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My dad and I spend a bit catching up, chatting about the stupid shenanigans the rebel kids in town have been getting into since I’ve left, the irritating new neighbors, and the possibility of my dad getting a new dog. My dad’s best friend past away a few months ago, and the house seems eerie without the sound of Turk’s heavy paws. He was a huge chocolate lab with the biggest heart ever.
“I’m gon’a miss him,” I reply, and he nods. I reach over to take hold of Dylan’s hand and casually caress her with my thumb.
“Yeah, couldn’t get you two apart when you were younger.” He notes, and I nod, but the truth is, that dog loved my dad more than anyone else. Sure I was a favorite, but he went everywhere with my dad. Good dog.
Amongst the chatting, Dylan stays relatively quiet. She does the usual chiming in every so often, but mostly our conversation is somewhat out of her scope of knowledge. I feel bad for her having to deal with this, but it has to be done. I need to catch up with my dad, he’s so alone here when I’m not around, and lending an ear to him for twenty minutes to vent or say whatever is on his mind is the least I can do.
Eventually I stretch my back out and heave a sigh, taking Dylan’s hand and gently tugging her toward me. “Well, I think I’m going to show Dylan around a bit more, and maybe unpack our things.”
“Yeah, good idea. She might get lost,” he pauses to smirk at his own lame sarcasm, “How ‘bout we all go grab a bite after?” My dad inquires.
“Sounds good to me,” I look at Dylan to make sure she doesn’t seem against the idea, and then spin her around so we can backtrack a bit. I guide her through the hallway again, letting her pause here and there to gawk at the awful photos of me as a child, although I stand and admire a picture of my mom holding me as a baby for longer than I probably should. Dylan probably notices, but I awkwardly cough, pivot away, and try to divert the conversation by noting the squeaky floorboards as we walk again. “Made sneaking around pretty hard when I was a kid, not to mention I swear he has eyes on the back of his head.” I shake my head and laugh as we head out the front door again so I can grab our bags to take inside. I demand she stay on the porch, assuring her I can handle this on my own.
Once inside, we start heading up the stairs. “Dad’s room is down here on the other side of the living room and my room is upstairs. It’s actually pretty big though, and I have my own bathroom up here,” I pause at the top of the stairs, “and to answer your question, he doesn’t care that much, although he might prefer we sleep separately… but he knows he can’t do much to prevent it. There is a couch, if you’d prefer I sleep there for my dad’s sake. Can’t guarantee I won’t sneak in while you’re sleeping though,” I wink at her before kicking open the door at the top of the stairs. I set our things down gently, and take a few more steps forward. “It smells like home,” I laugh, staring around at my room and drinking it in.
My grey walls are mostly plastered with sports posters intermingled with some video game posters, and even a few chemistry posters I won. My bed is actually made, thanks to dad, and trophies line the tops of my dressers as well as the shelves that skirt around the whole room. “Feels kind of bare without my TV and my Xbox, though…” I pout, staring at the noticeable empty space where my TV stand used to be, packed with games and movies, and a few game systems--namely my Xbox--so there’s no Netflix watching while we’re here, which is probably a good thing. “Looks like we can’t be couch potatoes here, I guess we’ll have to find things to do, and you’ll just have to come with I guess…” I’m trying to be pouty as I talk but honestly, I’m just being a dick. Truthfully, I was looking forward to her being forced out of her comfort zone a bit. I smirk at the end, grabbing hold of her quickly and throwing her onto the bed with me. I bury my face into her neck, and hold her waist tight. One of my legs stretches out over hers and wraps around them best it can. [i “I can has?”] I whisper, before gasping at the sudden pressure I feel behind my back. I can feel it hop over me, and it lands on Dylan's lap. "King!" I exclaim, reaching out quickly to pet the big, glorious, fluffy grey cat. "I missed the shit out of you, man!"
Let's take a moment to talk about the kind of environment I grew up in. My family's house was situated on a cul-de-sac with a couple of other houses, built in the late 80s. They're all fairly nondescript, and blend in with the rest of suburbia quite nicely. People's yards consisted of mostly plan old lawn and a couple of trees. Maybe a garden if someone's mom was into that, and if they were cool they had a swing set and/or pool. Whenever we left it was to visit my grandparents in their respective Florida condos, or my aunts and uncles who of course, lived in houses that were in theory hundreds of miles away, but might as well have been just down the street from us. My family is, by all accounts, neither country folk nor city folk. And so I am woefully unprepared to handle the fishing and hunting and trapping this weekend entails. But boy does Chris have a knack for getting me out of my comfort zone and making it feel relatively easy.
Then there's the meeting of his dad. Chris provides plenty of assurance that his father is going to love me and that it's not that big of a deal, but I can tell that this isn't entirely true. It wouldn't take a whole lot of detective skills to tell that this meeting has some weight for Chris. Of course he wants his father to approve on some level, just because it's ideal that we all get along. I can't say I'd mind some approval from someone who really knows Chris either. His friends haven't been thrilled about me to say the least, and that's not the best feeling.
Chris' dad looks... somehow exactly like I imagined, but a tinge friendlier. I'm admittedly a little awkward at first. In all of my time spent fantasizing about Chris and whatever imaginary futures we might have, I'd failed to think about how to charm the hell out of his parents when I first met them. "These look delicious, thanks," I pipe up while reaching for a cookie, offering an unintentionally tense smile. Oh lord.
