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If only, p.5

If Only..., page 5


If Only...

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  She gasps a little and looks down at me with a look in her eyes that I’ve never seen before. “I want to touch you properly,” she breathes.

  I push my hand over her breast and squeeze a little. I watch her nipples harden through the fabric of her bra and then quickly push my jeans and boxers down my legs. I watch her wide eyes stare down at me, and although I want to flip her on her back and bury myself inside her, I know I can’t. She’s not ready yet and I respect that.

  She snuggles down beside me and wraps her small hand around the whole of me. Then she starts to slide up and down, slowly but firmly, and it’s exactly right.

  “Like this?” she asks after a couple of minutes.

  I close my eyes as the tingling feeling starts to uncurl in my stomach. “Fuck, yes,” I tell her. “Just like that, but slowly build up the speed.”

  She watches herself as she pumps me, and as I watch her bite her bottom lip, I let myself go and a groan slips out of my mouth as I orgasm all over my stomach.

  I keep my eyes shut as the feeling subsides but hear her laboured breathing right next to my ear.

  “Cole,” she whispers. “I want you to touch me like that too.”

  I open my eyes and stare at her big green eyes. “Say it again.”

  “I want you to touch me,” she says. “I want to feel whatever you’ve just felt.”

  I shuffle up onto my elbow, towering over her as I slowly lift her skirt up. She pushes her hips against me as I kiss her lips. I smile against her skin as I kiss my way down the side of her neck until I get to the strap of her bra. “Can I take this off?” I ask.

  She looks down and nods. “Yes.”

  I push my hands underneath her back and unfasten the bra surprisingly quickly. When it loosens in my hand, I tug the straps down her arms and pull it right off.

  “Perfect, Evie,” I say, cupping her breasts with my hands. They move up and down as she breathes deeply. She flinches and gasps when I pull one of her nipples into my mouth. It feels hard and knobbly, but completely soft at the same time. I flick my tongue over it until she starts to buck underneath me.

  “Cole,” she says, pushing her fingers into my hair.

  I push my hand down her flat stomach and beneath her skirt until I reach her knickers. I push them to one side with my hand and then slowly slip a finger inside her.

  “Oh, God,” she says.

  “Did I hurt you?” I ask.

  “No, not really,” she breathes. “Keep going.”

  I push deeper until I feel something pop and then slowly circle around inside her. She’s incredibly hot and wet . . . and tight. So tight that I can’t stop myself from thinking about what it would feel like to lick it, suck it and fuck it.

  “Oh, Cole,” she mumbles, interrupting my thoughts.

  I use my thumb to softly brush her clit and she completely comes undone. It’s so quick that I’m not sure it’s happened until I watch the pink flush creep across her chest.

  “God,” she says. “That was amazing.”

  I grin and slowly pull my finger out of her, and then I push her knickers back to their position and roll her skirt back down. I kiss her cheek and flop onto my back, staring at the ceiling of the barn. “You’re amazing,” I tell her.

  “Why haven’t we done this before? It’s so good.”

  I feel a big smile spread across my face. Yes, yes it is so good.

  “Have you done that with many girls?” she asks.

  I lean up on my elbows and frown at her. “What?”

  She blushes and turns away from me. “I don’t really want to know, but it’s something that I’ve thought about a few times.”

  “Evie,” I say, brushing her hair away from her face. “I haven’t done anything like that with anyone else. That was a first for me too.”

  “You’ve never let anyone touch you before?” she asks, blinking at me in surprise.

  I shake my head. “Of course not. We’ve been together for four months. When would I have had the opportunity to do anything like that?”

  “I didn’t mean in the last few months,” she says. “I meant before me.”

  “No,” I say again. “It’s only ever been you for me. I didn’t go anywhere near other girls.”

  She beams at me and throws her arms around my neck. “I’m so glad we get to experience all our firsts together.”

  “Me too,” I whisper.


  After lunch, I try and get on with my work as best as I can. I’m aware of him moving around the office, chatting with other people, doing whatever it is he does, but I ignore him . . . or try to, anyway. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing he’s bothering me.

  I type out a few emails and begin to plan the monthly appraisal I’ve got next week when I hear him talking to Gerard just around the corner from me. I stop, trying to listen to what’s being said, but I can’t quite make out what they’re talking about. I give up and resume my writing.

  “Hello, Evie,” he says, standing in front of my desk a few minutes later.

  “Cole,” I reply curtly.

  “Will you show me around, please?”

  “Show yourself around,” I fire back.

  “Evie,” he says again, but this time it’s louder. I look up to find a few of the guys staring at us. “Show me around. Please.”

  I suck in a deep breath and then huff it out. I don’t care if he thinks I’m rude so long as he doesn’t start telling tales on me to Gerard. I slam my pencil down onto my desk and stand up. “Follow me.”

  I walk into the middle of the trading floor and point towards the different desks. “Platforms,” I say. “Heads of regions,” I tell him, pointing to another desk, “and then the rest are traders. They’re split into regions, so those guys over there,” I say, indicating Lorna’s group, “trade for the European corporate clients. We split it via region, usually with the exception of a few big clients who are managed by a trader with their own portfolio.”

