1 Chapter One

HUDSON BLAKE

All I remember from that day is her. 

Her crazy, curly, dark hair, her big brown eyes, the faint freckles sprayed across her nose and naturally tanned skin. 

I was just seven at the time, her six, but I remember. How could I not? I remember her smile, the slightly crooked teeth. She was someone I loved; someone to protect. 

She still is. But on a much larger scale now.

Three Months Earlier

SOFIA REYES

"Okay. Five Feet Apart, The Fault In Our Stars, or Twilight?" 

"Twilight," I answer automatically. "Five movies, so we'll be here for at least ten hours." Haylee laughs, nodding, and goes to find the first movie. "Shit. We need food. I'll be back." I hurry downstairs to get us snacks for our movie night. 

Turning the corner into the kitchen, I run into a wall. Okay, maybe not a wall, but it feels like one, at least. In reality, it's Hudson, Haylee's obnoxious, arrogant, football-star older brother. He's shirtless, and the sight makes me swallow the lump in my throat.

Hudson's tall, with dirty blonde hair and deep hazel eyes. He's been playing football since he was four, and he's the star quarterback of our high school's football team. Recruiters have been watching him for years, and he's pretty much already tied down to Clemson University, seeing as their current quarterback is most likely going to be drafted this season, and he's been dreaming of going there for years.

Did I mention he's an asshole? 

I mutter a "sorry" and push past him, going straight to the pantry, grabbing what we need. Popcorn, Reese's cups and pieces, M&Ms, Starbursts. I put the bag of popcorn in the microwave before grabbing Haylee's Sprite and my Pepsi from the fridge. I grab three of each, just to be safe. I feel eyes on me, and turn to see Hudson leaning against the wall, deep hazel eyes trained on me. 

"What?" I snap. He knows by now that I don't like attention. I mean, Haylee is basically the only person that I talk to. 

He shakes his head, smirking. "Nothing." He replies before disappearing.

I roll my eyes, gathering the food and drinks and hurrying upstairs to start our movie marathon. I place the popcorn between us and hand Haylee her food and drinks. I take both the Reese's (I'm a peanut butter and chocolate addict) and Hales gets M&Ms and Starbursts. 

We stay up late into the night, watching the Twilight Saga, talking and binge-eating. Haylee falls asleep halfway into Eclipse, and I pause it there so she doesn't miss anything. She'd kill me if she did. 

Around two in the morning, I'm still awake, because I can't fall asleep and I've been reading. I head into the bathroom, having to pee really bad. I don't think twice about the light being on; we leave it on with the door closed all night so we have at least a little light drifting into the dark room. I swing open the door, stepping into the bathroom. 

There, two inches in front of me, is Hudson. Shit, I forgot they share a bathroom. 

I squeal quietly, seeing as he's quite literally half-naked. I slap a hand over my eyes, praying that I can somehow, magically, erase the sight from my memory. 

"Fuck! Sofia, what the hell are you doing?" 

I hear him pull up both his underwear and his shorts before he sighs heavily. "Sofia." He says sternly. 

I drop my hands, face as red as it can possibly be. "Like I wanted to see that! I forgot you share a bathroom!" I defend myself, folding my arms across my stomach self-consciously. 

"¿Qué demonios estoy haciendo? Y porque tienes que ser tan sexy?" I mumble under my breath frustratedly in Spanish, which I always do when stressed or nervous. What the hell am I doing? And why do you have to be so sexy?

"You gotta speak up so I can hear you, Sofia."

"¡Cállate la boca!" I yell, frustrated with him and his stubborn ass. Shut the fuck up. "Tú es la persona más molesta en la historia del mundo." You are the most annoying person in the history of the world. 

Hudson, unaffected, just raises an eyebrow, clearly not understanding a single word leaving my mouth. 

"Te odio." I've said that one enough that he knows damn well what it means at this point. I hate you. 

He chuckles. "Lo dudo, hermosa." He replies, his Spanish accent flawless. His typical response to my annoyed hate comment, I doubt that, beautiful.

Of course, he doesn't actually think I'm beautiful. The asshole does it to taunt me. 

I huff, leaving by the bathroom and firmly closing the door on his laughter. Lord knows how much he infuriates me. 

Too bad he's so damn hot. 

I wake up around noon that day, and Haylee, unsurprisingly, is still dead asleep. I try to wake her, to no avail. I stand, stretching, and hear multiple bones pop from the movement. 