But the conversation between the two of them flows naturally enough that I don't have to dwell in my stiffness for too long. "Too smart for him?" I repeat with a more genuine grin, looking over at Chris. Nice to know that he's talked to his dad about me in the past. I feel kinda guilty about not gushing to my parents about Chris yet, but I wasn't trying to get their hopes up over nothing. This is starting to feel less and less like nothing though, so I probably ought to call them when we get back. "Y'know, sometimes I start to think that, but then just at that moment he'll totally school me over a chemistry problem," I confess.
"A glass of water would be great," I respond, and then take a moment to look around the place. Chris fits right into it.
Once they've done a bit more catching up and we've all done a bit more chatting, Chris and I split off for a minute to get settled in. "Separate bedrooms or...?" I whisper once we're in the hallway. Chris' dad is no idiot, but it might be just a little disrespectful of us to share a bed in his house or whatever, and I'd rather tread lightly than cause any problems right away. It would be weird to not sleep next to Chris, but not having to worry about getting elbowed in the face every night has its perks too.
I thought my life would be unavoidably different… that some drastic change would take over my life… but over the past few weeks I’ve realized that with the right person, the change from single life to a relationship is graceful and easy, although truly undeniable. You could almost call us clingy with the amount of time we’ve spent together, but I feel so relaxed with Dylan. Neither of us are necessarily [i really] touchy-clingy , but we definitely are alike in the sense that I want her near me at all times. I want to protect her, to feel her presence, even if we aren’t necessarily watching the same show or doing the same things. Having her in the same room as me is enough for me.
Of course there are things to get used to, as well, like having someone around all the time . Also, someone who actually wants to know what I’m thinking, or where I’m going, or what I’m doing. But I love her even more for it, because she knows when to give space, and I think she enjoys her alone time, too. We have an even balance, and I love it. I know this is the beginning of our relationship, so I don’t want to jump to anything, but this is definitely the happiest and smoothest beginning to any relationship I’ve ever had. It’s so natural, you’d think we’ve been together for years. I can’t put into words how nervous she makes me, and the worse of it all is that I don’t think Dylan truly believes all of this. I mean, I think she’s enjoying herself, but… I get this weird feeling she doubts me, and I can’t blame her. I reach across and take her hand in mine as I drive in response to that thought, pushing it out of my head. She’ll believe me, eventually, and I’ll make sure of that. I squeeze it in my hand, trying to waive all of my worries and frustrations so I can enjoy this drive with her. Dylan thinks she’s so good at hiding her thoughts, but I can see her worry from a mile away. It doubles any worries I’ve been having tenfold. That’s her as a person, though, I think.
“Quit bein’ a worry wart would ya? I mean, you’re a cute one.. But still… you’ll be fine, just don’t make my dad mad or… he might have to hurt ya,” I joke, glancing over at her to check the reception of my joke. “I’m just kidding, Evans, my dad will probably love ya. First girl I’ve brought over in years, and he’s really laid back. He doesn’t care about much other than hunting, fishing, and trappin’. If you’ve got an open mind, you might even learn a thing or two.” I wink over at her, internally chuckling at the idea of Dylan getting mud on her shoes, dirt in her hair, and the smell of fish on her hands. I think it’s kind of a hot fantasy, but she probably doesn’t see it that way… We’ll see how this goe, I’m pretty excited either way. I squeeze her hand in mine, and roll down the windows a bit. Busy roads with buildings side-to-side are replaced by a wall of green. Beautiful emerald pines march rhythmically on both sides of us as we continue up north.
“I love the smell out here. It’s so damn fresh, it’s probably one of the things I miss the most about my hometown. We’re almost there,” I smile over at her, making ridiculous kissy faces at her for a moment before turning back to the road. It’s clearly not a huge town, it’s got it’s heavier part of town, though. “We got around ten-thousand people here, but we’re pretty spread out. A decent handful of good stores and restaurants here, too, but we like our good ol’ ‘Ma and Pa’ joints. We'll be there in probably ten to fifteen minutes, by the way,” I give her our ETA, allowing her time to muster up the strength and confidence to meet my dad. Knowing him, he’ll probably have complete intentions to be a jackass as a joke, but once he meets her he won’t be able to help but be nice. He’s nothin’ but a big teddy bear. To me, on the other hand, he’ll probably be a sarcastic dick head.
We drive past a big open field and I point out the window at it, “Dylan Evans, you don’t want to know how many bonfire parties I’ve been to out there, and how many times we almost got busted for it,” I bust out laughing, ridiculous memories flashing back. “One day I’ll tell you some of the dumb stuff I’ve done, but I need to make sure you won’t run away when you find out, first.” I wink at her, and take a gradual right onto a wiry dirt road. It kicks up all around my truck, and I quickly wind up the windows. I don’t mind the smell or how it feels breathing in, but I’m used to it. Dylan is probably really hating it right about now. I try to hold back the smirk, but I keep glancing over at her in hopes of catching her making a disgusted face.
I pull in swiftly, parking right up front of the old log cabin-looking house, and hop out of the car. I walk around to help Dylan out, seeing how it’s a pretty big jump for her, and then take her hand in mind to guide her inside. My dad has done a pretty good job shaping up since Mom died. He was kind of a mess for a while, but I guess he just figured it out, and I’m glad. I don’t have to worry about him, even though I still do. The man can take care of himself, and I’m look he’s in as good a shape as he is. “Dad?” I call out, gradually walking past a hallway full of random pictures that I hope Dylan isn’t paying too close attention to. The lights are all pretty dim, and as I drag her through the kitchen and out the back door, I see him on the dock. I call out his name, and he turns to wave at us. He turns to reel in his line, and then makes his way back to us. In his flannel shirt and ball cap, cargo shorts and dad sandals, and those damn old-people sunglasses, I realize how much I miss him.
