ALL WE KNOW - CHAPTER 1
Having a kid at the age of fifteen years old was frowned upon. In most countries anyway. And especially in the United States of America. But when the cute boy next door asks you out on a date, you say yes. One thing led to another and the next thing I knew, that tiny little stick came back positive. It might as well have screamed at me, saying, You. Are. Pregnant! And you’re only fifteen years old! How could you?
But it takes two. Right? Or that was what I was told anyway. My boyfriend at the time, had other ideas.
We used protection. It’s not foolproof.
Did you poke holes in the condom? Yeah, because that was my thing.
You trapped me. That’s why you did this. Isn’t it? Yup, you caught me.
But even after all of those hateful words, Randy Lindt was still the one. Even after I heard that he was sleeping with everyone. Including my best friend at the time. Although, I wasn’t sure much sleeping was involved.
Bottom line was, he broke my heart, but I did get a beautiful baby boy out of it. As painful as it was at the time, I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I looked up from my spot at the kitchen table, finding my son, James, and his best friend, Gabe, standing at the entranceway to the dining room.
I smiled, leaning back in the chair. My heart stuttered at seeing Gabe. It had been ongoing for the past few months. These new feelings. The stares that lingered a little longer than what was deemed necessary or the light flirting between us. But it had never amounted to more. For whatever reason, my body reacted to him in ways that were frowned upon. He was thirteen years younger than me.
Clearing my throat, my smile widened. “Hey guys.”
James came over to me and wrapped his arms around my shoulders and kissed my cheek. “You were daydreaming again.”
A laugh escaped me. “Hardly.” I tapped his hand. “What are you guys up to?”
James released me and sat at the chair beside me.
Gabe took that moment to join us, sitting on the other side of the table. I noticed how his dark eyes lingered on me. They slid over my skin, sending a wave of heat rushing through me. It was as if they were touching me themselves. The tiny hairs on my body tingled under his scrutiny.
I shifted in my seat, the back of my neck heating under his intense stare.
The corner of his mouth twitched. “I told him to get some studying in, but he wants to wait until right before school starts.”
James rolled his eyes. “Thanks for ratting me out, fucker.”
“Language,” I scolded my son.
“Sorry,” he muttered.
“But some studying wouldn’t hurt,” I added. He had barely made it out of this year of college without having to take some summer courses. My son was the type to party his way through school. Couldn’t say I blamed him too much though. His dad and I had put him through hell over the years.
James’s face softened. He reached up, rubbing his thumb along the crease between my brows. “Stop worrying so much. I’ll be okay.”
“I’m fine.” I rose from the table and went to the fridge to grab a bottle of wine. It had been an anniversary gift from my parents when they came back from South Africa a year ago. A month later Randy handed me divorce papers. I really should have divorced him long ago but stayed with him for our son instead. Little did I know that my son had wanted me to leave him ever since he was a kid. For someone who was only twenty-one, he was highly intuitive. And he knew me well. He knew I wasn’t happy with his dad, but I wanted to try everything I could to make it right with him.
I turned, my gaze landing on Gabe. He had been my son’s best friend since they were kids. Living across the street from us, the two boys had been inseparable ever since. Even though he was two years older than James, he was still young at the age of twenty-three.
I looked around the room, noticing that James was no longer with us. “Where’s James?”
“He got a call.” Gabe stood from the table. “Something about setting up a date.”
“Oh.” A tremor of unease twisted my stomach. Would Gabe be joining him on that date with his own girl on his arm? I swallowed hard, forcing those thoughts to the back of my head. Why would I care? I shouldn’t care. I was thirty-six. Even though I was still young, I was far older than him. Whatever these feelings were, I wasn’t used to them, but I chalked it up to being alone for the past several months.
My son had some good-looking friends. Friends that I noticed if I was younger, I would have been attracted to. These new feelings were not the norm. Especially not for someone like me. I had played it safe ever since I found out I was pregnant. I never went to parties. I didn’t do drugs or have sex with random people or drank. I didn’t have my first sip of wine until I was well into my twenties. Maybe I had played it safe for far too long and I was finally coming to terms with the fact that maybe I needed to live a little. I wasn’t sure but at the moment, all I could focus on was how Gabe continued to stare at me.
