Dangerously by A.M. Wallace
You're lucky if you find one great love in your lifetime. Most people don't even come close. I found mine. The problem is, he's off limits.
Falling for your best friend's husband is one thing, but what happened between us is something else entirely.
He set fire to my soul. A fire that I would rather die than to extinguish. But is it really worth a lifelong friendship? Can a relationship built on a lie be anything but that...a lie?
Maybe you should decide. This is my story.
*Unedited and subject to change.
“We have to stop,” I whisper breathlessly against his lips. “This is just… too hard.”
He kisses me again and I don’t stop him. I never stop him. I want this just as much, if not more than he does. These last few months have been absolutely blissful with him, if not horrifically terrifying at the same time.
“Laur,” he starts, resting his forehead against mine, “I can’t go back to the way things were. Neither can you.” He isn’t wrong, I say in my head, sighing deeply. “Please don’t make me try.”
“What about Claire, Matty? This will crush her.”
He closes his eyes in a wince, as if he’s in pain. I know he is. The feeling is mutual when it comes to Claire. Neither one of us had any intentions of hurting her. Not even in the beginning when it was just supposed to be fun. Now, things are so much more complicated that we could have ever dreamed. This wouldn’t just crush her now.
It would destroy her.
“This isn’t about Claire, Lauren. This is about you and me,” he says like it’s the answers to all of our problems. Like just focusing on ourselves and our feelings will just solve everything.
“No, Matt!” I shove his chest with the palms of my hands to push him away, tears filling my eyes. “This has everything to do with Claire. And I just… I can’t do this to her anymore.”
“Laur--,” he starts again but I cut him off.
“Matty,” I whisper and shake my head. He takes a step towards me, but I step backwards. “Please, Matty. We have to stop.”
“Is that what you really want? Honestly?” He asks, the worry evident in his eyes. When I don’t answer right away, he continues. “I’ll do whatever you want, Lauren. You know I will. But this?” He gestures between the two of us. “This won’t just go away. You can’t truly expect us to just stop and go back to how it used to be.”
“We have to try.” I know he’s right. It will be impossible to pretend that I’m not in love with my best friend’s husband. But I’ll do whatever I can to keep her, as selfish as that might sound.
I’m a selfish person, a spoiled brat even. While I’ve never had much luck in the love department, I was never alone. Claire and Matthew have always been there for me. Both of them. They picked me up through every heartache, through every break-up, after every fight. Most would think it would have just been Claire, while Matt was an innocent bystander, being her husband. But that’s never the case.
Matthew is just as involved in helping me heal as Claire has been. It’s just the way it’s always been.
I think, deep down, I’ve always had that attraction for Matthew. But he was never mine to have, never even a possibility of being mine. So, I was happy for my best friends finding love. And I mean truly happy. If I was ever envious, it wasn’t because I wanted him and she got him. No, it was because I didn’t have what they have. It felt like I never would.
Until now. Even though it’s a pipedream and I knew from the very beginning it would never be more than it is or has been.
Matthew still loves Claire, still wants to be with her. I never thought it was possible to be in love with two people at once, but I can tell how he feels about us both. And it’s cruel. Not only to him, but to me. We played a game neither of us had the intention of losing. But we did lose. We fell in love.
And I love him dangerously.
“Alright, Lauren,” Matthew says quietly, pulling me from my thoughts. “If that’s what you want.”
“It is,” I say too quickly, before I lose my nerve.
He acts as if he may come and hug me or something, but then thinks better of it. My eyes never leave his as he takes a couple of steps back towards my front door.
I almost stop him. Almost. But before I can, he’s already out the door.
But he’ll never be out of my life. And I have to learn to live with loving him while seeing him love another and not me…
Ever since we discovered how we felt about one another, the fact that he went home to Claire every night didn’t bother me. I love how he loves her so intensely. I love how he loves me the same. His heart is the biggest reason I fell for him. For a brief period of time, it was almost as if we were sharing him. Except she wasn’t aware.
But now, he was all hers. That wasn’t an issue before, when it was just the two of them, before I knew I loved him. But I know what it feels like to be loved by him and now I’m not going to be receiving it anymore. She is. She’s his only love now.
It’s just the way it has to be.