#X One Phone Test
pollenallergie · 8 months
Eddie and you doing the whole “you hang up, no you hang up” thing except it’s just him sitting in silence because he’s so goddamn high that he straight up forgot he was on the phone with you. Meanwhile, you don’t want to hang up because you’re afraid you might miss something if you do. Like what if he starts talking right as you go to hang up and you just completely cut him off? You can’t have that. So you two just sit silently on the phone with each other for nearly four hours, only to be interrupted by Wayne coming home and telling Eddie to “get off the damn phone and go to bed, boy.”
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thebadtimewolf · 8 months
why r u so mad about ppl preferring ten x madame de pompadour to ten x martha like ten/martha will never be a thing. ten don’t want anything to do with martha. he literally said to her face she wouldn’t replace rose… and she never did… isnt canon enough for you
im glad im only a scorpio on this alone. if martha deserved better than ten then so do all of em but anyway:
this ask is giving 2006/07 i dont want to see tenth doctor in a romantic relationship with a person of color because i can't project myself or relate to them if they arent the very thing being catered to me ever since the silent pictures vibes. u know the same vibe when rtd was told to not regenerate 14 in 13's clothes. just. Ick.
but im not mad. its just interesting for a ship so big as tenrose, it is usually correlated with hating madame de pompadour and/or joan and/or river [though in joan's case they hate her not because shes racist but because shes not rose]
though comics tend to release to combat that in multi doctor stories where they jump through various alternate universes of themselves where the doctor sees themselves settled down with dr. grace holloway (for 8th dr multi doctor stories) and professor melody williams/river song (for 11th dr multi doctor stories) where in those cases, they are frightful of the concept settling down at all. [take note that both times, he settles down in the same house that he owns bc of that unit paycheck on the dl] so i am curious that with this new drs, the equivalent of this would be 13 14 15 being terrified of settling down with rose because they had grown past her as this point.
i prefer the doctor in a polyromantic ace relationship than their umpteenth 🌟tragic heteronormative romance with yt human woman number 23445788764443356743🌟 i want 14 to sweep martha off her feet in pure joy and kiss her passionately while badmouthing tf out of 10 like 9 11 12 13 do with no filter before cradling her like a baby because hes about to crumble under his brand new identity complex and then take her kid to an amusement park and then 14 trips over a brick and dies. hell i rather have nina sosanya play a whole different lady in nod to doctor who recycles their actors trope as a way to introduce a love interest to 14
that amusment park one weirdly sounds like a 8th doctor audio. pls 🙏🏾 dont make it into one i couldnt handle schezro let alone the rest of his content. Empire of the Wolf made me so fucking worried for rose marion tyler like im just she back home 🫣. as for rose tyler from the sea devil universe still out about. whoop his ass. if billie come back as HER? MISS COVER MODEL MISS DICTATOR MISS EMPRESS ROSE?
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i would love for ten to be strictly friends with the new miss empress rose. get that martha karma real quick ehehehehe after all rtd did say they need freema for somethin and im sure seeing 10 get treated the same way he treated martha by no other than empress rose herself -AND THEN EMPRESS ROSE FLIRTS WITH MARTHA??? FINGERS CROSSED??? im just saying that i personally will ride on that for 8 black history months and christmases straight like woo
also real glad it is collectively decided by every one that tentoo is just john smith not corin so yay thanks big finish and titan comics
#{lets see if i can scare this anon away listen i even made a graphic for this damn it. u better appreciate it i went all out for you}#{porn blogs and micro antiblack anons: this is why i dont share my shipping opinions much bc they stick to tv and i stick to everything}#{usually all this i gave to my aunt and we would have phone discussions and she would watch and call be like hey yeah! i see it}#{and she would say: but really it wasnt that for martha. it was the writing choices that was disapproved because not wanting another 💞}#{it went from classism for rose to racism for martha and she points that it wasnt catered to black fans in the rtd era}#{so yeah ten x martha wouldn't be a thing but only because test audiences and fans refused it due to the studios racial bias}#{10 wanted everything to do w martha. he just used rose as excuse and because of that 12 and 13 vocally to his face hates him for it}#{and we all fell for it: everybody did because like 12 said: its the bambi eyes. hook line and sucker}#{he wanted martha the whole time but he kept playing that hot n cold game to the wrong girl just bc it worked on 2 later 3 yt blonde women}#{4 yt women because of miss kylie minogue! all of a sudden he dont know how to counterflirt when a blk woman flirts back?}#{yes thats right im throwing miss claire pope AND IN THE GABBY GONZALES COMIC OF THE PPL OUTSIDE HER FAMILY LAUNDROMAT??}#{but yeah after losing donna suddenly supiciously hes not racist but extremely genocidal to death and death alone like hm.}#{his actions speak extremely louder than his words and in turn so does the fandom and its writers}#{4 yt blondes and hes willing to believe in them despite him having to permanently lose them but completely have lil faith in the blk one?}#{ ten never actually go back to martha. be fair if i forgave the person that enslave her family for a missing year? yeah i wouldnt either}#{we could never be together because of a yt woman i chose to leave behind three times with her mum for 'safety' boy bye}#{and i go around and almost in one whole episode almost left her behind AGAIN for madame de pompadour another blonde yt woman?}#{like i ship them i ship all of em but if they were all hanging off a cliff side? 🤧 😔 we gather here today in the loss of 🌹 and depomp}#{dont worry at least 9 would leap after rose.}#bw: out of ethos#answered#anonymous#bw: long post#{i made a long post just so i surprise you with a cute billie graphic thats all. that the main topic}
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chaldeamage-neo · 2 years
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wanted to try something new with coloring still looks a bit the same to me aside from the hair but I found some new brushes I like and here we are. I spent hours on this and still don't like how the colors looks my wrist hurts ahhhhhhhh
Tap for better quality.
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jabamin · 22 days
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⟣ sypnosis. you were curious if your boyfriend would pass a ‘loyalty test’ that you’ve seen on social media and you decide to see for yourself, only to discover something much more . . . heartwarming.
⟣ tags. gojo satoru x female reader. mostly tooth rotting fluff. talks about cheating / a sprinkle of trust issues from reader. the rest is satoru just being lovesick.
⟣ note. uhhhh… idk just a random idea i got at three am on a saturday night after being woken up from a nightmare >_< enjoy .
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you don’t think satoru would actually ever cheat on you. your curiosity just got the best of you when you saw that one girl do a ‘loyalty test’ on her boyfriend. it was quite simple—testing if your partner would hand you their phone without being suspiciously defensive.
therefore you walked into satoru’s room and spotted him laying on his side, his back facing the door. he didn’t have any earphones in so you could hear the sounds of a movie playing on the phone he held in his hands.
he seemed so peaceful and content that you were already feeling bad for disturbing him with your silly test. you moved to sit on the edge of the bed and cleared your throat, making your presence known as if the sorcerer hadn’t sensed it moments ago.
“are you cheating on me?”
blunt and straight to the point.
satoru pauses the show on his phone and looks at you like you had said the most outrageous thing there is (to him, you really did). he drops the device on the bed and turns his body to face yours; “well—hello to you too, baby.”
he runs a hand through his hair before sitting up against the headboard with a raised brow, one hand cautiously reaching out for you. satoru was thinking about all the things he has said or done previously that could’ve possibly make you think he was screwing around behind your back. his mind worked fast, though he couldn’t come up with any logical explanation.
“answer my question please, ‘toru.” you mumble, feeling slightly guilty for doing this to your lover. you could see the confusion plastered on his face.
“no, i am not.” satoru shakes his head whilst holding your hand in his, thumb brushing against the back of it, “what makes you think that?”
you weren’t about to say ‘oh nevermind then! just a dumb thing that i saw on tiktok’—no, there was still one thing left to do. even if you’re so super sure that your boyfriend was hiding nothing from you. maybe there was an one in a million chance that your intuition was wrong. or maybe it’s just your underlying trust issues speaking.
“uhh, just wanted.. to check.. i guess?” you clear your throat and take a deep inhale before putting your hand out to satoru, palm up.
the white-haired sorcerer looks from your hand to you, and back. he doesn’t know what that indicated, so he takes a simple guess; satoru places his chin on your palm, giving you an amused kind of grin. you raise an eyebrow as he rests his head on your hand—which wasn’t what you wanted to gain from your gesture.
but you couldn’t blame him. it was cute that that was the first thing he thought of doing.
“you’re always welcome to check. got nothin’ to hide anyway.” he shrugs, not offended by your accusation in the slightest. you see the way his blue eyes look up at you—in a way that shows his pure, unadulterated adoration for you.
you nod and scratch satoru under his chin, to which he smiles and closes his eyes, enjoying the tingling touch, “then can i .. look through your phone?”
without an ounce of hesitation, he had placed his phone unlocked in your hand. satoru doesn’t care much about privacy anyway—you’re his girlfriend, you’re the only one allowed to know every single thing about him, “of course, baby.”
your eyes land on the screen and your jaw drops as you see his home screen; a picture of you up close, sleeping with your cheek squished against his arm, own hands resting near your head and . . . is that drool trickling down your chin?
“oops, sorry, you were too cute not to take a picture of.” satoru chuckles as he sees your reaction. he lays back on his side, elbow propped on the pillow with his head resting against his hand—watching you go through his phone with a relaxed look.
you roll your eyes playfully before starting your search. your finger swiped across the screen and landed on the messenger app satoru uses. you click on it and scroll through his chats, but don’t find anything out of the ordinary. he recently talked to you, his first year students, nanami and shoko.
you curiously tap on his chat with shoko and don’t read anything interesting at first glance. you scroll up and take note of how satoru was the one who kept most of the conversation going. shoko’s replies were much shorter and curt—straight to the point.
but then your eyes land on a conversation from two weeks ago. satoru had showed shoko a bunch of selfies you had sent him that same day. he was telling her how ‘cute’ and ‘pretty’ you were, practically bragging about you being his girl.
you scroll up some more and see that he’s done the same many times before; sending shoko pictures of you and kind of rambling to her about how beautiful you are.
shoko—being the good friend she is—indulged into his little lovesick ramblings and agreed with every thing satoru said—even complimenting your looks herself. you begun to get embarrassed at this unexpected revelation.
when going through more of his chats with other people, you realise how much satoru loves to talk about you. you couldn’t possibly count the many times satoru had refused invitations from his students or other friends simply because he wanted to hang out with you instead.
you discovered that he even skipped two or three important meetings at the school to go spend the day with you—nanami scolding him via text each time he did so.
“damn..” you murmur and glance up at your lover after closing his messaging app. satoru was staring right back at you with the biggest grin you’ve ever seen on him.
he wasn’t embarrassed about you reading some of those cheesy and sappy texts at all. in fact, he was happy. he wants you to know how much he loves you (as if he doesn’t show you exactly that every day of the week).
“go on, sweets.” satoru nods towards his phone, encouraging you to continue your inspection. your eyes dart back towards the screen and you shyly swipe and scroll some more, eventually ending up in his gallery.
the first things you noticed: two albums dedicated to you. all were filled with hundreds of pictures of you (and him). one was named ‘my love,’ the other ‘me&my love’ — both with a heart at the end. scrolling through them, you noticed many images you hadn’t even realised were ever taken.
many of those pictures were also favourited in his gallery.
you nibble on your bottom lip and leave the gallery app even more flustered than before. you aimlessly click around some more on his phone. what really surprised you most was that you were named in his reminder app.
there were tons—all added in one long list. some were so pure that you couldn’t contain the slight tears in your eyes;
‘bring gf gifts’, ‘remind gf that she’s amazing’, ‘bring gf lunch’, ‘send gf daily selfie’, ‘daily cuddles w gf (if she wants)’, ‘give gf big smooch (important!)’, ‘check up on gf when away on business’, — satoru doesn’t actually need to have those reminders on his phone. his mind is so full of you that he’ll automatically remember to do everything, almost on autopilot. he just has those there for… well, just in case he somehow ends up forgetting.
you lock his phone after seeing enough and give it back to your lover. you wordlessly crawl over to him on the bed and snuggle up to his body, head resting on his chest.
“sorry.” you quietly apologise. you knew he wasn’t hiding anything, but the fact that you still went ahead and tried out that ‘loyalty test’ on someone as loyal and loving as satoru makes your heart ache a bit. especially after discovering just how smitten he’s with you.
“dunno why you’re apologising—but please don’t.” satoru whispers and rubs your back in a soothing manner, kissing the top of your head and smiling against your scalp afterwards, “it’s fiiine.”
he’s entertained by the reactions to your discoveries, even if those are but mere indications to the actual unending and undying love he holds for you in his heart.
you lift your head up and look at satoru. your bottom lip stuck out, corners of your mouth twitching slightly whilst your eyes started to get a bit glassy. you really felt bad—yet you also felt appreciated on the other hand. if you didn’t go through with your curious idea, you wouldn’t have gotten to know about any of this.
“aww, my sweet, sweet girl.” satoru coos and places two kisses right below each eye, tapping your nose with a grin. he adores the way you look and if it wasn’t for his self control, he’d have nibbled on those cheeks of yours out of playful aggression.
it’s then that satoru remembers one of his daily tasks; one he hadn’t properly done today.
you were caught off guard once more as satoru’s lips crashed down onto yours—no warning given whatsoever. his big hands held onto your cheeks, thumb rubbing the skin there whilst his glossy lips moved against yours in a gentle yet much sloppy way.
“there,” the white-haired man hums in content as he pulls away, giggling once he sees a bit of his saliva coat your mouth. he wipes it away with his thumb, “your smooch of the day.”
you couldn’t help but laugh at the exaggerated cringy way satoru said the latter—your boyfriend laughing right alongside you afterwards.
satoru wasn’t done with you, however. he had many other daily tasks that were yet to be fulfilled.
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x-birdsong-x · 5 months
edit: vent. tag rant vent.
feel like i'm just gonna go to bed one of these nights and be dead in the morning. i want to know what the fuck is wrong with me
#vent#have a dark bruise on my leg currently. can't remember if I noticed it yesterday or this morning#it's gotten darker through the day#it's scaring me i swear to god health issues and GAD do not fuc king mi x#if it's moved or gotten worse by morning i'm emailing in to college to say i won't be in and just going to the er just#to say find out what the fuck is wrong with me#it doesn't disappear if i press on it is that normal#i will be so fucking surprised if i'm around to see this holiday i don't want to go on in july#i found something i hadn't heard about recently that lines up with pretty much everything bothering me#and if it is the case#then i should just fucking come to terms with it#because if it is the case then it's in my bones already. maybe elsewhere too#i am so fucking tired of this#if my shoulders hurt tomorrow. qhich they will. i'm just gonna say i wanna go to the er#i don't even know if that would get me anywhere but i've been to doctors appointments multiple times i want tests done#how am i meant to say i reckon that's what might be wrong though. i can't just walk down to the doctors and ask to see one#it's good luck if you get a fucking phone call after an e-consult let alone anything face to face#i've been lucky getting those and got another one booked today for ym shoulders#but it's not getting me aywhere. none of them are going anywhere#i'm just having a breakdown right now#At this point I just want closure. confirmation of what's wrong with me.#there is something wrong with me something very wrong with me but I jsut want to put a title on it#put a. timer. on it.
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Are You Bored Yet?
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Pairing: College!Bucky x Tutor!Reader
Summary: God, you hated Bucky. Bucky probably hated you, too. Maybe. It was hard to tell when he was drunk and calling you pretty at a party you shouldn't have gone to.
Word count: 8k
Warnings: Alcohol, annoyance to lovers, a bit of angst, a scary man in a parking lot, frat!bucky c:
a/n:​​​ I am so excited to finally post something!! It only took me four months 😅 If you enjoy it please please let me know ❤️❤️
12:59 pm.
The birchwood table nestled in the back of the library was long but otherwise empty, the only thing occupying it being your laptop and quite a few books. He wasn’t late. Yet. You weren’t going to hold onto that hope, however.
Tutoring Bucky Barnes was not what you had in mind when you volunteered for the peer assistance program at your university. It was true you were only using the club to boost your resume, but you had assumed the only people reaching out for help would be those that actually wanted it. Unfortunately, that was not the case. 
Sure, Bucky wanted help. Just not with anything that actually warranted the word. He wanted help sweet talking the cops so they wouldn't shut down his parties. He wanted help recruiting girls to show up to his parties. And—the one thing you could actually do—he wanted help passing his classes with the minimum GPA required to not get kicked out of his frat. So he could continue to throw parties. 
Everything in his life revolved around his fraternity, which made you very important to him. When he wanted you to be. 
With your apparently astounding knowledge of biology (you took notes during lectures), you became the star in Bucky’s life every Monday and Wednesday from 1:00 pm (give or take ten minutes) to 2:00 pm. He was also very attentive during the thirty minute phone calls he initiated prior to tests, and always looked happy to see you when he passed you devouring a bagel at the crack of dawn in the dining hall. 
Every situation in which you had come in contact with Bucky was isolated and purposeful (minus the bagel). You didn’t hang out or invite each other places, and you were almost positive that if you were to see him in his natural habitat, you would want to tutor him even less than you did now, and that was saying something. So you were important to Bucky during the times you were supposed to be important, and he was important to you in the sense that he was a job. 
But as your laptop blinked the numbers 1:22 pm back at your unimpressed expression, Bucky became much less important today. You took in a long, tortured breath before sending your gaze up to the ceiling, giving it another three minutes before you truly gave up on him for the day. 
One minute. 
Two minutes. 
The library really needed new ceiling tiles. 
1:25 pm and you snapped your laptop shut. Your fingers itched to send yet another complaint about this whole ordeal Natasha’s way, but you stopped yourself. She had already heard plenty about Barnes at this point, plus she always gave you a weird look every time you came stomping into the apartment, grumbling about something else he had done. 
You hated her weird looks, all raised eyebrows and stiff lips.
With your backpack heaved onto the table and your things slowly funneling in, you figured a nap was the best reward for sitting in the library for an unnecessary twenty-five minutes. Your last prickle of irritation was stifled at the prospect of a warm bed as you stood, only to find that irritation had returned to you tenfold. In the form of Bucky Barnes. 
“You going somewhere?” he seemed to taunt, his bag slung casually over one shoulder. 
Your jaw ticked. “Home.” 
His mouth turned up at one side, an expression you had learned meant he found you amusing. He never seemed to outright laugh at your annoyance, but apparently, it was hard to tamp down all of the joy he got out of it. Bucky took two long strides to meet the table you were attempting to abandon. 
“But I still got about—” he checked his watch “—thirty-three minutes? And an arsenal of questions about amino acids. Help a guy out.” 
“And I still got—” you checked the nonexistent watch on your wrist “—no patience for this today. You’re over twenty minutes late, Barnes. Use that watch to set an alarm on Wednesday and I’ll tell you everything you’ll inevitably forget about amino acids then.” 
He groaned, rounding the table to set firm hands on your shoulders as he hovered behind you. “Sit. I’ll buy you a coffee and I promise I won’t be late on Wednesday, okay? I was dealing with something before this and lost track of time.” 
“Were you dealing with another sorority girl in your bed? Who was it last week? Amber? No, Michelle?” 
“It’s a Monday, y/n. Cut me some slack.” 
“You came to me on a Wednesday with a hangover,” you deadpanned.
Bucky grimaced, the expression visible to you as he managed to guide you back into your chair. “Oat milk, right? A double?” 
You grumbled, crossing your arms over your chest as he tossed his bag by your feet and jogged over to the coffee cart just outside the library. He fumbled with his wallet when he went to pay, and you watched him point to the carton of oat milk the barista had yet to reach for. His greek letters were printed on the gray hoodie he had haphazardly thrown over his shoulders, and you held the reprimand on your tongue when you saw the matching sweatpants he donned. 
The last time he had shown up in his pajamas—late—you’d had some choice words for him. Bucky turned around with your coffee then, poking the straw through the lid and sending you a sheepish smile through the window. 
He was lucky you accepted bribes. 
“Please,” the boy across from you continued to beg, a pen held loosely between pliant fingers. “Just ask her, that’s all I want. You can even come too.” 
“Oh, wow, the great frat president letting me come to his stupid toga party? How could I ever thank you enough?” 
It was Wednesday now, and Bucky was surprisingly on time to the tutoring session. You’d gotten through about half of the last bio lecture before he started asking you ridiculous questions that had nothing to do with the content. Today, he was dead set on getting your lab partner from chemistry to go to his party this weekend. 
“Okay, yeah, you could come to whatever party you want, you know? I put you on the list—but this one will be even better if you’d just do this one thing for me.” 
You finally tore your eyes from your laptop, glancing lazily at him. “And what would make this one so—wait, what list?” 
He waved you off. “The one at the door. Did it like… the second week we started this? Anyways, Wanda?” 
You let this new information settle and tried to ignore whatever implications came with being on some frat list thanks to Bucky. He had never explicitly invited you to any of his parties over the past few months and you had never asked to come. Apparently, you could have shown up whenever you wanted to and had a grand old time. 
Not that that sounded the least bit grand. 
Bucky was looking at you still, all pleading features and a soft, infuriating smile on his lips. When he wasn’t talking to random girls in the library or taking annoying phone calls in the middle of your sessions, he was sort of endearing. In a terrible, awful sense. 
You groaned, throwing yourself back against your chair in begrudging defeat. “I don’t even talk to her outside of chem. Don’t you think it’d be a little weird to invite her to a party that I’m not even going to?” 
“So come,” he answered simply, as if that was in the realm of possibilities. 
“Yeah,” you scoffed. “Sure, I’ll come to your party, Barnes.” 
“Great,” he grinned. “Vision’s gonna be so hyped.” 
You watched as he pulled his phone from his pocket and kept your lie to yourself. He wouldn’t notice that you didn’t show up on Friday, and likely wouldn’t even bring it up the following Monday. He always had such vibrant, headache-inducing stories that you were sure your absence would be nothing more than a fleeting footnote. 
“You have a toga, right?” he mumbled, face still screwed up in concentration as he continued his text. 
“Isn’t it just a sheet all twisted up?” you asked, shutting your computer. Tutoring was obviously over. 
Bucky pocketed his phone again, brows raised in amusement. “Depends on your motives for the night.” 
“And my motives wouldn’t be to… wear a toga?” 
He chuckled and huffed out your name, resting an arm along the back of the chair to his right—your chair. “Other motives. Like if you’re trying to get someone’s attention.” 
You blinked at the warmth along your back. “Oh, of course. Then I would twist up a pillowcase instead, right?”
“Something like that.” 
He smelled like coconut. Like a day at the beach but afterwards, when the sunscreen still lingered in the air but fresh clothes covered skin that had been warmed by the sun. You could usually ignore whatever expensive combination he had on his skin, but when he got close like this it was almost impossible. 
Part of you always wanted to chuck his arm away when he leaned over you, but another part of you liked that he kept it there. It was a strange part of you, the same one that relished the looks you got from sorority girls in the library and harbored a sense of pride each time he made a blatant attempt to touch you. 
You had spent fleeting moments analyzing these emotions and chalked them up to some internalized desire for validation. Nothing else. Bucky was a hot guy and everyone knew that, so having his attention—in any capacity—felt nice. Sometimes. Meaning right now it was nice that he was looking at you with his arm practically glued to your back, but next week when he showed up late with a hangover and tried to steal the jacket off your body it would be not so nice. 
The duality of man. 
It helped your partial insanity that Bucky would never actually be interested in you. You weren’t in a sorority or interested to his parent’s money, and, worst of all, you didn’t know how to maneuver a sheet into a toga. When he put his arm around you or moved your hair from your eyes as you leaned over a book, it was probably out of habit. It felt nice, but you knew reality. This was a passing phase, and by the summer you wouldn’t even speak to him anymore.
“I’ll text you more info about everything,” Bucky called, pulling you from your thoughts. “You can come early and I’ll help you with that pillowcase.” 
You froze, the book you were shoving into your bag pausing in your hands. “Uh, maybe.” 
“No, seriously, it’d be better if you came early. I was kidding about the pillowcase but if you come on time it’ll be too crazy for me to show you around.” 
“You don’t have to show me around, Bucky. I’ve been to a house party before.” 
“Y/n, are you not coming to this thing?” Bucky accused, swiping the book from your hands and softly tossing it on the table. It still made a loud thud that had a few bitter looks thrown your way. 
“Dude!” you whispered, meeting each mean gaze with your apologetic one. “Why does it matter if I come? You just wanted Wanda anyway.” 
He knocked your hand away when you went to reach for the book again, encircling your wrist with his fingers. “You just lied to me. Straight to my face. You said you’d come and now you gotta.” 
You gave his fingers an experimental tug, but he was unrelenting in his soft grip. You glared at him through your lashes, meeting his uncharacteristically stern gaze that contrasted the humor on his lips. 
“You ever hear of sarcasm?” you whispered with a half-hearted bite. 
“Unfortunately, that’s about all I hear outta you,” he smirked back. 
You rolled your eyes, finally yanking hard enough to free yourself from him. “Then you should have known I wasn’t going to come. No matter what ‘list’ you put me on.” 
“What else could you possibly have going on on a Friday night?” 
Ouch. You felt your brows furrow even though you didn’t will them to, and even worse, you felt a rash defensiveness lodge itself in your throat. You hated the heat that now prickled along the skin of your neck, and you hated even more how it extinguished all of the good warmth you had felt from him earlier. 
This was humiliation, surely—the kind that only came from feeling small. 
“You don’t have to be a dick,” you seethed, snapping up the remainder of your belongings. “Just because I don’t want to go to your stupid frat doesn't mean I have nothing to do. I don’t spend all of my time hoping to get invited to ridiculous parties.” 
Bucky shifted up in his seat, eyes blown just a fraction wider. “Whoa, I didn’t mean—hey, stop a sec, I didn’t mean it like that.” 
“Whatever, Bucky,” you droned, as a new temperature seeped into the skin of your palms and made them clammy. Any semblance of delusion you’d fallen into earlier was long gone now, but you knew to expect that. He wasn’t interested in you and you weren’t interested in him. But embarrassment wasn’t a good feeling, regardless of a multitude of reality checks. 
Bucky got up when you did, his clothes looking creased and lived in. “We still have time in our session,” he defended, arm jutting out to the table. “C’mon, I didn’t mean you don’t have friends.” 
Your glare sharpened. “Great, another insinuation.” 
Bucky sputtered out incoherent words as you continued your trek outside, resorting to grabbing your wrist again, this time with more urgency. You felt the heat in you simmer down to a dull throb as he made contact, mostly out of respect for your future self. If you made this a huge deal it would only embarrass you more. 
“Look, it doesn’t even matter, okay?” you huffed, but he just tugged you forward. It was then that you realized you were in the doorway of the library, effectively blocking it off from anyone trying to leave. Bucky pulled you close enough to his chest that you weren’t in the way anymore. His cologne was back with a vengeance, your nose just inches from his collar.  
You took a steadying breath, blinking away the remnants of shame. “It doesn’t matter, I overreacted.” 
He clicked his tongue. “I’m still apologizing. I didn’t mean any of that stuff you were talking about.” 
Of course he did. You were sure he thought it all the time. He just didn’t mean to say it out loud. 
“It’s fine,” you rushed. “I have to go, anyway. Office hours.” 
“Okay,” he nodded, soft and low, like he just remembered he was in a library. “You’ll still come this weekend, right? Even if Wanda can’t?” 
“You have some kind of girl quota you need to meet?” you pressed.
Bucky smiled, still so close to you that you could feel the small breath that accompanied the expression. “And she’s back.” 
You left without promising anything, and Bucky left feeling like you had. 
Sometime between Wednesday and Friday, your detestment for frat parties had snowballed into determination. You were going to go and you were going to look like you were having so much fun it was ridiculous. Then, on Monday, when Bucky would usually poke and prod about what you’d gotten up to over the past few days, you were going to pretend that it was nothing for you. That you did that every weekend. 
Of course, you didn’t. Your weekends typically consisted of calm nights with friends or dinners near campus. You’d been to a party before, sure, but you didn’t exactly frequent those kinds of scenes. 
Bucky had continued to make it clear that you were invited. He had texted you a few times, prompting you to come and thanking you for getting Wanda to agree. The messages looked strange under the plethora of biology related questions, but that just spurred you further into action. You weren’t just a tutor with no social life, and Bucky was going to see that tonight. You couldn’t remember doing something out of pure spite before, but you figured having fun to prove a point wasn’t the worst thing. 
Wanda pulled you out of your thoughts as the Uber rounded the last dark corner and revealed an overcrowded house with too many lights on. She rambled on about some guy she couldn’t wait to see and confirmed that she would likely be spending the night. You expected as much; it hadn’t taken much convincing to get her to come. If this night resulted in anything good it was apparently the blossoming relationship between your new friend and a man you’d never met. 
Wanda continued to chat as she yanked you out of the car and past the yard littered with sparse grass. The music was loud already—the type of loud that you needed to be at least a little drunk to enjoy. And that was the plan. 
“Okay, if I start dancing on a table you pull me down. And if you start dancing on a table I support you, right?” Wanda giggled, her voice now raised as you walked past the threshold of the house. 
“Exactly,” you yelled back. A guy nodded to you as he leaned against the front door, his eyes glancing up from his phone and then returning. It seemed Bucky’s ‘list’ was a page on some guy’s notes app. How luxurious. “Let’s drink.” 
The next hour was a blur. You tried your hardest to get as drunk as possible and Wanda tried her hardest to find the British man she was enamored with. You hadn’t seen Bucky, but you figured he wasn’t looking for you too hard since you hadn’t responded to any of his texts. Not out of anger, but because you didn’t know what to say. Somehow, with alcohol warming your blood and music vibrating your skin, none of that mattered anymore. 
You: Your house is soooo dirty
Your phone jostled in your grip, people bumping into you from every side. When he didn’t answer in the thirty seconds you spent staring at the screen, you locked it and continued on with your mission. 
After a few too many shots of hard liquor, you switched to beer. Gross, but decidedly less likely to make you pass out on the staircase of this house. Because you weren’t lying in your text—it was slightly disgusting. You figured you should clarify that with Bucky. You reached for your phone once again, knocking your head against the wall in the process and giggling to yourself. You had no idea where Wanda went. 
The device was snatched from your hands just as quickly as the screen had lit up your face. 
“You ever answer this thing?” an accusing voice called out. “Or do you just insult people and put it on do not disturb?” 
The look on Bucky’s face would have made you roll your eyes in any other circumstance. Right now, however, it had a startled laugh bursting past your lips. You clutched at your stomach as the laugh grew and you found yourself tipping forward until your forehead met his chest. You felt delirious, almost silly. A hand came around to rest on the back of your neck.
“Alright, alright.” Bucky’s words rumbled against your face. “I get it, this is hilarious.” 
“Your… your face,” you breathed out, catching your breath enough to part from him. “It was all—” you mimicked the straight line of his eyebrows, voice raising in a mocking tone. “—You don’t ever answer your phone. You’re so boring, y/n, answer your phone.” 
“I didn’t call you boring. Hey—hey,” Bucky stressed, reaching for you as you leaned too far to the side, a smile still lingering on your face. “Jesus, y/n, how much did you have to drink?” 
You went to mock him again, but his fingers on your jaw stopped you. He tilted your head up and to the left, and although he was much more composed than you were, you could still smell the alcohol on his breath. You scrunched up your nose as he continued his inspection. 
“Why’re you being so uptight?” you slurred, trying and failing to push away from him. “I thought you were all like, ‘I’m Bucky and I party and get drunk and have sex with girls.’”
Bucky pulled you forward as you laughed at your impression of him, his shaking head making you blink away a bout of dizziness. You toppled over a set of stairs as he threaded his fingers through yours, and then you stumbled through a doorway and onto carpeted floors. Being pressed into an uncomfortable chair was the most jarring action, the world still spinning as you sat. 
“You’re even more mean when you're drunk,” you heard Bucky mumble. You couldn’t quite catch him as he moved around whatever room you were in. “And I don’t talk like that.” 
You let out a careless sigh and leaned back. “You soooo talk like that.” 
Something cold pressed to your hand, followed by another touch to the back of your neck. You gazed down at the water bottle being guided up to your lips and couldn’t find it in you to fight against it, despite the small spark of defiance on the tip of your tongue. After about four large swallows, Bucky was satisfied. 
He asked again how much you’d had to drink. 
You answered that you didn’t know—that it didn’t matter because he wasn’t your dad and you were having fun like you always did. He bit the inside of his cheek and didn’t say anything for the next few moments. 
And then, “Thought you weren’t gonna come tonight.” 
You hummed, rolling your head against the chair to look up at his standing form. “Of course I was going to come. I love parties. Love drinking alcohol.” 
His expression twisted into something you couldn’t recognize. “God, you’re so drunk.” 
“M’not even that drunk!” 
“You’re willingly in my room right now. You’re plastered.” 
“Maybe I want to be in your room.” 
“We both know that’s not true.” 
You chuckled breathily, closing your eyes so you wouldn’t have to see the pretty flush of Bucky’s face. “You think you know everything, don’t you? Don’t know much about me though. Or biology.” 
Bucky kneeled down to the height of the chair. “And what do I not know about you?” 
“So much.” 
“How much?” 
You bit into your lip and cracked an eye open, catching the amusement that had slipped past the strange mask of his emotions. With blissful ignorance, you heaved yourself forward on the chair, your nose a few inches from Bucky’s. His eyes didn’t waver from yours as you swayed. 
“You don’t know that I’m the most interesting person on Earth,” you boasted, fingers gripping the upholstery of your seat. 
“That right?” Bucky probed, his voice a melodic hum. 
“Yup, I’m always really busy and even though you think I’m some boring biology tutor I’m actually super cool and, like, go to raves and stuff.” 
His brow twitched but his mouth stayed soft. “I’ve never said you were boring. And I don’t think you’ve ever been to a rave.” 
You groaned loudly and flopped against the backrest of the chair. “See! I’m telling you I do all this cool stuff and I’m so drunk my fingers are buzzing and you still don’t believe me.” 
You crossed your arms with a huff, a small pout forming on your lips. In any other context, this behavior would probably embarrass you to no end. In the dim light of Bucky’s room where you felt the feeling leave your fingers and the care leave your mind, you were just disgruntled, not embarrassed. If you remembered this tomorrow the latter would surely catch up to you.
Bucky stared at you from his spot on the ground, his gaze a bit foggy and unfocused. He was clearly intoxicated, as you deduced earlier, and it made him look more wild. Mused hair and pink cheeks, he looked like he’d been having plenty of fun before he found you. It was distracting. He was distracting you from proving that you were having a blast.
“What?” you snapped, the tone a testament to the drunken fit you were throwing. 
“You’re so fucking pretty.” 
He must be really, really drunk. Despite your clouded mind, you knew that, but the words affected you just the same. Your lips parted as a new lightness both lit up and compressed your chest, and Bucky watched the movement. 
“Yeah,” you scoffed, but it was hardly a scoff. “Sure, Bucky. How much did you have to drink—” 
“I’m not lying. I’ve thought about you in my room for weeks and now you’re here and you’re so pretty. Even when you’re yelling at me.” 
“You’ve… thought about me in your room?” 
Bucky shuffled forward and you subconsciously parted your legs to allow the space for him. “I think about you everywhere.” 
This was crazy. It was certifiably insane. A voice in the back of your head—Natasha’s voice, it sounded like—was screaming at you to stop and think about the situation at hand. He was drunk, you were even more drunk, and he was far too close to you. He had ushered you in here with good intentions and had sobered you up a fraction, but things had taken a turn and this was a sensitive situation. The kind of sensitive that altered your reality and his and probably a bunch of other people’s you’d never met. 
Or it could be nothing and you were over exaggerating. 
But then Bucky’s hand was warming your thigh. You’d felt the press of it on your back and your shoulder and your head before, but it had never been on your thigh. It felt heavy there, hot. His other hand moved to touch your face and he propped himself up on one knee. His thumb brushed your cheek. Words tumbled from your mouth before you registered that you were speaking. 
“Are you going to kiss me?” 
Why would you ask that? Who asks Bucky Barnes if he’s going to kiss them? 
“Would you let me?” he responds. 
He didn’t waste any time, his mouth hot against yours. He tasted like mint and vodka and his lips moved so slowly it ached. You had expected a fervor behind his lips, but instead you got a build up, an orchestra reaching its crescendo. He was kissing you like you were important, like this wasn’t some random hookup in his bedroom at 1 o’clock in the morning, and you had to catch your breath when he parted from you. 
But he moved back in so quickly after your brief respite, and you were eager to give him more. This was crazy, insane. This was the best kiss you’d ever have and also the worst. This was months of staring at his stupid lips when he tried explaining concepts back to you, but this was also weeks of feeling small in his presence. Bucky slid his hand back to press against your hair and you didn’t feel small anymore. 
A loud thud from the hallway interrupted the silence you’d created, and Bucky pulled back, keeping his hands on you as he craned his neck around to stare at the door. He waited a beat, and then two, and then he turned back to you. The moment was gone, but he was still touching you. You weren’t sure what you wanted—if you wanted him to kiss you again or run out the door—but when he slid his hands from your body and rubbed them down his jeans, it became clear that was not what you wanted. 
A knot formed in your stomach when he met your gaze again, and you tried blinking the feeling away. It didn’t work. 
“Um,” Bucky began, his voice sounding more clear, his tone not holding the weight it had.
Your plan had backfired. Severely. This was a mess and you needed to save yourself before you ended this night even more humiliated.
You were still drunk. Pretend you were still plastered. 
You giggled airily, the sound burning your throat. “That was loud.” 
Bucky blinked at you in what you assumed was disbelief. “Probably just someone trying to find the bathroom,” he clarified.
You shrugged, nudging him back with your knee as you stood from the chair. “I’m bored now.” You took fast steps to the door, your words foreign to you. “Thanks for the water,” you all but gritted out. 
You expected him to get up. Not to run after you or proclaim his love or even say anything. But you expected him to get up. 
He didn’t, and you couldn’t understand how the knot in your stomach had moved to your throat. Or how it made tears spring to your eyes when your feet hit the sidewalk outside. Your Uber came and you couldn’t understand how you felt hot and cold at the same time. How it was freezing outside but you were sweating. 
You couldn’t understand why you were crying over a boy that so often infuriated you, or why he kissed you in his bedroom. The reasonable side of you sent gentle reminders that he was in a frat and kissing people is just what he did. All the time. But the unreasonable side of you won out tonight, and it was telling you that this felt different.
That you should be different, somehow.
Bucky: You’re here???
Bucky: Where are you?
Bucky: Y/n answer your damn phone
Bucky: This place is fucking packed tonight I thought you weren’t coming 
You stared at the text messages you hadn’t read last night, the bright light of your phone burning into your retinas. You had a brutal hangover, and the memory of the disaster in Bucky’s room felt like an even bigger one. 
You’d gone through a myriad of emotions the night before, tossing around excuses and speeches in your head until you were so exhausted you let the alcohol in your system lull you to sleep. With all of that delirious thinking, you’d landed on blacking out. You were going to tell Bucky you blacked out last night and couldn’t remember a thing. He obviously wouldn’t care and would probably appreciate it. 
Saturday was slow-moving. Reruns of television shows and bags of popcorn and overthinking. Natasha was at her parent’s house in the city, so you had no one to bounce your racing thoughts off of. You certainly weren’t going to text her about it. 
When the evening finally rolled around and your attempts at distracting yourself with mind-numbing movies failed, you checked your email. You always tried not to on the weekends, but doing anything else sounded much less appealing. 
Unfortunately, you didn’t get past the first one. 
From: University Peer Assistance Program 
Dear Y/n Y/l/n, 
This is an automated message from the campus peer assistance program. We thank you for your continued devotion to the betterment of students at this school. At this time, your tutoring placement with James Barnes has ended. We will search for a new placement to fill your current hours. 
Thank you, 
University Peer Assistance 
You blinked at the email, then blinked again. The breath left your chest and the muscles on your face twitched, but you were otherwise frozen.
This was what you wanted, wasn’t it? To be free from the haughty frat boy that didn’t even listen to you when you tried to help him raise his grades. You wanted someone nice, someone that had the same goals as you and appreciated the color-coded notes you took for them. Bucky only tried to get a rise out of you. He sat too close and made fun of you and put you on lists you didn’t ask to be on. 
But he had kissed you. He had kissed you and then tutor-dumped you. 
You knew you weren’t his type, but were you really that bad? Was the kiss so terrible? 
Every inferiority complex you had developed exploded. You over-analyzed things that had already happened, things you had said. Not just at the party, but in the library, the coffee shops, the lecture halls. 
Was he really willing to risk his position in the frat just to avoid you? 
The strangle tickle of tears itched to be released from your eyes again, but you pressed it down. No, this wasn’t on you. He had kissed you. He had dragged you into his room and stumbled on pretty words. If he didn’t want you to tutor him anymore because of his stupid mistake, fine. 
His mistake. 
That word felt wrong. 
You tossed your phone on the couch with vigor. The clock above the television read out 10 pm, but that meant little to you as you slid on your shoes at the front door. You were wearing sweatpants and a jacket that was far too big on you, sadness and frustration and raw confusion propelling you down your apartment stairs. 
Ice cream would fix this. 
The only place open at this time was the gas station at the edge of campus. It wasn’t university affiliated and was usually overrun with belligerent greek life trying to buy alcohol, but the decision-making part of your brain was currently shut off. 
Ice cream, anger, probably watching tiktoks until your eyes were too heavy to keep open—those were the only things rattling in your head. 
You yanked open the gas station door after your short walk, the glass smudged and fogged from the cold night. The fluorescent lights aggravated the headache you’d been sporting all day and the floor made sticking noises with each step you took. To add insult to injury, there were only three cartons of ice cream left, and they weren’t even the good flavors. Grabbing the least offensive one, you made your way to the small line of people by the register. 
“Nice outfit.” 
Too enthralled by the disappointing ingredient list on the side of your ice cream, you had missed the tall man now looming at your shoulder. You whipped your head around with a start, taking a step back, smelling menthol and asphalt and nothing good. 
“Thanks,” you quietly replied. 
He waited until you turned back around to continue. “You go to school over here?” 
You kept your gaze forward. “Um, yeah.” 
“Nice. I graduated a few years back. Marketing.” 
“Cool,” you replied. What had compelled you to leave your phone on the couch? This night sucked. 
You found reprieve in the line moving, the employee calling you over to check out. As soon as you paid—a few dollar bills funneled out of your pocket with shaky hands—you booked it. Your ice cream burned in your palm but you didn’t care, feet carrying you out the door and into the dimly lit parking lot. You fisted your keys in your fingers; pointless, you knew, but a small comfort. 
The man’s voice returned with the chime of the bell over the gas station door. “Wait! Wait, I’m Beck. I own a business nearby.” 
You should have kept walking, but one of your fatal flaws was, apparently, people pleasing. You turned to him. He smiled at you but it made your stomach twist. 
“Oh, nice,” you responded, rocking back on your heels. 
“We should connect. Maybe go for coffee or something?” He took a step forward. You fought the urge to take one back. His beard was unkempt and he held a six pack in his white-knuckled grip. 
“Um, I don’t know. I’m pretty busy with finals coming up. Plus, I’m not really in the business field.” 
“Not for business then,” he smiled again, teeth dull in the streetlight. 
Just agree. If you agreed you could block him soon after and everything would be fine. 
You took too long to answer. He took the final step forward to arrive in your space and wrapped his fingers around your bicep. “C’mon, I’m not asking you to marry me or anything.” 
Frozen by fear, you let out a weak laugh. The pint in your hand was sticking to your skin now in a way that would be painful when you tried to let go of it later. Your breath rattled in your chest when you laughed again. 
“Sure, okay.” But he didn’t let go of your arm, instead sliding it down to the bone of your wrist. 
“What about now?” he posed. “You don’t look too busy. I can make you something at my place.” 
He was at least ten years older than you. You attempted to pull yourself from his grasp to no avail. Maybe reasoning would work. 
“My roommate's waiting for me,” you lied. “Could you let go? I sprained my wrist at the gym last week,” you lied again. 
He refused with a shake of his head. You took a panicked glance inside the gas station to your right. No one was looking. 
“Please let go of me.” 
The call of your name from the other side of the parking lot initially sent more unbearable fear down your spine. But then the owner of that voice registered in your brain, and although it had been the cause of your recent internal strife, you couldn't be more grateful to hear it. 
He said your name again, closer now and questioning. Bucky jogged up to the pair of you, saw your wrist and the man holding it hostage, and looked back up at you with confused, wild eyes. 
“You know this guy?” he asked, jutting his thumb out at Beck.
“No,” you whispered. The word was short but the syllable still trembled. 
Bucky didn’t look confused anymore. He looked pissed. “Wanna take your fucking hands off her?”
Beck was tall, but Bucky was taller. And angry. Beck released your wrist and raised his hands in a placating gesture. “Whoa, man, no need for the theatrics. I’m guessing you’re here to stock up for a party? I used to be in Sigma Nu.” 
When Bucky’s silent glare failed to dampen, Beck continued with, “We were just planning a night at my place, right?” 
His nod in your direction made your breath catch. Bucky took his piercing gaze off of Beck and softened it as it fell on you. You wanted to respond, but words were gone. They were impossible. Your ice cream was melting. 
“Yeah, I think we’re done here,” Bucky scoffed, placing his arm around your shoulder. He guided you past the wall of a man, making sure to drive his shoulder into his chest as he went. Beck went to say more, to protest or whine, but Bucky shot him such a scathing look it almost made you wither. 
The smell of coconut and spices and a hint of whisky met your nose, and it was familiar. It was safe. You fumbled with the keys in your hands as your feet guided you wherever Bucky was going, and then you fumbled even more, soft jingling disrupting the softness of footfall. God, why wouldn’t you stop shaking? 
A hand fell atop yours, crunching the keys to a halt. You stared down at them, unsteady breath hitting the tanned fingers that served as your current anchor. 
“Look at me, y/n.” 
You couldn’t. You couldn’t do anything. 
“Sweetheart, eyes up. All you gotta do.” Bucky’s voice was as soft as it was last night. That was the only reason you were able to follow his request. “There she is,” he hummed. 
He removed his arm from your shoulders and shifted in front of you, placing his hand on your cheek. You ignored that it felt the same as it had last night. You ignored that you wanted it to feel the same for him, too. 
“You okay?” he asked, tilting his neck down to better see your face. His thumb brushed under your eye. “He hurt you?” 
You shook your head, whispering no, whispering that you were fine. 
Bucky nodded to himself, eyes tracking down to your toes and then back up again. He must have mistaken your shaking for coldness because the next thing he did was guide you into the car behind him. You didn’t know it was his.
He blasted the heat the second he got in. He had shuffled you into your seat with his hands before that, smoothed your hair down and closed the door after you were settled and not shaking as hard. The heat dried out your eyes. It distracted you enough to let words form. 
“Thank you,” you said. “He wouldn’t leave me alone. I didn’t bring my phone with me. I should’ve.” 
“Of course.” 
There was a beat of silence. The relief you had felt earlier had been muddled down to an awkward pit in your stomach, and you weren’t sure if Bucky felt it too or if he was still riding a testosterone-fueled adrenaline high. 
You wanted to go home now; this was uncomfortable and you had felt Bucky’s lips on yours less than twenty-four hours ago with no closure. He obviously didn’t want to be around you. This was probably a responsibility thing for him. 
“I can… I can walk home now. The guy left. I’m just a quarter mile away and you probably have to stock up or whatever.” 
He looked at you with a pinched expression. “I’m not letting you walk home after that. You kiddin’ me?” 
“I’ll be fine, really. I walk over here all the time.” 
“You get harassed all the time too?” 
“Exactly. So you’re not walking home.” 
“Look I’m not gonna kiss you again, alright? So you don’t have to turn down a ride because of that.” 