He came toward me and leaned against the kitchen counter. He stood so close, I could smell the mint on his breath and the spicy cologne on his skin.
The hairs in my nose tingled, my fingers itching to run along the hard lines of his tall, lean body.
My eyes widened at that unexpected thought. Had it been that long since I felt the touch of a man? Of someone making me feel good. Of someone not so damn selfish that he only chose to give me pleasure once he was satisfied. And most times, that was only if he was in a good mood.
I stepped away from Gabe, needing to put some distance between us when a firm hand grabbed my upper arm. My breath caught in my throat, but I refused to look up at him. I couldn’t for fear that his eyes would tell me everything I was dying to know.
But before he could say anything, James’s voice carried into the kitchen.
I pulled away from Gabe, grabbed the bottle of wine off the counter and sat back at the dining room table.
“Gabe, Taylor and Raven are up for drinks tonight,” James said, coming around the corner and into the kitchen. “You cool with that, Mom?”
I nodded. “Sure.” I gave him a smile of reassurance. Truth was, I wanted him home with me, but I refused to be that kind of mother. I didn’t want to smother him. And he was at that age where he was experiencing life. He was almost done school and as much as Gabe was right, James needed a break. Maybe that was my issue. Maybe I was too nice and lenient. I sighed, running a hand over the back of my neck.
“Mom.” James sat beside me, taking my hand in his. “Did you want me to stay home with you instead?”
A lump formed in my throat. “No. You guys go have fun.”
His light blue eyes that mirrored my own, searched my face. “You sure?”
I nodded, pulling my hand from his and cupped his cheek. “Thank you but yes, I’m sure. You need to have a life, James. Go, have fun.” I reached for my purse and pulled out my wallet before handing him a couple twenties. “Use that for a cab and drinks.” I put my wallet away before he could argue.
“Are you sure?” he asked again, looking at Gabe before meeting my gaze once again. “I can cancel.”
“No.” I shook my head and reached for the bottle of wine. “I’m going to spend the evening watching movies and I have to call your father anyway.”
James rolled his eyes. “He called me. Just a moment ago.”
I frowned. “Really?”
I sighed. “What did he want?”
“He wants me to go there for the rest of the summer. I don’t want to though,” he added quickly.
“Whatever you do, I’ll support you.” As much as I didn’t want James to spend the summer away from me, I would understand if he wanted to be with his father. “I’ll talk to him.”
James stood, gave me a quick hug and went up to Gabe. Clapping his shoulder, he looked back at me. “I’m going to go get ready.” He muttered something to Gabe that I didn’t hear.
Once we were alone, I filled up my glass.
Gabe’s eyes burned into the side of my head. I wasn’t sure what was up with him this evening. He had always just been my son’s best friend. But now, with the scrutiny, the air became thick between us.
My gaze snapped up, finding Gabe leaning with his shoulder against the wall. His arms were crossed over his chest, his dark eyes peering into mine.
“Shouldn’t you be getting ready?” I asked, my voice coming out rough.
“I am ready. Besides, this is more for James. Not me.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, frowning.
“I mean.” He pushed away from the wall and came around the table to my side. He sat before continuing, “That I don’t really want to go.”
“Then why are you?” My body became hyperaware at how close he was sitting to me.
“Because James is my best friend and I’d do anything for him. I want him happy.” Gabe’s eyes dropped to my mouth. “But for some reason, there’s something that I really want to do that I’m not too sure he’d be happy about. Not at first anyway.”
I swallowed hard, heat creeping up the back of my neck. “What would that be?”
Gabe smirked, his tongue peeking out to lick along his bottom lip. “I want to kiss you, Lynne.”
A breathless gasp escaped me. “Y-You what?”
“I want to kiss you.” He cocked his head to the side. “I know it’s been awhile for you.”
