Something Great Page 73

’’We\ll see about that,’’ he said arrogantly, with a hint of challenge in his tone.

’’I don\ think so,’’ she snarled, leaning on one side of her hips.

Unexpectedly, Matthew slipped out of his sweater.

Becky froze, her eyes on his chest, admiring, most likely throbbing between her legs. Matthew\s chest was just as firm and se*y looking as Max\s. Max was already holding me, but he used his other hand to cover my eyes. ’’You don\ need to see that.’’

’’Max,’’ I whispered so they couldn\ hear me as I tugged his hand away. I wasn\ interested in seeing Matthew. I wanted to see what Becky would do next. This was like watching a soap opera, though I really didn\ watch them. I\d only heard about them.

’’Are you going to stand there and undress the rest of me with your eyes, or are you going to help me wash this off? Cause I have a date, and I don\ think she\ll appreciate me smelling like Chinese food.’’

Becky peered up again with a heated expression in her eyes. If steam could have come out of her head, it would have. ’’I\m not going to help you wash your sweater. It was your fault in the first place,’’ she snapped. ’’Go to the kitchen and wash it off yourself;or better yet, ask your date, who\s dumb enough to go out with you.’’ Then she headed to her room.

’’Don\ be jealous. I can cancel my date and go out with you instead.’’ Matthew\s tone was smooth and relaxed. He was enjoying seeing Becky all wired up way too much.

’’Jealous?’’ Becky turned around after she opened her bedroom door. ’’If you were the last man in the universe, I still wouldn\ go out with you.’’ Then she slammed the door.

Shaking his head, he chuckled. ’’Bye, Max and Jenna. I know you were watching. Invite Becky to our family dinner next time. I\m going out. See you later.’’ Then he was out the door.

Giggling, I turned to Max. ’’Is your brother this charming to all the girls?’’

’’Not this much.’’ Max rolled his eyes, and as he held my hand, he led us to my bed. Pulling the blanket aside, he gestured for me to get in first. As we snuggled, we started laughing again.

’’Matt hasn\ dated seriously in a while,’’ Max started to say. ’’About two years ago, the girl he fell in love with died from a car accident. Her name was Tessa. They had a fight and she ran off like you in the pouring rain. So you\ll have to excuse him for not being there for you. He did stop by, but he couldn\ stay. It was just too much for him.’’

’’That\s okay, Max. I didn\ even expect him to come. So what happened?’’

Max laced his fingers through mine and kissed the back of them. ’’She fell into a coma, and eventually her organs gave up. Afterward, he was a mess. He drank his sorrows away and bummed around. I don\ blame him. I would\ve done the same if that had happened to you. That was the reason why he was gone for a year. My parents and I thought it was good for him to just get away from life. We were hoping he would heal and find himself again...and I think it did help him. I just didn\ expect him to be gone that long. Anyway, before Tessa, Matt was irresponsible, but when he dated her, he was a different person. I really liked her. She was good for him. I know he\s still in pain, but I also know he\s healing and dealing with it.’’

Recalling that night of Thanksgiving when Matthew had said a prayer before the meal and got all choked up, I now knew the reason why. He was thinking of her. How difficult it must be for him. I recalled the pain when I thought Max was cheating on me;Matthew\s pain must have been a thousand times worse. I couldn\ imagine losing Max.

’’Thanks for sharing Matthew\s story.’’

’’I wouldn\ share this with anyone, Jenna. You\ e not just understand?’’ He tilted my face by placing his index finger underneath my chin and tenderly stroked my lips with his.

’’Yes. I understand,’’ I smiled, gliding my hand over the curve of his bicep.

’’Don\ ever do anything stupid like that again...ever. I thought I\d lost you. Sometimes we\ll have obstacles in our path, but that doesn\ mean it can\ be fixed. Yell, hit, or punch me...just don\ get yourself hurt, or I\ll never be able to forgive myself. I\m not saying there will be a reason too. Relationships are never perfect, and sometimes we may fight, but we\ll always make up...okay?’’

’’Okay,’’ I nodded. ’’I\m sorry to put you through all that.’’ And I really was. Now, knowing what Matthew went through, being close to his brother, I was sure Max was right beside him going through the pain. Trying to help him move on must have been difficult too. I could only imagine what he was thinking and how he was feeling when I was in a coma. My poor Max!

’’You don\ need to apologize. You just need to trust me. I know there are rumors about me, but they\ e not true. Women threw themselves at me and expected me to love them, but I felt nothing, no connection, and no spark of wanting forever with them...until you came along.’’ He paused to caress my face. ’’And even when I let them know how I felt, they didn\ care, and somehow it\s my fault.’’ Then he changed the subject. ’’What shall we do with Becky and Matt?’’ Max chuckled. ’’Clearly there is something there. I\ve never seen him act like that before...I mean after losing Tessa...unless the trip changed him.’’

’’I don\ know, Max. Becky will eat him alive if he\s like that around her.’’ I shook my head, already envisioning what their future encounters may be like.

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