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Authors: Vanessa Lockley

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BOOK: Summer Solstice
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Un-fucking-believable. "So it's okay for you to be all over some girl at a bar, but I can't go out dancing with my friends?" I asked, standing up for myself.

 

Seth took his hands off my arms, but still held me against the wall with his body. Grasping my face softly in his hands, he brought his face closer to mine. "You're mine," he said forcefully, his lips millimeters away from mine.

 

"Oh if that's not some hypocritical bullshit right there!" I exclaimed, twisting my face away from his. "So some random girl can get your rocks off, but the only person that I'm allowed to screw around with is you?"

 

He let out a harsh laugh. Seth opened his mouth to fling back what I could only assume was some more of his lame excuses, when the door to the girl's restroom opened.

 

"Lexi?" I heard Sarah call. "Are you in here?"

 

Thanking my best friend silently for the distraction, I pushed Seth's body away from mine forcefully. "Yeah. I'm here," I called back, shooting him a rough glare.

 

"Are you okay?"

 

Opening the door to the bathroom stall, I left Seth behind and joined my best friend by the door to the bathroom. "I'm fine," I told her, turning to give Seth one last gland. "But I think I'd like to leave now. I've had all the fun that I can handle for one night."

 

eight.

 

I climbed into bed that night, fully alert. After the incident at the club, I knew that war had officially been declared. Judging from the look in Seth's eyes as I left him in the bathroom, this battle had only just begun. Wrapping myself up in a sheet, I sat there and stared at the window.

 

Because I had no doubt in my mind that he was going to climb through it to prove some asinine point.

 

This whole thing had started with a few heated moments. I knew that Seth would storm through my window in some blaze of glory so that he could grab the upper hand.

 

And right on cue, Seth climbed through my window and promptly stood in front of me.

 

"I wish I could say that you surprised me," I deadpanned, crossing my arms across my chest. "But that'd be a lie."

 

Seth simply shook his head, the intensity in his eyes still as strong as it was at the club. Seth was still pissed and dammit if the look didn't work for him.

 

Stalking towards me, he invaded my personal space. I'd expected the move, however, and I wasn't backing down. Instead of shying away from him, I tried to look uninterested.

 

"You made me really unhappy tonight, Lex," Seth said, his voice gravelly. He sat on my bed and leaned in close. "I can't believe you let that guy put his hands all over you."

 

I laughed at how stupid he was. "And you thought that draping yourself all over some girl at a bar in front of me was okay? You thought that sleeping with me suddenly gave you the right to sleep with every other girl you encounter?"

 

Seth leaned in close until he was nearly touching me. "You have no idea what you're talking about."

 

Turning his move around on him, I leaned in further. "Yeah, fucking, right," I said slowly.

 

And before I could pull away, Seth's hand landed on the back of my neck and he was kissing me. Heavily. And hotly. And dammit if I didn't kiss him right back.

 

I mean, let's face it. I care a lot about Seth. Hell, before we'd started playing these games with one another, I probably would have admitted that I loved him. But after the past few days? How could I even begin to shape everything that so that it would encompass how I felt? In a few short days, I'd gone from the highest high to the lowest low all because of one person.

 

When this whole thing had started, I'd been suspicious

but the more I was around Seth, the more I had thought he was genuine. So I slept with him. Then the following day, I see him at a bar sealing the deal with a stranger. What was I supposed to think? How was I supposed to feel?

 

And why could I not stop kissing him?

 

My fingers threading through Seth's hair seemed to be some kind of sign to him that he wasn't going to get slapped. His hands landed on my sides gently. His lips never leaving mine, he pushed me down onto my mattress and settled on top of me. I knew that giving in and kissing him back was a sign of weakness.

 

But all I that I wanted was one more moment of happiness before I ended this. Seth's fingers tracing a soft line down my cheek pulled me out of my romantic reverie.

 

And brought a very graphic image to mind of him and the girl he'd been with at the bar.

 

Red hot anger coursed through me again as I grabbed his shoulders and flipped him onto his back, shifting our roles. Continuing to kiss him, I decided to put on the act of a lifetime. Shifting my hips into his until he groaned, I did my best to separate myself from this moment. Anger fueling me on, I played him like I assumed he'd played me.

 

Until an image flashed in my mind of the night that I'd actually slept with him. It was just before he'd dropped me off at home. Sitting in the front seat of his car, he'd held my hand the whole way home and just before I got out of the car, he'd brought his lips so softly to my palm that I'd nearly melted on his front seat. The gesture was so sweet, so loving that I had actually envisioned a real future for us.

 

I pulled my lips away from Seth's abruptly and before I could stop it, a lone tear fell out of my eye and landed on Seth's cheek. His eyes had been closed during our intense make out session, but opened at the touch of the moisture.

 

"Lexi?" he asked softly, reaching up to wipe away the next tear that fell out of my eye. Seth's face was full of concern.

 

Concern that was two days too late.

 

Climbing off of him, I no longer cared about getting even. I practically jumped out of my bed, stood up, then pointed at the window. "Get out," I growled.

 

"Lexi," Seth said softly, the worried look only growing.

 

I shook my head, praying for the tears to stop and wishing that he'd just get out of my room already. "Get the fuck out," I repeated.