Your ice cream was soup at this point. You let it roll into your lap as you clamped your mouth shut just to open it again. Bucky ran a rough hand through his hair before dropping it on the steering wheel, clutching at it with no place to go. 
“I’m not following,” you finally relented. 
A loud sigh released from his nose. “You don’t have to worry about me kissing you again. I just want to make sure you get home safe and then I’ll leave you alone.” 
“Worry about—you’re the one trying to avoid me,” you snapped, frozen fingers pointing to your chest. “You tutor-dumped me.”
“Tutor-dumped? How do you…” he trailed off. 
“I get an email when you make a change request, Bucky.” 
He stared at you for a moment, lips parted and unmoving. He clenched his jaw a moment later, a red tint adorning his cheeks. 
“Well, you—you—look, I know you don’t like me, y/n. You’ve made that clear,” he stuttered, words getting louder as he moved his hands around with each one. “But I like you. I like when you get mad at me and when you yell at me for not listening and when you get all embarrassed when I play with your hair. And I’ve been trying to get you to come to one of my parties since we started this whole thing, but every time I talk about them you seem to like me even less. 
“If I had known insulting you would get your attention, I woulda done that week one,” he exasperated. You sat up in your seat but he continued. “I didn’t mean any of that shit you thought I did. You’re not boring. And I didn’t mean to kiss you, but you looked—well, I already told you.” 
“So you don’t want me to be your tutor anymore because you like me?” You spoke slowly, each word careful. 
“No,” he sighed, frustrated. “I can’t be around you because I kissed you and you didn’t care. Because I’ll want to kiss you all the time and you didn’t even wanna kiss me once. I know we were drunk, I get that, but I’ve wanted that for a long time and I need to move on. It’s nothing against your… tutoring skills. If that’s what you’re worried about” 
“But you talk about hooking up with other girls all the time, Bucky. To me.” 
“You ever hear of lying?”
“Why would you—” 
“You really gonna make me live out all of my failures with you?” 
You’d read so many things wrong. Taken so many things the wrong way. You figured the email earlier was the final nail in the coffin, but this was something else entirely. This was Bucky, sitting next to you in his car looking distressed and frazzled with his hair six different directions, telling you that he’s been trying to get your attention since he met you. That you weren’t small or insignificant or boring. 
It was probably a terrible idea to follow through with your next thought. You’d probably get hurt in the long run. But you did it anyway. 
“I wanted you to kiss me.” Bucky’s head whipped towards you. You bit the inside of your cheek and said, “I want you to kiss me all the time.” 
He whispered your name. It sounded like the air had left every corner of his body. But he didn’t move, and you needed to rectify that. 
“You’re infuriating,” you began. Bucky cringed, but you needed to explain as he had. “You’re like the antithesis of everything I want out of college. You don’t care about classes. You’re always late. You talk too loud in the library.” 
You took a deep breath, fiddling with the loose thread of your pants. You couldn’t make eye contact with anything but the ground. 
“But then you know my coffee order when I’ve never told it to you. You save me from losers in parking lots and make sure I’m not drunk out of my mind at your obscene party. You make me feel… you make me feel stupid sometimes. And I thought it was because you’re everything I’m not, but I really think it’s because you’re everything I told myself I should stay away from. But I don’t want to.
“I wanted you to kiss me at that party and I want you to kiss me now.” 
“Then get over here. I’m not kissing you over some bullshit center console.” 
You twisted to follow his directions, gasping as his hands clasped around your waist to tug you into his lap. It wasn’t seamless—there was laughing and your head briefly connected with the roof of the car—but Bucky’s touch was everywhere, soothing the uncertainty and fear and slight headache. 
His forehead connected with yours when you felt secure in his arms. His fingers slid down from your waist over the material of your sweatpants and when he spoke next you felt the words on your own lips.
“You’re wearing sweatpants. You get so mad when I wear sweatpants.” 
You laughed. “I get mad because it usually means you just rolled out of bed, and you’re usually. late.” 
“I got a secret,” he whispered, nudging his nose against yours. “I’m never late. And I only wear those sweatpants around you. You get cute when you’re pissed at me.” 
“Well, I’m about to be really cute—”
He kissed you. You’d have plenty of time to argue later.
4K notes · View notes
nasa · 1 month
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Navigating Deep Space by Starlight
On August 6, 1967, astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell noticed a blip in her radio telescope data. And then another. Eventually, Bell Burnell figured out that these blips, or pulses, were not from people or machines.
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The blips were constant. There was something in space that was pulsing in a regular pattern, and Bell Burnell figured out that it was a pulsar: a rapidly spinning neutron star emitting beams of light. Neutron stars are superdense objects created when a massive star dies. Not only are they dense, but neutron stars can also spin really fast! Every star we observe spins, and due to a property called angular momentum, as a collapsing star gets smaller and denser, it spins faster. It’s like how ice skaters spin faster as they bring their arms closer to their bodies and make the space that they take up smaller.
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The pulses of light coming from these whirling stars are like the beacons spinning at the tops of lighthouses that help sailors safely approach the shore. As the pulsar spins, beams of radio waves (and other types of light) are swept out into the universe with each turn. The light appears and disappears from our view each time the star rotates.
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After decades of studying pulsars, astronomers wondered—could they serve as cosmic beacons to help future space explorers navigate the universe? To see if it could work, scientists needed to do some testing!
First, it was important to gather more data. NASA’s NICER, or Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer, is a telescope that was installed aboard the International Space Station in 2017. Its goal is to find out things about neutron stars like their sizes and densities, using an array of 56 special X-ray concentrators and sensitive detectors to capture and measure pulsars’ light.
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But how can we use these X-ray pulses as navigational tools? Enter SEXTANT, or Station Explorer for X-ray Timing and Navigation Technology. If NICER was your phone, SEXTANT would be like an app on it.  
During the first few years of NICER’s observations, SEXTANT created an on-board navigation system using NICER’s pulsar data. It worked by measuring the consistent timing between each pulsar’s pulses to map a set of cosmic beacons.
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When calculating position or location, extremely accurate timekeeping is essential. We usually rely on atomic clocks, which use the predictable fluctuations of atoms to tick away the seconds. These atomic clocks can be located on the ground or in space, like the ones on GPS satellites. However, our GPS system only works on or close to Earth, and onboard atomic clocks can be expensive and heavy. Using pulsar observations instead could give us free and reliable “clocks” for navigation. During its experiment, SEXTANT was able to successfully determine the space station’s orbital position!
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We can calculate distances using the time taken for a signal to travel between two objects to determine a spacecraft’s approximate location relative to those objects. However, we would need to observe more pulsars to pinpoint a more exact location of a spacecraft. As SEXTANT gathered signals from multiple pulsars, it could more accurately derive its position in space.
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So, imagine you are an astronaut on a lengthy journey to the outer solar system. You could use the technology developed by SEXTANT to help plot your course. Since pulsars are reliable and consistent in their spins, you wouldn’t need Wi-Fi or cell service to figure out where you were in relation to your destination. The pulsar-based navigation data could even help you figure out your ETA!
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None of these missions or experiments would be possible without Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s keen eye for an odd spot in her radio data decades ago, which set the stage for the idea to use spinning neutron stars as a celestial GPS. Her contribution to the field of astrophysics laid the groundwork for research benefitting the people of the future, who yearn to sail amongst the stars.  
Keep up with the latest NICER news by following NASA Universe on X and Facebook and check out the mission’s website. For more on space navigation, follow @NASASCaN on X or visit NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation website.  
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space!
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pinkrelish · 1 month
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𝐭𝐡𝐞 "𝐲𝐞𝐬" 𝐩𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐲.
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singledad!mechanic!eddie x fem!reader
✶The garage gets slammed with clients, and the clear delineation between workplace flirting and PDA is put to the test when stolen kisses in the storage closet aren't enough, over the clothes touching leads to frustration, and getting interrupted in the breakroom leaves Eddie aching.✶
NSFW — smut, porn with plot, dry humping, oral (receiving), pussydrunk!eddie, horny depravity at work, van sex, masturbation, swallowing, teasing, sexual tension, hickeys (giving), reader and eddie are verbally harassed by a customer, protective!eddie, protective!reader, 18+
chapter: 12/20 [wc: 23.7k]
↳ part 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05 / 06 / 07 / 08 / 09 / 10 / 11 / 12
Chapter 12: Satanic Mechanic
The storm triggered rising temps.
Monday smacked you awake.
Your digital alarm clock wasn’t worth its price tag when the power flickered, and the blinking numbers of 12:00 seared into your tired retinas, really highlighting the fact that the two fat backup batteries hadn’t been replaced since you lived in a dorm. Whatever—It wasn’t that late, just late enough to cause a sweat when you were half hanging out of Robin’s car, wrestling with a spare umbrella while the sleeves of your light gray Champion college sweatshirt were darkening from ice-slushed rain. Oh, and because that wasn’t enough, the bottom of your pants waded through a puddle in the auto shop’s parking lot, too.
Stupid cursed town.
Swearing under your breath, you sped towards the employee door, and your expectation of a teasing remark from Carl about your tardiness lapsed into stark bewilderment.
You shook off your umbrella, and tossed it in the only available corner inside the cramped garage. Between the shuttered doors were four motley muscle cars parked back-to-back in various makes and models from yesteryears, bright colors announcing themselves amply. As you neared one, a quick shadow passed over the floor from the lobby door opening, widening the men’s muffled voices inside into clear conversation, and closing. You turned to greet them, but the words caught in your chest.
Eddie crowded you two steps backwards, away from the windows, and tucked you to the concrete wall where privacy could be had.
Heat stung your cheeks at the sight of your boyfriend of thirty-two hour’s careful attention on you. Thoughts on thoughts on thoughts wore themselves like a fever under your thick winter scarf. The same fingers he fiddled with to release his nervous tension were once tracing your spine. Not two days ago the big pink tongue he pressed to his teeth licked the intimacy between your breasts. Frazzled curls stood from the rest of his hair as if your hands had been through them time and time again. Soft concern edged the beautiful brown of his eyes analyzing your expression as he did when your bodies were entwined on his couch—yet, in this moment, he idled a measured distance away, guilt weighing heavily on his posture.
The tender rot of apology weakened his tone, “Hey, baby. I’m sorry about not calling. My power’s been out since I got home the other night, and I only just got it back this morning. I hope.. I hope that’s okay.” Reading the quick flit of your eyes falling to his hands and back up, his voice erred remorseful, “I promise I would’ve called.”
“Aw, handsome,” you released. Slotting your fingers into the cup of his palms, you narrowed the space between you in a squishy tennis shoe step. “Our phone line’s down too, and the power’s been going off and on. You didn’t think I was mad at you, did you? Even if something came up and you couldn’t get around to it, I would’ve understood.” The shelf of his shoulders were dotted with rain. “Were you pacing outside?” Meaning: were you so anxious you made yourself nauseous?
“No, no, this is just from dropping Adrie off. Uhm, I actually.. I know I look nervous—couldn’t help it once I saw you, ha,” he broke into a shy giggle, already sticking his gaze on his thumbs engulfing your knuckles. “But uhm, I actually wasn’t worried about you being upset with me. I know you said that when I dropped you off, but I’m getting better at not, ah, freaking out. Thinking of the worst case scenario, shit like that.” A glance through his lashes, and his lips stretched into a sly grin, rounding his cheeks. “I know we’re good. You and me.”
“Yeah, we’re good.” You leaned in, a hint of mischievousness marking your suggestive tone, “More than good.”
“More than good,” he repeated in a smiley mumble. “Just didn’t want you gettin’ the impression I’m some jerk who forgets to call his girl.”
His girl, his girl, his girl.
“I’d never think so poorly of the sweetest man alive.”
Magic happened. There, in his labored swallow, and your fluttery blink. An invisible pull encouraging your bodies closer, sliding your shoulder along the cold wall of your workplace. Seeking heat where it was found against his belly, standing the peach fuzz on your arms at attention from a single brush of your fingertips over his jumpsuit. Want, need; a wish to relieve the burn of pride in your chest, longing to reward him for his progress of keeping a level head when he could’ve spiraled into negative thoughts, yearning to kiss his rosy cheeks aglow with respect. But under the guide of his excessively gentle thumb strokes over your knuckles, a truth was earned. To him, it didn’t feel appropriate to kiss where people could see. Where people could fawn, pry, ask questions, put pressure on something so new. The desire was there. Oh, the desire was there in his gaze dipping to your lips, and staying.
Remembering Saturday, you inhaled sharply. “Oh! I didn’t tell you the good news. Robin got a call the other day, and—”
The voices in the lobby grew. One gruffed out—“Hey, you two?”—and you released each other’s hands, jolting apart. “Wanna get up to date on this shitstorm of a week?” Mr. Moore asked, motioning you both inside with two succinct waves of his clipboard.
A feeble look was exchanged from Eddie to you. The good news would have to wait. Talking would have to wait. Discussing the events from the weekend and all the pretty words he wanted you to hear while his mouth was nurturing the intimate skin beneath your paint-stained crewneck would have to wait.
Following your boss to the circle of employees gathered in front of your desk, Carl and Kevin said hello with raised eyebrows, and Mr. Moore flipped through the sheets on his clipboard, catching you up to speed. “So, lucky us," he said, tone betraying the luck, "the storm hit Springfield harder than Hawkins, so the annual Classic Car Show was moved down here this weekend." Rolling his hand, he grumbled—guy said the ol' historic buildings downtown would look nice in photos—"Anyway, all those uppercrust sons’a are gonna start droppin’ their cars off here for last minute maintenance, or whatever damn hell Roy was sayin'. He sent what parts he had, but we'll have to put in an emergency order, and of course the damn phone is still out."
Mr. Moore targeted you. "We can not," he stressed, "can not accept normal customers this week with all these yuppies comin' in. Unless it’s an emergency, just turn them away, or point 'em towards Thatcher's if they need their tires rotated. Got it?"
So, that explains why Eddie's eyes were welded shut in preparation for the arduous day ahead. The cavity between your hand and his could’ve been filled with a supportive squeeze, maybe a silent assurance in the passing touch, but you tore your gaze from the myriad of grievances wrinkling his expression, and answered your boss, "Got it."
Papers were divvied, sighs were had. With a hard clap of Mr. Moore’s meaty hands on each of your shoulders, he guaranteed a generous bonus for the extra work, and dismissed the group. You pivoted to collecting mail-in order forms for car parts in case the phones didn't work by the afternoon, and the men went off to the garage where hours were lost to the heavy clank of tools making clockwork.
As the day yawned to noon, Eddie’s ears were ringing. He fetched his Walkman from the car, and blasted music through its shitty foam cups in effort to destroy his hearing with something preferable. Amongst the mayhem of cars rolling out of the service bay and being immediately replaced by another, he curled his fingers in a small wave at his favorite Office Administrator, but you missed it on account of the old man at your counter needing the keys for his ‘57 Chevrolet Bel Air.
It was a lonely day. A busy day. An aching day where the itch to connect with each other led to melancholy behind every antsy glance through the windows gone unmet.
Your lunch was a limp sandwich eaten between visiting clients, and when Eddie ate, he did it with his back facing you, bent over the work table on the far wall, mixing cleaning solution for an engine block in between sips of Campbell's tomato soup.
In the wait for a muscle car to be exchanged for a truck requiring new brake pads belonging to the mom with two kids in the lobby who needed it for work the next day, Eddie sought you for comfort in the breakroom, but you had walked to the post office after the rain let up, and by the time you got back, you shrugged off his jacket, picked up a stack of clean rags from the storage closet, and used them as an excuse to enter the noisy garage.
Handing off the rags was the closest either of you had been since that morning. Skin contact was bittered by the barrier of his black nitrile gloves, and the interaction was stained by grime sketching the fine lines of his tired face, stress preying on his mood when you pulled away. He needed you.
Miss you, you mouthed.
Miss you, baby, he returned.
Eddie went back to his project. You went back to organizing paperwork. When you checked the phone line, it wasn’t even joy which influenced your forced smile at him through the window. It was just more work when the dial tone answered.
Busy, busy, busy. No respite for conversation, not even between the mechanics. Kevin’s goodbye was offered as the sun hung low in the sky, touching the tree line. Carl knocked on the hood of the car David was working on to get his attention before clocking out for the night. In retrospect, Mr. Moore was the only one who held a proper conversation with Eddie, telling him he’d be in his office for a bit, and he’d stay late to help on the final set of cars.
In the last slants of daylight dragging through tree branches, Eddie focused on the Mustang Mach 1 in front of him. Sun at his back, wiping sweat from his forehead. Wasting his time on small detail work he wasn’t normally paid to do, yet finding some fulfillment in clearing the nooks of leaf debris and polishing excess grease out of the crannies, salivating at the reward at the end of it: a fat check.
Indeed, he was lost in fantasies of how he’d spend his money when a commotion invaded his mind palace, infiltrating the blank air of his cassette clicking to the end of its tape. Eddie pushed the headphones down to his neck, squinting at the windows to the lobby.
His sweetheart’s face was set with bored malice. An air of disregard, but annoyed all the same. Softly narrowed eyes, loose shoulders, crossed legs. Listening to the man who leaned over the heightened front of your receptionist desk with a pointed finger you didn’t care for, and moving your mouth in a rehearsed response. The man’s voice raised, tanned skin gone blotchy. Spitting mad. You flinched at his irate gestures nearing too close for comfort.
Instant. Adrenaline whipped Eddie forward. Muscles flexed into action, constricted, strained, prepared and loaded, roiling with power ripping open the glass door, sending loose papers flying off the black tool cart, including the one with the man’s name he recognized—
How could he forget?
Square jaw, springy curls cropped close to his skull. Light brown hair extending to the shitty wisps on his upper lip not any better than a grandma could grow. Ditch the letterman jacket for a suit and tie all he wanted, but there was no mistaking Andy, best friend of Jason and player on Hawkins’ High basketball team who helped scar Eddie Munson’s frail reputation after that fateful party he never went to.
Someone he was lucky to dodge at most preschool functions by virtue of his son being nursery-aged.
“—It’ll be ready tomorrow,” you finished in uniform curt.
“Listen better, bitch, I don’t have time for—”
“Hey!” Eddie’s voice packed the tiled room in an authoritative boom with the same fury he entered, commanding the space, possessing the attention as papers floated to the ground behind him. Shifting in his stance, his heart pounded against the strict discipline he leashed himself to, gaining control of his volume for your sake. Quieting to a seethe, he forced out, “You can’t speak to her that way.”
The subject of his ire slid his snakey gaze to him, deducing his long hair, his cheap cassette player, his jumpsuit. Sizing him up. Assessing him. Casting judgements.
Holding reign with a steady pupil on his target, Andy straightened himself from the desk. His expression wore neutral, hands pushing himself away from the ledge and rolling his shoulders with casual controlled dominance. His ugly red tie slipped against his white poly-cotton button down shirt at the motion, following his slow turn towards someone he thought so lowly of. “Figures you’d be here,” he said, jaw jutted in a lax chew as if he were sucking on a toothpick. “This the only place that’d hire a scumbag like you? Hm?”
Fingers stretched and flexed. Veins coursed with heated blood. Sweaty palms were crushed closed.
But it wasn’t Eddie who responded—no—it was his little Mouse.
Jumping from your seat, your chair rolled into the rackety filing cabinets behind you, causing a scene with your hand striking the desk. “You can’t talk to him that way!”
Andy arched an eyebrow at your bark, however, he propped his elbow up in a lazy lean on your binder-clipped manila folders, and held a mutual gaze with the man opposite him. “Sweetie,” he patronized, addressing you with a smug crook of his lips aimed to taunt Eddie further, “this devil worshiper here preys on pretty girls like you. Don’t defend his honor. He’s got none.” With a cocky tongue click, he licked his bottom lip, reveling in the storm brewing in his doormat’s eyes. There was history in the words he chose. They were crafted for The Freak of Hawkins specifically. The rumors he was known for. The lies. Also, the truths.
Testosterone suggested violence in Eddie’s deliberate refusal to blink, but anger did not darken his cheeks in reveals of red as they oft do, nor did he rear a fist like you wanted to. Hard pumps of aggression strained the tendons in his neck, creating shadows along the thick blue vein leading to his strong jaw, but otherwise much of his reaction was reserved, contained in his stoney expression and hidden beneath his biding posture, waiting. Assessing. For years he endured his name being spat on, and he was only beginning to understand the toll of surrendering.
“You’re new here, aren’t cha?” Andy spoke to you, but matched the trained stare across from him. “There’s no need to stand up for this creep. He’s just some lowlife who begs for table scraps, and still can’t coerce girls into giving him the time of day. Kinda pathetic, don’t ya think?” Tone sneering to a scoff, he added to Eddie, “S’kinda miracle you managed to procreate.”
“Shut up!”
This anonymous man regarded you finally. Confusion hung heavy on his brow, curious as to why you were so adamant about protecting someone like him. Then, he dropped his head to the side, enough to see you, and raked his glare over your body, pausing his study on one place in particular.
Your jaw dropped at the audacity, throwing a hand over your stomach on instinct.
Andy involved you with a nod. “This another chick you knocked up?”
Quickfire, Eddie snatched starchy fabric and knotted silk in his fist, dragging him in by his tie, smothering his wet grunt of surprise with a vice grip on his shirt. They were the same height, but when pitted against steel toe boots, leather loafers lost. Not that he needed the extra inch. A different danger lurked in Eddie’s minimal movements, reeling the other man closer without much effort. Enough intimidation lived in his clenched jaw and quivering muscles to show he was not tucking tail and rolling over.
“Hey now,” Andy rasped against the solid threat of knuckles digging into the hollow of his throat, taming him from uttering more. He raised his hands in defense, manicured nails atop soft fingers atop softer palms.
“Watch your mouth,” Eddie enunciated, slow and warning.
Knocked off status by the brave chin challenging him, Andy’s nostrils flared, but his amusement didn’t waver. Under pressure, he wrung the corner of his mouth, lifting his fuzzy upper lip in sly charm while he puzzled out the dynamic between the cool-headed receptionist who’d gone rabid at a bit of joking, and the blue-collar mechanic who abstained from standing up for himself, but sure as hell did when it involved you.
A smirk dared to stretch across his face.
Andy tucked his eyebrows in, and pleaded, “Don’t tell me you already brought more annoying spawn into this world.”
Visions of red gushed over Eddie’s scarred, dirty knuckles, but the reality was ripped from him before he explored the sweet relief.
Dying to get your hands on a ghost from his past, you competed for the shirt on Andy's back. Grabbing his shoulder, you tore him from your beloved’s grasp, slinging him backwards on stumbling feet. You didn’t let the fucker catch his footing before you rammed your shoulder into him with all your scrappy might. “You wish you were half as good of a man as he is!” Growled through bared teeth and trembling with malice. “You’ll never compare. You can’t! I feel sorry for everyone you’ve ever met.” Snarled from darker depths than witless gossip about a man you adored, slapping your hands hard on his chest, shoving him. “Get out!” Shove. “Out!” Push. "And if you ever—ever!—bring up Adrie again, I'll fucking.."
His wild eyes searched for Eddie across the room, but you demanded respect.
Harder shove, striking palms where it hurt—making him cough. “Get the fuck out!”
His steps faltered, disoriented by the polarity of the quiet bitch behind the desk being the one to catch him off guard, attacking him before he could gather his dignity and stop. fucking. tripping. “You little—!”
“Out!” You cut a fierce line with your arm, pointing at the streets. “Leave! Out! Now!” Shove.
Scrambling, slipping on the wet tile, the metal corner of the door handle bit his squishy palm, pulling a hiss from gritted teeth. Shove. Point. Bark. He yanked the door open with a slew of words you’d only tolerate from Eddie when he said them in the heat of your bodies joining in sweet passion, and you let him know with a guttural grunt, pushing Andy out and into the parking lot where a puddle of ice water awaited his shoes. Squish, squish, squelch. He found his footing on the cracked pavement, huffing and puffing with haughty swipes at his clothes, dusting them off on the way to his Cadillac.
You followed his retreat with two proud middle fingers, shouting, “Take that ugly hood ornament and shove it up your ass!” When his shoulders squared like he was going to turn around, you yelped and scurried inside, locking the door only to hear him spit on the ground. Gravel crunched afterwards, and you assumed the tire screech was him leaving.
Dry gulp. Pounding heart. Aching wrists. Loud blood rushing everywhere. Vision vibrating from the adrenaline pulsing between your ears. You got your bearings, and turned to Eddie—except, he wasn’t there. No one was in the lobby. No one was in the garage, either. Down the hall there was a sulking shadow cast across the floor, growing smaller as it sat down.
You went towards the breakroom, passing by Mr. Moore’s head peeking out of his office. Creases from a notebook marked his cheek. Groggy and confused, he asked, “You handle whatever that was?”
“I did.”
“Well,” he shrugged. “Good on ya.” He shrank back into the dark room, returning to his nap.
Approaching the round table with caution, you picked the plastic chair next to Eddie and sat gingerly, noiselessly. Hands folded, upper body turned, waiting for him to speak first. And when he didn’t, you prodded. “Are you okay?”
Eddie unlocked his twined thumbs, and dropped a heavy hand on your knee, patting you. “Yeah, I’m okay, baby,” he replied softly. He didn’t pull his gaze from the wall, blinking only when he brought himself out of his ruminations to pat you again. Blank expression, hollow. Legs spread wide, ruling the space while your thighs were tucked tight together, same as any day you’d share lunch while he brainstormed a campaign idea, writing the story in his head and forgetting to hold a conversation with you. But his silence separated you. You needed more from him.
“Do you want a hug?” you asked.
Pat, pat. “Nah, I’m good, I promise,” he said with a bit more sureness lifting his tone.
Staring holes into the side of your boyfriend's face for far longer than it took to lose faith in telepathy, you swallowed through the scratchy rasp taken hold of your throat after yelling at a customer, and guided him, “Can I have a hug?”
“Oh shit, right, sorry!” The cluelessness jumped off of him as he sat up and wrapped his arms around you, scooping you to his chest. Your cheek picked up a healthy amount of dirt when sliding past his, and his headphones smoothed most of his hair from entering your mouth, but as sweaty and filthy the hug was, his crushing hold on you was everything a platonic coworker could ask for after being verbally harassed. A forearm behind the shoulder blades, a kind splay of fingers on the mid-back. Polite. “I’m sorry he yelled at you.”
Arms trapped against his chest, you bunched the collar of his coveralls in your fists, and he hummed into the comfort of your reciprocation, no matter how covert while your boss was one door down.
“S’okay,” you whispered. Nudging towards his ear, you smeared the sweat at his hairline onto your temple in a blessing. “My first job was at a McDonald’s drive thru. I was fourteen. I’m used to men in business suits yelling at me.” Caught between a sympathy snort and cringe, he offered another apology and pulled his face away.
His eyes and smile went soft, losing their strength from a different emotion trickling in. “Should I have decked that guy? Did you want me to do that? Did you want me to stand up for you, and knock ‘im out?”
“And risk you getting an assault charge on your name? Uh, no. I’m more than capable of standing up to a guy who won’t hit back because I’m a woman.”
Nodding against his ego, he took a moment to mull it over, and dropped into a serious tone, “I don’t want it to seem like I was letting him walk all over me, either. Not that long ago I would’ve freezed up. Probably would’ve sat there, taken it, and fixed his car while he watched. Then I would’ve gone home and cried about it because I’d be so fucking mad at myself for not dislocating his jaw. But,” he paused to run his tongue over the back of his teeth, settling the anger he harbored after the years of unapologetic abuse he tolerated.
He exhaled in a two-count, inhaled on three.
Collecting himself, sincerity replaced the animosity. “But since me and you have started hanging out, I can see how wrong he is, and it just—sorta–doesn’t bother me anymore, y’know? Like, I don’t even have to think about it, I know I’m not those things he said.” He strummed his thumb over your shoulder, soothing the lingering fight shivering through your body, invoking care in his words to calm your racing heart, and his. “I kinda lost it when he brought you and Adrie into it, and I’m glad you intervened when you did, before I did something I regretted, but I’m sorry for what he said. Or what he was, ah, implying about you..”
“Wasn’t really an insult, anyway.”
“You know, as if it’d be a bad thing to be—uh, uh..” Your stomach clenched from the impact of his gaze falling to it. The sentence would never be finished, and it didn’t need to be. Your mindless chatter proved your subconscious thoughts loud and clear. It wouldn’t be an insult to be pregnant with your child.
Panic prickled your nervous system hummingbird fast. Slews of mortification reached your eyes, urging him not to draw conclusions based on something you blurted on the spot, because—because—just—Jesus Christ, man, please move on.
Shifting topics with more tact than his faintly stuttered exhale would suggest, he shook the stiffness from his posture by clearing his throat, and narrowed his eyes in a curious squint. Dropping his head to you, his fingers skimmed the clasp of your bra band through your sweater, and one of his anxieties was stroked into the relationship with a pivotal question, “Can you tell me, are there cameras in here?”
Without looking, you thought of the layout. “No, there’s just the two outside. One facing the entrance, the other facing the intersection. Why—umph?” He stole the concern from your lips.
Crashing mouth on mouth, he moaned at the relief of having you after a shitty day, and you doubled his vigor, dragging him in by his clothes until it hurt. Spine bent, hips to hard plastic, lips smashed against teeth, joints leading to your strained fingertips twisted above his embroidered name tag. You kissed him until it ached, until he was sated, until lungs burned for breath. It was the best change of subject, because when Eddie flirted his bottom lip along yours after you broke for air and his spit mixed with tangy salt on your tongue and gritty earth between your teeth, you wondered if the primal emotion steeped in his heavy-lidded eyes was the result of the same phrase repeating in his head as yours. Knocked up.
“Do you think it’s okay if we kiss like this? As long as we’re alone?”
“Yeah,” you guessed. “I think it’s okay if we’re alone. Not while customers are out there, or in front of the guys. We should be good, if that’s what you want.”
“Yeah,” he repeated. “I’d like that.”
You accepted his forehead against yours, feeling him sag with a tired groan. Exhausted from responsibilities, emotionally drained and succumbing to the crook of your neck, depending on you to rejuvenate him with tiny, smiley pecks at the top of his ear. Poor man.
As usual, you were the bearer of his weight, trusted to hold him up and be the pillar of strength as his arms fell to your hips, hands at the waistband of your jeans, ambitions decidedly pious as his fingertips explored the ridge of a stretchmark on your lower back. “Ed?” You tucked some loving caresses through the hair at the base of his nape, working circles into his oily roots. “I never got to tell you my good news.”
“Oh!” He piped up, coming into focus, face alight with excitement from your giggle.
“Bobbie got the call, and our apartment is ready!”
There was hardly a predictability to how Eddie would react to things. Sometimes sharing stories about your past in New York would earn his disinterest; sometimes he was eager to listen. Talking about the future was the same. Sometimes his gaze drifted faraway when you brought up the potential of your favorite Chinese restaurant closing before you could have the #4 special again, and sometimes he needled you about learning to drive before he finds you and your bike crumpled in a ditch on the side of the road one of these days.
But worry not, the sunshine grin breaking across his lips warmed you in all the right places.
“No shit?” he released in a breathless, excited laugh. “No more living with the Buckley’s, huh?”
“Mhm! No more competition while solving the Wheel of Fortune, but I think I’ll live. Especially if it means having my own bathroom.”
“Nice, nice, nice. And, uh,” he broke off to trace a pattern on your pants, “And, if I may ask because I’m an upstanding gentleman who wants to lend his strength without the expectation of reward, when exactly do you move in?”
“This weekend.”
“Oh,” he flattened. Voice monotone—Oh. Also known as ‘fuck’ or ‘damn.’ “Corroded Coffin has a gig in Indy this weekend. Drive there Saturday morning, come back Sunday around 3, maybe 4AM, if I rush.” He started mumbling to himself, “But, maybe—if Wayne can watch Adrie on Sunday, I could still— Or if she stays where I can see her and doesn’t get in the way, she can come, and I’ll help bring in big furniture, some heavy boxes. Set up your bed for you, the TV, uh, does the place come with a fridge? I could do that too. Make sure all your outlets work. Could hang some stuff up for you, help you decorate.” You sighed in a way where he’d get the hint to shut up.
He frowned. “What?”
“You don’t need to help us, we’ve got it figured out, but I was trying to tell you the news this morning because—” Quick high-pitched beeps from a Buick made your point. Eddie swiveled around to peek down the hall at Robin’s car parked out front, headlights beaming through the windows. You enunciated for effect, “Because we’re going furniture shopping and packing every night this week, so I’ve gotta clock out early, before the stores close.”
A heavy dose of disappointment jaded his hand falling limp over your thigh. “So, not only do we not get to see each other during work this week because I’m buried under cars owned by dickheads who should take pride in servicing their own vehicles, but you can’t stay late, either?” he summarized to your apologetic smile.
“I’m sorry,” you began, grazing your knuckle along the powdery soot lining his jaw like stubble. Incited by more honks, you picked up the pace, and fit his face to your palms, thumbing his cheeks; collecting him, lifting his chin, guiding him to your lips.
Two hums converged, harmonizing. His handsome nose mashed against yours in order to steal kiss after kiss as two people should when huddled in a private room away from their boss. Sympathetic to his cause, you resisted the urgency of the ticking clock, and worked your hips into his hold, swaying all the closer, consuming the dearness of his prayer when your fully clothed body stood between his legs, melting his stress away.
“Should get going,” you mumbled, brushing through his hair with each subsequent glide of his desperate tongue making it harder to leave.
Instead of a honk, a car door shut, and you pictured Robin stalking up to the door with her lips rolled in, gesturing animatedly at her watch.
Your muscles posed to take a step away from Eddie, but he climbed his hands to your waist, refusing to let go. “Wait! Wait!”
“What? What?” you mimicked.
“We didn’t get to talk about what happened over the weekend,” he insisted, and you took pity on him, raising your brows with a caveat grin telling him he should make this quick. “I wanted to say that our date was perfect. Like, amazingly perfect. Not just the, ah, obvious part, but watching movies and making dinner together was special to me. As dumb as it sounds, even washing dishes together was special to me.”
The bare circles on his cheeks where your thumbs wiped the dirt away plumped up from his grin.
“And then the way you took care of Adrie,” fondness rushed in, eclipsing the fatigue in his voice, “baby, you’re beyond perfect for that. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. You got her to stop crying when I couldn’t—Yes, I can hear her knocking—and you did everything just so exactly right, and I’m so fucking grateful for you, and, wait! Before you go,” he begged you, laughing into another lip-smack on your forehead. You backed away until he stood up, face still wedged between your palms, coerced into following you into the hallway so your best friend didn’t think you’d gone missing without a trace. “I’ll try not to do the whole crying-my-eyes-out and then spilling-my-guts-to-you thing every time we’re together.. No promises, though.”
Almost to the door, you continued to walk backwards, advancing him until the last second when you had to let go. You teased him, “If it becomes a habit, I’ll put ice cream on the grocery list, and we can sob it out together at my place like real friends do. Sound good?” Umbrella, purse, chapstick—check. “See you tomorrow, handsome,” you said on your way out. Eddie filled the doorframe, casting a sharp eye around the parking lot while returning your adoring goodbye.
He curled his fingers in a guilty wave at Robin.
She, with her keen nose, bent to sniff at you, and commented overly loudly, “Your sweatshirt smells like Camels.”
Tuesday was a strong, steady build in pressure.
Privacy could be had in the public space between buildings where cars passed on either side, puttering at their leisurely pace before slowing to a stop when the intersection lights flipped red. You bounded up to Eddie carrying two waxed paper cups filled with morning energy, beaming brighter than the dawning rays glancing off the brick alleyway. “Hey! Got you a little somethin’.” That, along with the rocks crunching under your shoes, was his only warning before you were forcing a drink into his hand, and slipping your other arm inside his unzipped jacket, squeezing his middle.
He rocked on his footing and laughed, collecting your head to his chest with a firm palm behind your neck. Your bodies swayed together, ear pressed to the source of his voice; his choppy cadence drawn tight from the sudden rise in eagerness to tuck his chin and mash kisses atop your hair. “Hey, sweetheart,” he breathed, tinted with a stutter from surprise. “You got me coffee?” Spinning it in his hand, he read the shop’s logo stamped onto the cardboard sleeve and put the lid to his nose, smelling the steam piping through the hole. “Mmm, a latte. You didn’t have to go and get me something special like that.”
“I wanted to since I was too busy to call you last night,” you apologized. “Thought you could use the extra caffeine, too.”
Bathed in the teasing glow of sun, you lifted your cheek from the thick scent of burnt tobacco baked into his coveralls, and swam to the heady surface of smoke enriching the crisp air. Raising your nose higher, though, there wasn’t a cigarette hanging from his mouth.
Fresh mint followed the thin fog escaping his lips in a visible puff of breath.
Eddie kissed you deep. Wrigley’s Spearmint coated the flavor on his tongue as he dragged it over your bottom lip and across your teeth. The recent ad campaign targeting smokers sponsored his confident lick into your mouth. Lazy and casual, relaxing his arm around your shoulders. Hot coffees tucked to his chest. Pocket below his name tag stuffed with the red and white packaging of foil sticks next to his lighter and Camels, finishing up his morning habit with a clean taste now that he gained certain privileges at work.
“Could definitely do with a pick-me-up from my girl,” he mushed en route to your cheek, pulling away to take the first sip of his coffee and ending with a satisfied mmm.
You vied for his approval. “Yeah?”
“Yeah.” Another sip, another warm ahh fanning your cheeks. His one-track mind instilled bravery in his hand sliding down from your shoulders to the roundness of your ass, groping your hips flush against the metallic clink of the button snaps closing his jumpsuit, bringing you to him.
Regarding you down the length of his nose, he dipped his smoker’s rasp into something rougher, deeper, resonating from the courage in his chest, “Y’know, I used to worry about making things weird at work if I made a move on you and it wasn’t appreciated–”
“Oh?” you interrupted, pointing above you. “Do you.. Do you not see the flashing sign over my head begging you to ask me out?”
“Hush,” he reprimanded you with a wolfish spank over your back pocket. “What I’m saying is that I’m startin’ to see the perks of workin’ together.” He flicked his eyes up to survey the end of the alley, minding the crawl of traffic passing by. Any Hawkins citizen could turn their head and see you two together; fronts touching in the indecent way coworkers shouldn’t. Stomachs brushing in the intimate way acquaintances wouldn’t. Faces nearing, warmth radiating from his full lips holding steady above your silent plea in the eager way friends might not. Hands taking what they want—smooth and strong alike, improper filth—grabbing in the coarse way sweethearts do.
Eddie’s fingers followed the crease at the bottom of your ass cheek, cupping himself a handful, and drawing you into his nicotine and menthol kiss. You wrung a fistful of the back of his coveralls, using him for weak-kneed stability, yanking until fabric strained against the snap clasps, making gaps to where his shirt showed underneath.
Huddled, coffee cups captured in the embrace, your bodies buzzed drunk on indulgence. 
In the echoey distance, a shutter door rolled open. “Perks gotta wait, I’m afraid,” you moped, falling short of getting swept into the intoxicating trap throbbing between your thighs when he groaned at the heavy chain rattling, locking one door into place before moving onto the next.
He shook his head, sighing in genuine annoyance at the few minutes you had alone, now over. “Guess we’ll have to sneak around if we want to see each other this week.”
“Yeah?” you drew out, thick and sweet like honey, walking your fingers up his chest. “Need me that badly?” you questioned, mawkish and innocent. “Need me to beat up your bullies, and kiss you better?”
Playful spite painted his grin. “Is that too much to ask for? They’re workin’ me to the bone here, babe. I think I deserve a little pick-me-up after replacing a heater core.”
The second service door creaked and clanked at the top of its slot.
“A little pick-me-up, huh?” you repeated, earning a nose-scrunched amusement at the quick peck you offered him. “Like that?”
“Just like that,” he confirmed, already against your mouth for more.
Just like that—
Even footfalls of heavy boots thudded closer.
Giddy kicks of excitement electrified your nerves. The thrill of sneaking around gripped, bound, and knotted your stomach. Eddie, intending to steal one last treat before his fingers and wrists were fatigued from labor, rocked you forward with his strong palm, but he too was spurred by the endorphin rush, hauling your hips in with too much enthusiasm and causing you to discover more than he’d meant to.
Swiftly separating, backs to scratchy brick, the third shutter door dislodged from the dusty ground and began its clattery ascent. Cool, calm, casual. Racing-hearted coworkers.
Hello, Mr. Moore. Fine day, isn’t it? Dotted cloudy sky with plenty of sun, no rain. Yes, I’ll get started on a pot of coffee in just a minute.
Your boss walked away.
You looked at your boyfriend. Waxy to-go cup poised at his puckered lips, eyes nearly closed to mirthful little crescents and twinkling from your collective shared secrets which grew exponentially. Plunging thoughts, yet you kept your gaze high, deciphering his devilish features instead of analyzing the outline below the waistband of his dark gray coveralls leading to his hand was in his pocket, picturing Eddie’s cock in his fist before noon.
Rock hard only from kissing.
He mocked you lightly—teacher’s pet, people pleaser— “Better get goin’, sweetheart.”
Your features arched to the tune of sarcasm on your tongue, asking him a question he refused to answer with anything but a smirk, “Why? Need some alone time?”
Wednesday ripened like boozy fruit.
Thick winter layers were shed for lightweight counterparts; canvas jackets shucked after a cup of coffee, breaking free from the hug of warmth before it riled a worse sweat than the impulses caused.
Just like that—
Treats throughout the day in between vintage cars and pretentious clients. Exploring the perks of a stolen peck in the breakroom after Kevin shuffled out. The favor of a massage along the knotted muscles between his shoulder blades when crouched behind an Impala, where you were changing the trash liners at the workbench, and he was counting lug nuts. Silly benefits like you thanking him in a kiss to your palm, blown from behind your desk after he delivered a stack of invoices, to which he mimed catching it and pressing it to his cheek, walking backwards into the garage in a lazy stride, embracing his dopey grin. “Corny,” he said that time. “Shh, baby,” he said another, when his wandering hand landed in a squeeze on your ass, and your squeal of delight peaked higher than he was comfortable with in the hallway outside your boss’ office, spiking hues of cassis wine across his nose.
Innocent snacks. Quick low-risk indulgences.
That’s how it started, anyway.
“Psst,” you got Eddie’s attention as he strolled past the storage closet on his way to the breakroom for his Chef Boyardee lunch. His elbow jutted a big angle from stretching his tricep, looking like Rosie the Riveter in his royal blue coveralls and red bandana on his head.
When his expression remained exceptionally oblivious upon seeing you peeking out of the narrow room housing dusty metal shelves lined with car parts, you snagged him by his grimey sleeve and dragged him inside. With two people crowding the shoebox shaped space, running into the cardboard boxes of windshield wipers you’d yet to put away was inevitable, as was Eddie ducking around the pull string for the single lightbulb dangling from the ceiling. Your eyes itched and your throat scratched, but with everyone's breaks being staggered to ensure there was someone out in the bay and someone available to answer customer’s questions at all times, your loneliness was agonizing, and his sly smile accentuating his dimple knew it.
“Yeah, sweet stuff?” Already, the lure. The bait of his tone. Dry rasp in his overused voice, hoarse from yelling over the grind of a powertools.
The heavy door crept closed behind him, ajar enough to catch shadows. You backed to the furthest wall. He trailed, brushing his stained fingertips on his hips to rid them of excess motor oil before touching his girl.
But, before he could lift your chin in an overdue kiss, you stopped him dead in his tracks. “Thought you could use a pick-me-up,” you said, breathy and thin, too high-pitched and fluttery to be sultry. Butterflies had been building in your belly since you first had this idea at your desk, erupting into swarmy impatience as the timing never worked out and you couldn’t get him alone without one of the guys noticing, or a customer leaning over to ding the bell next to your pen cup, breaking you from your daydream.
Eddie was still a step away, raising his arm from his side, when a beautiful sight swallowed his pupils whole.
A shiver grasped your middle.
Sweat met cool air, erupting goosebumps along your ribs, tightening your nipples to stiff peaks. The hem of your thin sweater stayed gathered at the top of your chest, hands splayed to keep it in place, helping frame the generic black bra. You didn’t enter the day prepared to show off your lamest lingerie, but Eddie’s stare was glued to the plain dull shine of polyester stretched over cups covering the full range of your goods as if they were worthy of the French term usually relegated to something not designed for comfort.
He wiped his hands more energetically on his chest.
No pet names, no clever remarks crafted to make you melt. No swoony lines, no verbal compliments from his handsome mouth hung on a dumbfounded gape. No thoughts, wit, or brainpower. Everything vanished the moment you took his wrist, and smoothed his palm to your breast.
Suave, he was not. Eddie giggled like a teenager—elated, ecstatic to be touching a pair of boobs as if it were his first time. You pitied him in a chastising snort, hopelessly fallen for his big grin, and helped his other hand. Large palm, calluses dragging on the fabric. Cups too thick and opaque to ogle what was beneath. But he was mesmerized all the same. He fitted the stretch of his fingers across that which you arched into his hold, and ran his thumb over the softness. His knuckles and tendons flexed as he did so, moving under the pressure of your heavy suggestion, sliding his hand down so he cradled the bottom and lifted, giving him more area to explore—
Your inhale came sharp and sweet.
Eddie throbbed.
He checked your reaction, repeated the motion. Found the hard bud under the layer, and trapped it between the edge of his thumb, rocking it to the long side of his index finger. Your body leaned into the feeling, eyebrows drawn, bottom lip pushed out and freshly licked. He learned to do it again. Again. More. Harder. Shimmery praise collected in the corners of your eager eyes, heavy lids and batting lashes forced open to watch the confidence in his movements grow. Faster rubs, heavier pets. Kneading what you gave him. Drawing quick, simple breaths from your pretty mouth as he concentrated on circling his thumbpad around the point of pleasure, using his nail to skim over it, dragging a lurch from your core.
“Eddie.” His name tipped into a moan hummed through your nose.
The stuffy room heightened your fluster. Eddie burned. Furnace body, ember hands stoking your fire. Ends of his bangs coming to a damp point above his brows. Dewy skin beneath his diligent strokes over the polyester cups. The squish. The yearn. The need for cold metal shelves to be pressed into your backside, positioning himself against your front.
“Like it when I do that, baby?” he asked, deep and husky for no other reason than to hear your voice pitch when he pinched your nipples, elusive as they were from the slippery fabric.
You pushed your sweater higher, flaunting your arms closer. The amount of gratification coming from his thumbing was small, but the fun of doing it in a closet while on the clock had you oversensitive. Anticipation swelled your fat tongue, slurring your question with girlish flirt, “S’it a good pick-me-up? D’you feel better?” you asked for no other reason than to feel him grow hard against your hip.
Cement walls deadened outside interference, isolating his hammering heart in its loudest beats, and projecting the low sound stuck in the back of his throat. His deep rumble of, “Yeah, feelin’ better,” was spoken in the hollow between your chests, stomachs meeting during your feathery inhales opposite his resolute ones filling the planes of his pecs with renewed strength to get through the day.
Eddie’s exhaustion illustrated itself in the bags under his eyes; intense wells of purple beneath deep wrinkles you couldn’t begin to solve for him. However, you could stretch up, brush your lips over his, and make the eager noises which fed his ego.
“Makin’ you feel good?” he asked, grounding his pleasure in what he could do for you.
“So good, handsome.”
“Love it when you call me handsome.”
He collapsed into you, “Yeah.”
Sly now, your grin broke the kiss. “You still remember how to unhook a bra, handsome? Or has it been too long?” No surprise—he nipped at the bottom lip he adored so much, shutting you up.
