If I Can't Have You - Page 39

The sound of footsteps in the sand pounds into my ears. Or maybe it’s not footsteps; I think it’s the sound of my heart because that’s how loud it’s beating.

It’s not until I think about Drake that I lose the moment of perfection. Not because I want to think about him while I’m kissing his brother, but because of what he’s done me. The way he hurt me. And I’m terrified of letting that happen again.

I pull out of the kiss and a stunned look appears on Elliot’s face. “What’s wrong?” He draws his eyebrows in and a spark of concern flashes in his baby blues.

I don’t feel like explaining everything to him. This triangle between him and his brother is a cluster-fuck and I’m not sure how to explain the way I’m feeling about it without sounding mental.

Elliot is beautiful with electric blue eyes, a bronzed muscular body, and perfect proportional face. Just like Drake. He has a way with words and smiles and somehow manages to make my heart race every time I’m near him. Just like Drake. And he’ll hurt me. Just like Drake.

I’m sure of it.

He’ll use me, abuse me, and toss me from a car window. I’m litter scattered along a winding highway, waiting for a man in an orange jumpsuit to pick me up with a poker and shove me into a black trash bag.

I’ll never let a guy make me feel so useless and insignificant ever again. So when Elliot asks, “What’s wrong, Robin,” again. I ignore him and run away from him as fast as I can.


True love is when you put someone on a pedestal, and they fall - but you are there to catch them. ~Author Unknown~

The party has multiplied in size since Whit and I had first arrived and my eyes sweep over the unfamiliar faces trying to catch sight of Whit. I’m not having good luck.

For a second I think I see her from behind and I walk up to her and yank on her arm. But it’s not her and the girl whose arm I just yanked snarls, “Can I help you?”

“No. I thought you were someone else. Sorry.”

I snake my way through the mass of bodies and sigh in frustration somewhere in the middle of the front yard. There are too many people. Whit has vanished and my situation with the Robertson brothers has just spiraled out of control.

I just kissed Elliot, adding more cluster to the fuck in cluster fuck in currently in and worst of all. I liked it—no—I more than liked it. In fact I’m pretty sure when he slipped his tongue into my mouth my knees wobbled. And what plagued me even more is that the way Elliot kissed me back gave me the impression that he wants much more from me. More than I’m willing to give. And that not only shocks me, but it terrifies me at the same time.

I’m shocked because even though Whit said he liked me and he’d drop little hints here and there, with longing gazes, and random encounters it still hadn’t clicked inside of me until now. And I’m terrified because I’d once been fooled by a beautiful guy and I don’t trust myself enough to not be fooled twice.

I give up on pushing my way through bodies to find Whit and try a different approach. Climbing the porch steps, I slide against the cast iron railings bordering in and hoist myself on top of it. With my acquired twelve and half inches added to my height I hang on to one of the circular columns of the house and squint out into the yard.

Finally, I spot Whit, standing on the far left corner of the yard talking to some tall, muscular guy with black hair. Releasing my hold on the column I wave my hands in the air and call her name. Music bumps from the stereo in the house and the porch is vibrating. “Whit!” She doesn’t hear me. On top of the music the loud chatter from all the people is making it impossible for me to even hear myself. “Whit!”

I continue to call her name a few more times when suddenly, she glances in my direction. She hunches over slightly, squints, then turns to the guy she was chatting with and holds up a finger in a “wait a minute” gesture. She closes the distance between us and I wave my hands over head harder. But the arch on my foot is damp with moisture and I slip falling backwards from the railing. Except I don’t hit the ground. I find the courage inside of me to open my eyes and see who caught me before I fell.


“You always just pop up out nowhere don’t you?” I groan as he helps me to my feet.

“A simple thank you would be nice,” he harrumphs as he folds his arms across his chest. He sounds irritated. He’s probably upset that I ditched him earlier when we were on the beach. “It’s a good thing that I do pop up out of nowhere,” he tells me. “Because if I didn’t you might be lying on the porch with a concussion or broken bone.”

“Well, then,” I say with a smug grin. “Thank you.”

“No problem.”

Five minutes later I’m still standing on the porch next to Elliot waiting for Whit. And neither one of us says a word to each other. The silence between us is deafening and completely blocks out the ruckus going on all around us. Well, at least for me it does.

During the five minute time span I find myself looking at Elliot. I mean really looking and I notice little things about him that I never noticed before. Features and quirks that make him seem less and less like his brother. For one, I can tell something is bothering him by the way his eyebrows are furrowed together and the slump in his shoulders. Two, he’s got his long, muscular arm wrapped around my shoulder like he wants to protect me from the world. He tightens his grip too, pulling me closer to his chest. Drake never did that. Drake never made me feel protected.

Drake pushes his way through the crowd on the porch and rests his eyes on the way his brother is holding me. Anger flashes in his eyes and there’s a territorial glimmer there too? “What did you do?” he growls at Elliot.

Territorial? Drake told me he didn’t like me like that so why do I feel like that isn’t the case?

“Do?” Elliot scoffs. “I’m sorry, bro, but I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Drake laughs and the laugh isn?

Tags: Lauren Hammond Romance
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