Just One Touch: A Black Alcove Novel (The Black Alcove Series Book 3) (16 page)

“That’s good to
hear. You should tell Logan about all that. He’d love to hear they
treated you well.”

He’s right. Logan
probably does wonder all the same things I do.

“Um,” I begin,
tucking hair behind my ear. “Were Logan’s foster parents good to
him?”

My eyes slowly flutter
back in Conner’s direction and when they meet his, he stands.

“That’s something
you should talk to Logan about, and the questions you have for him,
you should write down. That way, if you forget because you’re too
nervous, you have something to focus on.”

“That’s a pretty
good idea you have there, Mr. Brian,” I say, rising to stand in
front of him.

“I thought so myself,
Ms. Parker.”

The moment his lips
touch mine once again, I let my entire body relax into his embrace.
Meeting Conner is one of the best things that could have happened to
me. I’m not a huge believer in fate, but I may need to start. I
don’t think I was meant to come here just for my brother. I think I
was meant to meet Conner, too. Someone is looking out for me and as
long as I have Conner on my side, I’ll be okay.

Chapter Thirteen

Conner

Alex’s leg bounces as
she sits next to me on the couch.

“You need to stop
worrying. I promise, it’s going to be okay.”

I rub my hand across
her back in an attempt to calm her down. She’s been here for less
than ten minutes and we’ve yet to leave the apartment.

After our conversation
a couple days ago, I mentioned that if she’s this worried over
Logan’s reaction, maybe meeting him in a place where he is most
comfortable is a good idea. It was either his house or the BA, and
Alex chose the BA because of its location to her own apartment.

I called him last night
to ask if he and Sara wanted to get together for a lunch date so I
could finally introduce them to Alex. They both agreed that it’s
about time because, according to them, if I’m not talking about
Jake, I’m talking about her.

“I think we should
re-schedule,” she says, slouching back and resting her face in her
hands. “I can’t do it. Just thinking about it makes me want to
throw up. I mean, what if he starts yelling or accusing me of lying,
or what if he does believe me and tells me he doesn’t want me to be
a part of his life anymore because this is too much for him? She
begins to pace. “How am I going to react to that? I won’t be able
to stay here. I’ll have to move and it will all have been for
nothing and I’ll be back where I was before with nothing and I
don’t know if I can handle the rejection.”

“Okay, just take a
deep breath.” I stand, stopping her in the center of my living room
and rubbing my hands down her arms. “I’ve known Logan for as long
as I can remember. He’s my best friend and one of the most
understanding people I know. He won’t reject you.”

“But—”

“I told you.” I cut
her words off with a kiss on her forehead. “I was there when he
tried to find you. He may have stopped trying, but that was only
because he never heard from you and thought that’s what you wanted.
So he left you alone.”

She’s nodding and
keeps nodding as she looks around. “Okay, yeah, let’s go before I
change my mind.”

“Good. I’ll drive
so you can’t bolt if you get scared.” This earns me an eye roll.
She nudges me and then heads out the door.

She’s worried Logan
won’t accept her. I get it. I also know she’s got nothing to
worry about. Me, on the other hand, I’m pretty sure I need to
worry. He’ll be accepting of her all right, but of us, I’m not so
sure.

Time to find out.

* * *

I park in my usual spot
on the side of the building. The moment the engine is turned off and
my hand is on the door handle, Alex rests her hand on my arm to stop
me.

“Thank you for coming
with me.” Her eyes start to glaze over and it’s right now, in
this moment, I realize she trusts me. It may have taken her a while,
but she told me everything. And yet I can’t find the words to tell
her about Jake’s mom. I know it doesn’t matter, but she deserves
to know. There is never the right time for a topic like that and this
is definitely not the right moment, but I have to man up sooner
rather than later.

I open my mouth, but I
don’t get any words out before her lips are on mine. She leans her
entire body into the kiss, slipping her tongue into my mouth. The
feeling goes right to my groin. I lean back, reaching my hand around
her head and holding her lips to mine as I deepen the kiss. Anytime
we kiss, it’s easy to get lost, to forget where I am or what is the
right thing to do. I should stop this, but I don’t want to.

The fist pounding
against my window, however, does.

“Hey! Are we eating
lunch or what?” Logan glares at us through the window.