His big, tired body lost its strength from cranking tools all morning, but he still managed to impress you with his firm determination laying against your belly, pulsing eager. He circumvented your taunt with fingertips diving to the bottom of the cups and pushing up, drawing tension on the underwire, tightening the band around your ribs. It teetered on the edge of a great reveal, nipples harder than him between your legs. You begged for the release, for your bra to finally crest the whole, and bounce what you had into his waiting palms, where his thumb and index were shaped to tweak another hot moan into his mouth—full lips mashed gently to your desperate whine—unapologetic confidence staring you down. Doing it all with a smile.
The door opened with Carl’s question, “You get those u-joints for me?”
Violent strikes of shame-induced panic shocked you both into action before thinking.
Thank God you still had a hold on your sweater to yank it down in sync with Eddie’s side-step, the dumbass, exposing you because his priorities laid in fleeing. Well, at least he was a redeemable dumbass who used his quick wit Dungeon Master skills to remain with his back turned towards the door, perusing the top shelf for a box of universal joints.
You acted your part. “Oh! Uh, I couldn’t reach them, so I got Eddie to help,” you overexplained, pointing at your taller platonic friend who definitely wasn’t the reason your clothes bunched weirdly over your chest.
“Hm?” Carl looked up from his invoices, just noticing Eddie. “Could’ya get me some washers too?”
“Yep,” you answered for him, hearing the box slide along with the rattle of the steel washers, taking them and handing them off to Carl who grunted out a thank you, double checking his paperwork as he walked away, none the wiser as to why your gaze was sealed on the floor.
Mouth dried of all fluid, yet body drenched in the same embarrassment which reddened your coworker’s face darker than his bandana, you gulped past your heart lodged in your throat, and idled next to Eddie, pretending to tidy up a container of gloves. Really, you straightened out your bra instead, door wide open behind you.
It wasn’t against the rules to date your colleague, but he was uncomfortable with other people knowing about your relationship. Perhaps it was the prying, the questions, the pressure which bothered him most. Or the loss of privacy. All eyes on the single dad who hadn’t been in a serious relationship since a brief stint out of high school, and finding someone now, for him, The Freak of Hawkins, was such a significant event they’d probably congratulate him, therefore crushing the dignity he worked hard to assemble from the crumbs he was left with.
He had more to care about. More to lose. Always, you followed your boyfriend’s lead when it came to his reputation.
“S-So,” he answered. “Uhm..”
“Should we.. Do you want to keep doing this?” you hesitated, trying to figure him out. Eddie knew what you were asking, though. It strained against the last set of buttons to his coveralls. The edge with no relief. Sneaking around, copping feels in dusty closets, stealing kisses behind walls, never having enough time to start, nor end something worthwhile to ease the aches left behind. “Maybe we should relax at work until we have a real weekend to ourselves again?”
“Fuck no.” His blunt response raised your eyebrows. “C’mon, babe,” he scoffed, locking onto you with his sloppy puppy grin and playful nudge on your arm. “This work week already fucking sucks, and you’re the only good I get.”
Checking over his shoulder, he sidled closer to you, and lowered his voice, “Yesterday I got to kiss you, and then go home to my kid who ate her chicken and broccoli without a single complaint.” He cut his hands to his chest, palms up, bouncing them in a shrug. “I don’t see any downsides here.” Aside from the prominent downside in your periphery, you agreed. “We’re just havin’ fun, right? Our weekend’s gonna come. These, uh, close encounters of the romantic kind are just to hold us over until then, that’s all.”
Just having fun. Just like that. Perks, pick-me-ups. No downsides here.
After giving him a long look, you nodded. These were just treats to get you both through the tough week. You could resist the temptation of taking it too far, keeping it casual. He could dial it back, and remain level headed about kissing, and a little over the clothes touching. No big deal.
Casual. Dialed back.
Thursday was hot under the collar.
Coffee sputtered fat drops into the glass carafe, adding steam to the small breakroom, and filling it with the wake-up scent. Sat in a creaky plastic chair was a man sapped of energy, and behind him was his dearest flame. On the clock, technically, but arriving before other employees dared.
“Had to stay late last night to finish a car on time,” he grumbled to you, neck muscles flexing under your fingertips as he lolled his head side to side. “Wish you didn’t have to leave so early.”
You pulled his hair off his shoulders, and stroked your thumbs from his nape to the underside of his jaw in long sweeps over the tense slope, down, massaging the base where his collar began. “I know, baby,” you gentled, “me too, but we found a couch last night, and made sure it was the perfect size and comfort level for cuddling during a movie marathon.” His groan scratched vibrations along the rub, tugging your heartstrings.
“That sounds so good right now.”
Nothing made Eddie feel further away than the graywash walls surrounding you; lights too bright, vending machines droning too loud, stale odor of motor oil stinking too harshly of motor oil. Too everything—grating. His solid shoulders bowed weak from unyielding tasks. Body tired, brain stuck in problem-solving mode, watching cranky customers like a hawk, never getting a break once he got home; making food, washing dishes, cleaning spills, changing laundry, vacuuming dirt, providing entertainment, being the source of a thousand answers, drying tears, saying he’s sorry he can’t find the missing Barbie brush, worrying about everything, forgetting nothing, trying his best, falling short, perceiving himself as inadequate, disregarding himself as worthy of nothing more. Never getting the validation he craved after a long day. Poor man.
You leaned down and loosened the only button on his pinstripe coveralls, below his throat. Slipped the sky blue plastic from its cotton vice, threaded it through the hole in a languid beat, and kept things slow. You crawled your fingers to the sturdy metal zipper—dull gold—and ground the teeth three stretches down his chest, parting the halves to expose his black tee underneath. Your nails scratched the union of his pecs on the way to pull the collar off his neck, earning a comforting sound of approval from him, inspiring your own hum tickling your lips.
Switching from your thumbs to your knuckles, you dipped under his coveralls, and prodded the chain of stiffness on either side of his spine. Cheap poly-cotton grazed your skin. Mmm—His breath hitched, cheeks puffing at the sore knot you encountered, exhaling hard through the pain of your digging. It was so reminiscent of your second date when you were straddling him on his shit replacement for a bed not fit for a grown man, it hurt. You worshiped him between the bones—a small relief you wished to give him, delaying the restless ache growing more visceral every day you didn’t get to hold him for hours. Eddie reciprocated the yearn. He rested his head on your belly, washed curls swaying from his crown, frizzy strands clinging to the static on your blouse; leaning backwards so the meat between his neck and shoulder rolled under your handiwork. Closed eyes, fanning lashes. Mellow sounds of contentment sung through his nose. Beautiful man.
“Feeling better?” you asked, squeezing his traps in hard pinches, collecting his woes and turning them into sighs.
Mhmm, he said.
Perfect, you thought.
Better meant there’s still room for improvement.
In a fluid motion, you bent at the hips, and he leaned his head to the side, accommodating your arms draping around his front. The angle pressed your ass to the wall in an audible glide of your skirt shifting against it. Eddie, so soft and romantic, hiked his shoulders up and beamed hard at the ceiling, squeezing his eyes shut thinking his sweetheart was hugging him. However, you slipped your hands under his uniform, and his sunshine grin faltered.
His pulse quickened at your descent.
“Whatcha doin’, baby?” he asked, tone floating the river of curiosity and suspicion.
You doled kisses where his bangs parted, down to his temple, his eyebrow, sunk in the hollow of his cheek between the hardness of his teeth. You traveled the smooth grain on his jaw—warm notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla in your lungs—and wandered over his earlobe, nosing through his long hair to the place you wanted. Lips on sensitive skin. Dangerous.
His throat bobbed at the top of a heartbeat, and his chest sank only to fill with a strong breath. The thin fabric of his tee stretched over the firm muscle laying dormant under a sleek layer of fat. Wheat shafts of hair mid valley brushed against the motion of your hands opening his coveralls further, fingerpads skimming his pebbled nipples; golden zipper sneaking to the top of his stomach, enough room for you to flatten your palms to his pecs, and unwind him. Like a good partner, you massaged the width where you laid your head to rest during a long hug, where you set your ear to listen to the rhythmic thump, where the source of his voice ignited when you asked him a question; thumbs joining to stroke the worthy center.
His black tee framed by the baby blue stripes paved a dark arrow to the kick of his hips tilting upwards as he slouched in the chair.
Excessive flattery laced your tease, “Are you hard?”
“‘Course I’m hard,” he pointed out the obvious. “You’re touching me.”
Not that the swollen length rising from his lap could be anything else, but knowing you caused such a standing ovation after a little bit of back rubbing ran you a mighty temperature.
Wicked thoughts pooled at the bottom of your stomach. The stiff outline influenced your thighs rubbing together, rallying hunger in your eyes. You angled your head, and shifted your focus to the goosebumps surfacing from your sigh fanning the shell of his ear.
Eddie’s neck invigorated your appetite.
You opened your mouth wide and grazed the sharp edge of your teeth over the vulnerable column thrumming with life. His body went rigid—”Oh”—then slack in increments. Again, you scraped lightly over the slope of warmed muscle appreciated by you as a result of the physical price he paid to assume the jobs of many, taking on the responsibility of Carl’s workload to ensure he made it to his son’s wrestling practice on time. Your man deserved the world; he deserved your lips forming a ring over his pulse, he deserved his heartbeat darting against your tongue, he deserved to melt under your attention. Your man deserved to have his little groan stolen when he remembered your mouth’s talent.
Despite the animal way you started, you eased him into the pressure, sucking down on his skin until your open bite filled with delicate flesh. A liquid glottal click preceded the faintest catch in his vocal chords. He secured a palm around your shoulder, heaviness drawing your arm forward, enticing your hand to rove down his chest. Shirt wrinkles collected around your fingertips as you reached the roundness of his stomach, and dipped below his coveralls. The change in environment was instant. Humid, sticky pheromones clung to your skin. Damp body heat trapped tacky warmth to your middle finger dipped to his navel while your knuckles prowled beneath his jumpsuit in visible arches. Edging closer, closer. Nearly there.
You arched your wrist to put strain on the zipper, dragging it with you, almost within reach of what he earned.
Eddie’s hand covered your own. “We shouldn’t, ah,” he cleared his throat, “shouldn’t start something we can’t finish,” he asserted, caught between the confliction crossing his face, and the gravelly tug in his vocal chords. He hooked his forefinger under your pinky and lifted your hand to the outside of his coveralls, where the halves parted below his sternum. “With our luck, someone’ll walk in on us.”
Yesterday’s incident in the closet brought fresh memories to his reddened ears; blotching renewed embarrassment along the pinkish skin where your spit dried. You took this into consideration when opposing, “Doubt anyone would walk in on us in the next thirty seconds.”
He’d deflect your implication with a glare if his eyes weren’t closed in disgust at his own actions.
“Just saying,” you sang, words becoming muffled on the stretch of neck he presented to you with a cant of his head, “we could have fun before anyone shows up.”
Teetering an inappropriate boundary neither of you should indulge, especially not in the storage closet or on your sturdy wood desk, his willpower faltered. “Don't tempt me with that shit when you know it’s a bad idea,” he griped without the balls to make it sound sincere.
You raked your fingers into a fist where they laid, pulling his uniform taut. The coveralls went tight over his lap, stressing deep shadows leading to the concentrated swell down his pants leg; made more obvious when he spread his knees wider, scraping his boots across the floor. Jittery nerves, flexed thighs, torn between crossing a line. Treats, perks, pick-me-ups. Hugging, kissing, touching over your bra. It was a dangerous path to tread. Risky. A million reasons why you shouldn’t.
“Want me to stop?”
“No.” Punctual, quick. Answered hoarsely in the breakroom of your workplace. “Keep going.”
His sentence rumbled in your mouth. Permission vibrated past your teeth, words rolled over your tongue, coating your brain in syrupy sweetness. Keep going. Texture of his stubble, then texture of his skin. Nearly invisible bumps matching the taste buds you licked down the sculpt of his throat, following the moody blue vein to where it disappeared under the ribbed collar of his shirt. You nudged the barrier away, and dropped wet kisses on the hilled muscle. His head fell further into the crook of your arm, offering, making the spot more accessible for you to lap at, cherish. The position was perfect. No better vantage point to stare down your boyfriend’s shuddering chest while you sucked a bruise on his neck, and wrung his coveralls a little tighter.
The shadows defining his lap twitched.
Eddie imposed his fingers between yours, and adjusted his grip several times until the sturdy cotton twill restricted his length flat. Without looking, you knew his nostrils flared when he released a rough exhale afterwards. Being so close, you heard the bubbles in his saliva pop before his mouth constricted on the swallow. You listened to the spit travel, saw his throat bob. Felt the hitch in his whine before he ever sank to the edge of the chair, where his hips would lurch and his clothes would drag along the oversensitive temptation begging for more in a hard throb. A short, delicate, and devastating morsel of what his mouth drooled for.
“Am I making you feel better?”
Through the trance of the powerful initiative rushing his blood south, compounded by the many rules and boundaries he broke of his own accord since he met you, paired with the sultry aid of your husky voice, he nodded. His muscle swayed beneath your teeth. “So much better, baby.”
“Love to hear it, handsome,” you kissed his cheek.
Dots of bright candy apple red bloomed amongst the pink where you marked the destination in the passage from his ear to his ball chain necklace. The metal beads were warm on your loving peck to his keepsake. Returning to the raw span beside it, you nursed the bruise along, sealing your kiss-plumped lips to the afflicted area, and bringing forth stipples of violet. Eddie disciplined his moan in the quiet room; coffee pot full, and vending machines clicking to lower hums; yet his weak noise wrapped you in tangled bedsheets, and unset alarms. Strong arms, and a slow cadence between your legs. Fantasies which were lost in the anguish of professionalism, and busy schedules.
Then, he called you back to reality with another sound. Whinier. Hemmed in his shaky breath, and a fluttered ‘oh’.
You broke the heavy-lidded spell over your eyes and fixed your gaze on the reason his grip on your shoulder cinched.
Eddie rocked his hips, and the outline of his cock strained against his coveralls. The entire definition of his head stretched the fabric as hard as it could at the top of the thrust, and fell to his thigh on the descent. Lines amassed on his forehead as he worked the circle again, starting on a pace which favored his next moan. Low, and slow—finding a steady rhythm, and simmering. Like that, accepting the urge and giving in, fuck the consequences. The spontaneity of you suggesting you give him some relief before the work day began spurred him, and whatever reservations he had about not fooling around while on the clock crumbled. Not that his convictions were ever strong to begin with when it came to you.
Approaching something more desperate with each controlled motion scoring the friction he couldn’t resist, another moan—thick, and hot like warmed maplewood sap—rumbled from his braced chest.
With his eyebrows pinched, and mouth slack, he watched himself get off on nothing but his own determination.
Spit flooded your bottom lip. Your palm needed to be filled. You ached for his smooth skin moving up and down while you fisted his shaft. You strangled his clothes at the thought, and yes, you begged, “Can I?” to which he dropped his head back and groaned a soft ‘fuck’.
“Whatever you want, baby,” he released in a jumble of grateful syllables.
Hanging onto his composure, he reached for the zipper, and the action stirred a phantom taste of his salty release on your tongue. Your body fought tooth and nail to have patience. You distracted yourself by placing fervent kisses in his hair as thanks for the wonderful start to the morning, about to pump Eddie’s cock to the same tempo as your racing heart without an ounce of restraint, when you froze.
A near-mute whoosh of air alerted every nerve in your body.
There was no mistaking the gust of the glass door rushing open, its whispered squeak imperceivable to anyone who didn’t spend an inordinate amount of time sitting beside it. But Eddie heard it. Or, he heard the thudding steps leading the jumpstart in his heart.
He freaked.
In a flurry, Eddie kicked up his hips to zip his jumpsuit to his throat, and you spun around to dig through the fridge while metal chair legs screeched across the tile, scooting in until his upper half was soldered to the rim of the table, and you picked out his favorite creamer.
Hot coffee beat out the smell of Old Spice. The fridge’s condenser fan knocked sense into the lapse of judgment. A booming voice penetrated the ringing pitch of bad decisions rushing loud in your ears.
“Mornin’!” Mr. Moore waited for your response of ‘Good morning’ to drive his Thursday mood, “Y’watch the news last night?” he asked, holding the conversation just inside the breakroom door. “Weather lady said the storm over Springfield is just sittin’ there—y’know, just hangin' over the city churnin' out rain like you wouldn't believe! It’s a strange one; the whole system is avoiding us, but it's what's brought on this heat wave. And just a few days ago we were seein’ our breath! The thunderstorm from the weekend dented my new chicken pen with hail, and now I’m turnin’ on the A/C, but that’s Hawkins for ya.” Sucking his teeth, he muttered to himself, “Cursed town.”
At that, you collected Eddie’s mug from the cabinet, and clinked a spoonful of sugar and Coffee Mate in his mug, stirring through the swirl of piping hot beige.
Mr. Moore continued, “Anyway, we should prob’ly dust off that drum fan, ‘nd set it up before the sun turns the garage into an oven.. You okay, Ed?”
You wiped the steam from your fingers onto your skirt, demonstrating an extraordinary amount of strength in resisting looking at him.
“Yeah, I—yeah, I think those fumes from yesterday got to me.”
“Ah, gotcha,” Mr. Moore replied, familiar with the debilitating headaches mechanics frequently succumbed to. “Take it easy today, will ya? And, uh, could you help me with the fax machine?” You perked up at the change in tone, understanding the question was intended for you. “If you got a minute, I need to send out some of these papers.”
Tapping the spoon, rinsing it, putting it aside, you said, “Sure can,” and your boss took that as his cue to walk into his office. Door open.
You set the perfect cup of coffee on the table, and stalled. Eddie’s fingers trembled over his forehead, laced into a shield and only lowered to the bridge of his nose in order to pierce you with all the glare he could muster; bouncing his knee in such a frenzy it quivered the curl of his bangs over his plum face, and shook the thinness of his scorched cheeks.
“Told you this was a bad idea,” he enunciated, wholly vindicated.
Your lips wore a tingle through their numbness as they thinned into a regretful grin. “I’m sorry.” You passed a kiss over top his head where your hand stroked. When the coal of his eyes continued to scold you through his thick lashes, you gave him another kiss, and spoke in softer earnest, “I really am, Eddie. I didn’t mean to, you know.. yeah.” Balls so deeply blue, they matched his jumpsuit. “Thought we had enough time to finish.”
He grunted.
Under the pressure of both time and guilt, you spun your hands into finger guns at the door, and shuffled backwards from him awkwardly, eyes set on the scuff marks on the floor. “I’ll just—” You were already steps away, about to exit.
“—guess I’ll jack off again.”
“What was that?”
Eddie jerked his head up, eyebrows lifting, realization crossing his glazed over stare. The sentence was meant as a vent of frustration, but not where you could hear it. He couldn’t get redder; in fact, he paled around his mouth a little, licking his lips. “I–uh.” He blinked irregularly through his stutter, finding the words which evaded him, scraping his brain for an explanation while he wrung and crossed his arms in a loose hug over his shoulders, fidgeting. “It, well, it h-hurts if I don’t..”
Corroding into an eye-roll only hidden by the very act of closing your eyes, you informed him, “Yes, I am well aware of the biological phenomenon. You said ‘again’, though. Meaning?”
After a moment of deciding how much information he was willing to divulge, he shrugged into his shoulders, dipping his chin to one side, using his hair to shy behind. “I’ve.. had to jack off before,” he answered, being coy with the topic.
“At work?”
“In the bathroom, yeah.”
“How come?”
His intentional avoidance drew your smile, so mischievous and calling his bluff, cornering the affection in his expression until his sneaky glance from beneath his bangs wove more and more of a story into his sheepishness. “Sometimes you wear stuff I like.”
You pounced. “Oh, yeah?” Interposing yourself between two chairs across from Eddie—ignoring the sound of Mr. Moore’s fist beating on the plastic machine in the other room—you drew circles on the tabletop, and pried, “What kind of stuff? When? Do you mean this week, or, like, before we were even friends?”
“I am not telling you that,” he laughed, he choked, he denied—hard—basically confirming he did wrap his hand around his cock at the thought of you, perhaps at work, perhaps yesterday after the closet incident, perhaps at the start of your employment at David’s Auto Repair when he didn’t know how to process the new receptionist flirting with him and his way of shutting down any feelings before they began was by ridding himself of the urge.
The topic itself was eliminated by his arm swinging outward, conversation not up for discussion.
And you, enjoying the attention that made him fold his hands over his lap, laid your upper half across the table, propping your elbows so there was a gap down your blouse if he so chose to ocularly venture.
Your words mushed from your fists beneath your chin, “Is it the skirts?” You rocked side to side. His crows feet deepened, shoulders shaking from suppressed giggles, refusing the allurement of your shapely sway draped in corporate gray. “Or is it the jeans and hoodie that does it for ya? Really getcha goin’ when I’m dressed down? Hmm?” Your eyebrow waggle dueled with his sealed lips.
“‘M’not tellin’,” he defended, hardly able to speak through his fondness for flattering you; as if praising you were its own reward, reflected upon him as a good man worthy of having his dirty boots tucked beside your front door.
From the hallway, a rackety sound strung together with a cuss and muffled call of your name roused the logical side of your brain, awakening you both from the hormonal haze.
Eddie clicked his tongue. “Best get to work, sweetheart.”
“Why? Need some alone time?”
The weight of the ache between his legs burdened his lack of comeback.
Obliging, because he was right, you stretched across the table and waited for him to meet you halfway. But he didn’t attempt to close the distance. He stayed put, committed to his stubbornness, and forced you to stain the muscles down the backs of your legs in order to reach. Fine, you played into his game. You planted your smirk on his mouth, dousing his smug features with your own.
“I was just thinking,” you lead innocently, “I’ve already packed my closet, but I might find the time to go through the boxes tonight, and pick out my outfit for tomorrow.”
“Babe—” It was an instant beg. Your favorite kind. “Don't you dare,” and he couldn’t even erase the intrigue, the thrill, the excitement of stolen youth in his tone. The sneaking around, the perks, the treats—the boundary you both knew you shouldn't cross, because of worse decorum than him sitting stiffly at a table, ripe with embarrassment. “You can’t do that. Are you even—? Baby?”
“By—e,” you sang on your way out.
Friday came with an excessive heat warning.
Footsteps came from behind you, lingering at the door. An arduous breath was spent sighing, but his voice was too playful to shame you, hardly traipsing through his throat to chastise, “You’re something else, you know that?”
Every beat of your heart was emphasized by his step forward, dragging his boots until his body heat warmed your backside. Blissfully unaware, you continued washing the glass carafe in the breakroom sink. Staying diligent in your task wasn’t an admission of guilt; rather, diverting your attention was an act of grace, of benevolence, granting him access to feast on your figure. It was obvious from the moment you arrived his hunger grew insatiable. You walked into the garage exactly as late as you planned, arms loaded with two boxes of freshly fried donuts, and the shine in his sharp-set eyes did not match those of his coworkers springing from their circle around the workbench. No, the to-go orders of dark roast coffees did not feed a smile to his face as it did for Kevin, nor did the waft of sugary glaze excite his mouth into watering like it did for the other men.
Eddie’s cravings were of a different breed.
His expression was hard, then. If you’d just met, you’d think your merry presence pissed him off. Now knowing better, you read the initial shock before he schooled it to an intense stare, steely gaze locking you into a match. You provoked him with a golden sunshine grin. His jaw went slack enough to run his tongue along his inner cheek, calming his rise in blood pressure, nose perking pink and eyes flashing dark and lips twitching to one side.
You excused yourself—“I should clean the coffee maker before I leave those grounds in there all weekend,”—and went to the breakroom. Eddie was hot on your trail. He came in not half a minute later. Probably didn’t even make up an excuse, he just left the circle.
“This is too far, even for you,” he maintained, aching and slow, words brushing over your ear.
Anticipation mounted in the sound of his clothing shifting, leather boots creaking. You expected him to do something sweet—run his knuckle down the small of your back, or thumb at the strap along your shoulder—but instead, you gasped.
Water sloshed in the coffee pot, suds squishing from the squeeze you put on the sponge.
He dived under the hem of your dress. The fabric fit tight on your body, snug to your waist, closing your thighs in a hug. He tugged it over the curve of your ass, exposing your bare cheeks to the chilly room. Bold. Risky. Dirty. Nowhere near the platonic workplace relationship he was trying to front. You twisted to look up at him with wide, thrilled eyes, giddy with the boost of flattery knowing your simple clothing choice drove him wild.
Eddie got a sturdy grip on the counter edge, and eased his weight onto you until you were covered by his magnificence, chest to back. He shaped his palm to your hip, and dug his thumb above the elastic band of your underwear, connecting the need of his hand to the yearn of his mouth. You melted in the pocket of his embrace, greeting him with parted lips, accepting his tongue. Never would you tire of his breath overtaking yours. Spit, spearmint gum, oddly metallic. Smoke break. You break. Morning tangle of you and him when the others were enjoying donuts one glass door away.
Fearless fingertips discovered you without hesitation. Polished callouses swept over and around to the front of your thigh, greeting the warm juncture with a smooth trace of his buffed skin, middle finger following the edge of your cotton panties down the seam, and up. Only an inch or so into the crease where your leg met the thong, back and forth twice along the line, enough to skim your nerves awake, and work you into a sweat for his index hovering over the swell where a single graze would have your knees weak. Taking the touch away, he wrapped his arm around your middle, and drew your hips in.
He pressed fat and heavy along your backside, unashamed.
The kiss ended in a juicy smack, finished by your hum against the coarse grain peppering his jaw. Lips were licked, sparkling eyes gazed into their match. Coming down with a lovesickness, your skin fostered a high fever, woozy bliss clouding your head—dreamy dreamy dreamy.
“You know what this dress does to me, don’t you?”
A grin cracked your face. “I might.” You immersed yourself in the comfort of his firm body draped around you, the raw sensation of your bare skin against his rugged coveralls, and lazed in the same memory as him.
The burgundy pinafore clung to the warmth of his taken smile from that night. So smitten, and fond. A dress made of belly clenching laughter, woven together with threads of brave glances, converging and averting when the strikes of nerves teemed on admitting too much. Cinnamon, nutmeg, grape jelly in the slow cooker meatballs. Freshly shed pine needles, and glitter. Significance baked into every fiber of the dress you wore under a lonely sprig of mistletoe, unkissed.
Never again would he let you go home believing you weren’t a treasure.
“Can’t be wearin’ this around me,” he obsessed, and you giggled at the rich confidence in his voice—a prelude to the depth he was willing to go. “Gonna get me in trouble.”
Using the sink ledge as leverage, you muscled Eddie into standing up straight with you, winning his heart with a doe-some blink. Arching, you swayed your hips on the length catching between your round cheeks, though the position flaunted something else which might entice him in engaging in risky behavior. “I’m not wearing a bra, either,” you said. Your voice was girlish—floaty and high—a bit raspy from your neck being turned to admire the handsome amount of approval twinkling in his dark eyes.
“Yeah?” Eddie moved his Stupid Cupid lips over the very edge of your ear, and rumbled through the words weighing down his chest, “Need me to fuck you that bad, huh?”
Thrums of pleasure lit within you.
You nodded the side of your face against the scratch of his chin—a morning, day, evening, night, dusk, dawn without a shave.
“Need me here?” he asked, slipping his fingers inside your dress. The fabric over your chest struggled to accommodate his circle around your nipple. You sucked in a breath—released in a moan—and grabbed onto his arm for stability, already falling backwards into him. The direct blessing of his prod to the bud was too much. Your toes curled at his pinch. He flicked the tip of his smooth finger pad over it faster. “Yeah? You like that?” You whined a croaky sound, resting your head on his chest, unable to keep your eyes open to admire the way he watched himself do this to you, chin hooked over your shoulder to view his own hand groping his girl beneath his favorite dress.
“Need me somewhere else?” he asked, and your hips began to mimic the circle he stroked as an answer.
With the ease of a man who’d pictured this scenario more times than respectful, Eddie seized the permission. Middle, index; his two thickest, longest, dexterous. Divine, and unholy. At the bottom of your dress bunched over the top of your thighs, he crooked those two fingers under the hem intentionally, while your hand combed through his hair at the suggestion. “Yeah? Want me to touch you there?” There—a base he’d yet to run even when you were alone on your second date. “Need me that bad while we’re at work?”
You verbalized your desire, as weak as it skirted past your sigh, “Please, Eddie.”
One plea, and it was Love Potion No. 9. His lean frame blanketed you, cradled you, collected you to his height, corded muscles gone solid with restraint. Large nose pressed to your ear, including you in the deep draw of validation into his lungs. Hugging you to the pride inflating his firm chest. The full throaty rasp of desire, and being desired, intimate and close. Two fingers ventured under your dress. You twirled his hair, teething your bottom lip in anticipation for the touch. They were shaped to claim his prize locked behind a fine layer, but he teased you first. He curved the breadth of his palm to the stretch of cotton, width of his calloused reach forcing your feet apart, and brushed past your deepest craving to cherish the place he craved.
“Jesus,” he wept.
His fingers glided along the wet patch on your thong, fabric sticking to your wet heat. It slid along you in a sticky lick, and he sank his teeth to the base of your neck, beyond help. A noise tripped in your throat at his simultaneous pinch on your nipple. He was a goner.
In a few circles around your entrance, he had you melting into his arms. A tweak on your nipple gained your fingers at the root of his hair. He squeezed your slick lips together, and your neglected need sang at the stimulation, begging him in a gasp to do it again. He did. He did, he did, again, however many times it took to have your sighs dive into moans.
Two devilish fingers began their journey upwards, intentions set and clear. Smarmy with ego, he goaded, “Let’s see how long it takes you to cu—”
The near-mute whoosh of the glass door was made obvious by the chorus of men’s laughter bouncing in.
Cold fear licked up your spine. You scrambled for the abandoned coffee pot in spectacular fashion, struggling to get hold of its soapy body in the fret of stress induced tunnel vision—but Eddie? Eddie took his time hitching your dress hem where it should be, flattening it to your thighs. The telltale gait of your boss was nearing, and he was in no rush to jolt to the opposite end of the planet away from you. Oh, no. Your boyfriend brushed his hands in methodical sweeps over the fabric, smoothing it to your hips, mirroring the same cadence as the steps which sent you into a panic. He even gave you a hard pat after he was done. Kissed your cheek to seal the deal, only stepping away to peruse the vending machines the moment Mr. Moore rounded the corner.
“Can’t resist havin’ a little sugar in my coffee,” he informed from the hallway, chipper as can be, strutting in while you were rearranging your dumbstruck stare into something pleasant. He swiped three Splenda packets. “We’re ‘boutta start the meeting, by the way.” You nodded at the coffee pot you washed to a shine. Mhm! you replied after an anxious attempt for anything better, tight-lipped, and dodging his prying eyes by enacting a coughing fit into your elbow in the other direction, willing to bolt if he even so much as thought about voicing his concern over your strange behavior.
Ka-shink, ka-shink, ka-shink. Eddie fed quarters into the Pepsi machine. “Be right there,” he announced, jamming one of the rectangular buttons on the side.
Mr. Moore paused for the longest .02 seconds of your life. No amount of money could bait you into turning around. Whatever expression he was making—if he knew what you and Eddie were doing—that was between him and God. Your shoulders were squared, muscles ready to flee in panic, heart racing beyond what it should be capable of. All the while Eddie crouched for his drink clunking to the bottom slot.
“Well,” was your boss’ succinct response on his way out, underscoring the end of his thought.
There should’ve been some relief, but your breath stayed in your lungs, and your hands shook horrendously, smacking the handle for the faucet too hard on accident, shooting the stream out on high. And, of course, the closed coffee pot lid was the perfect shield, sending water everywhere.
You screwed your eyes shut and defended yourself from the onslaught, worrying about your face and dress first, and your wimpy shriek second.
Eddie came to your rescue.
Ever the hero, ever the gentleman, he shut off the water for you. A ‘thank you’ had been earned, but one peek between your lashes had you quirking your brow in question. He was too close. Standing univinted beside you, almost touching, invading your personal space in a show of ownership. Shadows attempted to temper his smirk, but they cut harshly around the devious apples of his flushed cheeks. You opened your mouth to ask why he was looking at you like that, when—
The explanation came in your stolen yelp.
“Shh,” he taunted, taking charge of his bubbling laughter at your reaction.
Goosebumps erupted down your legs, pebbling harder where he rolled the freshly dispensed can of Mug root beer across the back of your thighs. The chill bit into you, and you bit into your bottom lip. Squirmy noises squeaked from your throat. He reached under your dress and held the soda to your ass cheek, replacing the warmth of his cock with a bitter lesson. A stinging—fucking—cold lesson. He pinned your options between him, his arm, and the countertop. There was no escaping his revenge. You saw no other choice but to cling to his coveralls, let the shiver run its course, and scold him in a failed whisper, “Eddie—!” He loved it. Enjoyed every crinkle of your pathetic glare when you realized why he was doing it.
His length was softening against you. An old technique, rubbing vigorously at his sensitive head until the evidence of his arousal went away without repercussions. And now you were the one all worked up with no release.
Grinning like a menace, his cockiness eclipsed your vision, putting his forehead to yours so his snarky giggle vibrated in your skull. He wrangled you into his embrace, manipulating you with ease. Layers of implied strength snapped your hips forward. Years of unassuming muscle beneath his humble clothes locked you to his body without trouble. Strong arms you recognized the power of when they snatched a man by his tie, seasoned hands equipped for ripping out rusted axle shafts, fingers which threaded elastic string through plastic beads with the same finesse as soldering spliced wires together. They all joined in consecutive evil to slide the can between your round cheeks, down to where your yearning sprung.
“Jesus fucking Christ!” You picked up his vocabulary at some point. “I swear, Eddie Munson, if you don’t move that right now.”
“I’m just coolin’ ya off, sweetheart.” He sounded so pleased with himself, the jerk. He also sensed the impending handprint on his cheek, and apologized with a bit of earnest effort, “Sorry.”
Not betraying his newly actualized cavalier attitude towards urgency, he utilized his afternoon drink against your needy core as a way to hike you onto your tiptoes, and bless you with an offensive smirk kissed onto your slanted grimace.
Pussy numbed, he took his root beer away, and moved past you.
“Did you plan this?” you asked, assumed, accused. Mellow in anger, harsh in disbelief. “Is this payback for yesterday?” And the day before that. And the day before that. And maybe the day before that, too.
“Well, yes and no,” he resolved, sorting his explanation while opening the fridge. You crossed your arms, and stuck your hip out. The sensation between your legs was dull and cold. “With our luck, I knew we’d get interrupted before we could finish—and I did intend to give you a taste of your own medicine—but, yeah, uh, then you showed up in that dress, and all my plans went out the window,” his voice tumbled silly with self-deprecation, gestures as big as his eyes. “I was planning on just coming in here, and letting you know how hot you were. Make out with you some, maybe get a lil’ handsy, y’know, make you feel good like you make me feel good. But, uh.. Yeah. Didn’t mean to get carried away like I did.” He prized you in another look over. A damning amount of awe sat in his simper, like he was experiencing his crush flirting with him for the first time all over again. That is, before he hung his head back, and opened his throat to release a hoarse groan at the ceiling.
Eddie held the cold can to his lap, rolling it over the swell, taming the last of his biological drive from showing. “Trust me, baby, I’m chewing through my leash to get to you.”
Too charming. A flustering rush of flattery washed over you—warm, fuzzy, prickly heat of the back of your neck. Your annoyance at him was never genuine, but it certainly wasn’t after watching him speckle his jumpsuit with condensation in effort to resist breaking a code of conduct. Though, you were still strategizing how long it would take with your deft fingers down your underwear in order to rid your own need, and sit at your desk without chewing through the particle board, too.
Reading your mind, he put the soda away, and approached you with two palms on your nape, frigid fingers laced behind your neck and cold thumbs stroking your jaw. He dropped his head to the side, and maintained unblinking eye contact through his slow disapproving shake, resentment festering in his desperate gaze. “If I don’t get a few minutes alone with you today, I’m gonna go insane,” he stated. You believed him. “I’m serious, you better scrape together a few minutes to come kiss me on my smoke break, or else.”
There was no elaboration on what ‘or else’ meant.
“I will,” you promised, weak to his kiss on your forehead.
Figuring you’d both been stalling long enough, he trailed his last goodbyes for the foreseeable future on the line of your cheek bone, your chin, bridge of your nose, corner of your lips. Wherever. He swept his hand into your own, and brought it to his mouth, hiding the beginnings of his smirk in the smooches to your knuckles. “Was the soda thing too much?”
Grinding dullness to his sharp intrigue, you rolled your eyes. “It was kind of hot, I guess,” you forced out in a monotone droll, feigning harder exasperation when his expression squinched too mirthful.
“Don’t you mean cold?”
You soured, distaste in every syllable, “Criminally unfunny.”
“I know you liked that one, sweets,” he shot back, waggling his eyebrows. “Now, let’s get to that meeting before they get any ideas about us, pretty girl.” He finished with a wink, and two giddy-up clicks of his tongue.
“I hate you.”
“That’s too bad, ‘cause I adore you.”
A few kisses in the alleyway, that’s all either of you asked for. Two minutes alone. Maybe more than three sentences exchanged about matters not pertaining to work. But, no. Even when you escaped the two men at your desk reciting an encyclopedic amount of knowledge about some type of engine you didn’t care about, you were roped into giving directions to the shop over the phone while shuffling through invoices in Mr. Moore’s office. And when Eddie got you pressed against the wall in the storage room, someone yelled for him to help with a rush job, killing the mood. To make matters worse, the grueling week ended with you and Eddie being scheduled on the same lunch slot, but with the approaching deadline for expense sheets being due at the end of the day, you were planning to eat yours at your desk, and avoid the torture of sitting next to him without being able to touch him like you wanted.
You opened the fridge and took out the Buckley special. Yellow squash casserole with a side of Shake ‘n Bake chicken. Eddie’s teal and purple lunch bag contained an extra helping of both. It’d become customary for Robin's mom to cook extra, and pack it away for you to bring for him. His actual lunch was in a paper bag next to it. Big spoiled man.
Speaking of, he was at the sink; sleeves rolled up his wrists, scrubbing himself clean with Fast Orange. Bitter citrus stung your nose as he lathered up his hands, working the pumice into the smudges of grease around his knuckles.
Mr. Moore got your attention without introduction. “I’m taking the wife out to that new Italian restaurant. Should’a asked her if she wanted Italian food, but oh well. We’re swingin’ by the sign shop next to it, and makin’ real sure our logo’s nice and big on that banner for tomorrow.” He accentuated the importance of David’s Auto Repair with high brows, and a canted head. He also managed to pronounce it both Eye-talian, and Uh-talian in the same thought. “Be back in, uhh—hour ‘n a half, maybe?” He swung his keys into his fist on his way out.
The group for lunch would be smaller, then. Maybe you could do your paperwork at the table, and get away with playing footsie with your favorite mechanic. Yipee.
“Hope I’m not interrupting anything,” Kevin announced, and you both looked at him over your shoulders. You were sorting the lunches to get the casseroles in the microwave, and Eddie was rubbing an extra squirt of Dawn between his fingers. Exceptionally mundane. “I was so impressed by that coffee this morning, I’m going down to the diner and ordering myself a sandwich and dessert. Prob’ly finish it up with another cup’a coffee after. Gonna make it a whole forty-five minute ordeal,” he sold the significance with several nods.
His immediate disappearance out the lobby door after his statement was strange, but you shrugged at each other, and went back to the lunches and hand washing.
“D’you know where those bottles of wax are?”
You shook your head. Eddie shook his head slower. A heavy thread of tension bred awareness between your two bodies strung taut from pent up urges.
“Weird,” Carl huffed. “I swear I just had ‘em. Well, shit. Can’t finish this car without at least one. I’ll go pick some up at the hardware store. Be back in a few,” he let you know, voice echoing off the hallway walls on his way to his truck.
Cold, warm, hot. Your blood buzzed. The bell above the front door dinged as it latched closed. Left behind was a lobby empty of people, garage paused in limbo, and a building cast in silence. You turned to Eddie. Dawning comprehension overtook your faces, wide eyes fixed on each other.
“Holy shit,” he exhaled, and you were already shoving your food back in the fridge, smashing his bologna sandwich in the process. Eddie cursed again, “Holy shit!” and snatched the hard bristle brush, scouring the dirt from under his nails, between his fingers, up his arms until the water ran clear and his skin burned pink. The same could be said for the grime on his cheeks. His light blue coveralls were soaked from the water dripping down his neck, but his face was spotless. Only the best for your lips.
“Oh, fuck, Eddie,” came your relief.
He accepted your willowy clutch on his sleeves. “It takes—It takes four minutes to get to the hardware store,” he stuttered in excitement, counting on his fingers behind your back, “so eight minutes roundtrip, factor in another eight for parking, looking for the wax, and checking out. That gives us sixteen minutes!”
Sixteen minutes where? Behind you was a plastic table which wobbled from an uneven foot. In the lobby was your desk in full view of the windows. In the bay were cars neither of you were quite brave enough to chance a stain on a seat.
“Um, um,” Eddie’s quick thinking trembled, about to suggest he take you there on the unforgiving tile floor, when he remembered, “Oh! My van! I brought my van.” He grasped you by the shoulders, shaking passion down to your toes about the hunk of metal parked outside his trailer when you visited. “I brought my van! I brought my van to drop off some amps at Gareth’s before the show!”
Rattled, you went to give him a thumbs up in full agreement, but he grabbed your hand, and bolted. You half-complained, half-shrieked, “You don’t need to drag me!” Reckless youth inspired him, broad grin loud and clear in his unadulterated sprint towards the OPEN sign and flipping it to display CLOSED. You skidded and bumped into him, bodies converging in true laughter. He caught you, he always caught you, and hauled you to the glass door, slowing in a smooth stride to open it for you. Always opening it for you. The garage was baked in sunshine, streaming through the warehouse windows on the bright day. Eddie’s boots clunked loud on the floor. A rock in the alleyway ricocheted off his shoe, bouncing off the tire of your temporary five star hotel.
The covert brown and cream van sat parked amongst the brick, gravel, and curls of dead leaves playing in the gentle breeze. It sat in full view of cars passing on either end of the back street. You hoped they were watching.
He wrenched one half of the creaky back doors open, and ushered you in the hollow between him and the carpeted floor, engulfing your face with his citrusy palms. “Don’t wanna waste a second,” he asserted in a winded breath, blurring your mind with a heady kiss, and impatient pat on your backside.
Rocks crunched under his boots. Two sturdy hands cupped the back of your thighs, helping you hop up onto the back of his van in a thrill of flirty giggles, weak for how bad he wanted you. Your calves slid against the warm metal bumper, your feet dangled by the exhaust pipe, your knees trapped his hips between your legs. His thick fingers sank into your fat, thumbs particularly bruising. Being everything he wanted, you snagged him closer by the collar, mouths almost meeting, and tilted yourself on the outline straining his coveralls, looking into his big brown eyes with a plea when the lone impact sweltered under your skin.
He hiked your knee to his waist, exposing you more to his packed heat aching to see you again. “C’mon,” he said, lips loaded with devilishness, “can’t stand to spend another second out here where I can’t have you.”
Anyone cruising by could bear witness to Hawkins’ number one Satanist loading a pretty young thing in the back of his ice cream sandwich colored van, and make assumptions.
Bless them.
You scooted backwards into the belly of the dragon’s lair. For an old beater used for transporting band equipment, he took good care of it. The carpet was clean. The wood paneling up the sides remained unscuffed. The back seat was taken out to make room for a hard case for a guitar, and two large amps wrapped in a spare comforter to prevent damage on either. And that’s where your observations ended.
Eddie’s indecent gaze was set on the stretch of white cotton under your dress. Nothing could break his stare as he threw his hair in a low bun, grabbed either side of the metal doorframe, stepped one foot on the edge, and bounced the van twice before hauling himself—and his manic smile—inside.
The acoustics amplified the door slamming shut.
His boots made for two heavy lovedrunk steps. Bruises were earned on his knees, dropping to them where your hem had ridden up, keen eyes traveling the valley between your thighs, up to the soft round of your nipples. Expecting his imminent weight, you laid back. Heat from the floor warmed you through your clothes. He crawled over you; one hand by your hip, the other next to your shoulder. You were lying beneath him for the first time, and he behaved long enough to memorize your gentle grin, and adoring squint.
“Oh, you’re gonna be the end of me,” he said, accent thick in his throat, ripe with lust. The gravel alone had your hands on the back of his neck, attempting to pull him down, to continue the momentum. But he didn’t budge. Distant in the blood rush, he found a bit of sobriety to ask, “D’ya mind if I get you dirty? I’m kinda gross.” His coveralls were marked with grime, dusted with dirt, splotched with oil. The overt blue collar status of his job opposed the unblemished burgundy and stark white tee of yours, sitting at a desk and answering phones in semi-working A/C.
You admired the mental fortitude it took to ask you first, but now was not the time to be a gentleman.
“So get me gross,” you replied, and a flicker of revelation stirred in his features. “I want to be gross with you.” You, Munson, The Freak of Hawkins, the one who everyone avoided; he who was rejected for being unapologetically himself. Taking advantage of his solid shoulders, you peeled yourself off the floor, and from the depths of belonging, you set fire to his kindling. “Make me fucking dirty.”
Eddie’s mouth pursed, then stretched thin, cheeks high, crinkling the corners of his eyes. “My pleasure.”
Plush lips crashed onto yours, body covering you in desperation, touch starved. His weight hugged you, pinned you. He flattened his arm alongside your head for support, and welcomed your legs bent around the length of his backside. Playfully suggestive hums followed his greedy hand scaling your thigh. Short layers of his hair fell forward, tickling your cheeks in summer innocence, while down below his thumb grazed the narrow string of your thong strapped over your hip in a fraction of the hunger he had for you. One trace under your panties, and the kiss went sloppy with tongue; slick mouths mashing, teeth knocking, jaws aching, and lips swollen. Aggressive, possessive, and dizzy. Your dress bunched around your waist. Rugged fabric rasped where your chests met. Smears of grime, dust, oil dirtied you.
Because the clock was ticking, you sped things up with a squeeze around his ass. Eddie listened. Oh, Eddie listened. He took the thrust in stride, pressing down on your need, and catching your forehead with his. The pain was negligible. A gift, even, to hold your gaze when you clawed for the waist of his coveralls, and harnessed a hotter tension on your underwear. A concentrated craze blunted by the thick layers separating you. You lifted your hips for him, spurring more, faster, pouring your strength into earning a faint squeak on the van’s suspension.
He nosed your chin up, and slipped painful kisses over your jaw, finding the spot below your ear to laud, like you did to him, sucking and releasing when your whine doubled. “Pretty,” he moaned into a harder kiss along the trail of spit his breath cooled. The edge of his teeth scraped another fragile gasp. He rocked his hips for a better one. “Love the way you sound.”
Grasping for clarity in the haze, you reminded him, “Just for you.”
“Fuck” —his voice cracked in the sprint to recover what those three little words did to him— “that’s fuckin’ right just for me.”
Copying what you did in the breakroom, he brought his hand up from your waist to move your shirt out of the way, exposing the meat at the base of your neck. Too excited, he left a map of his teeth. The bite stung your nails into his back. “Sorry,” he regretted, but you denied your pained gulp of air, rubbing your cheek along his temple in a head shake, S’okay. He ran his tongue over the grooves as an apology, anyway. Tracking the dips and curves, licking, suckling, and nipping however hard he could to make you scratch circles on his scalp while struggling with the two syllables of his name.
His hair smelled of fertile soil and charred earth, a tang of metal and new tires.
