I still can’t see you as a brother?
A humorless laugh almost escaped her. She could just imagine saying that, and she could as easily imagine Vassi laughing at her face. Or worse, he could look at her like she was a freak. He saw her as his baby sister, and she saw him as the guy she wanted to give her virginity to.
“You never seem to want me around anymore.” Vassi suddenly spoke between clenched teeth.
She was stunned at the words, and Seri stammered, “It’s n-not like that.” He had always been the same with her even though she had become more antagonistic and constantly showed she preferred Sergei and Misha’s company to his. She had thought he hadn’t minded that they were drifting apart, but now she knew.
He had noticed.
She saw it in his eyes.
Vassi’s gaze met hers, and his voice was bitter when he spoke. “You used to welcome me with smiles and now you treat me like I’m an infection you need to stay away from. You never look at me, never want to spend time with me. You’re always with Sergei and Misha even though you see them every day and I’m only at home weeks at a time—-”
“Vassi…” She swallowed. “I’m sorry.”
“Is it because…of what you read in the papers about me?” He asked the question slowly, as if he had to drag the words out.
Seri’s fists clenched. She hated herself for hurting Vassi, but being reminded of exactly what those papers said made her hate him, and she jerked her gaze away from him. “Let’s not talk about it,” she said thinly.
“No.” Vassi took hold of her chin and forced her to look at him again. “I don’t do drugs when I’m away from home. I don’t gamble. I don’t—-”
“I know that,” she snapped.
“Then what are you mad at me for?” he grated down at her.
Mother of Russia, if only she could yell the truth at him!
She was mad at him for doing things with other girls. She was mad at him for being so blind. And most of all, she was mad at the way she still wanted him, dreamt of him, at the way she just couldn’t stop herself from loving him—-
He shook her hard. “Tell me!”
His growl angered and hurt her, and she found herself yelling at his face, “Because you’re an ass! Because I don’t know you anymore—-” Aghast at how her mouth had run off, she shoved him away and when his arms loosened, she ran up the stairs and threw herself on her bed.
LIAR, a mocking voice inside her head taunted.
Vassi was an ass. That part was true, and the endless flow of reports about the trail of broken hearts he left behind him was proof of it.
But the other one?
That was the lie, the very opposite of the truth.
Because Seri knew she did know him. So, so well that sometimes she had a feeling she knew him better than anyone else.
She knew him, but it was herself when he was around that she didn’t know and couldn’t ever seem to figure out.
The minutes trickled by. She saw that it was already one in the morning, but sleep was the last thing on her mind. Forcing herself to get up, Seri quickly stripped and got into the shower, hoping the jets of hot water streaming down her body would do its job.
But all she could do was think of Vassi’s strained gaze.
You never seem to want me around anymore.
She shoved the thought away as soon as it occurred, knowing if she allowed herself to think of it for another second, she would end up a sobbing, heartbroken mess in the shower. Teeth clenching, she forced herself to concentrate on vocal exercises, which always worked to distract her.
Clearing her throat several times, Seri started practicing her sexy voice, which was still her weakest point even after all these years.
“Aaaah.” Drat. That sounded more like she was dying instead of being in the throes of ecstasy.
“Oooooh.” Yuck. It sounded more like she had seen a wrinkled pink dick she was being forced to blow.
“Aaah. Oooh. Yes. Oh, yes.” Seri winced. Now, she sounded like she was performing some animal killing ritual.
This was so damn bad.
Why couldn’t she make herself sound sexy when she wasn’t thinking of…him?
Seri tried again, but it was hopeless.
Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath and allowed herself to dream—-
Vassi, taking off his shirt slowly, inch by inch revealing the smooth muscled panes of his chest, every part of his body beautifully and unapologetically hard—-
Vassi, unbuttoning his jeans, one at a time—-
A moan slipped out of her, one that would do any porn queen proud.
Oh, Mother of Russian Miracles, just like that and it came out so naturally.
She had what she wanted, and she knew she should stop now.