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Sugar Plum Isabella Starling, Jenika Snow 2022/8/5 16:59:02

I should have looked away, shouldn’t have thought about how she’d look pressed against the mantle with her plaid skirt pulled up and over her hips, her legs spread, and her gaze trained on mine as she looked over her shoulder and begged me with her expression to fuck her.

I shouldn’t have thought about any of that given the fact that she was barely twenty, I was twice her age, and her father was my best friend since we were kids.

And it wasn’t until her eighteenth birthday, when I joined the family for celebrating, that I realized how she turned into a beautiful, intelligent woman. It was then I saw her as a woman, a luscious, curvy female who I want to be with. I’d do anything to make her mine, to make that a reality.

I could hear Aston talking, but my focus was on Holly, on the way she was laughing with one of her friends as they decorated the Christmas tree. If it weren’t for Holly, Aston’s house would never have any holiday cheer. Ever since Barbara, his wife, passed away three years prior, Holly made it her life’s mission to make things as festive as they used to be.

I think I fell in love with her a little bit more each time I thought about that.

That’s what I felt for her, this once innocent and genuine, pure emotion that had turned into something more. I felt possessive of her, territorial. The very idea that another man would know what she felt like, how her hair smelled fanned out across a pillow, how she sounded in the throes of passion, made me enraged, jealous as if I wasn’t a grown man but some high school boy longing after his crush.

But this wasn’t a crush. This was real, and the only reason I hadn’t gone after her, told her I wanted her as mine, that I couldn’t walk away, was because of the man sitting right in front of me.

I brought myself back to the present and focused on Aston. He sat in his recliner, his feet bare despite the frigid temperatures outside. He wore a pair of jeans and a white long-sleeved shirt, the mug he held old and faded, the corner chipped. It said #1 Dad on it, and I felt this twinge of guilt, this knowledge that if he only knew what I was thinking about concerning his daughter, he’d probably kick my ass to next Sunday.

But it wasn’t as if I wanted to corrupt Holly. I wanted to protect her, cherish her. I wanted to make her feel nothing but happiness, pleasure. I wanted her as my wife, the mother of my children. And it had been that desire that grew instantly, so fast, that it took my breath away.

I knew there was no going back. There was no other woman for me. And I hadn’t been with anybody since I realized what she meant to me, when I looked at her on her eighteenth birthday, listened to her laugh, listened to her go on with passion about astrophysics.

It was during all of that I realized I wanted her.

“You’re somewhere else tonight, Bastian.”

I cleared my throat and shifted on the couch, hoping like hell I didn’t have a guilty expression on my face. I sure as hell felt like I did. I could still hear Holly in the other room, see her movements in my peripheral vision. And trying to keep my arousal down, trying to hide the fact that I was semi-hard, made me feel like a fucking bastard.

“I have a lot of things on my mind. Work, life stuff.” It wasn’t a lie; I was just evading the truth.

He didn’t say anything for a moment and just stared at me, and I swore he had this knowing expression on his face. But he kept his thoughts to himself, instead bringing his coffee mug to his mouth and taking a long sip, watching me over the rim. When he set the mug down on the coffee table, he cleared his throat once, staring at me again.

“It’s crazy how much she enjoys doing that holiday stuff, isn’t it?” He turned his head and looked into the living room where Holly was still decorating. I made a deep sound of acknowledgment and forced myself not to look in her direction, even though I sure as fuck wanted to.

“She makes the house look really nice,” I found myself saying and snapped my mouth shut, clenching my jaw. It wasn’t as if I’d never said anything nice about Holly. In fact, I was proud of her. She was so damn smart, excelling in all her classes, so much so that she actually could graduate college early if she wanted to. I knew she was going for her master’s, would probably go for her doctorate as well. She was a fucking genius.