by Bianca Dean
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
About the book:
Red has been trying to move on with her life. She really has. Her first real relationship ended in disaster and she can’t muster the energy to leave the house. Her brother Brenden and their best friend, Gavin, are sick of it. Guilting her into a night out, Red reluctantly agrees only to see her ex having the time of his life with another girl. Small town living would have it no other way. On the verge of a full blown panic attack, Gavin steps in to provide Red the distraction she needs to forget all about her ex. But as things quickly spiral out of control, will Red be able to keep her feelings for her best friend a secret in order to save their friendship?
I watched as Wilson licked his lips. What the hell am I doing? I couldn't let him kiss me. Then he’d realize that I’ve never been kissed before, and that would be infinitely more humiliating than him not kissing me. I really needed to work on keeping my mouth shut.“You mean like kissing you?” He asked.I nodded.“Can I tell you a secret?” I nodded again, as I watched his baby blues flicker in the firelight.“I’ve thought about kissing you for three years. But,” he said as he walked me backward away from the light of the fire. We didn't stop moving until my back hit a tree.“Unfortunately, you have two very over protective guys in your life that wouldn't let me get near you.”“What?” I didn't know what to say. Honestly, I wasn't really even listening to him. I was too busy watching his lips move and imagining them pressed against mine.“But, I will tell you another secret,” Wilson said as he bent closer to me and brushed his lips against my ear. “I don’t care what they say, I’m going to kiss you.”My heart beat into my throat. I was about to get my first kiss, and my first kiss was going to be from Wilson Butler, the country boy with all the money in the world. I tried to slow my breathing so I wouldn’t drown him in my beer breath.“Don’t you think you should ask the lady if you can attempt such a bold feat?” I asked.With his lips still pressed against my ear, he breathed my name. It was soft and sweet, and it made me melt against the tree.Breathlessly, I opened my mouth to answer, and when I did, he captured my lips. He cupped the back of my head and nibbled my lower lip. He flicked his tongue against my lips as his arms wound around my body. I suddenly found that it wasn't that hard to let go of all my unease. I wound a hand into the hair touching the back of his neck and pulled him closer.Wilson made a small hum of approval as my mouth moved against his in a kiss so slow and thorough my body loosened and melted against him. When he stepped back away from me, I suddenly felt shy and I could feel my face heating again.“You’re beautiful when you blush,” Wilson said as his hand fell from my hip to my hand. He pulled me back toward the fire, our fingers interlaced. As I stumbled after him, it was like I forgot how to walk.When we got back to where we had been standing, he lifted my hand to his lips and gently kissed my knuckles. “I’m just going to get another beer.” I nodded dumbly and watched as he walked off.Holy shit. I really just had my first kiss. Finally. I wanted to jump for joy and clap my hands, but instead I kept my feet firmly rooted in the dirt.“Red, where the hell have you been?” Gavin asked as he stepped up beside me. “I’ve been looking all over for you.”“I’ve been right here.” I stood up straighter. His eyes were still boring into me when Wilson returned.“My lady,” he said gallantly as he handed me a fresh beer. I eyed him and grinned. I swallowed the last of my can and rose the one he brought me to my lips. “Why, thank you, sir.”My eyes flicked over to Gavin. He was watching us with a look of astonishment. Wilson never even glanced at him, and I guessed that’s what was making Gavin’s teeth clench. I was enjoying the attention and I beamed under Wilson’s gaze.“So, when would you like me to help you work on your swing?”“She doesn’t need any help on her swing,” Gavin ground out between clenched teeth. Wilson looked over at him as if noticing him for the first time.“Oh, hey Gavin.”Gavin grunted.“Let me know, I'm pretty open.” I said instead. Wilson smiled and bowed.“Red, if anyone is going to work on your swing, it will be me. Or Bren.” Gavin swung a heavy arm around my shoulder and pulled me closer to him. I was annoyed but went with it.“I’ve got a full ride to State. Don’t you think she should learn from someone that’s going somewhere?”I felt Gavin stiffen against me. I looked down at the hand hanging off my shoulder. He wasn't clenching it, but it held a tight fury, like he was trying very hard not to move it.