You gave yourself over to the garden of his scent, sunshine against your eyelids. Beyond the fatigue in your inner thighs was his constant, eager, chase. Chewing through his leash. Gnawing at his restraints. You focused on the long graze of friction, and forgot your surroundings which did not serve the fleeting jolts of pleasure between your legs, or the groping at your tits. You didn’t know there was an issue until Eddie’s frustrated grunt led to a harder tug at the unforgiving neckline of your dress, and finally, he shoved himself upright.
“How the hell do I get this off you?”
That explains why he was grabbing at both sides beneath your arms in search of a zipper.
Blinking, suddenly coming back to Earth, you contained your snort at his distressed motioning at the offensive garment enough to tell him, “It’s in the back,” and added, “like most dresses made in the last two, or three decades.”
He beckoned for you to sit up—a sharp gesture, but not without reason—and with your arms around his neck, he unzipped it with such speed, the plastic teeth should’ve melted from the traction. As he lowered you, the straps slipped from your shoulders, thick fingers inviting the release down to your elbows, breadwinner fists folding the top of the dress over on itself, joining where the bottom was scrunched around your middle. You’d only shaken the straps from your wrists when your body rocked side to side; a victim to his fumbling way of untucking your shirt, dying from suspense.
Stale air struck you from navel to neck.
His warm tongue was on you. “Oh—mm!” your voice raised a girlish notch. Two fat laps into coaxing your nipple tall, and fresh embarrassment ramped up your cheeks from the choked noise you made. You arched into his mouth for more, seeking foundation on his hands when an accidental skim of his teeth piqued your nerves alight. Rolling your head back, you found him through touch, starting with his wrists, working up to his knuckles, and curved squeeze cupping your tits together. He showed you how his mouth watered at the sight. Switching sides, he gifted the other stiff bud with a wet swirl, slipping over it again and again, gaining a squirm in your hips when he changed the speed—and without a break, he went back to the first to suckle, and his unintentional moan slipped out louder than yours when he pulled off.
He released a ragged breath into the valley between your breasts, “Couldn’t help myself.”
His determination throbbed impressions along your body even after he sat on his knees, leaving aches behind as a result of the sixteen short minutes he had with you. The adrenaline stayed in his shaky fingers. The top button of his coveralls dodged his pinch, eluding him. Another attempt, and a darker shade of red crept up his throat. “God fucking damnit, why’d I wear the ones that fucking button all the way down,” he fumed, wishing he could rip it open like the metal snap pair. You peered at his predicament through your lashes, and helped him out.
You tucked your chin to your shoulder in a pout, and competed for his attention, “Hurry up.”
“I know, sweet—” he verbally hit the brakes.
All too pretty, you pushed your tits together and strummed your fingers over your nipples in easy flicks, using his spit to skate over the peaks. You opened your legs wider, feeling his eyes devour you between the thighs. “I’ve missed you all week,” you said. His pulse jumped at the tiny excuse for underwear wedged further into the split, trimmed hair growing on either side.
Too long of a pause passed where his expression was slack. “Jesus Christ.” Working faster, he tore through the rest of the buttons, possibly losing one in the process, and shucked the jumpsuit over his shoulders. He flapped his arms to get the sleeves off, and his stark black tattoos made an appearance. The clumsy way he undressed shouldn’t have an affect on you, but when he took hold of the stuck cuff and the plastic beads clicked together on his bracelet, fresh roots of attraction thrived. Underneath his workwear a white ribbed tank top stretched over his chest. It must’ve been bought long ago when he was a size smaller, the bulk he’d packed on at the garage filled out the seams to their limit. Soft definition contoured the sun around his muscles. Veins strained the surface of his forearms, streaking shadows through the golden rays. Sparse curls fanned over the top of the neckline, thicker under his arms, and dark where his shirt rode up.
The jumpsuit hung loose around his hips, giving a peek at his boxers.
“You don’t wear jeans under those?”
“No? Did you think I did?”
The thought never crossed your mind until it was the only thing on your mind. You just assumed he would, so you shrugged, thinking of quickies in the future.
Eddie’s tolerance for conversation was low. A shuddered exhale blew past his lips, easing his hand down the front of his coveralls, pumping along the length fighting for his attention while he obsessed with what laid before him. Irresistible temptations which would forever change the way he looked at you were created the moment you touched yourself for him. Two fingers, two little circles over your underwear. You lured him, hypnotized him, sighing sweetly at the satisfaction. His bicep jumped in strength to restrain his pace, forearm pulsing from the choke he had on his base.
“Better calm down,” you teased in a slow lilt.
He scoffed—shallow in mockery, but burdened by the truth of the lines softening around his eyes. Shoving his coveralls low enough for his ego to stretch freely against his boxers, he walked his hands beside your body until his mouth was posed above yours. A suggestion of touch hovered over your knuckles rolling in a rhythm to honor yourself. “I haven’t known calm since I met you.” Your face scrunched cutely at the compliment, and you stopped adding fuel to your fire by bringing both arms around his neck, preparing your lips for a kiss which would not come. “I haven’t known calm since I met you,” he repeated. “So why start now?”
Unexpected pleasure consumed you. Eddie rocked his hips forward, and the raw glide of his cock with the thinnest separation of fabric possible stole anything that wasn’t animal instinct. You locked your ankles behind his thighs, drove the thrust deeper, and he answered by grinding down, working his base between your lips, loyal to you and the sweat beading on his brow.
You wrenched his tank top in your fists and felt it go tight where your chests merged, grazing over your nipples harsher with each rut. His shoulders shifted under your curious roaming, bulk of his body withdrawing. He didn’t stray far, only to tuck his forehead to your neck where he could hear the catch in your throat and the beat of your heart. Cozying to a place so near, you heard his guitar pick schlink past the beads of his necklace. Adjusting, he slipped into a deeper position between your legs, and a kiss was dipped to the top of your collarbone, long lashes brushing your skin as his eyes fell closed.
Cradled as one, Eddie dragged his cock down your heat, and followed the new angle up. Pitiful begs broke faster than his jagged groan. His fat tip notched itself at the top of your tender lips, nestled where your thong gathered, and he kept you on the precipice of your moan—of which you crashed into splendidly.
“That’s—god, Eddie, right there,” you babbled into a whimper.
“Fuck, such a pretty sound, baby,” his voice faltered on the endearment, panting hot and sticky on your throat.
The damp spot on his boxers grew. His unrelenting strokes over your clit fast-tracked you both towards the edge.
“Did you—condoms?”
Perking with interest at your hitched whisper, his stubble scrubbed your jaw in a delight of scratches on his way to nose at your cheek. “Picked ‘em up on my way home last night.” The suggestive rasp in his voice took residence in your rib cage, smitten by the thought of him going through a checkout so he was prepared to fuck you the next day. “They’re in the.. the..”
The rate at which his soul left his body would surprise grim reapers.
“Where’re they?”
Understanding your concern, he kept his eyes screwed shut and whittled at the knot between his brows with his knuckle, drilling away the irritation at himself. “They’re in the glove compartment.. of my car.”
“Oh.” The disappointment was brief. Your body clung to the fever he set, knowing you were both close, and paradise was another weekend away. Thinking quickly, you cupped his cheeks and put a swing in your tone, “We can do other stuff!” Hoping it was good enough, you scrutinized his expression, watching the words register, sink in, brighten his pupils into unholy territory at the idea.
The charm of his dimple was the cherry on top of his two front teeth emerging from the leap of his lips. Earnesty from a thousand endless wells poured out of him, “I love other stuff,” he said, imbuing each round word with a secret.
Jumping up, his enthusiasm was hampered by the roof. “Close call,” he commented to himself, narrowly dodging a concussion. He crouched to some degree, and made his way over to the amps, hiking up his coveralls to his hips as he went. The sheer lust in his weight pressing you to the floor was sorely missed, but you sat up to watch him waddle the amps to the center of the van and tip them, guiding their front plates down flat.
You puzzled out why he would line them up like a short mattress, and began salivating at the thought of him sitting on the additional height, and having his cock better in line with your mouth. “Are those for you?” Eagerness lifted your voice, swam in your glossy eyes. Eddie should be thanking the stars he landed someone so enthusiastic about drinking him whole after putting in hours around the shop, but instead of getting his brain-stopped-working glazed over stare, he slapped the amps twice.
“These are for you, pretty girl. Come sit down. I gotta thank you, remember?”
A memory of torn nylon and unfulfilled promises sparked at his phrasing.
Gotta thank you.
Getting to your feet, you arranged your arms for a bit of modesty, and snuck past the back windows, walking on shaky legs to where he kneeled at one end of the makeshift bed. Pure affection spotlighted you as the sole receiver of his enraptured smile, face aglow. He squeezed the tips of your fingers as you sat, and his lips were the softest thing to grace your cheek. It was the sweetest you’d seen him, especially when he anchored his palms to your hips, and his nerves crept in.
“Just, uh, tell me—or, let me know if I’m doing something you don’t like, okay?”
You tittered, “Okay,” as if you weren’t on the brink of unraveling regardless of skill, or even effort.
Putting faith in the durability of the hard shell encased amps, you leaned back on your hands, lowering to your elbows on the texture plastic, relaxing through the suspense of being on display for someone for the first time—and in broad daylight, too. Dim bedside lamps and flattering angles could obscure much, but why hide anything when your boyfriend spent the better part of his week biting at the cage of adult responsibilities keeping him from you? He’s the one who hid the new order of car wax for an excuse to fuck you sloppy in the back of his van. You basked in his reaction.
Eddie’s hands wandered the curves spread on the pedestal before him. One palm cupped your chest where his spit dried to a sheen, teasing your nipple lightly; juxtaposed, the other shaped itself over your waist and hips, clamping on your knee and smoothing his muzzled grip up your thigh. They joined to ruck the hem of your dress higher. But before the reveal, he bent over the slope of your body to cherish the glitters of sweat sparkling across your sternum. The minutes working against your escapade were unforgiving, but he chose to dedicate a few moments to your natural salt as he hooked his fingers under the stretch of your underwear. The cotton stuck to the praise he’d given you thus far, damp and tight, a work of art. Moving them aside, he stayed kissing the curve of your belly.
Intense, hot-blooded throbs of desperation concentrated on the immediate relief of your wet heat being exposed for appreciating. Fingertips caressed into a curl for his knuckles to adore your puffy lips plumped together, tracing up the other side with his thumb, and cresting the short curls at the top. A tortured lurch in your hips followed his touch when he took it away. Not a strong enough man to deprive his girl for long, he allayed you in kiss down your antsy chase, and sat back on his calves, landing his gaze where his fantasies only imagined.
He didn’t do anything for a few seconds.
Sunlight streamed from the window over his shoulder, shining radiance on the glisten made for him.
His lungs emptied in a thin, wispy breath.
Manners vanished when it came to a starving man. Your excited gasp lapsed into a spell of stunned giggles, which shot into an open-mouthed ah! No composure to spare, he dove in, shouldering one of your legs and hooking an arm around to pry your thong out of his way. Fat tongue, longer than you knew, buried between your lips. Insistent mouth framed by your pussy. Jaw slack to lap up his reward. He leaned his entire being into licking inside you, and dragging upwards, mixing your arousal with his spit and swirling it in a heavy circle. A single direct graze, and your chest rose and fell in stuttered bursts, shaking through the beginning of a sweet whimper. A light suckle from him pulling off to swallow the taste, and escaping your throat was a noise capable of convincing him God was real.
Attentive eyes connected over your mound. Big, brown, and pleased. Pupils inundated by curiosity, yet abundantly aware. Respecting you to the highest degree, he edged his fixation, surrounding your swollen clit with his full lips to feel you throb through the contact. “Eddie—” Your nipples hardened through the helpless pant of his name at the first true suction. Increasingly mesmerized by the response he earned when he added pressure, he stamped his tongue to his top lip and dropped it to his bottom, adding the sort of strokes that had your hand in his hair. “Eddie, you’re gonna make me cum so fast,” you rushed out. The shame in your whisper felt less like shame and more like a compliment when you held the back of his head, and tilted yourself in offering.
In one solid action, you were yanked to the edge of the amp by his grip twisting around your dress, and he looped his arms around your hips to hug you closer still, sealing your gift to his mouth. Muffled whines of gratitude came from his throat, so thankful for the opportunity, eyelashes batting heavily at the privilege of your inner thighs squishing his cheeks. Too beautiful. Could watch it for hours if you had the time.
You stretched out on your five star hotel bed, and closed your eyes, focusing on the articulation of his tongue against your need.
Steady licks devolved into wet kisses sucked between your lips. Pleasure bloomed from the place he persisted, weaving warmth from your stomach to your fingers in his loose curls. You swept his bangs from the beads of sweat plastering them to his forehead, raking them back with your fingernails on his scalp, luxuriating in the connection of your honeyed caress and his moan rumbling against your core.  “Feels so—so fucking good,” you gushed.
The weight of one of his arms let up. Smooth calluses swept to your knee, rubbing the spanse of your thigh before shaking a handful of your fat, and leaving a sting of his handprint behind. Your body rocked from him shifting under your legs. Bumpy actions led to his mouth withdrawing, and the sounds of him making out with your cunt were replaced by your heartbeat hammering in your ears. He sat up to his knees briefly, and came back to tend to you in a distracted rhythm, clothes rustling in the process. A question formed in your head, but before you could ask it, he latched his pout around your clit, and worked you into a frenzy.
Pressure prodded at your entrance. One finger glided in without trouble. He fucked you with two, then. Two crooked inside, knuckles shoved against the hypersensitive skin running slick with arousal. He strove for a response until your heels dug into his back, and he knew the sensations were linked—inside and out, mouth and fingers.
Then he took his hand away.
You were left feeling empty when there was nothing to clench around, but his devotion didn’t waver. Your muscles twitched at each immaculate lick, thighs closing in on him, too close to care about whatever else he was doing. You concentrated on yourself, arching into your hands, spoiling yourself with fluttery traces over your nipples, rolling the buds in light pinches at the enthusiasm he had for savoring you. The constant vibrations of satisfaction he hummed on your pussy were enough to have you dripping, and when his big fingers stretched you open again, pumping you full in a few thrusts along the base of nerves which burned your cheeks, the van echoed every indecent soppy smack.
And again, there was a sensation of him curving his fingers deeper than normal before his shoulder dropped, and viscous yearning flowed after the emptiness.
A repetitive soft thumping noise blended to the back of your consciousness.
Eddie committed his sense of self to making you cum. Learning the unambiguous signs of your release, and being the reason they manifested, became his purpose. Sucking ceaselessly, investing the curve of his lips, his agile tongue, his entire mouth to heed the steady motion. Fingers still coated in sticky lewdness, they returned to fuck you too. Your deep breaths turned shallow, stomach seizing on moans and releasing them in trembling gasps. Waves on waves on waves of bliss crested under your hot skin, and your voice went too tight in your throat to not drive him crazy, “Eddie, I’m gonna—!”
Groans in the lower octave of a man enjoying himself shaped your release crashing over you.
The intimacy of his tongue on your oversensitive clit was incomparable, sending you into shamelessly grinding on his mouth, huffing out tiny whimpers as your muscles braced around him. Tighter, and tighter, until the tension became too much, and you were shivering for his mercy, riding the last jolts of your climax snug against his nose. “Please,” you squirmed for less, then when he gave you less, your ankles locked behind his back through the torture of a few more.
Doses of euphoria swam in your veins. Sinking from your high, heaviness blanketed your limbs. Bonelessness seeped from top to bottom. Tingly warmth took over, relaxing you to a state of clarity, flourishing in the scratch of Eddie’s five o’clock shadow on your inner thighs. He let go of your underwear, issuing an apology for where the material cut into your skin with a gentle roam over your hip as both hands left you.
The bend where the underside of your knees draped his shoulders bounced at an impressive speed.
You peered over your curves to sate your curiosities. Eddie’s temple rested on your leg, bangs askew and hair a mess of frizz and curls stuck to the sheen on his neck. He’d yet to move from his position, laying his head where he could, face angled to admire his work, eyes heavy-lidded past the point of inebriation. Ambient sun decorated the glisten around his mouth. A gleam of drool wet his red lips, flushed darker than his cheeks, which he pressed into a slow swallow over your tender cunt.
His exhale cooled the wetness before his tongue warmed it up.
A sharp hiss jumped into a whine of his name. “S’too much,” you strained. A wrecked man, Eddie couldn’t hear you through the pride you afforded him, flirting delicate kisses on your overworked clit, surrendering to the hold you had over him, and reveling in the aftermath of making you cum. Gradually going limp, his nose mashed to your mound, mouth hung open, pushing your orgasm in lazy laps. Another cry, beg, aftershock of his name and the burden of his forehead fell to your hip crease, filling his lungs in uneven drags. The break in sensory overload was appreciated; a sigh of relief.
You sat up and dropped your legs from their mantle, intent on clearing the fuzz from your mind, but—Eddie’s elbow rubbed a fierce tempo along your calf. The motion synced with the fast-paced squelch you heard earlier, before it faded to the background along with the soft thump and rustle of clothes. All of it came together in an echo of answers. Straightening up further, you witnessed exactly how worked up he was over your pussy.
Speechless awe overrode your ability to form sentences 
In the gap framed by your thighs, his body shuddered through the fervent strokes focused over his lap. With his coveralls slacked to the tops of his thighs, he cupped his balls over the waistband of his boxers, skin bouncing in his palm, soft grip protecting their load while his other hand worked his length. Clear slick trickled over his knuckles, fingers slipping over the cream gathered at the head and guiding it down. Absolutely candid in his attraction, he fucked his fist using your arousal as lube.
In just a few twists over the blushy needy tip, he pumped the base in effort to make himself last, and peeled his sticky cheek off your thigh, looking up at you. Whiskey eyes awfully honest, awfully clear and round, he said, “You’re about to make me cum so hard.” In the vocal pause, the wet glide of his palm drove him to the edge, and his tone grew pointed as he went beyond the point of slowing down, “Like, now.”
The reason behind his direness took a moment to register, but when it did, panic flickered through you.
“Oh—shit—uh,” you stuttered. He needed a place to cum, and in your post-orgasmic daze you dropped your chin to think of your tits first, but had the wherewithal to decide against the possibility of him misaiming onto your dress. Beside you, the blanket was mostly stuck under the amps, and there wasn’t an extra rag in sight. His tank top was an option, but you thought of a better one. “My mouth!” you insisted with a gesture. “I’ll—” swallow.
Eddie was already to his feet. The van rocked with his heavy boots, wide stance stretching his coveralls tight around his legs, and undershirt pushed up out of the way. He braced one hand on the roof, cushioning his head bent to the metal in order to stand, and resumed his pace. You stuck your tongue out. The immediate pressure of his cock prodded the flat middle. Tasting yourself for the first time, the tang was surprising, but welcomed by the familiar salt leaking from his tip mixing with your spit. Warming up to the blend, you swirled sultry licks on the sensitive underside he avoided, and his tattooed stomach clenched.
Sitting pretty, you knew what he liked and cupped your tits together, gazing up at him with a submissive pinch between your brows. “So goddamn hot,” he grunted out, jaw clenched as if he were mad, stroking himself faster. His middle finger rammed over your lip on every pass. It might swell. It might bruise. “So—mmm—f’king hot.” Breaths jagged, his thighs flexed from the buckle in his knees, staggering him a step forward enough to put tension on your gag reflex. You clutched his jumpsuit into your fists. His rough groans shook through his stature. Building cusps of his release stuttered his hand flying over his cock, jerking himself off in bursts as pleasure peaked under his skin. The scrunch of concentration above his nose deepened. His stomach tightened in pulses, pecs jumping with his gasp, “Gonna,” and he was spilling into your mouth.
A moan made its way through your throat before it closed in a quick swallow. Tongue out, he trembled as he coated you some more. The first two shots were heavy, the rest followed suit, filling you for another round which you accepted with your lips snug around his fat tip. He doubled over at the achy raw sensation of your cheeks hollowing. Baby, he throbbed into you, flinching, yet giving. Allowed, you polished swirls over the throbbing head, lapping up any remains. You sat there with his clean cock in your mouth, meditating on the line drawn from the tattooed dragon wrapped around the sword pointing at the trail from his navel to the thick patch of curls at his base, which you could only reach when he was going soft, as he was then.
He tucked himself into his boxers after you pulled away, and sank to his knees. The sweat on his forehead merged with yours, oily noses pressed together, eyes hardly open as he trusted you to hold him up. “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that,” his voice came hoarse with sincerity, anchored by the current of true longing flowing from the depths of his past. “How much it means to me, making you feel good like you make me feel good.” For Eddie, having proof of the good he could provide for you validated parts of himself he hadn't acknowledged for years. “Sorry I made it about myself in the end there. I, uh—ha—I couldn’t help myself when you were getting into it, and saying my name, ‘nd stuff.” Your bark of laughter encouraged his shy giggle, all bashful and humble.
Kissing his smile, your lips connected on the fated scents of each other after a hot and heavy day at work, and he sighed into palms fitting themselves to his jaw, mouth fixed in a taut smile as he worked through the happiness welling in his throat.
You told him, “Make me cum like that, and you can do whatever you want, Munson.” He snorted at his name, and played with strands of hair over his face, hiding his stupid grin. “I’m serious. Not that I thought you’d be bad or anything, but that was beyond good. Like, really good.” You should stop talking. “And it was flattering. Like, hot. It was really hot,” you decided, “knowing you couldn’t stop touching yourself—”
“Stop,” he complained in an embarrassed whine. Unable to take praise outside the heat of the moment, his gaze made friends with the floor while he mumbled about how he was a motivated learner and pulled out all his tricks to impress you, tucking his chin to avoid owning his skill. He dropped the act on a dime. Pointing, an overabundance of pride entered his tone once more, “You, uhm.. you christened my amp.”
“Huh?” You spread your legs to see. Utter mortification stung your nerves at the sticky stream of arousal, spit, and climax drying down the side of the plastic, wetting his piece of expensive equipment. “Oh god, I’m so sorry! Is it okay? Did I damage it—?”
“I got it,” he said with a firm hand to your sternum, laying you flat.
The low rumble in his throat drew near. Staying gentle, he parted your slippery split in a deep lick to your inner heat, running his tongue in broad strokes up the extra passion made just for him, quenching his thirst before your lunch break rendezvous was over. An appreciative kiss was bestowed on your clit before he smoothed your underwear into place. He wiped his mouth with the back of his wrist, and helped you up. The amp was left how it was.
Eddie opened his arms, and you understood. Moving slow through the syrup in your limbs, you straddled his lap, settling yourself over his softened cock, sensitive selves brushing through clothes. He reached behind him and popped open the door. Fresh air smacked rivers of sweat, cooling and calming. You melted into the other’s embrace, bonding in the last moments of your time together.
Sun glanced off the wood paneling, casting a glow on his puffy face. Sleepy eyes, messy hair, unbearably adorable grin—the type of candid expression showing how honored he was to share the same breath in the limited space between your chests. Lovesick eyes, bed head, face he’d have to wash in the bathroom sink with hand soap. So handsome. You combed the delicate hairs at his nape up into his bun, scratching tingles through his body. The threat of being caught was ignored for one minute longer.
Traces of humor rounded his clipt tone, “I need you next weekend. ‘Kay? I don’t care what we gotta do—if we gotta send Buckley off on some island vacation—I want some real alone time with you.”
“What? Is the van not good enough?”
“No,” he answered your tease with a serious drawl, raising his eyebrows. “This was just to hold us over until then. I don’t wanna make a habit of this, ‘cause then this? This is all I’ll think about when I’m supposed to be, y’know, working. Fixing shit. Not.. picturing you with your tits out.” Speaking of the distraction, he tugged your shirt down, and you fell into a fit of giggles, snickering against the crook of his neck as you stuffed the hem in your dress, and he crawled the straps up your arms, managing to zip the back up without looking.
Of which your good mood dwindled when you collected yourself. “Aw..”
“Yeah, it’s kinda worse than I thought it’d be.. Sorry.”
Dirt, motor oil, grime. Streaks, smears, smudges. And plenty of it. The burgundy dress he adored was visibly ruined, and only half way through your clocked-in hours.
You found the silver lining. “Guess I’ll wear black from now on.”
“Black looks good on you,” he assured. You reared back to assess the damage, and he filled the stretch of his palms with two handfuls of ass, ensuring you didn’t lose balance. Always willing to be of assistance, of course. “Oh, and may I say, genius planning on your part with the car wax,” he stressed his admiration of you. “Can’t believe I didn’t think of that myself.”
Not following, you stopped scraping your nail over a patch of dust clinging to your white sleeve. “I thought you hid the car wax?”
The next line was predictable. You would meet eyes, wait a beat, and deliver ‘Then.. who did?’ However, Eddie proved his impulsive thoughts won when devious shadows crowded the hook of his smirk, dimple arising. He opened his mouth, and you knew no good would come from it.
“I didn’t even fuck you, and you already can’t remember where you put the—Gah!” He shrieked at your pinch on his nipple, and the van rocked harder with your combined laughter, obnoxious in every organic way.
Casual wasn't an option when you wore this dress. Dialed back lost its meaning one root beer ago. The afternoon delight would live in the fibers of your unspoken language every morning when you looked at each other; coffee, cigarettes, spearmint. Goodbye normal workplace relationship, and good riddance.
Carl entered the lobby with confusion on his brow. He eyed the CLOSED sign on the door, and shuffled the bottles of wax loaded in his arms to turn it around, almost dropping them in the process. Earsplitting guitar licks and shrill vocals belonging to Iron Maiden beat on the windows to the garage, drawing his attention to the half-dressed mechanic ripping a bite out of his bologna sandwich, and flipping a socket wrench in his hand, head banging along to his music. Carl slid his side-eye away. Questions were not asked on his walk past your desk, merely serving a glance at your forkful of perceptibly congealed squash casserole which hadn’t been microwaved. Better yet, he didn’t address the canvas jacket you wore despite the visible shine dotting your forehead, nor your wheezing breaths as if you’d sat in your chair approximately thirty-nine seconds ago. He continued down the hall in silence.
The hair on your nape stood on end from someone’s gaze on you. The correct choice would be to ignore it, keep your head down, and finish the expense reports due by the time Robin picked you up. But like a good bitch, you submitted.
Waiting for you was Eddie’s cocky grin. Through the dusty glass pane indulgent curves of mischief edged his eyes into smug little crescents glinting from the secret between your bodies. Boundless amounts of vanity broadened his chest, pecs jumping as he tightened the sleeves of his coveralls tied around his waist. He peacocked in a slow turn to bend over the engine he was working on, shifting from foot to foot and leaning his hands on the car, flexing through the motion to catch swathes of shadows on the swell of his triceps leading to his hardened shoulders, strong back taking shape under his tank top. Mesmerizing. You couldn’t begin to imagine a world where you could keep the dreamy sigh out of your voice when Carl’s bewildered question arose.
“Wait—Were these here the whole time?” Judging by the plastic bounce and cardboard scramble, he had dropped one of the bottles, and when he dropped to his knees to grab it from behind a mop bucket you forgot to empty, he spotted the box of car wax you ordered at the start of the week and misplaced amongst the chaos in the storage closet.
“Oh? Were they?” you wondered. Stuffing the casserole in your mouth, the fork tines scraped across your teeth on its way out, chewing with your cheek propped on your fist. Blinking sleepily at the purply blue bruises you left on Eddie’s neck the morning before, you replied from faraway, “Weird. Thought I left them on the shelf.. Maybe the garage is cursed like Hawkins, too.”
3K notes · View notes
luv4berry · 3 months
earth 42 miles × reader at a dinner with the readers parents + mama rio and uncle Arron?
also when i tell u im in love with your work! that shi has me kicking my feet😭🤦🏾‍♀️
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control yourself.
earth 42!miles morales x fem!reader
SUMMARY: you go out to dinner with your parents, mama rio, uncle aaron and your beloved boyfriend, yet he can’t seem to control himself even in the presence of your parents.
GENRE: fluff <3
WARNINGS: kissing, parents being parents, loverboy miles, clingy miles, suggestive jokes, make outs in the bonus scene.
AUTHORS NOTE: ngl i struggled to write ts like shit, anyways thank you for your request and im deadass cheesing so hard rn thank you for reading!! (p.s, if you left anything in my inbox i HAVE seen it and i will get to it eventually!) hope you like it!
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you zero in on miles’ eyes as they dart between your own eyes and your phone. you give him a suspecting look from the other side of the table before bringing your phone out under the table seeing as he’s already filled your notification dashboard.
miles 💓
bathroom? 👀
baby pleaseee
you did ts on purpose
holy shit you’re so fine
yk the sundress is lethal baby please 😩
you glance up giving him a stern look, shaking your head and mouthing a ‘no’ as your eyes flicker towards your parents as well as rio at the front counter of the restaurant. to the right of miles is uncle aaron, his eyes set on his phone as he took occasional glances at the two of you.
you make direct eye contact with miles for just a moment before letting out a sigh of defeat, nodding towards the family bathroom to your left. you don’t miss the hint of a smirk plaguing his lips, rolling your eyes playfully at his smugness.
to avoid raising suspicion, you stagger your way towards the family bathroom first—adjusting your slate colored maxi dress in the process. he watches as you disappear into the bathroom, brown eyes scanning the premises before he also gets up to dismiss himself.
“don’t think ion see you, player.” uncle aaron mumbles, grinning at his nephew.
“honestly don’t know what you’re talking ‘bout.”
yeah, they were definitely related.
you soon feel a pair of hands curve around your waist and whisk you around, your lips immediately beginning to twitch upwards. “your moms gonna kill you.” you say as he sways you side to side, his hands resting on your waist.
“us. she’s gonna kill us you mean.”
“the hell did i do? you’re the bad influence here.”
“you been giving me all sorts of eyes ever since we got here, don’t do that.”
“or maybe, just maybe you’re deluded and nasty.”
“mhm.” he hums, his hands slipping below your waistline.
“hands goin’ a little low there bud.”
“oh im bud now? thought i was your husband?” he nuzzles his nose into your neck, recalling you calling him that earlier in the day.
“my what? who said i was gonna marry you?” you tease him.
“stop playin’ with me.” he kisses his teeth at you, his chin going to rest on your shoulder as he continues to sway you side to side. after about 2 minutes of silence, his lips begin to inch towards the skin behind your ear, placing a singular kiss to test the waters. when you don’t react, he goes in for another one. when he’s met with silence yet again he goes in for a third—but before they make contact with your skin you place your palm over his lips.
“miles, no.” you give him a forbidding look, “you forgetting where you at?” you shake your head, the clinginess of this boy was unmatched.
“keep kissing up on me like my parents won’t hang me and then you.” you side eye him, unlocking the bathroom door checking the coast.
“why you keep running from me? you scared or something?” he questions you as he crosses his arms over your abdomen, pulling you back into the bathroom with him. he softly pecks your cheek a few times before he begins to kiss up the nape of your neck, your body noticeably relaxing in his arms. when you feel your senses begin to cloud with a familiar feeling, you catch on to his underlying motive.
“morales, you trying to seduce me?”
“‘course not,” he pauses for a moment, “is it working?”
“no comment.”
he smirks against your skin as your eyes close for a moment, allowing yourself to relish in the moment for some time. you also allow his fingertips to dance along your sides for a bit before you snap back to reality. you bring your hands to your abdomen, clasping them with his and turning around to face him. he gives you an unsatisfied look, aware that his time with you is up and you’d have to return.
“i’ll go first, come back like 5 minutes after me.” you cup his cheek, placing a short but meaningful kiss to his lips. you smooth out the wrinkles of your dress, peaking out the door before waltzing down the hall.
when you arrive at the table, you get a knowing looking from your parents, shaking their heads at the antics of teenagers. before you sit down you go over to rio, flashing her your best smile as she gives you a loving kiss on the cheek. you also give uncle aaron a proper greeting, giving him a side hug. soon enough you sit down quietly as the table makes small talk, occasionally checking for miles around the corner.
you zone out for a bit before you’re nudged in the side, your mom leaning into your ear, “you can tell your lil boyfriend he can come back now, we’re not stupid. i was a teenage girl too you know.”
you noticeably jerk in your seat at your mothers comment, diverting your attention to the empty space beside you where miles was supposed to be.
this type of response wasn’t exactly strange when it pertained to miles, out of all your boyfriends he was definitely your parents favorite. before miles, you’d never had a boyfriend come over unannounced just to talk to your father about whatever basketball game had occurred hours before. nor had you seen your mother continuously pester you to invite her “son in-law” over again.
unbeknownst to you, they both recognized that same spark from when they were teenagers growing up in brooklyn, climbing into each others windows at absurd hours of the night just to see each other, or cruising home together after school hand in hand while listening to 90s r&b. they were beyond joyful you had each other to stay on the right path, to not fold into the cruelty of the streets. it was no different with miles side of the family. rio knew that her son had been through a lot, from the death of his dad, to the stripping of his childhood. she saw you as something to bring him back to life, to provide him with joy that would serve him for a lifetime when she was gone.
though, with that being said—yes, you still had to leave the door a crack open whenever he was over, no he couldn’t sleep over, no you couldn’t sleepover. yes, you had been sat down multiple times. yes, miles had also been sat down countless times. again, your parents were teenagers once too, and they knew exactly what teenagers got up to. but, you still had that benefit of the doubt not to do anything they wouldn’t do… partially.
your tense posture relaxes when you see miles emerge from the corner of your eye, approaching your mother and father with a knee buckling smile. before he greets your parents, he approaches his mother. rio stretches out his cheeks, mumbling a “adónde fuiste?”
he greets your mother with a kiss on the cheek paired with a side hug and your father with a dab up. as he takes his place next to you he nudges your thigh, a slick grin still plastered on his face from earlier. you lightly slap his hand, muttering a “behave,” under your breath.
“i gotta ask,” uncle aaron speaks, “how’s the guy doing?”
“oh, him?” you point to him using your thumb, “he’s a pain in my—” miles sends you a side eye, waiting for you to finish your sentence as uncle aaron lets out a boisterous laugh.
“you’re asking y/n? she’s just as difficult.” your father teases from the other end of the table. miles pokes his tongue against his cheek in an effort to prevent a laugh from spilling from his lips due to the truthfulness of your dads statement. you glare at the both of them, your eyes narrowing at their teasing.
“but seriously, how are you guys?” your mother pitches in, genuinely curious.
“he’s alright, i guess.” you playfully state while smiling to yourself.
“she cool, i guess.” miles fires back at you while also smiling.
you lightly punch him in the shoulder, staring at him while fighting the ache in your cheekbones due to how much you had been smiling.
your parents nudge each other in the side as their eyes rapidly bounce between the two of you, silently thinking the same thing, ‘they’re literally us.’ rio and uncle aaron also look at eachother, smiling amongst themselves at the interaction.
it was nice to see miles drop his stoic persona for once, after the death of his dad it was nearly impossible to catch him smiling even slightly. if rio was able to see her son smile like this all the time, then she would gladly welcome you into her home anytime.
“glad to hear,” she smiles, “listen, you have my full permission to slap some sense back into him the moment he starts acting a fool, you hear me?” her eyes bounce between the two of you.
“don’t gotta tell me twice, mrs. morales.” you laugh.
your parents call over a waiter to check on the status of their order, the tables attention redirected for a bit. you soon feel miles lips graze your ear, softly saying “who you gon slap? you know i’d fold you in half, stop playin’.”
after knowing miles for as long as you have, you’ve come to learn that his words tend to have a double meaning. in the rare cases that they didn’t, it would be pretty obvious due to either the tone of his voice, or by his body language. in this case, your suspicion was confirmed by the tone of his voice.
“why does your mind work like that?” you turn to face him.
“ma, you know why.”
“i really don’t.”
“it’s the y/n effect.”
“i know you not over there making moves on my daughter!” your father calls out, miles backing up from you immediately.
“never, sir.” he leans back while laughing.
“been waiting to do this all night.” miles says as he drags you outside the restaurant while your parents cover the tab.
you quietly laugh when he backs you up against the wall as he shamelessly attaches his lips to yours, his excitement piqued when you return the kiss. his hands trail up and down your body as they fiddle with the straps of your dress, your hands moving up to sensually caress his neck. you fondle the end of his braids, wrapping your arms around his neck.
caught up in the moment, you both fail to realize the chime of the restaurants bell till you hear the clearing of a throat and the shout of your government name. your eyes widen as you quickly shove miles as far away as possible, returning to your respectful places on the stone pavement.
“damn, in the middle of the street? have some decorum at least.” uncle aaron tuts in the midst of your parents wide eyes.
yeah, you were definitely getting the talk tonight.
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love, berry.
5K notes · View notes
halcyone-of-the-sea · 4 months
ooh im glad!!! so, expanding on that then..
how about price with a civvi wife/gf, and when they’re talking over the phone while he’s gone, she’s being kinda cagey and definitely omitting something, but he doesn’t know what. so when he gets back home she tells him she’s pregnant? really just a lot of fluff (and maybe angst? 👀 like about how his job is super dangerous and he might not come home, so he has fears about it?? bc your angst is so good it makes me sob violently /pos)
ive never sent a request before, so if this is too specific or something, feel free to whittle it down or toss it, i don’t wanna bug you lol
have a good day hal, love u!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our Remains
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Pairing: John Price x F!Reader
Synopsis: You disliked hiding things from John. Certainly something as big as this.
Word Count: 4.8k
Warnings: Pregnancy, allusions to breeding kink & unprotected seggsy time, morning sickness, angst, major fluff at the end
A/N: This was an adorable request, Anon!! Thanks so much for sending it in.
*I do not give others permission to translate and/or re-publish my works on this or any other platform*
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You disliked hiding things from John. It not only felt like a betrayal of his unlimited trust in you but also a slap in the face for what you had built with each other. The both of you were always honest to a fault when it came to your relationship—like how a bird was loyal to the sky. It was an unselfish principle; a promise of pure love and devotion that transcended touch or given gifts.
You told each other things. Everything. Down to how much you had spent on groceries that day just because it was something to talk about and share; something that made you closer to one another even when you were apart. You told the Brit what you planted in the back garden—what shirt you were wearing!
But now you hold the ringing phone in your hand and for the first time in your entire relationship, you consider lying. 
Your eyes bore into the icon of John’s smiling face, head covered by a black beanie and beard tilted up softly. Affectionately, his name on the device had been changed to ‘Grumpy St. Bernard,’ but now the title made your lips go thin instead of the usual giggling reaction. No heat spreads over your cheeks; no excitement.
Just an overwhelming sense of dread.
The week had started just as the last three had. A special form of hell. At nearly six o’clock you would whip back the covers with all the fervor of a terrified rabbit being chased by a hawk; the taste of bile immediately snapping you to attention as the toilet acts as your commanding officer. 
You imagined John would get a chuckle out of that comparison, but when you’re hurling up your guts in nothing more than a pair of your boyfriend’s boxers and a tank top it’s hard to think about all that. The taste of bile was still lickable from your lips as the bathroom tile digs into your knees, ringing phone still in your palm. 
The idea of a pregnancy test slid into your subconscious in the first week of John’s two-month deployment, the tantalizing thought that was like a hook to a fish. You had pulled on the string, of course, and had instantly drowned in air. But you hadn’t taken one until now. Too nervous, perhaps. Hesitant. 
In your other hand, opposite of the buzzing phone, you held three positive pregnancy tests in a shaking grip. Pink and white plastic mock you from the corner of your vision; two double lines. 
John’s icon dims. 
You press the green circle in your panic, mouth opening and closing yet no sounds escaping. Would you tell him now? Later? Was it right to tell him about this now—when he was halfway across the continent? Fear overtakes your heart for no apparent reason. You didn’t want him to act rashly, especially when John could act so stubborn when he wanted to. 
He was always so concerned about you when he was away but you were concerned just the same. That man was the one who was getting shot at constantly, not you.
“Took you a while to answer. Trying to give me the slip, then, Sweetheart?” John’s gravelly voice helped slightly, making your heart still, even if for a short moment. You close your eyes and tilt your head down, lips quivering at the soft chuckle over the line.
God, you loved him so much.
Blue eyes furrowed in confusion at the silence on the line, the chilled Switzerland air sneaking inside John’s compression shirt as he stood on the hotel balcony. The sounds of gentle conversation twitch his ears from inside the room—the voices of the One-Four-One a dull mumble behind the half-closed sliding door. They had been playing cards before the Captain had easily slipped away to check up on you. 
He tried to call as often as he could. 
John’s hips shift, one arm crossed over his chest as the other presses the phone harder to his ear. Lips pull to a frown, beard bristles going with them, before the lines on the Brit’s forehead grow larger.
“...Love?” Naturally, a sliver of concern wedges itself into his ribs but it subsides when your calming voice spreads honey over the call. John’s shoulders fall back down. 
You breathe deeply, hands dropping the tests onto the bathroom counter with a small clack of plastic. 
“John,” forcing away the hitch to your words, you stare at yourself in the mirror, free hand sliding up to lightly rest over your collarbone as a soothing method. Your eyes are so filled with shock that it throws you off. “I…I wasn’t expecting a call so soon.” 
“Hm, been up since 0500.” the man grunts, looking out over the city and seeing the rising sun before asking softly with a deep-set brow. There was something about your tone…lids narrow at nothing. “Did I wake you?” 
“No, no,” You force a chuckle, having to take a deep breath before ripping your sights from your own reflection. The disgust was settling at you trying to avoid this. But if your own brain could barely process this right now, what gave you the right to tell John when he wasn’t here? “I’ve been up for a few hours.”
Licking your lips, you run a hand over your hair, glancing out of the ajar door into the master bedroom, pushing out bland answers for only the fact that you couldn’t think clearly right now.
Jesus, this was actually happening. 
You study the thrown covers from your morning rush to the bathroom, seeing the pictures on the nightstand and feeling the delicate atmosphere that was sparking—electricity between atoms. A silent moment of realization that everything down to the bare bones of your relationship was about to change. Blinking back to the tests, you dwell in the strange fuzz that took residence in the back of your mind. 
“What’s been going on?” Your voice isn’t right. Too tight. Too…nervous. Why were you nervous? “Everyone good?” 
The Brit frowns stiffly, shifting his feet again and sending a look back into the hotel. Hunching forward, John’s large fingers fix the position of the phone as his voice lowers, ignoring your question entirely. He doesn't want to jump to conclusions, but there were pros and cons to his line of work. 
Above all, he knew when something was up with you.
“Are you alright over there, Sweetheart?” Blue eyes rove the street below, “Feelin’ okay? You sound a bit stuffed up.”
Your heart lurches, quickly stuttering through an explanation of, “O-oh, I think I just came down with something.” The irony wasn’t lost on you. “A stomach bug,” you cringe, “I’m sorry, was it that obvious?”
The laugh that exits is less convincing than you thought it would be, but it does the trick. John sighs in relief, chuckling as he shakes his head.
“No need to apologize, Love…anything bad, then? I can bring some meds from Base when I’m back if you need me to.” He was still concerned for you, but knowing that you’d never lied or withheld the truth from him before there was really no reason to believe that anything else was going on. John trusted you to the end of the earth. 
The Captain rubbed at the back of his neck, cracking his spine as he bent back. It was still early and waking up on a hotel bed without you beside him was torture. John longed for home. Longed for you.
Back at the house, your face scrunches together. 
Bad? You wonder, saying absentmindedly that some medication would be lovely. Was this…bad? 
John had always wanted to have a kid—or, at least, he’d told you as much when he was above you, filling you to the brim and then doing it again a second and third time. Thighs quivering and eyes fighting to stay open through layered bliss as sharp pants rung in your ears. 
“Gonna get you pregnant…watch you swell up…c’mon sweet thing, you can handle another one, can’t you? Need to watch it take.” 
…But was that a true feeling or just a kink? You blank and realize you’d never asked him. More than that, though, was this what you wanted? 
“When do you think you’ll be home, John?” You speak softly, palm flattening over your stomach as you exit the bathroom and sit on the end of the bed, gut swirling but not in a nauseous sort of way. “I…I really miss you, y’know? It would all be better if you were home.”
The brunette blinks softly, lids peeling back in shock for a moment before a thin thread of guilt worms its way into him. 
“Kate said two months, Love,” John speaks slowly, the grumble in his voice trying to convey his unease at your strange behavior, “You know that.”
He’d explained his job when you both had gotten serious, how he would be gone for long periods of time, and the somewhat uncomfortable situations you’d be put in because of it. You’d agreed and never brought it up when John would have to leave in the small hours of the morning and disappear for months on end. It shocked him, really, with how well you adjusted but that was just how you were. One of a kind. 
There was no one else with whom John could see himself building a life—being buried beside in some nice meadow grave plot and turning to dust together. Growing a family with. 
John cleared his throat, tilting his head down slightly before pulling himself back to the present. 
“It’s bothering you that much, eh?” His brows furrow, “Are you sure you’re alright? I can call hospital and—”
“No!” You slap a hand to your mouth, halting your outburst as blue eyes go somewhat wide, jaw slackening. Taking a breath over the shocked silence over the line, you dig your fingers into your cheek before letting your limb drop. “No, John…I-I’m sorry I just…” 
Your voice quivers.
Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry…
Eyes burning and nose twitching, you breathe heavily, mouth closing shut because you knew that if you say another word you’ll explode. You were shivering with cold sweat, scared and confused, and wanting John to hold you in his arms; whispering that it would all be okay into the shell of your ear. 
You force through a sob, “I’m just really scared.”
John tenses, one hand going to grasp the balcony with white knuckles. His mind goes into overdrive. “Scared?” the Brit prods, muscles going stiff and mind running, “What in the hell is going on?” 
Authority leaks into his tone, serious and deep. It made him nervous that he couldn’t see you right now—couldn’t stop the sounds coming from your mouth. Why were you crying? Has something horrible happened to you? Were you in trouble but were unable to tell him? John runs over your conversation again, every word and sound, as his heart races. He was wound up like a spring. 
From behind him, the conversation in the hotel room halts. 
You force your eyes closed, now up on your feet and pacing. Tears lightly patter to the floor. 
“John, I can’t tell you over the phone,” you admit, shaking, “that wouldn’t be…wouldn’t be fair to you.” Swiping at your eyes, you spread the salty liquid away from your lashes, sniffling; praying that he would understand. “But I really need you home as soon as you’re able. I don’t want to break up what's going on over there, it’s just really important. I don’t think I can wait two months by myself. You know I would never ask this if I didn’t need to.”
John’s jaw clenches, legs unable to stay still as your anxiety leaks to him. He’s nodding before he realizes you can’t see him, taking a deep breath to fill his lungs. 
“...I’ll see what I can do, then.” The brunette runs his hand over his beard pulling at the strands aggressively. What was so crucial that you can’t tell him over the phone? It was a secure line, John always made sure it was; yet, at the same time, that fact didn’t matter at all. If you needed him home so fervently—then he was coming home. That was that. “How long can you wait for me, Love?” He spares a glance inside. “There are a few loose ends that need to be taken care of here. Might complicate things.” 
You blink around the bedroom, hand wrapped around your middle and trying to run soothing circles into your skin. 
“I…I don’t…” John’s face softens, closing his eyes.
“Breathe, Sweetheart,” he whispers, “I’m comin’ home to you. We’ll get whatever this is sorted, yeah? I need you to be brave for me until then.”
Listening, you let the words calm you down, sniffling one last time like a kid who had fallen off the monkey bars before you let out a chuckle. John instantly follows his own advice when that sound wafts over the line. His shoulders fall back once more, silent sigh exiting.
“You said that exact same thing to me when I ended up burning that loaf of bread I was making—two years ago, was it? ‘Breathe, Sweetheart.’” Blue glimmers with love, cheeky tone growing. 
“Hm, nearly set the kitchen on fire, didn’t you? So much smoke I swore someone had set off a charge in the oven.” John doesn’t push you to answer him, though he’s more questions than anything else at this point. You’d said you would tell him when he’s home and he believes you. “Please, Love, at least promise me you didn’t burn the bloody house down, yeah?” 
