“I couldn’t sleep.” I trace circles up and down his arm. “I left my room to get a water, and I could see your Tv illuminated in the dark. I was afraid you were asleep, so I was quiet in case you were. Only you weren’t. I saw you sitting right here looking like the most beautiful man I had ever seen. You were shirtless.” I move my hand until I find the hem of his tee. He catches my hand, but I tap my fingers against his abs. “I saw what you were watching, and I wasn’t sure what I was experiencing at first. Maybe shock, but it went much further than that. I wanted you to catch me. I wanted to do to you what the woman was doing to the man on the screen.”
“Wylla Mae, stop talking.”
“I can’t. I want you to know what I was thinking and feeling.” I slide my other hand up his neck and stroke his beard that he’s started growing. “I wanted you that night. I’ve wanted you every day since.” I angle his head toward me. “No one would know,” I repeat the same words I spoke that night, hoping for a different reaction.
“I’d know,” he replies, his voice hoarse.
“Lynn was here. I wanted to kill you both. I wanted to claw her eyes out and tell her to never touch you again. You took her to bed, and I laid downstairs in mine. I could hear you through the vent in my ceiling, and I wanted to die. Hearing you fucking her nearly killed me, but I told myself one day there wouldn’t be anything or anyone standing in our way.”
“You want me to admit that I thought about you the whole time I was inside her?”
“Yeah, East. I want to hear you say it.”
“I can’t do that, Wylla Mae. I won’t lie to you.”
“But you are. You’re lying to me and to yourself. You wanted me then and you want me now.”
“Say it, East. I need to hear it. You were thinking about me.”
“Fucking hell. Yeah, Wylla Mae. Did you hear me call your name, because I did, and she walked out? Took me a long time to come to terms with that. Took me a hell of a lot longer to convince her to give me another shot. I told her what happened and that you were on my mind, but I couldn’t admit to her or hell even to myself at the time it was because deep down I fuckin’ wanted you. I wanted to take you to my bed and fuck you raw. Till you couldn’t walk. I wanted to bury myself inside you.”
I knew it. I knew I wasn’t completely insane. East wanted me as much as I craved him.
I still do.
I yearn for him.
“Kiss me, Easton Reed.” I lean in closer. So close his breath washes over me with every breath he takes smelling of beer and tobacco.
“But you want to.”
“Yes,” he confesses.
“I need you to kiss me, East.” I lean into him. His breath fans over my lips. I can practically taste the beer. “Please,” I whisper the plea against his lips, the scruff of his facial hair scratching me in a the most delicious way.
“If I start, I’ll never stop, and I don’t want this life for you. You’re all that is good and pure. You have a whole life ahead of you. I won’t be the one who holds you back.”
“I’m not asking for forever. All I want is tonight. One night. I want it to be you. I don’t want to go off to college and give myself to some jerk who won’t care about me. You’ll do it right.”
“You don’t know what you’re saying.”
“I know what I want. I’ve wanted it for two years maybe more.”
“I can’t, sweetheart.”
“Make me yours. Just for tonight. I need it to be you. Fuck me, East. Give me you. All of you. You can pretend I’m someone else if that helps.”
“Wylla Mae, I could never pretend. Not with you. Nothing or no one would ever compare.”
I stand up feeling braver than I ever have as I push the straps of my dress down. East shifts, and I’m sure it’s to get up and drive me home but his hands grip my waist, head falling against my breasts. “You drive me fucking crazy. For two years I’ve tried to rid myself of thoughts of you. Memories of that night. Because I’ve felt like a pure bastard ‘cause what I wanted was to claim you. To make you mine, but that can never happen and we both know why.”
“Is this because of my mother?”
“Partly and I told you, I don’t want this life for you. I won’t be able to give you what you want.”