. “Shut up Andrew!” “Look it’s a very difficult situation. Please calm down, ” Drew continued. “I hate you Drew! You know
what she means to me! I asked you out right, you bold faced liar!! I asked if you cared about her. I asked if you were interested in her. I asked you everything, because I was sure I saw something and you assured me no. You said NO!” Chance screamed at him. “I know you care about her, but…” Drew started. “It figures, you probably slept with her, too! Is that where you were? With her, last night? You managed to lure her out so she could just be another one of your conquests? Is that it? It wasn’t
enough that she wanted to die for you?! You worthless piece of…”Chance started. “Chance!” I yelled to cut him off. He knew a lot more than I thought he did. “How long have you two been seeing each other?” Chance demanded. It was time to be honest. “We stopped after graduation, and last night we did meet up.” I explained. “Look, Chance, I care about you, but, I’m sorry. I don’t know how this happened, or how I let it get this far, and I am so sorry Chance. I don’t feel
for you, what you feel for me. I never meant to lead you on.” “Sonny, you just need some more time. Maybe we can just try again. Forget about Drew. You and I, we have something really special. We’ve been friends our whole lives, surely that’s enough to evolve into more,” he tried to reach for me as I stepped back into Drew. “Chance, it’s over. This is not going to work.” “Sonny, maybe we could just try to…”
“No. It’s not fair to you. I don’t…I just, I don’t care about you the way I care about him,” I explained. “I want to be with you.” He pleaded. “I can’t give you what you want. I can’t give you all of me, not when I care about Drew the way I do. He has my whole heart.” “I just want to be with you,” he whispered sharply. “Chance, please don’t make this harder for us… please…” “I should have known a long
time ago. The way you two always look at each other. Then there’s the way you won’t look at each other and then avoid each other, as if you think it would keep people from seeing the truth. I just don’t get it. I can’t see why you two… just, did you ever sleep with him… you know, before… when we were together?” I stopped in shock, “No. never Chance. It was always just you.” “Do you love him?” he asked looking into my eyes. I froze. I contemplated trying to lie and knew that
I couldn’t. Slowly I nodded my head. “Why?” he asked getting madder, “Why him? Why Drew? Why did you have to pick him? My own brother!” “I don’t know. I just can’t make myself feel something for you what isn’t there and I can’t will away the feelings I have for him. “Drew, how could you!? You are my flesh and blood!! You know how much I love her!” He was in Drew’s face again,
Chapter 17 “WHAT is going on out here??” It was Drew’s mother walking up with my mother, and our fathers. Apparently they had been within ear range, possibly on the back patio. “DREW!” Chance yelled pointing at him. “Andrew? What is going on? Why are you two yelling like this?” she asked with concern all over her face. “Mom, listen, Chance is really
upset, but he doesn’t even know…” “Oh I know all right! Mom, Drew has been sleeping with Sonny!” “What are you talking about Chance?” his mother asked confused. “They have been sneaking around with each other for months.” “Drew, is that true?” his mother asked in shock. “Yes… Sonny,” my mother turned to me, “is that true?” “Well, yes and no, but…” I tried to explain. Everyone froze and turned to us.
Drew quickly grabbed my hand and held it protectively. “You son of a b…” my dad came from behind them, but not before Mr. Mitchell could grab him. He looked at Drew’s dad with hurt in his eyes. He quickly turned to Drew as Mr. Mitchell held his arm across my dad’s chest. “I told you to stay away from her…and I meant that.” He glared at Drew. “How could you Dad!?” I cried, “Why would you do that?” “He is too old for you and not
right for you. Chance, I could accept, but if you knew what his father and I went through to fix his messes so he could have a future. He’s trouble, Sonny,” He explained, “Now, you see what happened? You two are not going to work! This stops here!” “Oh Jim!” started Mrs. Mitchell, “Can’t you see they are in love? Maria’s mother thought you would never be right for her, and look, you two have been married for twenty something years.” “Beth Anne, Maria and I were
very different and that was a different time!” “DAD!?” I interrupted with a questioned look, pleading for an answer, “Why?!” “Sonny, please go in the house so we can talk to the boys,” my mother started. I shook my head and held close to Drew, “I won’t leave for you all to attack him.” “Sonny, please listen to your mother, go inside for now. Chance would you please take her in?” Mrs.
