Lakeside Romance

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Something I really enjoyed writing and debated showing to the world- so why not the blissfully anonymous internet? I'm no writer and don't plan to be, but I would seriously love to hear any opinions you have.

Submitted: June 08, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 08, 2017





Remember, I thought to myself, be spontaneous, be different, try new things.  I knew if I wanted to experience exciting moments, or the adventures I’d always seen in movies, I would have to put myself out there.  I needed to take a risk, a leap of faith.

I was seated inside our rental house on Crystal Lake in Wisconsin.  All the parents had gone to the other house for “fun time,” meaning they were all going to get wasted and rely on their wonderful nephew (Matt) and niece (me) to take them home.  Around me were my cousins, squeezed in every possible seat in order to gain a good view of Shark Week on the television.  I was extremely aware of a certain body that was pressed against my right side, but I refused to let myself acknowledge the feelings it brought up.  Instead, I averted my gaze from him and leaned around the little cousin that was sitting on my lap for a better look at the screen. 

After a gory ending to a not-so-child-friendly tale (or should I say tail- shark joke), it was time for the younger kids to go to sleep, so while John and Suze went up to our room with droopy eyes, Matt and I piled everyone else into two cars so we could drive them to the other house, where everyone else slept.  I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep my eyes open long enough to get there- that is until Jason hopped into the front passenger seat.  God dammit, what was it about the night that made him so much more attractive?  All of a sudden I felt like I’d just chugged three red bulls, and my eyes shot wide open.  Following Matt, I maneuvered my way carefully through the insanely rugged and bumpy dirt road, now suddenly glad I had all this extra energy.  But I had trouble focusing on driving, what with the lights of the car casting perfect shadows across his sharp features.  I tried my best not to look at him, but couldn’t help a few glances. 

We finally arrived, and I parked behind Matt, and then began to help the kids out of the car and into the house.  By the time we got there, the adults had settled down, merely whispering and laughing drunkenly, lounging together in the living room.  I thanked God for this, or else we would never have been able to get the kids to sleep.  Once upstairs, the boys had gotten a bit riled up and were running around, refusing to get into their pajamas.  I helped Matt in the effort to calm them down while Jason took the girls and led them to bed. 

After a few minutes, we seemed to have the boy situation mostly handled, so I went to go check on Jason and the girls.  I peeked into the bedroom to find him sitting beside the youngest, telling her a story about a magical, wish-granting fairy to help her sleep.  I sighed, listening to his soothing voice.  He was so good with kids.  She started to snore just as he was finishing, and he looked up to see me watching from the doorway.  Caught, I stepped into the room and was thankful for the darkness to hide the blush on my face.  I opened my mouth to say something when I was interrupted by a shriek outside.  We walked out of the room to find the boys piling on top of Matt, and, despite his best efforts, he was going down.  We helped pull them off of him, and tried yet again to settle their endless energy.  One of them, named Simon, jumped on my back and said, “I want to go to bed with Millie!”  Jason dragged him off of me and playfully threw him on the couch, then turned to me and muttered, “I think he has a crush on you.”  I rolled my eyes.  It was obvious he did, but it was also obvious that he was 10 and had no idea what love was.  “I know,” I responded, and he looked at me, surprised.  I wasn’t stupid-of course I knew. 

Once the boys tired themselves out, we tucked them in and turned out the lights.  Matt took his parents home, but mine wanted to stay “a bit longer,” which was drunk-parent for “we’ll be sleeping here tonight.”  Just in case, though, I settled in and started a movie upstairs.  Jason came in a bit later with a bottle of whiskey he’d swiped.  “Want some?” he asked, holding it out to me. 

“No thanks,” I answered. “I still have to drive my parents home, remember?”

“Oh please, you and I both know they aren’t going home tonight.”  But he took the bottle back anyway, taking a swig. He sat down next to me, (and I mean right next to me, surprisingly close considering he had the entire couch to space himself) and watched quietly. 

By the end of the movie, Jason had gotten himself pretty hammered, so I took the bottle away from him. 

“Hey, that’s mine!” he complained.

“Sorry, but you’ve had enough.”  I said, standing up.  “I think I’ll take a walk.”  Drunk Jason was making me uncomfortable, and I wanted some fresh air. 

“I’ll come with you.”  He said, standing up surprisingly steadily and following me outside.  He came up beside me as I walked along the lake.  “You know, I didn’t know you were so keen on other’s actions.”  He slurred.