I snorted. “And how could you know that?” It wasn’t like I brought a guy home every night, but I tended to keep my personal life to myself. I also didn’t want to subject James to a new man when I knew that it would only end up being a fling. It wasn’t like I was ready to get married again anytime soon.
“I know because I watch you, Lynne.” Gabe inched the chair closer, his knee brushing against mine. “I watch you drink a bottle of wine and then stumble up the stairs to your room. Maybe you play with your pussy. You know…to try and take the edge off.”
My mouth fell open at what he had just said to me. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
His smirk grew. “No? How long has it been since you tasted a man’s lips, Lynne?”
“That’s none of your business,” I grumbled, bringing the glass of wine to my mouth. I took a sip and then another before placing it back on the table.
Much to my surprise, Gabe cupped my knee. Even though I was wearing jeans, his touch burned through the fabric and down to the marrow of my bones.
“I think I should make it my business,” he murmured.
I jumped to my feet, needing to put some distance between us. Was I that desperate for physical contact that I craved his touch? No. It wasn’t possible. He was my son’s best friend and hell, he was thirteen years younger than me. It wasn’t normal. It would never be normal. But if it wasn’t normal, then why did it feel so damn right at the same time?
Gabe smirked, sitting back in the chair and crossed his arms under his chest. “How long has it been since you felt a man between your thighs?”
I swallowed hard, my mouth going dry. Randy had never talked to me this way. It was one of the things, even though small, that tore us apart. I wanted to be ravished, used, completely consumed. But my ex-husband was only into sex to procreate. Or so I thought. Truth was, I never did it for him. Why we got married in the first place, was beyond me.
“Why?” I leaned against the counter. Gabe had always been nothing but nice. Sure, we flirted every now and again, but it had been nothing more than that. I wasn’t sure why the sudden change but a part of me was excited just the same for it.
Gabe leaned forward, placing his elbows on the table. He scratched his jaw, his dark eyes roaming down the length of me. “Do you forget how it feels to have a cock inside of you?”
My cheeks heated. “Why are you asking me these questions? Have you never heard of the whole saying, respect your elders and…so on?”
His smirk grew. “Oh, I do respect my elders. And I respect the hell out of you.”
“Then why are you saying these things to me?” I wasn’t new to dirty talk. Hell, I watched PornHub. I had seen every James Deen video out there. But hearing it come from Gabe, my son’s best friend, a guy who was much younger than me, wasn’t normal. Was it?
Before Gabe could give me any sort of an answer, James took that moment to join us in the dining room.
“Ready?” he asked Gabe, smoothing his hands down his navy-blue dress shirt. It was tucked into black pants. His deep brown hair was slicked back.
“You look handsome,” I told him. “You must really like this girl.”
His cheeks reddened. “I like one of them, yes.”
I laughed, going up to him. I fixed his collar before cupping his cheek. “You have fun. Alright?”
He gave me a small smile. “You too. Don’t get too wild tonight.”
My laugh deepened. “Oh yeah. That bottle of wine and I are going to have such a wild night together.”
His smile grew. “You never know.” He pulled me into his arms, wrapping me up in a hard hug. “I love you, Mama.”
My heart swelled, returning the embrace. “I love you too, baby boy. You have fun. Lots of fun. And if you can’t catch a cab, you call me. Okay?” It wasn’t like I was going to get very far into the bottle of wine. I never did when he went out, but he just didn’t know that. I always waited up for him. My parents did the same whenever I went out in my younger days. Even though I was never a drinker at that time, they still waited up for me. It was a trait they passed down to me and I appreciated it just the same.
The guys left after that, leaving me alone to my own thoughts. My gaze landed on the bottle of wine.
I sighed again and put the bottle back in the fridge. No point diving that deep into the pits of alcohol. It didn’t help anyway.
As much as I didn’t want to, I called my ex-husband.
“Hey,” he answered.
“What’s this I hear that you want James to spend the rest of the summer with you?” I asked, getting right to the point.