Mitchell asked her son. He reached to me and I jerked away. I stormed up the steps and slammed the door. Standing at the bay window next to the front door I watched as they started to shout again. Chance was yelling at Drew as his mother tried to calm him down. My dad was yelling at Drew as my mother and Mr. Mitchell tried to calm him down. It was awful. I watched as Drew finally threw up his hands in desperation and began to walk away. He walked toward his truck and then began
to back the truck out of the driveway. I burst through the door and screamed for him, “Drew!! WAIT!” I ran faster toward the road and after his pickup truck. I saw the red brake lights as he stopped for me to catch up. I heard Chance and my parents yelling my name as everyone urged me to come back. I quickly jumped into the cab of the truck and slammed the door, “GO!” I yelled as I looked back at Chance standing in the middle of the street, helpless. And he did. He floored the gas
and took us away from everything. ********** We rode quietly for a long time. I reached over and grabbed Drew’s hand as I watched his face. He stared straight ahead. I could tell he was fighting back the tears. He smiled at me slightly as he continued to focus on the road, so I scooted across the bench seat and laid my head on his shoulder. “What now, Drew?” I asked quietly, in almost a whisper.
“I don’t know, babe,” He looked at me and then quickly back to the road, “I didn’t exactly plan for all this.” “I know.” He sat quietly without saying a word. I watched his face as he intently focused on the road. His beautiful features were traced with worry and sadness. I softly stroked his arm and rested my head on his shoulder and closed my eyes. “You know we have to go back, right?” he asked finally. I lifted my head.
“When…now? Why?” I demanded. “What did you expect, Sonny? We can’t just run away from everything. They are our family. We have to make this right. Besides, you have your scholarship, and I definitely won’t let you throw that away. Especially not for me.” “Drew…” “No Sonny. I mean it,” he slowed the truck and then finally stopped. I looked around us and realized we were at the lake. He turned to me,
“You can’t throw away your future for me! Do you want your father to be right? Do want everyone to say I told you so?” I thought quietly for a moment, “I guess not. I didn’t think of that, all I could think of was being with you.” He softly stroked my face in affection, “We have to be smart about all of this. Our time will come. I promise.” I huffed and sank back into the seat looking up at the roof of the truck’s cab. Why did he have to be right all the time? “Go back,” I managed to
mumble as I stared out of the window. I watched as small bombs of water began to fall on the windshield. Even better, now it was raining, I thought gruffly. “Are you sure? We can take a few more minutes if you want,” he hesitated with his hand on the ignition. I reached over and gently pulled his hand down and held it close to my heart. “Okay. Not yet,” I kissed the hand I held, “I just want to sit here with you for a little while longer. I just want to enjoy this before we head into the hornets’ nest.” I rested my head on his
shoulder and looked out of the window again. The rain was coming down faster and the rhythm of the pitter patter on the roof of his truck made my eyes heavy. He pulled his arm around me and held me close as he let the music play, engulfing us in our cozy little space. “I love you,” he said as he softly kissed my forehead. I looked up into his amazing, golden eyes and beamed. “I have waited so long for you to say that.” “I have been trying to tell you
for a long time,” he smiled. He stopped and looked out of the window and pointed, “well, look at that!” “It’s snowing, Andrew,” I managed to whisper through my tears. He had me wrapped around his little finger. There was nothing that could ever take me from him. I watched as the white wonderland swirled around us and began to settle on the trees and ground all around. He turned the key in the ignition, bringing the truck to life. I loved the
sound of his truck. The way it roared anytime he started it and the way it chugged as it idled. He pulled the gear shift down into reverse and looked at me. “We need to get going. It looks like it is getting a lot thicker. I can barely see out of the windshield anymore.” He began to back up slowly and then put the truck in drive. He stopped with his foot on the brake as he looked at me. “What?” I asked. “I just really love you so much.
God has given me everything I have ever wanted. The timing might be a little off, but it doesn’t even matter. I love you, Sonny.” “I love you too, Drew,” I smiled as I reached up and kissed him slowly. I pulled back and felt myself glowing, “You are everything to me.” He grinned and turned back to the steering wheel, and turned on the windshield wipers. I looked through the windshield. He was right, the snow was getting very thick. I think I could only see twenty or thirty feet in front of the truck.
