Best and Honor

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Chapter 2


I still can’t believe she came. If I were her I would have told Rachel and Evan to go hell. I might never know the truth about what happened between them that finally ended their two-year relationship, but I know my best friend made the worst mistake of his life when he let Sophie Richards walk out of it. I’m not sure if he ever stopped thinking about her, but I know I haven’t. If she wasn’t my friend’s ex, I would have tracked her down and fought hard for a chance to have her myself.

Evan and I have been friends since grade school. I don’t always agree with his choices, but when he started bringing Sophie around our junior year of high school, I was jealous he’d found her first. She’s so beautiful. Her hair was a bit shorter back then, but still the same dark brown shade that it is now and her eyes are crystal blue and hard to look away from. They would have kept my attention much more if her body hadn’t also been something that made every male head around turn and stare.

She didn’t go to the same school as us, so I was only able to see her when Evan and I would throw a party or double date. Sophie has seen me date a parade of women, but she has no idea that she had set the bar so high for other women, it was hard to keep someone that wasn’t as great as her around long. I told myself years ago I would find someone that would make my heart race and my thoughts scatter like she did—and to this day I’m still looking.

I blow out a breath laced with vodka thanks to her small attempt at making my toes feel better. It didn’t help at all, but how do you say no to something she pulled straight from her bra. Shit, I was so flustered I couldn’t have even come up with a nice way to decline it. I was trying hard not to ask if I could see that move again. So now, I’m sitting outside in the humid night air in one of my best suits just because there’s pretty much nothing that could pull me away from the sweet scent of her perfume and the slight hint of alcohol I can smell on her.

“So, you and Evan are still friends. That’s good.” Her voice is quiet and raspy and damn if it doesn’t make every part of me light up with desire. My eyes are getting more adjusted to the darkness and I can see the way the small lights of the hotel rooms shine down to reflect off of the smooth skin if her exposed legs. What once were miles of teenage perfection are now the smooth and sleek curves of a woman. I let my eyes trail up to the hem of her skirt before remembering I should probably say something in response. If only the blood would reroute itself back to my brain.

“Yea, still friends. We don’t spend as much time together as we used to, but we’ve traded football for golf, and try to find time to get a few holes in once a month.” My phone rings again in my pocket and I know it’s Evan wanting to finish our phone call and hear the last details of the bachelor party. I don’t give a shit. “What about you? Still as close to Rachel?”

Her laugh is music to my ears, but then I hear the hurt in her chest as she sighs. “Sure. As close as we can be living different lives on separate coasts.” She pulls her feet up a little and I wonder if she remembers she’s wearing a skirt. A quick glance around at the empty courtyard lets me relax.

“I’ll never understand women.” How could they still be friends if Rachel dated her boyfriend right after they broke up? I expect her to argue with me or tell me it just makes them far superior to men, but instead she closes her eyes and shrugs, pulling the pale pink fabric of her shirt higher and exposing a tiny sliver of skin at the waist of her skirt.

“I don’t understand them either. If I could, I’d resign from my sex effective yesterday. I guess there are those of us that break the rules and ask for forgiveness and lucky for them there are some of us that value the friendship enough to fall for it.” Her honesty makes my heart clench. She’s trusting me and maybe it’s just because she’s drunk, but I’ll take it.

“Resigning from sex sounds pretty serious,” I joke, earning me a light slap to my chest. She knows I know exactly what she meant. “But seriously, Sophie, how are you going to watch Evan marry her?” Her eyes meet mine and I see the evidence of hours drinking in the whites of them. Maybe she wasn’t having as easy of a time being here as she first appeared to be.

“With the help of my friends.” I can feel my brows pull together in question and the most brilliant smile shines at me from her moonlit face. Her hand lifts between us and she tosses me the small empty vodka bottle. Catching it, I chuckle and then nod. “But I’m afraid my room is all out of vodka and I might need to borrow some of yours.”

