“This seems like cheating,” I say, though I can’t disguise the hitch in my voice. Nor can I ignore the growing heat in my belly, the way my whole body tingles in contact with his.
I’m not fifteen anymore. This isn’t my first kiss. I’m thinking about a whole lot more than kissing right now as he holds me tight against him, starts to carry me up the road. I remember seeing him in the bathroom, the perfect lines of his sculpted body. My thighs tighten, and I clench hard, trying to ignore the growing ache between my legs as my imagination drifts to what he would look like completely naked. It’s hard not to imagine what his cock might look like when he’s got me crushed against his chest, his arms so strong and hard around me. I imagine if we hadn’t been interrupted that night, kissing in the grass. What other firsts might we have explored? Would he have slid a hand under my shirt, reached up to undo my bra, teased my nipples until they ached? Would he have laid down across me, slid a hand between my legs, traced the edges of my underwear until I was wet, begging for him…
I shiver, and he tightens his grip on me.
“Cold?” he asks. “It’s pretty hot out here.”
Damn him, he doesn’t even sound out of breath, even carrying me up this trail in the dark, with the added weight of a bundle of wood in my lap. “Only because you’re carrying me. It’s cold when you don’t have to walk,” I lie, to avoid telling him the real reason.
He laughs, low and throaty.
From this vantage point, I have a good view of his neck, corded with new muscles now that he’s all grown up and buff as hell. I eye the stubble along his jaw, the sharp angle where it meets his neck, under his ear. I want to press my lips to that spot. I want to feel his stubble graze my cheek as his soft lips meet mine. Part against my mouth, as our tongues entwine again.
I wonder if he remembers that kiss. If he thinks about it as often as I do. If he thought about me at all after that summer.
It didn’t seem like it based on the way he completely ignored me the second we left the cabin.
But now… He’s being so sweet and kind. He knows about my studies, seems honestly interested and invested in what I do in the future. He seems to care, at least a little bit. So maybe I was wrong?
It doesn’t matter, I tell myself. He’s my brother now. There’s nothing between us. There never can be.
The cabin comes into sight ahead. The windows are dark—our parents must be out walking. My dad and his mom. Together. Because they’re our parents now.
He sets me on my feet at the foot of the steps to the porch, but neither of us makes a move to climb up. Not yet.
As he’s setting me down, his hand grazes the backs of my legs. Trails up across my ass, lingering just long enough to let me know it’s on purpose. And it’s definitely not a brotherly caress.
My breath hitches.
Then he lets go and takes the wood from me. Sets it on the steps. As he does, I catch his scent again, so addictive, so familiar. They say scent ties to memories the strongest of any sense. I never believed it until now. Until it throws me straight back to that last night at this cabin, under the stars, our limbs entwined.
“It’s funny,” he says, and we both inhale, as though startled by the sound of his voice after so long in strained silence.
“What?” I ask, stepping closer to him almost without realizing it, my body moving of its own accord. We’re close enough that I can see the cabin windows reflected in his eyes. He looks past it, out at the lake beyond. The moon is half-full, its light shining on the still waters.
“It still looks the same,” he murmurs.
“As that summer?” I follow his gaze.
“One night in particular.”
I look back at him and find him staring at me now. I swallow hard. Force a smile, though I know it must look lopsided. “We were just dumb kids back then,” I say, with a laugh that’s hard to fake.
He shakes his head. “We weren’t. We were more than that.”
I shiver again.
He steps closer. “It’s warm out tonight, Pau.”
“I know,” I whisper.
“So why do you keep shivering?” He brushes my arms. Trails his fingertips up them, until he’s cupping my shoulders gently.
“I think you know why.”
He smiles. It’s not like the other smiles he’s given me tonight—flirty, coy, teasing. This one is wide-open and sincere. It takes my breath away.
Then he leans in and presses his lips to mine, and I can forget about ever breathing again. That’s okay. Who needs oxygen? I have this kiss.
I wrap my arms around his neck, reflexive. For a moment, one blissful, heat-stopping moment, the rest of the world fades away. I forget why we’re here, the situation we’re in. All I can think about is the way his lips feel on mine, soft and hard all at once, hungry, like he wants to devour me whole.