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A Mystery Kiss
COPYRIGHT © 2016 K.C. LYNN

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Mia Walker = Cade & Faith’s daughter. 

Parker Evans = Sawyer and Grace’s daughter. 

 

This Halloween scene was so much fun to write, but writing Parker always is. LOL. 

Enjoy!

 

Mia

“Our dads are going to shit when they see us.” Ella chuckles as she puts the finishing touches on her costume in front of Annabelle’s full-length mirror.

 

“Probably,” Hope agrees, sounding a bit more nervous about that than Ella.

 

“They’d find something wrong with anything we chose,” Annabelle says. “Especially since it’s not what they picked out for us.”

 

My nose wrinkles as I think about those god-awful one-piece Teletubbies costumes they came home with the other day.

 

“At least with these costumes, we have the chance of them being more flattered than angry,” she adds.

 

It’s one of the reasons why we chose the costumes we did. In honor of our dutiful fathers, Ella is dressed as a sheriff while Annabelle, Hope, and I are dressed as sailors. Typically, costumes like these are not—shall we say—modest. But, with a little creativity, we were able to improvise. We added black leggings underneath our short shorts and instead of wearing crop tops that barely covered our boobs, we chose black tank tops. Add in our over-the-knee boots, and cute hats, I think we pull off the costumes pretty well.

 

“I doubt they will be flattered.” Ella snorts. “But don’t worry, I have backup if we need it.” A mischievous smile slips over her face as she fingers the plastic gun attached to her hip, and it causes all four of us to break into laughter.

 

Hope looks over at me, her amusement fading. I know what she’s going to ask before she even says it. “How are you holding up?”

 

Nerves twist in my belly as I think about the plan I have in place for tonight. One I have spent weeks preparing for with the help of my best friends. 

 

“Tell me again I’m not crazy for doing this,” I whisper, needing encouragement.

 

“Sorry, but you’re completely certifiable,” Ella says, being the one to speak the truth, like always.

 

Annabelle playfully swats her arm before grabbing both my shoulders. “You are not crazy, Mia. You are brave for doing this.”

 

A bitter laugh escapes me at the irony of her comment. “There’s nothing brave about dressing up in disguise and kissing the guy you love so he doesn’t know it’s you,” I grumble.

 

"I disagree," she counters. "It takes a lot of guts to do this. Besides, it's for the best. You don't want to risk things getting weird with you guys and this way it won't be."

 

I gaze back at her, still feeling unsure.

 

“It’s just a kiss,” she adds.

 

“That’s true,” Ella says, chiming back in. “And let’s face it, Parker isn’t going to be upset that some mystery girl locks lips with him.”

 

I think that’s what’s bothering me the most. What if he likes it and thinks it’s someone else? Someone like Missy…

 

Just the thought makes me sick to my stomach, but so does the thought of him finding out it’s me and having our friendship ruined. What’s even worse than both of those scenarios? Is never knowing what it feels like to be his, even if it’s just for a few seconds…

 

That final thought strengthens my resolve. This is my chance. My one opportunity. I refuse to back out now. Not when I’ve come this far…

 

Hope places her hand on my shoulder and offers me a sympathetic smile. “I agree with Annabelle. I think it’s brave what you are doing. I also think my brother would be lucky to have someone like you kiss him, even if it is in secret.” 

 

My heart warms at her words. “Thanks, Hope.” I look to the others. “Thank you all for helping me do this.” 

 

“That’s what sisters are for,” Annabelle says.

 

We find ourselves in a group hug for several moments until Ella breaks it. “Ready to face the music?”

 

“Ready,” we answer collectively.

 

Grabbing the black tote bag that has my masquerade costume inside, I follow them out of the room and down the long staircase. 

 

Once at the bottom, Annabelle turns to us and whispers: “Wait until I have the door open. Once I do we will shout out a quick goodbye and then haul ass to Brae’s truck outside before they have a chance to see us. Got it?”

