There are few things more embarrassing than walking in on your boyfriend's brother while he's standing naked in front of the mirror. Unfortunately, I'm speaking from experience. Not that looking at Jackson Sutterfield without clothes was a hardship. It did make things a little weird though, I must admit. For a moment, neither one of us moved. In the time we were both standing there, stupefied, I took in the sight of him. His six-pack of stomach muscles, his muscular legs, what was between his muscular legs. Jackson just sort of stared at me, his toothbrush hanging from his mouth.
Finally, my mind started working again and I backed out of the bathroom, blushing bright pink. I rushed back into my boyfriend's room, feeling absolutely mortified.
"What's the matter with you, Sophie?" Simon asked.
I grimaced. "I kinda walked in on Jackson in the bathroom. He was brushing his teeth... naked."
He laughed. "Man, Jackson really needs to learn to lock the door when we have company. Don't feel awkward, it happens to everyone at least once."
Simon and I had been dating for about six months and so far I'd avoided running into anyone in the bathroom. I guess that it was bound to happen some time. A moment later, there was a knock at the door.
"Come on in!" Simon called.
Jackson opened the door wearing rumpled khaki shorts and no shirt. I was having a hard time keeping my eyes off of him, and it was making me feel really terrible. I'd always prided myself on my self-control.
He gave me a sheepish look. "Sophie, I'm sorry! I just didn't think to lock the door."
"Jackson," Simon began patiently, "People walk in on you all of the time. When is it going to sink in? Either get dressed right after you shower or lock the door! Poor Sophie is scarred for life!"
"Hey now! It's not like I'm fat and hairy! Right, Sophie?"
I felt my cheeks grow hot. Jackson wasn't too easy to get along with. He was one of the most popular guys in school and thought the world of himself. He'd just now started to accept me and I didn't want to get on his bad side. What I didn't realize was it was easier to be on his bad side, than his good one.
"Back off," Simon growled at his brother. "You've sufficiently harassed my girlfriend for the evening, so be on your merry way."
Jackson left the room, holding his hands up in mock surrender. When he closed the door Simon shook his head.
"God, he's a dick," he muttered. "Sorry, sweetie."
I kissed his cheek. "It's not your fault."
"He told me that you were hot last night... he has this habit of stealing my girlfriends."
That was no secret. Almost every one of Simon's girlfriends ended up in Jackson's bed. I didn't get it, Simon was adorable. Sure, Jackson was amazingly sexy and older, but he was also an arrogant ass.
"Don't worry, Simon, I'd never sleep with your brother. He's been with almost every girl in school."
He smiled. "Well, I don't need anyone else, baby, 'cause I got you!"
I kissed him lightly. "Yes you do, Simom... yes you do."
"I saw Jackson Sutterfield naked!" I told my best friend, Ellie Foster.
"Oh my god!" she gushed, fanning herself. "That boy is so hot! Did you have an orgasm, like, right there?! I know that I would've. I swear I almost have one sitting next to him in history!"
"Ellie!" I said with disapproval. "He is Simon's brother!"
"That doesn't change the fact that he is freaking delicious!
I shook my head. "It was awkward... really awkward." I leaned closer to her, lowering my voice to a whisper. "His body is killer, though."
"Well, that's flattering, Miss Sophie Charm," someone drawled.
"Jackson's right behind me, isn't he?" I asked Ellie, squeezing my eyes shut.
"Uh-huh," she replied. "I'm gonna go."
I turned to face him as my best friend scurried off to find a less uncomfortable situation. His expression was one of amusement and his demeanor was casual. "Well, hello Sophie. Having a little girl talk, are you?"
"What are you doing here?!" I said, trying to hide my embarrassment. I'd never seen him over by the sophomore lockers before; I'd felt like it was safe to talk.
"Well, I go to this school. I was just wandering the halls and I decided to stop by and see my favorite brother's girlfriend."