Randy grunted. “He needs to be with his father.”
“Yeah, and he needs to also be with his mother. You know that he won’t get any schoolwork done if he goes to your place.” I had loved Randy at one point but another thing that split us apart was his constant drinking and partying. He still did it, even though he was pushing forty. James didn’t need to be subjected to that. I didn’t care that he was of legal drinking age. His father was a bad influence.
“Lynne, we keep having this same conversation—”
“No.” I was not taking this shit anymore. “You agreed that I would have him for the summer and you would get him for his birthday and all of the holidays. That’s what we both agreed to.” Even though James was no longer a kid, he still went to see his father during the holidays just to save face. Randy was a good dad at times. When he wasn’t drinking anyway.
“How about we let him decide if he wants to come see me or not?” Randy said, his voice taking on that tone I had come to know meant he was finished with the conversation.
“Fine.” I hung up. Knowing James would stay with me, set some ease on the anxiety rushing through me but his father still pissed me off.
I spent the rest of the evening watching TV and reading. But I was distracted and kept reading the same page over and over again.
Was Gabe having fun?
Did he like the girl who would have been his date while James focused on the other one?
Lost in my own thoughts, I didn’t realize the door had opened until Gabe came into the living room with an arm wrapped around James. He wobbled on his feet, pinching the bridge of his nose and muttered something about how he was never drinking again.
“He had too much I imagine?” I asked, placing the book I had been trying to read on the coffee table.
“Yeah.” Gabe helped him to the recliner. “A guy we went to school with was there. Hadn’t seen him in a while. So James decided to go shot for shot with him. It didn’t last long.” He shook his head.
James started snoring as soon as he laid his head back.
I grabbed the blanket from the back of the couch and placed it on his lap. “He’ll be out for a while.”
“Maybe I should put him to bed.” Gabe stared down at him.
“He’s fine here.” I lightly touched his arm.
Gabe met my gaze, something flashing behind his eyes.
Clearing my throat, I headed back to the couch.
Gabe sat beside me. He was closer than what was deemed appropriate. But I found that I didn’t care.
“What are you watching?” he asked, nodding toward the TV.
“Some old movie. I was reading but turned on the TV just for background noise.” I curled into the corner of the couch. “Did you have fun tonight?”
Gabe shrugged. “James did. That’s all that matters to me.”
My heart swelled. “You deserve to be happy too.”
“I am now.” Gabe winked.
I laughed, shaking my head. “Did you not have fun tonight?”
“I’m not really into the drinking thing. And the girls we met up with were a little too immature for me. James likes the one. But all they talked about was partying and shopping.” Gabe rubbed his jaw. “Not my thing.”
“I can understand that.” Gabe had grown up with an alcoholic father. It only made sense that he wasn’t a drinker. “I never did the whole partying thing. Even when James was old enough to take care of himself. It wasn’t my thing either.”
“Randy was a drinker,” Gabe added.
“He was. Still is. I don’t mind if people drink and party but when that takes priority over taking care of your kids, that’s where I draw the line.”
“Understandable. He’s a dick.”
I laughed. “He is but I won’t bad talk him in front of James.” As much as Randy and I didn’t get along, he was still my son’s father.
“That’s because you’re a decent human being.”
I smiled. “Well thank you. I try. We all have our moments though.”
Silence fell between us until the movie ended and another one started. I rolled onto my side, suddenly aware that I was in just shorts and a tank top.
Gabe inched closer to me.
“What are you doing?” I asked, my eyes wide.
He pulled the blanket off the back of the couch and spread it over both of our laps, shielding us from James if he so happened to wake up from his drunken stupor.
“I think you know what I’m doing, Lynne. It’s quite obvious, isn’t it?” His hand inched beneath the blanket. When his fingers came into contact with the back of my bare leg, I jumped.
“Gabe,” I whispered.
“Shhh…James is drunk, but we don’t want to wake him up, now do we?” Gabe’s voice was low, his fingers brushing back and forth over my skin.