“Simon’s little crush on you.  I didn’t know you noticed.”

“Of course I did. But it doesn’t mean anything.  He’s just a kid.”

Jason paused.  “So if they’re younger, there’s no chance?”

Instantly his face popped into my mind, as he was a year younger than me.  “Not necessarily.  But he’s 10 years old, Jason.”

“Any other preferences, Ms. High-Maintenance?”

I laughed, but the topic of this conversation was making me uncomfortable.  “Um… well I suppose he would have to be taller than me.” I stammered.

“Done. Next?”

What?  “Er- I guess strong.  You know, athletic.”

“So done.  Anything else?”

How drunk was he?  “Why do you want to know?” I asked, confused.

“Well I thought it was obvious.”  He reached his arm around my waist and grabbed me, pressing me against him.  His head lowered so he was looking into my eyes, which had widened in shock.  He was so close to me, our noses brushed together.  “I can’t believe I was actually jealous of Simon and his thing for you,” he whispered.  He obviously wasn’t thinking clearly, so I opened my mouth to object to this nonsense. But he reached his free hand to brush away some of the stray hairs that had been blown across my face, and the words disappeared, rendering me speechless.  His touch sent electricity all over my body that I had never experienced before.  I felt him continue into my hair until he gently cradled my neck.  Suddenly his lips were on mine. 

Most people claim that first kisses are awkward and uncomfortable, but I must say that mine was nothing like that.  He fit me like a puzzle piece, and I instantly forgot about the world around us.  I wasn’t thinking about who he was, who I was, what this meant.  I was consumed by the feeling of those perfect lips dancing with mine.  I reached my arms up to his shoulders, wrapping them around his neck.  I was the one to pull away for air, what with his swimmer’s lungs. 

“Jason…” I breathed, barely able to speak.  It was astounding, the effect he had on me with just one kiss.  I needed to be careful or I might not be able to resist him.

“Come on, I’m your perfect guy.  I’ve got it all- strength, height.  What more could a girl want?” he muttered jokingly.  Nothing, said the reckless voice in my head, whom I promptly told to shut up. 

“I don’t know, I just think-”

“Then stop thinking.” he said, cutting me off.  He grabbed my hips with both hands and thrust them flush with his, then trapped me in his arms as he leaned down to kiss me again.  This time his movements conveyed a fierce determination and hunger that sent my heart ramming in my chest.  His hands roamed my back and hips, surprising me so much that my knees gave underneath me.  Sensing this, I felt his muscles tense as he held me tighter and lifted me closer to him, supporting me.  My chest pressed against his own chiseled one, and I enjoyed the firm feel of it.  After a few more seconds, Jason seemed to be gaining confidence at the positive response I was showing from his advances.  He pulled his mouth away from mine for a second, and gave my bottom lip a sexy nibble.  Surprised and aroused, I opened my mouth with a gasp, and he took his opportunity.  Diving back in, his tongue slipped past my defenses and began working wonders.  I instinctively followed his lead and, despite my conscience screaming at me to stop, slipped out of reality and immersed myself completely in Jason. 

All too soon, he disentangled himself from me, breathing hard.

“My room.” He said huskily, and I nodded.  My sense had gone out the window and was long gone- all I could think about was whatever I needed to do to get back into his arms.  Turns out I didn’t need any alcohol; a bit of boy attention was all it took to send me into a whirlwind of future regrets.  He reached down and grabbed my waist, lifting me so I settled on his hips.  Taking my weight effortlessly, he walked back toward the house while I wrapped my legs around him and nuzzled his neck.  He let out a grunt, and not because of the exertion.  I began to plant kisses along his shoulder and collarbone, and I felt him shiver.  As he walked through the front door, I was relieved to find that the adults had moved to the back patio, and couldn’t see us.  I worked my way up to his chin and cheek, blocking his sight, but he didn’t seem to mind.  He switched his main focus to me and moved his mouth back to mine while using one hand to feel around for his bedroom door.  He found it and pushed his way inside, walking blindly through the dark until he tripped over the bed.  I fell back with a squeal of surprise, and he landed on top of me, laughing.  He lifted himself up on his elbows.  His eyes softened and he paused for a minute, looking down at me.  Then he gave me a soft, slow kiss that made my chest swell with a new, yet equally unfamiliar sensation.  He rolled off of me and rested his head on a pillow, and I moved next to him, laying my head on his chest.  His arm rested around me, comforting and intimate.  We laid there for as long as I can remember.

I was warm.  And cozy.  I felt like I was still in the dream I had just woken up from.  There was a faded light that seeped through my eyelids, telling me it was morning.  I felt him pressed against my back, keeping me safe from everything bad in the world.  His arm was wrapped protectively around me and I felt safer than I had in a long time.  His presence was filling a void that had never been filled before, an emptiness that I hadn’t even realized existed.  I rolled over, nuzzling closer into his chest, and I felt him reflexively hold me, tucking my head under his chin.  I could almost hear an alarm pulsing through the back of my groggy mind, warning me of…something.  But I pushed the thought away, wanting to stay in my euphoria for as long as possible.  I opened my eyes and looked up at Jason’s sleeping face and smiled.  Suddenly it dawned on me.  Jason.  Last night.  The kiss.  I shot up, startling Jason awake, and looked at the clock on the bedside table.  6 AM.  I’d fallen asleep.

“Shit!” I whispered to myself, panicking.

“What? Geez Millie, you scared me!” he said, rubbing his eyes.

“We fell asleep!  I have to go!”

He looked at the clock “Why? It’s only 6. Stay a little longer.”  Tempting as that was, I got out of bed and headed for the door.

“Wait!” he said, scrambling out of his covers to come after me.  I opened the door and stepped into the kitchen, looking for my keys.  “Millie, stop.”  He demanded, catching my wrist.  He pulled me toward him and held me against the kitchen counter, giving me a long kiss.  I savored it, promising myself it’d be our last.  He pulled away but kept his face close to mine.  “Your parents are still here, remember?  You would have slept over anyways.” 

“Yeah, but not in your bed,” I whispered back.

“Whatever. Just say you slept on the couch. It’s going to be ok, Millie.”  His voice was like silk, and I felt myself relax. He pressed his forehead to mine, comforting me.  Soon though, he pulled back and got a mischievous look in his eye.  Oh no.  I needed to end this relationship as a one-night-thing, not further it.  He leaned in, but I slipped out of his grasp, moving toward the fridge. 

“Lets, uh, get some breakfast.  I’m starved!” Jason turned around, looking insulted.  He shook it off, though, and stepped behind me, a bit too close.

“I’m not really hungry.  At least, not for food,” he growled, leaning close to my ear and reached around my waist to hold me near him.  I stiffened at the feel of his breath on my neck, and I knew I couldn’t resist him.  The way he touched me was so natural, like his hands were made to be there.  I turned around and placed my hands on his chest, ready to give in, when I heard footsteps walking thought the living room, toward us. 

I shoved him away from me, maybe a little too hard.  Surprised, he lost his balance and fell backward, knocking over a pot on his way down.  It hit the ground with a loud crash just as my mother walked into the room.

“Oh my goodness! Are you ok, Jason? What happened?” she asked, bending down to help him up.

“Nothing, I’m fine. I just… fell,” he said, giving me a dirty look.  But I pretended to be oblivious and searched the fridge while trying to look innocent.

“Oh dear, you’re bleeding!” she gasped, motherly worry clear in her voice.

I turned around and looked down at him.  A sharp edge of the pot had cut his arm as it fell, and it looked kind of deep.  I knelt down beside him

‘’Oh god, I’m so sorry- uh, that you were hurt,” I added awkwardly.

“It’s fine, its nothing.  Doesn’t feel as bad as it looks.”  He stood up and smiled bravely, but he winced when Mom took his wound to examine it.

“That doesn’t look good.  Millie, take him to the bathroom and help clean him up,” she said, and I knew she had a feeling this was somehow my fault- perhaps the guilty look on my face gave it away.

“Oh- no thanks.  I’m sure he can take care of himself.” I shot a look at Jason to help me out, but he said nothing, just smirked and waited.

“Nonsense, don’t be rude. Help your cousin out, you’re family!”

“Second cousin,” He and I corrected simultaneously as blushes appeared on our cheeks.

“Whatever. Go!” she then promptly shoved us out of the kitchen and towards the bathroom. 

“Thanks for the help back there.” I muttered sarcastically, following him into the bathroom.

“Hey, it’s your fault I got hurt in the first place,” he retaliated, a bit sourly.  I wondered if it was really the cut that was bothering him, or the fact that I was seemingly uninterested in him.

“I said I was sorry.”

“Yeah. Nice save, by the way,” He grinned.

