(My Brothers Bestfriend) Looks Can Be Deceiving 31

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Jake sighs deeply, closing his eyes. "I figured it would come to this eventually,"

I remain quiet as I tentatively move further into the room. I bite my lip, not having the slightest clue how to even begin to explain my feelings or this situation that I've managed to get myself into. "I'm sorry," I eventually whisper, my voice sounding pained. "I'm really so sorry,"

"Sorry?" Jake blinks at me, shaking his head. "Why on earth are you sorry?"

Tears spring to my eyes and my emotions suddenly take a hold of me. "I don't mean to like him,"

His face morphs into understanding and he drops a screwdriver onto the floor that I didn't even realize he was holding. He moves toward me, smiling sadly. "It's not your fault, Alicia,"

"It's just so stupid," I laugh bitterly as silent tears fall freely down my face. "I'm so stupid! We're practically cousins, not only in the eye of the law, but to Jason, too,"

"I know," Jacob whispers, pulling me into his arms. I let him hug me tightly as I cry silently into his chest. He kisses the top of my head. "But I learnt a long time ago that you can't choose who you love,"

"What am I going to do?" I finally ask, pulling away from him. I wipe my face with my hands to rid of my tears. I watch as his eyebrows narrow and he scratches his chin. "Uncle Jake do you think my feelings will just... Leave? Just go away?"

He stares at me for a moment, his face not giving his thoughts away. "I don't think so, Alicia,"

"But it's just a crush, right?"

Before Jake can reply the basement door opens, banging against the wall behind it. Jason walks in, his face sheepish. "Oops,"

"Hey, son," Uncle says, an easy grin falling onto his face as he greets his son.

"Hi, dad," Jason says slowly, his eyes surveying us. He steps closer. "What's wrong Alicia? And what's this about a crush?"

"Nothing is wrong," I laugh, praying that I've wiped my face completely of tears. "We were just joking about mum. She's eating all of the Nutella and I need revenge,"

"Nutella?" Jason raises his eyebrow, a frown falling onto his face. He moves so that he's standing in front of me. "How does that explain your crush?"

"Nutella is my crush!" I squeak, ducking away from both him and uncle Jake.

"Yeah right," Jason scoffs, narrowing his eyes. He goes to say something but he's interrupted.

"I think it's time for lunch," Jake pipes up, moving past Jason and grabbing my forearm. He pulls me along behind him. "Come on, guys,"

Jason trails behind us and I internally groan. I really need to sort out this mess and since Jake is the only one that knows who can actually help me, he's my best hope.

It feels strange, to be keeping these feelings so hidden from my family, and especially Jason, but it's not as though I actually have a choice. To be honest I'm surprised uncle Jake is even taking it this well.

"Hungry, guys?" Stefanie asks when we enter the kitchen. She's dishing up four plates with eggs and bacon. "The toast is almost ready. Kids, set the table,"

Jason and I lay out the knives and forks on the table, and grab the salt, pepper, and tomato sauce. Uncle Jake takes out a jug of orange juice from the fridge while Aunty Stef butters the toast.

"I don't think you're meant to eat eggs while you're pregnant, mom," Jason comments as we all sit down. "I don't think it's good for the baby,"

"That's rubbish," Jacob scoffs. "What about in the olden days, when all they had to eat was basically eggs?"

"I don't know," Jase chuckles. "It's just what I've heard, so I hope you didn't eat eggs while you were pregnant with me,"

Jacob's gaze briefly reaches mine and I bite my lip. She's not your mom! You weren't in her stomach! I want to scream, but I don't. Instead I ignore the sudden silence and turn to Jason. Smirking, I shove him in the shoulder. "It's probably why you are the way you are,"

"Yeah?" He raises his eyebrows, throwing a tiny piece of egg at me. "And what's that?"

"Completely mental," I laugh, shoving toast into my mouth.

"Right," He snorts, shaking his head before grinning down at me. "I'm completely mental from eggs,"

"You're the one who made the egg comment," I giggle.

"Touché," He whispers and steals a glance at me. We hold our gaze for a moment before I finally look away.

Jake is staring at me and I blush. Him knowing about my feelings is awkward, and I'm sure he will view every conversation or look or gesture I have with his son in the perspective of my crush.

I finish eating quickly before leaving the table. I put my dishes in the sink, kiss Aunty Stefanie's cheek and mutter a quick thank you before I head upstairs. I need to get away from uncle Jacob's knowing eyes. He's too switched on for either of our goods.

I go into Jason's room and jump on his bed. I stretch out and sigh. Why can't I have a few normal, uneventful teenage years? I wish I didn't feel this way. I can't help but think that if dad hadn't reminded me of our non-blood relationship, I would have never even seen Jason in this way. Furthermore, if Jason and I hadn't rekindled our friendship, or our cousin relationship, again, I wouldn't feel this way towards him.

But I wouldn't change that. Because to be honest, even though I didn't realize it at the time, I missed Jason so much while we weren't talking and I don't think I could ever go through losing him again. Having him in my life as my best friend again, even if only as my best friend, is definitely better than not having any kind of relationship with him at all.

Throughout the years, sure, I've had crushes. I mean, what girl hasn't? Especially during those awkward few years of becoming a teenager. But I've never felt for any other boy what I do for Jason now.

And he just has to be my cousin. Well, semi-cousin. Well, he thinks we're cousins. Oh God, I really need to come up with a solution.

The door opens and Jason walks in. Closing the door behind him, he comes and lays down on the bed beside me, so casually, so innocently, but my thoughts turn wayward.

I turn on my side to face him and he does the same. He stares at me, his face blank. Does he like me? If he does, does he hate himself? I don't want him to hate himself. But I do want him to like me. But... I shake my head, sighing and turning to look at the ceiling.

"What's the matter, Aly?" He asks gently, moving closer and snuggling into my side. I bite my lip, his close proximity nearly driving me insane. He touches the side of my face, turning my head so that he can look at me properly. He's frowning. "Tell me, please,"

"I can't Jason," I whisper, my voice thick with tears that I know are going to escape my eyes. I take a deep, shaky breath and force a laugh. "I really want to tell you but I just can't,"

"You can tell me anything," Jason insists quietly. He tickles my cheek with his pointer finger. "You know that,"

I look into his eyes. "Can you tell me everything?" His silence is my answer. It's frustrating to think that we could possibly both feel the same way yet neither of us can say anything or act on it. I laugh bitterly and face the ceiling again. "Yeah, me too,"

"Aly, I'm sorry," The way he says my name sends shivers down my arms and legs. And for a moment, just one, it feels like he knows. It just feels like he understands and it feels as though we're subconsciously on the same level, that we're communicating through silence.

And so we lay there wrapped amongst each other in complete silence. And not because we don't want to or don't have anything to say, but because we simply can't.

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