Reed's Reckoning(5)

By: Ahren Sanders

“He and Sophie are my best friends. Luke loves football.”

Great, competing with the best friend never ends well. I may not have experience with girlfriends, but I know I don’t want mine to be closer to another guy than me.

“What are you thinking? Why are you so quiet?” she asks.

“Trying to comprehend how I feel about you bringing a date to my first game.”

“Oh, Reed, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Luke is like my brother. We’re really close. There is nothing there. You’ll meet him and understand.” She tries to reassure me.

Her pouty lips tempt me and I reach up to run my fingertips over them. Her breath catches and her eyes find mine. We stare at each other a few minutes not moving but the current between us buzzes. It hits me right there in the moment—I want Ari to be mine.

A dog barking in the distance causes us both to turn, breaking the moment, but desire still fills the air. I take our plates and move them away, then pull her between my legs with her back to my chest. She braces but then relaxes into me.

“Ari, I don’t share. Granted, I’ve only ever casually dated so I’m not sure exactly what to do here, but I need to make my intentions clear. I don’t want casual with you. I want it all.”

“How can you say that? We’ve only been on two dates. We don’t even know each other that well.”

“I can say that because I go after what I want, and that’s you. We’ll take things slow, get to know each other. But we’ll do it knowing you are mine.”

Her chest shakes with laughter and I lean to the side to see her face. Tears are starting to form which surprises me because I don’t see what’s so funny.

“Mine? Did you just refer to me as a possession?”

Her laughter is contagious so I chuckle at my caveman behavior. “Yeah, I guess I did. My possession. And I promise to take care of what’s mine.” I kiss her forehead softly and she stops laughing.

“I didn’t think men like you existed outside of books. Hot, alpha personalities with super jealousy issues.”

Nothing she said bothers me. “Did you just call me hot?”

“I guess I did, huh?”

“I like that. So how about the getting to know you portion of the evening? You start.”

She leans back into me and tells me all about her family and friends. When I learn about her parents’ death and the role her grandmother plays in her life, my heart fills with sadness. She lost her parents about the same age as I lost my dad.

She keeps talking and I get a better idea of her relationship with Luke. I may be a jealous fucker, but I had better find a way to get over it. He’s a part of her life not going away. We laugh at stories of her friend Sophie, who sounds much more outgoing and rebellious than Ari.

When it’s my turn, I tell her about my family and my love of football. Then I tell her about my best friend Jack and a few of my teammates. We talk for hours and it feels so right and comfortable. I don’t look at my watch until Ari yawns and I realize it’s after midnight.

We pack up the picnic and walk back to the car hand in hand. The whole way to her place, my mind tries to think of what to say when I leave her tonight. I already explained the football lockdown so she knows where I’ll be tomorrow night.

Before I let her go, an idea hits. I reach around the backseat until I feel what I am looking for. I walk around to open her door then follow her to the building. When she turns to me, she’s nervous, which turns me the hell on. I feel my pants getting tighter.

Without warning, I cup her chin and lower my mouth to hers. She wraps her hands around my neck and invites me in for more. When my tongue pushes through her lips and I taste her for the first time, I know I’ll never be the same. She matches my rhythm, and I try to go slow but can’t get enough of her. She groans when I tilt her head to the side to go deeper. The sound fills my body with warmth and I want to hear it again. She starts to pull away and I grin when I see her pouty lips even more swollen.

“Fucking amazing. I’ve wanted to do that since the first time I saw you.” I whisper. “Now there’s no fucking denying. You. Are. Mine.”

She giggles and steps back. “This was a wonderful night, Reed, thank you.”

“Here,” I hand her the shirt in my hand. “You may have to wash it, but I want you to wear it to the game.”

She shakes it out and sees it’s a jersey with my name and number. Her face lights up and she nods. I bend and kiss her quickly again then walk back to my car.

“Ari, I’ll call you in a while. To make sure you get to bed okay.” Her expression is priceless and she rolls her eyes at me. I see her wave when I pull out and then go inside.

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