《 kisses and sleepovers 》

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This all felt too familiar.

Flora Morgan's house was as elegantly lavish as the way it should be. A cream-colored sofa sat in the posh living room, decorated with a couple of embroidered throw pillows. There was a glass terrarium of pink orchids on the coffee table. When the cool summer breeze came through the window, shadows of the flowers sashayed across the surface. The lighting was perfect. He liked the pleasing smell of the air freshener and he liked how being in this very room made him feel, always in awe but never uncomfortable.

Flora's room was another matter. It was overwhelming, full of surprises, and messy in the most endearing way, much like the girl herself.

His feet sank into the plush beige carpet and he could even remember exactly how it felt when they lay naked on top of it. The sex wasn't what he missed the most, however. He missed the warmth of her and her signature namesake perfume. Whenever he reflected on that, it was like accidentally breaking the bottle.

The fragrance was everywhere in a flash. It was unavoidable. He couldn't see it but he couldn't shake it away, either, and the scent of her lingered in the deepest recess of his brain, haunting his thoughts.

"Sean."

And this. He missed this too. The way she said his name, like a sigh.

Like desire.

"You're back," she said, holding out her arms wide to hug him. "I really, really missed you."

He bent down slightly so they could fit right against each other. It had been a year since they graduated from high school, and while sometimes he felt he had come a long way, in moments like these he realized he hadn't moved on a single inch.

"I miss you, too,"—baby—"Flora."

Her arms tightened around his waist. She pressed the side of her face against his chest, and he smiled when her hair tickled his chin. Longing worked in mysterious ways. When he had nothing, even the pettiest thing piqued his interest.

He might've held onto her a lot longer if not for the annoying cough that decided to make its grand entrance.

"Ahem," Dylan cleared his throat beside them. "Should I leave? I feel like I'm intruding."

Sean pulled away before his friend could make more snide comments about how the sexual tension was so deep he could practically swim laps in it.

Flora tilted her head. "You'll get your turn, Dill."

"When, next season?"

She smiled with composure and turned to hug Dylan. Sean counted. The hug was significantly shorter and they were barely touching.

Good.

"How's Peru?" Flora asked, leading the way into the kitchen. "I can't believe you guys traveled together again. That's seriously amazing."

"That just means we have no other friends," Sean said. It was exaggerated, but there was at least some truth in his words. His comfort zone was still limited to about five people, Flora not included. He felt anything but calm around her.

Dylan started talking about their trip to South America. They were the first to arrive, and the house felt too vast with only three people. She listened, laughed, and asked questions, but Sean could see that the light in her eyes weren't as relaxed as he remembered. When she went to pour them a drink, he saw her glance at the antique clock.

"Jake went to pick up Jessica," he said to comfort her. "Don't worry, they'll be here soon."

"Okay." She ran a hand through her hair, with a savage force that he was familiar with, like she was frustrated enough to rip it out by the roots. "Janet called. There's some crisis down at the studio...something about spill and acoustic screens, which is too complicated for me to understand. Bottom-line is, she can't make it."

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