Drew took his time on the roads and down the hills, with the steep cliffs on both sides. I looked up at him worriedly and he lightly patted my knee. The snow was coming quicker and thicker still. Then, my phone rang and I quickly answered it. “Hey mom” “Hey honey. Umm… how are you?” “Fine.” I was being short with her because I was still upset with everyone. “So, are you coming home soon?
It’s getting bad out there. Worse than it has in a long time, you know?” “We are headed back now Mom. Don’t worry.” “Okay, well, be safe. I love you.” “I love you too Mom,” I said as I hung up the phone. I looked up, and just as I did, I saw an 18 wheeler coming toward us, head on. He was not budging from his position and I heard the air horn blaring. “Drew!” I screamed. He threw
his arm across my body and pinned me back as the truck began to roll off the side of the road and down the cliff. His arm held me firmly in place as the truck continued to roll us around its cab. The sound of grinding metal and crunching glass was all around me as I screamed. I closed my eyes and tried to make it stop as I held onto Drew tightly, the hot tears already running down my face. **********
I slowly began to come to, with the sound of metal scraping like nails on a chalkboard. Were we still rolling or had we finally stopped? I still felt my head spinning. There was a blinding light on me as I tried to focus. I began to make the outline of people and a wrecker. I saw faint red and blue lights from behind trying to come through the back windshield. I searched in the cold darkness until I felt him. “Drew,” I whispered. I became
frantic, “Drew!?” “Sonny,” he sounded too weak to breath. “Drew, can you move?” I asked as I struggled to get myself free. I finally got my feet up onto the seat and was trying to get a good look at what was going on. The blankets from earlier that day were all over the cab of the truck and it made it hard to tell what was fluff, and what was real. I was able to make out the figure in the seat next to me. He had the steering wheel up to his chest making it virtually impossible to move.
“Sonny, I don’t think I can get out,” he said gasping for air. The tears ran down my face as I got closer to him. I held his face and kissed his forehead. “It’s gonna be okay, Drew, there are already people here. We are gonna get you out, okay, babe? Hang in there, okay?” I asked. I felt his head nod as I held his face. Then a tear hit my hand as he sat unmoving. I almost lost control knowing he had come to a point of weakness where a tear escaped. “I love you, Sonny,” He breathed heavily. I smiled. Even in his current
condition, he maintained his composure. I knew he was in pain and I knew how hard it was for him to breath, and yet, he still felt the need to tell me how he felt. “I love you, always, Drew,” I said as I held him. I lightly kissed his face again. “Ma’am?” Came a voice from behind me. “Help him, please!” I started. “Ma’am, can you move?” “Yes, but you need to help him, he can barely breath!” I ignored him.
“What’s you name?” “My name is Sonny Schneider and I need you to help my boyfriend, please!” I pleaded. “Are you hurt?” “No, please….” “Sonny, we need to get you out so we can see what is going on with your friend.” I quickly turned back to Drew, “I am gonna get out to let them help you okay?” “Okay,” he whispered, only
loud enough for me to hear. I searched next to the steering wheel and by his leg until I had his hand in mine. “I love you Drew, hang in there okay? You’re gonna be fine…” “Sonny, please tell Chance...” He took a deep breath, “tell him, I’m sorry, but I can’t help loving you.” “Stop it Andrew. You can tell him later, yourself, you got that!?” I raised my voice. He was talking as if he was never going to come out of that stupid truck. He took another deep breath, “I
mean it, Sonny, tell him, tell them all…” “You stop. I love you. I will be right back.” Through the darkness, I saw him slightly nod his head. “Ma’am??” the impatient voice came from behind me. I let Drew’s hand go and reluctantly, I took the stranger’s hand and crawled out from inside the crushed truck. I emerged into the floodlights with people all around. They were from the fire department and police department.
