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Forever Yours (The Moreno Brothers #1.5)

By:Elizabeth Reyes

ey's hand with the other.

"I'm home for what's left of the summer, so I figured since I haven't been this close to you in so long I should just take the drive down and surprise you."

Of course.

Angel had to fight the urge to mutter. Flagstaff was after all just around the corner from La Jolla. The last time he and Sarah drove up to Flagstaff it took them nearly eight hours!

Sydney finally took his eyes off Sarah long enough to acknowledge Angel. "How's it going, man?" He reached out to shake Angel's hand even as his other hand still held Sarah's.

"Good." Angel forced a smile. "Long time."

"Yeah," Sarah said, smiling but still wiping the corner of her eyes with one hand. "What's it been? Over two years since I saw you last?"

Angel's eyes dropped down to Sarah's hand that was still in Syd's. His already-forced smile flat lined, and she dropped her best friend's hand immediately as if she'd just noticed she was still holding it. Then their eyes met. He wouldn't even try to hide what he was feeling. She had to know that, as much as he'd always tried to be understanding about her relationship with Syd, this kind of shit pissed him off.

Luna cleared her throat loudly. "Yeah, the last time he came down was for your graduation party from high school. Wow, it has been over two years."

Angel finally looked away from Sarah, doing his best to not show how fucking annoyed he was suddenly feeling. He was glad when Sarah asked how long Syd would be in town, because it's what he wanted to know too. He might've asked himself, but as irritated as he was now, he was pretty sure it would've come out more like "When do you leave?"

His tolerance for Sarah's relationship with her best friend was largely due to the distance between them. He knew that they texted and spoke on the phone, but as long as he didn't have to be around this kind of display of affection between the two, he could deal with knowing she kept in touch regularly with the guy. If Syd were around more often, Angel knew his patience for their "friendship" would wear thin real fast. Hearing comments from Alex and Romero about how they'd never put up with another dude in their chick's lives didn't help either. Romero had never even had a steady girl, and Angel didn't know what to call Alex's off-and-on relationship with Valerie, but both made these kinds of statements as if it were a no-brainer.

To Angel's relief, Syd said he'd only be around until tomorrow afternoon. But it wasn't much of a relief. Not only was Luna already saying he was welcome to stay as long as he wanted, which meant he'd be sleeping here at their place tonight, but he also mentioned being home for the rest of the summer and doing his best to make it out here again.

"You guys should come up to Flagstaff too before the summer is over," Syd added. "There's still a few weeks left."

At least the invitation was extended to Angel as well. Syd smiled at him when he said it, but then, of course, he had to ruin it by smiling at Sarah in that way that made Angel sick to his stomach. "We can run the trails at the canyon like old times."

Sarah turned to Angel with a hopeful smile. "Maybe we can." It was a statement, but it sounded more like a question.

Angel nodded. "Yeah, maybe," he said, humoring her.

Football practice was already grueling, and it had just gotten started. Angel knew as they got closer to the start of the season it would only get worse. He might have a weekend to spare between now and then, and he could take her up, but he'd only tolerate so much. Her going out to spend a weekend with her guy friend by herself was not happening.

As much as he hated to leave Sarah with Syd, he had no choice. It was either that or hang around cringing while they happily caught up with each other and then reminisce about old times. He'd spare himself the exasperation.

Sarah walked him to his car, and though he'd told himself he'd let it go, he just couldn't. "You and him always hold hands like that?" he asked, pulling her to him as he leaned against his car.

She frowned, caressing his face and kissing him. "Always is a bit of an exaggeration, don't you think?" She tilted her head. "I haven't seen him in over two years, but, no, I didn't even realize I was doing it." She smiled remorsefully. "I'm sorry if that made you uncomfortable."

Uncomfortable was a gross understatement, but as long as she understood it wasn't something he wanted to be witness to again, he'd let it go with just the one comment for now. He squeezed her hand, lifting his brow. "He's sleeping in the front room, right?"

The corner of her lip lifted. "Of course, Angel."

Angel shrugged, still too annoyed and feeling too tense to be playful about this. "I dunno. You call him your best friend, and if he were a chick, she'd probably be sleeping in your room, right?" He remembered the few times his sister had friends over and they all slept in the front room. "You're not sleeping in the front room with him, are you?"

"No, I'm not," she said, suddenly looking a little worried. "This isn't gonna be a problem, right? I don't just call him my best friend. He is. After you, that is," she added quickly. "But he is my longtime friend, and you know you have nothing to worry about. I thought we were past this."

She rubbed Angel's arm, pinching her brows as if she suddenly realized just how uncomfortable this unexpected surprise really was for him.

"I'm cool with it, Sarah," he said, kissing her forehead, and began to straighten up away from the car. "Just, please, don't give me reason not to be."

"Never," she said, smiling apprehensively. "You know I wouldn't."

Angel tried smiling a little bigger to make her feel better. "I'm good," he said, kissing her a little longer than he had earlier. "I promise. Don't worry about it."

He kissed her a few more times before getting in his car and driving away.