“Thought you guys would never make it here, how was the drive?” He walks inside the back screen door, pulls out a clear plastic bag of cookies from the cupboard, and casually throws them onto the counter in front of us. I raise a brow, rubbing a finger against my chin.
“Well, someone was making those cookies, and it wasn’t you, so I doubt you were even counting the time… Who’s the lucky lady?” I smirk at him, and he glares at me. I live to embarrass my dad. He knew I’d ask, but I doubt he thought it’d be so soon.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Anyway,” he steps by me, forcing me to let go of Dylan’s hand. “You must be Chris’ girlfriend, Dylan was it?” He asks her, completely ignoring me. I roll my eyes and open the fridge to grab a bottle of root beer. I’d love to have a beer, but I can’t complain. After what my dad has been through, I’m lucky he isn’t an alcoholic. “I don’t know what you see in that loser kid over there, but I’ll be the first to thank you for it. He says you’re too smart for him, y’know he was even worried he wasn’t your type? At least, the type you probably thought he was. Who’d a thunk it? That kid’s probably smarter than two of me,” he starts chuckling again, and walks into the kitchen to pat me on the back. I shake my head.
“You want anything to drink, hun?” I ask Dylan, and my dad gives me a look. “Also, you don’t have to answer this creepy man’s questions if you don’t know want to.” I feel a little flush from him telling her about our conversation a few weeks ago, but I quickly push past it. She probably already guessed as much, anyway. I hope she can feel as relaxed as I do here. [i Home.] Shit, I’ve missed ya.
"I play both teams on that one," I comment on the Marvel/DC divide, busy making mental notes of everything Chris says he likes. Can't say I'm surprised by the hunting and fishing-- he's definitely got that sprinkling of a good old country boy in him. But the fluffy cats bit really makes my eyes light up with amusement. As soon as I don't need him to make sure I don't roll right down into a ditch or something, I'm going to demand he shows me a picture or two of said King.
Well, no wonder everyone goes here. It's pretty easy on the eyes to say the least, but I'm a little too busy looking at something, or rather, someone else right now. "I bet it is," I nod, certain that it's gotta be pretty spectacular to get drunk and go skinny dipping here with friends, as I'm sure many a wild child have done in the past.
Chris starts to tense up all of a sudden, and follows that right up with some word vomit. I just look up at him with a raised eyebrow, waiting for him to get to the point. This has got to be the first time Chris has ever had to actually ask that question. I bet girls are usually the ones begging him for that kind of title. But hell, we both know that I was never going to pop that kind of question. However I'd do it would somehow manage to be ten times more awkward than Chris'. "Is that a bit of blush I detect?" I blurt out instead of giving him his immediate answer. Squirming around with words like this probably isn't something that happens too often for Chris, so I've got to make the most of it. But just for a moment. "Of course I will silly, you hardly even had to ask."
Everyday now I'm a little more certain that Chris is actually mine, for real this time. He's got to know the same about me, especially given all the time we've spent in bed together. We were sitting right next to each other when we both got calls, on after the other, from the school apologizing for their handling of the investigation after Riley turned himself in. This isn't to say that we've spent every waking moment together. I've been keeping up with all of my work, and Chris is back to working out with the team all the time. But at night there always seems to be time for Netflix and cuddling and a whole lot of sex. I can't say I'm mad about this pattern at all.
After a couple of weeks, sitting passenger in Chris' car feels like second nature, so I'm not to worried about this trip up to the cabin in that sense. For a lot of couples spending this much time together is a big first, but hell, Chris and I have spent entire days together in my tiny dorm room, so the lengthy drive in a pretty enclosed space doesn't make me nervous at all. Meeting his dad, however, is a whole different can of worms. Chris has assured me that his dad is going to love me, but I can't help but suspect that I am the exact opposite of who Chris' parents envision their son being with.
In an effort to distract myself, I came prepared for the trip with road snacks galore and playlists that could actually go on for days. "Oh lord, I'm going to have to fish, aren't I?" How this didn't occur to me earlier, I don't know. "Fuck, promise that you'll grab me before I fall out of any boats?"
I carefully help Dylan maneuver through the woods, as it becomes denser the further in we travel. I’m sort of guiding her as we go as well, because halfway through the trail ends. We zig zag around trees and down small hills, avoiding rocks and holes. I realize as she stumbles about that maybe I shouldn’t have taken her here, but she wanted to go and I’ve suddenly realized that whatever Dylan Evans wants to do, I want to do whatever I can do in my power to make it happen. I want to be the one to help her through it, and see her face brighten as she experiences new things. The thought of anyone else by her side; watching the hair fall around her face, and her relentlessly tucking it behind her ear; or that little face she makes while she’s thinking, followed by that cheeky smile she gets on her face, especially when she’s trying to be tough or nonchalant. She tries so hard to be pugnacious, but she’s really the biggest sweetheart I’ve probably ever met--and the smartest.
“Board games, Evans? Really?” I can’t refrain from busting out in laughter, although I feel guilty pretty quickly. I shouldn’t make her feel bad for her wierdness, besides, it’s what I like about her the most anyway. I hope she knows that. “I would never have pegged you for a reality tv expert… Damn, I’m learning so much,” I try to hide the laughter in my words, but she can totally hear it break through. “Don’t hit me, okay?” I joke, “I’ll stop, I promise,” I fake cough and mash my lips into a hard line, but the ends curve up and I look over at her with wide puppy-dog eyes. “You make up for all that by being the hottest nerd ever. I mean, comics, Evans? I’m the luckiest man on Earth I’d say,” I slap my palm against my chest, “I am humbled to be at your service, my lady,” I wrap an arm around her waist, and without hesitation I lift her into my arms. “We’re almost there, nerd,” I lean down and give her a smack on the lips. “Nah, you’re actually spot on,” I smirk down at her as I continue to walk. “Actually, I really like to hunt and fish with my dad, and I love my Netflix shows--I can’t lie. Hmm, I also fucking [i love ] fluffy cats and I miss my King, he’s practically a dog. Such a bad ass. I’m a closet nerd a bit, too. I love my comics, Marvel all the way. Are you DC or Marvel? I also want you to know I’m going to be searching for that comic series of yours. Be ready for my crticism,” I wink at her.