 

Nodding, we follow her lead and tiptoe to the front entrance, making sure to be as quiet as we can. 

 

Annabelle slowly twists the doorknob and then gives us the signal.

 

“Bye!” Our voices ring out in unison before we scurry through the door.

 

“Whoa, hold up, I—!” 

 

Annabelle slams it shut, effectively cutting off my Uncle Jax. The four of us bolt down the porch steps, Ella laughing hysterically as we attempt escape. Unfortunately, we’re not fast enough.

 

“Hold it right there!”

 

We turn at the authoritative order and find our fathers in the darkened doorway, their large frames filling the small space. 

 

Uncle Jax leads the pack and flicks on the porch light, blinding us in the process. “What the hell are you wearing?” he asks.

 

I swallow hard at the furious expression on his face, on all their faces, especially my dad’s.

 

Uh oh!

 

Silence thickens the air as we all look at each other, trying to determine who will be the one to take on damage control. 

 

In the end, Ella is the one who gracefully takes charge. “Surprise!” she sings out, her arms out at her sides. “We decided to dress up as our favorite men. What do ya think?”

 

Uncle Cooper is the one to speak. “I think you better get your ass back upstairs and put on the costumes we bought for you.”

 

“Uh, we can’t do that,” Annabelle says, jumping in to help. 

 

“And why the hell not?” Uncle Jax asks.

 

“Because we took them back to get these instead,” she explains, giving him a sweet smile. “We wanted to represent our favorite men.”

 

By the look on my Uncle Jax’s face, he isn’t buying it for a second. None of them are.

 

If only our moms were here instead of still cleaning up at the church after the day's events.

 

“If you girls want to represent us, we will give you our uniforms to wear,” Uncle Sawyer cuts in. “Because I’ll tell you right now, they sure as hell don’t look like that.”

 

“Come on, Dad. It’s just a costume,” Hope tells him. “We’re fully covered.”

 

“Yeah.” Ella cuts back in. “You would be proud if you saw how these costumes originally came. Now look at us. Just a bunch of badass women ready to hit the town.”

 

“The only thing you’re hitting is this door,” Uncle Cooper says, starting straight toward her.

 

Ella pulls her plastic gun from her hip and widens her stance. “Freeze! Don’t come any closer or I’ll shoot.”

 

Her hilarious effort doesn’t deter Uncle Cooper. He rips the gun out of her hands and picks her up off her feet, throwing her over his shoulder. Laughter escapes her as she flays around behind him.

 

“What did I tell you happens to mouthy little girls, Ella? They get locked in their rooms forever.”

 

“Guess it’s a good thing I’m not a little girl anymore, huh?” she tosses out.

 

He grunts his disagreement and prepares to haul her back inside when our cavalry arrives. 

 

Finally!

 

Mom's SUV pulls up to the house, packed with all my aunts.

 

"Oh my gosh, you girls look adorable!" Aunt Grace gushes as she climbs out of the passenger seat.

 

All our moms hurry over to greet us, their reaction the same.

 

“Adorable my ass,” Uncle Sawyer snaps. “Cupcake, who okayed this shit?”

 

“We did,” Aunt Julia answers. “Why, is there a problem, Jax?” she asks, her narrowed gaze directed at my Uncle.

 

“Hell yes, there’s a problem, they aren’t leaving here dressed like that.”

 

“Oh, yes they are,” Aunt Kayla fires back, taking no shit as usual. “Now put our daughter down, Coop, before you mess up her costume.”

 

“Yeah, put me down,” Ella mocks. “I need to go serve and protect at this party, make sure no one gets too rowdy.”

 

The funniest part about her statement is she will probably be the rowdiest one there.

 

Uncle Cooper shakes his head, placing her back on her feet. Thanks to our moms, our dads have no choice but to relent and let us go.

 

As we head for Brae’s truck, I turn around to find all the parents filtering into the house except for my mom. She stays back with my dad as he watches me from the porch. Even from this distance, I can see the dark worry in his eyes, something that’s always there whenever I leave him.