I saw a face from the crowd that I recognized. I ran to him in desperation, forcing the aching muscles to take a back seat to my worry and concern for Drew. “SHAYNE!” “Sonny? Are you okay?” he looked confused, standing before me in his firefighting gear. He reached up to touch my forehead, looking intently at me. It was tender, but I ignored it. “Shayne, Drew is in the truck, please help him!” “Drew? Drew Mitchell?!” He
asked as he ran toward the truck. He pushed my rescuer out of the way and dove into the wreckage. I heard him faintly as I was pushed to sit on the back of an ambulance. I surveyed the scene as a paramedic began to examine me and wipe the blood from my forehead. There were two ambulances and two fire trucks. People were walking all over the place. We were on the bottom of the hill by the lake, on the main road. We had rolled from the top cliffs to the bottom. There was shattered glass, torn
metal, and debris from the surrounding woods. The snow had let up, but night was setting in. I had no idea how long we had been there or how long I had been out. My body began to ache and I shivered as a slight wind blew. “Here you go,” said a paramedic as she draped a scratchy wool blanket over my shoulders. I nuzzled it as I watched impatiently for Shayne to emerge. It felt like an eternity. I jumped to my feet as soon as I saw him walking toward me. “Shayne! Drew… what’s…” I
stopped as I noted his face. He was clearly upset. “Shayne?” I asked. That feeling was in my stomach again. The one that let me know something wasn’t right. He looked at me with tears in his eyes. “He said to tell Chance he is so sorry and that he loves you and only you, always.” I froze trying to comprehend as I took a step forward. “I know. That’s what he had told me already, but… aren’t you… I mean… get him out….” I yelled, frustrated that
he wasn’t listening to me. He put his arms on my shoulders and slowly shook his head. “What?! No… I mean… get him out, Shayne… just… get him out… why aren’t you doing anything!?” I became hysterical. “Sonny, listen,” he started. I tried to storm past him, dropping the green wool to the ground without care that it was freezing outside. “Just get him out,” I cried, “GET HIM OUT! Help him! Someone listen to me!! Please!” I screamed. I
could feel time stand still as everyone turned to me with a somber look written across their faces. “Stop standing around, GET ANDREW OUT!!” I screamed at all of them. I felt Shayne’s powerful arms wrap around me. He did his best to hold me still as I tried to kick and hit my way free from him. “Shh…Sonny…shhhh...” He said as he petted my hair. “HELP HIM! Someone, please, help him…please,” I frantically shrieked with hot tears streaming down my frozen
face, “PLEASE!” “Sonny, I am so sorry,” Shayne whispered as he held me still to keep from hurting myself, “Really, I am so sorry.” I was crying harder now, as I went limp in his arms. There was no reason to fight him off anymore. The worst thing that could ever happen to me had happened.
Chapter 18 The driver of the eighteenwheeler was recovering from the night before and was still drunk when he headed out on the road that morning. After the wreck, he got out of his truck, oblivious to the fact that he had ran an old black truck off of the road, looked around, and got right back into his truck. Then he was stopped by a wreck at the bottom of the cliffs. Not just a wreck and not just any old truck. A 1976 Ford pickup truck
with a shiny black paint job. And the driver of that truck did not get to walk away from his truck or that wreck and the truck was far from shiny anymore. I was angry that the truck driver was able to live, let alone walk away from a tragedy unscarred. I was angry that Drew was taken away from me but mostly, I was angry that I had let it happen, because I wanted a few minutes more with him in his truck. I had been selfish and now I would never hear him tell me he loved me or feel his body pressed against mine
as his arms stayed wrapped around me. Never again. I had told my parents that I refused to go to the funeral for Drew. I denied every attempt from anyone to get me to go. I didn’t deserve to be there. I had made a decision on the day of the service that I would stay home. I didn’t want to be in a room full of people that would only judge me. I’m sure a lot of people blamed me, too. People with half the story, but they blamed me, nonetheless.
I also refused to come out of my room. I wanted to sulk and stare at the stack of books for the classes I had enrolled in. They were still shiny and untouched. The college gave me an extension to get myself together before I came back to school. They said I could have until the next fall and there would not be any repercussions. My scholarship would stay intact. I sat in my room while everyone was getting ready for the funeral. I heard the hushed voices of my parents from
downstairs as I sat in a chair looking out of the window onto the backyard. The snow was falling and it had settled on everything, making it a beautiful winter wonderland. I knew there was no way I could bring myself to go. Just go and let everyone see me for the mess I was and the mess I had created? I didn’t think so. I sat quietly, and turned off everything electronic. I didn’t want to read any books. They all had happy endings and love stories, which only made me angrier.
