In the beginning, he was nothing more than a summer fling. A distraction from my tired and boring life. A whirlwind of emotions and passion, wrapped nice and neat inside a pretty package that was just out of reach.

I had thought about being with him for a long time- since we had met 7 years prior. He was a bad boy, always getting into trouble with the law for doing reckless and dangerous things. He partied too hard, smoked too much, and was dating a gorgeous blonde with a hint of the same crazy attitude. To top it all off, he was my sister’s husband’s little brother. So to say he was off limits is an understatement. This only made me crave him more.

Fast forward a few years… I would spend a few weekends here and there at my sister’s house, sleeping in the guest room upstairs. One night he came over for dinner while I was visiting, and spent the evening drinking beers and watching movies with us. I was about 18 at the time and not inexperienced, but I found myself fumbling for things to say. He made me so nervous that I was speechless. This only made my crush on him worse. That night he slept on the couch, and all I could do was dream of him sneaking in my room for a secret late-night romp. After that, we only saw each other a few times a year, during birthday parties and holiday dinners for our mutual families. I had a crush on him, but it was minor, and I considered him out of my league anyway.

Then I graduated from college and moved in with my sister for a few months while I settled into my first full time job in a new city. I had been dating the same guy, Trent, for almost a year. From the outside, Trent and I appeared to be the perfect couple. We enjoyed many of the same things, and our families got along great. My parents and sisters adored Trent, and accepted him as part of the family like no other boyfriend had been accepted before. He was going to school to be a teacher, and his life goal was to coach baseball. He never got into trouble, he was smart with his finances, and he was great with kids. Somehow, despite all of these brownie points in his favor, I was unhappy. I was bored, and I wanted out.

Before I moved, our nights were spent in silence while he played video games and I read romance novels to try to rekindle my passion for him. We never talked about anything more important than how much homework we had or what his friends were doing that weekend. We didn’t cuddle. We didn’t go out on dates. We rarely had sex. I couldn’t stand him, and eventually I couldn’t stand myself because I had gotten myself into the situation, but couldn’t seem to figure out how to get out. I had no logical explanation for why I felt this way, no tangible reason to end the relationship. And so I hated myself for not being able to call it quits. I decided to settle, and figured eventually I would either love him again, or I would get used to the situation.

And then I was offered a full time job two hours away, and I saw my way out. I moved in with my sister a week after graduation. Trent and I continued to see each other, but it was mostly on weekends. It was a welcome break for both of us. At one point later on, he admitted that he had been looking forward to me moving out, because he wanted some space too. Neither of us knew how to communicate our feelings about our relationship, or about anything at all to be honest. As he began to miss me, I began to relish my freedom and gain the confidence to end it.

In the meantime, Chad began visiting my sister’s house regularly (his older brother was my sister’s husband, remember). He would come over at least once a week to eat dinner, play with the kids, and help his brother work on his dirt bike. We eventually added each other on different social media sites, and so began the love affair to end all love affairs.

He is funny, and out going, but laid back at the same time. He never expects me to be anything other than myself, and calls me out when I behave otherwise. He tells outlandish stories about building portable hot tubs and arriving at his high school reunion in a helicopter, and he gives me the best life advice of anyone I’ve ever known.

The first night we spent together was nothing less than incredible. For four hours we were intertwined, caught in a night of passion that was ruled by nothing other than desire. We didn’t stop; we were connected in a way that surprised us both, and left us wanting more. After our bodies were exhausted, we stayed up for a while, talking and laughing.

The next morning I left, head still reeling, and drove to a friend’s house to spend the rest of the weekend. I didn’t intend on letting it happen again- I was happy to have gotten him out of my system, and I was satisfied by the way things had played out. A few days later, I was still recounting the night in my mind when he texted me to let me know I had forgotten something at his house. I went over after work to retrieve the item, and found myself wrapped in another mind-blowing passionate adventure, unable to control myself. This time I left right after, feeling a little confused, but happy nonetheless.

Later that same evening, my sister’s in-laws (Chad’s parents) hosted dinner for the family. We ate and chatted and played games with the kids. Chad was there, and it was thrilling to have such an exciting secret between us. We didn’t talk much- we were surrounded by his entire family. But knowing that just a few hours earlier I was on top of him, raking my fingers through his hair and shouting his name, left me weak at the knees while he was in the room.

Needless to say, I was hooked. What should have been a one night stand turned into a life changing love that I’ll never come back from.