That first encounter with Robert in rural Romania at eleven. A summer spent together in the same setting a year later. Their first text exchange in high school. The first sexual experience. The first heartbreak—the second and third and fourth chance. The point of total breakdown and the despair of failing. More love than anyone could have warned him about.
No matter how much time passes, no matter how different their paths, every meeting brings Edi and Robert closer together. Those stolen moments shine brighter than any. Yet loving Robert is not easy, not when Edi wants to be true to himself and is met with dishonesty. Or when Robert keeps parading new conquests and ignores Edi more often than not.
Edi has always loved Robert, but he must decide if his journey leads to or away from his childhood friend. Is it true love or is Edi just unable to let go?
“How… how was it?” Robert was too cute! Yeah, he might have been older, but that sudden shyness and tremor in his voice made him look younger. No, not just younger, younger than me. Inexperienced. Vulnerable.
I took full advantage of that vulnerability. “I could show you.”
Robert gasped and moved away from me. He didn’t say anything, but the horror was evident on his face, even in the darkness. It felt like a punch to the stomach, the kind that pushes you back a few meters. Dead on, when you’re not prepared for it.
I chuckled and shook my head. What was I doing? I stood and nodded to him, then took a few steps towards my gate. I don’t know what surprised me more, Robert’s hand closing around my wrist and tugging gently, or how cool it was, despite the summer heat.
For a second, I considered yanking my hand free and running home. I couldn’t though, the feel of his cold skin on mine was like an electric shock. I turned to face him, a little too fast and not noticing he’d stepped closer. We bumped chests and lost our balance. I steadied us both, pinning him to the fence in the process.
I remembered how I’d felt when Victor had done it to me. The excitement, so overpowering, so laced with fear. The arousal that had rushed through me. At the time, it had seemed like the most intense thing I’d experienced. It paled compared to how having Robert’s body pressed to mine felt.
Robert flattened his hands on the fence and looked up at me, defiant and cold. I closed my eyes, I couldn’t see him like that, prepared for an unwanted attack. I could probably overpower him, but did he really think I would?
“So are you going to do it? Or are you really just too afraid to kiss someone?”
My eyes popped open and my jaw dropped. There was a hint of amusement in his tone yet he still looked all defiant. Only this time I understood it was more about challenging me and making me bend to his will. I was still the younger fool whose buttons he could push.
I dropped one arm to his shoulder, sneaking my hand around his neck. His soft, slightly curling hair tickled me and I smiled. “You’re still such an asshole, Robert.”
About the Author:
Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.