Seven years in the army will change a guy. But after
Lily is about to marry a man she doesn’t love, and commit
as she moved her feet in the water, brushing her toes
against mine. It wasn’t something we hadn’t done before.
Soft touches like that. But tonight . . . it made me suck
in a breath. I cleared my throat and tried to think of
something, to say. “I’m not even going to get to
swim in it. Even if your dad refuses to admit it,
I’m out of here for the army soon.”
distance. She looked . . . sad. Which inexplicably made
sad, like our emotions were tied together or some shit
like that. Her small, delicate features looked flawless in
the late-afternoon sun. For some reason, I couldn’t stop
staring. I was going to miss her when I was gone, but that
wouldn’t stop me from going. Nothing would. “I’m sorry he’s
such a jerk to you. You deserve better.”
She was the only one in this ridiculous family that cared
about me. I lifted my own Coke and shrugged.
“Whatever. I don’t care.”
and I tensed. I had board shorts on, so she didn’t
touch skin, but still. It felt . . . intimate. And good.
“I can see it in your eyes.”
in his eyes. So I scoffed. “Yeah, sure. Whatever.”
myself . . . and Lilly. She was the one exception. And I’d
show her that, right here. Right now. Her hand was still
on my thigh, so I covered it with mine. “The only person
whose opinion matters to me in this house is sitting
right next to me, and I mean it.”
“I care about you very much, Jackson.”
her gaze focused on my lips.
more than to see what it would feel like if I kissed
her . . . well, there was only so much a guy like me could
ignore. And I was leaving, and I wouldn’t see her again,
and man, I wanted to find out what she tasted like so damn
badly. Just one small, tiny, innocent kiss. That was
all I wanted. No one would ever know. Not even Walt.
“Know what I see in your eyes?”
some sort of god or something. It made me feel a little bit ill,
but also as though I could rule the world, if I had her by my side.
some unknown, greedy man taking over my actions. I trailed
my hand up her bare arm, leaving goosebumps in my wake.
“To be your first kiss. The one you remember for the rest
of your life. To touch you.”
“Go ahead. If you’re brave enough to do it, to take what you
want, kiss me. No one will ever know you kissed your
stepbrother but us. It’ll be our little secret . . .”
wish otherwise. It was why I left it up to her. I didn’t have
qualms about it. Didn’t think it was wrong, or dirty, because
she wasn’t my damn sister. But there was no way
she had it in her to—
Crawling into my lap, facing me, straddling my thighs,
she cupped my face and stared into my eyes. I got lost in
hers, and some sinking suspicion told me that I was staring
at the person I was meant to live the rest of my life
with—which was crazy. “I know you think I’m too young,
or too good, or too scared to do it . . . so I’ll prove you wrong.
And guess what? You’re going to like it.”
her grip on my cheeks. And, God help me, I finally found
out what she tasted like. She smelled like vanilla, sunshine,
and innocence, and she tasted like
heaven. . . . And bubblegum.
breasts against my chest and skimming my hands down
her sides. When I gripped her ass and arched my erection
up against her, she gasped, giving me access to her mouth.
I took it. . . .
digging her nails in as she pressed down against me,
obviously wanting to feel my dick up against her core again.
ass, I deepened the kiss, taking it to the next level. Warning
bells went off in my head—this was getting too hot, too
fast—but I ignored them, because she just felt way too
fucking good. What had started off as a lighthearted flirtation
backfired, because she was kissing me, and I didn’t want to
stop. Having her in my arms made me feel as if
I wasn’t alone.
daughter’s ass, and knew I’d fucked up. I
’d forgotten to listen for anyone coming. “Shit.”
but did as told. She always did.
me to my feet. “How dare you defile my baby girl? Get out
of this house, and don’t come back. You’re cut off. Not
welcome here. Out of this family.”I forced a careless grin,
even though watching Lilly run from me was like watching
my own heart leap out of my chest and sprint for the door.
“It’s about damn time. I never wanted to be in it,
anyway.”Yanking free, I walked past the man I hated more
than my own father. Walked right past my mother, and
didn’t even look at Lilly, who stood paralyzed halfway
up the stairs. If I looked at her, I’d waver. I’d want to stay,
for her. And I couldn’t afford to do that. Not anymore.
So I walked right out the door. . . .
Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes