Unfriended(Love in New Highland Book 1)(7)

By: Deana Farrady

There was no more warm, soft little body to turn to when I craved some loving. No more stray red hairs in my shower.

Damn. Despite everything, it hadn't been out of the realm of possibility that I'd marry Aura one day. You never knew. It could happen.

And down to the crunch here: I needed a woman to warm my bed. Needed. I literally could not do without one, not with my cock out of control. Sometimes it was so bad I had the urge to jump on whichever female was handy.

Take Charis. My purely platonic friend. Sometimes I was afraid I might…

I stopped the thought. I've stopped a lot of thoughts about Charis over the years.

Ah, fuckit.

All right, it has to be said. I haven't lied to you. Not so much as an innuendo has passed between me and Charis even once. But I'm gonna come clean here. I did have a thing for Sloane, once upon a time, way back when in the days of yore.

Let's call it what it was, a mega-crush.

Picture me at thirteen, before the corrective eye surgery, with the big, thick glasses, my nose always buried in something electronic, my hair unruly, my shirts plaid, and not the trendy kind, we're talking hand-me-downs from a color-blind cousin, complete with clashing colors, buttoned to the throat. Seeing it?

Charis used to come over to our house to spend time with my sister. I didn't care that she was this boyish, gangly creature, with her short brown crop of hair and her plain sweaters and unfashionable jeans that screamed geek girl.

To me she was funny, lively, and smoking hot, not to mention an Older Woman. So one summer day under our fir tree, I knocked her ice cream cone from her hand and tried to kiss her.

Charis set me straight immediately. There was no way a seventeen-year-old girl was hooking up with a thirteen-year-old boy. I might have looked and sounded older than my age, but Charis treated me like the spitball kid I was and let me down gently but firmly.

If she'd been another kind of person, everything would have been awkward after that. But she was cool. She joked around just the same as ever. Eventually she went off to college. And whenever I did see her, she acted like she'd forgotten the incident…and so did I.

I actually hadn't.

But I did this thing where I made myself forget. I'm focused, I can do that.

Point is, I moved on. I steered my cock in other, more age-appropriate directions.

End of story.

So, yeah, sure, I've been thinking about her a lot lately. Once I woke up from a dream where we were recording a parody song together in the style of Weird Al Yankovic.

See? Not sexy. No sex dreams about Charis Sloane were had by me—not for years.

Not that I remembered, anyway.

Well, not with any great clarity.

I told myself it wasn't about Charis. It was about hard-ons. Hard-ons happen. And when they do, I need a woman. Aura had been perfect for that. And I'd let her go.

Crap. Now I'd begun to doubt, and that angered me.

Action I can deal with. Decisions are necessary. Self-reflection can go fuck itself.

I'd already wasted too much time on Aura.

The solution was simple. I'd have to arrange some casual hookups to tide me over. Much as that lacked appeal, I had to have pussy in my life.

In the meantime, I knew what I needed. Who I needed.

Charis. Immediately.

My phone was already in my hand when I saw the text from Karl.

Good news. Alice problem solved. You'll be interested. Details to come.

Okay, that was weird enough to give me pause.

Our straitlaced great grandmother Alice had had this thing for my oldest brother—who was inked, worked in a coffee shop, and liked to walk around in his underwear. For some reason they'd always hit it off. She died last summer at a hundred and four, no lie, and left Karl everything in her will.

Since it amounted to a hill of beans, we all thought it hilarious. Especially the conditions of her will—that he buy a suit and get married before his thirtieth birthday. I'd forgotten he was turning thirty next month.

The text lifted me out of my funk, but not enough. I still needed Charis.

I didn't question it, didn't hesitate. I sent a text. Sorry I've been a lameass last few months. Coming over now. Bringing whiskey. Need anything?

Breezy as I sounded, I had no expectations. Ever since my exile with Aura, we'd been out of touch. Not a word, not a call, not a text—a vast, humorless wasteland, my life without this girl.

And it was late on a Sunday night. She'd say go fuck yourself, she had class tomorrow, she had a date, she wasn't in the mood. I'd have to humble myself and beg (which I would do. Yes, this was worth going down on my knees for).

I paced until I got the return text from her.

Pick up some Old Whisker's Blake for me dude.

AT TEN TWENTY, I KNOCKED ON Charis's door with a bottle of port and another of Hudson Bay Bourbon I reserved for serious need.

I leaned on the door post, gazing at the empty hallway with its plush gold carpet. Her apartment building was just off the original MCU campus, having been used as a dormitory way back when, before the university sold it and built fancy new residence halls closer to the quad. Now it just had somewhat pricey studios.

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