Monster PrickBy: Kendall Ryan
Over my dead body.
That's what I told Gracie when she informed me of her plan to pick some random guy she met online to get rid of her pesky virginity.
If anyone is touching her, it's going to be me.
I shouldn't even be considering it, but I can't get it out of my head: her, under me, begging me.
Arrogant. Cocky. Prick.
Those are the words I’d use to describe my older brother’s dangerously handsome best friend.
When he learned of my plan to kick off my white cotton briefs, ditching my good-girl persona once and for all by losing my virginity to the first eligible bachelor I could find, he flipped out. Said over his dead body.
He says if anyone’s going to do it, it’s going to be him.
I hate that I’m even considering his offer.
But I am … I sooo am.
Ever since he suggested it, all I can think about is his cocky smile on those full lips as he’s driving into me.
But if we cross that line … will I ever be able to go back?
Gracie stomps out, heels clacking and chestnut hair swishing. Her face is cute even when it's set in a stubborn scowl. But I suspect she wouldn't appreciate that comment right now.
Maybe I should have stepped in. What could I say, though? As she argued with Hayden, it was all I could do to keep my cool. Just the idea of some random Craigslist schlub pawing at her...she hasn't even picked a guy yet, and I already want to punch him.
I shouldn't let my hormones take control like this. I thought I buried my feelings for Gracie a long time ago. We've known each other since we were both kids. When I became a man—and I realized she was becoming a woman—I did my best to shut things down. The only crime worse than messing with your best friend's lover is messing with his sister.
But I guess I haven't moved on as well as I thought. My blood is still boiling at the thought of Gracie in another man's arms. Even if he isn't the least bit dangerous, even if he treats her like the princess she is...fuck no. Unacceptable.
I try to convince myself that I'm just protecting her. Just being a good big brother, like Hayden. He's flipping out about this too, right? I can be worried without it getting weird.
Deep down, though, I know I'm not worried. I'm pissed. A deep, primal kind of pissed. Territorial and jealous. I want to fight off every challenger...and bury myself in her until she screams that she's mine.
Shit, what am I going to do? I glance over at Hayden. He still looks thrown off, angry and skeeved out and a little lost. I can't really blame him. His precious baby sister is all grown up—God, is she ever—and she's just thrown that fact in his face. Nobody wants to think about their siblings rolling in the hay.
“Let me chase after her,” I say. Now that I've had a chance to gather my thoughts, I want to talk to Gracie. And no woman, let alone one as pretty and tiny as Gracie, should walk alone in downtown LA after sunset. “I'll make sure she gets home safe.”
Hayden claps me on the shoulder. “Thanks, man. I'm sure she'll calm down eventually...but she probably doesn't want to see me right now.”
“You just want me to save you from getting bitched out on the phone tomorrow.”
He snorts a little chuckle. “What can I say? She's always liked you better.”
Leaving my half-full beer on the counter, I dart out after Gracie.
Through the wandering crowd, all laughing and chatting and enjoying the autumn crispness, I spot Gracie a little ways up the street from the bar. There's only so fast she can hustle in those heels. Her hips pop from side to side as she speed-walks; my eyes fall to the cute, round ass encased in her tight work slacks. Fuck me running. Earlier, when I'd walked in to see her sitting at the bar with Hayden, I was taken aback by how professional she looked...and how sexy “professional” was on her. I guess anything can be a turn-on when Gracie wears it.
“Gracie, wait,” I call out.
She turns her face away from the night sky and back to me. “What,” she replies flatly. But she stops, waiting for me to catch up with her, and I take that as a good sign.
“Sorry. I kind of...just sat there like a numb-nuts,” I say. “Can we start over?”
“Not if you're trying to change my mind.” Her full lips are still in a resolute pout. “I'm doing this. You and Hayden can't stop me.”
I hold up a hand to show my defeat. “Okay, okay. I won't argue with you. But I am walking you home...it's getting dark.”
She cocks her head, either judging the sincerity in my face or noticing the streetlights blinking on. Finally she nods. “Okay. I'll let you.”
Does she know that my reasons for acting chivalrous aren't totally innocent? She elbows me as she walks by, a playful shove, and I resist the urge to tickle her like I did when she was ten. There's no way that putting my hands on her can end well.
As we walk to her apartment, we slowly start talking again, the bar blowup forgotten—or at least set aside. I ask her more about her new job. She jokes that I'll be investing in one of her designs someday; I tease back that I don't buy dingbats, and she sticks her tongue out at me. We reach her yellow adobe building all too soon.
Evidently she thinks so, too. Instead of going inside, she lingers on the stoop, fiddling with her keys almost shyly. “You want to come up for a little bit?”