A laugh strikes his chest, and he’s chuckling slowly in retaliation. 
“I promise, John.”
“Good.” You’re smiling for the first in what seems like ages, tears drying as the flood down your chin stops. You lick away the water stuck in the corner of your mouth when John grunts lowly, “I’ll tell the boys and inform Laswell. But I can’t say it’ll be less than two weeks.”
Nodding to yourself, you say, quietly, “Okay.” Your eyes fall to the framed picture on the nightstand—the image of John and you smiling brightly on your third anniversary. You’d gone hiking, both sweaty and dirt marks on your cheeks, but happy…always happy. Your veins pump blood faster. “I love you, John.” 
The final comment is tender; the words are more silk and soft furs than vibrating vocal cords. 
He blinks away the blush that lights his pale cheeks. John huffs, an infectious smile flickering over his face as his chest wells with affection. Acting like a bird preening itself, he smirks and says, “Well, you’re lucky then…I love you too, Sweetheart.” An exhalation echoes over the call as his tone drops, “Keep safe for me, eh? I’ll call to update tomorrow.” 
“I’ll be waiting.” 
When the phone is set down on the bed, tossed down carefully, you try to think over this situation more rationally. You wouldn’t say you were against this—building a family with John. In fact, if not him, then you don’t believe it would be anyone else. 
The Brit was the only man for you. You both knew the risks of having unprotected sex and in reality, you think neither one of you cared about the consequences. 
Nodding to yourself, you wonder how to explain this to him when he comes home as you get to fixing the sheets, one hand always drifting back to your stomach with a growing appreciation.
John jogged to his car in the underground parking garage, unlocking it with his fob as his bags are slung over his shoulders. He wastes no time chucking his belongings into the back seat, swiftly sliding into the driver's seat and slamming the door shut as the engine starts. His dog tags bounce on his chest, but he’s half convinced they move from the rate that his heart is going alone.
All through traffic his fingers are tapping against the wheel, grunting stiffly at red lights and shifting his hips. 
It had been three and a half weeks of fixing loose ends. 
“Fuckin’ hell, c’mon,” John huffs, one elbow on the car frame as his hand flattens over his lower jaw. The light slowly snaps back to green after a long minute. 
Pressing on the gas, the vehicle moves forward and continues until the familiar home comes into view on that quiet street nearly twenty minutes later. 
John barely parks the car before he hops out, leaving his bags in the back, and rushes to the door. Taking the key from under the doormat, his mind is focused on only you. He had been unable to stop his worry about you and your unnamed fear, watching the phone with every free instance he could. It had only grown as the days got longer, and no matter how much you assured him that you would be okay until he got back, deep-seated apprehension grew. He didn’t like living under a shroud, especially when it came to your health.
The key in his hand was inserted with a firm wrist and twisted, shoving open the door with a heavy shoulder like there was a cloud over his head.
“Love?!” He calls, not bothering to shuck off his boots before looking around the visible living room and foyer. “Where are you?” 
Long legs move swiftly as an utterance calls from the kitchen, barely taking the time to close the door behind him in his anxiety, “John?” 
The Brit immediately backtracks, skidding to a stop and turning with blinking eyes. His ears twitch at the sounds of dishes being dropped back into water, as his heart steadily slows at the sound of your beautiful voice calling his name. 
He rushes around the doorframe, feet stomping and hand catching the wall as you come into view, staring wide-eyed. 
Your digits are around the fabric of a dish towel, fingers dripping as John finally presents himself to you. You hadn’t heard him until he had called out, too preoccupied with your own thoughts to hear the lock click. 
But now it was like every worry you had was wiped clean at the sight of that gruff face; the hitch in his large chest. A smile slashes your lips after a moment of shocked silence.
“John!” You laugh, rushing forward, and the man lets his face soften—bringing you close to him as you draw near and trapping you in his arms. 
His breath spread out over the top of your head in a great sigh, grumbled chuckles accented by the way John’s great hands wrap around your shoulders. Fingers press you into a solid chest, digging through hair to let your ear twitch at the sound of his heartbeat. 
John doesn't speak until he has held you in his arms for at least three minutes, just pressing his face into your scalp and feeling your warmth against him. You don’t pull away either, breathing in his musk as it instinctually leads to your muscles loosening. 
Minutes later, the Brit pulls back slowly, gripping you by the shoulders and looking down into your eyes. His gaze filters over yours, taking you in before his lips meet yours in a brief yet deep kiss. You melt into it, hands going to grip his cheeks and spread throughout his beard hair, soft strands leaving you shivering when John’s thumbs rub circles into your flesh. 
He pulls back and you fight the tears in your eyes as he connects his forehead with yours. His optics shine with love, bleeding out like trapped stars; silver flecks of devotion and a blue the color of sea storms.
“What’s going on, Love?” John whispers, concern alight and raving as his grip goes to your waist, squeezing comfortingly. “I’m here. Tell me.” 
You blink slowly, lips going thin with tight brows. Swallowing through a tight throat, you nod. 
“Can you go sit in the living room, please?” Speaking carefully, you tilt your head and watch John get confused—his nose scrunching and moving his lips together. You run your thumbs over his cheeks and smile slightly, obviously nervous again. “Trust me.”
Though it wasn’t a question, John replies under his breath, “Always.” 
But still, he holds you, studying your expression and the whites of your eyes with stiff lungs. You were making him fear that something horrible was coming—something he couldn’t control. His heart begins to hurt, but he backs away from you, brows tight as he exits the kitchen and disappears into the living room. 
Taking down a swift breath when he’s out of sight, you fiddle with your fingers above your abdomen, looking down at your still-flat stomach. You knew it was stupid to worry, but how could you not? It wasn’t every day you just told your Lover you were pregnant with his child…
“John loves me,” you mutter to yourself, nodding and getting ready to go through with the plan you’d formed over the three weeks you’d been alone. “And he’ll love the both of us. I know he will.” 
Hand flattening over your stomach, you open a drawer with the other, pulling out a small cardboard box no bigger than a book. Fingers shaking, you lick your lips and feel the slight pull of a nervous, yet giddy, smile. Turning, you exit the kitchen and see John sitting with his nose resting above the clench of his fists, foot tapping. His head immediately snaps over when you come into view, hands falling to hang off his legs as the couch under him dips from his weight. 
You steel yourself and raise the box. 
“Here.” Placing it on the coffee table, you sit across from John in an armchair. 
He blinks slowly, eyes going small with curiosity. The man sends you glances through his lashes as he stares down at the object but he says nothing. Rubbing his beard with one hand, he reaches and grabs it carefully. 
Testing the weight, John is genuinely confused, clenching his jaw and feeling the material in his palm. 
“...What’s this, then?” He asks lowly, glancing at you with a raised brow and lines on his forehead. 
You put your intertwined hands in your lap, prompting with a tilt of your shoulders. 
“Open it.” Off put by your cryptic answers, John nods firmly, grasping the top of the box and pulling lightly, careful not to disturb the contents. It was strange to think, but he was honestly quite perturbed. 
What exactly was inside this box, and why had he been called home for it? He loved being here, no doubt, but the circumstances….
Blue eyes glimmer. You didn’t look overly afraid as you shifted in your seat, just plain timid—like the inside object would change something fundamental about his and yours relationship. 
John pops the top off and looks as you start talking before your throat threatens to shut you up. “I…I know it’s not a life-threatening thing to call you home for,” the man stills as if he was made of stone; a statue as non-breathing and pulse-less as anything, “But I didn’t want to tell you over the phone because that seemed so—!” 
Your voice is drowned out as John’s shaking fingers delve into the box, ears ringing. His fingers flinch off of three positive pregnancy tests and the soft fabric of the plain army green baby onesie that surrounds them; skimming slowly. 
“I found out the day you called and I said I had come down with something.” Your laugh is strained when it exits you, and you stare at the Brit hard, seeing his features utterly halt all expression. Thumbs digging into your skin, your tone drops, speaking slowly, “...John? A-are you okay? Say something to me, Love.” 
It’s only in that long minute of nothingness that you really start to get an all-consuming tenseness to your bones like a rabbit. 
Why isn’t he saying anything? 
John clears his stiff throat, blinking rapidly as he brings out one of the tests, dropping the box lightly to the coffee table with a dull thump. The twin red lines are ingrained into the softness of his retinas as the sun would be if you were to stare directly at it. 
His heart swells to an almost painful degree, blue eyes moving to look at you across the table and then dipping to your stomach. The Brit stands up slowly. 
Your lungs are tight, lids moving quickly with wetness growing in your tear ducts. 
“Please, John, what are you thinking—?” Large hands capture your arms, bringing you up as lips meet yours in a passionate and heart-stopping kiss. 
John’s limbs wrap around your hips, bringing you up into the air as gently as a bird, face parting from yours with a series of loud and genuine laughs. You snap your arms around his neck, shocked but not at all complaining as he holds you up with ease, twirling you around in a firm but ever-gentle hold. 
“You’re pregnant?” His whispers meet you, airy and deep with awe. It was like he was in his teens again, running around Herefordshire with his mates—his eyes shone with happiness; pure unabashed love. “Oh, truly, Sweetheart?”
Tears dribble down your cheeks at the sight of him glowing, beard peeled back in a large smile with wet eyes. Hiccuped giggles leave your lips as you nuzzle your face into his neck, the sight of him like this overwhelming. All stress leaves you in a millisecond when your feet hit the ground again. 
“Yes, John,” you sob, overjoyed, pulling back so you both can stare into each other's teary eyes as the Brits’ fingers go to shakily wipe the waterworks from your under eyes. His orbs flicker quickly, looking you over in an entirely different light. “You’re going to be a father.” 
He fights through a scratchy voice, “Me?” The tone is amused, but he can’t articulate how exalted he feels to hear that. A father…him? It was more than he could have ever asked for, and, even better—John whispers out, “You’re going to be a mum.” 
You kiss him, multiple quick pecks that he returns through shared joyous chuckles.
“I didn’t want to tell you over the phone,” the confession meets the air as one of John’s hands travels to cup your flat abdomen, fingers flinching over the fabric of your shirt to sneak under. You laugh and shiver at his calluses, as his blue eyes are so soft they could be compared to butter. “And I couldn’t wait two months.”
“Christ, Love,” John lays a kiss on your forehead, needing to be as close to you as possible. You can feel his heart through his chest, and you know yours isn’t any better. This was far more than you could have hoped for. He mutters against your skin, “I’m so glad you didn’t. This is bloody amazing news—I want to be here for all of it.” 
Sea storms lock onto your face with a grunt, “You’re so lovely. Perfect, yeah?”
His warm hand still rests under your shirt, and you doubt it’s going to leave anytime soon.
You feel your cheeks heat and you smile bashfully, heart about to explode.
“You are.” John reiterates. “You’re so fuckin’ perfect, Sweetheart. I’m so happy.” 
The air is ripe with tenderness, a soft state of being that just keeps getting better. John had silent tears dripping down his face, blinking to clear them and not letting you leave his hold for a second. 
“Oh, John,” you whisper, digging your fingers into the back of his shirt, looking up. “Me too, Love.” 
While the glee is nearly physical enough to grab, there is a moment of hesitancy in the Brit. He was gone more times than not for work; put into situations that could leave him going through bodily harm. You didn’t deserve that stress—didn’t deserve to sit at home with a swelling stomach just watching the door and wondering if you’d have to become a single mother. You had a child in your womb. His child. Both of yours’ child. 
A family that you both had made.
John swallows and says to you seriously, without an ounce of hesitation in his blood, “I’m telling Laswell to pull me out,” you blink up and listen, letting him continue as his press on your flesh gets even more prominent, nodding to you, “I’m not missing this—not putting you through that worry. Two years, then I’ll head back in. We have enough saved, I give you my word you’ll want for nothing.” 
Blue eyes flicker down, and a small mumble so tiny it nearly disappears hits your ears. You almost start sobbing again. “This is more important. You both are more important.” 
There were few moments in your life that you think you’ll remember when you are old, weathered and wrinkled, but this you tell yourself is one that you will carry to your grave. John and yours’ grave. 
What remains behind, you ask? Simple.
White bones entangled with an eternity of deathless worship, and the generations that will come to lay flowers on the headstone.
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3K notes · View notes
toxicanonymity · 4 months
that scream blurb that you posting about Ghostface being unconscious and the reader testing to see if he’s hard…. you have to make the full fic now pleaseee omg it was so good
Every inch
1.4k / ghostface x f!reader / from blurb.
Slasher master list
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Warnings/notes: I8+ mdni noncon (ghostface unconscious), somnophilia. Based on the car scene from Scream II, but it's modern day (cell phones exist).  You can HC this as anyone with a dick. he's night walks "coded" if you read my other stuff.
Your skirt grazes his robe as you carefully stretch your right leg over the driver’s seat, trying not to touch him, trying not to wake him up.  It’s tricky crawling over Ghostface to get out of the car.  He smells faintly of weed and sweat.  You’ve never been close enough to smell him before. You’ve never been close to him at all for more than a few seconds, always with his knife in hand.  You hear him breathing behind the mask and assume he’s knocked out from the impact of the crash, but can't know for sure. 
He could be pretending for his own amusement, planning to taunt you then stab you at any moment. You’re going to have to open that car door sooner or later - it’s the only one left you haven’t tried.  It'll definitely make a noise. You hover there straddling him, delaying the inevitable. Straddling Ghostface, you think to yourself. Is this a nightmare? 
What if the nightmare became a wet dream? It’s always turned you on, at least a little, but especially lately.  It’s been harder and harder to separate arousal from fear.  You’ve wondered if it was a sexual thing for him, the way he pursues you.  Stabbing is penetrative after all.  Does the thought of killing you turn him on? Would it turn him on to wake up to you straddling him?  After all, he’s only a man.  Why not, you think.  This could be your best chance to find out.  This might be the most power you’ll ever have in the situation.  You’re turned on thinking about it.  If you’re mere seconds from potential death, you have nothing to lose.  Plus you're curious what's under all this, and it's too risky to lift up his mask.
You slowly lower yourself into his lap, throbbing at the possibilities of what might await you.  Your heart pounds in your chest.  You put your hands on the edge of the seat to pull your body  closer and your heart nearly stops as  your inner thigh softly nudges  his hand.  But he doesn’t wake up – or if he does, he doesn’t show it.  Emboldened, you lower yourself a little more until your damp panties arrive at a warm bulge in his robe and your breath hitches.  He’s only somewhat hard,  but obviously packing.  He still doesn’t move.  His chest is rising and falling with his breaths.  You know he’s alive.  Unable to resist, you lower yourself a little more.  You tilt your hips and gently grind yourself against his package.  
Fuck it feels good, and the fact that it’s Ghostface, the one who’s been stalking you, killing your friends, trying to kill you - that gives you such a rush.  The tables have turned.  You’re on top of him now.  You look around for his knife and it’s landed on the floorboard along with his voice changer.  You reach down to grab it then quickly stab it into the back of the driver’s seat at an angle so you can grab it if you need to but he won’t know where it is.  Then you return your crotch to his and a bolt of arousal slices through you when his hard package swells against you.  Holy shit he's hung. You slowly roll your hips against him, grinding into him, trying not to be too aggressive, but it’s hard to control yourself. 
His breathing changes and your heart jumps to your throat. You wonder, Is Ghostface seduceable? It might be your best shot if you're already getting his dick wet when he wakes up.  But there's always the chance he reacts violently, and now that you're up against him, it's clear you'd be no match for his strength.
Then you have a thought.  You carefully lift his gloved hand, and he doesn’t react.  You lift the dead weight of his heavy arm all the way above his mask, and he still just sits there, breathing.  You pin both his hands above his head, between the metal pegs of the headrest. His hands are large and the two of them together barely fit through the gap.  Then you slam down the headrest, pinning him there by his wrists.
His mask moves.  He seems to look at you.  Then a soft, low sigh.  You lower your crotch again and he’s harder.  You rub yourself against him slowly with your hands braced on the seat and have to stifle a moan in the shoulder of your dress as you grind against him and his cock swells even harder.  A soft groan muffled by his mask makes you wetter.  
You’re going to have to have him.  This is your chance and you can’t resist it.  Your inner thigh muscles begin to fatigue as you push yourself off his lap to hover again.  You lift up his robe, exposing PJ pants. Strange and not at all imposing, but convenient.  You arrange the robe behind his raging erection, then take a deep breath and pull down his waistband.  His stiff member stands at attention. You cover it with your warmth before the cool air wakes him up. A stab of desire shoots through your core as your wet panties meet his hard cock.  You rub yourself against him and your clit throbs.  Your core aches to be filled. 
You pull your panties to the side and nestle the swollen head of his cock at your entrance.  Then you sink down and fail to suppress your gasp at the stretch.  He moans but doesn’t move.  Your body makes way for him as you slide down and sheathe him entirely with your cunt.  His cock is nice and thick, it makes you feel so full.  It’s crazy this cock has been under the robe the entire time.  You wonder if you could just fuck from now on.  If he’d agree not to kill you - that is, if the threat of it doesn't turn him on.
You rise up, then sink down on him again, his size making you grateful for your ample wetness.  You lift and lower yourself and roll your hips into him. You try not to breathe too heavily as you feel it building in your lower belly.  You start to ride him less restrained, unable to resist fucking yourself on his nice, hard cock.  
His mask begins to move as though confused, and he grunts as he tugs at his arms,  unable to free them from the headrest.  He’s groggy and weak.  You’re not going to stop. You're too close to coming.  You greedily keep filling yourself to the brim with him.
His mask looks right at you. “Always wanted this cock,” ghostface says weakly, making your heart race.  “Knew it.”  Then it echoes from the voice changer on the floorboard.  Always wanted this cock.  Knew it.   He tugs at his hands more violently, then gives up.  
“Nasty girl,” he says, voice getting stronger.  Nasty Girl. 
He thrusts his hips up powerfully and you moan uninhibited. He thrashes his arms and stabs upward with his cock, bouncing you on his lap with the power of his hips.  Your whole body tingles and tenses, then you bite your own arm as your walls clamp down around him.  You come on his dick, then pull yourself off and he groans in frustration but has no way of getting you back.  
You open the car door and you’re torn about whether to make him come or leave him with blue balls.  You decide to jerk him off as a power move.  You kneel into the open door frame of the car.  You wrap your hand around his girth and fuck his fist.  “All ya had to do was ask,” he says.  All you had to do was ask.  You grab the voice changer and throw it down the street.  Now he's nothing but a man with his dick in your hand.
“Woulda given you every inch," he says. Maybe every inch of his blade.  He nods down to his crotch. "Now you know." His voice is coming back to full strength, smooth and low. It's a voice you can't quite place.
You know you should stab him while you have him tied down, but you're thinking with the wrong head now, unable to bear the thought of this cock going to waste. You slow your hand way down and edge him mercilessly.  His big, stiff cock twitches in your hand and you can tell he's dying for more.
You take your phone out of your bra and take a short video of him trying not to whimper, dick sprouting out of his unimposing pajama pants.  Then you finish him off and take a dick pic selfie with cum all over his robe.  You take the knife out of the back of the seat and leave him stuck in the car.
Thanks @darkscape for helping me brainstorm his tagline. 
6K notes · View notes
asahicore · 3 months
kiwi and layla - sjy
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pairing. jake x fem!reader synopsis. in which you mistake jake’s backpack for your own, making you each go home with the other’s bag. both of you are too curious for your own good, so you quickly find out that you excel in the subject the other is failing - a mutual tutoring agreement ensues, and it turns into much more than what you had expected. genre. high school au, f2l, lots of fluff and some angst too, f2l, shy reader x outgoing jake warnings. food & swearing, mention of parent death and divorce, kms jokes, jake being stupid but also really cute (lmk if i've missed any!) word count. 26.3k a/n. this is part of the unexpected collab !!! go check out the other fics and caelin thank u for hosting <333 hope u guys like this one, it took me a while but i had so so much fun writing it !!! i love my jakey in here he's a little bit confused but he's got the spirit. @zreamy thanks for being the world's awesomest beta reader and a decent friend ig... 2 baddies wouldnt be the same without you... lifeguard wet body sunghoon coming soon guys dont miss it! as always pls remember how important reblogs and feedback is for us writers!!! it's what keeps us going <3 enjoy!!
listen to the playlist!
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This was not your backpack. 
In your defense, it looked so similar to yours - scratch that, it was the exact same as yours - that you couldn’t possibly have been able to tell the difference between the two bags until you’d opened one of them. Just a basic black Eastpak that probably a hundred other kids in your school owned with nothing to tell them apart, because you hadn’t had the mind to add a little something to it and make it recognizable. You hadn’t really needed to - your backpack was always on your back, next to your seat or in your locker. There was no way you might lose it or mistake it with another.
Until today, obviously. Instead of having a chill last class before spring break like every other teacher, your psycho math teacher Mr Choi had decided to give you a major test on this otherwise beautiful Friday afternoon. While other students watched a movie or played Kahoot, you were stuck in a cold classroom with algebra questions in front of you. Mr Choi had argued that this would be better than having a test after the holidays and ruining your time off with studying, but a test was a test, and math was math, so you hated the idea anyway. 
To eliminate all cheating possibilities, Mr Choi made his students only take a pencil and eraser with them, leave their bag at the back of the classroom and put their phone in a box he kept on his desk. Plus, with his hawk eyes watching intently, there was no way to sneak answers on a small sheet of paper or even on your palm. 
When the test was over, your brain was so fried and you were so eager to get the hell out of there that you didn’t even notice the two identical black backpacks next to each other, you just grabbed the first one you saw, not even questioning that it might not be yours.
And indeed, yours it was not. From your snooping around, you quickly found out it belonged to one Jake Sim. 
You knew Jake. Although you’d been attending the same school for the past three years, you could probably count the number of times you’d talked on one hand - but you knew him. Or at least, you knew of him. You knew that he was good at STEM subjects and that he was on the soccer team; you knew he was a really sweet guy and was easy to talk to, even for someone shy like you. 
Most importantly, you knew he was friends with Park Sunghoon. This was important because you had liked Park Sunghoon since the moment you’d laid eyes on him - or rather, your whole friend group had. It might’ve sounded extremely odd to others, but you and your friends had a few random people at school you liked to keep tabs on or create backstories for, and Sunghoon, because of his dashing looks that had struck all four of you in your first week of freshman year, was one of your victims. Well, you liked to think of them as characters on a TV show rather than victims, but to each his own. Your other characters included that popular sophomore who already considered herself a celebrity because of her ten thousand followers on TikTok anyway, the French and Spanish teachers you were sure had a thing going on, and that one guy in Yena’s biology class that only showed up every two weeks but always looked stoned (hat guy, Chaewon liked to call him, even you’d never once seen him with a hat on). It was all harmless, really - none of you ever actually went up and talked to them, just discussed them among yourselves.
Perhaps Sunghoon was different, because each of you had had a class with him at some point, so you’d all had at least shared a word with him. You probably hadn’t talked to him more times than you’d talked to Jake, so the information you knew about him was pretty surface-level - he was an ice skater, but everyone knew that, and he was shy like you, which was immediately noticeable. He also had one of the most handsome faces you’d ever seen. But again, everyone who saw him knew that.
You, Yena and Chaewon had debated whether one of you should just go ahead and make a move (Hyewon didn’t participate because she already had a boyfriend, but she was all for approaching the boy). You guessed you could describe what you felt towards Sunghoon as a sort of crush, even if it was one you shared with your friends - you found him cute, and you got nervous when he was around. But you were more the watch-from-afar-and-pine type, so you were satisfied with liking him from a distance. You didn’t think you actually had the guts to strike a conversation with him - that was more Chaewon’s thing.
However, this didn’t mean you weren’t curious about the contents of his best friend’s backpack. Your being shy didn’t mean you weren’t interested in other people’s lives - if anything, you were quite nosy. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but you were just a regular teenage girl, so this was fine, right? After just a few minutes of snooping, you found out Jake Sim wasn’t hiding any big state secrets in his Eastpak, anyway. Just some textbooks, notebooks, and a lot of single sheets of paper. It was pretty messy in there. 
Your idea of him being good at STEM subjects was correct - he kept all of his graded tests in the sleeve pocket of his math notebook, and there was not a single one that had received a note under 95. He even seemed to be doing some extracurricular exercises - there were formulae that were completely unfamiliar to you and that you were sure you hadn’t done in class. You found it slightly insane, but that might have just been because you despised math and wouldn’t understand why someone would want to do more of it than was required of them. 
His English homework was another story. His essays had more red from the teacher’s pen than his own black ink, and from the grades on his reading comprehension tests, you highly doubted he’d actually read any of the assigned books. You weren’t in the same English class but apparently had the same teacher, Ms Park, so you were studying the same thing. You couldn’t help but cringe as you read his answers on a Pride and Prejudice reading test - he seemingly kept mixing the sisters up, assigning actions and character traits to Lydia that clearly belonged to Jane. At least he somewhat got Darcy right, writing that “he’s probably not as bad as he looks,” with no further explanation. 
As you aimlessly flipped through his English notebook, curious about the way he took his notes - or if he even took any - you noticed some scribbles in the margins. Looking closer, some of them were in his handwriting while others were in an unfamiliar one. It looked like some sort of conversation, so you assumed the other writing belonged to his deskmate. You also did this with your friends in classes where the teacher was very strict about no chatting in class.
dude coach said if I fail any of my classes I would be out of the team, you read Jake’s handwriting.
Wait seriously????
yeah and I suck at english so Im scared it might actually happen
You just need to study more bro
bro I DO but this shit is hard
Then find someone to help you
neither of you guys is that good in that subject either tho
Ok ouch but also just find someone else then
bro who
IDK man 
Y/N maybe ? she’s good at English and she’s nice so she might say yes 
there you go about y/n again dude MAYBE you ask HER to teach you some sonnets
Shut up you’re the one who needs help dumbass
whatever isn’t it weird just asking her randomly though like i dont want her to feel like she has to say yes
Lol if she sees your grades she might do it out of pity
fuck u man
You were surprised to see your own name written there - it felt weird knowing that Jake and his friend were talking about you, for some reason. And what if that friend was Sunghoon? You had a hard time believing he not only knew you existed, but thought of you as good at English and nice. You liked to think both of these things were true. 
He was also spot-on about saying you would agree to helping out Jake in those subjects, but what he got wrong was thinking you’d do it out of pity. Clearly, you and Jake were in very similar positions. You didn’t have any sort of club you’d be kicked out of if you failed a class, but it sure as hell wouldn’t look good on your college applications, so you needed to get your math grades up. 
Jake and you both desperately needed something the other person could help with, so you had a feeling he wouldn’t turn down the offer that was brewing in your head.
This was not Jake’s backpack.
He noticed it right away - it was much heavier than his own and the straps were tighter around his shoulders than they should be. He looked inside for some clues about who it might belong to, and luckily, the first thing he found was a journal that had Y/N’S DIARY written on the cover page in big, pink letters. 
Unluckily, however, he’d also noticed that you had practically sprinted out of the classroom as soon as the bell rang, and indeed, you were already far gone when he tried looking for you around school. He had to get to soccer practice anyway, so he put the issue to the side for the time being.
When he got home, he had to shower then have dinner, so it wasn’t until 8 p.m. that he remembered he had your backpack. He had meant to text you straightaway about it, and he knew it was wrong to look into someone’s belongings, but he couldn’t help himself, especially when his best friend Sunghoon had liked you for ages. Maybe this was an opportunity to find out more about you.
Your mind-blowing grades in English don’t come as much of a surprise to him, and after reading through your most recent essay, he thought you definitely deserved them. Your essay was on a Shakespeare play he had never heard of - you apparently also had Ms Park for English, and he didn’t know she was doing Shakespeare in class, so he wondered for a second if you were actually crazy enough to read another book and study it. As if 300 pages of Jane Austen weren’t enough as it was. 
What shocked him were your math grades. It was like looking into a fucked-up mirror: while you excelled at English, you sucked at math; while he excelled at math, he sucked at English. You were just as close to failing your math class as he was at failing English.
Now that he thought about it, maybe Sunghoon’s idea hadn’t been so dumb - you could help him out, and he had an actual argument as to why you should, rather than just using pity on you.
As he put your stuff back in your bag, he was reminded of something - your diary. For some reason, the pretty floral pattern on the cover made him feel even worse for opening the journal in the first place, but he did it anyway. Either you’d only just picked up the habit of writing in a diary or you had finished your previous one recently, but this one seemed pretty new, as only about ten pages had been filled with your neat handwriting. Judging from the dates at the top of almost every page, you wrote in there everyday, and Jake only felt even worse that you hadn’t been able to write in it that day.
Still, he flicked to the first page and started reading. And he read and read, unable to take his eyes away from your diary. He thought he wouldn’t have cared much and a page would have satisfied his curiosity, but the way you wrote about the people around you and about yourself fascinated him. Basic high school things like friend drama and annoying teachers actually became interesting through your words. You didn’t use particularly complicated sentences or unheard-of words, on the contrary, you used simple language, and that spoke a lot more to Jake than any of the classics he’d attempted to read for class. 
And then, he saw an all too familiar name in an entry dated from just a few days ago. 
I sat next to Sunghoon today. It was during physics and both of our desk partners were absent, so Mrs Kim made me change seats. She always does this, and I used to wonder whether she hated to see an empty seat or to see a student sitting on their own, but whatever the reason, today, I was just happy about it. This isn’t our first time sitting next to each other in class, but I was still nervous, since I wasn’t expecting it. I hope he couldn’t feel the awkwardness practically oozing off of me or the way I very obviously struggled with the exercises (obviously, anything to do with math is not my forte). We shared my textbook because he’d forgotten his, and he showed me his notes when he saw I couldn’t keep up with Mrs Kim as she told us what to write down. We only exchanged a few words but I was satisfied when class was over. It’s odd, because you’d think someone would want to talk to the person they like and get to know them more, but I don’t feel that with Sunghoon. Maybe it’s because we’re both so introverted, and he seems to have just as hard a time as I do starting conversations, so I’ve sort of accepted our silent fate. I’m fine just continuing to steal glances at him from across the cafeteria. 
After that, there were a few more pages of writing up until yesterday's entry, but it was the only mention of Sunghoon. Jake had apparently been wrong to think that a girl’s diary would be full of rantings about her crush and things along the lines of “omg, he looked at me today”. 
But you had very clearly referred to Sunghoon as the person you liked, and Jake wasn’t going to let that go so easily. This was precious information that he held in his hands now, so he had to figure out how to deal with it properly for your sake as well as his friend’s.
Turns out there was more he could help you with than just algebra.
Seeing Jake Sim in a setting other than school was slightly odd, if you were being completely honest. 
You had just been about to text him about the backpack mix-up when you’d received a message from the man himself, asking if you could meet up the next day to exchange them. In response, you’d asked where you should meet, thinking he’d offer either his house or yours, or some halfway point between them, but he surprised you by proposing some café in the center of town. They have good hot chocolate there, he’d said, and that had been enough to convince you. 
And also I have something I want to talk to you about. 
Your stomach had turned at this message - what on Earth could Jake Sim need to discuss with you had been your first thought, and then you realized you also had plans you wanted to share with him. So his idea of going to a café was actually good for you, too.
You’d only been waiting for about five minutes when he appeared at the café, red and panting from seemingly sprinting to his destination. 
“Y/N, I’m sooo sorry,” he immediately said when he saw you waiting. “I was planning to be early, but when I got on the bus I realized I literally forgot your bag, so I had to go back but the next bus wasn’t for another twenty minutes so I just ran the whole way here, and now I’m all sweaty, and I’m late, and I’m really sorry.”
He’d rushed through his sentence and was breathing heavily as he looked at you expectantly, waiting for your answer. He seemed so genuinely sorry for such a small thing that after your surprise faded, you started laughing. It was his turn to be surprised, and he immediately stopped talking at the sound of your soft giggles.
“It’s okay, Jake. I haven’t even been waiting five minutes,” you explained, smiling. “Let’s just go in, yeah?”
Jake’s heart did something weird just then, and the feeling was so unfamiliar and confusing that he decided to promptly ignore it. As if in a daze, he stood still for a couple of seconds until the sound of a bell ringing, the one the café had on its doors to signify the entrance or exit of a customer, snapped him out of it. He followed you into the shop, let you order and pay for you both (“I’m the one who took the wrong bag, it’s the least I can do,” you’d said) and sat across from you at a booth in the back.
You gave each other your respective bags back, then started chatting as you sipped on your hot chocolates (Jake had been right - they really were delicious). He was surprisingly easy to talk to, and whether he sensed you were a reserved person or was just naturally talkative, you liked that he both managed to do most of the talking and ask you loads of questions at once. Usually, you wouldn’t have really cared to listen to someone go on and on about their passion for soccer and the recent game that their team had won, but for some reason, you were hooked on Jake’s every word. The way his eyes widened in excitement as he recounted the winning goal he scored, the way the volume of his voice decreased as he filled you in on the team gossip even though no one was listening to your conversation, the way his grin turned into a proud smirk as he mentioned his coach congratulating him - every single one of his actions had you mesmerized. You’d never seen anyone so expressive in their speech, never seen anyone punctuate every sentence with a movement or a facial expression. It was just fun, listening to him.
Even when he didn’t talk, he stayed expressive. He asked you whether you did anything outside of school, and he listened intently as you told him about the theater group you’re in, humming and nodding and laughing at all the right moments. Usually, you wouldn’t have talked about it for more than thirty seconds, afraid to bore others with unnecessary details, but Jake’s reactions and the questions he asked made you actually feel listened to and like what you were talking about was interesting. So you grew more confident and told him what you loved about acting and about theater, about your own gossip (the arrogant actress who got the lead role and thought she was better than everyone else, that one guy who was clearly flirting with three girls at the same time), and you almost couldn’t believe Jake seemed so entertained by your stories. 
“So, you said your group focused on more classic plays, right? Does that mean you’re good at English Lit?”
With his spoon, Jake scooped some whipped cream into his mouth, hoping he was appearing as nonchalant as he was trying to be. He had to make you think he’d deduced that just now and not because he had been snooping through your backpack just the night prior. 
You, however, could not have cared less how he’d figured it out - you were just grateful he had segued into this topic of school and grades, because you’d been wanting to bring it up yourself but had no idea how.
“Um, yeah, actually, it’s my best subject. Math, on the other hand…”
You chuckled as his eyes widened and he leaned in across the table, pointing his spoon at you as he spoke. “See, that’s interesting, because math is my best subject, but I suck at English Lit.”
“Oh, really?” you asked, trying to sound genuinely surprised even though this piece of information was not at all new to you.
“Yeah,” he said, looking back down at his almost-finished drink with a small smile on his face.
“You know-”
“You know-”
You and Jake had spoken at the same time, and your eyes locked for a second before you started laughing. You gestured at him to go on first.
“I actually need pretty urgent help in English. Coach said he’ll put us out of the team if we fail even just one of our courses, and I’m very close to failing that class.” He took a moment to let out a sigh. “So, if you want, we could help each other out. Me with math, and you with English.” 
His eyebrows were slightly furrowed and he bit his lip as he looked at you expectantly. You thought he looked far too nervous for such a simple request, expression more like a boy who’d just asked his crush to the prom rather than offering mutual help you both desperately needed. You couldn’t help the smile that grew on your lips - you had never known Jake Sim to be so… cute. But he was waiting for an answer, so you pushed the thought out of your head.
“That’s a great idea, actually,” you replied, as if you hadn’t had the exact same idea. You were just relieved you hadn’t even had to bring it up yourself. “I also really can’t afford to fail math. It would look terrible on college applications.”
Jake let out a long, loud exhale. “God, yeah, college, I hadn’t even thought of that. Even more motivation to get better grades now,” he said with a chuckle.
You chuckled along, then cleared your throat and sat up straighter. You watched with amusement as Jake mirrored your actions and even the fake serious frown in your brows. You presented your hand for him to shake, which he did without hesitation.
“So it’s a deal then. We’ll tutor each other until we’ve gotten our grades up.”
“Deal,” he replied. As you both withdrew your hands, he dropped his serious facade and burst into giggles, a sound you hadn’t expected from the boy but somehow fit him well. You watched his face closely for a second, noticing the curl of his lips and the crinkle at the corner of his eyes, before breaking into laughter yourself.
You stayed in the café for another half hour, going over details of where and when you’d meet, of what exactly you needed help with (“Everything,” you’d said, to which Jake had replied “Same”), and just talked some more.
“I’m taking the 53 that way,” Jake said when you exited the café, pointing towards the bus stop.
“Oh, so am I!” you exclaimed.
“Seriously?! What’s your stop?”
And that’s how you and Jake figured out you only lived two bus stops away from each other. 
“That’s so cool! It’ll make it easy to meet up then,” he said, and you hummed in agreement. After a pause, he added: “But if we live so close to each other, how come we didn’t go to the same schools earlier? Aren’t you usually supposed to go to the one in your district?”
“I used to live in another part of town,” you explained. “Then my parents divorced when I was in middle school, and I stayed with my dad because he lived closer to the school I was at, but I moved to my mom’s place for high school.”
“‘Cause she lives closer?”
“Yeah, basically.” There was more to it, but you didn’t think Jake would be particularly interested in your parental issues - although you surprised yourself for even considering telling him. If Jake sensed that you weren’t saying everything, he didn’t push, just swiftly changed the topic as you waited for the bus to come.
When you got home some time later, the first thing you did was open your diary and start writing. It had felt wrong not to write in it even just for a day, so it was a relief to feel the pages between your fingers and the familiar scent of the paper and your perfumed pen. You wrote without thinking too much, simply letting all of your musings out into your diary and freely brushing the tip of your pen across the pages. 
You didn’t ever reread your entries right after writing them, but if you had that day, you might have noticed all you could write about was the boy you’d drank a hot chocolate with.
Spring break week passed by far too quickly, and it was on the first Monday back at school that you and Jake met again. He had soccer practice on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, while you had theater rehearsals on Thursdays and Saturdays, so you’d agreed to meet up every Monday and Wednesday after school. Since his mother worked as the school nurse, she drove him to and from school everyday - so on Monday, you met Jake in front of the nurse’s station, waiting for his mom to wrap things up before she drove you both to their home.
You had been surprised to learn that the kind nurse that never asked too many questions and always let students take a nap if they didn’t feel well was Jake’s mom, but upon reflection, it made sense. Once you knew, it was almost obvious that she had raised him - they shared the same friendliness, the same comforting smile and the same ability to make conversation. The whole ride home, she asked you about yourself and thanked you for agreeing to tutor “our little Jakey,” because “God knows he needs the help.” 
You couldn’t help but laugh when a blush crept on Jake’s face and he looked out the passenger seat window with an embarrassed frown, muttering something like “Thanks a lot, Mom.”
She noticed his reaction and laughed along with you. “I’m just saying, Jakey-poo. It’s good to know to ask for help when you need it,” she cooed, reaching a hand out to ruffle his hair. This only made Jake groan loudly and hide his face in his hands. You didn’t know Jake very well, but this flustered, red-faced side of him was definitely one you liked seeing.
The first thing that greeted you when you reached Jake’s house was a happy welcome home bark.
“You have a dog?!” you exclaimed, unable to reel your excitement in.
“Yeah! This is Layla,” Jake said, giving energetic rubs to the Border Collie that made her whole body shake side-to-side but that she seemed to thoroughly enjoy. 
“Hi, Layla,” you cooed, crouching down to her level to let her sniff you. She decided you were a person worthy of petting her. “She’s so cute!”
“I think she likes you,” Jake said, a grin on his face, as he watched Layla presenting her belly to you and asking for scratches there. “Do you have a dog?”
“We have a Corgi at home. And a cat, too.”
“That must be fun,” Jake chuckled. “Do they get along?”
“Depends. They have a bit of a love-hate relationship.” You looked up at Jake, and it was uncharacteristically quiet as you locked eyes for a couple of seconds. You both looked away at the same time, surprised by the sudden eye contact.
You gave Layla one last rub and lifted yourself up. “Um, should we get started?” 
Jake paused for a second as if he’d forgotten what you were here for in the first place, then started nodding his head quickly. “Right, yeah. Let’s go to my room. Downstairs is just one big room and my mom will probably watch TV or make dinner or something, so it might be distracting…” he explained, lightly scratching the back of his neck. It seemed like he was embarrassed to be bringing you to his room, which you couldn’t help but find endearing.
“Okay, sounds good,” you said with a smile, hoping it’ll reassure him.
You followed him up to his room, ignoring his complaints as you lingered on the framed photos on the wall next to the stairs and giggled at his baby pictures. 
“Do not look at those,” he said with a warning tone that didn’t scare you in the slightest. When you didn’t listen, he grabbed your hand that had been pointing at a photo of baby Jake in the bathtub and forced you to keep walking.
“Why?” you asked, a slight whine to your voice.
“‘Cause it’s embarrassing! I was an ugly baby.”
“What?! You were so cute!”
“Whatever. I’d rather study English than talk about this, and that’s saying something.”
When you looked at Jake, you were surprised to find that he actually seemed upset about this. You weren’t sure what was so wrong with looking at his baby pictures, but the last thing you wanted to do was make him mad, so you stayed quiet and continued your way to his room. Once there, although you were infinitely curious about all the posters, pictures, figurines, trophies, and other small tokens of Jake’s life, you didn’t ask him about any of them, just sat next to him at his desk and opened The Picture of Dorian Grey, the book you had both been studying in Ms Park’s class.
You’d agreed on spending forty-five minutes on English, have a small break, then spend forty-five minutes on Math. It wasn’t a lot, but you both had other homework and things outside of school you needed to do, so you’d decided to start out that way and see if it worked out.
You were glad to see how seriously Jake was taking this - he listened intently to what you said and asked questions when he didn’t understand something. You quickly figured out that what he didn’t like about English Literature was that the answers weren’t as straightforward or as logical as they were in math, and even worse, that multiple answers were possible depending on the reader’s interpretation. 
“It just all feels like a guessing game,” he said, resting the side of his head on one of his palms. “How am I supposed to know what this dude meant? And if it can be analyzed in different ways, how can Ms Park tell me the way I understand it is wrong?”
“It’s all about the way you justify it,” you explained. “You can’t just say whatever. Ms Park will look out for how you use the text to support your answers.” You then went on to pick out a specific part of the book, asking Jake to analyze Dorian’s mindset in that scene. 
“He sounds like he’s going insane,” Jake said flatly when he was done reading, getting a chuckle out of you.
“Exactly. How do you know that?”
“I don’t know, just the words he uses,” Jake replies, shrugging.
“Okay, underline those words,” you instructed gently. Jake sighed, but he complied.
“Good. What can you say about those words?” When Jake just looked at you like a lost puppy, you reformulated your question. “What do they have in common? What type of words are they? Are they common nouns, verbs…”
Jake looked back at the words he’d underlined on the page. “They’re… adjectives?” he said, tone unsure.
Jake paused. “So?”
“So now you can say that the author uses many adjectives to convey the gradual loss of sanity of the main character.”
When you looked at Jake, he wore an expression like the words on the page were finally starting to make sense to him. “That’s the content. You can also look at the structure. See how many punctuation marks there are? Commas, semi-colons, question marks… It’s like he keeps cutting himself off. His thoughts are all over the place.”
Jake nodded slowly. “So, I just need to look out for things like that?”
“Basically, yeah. And the more you practice, the more these things will stand out to you. It actually becomes somewhat repetitive sometimes.”
Jake let out a shaky breath. “That’s actually relieving to hear,” he said with a chuckle.
Thirty minutes passed by like this as you showed Jake ways to make sense of a literary text. When the timer rang, he leaned back in his chair and stretched his arms out wide with a sigh. He put his hands behind his head and let it hang back, and the way your stomach flipped at the sight of his exposed neck and Adam’s apple made you look away immediately. You could barely meet his eyes as he turned his head to look at you, still in that same position, and, with a smirk, asked if you were ready for some snacks. 
You gulped, trying to look as normal as possible. “Uh, yeah, sure!”
Downstairs, Jake presented you with all sorts of snacks - there were so many, you felt like you were in a convenience store. This was worlds away from your ingredient-only household. You opted for some biscuits and a banana while Jake made himself a bowl of cereal. A very distracting ten-minute long argument then ensued about the order of milk and cereal - horrifyingly, Jake poured his milk before his cereal. You thought it was a myth that some people actually did it that way, but Jake very proudly defended his choice. 
“I bet you eat pizza with pineapple on it, too,” you said half-jokingly, only for your joke to punch you right back in the face.
“Duh,” Jake answered.
You could only shake your head in defeat. “Let’s just get back to studying before I murder you.”
“Damn, Y/N,” Jake said, laughing. “That’s harsh.”
“And you’re a freak,” you retorted, a grin blooming on your lips.
“You know, you remind me of my friend Jay,” Jake mused as you walked back up the stairs. “He has so many of these small battles that he just won’t let go of. He got super worked up over an argument about mint chocolate chip ice cream once.”
“Let me guess, you like that ice cream?”
Jake shrugged. “It’s not my favorite, but I’ll have it once in a while.”
“God, Sim, you just get worse and worse.”
You sat back down at his desk and started eating. “I bet you think I’m weird for liking math too, right?”
“That’s the worst offense of them all.” 
Jake’s sudden quietness caught you off guard. When you turned your head to look at him, he was already gazing at you with a smile and a sort of thoughtful glint to his eyes, resting his chin on his palm. It sounded like he was thinking out loud when he spoke next. “Guess we’re perfect opposites of each other. Like two peas in a pod!”
The realization of what he’d said dawned upon him as soon as the words left his mouth. He slowly lifted his head as his eyes widened. “I don’t mean- just, you know, since you’re good at English and I’m good at math, and- you know… I didn’t mean it in a weird way, or anything…”
His eyes kept glancing back and forth between you and his bowl of cereal, as if he was scared of looking directly at you but wanted to check your reaction. 
As a smile grew on your face, you kept your eyes trained on your biscuits so he wouldn’t see your flustered expression. But when you looked at him again, he held your gaze, mouth slightly agape. You didn’t have it in you that he had gotten the idiom completely wrong. “I know, don’t worry.” You chuckled. “We are opposites of each other. You just better be as good at teaching math as I am at teaching English,” you teased.
You watched as a smirk tugged one corner of Jake’s lips up and he raised an eyebrow. “Who said you were good at teaching English?”
You gasped. “You said you understood better now!”
Jake’s smile softened as he giggled. “I’m just teasing. You are a good teacher.”
You sat up straighter at the compliment, a proud smile on your face. “Your turn, Mr Sim. I’m all ears.”
“Right,” he said, mirroring your posture. “Shall we start by going over Mr Choi’s test from last week?” 
Your smile dropped instantly at this. Reluctantly, you fished your graded paper out of your bag. You already knew Mr Choi was a psychopath, but you still didn’t understand where he found the will to grade thirty papers over the weekend. You avoided Jake’s gaze as you handed him your test with a big, red, circled D- at the top.
You cringed as Jake sighed. “At least it’s not an F, right?” he said in what you could tell was an attempt at reassurance but somehow only made you feel worse. He looked over your answers quickly, trying to find what in particular you struggled with. “All right. Let’s start from the beginning, yeah?”
For the next forty-five minutes, Jake went over each test question with you, breaking them down and explaining how to solve them in a way you understood. The words he used were so much clearer than the half-assed explanations you were used to from Mr Choi, and for once, math actually made some sort of sense. Your brain still felt broken after almost an hour of numbers and greek letters, but at least, you felt smarter rather than dumber at the end of it. You had never been more grateful for the sound of a phone alarm than the one signaling tutoring was over. 
“That wasn’t half-bad, right?” Jake asked with a wide grin.
