Chapter 9 ~ It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
So this is where I come in, and before you say it, my sainted brother Marc isn’t exactly that. In my family he’s the troubled child, he’s the pain in the ass, whether that’s what he’d like you to believe or not. Usually I’m the quiet brother. I’m not saying I don’t have my moments but if you were to stop everything right here, freeze frame it, and ask my parents or anyone else that knows us who should take the blame, I’m telling you they’d pick Marc.
That being said, he isn’t to blame, not for this, but then again neither am I. I’m the innocent party in all this and the woman that I blame is standing in the snow in my parent’s front yard, staring back at me, willing me to bite my tongue.
When she steps out of the car I just think, ‘Eric’s right, Marc’s got himself a real hottie’, but then she flips her long black hair over her shoulder and turns to look at me and I know. I know then and there, without a doubt in my mind, that the woman standing in front of me is her, the woman I’ve been dreaming about, day dreaming about, laying awake at night thinking of. It’s her. My dream woman and she’s holding my brother’s hand.
It’s the worst case scenario. It’s my worst nightmare come true. I’ve found her, finally found her, and she’s looking at my brother like he’s her island, her rock, her everything and she’s looking at me like I’m about to do something awful, as if I’m about to ruin her life.
Ruin her life? As if what’s she’s doing right now doesn’t piss all over my parade.
But still, he’s my brother and god help me if the rule does not apply here, bro’s before hoe’s, but damn it all, I’m going to get to the bottom of this as soon as I can get her alone.
“Throw that Jordan and I’ll break your arm,” Marc warns, getting between me and…and….
“My hero,” she grins at him but I’m almost sure that her gaze flicks towards me, just for a moment. “I think I’m safe,” she adds, wrapping her arm around his.
“Oh don’t be too sure about that,” Tanya laughs, emerging from the safety of the house only long enough to call us all inside where it’s warm and the food is waiting. “Get all of them together and no one is safe. It’s called collateral damage.”
“There better not be any inside the house,” my mom warns, pointing her finger at Marc and then at Jared before narrowing her eyes at me. “Not with all the decorations up or someone’s going to be sleeping in the barn again, Jordan.”
“That was once, and it was Jared’s fault,” I grumble, shuffling my feet, waiting for everyone else to go inside, hoping that Marc will take their bags in and I will be able to grab a moment alone with her. Except he doesn’t, or at least he forgets about them in his haste to give Jared a noogie, so I go back to get the bags, shooting her a look meant to have her follow, but she sticks to the safety of my mother’s side.
Smart and pretty. Damn.
“Oh good, Jordan, can you take her bag down to Marc’s room? I’m assuming you prefer to go in with Jared or do you want to go in with Jordan Marc?” my mom asks, guiding her towards the kitchen, women’s territory, but she stops, reaching for Marc’s hand, a look of confusion and terror filling her pretty face. Oh good. Marky forgot to tell her about the rule.
“I’m sorry Tip, I guess I was just so happy to get you here I forgot to tell you,” he smiles at her like it’s no big deal when the look on her face says that clearly it’s the end of the world as far as she’s concerned. Gee…she couldn’t possibly be afraid to be alone, away from my brother’s protection could she?
“I’m sorry dear, but we just have a few rules,” my mom explains in that smiling but don’t mess with me sort of tone that we all know means whatever she’s saying isn’t open to argument. “Unless you’re married,” she continues, shooting Tanya a big motherly smile, “there’s no co-habitation under our roof. I’m sure you won’t mind, for a couple days,” she adds, giving her and Marc’s conjoined hands a brief pat before heading back towards the kitchen, giving my brother some privacy to make up for his faux pas I guess.
“So, Jared’s room right bro?” I grin at Marc over her shoulder as I walk into the hallway, smiling to myself as I imagine her alone, in my brother’s room, right across the hall, with him tucked safely away, upstairs with Jared, conveniently out of the way.
I can still hear their hushed but argumentative tones when I come back down the stairs, but predictably the door to Marc’s room is open, Mom would flip out if it was closed, but they both fall silent when they see me standing in the doorway.
“Dinner’s been waiting on you guys,” I remind Marc, but I can’t help but turn my attention to her, to her dark eyes watching me warily from the middle of my brother’s room. I watch my brother’s hand gently brush her cheek and my jaw clenches. I’m almost relieved when she turns her face away, turning her back on both of us.
“We’ll be right there,” Marc shrugs, waving me away.
Oh I’ll go, for now, I think as I head towards the kitchen, but I’ll be back.
I’ll give her this much. She plays the part of the dutiful girlfriend well. She helps with the food, cutting, plating and serving and she certainly smiles a lot, but if there’s one thing being a defensive forward has taught me, it’s to keep track of two things at once. I can watch everyone else and watch her, at the same time and it seems to me that while she looks the part of the attentive girlfriend, Marc’s girl is spending an awful lot of time at the table watching me but every time I try to hold her gaze, she looks away, as if she hasn’t seen the plea in my eyes.
I have all these questions swirling in my head that I’ve waited so long for answers for and I can barely stand to sit here and pretend, biting back all the things I want to say. Like how could she leave? How could she tell me that I was the best she’d ever had and then leave?
I know men lie, say just about anything to get and keep a woman in bed but I’m almost certain that is one habit women don’t share, except maybe when it comes to dick size, but that’s one issue that I can be pretty sure that neither me nor any of my brothers need to worry about.
