Destructively Oblivious

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Chapter 30: Mistake

mis·take

/məˈstāk/

noun

1. an action or fault that leads to defective judgment; usually can lead to someone saying "Oops."

______________________________________

*Chloe’s Point of View*

At seven in the morning, I naturally stood by the counter, staring into the newspaper when I heard footsteps make their way downstairs. I twisted to see who it was, keeping my face as even as possible when I realized the person disturbing the quiet air was Amy.

I looked back down at the paper, taking a sip of my coffee. I was undeniably still humiliated about her public opinion on what had happened the day before, and although whatever feelings I felt had lessened, I could feel the unwanted sensitivity in my chest.

She walked right behind me, pouring herself a mug of coffee. As she began to sip it, she silently stared directly at me. I could see her in my peripheral vision, her eyes burning a hole straight through me.

Afraid of what her next few words would be, I inhaled a soft breath, holding it until she’d finally speak. There were numerous directions she could take the conversation, the ones ending with ‘Please, get out of my house,’ the words I was most afraid of. I wouldn’t blame her if she did kick me out. After sleeping with her son, I was sure she could barely even look at me. After sleeping with her son, I could barely even look at me.

When there was enough tension in the room to cut with a machete, she spoke. “Chloe, I’m sorry.”

That was not what I'd expected her to say. Doubtful, I peered over at her stiffly sipping hot coffee. “What?” I asked, far past nervous.

“I’m sorry about yesterday, not only for invading yours and Asher’s personal space but also anything that happened then after.” She set her coffee on the counter behind her and leaned against it, certainly uncomfortable with the topic at hand. “Asher and I talked before you moved in and I made it very clear to him to not... invade... in a way he shouldn’t. Clearly, he did anyway and I was reprimanding him for not listening to my rules.”

My shoulders tensed. “You’re not going to... kick me out?”

“Kick you out?” She let out a faint laugh. “Why would I kick you out?”

I shrugged at her question. Suddenly, the ground had my attention and I couldn’t bring my gaze to meet hers. Amy seemed to understand my fear and her low voice pulled my eyes to hers.

“Chloe, I’m not going to kick you out. I really enjoy having you here. You and Asher are both adults and what happens between you two is none of my business. Just please try to... refrain... in the house...”

The topic started to irk me unbearably and I desired to end it as soon as possible. Covering my ears with my hands like I was a seven-year-old, I nodded, bringing my fixed gaze to my mug.

She started to make her way out of the kitchen, taking the horrifyingly awful tension with her. As she made her way up the stairs, she turned abruptly. “And before I forget, are you busy tonight?”

It took me a few seconds to register her question with covered ears, but I managed to understand her unspoken request. “Do you need me to watch Prim?”

“If you don’t mind. I have a work meeting and Asher is going out with his friends.” I presented her a slight smile to indicate that was fine with me and she half-jogged up the stairs and around the corner.

I let out a sigh of relief that Asher wouldn’t be there with me and turned back to my newspaper. We had agreed the night before that we’d go back to normal, but that seemed nearly impossible to me and I didn’t want to be in a house alone with him in such an uncomfortable mess.

And from the way he’d been avoiding me all morning, I assumed he felt the same way.

______________________________________

*Asher’s Point of View*

It was eight at night, the time we were supposed to leave, and I was dressed, ready to go. Ready to subtly avoid Dol like I had been doing all day. She rode with Jamie to school because I’d never left my room to steer clear of seeing her.

When she came home, she went into her room, and I ultimately came out of mine. Unfortunately, the group of idiots that I sadly called my friend group was raiding my kitchen and taking a long ass time to do so.

I didn’t want to tell them I was trying to get out of the house before Dol came down seeing I had just finished making it clear to them we agreed not to let it be weird. But it was weird.

It was like when you slept with someone and you ran into them at the store and it was awkward. Except, in this case, I live in the store. And so does the person I slept with.

As I continued to try and usher the three guys out of my house and into the car, they refused, thoroughly enjoying every piece of food they laid eyes on. Staring past Danny who was gnawing on an apple, I noticed the pile of dishes in the sink, the ones I was supposed to have done hours ago, were unwashed.