You felt so tired, you could probably pass out right then and there, but Jake looked so proud of himself after you had been able to complete an exercise correctly on your own that you didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth. “Right,” you replied, mirroring his grin. “You’re an okay teacher, I guess.”
He jokingly glared and tutted at you, but you both laughed right after. “I need to walk Layla, so I can walk you home, if you want?” he offered as you started packing your things. His words had an uncertain tone to them, as if he wasn’t sure you’d still want to spend time with him after this - but it only took you a second of thinking to realize you’d rather continue hanging out with him than going home on your own.
“Sure! I need to walk Kiwi too, actually.”
“Your dog’s name is Kiwi?!”
“Yes,” you said, chuckling at his fascinated tone.
“That’s an adorable name.”
“Thanks, I chose it.”
“Oh, then I take it back. Worst name I’ve ever heard for a dog.”
“Hey!” you exclaimed, lightly hitting him on the head with your math notebook, making him raise a hand in self-defense as he laughed.
“Sorry, sorry. Does your cat also have a fruit name?” 
A pause. “Mango,” you mumbled, and he immediately burst into laughter again. You side-eyed him as you zipped up your bag.
“Wow, you have amazing taste in pet names, Y/N.”
“Shut up,” you said, laughing along. Then you realized something, and you suddenly stopped laughing, looking up at Jake with wide eyes that made him slightly start to panic. “Oh my God, Jake, are our dogs going to meet?”
“Our dogs are going to meet,” he echoed in a sort of fascinated whisper. You both understood the other - dogs becoming friends was the cutest thing ever.
“Let’s go,” you whispered back excitedly.
When you reached the living room downstairs, you bid Mrs Sim goodbye, then went to the entrance to put your shoes back on. “You two sure get along well,” you heard her say to her son with a suggestive tone. Even though she had dropped the volume of her voice, the door was wide open and there were only a few meters between you, so you’d heard her loud and clear. 
“Geez, Mom,” Jake groaned, seemingly irked by his mom’s insinuation.
“It’s just you’ve never brought a girl home, Jakey-”
“Okay, we’re leaving now! Layla, come!”
You hadn’t even realized how wide you were grinning until Jake saw you tying your shoelaces and grumbled “What are you smiling so hard for.”
“Nothing,” you giggled, and your smile grew as you watched a grin break through his pretend-upset expression.
You sighed contentedly as you stepped outside, letting the crisp early April air hit your face. You tightened your scarf around your neck and buried your hands in your pocket and you and Jake started walking side by side, Layla happily leading the way. The streets were fairly quiet at this time of day, save for the yells of children still playing in their backyards before dinner and a few cars of people coming home late from work.
Only the first five seconds of the walk were silent, until you couldn’t contain yourself anymore. “So, never brought a girl home, huh?” you asked with a teasing smirk.
Jake let out an offended scoff and looked up to the sky as if God could help him out of this one. Sadly, He didn’t, so Jake had to find an answer himself. “I’m not talking about this with you.”
“Why not?”
Pouting, Jake spared you a sideway glance. “Because you’re a girl,” he replied, voice lowered to a mumble.
You chuckled at this. “Very astute observation, Jake.”
“No, I- Ugh,” he groaned before laughing along with you. “I don’t need a girl to know how bad I am with- well, with girls.”
“I can help with that,” you said before you really thought about it. “I mean, I’m not a love expert by any means, but I can maybe give, I don’t know, pointers or something if there’s someone you like-”
“There’s no one I like,” Jake quickly cut in. “Um, not right now, at least.”
“O-okay,” you replied, nodding. “That’s fine.” 
“What about you? Do you like anyone?”
As Jake asked the question, he realized he already knew the answer - you liked Sunghoon. How could he forget?! Half of his plan had been to make you get closer to his friend, but he hadn’t even started thinking about that yet. In his defense, he’d come up with that plan three days ago.
Your answer surprised him. “Um, no, me neither. Not right now, at least,” you said, repeating his words with a smile on your face. You locked eyes for a second before looking away at the same time, chuckling.
“Right,” he said. He knew what he had read in your diary, so maybe you were just too shy to admit you had a crush on his friend of all people.
An unexpected awkwardness settled between the two of you, and you more than anything wanted it to go away. Even though it’d only been a few days since you and Jake had started getting to know each other, you already felt comfortable enough to be yourself around him, and it usually took you weeks before reaching that level with anyone. This hadn’t happened since you met Yena and Hyewon at the beginning of high school - they had been friends since middle school, and so had you and Chaewon, and when the four of you met, you had instant chemistry. But maybe it was slightly too early to start talking about crushes with Jake.
For once, you were the one to break the silence - you asked him whether he knew what he wanted to do after school. Basic question, but you were genuinely curious. 
Looking a little bashful, he confessed his dream had always been to be a math teacher and soccer coach at a middle or high school. You told him he already had the talent for it, and when he blushed at your words, you made sure to tease him for it.  
“I’m not sure yet,” you said when he returned the question. “I know I wanna go to college and continue doing English Lit and theater there, but that’s about it.”
“That’s already good enough,” Jake said with a smile. “Still got time to figure out what comes after, right?”
You naturally mirrored his smile - there was something contagious about Jake’s puppyish grin that made it hard not to smile yourself. “Right.”
The three of you reached your house quickly after that. Your mom still hadn’t come home from work, so Kiwi was even more excited than usual for your arrival home. You and Jake watched fondly as your dogs sniffed each other for a few seconds before starting to run around together. The fact that they got along made you really happy, perhaps unreasonably so, and you started bouncing up and down on the balls of your feet as you watched them play. “Our dogs are friends!” you exclaimed excitedly. 
When you turned to look at Jake, he wasn’t watching the dogs like you had been - he was gazing straight at you, eyes soft with something that made your heart skip a beat. You couldn’t look away, and it was only after a few seconds that he seemed to snap out of the sort of daze he was in. He cleared his throat and you finally tore your eyes away from him.
“Let me just- Kiwi! I need to put his leash around him,” you said, speaking quickly to dissipate the weird atmosphere as best as you could. You led Jake down the path you usually took with Kiwi that led to a park in your neighborhood, and you were relieved when normal conversation started again.
Jake insisted on walking you back to your house even though he had left his earlier. He made a whole show of not going until you’d walked inside and closed the door, so you’d rushed to your window to shout his name and wave goodbye at him, which made him laugh.
You turned back to Kiwi when Jake and Layla had turned a corner and you couldn’t watch them anymore. “Are you happy you made a new friend, Kiwi?”
The Corgi barked happily at you in response - probably more at hearing his name than because he understood your question, but still, you liked to think you could communicate with your dog on such a level. You chuckled and took him in your arms. “Me too.”
Apparently, you couldn’t even wave to someone in the hallway without being interrogated about it anymore.
“Y/N, did you just say hi to Jake Sim?” Chaewon asked like you’d just insulted her whole family.
It was 10 a.m. on a simple Tuesday morning, the day after Jake and you had studied together for the first time, and you’d just walked past the boy - so of course, you said hi to him. Maybe, your heart started beating slightly faster when you’d noticed him approaching. Maybe, it was nice to be on the receiving end of his friendly grin.
“Yes?” you replied, sentence coming out more like a question.
“Since when do you say hi to Jake Sim?!” 
“Since today, I guess.”
“But why?!” She’d raised her voice so much, you’d gotten strange looks from other students in the hallway. 
“I told you!”
She shook her head slowly at you as if to say, No you didn’t!
You rolled your eyes and sighed. Chaewon and her early onset short-term memory loss. “The backpack thing? And agreeing to tutoring each other? I wrote to the group chat about this!”
“Oh, that! Of course I remember that,” she said, even though you knew she had forgotten about it and remembered it just now. “So, has that started already?”
You reached the classroom for your next class and sat down in your usual seats next to each other, waiting for the teacher to arrive. Busy hallways like these were the perfect place for gossip, because they were loud and nobody paid attention to others’ conversations. “Yeah, yesterday afternoon.”
Chaewon gasped. “And you didn’t tell us?!”
“Will you quiet down? I was going to see and tell you guys today anyway.”
“Okay, so, tell me about it.”
“Tell. Me.”
You wouldn’t see Yena and Hyewon until lunch in two hours, and you knew Chaewon didn’t have the patience to wait until then. So you sighed again and obliged, telling her about your afternoon with Jake in every detail you could remember, because she would ask about insignificant things anyway. 
To your surprise, the first thing she said when you were done talking was this: “Y/N, do you like Jake?”
Your mouth opened slightly in shock at the question, but before you could even retort, you started giggling. “No, I don’t,” you said in a way that sounded like you very much did.
“Oh my God! You so do!” Chaewon said, giggling along with you. “You whore, you’ve only talked to him, like, twice,” she joked.
You gasped fake-dramatically and slapped her arm. “Oh please, look at Hyewon and Jaemin, they started dating after a week of talking.”
“Yes, and they’ve been going one year strong, so clearly, you need to ask Jake out and get this over with. You’ll get a boyfriend and a math tutor all-in-one, it’s a perfect deal!”
“Don’t get too carried away, okay? Jake and I are friends. Like you said, we barely know each other right now.”
You meant this - sure, you had had a really good time with Jake both times you saw him, and you were looking forward to your next tutoring session, but you chalked it up to the excitement of making a new friend. Plus, barely last week you felt some sort of way towards his best friend - wouldn’t it be weird to practically transfer your feelings from Sunghoon to Jake?
“Whatever. Yena and Hyewon are gonna freak when I tell them,” Chaewon said excitedly.
You shook your head at your friend but couldn’t keep down the amused grin on your face. “You guys are insane.”
“Oh please, like you’re not the president of our Park Sunghoon fanclub. I can’t believe you’re leaving us for his best friend!”
“Hey, if anything, less competition for you, right?”
Chaewon opened her mouth to say something, but the teacher arrived, starting the lesson before having even put her bag down - Mrs Lee always arrived late but never wasted a second of class when she was in the room. Your friend resorted to sticking her tongue out at you instead, and you chuckled at her childishness as you opened your History notebook. 
Jake was a complete, total, utter idiot. His plan had consisted of two things only, and he’d somehow managed to forget one of them, even after talking about it with you, albeit vaguely. It had taken him two weeks and one Park Sunghoon to even remember it.
Between Jake’s soccer practice, Sunghoon’s ice skating practice and Jay’s being away at boarding school, the three friends only had one night every week on which they were all free - Friday night. So, every Friday, they planned some sort of hang out at one of their houses and gamed or watched movies all night.
Kinda like date night, but for bros.
This was one of those bro nights; namely, the one in the second week of you and Jake tutoring each other. The boys had decided to go to the burger joint they like that night and were in the middle of a french fry fight when Sunghoon mentioned your and Jake’s new friendship.
“So, Jake… what’s up with you and Y/N?”
Jake halted in his motions, redirecting to his mouth the fry he was about to throw at Jay. “Nothing’s up with me and Y/N. What makes you say that?”
“Just, you know, you seem like you’ve become actual friends. Talking in the hallways and walking your dogs together and whatnot.”
“Y/N as in Y/N? Sunghoon’s Y/N?” Jay said, halfway through a bite of his cheeseburger.
“She’s not my Y/N-”
“Yes, Y/N as in Y/N, you idiot,” Jake cut in. “And like you said, we’re friends.”
“Is she the girl you posted some BeReals with?” Jay asked, and Jake nodded. “She’s pretty! No wonder Sunghoon likes her so much.”
Sunghoon sighed as he let his head hang low. “God forbid I find a girl cute, because I’ll mention it once, two years ago and you guys make me out to be in love with her.”
“Sunghoon, you act like girls don’t exist, so of course when you not only mention a girl, but describe her as cute, that means you’re in love with her!”
“But I’m not! We were literally having a whole conversation about girls, I happened to see Y/N and her friends from far away, I said she was cute, and now you guys won’t let me live it down. Jay, you weren’t even there!”
“Yeah, but the way Jake told me about the whole thing, it really sounded like you liked her.”
“Why would you trust Jake to relay something like this correctly?!”
Jay paused and tilted his head. “You have a point there.”
“So you don’t, like… like her, or something?” Sunghoon asked, looking at his friend as he sipped on his Pepsi.
This made Jake stop. Did he like you? Wasn’t the fact that he was considering it sign enough? Surely, if there was nothing there, he would have answered no right away.
But there was no use thinking about it. You liked Sunghoon. And as much as he liked to deny it, Jake knew Sunghoon liked you, too. After two years, there was finally an opportunity for the two of you to get closer - Jake wasn’t about to get in the middle of that. If anything, he should help his friends out. Then, when you and Sunghoon eventually got married, Jake would have the honor of saying it was all thanks to him in his best man’s speech. 
“No, I don’t. Don’t worry, Hoon, I’m not gonna steal your girl away from you.”
“Again, she’s not my girl-”
“Whatever you say. I’ll introduce you guys.”
Even if Sunghoon didn’t think he liked you yet, Jake knew it was just a matter of time - his friend just needed to spend a few hours with you to realize he did. You were pretty, smart, funny, nice, had the sweetest laugh he’d ever heard, got along with dogs, and even though you sometimes had weird opinions, it was always fun, talking to you. It was easy and comfortable. Anyone with taste would fall for you.
Anyone, except for Jake, of course.
For the past three weeks, you and Jake had gotten along perfectly, but today, on this bright Tuesday afternoon, you really wanted to strangle him. 
When he’d invited you to come and watch him at soccer practice, you’d been surprised, but happy - usually, you invited people to watch an actual game, not just practice. But you were just glad for the opportunity to spend more time with him. 
Without realizing it, you were giddy with excitement the whole day, counting down the minutes until classes were over and Jake’s practice started. Jake had told you to just head to the bleachers while the players got ready in the locker room, but when you reached said bleachers, someone was already sitting there, looking at something on their phone. You recognized him immediately as Sunghoon. He didn’t notice you right away, so you had time to wipe the surprise off of your face - you hadn’t thought anyone came to watch practice, but Sunghoon was probably here for Jake, just like you. 
“Hey,” you said quietly as you sat down next to him. Even though you were technically still on school property, this was the first time you saw Sunghoon outside of somewhere like a classroom, a hallway or the cafeteria. You weren’t as nervous as you thought you’d be, seeing him unexpectedly like this. 
You chuckled when Sunghoon started at your sudden arrival. “Oh, hey, Y/N,” he said, chuckling too, albeit somewhat awkwardly. “Sorry, didn’t hear you coming.”
“It’s fine,” you said with a smile as you sat down next to him on the bleachers. You didn’t know what sort of distance was appropriate between you two, if you should sit close or far, but you stopped yourself before you could overthink something as trivial as that. Neither of you said anything for a few seconds and you wished practice had started before you got here, so that you’d have something to look at other than an empty field.
You broke the silence before it became too uncomfortable. “So, do you come watch Jake often?”
You’d been fiddling with your hands as you spoke, only turning your head to look at Sunghoon as you awaited his answer. Your eyes didn’t even meet for a fraction of a second before he whipped his head to look at the field, as if unable to look at you and talk at the same time. At least he had a nice side profile for you to look at.
“Um, just on Tuesdays. I have ice skating practice after this, so I come here first, then he comes with me to the rink,” he replied. He glanced at you, lips pressed into a thin line that somewhat resembled a smile and that pushed dimples into his cheeks. You simply hummed in response. 
“What about you, how come you’re here?”
“Jake asked me,” you replied. Sunghoon let out a long “oh” as he nodded, turning his head back towards the field again. You didn’t think you’d ever had such a slow conversation. It was like you and Sunghoon both repeated your words ten times over in your heads before saying them out loud.
“Are you coming to my practice, too?” he asked after another pause.
The question took you aback slightly as you hadn’t even considered it, but it could be fun, seeing Sunghoon practice ice skating. It’d also be fun to hang out with Jake. “If it’s fine with you, then yeah, why not,” you replied, smiling at Sunghoon. He glanced at you again before looking away with a smile, an actual one this time that showed his teeth and made his eyes crinkle.
“Yeah, sure. People usually only come to actual shows, so I like it when someone’s there to watch practice.” Before you could find something to say, the players arrived jogging onto the field, immediately starting their warm-up laps. Some were serious about it and stayed focused as they ran, while others goofed around, running backwards and slapping other players on their butts before sprinting away. Jake, of course, was part of the latter group.
Now that something was actually happening on the field, you and Sunghoon had an excuse not to make conversation anymore. You tried to ignore it, but it was so awkward you wanted to die. You realized now why you were so attracted to people like Jake and Chaewon - without even being aware of it, they brought you out of your shell and made you feel at ease. You wished you could do that on your own, but you were always too scared, so you needed that person who was confident enough showing themselves to you first to make you feel comfortable doing the same. You and Sunghoon, unfortunately, were too similar in that sense to do that for each other. So you just sat there in silence, observing Jake and waving back at him when he caught your gazes.
The ninety minutes of practice didn’t go by in total silence - you asked Sunghoon about some soccer rules you didn’t get, and he shared some anecdotes from his and Jake’s earlier teenage years, including a very entertaining story about a tantrum 9-year-old Jake had thrown when he hadn’t agreed with the red card the referee had given him. You weren’t sure how the topic came up, but at some point, you even shared pictures of your pets. Sunghoon had one of those small crusty white dogs, but you kept your laughter in and cooed over how cute she was. 
But still, most of the time, you were watching Jake. You had never been interested in soccer or any sort of sport that involved balls until now. Somehow, he managed to make flushed cheeks, a heaving chest and hairline beaded with sweat look glorious. In total honesty, you were paying more attention to the player himself than to the sport, to the point that you barely noticed when he scored a goal during their practice match. It was only when Jake started cheering and high-fiving his teammates that you realized what had happened, and you gave him two thumbs up and a wide grin when he looked your and Sunghoon’s way, proudly shouting “Did you see that?!”
The realization hit you like a ton of bricks right there and then. The way your heart swelled as you watched his excited, puppyish grin take over his features was undeniable - you liked Jake. You like liked him. Your gaze continued to follow him as he finished his celebratory lap. If you could’ve seen yourself right then, you’d probably have been embarrassed by your awestruck expression and slightly agape mouth, but you couldn’t help yourself.
Much to your dismay, you realized that Chaewon had seen right through you. You hadn’t wanted to read too much into your feelings, but they had become too obvious to ignore. You hadn’t experienced them yourself since middle school (Choi Soobin had really been a heartbreaker back then), but you’d heard about the telltale signs of a crush too many times not to know about them. It was now clear that the way you felt about Jake and the way you had felt about Sunghoon were worlds apart. Feeling nervous around him and your heart skipping a beat when you made eye contact; wanting to see him smile; laughing at all his jokes, even the bad ones; missing him even though it’d been seconds since you said goodbye, and counting down the days until you saw him again. And, yes, looking at his pictures on social media over and over again. You did all those things, so you knew there was no point in lying to yourself anymore - you liked Jake Sim. 
It didn’t help that he was always kind to you, never making you feel stupid for not understanding something in your tutoring sessions and being patient enough to explain the same thing over and over again. He always paid attention to small things, which never failed to make your heart race, like asking after your aging cat’s condition after you’d told him he had a health check-up over the weekend or stocking up on your favorite snack the week after you’d told him about it. He’d also immediately picked up on your habit of teasing the people you felt comfortable with and you loved how he returned it tenfold. It was as much fun debating with him over nothing and making him shut up with your senseless arguments as it was being rendered speechless when he came up with the perfect retort. 
And of course, there was no denying that Jake was ridiculously attractive. There were times you got so caught up in the way his lips moved as he spoke or the way his fingers looked as he pointed at numbers on the page that your mind completely blanked out and you stopped listening to his words for a few seconds. You didn’t know what to make of his small chuckle and smirk when he noticed your gaze fixated on him, but you knew it wasn’t good for your heart. And let’s not even get started on the fact that sitting so close to him meant you could smell the lingering scent of his cologne every single time.
Even now, with flushed cheeks and hair slicked back with sweat, you want to run onto the field and give him a big smooch on his cheek, telling him you were proud of him for scoring that goal.
But even though you were getting closer and he had offered for you to come watch his practice, you squashed down as best as you could any hope that he might feel the same way about you. Even if he insisted he was bad with girls, Jake was popular at school, and you were sure there were many other girls who had a crush on him - so why would he like you of all people?
Sunghoon’s voice snapped you out of your thoughts. “Every time he scores, he acts like it’s the first time he’s ever done it,” he said, chuckling and shaking his head at his friend’s over-dramatic antics. The coach was trying to get Jake to calm down so that the game could resume.
“He’s so cute,” you said, voice quiet, before you could stop yourself. But as soon as the words were out, you realized what you’d done, and your eyes doubled in size as you turned to look at Sunghoon. He had whipped his head to look at you, too, and his eyes were just as big as yours. Then, he burst into laughter, and you hoped the Earth would suddenly open beneath your feet and swallow you whole. 
When his surprise had subsided, Sunghoon turned to you again, an incredulous but amused glint in his eyes. “Did you just call Jake cute?”
You crossed your arms over your chest, slightly frowning as you avoided Sunghoon’s gaze. “I just meant, you know, it’s cute how excited he got. I didn’t say he was cute,” you mumbled, knowing you were doing a poor job of defending yourself.
“That’s exactly what you said, though. You said, and I quote, He’s so cute.” You glared at Sunghoon. Who knew he would only become talkative once it came to teasing you about Jake? 
His expression softened slightly when he realized you might actually be upset about this, and he turned his attention back towards the field, smile growing when he found his friend. “Don’t worry, I won’t say anything.”
“There’s nothing to be said anyway.”
“Oh? So you don’t mind if I tell Jake that you have the biggest, fattest crush on- hmph!”
You’d cut Sunghoon off by pressing your palm to his mouth, mustering the most menacing look you could to scare him off. “I do not,” you said firmly as you moved your hand away from him.
“Sure, you don’t,” he replied, chuckling. Clearly, your most menacing look wasn’t so menacing.
“I get why Jake’s so annoying now, it’s because he’s friends with you.”
Sunghoon raised an amused eyebrow at this. “He might be annoying, but he’s also cute, right?”
“Shut up!” you shrieked immediately, but you couldn’t stop the grin forcing its way onto your lips.
“Just saying,” Sunghoon said, and you laughed together. Maybe you should’ve been more worried about Jake’s literal best friend finding out you had a crush on him, but you somehow trusted Sunghoon not to blabber about it. Whether because he was nice or because he wanted to watch you struggle with your feelings, you weren’t sure, but at least you felt your secret was safe with him.
You looked back at the field, and just as your eyes found Jake, you saw him turn his head away. Had you seen him just seconds prior, you might have noticed the crease in his eyebrows as he watched you and Sunghoon laugh together. Sunghoon isn’t that funny, he thought, what could you be laughing so hard about?
He didn’t understand the sudden weight in his heart at the sight of you and his friend getting along so well. This was his whole plan after all - force some proximity between you and Sunghoon so that you could talk and hopefully make your feelings clear to each other after some time. Clearly, it was working. So why was it bothering him so much? 
He had to turn his attention back to the game, so he could only ruminate over it for five seconds, but for the remaining thirty minutes, he could barely focus on anything. Whenever he glanced back at you and Sunghoon, you were both looking at him and not talking to each other, and that somehow bothered him even more. 
He used his time in the lockers to get out of the weird mood he was in - whatever was going on between you and Sunghoon, he didn’t want to ruin it by being grumpy. So when he came back out and found the two of you waiting for him at the bus stop, he put on his best smile. 
Having you around made his usual Tuesday afternoon with Sunghoon more fun - after years of friendship, Sunghoon ignored most of his jokes and could tune the sound of his voice out, but you still laughed at everything he said, and his heart swelled with pride every time he made you laugh.
It was only a ten-minute bus ride from the school to the ice rink so you still had twenty minutes to spare before Sunghoon’s lesson started. As always after soccer practice, Jake was famished, so you stopped by a convenience store and got more snacks than you really needed.
You sat next to Sunghoon and across from Jake at a picnic table in front of the ice rink, watching the boy in front of you with fascination as he gorged himself on banana milk and chocolate snacks.
“God, how long has it been since you last ate?” you asked with genuine concern in your voice. Sunghoon followed your gaze towards Jake, only then noticing his friend’s feral behavior as if this was a normal occurrence for them.
“Like three hours,” Jake answered. “I’m starving. So hungry I could eat Sunghoon.”
When he looked up, you were both peering at him with furrowed eyebrows and bewildered expressions on your faces. “What? Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Do you mean that Sunghoon is a horse?” you asked.
Jake mirrored your confused expressions. “What? No, why would I say that?”
“The saying goes, so hungry I could eat a horse, dumbass,” Sunghoon chimed in.
“Why would I eat a horse?” Jake replied, shaking his head and chuckling at you and Sunghoon like you were the ones who had gotten a basic idiom wrong.
“Why would you eat me?” Sunghoon bit back, sounding almost offended.
“It’s just a saying, dude.”
Half-an-hour and two whole packets of biscuits later, you and Jake sat side-by-side on the benches, watching Sunghoon as he did his warm-ups on the ice. This was your first time seeing a professional ice skater and you were transfixed, to say the least. He was just skating across the rink and rolling his arms and neck to get the muscles moving, but it all seemed so effortless and elegant that you couldn’t help but watch with your mouth slightly open, eyes eager to keep up with Sunghoon’s figure.
You were so mesmerized that you had no idea Jake was practically burning holes into the side of your face. Eyes narrowed and nose scrunched in disgust, he couldn’t believe you were enjoying the show in front of you that much. “He’s not even doing anything special right now, you know,” he said, but it only made him realize that when Sunghoon did start doing cool stuff, you’d like it even more.
Your head barely budged in Jake’s direction as you answered him, and your eyes certainly didn’t leave Sunghoon. “Really? It already looks so cool, though.” Jake scoffed, but that still didn’t get your attention, which made him scoff again. He crossed his arms over his chest and frowned like a child whose parent wasn’t paying attention to their drawing. 
“Cooler than me?”
Finally, you look at me, Jake thought, and his frown immediately dissipated into a grin when your eyes met. But judging by the teasing way your lips curled up, he already knew he wasn’t going to like your answer.
“Cooler than you,” you replied before turning your attention back to the rink.
Jake leans back with a pout, opting to glare at his friend instead of you. He tried to put himself in your shoes and figure out what it was about Sunghoon you liked so much that Jake didn’t also have. Devastatingly good looks? Check. Charming smile? Check. Cute dog? Check - Jake more so than Sunghoon. Brains? Okay, both of them lacked this. Good personality? Check - however, you needed months before Sunghoon revealed himself to you, whereas Jake was outgoing and was comfortable even with people he’d just met. 
So why was the bearer of your affection Sunghoon and not Jake?
And why did Jake even care that you liked his friend over him in the first place?
It wasn’t like Jake liked you - he couldn’t like a girl that his best friend liked - so why did this at all matter to him? If anything, the fact that you liked Sunghoon back should’ve been something to rejoice over. It had been, up until now, and Jake couldn’t figure out why. He couldn’t figure out this weird sensation that had plagued him in the soccer field and followed him to the ice rink as he watched you watch Sunghoon with amazement.
Jake was so lost in his own thoughts that he didn’t even notice when you detached your eyes from Sunghoon, who was talking to his coach, and tilted your head at him. “Jake?” 
The boy only let out a low hum, still too upset to look at you.
An amused grin made your lips quirk up. “Are you pouting because I said Sunghoon was cooler than you?”
Jake scoffed, turning his head away from you. “No.”
A pause. “So you don’t mind if I go on and on about how elegant and beautiful ice skating is, while running after a ball and kicking it is the basis of the stupidest sport in the world?”
Jake glared at you, but it only made you smile more. “It’s not stupid.”
Despite himself, his pretend angry facade broke apart at the sound of your airy giggles. Jake didn’t think his ears had ever been graced with such a pretty sound before - he slapped himself mentally as soon as that thought crossed his mind. 
His heart did jumps and spins more impressive than Sunghoon’s when you reached a hand out to ruffle his hair, shaking your head at his behavior. For once, he was glad that you turned back to Sunghoon so that you wouldn’t see the bright blush spreading all over his face.
For the next hour, Jake put his weird feelings to the side and watched his friend practice his routine for his upcoming competition. Even he had to admit that Sunghoon looked pretty cool doing what he loved.
You told him you found it all the more impressive because you’d never skated before, so it looked unachievable to you, and an idea immediately formed in Jake’s mind. As soon as Sunghoon’s practice was over, he rushed over to his friend and asked if the two of you could join him on the ice. Sunghoon turned to his coach, who simply shrugged.
“I trust you to look after them,” she said. “Just make sure to be out when the hockey team gets here.”
Before you knew it, Jake was helping you tie up your ice skates (the sight of which made you faint-hearted) and both boys helped you onto the ice rink, each holding onto one of your hands as you tried not to freak out at the feeling of your knees being so wobbly. Sunghoon demonstrated how to move around the ice, and soon enough, you’d gotten the hang of it - but you still made sure to keep Jake at an arm’s length so you could grab onto him every time you lost your balance. Jake stayed by your side, smiling fondly at how excited you looked and cheering you on every time you took a step of your own. Sunghoon, on the other hand, seemed to find it funny to watch from afar and point and laugh every time you stumbled.
After some time, Sunghoon announced he was feeling hungry and decided to go eat some snacks, leaving you and Jake alone in the rink. The wink Sunghoon threw your way when Jake wasn’t looking let you know what his true intentions were, and you couldn’t believe Jake’s best friend had just become your wingman.
“Feeling ready to skate around the rink?” Jake asked. His boyish grin was contagious, and you found yourself matching it even though you were still nervous about moving around too much.
“If you help me,” you answered tentatively, looking at him worriedly as you held out your hand for him to take. The softness of his gaze as he smiled down at you made you want to melt into a puddle on the floor.
“Of course,” he said, taking your hand in his warm one. Your fingers intertwined as if out of second nature and you thought you finally understood why people said their hands were meant to hold someone else’s.
Being friends with an ice skater for such a long time meant Jake had acquired some skill, too, which is why he could so easily show you how to turn or pick up speed. Whenever you lost your balance, he was always quick enough to make sure you didn’t actually fall, picking you up before your backside could touch the ice. He found your frightened expression every time you thought you would fall absolutely adorable, but your pout and slight frown whenever he teased you were somehow even cuter.
He only let go of your hand after some ten minutes (neither of you had even begun to question Sunghoon’s whereabouts by then) when he came to stand in front of you, a serious expression on his face.
“I think you’re ready, Y/N,” he declared solemnly.
“Ready for…?” you asked, scared of whatever he had in mind.
He leaned in slightly and the sudden proximity took you aback, but he didn’t seem to realize. A mischievous smirk broke through his handsome features. “A race,” he whispered, then skated to one edge of the rink and motioned for you to follow him. Reluctantly, you did.
“First to the other edge has to…” he thought for a second, gazing at the ceiling. You wanted to be mad at him for proposing a race when you’d literally just learned how to skate, but how could you when he looked so cute and giddy, searching for the loser’s penalty? “Buy the other ice cream!”
Your eyes were probably the image of tenderness as you looked at him. “Deal,” you said, wanting to sound as playful as him but voice coming out soft. Since when had you fallen so hard for him?
You held each other’s gazes for a couple more seconds before both turning in front of you, getting ready for your race. Jake counted down from three, and your skating wasn’t so bad at first - until you got too cocky for your own good, trying to go at a pace you clearly couldn’t handle. Before you knew it, your knees betrayed you and you found yourself tripping over, your butt making a loud thump sound as it came into contact with the ice.
On your way down, you’d shrieked Jake’s name, and he was at your side in the blink of an eye, holding your shoulder and looking at you worriedly. The pain was immediate, and for a few seconds, you couldn’t answer him and reassure him that you were fine.
“Oh God, I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have asked to race, God Y/N I’m so stupid I’m so sorry are you okay I didn’t want you to get hurt-”
“Jake,” you squeaked.
“I’m okay, calm down,” you said when the pain subsided, managing a smile. “I’ll just have a sore butt tomorrow.” He chuckled at the word ‘butt,’ but you didn’t have it in you to roll his eyes at his childishness.
“Are you sure you’re okay? There’s an infirmary here-”
“I’m sure, Jakey-poo,” you teased, making him lose the concerned expression as he bore an unimpressed one instead.
“I guess you are fine if you can think to call me that. Come on, up!” he said as he stood up, reaching his hands out for you to take. Just as he helped you up, Sunghoon came sprinting and stood at the entrance to the rink.
“Is everything okay? I heard a yell,” he said, slightly out-of-breath with half a biscuit in his mouth. Guess he really was eating this whole time.
You and Jake laughed and shook your head at him, and you reassured him that everything was fine. 
“Good, ‘cause the hockey team’s here and we have to go anyway.”
There was a bus that took Sunghoon directly from the ice rink to his house, but you and Jake had to go back to the school to catch the one you usually took, which meant you had a forty-minute journey in front of you. And yet, Jake’s company made those forty minutes feel like five, and you found yourself disappointed when the bus neared your stop.
“If you want, we can still go walk Kiwi and Layla,” he offered shyly a few minutes before your stop, as if he’d read your mind. 
“I’d love to.” You watched as his small smile bloomed into a wider one.
“I’m glad,” he chuckled, relieved. “I was scared you’d be tired of me after spending the whole afternoon together,” he admitted, looking down at his lap with a bashful expression on his face. It wasn’t often that Jake looked timid like this, but whenever he did, your heart tripled in size.
“I don’t think I could get tired of you.” You were too shy to look him in the eye while you said this, but in your peripheral, you saw his grin get impossibly wider and his eyebrows raise. He bumped your shoulder with his, making the both of you burst into giggles.
You were still smiling long after you’d come home from your walk.
Unfortunately for Jake, forcing you and Sunghoon to sit together for ninety minutes hadn’t resulted in the two of you confessing your undying love for the other and getting together - clearly, his plan hadn’t worked very well. But Jake, instead of coming up with another strategy, decided he should just basically do the same thing again and hope it went better this time. 
Bro night had been a tradition for the past three years that the boys only very rarely broke, in cases of illness, filial obligations or important competitions the following day. This wasn’t any one of those cases, but Jake decided bro night must be slightly sacrificed that night - for your and Sunghoon’s sake. Years down the line, he knew you’d thank him.
This was why he tricked you into thinking you had been invited to bro night (you’d heard a lot about it and considered it an honor to be included) when really, he made Jay promise not to show at the cinema so that you and Sunghoon could be alone. The two of them would make up an excuse about not being able to make it on time and show up later at the diner (“If you want to set them up, shouldn’t we also leave them alone after the movie?” Jay had asked Jake over the phone, and Jake had been unable to explain why he didn’t want you to spend the whole night alone with Sunghoon).
“They ditched us,” Sunghoon had said in lieu of a greeting when you found him at the entrance of the cinema. He turned his phone screen towards you, showing you their group chat - Jay had had some sort of meeting at his school that had run late and Jake had to go to the vet suddenly because Layla kept making weird noises.
“Oh no, I hope she’ll be okay,” you said, voice laced with genuine worry.
Sunghoon just sighed. “I’m sure she will.” He knew what his friends were up to - it almost never happened that one of them was unable to make it to bro night, so two at once? They were clearly lying. He would make sure to tell Jake how worried sick you were about his dog’s fake illness later on just so his friend would feel extra guilty.
You had been looking forward to hanging out with Jake and his friends all day, so you were disappointed to know he wouldn’t make it until later. It wasn’t much comfort that the movie they had picked, some recent Marvel release, was one you were not at all interested in, and you couldn’t even obsess over Jake’s presence next to you instead of the movie because he wasn’t there. You’d have to sit with awkward, quiet Sunghoon for God knows how long - at least the cinema wasn’t much of a talking place. 
You declined his kind offer of sharing a big popcorn tub - you didn’t want to risk a cliché reaching-for-popcorn-at-the-same-time moment with Sunghoon, although you’d daydreamed and giggled about it happening with Jake earlier that day. Instead, you sipped grumpily on your Cherry Coke, watching the trailers for upcoming movies and discussing them with Sunghoon. (“I’m so excited for the Barbie movie,” he’d surprised you by saying. Maybe he wasn’t so bad.)
As the lights dimmed, announcing the imminent start of the movie, Sunghoon whispered something that completely changed your mind about Marvel. “It’s so stupid that Jake isn’t here, seriously. He’s been going on and on about going to see this movie since the trailer came out.” Suddenly, you’d never felt the need to pay attention to something more than this. 
Well, in your humble opinion, the film wasn’t anything to write home about. It was a lot of loud action scenes with some funny one-liners that, okay, you chuckled at. And the actors were hot. You could sort of see why Jake would enjoy Marvel movies, although you yourself liked films with more social commentary, such as Mean Girls or Bee Movie. You’d need to make Jake watch Twilight one of these days - you were sure he’d like the soundtrack, if nothing else.
At least, you and Sunghoon have something to talk about during your short walk to the diner. As you enter the restaurant, a familiar voice calling out your name catches you off-guard.
“Chaewon? I thought you didn’t work on Friday nights!” you exclaimed, letting your friend bring you into a hug. You gave her a once-over - she always looked so pretty in her work uniform, white t-shirt dress draping her body perfectly, apron cinching at her waist, and short pigtails under her 50’s style diner hat. If the blush spreading on Sunghoon’s cheeks at her sudden appearance was anything to go by, his thoughts might not have been too far from yours.
She pouted, taking your hands in hers and swaying them between the two of you. “I usually don’t, but Yunjin asked me to trade shifts and she always says yes when I ask her, so I felt bad saying no.” You nodded and she turned to Sunghoon.
“Hi, Sunghoon!”
“H-hi, Chaewon.”
“Where’s Jay and Jake?” she asked, looking behind the two of you. You’d told the group chat about your evening plans and a lot of freaking out had taken place. 
“Should be here any minute,” you sighed, and when she looked at you questioningly, you told her you’d explain later.
She sat you at a four-person booth by the window and brought you drinks (“On the house,” she’d said with a wink, but you weren’t sure this had been allowed by any of her superiors) for you to sip on while you waited for the others. Every time she was free, she came over to your table and gossiped about the customers. You did not miss the way Sunghoon’s face lit up whenever she approached you.
Jake and Jay see you before you see them. Jay, the only one with a driver’s license out of the three, had picked Jake up, and he was parking his car when Jake gasped loudly, making Jay jump. “I’m trying to park, man, can you be calm?”
“What’s she doing here?” Jake exclaimed, completely ignoring his friend.
Jay followed Jake’s gaze, but he wasn’t sure what his friend was going on about. All he saw was you, whom he recognized from pictures only, Sunghoon, and a waitress that seemed overly-friendly. “Who?” he asked.
“Chaewon,” Jake hissed, like her name was a curse. “She’s ruining our plan!”
Jay sighed. “First of all, this is your plan. Second of all, it was ruined from the beginning. And by that, I mean that your plan sucks, Jake.”
Jake clicked his teeth. “Whatever. Let’s just go,” he said, getting out of the car and heading straight for you. He made sure to give Chaewon a pointed look as he sat next to you in the booth, but she just seemed happy that more people had arrived. 
You bumped your knee into his to get his attention. “Hi,” you said with a smile.
He looked at you dumbly for a few seconds before Jay cleared his throat awkwardly. “Hi. This is Jay,” he said, tilting his head towards the boy but not taking his eyes off of you. You and Jay exchanged hey’s before Chaewon took your order, quickly giving it to the kitchen and scanning the room to make sure every table had what they needed, then headed back to your table. 
“Is Layla okay?” you asked Jake, worry making your brows furrow.
“Huh?” The sudden mention of his dog took him aback. Why wouldn’t she be okay?
“Layla?” you repeated, tilting your head. “Is she okay? You said you had to go to the vet.”
His eyes widened as he remembered his lie from earlier, and he started nodding frantically. “Oh yeah, yeah, she’s fine, we panicked over nothing,” he said with a nervous giggle. Jake was the worst liar Jay and Sunghoon had ever seen, but you were none the wiser.
“What about you, Jay? How was your school thing?” Sunghoon asked, turning to his friend with a glare and making him choke on his Coke.
“Oh, that was fine too, I guess,” Jay mumbled.
As expected, Jake and Chaewon were experts at leading the conversation, and Jay himself was pretty talkative. They all bounced off of each other naturally, and even Sunghoon knew how to throw in witty remarks now and there. You also participated, but you were more than happy just listening to them and laughing along. You tried not to think too much about how your knee would bump into Jake’s once in a while, or how he seemed to look at you every time he made a joke.
At some point, Chaewon had rushed over to your table, looking right at you with wide eyes and beaming. “Oh my God Oh my God Oh my God, Y/N, hat guy is here!” 
You instantly mirrored her expression. “Where where where?” you asked, lifting your body up to scan around the restaurant.
“Over there in the corner, but be discreet!”
You were not at all discreet as your eyes found said hat guy, noting with satisfaction that he was characteristically hatless, and you burst into laughter. “I can’t believe he’s here!”
“Right? Probably has the munchies or something,” Chaewon said, laughing along.
You only noticed then the perplexed looks all three boys were sending your way. “Who the heck is hat guy?” Jake asked, which only made you and Chaewon laugh harder.
“You wouldn’t get it,” she replied airily, waving Jake off as she made her way to a customer who had called for her. 
The boys turned to you and you shrunk in your seat at their attention. “Just a guy the girls and I find funny,” you explained, shrugging and glancing quickly at Sunghoon. If only he knew about all the times you and the girls had gossiped about him, even though he’d done nothing of importance.
When her shift was over, the first thing Chaewon did was take off her apron, then dragged you to the bathroom, where she drilled you for details about your cinema “date” with Sunghoon. 
“It was not a date, it just ended up being the two of us because the others couldn’t make it,” you insisted, but she wasn’t having it. “There’s nothing to say anyway. We got there, talked a bit, watched the movie, walked here, and that’s it.”
Chaewon sighed, shaking her head as she reapplied her lip gloss. A small smile made its way onto your lips. “I think he’s into someone else anyway.” 
You noticed how her hand faltered for a split second. “Oh yeah? Who?” she asked, trying to appear nonchalant, but you knew your friend too well. 
“I’m sure you’ll figure it out.” 
Unbeknownst to either of you, the discussion between the boys back at the table was not too different from yours.
“Bro, I’m literally going to kill you,” Sunghoon whisper-yelled even though you were way out of earshot already. “Do you know how awkward that was?”
“Just so you know, I had nothing to do with this,” Jay said. “I told him that putting two socially constipated idiots like you wouldn’t end well, but he wouldn’t listen.”
“Y/N’s not an idiot!” Jake immediately reacted.
“And I am?!” Sunghoon retorted.
Jay just rolled his eyes.
“You are, because this is the second time you’re alone together with the girl you like and you can barely make conversation with her.”
“For the last time, I don’t like her, I just called her cute once in freshman year-”
“Same thing!”
“Jake, I don’t know how many times I can tell you the same thing before you get it. I’ve been around Y/N enough to know I don’t like her like that, okay? We’ve had two classes where we sat together for a whole semester, and we’ve worked with other people in group projects. Not to mention, you’ve made me sit through one of your practices with her. She’s nice. She sends me the homework when I miss class. She even laughs at my jokes sometimes. And her dog is super cute. I’m sure we’d be better friends if we both didn’t have crippling shyness, but I don’t like her like that. I just don’t.”
“But how?!”
“What do you mean how? This sorta thing doesn’t have any sort of reasonable answer, you just do or you don’t. I don’t. Clearly, you do.”
Jake heard the last part of Sunghoon’s words, and promptly decided to ignore them. He had to understand this first - he’d figure out his feelings later. “This whole time, I thought you were just downplaying your feelings, ‘cause you’re an awkward asshole who doesn’t do emotions,” he said, eyes tightly shut and holding his head, the confusion making his brain hurt.
“Okay, ouch. But no, I wasn’t. I really don’t know what got into your head.”
“I know what got into his head,” Jay said. Both of his friends looked at him questioningly, so he went on. “When Sunghoon mentioned Y/N, you probably thought she was super cute too, Jake. But because of bro code and whatnot, you didn’t wanna show any interest. And then as you saw her around more, you probably liked her more, but you thought Sunghoon liked her, so you sort of gave him your crush on her instead of dealing with it. You lived vicariously through him, basically. Except you’re an idiot because he doesn’t even like her like that, so you could’ve shot your shot a long time ago already. I don’t know why you didn’t just listen to him, to be honest,” Jay finished, shrugging.
“You also thought he liked her!” Jake retorted.
“That’s besides the point. The point is that you’re stupid.”
“But- but, what about all those times you talked about her? I didn’t make those up!” 
Sunghoon rolled his eyes. “The most I ever said about her was something like, Y/N and I both forgot our textbook today, or Y/N brought cookies for the class because it’s her birthday. You were always the one to notice her everywhere and go, There’s your crush, or something.”
Jake sighed, defeated. He could admit Sunghoon was right about something, and he was wrong - but he hated that Jay was also right. Had he really managed to bury his feelings for you all these years just for what he thought was Sunghoon’s sake? Sure, he was a loyal friend, but that felt a little much.
“Whatever,” he mumbled, recoiling from his friends’ expectant gazes and taking a sad bite of his cheeseburger. “It’s not like she likes me back, or anything.” 
He watched in confusion as Sunghoon let out a loud groan, screwing his eyes shut and taking his head in his hands as if it hurt. “This is so frustrating, I’m going to kill myself.”
Jake turned to Jay for some sort of explanation to their friend’s sudden suicidal thoughts, but Jay just looked back at Jake with disgust. “When did you become so dumb? I swear you didn’t use to be like this,” he said, shaking his head in disappointment.
Jake’s eyes flickered between his two friends in utter dismay. “What?”
“Jake,” Jay started. “Do you really, honestly, genuinely think Y/N doesn’t like you?”
The boy leaned back in his seat with a pout. “Yeah,” he mumbled.
Sunghoon’s head whipped up at this. Jake gulped at the intense glare his friend fixed him with - he’d never looked so angry with him, and it made Jake wonder what on Earth he could have said or done that made Sunghoon so upset. “Why?” he asked simply, but the frustration was evident in his voice.
Your diary popped up in Jake’s head. What he had read was clear. Of course, the entry dated from over a month ago now, but why would your feelings have changed since then? Jake sighs deeply, getting ready to reveal to his friends what he’d seen, but then he sees you and Chaewon emerging from the bathroom. “They’re coming back,” he mumbled.
It was Sunghoon and Jay’s turn to sigh. “Just pay attention to her, Jake, okay?” Jay instructed, giving his friend an intent look.
“I already do,” Jake replied, frowning.
“No, really pay attention to her. Then use your pea-sized brain for once in your life, and maybe you’ll realize something.”
A strongly-worded reply was on the tip of Jake’s tongue, but all thoughts of violence and murdering his friend were replaced by images of rainbows and pretty flowers when you smiled at him. He felt like the biggest of idiots for liking you so much and only realizing it now.
“Hi,” he said dumbly as you found your seat next to him again, then stole a french fry from you even though he had many left himself. When you gasped at his audacity, he just giggled.
“Hey!” you exclaimed in protest before stealing a fry back. 
If you hadn’t been so caught up in your little world, you’d have noticed the knowing look your three friends exchanged and their simultaneous eye roll. 
The following Monday, you decided to have your tutoring session at your house instead of Jake’s. His mom was away at a convention for the week, so you’d have to take the bus anyway - since your house was two stops earlier, you offered to switch it up for once. Jake had never actually been inside your house and was curious to see what it was like, so he eagerly agreed. 
Kiwi was happy to see him and followed the two of you around the house as you gave Jake a quick tour before going up to your room. When you reached the top landing, you realized that Kiwi was still at the bottom of the stairs and was looking up at you expectantly. “Is she not allowed upstairs?” Jake asked.
“Usually not, but I let her come up when my mom’s not here. Come on Kiwi! It’s okay!”