My mind shouldn’t go there, but of course it does instantly. I can imagine us in my room, the soft curves of her body beneath my palms and my mouth on hers. I know she’d taste like alcohol and the sweet flavor of six years of longing. I’ve wanted her since the first day I saw her and the four years that have past have done nothing to extinguish the heat that races though my body when I look at her.

“I do believe I saw three of your little friends hanging out in my wet bar,” I tell her.

She laughs, and this time it’s light and bubbly like before. Very breathy and dramatic she exhales, “I’ve been looking all over for them.” I know it’s very late and I want to stay out here with her all night, but I believe the girls have some event in the morning while the boys will be headed to the golf course. I hope if I ever get married I remember how fucking ridiculous it is to hold your friends captive for a week to celebrating a ten-minute ceremony.

I sit up and feel the piercing throb of pain as my hurt toes hit the concrete. I can’t help the sharp intake of breath through my teeth. Sophie sits up at the sound and worries her bottom lip between her teeth before speaking. “We should ask the front desk for a first aid kit. It’s probably best if you tape those two together incase they’re broken.”

I stand up and extend my hand to her. She doesn’t hesitate to put her palm in mine and allow me to pull her to her feet. There isn’t a lot of room between our chairs, which gives me the perfect excuse to have our bodies so close together. I can feel all of her pressed to my chest and I let her hand go so I can let mine trail down her back and rest just above her ass. I watch her register my touch and feel her chest expand with a deep inhale.

There’s no way I’m going to let on how much pain my stupid foot is in as I guide her through the hotel lobby and up to the front desk. My bare feet pad across the tile. I had kicked off my shoes and socks before leaving Marty’s room and our friends gathered there to party, to go down to make a few calls away from everyone. Finding Sophie alone by the pool made my injury worth it.

The woman behind the counter listens as Sophie explains my toe situation and I watch her, taking in her every movement like I’ve been starved of them over the years. When a roll of white medical tape is slid into her hands, she thanks the worker and we turn towards the elevators. “What floor are you on?” she asks reaching for the bright button on the wall.

“Third. You?”

Her lips form into a sly smile. “Third.” The doors open and we step inside. I lean up against the wall to take some of my weight off of my quickly bruising toes. She moves right beside me and rests against the small handrail that circles the entire elevator. When the doors open again on our floor, I pull the room key from my pocket and watch intently as she slips hers from her bra.

We step into the hall and I point to my room a few doors away. “Come raid my mini bar. I have an early tee time and won’t be needing any more tonight.” I slide my key into the knob. She follows me into the small room and I make my way over to counter near the mini bar. Opening it, I tip my chin to her in invitation to choose what she wants.

Her perfect fingertips walk across the tops of the small bottles and I love the way she plays innocent when she chooses the three mini vodkas and tucks them into her bra. “Thanks Andrew. The next round is on me.”

“I’m going to hold you to that.” There are actually a lot of things I want to hold her to, or more accurately against.

“Sit down on the bed and I’ll tape your toes.” She moves towards the bed and I follow, grateful to lift my aching toes from the ground. She kneels down in front of me and I take the opportunity to really study how she’s changed since the last time I saw her. I didn’t think it would be possible she could’ve ever grown more beautiful, but she has.

Her fingers lightly wrap the tape around my injured toes and then she stands up and tosses the tape on the dresser. “There. Now maybe they won’t move around so much.” She brushes her long bangs from her face and rests her fists on her hips. “I better get going. I’ve got to be down at brunch by nine.” I move to stand and walk her to the door, but her hand splays out across my chest and stops me. “Don’t get up. I’ll let myself out. If you need anything I’m just across the hall.”

She holds her room key up and smiles. Most of the wedding party is on this floor, but knowing she’s just across the hall from me will make staying in my room difficult. “Thanks. Good luck tomorrow.” I pull my tie a little looser and lift it over my head. Her hazy eyes follow my movement and I can’t help the small smirk I have on my face. When my fingers reach for the tiny buttons on my collar, she shakes her head slightly as if to shake off a thought, and then quickly turns around.

“Night Andrew.”

“Good night Sophie,” I reply knowing my night would be so much better if she stayed.

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