My mom’s intolerable nagging soon echoed in my head and I knew she’d have my ass if she came home and they weren’t done. And the last thing I needed lately was to be on my mom’s bad side. Again.

That left me with two options.

One - Do the dishes now.

Two - Call Dol down and ask her to do them.

Logically, I walked to the sink to start. As my hand came into contact with dish #1, Blake’s Cheeto-covered-fingers tapped my arm.

“Dude, don’t start the dishes. We’re leaving,” he spoke in between muffled crunches.

Where was that attitude thirty seconds ago? I thought.

I shook my head at him, once again reaching for the dish. “I told my mom they’d be done before she came home.”

Blake jerked his thumb over at the stairs before returning that hand to his chips. “Just get Chloe to do them,” he suggested.

Fucking Christ. I couldn’t catch a break.

I couldn’t think of an excuse fast enough, and the words that left my mouth sounded nothing close to convincing. “But... she’s not going to want to.”

Andy laughed. “Do you want to?” Upon my head shake, he shrugged. “What’s the harm in asking her?”

There was a lot of harm in having any encounters with Dol. Harm meaning awkward. Of course, I couldn’t let them know that.

I jutted my head once and walked to the bottom of the stairs, hollering upwards. I meant to say her name calmly, but it sounded much more panicked than I originally planned. “Dol! Come here quickly.”

A few seconds passed before she rounded the corner, her expression confused and slightly nervous, I’m sure due to my far-to-unnerved call for her. Although the emotions on her face did catch my attention for a split second, the only thing I could focus on was the tiny towel she had on.

I was actually pretty sure it was one of Prim’s towels, but judging from the way she was clinging to it, I don’t think she realized that when she grabbed it. She had one hand on her chest to hold it tight in that area, her other hand holding together the small gap between the edges of the towel.

Because of the lack of cloth, the little difference between those edges left her hip bone visible to me. Her hair was soaking wet and it was clear she had just stepped foot out of the shower.

Like I said, I couldn’t catch a break.

My eyes lingered for far too long, but her voice broke me from my trance. “What?”

I swallowed, pulling my eyes from her nearly visible hips that I wanted to dig my fingers into as I buried myself inside her. Christ, Asher.

“Uh, do the dishes,” I babbled mindlessly.

She paused, letting her tensed shoulders drop insignificantly, her mouth gaped open. “You made me run out here to tell me to do the dishes? It’s not even my night to do them.”

Her eyes left my face and landed on the rest of the guys as she gave them a tiny, awkward smile to say hello. Undoubtedly aware of how little she had on, she pulled the towel even tighter, although it didn’t make much of a difference. Narrowing her eyes for a moment, she sneered, “Danny, stop eating my Swedish Fish!”

I turned towards my friend behind me, watching him finish off the last of the candy. Twisting back to look at Dol, I watched her huff in irritation. She was adorable.

Knowing it wasn’t her turn to do them, I pried, “It is your turn.”

She scowled cutely. “No, it isn’t. I did them last week.”

Her hair was dripping water onto the towel, certain favorable strands clinging to her neck. I was convinced I’d never been harder in my life. I tried to ignore the yearn to kiss her until she begged me to stop.

“Whatever. My mom is going to kill one of us when she gets home if they’re not done, and I’m not doing them.”

Finally peeling my eyes off her, which took an incredible amount of effort, I marched past the stairs and towards the front door. Dol turned to face me, peering over the stair railing to continue the conversation.

“Fine, but I want more Swedish Fish.” She sent an unsubtle glare towards the culprit — Danny.

That seemed entirely doable as long as I got out of this house in the next thirty seconds or less. “Okay, but I won’t be home till late.”

“Whatever, now can I get dressed? Or are you going to make me stand out here and freeze?” she quipped. I gave her a half-smile and a small shake of the head, to which she sent me a smirk. “I’m sure I totally look like I stepped out of a magazine — in Prim’s towel — but I’d hate to die of hypothermia.”

My half-smile snapped into a full one and I crossed my arms. “Modesty is a virtue, Dolphin.”