Kiwi didn’t need to be told twice - she trudged her little body up the stairs, and you couldn’t help but giggle at her adorableness. “She’s so cute,” you cooed, looking at your dog with a huge smile on your face.
“She really is,” Jake agreed, but when you turned your head to face him, he wasn’t looking at Kiwi - he was looking straight at you, a softness in his eyes that made your stomach turn. He snapped out of it when he noticed your round, surprised eyes, and cleared his throat. “So, where’s your room?” he asked, looking around the hallway and avoiding your gaze.
“Over there,” you replied, fighting the smile that tried to make its way to your lips as you headed towards your room, Jake and Kiwi following right behind. 
You told Jake to wait for a second as you went to get a second chair. When you came back, he was standing in front of your shelves, upper body slightly bent forwards to observe all the decorations and framed pictures closer. You placed the chair next to your desk then joined him, answering all the questions he had about the items on your shelves. Who’s this? When was this? Where did you get this? In his defense, you really did have a lot of things - you were trying to get rid of your hoarding habits, but you got attached to every small thing that held some sort of significance. You went to sit at the edge of your bed and just watched him, his eyes glinting with curiosity.
It reminded you of the first time you’d been to his house, how upset he’d seemed when you talked about his baby pictures and how you hadn’t wanted to risk looking at all the stuff in his room. You were also curious about things like that, and you wondered once again what had bothered him so much. The question was burning your tongue - although you were nervous to ask it, not wanting to upset Jake once more, you now knew him well enough to know he wasn’t the type to stay mad for long. 
“Can I ask you something?”
“Sure,” Jake replied, fingers toying with your favorite Littlest Pet Shop figurine you had kept from when you were eight.
“Why didn’t you want me to look at your baby photos that one time?”
Jake paused at your words. He stood up straight and set the figurine back on the shelf. He glanced at you before walking over to your bed and taking a seat next to you, leaning back on his palms while you rested your hands underneath your thighs. 
“You probably noticed I don’t mention my dad, right? Or the fact that he’s never home?” 
You nodded in response. You had noticed it, but you’d never brought the topic up in case it might be sensitive. Jake sighed. “He passed away when I was six.”
You turned your head towards him. To your surprise, his face remained expressionless - you couldn’t detect any sort of sadness or anger in his features, as if he was just reciting a fact. His uncharacteristic numbness upset you even more than any tears could have. 
He met your gaze and gave you a small smile. “I was so young that I only have very vague memories of him, like playing soccer together in the backyard or a trip to the beach with my parents and my brother. I only remember his face and his voice from the photos and videos my mom has shown me.” He sighed again, shifting forwards and resting his hands in his lap, fiddling with his fingers. “So when I see these pictures, they sort of just remind me of what I’ve lost? I really don’t like lingering on them. I sort of just ignore them every time I walk up or down the stairs.”
“I’m sorry, I wouldn’t have mentioned them if I’d known-”
Jake is quick to shake his head. “No, no, don’t be sorry. You couldn’t have guessed.” You want to comfort Jake in some way, thank him for telling you something so personal, but you’re not sure what words to use - so, instead, you take one of his hands in yours and bring it to your lap, then cover it with your other one. Your eyes meet for a second - he looks slightly taken aback at first, but then, his eyes drift down to your joined hands, and a small blush spreads on his cheeks.
“I’m- I’m okay, really. Like I said, it happened so long ago that I’m used to not having a dad now. It almost feels like it’s always been that way, which makes it even weirder to think it wasn’t. It’s just… It feels weird to miss someone I barely remember so much, you know?”
You nodded and let out a low hum. “I do know.” Jake tilted his head at you, silently asking you to go on. “It’s different, but I get that feeling of missing something you barely remember. I have these blurry memories of my parents being happy together and the three of us being a happy family, and then all of a sudden it’s hearing arguments from my room and my dad moving out, and they’re asking me, Do you wanna live with mom or dad?”
You watched as Jake moved his hand slightly, intertwining your fingers together and squeezing your hand. “I was older than you were when they divorced, so I guess I have more memories to hold onto, but they hurt more than anything.” You let out a deep sigh. “My dad cheated, so it’s not like I wished my mom had stayed with him, but I was too young to understand what was happening. I just wanted my parents together again.” 
When you lifted your head to look at him, he met your gaze, and his eyes were so soft yet so intense, like he was seeing right into you. Then he chuckled. “Do you ever get jealous of other people’s parents?” he asks, a shy smile playing on his lips.
“All the time,” you admitted with a chuckle, relieved to find out you weren’t the only one. “Yena has been blessed with these like, practically perfect parents that are still in love after twenty years, never argue and have a healthy relationship with all of their kids. I’m so in awe every time I see them.”
“Sunghoon’s parents are like that. I feel terrible, but every time they come to cheer him on at his competitions, I just get so jealous, wishing I also had three people coming to see my games and not just two. And I always feel so silly for feeling that way.”
“You’re not silly for that, Jake,” you said, and the honesty in your voice seemed to take him aback slightly. A grin spread on your lips. “You may be silly for other things, but not for that,” you teased, making him chuckle. “I can be your third person, if you want,” you said softly, lightly bumping your shoulder against his.
His eyes seemed to light up at your words, and your smile couldn’t help but get wider at his reaction - that was, until he raised an eyebrow, almost defiantly. “Yeah? I thought you found soccer boring,” he said with a playful smirk.
“It’s not boring if you’re the one playing,” you replied. A small noise of surprise escaped his throat before he could help it, not expecting you to be so forward, and you both burst into giggles. 
He cleared his throat when you both calmed down and stood up straighter, trying to put on a cool front. “Of course it isn’t.” He turned his head to look out the window, and the sight of the sunlight perfectly hitting his features and turning his dark brown eyes a hazel color almost took your breath away. “It’s really nice out,” he suddenly said. He turned back to you, a mischievous glint in his eyes. “How about we ditch the tutoring for today and go out?”
His eyes drifted down to your lips, watching as a smile tugged at the corners of your own. “I’m in.”
That was how you found yourselves sitting at a bench in the park close to your house, eating ice cream and watching Kiwi and Layla play together. You tried each other’s ice cream, and you regretted your choice of simple vanilla and strawberry as soon as Jake’s mango ice cream touched your tongue. Your eyes widened at the amazing taste - it felt like you had bit into an actual mango. 
“Good, right?” Jake asked, chuckling at your reaction.
“What the heck, yours is so much better than mine,” you mumbled, pouting at the ice cream in your cup like it had personally hurt you.
Jake thought for a second, looking back and forth between your upset expression and his own cup. “Wanna switch?”
Your heart was screaming yes, but your brain was screaming no. You tried your best to appear genuine when you smiled at him. “No, don’t worry about it. I still like mine.” You looked at him as you scooped another spoonful into your mouth as if to prove to him you were happy with your choice, even going so far as to hum in delight.
Jake just chuckled and shook his head at you, taking your cup and giving you his anyway. You were about to protest until he started eating your ice cream, imitating your previous hum. You quietly accepted the exchange, smiling as you tasted the mango ice cream again and trying to ignore the fact that Jake hadn’t switched the spoons with the cups, so you were using his and he was using yours. 
As you ate in silence, occasionally chuckling at your dogs’ antics, Jake stole some glances at you. He wasn’t sure why you looked so much prettier today than all the times he’d seen you before. Or maybe you were just as pretty as you’d always been, and he was just finally letting himself admit it. 
He may have had many friends, but there weren’t many people Jake was truly himself around. He always felt the need to be this friendly, outgoing guy that made it seem like everything was going well in his life, but with you, he felt like it was okay to stop pretending. He felt like it was okay to ask for help, like it was okay to reveal the darker parts of his life.
Now that Jay and Sunghoon had practically forced him to see the truth, Jake didn’t know what to do about his feelings for you. He finally understood why he always looked forward to your tutoring sessions, why he was so excited whenever he walked past you in the hallways, and why he was so bothered about you and Sunghoon getting along.
Sunghoon. Because even if Jake now knew that he liked you, he also knew that you liked someone else. And what was the point of letting himself fall for you even more when there was no happy ending in sight for him? He’d only get hurt in the end.
Just as the thought hit him, you turned to look at him and meet his gaze, a soft smile on your lips. Every time you smiled at him like that, Jake felt like he was watching a movie. Everything happened in slow-motion, with flowers falling around you and violins playing in the background. Jake almost felt sick, knowing he was only the second lead in your romance movie. He was the stupid werewolf and Sunghoon was the vampire that glistened in the sun and got the girl. (You had convinced him to watch Twilight, saying it was a mandatory watch to understand who you were as a person. Of course, Jake had streamed it that same night. The soundtrack was surprisingly good.)
Your voice snapped him out of his downward-spiraling thoughts. “You know, I almost got scared that Sunghoon would appear out of thin air and start hanging out with us.”
Jake tried not to sneer at the mention of his best-friend-turned-number-one-nemesis. “Why? Wouldn’t you like that?” he mumbled, clearly doing a poor job of seeming unaffected.
You frowned, then lowered your head, focusing your gaze on your almost-finished ice cream. “No, I’d rather if it was just the two of us.” Jake’s eyes widened, unsure if he’d heard that correctly or not. But before he could say anything in response, you spoke again. “It’s just, he was there when I came to watch your practice and when I thought we were all going to see a movie together, it was just him and me. You would’ve liked that movie, by the way,” you said, looking up at Jake with a smile.
Jake’s heart swelled. He wasn’t sure what what you were saying all meant, but unconsciously, his lips mirrored yours and he smiled back at you. Until he remembered you didn’t like him, and his smile fell immediately. Obviously, you had no idea what he was thinking, so his sudden stony expression sent alarms ringing through your head.
“It’s not that I don’t like him, or anything,” you said, panicked, and Jake had to keep himself from scoffing, “it’s just that- you know. It’s nice to hang out with you outside of tutoring sessions,” you finished, mumbling. 
Jake had no idea what you were saying, so he stayed quiet, watching as Kiwi and Layla ran around in circles. You liked Sunghoon, so why would you rather hang out with Jake and not him? You weren’t making any sense. 
You, on the other hand, were not liking Jake’s uncharacteristic silence. In hopes of getting his attention, you crossed one leg over the other, shifting on the bench to face him. “Plus, don’t you think he and Chaewon really hit it off the other night? I think that was the most I’ve ever heard him talk,” you said, trying to lighten the atmosphere. To your dismay, it didn’t work. You didn’t know whether he was sulking or genuinely upset - all you knew was you desperately wanted to see a smile on his pretty face again.
“Jakey?” you called out, and your voice sounded so small it hurt his heart. He hummed in response, only glancing at you for a fraction of a second. “Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, why wouldn’t it be?” he replied, scooping the last of the ice cream in his mouth. As he tasted the strawberry and vanilla flavors, he couldn’t believe he had given his precious mango ice cream up all for a girl who didn’t even like him back. What a fool.
“I don’t know, you’re all- weird, all of a sudden, for lack of a better word.” You searched for some sort of an answer in his eyes, but he supplied you with none. 
Jake sighed deeply. He could feel the ugly mix of emotions in his belly turning into anger - anger at what exactly, he wasn’t sure, but he didn’t want to lay it on you. “It’s just the heat, it’s making me tired,” he said. Sure, it was warm for a May afternoon, but it wasn’t that hot. But you didn’t want to push it.
“Should we go home?“ you offered, and the worry in your voice made him feel even worse. He just couldn’t understand why you were being so nice to him. He knew you probably just thought you were looking after a friend, but he'd rather you not care about his well-being and leave him be. He didn’t need one more reason to like you - he already had plenty of those. 
He nodded, mustering as convincing a smile as he could. “Sure.” 
The walk home was much quieter than usual. You could feel that Jake was keeping something to himself, and it was killing you; but whatever it was, you wanted him to tell you when he felt ready and not feel forced to. Your hand was aching, desperate to reach out and grab his as you had done before, but you were afraid that would only push him away even further. So you stayed silent most of the time, only commenting on the things around you or speaking a thought out loud when you thought it might make Jake smile. Every time his lips curled up, even ever so slightly, your heart swelled with relief.
Unbeknownst to you, Jake was making up his mind. He knew he needed time away from you to gather his feelings before he could see you as a friend again. 
When you reached your house, Jake waited outside with the dogs as you grabbed his bag he’d left upstairs. You hugged goodbye as always, but this one was different - it lasted a few seconds longer than usual, and you could swear Jake held you tighter than he normally would. It felt like he was saying goodbye for more than just a couple days.
You didn’t understand why it made your heart ache so much.
The next day, when you walked past Jake and Sunghoon in the hallway, Jake barely glanced at you and only tilted his head in your general direction instead of his usual wide grin and wave. You were so shocked by his sudden snubbing that you halted in your steps right away, looking behind you at his retreating figure. You locked eyes with Sunghoon, who seemed just as confused as you felt. He shrugged at you before returning to his friend and nudging his arm.
On Wednesday morning, you got a text from Jake that he couldn’t make it to your tutoring session that afternoon because of an extra soccer practice to prepare for their game that weekend, something he had never mentioned before.
Thursday and Friday weren’t very different, and your heart became heavier with every time you walked past each other and he acted like you weren’t even there. You desperately wanted to know what you’d done wrong, why he’d started to reply in one-word sentences instead of his usual voice messages and tons of emojis, but no matter how much you cogitated, you couldn’t figure it out. Even when you asked him how his game had gone, a dry Good stared back at you from your phone screen.
That Saturday, your girlfriends came over. Yena had brought beads and strings to make accessories out of, and the mere sight of them had brought fond memories back to all four of you - during your first sleepover in freshman year, this was the exact activity that had kept you occupied for hours. 
You got started on them immediately, each finding a comfortable spot in your room as soft music played in the background. You lay on your bed while Chaewon and Yena took over the floor and Hyewon sat at your desk.
“I’m gonna make one of those phone accessories,” Yena said excitedly, reaching for the biggest, most colorful beads.
“I’m gonna make couple bracelets for Jaemin and I,” Hyewon said somewhat shyly but beaming. Yena and Chaewon groaned at her words, but they gave you an idea.
“You guys are vomit-inducing,” Yena replied, and if you didn’t know your friend any better, just going off the tone of her voice, you’d have thought she was being serious. Hyewon just rolled her eyes, used to this daily slander she received simply for being in a relationship.
“I’ll make something for my little sister,” Chaewon butted in, and you and Yena simultaneously ‘aww’ed. 
“So it’s aww when Chaewon does it for her sister, and it’s vomit-inducing when I do it for my boyfriend?” Hyewon exclaimed, appalled.
“Little sisters are cute. Boyfriends are gross,” Yena replied matter-of-factly, making you giggle.
“Whatever. You guys are just jealous that you’re dying alone and I’m not. What are you making, Y/N?” she asked before Yena could retort again. The two exchanged a glare as you thought over your answer.
“I’m not saying,” you replied with a giggle. 
“She’s making one for Jake, that evil wench,” Chaewon immediately said, making your eyes widen. Yena gasped dramatically while Hyewon smiled at you.
“How did you know?” you asked Chaewon.
“Just your face. You’re so obvious,” she snickered. 
“You’re a traitor, Y/N!” Yena exclaimed, pointing an accusing finger at you, and you hid your face in your hands, muttering an apology. “Wasting time and energy on a boy.”
“Don’t listen to her, Y/N. Whatever it is you make, he’ll be super happy you thought of him. Then he’ll finally ask you out and you’ll live happily ever after, just like me and Jaemin,” Hyewon said with a serene smile on her face. Chaewon and Yena exchanged a look, then faked a gagging sound. “So bitter,” Hyewon muttered, shaking her head at your friends.
“I’m not sure about that,” you sighed. “I just want to be friends again. He’s been ignoring me all week.”
All three snapped their heads up at you. “He’s been ignoring you?” Yena echoed, and you meekly nodded. “Give me his phone number. No, give me his address. I’m going there right now,” she said, already sitting up.
“Gosh, Yena, it’s fine,” you said, gesturing at her to sit back down, laughing at your friend’s seriousness. “I’ll see him on Monday anyway, I can just see how he behaves then.”
Yena didn’t look convinced, but she yielded anyway. “If he hurts you, I swear I’ll give him a stern talking to. And a broken nose.” You laughed as you thanked your friend. 
Hyewon asked for more details about this Jake situation, so you filled your friends in about his mysterious behavior that week. Chaewon had been the only one to see it firsthand, when you’d walked to a class together and Jake had walked past you without saying anything. You told them about his sparse answers to your texts, his lack of response to the TikToks you sent him. He wasn’t even reacting to your BeReals anymore. It was just such a complete switch-up in attitude that you had no idea what to make of it. They tried to come up with reasons for it, but it really didn’t make much sense. It just felt like he suddenly decided to hate you - or maybe you had been interpreting everything wrong, and the two of you had never been friends in the first place. 
“This is so confusing,” Chaewon suddenly said, seeming lost in thought. “I thought for sure that he liked you.”
“Liked… me?” you echoed.
“Yeah. Just the way he was when we were at the diner. He kept looking at you and was always smiling and blushing whenever you talked to him. Also the way Jay and Sunghoon were behaving. Boys are so obvious when their friend likes someone, it’s like they’re trying to fumble it for him. And I mean, anyone with functioning eyes can see that you like him too, so I don’t know why he’s doing this all of a sudden.”
Yena sighed. “Boys are stupid.”
“That, they are,” you agreed, sighing as well and returning your attention to your craft. Maybe a simple gift like this wouldn’t fix what was going on between you and Jake, but you had to at least try. You couldn’t let go of your friendship so easily.
Even though it seemed as though he could.
Nothing changed the next week. On Monday, you woke up to a text that pulled your heart down into your stomach.
jakey-poo i think we should stop tutoring each other for now
For an hour as you ate breakfast and got ready for school, you ruminated over your answer, only to ask him a simple why? in the end.
jakey-poo i’m to busy w soccer practice and other stuff we can start again when exams are near
you oh okay
You felt pathetic, but you had no idea what to say. You couldn’t force him into this, and you definitely couldn’t show up at his house and demand a better explanation. If you were Yena or Chaewon, maybe you could - but you weren’t. You couldn’t even bring yourself to ask him if the two of you could still hang out outside of that, so scared you were for his inevitable rejection.
During the week, you tried to find a time when you could give him your small handmade gift, but Jake wasn’t even looking you in the eyes anymore. The only time you made eye contact with him over those five days was on Wednesday at lunch - as you walked into the cafeteria, you scanned the whole room, unconsciously searching for him. When you did, he was already looking at you - he was close enough for you to see the slight frown in his eyebrows, the lack of the usual glint in his eyes. But as soon as he’d seen you’d found him, he turned away. You only looked away when Chaewon called out your name.
In the few classes you had together, he always slipped away before you could get to him. Him walking past you like he couldn’t even see you broke your heart a little bit more every time, and by Friday, you had completely given up. Your friendship with Jake was over, and you had no idea why, no idea who or what to blame.
Monday and Wednesday afternoons felt empty now that you had gotten used to spending them with him, and you couldn’t even walk Kiwi without missing him. He seemed to miss Jake and Layla too - he’d sometimes tilt his head at you as if asking where your new friends were, and when you got to the park, he’d gloomily stick to you instead of running around like he usually would, especially when Layla was there.
The worst part was at night, when your thoughts kept you up. You’d reread your and Jake’s text conversations, wondering what went so wrong so quickly, warm tears spilling from your eyes out of sadness and tiredness. On those nights, you’d sneak Kiwi up to your room and let him cuddle up to you in your bed. You’d comfort each other that way.
You had no idea that a couple kilometers away, Jake lay in bed sleepless as well, Layla at the edge of his bed and whining in her sleep. You had no idea that missing you had carved a deep hole in his chest.
Enough was enough.
It had been days since Layla had last seen Kiwi, and to a young pup like her, that felt like eternity. Lately, Jake hadn’t seemed happy to go on walks with her like he used to, and he barely had any energy to play with her. She also hadn’t seen you in days, and she wondered if that had anything to do with Jake’s recent despondency. 
But thankfully, Layla was a smart girl, so she knew exactly what to do to fix this dire situation. On Friday, she waited for Jake to come back from soccer practice and take her on a walk. As soon as they reached the sidewalk outside of their house, she pulled on her leash in the opposite direction of their usual route. Jake tried pulling her the other way, but she wouldn’t budge.
“We’re going that way, Layla,” Jake said, amused by his dog’s sudden stubbornness. Layla barked back. “Come on!” 
She was really not moving. “We never go that way,” Jake said, sighing. “That way’s the-”
That’s when he realized. Layla wanted to go to the park you went to with Kiwi. “But what if we ran into them?” Jake asked. 
Layla barked again. She wanted to say, That’s exactly why I want to go there, but of course Jake didn’t understand. He sighed again and obliged, letting Layla lead the way. She had a good feeling that she’d finally see her friends again today. 
Jake’s heart started beating faster with every step he took, knowing that you might be out right now, too. When he’d seen you at school, you’d seemed as sad as he was, and he felt terrible for perhaps being the reason behind it - but he didn’t know what else to do. He could either spare your feelings or his. If this was hurting you, he knew you’d move on quickly enough anyway - and when he came to terms with being just friends with you, he’d come back, and everything would be perfect like it used to be. Foolproof plan.
If there was one thing Jake had learned from the tutoring sessions with you, it was that the weather always reflected the protagonist’s inner thoughts. If they were upset, it would be gray and rainy - if they were happy, it would be warm and sunny. Jake glared at the sun, just another reminder that he wasn’t the main character in this story. If he was, it would be thundering and lightning would be striking.
As if his life was a joke, two minutes after Jake and Layla had walked into the park, he saw you. At least you were facing the other direction, so you couldn’t see him, and he could redirect his route to avoid you. But he let himself indulge in the moment for a few seconds. You had laid out a picnic blanket for you and Kiwi and rested on your stomach with your elbows propping you up, reading a book. Kiwi slept peacefully next to you - this dog was the furthest thing from a guard dog Jake had ever seen. You kicked your feet up in the air, flip flops discarded to the side of the blanket. Jake was happy to see you like this, enjoying the warmth of this sunny May afternoon. 
He was about to walk away, but a sudden movement caught his eye. Two school kids started running to you, and before you could even register their presence, one of them snatched your flip flops and they both sprinted away, shrieking with laughter like two little devils. Where the hell were their parents?!
Without thinking, Jake started running after them, and so did Kiwi and Layla. 
“Hey! Come back here!” Jake yelled, hoping in vain that these kids would listen to someone older than them. Kiwi did his best, but his tiny legs didn’t allow for such a chase - Layla, barking loudly at the thieves, was the first to reach them, and she managed to scare them so much, they tripped over their feet. But unlike them, she was well-behaved, so she sat once her job was done and waited for Jake to arrive. 
“What are you two doing? You can’t just steal other people’s things!” he admonished, holding onto his knees as he tried to catch his breath.
Both kids were already teary-eyed. “We just wanted to play a prank, we’re sorry!” one of them quickly said, voice shaky.
“It’s not to me you should apologize, but to her,” Jake said, turning around to point in your direction. That’s when he noticed you sitting on your knees, hands covering your face as your shoulders trembled. “You made her cry!” Jake exclaimed, tone much angrier than seconds prior. “Let’s go,” he said, grabbing the kids by their shoulders and forcing them to keep up with his quick steps.
You didn’t notice their presence in front of you until Jake prompted them. At the sound of the all too familiar voice, you whipped your head up. Jake swore he heard his heart breaking when he saw your red eyes and tear-streaked cheeks. You barely heard the kids’ apology, so amazed you were at suddenly seeing Jake.
“We’re sorry for stealing your flip-flops and making you cry,” the first one said.
“Sorry,” repeated the other one, handing you your shoes.
“Oh, right. Thanks, just don’t do it again,” you replied, sniffing as you took back your shoes.
“We won’t!” they replied in unison before running away once more.
Jake stood there awkwardly for a few seconds, unsure what to say. He watched you stare at your flip flops like you’d never seen them before in your life. “You’re not going to thank me for catching those delinquents?” he asked after a small while, chuckling slightly.
This made you look up at him. He gulped as your eyes met. Then, you burst into sobs again, and Jake started panicking. He crouched down to your level, first holding you by the shoulders then forcing your head out of your hands so he could wipe away your tears with the pads of his thumbs.
“No no no, why are you crying, Y/N?” he asked softly, pulling you into a hug.
You continued crying into his shoulder, ignoring Kiwi and Layla’s confused stares. “You- you- I haven’t seen you in ages!” you exclaimed.
Jake sighed. He didn’t understand why you were crying like this for him, all he knew was that he’d never felt so awful. “I’m sorry, Y/N,” he whispered into your hair, pulling your shaking body closer to him. “I’m sorry.”
You leaned back to glare at Jake, your bottom lip jutting out in discontent. “Do you even know how much I missed you?”
Jake held your head in his hands like it was the most precious thing in the world. Mouth agape in surprise, he looked at you with sad eyes. “You… you did?”
Your eyebrows creased. “Of course I did!” Another sob rippled through your body, and Jake took you back in his arms, wrapping them around your shoulders and resting his cheek against your hair. 
“I missed you too.”
“Then why did you do this?” you asked, voice breaking.
“Because I didn’t want to get hurt,” Jake whispered back. “But I didn’t think I’d hurt you. I’m so sorry, Y/N.”
You leaned back again, but this time, you looked confused rather than angry. His eyes were soft as they scanned your face and as he brushed strands of your hair back behind your ears. “Why would you get hurt?” you asked again, bringing your voice to the same volume as his.
Jake sighed and squeezed his eyes shut for a second, as if in pain, before opening them again and boring them into yours. “I like you so, so much Y/N. So much so that I don’t know what to do with myself. But I know that you don’t feel the same way, and I was scared that by staying by your side, I’d just fall in love with you even more and get hurt in the end. So I pushed you away because I didn’t know what else to do, but I’m so sorry I- You’re crying again?”
Your fists grabbed at the front of Jake’s t-shirt as sobs raked through your body once more. It was official - Jake was the stupidest person you’d ever met. And you were in love with him.
“Why are you crying?”
“Because I like you too, you idiot!” you yelled back. Your tears were probably staining his t-shirt, but you couldn’t care less. He liked you. Jake liked you.
You were too busy crying to see Jake’s eyes slowly widening in disbelief. “You what?!”
Gently, Jake pushed your shoulders back so he could look at you. Even with puffy eyes and a runny nose, you were the prettiest girl he’d ever seen. Pretty like an angel that had graced the Earth with her presence. “You what?” he repeated, just to hear you say it again.
“I like you, Jake. I’m so in love with you it's actually pathetic,” you said with a chuckle, looking down out of shyness. But when you looked back up, Jake’s eyes were going back and forth between yours, the expression on his face like he couldn’t believe what he’d just heard but desperately hoped it was true.
As you locked eyes, both of your faces lit up with grins. You burst into laughter together, finding each other’s hands and intertwining your fingers together. Then Jake brought you back into his arms, holding tightly, as if he was scared you might disappear any second. Kiwi and Layla had long walked away to give the two of you some needed privacy.
In each other’s arms, you rocked side to side gently and laughed for no reason other than the incredible fact your feelings were reciprocated. “You stink, you know,” you suddenly said in-between giggles. “You sweat while you ran after those kids.”
“I sweat? You mean I swote, right?” Jake asked a pause.
You leaned back to look at Jake. “Swote?” you echoed, and he nodded. Your umpteenth smile made your cheeks lift. “You have to be kidding-”
“I am,” Jake cut off, mirroring your smile. “I just wanted to make you laugh.”
You gasped and lightly punched his chest before letting your body fall against his again. “You’re so silly,” you said, sighing in bliss at the sound of his giggles.
Then all of a sudden, Jake pulled away and looked at you, almost frightened. “What about Sunghoon?” 
“What about him?” you asked back, confused by Jake’s question.
“I thought you- Didn’t you- you know…”
You tilted your head at Jake, a small grin spreading on your lips again. “I don’t know.”
“I thought you liked him…” Jake mumbled, looking away with a pout.
Before you could stop it, a noise of confusion left your throat. You looked at Jake like he was insane. “I can barely have a conversation with Sunghoon, what made you think I liked him?”
Jake pursed his lips and let a resigned puff of air out of his nose. “I, um- Remember when we mixed our backpacks up?” he asked and you nodded, smiling at the fun memory. “I may have, um, I may have read… your… diary,” he admitted, voice getting quieter with each word. He dared a glance at you - you looked horrified, eyes wide and mouth agape. “And you wrote that you liked Sunghoon,” he finished with a whisper.
It was silent for a few seconds, and Jake was bracing himself for a slap to the face or your screams, until you did the last thing Jake expected you to do - you laughed. You laughed so hard and for so long that he got scared you had gone insane and this was the first part of your mental breakdown before you murdered him in cold blood for having invaded your privacy. He would’ve deserved it, he thought.
“I don’t- oh my God, Jake, I don’t- I don’t like Sunghoon. I never really have, or not in the way you think, I can’t- oh my God,” you explained in between giggles, trying to catch your breath but starting to laugh again every time you managed to compose yourself. Jake tried to laugh along, but he was too confused to do so properly.
“You’re not mad?” Jake asked, eyebrows furrowed with worry.
“No,” you replied, shaking your head and the last giggles out of your throat. “You read it ages ago, and we didn’t even know each other back then, there’s no point in being mad now. It’s just funny - I know exactly why you think I liked Sunghoon, but I didn’t. Not really. And even if I did, those feelings are nothing compared to the ones I have for you now,” you said, beaming. A blush spread on Jake’s cheeks, and you could tell he was trying (and failing) to contain a proud grin.
You explained to Jake the ‘character’ thing you and your friends had going on and that Sunghoon (and hat guy) just happened to be one of them - you watched as Jake narrowed his eyes and slowly nodded, trying to understand this concept that was so foreign to him. 
“You know, it all makes a lot more sense now,” Jake said when you were explaining. “It would’ve been weird for you to like Sunghoon when I was right there.” He smirked down at you as you playfully rolled your eyes. 
“Oh my God!” you suddenly exclaimed, startling Jake in the process. Dramatic as always, he put a hand over his heart and exhaled loudly. “I have something for you. For us, actually.” You reached into your bag and got out the two accessories you’d made for you and Jake. “These are for us to put on our backpacks, so that we don’t confuse them again. They also match.”
Jake’s eyes were fixated on the string of beads as you placed into his palm. “I tried to give it to you over the week, but…” 
A teardrop fell into Jake’s palms, and when you looked at him, you realized he’d started crying. “Jake?” you cooed softly, and he sniffled, wiping away the tears from his eyes.
As a response, he wrapped his arms around your shoulders and buried his face in your hair. “Thank you. And I’m sorry. I promise you’ll never go a second without my undivided attention from now on,” he said, voice shaking with emotion, and you hummed happily.
“I wouldn’t expect anything else.”
He leaned back, and you were relieved to find the familiar puppyish grin on his lips. You gazed into each other’s eyes for a few seconds, and before he could stop himself, he grabbed your head in his hands and pressed a delicate kiss to your forehead. You raised your eyebrows in surprise, but when his face was back in front of yours, your eyes immediately drifted to his lips. They looked soft and plump and pink, and were utterly inviting. Every time you’d started daydreaming about kissing Jake, you’d stopped yourself, not wanting to over-indulge in your fantasies. But was this finally, really happening?
“Y/N?” Jake said quietly. You could swear his face was getting closer.
“Will you be my girlfriend?”
Your face broke out into a grin. Without warning, you pressed your lips against Jake’s - initially just for a peck, but as soon as you started pulling away, Jake chased after your lips and trapped them into a kiss, a proper one this time. You’d never done this before, so it was naturally somewhat clumsy, but you and Jake were so giddy with excitement that you couldn’t care less. So what if you were smiling so hard, your teeth clashed against his, or you kept bumping noses? You were kissing Jake Sim. 
The second time around, he let you pull away to catch your breath, and you wished you could photograph the sight in front of you - Jake with flushed cheeks, closed eyes and a serene smile on his face. He was so pretty, and now, he was all yours.
When he opens his eyes and finds you looking at him, his smile widens. “I’ll take that as a yes?”
“Yes,” you echoed, laughing. You pressed your lips to his cheek before burying your face in the crook of his neck.
He hugged you to him and the sweet sound of his giggles filled your ears and your heart. “My girl,” he whispered, before leaning his head back, face to the sky, and screaming it loud enough for the whole park to hear. You tried to shush him, but you couldn’t stop laughing yourself out of sheer excitement. Layla and Kiwi came running back to you, barking happily and trying to lick your faces. 
“I cried so much today, my eyes are gonna be puffy tomorrow morning,” you said between giggles. 
Jake pressed his lips to yours in a chaste kiss. “I’ll make sure you never cry again, Y/N,” he said, and he sounded so genuine, you almost wanted to cry again right then and there.
The rest of the afternoon went by in a blur - while you and Jake kissed, laughed, talked, and hugged, hours that felt like minutes passed you by. Jake kept on looking at the accessory you made him, poking fun at you for knowing his favorite color even though he’d never mentioned it.
“It was a lucky guess,” you grumbled. “Your room’s walls are that color,” you said, pointing to a particular dark blue bead.
“I love it,” he replied with a kiss to your forehead.
As always, he walks you home - and this time, you can take his hand without any hesitation. Your mom had come home from work while you and Jake were out, and you found her in the kitchen, prepping some veggies for dinner. 
As soon as Jake introduced himself, a flash of revelation struck her and she shot you a knowing smirk. “So you’re Jake,” she said, and the boy glanced at you with amused confusion. “That one over there has been badgering me about you these past few weeks.”
Apparently, you agreeing to be his girlfriend had already gone to his head, because instead of looking surprised at your mom’s words, he slowly turned to you with an arrogant smirk gracing his lips. “Has she?”
Your mom nodded slowly. “Oh, yes.” Then her expression slowly morphed into something else as she remembered your red, puffy eyes from the other evening when you’d told her about what was going on with Jake. She raised her kitchen knife and pointed it straight to him, eyes narrowed. “If you ever hurt my daughter again, I’m putting you in the lasagna, young man.”
Jake gulped, smirk completely wiped off of his face. You just watched in amusement. “I- I won’t,” he stuttered, eyes fixed on the blade of the knife.
A wide grin reappeared on your mom’s face as she went back to cutting the vegetables. “Good!” 
Jake looked at you for some sort of explanation, but you simply shrugged. He’d just have to get used to your mom’s crazy. 
“You know, you’re just as handsome as she described,” your mom told Jake with a wink.
“Mom, please!” you exclaimed, cheeks burning with heat. You liked it better when she was threatening your boyfriend with a knife, but he was relieved by the new turn this conversation had taken.
“What else has she said?”
“Oh, you know, just your typical he’s so smart, he’s so cute, he’s so funny-”
“Okay, that’s it!” you cut in before your mom could spill more on you. You ignored Jake’s noises of complaint as you grabbed him by the shoulders and led him towards the door. “I think it’s time for you to go home, no?” 
“Y/N, come on!” Jake whined, giggling. 
“Why don’t you stay for dinner, Jake?” your mom offered, making you stop in your tracks. You stared wide-eyed at her but she just looked at Jake, wearing an inviting smile.
“Sure!” Jake beamed. “I just need to call my mom.”
“Oh, invite her along! I always make enough to feed an army, anyway.”
“Really?” Jake asked, incredulous. Since his brother had left for university, it had always been just he and his mom at the dinner table. The thought of sharing a meal with you and your mom filled his heart with warmth. 
Jake smiled giddily as he got his phone out. “Thanks, she’ll be stoked.”
Although you both wanted to help your mom, she urged you to stay outside with the dogs and enjoy the last rays of sunshine of the day, insisting she didn’t need any help. So you and Jake spent some time throwing sticks for Kiwi and Layla and giggling at their cuteness. Kiwi quickly got exhausted and came to lie down at your feet, but Layla was tireless. “Your dog, your responsibility,” you said as you sat down next to Kiwi, rubbing his tummy and watching Jake throw the stick over and over again for Layla.
Jake was as relentless as Layla, and every time she ran after the stick, he ran to you and pressed a kiss to another part of your face, making you giggle every time. Once on your forehead, once on your nose, once on your cheek, then the other, and once on your lips.
Then his mom rang the bell, and as your mom opened the door for her, the oddest thing happened - they called out each other’s name and hugged as if they were old friends. You and Jake exchanged a confused look before turning your attention back to them.
“What a coincidence!”
“Right! Such a small world, I can’t believe you’re my daughter’s boyfriend’s mom.”
“Boyfriend? Gosh, has he finally asked her out? I was going crazy seeing him moping around in his room!”
“Mom!” Jake yelled, face already reddening as you burst into laughter.
You joined them inside the house and set the table while your mom finished up dinner. Jake’s mom had brought a bottle of red wine as a gift, so she poured two glasses for her and your mom, but you and Jake stuck to Sprite. 
Apparently, they knew each other from some yoga class they both went to every Sunday - you found out this was the woman your mom often went out for lunch or drinks with. They were so excited to meet each other like this that they talked most of the time, leaving you and Jake to eat your food quietly and giggling every time you made eye contact or your feet touched under the table. 
Just as you were about to take your last bite of lasagna, your phone pinged with a message. Curiously, so did Jake’s. Chaewon had sent a message into the group chat, asking to meet her at work when her shift was done because she was craving an Oreo milkshake.
chae bae y/n u better come ik ur not doing anything better tonight anyway
You scoffed. You were doing something better.
“Shit, today’s Friday! The boys are waiting for me at the diner, I completely forgot,” Jake exclaimed as he read the messages on his phone.
“Language, Jake,” his mom scolded.
“At the diner?” you repeated.
“Yeah, that one we went to last time. Why?” Jake asked when he noticed your surprised expression.
“That’s where Chaewon wants to meet.”
You both turned to your respective moms, silently asking for permission to leave the dinner table.
“Just go,” your mother said with a smile.
“I’ll take Layla home later,” Jake’s mom added.
You thanked them before rushing to get a bag and heading to the bus stop, hoping a bus would come by soon. Twenty minutes later, you were opening the doors of the diner and looking around for your friends, who were nowhere to be found. You were fishing your phone out of your pocket to call Chaewon when a familiar voice caught your and Jake’s attention.
“What are they doing together?” you heard Jay say, followed by loud shushes. You turned your head to find all five of your friends (plus Jaemin) crammed in a booth in the corner that was somewhat hidden from the rest of the restaurant. But they were trying so hard to be discreet that it made their presence even more obvious - they hid their faces with their hands as if that would make them disappear from your view. You and Jake shared a look before chuckling, shaking your head at your friends.
“Whatever, they’ve clearly found us,” Jay sighed and exited the booth, walking towards the two of you.
“Were you guys trying to get us to make up or something?” Jake asked with an amused smile.
“Yeah, we grouped up and planned this whole thing. It was a real team effort.”
“It might’ve worked better if you hadn’t all stayed here, you guys were so obvious,” you chided.
“Tell that to your friends over there! They insisted on watching it unfold,” Jay grumbled, and you looked behind him to see your friends frantically waving at you.
You switched to a bigger booth that could accommodate all seven of you, and as soon as you’d placed your orders, Yena practically pounced on you, demanding an explanation as to how the two of you were already made up.
You turned to look at Jake and smiled at him before answering. “It’s all thanks to Kiwi, really,” you told Yena.
“Kiwi? As in your dog Kiwi?” Chaewon asked with furrowed eyebrows.
“Mh-hm.” In your peripheral, you noticed Jake tilting his head at you.
“You mean Layla, right?”
You imitated his head movement. “No, I mean Kiwi.”
“But Layla made me go to the park today. I wouldn’t have gone there if it wasn’t for her,” Jake insisted, giving you an are you being serious look that you mirrored.
“I wasn’t going to go outside at all but Kiwi kept bugging me to take him on a walk, that’s why I was in the park in the first place. It’s thanks to Kiwi,” you repeated.
“It’s thanks to Layla,” Jake retorted, playfully narrowing his eyes at you.
“Trouble in paradise,” Jaemin whispered, and Hyewon slapped his arm.
The whole table was silent as you and Jake stared each other down, waiting to see who would cave first. It was like everyone could breathe again when Jake’s face broke out into a grin and he rested his arm behind your shoulders. “Okay, it’s thanks to Kiwi,” he conceded, making you hum in satisfaction. You rested your head on his shoulder and ignored Yena’s groan of disgust at the PDA.
But Jake, as always, wasn’t letting you off the hook so easily. “And Layla.”
02.06.202X - 12:18
rodrigo hater y/n i can see you being gross from across the courtyard can u guys not feed each other ur still on school grounds and ur ruining my day have some decency
sweet hyewon you guys are super cute <3  jaemin and i only have the same lunch period once a week i miss him
rodrigo hater ugh wheres chaewon she’d have my back
you hyewon love u yena frigg off you’re not going to like this… i think she’s with sunghoon rodrigo hater WHAT
sweet hyewon omg hahahaha saw it coming cuuuuute
rodrigo hater i hate you all so much you’re all kicked out of my celibacy club
chae bae we weren’t part of it in the first place
rodrigo hater GO AWAY YOU TRAITOR
03.06.202X - 09:15
you jake wake up  wake up wake up please
jake ??? R U okay?
you kiwi keeps whining i think he wants to see layla come over?
jake . did u just wake me up before 10 am on a sunday morning for this
you i made pancakes?
jake i’m going back to sleep
you but i miss you :(
jake running
07.06.202X - 16:39
stink #1 hey
jake no
stink #1 wtf man
jake im busy
stink #1 smooching ur girl?
jake yeah stay mad bro
stink #1 where’s hoon
stink #2 he’s at ice skating practice with me <3 this is chaewon btw
jake AYO????
stink #2 hehehe bye losers
stink #1 oh my god jake this is huge
jake right… our little boy he’s grown so much
stink #1 i’m getting teary eyed anyway i wanted to say i think we should invite the girls to bro night more often it’s always fun with them
jake oh? if u wanna see yena just say so bro
stink #1 fuck u man
jake ur literally so obvious you get 100% more obnoxious when she’s around
stink #1 idc she laughs at my jokes
jake which is proof that there’s something wrong w her anyway i’ll ask my girl about it
stink #1 ew and thx ^^
09.06.202X - 17:03
jakey-poo y/nnnnnn y/n hellloooooo y/n y/n y/n baby :(((( where are u what r u doing i miss you hello y/n my baby darling angel pls answer me layla misses you
you jake sim
jakey-poo HIIIIII
you jay is a genius i’m anime pomodoroing the hell out of this essay it’s working so well i’m almost done with it already
jakey-poo don’t compliment another man ever again i’m going to cry
you but jay’s your friend
jakey-poo i’ll kill him if i have to
you gosh okay jay’s an idiot
jakey-poo hahaha he is ice cream after dinner ???
you duh
31.07.202X - 21:03
jakey-poo i’m waiting for you outside the theater baby we have a lot of talking to do. i can’t believe you kissed someone else in front of me
you jake baby it was just acting <3 you know you’re the only one i really kiss
jakey-poo i know i am so come here and kiss me quick you did so well and you were so pretty on stage and i love you so much  COME QUICK I WANNA KISS YOU
you i’m hurrying i promise but a lot of people are trying to talk to me :(
jakey-poo ofc they are you killed it my baby’s already famous <3
you hehe love you my jakey-poo
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buryustogether · 4 months
lilac - chapter 1
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miguel o’hara x f!reader
summary: the father of one of your students is acting rather strangely - but when he smiles at you, you can’t help but forget your own name.
wc: 6k
warnings/tags: mentions of blood and violence, swearing, pining, stripping, strip club, sex workers, sexual fantasy, smut, thigh riding, fingering, oral (f! receiving), pet names, dom!miguel, single father!miguel, teacher!stripper!reader
author’s note: set in the universe where miguel replaces his father!variant with himself. ps - planning on turning this into a series/full fic.
New York
Earth - 9193
Since you could remember, the sky above the city, flecked with struggling stars and choking on itself over clouds of smog like cigarette smoke, had been deep purple. Some called it violet. Others named it plum. They were trying to make a prettier picture of an ugly reality, desperately ignoring the real world that held them captive. The purple held every soul in this city on a taut leash; each time someone was given a little slack, they wandered too far and discovered that, really, they hadn’t ever wanted to stray in the first place. Car bombings every week. Shootings. Back alley guttings. Innocence all but a foreign language to the citizens of New York.
You wished with every bit of you that one day you’d be able to escape and see the real color of the sky. Because deep down you knew, wanted to believe, wished and prayed… that it was not this shade of dark.
Your classroom was one of the only lit rooms here in Washington Elementary School, a beacon through dimly-lit hallways and the even dimmer streets outside your windows. A long, silent exhale managed to escape your lips as you continued to grade your third graders’ spelling tests, using a pink pen to correct their mistakes instead of a red one. You figured it was less harsh, more inviting to be open to learning from where they first failed. Your back was beginning to cramp from sitting in these damn little-kid chairs, your knees practically hugged to your chest due to how low to the floor you were. You would have been at your desk - hell, you would have been home getting ready for your second job right about now - had it not been for the young girl sitting across the table from you.
Gabriella O’Hara was, in your opinion, one of the most intelligent children you’d had the pleasure of teaching. She was quick and clever and friendly, not to mention, captain of her little soccer team funded by the taxes of PTA parents and the grumbling millionaires of the city. She was a frequent flier on your good-behavior list, and her name had made a home for itself on the principal’s honor roll long before she’d landed in your class.
She was a sweetheart, to say the least. She had been raised well by her father - who, uncharacteristically, had been a no show when it came time for pick up two hours ago.
Glancing up from your papers, you smiled gently at Gabriella as she scribbled along her homework page. “Briella, honey,” you said and leaned your chin in your hand. “Why don’t you check to see if your dad texted at all.”
Obediently, Gabriella dug her phone - a little flip-type, despite there being hundreds of smartphones out these days - and clicked the button to scroll through her recent texts. You watched as her face fell, thick brows and full lips pulling downward. “Nothing,” she said and placed her phone back. She looked to you, and it was obvious from the way she squirmed in her seat that her nervous stomach was starting to get the better of her. “I’m kind of scared, Miss Y/N. My daddy’s never late.”
Setting down your pink pen, you reached across the table and placed a hand on her small forearm. You’d stayed late before when parents were late for pick up, or they forgot, or they were too stoned out of their minds to bother, but you had to admit, you were rather worried, as well. Her father had never been late once, not even by five minutes. So two hours was, really, something to bat an eye at. “I’m sure everything’s fine,” you assured her and offered a gentle smile. “He probably just got held up at work. Maybe his phone died.” Your gaze flickered briefly to the windows behind her, strung across with colorful drawings and decorations, as a number of wailing police cars zipped past. When she started to follow your eyes, you added quickly, “I bet he’s on his way right now. Why don’t you finish up your homework so you can have the rest of the evening free when you get home.”
As she went back to her work, you found yourself tapping your fingernail against the table, your gaze stuck to an empty corner across the room. Miguel O’Hara was nothing but punctual, not just to everyday events like after-school pick up, but to every single thing he did. Soccer practice and games. Parent-teacher conferences. Hell, you wouldn’t put it past him to be an hour early to that fancy job of his at Alchemax every Monday through Friday. He was a perfectionist, signing every grade card check and permission slip with the neatest signature you’d ever seen. And it was a feat to marvel at, considering he was a single father.
Once, at a soccer practice, you’d heard from a few of the mothers who had nothing better to do than gossip that he’d moved himself and Gabriella over from Queens years ago when he was hired as a geneticist. Her mother had apparently left them when she was born, and he’d done everything from that moment on for the good of his little girl.
