Book Title: (WIP)
Author: Jenny Kaczorowski
Heat: <3 Sweet <3
Watch for the bold text. That's my doing, not Jenny's. Her words are beautiful, and if you learn anything from this blog, that bold text is what it should be.
We’re the last ones awake - Josiah and me. Everyone else has drifted into bedrooms or up to the loft. Rachael’s dad went to bed ages ago, somehow trusting a bunch of teenagers to not do anything stupid. I’m pretty sure there’s more sex happening in this house than most college dorms.
But here, in the den, it’s just me and Josie and the crackle-whisper-rush of the fire roaring in the hearth. My legs tangle with his, a blanket caught up in our inside jokes and private memories.
“Thank you,” I say, touching his hand.
“For what?” He squeezes my fingers.
“Letting me forget.” I drop my head against his shoulder. There’s this hollow spot against his chest that cradles my head. Perfectly.
“You know I’d do anything for you,” he says. “Right?”
I do, but something in his voice isn’t right. “Hey, nobody has died. Yet. I mean, you look so sad.”
This time the top right part of his lips curls into a smile, but nothing more. “I’m going to change everything with one word. One stupid, nonsensical word.”
I stand in front of him and hold out my hand. “Lets go to bed. We can talk about words tomorrow.”
“Why are you avoiding this?” He rises, but without touching my hand. He’s so tall in the shifting firelight. His presence is everywhere, in everything. It’s the air in my lungs and the cold creeping through my socks.
“Because I don’t want anything to change.” I want to dodge around him and run for the stairs, anything except listen to Josie ruin the one thing I’m sure of: us.
“I have to.” He’s even closer, trapping me between the heat of his body and the heat of the fire. “I’m tired of lying. To myself and especially to you.”
My throat aches, too raw and too dry. “Please.”
“I love you, Addy."
I think my jaw hits the floor. My shoulders sag and I step back to catch myself. Very graceful, romantic stuff. Exactly how I’m sure Josie pictured it when -
I flick my eyes up to the hope and anguish and resignation hovering around him.
“I just think you should know that.” He shoves his hands into the pockets of his jeans.
I lift my head to face him.
Josie looks at me and it’s the look I always wanted from Shawn. It’s a gaze that sees me, drinks me in like I am the only air he’ll ever need. Like I’m a treasure.
His thumb sweeps across my bottom lip on it’s way to my cheek. The fire and ice it leaves in its wake scares me, but not nearly as much as whatever is boiling inside me.
“I don’t understand,” is all I can get out.
A smile creeps across his lips and I can’t look away. I can’t tear my eyes away from his mouth.
“Don’t you?” His long fingers works their way through my hair, coming together at the back of my head. He tips my head back.
I do understand.
He bends until his forehead grazes mine. “I don’t know.”
“How can you not know? This is huge and life changing and...” I’m panicking because if he doesn’t kiss me, I’ll die and if he does kiss me, I’m ruining that special thing I’ve only ever had with Josie and why does he smell so freaking good?
He moves to speak into my ear. Not a whisper, but a hushed, reverent church voice. “I don’t think you wake up one day in love,” he says. “I think you wake up and realize that thing you’ve felt for a long time is called love.”
The panic burst into a zillion butterflies, all scrambling to escape my stomach and soar, taking my heart with them.
Because now I know.
I press up on my toes, gathering Josie’s shirt into my fists.
A moan escapes me the moment our lips meet. This is what a kiss is, this feeling of our lips and tongues and bodies anticipating and dancing and leading and following. It’s a fencing bout, a waltz, a synchronized swim. For every movement, every subtle shift I make, he matches with his own.
His hands slip from my hair, down my back, pressing me against him. As if I could be any closer. As if he could press us together and we’d never have to inhabit our own, solitary bodies again.
There’s something wild inside me, fighting to get out. My fingers turn to claws, tearing at his hair, scrambling for more.
His hands slide down to my legs and I hoist myself up, locking my legs around his waist. We tumble backwards onto the couch and he’s on top of me and he’s all I want. All I’ve ever wanted.
I have his shirt off before I know what I’m doing and then I stop.
Because under his scrawny, nerdy exterior, Josie is ripped.
My fingertips trace the lines carved into his stomach and I have to fight a giggle. Josie, my Josie, has a six-pack.
He looks bewildered. Mussed. His glasses are askew and his hair is on end. His lips - his beautiful, soft, tasty lips - are parted.
I sit up to meet him and slide his glasses off his nose, setting them on the coffee table.
“I love you too,” I whisper, leaning into him.
“Addy.” His hands are on the bare skin of my back, his thumbs making circles against my ribs. How does Josie know how to touch me like this?
He laughs, the air vibrating in his chest. A soft, low chuckle. Music to my soul. “We don’t have to do everything tonight.”
I giggle because this conversation is ridiculously easy.
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