By then she was already stalking back down the hall and I watched her slip into her room. That didn’t go as bad as I thought it would if you disregarded my overwhelming desire to throw her right onto the stairs and fuck her, regardless of the guys watching us. But it wasn’t awkward, and that was what mattered.

I shifted, turning towards the guys who were staring at me as if they were ready for me to either burst into tears or run up the stairs to Dol’s room. Truthfully, I could go for both, but I drew my eyebrows together. “Can we go?”

They shrugged, making their way towards the door but stopping when someone knocked on it. Whoever was on the other side didn’t wait to be invited in and stepped through the jamb, eyes instantly landing on me and narrowing. I gave Jamie a grin, but she didn’t remove the glare from her face, fuming with unmissable anger towards me.

Letting out a very tense breath, I blinked. “Andy, please come get your girlfriend to stop giving me a death glare.”

Jamie’s eyes, skipping off of me and onto Andy, brightened, sending her boyfriend a small smile before bringing her eyes back to mine, that same death glare up and kicking again.

“I’m going to set you on fire,” she snarked.

That sounded okay to me. I smiled. “I’ll get the matches.”

The edges of her lips turned up slightly from my rebuttal but promptly formed a scowl.

A voice, a very captivating voice, made its way through the air. “Jamie, leave him alone.”

All heads turned up to Dol who had, thankfully, put on my white shirt that she never seemed to take off. The towel that was once around her body was now in her hair, twisted around in that insane way that girls placed it to dry.

While I focused on the unimportant logistics of how women dried their hair, Jamie blew air out of her nose. “I’m going to castrate him, C.” Fixating her glare on me, she crossed her arms. “You’re an asshole.”

She wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know.

The sound of Dol’s feet hitting each step caught my ear as she ran towards us, gripping onto Jamie’s arm and tugging. “Jamie, come on.”

Embarrassment apparent on her face, she tried to pry her friend away from me. When she didn’t budge, Dol turned to Andy to start up Plan B.

“Hey, Andy, what did you and Jamie do in that shopping mall parking lot the other day?” she asked, clearly already knowing the answer and simply trying to remove her best friend’s attention from me.

Andy’s eyes went wide at the sudden confrontation and Jamie’s glare snapped off me as she turned towards Dolphin. “Hey! That’s personal!”

Dol jerked her head in the direction of the stairs and Jamie sent me one last glower before making her way up them. Mumbling a string of incoherent words, Dol ran up after her angry best friend.

I thanked whatever higher power was above that we could finally leave the goddamn house right as Blake squinted at Andy. “Dude, what the fuck did you two do in that parking lot?”

Happy the conversation had lifted from my uncomfortable problems to Andy’s, I made my way towards the front door.

______________________________________

Hours after we had made our departure, I was sitting in a booth in a crowded club, finally forgetting about the painful asphyxiation I had at home. That feeling didn’t last as long as I had hoped.

My best friends surrounding me were quick to pop the tranquil bubble I was in, smothering me in reality. Danny was the first to take a tiny, peace-piercing needle to my thin sphere.

“What are you going to do about the Chloe situation?” he asked when my mind had finally wandered from the topic.

My breathing screeched to a stop and I palmed the back of my neck. Andy immediately picked up on my lack of response. “Don’t be an ass. We gave you an entire day to get your shit together.”

“How generous of you,” I fired back without thinking, getting more cranky and irritated by the second.

Danny gave me a sad smile, and I regretted leaving my bed as he shared, “We all talked about this while you were drunk on my couch last night. We agreed you’re being an idiot and should just date her already, or move on.”

A voice full of anguish, I swallowed hard. “I'm going home."

Blake tossed a pretzel at me from the bowl in the middle of the table as I scooted out from the booth. “Listen, we get that we haven't been the most supportive about your... whatever the fuck. We’re trying to make it better.”

I halted my movement as I snapped, “You know what would have made it better? Staying the hell out of it in the first place.”

Danny took the pretzel that had bounced off my face and tossed it into his mouth. I cringed, thinking about how many hands had been on that small snack before it went past his lips. He didn’t seem to mind. “We are trying to explain to you that you’re fully capable of being in a committed, responsible relationship if you try hard enough, and maybe you’re ready.”

