I’m in love with a woman I can’t have, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do to stop myself from falling.
The problem? Her brother’s my best friend.
I shouldn’t want her this much. Not when it goes against the bro code. Not when I’ve never been able to commit to a woman for longer than a night.
But one look into her eyes and I’m a mess for her. She’s my everything. And I have to walk away with nothing.
Addie and I watched the guys play round after round of Skee-B all, while Chloe jumped and cheered and stole the occasional ball from each of their rows. No matter what my state in life was, I was happy the three of them had found one another.
“Here, let’s get our picture drawn.” Knocking me out of my woolgathering, Addie guided me toward one of the caricature sketchers who sat just outside the carnival gates. The man had a unibrow the size of Lake Michigan’s shoreline, and his mustache was curled at the end, handlebar style. But his work was amazing. Charcoal sketches with colored eyes, balloon- shaped heads with movie-s tar hair.
“How much for both of us?” Addie asked, fishing through her purse. We sat on the stools, as directed, our shoulders touching.
“Thirty- five,” the guy said, his fake French accent too thick to be believable.
I groaned and looked at my friend. “Seriously? That’s too much.”
“Seriously. We have to do this.” Addie mocked me. “Look at how cute those are.” She pointed to a couple with a heart surrounding their heads. Little doves swooped in the air around them, carrying heart balloons in their beaks. Had to hand it to the guy. He was talented.
“I’ve got this, ladies.” I looked up at the sound of Max’s deep voice, finding him searching through his wallet. He pulled out the money, handed it to the artist, then lifted his gaze to meet mine. A soft smile covered his bow-shaped lips, and everything inside me stirred to life at the view.
Addie faked a cough, then pressed a hand over her stomach. “Oh…oh no. I don’t feel very good, guys.”
I faced her and narrowed my eyes as she stood. Don’t, I mouthed