I can hear a low hum radiating from up ahead. The tree’s slowly break away, and when I step through the wide opening in the brush, there’s a drop in front of me that leads right down into the crystal clear pool. Farther ahead, the falls dump water over the cliff creating a beautiful waterfall, plunging into the pool and sending small waves our way. It’s so open here, and the water mirrors the blue sky, clouds and all. It really is serene here during the day, when there’s not a bunch of girls screaming or drunk teenagers. “It’s even prettier at night..” I carefully set her down, and awkwardly rub the back of my neck.
"So Dylan... this might sound really really fucking stupid, and you can say no or whatever it's cool, but like, I didn't know for sure and I thought I'd ask and I'm really oblivious and dumb sometimes but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask..." I take a deep breath and curse myself for rambling. I slowly turn to look at her, catching her gaze with a bit of hesitation, "Will you, y'know, go out with me or whatever? I mean, for real this time," I try to joke but it probably sounds more awkward than comedic relief. I'm almost upset I'm so nervous right now, it's unusual for me to be [I nervous] around a girl, but I guess there's a first for everything..
A giggle fit seems to be a side effect of simply being around Chris. Sure, his karaoke bit is silly and if I weren't this smitten I'd probably roll my eyes, but it's pretty hard to not think that every last thing he does is the cutest, funniest, most attractive thing anyone on this earth has ever done. "Maybe just a little bit," I respond when its over, although the smile on my face betrays me.
We're headed into Chris' territory here. I figured he'd probably been at some point, doing god knows what, but this is all new to me. For Chris, places like this are probably the usual. I bet at night its full of local teenagers smoking or drinking or whatever it is the kids are up to these days. There's probably a place just like this in Chris' hometown, and there's no doubt in my mind that he was king of it. Meanwhile, I was holed up in my bedroom, or actually going to a friend's house just to watch movies like I told my parents.
The important thing is that he doesn't give a fuck how different we are in terms of the experiences we've had in life. When I'm just with him, I feel the same way. Among our peers is a different story, but that's a battle for a different day. "No, I don't just study, so I'm keeping this hand thank you very much," I shake my head, amused that he'd think that. There's no point in lying to Chris and making what I do for fun sound glamorous or incredibly exciting. His expectations have already got to be low. "Hmmm... my friends tend to play a lot of board games and get way too into them, I watch a gross amount of reality tv with Mitch way too often, and oh, my comics," I blurt out at the end, outing myself a complete nerd. I guess he'd find out about it soon enough anyways.
"Sooo, when I was a kid, I started making this whole series surrounding this girl who like solved crimes and problems and stuff with science and it was like the epitome of nerdy but my mom went ahead and got them published, so they're still out there somewhere. One of these days I'm going to go like buy them all up and burn them all because they are truly awful. I still make little stories and stuff now, though it's mostly just playing around with digital drawing," I elaborate, looking at the ground as we go along in part because lord knows I'm likely to trip on a root at some point, but also because this is embarrassing. "What about you? You've got to do more than just throw around a football and guzzle beer," I opt to quickly divert the conversation.
I chuckle as she rambles about The Waterfall. Of course I know what it is, the hot chickls always hang around there on nice, sunny days, and I was never too far behind. I’m not sure if I should tell her this or feign bemusement. I hate to start off our relationship (so-to-speak…) with lies, but white lies won’t hurt anyone…
“Oh yeah, I’ve been there…” I decide to opt out of lying, she’s far too intuitive and smart. I’m sure she’s already guessed I’ve spent a few nights hooking up down there and drinking. Never before have I been so ashamed that, up until just a couple weeks ago, I’ve been kind of a whore. I awkwardly laugh the thought out of my head and crank the radio instead. I’m not sure what kind of music she likes, but I like it all. Right now, I’m feeling like throwing back to some old-school Akon. She’s probably judging me so hard right now as I start to sing obnoxiously, not even paying any attention to pitch or tone. I probably sound like a dying seal, but I throw my arm out in her direction, grabbing at thin air and scream-singing the song ‘Beautiful’.
[i “When I see you]
[i I run out of words, to say (ahh)]
[i I wouldn't leave you]
[i Cause you're that type of girl to make me stay (ahh)]
[i I see the guys tryin to holla]
[i Girl, I don't wanna bother you]
[i Cause you're independent, and you got my attention]
[i Can I be yo' baby father?]
[i Girl, I just wanna show you]
[i That I love what you are doin' now--.”]
My performance is paired with lots of movement and twisted expressions, pointing and winking, and over-all stupidity. After I can no longer take it anymore I bust out laughing again, and glance over at her with a smirk. “It’s moments like these that make you regret meeting me, right?” I laugh again, sticking my tongue out at her as I head toward the waterfall.
