The Choice(2)

By: Shayla Black

“It was just a passing thought.”

“Bullshit. You came to my apartment, speech rehearsed, but you couldn’t bring yourself to look me in the eye while asking me to sleep with you. You blushed like a fire engine the minute I mentioned Beck and Seth. So quit stalling and talk.”

The truth was too complicated. “Nothing to say except I overstepped the bounds of our friendship and I’m sorry. I really have to go.”

Her humiliation would fade sometime in the next century, right?

When Heavenly wriggled from his grip, River stood and blocked her path to the door, blue eyes pinpoints of confrontation. “Sit your ass down. You’ve BSed me, lied to me, dodged me, and tried to placate me. Let’s try the truth. Why do you want sex, but not from Beck or Seth?”

She sighed. “You know if I chose one over the other, it might incite nuclear war.”

“Valid point,” he conceded. “But if they found out I’d done you, all that toxic fallout would rain down on my head. Not to mention the fact that me defiling Raine’s bestie would piss my little sister off.”

Heavenly winced. She should have thought of that, too. “You’re right.”

“Why not ask Beck and Seth to do you together? I think they’d bury the hatchet, at least temporarily, for that.”

She’d fantasized about them touching her together, especially late at night when she let her fingers roam a forbidden path inside her panties. But to believe that would ever happen was absurd.

“I can’t.” Not after what happened the last time she’d spoken to them.

“Why not? It worked for my sister. She’s really happy with Liam and Hammer.”

“Raine is, and they’re devoted to her. They’ll make great parents. But asking both Beck and Seth for a physical relationship wouldn’t stave off the war.”

“How do you know until you try?”

Heavenly wished she’d never started this conversation. Since River obviously wasn’t going to give her a quick tumble, she wanted out. Unfortunately, he stood like an immovable mountain between her and the door.

“You’re missing the point. I want something without attachment. Beck and Seth have both been trying to tie me down for months.”

A little grin played at River’s lips. “More than you know.”

Heavenly frowned. Obviously, he found that funny for reasons she didn’t grasp. “So you see my problem?”

“Let me get this straight.” He shot her a skeptical glance. “You want to fuck? Just once? And never to do it again?”

When he put it that bluntly, her proposition sounded terrible…but not as bad as the alternative. “Absolutely.”

“No, you don’t. You’ve never fucked a day in your life, sweetheart.”

“Why would you think that? I’ll be twenty-three next week.”

“Uh-huh. And still a virgin, I’ll bet.”

Oh, time to end this conversation. “Why are you getting so personal?”

“Because you asked me to get naked and stick my dick inside you,” River quipped. “I think that’s pretty personal.”

She tried not to wince. “Sorry. It was stupid. I’ll just go.”

“So you’ll forget this crazy idea of hooking up?”

Heavenly said nothing. It was better than lying.

He sighed with frustration. “If you’re going to look for someone else, at least keep me posted so I can be sure you’re safe.”

“I’ll be fine.” Heavenly was relieved when he stepped away from the door and let her pass. “See you next week at Raine’s.”

River sent her a quelling glare. “Yeah. I’ll definitely see you then.”

Saturday, March 30

Heavenly dodged River’s phone calls and texts for a week, even telling Raine that everything was fine when she’d asked on her brother’s behalf. But she couldn’t avoid him tonight unless she bowed out of the birthday bash Raine was throwing for her. Not only would that raise questions, but it wouldn’t stop River from demanding answers. Problem was, Heavenly still didn’t know what to say. Over the past week, the inevitable had become imminent, so unless he changed his mind, her only choices were to brace for the unthinkable or burn bridges.