I wiped my forehead with the back of my hand, about thirteen seconds away from a mental breakdown. “Thanks, Dad. I can’t wait for my prom speech.”

“Can you not be an asshole?”

“Not really.”

Danny let out another weak sigh. “I have a question. You mind?”

I shrugged. “Hit me.”

Literally, with a bat. Put me out of my misery.

Another sigh left Danny’s mouth, along with the words, “Do you love her?”

The question stilled me, light but pained laughter fighting its way past my lips. “What?” I asked, hoping I had somehow misheard the apparent inquiry.

“Do you love her?” he repeated, confirming I hadn’t misheard shit.

With as much honesty as possible, I answered, “No.”

“Are you kidding me? You clearly do.” Andy appeared the most irritated over my response and he spat the words at me.

I shrugged, shaking my head slowly. “I care about her, but...”

My feelings for Dol went way past the line of anything I’d ever felt, far more painful and far more comforting than anything I’d ever experienced, but my chest still constricted at that word, and I found it hard to believe I could have actually fallen into it without knowing.

Plus, I couldn't say I had the healthiest perspective on what love was supposed to look and feel like coming from a divorced home, but I was sure about my own diagnosis. Love: if I truly felt it, I would know.

The table paused and Andy gave me an upsetting expression, his eyes wandering my face. “Then... that’s it?”

I wanted to rebuttal. I wanted to tell them that couldn’t be it. There had to be more to this situation. The circumstances couldn’t be love or nothing. I felt something, a lot actually, I just didn’t know what it all was yet. But I suppose that was the point. Until I could figure out what the hell I wanted, what the hell I deserved, I couldn’t pull Dol any deeper into this fucked up situation than I already had.

Our relationship was already at a limit and another mistake could leave me with nothing. Trying to be normal was going to be a challenge, and I had never been good at them.

My breath caught as I confirmed, “That’s it.”

______________________________________

*Chloe’s Point of View*

The hours with Jamie passed by, the night falling faster than I could blink. From the time Jamie showed up to the time she left, I had spent my time trying to convince her that Asher and I decided to be friends. She didn’t buy it, saying you couldn’t be friends with someone you’re so attracted to. I think she convinced me of her point more than I convinced her of mine.

I walked her to her car, shoving her in and sending her a wave as she sped off. It really did take a lot to convince that girl of anything, especially when it came to boys.

The cold air brushing up against my bare legs, I waited until her car had turned the corner at the end of the street to turn around. When I twisted from the street to the house, my eyes passed a familiar-looking face staring at me from across the hedge of bushes. I gave the familiar-looking face a smile, glancing around and folding my arms over my chest as I took a few steps towards her.

“Hey, Ellie,” I greeted. The girl smiled at me, giving me a slight wave with the arm that wasn’t holding a garbage bag. She dumped the trash into the can and spun back to me. “I want to apologize for what happened the other day. I’m sorry that the signals got crossed.”

“No no!” Ellie threw her hands up in meaningful defiance. “I’m sorry. I really never meant to be so forward. I’m not very good at... controlling urges, I guess.”

We had that in common then.

I pitched her a genuine smile. “I hope we can start over. You seem really sweet and I’d love to get to know you when my first impression of you isn’t so... strained.”

Ellie nodded, puzzlement lacing her expression as she probably didn’t quite understand what I meant by that, seeing I didn’t think she picked up on my disgruntled attitude towards her the day we met. She didn’t question me, only told me she hoped for the same.

As a few moments of silence passed, she gave me a coy grin. “I guess I should have picked up on the real signs. You and Asher are really adorable together.”

Confusion tweaking at the lines on my forehead, I remembered telling her Asher and I were not dating. Feeling the need to explain again, I gave my head a little shake. “Oh, Asher and I aren’t a couple.”

“Yeah, I had remembered you saying that. I’m sorry, I thought I’d been mistaken after what I had heard.” She said the words very matter-of-factually, her brows drawing together when she saw the bewildered look on my face. She jutted her chin up to Asher’s window on the side of the house. “I heard you two the other night. That room is pretty close to mine.”