In my frustration, I finally got up and flopped onto my bed. I lay back and stared at the ceiling trying to clear my mind, but all I could think of was his face. His beautiful smiling face, saying I love you. I traced it with my fingers. The curve of his mouth, the dimples. Sigh. His amazing face. I replayed his voice, “You can’t throw away your future for me,” but I still couldn’t make myself get up. I was numb. There were no tears to cry anymore and no screaming left. I had my screaming fits and rages and thrown
things, and now, I just lay on my bed like a statue. Like a dead person. Did I wish I could just resort to before and take the easy way out? I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit I had thought about it. Maybe I was willing myself to die. Maybe I was just waiting for it to happen, as if God would strike me dead where I lay. I shook my head as a single tear escaped. Nope, still alive. Dead people don’t cry. I couldn’t get that lucky. I couldn’t just die on my own free will. I couldn’t take my own life, either. The
pain that had crossed Drew’s face when he recalled my first attempt, was enough of a reminder as to why I couldn’t. It convinced me that there was still something to live for. But what? I jerked awake and glanced at my clock. I had only been asleep for 30 minutes, which seemed pretty common the last couple of days. I sighed heavily as I sat up. Somehow I managed to take a shower and get myself dressed. I don’t know how, but I was up and functioning. I felt as if my heart had been ripped from
my chest and destroyed, but I could still feel it beating steadily, in its designated place. All I could think over and over was… just let me die… make the pain stop. Please God… make it stop. Why did you let me live? His voice was in my head again, “You can’t throw away your future for me. Get up, babe.” “I’ll try, Drew. I’ll try,” I replied to the empty room. Before I could keep feeling sorry
for myself, I was already in my car and then at the church. I don’t know how I ended up there, and I can’t tell you what I looked like or how I was dressed, but I was going through the motions. I eased open the huge, heavy oak door and quietly slipped inside. I needed to do this. Well, I thought I was quiet. Some people in the back pews turned to get a look at me and then turned their attention back to the front. I watched quietly from the back as everyone listened intently to the preacher. It was a sea of black
clothes, with faint cries and sniffling all around. I wanted to see him. I need to see him, I finally decided. I made my way up the aisle quietly, carefully. The room began to quiet down as the preacher stopped speaking and looked up at me. I froze in my place. Could I do this? Then, I took another big breath as I began to walk forward again. I think there was a gasp or two in the crowd. There was whispering but I managed to drown it all out. They didn’t know…they
just thought they knew. I’m sure the story had already been twisted into something awful. I stopped in front of the dark mahogany casket and held my breath. I heard the faint whispers pick up all around me again, as I looked down. He lay there, surrounded by white plush filling. I breathed slowly as I felt the ache in my chest rise. No sweet cologne, no faint smell of the soap he used. He looked like he was asleep, as if I could just nuzzle him and he would smile his perfect smile at me and kiss my
forehead. The quiet tears started to stream down my face. I reached out and gently stroked his hair and then letting my hand drop a bit, I stroked his cheek as I looked at him lovingly. He may have looked like my Drew, but he did not feel like my Drew. He did not have the usual heat on his face or slight grin. I quickly jerked my hand away in surprise at the odd, cold feel of his face. “Why Drew, why?” I whispered as the tears fought harder to escape. Why did you leave me? I need
you. I love you. Suddenly, I felt a strong familiar arm drape across my shoulders and pull me in close as I let the tears come harder. I let the full wail of a cry escape me, echoing through the church. “Sonny, it’s gonna be okay,” whispered Chance into my hair as he held me tight, “It’s gonna be okay,” he repeated, in an attempt to convince himself. By the end of February, I was
able to go outside without crying I made sure I ate and my mother began to calm down with her worrying. She let off on the therapy too. I had said my peace and accepted that this would hurt, so I was given some coping strategies and told I only had to see my therapist once every two or three weeks. Although I had secluded myself from everything and everyone, I still functioned and my parents no longer worried that I would hurt myself. I slept, showered, and ate. I was trying to be normal, just without the
social life I once had. I couldn’t bare it. Everything and everyone reminded me of him. Even without trying to, the world was imprinted with him and I couldn’t handle it. I just wanted normal back. I wanted him back. Some days, I was mad that I had ever let myself go see Drew that night, but then most days, I wouldn’t trade our love for the world. Blame was thrown around all over the place. I blamed myself for running after him, because if I hadn’t, he never would have been at the lake. Chance blamed himself for loving
me and blowing up at his brother. Even my own father blamed himself for Drew’s death, because if he had just let us be happy, we probably would have avoided a lot of heartache and loss. There was a lot of healing to be done between our two families and we were all doing our best. ********** I was sitting in the den watching TV, when there was a knock on the back door. My heart jumped, but I quickly
made myself realize there were now only three people that would come to that door. “Come in,” I said loudly without moving from my slouched position on the couch. Chance stuck his head in and around the door frame to look at me. “Hey…” he said quietly. “Hey Chance, come on in.” He quietly shut the door behind himself as he stomped the snow from his boots. “Is your dad here?”
