Fools Like Us (Fools Like Us #1)

BOOK: Fools Like Us (Fools Like Us #1)
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Fools Like Us

*1*

 

Copyright © 2015 Cookie Moretti

 

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means such as electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the author of this book. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

To request permission and all other inquiries from the author of this book, please contact the author at [email protected]

 

Photograph used for cover was provided by Canva.com

Chapter One

"
Never mind I will find someone like you, I wish nothing but the best for you too, don't forget me, I beg! I remember you said, 'sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead'
..." -Adele

 

+Kai+

 

The Winter Wonderland before me strongly resembled the cold desert in my heart...or maybe I'm just being too fanciful. My heart couldn't possibly be as beautiful and pure like the snow fall. No, inside my heart was cold, ugly and alone.

I stared out at the soft blanket of snow, not truly quite seeing it. Instead with each snow flake what I saw were memories from the pas, memories that were bitter sweet. Memories I once cherished, memories that I now wish didn't exist.

Because I wouldn't be hurting like this if they didn't exist.

I leaned my shoulder against the pillar and absently raised the champagne glass to my lips only to lower it again. This was my fourth glass. I couldn't afford to get into the habit of drinking my sorrows away. Besides, it wouldn't do any good anyway. No matter how many times I could drink myself to oblivion tonight, my troubles would still greet me in the morning.

There's no escape for me.

"
I'm getting married
," my lover had told me one unfortunate day. Unfortunate for me that is.

"
Married?
" I stared confusedly at him. "
Wha...? But I thought
..."

"
We both knew that this relationship wouldn't last
," my lover had said and curse him for sounding pained! "
"Kaito, we wouldn't have been able to last. You know that don't you?
"

Curse me for loving him....he hadn't even given us much of a chance.

"I'm a fool aren't I?" I said aloud to the snow falling from the dark starless sky. "I'm a fool...and that's why I'm even at his wedding." And the fool that I am, I even agreed to be his best man, as if I'd only been his best friend and not his lover since high school.

The merry laughter from within the grande house behind me deepened my depression to the point that I just swallowed the remains of my champagne without second thought. I couldn't even enjoy the taste of it. Ever since John told me he was getting married, nothing tasted right. Nothing.

"You should be inside," a voice said from behind me, "you'll freeze out here."

I glanced back and found twin pools of ice blue eyes focused on me. Those eyes unnerved me but I didn't comment on it. Instead I smiled wanly at my intruder. "Hello, Cedric."

Cedric, John's younger brother. He looks good in a suit, I thought with half amusement, half bitterness because Cedric looked so much like John when he was that age. Sweet Seventeen. But there was nothing really sweet about Cedric. He acted much older for his age. He was too mature even as a small child. John and I often called him "Pappy" to tease him.

The dark suit he wore contrasted well with his features. Midnight black hair styled in a short stylish cut yet it seemed so boyish on him. And of course like his older brother Cedric is handsome, possibly in the pretty boy side. Full pink lips, cream colored skin and those eyes...ice blue eyes identical to his brothers yet not identical.

"You've grown," I commented, wanting to break the silence. "The last time I saw you-"

"Was last year," Cedric finished. His voice sounded calm, uninterested yet his gaze...it went right through me.

"Yes," I said, clearing my throat. "You were shorter then."

The younger man shrugged, shoving his hands in his pants pocket. "I'm a teenager. I grow like a weed during the Summer."

"Yes," I smiled. "That's true. And you're still growing. You're almost as tall as John." John was a little over six feet.

He didn't comment for a few seconds before finally saying, "I'm taller than you."

I blinked. "Are you?" I placed the champagne glass on the ground and straightened. I walked up to him and laughed with wonder when I realize that it's true! Cedric was now inches taller than me which made his height hovering just an inch below six feet.

"Wow," I grinned and ruffled his hair playfully. "I remember when you were just a little squirt, looking up at me. You used to follow your brother around all the time, wanting to tag along with the big boys."

Cedric stared at me as I ruffled his hair. "I followed you."

"Hmm?" I smiled, recalling the days when this boy used to follow John everywhere when he was a kid. We all thought he has a big brother complex "What was that?"

Cedric grabbed my wrist and pulled my hand away from his hair. "I said...I was following
you
. Not my brother."

I stared up at him, trying to comprehend what his eyes were trying to tell me. Following me? Yes, it's true that I was with John a lot back in those days but...me? He had been following me?

I chuckled. "Oh, I see. You idolized me."

"If that's what you want to call it," he replied vaguely.

My mouth went dry. The way he was staring at me...it felt so familiar, as if I've seen that look before. That intense gaze...

"You should go inside," I said, wondering why my voice sounded breathless. "Like you said, you can get sick out here in the cold."

"Why?" Cedric cocked his head. "So that I can leave you out here to hide alone?"

I tore my eyes away from his. "I'm not hiding."

"Liar."

Angry at his sudden attack, I snatched my wrist from his grasp and stepped back. "You don't know anything, Cedric. Go back inside." I turned away. "You should be there to celebrate this wonderful day with your brother."

I couldn't keep the bitterness from my voice and I winced. God, how pathetic I've become.

"He didn't deserve you."

My head snapped back to Cedric's direction. "What? What did you say?"

"My brother," he said slowly, "he didn't deserve you."

My eyes widened. "I...I don't know what you're talking about." I turned away from him, my heart pounding at his words. "
You
don't know what you're talking about."

There was silence behind me but I knew he was still there. I could feel his presence that suddenly felt dominating. I shivered.

