At one point, I rubbed my tongue gently around the cut on his lip as he closed his eyes. Then, he took over and started to kiss me harder, more demanding. I pushed my body into his and felt his erection press against me. I didn’t care about any of the consequences in that moment. I just knew I never wanted this to stop and shocked myself with what came out of my mouth next.
“I want you to show me how you fuck, Elec.”
He pulled away from me suddenly, looking stunned. “What did you just say?”
It was the most humiliating moment of my life.
His eyes widened, almost like he’d woken up from a dream. “Fuck. No…no. You need to understand something, Greta. That is never gonna happen.”
Okay, that was actually the most humiliating moment of my life.
“Why would you say that after everything you just told me?”
God, I felt so stupid.
He rested his head again on the headboard, looking almost tortured. “It was important to me that you know how much I want you and how beautiful I think you are—inside and out—because I feel like I’ve beaten down your self-esteem even though it wasn’t my intention. I meant everything I just said, but the kiss should not have happened. I shouldn’t even be in this fucking bed, but it just felt so good to lie here with you for a while.”
“How am I different from any of those other girls you give yourself to?”
He ran both hands through his hair, messing it up then looked at me with darkened eyes. “Actually, there’s a big difference. You’re the only girl in the entire world that’s forbidden, and fuck me if that doesn’t make me want you more than anything.”
Nearly a month passed since that encounter in my bedroom.
Elec had left my bed that night shortly after he’d repeated that I was strictly off limits and that nothing could ever happen between us. It didn’t make sense to me that he could feel so strongly about it, considering we weren’t actually related. So, I felt that there had to be more to the story.
The worst part about what happened in my room was that Elec started to distance himself. There were no more rude texts, no more invites to play video games. When we were home at the same time, he stayed in his room, and I stayed in mine. He’d also been spending more time at the bike shop or out of the house.
I never thought I’d miss his insults and crude talk, but I would have given anything for things to at least go back to the way they were before I kissed him—and told him I wanted to fuck him.
I cringed whenever I thought about it. But in that moment, I was drunk off him and wanted to know what that felt like more than I’d ever wanted anything. I was ready.
Elec and I had both turned 18 in the weeks since that night. Our birthdays were just five days apart. So, I definitely felt old enough to take that step with someone. It wasn’t as if I were intentionally saving myself for marriage or anything. I was a virgin simply because I’d never wanted it with anyone before…until Elec. He’d spent the past few weeks making it crystal clear that it was never going to happen between us.
But I missed him.
Then, one night after dinner, the tides changed, and I got a little piece of him back. Normally, Elec never ate at home, but this particular Wednesday night, for some reason, he decided to join us. Ever since the night I saw how badly Randy treated him, I’d all but avoided my stepfather, except for sitting down with him at dinner. My mother and I were not really on the best terms either because she continued to insist that it wasn’t her place to get involved in Randy’s issues with Elec.
Elec wasn’t making eye contact with me at the table. He’d just look down and twirl the pasta around his fork. At one point, I’d stared out the window to gaze at the neighbor’s laundry lined up and drying in the breeze. I could feel his eyes on me. It was as if he were waiting for me to turn away so that he could look at me when he thought I didn’t notice. Sure enough, when I turned toward him, his head moved downward again, and he was back to playing with his vermicelli.
Randy was in rare form that night, complaining that the plain dinner of pasta and red sauce did nothing to curb his appetite. He abruptly got up and walked over to the snack closet.
“Greta, what the hell are you doing stuffing all these underpants inside a can of Pringles?” he yelled.
My mouth hung open, and I looked over at Elec. We stared at each other for a good few seconds before Elec snorted and lost it. We both simultaneously burst into laughter. Neither of us could stop.
I loved the sound of his genuine laugh.
Looking over at Randy’s confused face made me crack up even harder.
When the laughter dissipated, Elec was still smiling at me and said low enough just for the two of us to hear, “I told you they weren’t in my room.”
Randy slammed the can on the table in front of me. I opened it and checked the inventory. “These aren’t all of them.”
Elec winked. “I kept a couple for me,” he said seductively.
I rolled my eyes and threw one at his face. He promptly put it on his head and wore it like a beanie. Only my stepbrother would look smoking hot with a pair of underwear on his head. He continued looking at me with the wicked grin I’d longed for. It felt good to have his attention again, albeit briefly.
That night, I was just getting into my pajamas when my phone buzzed.
Can you come in here for a minute?
My heart raced as I walked down the hall. When he opened the door, he looked so incredibly sexy.
His breath smelled like mint toothpaste. “Hey,” he said, flashing his beautiful white teeth, which contrasted perfectly with his tanned skin and black hair.
“Hi,” I stepped inside the room and took a deep breath, noticing that the clove cigarette smell was almost completely gone.
He was wearing a black hoodie with the sleeves rolled up. It was left open over his bare chest, and his hair was still drenched from the shower. I stared at his lips where the cut had long healed. The metal of his lip ring glistened, and I hadn’t ever yearned for anything more than to lick it, to feel his mouth and tongue against mine again.
Change the subject.
“Why does it smell so fresh and clean in here?”
He lay back on the bed with his hands resting behind his head. I couldn’t help staring at the V just below his abs and wished I could lie on top of him against his skin.
“Are you saying my room normally smells like shit?”
“Did you quit smoking?”
“Yeah…this weird girl who walks around commando once told me it was bad for me. So…I thought about that and finally listened.”
“I’m really proud of you.”
He sat up straight and looked at me. “Well, the truth is, you were right. That shit will kill me someday. A lot of aspects of my life may suck, but there are other things that make it worth living.”
Something in the air seemed to shift when he said it, and an awkward silence ensued.
I cleared my throat. “Why did you need me to come in here?”
He walked over to his closet to get something. Then, I realized it was his book. He handed me the binder. “I wanted to give you this. I want you to read it.”
“I don’t let anyone read my shit, Greta. This is a big step for me. Whatever you do, don’t show Randy. I don’t want him anywhere near it.”
“Okay. I promise. Thank you for trusting me with it.”
“Be honest, too. I can take it.”
“I will. I’ll take my time with it.”
I’d gone straight to my room that night and started reading. Minutes turned into hours. I’d told him I’d take my time with it, but the truth was, I couldn’t put it down and ended up staying up the entire night to finish it.
Even though the story was told in the third person, and the boy named Liam was supposedly only loosely based on Elec, it felt like I was getting a window into his mind and soul through Liam’s character.
There were too many similarities that I knew were derived from his life, particularly the fact that Liam’s father was verbally abusive. The beginning of the story before Lucky came into the picture was quite sad. At the same time, it would make me cry in one part and literally laugh in the next. There were actually lots of funny parts separate from the main plot.
In one scene, Liam had a crush on the girl across the street, so he asked Lucky to go her house. His hope was that the girl would think Lucky was lost and that the dog would lead her back to Liam’s house. Instead, Lucky, who was a big dog, ended up humping the girl’s Pomeranian puppy out front. Liam watched from the window as she took her puppy inside and slammed the door. Lucky proceeded to take a dump on her lawn before running back home to Liam empty-handed.
But the main plot surrounded Liam’s ability to sense evil via his hypersensitive hearing. The information he received was not always clear, often jumbled unless Lucky was present. At one point, Liam took information surrounding the murder of a local girl to the police. It turned out that a corrupt police officer was behind the crime. He had Lucky kidnapped so that Liam wouldn’t be able to help authorities finish solving the murder. Lucky ended up escaping, and the reunion scene between Liam and the dog was so touching that it had me bawling.