By: Tijan

“Kevin,” the girl moaned now, drawing me back to the trainwreck. She lifted one of her toned legs to wrap around him, pulling him more tightly against her.

I wrinkled my nose. Good God. I needed to look away, but I couldn’t, not while his hand traced down her side. He lifted her leg higher to press against her, and they both moaned from the friction.

They were still dressed. That was one blessing, but they were barely dressed. Kevin’s jeans looked loosened, like they were already unzipped, and the girl’s skirt had been pushed high. Lacy pink underwear peeked out, and the way it moved…like something was going on in there…and yeah, that was his hand.

Time to reverse it.

They’d found their spot in the back room of the basement, which was close to Kevin’s room at his fraternity. They just hadn’t gotten all the way in there. I should’ve realized what was happening when I saw the basement door had a rubber band on the handle.

I slipped back out the door, and I was petty enough to grab that rubber band. I stuffed it in my pocket as I went.

Okay. Yes, I had loved Kevin for years. Yes, I had lived with him. Yes, he was sort of my brother, but no brotherly/sisterly love had formed between us. We were compadres, friends, buddies. And I’d thought there had been flirting. Yes, yes, there had been flirting.

We only lived one year together, and yeah, he was quiet most of the time. He was barely at the house, and when he was, he had a girlfriend with him. But there had been times! When I loaded the dishes in the dishwasher after dinner, he hung around a few times. He even wiped down the table some of those times. There were grins. I got a wink once. A couple hugs. It seemed like something at the time, but thinking about it now, I realized how non-more-than-friends it had been. Until the summer. It changed after that.

Kevin came home from college for my high school graduation, and there’d been drinking. There’d been debauchery—between the two of us. Kissing. Groping. Touching. Remembering it now, I could feel it all over again. His hand on my breast, then inside my jeans. I’d pulled his shirt up and over. Ooh, that glorious chest of his. He’d hovered above me. I’d felt his back, running my hands up and down, and he had done the same. He’d done more than the same.

I slept with him.

Well—I still cringed thinking about it. No. I hadn’t actually slept with him. We had sex, and he was gone when I woke in the morning. Like, gone gone. He’d gone all the way back to his fraternity house that was four hours away.

It wasn’t weird, though. Nope. I hadn’t thought so. He called to apologize that night, saying he forgot about a commitment, but he didn’t want me to think there was any weirdness between us. See? No weirdness. Then there’d been other calls over the next couple months—like, four of them. (That was four more than normal.)

Of course, he usually called to talk to his mom, but there was chit-chat with me as well. How are you? How’s your summer? He’d tease me about whether I had a boyfriend or not. I teased him back about girls while my stomach did flip-flops, hoping there’d be no one serious. Based on what he’d told me, there hadn’t been anyone.

Face it, Stoltz. You thought you were that girl.

I did. I really did, and I realized now how stupid I’d been.

And I was stupid for coming to this party. That was it. I needed to go.

There were people everywhere once I got back upstairs, and as I swung around I heard, “Whoa. Settle, girl.”

My elbow had made contact with someone, and as I looked to see who my victim was, my eyes first landed on a very muscled and defined arm. And the tattoos. Holy crap, the tattoos! They covered the entire arm.

I kept staring. I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help it. The bicep bulged a bit, and as it did, a snake tattoo moved with it, giving the illusion that there was actually a real snake on the arm.

“Something wrong with you?”

My gaze jerked up, away from the snake and right into a pair of startlingly dark (and gorgeous) eyes. They were fixed on me, bearing a mix of irritation and confusion.

“What?” He asked what was wrong with you. I shook my head. “No, sorry.” I’d hit him. “I didn’t see you there, and I was trying to leave.”