“Oh, shut up!” I retorted, punching his arm.  He winced, and I felt bad all over again.  I reached down and took his hand gently, turning it to look at his injury.  It was still bleeding somewhat heavily, and I wasn’t quite sure how to care for it.  I grabbed some paper towels while he sat on the sink, and pressed them carefully on to it, trying to stop the bleeding.  He grimaced a bit, but it wasn’t too bad, so I pressed a bit harder.  I wet a paper towel and continued to work on cleaning it, and after a while I broke my concentration to realize he had stopped complaining.  I looked up and saw his eyes were on me, watching me as I worked. 


“Nothing.  You look cute when you concentrate.”

I blushed.  No one had ever said anything remotely that sweet to me before, and it felt lovely.  “Um, I think we should put some of this on it.” I pulled a bottle of rubbing alcohol out of the cupboard behind him.  He groaned.

“I know.  But it will help decrease the risk of infection, plus it’ll heal faster.” He still didn’t look very enthused about it, so I leaned a bit closer.  “And maybe, if you’re a good patient, you can have a treat afterwards…” His eyes popped, and he looked at me misceviously.  “Why doctor, that’s not very professional!” 

“Alright, never mind then.”  I said, teasingly getting back to business.  “Get ready, this could be painful.”  I got ready to press an alcohol-soaked cloth in his wound.

“Wait! Wait! Um… treat first?” he begged.

I sighed, looking up at him.  “Alright, I suppose.”  He smirked, gently hooking a finger under my chin and bringing me towards him, kissing me softly.  I was almost so entranced by it that I couldn’t betray him, but I knew he wouldn’t let me otherwise.  So, I pressed the alcohol right onto his cut.






I swear he almost bit my lip off.  The second the alcohol touched his wound, I felt his whole body tense up and he jerked away from me, eyes squeezed shut from the sudden pain.

“AH! God dammit, Millie!” he tried to pull his arm away, but I was ready and held tight, feeling a pang of guilt as I actually pressed harder onto the cut.

“Sorry sorry sorry!” I said, and held on for a few more seconds before letting him go with a sigh of relief.  I reached for bandages and turned back to a wincing Jason, cradling his arm and staring nastily at me.

“Hey, you know that was for the best. You never would have let me if you weren’t…distracted.” I retorted, blushing.

The reminder of intimacy softened him a little, and he re-offered me his arm warily.  “I still liked you better before I found this evil, plotting person hiding inside of you.” He muttered dejectedly. As gently as I could, I began wrapping the wound again.

“Did it really hurt?” I asked guiltily, considering I was the one that caused his injury in the first place, I wasn’t trying to make things any worse for him.

Yes, I can’t believe-“ he started, but paused as he saw the look on my face. “Er- I mean, not really.  I’m sure it’ll… help it heal and stuff.” He tried, making a semi-sincere face.

“I’m sorry. It’s my fault you’re even hurt at all, and you weren’t even doing anything wrong-“

“Hey.” He said firmly, using his good hand to turn my face up from his arm to look in his eyes, which had changed to what looked actually sincere. “I’m sorry I’m so snappy, this hangover is killing me.  But look- this is not all your fault, okay? Maybe I was a little too… forward.  It’s a lot for one night, and I didn’t exactly give you a chance to put a word in edgewise.” I looked down, remembering the events of the night before.  Just the thought of him, and me, and what we did… it sent my head swimming.  “It’s just… I was drunk and, well, I’ve actually wanted to do that for a long time.” He hesitated, but I was at a loss for words, so I just stared down and wrapped his arm, and he grudgingly continued. “I know it’s wrong, but I can’t get you out of my head.  I mean, we’re barely related; we’ve never been close like I am with all the other cousins- it never felt anything but right. And,” he exhaled shakily, “a little wrong.” My heart skipped a beat, I looked up at him, and his eyes now burned with the same passion I felt.  I knew we were both remembering, the lust and love and secrecy that made the whole ordeal so much sexier.  I wanted so badly to just feel him. I wanted to run my hands over those rippling shoulders and biceps, plant kisses all over his jawline and soft lips, lean in and smell that sweet, safe scent that he somehow naturally emits. I tried to say something in return, to agree, or tell him he just said exactly what’s been running through my own mind, but I couldn’t speak.  I could only look longingly into his eyes as he leaned forward…


BANG BANG BANG! I jumped back as someone pounded at the door.  “Hello? Is anyone in there? I gotta go!” our Aunt Judy hollered, obviously grumpy from a serious hangover. 