 

The heartbreaking sight brings me to a stop. “You guys go ahead,” I tell the others. “I’ll be right there.”

 

“Everything okay?” Annabelle asks.

 

“Yeah, I just need to take care of something quick.”

 

She looks over to see my dad on the porch and understands.

 

Jogging back to the house, I race up the porch stairs. My mom steps aside, knowing what’s about to happen and so does my dad. 

 

His arms open for me and I waste no time running right into them. “I love you, Dad.”

 

“I love you too.” His gruff words penetrate my heart. 

 

“I know you probably don’t like my outfit, but I want you to know that nothing makes me more proud than to represent your sacrifice.”

 

He hugs me closer. “Outfit or not, you always make me proud, Mia.”

 

Smiling, I kiss his cheek and then step back. “I better get going.”

 

"Midnight sharp," he reminds me.

 

I nod my promise. "I'll see you soon.” Without another word, I bound down the steps.

 

"Have fun!" my mom calls, her voice warm with anticipation.

 

I toss her a wave over my shoulder, hurrying to the truck, feeling bad for keeping everyone waiting. Thankfully, no one is bothered by it.

 

On the drive over, Annabelle sets the mood by putting on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. The four of us girls sing our hearts out to the lyrics and try to pull off the dance as best as we can in the small space, our antics probably giving Braedyn a headache, but he’s a good sport about it, like always.

 

However, the fun takes a turn when we pull up to Jordan Banks' house, Parker's hockey teammate who is hosting the party. He usually is the one to host the parties since his lavish house is big enough to fit our entire school.

 

Clutching the black tote bag firmly in my hand, I jump out of the truck and feel myself hesitating from going further, my nerves getting the best of me once again. 

 

Annabelle places a reassuring hand on my back, sensing my trepidation. "You got this, Mia."

 

Nodding, I offer her a grateful smile and steel my nerves.

 

Braedyn leads us up to the door and inside the house. Music explodes from the speakers, vibrating the ground beneath my feet. The front entrance is crowded as we try to make our way inside, bodies knocking into me left and right, most I don’t recognize since they are in costumes. 

 

A roar penetrates the music as some guy runs through the house with a fake knife in the air, trying to scare people. He accidentally knocks into Annabelle, almost taking her out.

 

Braedyn grabs him by the front of his bloody shirt and pins him against the closest wall. “Watch where you’re going, asshole!”

 

The guy’s hands lift in surrender. “Sorry, man. It was an accident,” his words come out slurred, proving he’s already had too much to drink.

 

“I’m fine, Brae,” Annabelle says, assuring him with a kiss. It distracts him enough to let drunk guy go.

 

“Hey, look who finally showed up.”

 

A shiver of awareness dances down my spine at the familiar voice. Turning, I find Parker and Beckett making their way over to us. Beck wears his Football jersey, while Parker wears his Hockey one.

 

Parker’s eyes collide with mine, stealing the air from my lungs. They hold me captive for only a moment before they cascade down my body. 

 

Warmth floods every cell of my being for all of a second before he shifts his attention to the rest of the group.

 

“I see they let you leave the house in your new costumes.” Beckett smirks, slinging an arm around his sister’s shoulders.

 

“Of course they did,” Ella says. “Easy peasy.”

 

Braedyn outs her lie. “The moms showed up just in the nick of time.”

 

Parker grunts. “Figures.”

 

“At least we’re wearing costumes,” Hope returns.

 

Parker straightens defensively. “So are we.”

 

She rolls her eyes. “Your jersey is hardly a costume.”

 

“But women love it,” he counters, smugly.

 

A bitter scoff shoves past my throat before I can stop it.

 

His eyes meet mine, amusement dancing in the green irises. “Something on your mind, Country?”

 

I shake my head, wishing I could control my reactions around him more.

 

He chuckles, not the least bit put off, and drapes his arm around my shoulders. “Come on, half pint. Let’s get you a drink.”

