A moment from the past
I’m just about asleep when the light sound pulls me back to consciousness.
When I hear it again I glance at my clock and see it’s one in the morning.
Is she for real?
At the sound of another pebble hitting the glass I get up and look out my window to see exactly who I expected. My best friend’s little sister who isn’t so little anymore. The same girl who’s been wreaking havoc on my cock the last year. She stands on my lawn, the outside lights shining on her, exposing every beautiful part of her. She wears jean shorts and a white tank top that shows every one of her slender curves.
The rest of the rocks she had in her hand fall to the ground as she sees me. She gives me a little wave of her fingers. Lifting my window I stick my head out and say the exact same thing I always say when she shows up like this. “You ever heard of using a door?”
She stares up at me with that seductive smile, one that no sixteen-year-old girl should have. “Where would the fun be in that?”
Her answer is the same all the time. It’s become somewhat of a game, and although I act annoyed it really doesn’t bother me. Not like it should. However, tonight is much later than usual and it pisses me off that she came out here in the middle of the night by herself.
“What are you doing?” she asks.
“Sleeping, like you should be.”
She ignores the comment. “Come sit with me at the creek.”
“Katelyn, it’s one in the morning.”
She shrugs. “So.”
“So? So it’s a school night for you.”
She shakes her head. “Nope. No school tomorrow.”
Shit. This is not good.
Her face falls at my silence, looking like someone just killed her puppy. “Do you have someone up there with you?”
“What? No,” I say instantly, banishing her doubt.
If I was smart I would’ve lied and told her yes. Kill her little teenage crush she’s developed with me. But I’ve never been too smart, and the thought of hurting her feelings like that rips my insides out.
She perks back up again. “Then come down.”
I hesitate because the more time I’m around her, the harder it is for me to control my dick. Nothing can ever happen with us. I wouldn’t do that to Kolan or her, but fuck, I really like being around her. Which is terrifying because I know better than to let myself feel like that.
Learned that lesson the hard way.
“Please, Nick. I don’t wanna be at home right now.”
I tense at the fear in her voice. “Why? What happened?” If her piece of shit father touched her I’ll kill him.
“Nothing. It’s just not a good night and Kolan is working. I don’t want to be there alone.”
“I’ll be down in a minute.”
She smiles, a really big one that makes me feel things I shouldn’t.
It’s fucking dangerous.
I grab my shirt off the floor and throw it over my head then grab one of my hoodies for her. Walking out of my room I head out the front door and see Katelyn waiting by the steps with that same smile still on her beautiful face, but it doesn’t quite reach her eyes. She looks exhausted.
“Hey,” she greets me softly.
Her smile turns from sweet to sexy. “You didn’t need to put on a shirt on my account.”
My cock hardens at the flirtatious taunt. I glare at her and she only laughs, thinking she’s fucking hilarious. With a grunt I toss my hoodie at her. “Put this on.”
“Yes, sir.” She salutes me then throws the hoodie on over her head. All my blood rushes south at the sight of her in my clothes.
Shit, I’m in so much trouble.
She lifts her arms up, showing me how big it is on her. “It fits, and I think it looks better on me than you.”
I shake my head. “Let’s go, smartass.”
With a giggle she falls in step beside me. We walk most of the way in silence; Katelyn’s head is down, watching her feet. If I didn’t know something was wrong before, I sure as hell do now. The girl is never quiet. She can talk your fucking ear off even if she has nothing to say.
I’m going to have to talk to Kolan. He’s been working his ass off, saving everything he can so when she turns eighteen he can get her out of this town. He could have moved out a long time ago but he won’t leave Kate there by herself, and their piece of shit father threatened to call the cops on him if he took her. As far as I know the asshole hasn’t come near her in years, not since Kolan laid him out the last time. But with him working so damn much who knows what the hell could be going on there.
But she would tell us, right?
The sound of flowing water breaks me out of my thoughts. Katelyn drops down on the ground in front of the creek and pulls her knees into her chest. “I love it here so much. It’s my favorite place in the world.”
That’s not saying much considering she’s never been away from this town, but I have to admit my Pop’s ranch is a pretty cool fucking place. I love it for the privacy it provides.
When I take the spot beside her she looks over at me, her expression soft. Her long brown hair is pulled into a high knot on her head, wisps of hair escaping and blowing gently across her face. At this moment she looks as innocent as I know she is.
“Thanks for coming out here with me. I’m sorry if I woke you up.”
“You didn’t.” I lie. “You going to tell me what happened?”
She looks away and shrugs. “Nothing happened. He’s just being his typical drunk, asshole self, and tonight I didn’t want to be around it. Didn’t have the energy.”
“Kate, look at me.” Her dark brown eyes swing to mine, looking sad and tired. “If something happened to you, if he did something, you would tell Kolan and me, right?”
Silence fills the air as she stares at me, sending alarm to pound through my veins. Until she finally speaks. “Yeah. Of course I’d tell you guys.”
I watch her carefully, hesitant to believe her when she seems so upset.
“I promise, Nick. It’s all good.” She tries assuring me again. Pulling the hood of my sweater over her head, she lies down on the grass. Seeing her long, smooth, bare legs on display make me wish I had brought her a blanket. She pats the spot next to her. “Come look at the stars with me.”
As I lie down next to her, with my hands behind my head, she moves in closer, resting her head on my chest. It used to scare the fuck out of me when she did this, actually it still does, but I also crave it. I crave to feel her body this close to mine, to have her sweet smell penetrating my senses, but most of all, knowing she’s safe.
She tilts her head up. “Tell me something no one else knows about you.” It’s not the first time she’s asked me this question, and I know it won’t be her last. When I stare down at her in silence, giving her the same response I always do, she smiles. “One day, Nick, I’ll get you to trust me.”
No, she won’t. It won’t ever happen, and it makes me feel like an asshole but I’ve trained myself to never allow it. Because what one woman did to me long ago fucked me up, it broke me and taught me never to trust again.
A yawn escapes her as she burrows in closer. “You know what my favorite part about looking up at the stars like this is?” Her words come out mumbled and sleepy.
“When you see how big the universe really is, it makes all your problems feel a little smaller.”
My chest constricts painfully, hating to hear she has any problems. Someone as beautiful as her deserves to be carefree and happy every day.
Silence rains around us for a few moments, and I quickly clue in to her steady breathing.
“Kate?” Lifting my head I look down to see her passed out, proving she was as exhausted as she looked. I pull my cell out of my pocket and send Kolan a text, letting him know she’s sleeping here. It dings back a second later.
Kolan: Is she okay?
Me: Yeah. Just said she didn’t want to be home without you and fell asleep.
Kolan: K. Thanks. I’ll pick her up in the morning.
With that settled I slip my phone back in my pocket then slowly slide out from under Katelyn and scoop her up in my arms before standing. Other than burying her face in my chest, she doesn’t stir. It takes me more time than usual to make it back to the house because I walk extra slow, enjoying the way she feels in my arms.
Taking her upstairs to my room, I lay her down on the bed then pull the comforter over her. She snuggles into my pillow with a blissful sigh, her face soft and peaceful. The way it always should be. I desperately get the urge to crawl in next to her, dying to know what it would feel like to hold her for an entire night.
It’s those thoughts and feelings that have me reluctantly walking out and going to the guest room. Knowing she’s safe here will have to be enough because there is no room inside of me for anything else.
There never will be.