Switch

By: Megan Hart



"So what are you up to now?" Austin asked me as Kira and Ethan eyed each other.

"I work for Kelly Printing." The last time we spoke I'd still been finishing the degree I'd started when we were together and taking care of some rich couple's kids. I didn't ask him what he was doing, not for work and not here in Harrisburg. I didn't want him to think I cared.

"What about your mom?" Austin moved closer, his arm on the bar. "She still working for Hershey? I haven't been to the shop for a while."

My mom owns a tiny sandwich shop she inherited from her dad when I was in high school. I'd worked in that shop almost my entire life, running errands as a kid then graduating to making subs and running the cash register. Now I only helped if she had a big order to fill and deliver, or a party to cater.

"She still has it. She was working for Hershey but got laid off."

Austin nodded. "I'm working for McClaron and Sons."

I had no idea who or what McClaron and Sons was, but the fact he was working for someone other than his dad surprised me into a reply. "What about your dad?"

Austin shrugged, then grimaced, and only because I'd once known him so well it had been like knowing myself did I catch his hesitation. "It was time I got out of that job."

"But you're doing the same thing, right? Construction?" Kira popped into the conversation and drew both our attentions.

"Yeah, and some other stuff," Austin said, but didn't elaborate.

Interesting. Austin had worked for his dad's business the way I'd worked for my mom's—summers and after school since he'd been old enough to carry a hammer. It had always been the assumption that he'd take over the business when his dad retired, and become a full partner some time before that. I'd figured he already was.

"What about you?" Kira sipped her drink, eyes on Ethan. For someone with a boyfriend, she certainly seemed interested in him, but then Kira was just one of those girls.

You know. The slutty ones.

"I'm a mechanic," he said. "For Hershey."

"Oh, that's a good job!" Kira sidled in between Austin and Ethan.

"It is a good job," Ethan agreed and drank from his cup while his eyes wandered everywhere on Kira's body but her face.

It was so easy, really. They wanted to seduce us. We wanted to be seduced, for a few hours anyway. I knew what we looked like to them. Two girls in slinky outfits, sucking back drink after drink and letting the crowd push us closer and closer. There's no such thing as social distance in bars. The music makes conversation impossible unless you lean across to shout in someone's ear. The crush of people means you have to fight for your own small space, and sharing it doesn't seem so bad after a drink or four.

When Austin's hand ended up on my ass, I didn't even blink. It felt good there. Heavy, warm. He had strong fingers to go along with those biceps. He smelled good. Drakkar Noir. Despite myself and everything that had happened with us before, I'd missed him.

Austin said into my ear, "Wanna dance?"

Our bodies had always worked just right together, whether we were dancing or fucking. I was ready for both. Leaving Ethan and Kira, he took my hand and pulled me up the stairs to the third floor, where the songs ran into one another without stopping and all sounded the same. We found a spot in the middle and started dancing.

The booze had made me soft and melty, but the music wasn't. I wanted to slow dance. Austin wanted to grind. We compromised with a little hip action that brought us groin to groin, but when he tried to flip me around and get up on me in the back end, I pushed away with a smile.

"You don't answer my messages," Austin said.

It was easy to pretend I didn't hear him with the music so loud. I smiled and shook my head. He took me by the arm, up high in the soft part that bruises easily. His fingers closed all the way around it.

He moved in to brush his lips against my ear. "I've really missed you."

I inched away from him, but Austin grabbed my wrist just as a bazillion watts of supernova bright light lit the entire dance floor. Austin still looked good. I must not have looked like Frankenstein, because he reached to brush my hair from my forehead. He smiled again as the lights went down and the beat of the music started its rapid thump-thumping, the same as my heart.


It was different when he kissed me. I felt different. His mouth opened and I let him inside me. His tongue stroked mine as his hand came up to curl in my hair. He didn't pull it, though my body tensed in anticipation.

Austin nuzzled at my earlobe. "You still taste the same."

Fortunately, I remembered the reasons I'd broken off our relationship. Unfortunately, I still remembered all the reasons we'd ever hooked up. When Austin ran a fingertip down my bare arm along the sensitive inside flesh to press his fingertip just over the pulse at my wrist, I knew he felt the way my heart sped up at his touch. Time hadn't changed that. Maybe it never would.

Maybe that was okay.

"Come home with me," Austin said.

"It's too far." Forty minutes I'd have driven in a heartbeat back in the day, just to get in his pants. It wasn't too far. Just too long.

"Paige," Austin said with a grin like a shark. "I moved to Lemoyne."

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