I jerk away from Alex
and she does the same. She looks straight out the passenger’s
window away from Logan. I nod and give him a finger, letting him know
we’ll be just a minute.

He nods, turning to
open Sara’s door and they disappear inside the building.

“Okay, now I
definitely can’t tell him.”

“Why not?”

“Umm, hello, Conner,
you were here. The first time I see my brother after all these years
and it’s because he caught me making out with his best friend!”

“Sounds like pretty
typical brother-sister behavior. You guys will be fine.”

“Conner.” She
shoves me against the door. Well, attempts to as she laughs. “This
isn’t funny.”

“Alex, come on, think
about it. This is the moment you came to Wind Valley for. You can’t
back out now. You both deserve this. And if, that’s a big if, it
doesn’t go the way you planned, the stress of never knowing will
still be gone.”

“You’re right.”

“But don’t worry.
It’s going to be fine.”

She finally gets out of
the truck, with me right behind her. I lace our fingers as we go
inside. A way to remind her that I am here for her. Logan waves from
a table near the jukebox. Alex looks up at me one more time before we
head in their direction.

I pull out her chair
when we get to the table and clear my throat.

“Sara, help me pick
out a song.”

“What?” she and
Logan say in unison.

“A song.”

“Go pick one out
yourself.” Logan squints his eyes at me.

“I want Sara’s
opinion on changing some of the choices.”

“Are you being
serious?” she asks.

This is not working out
as well as I hoped it would.

“Sara, please?” I
use my most polite yet just-do-it voice. This earns me an eye roll
from Logan and I almost laugh. These two are so much alike. He’s
going to love this.

I step away from the
table, guiding Sara toward the jukebox with quick steps.

“Geez, Conner, what
is going on?”

“Alex is Alexis.”

“Your point? Everyone
has nicknames.”

“Alexis Parker.”

Her eyes go wide and
she looks back to the table.

“She’s been scared
to—”

“Shhhh! I want to
hear them.”

And just like that I’m
shushed as I wait for Alex to reveal her secret. I hope it goes well.
I hope it goes really well that he doesn’t mind me dating her. And
I really hope it goes well because I’ve never been so nervous for
someone else in my life.

Alexis

Conner isn’t the
smoothest guy. I’ve kept my head down since his first awkward
invitation for Sara to join him came out of his mouth. With them away
from the table, I glance up.

Logan smiles as he
extends his hand. The moment I lift my chin and look him straight on,
his entire body freezes. His eyes survey me from the other side of
the table. I wait for confusion to set in, because that’s what I
prepared myself for. I definitely didn’t expect him to recognize me
so quickly. His throat bobs as he swallows, never removing his eyes
from mine.

“Hi, Logan. I’m
Alexis Parker,” I say, placing my hand in his. He continues to look
at me with wide eyes. It both freaks me out and makes me want to
break into tears. My heart is beating so hard it hurts my ears.

“I’m your sister.”

Silence and a slight
jaw drop is all I get. I wait. I look around for Conner and find him
and Sara both watching us like it’s a live movie. I start to scoot
my chair back, because it’s obvious I was right and I didn’t make
the best judgment call. Conner steps up to the table. He stands next
to my chair and motions for me to stop. He tilts his head toward
Logan, who is still staring at me.

“Do you want me to
go?” I ask.

Logan finally snaps out
of his state of shock and shakes his head.

“No, no I don’t. I
just … this um … this wasn’t what I was expecting today.”

“Trust me, it’s
probably just as hard for me to say it to you as it is for you to
hear it.”

“Why do you say
that?”

“Because I got your
letter over a year ago and I’m just now showing up. Well, I’ve
been here for a while, but yeah.”

He’s smiling. but his
wide eyes tell me he’s still in shock. “You got my letters?” he
asks.

“Letters?” He sent
me more than one? “No, I only got one.” I pull it from my purse,
my heart slowing down to its normal pace, but my hands continue to
shake. I cried every time I read this letter and each time I tried to
dream up how this moment would go. None of them will ever compare to
the real thing.

He leans back in his
chair and his grin grows. “I can’t believe you kept it.”

