"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."
First of all, let me just make one thing clear.
I have absolutely no idea how this happened.
But for some reason, here I am, intently watching my stepsister as she does her homework at the kitchen table. It's cute, the way she gets frustrated halfway through and just erases the whole thing. She's flustered. She always gets flustered when she has no idea what she's doing.
Kind of like how I feel right now.
I can't tear my eyes away from her. Those beautiful eyes as they scan over the pages of her book. Her long hair as it grazes the table top. Those pink lips that lately I've thought about kissing a thousand times.
All of those other parts of her body that I've thought about doing terrible, wonderful things to.
She doesn't deserve it. I don't deserve her. If she only knew what's been occupying my thoughts lately, she would probably never speak to me again. I'm the reason she's down here in the kitchen in the first place. When she came to me and asked that I turn my stereo down, I refused. And she, fed up, came down here to finish.
Of course, about an hour later, I followed. Now, here I am standing and watching her as she does her homework. I notice more about her in these moments than at any other time. Like how she holds her pencil with two fingers on top instead of just one. Like how she prefers to cross her right leg over her left leg. Like how she licks her lips about every ten seconds, unless she's biting her bottom lip as she concentrates.
"What are you doing?" she breaks my thoughts.
I snap back to reality. No more passionate, throbbing thoughts of Casey. All I have to do now is pretend that I hate her. Which is becoming increasingly difficult, since every time I look at her, all I want to do is pull her body close to mine and taste her, touch her, tease her.
"I'm hungry," I reply, moving my feet for the first time in ten minutes.
She looks at me disgustedly. I wonder if she weren't so busy hating me, if maybe she would like me. Maybe she could look past all of that remote-taking, loud-music-playing, insult-giving. Maybe she would have the same dirty thoughts about me that I have about her.
"You already drove me away from my room," she sighs, "Are you going to drive me away from the kitchen, too?"
"I don't see how my presence could drive anyone away," I sneer, opening the refrigerator door and grabbing a soda.
"Would you like me to show you?" she asks angrily, standing, and slamming her book shut, collecting her papers.
I race, without thought, and place my hand on top of hers. She pauses, frozen under my touch. I withdraw quickly, realizing that there is a sudden numbness in my hand. When we lose contact, my hand begins to tingle. Glancing over at her, I notice that she is gently rubbing the hand that I had touched.
I smile, "Don't bother. I'm going back upstairs now."
She slowly places her book back on the table, watching me the entire time. She thinks she can out stare me. But there it is. That flicker of uncertainty in her eyes. She glances away. Placing her papers back in order, she sits down.
I lean against the kitchen counter, twisting off the cap of my soda. She's nervously tucking a piece of hair behind her ear. She poises her pencil over the piece of paper in front of her, but her hand is shaking. It's the hand I touched. She starts to write something, but I notice her visible frustration when it comes out as scribble.
"What's wrong, Case?" I ask, putting my soda down and crossing my arms over my chest.
"Nothing," she replies quickly, then adds distractedly, "I thought you were going up to your room."
"I am in a minute," I say, "Are you sure there's nothing wrong? You look kind of…I don't know. Nervous?"
I want to test her. I want to see how she reacts to me when I'm coming on to her. We fight so much that I'm never sure how she would feel if I showed something other than animosity. Because, so far, my thoughts about her have been just that.
But I want to do so much more.
"I'm not nervous," she replies, "I'm just frustrated, okay? I have a huge test tomorrow that I'm probably going to fail. I haven't been able to study at all with your loud, obnoxious music playing. And you standing there like that isn't helping."
"Am I making you nervous?" I ask.
"I just told you I wasn't nervous!" she replies, obviously flustered.
She goes back to staring at her book, but I can tell that she can't concentrate. Pushing myself off the counter I go to the table and press my palms against the surface, leaning slightly forward, just watching her as she scans the page. She shifts uncomfortably.
"Would you please leave?" she asks, and it sounds more desperate than angry.
I don't answer her, just continue to watch her as she feigns interest in her homework, flipping through a few pages. I watch as she tries to suppress her heavy breathing. She isn't stupid; she is acutely aware of what I'm doing to her. I think she's just surprised that it's actually working.
"Derek, go back upstairs," she breathes, her voice husky.
I push myself back from the table, and she jumps. She's so adorable when she's nervous. It's even cuter when it's because of me. This vulnerability in her is really turning me on. For the first time, I find Casey's complete opposition totally attractive. Sexy, even.
"This is my kitchen, too," I say, slowly making my way around the table.
She stiffens, and I can tell she is silently anticipating what I'm going to do next. She's abandoned her pencil on the table, her hands locked between her legs. I suppose she doesn't want me to see her shaking. Even when we fight and I win, she's always in control.
But not this time.
"I...I..." she mutters helplessly, biting her bottom lip.
By now, I've reached the other side of the table. I'm standing so close, my leg brushes hers briefly and I smirk when her face turns a deep shade of red. I've never noticed how much I rely upon physical contact with her until now. Ever since we met, I've had this need to touch her, even when we're fighting. The smooth surface of her skin makes my body burn.
But now I want more. I want the kind of touch that only comes with passion.
She stands up abruptly, nearly knocking her chair over. A few of the papers on the table rustle about, but both of us have clearly abandoned pretending to care about her homework. Standing now, she looks me in the eyes for the first time in a while.
But not a word escapes from her lips. They just tremble.
This drives me over the edge, past the point of reason.
I grab her waist and hoist her onto the table. I try to step closer, but her knees are in the way. I feel her jump when I place my hand on top of her leg, pushing her knees to one side. I take her face between my hands and pull her lips to mine.
It feels too good to stop.
She pulls away, her eyes large and glazed. She hates me. My chest tightens. I feel it physically. It's like I can't breathe. I begin to step back, but she grabs my shirt, spreading her legs and pulling me toward her.
Our lips collide again.
I run my fingers through her hair, something I've always wanted to do. It feels exactly as I imagined it would: soft and silky. My other hand is gripped tightly around her waist, trying desperately to pull her closer.
Oh God, please don't let this be another one of my fantasies.
She presses against me harder, moving her hips in slow, rhythmic circles. The intense burning I feel in reaction reminds me that this is absolutely real. I hear her whimpering softly with pleasure.
This can't be happening. I'm always right. At the end of every fight we've ever had, I've come out victorious. I always get my way. Never once did I think I would ever give in to Casey. And I never dreamed it would ever feel this good.
And all I had to do was yield.