Craving Absolution(8)

By: Nicole Jacquelyn

His mouth was on mine before I could reply.

Oh God.

He bit my bottom lip as I tried to turn my head away, but the gentle way his fingers brushed my cheeks was what stopped any idea of escape. This was Cody, and I had no defenses against him.

Before I could react he kissed me hard, then licked deep into my mouth as I whimpered and wrapped my hands around the back of his head to pull him closer. As much as I tried to deny it, to pretend like he was just an acquaintance, someone I had to deal with because of how entrenched I was with his family—it wasn’t true. Not at all. I had been worried. I’d been scared out of my mind when we found out he’d been shot, unable to function until I’d gotten his text.

For the first time, my nightmares had begun to have a face. I’d woken up shaking and crying for a month afterward, my boyfriend’s death playing over and over through my dreams, but it hadn’t been Echo dying in those dreams. It had been Cody’s face that startled me awake, leaving me covered in a cold sweat.

And now he was there, safe and wrapped around me in a way I’d never let myself imagine him. I inhaled against his throat, reveling in the clean scent of his skin as he lifted me against the door, and tried to wrap my legs around his waist.

“These have to go,” he growled, pushing at the waistband of my sweats when the extra material kept me from getting as close as he wanted. They slipped off my hips and hit the floor just seconds before he successfully pulled my legs completely around his waist. “There you are,” he murmured into my mouth as he used his hips to brace me against the door, then rocked his pelvis against me.

I could have sobbed with relief when his mouth met mine again. I knew my lack of baggy pants took away any chance of camouflaging how skinny I’d gotten, and for a second, I was terrified that when he saw me he’d be disgusted. He wasn’t grossed out, thank God. If anything, my freshly waxed legs, no matter how slender they were, seemed to have lit a fuse in him that had him groping at them desperately.

I was sucking at his bottom lip, pulling his T-shirt up his body, when a knock at the door startled us both.

“You expecting someone?” he asked suspiciously as he set me down gently on my shaky legs.

“Yeah, maybe we can have a threesome?” I replied in a high-pitched voice, dramatically reaching up to twirl my fingers in my hair like an airhead. Then I dropped my hand and shook my head at him, scowling. “Don’t be a dick.”

The knock sounded again, and with one last glance he wiped a hand over his face before turning to unlock the door, pushing me cautiously behind him as he opened it.

“G-Gram,” he stuttered, and I watched the back of his neck darken.

He didn’t stop his grandmother as she used the palm of her hand to push the door wider, and I grimaced as she caught a look at me in all my whorish, half-naked glory.

“It’s about time.” She rolled her eyes. “Don’t care what you’re doing, but keep your voices down. The whole damn complex can hear you screaming, and if you wake up your nephew, I’ll kill you.”

She stepped toward Cody and reached around him, running her hand gently down my hair before giving my shoulder a small squeeze. “I’ll see you both in the morning for breakfast,” she stated firmly, catching my eye to let me know she wasn’t going to let me skip out.

We stood there silently as she walked away, and as soon as we heard her apartment door shut next door, Cody turned toward me and closed the door.

“I’ll get you some blankets for the couch,” I mumbled in embarrassment, pulling at the bottom of my tank top as if to hide the plain cotton underwear I was wearing. No longer in the heat of the moment, I was rethinking the advisability of sleeping with my best friend’s brother, especially with his grandmother next door. I took a step back, refusing to turn around and let him see my ass with the words You Bowl Me Over written across my underwear, complete with little black bowling pins.

“Farrah,” he said softly, refusing to move until I lifted my head to look at him. I tried to keep my expression neutral but must have been unsuccessful, because in the next moment he flipped the dead bolt and murmured, “Fuck it,” as he lifted me up and carried me toward my bedroom.

Chapter 3


Cody’s lips never left mine as my back landed on the tangled sheets of my bed, and I squeaked in surprise when something dug into the back of my thigh.

“What’s wrong?” He gasped as I tried to wiggle off the offending object, the breath from his words whispering across my skin as he moved his mouth over my jaw.