I paced up and down the RV. Craig was in the bedroom packing up Julie’s stuff. And his. He was harbouring enough guilt as it was. The last thing he was going to do was leave his girlfriend alone in a hospital, in a foreign country, while she recovered from a broken leg and a miscarriage.
The president of Twenty-First Century Parks called, begging me to continue on with the trip. When I hesitated, he kindly reminded me of my contractual obligation.
Our number of followers had topped one thousand, and their bookings were up twenty percent. The social media platform was going crazy over us.
Us meaning Cheyenne and me. Someone dubbed us The Golden Couple because of our blonde hair and blue eyes. Complete strangers were discussing the status of our relationship, as if they knew us personally.
Last time I checked, I was single and planning to stay that way. We weren’t in a relationship. I hadn’t even kissed her yet. Not for lack of trying.
I was just looking for someone to keep my bed warm while I was on the trip.
That was my M.O.
And now I was going to be alone with her. Not just any her. My best friend’s little sister. I’m pretty sure you aren’t supposed to bang your buddy’s sister, and you definitely shouldn’t one-night-stand her. Especially when you can’t fly the coop the next morning. Talk about awkward.
I had to get my head on straight before Craig came out of that bedroom. He had enough on his plate. I knew he wasn’t happy about sending his sister off with me. He didn’t trust me. With good reason. I didn’t have a great track record with women. I wasn’t boyfriend material. My deep-seated fear of commitment prevented any dates or sexual encounters from progressing beyond casual.
“You all packed up?” I asked when he emerged with all of Julie’s bags, along with his own suitcase.
“Yep.” He leaned against the kitchen island with his arms folded over his chest, all business as he stared me down. “We need to talk, Abe.”
“Okay. Shoot.” I stopped pacing and stood on the opposite side of the counter. Better to have a barrier between us for this conversation.
“Can you promise me you won’t sleep with my sister?”
Oh boy. How should I answer that question? I didn’t want to lie to my best friend, but I knew he had a wicked left hook.
“I can’t promise you that, Craig. Sorry. I’m very attracted to her, and I’m pretty certain it’s mutual.”
He sighed heavily, nodding as he stared at the floor before looking me in the eye again. “Fair enough. I appreciate your honesty. And I’m not stupid enough to think I can tell my twenty-two-year-old sister what to do. Or not do, in this case.”
“She’s capable of making her own decisions.”
“Then just promise me you won’t hurt her. Be up front with her. If you’re only looking for a roll in the hay, make sure she understands that.”
“That, I can promise you. I care about Cheyenne. I won’t do anything to hurt her. And I’ll take care of her. Nothing will happen to her on my watch.”
“Thanks, Abe. I know this sucks for you, too. We were supposed to do this together. This was our project.”
I shrugged. “Shit happens.”
“Wow,” he chuckled. “I don’t think you’re disappointed at all.”
“What?!” I scoffed with fake shock. “Of course I am.”
“Uh-huh,” he grumbled. “We better get back to the hospital.”
“Do you think the liquor store is still open?” Cheyenne asked as we climbed in the Jeep. We’d just said our final goodbyes to Craig and Julie before leaving the hospital.
“I’m not sure. Maybe.” I glanced at my watch. “Why?”
“I need a drink, or ten, after this day.”
“Okie-dokie. Let’s find you a liquor store.”
“There’s one a couple blocks from here,” she said, glancing at her phone. “Turn right at the next set of lights.”
Cheyenne jumped out of the Jeep the second I put it in park, bolting toward the sliding glass doors of the liquor store.
“Hey! Wait up, Cheyenne.”
“Sorry,” she said when I caught up with her. “I’m not an alcoholic or anything like that. I just feel really stressed out about this whole situation and everything that happened today. It’s kind of surreal. And I know if I don’t relax, I’ll never get to sleep tonight. I won’t be able to shut my brain down.”
“It’s okay, sweetheart,” I said, pulling her into my arms. “I understand. We’ll get our hooch and head back to the park, have a few drinks, and just chill. Okay?”
“Okay,” she said, resting her head against my chest.
I nestled my nose in her hair, inhaling the tantalizing scent of her coconut shampoo. Fuck. She smelled so good. Felt so good in my arms. “Ready to go inside?” I asked.
“Yes.” She pulled away, smiling up at me. “You’re a real nice guy, Abraham McLean.”
“I’m really not,” I said, tousling her hair.
“Yes, you are.” She grabbed my hand and pulled me through the door. ’C’mon. Let’s find the coolers.”
“Coolers? That’s what you’re gonna get drunk on?”
She shrugged. “What can I say? I’m a lightweight.”
I grabbed a bottle of vodka. “Just in case you decide you need something harder.”
Turned out she didn’t need the vodka. After three fruity coolers, Cheyenne had a glazed look in her eyes, and a stream of gibberish flowing from her mouth.
I nursed my second beer, watching her stumble from the bathroom. She’d changed into pajama pants. A white tank top peeked out of her pink hoodie. The zipper was down far enough to give me a nice view of her tits spilling out the top.
Fuck me. She needed to keep that hoodie on.
“I feel so relaxed,” she said as she flopped onto the couch, lying on her back with her knees bent.
“I’m glad to hear that,” I chuckled.
“I don’t drink much. But I think I need to start. Perfect cure for a shitty day.”
“Sometimes it can be. Until the next morning. Then you pay the price.”
