10 Chapter 10

Sunday lunch at my mum's was a blur. Obviously, everyone noticed something was going on, but I kept on insisting that nothing's wrong, I was apparently under the weather.

Hanna, however, knew something was up with Jake and I had to do my best to make her realize now is really not the time to talk about it.

When I finally reached home that afternoon, I collapsed on my couch with a cup of hot tea and chocolate to accompany my sorry-ass mood.

I was checking my phone the whole day, hoping to hear anything from him, and at the same time hating myself for being so weak.

I was replying his words in my head, telling me he doesn't want me in his world. I knew he was attracted to me, I didn't imagine things. But he wasn't attracted enough, I guess. And not nearly as much as I was to him; in that moment, I forgot about everything and was willing to take whatever he would give me. And he looked me in the eyes and felt ashamed for doing this. Arrgh.

I don't know why he thinks he needs to protect me. I am not some naΓ―ve innocent little girl and I'm not expecting marriage and kids from him. Hell, even I don't want this. Not yet at least.

I just really felt a sparkle between us, and I haven't felt it in a long time; if ever. Even with Scott, things were never that intense. And I didn't even have sex with Jake.

I felt miserable and I refuse feeling down because of a man, again. Today I'll let myself cry over him, but tomorrow I'm getting my adult-panties on and forgetting all about it.

And I kept saying that mantra for the rest of the evening, these being my last thoughts before falling asleep. My phone remained silent, which was for the best. I didn't need another distraction in my life.

I woke up the next day with bitter-sweet taste when memories of a previous day flooded my mind, but I decided to get rid of them and take on the new day. He was supposed to be just careless hot sex, nothing more. I will survive his stupid refusal and move on.

This doesn't mean, however, I'm looking forward to today. It's Brian's birthday and he is taking us to this fancy up-town restaurant that just opened a few weeks ago.

I know he will be there, it's inevitable. The worst of it all, I don't know what I feel more – dread for seeing him or excitement at being in his proximity.

I'm sure I'll get a reality check if he shows up with Serena. Or maybe this is just what I need to move on from those meaningless fantasies about him.

Nevertheless, first I need to get myself to classes. The fall semester is coming to an end, and Christmas is just mere weeks away, which means the exam period is around the corner. I've got a few months left before finishing my degree and it's time I start acting like it.

I threw the blankets off me and tiptoed to the bathroom, the cold floor waking me up instantly.

45 minutes later I was already in the classroom, sipping my early dosage of caffeine. So far so good.


The day rushed away and soon I was dressing up for the dinner, again on the verge of being late, which is something most of the people surrounding me are used to. Unfortunately.

I left the apartment at 6:30 p.m. and went to pick up my mom and Mike so we can drive together to the restaurant. Michael surprised me by putting on a dress shirt with black jeans and it made him look absolutely gorgeous.

"I can't believe my little baby boy is such a handsome heartbreaker already."

Mike rolled his eyes at me while getting in the back of the car.

"Give me a break, Jess, I'm not a kid anymore."

I chuckled and looked at him in the rear mirror. "You'll always be my little brother."

"Yeah, yeah, love you too, doll."

He has always called me a 'doll' and he was my 'baby boy'. It used to be our thing for ages and I'm so happy we are back to the place we were before all the drama happened.

I sent him a kiss and hug my mum when she sits in the passenger seat, holding presents in her hands.

"Oh, mum, you look beautiful."

She put on black dress pants with a vanilla cream off-shoulder sweater that made her petite figure look stunning.

She is a gorgeous woman, with a skinny figure and short red hair, making her sophisticated and a bit wild at the same time. I wish I've gotten the genes after her, my hips were definitely not agreeing with it.

"Thank you, sweetheart. You look great and Mike is so handsome, wouldn't you say?"

I chuckled while he groaned in the back seat.

