Forbidden Grief-SAMPLE

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CHAPTER 3- Jason

I knock on my brother-in-law’s door with a shaking hand. I am not sure how he will react to the news of my moving to Boston, but I have to do it. I need to escape from my close-minded parents but most importantly, I need to be close to my niece. The only piece of her that Charlie left us.

I’ve been living in Boston for almost three weeks now, but I didn’t want to bother Beck until I had an apartment and a job. Which were both easy to find given that I settled for the first thing that would pay the bills.

“Lyra Lee, you have to calm down, ok?” I hear Beck saying on the other side of the door and just chuckle. “Yes, baby, that’s Uncle Jason, but you need to settle down before I let him in.”

My niece and I have seen each other on very few occasions but I got Beck on board, and we’ve been video chatting once or twice per week since Lyra was able to recognize I was her uncle.

“I’m so sorry, man!” Beck opens the door, “Lyra wouldn’t calm down. She is too excited to—”

“Unca Jason!”

My niece interrupts her dad and comes running to me to climb up my leg. I laugh with her and when I look up, I’m faced with the gorgeous father of my little princess. The man looks better than all Disney princes combined.

“Come on, man. Get in before the little monkey pulls your pants down in the middle of the hallway.”

I match his laughter with my own, but the only visual in my mind is how he would look with his pants down. Preferably behind me and pounding me into the next galaxy.

I’ve had a crush on Beck since I could remember, but two things always kept me in check. He is straight, and he is my dead sister’s ex-fiancé.

I miss Charlie so much. That’s the main reason I want Lyra close because she is the spitting image of her mother.

“So, Jason,” Beck says, “how long are you staying?”

“Oh! Eh… forever?” I laugh uncomfortably and when he raises an eyebrow looking all sexy and mysterious, I try to remember conversations with my mother, so I don’t embarrass myself by getting hard or something in front of Beck. “I moved to Boston. That’s what I meant.”

The way he looks at me when I said I’m staying in Boston, has me curious. It looks as if he was pleased with the information.

“Oh! I wish I’d known. I just lost Lyra’s babysitter and—”

A knock on the door cuts him off and he raises his hand asking for me to wait until he takes care of whoever it is that’s knocking. He opens the door and I hear chatter between Beck and some other man, most likely a neighbor or food delivery. I don’t pay much attention and decide to focus on my niece instead.

Lyra begins to take all sorts of accessories off a doll she was playing with and as she takes them off the doll, she clips them on my hair instead, insisting that I will look prettier.

“Jason, I’d like you to meet Carter, a friend of mine. Carter, this is my brother-in-law, Jason.”

I get up from the couch promising Lyra that I will be back so she can continue styling my hair, but nothing, and I mean… nothing, could’ve prepared me for the embarrassment I’ve felt the second I turned around to see the guy from downstairs, standing next to Beck and trying hard to hide his amusement over the pink, green, and polka dot ribbons that adorn my hair. Fuck. My. Life.

“Go on!” I say. “Laugh. I know you want to.”

He takes my words as permission and removing his hand from his mouth, he bursts out laughing, and of course, Beck joins him. It isn’t until Lyra asks what is so funny that they quiet down, and Carter introduces himself again.

“I’m Carter, Carter Wallace. Nate’s younger brother.”

I don’t know who this Nate is, but I do wonder if he is as hot as his baby brother because, wow!

“He doesn’t know Nate.” Beck tells the guy, “He just moved to the city.” Carter nods and taps his foot on the hardwood floor, and the clickety-clack is annoying as hell. I wonder if he is nervous.

“Anyways. Jason, Carter is here because he is going to babysit Lyra for a few weeks while I find a permanent sitter,” Beck continues. “I didn’t know you were moving to the city. If I had known, I would’ve given you the job instead of begging Nate to convince his brother.”

Carter rolls his eyes and I stare at him with no shame whatsoever. I explain to Beckham that I already have a job, so as I continue to play with my niece, he and Carter go over his schedule and everything Lyra will need.

“I don’t work tomorrow or Sunday, so you don’t have to start watching her right away,” Beck says. “How about we start on Monday?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I… I have an interview on Monday,” Carter responds.

“I don’t have to work Monday until later in the afternoon,” I tell the guys. “I can watch Lyra until Carter can get here. As long as he gets here by 4 p.m.”

We all agree on the plan and Carter says his goodbyes. When he shakes my hand though, I feel a need to pull him down and press my lips to his. He is so handsome, it’s not even fair.

—Monday—

I hear the buzzer and rush to the intercom to see who it is. There/s a camera that’s supposed to show who’s at the door, but Beck says it hasn’t worked for like a year.

“Hello,” I say, pressing the button on the intercom.

“Hi, this is… Carter. From the other night?”

“Are you asking me or telling me?” I ask him and I hear a chuckle before he says, “I’m telling you, smartass.” Huh! For someone that looks so shy, he sure gets comfortable quickly.

I buzz Carter in and wait for him with the door open, so the knock doesn’t wake Lyra up. He grins the second he sees me, and I do the same. I catch him just in time to stop him from talking too loudly. “Shh! Lyra is taking her nap.” He apologizes and takes his boots off before coming into the apartment.

“So… how did the interview go?”

His eyes light up the second I ask, and he looks like he wants to tell me all about it, but then he looks down the hallway and whispers, “I’ll tell you later. I’m too excited to be quiet about it.” Carter settles in taking a corner of the couch and putting a backpack or something next to his feet. We make small talk for a little, and since he got here way before I was expecting him, I don’t need to leave yet.

I get up, excuse myself, and make my way to the bathroom. I take a look at myself in the mirror to make sure I don’t look as raggedy as I feel. As I get back to the living room, I stop by the kitchen to get some water, and just as I’m about to enter I see the fridge door closing, and then my body is inches away from Carter’s when he almost runs into me.

If rom-com was based on true stories, I’m pretty sure this moment would inspire some of them. Because Carter sees me too close and stumbles to the side to avoid running into me. My reflexes work overtime, and I manage to grab Carter by his waist and stabilize him, but as he comes up to his full height, he doesn’t let go of the grip he got on my bicep to help himself find some balance.

I know this is the biggest cliché in the world, but I don’t usually do this.

“Jason I…” he says, staring at my eyes, then focusing on my lips. “I didn’t see… I didn’t see you…” he all but whispers and I feel him getting closer. “Thank you!” he says, and I stay there, paralyzed.

Oh, what the hell? I tell myself, There’s always a first time for everything. So, I meet him halfway and kiss a guy that I’ve known for less than a week.

This is usually not me… but God, am I glad it is me right now.

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