This was bad. Very bad. I had to get him away from Wilson and find out why he was so upset. But first, I had to get him away from Wilson. If Gavin snapped and hit Wilson, there’s no telling what kind of trouble he would be in.“Red!” It was Tommy again. I turned around to see him quickly approaching me and he looked worried.“What’s wrong?” I asked. I hadn’t seen Brenden in awhile and I was hoping that he wasn't coming to tell me that my brother had done something stupid.“Come here,” he said motioning me closer as he continued to close the distance between us. “I need you to settle something for me.”“In a minute,” I said as I turned back to Wilson and Gavin. Their eyes were locked on each other, and neither of them moved, but it felt like they were having some secret conversation in a language I didn’t know how to speak.Tommy stepped up beside me and grabbed my hand. I resisted at first, wanting to make sure that it didn't come to blows between these two. Gavin’s arm fell from my shoulders as Tommy began to lead me away.“What the fuck, Tommy?”He didn’t stop walking until I was far enough away that I couldn't hear anything that Wilson and Gavin had to say to each other. I looked back. Gavin looked tense, and Wilson looked pleased.“There’s no need to get in between those two.”“What does that mean?”“It means,” he sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “It means that Gavin and Wilson don’t really like each other. I would say that they hate each other. So just, try and stay away from Wilson, okay?”“That’s not an answer.”Tommy shrugged and moved away from me. I was about to shout after him when I felt a shove from behind. I spun in the dirt and smacked into Gavin.“Move it.” He grunted as he pushed me deeper into the woods.“Doesn’t anyone have manners? Ask me nicely,” I grumbled. I walked until I couldn’t feel the pressure of his hand forcing me deeper into the woods. “If I get eaten by a bear all the way out here, it will be your fault.”“Why were you talking to Wilson?”“Really? That’s how you want to start? Maybe you should start with, ‘hey Red, how are you? Are you having a nice time?"“Don’t push me, Red.” I shoved him in the chest. “Why were you talking to him?”“Because I can talk to whoever the hell I want to talk to.”“Well, you can’t talk to him.”“Why not?”“He’s a fucking scumbag.”“Seemed perfectly normal to me. Polite even. He may even be the only person that hasn't shoved me somewhere tonight.”“He’s not normal, okay? He's manipulative and he's an asshole. Do not talk to him.”“Let’s get one thing straight here. You don’t get to boss me around and tell me who I can or can’t talk to. I don't belong to you. I can take care of myself.” I shoved my finger in his chest, jabbing at the hard planes of muscle over his ribs.“You just can’t, okay?”“No, not okay.”“I said no, damn it.”“Well, I don't give a damn what you say. Besides, he likes me. We even kissed.” I raised my chin a notch, happy to see my words had shut him up.His eyes widened. “What?” He roared at me. “He can’t be your first kiss.”“Well, technically, he wasn't but I’m not splitting hairs.” Gavin was my first kiss, but we were just kids.Gavin grabbed my arm.“Let go of me, crazy.”“What do you mean you kissed?”“What do you think I mean?” Was he for real? What kind of question is that, and what the hell did he expect me to say?“Why would you let him kiss you?”“Because I want to be kissed, you moron. I am still a girl, you know. Despite the fact that I associate with brutes does not negate the fact that I have a vagina. I am a girl and girls liked to be kissed!” Gavin took another step closer, and I stood completely still as he cupped either side of my face with cold hands. “What are you doing?”“Giving you what you wanted. Isn't this what you want, Red? To be kissed?”His voice was low and smooth. Wait, is Gavin really going to kiss me? I felt my body shiver and I wasn't sure if it was from anticipation or the breeze that was rustling the leaves."Are you cold?" he asked, his hands still gently cradling my face.I nodded.Slowly, as if still deciding if he was going to kiss me, he stepped closer. The heat from his body sent shivers down my spine, instantly warming me. I licked my lips as I waited for his lips to descend upon mine. It seemed like forever until the silky texture of his lips met mine, our lips just touching lightly at first. As he increased the pressure, I began to feel my knees weaken.Gavin snaked a hand around my back and pulled me closer to his body. I felt his warmth envelope me as his lips continued to attack me in a way I never knew possible. I gasped at the feeling of him being so close to me, and he took the opportunity to explore my mouth with his tongue. With increasing fervor, he began to deepen the kiss, and I was afraid I would explode from the butterflies wreaking havoc in my belly.Gavin backed me into a tree and pressed his body into mine. I wasn't sure what was happening, but I knew I didn't want it to stop. I'd never been kissed like this before, and I wasn't even sure it was possible. I looped both arms around his neck as I tried to pull him closer to me, and he did the same as he slid one hand into my hair and the other on the side of my face as he continued controlling the kiss.I could feel something pressing into my belly as he continued to push himself harder into me. I moaned into his mouth. As if scalded, he pushed back away from me, leaving me leaning up against the tree for support; I still didn't think my legs would be able to support me.He stumbled backward a few paces looking at me like he couldn't comprehend what just happened. Gavin shook his head, as he looked at me wide-eyed.“Stay away from Wilson,” he said before he turned and marched back toward the fire.
It took me a minute to remember how to use my legs. I ran a hand through my hair as I started to walk back to the fire. I tried not to let the tears that were threatening to spill from my eyes fall. I was hurt and confused, and more than a little turned on by Gavin’s lips.So, he was mad at Wilson for kissing me, and then he went and did the same thing. He didn't want me to talk to Wilson, but he wouldn't tell me why. And he kissed me. That’s not something I can just gloss over. My best friend kissed me. He fucking kissed me. Gavin pressed his lips to mine in the most intimate best friend handshake ever.When I found him, I was going to throttle him. I would punch him right in the stomach and then tell him to do it again. I licked my lips, trying to taste him on my tongue again.I burst into the clearing looking around for Gavin, but I couldn't find him. I asked around, and I even asked Bren where he was, but no one had seen him. He just disappeared.