  He nods and looks to be listening intently to me. “The toilets are along this corridor, near the lift that you came up in,” I say, walking out of the trading room and into the corridor. “All the conference rooms are located on this floor too, with the exception of the one we were in this morning.”

  “How do I book a room out?” he asks.

  “You ask me and I do it.”

  “Okay. Good.”

  I pull a face when I turn around so he can’t see. This is a joke. Someone, somewhere is winding me up.

  “Where do people get coffee and food from around here?”

  “They go to the canteen on the ground floor or there’s a little coffee corner on the second floor,” I tell him. “Or they just go out and get something from somewhere else.”

  “Show me the canteen,” he demands.

  “Why are you being such a prick?” I ask, walking towards the lift.

  “Because you’re being uncooperative and annoying,” he says quickly.

  “You shouldn’t be here.” I press the button for the lift and lean against the wall opposite from where he’s standing, keeping him in my line of sight.

  “Where should I be?” he asks, turning to look at me over his shoulder.

  I let my eyes snap onto his and say, “Away.”

  We travel down in the lift in complete silence while standing as far from one another as possible. It pings when we reach the ground floor, and I step out and stride away with him trailing behind me.

  “Here it is,” I say, gesturing to the canteen.

  “Would you like a coffee?”

  “No, thanks.” I turn to leave and start walking away.

  “You need to wait for me,” he calls.

  I turn around and fold my arms across my chest. “Why do I?”

  “Because you haven’t given me a pass, so I can’t get through the ridiculous amount of alarmed doors you have in here.”

  Shit, he’s right. “I’ll get you a pass when we get back,” I tell him. “I need to tak
e your picture.”

  He grins as if this amuses him somehow.

  “Something funny, Cole?” I ask.

  “Yeah, actually there is,” he says as he queues up for coffee. “You.”

  After the longest five minutes in history, Cole walks towards me with two coffees in his hand. “Here,” he says, pushing one towards me. “I’ve laced it with arsenic, just for you.”

  I snatch it from him. “Why would you need to poison me? I’m the one that hates you!”

  “Because you’re being unreasonable,” he says.

  “Unreasonable? You killed my brother!” I shriek.

  “Shh!” he hisses. He tugs on my arm and marches me through a door and into the stairwell. “Don’t ever say that again,” he snarls through gritted teeth.

  I pull my arm out of his grip and glare at him. “Why not? It’s the truth.”

  “Because I’ve done my time,” he says with a sigh. “Now I’m just trying to have a future.”

  “Well, you don’t deserve to have any future when you took my brother’s away from him.”

  “Evie,” he says, pinching the top of his nose. “Don’t ruin this for me, please. I’m begging you. I’m just trying to carry on. I need to try and build something for myself.”

  I’m so angry I could punch him, so I look away and stare at the metal railing that wraps all the way up the stairs instead. I know he’s served his time, but it’s not enough. Not by a long shot.

  “Nico wouldn’t want this,” he says quietly. “That much I know.”

  Without realising what I’m doing, I slap him. It’s quick and sharp, and the noise echoes around the empty stairwell as if it’s taunting us. “Don’t you dare mention his name to me ever again. Stay away from me, Cole.”


  I tear open the brown envelope and quickly scan the list of my GCSE results. I’ve done better than even I thought I could do and feel a hint of pride as I stare at the eight A*s and two As. I ignore the C hovering next to Food Technology.

  “What’d you get?” asks Trent.

  Trent is more Nico’s friend than mine, but we get along well enough to tolerate each other.

  I shake my head. “I promised Evie I would tell her first.”

  Trent laughs. “Pussy whipped much?”

  “Knock it off,” I say. “Have you seen Nico?”

  Trent shakes his head. “I doubt he’ll turn up. He’s gonna be a world-class footballer; he doesn’t need a few shitty certificates. Lucky bastard.”

  I look around at all the other boys and girls from our year¸ but there’s no sign of Evie or Nico. “They said they were coming,” I say.

  Trent shrugs but starts to walk off with our group of mates. I pull my phone out of my pocket and see three missed calls from Evie. I feel myself frowning as I ring her back and pull the phone up to my ear.

  “Oh, Cole,” she sobs.

  “What’s the matter?” I ask, panic settling deep in my stomach.

  “It’s my Dad,” she says, sniffing. “He’s . . . he’s . . . dead.”

  Dead? “What?”

  “He died,” she mumbles. “This morning. Mum found him next to her in bed.”

  Shit. Fuck. “Oh, no,” I say. “I’m so sorry, Evie. Tell me what you need me to do.”

  “I need you to hold me.”

  “I’m coming,” I say.

  When I get to her house, the front door is already open. I run inside and up the stairs until I get to her bedroom, but it’s empty. There’s no sign of Mrs Romano either. “Evie!” I call.

  “In here,” she cries from the bathroom.

  I walk to the door and lean my head against it. “Let me in, babe.”

  “It’s open.”

  I open the door carefully to find her sitting on the floor with a pile of wadded up tissues in front of her. When she looks up at me with her eyes full of tears, my heart breaks for her.