I was mortified immediately, frozen in place. I felt traumatized at the fact someone had heard me in such a... personal way. This clearly meant I needed to leave town, cast off my identity, and start as someone new.

When Ellie picked up on my humiliating nature, she gave me a small half-smile that only made my sheepish self calm down a tiny bit. “I didn’t hear much, don’t worry. Just enough to know what was going on.” She turned back to her house when she heard the sound of her name being called, bringing her gaze back to me. “I’ll see you around, neighbor.”

The charming girl sent me a wink and went off on her way, leaving me in my pit of shame and abashment. I turned back to the house and walked in, grateful Prim was asleep and wasn’t able to hear me whisper-yelling at myself for being so carelessly stupid, and apparently also loud, during my night with Asher.

I clicked on a random movie to remove my thoughts from the personal news and was sucked instantly into the horror film. Twenty minutes later, I heard the front door open, and I turned around on the couch, perfectly timed to watch Asher stroll through the entrance room. My eyebrows bunched and my stomach dropped, confused as to why he was home at such an early point in the night.

“What are you doing home so early?” I sputtered.

He shrugged nonchalantly like he wasn’t at all stressed about the possibility of being alone together. “I got tired of the guys.”

I eyed the convenience store bag he was holding and he picked up on my glances. Setting the plastic on the counter, he pulled Swedish Fish out and held them up. Throwing an appreciative smile his way, I turned back to the TV in the hopes he’d leave the room.

Much to my dismay, instead, he walked over to the back of the couch, nodding his head over towards the screen. “What are you watching?

“Oh, just some scary thing,” I muttered.

He grunted in understanding before collapsing on the left side of the couch opposite to me, unbeknownst to the fact I was awkward, uncomfortable, and very grateful mind-reading didn’t exist. He did pick up on the tense air a few seconds later, letting his teeth chew on his bottom lip. His tone was high-strung when he mumbled, “Right, sorry. You don’t want me here.”

As he stood to leave, guilt and the immense want for things to go back to normal between us formed my abrupt response. “No, no. Stay, please. Don’t go.”

He paused but obliged, sitting back down. Minutes had passed, and although seemingly peaceful, the atmosphere for me was tight and strained. It was uncomfortable.

There was a big, gigantic sex elephant in the room.

I had an annoyingly vast urge to pull myself closer to Asher. I almost had to dig my fingers into the arm of the couch to stay put. I could see him in my peripheral vision, stunningly watching the TV like it was his fucking day job.

If I wasn’t embarrassed by how I emotionally responded to him, then it was my physical response that left me red-faced and shameful. I wanted him in every way that applied, temptation aiming her medicated finger in my direction as I contemplated how one thing could make our relationship even less normal.

I snuck a glance his way, unable to help myself. He most likely noticed but I was too hung up to care, watching his eyes dart across the screen in fear. Then I remembered he was afraid of movies like this. Why the hell was he sitting in this confinement prison of tension and appearing to like a movie he knew he wouldn’t mind never seeing again? Was he trying to make it difficult for me?

Realizing it might be a chance to spark up a normal conversation, I forced myself to chuckle. “Scared?”

He jolted slightly at the sound of my voice and twisted his head to look at me. Kicking me a nervous laugh, he let his teeth gnaw at his bottom lip again.

“Of course not. It’s just... I was startled.” Taking a moment to contemplate his decision, he finished with, “Plus, I have a legitimate reason to be scared. Last time we watched a scary movie, you were protecting me.”

My memory flashing to our last scary movie experience, I remembered the night had ended with me almost directly on his lap. Good times. Normal times. Normal... for us.

Not giving myself any more time to ponder the decision, I nodded once and shuffled my way over to him on the couch. I laid my head on his shoulder, letting my legs tangle with his on the footrest. I felt him tense under my head and fret washed over me, giving me an unpleasant bath.

Finally, just as I was about to go back to my original spot and live out the rest of my life in despair, he relaxed, his arm snaking around my waist and holding me close.

Normal.

*Asher’s Point of View*

Panic. Panic. Panic. Panic. Panic.