“No, he hasn’t gotten home from work. Why? Did you need something?” “Just a Phillip’s head screw driver. I will wait ‘til he comes home. It’s fine.” I hesitated for a moment. He stood quietly, letting the uncomfortable silence build. He cleared his throat as he turned to reach for the door handle. “Chance,” I said a bit shrill, surprising myself. “Yes?” “Please stay for a while,” I said
as I moved over making a spot for him to sit down. He eyed the spot and then walked across the room to me. “Okay, but only for a little while.” He plopped down next to me and we sat quietly watching the movie for a long time. The last time I had spent more than five minutes with him was at the funeral and afterwards. Other than that, the only people I even interacted with were my parents and my therapist. “How are you?” I asked finally, with genuine concern. He turned to me
with hurt in his eyes. I watched as the tears came slowly, welling up in the bottoms of his crystal blue eyes. I reached up and softly wiped the tears that had escaped down his cheek with the sleeve of my sweater. He sniffed quietly and turned his head looking away. “The worst part, the absolute worst part about everything is that the last memory I have of us is that we were fighting.” He shook his head in shame. I lightly touched his arm to try to comfort him, “Chance, listen…”
He shrugged me off, “No, Sonny, I told him I hated him!” I quickly pulled him into my arms with no intent to let him go. He needed me the ways I had always needed him. I had to be there for him this time. I held him firmly, letting him break down. I felt him tense up but then slowly his muscles began to relax as he laid his head on my shoulder. He let me hold him, comforting him for a long while. Then, he sat up straight and looked at me. “I’m sorry for everything,
Sonny. I really am. I should have just let you be happy, but I was selfish,” he explained. I felt extremely sad at that moment as I thought of so many things we had experienced together. Not only had I lost Drew, but I had lost a great friend through everything. Chance. “I’m sorry too. I feel like it is my fault. I mean, he only drove up to the cliffs because I was with him. Then, he only stayed because I didn’t want to leave. He tried to bring me home sooner, but I wasn’t ready,” I cried. Chance pulled me back into a hug.