I rolled my eyes. Simon was Jackson's only brother. I took in the sight of him while I was trying to think of something witty to say. He was dressed in faded jeans and a blue and white striped polo. His shaggy dark hair fell across his forehead and into his icy green eyes. He had the prettiest eyes, much more interesting than Simon's muddy brown—
"Imagining me naked?" He asked, interrupting my thoughts. He took a step closer to me.
"Jackson!" I cried, outraged. "I'm Simon's girlfriend! What do you think you're doing!?"
He backed off, grinning wickedly. "Relax, cupcake," he said with a chuckle. "You're cute when you're angry."
I gave him one last glare and stomped off. What a prick! Just because he was popular, he assumed everyone wanted him. Okay, sure, before I started dating his younger brother, Ellie and I had worshipped him; but that was freshman year. He had only seemed so amazing because he was a big bad junior boy that could get you to melt with just a glance from under his thick, dark lashes. I went to first hour, still feeling flustered. I was glad that Simon had stayed home sick, because I would've died if he had caught me standing so close to Jackson.
I felt really guilty, even though I'd told Jackson to back off, I hadn't exactly disliked his teasing. What was I thinking?! Simon was a fabulous guy, I wasn't going to throw him away for a one-night-stand with Jackson, who probably only found me attractive because I was Simon's girlfriend.
"Sophie, page 120, please," my history teacher, Mrs. Dodge said. I jerked my head up to look at her. She was glaring at me through her cat-eye glasses her hands were on her hips.
"Um, okay." I shook my head, as if it would make my thoughts of Jackson disappear. "I'm sorry."
"That's fine. Why don't you read this page for us, though, so that you can regain some focus."
A few people snickered, and I rolled my eyes. "Yes ma'am."
By lunchtime I'd basically gotten Jackson out of my head. That is, until he walked over to my table. I was in the middle of telling Ellie about our math test when I watched her eyes widen. Either someone had pulled a gun, or Jackson was standing behind me. My money was on Jackson.
"Hey," I heard him say. "Simon sent me a text during fourth hour. He wanted me to ask you if you wanted me to take you to our house after school."I turned to face him. "Why would you do that for him?""He's my little brother," he murmured, running a hand back through his hair. "I have to be nice to him every now and then.""Okay, sure. Where do you want me to meet you?""I'll swing by your locker," he said, and then he walked away."Um, bye." I muttered, although he was already out of earshot."I wish he'd talk to me!" Ellie complained. "I can't believe you get to ride home with him!""It's no big deal," I told her. "He'll just flirt with me and try to get me to cheat on Simon.""I wouldkillto have him flirt with me!""Yeah, if his intentions were pure." I took a bite of my yogurt. "He's a jerk, Ellie. He doesn't respec
"Take a seat," he said, nodding towards the bed. I looked at him uncertainly. "You can sit at the desk if you're more comfortable."I opted for the latter. "So what's up?" I asked."I'm sorry about what happened downstairs with Scott. I kinda feel like it was my fault. I was talking about getting you in the sack and I guess after a few beers it sounded like a good idea to him, too.""Why can't you just accept that I'm Simon's girlfriend? Jackson, I don't wanna sleep with you, if I did, I would've waited for you to ask me out. Not that it ever would've happened." I rolled my eyes at his expression of disbelief. Jackson wasn't used to girls telling him that they didn't want to have sex with him. "You just want me because I'm Simon's, and you have a reputation to uphold."He sighed and buried his hands in the pocket of his jeans. "That's not entirely true… The fact that you're Simon's girlfriend does make you a bit mor
Ellie and I met at our usual hangout, the Bean Street Café. She was practically bouncing with excitement by the time we sat down with our smoothies."Tell me, tell me!" She insisted."Well, on the ride he pretty much talked to Scott the whole time. When we got home, though, I had a little run-in with Scott... he tried to get a little somethin'-somethin'... Jackson came in and screamed at him, and after I went upstairs he came up to apologize. It was really sweet at first, but then he started talking about getting my pants off, and that eliminated all the sweetness." I took a drink of my smoothie."Is that all?" she asked, sounding disappointed."No. Before I went to bed he kissed me on the forehead... and I know that it's really lame, but oh my God, it was niiiiice. Seriously, should a kiss on the forehead feel that... dirty?""Well, since it's your boyfriend's brother and he's really, really freaki