If sitting far away from her on the couch wasn’t painful enough, her touching me felt like acid was soaking my chest. I’d meant what I said as a playful joke, not an invitation. And though the feeling of her on me was enough to send me directly into a hospital, I took shallow breaths as her finger mindlessly drew small circles onto my arm.

Those small circles burned like rings of fire on my skin and I internally beat myself over the head with the bat of rationality. Dol had more to ignite me in a single fingertip than anyone I’d ever met did in their entire body.

When I felt calm enough to open my eyes and return my attention to the film, the blaring sound of her phone went off beside her and she struggled to answer it.

“Hey, Tate," she greeted casually. For a few seconds, I could hear the muffled yelling of her brother’s response, and I felt her go taut against me. “Stop screaming at me,” she grumbled.

Subtly leaning into her a bit more, I tried to make out any of the words Tate was saying. The only things I could pick up were ‘promise’, ‘trip’, and ‘selfish.’ Regardless of the words I missed, it was selfish that threw Chloe off the end, dangling her with vexation.

“Don’t call me that, asshole. I’m no-” A few more muffled yells passed her by before she spat, “I am not! I told you I didn't want to. I always tell you I don’t want to go.”

Tate was silent on the other end and the two siblings sat wordlessly on the line until she clicked the phone off in an instant, tossing it next to her on the couch. I watched it bounce once and land inches away. No sounds exited her after that. She didn’t say anything, merely stared forward.

Unable to see her face, I lightly grabbed the bottom of her chin and lifted her face towards me, watching the tears well up in her eyes when my soft gaze landed on her.

“Do you want to talk about it?” I asked as gently as possible.

She shook her head. “No thanks.”

I only let disappointment flood for a few seconds, instead allowing my sympathy to show. She averted her gaze from me uncomfortably but allowed it to return when she knew I wasn't going to look away.

Her eyes were as blue as the ocean, the aqua hue carrying just as many currents and before I could take another breath, I found myself drowning in them. Strangely, the way I reacted to her was scaring me even more than the hell-ish movie she had put on.

I used my opposite hand to wipe the one tear that had managed to escape the rest, and she let her cheek rest in my palm. I didn’t know why I hadn’t let go of her yet, but I secured my soft grip, hoping she’d lean into my lips and knowing she shouldn’t.

But I couldn’t resist. My head screamed that what I was doing was wrong, but my body put the warnings on silent, muffling each one. I leaned in closer, pressing my forehead to hers. She didn’t try and pull away but removed her gaze from my eyes to look down at my lips for what couldn't have been more than a nanosecond.

I couldn’t stop all the decisions that were going through me. I wanted to think sensibly, but a fog was clouding my every thought, and that fogs name was Chloe Carlin. Everything about her was flooding my senses.

At that point, staring had become our only communication. I couldn’t seem to move, couldn’t seem to pull away nor push closer. I thought I had a limited amount of willpower, but when Chloe finally pushed against my face, I realized she had even less.

Her lips found mine, testing the waters, barely even touching. The tease had only lasted a second before she moved forward again and captured my mouth in a slow, passionate kiss. I all but sighed into her mouth. I groaned instead, letting go of her chin to bury the hand in her hair to draw her closer.

She dipped her willful tongue against mine as she whimpered into my mouth, the familiar feeling of it all sending every cogent thought I’d ever owned out to sea. The kiss was soft and straightforward, but there wasn’t a single part of it that didn’t scream want... need.

Chloe pulled away from my mouth and my chest clouded with uncertainty, fearful that she would stop something that should have never started. Instead, she readjusted against me and I watched with extensive eyes and greedy hands as she threw her leg over my lap to straddle me, tugging my mouth back to hers.

It was like she was deliberately fraught, trying to hammer my pulse until I gave out. While my mouth was busy with hers, trying to blaze her lips into my memory even farther, my hands worked onto her thighs, pulling her closer so that her body melded against mine. She kept one hand on my shoulder, the other reaching behind my head to grasp onto my hair and secure my lips.

Whatever pain I was feeling, ache that was building or injudicious doubt from earlier was long gone and replaced with peace, want, and desire.