I pulled out in the street and head toward our destination. I was trying my best to ignore the butterflies in my stomach. I really didn't know what to expect when I see Jake and how to behave around him. But I knew one thing; I am not ruining this for Becca and Brian. I'll have to suck it up and control myself around him. It can't be that hard, can it?

The restaurant was called The High End and it was a really cool place. When we entered, we were led to a long table where most of the people were already sitting and chatting away.

As I said, punctuality is not one of my strong suits.

Mum was huffing and puffing because I made her come late, but I just kissed her cheek and tell her Brian won't mind. She still wasn't pleased, but I knew she wasn't really upset.

Brian and Becca stood up when they spot us, and each of us wished him all the best for his birthday.

The exchange between Mike and Brian was a bit awkward, but he hated this kind of thing just as much as I did. We were both a little socially awkward when it came to greeting and congratulating people.

I caught his eyes and make a silly face, resulting in him laughing. He knew what I was thinking.

We started saying our hellos to everyone while rounding the table. My heart started beating faster when I came to Jake's seat. I threw a glance at the seat next to him, but Serena wasn't with him.

He leaned in kissing my cheeks, filling my nose with his intoxicating smell and I had to restrain myself from shuddering when filling his lips touching my skin.

He caught me eyeing the seat next to me, and he leaned in, whispering in my ear: "I'm alone. She's won't be coming."

I didn't know if it means, she's not coming today or she's not coming at all, but I stopped myself from asking. It was none of my concern. I gave him a small nod but kept my poker face on. At least I hoped it was on.

I wanted to move on, but his question, this time said out loud, stopped me on spot.

"Jessica, you can take a seat next to me, it's empty."

A few people looked at us curiously, Mike and Becca being among them, but I gave him a confused yet somewhat polite look before answering.

"Thanks, I'm sitting next to Mike today."

Something a lot like regret passed through his face, but he hid it quickly, just giving me a polite smile and sitting back at the table.

I small-talked with a few other people before sitting next to my nephew.

He gave me a pointed look when I was eye-to-eye with him, a smirk playing on his lips.

"What's happening with you and Jake?" he whispered in my ear.

I gulped, angry at myself that someone noticed something is happening.

"Nothing at all, Mike. Drop it."

"Don't insult my intelligence, doll. I know you better than anyone. You'll tell me later."

He gave me a small wink and turn away to give his food order.

I shut my eyes in distress and grab a glass of water, putting it to my lips in hope of recollecting myself. I caught Jake watching us with interest and I couldn't seem to look away while gulping down the ice-cold liquid. Bloody mess.

I tore my eyes from him when the waiter asked what I would like to drink. Wine today, absolutely. I need something to de-stress me.

Regardless of the intense start of the evening, the dinner was absolutely amazing and the group was entertaining. I was laughing the whole night, cracking jokes with Mike and tease Becca and Brian with their over-the-top affection.

They were really almost painfully sweet to each other and me and Mike didn't stop teasing them for the rest of the night.

I even exchanged some words with Jake, when we happened to be in the same conversation and we managed to pull it off well.

I realized he has an extremely good sense of humour and he was easily the entertainer of the evening. I liked this part of him, and it was obvious him and Brian share a special bond.

It's a dangerous thing if I start to like him even for his personality. When he was just a handsome rude prick, it was easier to dismiss him. I can't pile this up with handsome, charming, funny, rude prick. It will ruin my dissolve.

At 11 p.m. we began finishing our evening and I really needed to drop Mike at home, because he had school early morning the next day. Almost everyone left already, staying only Brian and Becca, me, my mum, Mike, Brian's two mates, and Jake.

I was painfully aware of him, standing close to me when we were saying goodbye to the birthday boy.

Mike nudged me with his elbow and pointed in Jake's direction.

"He's looking at you like he'll eat you alive. Tomorrow you're telling me what's going on. And you better spill everything, you lying cow."

He laughed and dodged my palm aiming for his cheek.

"Idiot, watch your mouth." This time it was me rolling my eyes at him, but I was hardly hiding my own smile. "We'll talk, okay?"