  “What happened?” I ask, settling myself down next to her.

  “They think it was a heart attack while he was asleep,” she whimpers.

  “At least he didn’t suffer,” I say, even though I know that’s the last thing she really wants to hear. What the hell was I supposed to say? I wrap my arms around her and pull her against my chest as she wails and screams for the next hour.

  When she eventually slips into a restless sleep, I lean my head back against the bath and try to ignore the cramp that’s creeping up my leg. I try to shuffle to get into a comfier position, but Evie stirs and mumbles, “Daddy.” I freeze and then settle back down into the same position.

  I brush her soft hair with my hand and kiss her head. “I love you,” I whisper. “I’ll be here for you, no matter what.”

  Twenty minutes later, the door opens and Nico walks in. He doesn’t look at us as he sits down beside me and touches Evie’s hair.

  “I’m sorry about your dad,” I tell him.

  He nods and sniffs. “They’ve told me I can go and see him, but I don’t think I want to remember him like this. I don’t want to see him cold and blue.”

  I shudder at the thought.

  “I want to remember him for the dad he was,” he continues. “The dad that taught me how to play football before I could walk. The dad that took me to every match, even when the weather was shit or if he was ill. He was a hero,” he says. “He pulled people from burning buildings and resuscitated babies that he rescued from car crashes. He should have died a hero and not like that.”

  “He was a hero,” I tell him. “Just because he slipped away quietly doesn’t make him any less of one.”

  I look down at Evie and hold her that little bit tighter.

  “Why did he have to die, Cole?” he asks. “Why my dad?”

  “I don’t know,” I say. “Life’s a bitch—”

  “And then you die?” he finishes bitterly.

  I shake my head. I don’t know what I was going to say, but it wasn’t that.

  “Where have you been anyway?” I ask.

  “In the study, trying to get hold of Fabio.”

  “And did you?”

  “Yeah.” He sighs. “He’s in Switzerland, but he’s going to get the first flight back that he can.”

  We lapse into a sad silence. Evie stirs a couple of times, but I try and soothe her back to sleep by gently skimming my thumb up and down her arm.

  “Do you love her?” Nico nods down towards Evie and strokes her cheek.

  “Yes,” I tell him. “More than anything.”

  “Good,” he says. “I’m glad she has you.”


  I let my front door close behind me and walk straight into my bedroom, flopping down on top of the covers. Today has been mentally exhausting. I can’t believe I’m going to have to see him every single day for the next four months.

  I roll over, pull my phone out of my bag and call Steph.

  “Hey,” she says.

  “Steph, he’s back,” I say without preamble.


  “Cole. He’s out . . . and he’s at my work.”

  “Shut the fuck up. How? Why?”

  “He’s helping with some transitions,” I tell her. “Apparently, he’s a big manager now and is going to be in my face all day. Everyday.”

  “Did you tell him?” she shrieks. “Did he ask you about it?”

  I shake my head, even though she can’t see me. “No, not once.”

  “Order the food. We’re forty minutes away and then you can tell me all about it.”

  After ordering tea, I put the phone down and then shower, pull my comfy clothes on and pour myself a glass of wine. I head out to the balcony and situate myself on the wooden seat, turning my face up towards the setting sun, letting the early evening warmth seep through my skin and into my bones.

  I must have dozed off because when I next open my eyes, the sun has moved around the corner and Steph is standing in front of me, holding the bag of Chinese food.

  “Wakey, wakey,” she says, laughing. “We bumped int
o the delivery driver as he was about to walk off,” she tells me. “Good job I could prove I lived here, or else we’d have been without food.”

  “Sorry,” I say, sitting up straighter. I look around Steph and see Georgia popping her head out of the doors. “Hiya,” I tell her.

  She smiles and tucks her light pink hair behind her ear. Every time I see her, she has a different colour. It’s hard to keep up.

  “How’re you?” she asks.

  “Alright,” I say. I nod towards the bag of food. “Starving though.”

  “Come on,” says Steph, pulling me up and out of the seat. “Let’s go eat.”

  I follow her into the apartment and through to the kitchen. Georgia grabs a bottle of wine that they’ve brought and pulls more wine glasses down from the cupboard.

  “So . . .” Steph spoons some egg-fried rice onto a plate. “What did he look like?”

  I turn around and lean against the counter. “Amazing,” I whisper. “Like nothing bad has ever happened to him. Like he’s a model. Like he’s eaten the best food for the last eight years and gone to the best gym and had the best facials.” I notice my reflection in one of the glass cabinets and sigh. “I look like I’ve been grieving for the last eight years. I look like shit.”

  “You don’t,” Steph says quickly. “You just need a new hairstyle and you’ll look like a different woman.”

  I shrug. “Maybe.”

  “How did he make you feel?” she asks, eyeing me carefully.

  I take my plate full of food from her and grab a fork from out of the drawer. “I felt like I was seventeen again,” I tell them.

  Steph grins at Georgia as we all walk into the dining room.

  “We had an argument about Nico,” I confess. “I told him I thought he should still be in prison and that no amount of time he’d served would be enough.”

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