As soon as she walks into the fucking room, my eyes are glued to her. Her hair is bunched up on the top of her head in a mess of curls. She has on a pair of work out shorts and a tank top, nothing special, and to me she’s never looked better.
Brent is talking. I think he’s thanking me for helping him move Tatum today. I’m trying to listen to him, but it’s not working out too well. I can’t pull my eyes away from her.
As soon as she’s close enough for me to touch her, I have to shove my hands into the pockets of my shorts to keep from reaching out and pulling her into me. Ember helps as she wraps her arms around Tatum, yammering on about how excited she is. I know it’s irrational, but I’m jealous of my baby sister right now.
Once Ember finally releases her, Leah grabs Ember and leads her down the hall. I’m hoping Brent goes as well so I can be alone with her for even just a few seconds.
Lady luck is on my side. I smile as Brent follows Leah and my sister to start loading Tatum’s things. I reach out and grab her hand. This girl…I’ve never been like this before, needing to touch someone, needing the connection. I lace our fingers together. I’ve missed her. I know it makes no sense, but it is what it is.
Tatum is looking down at our entwined fingers. She doesn’t retreat, so I take that as a good sign. Lifting her chin I say, “Hey you.”
She replies with a croaked hi. The crack in her voice calms me. She feels this, too. She has to. This can’t be one-sided. “Let’s get you moved,” I whisper. To my surprise as much as hers, I kiss her forehead. I lead her down the hall to join the others. I don’t trust myself to be alone with her. I gently squeeze her hand and let go before placing it on the small of her back. I’m not ready to not have that connection with her.