“Just a minute!” I yelled back, shakily finishing Jason’s bandage and putting away the medical supplies.  Jason opened the door and we stepped out together, to the surprise of Aunt Judy.  She narrowed her eyes ever so slightly and asked in an oddly suspicious tone,

“What were you two up to in there?” I reddened immediately.  There’s no way she could really suspect anything, right? I mean, we are family after all. But Jason calmly offered up his bandaged arm.

“She was helping me fix up my cut after I… fell” he paused significantly before the last word, which would have made me laugh if I hadn’t been so afraid.  Aunt Judy looked between us for a few seconds and I did my best to play dumb, then finally she gave up and pushed past us into the bathroom.

“That was close,” said Jason, turning to me with a grin.

“Too close.” I replied, stressed. “Jason, this needs-”

“There you two are!” shouted Uncle George.  “Jason, I need your help upstairs with the boys.  Millie, you should probably head home and change, but your parents just left with the car, so you’re going to have to paddleboard back.”  He took Jason’s arm and dragged him towards the stairs, leaving me alone to think.


I left the house and walked to the shore towards the paddleboards.  I was thankful Jason had been distracted, or he would have convinced me to dig deeper into our relationship.  As I pushed off of towards home, I decided that I needed this to end.  Aunt Judy was the perfect wake-up call.  It reminded me that if anyone were to find out about this, they wouldn’t accept it.  It’s strange to say the least, and they would see it as wrong, a sin.  I almost laughed as I paddled out into the water, imagining my grandmother (a pure catholic) if she discovered it.  She might actually faint.  But really, I can’t kiss my cousin, and I can’t fall asleep with him in his bed, and I can’t miss him even now, when he’s no more than a stone’s throw away, or enjoy the feeling of his arms around me.  I shouldn’t crave the safe happiness I experience when I’m surrounded by his smell, and can feel his warm breath on my lips as he’s leaning in, closer, closer.  I sat down on my board in the middle of the lake and shook my head to clear it, but it was no good.  No matter how many times I told myself it wasn’t right, I didn’t believe it. To me he was just another boy- more than that even.  I ran my mind in circles until a faint splash distracted me.  Expecting another mallard, I looked around, but there were none in sight.  Confused, I waited to for the sound again, but there was nothing until I heard it right behind me.  I whipped around, and there was a head sticking out of the water, looking up at me.  I screamed, lost my balance, and slipped straight into the lake.  As I sunk, I realized it had been Jason, sneaking up on me underwater.  Angry, I sat in the water for a minute trying to think of something smart to say, when I felt a body slide up next to me and grab my waist, pulling me back to air.

“I didn’t need saving,” I gasped when my head broke the surface.

“Are you sure?” he said, laughing.  “I was worried you’d been scared to death!”

“You and your stupid swimmer’s lungs.” I grumbled, but I was laughing too. “Look at me, my clothes are all soaked!”

“Well it’s not my fault you jumped in, is it?” he retorted, grinning widely.  Holding the board with one hand, he used the other to pull me into a hug.  “I’m sorry for scaring you.” He said, and the mood changed as he tightened his grip around me and nuzzled into my neck, begging to plant kisses.  It felt amazing, but before I could lose myself, I quickly unlatched him from me and turned to face him. 

“Jason, I can’t.” The words were almost impossible to say, but they were necessary.  Jason stopped and looked at me, confused, so I continued.  “This is a bad idea; if anyone were to find out about this, I know they wouldn’t accept it.  We’re family.  It’s wrong.”  He winced at the last words, and I knew I’d gone to far. His mood changed in an instant and he pulled away from me, his face contorted in anger and hurt.

“So you’re going to base your morals on what everyone else thinks?”  he asked, looking me in the eyes with an expression that broke my heart.

“No Jason, I just-”

“Yes you are!” he yelled, startling me to silence.  “Just because others would judge us, you’re pushing me away. You only care about how everyone else feels! Well, what about me? Huh?”  He thundered, his voice echoing across the lake in all directions.  Panicked, I took his hand, trying to calm him down.

“Please, Jason, be quiet!  The whole lake can hear you!”  I whispered, but he ripped his hand away, staring at me in disbelief.

“Unbelievable.” He muttered, and dove down into the water, swimming back towards his house.

“Hey, wait!” I called, chasing after him, but he was far faster than me. “I’m sorry!” I tried, but he swam on, leaving me with nothing but a paddleboard and a confused conscience. 