"Does it hurt?"

I closed my eyes. "No. I'm happy for your brother."

"Liar."

"Go away, Ced,"

"You two were lovers."

My eyes flew open but I didn't turn to face him. So he had known, but how long? Even though I was wearing a fancy suit identical to his I suddenly felt naked. Actually that's how this boy's stares always made me feel. Naked, with those ice blue eyes forever probing, forever trying to decode my secrets. Why hadn't I realized that til now?

No wonder his gazes felt familiar to me. They had been like mine whenever I looked in the mirror when thinking of his brother. I'm sure the same longing expression enters my eyes whenever I
look
at his brother. I thought I had been discreet enough, but obviously not since the younger brother of my lover could see right through me.

With the same eyes filled with longing heat.

"Do you get it now?" The younger boy asked me after minutes of silence.

Yes, I got it, but I wouldn't acknowledge it. It wouldn't do any of us good if I encouraged his little infatuation with me, as surprising as it was. Why would a boy like him be interested in someone as boring as me? My dullness was probably the reason why I lost John...

"Don't do it."

I jumped when I realized that Cedric had walked up closer behind me, close enough that I could feel his warmth on my back. "Do what?"

"Pretend that you don't know. Pretend to be clueless."

I closed my eyes and sighed. "You're my friend's younger brother."

"So?"

"I'm a man."

"Try again."

"Cedric, what do you want from me?"

"You know what I want."

"Yes," I admitted, "but I don't understand why. I'm older than you and I'm a man."

"Being men didn't stop you and my brother," he pointed out and oddly he didn't sound bitter about my previous relationship with his brother. He was just stating a fact.

"How long?" I wanted to know. "How long have you known about us?"

"A while."

I swallowed. "And how long is a while?"

"I saw you two in my brother’s room."

My heart stopped. "When?"

"When I came home early from school in the fourth grade."

I closed my eyes. Damn. "Why hadn't you said anything till now? Did you plan to blackmail us with it?"

"You know that's not true."

I opened my eyes. Yeah, that just wouldn't be in his character. "Then let it go, Ced. Keep pretending that you didn't see anything. Don't mention that you saw us to anyone, to your brother."

"Why are you so willing to protect someone who abandoned you?"

"He didn't abandon me."

"Is that what you tell yourself at night when you're alone in a cold bed while my brother sleeps with his bosses daughter?"

It happened so fast even I didn't realize what I was doing until I felt the sting my hand connecting with his face. Cedric's head jerked to the side at the impact of my palm against his cheek. I stepped back, shocked at what I've done. I had just reacted...

Cedric kept his head turned for a few seconds before finally looking at me. His ice blue eyes pierced through me. "The truth hurts doesn't it?"

"Bastard," I hissed.

He straightened, cheek red from my slap. "Why don't you forget about him and instead have me."

"What!?"

"I look like him, right?"

I gaped at him. "Are you telling me to have you as your brothers replacement?"

"Yes." His words didn't waver and neither did his eyes. He was serious!

I laughed at his face. "You're crazy."

Cedric shrugged. "Most likely."

"It's a stupid idea."

"Yeah."

"We wouldn't work out."

"Maybe. We won't know unless we try."

I blinked at him. "I think I should probably slap you again. Maybe it'll put the screws loose in your brain back in place."

"Don't pretend like you're not tempted."

Damn him. He was right. I am tempted and that's why I should turn him down. Why I should...should....

"What are you doing?" I stepped back when he took a step towards me.

"You seem hesitant," he commented, "and you obviously won't give into me unless I become more aggressive."

"Stop," I held up a hand. "Cedric, don't."

"No." He grabbed my wrist and pulled me to him. "I've waited long enough."

"This is crazy," I whispered, "stupid. Foolish..."

"I'm just offering you a way out."

I stared up at him. "What?"

"I look like my brother, don't I? Even sound a little like him. Even you pointed out our similarities so why not? Why not pretend that I'm him?" Cedric lowered his head and brushed his lips against my cheek. "Kai...why not? We'd both be getting what we want."

I closed my eyes, shivering as he grazed his soft lips against my jaw. "Ced..."

"It's just sex," he said, "just an arrangement."

Such cold words, yet I found myself surrendering to them...to him. I kept my eyes closed even as his lips found mine. Even as the snow fell, his lips were warm and when his tongue found its way into my mouth, everything got even warmer.

I broke the kiss. "We can't. Someone will see us..."

"Follow me." Cedric grabbed my hand and tugged me along to follow him. In a daze, I followed, wondering what exactly I was getting myself into. In my gut I knew that this was all a bad idea, that it could end in disaster but when Cedric turned and shot me a boyish smile I've never seen on his face before my resolve melted.

It's cause he looks like his brother
, I told myself, as if that would justify the wrong we were about to commit.

Cedric dragged me further back into the woods until I saw a small cottage. Hm, figures that John's wife would have a small cottage behind her house that was already as big as the White House or maybe even bigger. This only proved that she was far wealthier than me. I would never be able to give John what she could.

"In here," Cedric said as he opened the door and pulled me in. It was dark only for a few seconds before a light from a lantern filled the cottage.

"You seem to have everything prepared," I said, watching him light two more lanterns. "You had this planned."

He glanced at me. "Yes."

"And you were so sure that I'd give in?"

"I had hoped."

I looked around the cold yet cozy looking cottage. Even the furniture looked expensive even though it didn't look like anyone was living here.

BOOK: Fools Like Us (Fools Like Us #1)
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