“Well, one good thing came out of today for you,” she said, rolling onto her side and shooting me a sly smile.
“You don’t have to sleep in the bunk bed anymore.”
“That’s true. You can have the bedroom and I’ll take the pull-out couch.”
She sat upright, sticking her lower lip out. “The bed is huge. Maybe we could share it.”
I was not going to take advantage of a drunk girl. That wasn’t my style. “I think maybe you should sleep in there by yourself. At least for tonight.”
“But why?” she whined.
“Because you’re drunk, sweetheart.”
“You’re probably right about that,” she giggled. “You’re a good guy, Abraham.”
I shrugged. “I don’t know about that. But I value my life. And you have four big brothers that wouldn’t hesitate to kick my ass if I took advantage of you while you were drunk.”
She threw her head back, laughing raucously. “They would hunt you down. That’s for sure.”
“I’d be a dead man.”
“But I need you. You’re the only man who can fix it.”
She laid down again and closed her eyes. I was beginning to think she’d fallen asleep when she finally answered my question.
“What’s wrong with you, Cheyenne?”
A dry chuckle erupted from her throat. “I can’t tell you.”
“Sure you can, sweetheart. You can tell me anything.”
“Do you wanna know why I turned down Simon’s proposal?”
A drunken confession was imminent. And I had a feeling I didn’t want to be on the receiving end. Me and my big mouth. Why did I say she could tell me anything?
“Maybe you should go to bed. We can talk about this tomorrow.”
“Can’t. I’d never have the balls without the booze.”
“Okay,” I said hesitantly. “Lay it on me. If you’re sure you want to share this with me.”
“He couldn’t meet my needs,” she muttered, her eyes still closed.
“Um.” I paused and cleared my throat. “Are we talking about...?”
“Sex? Yes. Those kinds of needs.”
I winced and rubbed the back of my head. “Did you ever try to talk to him about it?”
“Yeah. But he didn’t listen. He refused to try anything different. It was missionary or nothing. I didn’t think there was such a thing as a man who didn’t like sex. But I found one. He believed sex was for procreation, not recreation.”
“Holy shit,” I blurted out. “Didn’t you go out with him for two years?”
“Yep. We never did the deed for almost a year after we started going out. He said he wanted to wait until he was married. I lied and told him I was a virgin. He would have dumped me if he knew I wasn’t one. Then one night, I convinced him that people should do it before the wedding, to make sure they were compatible in the bedroom. He couldn’t tell it wasn’t my first time, I guess. I thought it would get better.”
“Well, sex is pretty important. Did you love him?”
“Yeah. I think so. He was a kind, caring man. It wasn’t his fault that I needed something he couldn’t give me. He wasn’t the first guy to fail. There was two before him.”
Cheyenne had been with three guys? I didn’t think she was a virgin, but I didn’t expect her number would be that high. Why did that bother me so much?
Wait a minute. My mind cycled back to her statement about needing me to fix her. I wasn’t sure I wanted the answer to my next question, but I asked it anyway.
“Why do you think you need to be fixed?”
“Cause I can’t get off unless it’s my own hand doing the job. And it’s your fault. So, I’m hoping you can fix it.”
What the fuck?
“First of all, I’m a firm believer that a woman’s orgasms, or lack thereof, rest solely on the shoulders of her partner. So, I wouldn’t blame yourself. Blame the clowns you had sex with. And secondly, how are your sexual problems my fault?”
She turned her head, looked me straight in the eye, and dropped her bombshell. “Because I saw you fucking a girl in the bunkhouse when I was fifteen. And the images and sounds are forever engraved in my brain. You set the bar that night. And no man will ever be able to measure up.”
My mind raced, trying to call up the night in question. The last summer I worked on the Carson farm. I fucked a few different chicks that summer. But Cheyenne didn’t need to know that. I licked my lips, clearing my throat while I tried to formulate a response. “How did you witness something like that?”
She stared at the ceiling, a small smile playing on her lips while she shared her story.
“I went outside in the middle of the night to collect worms. Your window was open. I heard the girl moaning and I peeked in. You had her legs up on your shoulders, and you were pounding her so hard that her head was bouncing off the headboard. And you kept telling her to come. I didn’t even know what that meant. Then you rolled off her and I saw your dick.”
She turned her head to face me again with a sheepish grin. “None of the guys I’ve been with were that big. Not even close.
“Oh my God, Cheyenne. I had no idea you were there.” I sat in stunned silence, processing everything she said.
“After that night, I became obsessed with sex. I read every article I could find on the internet, watched hours of porn. And I fantasized about you while I masturbated myself to orgasm. I even tried to pretend it was you while I was having sex with the other guys. But it didn’t work.”
I opened my mouth, but no words emerged. Cheyenne’s confession changed everything. Thank God I found out before I slept with her. There was no way that would have ended well. And I didn’t fuck damaged chicks.
What if I couldn’t make her come? She’d be really messed up.
As if that would happen.
I was very skilled in the bedroom. No doubt I could give her mind-blowing orgasms. But then she would get too attached. Want something more than I could give her. Like a commitment.
I would break her heart when I walked away at the end of the trip. And lose my best friend. If I survived the ass whooping from her brothers.
And the scariest part of it all? What if I couldn’t walk away? What if I didn’t want to?
A shiver ran up my spine. Because I already knew Cheyenne Carson had the potential to break me.