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A Perfect Wreck Mila Crawford, Aria Cole 2022/8/3 13:46:47

“Light changed,” Callie said dryly from behind me.

“I know it’s not my business, and I know you’re not going to like me saying this, but you don’t need to wear makeup, Callie.” I glanced at her again. He cheeks were flushed, and so were her neck and entire décolleté. There was fire under that cool exterior, passion thinly disguised by teenage indifference.

“If I listened to you, Ace, I’d be coming to this dance in a nun’s habit. Thanks for the fashion advice, but I think I’ll skip it.” She crossed her arms, pouted, and looked out the window.

Well, I tried my best.

I was heated when I pulled into the parking lot of the school. Agitation had adrenaline and anger roaming through my veins. Mom had said to see them in, but I didn’t want to cause a scene. Unfortunately, all the Gatorade I’d downed after practice was begging for release.

“No drinking,” I told them. “Not even a sip.”

“Thanks, Dad,” Callie said. Her eyes were rolling up toward the starry sky as she listened begrudgingly to my lecture about picking them up early—no questions asked.

“Ace, can you please leave us here, so we can make an entrance without looking like babies?” Crosby pleaded.

Luckily, I knew a side entrance into the gymnasium that was right by the bathrooms.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” I advised them. I leaned against my car as they hitched up their dresses and teetered up the steps to school. I should have taken a picture to embarrass them with later.

Music flooded the hallways, and I could see the rays from the disco lights under the doors to the gym. “Paradise” was the theme, and the whole school was decorated with flowers and palm trees. In the bathroom, I pissed like a racehorse, my muscles undeniably tense from practice. The vision of Callie in that dress still swam in my head, and I imagined I’d go home and jerk off to the fantasy of her full lips. But the guilt came crashing down again as I scolded myself for seeing her that way. If I didn’t want anyone else to do it—to Callie or my little sister—I should have included my own damn self on the offenders list.

Callie was what, fourteen? Fifteen? I was already eighteen, a legal adult. There were three more years left before I’d have to let either of them go. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust them—I didn’t trust other men. I’d protect the girls for as long as I possibly could. That was my nature, and I wasn’t even trying to shake it. My parents had given me that responsibility, and I took it seriously.

Upon exiting the men’s room, I practically bumped into Callie. She looked up at me in shock and put her hands up as if to defend her actions. Her gorgeous green eyes were liquid with tears.

“I’m just going to the bathroom, Asa, I swear.”

I shook my head, surprised that she felt the need to feed me excuses. I only wanted what was best for her. It broke my heart that whatever had transpired already had her nearly in tears.

“Hey, what’s going on?” I reached out to grasp her bare bicep in my hand as she gently pulled away to wipe her face.

“Logan is here with Natalie, and—” She was in full tears now.

“Logan’s a piece of shit,” I said automatically.

“Shut up, Asa. You don’t understand,” she said, wiping frantically at the tears.

“Hold up,” I told her, stepping back into the bathroom. I yanked a roll of toilet paper from the dispenser and brought it out into the hallway.

“Thank you,” she sniffled. She took the proffered wad and began wiping at her eye makeup. Seeing her distraught had the opposite effect on me than it should. Her electric-green eyes looked tragic, the border of her bright-red lipstick was blurred, and my dick was so hard in my jeans, it hurt. I tried to adjust myself without taking the focus off her.

“Any guy would be crazy to pass up a chance to dance with you. But if this asshole Logan did you wrong, I’ll gladly kick his fucking ass. Or I’ll take you home if that’s what you want?”

She continued to cry silently as she blotted at the tears.

“Burger and milk shake? Whatever you want, Callie. Dances aren’t for everyone. I’m great at sports, but I’ve got two left feet when it comes to this shit.” I gestured to indicate the cheesy decorations and the DJ music that was vibrating the floor. I grabbed another length of paper from the roll and wiped at her face, removing the trails of mascara from underneath her big eyes.

“I had it all planned out. First kiss, ninth-grade dance. Logan. Virginity by senior prom. Logan, too, or someone taller if possible. It’s not about Logan. I’m crying because I like to have a very clear life plan.”