Feeling horrible, I paddled to the house and tied the board to the dock beside my parent’s rented boat, then trudged inside.  The rest of my family was bustling about, heading to the water’s edge. 

“Millie, there you are!” my mom said, coming towards me.  “We’re all about to head over to the other house, want to come?”

The thought of seeing Jason after that episode made me shudder.  “Uh, no thanks.” I replied. “I think I’ll just stay here for a while, maybe read a book.”

“Well… okay.  But don’t be a stranger to your cousins, sweetie.” She insisted. “Make sure you spend time with them!  I’m sure Jason can’t wait to finally see someone his own age!”

Ha, ha, ha.


I spent the rest of the day at my house, and there was no sign of Jason.  I faked a stomachache to get out of dinner and went to bed early, but even by the time everyone else had gone to sleep, the pit in my stomach reminded me of what I had done, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I had made amends.  I had to get rid of this guilt, and after an entire day of thought, I decided to at least try to talk to Jason again, and straighten everything out.  I stealthily climbed out of bed and snuck out of the my room, then-without even pausing to find my shoes- grabbed a flashlight and left, headed down a pathway to the Richard’s residence, Jason’s house. 

After about an hour of picking my way down the grassy road, I managed to arrive at his front door.  With a deep breath, and a prayer that they didn’t have an alarm system, I turned the doorknob and pushed.  To my immense relief, the door swung open easily.  Cautiously, I tiptoed my way through the kitchen and to his bedroom door.  As steadily as I could, I opened it and peered inside.  There he was, snoring slightly, right in front of me.  He looked peaceful, lying there, and it was nice to see his face not so angry.  I almost didn’t notice the second body lying next to him, but when I did, I froze.  A wave of jealousy washed through me, until I realized it was just his friend, Clayton, and I felt stupid.  Why was I so jealous of a guy I supposedly didn’t even want?  I shook the thought away for now and crawled up to Jason’s sleeping face.

“Hey. Wake up.” I whispered, nudging his shoulder.  Jason grunted, then groggily opened one eye and examined my face, then closed it again.  Then, after realizing who it was, he opened both eyes in surprise and, to my delight, a bit of happiness.  But the memory of our last encounter hit him, and he returned to the same angry expression I had seen just before he dove in the water. 

“What are you doing here?” he asked coldly.

“I need to talk to you.  Alone.”  I added, looking pointedly at Clayton.

Jason studied me for a moment, and I almost expected him to turn over and ignore me, but finally he climbed silently out of bed and took my arm, leading me outside.  It felt good to have his hands on me again, but the second we stepped onto his back porch he let go and stood there, waiting, guarded.  “What.” He said, so flatly it took me a moment to realize he meant it as a question.

“Um,” I started, not really sure what to say. “Listen, I’m sorry what I said in the lake earlier.  I’ve obviously never been in this situation before, and if you didn’t know, I’m not one to break rules.  I feel like a freak, having these feelings for you, and even though I can’t see why, I’ve been taught endlessly that it’s wrong, and disgusting.  But it doesn’t feel that way.  The feelings I have with you are unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before, with anyone.  I don’t know, I’m just so confused.”  I paused, the waterfall of words had stopped, leaving my mouth dry while I waited for a response.

“So why did you say it was wrong?  Why did you just reject me?” The hurt was evident in his voice now.  It surprised me- I hadn’t realized that I expected all to be forgiven until it wasn’t.

“Come on, Jason- are you honestly asking me this?” It was frustrating that he wasn’t just letting us move on.

“Are you honestly not going to answer me?”

“Because I was scared, ok?” I said, exasperated- did he really not care about all our loved ones turning against us when they found out?  “How are you not?  What if your parents never spoke to you again?  What if they called you a demon and sent you off to boarding school?”

“Maybe I don’t care what they think! Maybe I just know that I like you, and to hell with what my parents are going to do about it!” He was fuming, and I would have told him to quiet down if I wasn’t so furious myself.

“Well… well maybe I do.” I stuck out my chin and stood my ground, refusing to let him make me feel guilty for thinking logically.

Jason scoffed.  “Oh, you’ve made it very clear what you care about Millie, and it’s sure as hell not me.” And with that, he pushed past me and headed back inside.

“Where are you going?” I demanded.

“To bed. I should never have gotten out of it in the first place.” He slammed the door behind him, leaving me, for a second time, to drown in the remaining wake of his anger.  And yet, some part of me knew that he wasn’t to blame for it.

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