I should have pushed him away. I should have jumped from the couch and screamed for him to stop touching me, knowing it wasn’t right. I should have done a lot of things in life but for once, I found myself wanting to live on the edge. Hell, forget the edge, I wanted to jump off of it and right into my son’s best friend’s arms.
My gaze landed on my sleeping son. He was passed out in the recliner only a few feet away from us. The movie was playing, the sound loud enough that he wouldn’t hear Gabe’s and my conversation from where he sat.
I took a deep breath, rolling further onto my side. I knew I should have worn pajama pants instead of the shorts I had on, but I never thought that Gabe would be touching me like this.
We continued watching the movie. I wasn’t even sure what was playing anymore. All I could focus on was the fact that my son’s best friend was touching me.
His fingers slid up the back of my thigh, reaching the crease beneath my ass.
My breath caught. My skin vibrated over my bones. My gaze flicked to James. He was still sound asleep in the recliner across the living room. His chest rose and fell, soft snores leaving him.
“Focus on me, Lynne.”
I swallowed hard, Gabe’s deep voice travelling over every inch of me.
His fingers inched beneath the fabric of my shorts, his knuckles running over my bare skin. A low grunt left him. I wasn’t sure if it meant he was satisfied with what he felt or if it meant something else, but either way, it gave me some sort of power. I felt in control for just a moment.
Rolling over onto my back, I met his gaze.
He gave me a small smirk. His fingers slipped between the folds of my center, the tips running over my clit.
My heart pounded in my ears, my chest rising and falling with ragged breath.
Keeping his gaze locked on mine, he slowly inserted a finger inside of me.
A soft sigh left me.
His smile grew. His eyes twinkled, desire and heat burning in the dark irises.
His finger pumped slowly in and out of me. As much as I wanted to demand for him to do more, I reveled in the way he was making me feel. For someone so young, his touch made my thighs tremble.
He pulled his finger out of me, replacing it with two.
I bit my lip to keep from crying out.
Gabe wouldn’t look away from me, his touch singeing into my skin.
Getting a moment of clarity, I reached beneath the blanket. “Gabe.” I grabbed his hand that was between my legs. “I…” Should we stop? Was that what I wanted?
He turned his full body toward me, a dark shadow passing over his face. He pulled his hand from between my legs. In a rough move, he ripped my shorts down my legs.
“What are you doing?” I demanded as loud as I could without waking up James.
“First, I am going to finger fuck you.” He pulled the blanket off of my lap, his eyes dropping to my waist before meeting my gaze. “Then I’m either going to shove my cock down your throat or just fuck your pussy. Not sure yet. Depends on how much sass you give me.”
I sat up. “Is that so? You can’t do any of that if I say no.”
A wicked grin formed on his face. “You can’t tell me you don’t want more. You can’t tell me that you’re not curious. You also can’t tell me that your cunt isn’t soaked right now.”
Before I could protest, his hand was back between my legs. “Tell me you don’t want me.”
I glared at him, the passion igniting between us. “I don’t want you.”
He leaned forward, cupping my cheek with his free hand while keeping the other between my thighs. “Tell me to stop and we’ll go back to watching the movie.”
I searched his face for a sign that he was kidding. That he didn’t actually want to do this and mess around with someone who was thirteen years older than him.
“Tell me,” he grit out through clenched teeth. Slipping a finger back inside of me, he pumped his hand hard and deep against me.
My eyes rolled into the back of my head.
A deep chuckle sounded in my ear.
My eyes popped open.
Gabe was leaning over me, his gaze hard and determined.
Pushing him away, I pulled up my shorts and left the couch. As much as I wanted to continue, I wasn’t doing this in front of my son. I didn’t want to take the chance that he would wake up.
As soon as I reached the hallway, the hair on the back of my neck tingled. I looked over my shoulder, finding Gabe following me. From this spot, James couldn’t see us unless he actually woke up and came down the hall.
I backed up until I hit the wall.
Gabe closed the distance between us, placing his hands against the wall on either side of my head. “I’m going to fuck the innocence out of you.”