 

I allow him to lead me into the kitchen and try not to get wrapped up in the warmth of his body next to mine. It’s not a hard feat because the moment he gets me some non-alcoholic punch, something he and Beck made sure there was for the four of us, he keeps his distance. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear he was intentionally avoiding me. Or maybe he’s just distracted by all the girls hanging off of him, especially Missy. 

 

Anger heats my blood at the sight of her rubbing herself against him like a dog in heat, her boobs splashing out of her Playboy bunny costume. 

 

Parker barely spares her a glance and even moves away from her advances. That should make me feel better, but it doesn’t. Nothing makes me feel better when it comes to her.

 

She and I have never gotten along, not even when she and Parker dated. She hated it if he and I were ever around each other. So much so, that I think it’s one of the reasons Parker broke it off with her. Something I don’t feel bad about one bit.

 

As if sensing my gaze, she looks over at me with a snide smile and stretches up on her tiptoes to whisper something in his ear. I turn away, unable to stomach anymore, and make eye contact with Annabelle, Hope, and Ella across the kitchen.

 

Annabelle nods, indicating for me to make my move.

 

Gathering my courage, I leave the kitchen and head down the back hall towards the garage. No more being on the outside looking in. Not tonight.

 

 

 

Parker

 

I contemplate heading outside to escape the crowd, needing some fresh air. It’s fucking hot in here. Or maybe my blood is on fire from a certain brunette’s choice of costume that shows every single one of her curves.

 

She may have the voice of an angel, but her body is made for sinning… and to drive me crazy.

 

I pretend to focus on what Coleman says about our upcoming game and make sure not to seek her out. The last thing I want is to be sporting a hard-on all night, especially with Missy being so fucking relentless. She’d think it was for her which couldn’t be further from the truth. Thankfully, she left for the bathroom with a girlfriend, another reason why I feel like escaping to the backyard might be a good idea.

 

With that thought in mind, I excuse myself from the group and head toward the patio door only to get intervened by my sister.

 

She jumps out in front of me, forcing me to rear back. “Where are you going?” she asks, her voice squeaky.

 

“Outside for some fresh air,” I return, slowly.

 

“You can’t!”

 

I frown, confused. “And why not?”

 

“Uh, because there’s no soda left in the fridge,” she stammers. “Jordan said there’s more in the garage. Could you get me one?”

 

I don’t buy the lame excuse for a second, but also don’t bother questioning her weird behavior. “Yeah. What do you want?”

 

“Whatever there is,” she says, ushering me out of the kitchen. “You know what I like.”

 

Shaking my head, I head out into the dimly lit four-car garage and make my way to the fridge, my steps echoing against the cold concrete floor. Just as I’m about to reach it, a shadowy figure emerges from the corner, scaring the hell out of me.

 

I jump like a pussy, my fists primed and ready to strike before I realize it’s some blonde chick in a masquerade costume.

 

Her hand covers her mouth, stifling a giggle. 

 

“Jesus, where the hell did you come from?” I ask.

 

She remains silent behind the jeweled mask. 

 

My gaze roams her slender body that’s clad in a long red dress and black cloak. “Uh, you looking for someone?” I ask.

 

She nods but offers nothing else.

 

“Want to tell me who?” 

 

She lifts her hand, pointing at me.

 

I cross my arms over my chest, feeling amused. “Is that so?”

 

She answers with another nod.

 

“Banks, put you up to this, didn’t he?”

 

I bet the asshole even wrangled my sister in on it. That’s why she was acting so weird and asked me to come out here.

 

Oh, sister. Payback is going to be sweet.

 

The masquerade beauty shakes her head, denying the allegation. I’m about to call her bluff until I notice her trembling hands, violently twisting together in front of her. 

 

Concern quickly replaces my amusement. "Hey, you okay?"

 

She remains silent, her gaze fixed on me in a way that's starting to become very unsettling.