 

Seth climbed from my bed and walked towards me. He lifted his hands to touch me and I shrank away. "Lexi," he whispered.

 

"I said get the fuck out," I told him, my voice raising. "Get the fuck out or I'll scream until my parents come in here."

 

Shaking his head, he backed away from me, a defeated look on his face. I should have felt triumphant, but instead, I only managed to feel worse.

 

I turned away from him and wiped another stray tear away and as he left my room, tried my best to act like it was what I really wanted.

 

nine.

 

A few days later and judging from the lack of contact, I knew Seth had finally gotten the message. He hadn't called, hadn't texted, hadn't climbed through my window.

 

Three days later, I was still a mess. A mess unfortunately in love with a guy who'd used me.

 

A guy who was my brother's best friend.

 

Sarah had been my savior. When I called her the morning after the final confrontation, she'd come over immediately, bringing coffee and calorie enriched donuts. Since then, she'd checked in regularly to make sure that I was okay.

 

When I went back to work Monday, I was relieved. My weekend from hell was officially over and I could focus on my job. The distraction was too welcome. Playgrounds were over in a couple short weeks and then I could look forward to going back to school and getting away from this entire situation.

 

By Wednesday, I felt ready enough to go to the bar for drinks with Sarah. We arrived in time for happy hour and were having a great time.

 

Until Seth and Rich arrived.

 

I turned to look at Sarah who immediately saw the worry on my face. "It's fine," she said quickly. "You're fine. Breathe."

 

Following her advice, I turned to look at the two of them. Rich nodded at me and I waved back. Seth looked at me, surprise written across his features. I didn't get why, though. It wasn't like he owned this bar. I'd been going there since I'd turned twenty-one. I wasn't going to stop simply because Seth was there.

 

"Look," Sarah said, "you're strong." I nodded as if agreeing was going to make that statement true. "I'm going to go to the bathroom. Will you be okay here?" I nodded again. She shot me one more worried look and left. I turned so that I was facing the bar and stared at my empty beer glass. I could do this. I could sit at the bar and act like nothing Seth did could ever bother me.

 

The whole thing crumbled, however, as Seth sat down next to me, setting a new glass of beer right by where my empty glass resided.

 

"You looked a little low," he said softly, as if he refilled my empty beer mugs every day.

 

The beer replacement only managed to remind me of the scene that had played out in front of me less than a week ago with the redhead. "No thanks," I said, looking straight ahead and pushing the beer towards him.

 

Seth pushed it back. "Please. Just take the beer."

 

I shoved the glass back harder, some of the liquid sloshing over the side of the glass at the force. "I don't want it," I spat at him.

 

"Lexi."

 

I stood up quickly and backed away from him. Who did he think he was buying me a beer? Why would he think that would fix everything? "I don't want the beer, Seth," I said loudly, drawing the attention of those around us. "I want you to leave me alone."

 

The scene apparently attracted the attention of my brother who stepped up next to us and pulled Seth away from me. "Back off Seth," Rich said softly, trying to diffuse the situation.

 

But Seth wasn't having any of it. He shrugged my brother's hold off and shook his head almost violently. "No!" he screamed. "No, I won't fucking back off!" The bar grew eerily silent as all eyes landed on Seth. Taking a step towards me, Seth tried to reach out to touch me, but I once again stepped out of his grasp. "Lexi," Seth said, looking me right in the eyes. "Lexi, I fucking love you." My heart flew to my feet in freefall. "I'm in love with you."

 

I opened my mouth to reply, but no words would come. He was in love with me? Thankfully, I didn't need to say anything, as Rich came to my rescue and stepped up to Seth in an attempt to get him to back off. But Seth still wasn't having it as he shoved Rich away for a second time. "Would you stop it, Rich?" Seth asked. "I'm trying to tell your sister how I feel and you're fucking it up."

 

"You don't know what you're doing," Rich said, his voice full of surprise. "You have no idea what you're saying."

 

"Like hell I don't!" Seth yelled. "I've been in love with her for years! You can't tell me that I have no idea what I'm doing when what I'm telling her is something I should have told her years ago!"

 

Rich turned to look at me and took me by the arm, pulling me away from Seth. "Let's go, Lexi. You don't need to listen to this."

 

Seth stepped in front of me, however, blocking the path. "Stay out of this Rich," he said. "This doesn't involve you."

 

"It sure as hell does!" Rich exclaimed, his grasp on my arm tightening. "It sure as hell involves me when you're sleeping with my little sister!"

 

A hush fell over the crowd as realization dawned on me. Rich hadn't seemed surprised by Seth's declaration of love. If anything, he'd been more annoyed by it. I was too busy processing the whole love angle that I hadn't even analyzed my brother's reaction to it. His best friend had just declared his love for me and instead of questioning the reasons that Seth could be making such a bold declaration, Rich was trying to get me to leave the bar without any hassle. He was trying to get me out of there so that it wouldn't slip that he had found out that I'd slept with Seth.

 

"You knew?!" I asked, yanking my arm out of Rich's tight grasp. "How the hell did you know that I slept with Seth?!"

 

Rich shook his head, trying to motion me towards the door. "That's not important, Lex," he said softly. "I'm not mad at you."

BOOK: Summer Solstice
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