Excerpt from CHAOS (courtesy of Avon Impulse):
The guys, including Driver, are all gathered in the kitchen, drinking and gaming and watching TV, and I say a quick goodnight to all of them, careful to avoid meeting Shawn’s eyes before I close the curtain and slip into my bunk.
My pillow, my blankets … My entire bed smells like him. After I switched his sheets with mine this morning, I didn’t think to take both sets to the Laundromat with us, and now I’ll be sleeping in his scent. It wraps itself around me when I pull the covers up to my chin and close my eyes. I can almost imagine I’m waiting for him in his bed, that he’ll crawl in next to me at any moment and hold me even tighter than he did inside the club.
My thoughts drift to what would happen after the holding …
And after the kissing …
I toss and turn, turn and toss. I’m alone, lying on my back while staring at the wooden beams above me, thinking of that night six years ago and how it feels like a lifetime ago, when a sliver of light cuts onto the aisle floor.
When Shawn lets the curtain fall shut behind him, that sliver disappears again, leaving nothing but the dim glow of city light sneaking in through gaps in the curtains and blinds. I keep my eyes glued to the bunk above me as he slips out of his jeans, crawls under his covers, and settles in his bed. But when I feel his eyes on me, I roll onto my side to face him.
Across the aisle, he watches me, his scruffy cheek sunken into his pillow and his green eyes the brightest things in the room. He doesn’t look away when I stare back at him, and I couldn’t look away if I tried.
“Stop,” I say, so quietly that I barely reach him across the aisle.
“Stop what?” The softness in his voice tickles over my skin, lighter and warmer than the scented sheet caressing my shoulder. He’s in my head, wrapped around me, staring at me from so, so close.
Stop making me forget.
Stop making me remember.
Stop making me fall for you.
What I want to do is slip out from under the covers, close the space between us, drop to my knees, and press my lips to his. I want to kiss him until his fingers find my sides like they did in the club, like they did in the car, and then I want to put my hands on him the same way. I want to touch him until he’s as lost as I am, until we’re both just gone.
What I actually do is close my fingers around my second pillow and toss it across the aisle. Shawn laughs and catches it, tucking it under his head with no intention of giving it back. I can’t help smiling at him before rolling toward the wall, burying my nose in his pillow, and closing my eyes tight.
I wish Shawn had called me six years ago. I wish he didn’t regret kissing me on the bus.
I wish he didn’t want a girl like me.
I wish he wanted me.