I park next to the curb, because there’s no real parking spaces here. There are around the chunk of land nearby at a park, but it’s a much farther hike. I grab a couple water bottles from the back seat of my truck and hand one to her before we jump out. We walk to the edge of the tree line, where there’s only a slightly discolored and trampled down line leading through. Heavy foliage arches into the air above, and I force them aside with one arm to let Dylan tread ahead of me. The branches scratch my arms, but it’s better than trying to push through and getting whipped in the face instead. I carefully assist her through the trees because I have a hunch hiking on uneven ground is not Evan’s calling in life. “So Dylan Evans, what do you really like to do in your free time? If you say studying I will take my hand away from you,” I cock a brow at her, almost threateningly, but my grin shortly after ruins it.
Leaving Riley's is a bit like riding off into the sunset. Sure, the conflict hasn't been officially resolved yet, but all the hard parts are over. So Chris' truck is the white horse, and he's always been prince charming, I get to be the princess for once. The stupid nose-crinkled kinda smile I've had on my face since last night has yet to wear away either. I know it's silly to be hanging onto his every word like this and to only have eyes for him like this, but it's so hard not to.
Who cares about Chris' history? Sure, I know he's been with a lot of the girls on this campus. In each and every one of my classes there's probably at least one girl who could tell me about their 'magical' night spent with Chris or whatever. But they wouldn't even know what they're talking about, because they've never had a night like last night with him, and likely never will. I've never heard of Chris getting serious with someone else on this campus, even though he could've had the pick of the lot. And somehow after all of this mess, he's mine. Stupid as it sounds, I am a fucking princess.
As on top of the world as I feel though, there's still that unrelenting shaking from having to see Riley and confront him like that. It's a small shake, kind of like an ongoing shiver, but I know that Chris can feel it. I'm relieved that it's left unspoken thought, and it subsides gradually at his touch.
What now that we're riding off into the sunset? Since this is real life, the end credits aren't about to start rolling right after this. I'm at a bit of a loss for what to do as well as first, offering up a long "Hmmm, let me think," but not because I can't think of anything to do. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I want to do everything with Chris. Experiencing new things with Chris just feels natural and right. Maybe because he's already pulled me so far out of my comfort zone, and maybe because he's already given me a whole world of new experiences in the bedroom, but I want to go on a million little adventures with him.
"You know that waterfall all the sorority girls go to and hike around and take a ton of pictures at? I say we go there and if we feel so inclined, pose for some ridiculous pictures, but mostly just look out for all of the dogs that are for sure going to be on the trail," I suggest, pulling out my phone to look up directions on how to get there already. "But first, breakfast?"
[i "A little birdy told me you and Chris were spotted outside Riley's place this morning?????] Mitch's text pops up on my screen before I can get to the directions.
[i "It was Riley who did the WHOLE thing. I'm with Chris right now and kinda busy, but I promise I'll tell you everything asap."] I send back before looking up the directions. Turns out it's a pretty short drive away.
[i "WHAT. A. SNAKE! Hope you two disposed of the body well and have funny getting busy ;)"] I can't help but giggle at that one, and read out the bit about disposing the body to Chris.
After pacing for a while awaiting her return, I eventually allow my feet to guide me back into my truck. I grab the top of it, swinging into my seat effortlessly, and turn the ignition. My truck comes revving alive, and I turn on the music to ease my nerves. I leave the door wide open, in case of emergency, a.k.a. come to Dylan's rescue and beat the life out of that boys eyes. A devilish smirk erupts on my face, and it's the same one that greets Dylan as she hops into the car not a minute after with confirmation. I can't help but to grin, genuinely this time, and lean over to cup her face and give her a quick peck.
"Awesome job, babe, I love that I can count on you. Could'a been quicker, though, I was about to play superman," I wink at her after, although for most of the sentence I avoided her face and instead put the truck into reverse and got the hell out'a this grime-infested place. I mentally note the location, though, in case Riley needs a reminder of his promise to Dylan. He should know better, too. I'm sure he's looking out the window now and shaking in his shoes, and that makes me feel darkly satisfied.
I'm happy to drive away, but I'm not sure where we should go. It's Sunday, and aside from the week I practically lived with Evans prior to my week of solitude, I'm not used to going out during the day--at least not with a girl--so I'm completely unsure where to take her. I haven't even had a girlfriend, at least not a sincere and genuine one, for a couple years now. This whole thing is just slightly strange for me, but I try to hide my anxiety by faking a cough and reaching over to slide and lock my fingers between hers. I feel her shaking for a moment which alarms me, but within moments it slows. I gently caress her hand with my thumb, gently squeezing every so often.
"So Dylan Evans, what are we to do on such a fine spring day?" I ask her, aimlessly driving in the mean time. "We can binge watch a new Netflix show, there's so many good ones; we can go to the mall if you like shopping, I can always use a new pair of Jordans; or we can maybe go for a walk? Or I can just drive around for a bit?" I pause, rubbing my chin with my thumb and forefinger. "Not much to do on Sunday..." I have no idea where to take her, and more importantly I have no idea how to breach the topic about the meeting my dad thing. I mean, technically we aren't even going out yet. We are but I haven't asked her to officially be my girlfriend I don't think, or have I? Is she waiting for me to or is she not like normal girls? Well that's a rhetorical question, of course she's not. God damn it, Dylan Evans, why must you make me an idiot when I'm around you?
Leaving Chris at his truck and heading into Riley's alone is kind of like leaving Prince Charming behind to go slay the dragon myself. Except in this case the dragon is a skinny nerdy guy who for some reason thought he was entitled to fuck up my life. With my gentle woman's touch of whatever, I'm the one who's going to fix this mess. This is likely for the best, as I've got a suspicion that Chris would actually kill Riley if he were alone in a room with him right now. Actually, I know he would. And I'd rather Chris not go to jail for homicide right now.