I decide it’s time to get the hell out of dodge when she exhales a shaky breath and begins to approach me, her heels clicking against the cement floor.

 

Shit.

 

With every step she takes, I find myself retreating, the scenario in my head unfolding like a scene from a slasher film.

 

I’d hate to hit a chick but I’m not opposed to it if said chick is about to slice and dice me. Who knows what she’s hiding beneath that cloak of hers.

 

My back hits the parked Land Rover as she reaches me. Her hands curl into the front of my jersey before she stretches on her toes, bringing her face level with mine.

 

“All right, listen up, psycho girl. I’m all for fun and games but this is…” my words are silenced she crushes her mouth against mine.

 

The contact rocks me to my fucking core.

 

 

Mia

 

 

My heart smashes against my rib cage at the first touch of his lips, the feel of them against mine completely electrifying. It shifts the world beneath my feet, changing life as I know it forever.

 

The bold act catches him off guard for only a second. A growl that only can be described as animalistic explodes from his chest as he jerks me against his body and lifts me off my feet.

 

I gasp against his mouth as he switches our positions, pinning me against the SUV, and wedging himself between my parted legs.

 

Oh god!

 

Heat roars through my body like wildfire at the feel of his erection pressing against the apex of my thighs, his mouth dominating mine with an intensity that leaves me breathless. He takes exactly what he wants without an ounce of remorse, and I gladly give it to him, letting him own it, because he already owns the most integral part of me.

 

My fingers glide through his hair as I mirror his movements, our tongues dueling in unmatched passion. It unlocks something inside of me, something primal. I’m so lost in it all that I don’t realize someone has entered the garage until it’s too late.

 

“Whoa, shit, sorry.”

 

I gasp at the unexpected male voice, horrified to be caught in the compromising position.

 

Thankfully, Parker’s body shields mine. His celadon gaze pierces through the obscurity of my mask, our heavy breaths synchronizing in the dimly lit room before he turns his head to the unannounced visitor. “You need something?” he asks, his tone rough with unrequited lust.

 

“I was just coming to grab more drinks.”

 

I quickly register the voice belongs to Jordan.

 

“Be glad it’s me because Missy is looking all over the damn place for you.”

 

The revelation is like a bucket of ice-cold water, ruining every beautiful second that had just taken place between us.

 

God. I need to get out of here.

 

I shove against Parker’s chest, needing escape.  It takes some effort on my part before he finally releases me.

 

The instant my feet touch the ground, I make a mad dash through the side door and swipe my bag that lies just outside before jogging down the street. I check behind me, making sure I’m not being followed, and then sneak behind the large oak tree where Annabelle, Ella, and Hope wait with anticipation. 

 

"Did you do it?” Hope asks as I quickly remove my cloak and mask.

 

I nod, unable to hide my smile.

 

“All right, Mia!” Annabelle cheers.

 

The three of them surround me in a hug before covering me so I can change back into the other costume.

 

“So,” Ella prompts. “How was it?”

 

“It was…” I pause, trying to think of the right words. “Terrifying, incredible, and life-changing.”

 

“I knew it.” Annabelle claps in giddy excitement. “I knew it would work.”

 

“Do you think he has any idea it was you?” Ella asks.

 

I shake my head. “No way.”

 

If there was even a hint of doubt in his mind, he wouldn't have responded to my kiss with such intensity. I shudder to think how he might have reacted otherwise. The guilt that thought brings on is overwhelming. 

 

“We need to hurry back,” Annabelle whispers. “I told Brae I was grabbing something from his truck.”

 

“You guys go ahead,” I tell them. “I’m going to head home.”

 

“What, why?” Hope asks. “I thought you said everything went great.”

 

“It did,” I assure her. “That’s the problem.”

 

They gaze back at me, confused. 

 

“I can’t go back in there, look him in the eye, and act like everything is normal, not after what just happened. It’s changed everything, you guys,” I tell them, emotion clogging my throat.

 

Hope reaches for my hand.“I get it, Mia. I do. But if you don’t come back Parker might suspect you. Are you okay with that?”