“Someone wanted me to
be a part of their family.” I shrug. “I couldn’t
not
take the chance.” My hands shake as I focus on the fact it’s
possible I’ve revealed too much for the first five minutes of our
meeting. I watch as he takes the letter, unfolds it, and laughs.

“My handwriting looks
so awful. I remember shaking the entire time I wrote this. I wasn’t
sure how many chances I would get. With every word I wrote I told
myself I had to get it right.”

His voice catches in a
few spots and he, too, takes a deep breath. I knew this moment was
going to be tough for me and that it would be a shock for him too.

“There is so much I
want to ask you, I just don’t know if I can do it today,” he
shares with me and it’s the glazed expression in his eyes that
makes me realize how much I focused on him having a negative
reaction, never considering what it would look like if he were happy
to see me.

I’m about to reach
out and grab his hand to tell there isn’t a reason to hurry because
we are brother and sister and we’re in this together, but his chair
shoots out and he rushes around the table, throwing his arms around
me.

I try to do my best to
hug him back, but he’s squeezing me tighter than ever I expected a
guy to hug someone.

“Are we
interrupting?” Conner asks. Sara is standing next to him with
seriously the happiest smile I’ve ever seen, and I’m instantly
smiling back.

“Oh, damn it,” she
says looking away and fanning her hand in front of her eyes. “I’m
so sorry, I just … okay, okay, and I’m good now.”

“Alexis, this is my
wife, Sara. Babe, this is Alexis, my sister.”

I don’t even have
time to reply before she, too, is swinging her arms around me. “Oh,
this is so amazing. You look just like him, but you know, female and
beautiful.”

“Hey, I’m
beautiful,” Logan says behind her.

“No, you’re
handsome,” she replies.

He kisses Sara on the
temple and then she smiles up at him. He looks happy, and knowing
that he’s had her in his life makes a small piece of me feel
relieved.

“Oh shoot, you’re
not going to cry, too, are you?” Sara asks, grabbing a napkin off
the table and handing it to me. I wasn’t even aware any tears had
slipped by.

“I’m crying because
I’m pregnant and apparently that’s my only symptom and it’s in
high gear all day, every day,” Sara admits, taking the seat next to
me. She leans over, resting her head on my shoulder, apparently
already comfortable with me. I’ve heard so much about her, so many
good things, that I enjoy the gesture.

Logan returns to his
seat and Conner takes the one across from me. He reaches over to
squeeze my hands in his. I don’t miss the slight glare Logan gives
him.

“Can we still eat?”
Sara asks. We all laugh, and just like that, I’m having lunch with
my brother and it feels like a huge brick had been taken off my back.

I know it’s only day
one of an entire relationship we have to build, but between Logan and
Conner, I’ve never felt so at home. Nothing could ruin this.

Chapter Fourteen

Conner

The best mornings are
those when you don’t have to wake up to an alarm or anything else
that feels the need to wake you before your body actually wants to
rise and greet the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son, but
waking up on lazy mornings to the sun peeking through the windows and
a very sexy, leggy, and naked woman wrapped up in your sheets is real
nice, too.

Alex and I are curled
up, her back to my front. At some point during the night we must have
shifted away from each other. I reach over her and tug her body back
into mine. She lets out a sigh so I know she’s awake, then she lets
out moan to let me know how awake she is.

“I thought we were
sleeping in today,” she says with a sleepy voice. She rolls over to
face me and touches her lips to my nose.

“It’s almost ten.
Technically, you already did sleep in.” I kiss her softly, rolling
halfway on top of her.

“Before you distract
me, I want to thank you for helping me talk to Logan.”

“Anything for you.”
I kiss her again.

“I mean it, If I
hadn’t told you, or, technically, if you hadn’t figured it out,
I’d still be alone inside my apartment stressing on what I’m
going to about Logan. Instead, now I have all day to think about what
I want to do next, with you.”

Other books

The Pharaoh's Secret by Clive Cussler, Graham Brown
Strong Enough to Love by Dahl, Victoria
I'm Still Here (Je Suis Là) by Clelie Avit, Lucy Foster
The Pink Ghetto by Ireland, Liz
Who Goes There by John W. Campbell
Attack of the Amazons by Gilbert L. Morris
The Quality of Mercy by David Roberts
B001NLKW62 EBOK by Smith, Larry, Fershleiser, Rachel