Don’t forget the release of Unraveled is just around the corner. We even have a pre order link if you are an iBooks reader. Pre Order link.
I posted the entire first chapter of Unraveled here.
I spend most of the night with one eye open just waiting for Charlotte’s parents to burst through the door but even with that anxiety hovering around the edges of my consciousness I don’t leave. Charlotte’s hand is tucked into mine is more effective than a chain bolted to the floor. I can tell that she is confused by my response to her and I am as well. These feelings came on so fast and neither of us are prepared. I had some vague idea Charlotte and I would end up together but that was in the future. Her being sick, nearly dying had changed things. But we aren’t ready. I’m not ready.
The memory of the last time I had sex flicks through my mind and I get an instant erection. Nick is having more sex than me right now but I know I shouldn’t care. I know other guys would either be having sex with other girls or be taking Charlotte up on her offer. Although what she is offering I’m not sure. And it’s not like Charlotte and I are dating or even a couple. We’re connected though. For so long I’ve just taken for granted that she’ll be around when I’m ready for her. And right now she’s too young and I’m trying hard to push away those physical feelings. Emotional ones are okay but I feel two inches high whenever I get hard around her. But going off to another girl? That seems just as wrong now. Before, yeah, it was easy. The idea of not having sex for some interminable amount of time in the future is bleak. I wonder if I can die from a build up of sperm or if my dick really will fall off if I jerk it too much in the shower. Maybe it would be better if she left. If she was gone, wouldn’t it be easier for me to go without? No temptation around.
I hold myself immobile so I don’t disturb her sleep but she finally lets go right before dawn, about the time I usually get up and lift weights so I tell myself it’s okay to leave her. She mumbles something but I don’t catch it. Leaning over, I tuck the blankets around her and kiss her forehead.
“Naaaate.” She sighs out my name, the a sounding like one long breathy syllable and it sends shivers down my spine and I’m hard. Just like that. Adjusting myself, I creep out, glad that the hallway is quiet. All doors are shut and I can escape into my own home unnoticed. The kitchen is dark except for the range light over the hood.
“You can spend as much time as you like with her before she leaves, but she is leaving.”
My hand is on the doorknob but my heart is somewhere around my knees. If I had poor bladder control, I would have pissed myself. At least my boner died.
“Jesus Christ, Aunt AM.” I swear forgetting myself. In the shadows, across the room, sits Charlotte’s mother, a mug in her hand and her tablet in front of her on the breakfast table. I hope she didn’t see me tenting my pants earlier. I won’t die from sperm build up. One of Charlotte’s parents will kill me instead. “I d-didn’t see you,” I stammer out.
“No kidding.” I can hear the smirk in her voice. “The fog comes on little cat feet.”
“Carl Sandberg.” When I show no understanding, she shakes her head. “School’s these days. It’s about the Chicago Harbor! The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on. You’ve never heard that?”
It rings a faint bell so I nod but she isn’t buying it. “Come.” She orders. “Sit down.”
I trudge over, my feet slapping heavily against the tiles. She kicks out a chair and I drop into it.
“Why?” I ask sullenly feeling like I’m a toddler again and Aunt AM is taking away my favorite toy.
I can feel her looking at me, but the light from the range hood doesn’t extend over here. The only light is from her tablet which has flickered off. Gone to sleep I guess.
“If Charlotte wanted to go to the Navy Pier, would you take her?”
I know that there is a trap here. I hesitate and it’s my first mistake. “No,” I say.
“How do you stop her? Physically restrain her? And if she tells you that it is fine and that her doctor has okayed it, do you call her a liar?” The questions come rapid fire and I can’t process them all at once. “You eventually give in because you love her and you think she must know, after this most recent episode put her in the hospital, that she can’t keep hiding her weakness.”
I nod slowly at this assessment, but I’m uncertain. Would I keep Charlotte from doing something she said she was safe to do? Charlotte can talk me into anything and if she said that it was safe I’d believe her. My tongue is still frozen by doubt. Aunt AM continues on, using my silence against me.
“And if she had an episode, a seizure or passed out would you blame yourself?” I nod again because anything else would be an obvious lie. “We want to prevent that from happening. Where you’re blaming yourself and Charlotte avoids placing all of you in a bad situation.”
“How long?” I ask.
“Six maybe nine months. We hope to be back before your senior year and her sophomore year.”
I’m glad now that we can’t see each other because what I’m feeling right now is something like relief. I shouldn’t feel that way but it’s like Charlotte’s absence will give me time to sort out everything.
“Before may 21st?”
I sense her shrug. “Maybe before her 16th birthday. It depends on how hard Charlotte works at getting better. Does she do everything her doctors ask or does she try to hide her symptoms and pretend she isn’t as sick as she is.”
“Okay,” I say. I mean, it’s not like I have a choice in the matter. Aunt AM gets to her feet and gives me a hug. Standing up, I return her embrace already feeling a hundred times better.
“It’s the right thing for all of us,” she murmurs to me.
“Thanks Aunt AM.” I’m nearly at the connecting door when she calls out.
“Don’t let Bo know you are marking when Charlotte turns 16 or you might not live to see your next birthday.”
Because I am a stupid and reckless shit I give Aunt AM a salute and a grin. She mock tosses her tablet at me and I disappear down the hall.M y cocky belief that all will work itself out reasserts itself. Six months? Nothing can happen that would affect us in six months. By then Charlotte won’t be so young. Sixteen is perfect. Six months is perfect.
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