He nodded and hugged me tight from behind. He was already so tall, I barely reached his chin.

I wasn't small by any means, with my 170cm, but I felt like a midget standing next to him.

Jake kissed my mum and gave Mike a man shake, then slowly moved his gaze to me. Mike pulled his grandmother with him and told me, they will wait in the car.

I meant to say there is no need to leave me behind when Jake slowly pulled me back and hugged me hard.

I stood there in shock for a few seconds, before I put my hands around him. I hate that it felt so right being held in his embrace.

When he finally pulled away, I was feeling a tiny bit breathless.

"I am sorry for what happened. I hope you know that. And please," he put a finger to my lips when I was about to reply, "don't say anything now. I know I screwed up, but I really don't want to fight with you anymore."

I licked my lips and unintentionally slightly touched Jake's finger still pressed to my lips.

He drew in a sharp intake of breath, and his forefinger slowly started tracing the curve of my mouth. My body started tingling with his touch and I saw his chest rising and falling with deep breaths.

"Please love, don't do this. You'll drive me completely mad. I'm having a hard time controlling myself as it is."

He is a complete mess, sending me so many contradictive signals my head hurts from it. I take a slow step back, breaking our connection.

"You don't get to do this anymore. I need to go, they are waiting. Bye, Jake."

I looked away, not willing to see or hear his response and head towards the exit. I passed Becca and Brian, both looking at me with suspicious eyes.

Brian decides to speak up. "Jess, is something going on that I should know?"

"Of course not, Brian. Don't worry. Go home already and enjoy the rest of the evening having some sexy time with my sister." I laugh when his cheeks get red with embarrassment and Becca scolded me for talking like this.

I keep on laughing and turn on my heels when I see Jake approaching. It's time for me to finish this day and I can't wait to crawl in my soft and warm bed, forgetting about certain someone and the taste of his finger on my lips.


By the time I park my car close to my apartment, I'm exhausted. It's been a long day.

I'm about to climb the stairs to my apartment when I see a certain familiar black car parked just next to the entrance of my building. Before I manage to process the thought completely, the driver's door open and Jake steps out.

I'm looking at him with shocking eyes and he keeps his level with mine, intensity pouring out of them while walking towards me.

"What are you doing here?" I manage to say before he reaches me. "I thought I was clear I don't want to play games anymore."

He didn't reply, he didn't even blink at my question. He reached me at the bottom of the stairs, put his hands on my cheeks and pulled me in, pressing his lips to mine.

The kiss was soft at first, his lips sliding gently over mine, lighting all my nerves. Damn it, it felt incredible.

But I didn't want to be put in the same situation again, me giving in and him pushing me away. So I did the only thing that was left rational at that moment. I started pulling away, not giving him a chance to do it first.

He didn't want to let go when he put his forehead on mine and whisper close to my lips.

"Jessica, don't push me away. I can't pretend I don't want you anymore."

"I can't do this again. Every time I give in, you push away. I'm do..."

"Don't say you are done."

He removed one hand from my face and placed it on the small of my back, pulling our bodies closer and sealing his words with another kiss. This one was fierce and there was nothing gentle about it. He kept holding me close, his tongue exploring my mouth, tasting and nibbling on my lips.

I was a goner. I couldn't fight him when he was dismissive, so I'm sure as hell helpless now, and deep down I knew this as soon as his lips touched mine.

I pulled him closer, pushing my fingers through his wavy hair.

It soon became heated, right there on the street, in front of my building. I should care if somebody sees us, but the tingles I felt all over my body were making me lose any rational thought.

The only thing on my mind was that I finally, finally want to touch him, not only through his clothes. When he pressed his hard-on in my lower belly, I almost combusted.

I broke the kiss, panting, leaving us both catching our breath.

"Let me take you inside Jess, I need to feel you. Whatever you are willing to give, I'll take it. But don't ask me to leave, please."

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