I slid my hands up her shirt — my shirt — and grabbed her perfect hips, the ones I had wanted to dig my fingers into earlier that day, to pull her closer. She let out a faltering breath as she slid her body over mine, reaching up to grab the edges of the shirt covering her and ripping it over her head.

My head was dizzy when I took a peek down at her, bringing my lips back after the rapid tease. Her hands went to the buttons of my shirt, undoing each one as quickly as possible. She'd only made it about halfway down when I became impatient and reached behind her, unclasping her pink bra and leaving her in only panties.

I wrapped my mouth around her nipple, feeling the tug on my hair get even closer-knit when she panted. She ground her hips back into my mine and I groaned, seeking her lips again as she somewhat lessened the ache between us. Or maybe she was making it worse.

Refraining from her, fighting against what I desperately wanted was getting increasingly difficult and, eventually, I couldn't hold back any longer. I removed my hand from her hip, dragging it between her legs, rubbing her over the thin fabric of her panties. She squirmed slightly, letting out the sexiest moan against my lips.

Wanting to hear more from her, I slipped my fingers under the cloth, experiencing the full feeling of my fingers against her wet flesh. She gasped, a shudder passing down her spine. She thrust her hips against me, wishing to move my steadied fingers. Slowly, I slid a scant inch inside of her.

“Oh God, Asher!” she cried out. Her hands gripped onto the dark waves of my hair as I pushed my finger an inch farther inside of her, watching her spread her legs wider for me. Adding another finger, I drove them both deep inside her, the rhythm of them matching Chloe’s gasps. With two fingers pumping in and out of her, my thumb massaged her sweet spot. I had never wanted someone so badly in my entire life.

This sensation was far different than our first exploration in this territory. What had previously been slow and sensual, this was full of want and need. Nothing was more tantalizing than Chloe’s moans.

She clutched onto my unbuttoned shirt for leverage and I grasped onto her jaw, staring into her eyes as I dragged her closer to unraveling. Sucking her bottom lip into my mouth, I continued manipulating her warmth.

I curled my fingers accordingly, repeatedly stroking the spot inside her that I knew had her will breaking. She was so close, I could hear it in the shakiness of the moans she let out against my lips. Both my heart and my cock were pulsating at the prospect of her coming on my fingers.

We were moving together frantically, but a sound from somewhere nearby had forced both of us to freeze against one another almost simultaneously. Our lips were ironed against the others, but we were stationed, listening as we identified the sound as the stairs creaking.

That was around the time when I realized both the mistake we were making and the sister I had who was asleep in bed.

The keyword: Was.

Our lips pulled apart as Chloe jerked her shirt off the edge of the couch and threw it on, unseating herself from my lap, and my fingers, in the process. I watched her stand up abruptly as my opposite arm was seized in a small grasp.

*Chloe’s Point of View*

I attempted to catch my quaky breath as I watched Prim grab onto her brother's arm, standing next to the couch, oblivious to what had happened on it. She rubbed her eyes slowly as if she had recently woken up and I watched Asher hastily button up whatever buttons weren’t secure on his shirt.

My breaths were still frenzied from the massacre of common sense, and the feeling of contradiction hit my chest like a ton of bricks. I was frustrated over what I'd given in to but above that, every second I spent kissing Asher was a second that I could pretend that he was mine, and every time we had to pull apart was a painful reminder that he wasn't.

I could feel the awful prickle of sadness in my eyes, beckoning me to burst into a fit in this very spot. I willed myself not to.

Prim eyed us both and then the TV. “Can I lay out here?”

Not looking anywhere near the guy on the couch I was previously straddling, I mustered up the best smile I could and pointed it in Prim’s direction. “Yeah, you can rest with Asher. I’m going to bed.”

My throat hitched as I walked to the stairs, tears starting to form. I held it in as I ran up the staircase. Not yet. Don’t cry yet.

I closed my door behind me and paused with my hand on the wood, filled with regret. After a few short moments of pure silence, I let go of my door, along with the gigantic wall of crushing sadness, and allowed a weep to escape me. I landed stomach first on my bed, burying myself in a pillow as I quietly sobbed. I let the pillow soak with guilt, irritation, and self-control... or lack thereof.

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