“Sonny, it is not your fault. There are a lot of things that happen that we can’t explain. You had nothing to do with that drunk guy! How could you think that?” “For what it’s worth Chance, I know he forgives you and I don’t think you should keep beating yourself up over it.” He laughed slightly, “You’re telling me to quit beating myself up and you want to take the blame for his death all on your own!” He brought his hands up and
held me by the shoulders, “Sonny, it was not your fault. We can not choose when we die and we certainly are not responsible for random strangers that drink and drive!” “When did you get so smart?” I joked as I cocked my head to the side and smiled, wiping another tear from my cheek. I used to say that to Drew. “I guess I get it from my brother,” he smiled back. “I guess so,” I replied. We sat quietly again. Suddenly I felt a queasy feeling over take me and I dashed to the
bathroom that was attached to the den. Not again, I thought. The remnants of my day’s meals made a sudden comeback. I couldn’t control it. All I could do was let my body get rid of everything I had eaten that day. There was a faint knock as I washed my face. “Are you okay, Sonny?” “Yeah,” I replied as I opened the door. He was standing there with a glass of ice water which he handed me. I
took it and gladly took a big swallow, “I have been sick for two or three days. There has been a bug going around so I figured it was my turn.” “Gross! You hugged me! You better not be contagious!” he joked as he made an X with his fingers and took a step back. I jokingly took a step in his direction, “What’s wrong Chance, can’t handle a little cold?” He pulled me into a hug, “Whatever, come here.” I let him hold me in a hug that
insinuated more than friendship. “I miss being friends, Chance,” I said in a soft voice finally. “I just miss… you,” he said as he looked at my face, “And as a friend, I must say, you look like…” I quickly broke from his arms and rushed back to the bathroom for round two. “I think you should have your mom take you to the doctor,” he said on the other side of the door. “I’m fine,” I yelled back,
“See,” I said as I opened the door. He raised his eyebrow in suspicion. I ignored him as I pushed past him and settled back on the couch wrapping myself in a blanket to ease the chill. I took a big swig of the water again and popped a piece of gum into my mouth. He sat down next to me without a word. After a moment, he pulled me into his chest and wrapped the blanket around us both. His embrace was always so welcoming. I closed my eyes and let the security of his arms put me to sleep. “Baby steps,” I murmured
before I drifted to sleep. Finally….sleep….real sleep.
Chapter 19 The next day I decided that I finally needed to get out of the house and decided to take a long drive. My car drove around the dirt roads cruising through the crisp day. I watched the bare trees pass me by with the icicles from the night before hanging like diamonds. It was absolutely breath taking, but I had to remind myself that the roads were still dangerous. I slowed down and kept driving. It was relaxing going for a drive. It had been a while time since I
had gone farther than the grocery store. After driving around for a little while, I pulled down the dirt road. I don’t know why I was here, but I just felt like I needed to go there one last time, alone. It wouldn’t look the same in the spring when everything and grown and sprouted, and was green, and the sounds of laughs and yells echoed around the ball fields. I got out of my car and walked across the crunchy, snow covered ground and up the familiar wooden stairs. As usual, the door was
unlocked. I swung the door open with a breeze and quickly shut it behind me to keep the chill from following me. I stood in the middle of the room and looked out of the front window at the baseball fields below me. I could almost feel Drew with me as I looked on and imagined his finger pointing to the far fence. “I hit a ball over that fence once, and it hit a pickup truck that was parked back there. The windshield was busted, but I was so proud rounding the bases.” I could hear his laugh fill the
room as he recalled the moment. I felt myself smile at the memory. I didn’t want to let the memory go, but it tried to pass quickly. Grief is a funny thing. Not in a humorous way, but more in an ironic way. It sneaks up on you and you can’t really push it away quick enough for it to have a hold of you. That’s how it was when I thought of Drew. I tried to treasure the good memories, but they always reminded me of my loss. If one little thing triggered a memory, I might as well let it come take
me away, because there was no use pushing it away. We were probably the last people to had been in that room. I could almost smell him as the tears started. I fell into a heap of hopelessness as my throat began to tighten up and the exhausting pain in my chest, right where my heart was, came as it always did when I thought of him. I cried so hard and so long, that I lost track of time. I guess I had finally come to the point that I couldn’t hold anything back. I had snot building and tears flowing harder and faster. I began
to gasp for air, attempting to calm myself. Claustrophobia was setting in and I felt a panic attack approaching rapidly. I scrambled for the door and burst into the icy air taking big gulping breaths as I tried to focus on the trees or the ground, or something, just like the therapist had taught me. As I hung onto the side of the stairs, I slowly sunk down and looked up into the clear sky and then I closed my eyes and lay back on the porch of the scorekeepers building. His voice echoed “I love you” in