 

Damn, I wasn’t thinking about that.

 

“Just come back for a bit,” Annabelle says. “Give it a half hour. If you still want to leave, then Brae and I will drive you home.”

 

“Okay,” I agree. “But you don’t have to leave. I can find another ride home.”

 

“No way. We came together, we leave together.”

 

“Agree.” Ella nods.

 

I gaze back at all three of them, feeling blessed to have them in my life. “Thanks again, for helping me pull this off.”

 

“Always.” Hope smiles, squeezing my hand.

 

“Come on,” Annabelle says, “Let’s get back inside before Brae comes looking for us.”

 

On our way back, we stop at the truck, where I quickly deposit my bag before returning inside. Beck calls out for us to come downstairs. I opt out, suspecting Parker is probably down there, and instead make my way to the kitchen for a drink, assuring the others I'll join them shortly, only to unexpectedly bump into something solid.

 

A breath shoves from my chest on an oomph.

 

Strong hands grip my shoulders in an attempt to steady me.

 

"I'm so sorry," I rush out. "I— " My words die in my throat when I look up to find the exact person I was trying to avoid.

 

Parker peers down at me in a way he never has before. In a way that makes me think he knows every single one of my secrets.

 

Shit. Does he know?

 

No, he can’t. There’s no way… Right?

 

The knowing look in his gaze is starting to make me question. My heart races, a fierce pounding, the sound reverberating in my ears, as I struggle to maintain composure under his penetrating scrutiny.

 

Before either of us can say a word, Missy comes sauntering over. “There you are.”

 

I seize the opportunity to make my escape. Leaving the same way I came, I hurry into the basement and find Annabelle and Braedyn enjoying a game of pool, the others conspicuously absent.

 

Annabelle’s smile drops as soon as she spots me. “Hey.”

 

“I need to leave,” I tell her.

 

She nods, sensing my urgency. “Okay, just let me get Hope and Ella. They decided to challenge Beck and some of the guys to a game of ping pong."

 

"No, you guys stay," I insist. “I’m going to call my mom.” 

 

She shakes her head. “We talked about this, Mia."

 

"I know, but you guys are having fun. I’ll be okay. I promise.” 

 

"We can take you and come back,” Braedyn offers. “It’s no problem.”

 

"Take you where?"

 

The deep voice freezes me in place. I don’t need to turn around to see how close he is behind me, his presence igniting a fire that burns from the inside out.

 

Annabelle steps in, rescuing me from having to answer. "Mia isn't feeling well, so we're going to take her home and come back after."

 

“Don’t worry about it,” he says. “I can take her.”

 

Panic grips my chest, spinning me around to face him. "No!” 

 

His eyes narrow at my quick refusal.

 

“I mean, you don't need to do that," I add, softening my voice. “No one does. I’ll just call my mom."

 

“I’m leaving anyway."

 

I shoot him a doubtful look, knowing he’s lying. "You're leaving your own party?"

 

"It's not my party. It’s Jordan’s."

 

"It's the hockey team's, and you're the captain,” I remind him.

 

"Which means I can leave whenever I want," he counters smugly. "And I want to leave now, so I'll drive you."

 

A surge of annoyance sparks within me. 

 

I can't be alone with him in his truck. Not tonight. 

 

"It's okay, Parker. We'll take her," Annabelle assures him.

 

"Let him take her, Belle," Braedyn chimes in, oblivious to my turmoil. "It makes sense for him to drive her since he's leaving anyway."

 

Annabelle pushes against that logic. "No, she came here with us. We should take her home."

 

Not wanting an argument to start over my ridiculous feelings, I cut back in, "No, it's fine.” I turn back to Annabelle. "Brae's right. I’ll just go home with Parker."

 

She hesitates, searching my gaze. “You sure?” Her eyes convey she will push if I need her to.

 

I nod. "Can you let Hope and Ella know I said goodbye?" 

