“All right. Alex! Alex, get in here, please,” Rose calls out. It’s a miracle he could hear her over everyone’s laughter in the other room.
Alex walks in, and I can tell he’s not much older than Courtney.
“Can you get everyone together in about ten minutes? It’s time to eat,” Rose asks nicely.
Alex nods. “Sure. Oh hey, I’m Alex, it’s nice to meet you. Heard a lot about you.”
“Hope it’s all good,” I say, looking over at Courtney, who’s smiling.
“Yeah, nothing too incriminating at least. Anyway, I’ll see ya around.” Alex turns and walks away, and Courtney lets out a sigh. “Can we please get out of here before we have to talk to anyone else?”
“Ten minutes, Court. We’re eatin’ as a family tonight,” Rose says sternly, and I know that I don’t ever want to cross her.
Courtney smiles, grabs my hand, and we break away as fast as we can. As we walk up the stairs, I catch glimpses of family photographs they’ve taken over the years, and I’m tempted to stop and look at every single one, but Courtney isn’t having it. When we reach the top of the stairs, several doors line the hallway. We walk into one at the end, and as soon as she closes the door, she pushes me up against it, and our lips crash together.
“I’ve been waiting for that all day,” she says breathlessly. “Now the bad news.”
I look at her, confused.
“You’ll have to sleep in the guest bedroom. My parents are way too traditional to allow anything else unless we’re married.” She rolls her eyes and throws her suitcase on the bed.
“I can respect that.” I look around and see pictures of her and friends pinned to a corkboard, and she looks so young. There’s a poster of a young Justin Bieber, and I can’t help but laugh. “Is this the room you had when you lived here?”
“Yeah, but don’t laugh at my poster. I hung it up last time I was home.” She gives me a wink but I know she’s lying by how faded it is.
“I can only imagine all the trouble you got into as a teenager.”
“Oh, I gave them hell. It was so easy to sneak out that window and climb down the tree—or have people sneak in.”
“You did not.” I take a few steps closer to her.
“What else was there to do in the middle of nowhere, other than cow tip and have pasture parties?”
The warm glow from the evening sun splashes across the hardwood floor and she looks so pretty standing there with sun kissed skin and wild hair. If I could take a picture of her right here at this very moment, I would.
“Have I told you I love you today?”
She shakes her head and looks up into my eyes as I remove the space between us.
“I love you, Court,” I say between passionate kisses. My hands memorize her body, and soon our mouths are so greedy, that neither can get enough of the other.
“I love you too,” she says, between pants. “I’ve always loved you.”
I unbutton her shorts and slip my hand inside her panties, and she gasps when I touch her clit. Her eyes flutter closed when I dip my finger inside.
“You’re so wet,” I whisper, swirling my thumb against her hard nub and she lets out a small moan.
“I want you so fucking bad,” she says, melting into my touch.
A knock rings out on the door, and I hurry and remove my hand from her panties as she buttons her shorts.
“Come in,” she says.
Evan opens the door and eyes me as he speaks. “It’s dinnertime, little sis. Get your ass downstairs.”
He shuts the door without waiting for a response.
She stands on her tiptoes and pulls my bottom lip into her mouth and sucks. “You’re going to have to finish what you started later.”
“I plan on it.”
Before we walk downstairs, I pull her into my arms and kiss her one more time. She grabs my hand, and before we walk out of her bedroom, I ask if her brothers are always that scary.
She lets out a laugh. “Yeah, and you haven’t even met my dad yet.”
I love how my family is determined to embarrass me as we eat dinner, but I’m used to it, and Drew seems to enjoy their stories, even if they are at my expense. There are so many of us; we’ve set up a folding table so we could all eat together in the same room. As much as my brothers annoy me, I’ve missed them, and I’m happy to be home. I’m sure by Sunday when we fly out, I’ll be happy to be back to Cali.
“And there was this one time she got on this little pony, and it bucked her from here to the pipeline until she fell off and landed flat on her stomach,” Jackson says. “I watched her for about thirty minutes bucking away, holding on to his mane for dear life.”