Nothing beats the scared look on Riley's face when he opens the door. He clearly looks around for Chris, and then seems relieved that I'm here alone. "Have you finally seen the light?" Pft, men and their egos I swear. Everything about him is repulsive to me right now and I have no idea how I stooped so low.
"I'm coming in," I say in the middle of rolling my eyes, barging my way into his place. "Let me be clear that I do not want to be here. I have to be here, because there's a lot of shit you need to fix."
"Dylan, he's lying to you." Didn't take long for the desperation to come seeping out.
I just turn and look him in the eye. I'm not here to waste my time on his nonsense, and I'm sure the look on my face conveys that better than I could with words right now. "You really expect me to believe that."
"...Okay," he finally says. I'm taking that as his confession.
"I'm not here to yell at you. You already know what you did and how fucked up it was. If you actually cared about me, you never would have done any of that. It's fine that you don't care about me, but we both sure as shit know that you care about yourself. And if you don't fix this and come clean, things are going to get very bad for you." I don't know exactly what I'm threatening, but I'm sure Chris has a million ways to make Riley's life miserable already brewing up in that head of his.
"Dylan, if I did that things would get remarkably worse than they are now. I'm fine with leaving things as they are."
"You so sure about that?" I start before I can even come up with any actual leverage I have. Then it hits me: the pictures are serious leverage. "Because I'm pretty sure that pictures can be traced. You took those on your phone, didn't you? And sent them around. Bet it never even occurred to you that that's a crime. A major one. And it wouldn't involve only you. Bet your parents pay the phone bill right? So technically they own that phone. And technically, your dad might be the one getting in serious trouble for sending around photos like that without my consent. You still so sure you want to leave things as they are?"
Riley looks like he wants to cry. "Fuck, Dylan. I never meant to hurt you."
"Stop, I literally don't care. I just want all of this to go away, as quickly as possible. If you go to the school and say that you lied about the cheating, I'll let the picture thing go. We'll stay out of each others lives, and all will be well. I'm doing you a huge favor here."
It's silent for at least a minute. I stand there with my arms folded over my chest the whole time, looking straight at him.
"Alright, alright. I'll go to the school and tell them that I had it wrong, and that I lied about the cheating. Just promise the football team doesn't come after me," he agrees.
"Sure, fine," I say, lying through my teeth. Once Riley goes to the school with the truth, I don't owe him anything and I'm sure as hell not protecting him. If the football team wants to beat the shit out of him, well, that's their prerogative. "Do it today, and text me after it's done. Otherwise I'm calling the cops," I say over my shoulder on my way out, shutting the door behind me.
When I'm on the stairs and sure that I'm alone, I can't help but shake a little. That whole conversation was such an awful experience, and being near Riley at all makes me feel ill. But it's over now. Or will be, in a couple of hours. And Chris and I get to be happy. God that boy does make me so happy. Even just the sight of him sitting in his car has got me all giddy.
"It's fixed," I announce when I open the door to the passenger's side, climbing up into my seat. "He's going to say that he lied about the cheating, and in a couple of days everything should be back to normal."
“Yeah, I think you’re right. Don’t be one of those wierdos who sniffs it or uses it when I’m gone though, and I fucking beg you, Dylan Evans, do not scrub your toilet with it or I will die of shame.” We bust out in a fit of laughter. Eventually we make it out the door, but we turn and head right back into mine. Chris Baxter with a bundle of clothes in his hand is not the worst thing the fellow tenants of our apartment have seen. It’s early Sunday afternoon by the time we get outside, and we pop in the truck together. I open the door for her and help her in considering it’s rather high, before skirting the car and hopping in as well. I’m not sure what to do, since I don’t know Riley very well, so I turn to look at Dylan with raised brows. “You want to go to his apartment?” I grip the wheel, slightly irritated by the idea. But I’d be there this time, just in hiding. If he sees me he’ll be so pissed he won’t answer anything. I know that, at least. But I’m not dumb enough to leave my girl here alone. Considering what he’s done, I wouldn’t put it passed him to try to rape her. Sounds dark, but seriously. He’s made it clear he’ll do almost anything, serious or not, to get attention from her. [i Fuck you, you fucking pussy bitch. You even touch her and you’re fucking dead.]
She directs me there since they were, at one time, good friends. I try hard not to feel weird about her knowing where he lives. Even the thought of last night makes me boil, but I try to keep my cool for Dylan. I step out the truck and then walk around to help her out. But instead of stepping onto the ground, I catch her and kiss her, holding her above the ground. “All you got to do is scream and I’m there, okay? Just tell me what his apartment number is.” She does, giving me a bit of directions to get there if need be. Clearly she doesn’t want to be here just as much as me. That makes me feel kind of validated, although I don’t know why. I set her down gingerly, extending my neck to kiss her forehead before watching her go inside.
After the door closes behind her I lean back against my truck, and run my hand through my hair. It’s a beautiful Sunday morning, and days like this make me miss my old man. Speaking of which, I haven’t called in a while. I’m such a lame excuse for a son, but I think I should call him. This might take a bit anyway. I pull out my phone and dial him in.
“Yeah, Dad, hey!”
“Oh! Hey Chris, how ya doing?”
“I don’t know, I’m alright. Could be better…”
“What’s the matter, son?”
“Well, I… Well, I’m seeing someone…”
“Really? She must not be all the way there, huh?—[i hah]”
“Oh shut up, Dad, she’s actually out of my league.”
“Okay, so she’s a cheerleader? A celebrity? A doctor? What the hell does ‘out of your league’ mean, Christopher?”
“Well, she’s just kind of… well, she’s a bit of a nerd..”
