Failure

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Zacky had shouted goodbye to me through the door when he'd left. I'd called out a goodbye in return but didn't relinquish my spot in the middle of the bed. I was comfortable and I was confused. I was thinking maybe I should go check my phone, I'd just realised that I hadn't turned it back on after our flight, when the door opened and Brian leaned in the doorway.

The sight of him still made me catch my breath on occasion even after having been almost constantly in his presence for the last few weeks. Ripped black jeans encased his legs and a soft grey t-shirt clung enticingly to his torso. His face was set in his most blankly impassive expression showing off that heartbreaking bone structure to such perfection that if I had even the barest hint of artistic talent I would have hauled a lump of clay in to the centre of the bed and tried to sculpt him. As my artistic skills were confined to a certain level of ability taking photos any sculpting efforts on my part would have ended in a result that was more Mr Potato Head than Sex God.

"What's cookin' good lookin'?" I asked not even attempting to hide the way I was ogling him. As if you wouldn't.

Brian's lips quirked up at the corners but that was the closest I got to a smile, there was an unreadable expression in his dark eyes. It set my heart pounding and not in a good way.

"I guess you heard me and Zacky," it wasn't a question, "I have managed to sound proof one room in this place and this isn't it." He raised an eyebrow and slid his hands into his pockets.

"Okay, yes. I'm a dirty listening listener," I admitted and flopped onto my back. I think we've established that I may be a little over dramatic at times so it should be a surprise to no one that I had one arm and both legs flung out like a starfish and the other arm covered my face.

"It wasn't as bad as it sounded my little NSA agent."

"Really because it sounded like you accused Zacky of liking me so I can be his way in with Adam and his crew," I sulked from behind my arm.

"Come on Ace, you know I think you're way prettier than that chick in Point Break. And Zack sure as hell is no Johnny Utah," he teased. I peeked out from behind my arm to see him smirking at me from his spot in the doorway.

"I'll admit you do have more of the Keanu vibe going on than he does but I didn't like being accused of being his gateway to the Dead Presidents," I grumbled retreating back behind my arm. I didn't have to see him to know how my words affected him. I heard his frustrated exhalation of breath. The edge of the bed dipped down.

"Steph. You shouldn't have heard that and more importantly I shouldn't have said it. Zack and I love each other like brothers but we've known each other so long we're almost physically incapable of not giving each other shit at this point." His hand crept up my foot and under the leg of my jeans to stroke my ankle.

"Doesn't mean I like being the chew toy in the middle of your dogfight, or your dirty little secret," I let out a squeal as his hand closed around my ankle and he pulled me down the bed toward him. I flung my arm from over my eyes and connected with his chest as he hovered over me.

"You're not my dirty little secret," it was impossible to doubt his sincerity. As I opened my mouth to respond he touched his finger to my lips to stop me, "but Zacky was right about one thing. I don't want to make a public announcement about me and Michelle." Again he stopped me from speaking, "Not because of you but because there is this massive asshole part of me that doesn't want the world to see what a failure I am."

I bit his finger, hard, and wrapped my legs around his waist as I flipped him onto his back. The element of surprise was obviously in my favour because normally I'd never have managed it and would have wound up flailing around like an overturned turtle. Kind of like that time I feel over with my back pack on. Anyway, surprise being in my favour, I had him on his back with his arms pinned on either side of his head as I sat on his middle.

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