my ears as I lay there forcing him away. If I let him stay, it would just hurt more. I willed him away from that clear crisp day, and luckily, just then my phone rang and I jumped as if it could actually be him. I welcomed whatever distraction the call would provide. “Hey, what are you doing?” “Nothing.” I said in a monotone fashion. Not a distraction, but another reminder. Chance. “Oh, umm, when you get a minute, can I come over? I need to talk
to you about something.” “I’m headed home now,” I said lifting my body and heading down the steps toward my car. “Okay, great, I will see you in a bit.” He hung up quickly as I became curious. What could Chance possibly need to talk to me about? I pulled into the driveway and met up with Chance in the front yard. I looked at him questioning. “Can we go upstairs?” he asked as he took my shoulders and led me
toward the door. “I guess so,” I said noting his take charge attitude, guiding me into the house and up the stairs to my room. Once inside, he shut the door and turned to me. Whatever he needed to tell me, was on a secretive level. “Here,” he said reaching into his jacket pocket and pulling out a small cardboard box and handed it to me. I took it in my hands and turned it over in shock. “Seriously!?” I asked. “You were falling asleep last
night and said something that clicked today. It only makes sense.” “I think you’re wrong Chance. Besides, there is only one possible explanation.” “I know,” he said quietly as he walked to the window and looked out, “just do it, okay? For me?” he asked as he turned to me. “Okay,” I said tapping the box hesitantly. I was sitting on my bed as Chance paced. Time was up. He stopped
suddenly and looked at me. Then he nodded to the bathroom, but I shook my head. I wasn’t ready to know if my future was about to be turned upside-down. “No, you look,” I said, already a nervous wreck. He nodded and walked into my bathroom and didn’t emerge for a long time. Okay, maybe it was only five minutes, but it was far too long for me to wait for an answer. What was he doing? Why hadn’t he come back out yet? “Chance?” I squeaked, waiting for a reply.
He slowly walked out and stood in the doorway to the bathroom. He looked up at me with tears in his eyes as he looked back down to his hands. “Two lines is yes, right?” he choked. “Shut up,” I said as I rushed to him in disbelief and grabbed the white stick, staring at the result. “Well, these things are not accurate anyways!” I said sharply, stomping to the bathroom trash can and throwing it into the trash with a loud thud. I crossed my arms and stared down
at the trash can in disgust, as tears flooded my eyes. Anger set in quickly, but faded just as fast, replaced with grief and agony. My heart ached for Drew to hold me. I knew it wasn’t a mistake. I knew it was true. It wasn’t a false positive. Drew. I need you so much right now. This should have been our moment to share. The tears came faster without warning, but Chance was by my side quickly. He pulled me into his chest and let me soak his shirt with my tears.
“He should be here for this,” I sobbed. “I know.” “He wasn’t supposed to die yet,” I continued. “I know.” “He was supposed to grow old with me!” I cried harder. “Sonny!” he said louder, making me flinch, as he pulled back, “Sonny, I know… I know, I know. Look, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I mean, it doesn’t have to be horrible,” he was staying calm, trying to reassure me.
“I am pregnant with your dead brother’s child! Does it get anymore horrible than that?!” I screamed stepping back. I saw more hurt overflow Chance’s face as he turned to walk away. I reached out and grabbed him, “I’m sorry, Chance. I am so sorry. I’m just in shock. Please, don’t leave me alone right now,” I got quieter, “please?” He looked at me for a long time and then he spoke, “Sonny, I love you. I have always loved you and I will always love you. I just want to be here
for you through everything, especially this.” I quickly sunk back into his arms and let his warmth wrap around me, letting more tears run down my cheeks, “Chance, I can’t stop loving him.” “I don’t want you to. I just want you to love me too,” he said holding me. I sighed and melted into him. Drew would have wanted this for me. He would have wanted me to be happy no matter what. This is my Chance.
Thank you… Always, thank You first to God for all He gives me and everything He blesses me with. Thank You for the time, the talent, and the patience to write this book. Thank you to my husband for always and endlessly supporting me in all my ventures. Failures make a person grow, so thank you honey, for always being there as I “grew” and being amazing every step of the way. Thank you to my children for
always waiting while I finished “just one more chapter.” I love you both to heaven and back, because the moon isn’t enough. Thank you always and endlessly, to my two best friends and their words of wisdom through the years. Robin and Nicole, you are both exceptional. This is actually the first book I wrote and we had talked many times about publishing it, but then I just knew that “A Little Love Baked In” had to come first. Well, here we are girls. Thank you. To my readers and supporters: I
would be nothing without you and your encouragement. I will continue to write for you and you alone. All my love JJ Ross P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or want to be added to the mailing list, please reach out to me at [email protected]
Contents Title Page Copyright Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen Chapter Six
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