• Mackenzie Lane

Excerpt: Blurred Lines

Hundreds of questions run through my head, all centered on Austin and what his intentions are with Em. Jesus, even in my head I sound like an overprotective father. A door opens and light spills out into the dark street as laughter fills the air. Em walks out and I drop my ball. Rushing over to her, I wrap my arms around her and hug her to my chest. She wraps her arms around me and sighs. “I missed you, too.” “Sorry, I’ve been going crazy all day. You’re not allowed to date on days you have to work or go to school,” I whisper into her hair. I breathe her in. She smells like Chinese food. She always does after a shift. She’s warm and feels like home. “It’s too much for me to handle.” “So, you’re saying the only day I can date is Sunday?” “Sunday is our day, so no.” “I can never date?” “Never. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make though,” I tell her, giving her one last squeeze before releasing her and moving to open her door. “How generous of you.” “What can I say, I’m a giver.” I wink at her and then cringe. Damn it. Only douchebags wink. She laughs as I close her door. My heart calms down and the tightness in my chest eases on the drive home. She always does that to me. She’s my calm in a storm. Em kicks off her shoes once we’re inside. “Are you hungry?” “What did you bring me?” I eye the bag in her hand. Whenever she works nights, she brings home a container of leftovers for me. “Fried rice.” My stomach growls, and she laughs. “Guess that’s a yes.” I take the bag from her hands and go into the kitchen to reheat the food while she takes a shower. She comes out of the bathroom twenty minutes later wearing a pair of short shorts that have unicorns on them and a white tank top. I frown. “What?” She glances down at her pajamas and picks at some invisible lint. I pull my shirt off and throw it at her and shrug. I like it when she wears my shirt. Em grins and slips it over her head before coming to sit on the sofa beside me while we eat and watch basketball replays. Old games of ours and other teams’. I study them and learn the moves so I learn what to expect on the court. It bores her like it does my dad, but I appreciate that she sits through it to keep me happy. We finish eating and Em clears the plates while I switch off the television and sit on the bed. “Remember that time I let you play with my boobs?” she calls from the kitchen...

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