Before too long, Simon and I heard music blaring downstairs."Do your parents know about this?" I asked."Well, Jackson told them we were having a 'get together'. He didn't mention how many people would be coming.""How many people are expected to show up?""Hell if I know. Word gets around pretty quick about Jackson's parties. So basically we just get a lot of booze and hope it doesn't get ugly."I'd never been to one of Jackson's parties. Simon always invited me, but I never felt comfortable enough around his brother to go. I wasn't really sure what to expect."It'll be fun, Sophie. Don't worry." He stood and then helped me to my feet. "People will be here soon, let's go downstairs."People arrived quickly, and the house got full very quickly. The living room smelled like potato chips, beer, and sweat. The music was so loud I couldn't hear myself think. I stayed b
"Go away Sophie! I put up with you grinding on a bunch of guys all night, but seeing you make-out withScott...I couldn't take that. Then you end up in my brother's bed?! There's a little thing called loyalty, and I don't think it's too much to ask for you to give me that one little thing!""I was completely shit-faced! I had no idea what I was doing! You could try to be a little more understanding. Why didn't you take me upstairs? You had to know I was going to do something I was going to regret! The only reason I was in Jackson's bed was because he was nice enough to make sure I didn't drown in my own puke!" I shook my head. "Maybe he cares about me more than you do.""Oh, don't give me that! If you like Jackson so much better, fine! Date him!""Simon, I don't want to date Jackson. I just don't understand why you're getting so worked up. If you would've gotten drunk and done the same thing... I would cut you some slack.
Ellie came over forty-five minutes later, dressed for work. We sat out on the deck and drank lemonade, a tradition we'd had since fifth grade.The first thing I told her was, "Simon broke up with me.""What!? Why?""Apparently, I fucked up bad at the party last night. I made out with Scott... and then I was with Jackson all morning, because Simon wouldn't take care of me and he wanted to make sure that I was okay. Simon just doesn't trust me at all!""It feels like you guys have been together forever... I mean I know it was only six months... but it seems like so much longer. Is there anyway you'll get back together?""Jackson seems to think so... He wassosweet, it was kind of scary.""He wasn't sweet to me at all. For like the first five minutes, maybe.""Why did you have sex with him?""It just kinda... happened.""Mm-
I decided to call my mom to make sure she wouldn't come home while Jackson was over."Sophie, dear, Mommy is busy," she said as if speaking to a five-year-old. "What do you need?""Are you guys coming home tonight?""Oh, well... I don't think so. We'll probably just stay with Markus and Lindsey tonight. Unless you need something?""No, I'm fine. Just curious. I'll see you tomorrow.""All right, sweetheart. I love you.""Yeah, you too," I muttered.The minute I hung up the phone the doorbell rang. I took a deep breath and answered.Jackson looked me over as if I was lunch. His eyes lingered a little too long on my sports bra and I crossed my arms.
Thinking about Jackson didn't get me anywhere; thoughts of his lips on mine and the intoxicating scent of his cologne that still lingered in the air only made me feel one thing, and I'm not going to talk about it. I figured it was best to just let it go. Every time I closed my eyes, however, I saw Jackson. It wasn't an unpleasant image, but it made it really hard to sleep. When I finally did get to sleep, he haunted my dreams. I woke up feeling refreshed, but I was a little worried about riding with Jackson. Sure, we'd supposedly gotten rid of temptation, but I had the feeling that it wouldn't stop Jackson from making a move.At 7:40 in the morning, Jackson honked his horn. I grabbed my purse and rushed out the door. I got into the front seat of the car and gave Jackson a smile."Morning Sophie," he said."Hey.""About last night...""Yeah?""It'd be best if no one knew about it."