“This is so good, Stanton. Did you make it?”
“Nah, I don’t cook. And neither does Jake usually, but his momma’s macaroni and cheese is the one meal he committed to memory. He can’t go a week without it. It keeps well in the freezer, which is convenient.”
We’re quiet for a few minutes, focused on the food. Then Sofia muses, “Today was a good day.”
I watch her hair fall over the bronze skin of her collarbone, the soft, languid glow in those hazel eyes. And it’s nice—just being here. With her.
After our plates are empty, I venture, “Can I ask you a question?”
I push the blanket off her shoulder, revealing the stunning swell of her right breast, heavy in its natural fullness. Her breath catches as I trace my finger down the side, to her rib cage, over the jagged eight-inch scar that mars otherwise flawless skin.
“How’d this happen?”
When I first noticed, it didn’t feel right to ask—not my place. Our early encounters consisted of getting each other’s clothes off as quickly as possible, staying hard as long as possible, and coming as many times as possible—without risking dehydration or unconsciousness. Didn’t leave a whole lot of time for talking.
But now . . . lately . . . I’ve found myself wanting to know more than how Sofia likes to be sucked or fucked. And more than the rudimentary stuff Brent or Jake would know.
I want her fantasies . . . a few of her secrets.
There’s no painful clouding of her features, no flinching at the mention, and for that I’m eternally grateful.
“Plane crash,” she says matter-of-factly.
“You’re shittin’ me.”
“I’m most certainly not shitting you,” she mimics with a smile. “When I was eight, we were coming back from visiting family in Rio, and the landing gear malfunctioned. We had to land belly first—hard.” Her voice takes on an airy quality—remembering. “It was loud, that’s what I remember most. The crunch of metal on metal, like a car accident . . . times a thousand. The armrest of my seat sliced through the skin—broke two ribs—but didn’t damage anything major. We were lucky, as far as plane crashes go. No fatalities; everyone recovered.”
“Damn,” I mutter, not sure what I was expecting—but it sure wasn’t that.
She gives me a small smile. “My second oldest brother, Lucas—he’s the philosopher in the family—he thinks it was a sign. A reminder that life is short. Precious. And that there must be great things for us to accomplish, because we all could’ve died, but we were spared. For a reason.”
I cover the mark with my hand, thinking of the pain she must have endured, wanting to somehow absorb it. But at the same time, it’s a part of her—made Sofia into the woman she is today. And there’s not a thing I would change, ’cause she’s fucking incredible.
My hand slides upward, cupping the warm softness of her breast, feeling the vibration of her heartbeat beneath. The sound of her breath—full and high pitched—spurs me on. Her pulse throbs quickly as I lean in.
She whispers my name, and I don’t think it’s ever sounded quite so damn sweet.
Before I can press my lips to the hollow of her throat, the rattle of keys in the door jars us both. We straighten up, like two teenagers in the beam of a policeman’s flashlight, and dash back to my bedroom. I close the door, both of us chuckling.
With a yawn, I flop down onto the bed, pulling the remaining comforter over me. Sofia watches me for a moment, then drops her own blanket and reaches for her clothes.
“I should get going.”
This is how it works. We screw, we dress, we leave: have a good night, see you at the office.
I glance at the clock showing 3 a.m. “It’s late,” I point out with another yawn. And the steady patter against the window pane registers. “And it’s rainin’. Why don’t you just stay?”
We don’t have set rules—nothing we’ve ever agreed to out loud anyway. We’ve just gone with it, done whatever works, whatever feels good. If we have rules, unspoken ones, there’s a fair chance sleepovers break them.
But I just can’t make myself give a shit.
I rub my face against the cushiony pillow and crack open one eye. Sofia stands there—beautifully bare—holding her bra in her hand. Looking at me.
I throw back the covers, revealing the empty space in front of me. “It’s cold out there, warm in here. Don’t overthink, Soph.”