Lauren: Graham is my brother's best friend. He's always been my protector and my confident because he accepts me the way I am - and not many do. I can't imagine not having him in my life.
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Our weekend together was supposed to be a celebration. I graduated from college, Graham got engaged and signed with a pro football team, and my brother landed his dream job. It should have been the best time of our lives. Except that the weekend started with me walking in on Graham's fiancée going down on my brother.
I complicated the situation by having sex with Graham after that, but I wanted to comfort him and, damn, when I saw desire in his eyes - for me - I couldn't say no. I've wanted him for so long.
Now he doesn't want to see me. He says he has a darker side he needs to protect me from.
Where do we go from here? Do I try to pretend to be his friend again or push him to open up to me and possibly lose him forever?
Graham: Sleeping with one of my best friends was not exactly a brilliant idea. It made things complicated, and I didn't do anything that threw my life into chaos. The fiancee her brother, Jack, had stolen had been part of my life plan, one more step I was taking to be somebody. Granted, I hadn't been in love with my intended bride, but I didn't really know how to love anybody.
I survived. I pushed to achieve more. I battled my way to the top of the heap in my pro football career. I'm a total dick, and I don't want Lauren to see the side of me that would trample over anybody to work my way up in the world.
Lauren sees me as a hero, a title I'd never gain with anybody else in my life, so I wanted to keep her sheltered from the hard realities of my life. I wanted her to continue to think I was nice guy when I was really just the opposite.
We never should have crossed the line of going from friends to lovers. There's too much Lauren doesn't know about me, and I care enough about her that I don't want her to share my pain and the darkness.