Kiss My Boots(4)

By: Harper Sloan

“You know I don’t give two shits about what they think, Quinn, but until I finish medical school they’ve got more pull over me than I wish they did.”

I sigh, knowing he’s right. The Montgomery family holds the purse strings to Tate’s future, and that’s a hell of a bind. He’s had his hopes set on going to an expensive out-of-state school and we both know he wouldn’t be able to afford it without their help. I know how much it means to him too—going to Emory University—because it’s where his paw attended, so as much as I hate accepting him leaving for a school that far away, I’ll support that dream.

The silence ticks on while we hold each other’s gaze. I pray that he can see the desperation my love for him makes me feel. The need to get as close as two people physically can is almost unbearable. What I feel—this fire burning deep in my belly—only becomes more powerful the longer I deny what I crave.

He must see something written in the silence around us because in that moment, the deep, dark blue of his irises swirl and light up with understanding. And unmistakable lust.

“You sure about this, Grease?” he questions on a whisper, lips quirking with his nickname for me. He’s used it since the first day we met, when I was covered in engine grease.

“I’ve never been more certain about anything in my life, Starch,” I answer, the butterflies picking back up to full speed when his smirk grows into a panty-melting smile at the use of my nickname for him—a standing joke about the high-society world he comes from back home in Dallas.

“Nothing in this world could make me stop lovin’ you,” he murmurs, his head moving down, closer to me, and before I can reply, his mouth captures mine in a deep kiss. I feel him all the way to my bones with this kiss. He’s branding himself into my very soul, and I know without a shadow of doubt I will always feel him there.

There isn’t any more talking after that. Moans, grunts, and the sound of bare skin brushing against bare skin, tentatively at first and then more urgently as we move together, are the only things that fill the silence around us. Through the pain of losing my virginity to the only boy I’ve ever loved, I bask in the beauty of this moment we’ve been building toward for years, knowing that my life will never be the same. Our future might not be set in stone, but we’ve come this far with only summers together since we were middle-school age. I have no doubt that we have what it takes to make it through him starting his medical school career and beyond. We’re not little kids anymore, confused about how we feel. We’re on the cusp of adulthood, old enough to understand our hearts are connected so powerfully, you can almost feel them nestling close together, beating as one.

As one.

- -

Present Day

I gasp when the memory clears, feeling my cheeks wet as I focus back on the paper in my hand. I pray that the name I read wasn’t his, but even with the shaking of my hand making the paper vibrate softly, I know it’s just wishful thinking.

The Ghost of Heartbreak Past apparently is back in Pine Oak.

Tatum Montgomery.

Jesus Jones.



“You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain

- -

The rest of the day passes in a fog. Memories long since locked away have suddenly slipped free of their confines and infiltrated my mind, filling my brain with bits and pieces of a past I thought I’d left behind. It doesn’t matter that I don’t want to remember them—all it took was one piece of dadgum paper to rip away the metal chains securing those unwanted recollections deep within the depths of my soul. By the time I realize the sun has set and I’m alone in the shop, I’ve worked myself into a downright tizzy.

On a normal day, I can be hard to handle, but when I’m nursin’ a tizzy, whoa boy. Irrational and manic, that’s probably the best way to describe me in freak-out mode.

I’ve found that the best cure for a tizzy is popping open a cold one, so I head to the mini-fridge in my office, pop open a Corona, and perch on my still-messy desk, swinging my legs back and forth as the bitter liquid slides down my throat and brings me instant relief, the first I’ve felt all day since that piece of paper landed on my desk and shook me to my core.

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