 

“Of course.” Annabelle hugs me tightly, leaning in to whisper in my ear. "Stay calm and everything will be fine. Text me once you're home."

 

I return her embrace, holding on just a bit longer before stepping back. After a quick farewell to Braedyn, Parker and I head upstairs and navigate the crowded living room before stepping outside.

 

Once reaching his truck, I hesitate, turning to face him. "I meant what I said. You don't have to leave. My mom won't mind picking me up."

 

He crosses his arms, the muscles in his chest flexing. "If I didn't know any better, Country, I'd say you're trying to avoid me."

 

Crap!

 

“Of course not," I stammer. "It just seems silly for anyone to leave when I can get a ride. Besides, haven’t you been drinking tonight?"

 

His jaw flexes, a shadow passing over his face. "You know me better than that, Mia. I'd never put someone else's life at risk, especially not yours."

 

I swallow hard, feeling guilty for questioning it. "You're right. I'm sorry."

 

“Good. Now get in the truck,” he orders, opening the door. 

 

His bossy attitude strikes a chord but I refuse to argue further and reluctantly climb inside. He closes the door with a firm thud before entering on the other side.

 

The tension in the cab is palpable as we drive home. With every passing minute, I'm more convinced he knows it was me.

 

But how? How could he know? I was positive I covered all my bases. 

 

Perhaps I'm overthinking it. Maybe he's just bothered by the whole situation, and that's why he's so quiet.

 

The thought fills me with guilt.

 

As we pull up to my house, I eagerly reach for the door handle, desperate to escape the stifling confines of the truck. “Thanks for the ride," I mutter before quickly leaping out.

 

Just as I think I’ve dodged a bullet, he climbs out too. 

 

It brings me to a hard stop.  "What are you doing?" 

 

"Walking you to the door," he replies as if I’m an idiot for even asking.

 

"You don't have to do that.” 

 

“I never thought I did.”

 

Knowing there’s no point in arguing, I release a resigned breath and start up the walkway to my house.

 

He falls in step beside me. “Did you enjoy yourself tonight?” His voice carries an undertone, a hidden meaning that makes me uneasy. 

 

Stay calm, Mia.

 

“Yes. You?” 

 

I feel his gaze on me as we ascend the porch steps, but I can't bring myself to look at him, knowing he will see right through me.

 

“Yeah, I did.” 

 

I nod. “That’s good.” Without wasting any more time, I reach for the door handle. “Welp, bye." 

 

Just as I'm about to dash inside, his large hand covers mine, body pressing against my back.

 

"Want to know what my favorite part was, Mia?" he asks, his lips ridiculously close to my ear.

 

Oh god. He knows.

 

All the breath leaves my lungs at the realization.

 

“Did you really think I wouldn't know it was you?”

 

My mind scrambles for a way out of this. "I don't know what you’re talking about.” The lies sound foolish even to my own ears. 

 

"Oh, Mia," he sighs, a hint of disappointment in his voice. "Do you think I'd fuck just anyone’s mouth like that?”

 

Oh god.

 

I stand there, frozen, terrified of saying the wrong thing and ruining this further.

 

“I-I’m sorry, " I stammer, knowing there’s no point in denying it any longer. “I. didn't mean it.”

 

"Too bad," he whispers, his breath warm against my neck. "I did."

 

My burning eyes fall closed, both hope and fear washing over me. “Parker,” I whisper his name, unable to take the overwhelming emotions banging around inside of me.

 

“If tonight would have been a couple of years into the future, I wouldn’t have stopped.”

 

His admission rattles me, shaking the very foundation our friendship has been built on. 

 

“So, how about we save the dress-up and games for when you’re old enough for me to actually do something about it.”

 

I tense, hurt breaking through my reeling senses.

 

“Besides,” he adds, his lips brushing my ear. “I prefer brunettes’. I always have.”

 

After a kiss to my cheek, he pushes away from the door, leaving me with the cold realization that our friendship has been changed forever.

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