“Ha!! Oh god, Chris, you make things much bigger deals than they are. You know, I used to wonder if I had a daughter or a son, but apparently your mother was sure you were a boy. I blame her for all this. [i Haha!]”
“Chris, I’m your father. I know you’re smart, you’re the one that’s hidden it all your life. Kid, you’re a damn genius, how many times have I told you to do something with it. You know, your mom would have rather you did that than football. Don’t know why you been so ashamed of it all your life. I barely know what two-plus-two is!”
“Damn it, Dad! Well, I’m probably going to be. I started trying in my classes when I met Dylan, and someone reported us, so now we’re both being investigated for ‘cheating’. It’s so stupid!”
“Chris… If I know anything from being your father, it’s that you’re smart, quick on your feet, and I believe you’ll find a way out of this. You remember what happened your first football game in the rain? You slid around the field, tripped, tumbled, I mean, you were so frustrated. You cried the whole way home, you had to have been six or seven. Nothing your mother or I told you made you feel better. But you know what you did instead? The next time it rained, you went outside and practiced in the mud all night until your mother made you come back. You’ll figure it out, son, you’re resilient like your mom.”
“… Thanks Dad..”
“No problem, kiddo. Now, next weekend I’m going to the lake. Should bring your girl, ‘bout time I meet her.”
“Okay, I’ll ask her and let you know. Love ya, Dad.”
“I love ya, too, dumb ass.”
I hang up the phone and slip it back in my pocket and cross my arms. My foot taps against the pavement while I wait, becoming increasingly more impatient as time goes by. Whether he confesses to the truth or not, there’s always a Plan B. I hope he does, but if he doesn’t I’m going to have to start getting A+’s in all my classes, and prove it myself. Dad’s right, I can figure this out. But damn it, I hope Riley does it for us. That’s a lot less damn work.
Staying right here is tempting, and he's only making it increasingly more so. I'd be okay with staying in this bed all day, just vegging out and continuing the marathon of sex over from last night, but I'm pretty sure we have things to do. What these things actually are pretty much completely slip my mind when his hands start wandering again, but I'm probably the one who's supposed to make sure we get things done. Because lord knows Chris is easily distracted. Exhibit A) his sudden fascination with my boobs. I can't help but giggle at him at first, but that giggle turns into the tiniest little sigh of pleasure when he turns the prodding into something that actually feels good.
"Mmm, I think we do have to," I mumble back just before his kiss. I'm not rushing to get up anytime soon though. Not when he's kissing me like this and being so stupidly charming. "You think?" I ask through a laugh when he says everything isn't just going to be well in the world because we're still riding out a night of ecstasy. I wish it were that simple though.
He's right about the Riley thing, and I know he is, but I can't help but crinkle my nose up and squint my eyes in disgust at the thought of having to get anywhere near Riley right now. It makes it even worse that I'm going to have to do that one alone. In a perfect world, Chris would be right by my side for the rest of the day. Definitely because I'm one of those silly and clingy lovesick girls I used to tell myself I'd never be right now, but I think it's reasonable for me to be a bit scared of what happens when Chris and I are apart again. Because shit really hit the fan fast last time. "I know, you're right, you're right," I nod in agreement finally. "It's just gonna take a lot for me to not totally blow up at him. So don't you dare get me all hyped up beforehand," I warn him, playfully more than anything else. I can't even picture what that conversation with Riley is going to look like right now, but I'm already sure as hell that it's going to suck.
Shaking away that for now, I steal one last kiss from Chris before rolling out from underneath him, swinging my legs over the bed so my feet hit the floor and standing up. It is way, way colder being exposed in the open air, but prime time for Chris to make more observations about my tits. "I don't know about you, but I'm going to shower."
As it turns out, sharing a shower is a lot less sexy than television would lead you to believe. There's a little too much potential to slip and crack your head open for my taste, but it still makes for a fun time nonetheless. Where one might expect moans, there's a whole lot of laughter and a couple of yelps of surprise. And of course a couple of kisses thrown in there as well. Definitely a nice way to get the morning in action.
"You're gonna need a drawer and a toothbrush here, huh?" I comment when I realize that Chris' only clothing options are the ones from yesterday. So our first stop back in the real world is going to be his place. We sure take our sweet time getting good to go, and I more of less have to coax him to the door by kissing him and then slowly taking steps backwards to the door, but we get there eventually. "Are you ready for this?" I don't think I'm at all ready for the insanity that'll ensue yet again today, but I'm starting to get used to it.
I close my eyes tightly, grabbing a pillow to give me shade from the light, and groan in response to Dylan’s mumbles. I do [i not] want to get up right now, I’m still exhausted from last night, which was perfect but [i holy shit], I don’t think I’ve had sex like that ever! I mean, I’ve had my fair share of midnight sessions that last all night long, but usually by the third, fourth, and fifth time it’s harder and harder to finish. Dylan, on-the-other-hand, I had no problems with. Honestly, if she hadn’t passed out, I probably would have kept at it. I forget sometimes that Evans just entered the awesome world of sex, and sometimes I feel bad about how I may be pushing her past her comfort zone.. But in all honestly, I think Dylan initiates this more than me, so I refuse to feel too bad about it. She is definitely a natural, because I’d never have known last night that she was a virgin just a week or so ago. The woman was born to be sexy, I can’t believe I never saw it before. She’s seductive as fuck, my own personal brand of kryptonite.