I see Mr. and Mrs. Blake—Harrison and Heather as they prefer me to call them—working on a case in the living room when I get downstairs. 

Mrs. Blake smiles at me. "Morning, Sofie. How did you sleep?" 

"Barely." I reply and she smiles. 

"I made blueberry pancakes a few hours ago, but you're more than welcome to reheat some. There's also some bacon, if you'd like that as well." 

"Thanks, Mrs.—" I catch myself this time, "Heather." 

She nods, getting back to her case as I make my way to the kitchen, my stomach growling. I'm starving, and all the junk food I ate last night didn't help any. 

"Sofia."

I roll my eyes, knowing he can't see me. "Vete a la mierda." I mumble, knowing he knows that means, "fuck off". I tend to cuss in Spanish when at Haylee's since her parents hate it so much, so she and Hudson know most of them. Plus side of being bilingual. 

"Aw, but you love me, hermosa. Do you not remember our little run-in last night?" 

I spin around, glaring at him with all the anger in me. "That was an accident and you know it, Hudson. Now, leave me the hell alone." 

My phone rings, distracting me for the moment. My brother, Marco. I quickly answer, knowing his free time is limited.

"Marc," I breathe out. 

"Sofie. How are you, hermanita?" 

"I miss you," I reply instead. How I am is irrelevant compared to any time I have to talk to him. 

He chuckles. "I miss you, too. Don't worry, Sofie, I'll be home soon. Two months, remember?" 

I breathe out a sigh of relief. "And three days." 

"You have a countdown?" 

"Sí, hermano." 

I hear yelling in the background and Marco goes silent for a minute before speaking up again. "Lo siento, hermanita. I need to—"

"Go save the world. Yeah, I know, Marc. I love you. Stay safe."

"Always."

He hangs up and I squeeze my eyes shut, taking a deep breath. Sometimes I hate him for enlisting. Yeah, I get it. He wanted to protect people. Honor our country. Make Mom and Dad proud. But was joining the Marines really the best way to do it? 

No.

"Hey, uh, Sofie? You okay?" 

Damn it. Why did Hudson have to witness my mini breakdown?

I take a deep breath and open my eyes. "Yeah," I manage and go back to getting my food, and my stomach growling goes to show how hungry I am. 

"Y'know, Sofie, if you ever—" 

"Leave it alone, Hudson," I snap. I don't have many weaknesses, but my brother is undoubtedly one of them. Marco is all I have. He's all of my family left. So when we anyone even comes close to mentioning him, I'm immediately in defense mode. Especially when it's Hudson. 

He goes to speak, but I cut him off. "I don't want your pity. Leave it." He closes his mouth, looking conflicted, before leaving me alone and walking away.  

Haylee comes downstairs around one and I'm sitting at the kitchen table, working on my latest art project. No, not one for school. That's hasn't started yet. This is just for fun. Art helps me with my stress and anxiety. I always end up doing something art-related after a conversation with Marco. It makes me so on-edge talking to my brother that I haven't seen in person in nine months, but this always helps.

"What happened?" She asks softly. 

"Marco."

"Oh, Sof." She hugs me and I bury my face in her shoulder. Haylee is the only person who knows me well enough to know what things bother me like this. 

I wipe away the tears that have pooled in my eyes, pulling away from her. "It's fine. I'm fine." I'm tired of being seen as weak. She raises an eyebrow like she doesn't believe me, but let's it go. 

"Estás bien, Sofie?" She asks, switching to Spanish easily. I've been teaching her for years, and by now she's basically fluent.

I nod. "I'm okay, Hales. Thank you. You don't need to be so worried about me."

She nods. "Anytime, amiga. Do you want to finish our movie marathon?" 

I stand up, grabbing my pencils, Sharpies and sketch pad. "I think I'm going to head home. I need to, uh, get some stuff ready for school next week."

"Let me know if you need anything. Promise me."

"Siempre," I reply. Always. 

Haylee smiles. "Love you, Sofie."

I give her a quick hug. "Love you, Haylee."

How did you guys like your first sneak peek of Sofie and Hunter? They're quite the pair, I must say. Anyway, thank you to anyone who's reading this story. I've been working on it for awhile and I'm excited to finally get it to y'all. Make sure to comment your thoughts on this new one! Have an amazing day or night!!

~foreverlimelight