Which leads me to the next question that’s been burning the tip of my tongue since they arrived, which is why him? Why of all of the god damn people in this world for her to hook up with, why did it have to be my brother? Everyone knows that I’d do anything for my brothers, we’re that close but what do I do now? He was there that night. Well no, he was there the next day, but he saw what a mess I was in. I haven’t been able to stop talking about her. Even now, watching her laugh at something Jared says has my dick aching for her.
“So who’s going to do the dishes?” my mom asks, looking across the table at Tanya who usually volunteers without having to be asked, but she, March calls her Tippi, stands instead, stacking Marc’s plate on top of her own.
“I’ll help.” I grab Jared’s plate and reach for Eric’s, ignoring his curious glance.
“I’ll do it Jordy,” Marc insists, holding his open hands towards me as if he expects me to put the plates in his hands and walk away, which is normally something I would do, but not tonight. There’s too many things I need to know, too many questions I need answers to. I open my mouth to tell him to fuck off but she beats me to it.
“That’s okay babe, I made you late, you visit, we’ll have this done in no time, I promise,” she adds with a pointed look towards me.
I feel the bite of the edge of a butter knife in my hand as she turns her lips up to his and lets him kiss her but I’m glad for the sweet edge of pain. It’s the only thing that stops me from tossing the plates down and throwing myself across the table at him. That wouldn’t be new in this house. God knows we fight over the smallest of shit anyway. But then I’d have to explain it to my mom, and the way she’s looking at us both right now, love and pride shining in her eyes, reminds me that it’s Christmas, and we’re all supposed to be on our best behavior.
So I follow her out the kitchen, listening for the receding sounds of my family heading for the living room, the tree and the stockings hung by the chimney with care before I put take my spot beside the sink with a tea towel, because after all, Gran’s china doesn’t go in the dishwasher, trying to decide what to say.
“What’s your deal?” she hisses, glancing furtively over her shoulder, breaking the ice. “It was one night? Stop looking at me like…like…,” she looks up at me and rolls her eyes, “like that.”
“Like what?” I snarl back, snatching a plate from her hands and taking my anger out on it, drying it hard and fast.
“I don’t know,” she snaps back, turning back to the sudsy water and dunking the next dish in as if she wishes it was my head she was holding under the water. “Like someone’s playing with your toy or something,” she adds more quietly. I can’t help but smile at the picture that paints in my imagination and that seems to make her even angrier. Well, maybe not angry I think as I watch her cheeks turn a bright crimson colour. “Stop it. Stop looking at me like you’re thinking of me naked.”
“Tell me you’re not thinking about it,” I whisper, leaning towards her as she thrusts another dish into my hands. Her eyes flutter closed as my lips almost brush the shell of her ear, and then she shakes her head and pushes me away.
“I’m not. I don’t. I don’t think about it, ever,” she adds but something in her tone tells me it’s a lie. Chuckling, I press the point by leaning over and inhaling the sweet smell of the shampoo in her hair before brushing her long dark locks aside and tasting the perfume from the back of her neck, pressing my lips to the spot where her neck meets her back, feeling her entire body shudder against me.
“You’re thinking about it right now,” I whisper, licking my way back up to her ear. “I think you were thinking about it all through dinner,” I add, tossing the tea towel aside and putting my hands on her hips, tugging her round little ass back against me. “I bet you’re so wet right now,” I add, thinking about how it was between us that night, how hot and wet and willing she was.
“Stop it,” she whispers, her soapy hands gripping the edge of the sink but, I notice, she makes no move to stop me.
“I don’t think you want me to stop,” I whisper, my hands rising slowly, guiding the soft, clinging fabric of her sweater upwards, over her ribcage and further, until I can feel lace beneath my fingertips. “I think about it,” I add as my thumbs find her nipples, growing hard under my hands, giving them each a little flick, making her sigh out loud. “I think about fucking you all the time,” I continue, pressing my aching dick against the small of her back and feeling her press against it.
“Don’t Jordan, please,” she begs, but doesn’t stop pressing herself against me, doesn’t pry my hands away from round, firm breasts.
“Don’t you mean Jordan please fuck me?” I moan, rubbing my erection against her, pressing her into the counter, wanting to push her jeans down and have her here, now.
“No!” she groans, finally pushing against me hard enough to push me away, making me stumble backward, so that she can tug her sweater down before she practically runs out of the kitchen.
I watch her go to him, watch her bend to whisper something to him, wondering if she’s going to tell, but it seems as though she’s only developed a sudden headache and is telling him she’s going to bed. My teeth grind together as he kisses her gently, cupping her cheek in his hand as he looks up at her with affection mingled with concern. It makes me want to punch him in the face, make him bleed, make him hurt like I’m doing right now.
I watch her make her apologies before she heads down the hall alone and I wonder if she wants me to follow her, but I don’t get time to decide if I’m going to do that. Marc is suddenly there beside me, rolling up his sleeves.
“Don’t worry bro,” he says, smiling good naturedly as he dips his hands into the still steaming water, “I’ll help you finish this up so you can get to your stocking. I know how much you look forward to your pack of hockey cards every year,” he adds with a grin, flinching as he waits for me to hit him but I don’t, I just shrug and take the plate I’d abandoned in favor of his girlfriend.
“Yeah, let’s get this done,” I mutter, turning to add the plate to the small pile. “I’m tired. I can’t wait to go to bed.”