Open Road

By: Evelyn Glass


I've been a good girl all my life. For eighteen years I've done what everyone expects of me--Mama, Daddy, my teachers, my friends, my coach. I kept a near-perfect GPA all through high school, even with cheerleading and volunteer work. Tonight I walked across that stage with the road to my future paved and shining, just waiting for me to show up and drive.

But I just had to go off-roading.

Alejandro Rojas has wanted me since ninth grade biology. Cristina, my best friend, is also his cousin. She's been trying to keep me away from him for four years, but I was curious about him. So we've been talking, just a bit, in secret. He's like no one I've ever known. Alejandro is so smart, so talented, so interesting to talk to. He's also tall and gorgeous and just wrong enough to make me feel like I'm doing something bad without really breaking the rules. He got into Magnet with us because he's supposed to be some kind of math genius, and he played football all four years, but Mama would have a fit if I brought him around. He's not really one of us.

Which suits me just fine tonight.

We made plans to meet up at this party, so I made sure he saw me when he walked in. I pretended not to notice the way he stared, but his eyes burned me up. There are girls here tonight who've wanted a piece of Alejandro all year. There are even some girls here tonight who've had him, but no one's kept him.

I don't want to keep him, either. I don't want a boyfriend, not with my freedom so close I can taste it. In two and a half months and I'll be in College Station meeting hot, smart guys from all over the country. All I want tonight is to keep looking into those velvet eyes and letting him kiss me again. I want him to keep whispering sweet words as he touches me. If he goes too far I'll pretend I want him to stop, but what I really want is to wrap myself around that perfect body and touch him everywhere. I want to drive him crazy and I want to let myself be carried away.

I want to be reckless.

His breath is sweet and his lips on mine are gentle. I didn't expect his kisses to make me feel like my whole body might explode. "Ali," he whispers against my lips, "You're so beautiful." And I feel beautiful in a way I've never felt. I feel raw and powerful, as if I hold the key to some secret in the universe. I fit perfectly in his arms and I know if I ever let him make love to me that would be perfect, too.

But tonight his hands are respectful. Too respectful. I want him to touch me all over, but there's no way to do that without seeming slutty. I can tell that he's hard, but he doesn't pressure me in any way. Although deep down I'm glad of that, part of me wishes he would grab me and make me his. Just for tonight.

Suddenly my back's against the wall and I've got six feet of gorgeous guy pressed against me. Our mouths are fused, our bodies so close I can't tell where I stop and Alejandro starts. There's a whimpering noise in the background, and I realize it's coming from me. He's done this. Right now, with his hands in my hair and his body pinning me to a wall, I feel more alive than I've ever felt.

I feel invincible, irresistible, infinite.

If this is what it's like to lose control, I love it.


Ali Owens sighed as her phone chirped again. Without even looking at it, she knew it was another text from Bobby. That's what I get for not calling him back the first time he texted, she thought, glancing down at the screen. Her ex was well-known for his persistence.

Call me.

Their last dinner together a few weeks ago had been a disaster. She'd managed to avoid spending any time with him since his unforgivable behavior at Bistro Mia, but it hadn't stopped him from texting like clockwork every day. Call me. I miss you. Come back to me. The florist's delivery driver had practically worn a path to her back door. I'm sorry, said every card. Please forgive me.

She knew he meant it, that was the thing. He was sorry. He did love her. He would do anything to win her back.

She just wasn't sure she wanted to be won.

It wasn't just about Alejandro. At least, she didn't want it to be just about Alejandro. Her first love, the first man she'd ever given herself to, had re-appeared after ten years and plucked her heart from her chest as easily as a child plucking a dandelion. She hadn't stood a chance when she bumped into him looking gorgeous and dangerous and hungry for her. When he said the words she'd waited ten years to hear, she knew she'd never stopped loving him.

There were damned good reasons to end things with Bobby, anyway. He hated her job. She hated his mother. He wanted her on his arm for his political campaign. She wanted a quiet life with privacy. Marrying Bobby meant selling the ranch she'd inherited from her grandmother, the place where she'd practically grown up. Bobby's life of politics meant galas and campaign events and nights away from home. She didn't want their children raised by someone else. Her grandmother had essentially raised her, though her parents would never admit to that, and Bobby and his brother had a nanny growing up. Ali vowed that her kids would have something different. Something much, much better.

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