:: “You alright?” Destiny asked quietly, still stroking his shoulders, using both hands to massage his back.
He nodded quickly, mostly out of habit.
“So she’s staying at her friend’s house, right?”
“Well, Lexi usually listens to you. I’m sure they’ll be fine, Brian.”
She kissed his jaw and resumed her light massaging on his shoulders.
“And hopefully she’ll have a really bad hangover in the morning. So bad that she never wants to drink again.”
He released a short, humorless laugh. "That never worked for you.”
She chuckled softly. “Shut up, Brian.” He shook his head, his smile fading as he released a sigh.
“We used to drink sometimes at that age too,” Destiny offered. “You and Dorian were bad influences on me.”
“Yeah, but that was different.”
“How?” she asked, her hands stopping for a moment.
“Me and D were with you. We never let you actually get drunk and we watched you. We were older. You thought you were doing something, but your environment was always controlled by us.” Her hands were working again and she stayed silent.
“I dunno,” he sighed. “It seems like she’s starting to slip up more often. Like this shit is becoming a habit. Staying out past her curfew, getting drunk, not telling Clara and Alfred where she is.”
He must’ve tensed up because he felt her fingers working a bit more firmly on his neck and shoulders. He tried to relax under her touch, even though his mind was working overtime. He stared blankly at the black and white pictures of the sky in its various elements decorating the wall above his small desk. He was used to fixing things. If there was a problem, he analyzed it and figured out the best solution to solve it. But being so far away, he felt helpless. And guilty. Always guilty.
Before he left Phoenix, he was the one who made sure Alexis stayed on track—dropping by Clara and Alfred’s almost every night to check up on her, attending her games, taking her to get physicals and whatever other random things needed to be done. But it felt like his hands were tied now.
“I’ll call and talk to her,” Destiny said. “You know, see where her head is.”
He sighed, running a hand over his head even as she massaged his back.
“She’s a smart girl, Brian,” she asserted. “She’ll be okay.”
She leaned and kissed his jaw again. Even though he didn’t really want her having to deal with his shit, he appreciated the offer. Alexis looked up to Destiny and it might help for her to have some girl talk, or whatever women did with each other. She sure as hell wasn’t getting it from their mom.
“Have you…” she paused. “I guess you haven’t found any leads about where your mom might be?”
She asked the question tentatively. He knew she didn’t like bringing up Teresa or her whereabouts because she understood that it was a source of stress and tension for him.
“Nah,” he answered, hoping she would drop it.
She sighed audibly. “Do you think…” she hesitated, her fingers pausing in their movements. “Do you wish you would’ve stayed in Phoenix? You know, so that you could watch over Lexi more?”
He could tell she was trying to keep her voice casual when she asked the question. Her fingers were working on his neck again but he heard the hitch in her breathing. His chest tightened and he turned, easily repositioning her so that she was lying on her back as he hovered over her.
“Where do you live?” he asked, looking down into her eyes.
"Here,” she said softly, fidgeting a little under the intensity of his gaze.
“There’s your answer.” His eyes trailed briefly to her mouth as she chewed on her lip. She smiled slightly but concern still clouded her eyes, so he kept talking.
“I was suffocating in Phoenix, honestly,” he admitted, leaning down next to her on one elbow. “I wanted to do something different. I needed to feel something different.”
She turned her head slightly so that she could study his face.
“I think you were the something,” he said grinning crookedly.
“So you just wanted me?” she asked, some of the seriousness finally leaving her eyes as she smiled.
“And what would’ve happened if you didn’t get me?” she teased. She was starting to lighten up and he grinned again.
“We both know I’m the shit, so that wasn’t even an option.”
“Conceited much?” She asked, struggling to suppress a grin.
“I got you didn’t I?” He arched an eyebrow and looked at her pointedly.
“What makes you think you got me?” she asked, breathily as he ran his hands under her tank top, his rough fingers tracing over her abdomen. Her skin was warm and smooth and he inched his hand further up, just below her rib cage, watching the brown specks in her eyes darken a fraction as her breathing increased.
“Oh, I definitely got you,” he said, his voice low and dark.
He trailed his hand back down her stomach to the waistband of her jeans, fiddling with the button. She sat up abruptly and leaned over him, throwing her leg over his hips, straddling him.
“No, I got you,” she murmured, grinning.
She pecked his lips and his body immediately responded to her weight on top of him.
“Say it,” she whispered against his mouth.
She kissed the dent below his bottom lip and he ran his hands down her waist to her hips, pulling her tighter against him, already aroused.
“It,” he replied, enjoying her teasing. He pushed any lingering thoughts of his sister out of his mind, as he concentrated completely on Destiny, relishing the calm she provided him. It wasn’t hard to do, especially with her curves pressed flush against him.
“Say it.” She kissed his jaw, trailing her lips up to his ear.
“It.” His voice was husky and he pulled her tank top up over her belly button but she pushed his hands away.
She shook her head and leaned down again, tracing her tongue along his bottom lip before nipping it. He grinned, his groin tightening as his hands automatically returned to her hips to draw her closer. But she pulled back slightly, looking down at him, a trace of a smile on her full lips.
“Say it,” she whispered.
He met her eyes, his hands on her hips as he held her still.
“You got me, baby,” he said, his eyes serious. “Completely. ”
More Than Always, Coming Winter 2015 (Book 2 of the the Love Always series)
Better Than Okay, Available Now (Book 1 of the Love Always series)