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A Perfect Wreck Mila Crawford, Aria Cole 2022/8/3 13:46:48

As sacred as it was, I would guard it appropriately—take the exchange with me to the grave and anywhere else I’d ever go. The only hard part—the thing I hated the most—was that I could never tell Crosby. The kiss was a line I never thought I’d cross, so I had to keep it from her, no matter how wrong it felt. BeBe was my best friend, like a sister to me. She put me before everyone else and was always there to defend and support me. And now I’d gone and made Asa kiss me. He probably did it out of pity—the protector in him taking over and trying to appease me. Well, I didn’t ever want to be anyone’s pity date. I wanted kisses born only of true passion, kisses laced with fire that burned from within.

I wiped my lips with the back of my hand. Asa’s kiss had marked me. No matter how wrong it was, nothing in my life had ever felt so right. But the next time I was alone with Asa, I would tell him it hadn’t mattered at all. That he would have to keep it secret—or I would tell Dean, and Dean would have his balls. I wouldn’t let Asa win or get the best of me. I took a deep breath and tried to erase the beautiful kiss from my memory. It was an illusion, an impossibility. Asa Dashen was off-limits, and I would march back into the gym and dance with Logan, exactly like I’d written in my playbook. That kiss was meaningless; it didn’t even count as my fist. Asa’s kiss was gone, forgotten in the wind. And I was already lying to myself about how much I missed it.

Over the next few weeks, I avoided Crosby and Callie like the plague, which was hard, considering I was their permanent babysitter. I stayed downstairs in the basement working on the demolition for my new room, while the girls huddled upstairs in front of the television. It had been raining anyway, not great weather for sports or outdoor adventures. They asked me to drive them to the mall once, and I did so without saying a word to either of them. My guess was that Callie had kept our encounter a secret. Otherwise, Crosby would have already come crashing into my room, fists flying. I knew my little sister too well to ever expect her to keep her mouth shut. But the fact that Callie didn’t tell bothered me. It made me wonder if she was upset I’d kissed her, felt violated in some way. I did it because she asked me to. Although I was more than happy to comply, I should have waited. She was vulnerable in that moment, and I didn’t want her to feel like I’d taken advantage of her.

I needed to get Callie alone and check in on her feelings, probably apologize for what had happened and promise to never touch her again. I was so torn up over the stupid kiss that I hadn’t even told my best friend, Weston, and I told him everything.

But catching Callie apart from Crosby was like a unique and rare comet, streaking so fast through the sky, you’d miss it if you weren’t watching. The girls were attached at the hip, and seeking out Callie at her home or at school would give too much away. The situation had me moody, and Callie did everything in her power to ignore the hell out of me.

“Ace, can you pick up the girls from cheerleading practice at seven?” my mother shouted down the basement steps. “I have to show a house to a client who could only come after work.”

“No problem,” I yelled back up to my mom. Actually, it was, but I wasn’t going to burden her with my shit. My parents worked hard to run their own real estate firm, meaning they often depended on me for help, and I didn’t want to disappoint them.

I left straight from a rare hangout at Weston’s house to pick up the girls. They were usually slaphappy after practice and would fill the car with giggles and harass me to stop by the drive-thru for milk shakes and fries if they were hungry.

I waved to a familiar mom picking up her daughter, then smiled and shook my head at the fact that I’d already joined the parental carpool brigade by my eighteenth birthday. For some reason, Callie and Crosby were always the last to leave, which drove me nuts. Probably because they knew they could get away with it. I was tired of their shenanigans.

After the second-to-last car left the lineup, Callie walked out of the double-door entrance. Her chin was angled down, and her perfect lips were wearing a pout. Two emotions fought for dominance at the same time in my head, anger and want. It was gray and drizzling, and Crosby was nowhere to be seen. I hopped out of the car, adrenaline spiked, barbs out, ready for confrontation.