I pull her closer to me, and my hands freely roam her nude body under the covers. “How about we stay right here?” I vigorously start squishing, squeezing, and prodding one of her boobs, very amused by it’s strange consistency. It’s so soft....[i “Man, I wish I had boobs…”] I mumble further, seriously disappointed. [i So not fair that women get them and don’t even freakin’ appreciate them... hmph.] I shift my weight and the pillow I had perfectly balanced on my face flops off the bed entirely, and I once again wince and curl into Dylan. “Nooo--it burns--it burns!” I exclaim in a loud, forced whisper, laughing as I rest my head perfectly on her boobs, and throw the blanket over me. I continue to squish and squeeze them from the darkness, and periodically latch my lips around her nipple where my tongue does elated circles around and over the hardening lumps. “Do we have to?” I mumble under the blankets, feeling defeated. I’d stay here all day if only my lady would let me. [i How disappointing… this is so fun…]
I crawl up from under the covers, leaning down to give her a warm kiss. "Well, Dylan Evans, I don't really think that just because we have officially spent an entire night fucking that we're clear of all charges," I pause, watching her facial expression closely, "and to answer your question, no. It doesn't matter that Riley is the culprit, the investigation has to run it's course, or Riley has to confess. And after last night," I give one of those awkward, stereotypical, and hesitant smiles, "I don't think he will. Unless, maybe [i you] talk to him?" I know that's probably not something she'll want to do, but it might be our only option..
For just a moment when he pulls away, I'm struck with fear that he will never forgive me for Riley. But that's all washed away the second he pulls me right back into him. And we're the luckiest people in the world right now, because even though everything outside of this room sucks, he's falling in love with me, and I'm falling in love with him, and we might as well be the only people in the world. So of course Riley doesn't matter at all. Any thought of him completely goes away the second Chris has me up in the air. By now, I should probably be used to Chris plucking me off of the ground with ease, but I still hold on for dear life at first. When he puts the wall behind me though, my grip loosens and I start to relax.
My heart's nearly beating out of my chest, but I do my best to keep up with him, or at least return the heat in those kisses. I shudder in pleasure when his hand falls on my thigh. This time, I know what follows. There's a trade-off to that though, because I now also know for certain that I am nowhere near as good as he is in bed. But fuck it, I don't think he cares about that too much.
To counter him, I run a my hands below the hem of his shirt, slowly creeping it up and following it with a single finger running over his abs, then his chest, until it falls just below his chin, beckoning him to tilt his head up and look me in the eye. "So long as all of this is mine," I whisper back to him before placing my lips back on his. It's not executed nearly as smoothly as Chris, but I'm learning.
Things are even better the second time around. And then the third. And then the fourth. We have a lot of time to make up for, and a whole night to get started on that effort. Every time it starts to feel more natural, and I stop overthinking it just a little less. I'm so smitten with him and his body that we just keep coming back to making love like it's gravity. Two bodies can say a lot without any words.
In between there's a whole lot of pillow talk, mixed in with a whole lot of laughter on my part about how stupid we acted, all this time thinking we were two smart people. Just a couple of hours ago, I was still in the thick of that mess, but it already feels so distant. Because everything is so much better than okay now.
I don't know exactly when it happened, but at some point I must have curled into Chris and fallen asleep. When I wake up I'm yet again in shock that this wasn't a dream, but this time I don't stare. I just curl back into him and smile with my eyes closed, savoring the moment before we have to leave this bed.
"Babe," I start in a sleepy mumble, pleased to be able to use such a word to refer to Chris. "We've got to go to go talk to the administration this morning, don't we?" I'm already dreading have to explain what happened a million times before the school finally gets it, but I'm also kind of excited to see Riley's life fall apart. After everything he did, he deserves it.
At first, I instinctively allow her to once again pull me forward, but this time into an embrace. I welcome her in my arms, and kiss the top of her head as she rambles. “Okay…” I mumble through her hair. With so much relief at the fact that everything is finally falling back into place, I actually forget for a few minutes the scene I walked into; that is, until she mentions it in her rambling. I pull back for a moment but don’t actually let go of her, and I’m sure she can see me flinching and my jaw clenching when she brings it up. I don’t have much to say, at least nothing necessarily nice. But the rational part of me doesn’t blame her; we weren’t dating, because I never truly asked her out. I was pussy-footing around the whole concept because it terrified me. Why I was afraid to put a title on it, even when everyone was already gossiping about it, I have no idea. I heave a sigh and rub her shoulders.
“Oh really? You’re not in love with Douchie McDouche?” My still face breaks at the mention of Riley’s nickname. “I’m just kidding, besides...[i I know],” I grab her again, lifting her up and nearly killing her in my strong embrace. I squeeze until I hear the wheeze of her empty lungs, laughing as I relax my hold and slowly rotate. I stop after a few twirls, afraid of the dizziness I’m sure to feel if I do that any longer, and opt to reposition us both. I lift her up, holding tightly to her thighs around my waist, and gaze up into her mirroring eyes. “But goddamn it, Dylan Evans, you’re fucking gorgeous,” I gradually take a few steps so her backs against the wall. “And, [i you’re mine,] you hear that?”
I lean forward to kiss her, unable to inhibit myself any longer. Being so close to her, and feeling her breath against my face with that sweet unforgettable smell, puts me into some sort of mood. Using the help of gravity now that she’s against the wall, I slither one hand on the small of her back, and the other gently caresses the inside of her thigh. [i “Only I get to touch you here,”] I whisper, leaning in and trailing kisses up her neck. [i “Only I get to kiss you like this,”] I lean forward and plant a heavy kiss on her, sliding a tongue beneath her upper lip before pulling away. I can feel her tense beneath every touch, and I slowly press up against her, moving subtly while trailing kisses down and up her neck. [i “Only I get to do this,”] I whisper, and slowly dance her shirt over her shoulders. [i "That's okay, right?"] I ask, smirking all the while.
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