You weren’t afraid to admit to yourself he was, by far, the best-looking man you’d ever laid eyes on. Cheekbones placed high on his face, wide, broad shoulders, a sinewy frame that nearly challenged the doorframes he walked through. He was friendly, sure. But that was all you knew. You’d never been able to get close enough to know much else. An enigma to your curious mind, Miguel was nothing short of a puzzle that you desperately wanted to put together and see the bigger picture for yourself.
Shaking your head slightly, you forced yourself to wind back into the present. God, you needed to get a fucking grip. Crushing on the father of one of your students? Fucking pathetic. You had a boyfriend, for God’s sake.
You had just begun to grade your papers again, nearing the end of your stack, when there came the sounds of footsteps pounding against the tile floor of the hallway outside. They were jogging, approaching your room at an alarming rate. You stood, thinking it was the janitor having locked himself out of his closet again, and prepared to fetch your keys when a much different - yet no less welcome - figure filled the doorway.
“Hi, daddy,” said Gabriella as Miguel O’Hara entered your classroom.
You looked up, lips parted as you took him in. God, he was stunning. Somewhere around six feet with dark, somewhat-tamed hair that matched his tan skin and the thick brows sitting above his sloped eyes, he stood with a chest that rose and caved rapidly, like he’d run through the entire school searching for your room. Which he shouldn’t have - he knew the classroom his own daughter was in. Didn’t he?
“Oh, baby,” Miguel said and rounded the table so quickly you could have blinked and missed it. He hauled her up into his arms like she was nothing but a sack of flour and hugged her tight to his chest, almost like he was trying to mold the feeling of her to himself. “I’m so sorry I’m late. I lost track of time. I’m so sorry.” As if just realizing you were in the room, watching the pair with a small smile, he set his daughter back down and pulled her backpack from the back of her chair. “Pack up your things, okay? We’ll go home in just a minute.”
He approached you where you stood beside your desk loading your purse, and you swore your heart skipped a beat as he towered over you. Thick, corded muscles and a frame that made your stomach churn excitedly, he was the perfect picture of a fucking masterpiece. “Hi,” he said in a low tone, meant for you to hear and not Gabriella. “I’m so sorry for keeping you here. Time got away from me, and when I got here, the front doors were locked.” He took a breath. “Thank you. For watching her, I mean.”
Forcing your heart to calm its thundering in the confines of your chest, you grinned up at him brightly. “It’s not a problem, Mister O’Hara. I was happy to.” You decided to say nothing about the fact that it was unlike him to lose track of time. He wore a watch that you recognized as one of the latest, expensive versions that were magnetic, not electric, so it was incapable of stopping. How exactly did time get away from a man who revolved around it? “I’m sure she’s going to crash when you get home, anyway. She had a big day.”
Miguel blinked a few times and placed a hand on his hip, jutting it out slightly. Fuck, you wished he wouldn’t do that. “Yeah?”
“Mm-hmm. We had a soccer scrimmage against one of the other classes today and she pulled the winning goal. Then there was the assembly over fire safety, but I’m sure you saw that in the handout last week.”
His lips remained parted for a long moment as his dark, umber gaze traveled across the stack of next week’s announcement handouts. “Right,” he said after a moment or two. “Right. Do, uh… do you think I could have another one of those? For this week. And maybe next week’s, too. Has that been sent home already?”
Giving him a rather crooked smile, you opened a drawer in your desk and produced the light green paper with last week’s announcements. Then you stacked it beneath next week’s and extended it toward his hulking frame. “Sorry if this seems a little… personal, Mister O’Hara,” you said as he took the papers, “but are you feeling alright? I really don’t mean any offense, but you seem a little… off.”
Tilting his head slightly, Miguel seemed to hesitate, fumbling with his answer in his head. He was frozen for a brief moment before your attentions were drawn across the classroom, where Gabriella zipped up her backpack and began to trudge toward the door. “I’m alright,” he said as he turned back to you. “I just, uh… I hit my head this morning. Been a little out of sorts, but I’ll be alright.”
“Daddy,” whined Gabriella under her breath. “I’m tired.”
“Okay, princesa,” he said and met her at your door. After slinging her backpack over his own shoulder and taking her hand, he glanced back at you. “Thank you again…” You watched as his eyes flickered to your name written across the whiteboard. “...Miss Y/N.”
“You’re welcome, Mister O’Hara.” A few more words sat on your tongue, desperately trying to fight against your lips and jump out before the moment escaped. You tried to fight them down, but eventually they won the battle and spilled forth. “And - and you can just call me Y/N.”
Miguel stared at you for a moment, and you thought briefly that you had crossed a line you had been unable to see. Then he smiled gently, his full lips spreading into a gentle grin. He opened his mouth to say something in return before Gabriella pulled him out the door and into the hallway. You listened as their voices and the sounds of their footsteps grew quieter before silencing, then turned away and finished gathering your things.
On your way out of the building, while slipping through the front doors, you noticed the steel bolt lock keeping them shut after dark had been snapped entirely in two - as if someone had pulled on the door hard enough to break the lock on their own.
You figured it to have been a couple students who got their hands on their parents’ bolt cutters and made a mental note to ask the janitor for a replacement.
Once you got to your car and flipped the engine, you took a breath and glanced at yourself in the mirror. In that breath, you willed yourself to switch into the alternate persona you took on after the school days, after the sun had set and the night really came alive from its demented, hungover state during the lightest hours. You pushed your students into the back of your mind, your plans for tomorrow and upcoming projects and due dates into the recesses of your brain. You shoved back thoughts of Miguel O’Hara and everything about how much you wanted to fucking reverse time so that he could smile at you like he had tonight all over again.
It was time to really work, now.
The Menagerie was a club on the northeast side of the Financial District, where the warehouse fires and muggings weren’t quite as common. Police forces cruised through here more often than, say, Harlem or Queens; the people who ran the city had to keep their most well-paid workers protected and thriving, right? Who else would steal from the hands of the poor and throw it all away the first chance they got?
Thrumming, thundering music like a pulse, like the club itself was alive with the blood of money and alcohol pumping through it, pounded from speakers and shook the walls in their very foundations. Neon lights like jilted, water-colored sunlight shone from corners along the ceilings, creating shadows like both nightmares and dreams along the walls and the faces of the patrons. The bar was overflowing. Security was chasing their own tails. The place was packed. Everyone who was anyone wanted to get into The Menagerie, because between its four walls and roof, you could be anyone you wanted to be.
It was law in this gilded cage that everyone was to wear a mask, its paint and diamonds and ribbons designed to depict animals. Security wore the full-bodied faces of lions. Bartenders and servers played dress-up with rimmed eye gaps as raccoons. Guests were allowed to pick a mask ranging from creatures that roamed the sky to those that crawled the earth. And the girls - the girls were exotic, majestic things that no one would mistake for anything else. They were tigresses and peacocks, they were arctic foxes and lynxes, any animal that had long since gone missing or extinct in this world of yours. Why go searching for the real thing, when they could come here and find the women?
The Menagerie was not a club. It was a cage, for animals so desperate to get out they had bent the bars in an attempt to escape.
Staring at yourself in the mirror of the dressing room, you gingerly affixed the golden mask to your face so that it would stay spread across your features while you danced and entertained. The hard, fake porcelain covered your forehead and nose, leaving your mouth free for the lips and tongues that would attempt to claim yours as their own. Orange and gold butterfly wings blossomed from the center of the mask, disguising you as the endangered insect everyone else seemed to have forgotten about; the Monarch. Fluttering and beautiful upon the wind, never easy to catch.
That was, unless they flew right into a spider’s web.
To your left, a few of the other girls were perfecting their makeup and adjusting their outfits - what little outfits you all had. Zara, known throughout the club as the Panther, caught your eye in the mirror and flashed you a sharp smile.
“You seem quiet tonight,” she said and ran a stick of gloss over her lips. She examined herself close in her handheld. “Something on your mind?”
A few of the other girls tried to inconspicuously listen in, able to sniff out gossip from miles away. Perhaps in here, you all were a little bit more animal than human, after all.
Forcing yourself to smile gently, you waved a ring-garnished hand in Zara’s direction and turned back to your reflection. You hardly recognized yourself like this, despite seeing this version of you all week long. You hoped you never did recognize it. “Oh, it’s nothing,” you brushed off.
Across the dressing room, Shawna, the Owl, tisked her tongue and hummed from deep in her throat. “You know you’re an awful liar, girl,” she said from where she sat scrolling through her phone. “We all noticed when you came in an hour later than you do. Something happen tonight?”
Well, fuck. Now everyone was waiting for your answer, waiting to see if it was worth listening into or not.
Pursing your lips in an attempt to show that it was no big deal, despite how much your stomach and your heart and your brain screamed that it wasn’t, you shrugged a shoulder and tried to avoid their gazes. “Nothing too big,” you replied and began to absentmindedly twist the ribbon keeping your mask in place. “Just… had a student stay a little later. Her dad lost track of time.”
“It couldn’t be that Alchemax hunk you’ve been telling us about.”
Fuck - you really learned to keep your cards closer to your chest.
Your silence must have been enough for them to connect the pieces, because a few of them tittered and giggled. A newer girl, who was still earning her way up to being on stage, piped up. “Have you ever talked to him?” she asked. “I mean, besides school-related stuff. Find out if he’s attached?”
“Absolutely not,” you forced out and stood to straighten out your costume. Your breasts were barely covered by the flimsy top and your ass hung out of the bottoms, both orange and black and white, like a monarch butterfly’s designs. Gold fishnet stockings lined your legs, leading down to a set of heels that had taken weeks to not tip over in. You were supposed to wear a cape, a gown-like train, but it was stepped on too much for you to bother with it. “He’s not there to cruise teachers, he’s just trying to help his kid through the third grade.”
“More than you could’ve asked from my dad,” Zara puffed.
God, you thought, yours, too. And your mother, while you were at it. They’d never come to meetings and games and plays like Miguel did. Hell, they hardly ever even remembered to pick you up from school on their good days.
Gabriella really had hit the father lottery.
Shawna shrugged her shoulders as she rose from her seat and picked up her own mask. “Even if that’s all he’s there for,” she said, then pulled the owl-designed porcelain over her face and fixed you with a stare through the eye holes, “doesn’t have to hold you back from at least trying.”
Her words rang in your ears as you carried on with your work that evening. They stuck with you as you danced for drooling men and women who oggled at you from behind their masks, as you ran your fingers down arms to chase bigger tips, as you followed a man who paid top dollar for a private dance.
Her words rattled like bells in your head as you mindlessly ground yourself against your customer, allowing yourself to get lost in your own imagination while you willed yourself to work. You shut your eyes behind your mask and let yourself fall into a dangerous little scenario you cooked up just for yourself.
You imagined not your boyfriend, who was out there in the city somewhere playing with his stupid fucking band to a crowd of three, not of any celebrity crush or model, but of Miguel O’Hara. You imagined him beneath you instead of some man whose breath smelled like expensive alcohol. You thought of him, and his hulking frame, and his powerful thighs you had found yourself staring at anytime he entered your line of sight.
Mind running away with this little fantasy of yours, you ground yourself a little harder against the lap beneath you, pushed your chest further against the chest parallel to yours. In your head, Miguel let out a huffy breath and rested those large hands of his on your hips, slowly but surely guiding your movements until you were riding his thigh. You tried to imagine, so intensely and desperately, how such an event would go.
He would gently, but firmly, help move your hips so that your exposed clit rubbed perfectly against the rough fabric of his jeans. You would keen and arch your back into him, hands running over his sinewy shoulders, as he hitched his leg and sent a powerful jolt of pleasure running through you and right to your core.
“You like that, pretty girl?” he would murmur in your ear, lips brushing along the shell before his tongue, warm and soft and pink and wet, licked against your lobe. “Ride, querida. ‘Til I say you’re done, and then I’ll show you how a real man fucks.”
You would grind your hips against his leg, moaning aloud and unabashedly when he tensed his corded muscle so that you’d have something to hump into. His hands, wide and spread, would wander along your bare back, memorizing the skin there like it was his and his alone, and he would dip his head to attach his lips to your nipple. He’d suck the nub into a hardened bud, then kiss and lick and nibble the skin around it until it was marred with love marks that would darken the following morning, and then he’d switch and give the other one the same kind of attention.
“Miguel,” you’d whimper in a certain kind of tone, and suddenly you’d be on the bed, pulled to the edge so that the globes of your ass hung off and when he kneeled he had access to your cunt bared for him.
“Such a pretty pussy,” he would say as he pressed open-mouthed kisses up and up your inner thighs, getting closer to where you needed him most. “All for me and me alone. Isn’t that right, bebe?”
You wouldn’t be able to give him a clear answer at first, not when he would lick a long, wet stripe up the center of your folds and up to your clit. He would expertly find that little bundle of nerves, wrapping his lips around it and fondling with his tongue until you couldn’t do anything but sigh and moan and card your fingers through his dark hair to pull him closer. He would suck on your sweet spot for a while, alternating between licking stripes and adorning it with kisses, before he would slowly drag his long, thick fingers toward your sopping folds.
But he would stop just short.
“Say it,” he would tell you, dark, impenetrable gaze fixated on you from where he kneeled between your legs like a devout believer praying to his one and only love - his goddess. When you would whine and cry from the pausing of his ministrations, he would take his mouth, his wonderful, hot breath, away from your aching cunt. He would cock his head, allowing a bit of hair to fall across his face. “Tell me who this pussy belongs to, chica.”
“Miguel,” you would say again, because, really, that was all you could think of to say. “Miguel, please… need you, please…”
He would pull his fingers from your heat, gaze stony and immovable as a mountain standing tall in the midst of a storm. God, not even that could sway him. “Tell me,” he would demand again, this time in a low baritone that made your cunt clench around nothing because goddammit, even his fucking voice could send you into heat like a damn dog. “Tell me who this pussy belongs to. Now.”
“You,” would come the small, high-pitched answer, tumbling from your lips without another thought that did not involve him. “You, Miguel. Belongs to you. All for you, no one else.” You would babble, desperate to reach your climax before he let you fall back down that incline so, so cruelly, yet so, so deliciously. “Please, Miguel, need you. Need your fingers, anything. Just fuck me, please, handsome, fuck me ‘til I can’t remember my own name.”
He would tilt his head even further, like a predator toying with the prey he’d been chasing after for miles upon miles, before placing a gentle, feather-light kiss upon the inside of your thigh. “That’s my girl,” he would say, then attack your clit with his full, thick lips, plunge two of his fingers into your heat, and begin to fuck you into oblivion.
The sound of his fingers constantly edging in and out of your dripping pussy, so wet you could feel your arousal dripping down your thighs and your ass, would pull the most wonderful and pornographic-sounding moans and whimpers and whines of his name from your throat. Your own slick would coat his digits like honey, so sweet that for a moment he would stop his assault on your divine bundle of nerves and crane his neck to lick up a bit of it from where it dripped down your ass. The flat of his muscle would raise goosebumps along your skin as you cried out for him, one hand gripping his hair and the other buried into the sheets of the bed.
“Miguel,” you would cry and begin to rock your hips to meet the thrusts of his fingers, practically humping his face. He would take it like it was his last meal, returning to his sucking and licking and circling of your clit to send bolt after bolt of pleasure and heaven and everything else in between. “Miguel, Miguel, Miguel…!”
“That’s it,” he would murmur between licks through your soaked folds, feeling as your slick dripped down his wrist. “Say my name, bebe, tell them who’s making you feel this fucking good.”
He would angle his fingers then at just the right angle, his fingertips hitting that perfect, fucking perfect spot deep inside you. Stars would dance in your vision as your mouth would open in a silent scream, unable to get anything out but a tiny wail of heavenly pleasure. You would swear you’d never felt this goddamn good in your life, like you would gladly trade everything in the whole world just to stay here forever. His pace would pick up, aiming for that spot inside of you, and he’d lap at your cunt in a feverish craze, like it was the only thing that would save him from losing his mind.
All too soon, your thighs would begin to tremble and you would feel that beautiful, familiar coil tightening and winding deep within your soul. “Miguel,” you would cry out for the whole world to hear. “Miguel, m’close, I’m so close!”
“Come on, pretty bebe,” he would say between your thighs that would try to wrap around his head in a feeble attempt to pull him closer. “Cum f’me. I want it. All of it.”
His words would send a shockwave of pleasure through you, one that would white out your vision so intensely you would have thought he’d killed you and sent you on your way to the pearly white gates, and you’d have been okay with that. He continued to work you through your orgasm, his pace slowing but never stopping, his mouth pressing hot, wet kisses along your thighs, your hips, your naval.
“Good girl. Good fucking girl. Taking it so well, all for me. Look so pretty all laid out like this, like I could just eat you up. Would you like that, hmm? You want me to just devour you ‘til you’re left shaking and crying my name?”
“Miguel. Miguel, Miguel, Miguel…!”
“...My name’s not Miguel.”
Your eyes flashed open, suddenly brought back to the real world, pulled away from your fantasy. Through the holes in your monarch mask, you looked down to find your customer staring up at you with wide eyes and popping a boner put there by your mindless rocking against his hips. Feeling your cheeks flush, you slipped off of him and consciously tugged your outfit lower over your ass.
You pursed your lips, attempting to hide how mortified you were. “...That’s going to be another twenty bucks.”
It wasn’t until around one in the morning when you got home to your little apartment squished in a dilapidated little building wedged between two office towers because the landlord had refused to sell the place when they steamrolled the others ten years ago. The lights were off when you slipped inside, and a little piece of yourself inside wilted.
At once, you threw up a wall and dismissed that sinking feeling. Of course he wasn’t going to wait up for you. He’d had a show tonight, and he had another one tomorrow. He was tired.
Not nearly as fucking tired as you, though.
After wiping off your makeup and pulling off the fake little diamonds stuck on your temples, after changing into your pajamas and brushing your teeth, and after pinning a new drawing from one of your students on the fridge despite the fact you knew they’d never see it, you tiptoed back to the cramped little bedroom. You poked your head inside. Ferris, your boyfriend of six months, was spread out across the entire mattress, snoring gently into the fabric of the crumpled sheets.
You swallowed thick. You didn’t want to disturb him. He needed his rest.
You grabbed your phone charger from the wall and your pillow from beneath his arm, then slid on your socks back into the tiny living room. Plopping yourself down on the couch and plugging in your phone, you rolled yourself onto your side and stared at the dark screen. Willing something to happen. Something to come up, someone to reach out.
Because in reality, though you would rather throw yourself off the Brooklyn Bridge than admit it… you had never felt so alone.
3K notes · View notes
suncoved · 22 days
pairing; boyfriend!rafe cameron x clumsy!fem!reader
summary; rafe wouldn't trade his clumsy girlfriend for the world.
warnings ; bit of blood (blood nose), fluffy fluff, ooc rafe fsss
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you let out a huff to yourself as you reach your hand up to your forehead, clutching it softly and praying to yourself that you weren't sweating profusely. it was deathly hot in the outerbanks today, and your usually 5 minute walk to the cameron house had slowly turned into 15. you did not work well with heat, even after living in the obx for your entire life.
you knew if you called rafe and asked him to come get you at your house he probably would, but you wanted to have some dignity.
trying not to explode with happiness, you stepped into the doorway of the cameron house. with the ac cooling your body, you sighed in relief and made your way to the kitchen. you were always welcome at rafe's, you were there more than you were at your own house.
you heard someone yell your name behind you, whipping around to see rafe's little sister wheezie bolting towards you. "hi wheezie girl" you said as she really knocked you down from the force of her embrace. you had known wheezie since she was a baby and she loved and adored you like a big sister.
you ruffled her hair as she hugged you, though you were both quick to pull back from the heat still prevalent in your body temperature. "how'd the algebra test go?" you asked, adjusting her glasses that were now crooked on her face.
"not good, another D" she sighed, moving towards the kitchen counter as your eyes followed her movements. "its ok wheeze. you'll do better next time, i know you will." she smiled at you lovingly, before turning her eyes back to the current math question she was working on in her book.
you brought yourself to the kitchen cabinet, reaching in to pull out a glass. you loved rafes house, it was beautiful and clean and it had all your favourite things. food, blankets, a pool, an endless array of books and rafe, of course.
wait. where was rafe?
"where's your brother wheeze?" you asked, taking a sip out of your now full cup of water. "he went down to the gym with topper and kelce a bit ago, he's in one of his moods" she sighed, referring to the particularly touchy moods rafe gets in every once in a while.
which means he's extra pissed off than usual.
you said goodbye to wheezie and made your way back out into the heat, walking down the steps and around the house to where the camerons gym was. you heard the loud rap music from miles away, the grunts of the boys echoing louder and louder and you got closer.
you got distracted from the damage of the hurricane on the shore of the beach outside the cameron house, your feet carrying you unconsciously towards your final destination.
you skimmed your eyes over the backyard, the pool foggy and murky, leaves and branches floating on top of the water. you bit your lip to stifle a laugh at wheezie jumping up and down with her phone in the air, trying to get wifi.
you were worried about how hard the cleaners and gardens were going to have to work to get the yard back in shape, but before you could come to feel empathetic for them, a searing pain arose on the bridge of your nose.
your eyes filled with tears as you reached your manicured hand up to your nose, the red crimson liquid staining your fingers and dripping onto your new yellow sundress.
because you weren't watching where you were going, you had run smack dab into the side of the entrance to the gym, your nose hitting the hinge that was sticking out of the wall.
you could taste the metallic substance dripping down your lips, your ears ringing from the pain. yes, you were always just a bit of a crybaby, but you had a low pain tolerance and bumping your nose hurt like shit.
you could hear the sound of weight dropping aggressively as you let out a whimper, clutching your nose in your hand. it was only seconds before heavy hands made their way onto your hips, an all too familiar strong cologne engulfing your nose, making it sting even more.
but you knew who it was, so you didn't hesitate to turn your body around and lay your head on his chest, your hand still protectively covering your nose. you couldn't help but sob at the pain, soft shushes and a hand rubbing your back comforting you softly as you wept.
rafe felt the blood stain his shirt, but he made no effort to move, kissing the top of your head softly.
it wasn't unusual for your daydreaming to lead you to injure yourself in some way. whether it was tripping over or banging into something, rafe knew your clumsiness all too well. but he hadn't seen you cry like this in pain since the 5th grade when you fell off the monkey bars and knocked your head.
along with his sets that were yet to finish, topper and kelce were now long forgotten in his mind. all he thought about was you, and the fact that you were in pain. it made him go fucking crazy.
"baby" he sighed softly as he gently pried you off his chest, pulling back to try to get a good look at your face. your hand was covered in blood, along with your lips and chin, the crimson red still dripping from your nose.
"fuck" he cursed, watching your tears flow down your cheeks in a steady stream. rafe wasn't often calm and collected, but this was a whole different level. he was freaking out.
he quickly took your hand in his, dragging you softly up to the entrance of tannyhill. the only thing he could hear was your whimpers and sobs echoing in his head, all he could think about was you.
before you knew it you were being lifted up onto the cool surface of rafes bathroom counter, the cold marble making you shiver as your dress rode up to expose your thighs. rafe quickly grabbed out multiple tissues from the box, gathering them together in his hand.
"this is going to pinch baby, i'm sorry. hold my hand yeah?" he asked — well — demanded. you felt him bring the paper up to your face, pinching the bridge of your nose softly to stop the blood flow.
he made quick work of multi-tasking as he kept the tissue on your nose, quickly cleaning the blood of your lips and chin. he didn't look you in the eyes once as the whole ten minutes he held your nose, waiting patiently before finally pulling away.
you had never been more thankful as you felt no more blood trickle down your face — and so was rafe.
he sighed as he threw the tissue in the bin, grabbing your face in his hands and holding leaning his forehead on yours. you looked into his eyes before he closed them and took a deep breath in.
"don't ever fucking do that to me again baby."
3K notes · View notes
proxima-writes · 2 months
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the old college try
pairing: frat dad!joel miller x college student!female reader
rating: explicit (18+ MDNI)
word count: 5.1k
Family Weekend, or DILF Day as you and your friends like to refer to it, is when the University of Texas encourages the parents and families of its student body to visit the school and participate in activities that the Division of Student Affairs has organized. The fraternities and sororities have their own schedule that includes not-so-sanctioned house parties on frat row following the game. It’s your senior year and your last DILF Day so you’re hoping to go out with a bang. Literally. Enter Joel Miller, handsome single dad visiting his son at the Theta Lambda Upsilon fraternity house.
dear reader:
this is an extremely self-indulgent fic that i just had to write, so i hope you enjoy it! if you do, please consider leaving a comment or reblogging <3
content warnings:
explicit sexual content (18+ minors do not interact), alternate universe - no outbreak/no sarah, age difference (42M and 23F), dub con - sex under the influence of alcohol, no use of y/n, frat party stereotypes, keg stands and beer pong, semi-public sex (frat bathroom), mild daddy kink (not during sex), p in v, oral sex (f receiving), dirty talk, cheesy dad jokes, the university of texas as a plot device. please let me know if any are missing!
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You turn over in your bed with a deep groan, burying your face into your pillow. You reach your arm out from under the covers to grab your phone from the nightstand, smacking your hand around the wood surface until you find it and can bring it under the covers with you. Turning over, you tap the screen and squint at the series of unread text messages.
Ashley: Get up bitch! 
Ashley: It’s time to get ready!
Ashley: We’re going to be late if you don’t get up
Ashley: Don’t make me break into your apartment
Ashley: You know I can
You sit up quickly, shoving the blankets off of you and rushing to the front door, flipping the lock and pulling it open. Your best friend is across the threshold, knelt down on the ground with two bobby pins held up and her eyes wide in surprise.
“Aw man,” she laments, standing and brushing off her knees. “I wanted to test my skills.”
“I’m not paying to replace the lock,” you chastise, stepping back to let her in. “Sorry, overslept.”
“Figured. I’ll get your coffee started,” she replies, heading for your kitchen while you head back to your bedroom to start your morning routine. “Guess which frat is hosting the tailgate today?”
“Which one?” You shout from the bathroom as you run through your skincare routine.
“Theta Lambda Upsilon,” Ashley shouts back. The scent of brewing coffee paired with this excellent news has you perking up immediately. 
Your friend steps into your room with two mugs in her hands, passing one to you as you exit the bathroom and sit at your cluttered vanity, pushing aside products to make room to set your mug down. Ashley sits on your bed, folding her legs beneath her.
“The hottest frat hosting the tailgate and after party means we’ll get to see the hottest dads this weekend,” she says, shimmying her shoulders excitedly. “It’s simple genetics.”
“You dropped genetics. Remember? You couldn’t handle an 8 am class,” you say as you apply mascara. 
“I went to enough classes to know how a Punnett square works.”
You laugh, finishing your makeup between long sips of coffee. “It’s amazing you couldn’t tough it out through an early semester but give you an afternoon game and you’re trying to break into my apartment at the crack of dawn.”
“It’s DILF Day, baby. It’s like waking up on Christmas morning.”
Family Weekend, or DILF Day as you and your friends like to refer to it, is when the University of Texas encourages the parents and families of its student body to visit the school and participate in activities that the Division of Student Affairs has organized. The fraternities and sororities have their own schedule that includes not-so-sanctioned tailgates and house parties on frat row following the game.
As an out-of-state student, your parents have always skipped Family Weekend in exchange for buying your plane tickets back home for Thanksgiving and Christmas break, which leaves you with plenty of opportunity to ogle the hot dads that descend upon campus on this glorious weekend. You’ve never had the guts to actually pursue anything with anyone, but it’s your senior year and your last DILF Day so you’re hoping to go out with a bang.
“What are you going to wear?” Ashley asks. 
“Shorts and that new tank top I got,” you reply, finishing your makeup with a pop of your lips after applying gloss. “And boots. Obviously.”
“Obviously,” Ashley nods as you rifle through your closet for the outfit in question - denim cutoffs and orange Texas Longhorn tank top that hugs your curves and shows off the perfect amount of cleavage. Finishing the look with your worn brown cowgirl boots, you spin for your friend who gives you a thumbs up. “Sexy. I reckon’ this year you’ll catch yourself a DILF.”
You roll your eyes. “Maybe. We’ll see.”
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Joel’s arm hangs out the truck’s open window, fingers tapping against the hot metal as he drives down the highway towards the Austin campus of the University of Texas. It’s Family Weekend and his son, Sean, started his sophomore semester at UT a few weeks prior and now lives in the Theta Lambda Upsilon fraternity house on campus after proving to Joel that he would take his classes seriously by doing well his freshman year. Joel’s always been close with his son as a single dad and the fact that Sean asked him to Family Weekend feels like a testament to that bond.
The campus is already bustling with the game day crowd, trucks parked in grassy areas along the road with their tailgates down, people setting up tents and tables and coolers. Joel drives slowly down the street until he’s turning down a side road and parking down the hidden drive his son had given him instructions to find. He hops from the truck, sneakers hitting the hot pavement and the sun already beating down on his arms as he makes his way towards the TLU house a couple blocks away. 
There’s a huge crowd of students and parents in shades of burnt orange and white on the front lawn of the two story fraternity house, red solo cups or cans of beer in hand. Joel looks around until he hears a familiar voice calling out, “Dad!”
Sean emerges from the crowd dressed in a white polo shirt with an orange Longhorn logo on the chest tucked into khaki pants, his curly brown hair slicked back with gel. Joel smiles, hugging his son and patting him on the back in greeting.
“Been ages since I saw you, kid. Have you gotten taller?” Joel asks.
Sean rolls his eyes. “You saw me last weekend!”
A voice calls out Sean’s name and the younger man throws an arm around Joel’s shoulders, dragging him along into the packed fraternity house. The scene inside is not unlike all the ones he’s seen in movies and TV shows - flags stuck to the walls as decor, a mysteriously sticky floor, and kitchen countertops filled with booze. Sean stops and grabs a red plastic cup, handing it to Joel. 
“Pick your poison,” Sean instructs, grabbing his own cup. Joel raises an eyebrow at him.
“Last I checked, you weren’t twenty-one,” he chastises, earning him another eye roll. 
“Like you didn’t know Uncle Tommy was buying me beer when I was a senior.”
“He what?” Joel asks, though the question is lost in the noise as Sean leads him to an impressive back deck hosting a beer pong table and two kegs nestled in plastic trash cans and surrounded by ice. 
Sean slips into the crowd surrounding the kegs, taking Joel’s cup from his hands, pumping the tap and filling each cup with ice cold beer, handing one to Joel. 
“Go Longhorns,” Sean says, tapping his cup to Joel’s and chugging the contents. Joel watches his twenty-year-old son with wide eyes and a torn conscience. 
“This is what I’m payin’ tuition for, huh?” He teases, taking a single sip of the cheap beer. A cheer erupts from behind him and he turns to look at what’s causing so much excitement.
You and a friend are at one end of a plastic folding table, glaring daggers at two boys at the other end, a single solo cup set on the table in front of you. You have a white ping pong ball held delicately between two fingers, your other hand propped on your hip as you squint one eye shut to take your aim for the cup that sits in front of the boys. You let the ball fly and it sinks into the cup, another cheer going through the small crowd gathered around you as you jump up and down excitedly.
Sean approaches the boys, slapping one of them on the shoulder. One of them shouts, “Redemption shot!”
“Oh, please! You can’t aim for shit, Chad!” You shout back. 
“Celebrity shot, then!” He suggests. The boy, Chad, reaches out to pull an older man to his side. “Dad edition!”
Your eyes scan the crowd, landing on Joel. You wave him over, the older man glancing around briefly before pointing to himself to confirm. You nod, smile bright as he approaches.
“I need a daddy for this celebrity shot, you wanna do the honors?” You ask sweetly. Joel swallows nervously, face heating at the suggestive tone and look you’re giving him. 
“Come on, dad!” Sean calls out. “Show ‘em what a Miller man can do!”
“Yeah,” you chime in. “Show me what a Miller man can do.”
“Alright, fine,” Joel acquiesces, moving to stand beside you. You slip a ping pong ball into his hand, standing so close beside him that your bare arm brushes his as you both watch Chad’s dad take aim for the single cup. 
The ball soars through the air, hitting the rim of the cup and bouncing off onto the table, rolling to the ground as the men groan. He feels you place a hand on his shoulder, your lips close to his ear as you whisper, “Come on, Mr. Miller. You’re my only hope.”
It doesn’t escape Joel’s notice that you keep your hand on his shoulder as he takes aim and throws the ball across the table, sinking it into the cup. You’re throwing your arms around his shoulders in celebration as the people around you shout excitedly. On instinct, Joel’s arms wrap around your waist, holding you close for a brief moment before coming to his senses and taking a step back.
“Thanks,” you say, looking up at him through your lashes. “I’m going to go inside for a drink. You want anything? I’ve got a stash of IPAs in a friend’s fridge upstairs if you want something better than Miller Lite. Consider it a thank you for winning me bragging rights over Chad.”
Joel should say no. He shouldn’t be taking up drink offers from someone half his age, but you’re giving him another devastating smile that has his resolve folding faster than a lawn chair in a hurricane.
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The hottest man you’ve ever seen is currently following you upstairs to your friend Craig’s room for a beer. He’s tall and tan with sweet brown eyes and dark hair that looks like it would be a dream to run your fingers through. His broad chest and toned biceps press deliciously at the confines of the white UT Longhorns shirt he’s wearing. When he stepped up beside you to throw your celebrity shot at the beer pong table downstairs, you’d noted that his left hand featured no wedding band or a tan line of one left behind.
You reach the second floor and head for the last door on the right, marked with a PRESIDENT plaque. You reach into the pocket for the key Craig had given you earlier and let yourself inside, heading for the mini fridge in the corner and grabbing two Yellow Rose IPA cans. 
“So,” you say, handing the man one of the drinks. “You got a name, or should I keep calling you Mr. Miller?”
“It’s Joel,” he says, taking a long sip of the beer. You watch the muscles of his throat work, longing to press your lips against the tan skin. 
You tell him your name, holding a hand out to him for a handshake. His grip is tight, sturdy, and for a brief moment you think about how his sure, thick fingers would feel deep inside of you. He looks around the room curiously as he pulls his hand back.
“Craig and I have been friends since freshman year,” you explain. “I helped him pass calculus, he lets me keep my beer out of the grubby hands of his frat brothers.”
“Calculus, huh?” He asks, taking another sip. “Must mean you’re pretty smart.”
“Just a basic engineering prerequisite,” you joke. 
“Engineering? That’s impressive.”
You take a seat on Craig’s bed, crossing one leg over the other. Joel’s eyes track the movement and you smile, giddy at the attention. “What do you do, Mr. Miller?”
“Thought you were gonna call me Joel?” 
“Mm, I can think of a few things to call you.”
Joel nearly spits his mouthful of beer out, choking on the bitter drink. You rush towards him, patting him on the back as he coughs. After a moment of fighting for breath, the man seems to realize how close you are, his gaze flicking between your eyes and your lips, trailing down to your chest. 
You lean in a little closer, pressing yourself to him and you think this might be it, Joel Miller might be the DILF of your dreams as he leans into you as well. 
But the doorknob rattles and the door swings open, Joel jumping back in surprise as both of you turn to look at the doorway. Craig leans against the frame, an eyebrow raised and a knowing smirk on his lips. You roll your eyes.
“Hey,” he says, looking between you and Joel. “Ashley’s lookin’ for you downstairs. We’re headin’ to the stadium now.”
“I better find Sean, then,” Joel says. Craig’s eyes light up.
“You’re Miller’s dad? Hey, man, nice to finally meet you. I’m Craig, TLU president.” The men shake hands, patting each other on the back. “Sean’s a good kid, we’re happy to have him.”
“Good to hear,” Joel replies. 
“Well, guess I’ll go find Ashley.” You place a hand on Joel’s shoulder. “It was nice to meet you, Mr. Miller. Maybe I’ll see you later?” You let your hand trail down the man’s bicep as you leave and you watch his throat work around a nervous swallow.
“Yeah, sure,” he says. “See you later.”
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The Longhorns pull off an impressive win, a 49-0 blowout against Oklahoma that has the entire campus celebrating with abandon. If Joel thought the TLU house was packed for the tailgate, that crowd was nothing compared to the after game party. More alcohol, more people, and more noise is packed into the house. Joel sticks close to Sean, meeting more of his frat brothers and their parents with shouted introductions. 
When the stale air inside the house gets too overwhelming, Sean leads him to the deck. More kegs have appeared and his son bumps him with his shoulder, nodding towards where a few people are gathered around one, a man hoisted upside down by two people gripping his legs as he chugs directly from the keg tap. He spits the valve out as the crowd shouts a chorus of, “Twenty!”
“I bet you could do better,” Sean says. Joel raises an eyebrow at him.
“I know what you’re doin’, kid, and it ain’t gonna work,” Joel replies. Sean puts his hands up.
“I’m not doin’ anythin’. But if you’re too scared, you can tell me.”
“I’m not scared.” 
“Hey, my dad’s got next!” Sean shouts, dragging Joel through the crowd with an arm around his shoulders. Joel tries to argue but a familiar face in the crowd has the words dying on his tongue. You wiggle your fingers at him in a wave and suddenly he has the motivation to execute the most impressive keg stand of his life.
Joel grabs the cold handles of the keg, Sean and one of his fraternity brothers lifting him into the air so that he’s suspended upside down over the barrel of beer. People begin counting, shouting numbers as he attempts to focus on the beer flooding his mouth and drinking it down steadily. It’s been a long time since he’s done one of these, probably before Sean was even born, but if there’s one thing Joel has never been, it's a quitter.
After what feels like forever he spits the valve out with a gasp and he gets lowered back to ground as the crowd shouts, “Thirty-four!”
Sean’s frat brothers jump around him excitedly, hands patting him on the back and cheering his name. He laughs as Sean starts yelling, “That’s what I’m fuckin’ talkin’ about!”
Movement from the corner of his eye catches his attention and he turns his head just in time to see you disappear into the house. He tells Sean he’ll be back in a minute and follows after you, craning his neck to scan the mass of bodies crammed inside until he spots you on the stairs. 
When he finally manages to reach the stairs, he’s surprised to find them roped off at the bottom. Looking around to make sure no one is paying attention to him, he ducks beneath the barrier, taking the steps two at a time. The second floor is dark and empty but light spills into a hall from beneath the last door marked PRESIDENT.
Joel knocks on the wood, his head a little light from the rush of alcohol in his system but it has him feeling good. 
Maybe a little too confident because when you open the door, he wraps an arm around your waist, pushing his way inside as his lips find yours, a little noise of surprise swallowed by him as his tongue explores yours.
He comes to his senses when your teeth nip at his bottom lip, jarring him back to a reality where he is a mature adult who thinks with his brain and not his dick. He grips you on the shoulders, breaking the kiss and holding you at arm's length.
“Fuck, I’m sorry,” he says. “I didn’t even ask if it was okay to kiss you, just came bargin’ in here like a bull in a goddamn china shop and you probably don’t even want—“
“Joel?” You interrupt. He blinks.
“Yeah?” He asks.
“Kiss me again.”
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Joel kisses you again, but pulls away a second time to ask, “Wait, how old are you?”
“Twenty-three,” you reply, giggling as he mutters a low thank god before pulling you back into his arms. It’s another short lived kiss, the man leaning back once more as you huff in annoyance.
“Wait, how much have you had to drink?” He asks this time. 
“Less than you, Mr. Thirty-Four-Second Keg Stand,” you answer. He gives you a smirk that has your stomach doing somersaults. 
“You liked that, huh?” 
His hands slip into the back pockets of your shorts and you wrap your arms around his shoulders, fingers playing with the hair at the nape of his neck. He kisses you again, slower this time, like he’s savoring the feel of your lips against his. Your heart is racing as he pulls you even closer and runs his hands up your back, warm palms exploring your curves like he’s trying to map them to memory.
You’re lost enough in each other that the sound of the door opening doesn’t register until an upset voice is saying, “Ugh, come on! No fucking in my room!”
“Shit,” you yelp, tearing yourself away from Joel. Craig is standing in the doorway with his arms crossed. You grab Joel’s hand and tug him towards the door of the en-suite bathroom, pulling him inside and slamming the door behind you, flipping the lock.
“Hey, wait a minute—“
“It’s not your room, Craig!” You yell through the wood. There’s a muffled curse from the other side.
“Condoms are under the sink,” he shouts back. You grin victoriously at Joel, who’s laughing so hard he has a hand pressed to his chest. You step up to him, grabbing that hand and bringing it around your waist.
“You sure about this?” Joel asks seriously, stepping forward until he’s crowding you against the door. You tilt your head up to look at his handsome face, his dark eyes so intense as he searches your face that you feel giddy.
“I mean, the location isn’t ideal, but at least Craig keeps his bathroom pretty clean,” you joke, noting the clear counter space and surprising lack of dirty clothing littering the floor. 
“Answer the question, sweetheart. You sure about doing this with me?”
You reach up, tangling your fingers into his soft curls, pulling him close until your lips graze his as you respond, “I’m so fucking sure.”
Whatever tether of control Joel had been holding onto seems to snap with your words, the man kissing you so roughly that all you can do is hold on, your fingers curling desperately against his scalp as his tongue dives into your mouth and tangles with yours. He tastes like beer and smells like a mixture of cedar and sweat, the combination intoxicating as he presses close and surrounds you with it.
Joel trails his lips across your jaw, nipping your earlobe before continuing down your neck. He sucks the thin skin over your pulse before soothing the sting with his tongue as you writhe against him, gasping at the sensation. You can feel his smile against your shoulder and as he presses a thigh between your legs, you get a brief feel of his hard cock behind the barrier of his basketball shorts.
“So fuckin’ pretty,” he growls, hands trailing across your curves until he’s gripping one of your breasts, squeezing tightly.
“Not so bad yourself,” you moan. He chuckles darkly.
“The mouth on you.” He reaches two fingers into the low neck of your tank top, dragging it down over your breasts. He yanks the cups of your bra down in a similar fashion, the fabric bunched beneath your chest to expose your tight nipples to him. He dips his head down and wraps his lips around a tight bud, pulling it into his mouth as you gasp.
“Could show you some other things my mouth is good at,” you tell him as he releases your breast with a wet pop, lifting his head to look at you. 
“I have a better idea,” he says, dropping to his knees. He lifts one of your legs and wiggles your boot off, tossing it to the side before doing the same with the other.
“What are you doing?” You ask when his hands reach for the fly of your shorts. He pauses, looking up at you with concern. 
“I was plannin’ on eatin’ you out until you couldn’t think straight,” he says. His brows pinch together. “Do you not want that?”
“I-I’m not sure? I mean, no one’s ever…,” your sentence trails off, your eyes going wide.
Joel runs a soothing hand down your thigh, smiling up at you. “That’s a damn shame, baby. Let me show you how a real man takes care of a woman.”
You let him work your shorts and panties down your thighs, stepping out of them with a hand on his shoulder to steady yourself. He lifts one of your legs and settles it over his shoulder, opening you up to his hungry gaze. His eyes flick up to your face and he grins as he says, “Pretty all over, aren’t ya?”
Any smart reply you have died on your tongue as he starts kissing the sensitive skin of your thighs, starting at the knee that’s close to his face and moving up, up, up until you can feel his warm breath on your pussy. His tongue flicks across your clit, featherlight, but it’s enough to have you gasping his name. 
He starts a rhythm of messy swirls of his tongue over your sensitive bundle of nerves before dipping down to your entrance, the tip of his nose still brushing your clit and making you moan. You buck against his face and he immediately grasps your hips in his big hands, fingers curling into the flesh of your ass to hold you still as he lavishes your pussy with attention.
“Oh my god,” you pant, reaching down to tangle your fingers in his hair. He groans at the same time his lips wrap around your clit and the sound of his satisfaction has your orgasm taking you by surprise, washing through your veins and making you feel like you’re on fire. 
You feel breathless as he licks you slowly, thoroughly, his tongue making sure he’s gotten every last drop of your release. He leans back, slowly lowering your leg from his shoulder. His lips and chin are coated in your wetness, shiny in the light of the bathroom vanity, the sight making your cheeks feel hot and a nervous giggle spill free.
Joel grins, boyish and sweet. “Good?” He asks. 
“Great. Amazing,” you concur. “Ten out of ten. Your Yelp review will be glowing.”
“Shouldn't I be the one leavin’ the Yelp review? You were the meal after all.”
You blink at him. “Oh my god, that was so bad,” you say, laughter near hysterical.
He stands, his palms cupping your face and pulling you into a filthy kiss that quickly shuts you up, his tongue slowly exploring yours and introducing the musky taste of yourself to your taste buds. You reach down, palming his hard cock through his shorts and the responding groan you receive from the older man has you clenching in anticipation.
Joel breaks the kiss, pulling you against his body and turning until you’re facing the vanity, your hips pressed to the edge of the laminate counter. You watch his reflection in the mirror as he runs a hand down your back, pressing you forward slightly so that you’re bent over the counter, ass slightly tilted up. His hand continues lower until it’s running reverently over one cheek. He catches your eye in the mirror.
“You gonna let me fuck you just like this?” He asks. Your breath hitches as his fingers trace through your folds, one dipping into your entrance. He watches your face in the mirror, eyes dark and expression serious. “Answer me.”
“Fuck, yes, anything,” you say quickly. He thrusts his finger slowly, curling it against your front wall with every pull from your body. One finger becomes two, the slight stretch making you whine as he continues to work them in and out of you. “Joel, please.”
“Please what, baby?” He asks.
“Need you to fuck me,” you tell him. 
Joel grins, removing his fingers and urging you to the side so he can open the cabinet under the sink. He crouches down, rummaging through the contents for a moment before standing with a victorious expression and a foil packet pinched between his fingers. He shoves his basketball shorts and boxers down his thighs, just low enough to free his impressive cock, thick and long with a slight curve up that has your mouth watering. He rolls the condom on and then grabs your hips, the tip of his length sliding through your folds and making your breath catch.
“You ready, baby?” He asks, squeezing your hips. You meet his gaze in the reflection, your lips tilted in a smirk.
“Been ready for a while, old man,” you tease. He raises his eyebrows and draws his hand back, landing a sharp smack to your ass that has you crying out. 
Before the sting even fades, he’s pushing inside of you with one steady thrust until his hips are flush to your ass. Your fingers curl around the edge of the counter and you lift onto your tiptoes, trying to escape the sudden sensation of his cock stretching you so well. He chuckles darkly, tight hands on your hips keeping you from going too far.
“Old man,” he taunts, mimicking the higher pitch of your voice. He reaches forward, palm resting beneath your chin as his fingers and thumb press into your cheeks, tilting your head up so that your eyes meet his in the mirror as he says, “Eyes up, sweetheart. You watch how this old man fucks you.”
Joel draws his hips back and slams forward, the head of his cock burying so deep inside of you that your eyes roll back from the exquisite stretch and pressure. He sets a rhythm that has a constant string of moans and pleas spilling from your parted lips, a slow pull out and a rough push in that makes you see stars. If you dare to let your chin drop or your eyes shut, the strong hand around your throat reminds you of his demand that you watch.
“That feel good, baby?” He grunts. “My cock in this tight fuckin’ pussy?”
“Yes, yes, yes!”
“That’s right, who’s fuckin’ you so good? Say my name, sweetheart, wanna hear it from that pretty mouth.”
“Joel!” You cry out, the tight coil of pleasure in your belly finally unraveling, your cunt pulsing greedily around his cock as you cum. He curses, his rhythm going sloppy as he fucks you through your release and right into his own.
His hand leaves your throat and his head drops to your shoulder, soft kisses being left on your shoulder blades as you both catch your breath. After a long moment, he pulls back from you, removing the condom and tying it off to toss it in the garbage.
You straighten up from your bent position over the counter, fixing your bra and tank top back into place. Turning, you find Joel holding your shorts and panties. 
“Was that…are you…did you—“ 
You lean into him as you grab your clothes, kissing him softly. Pulling back, you murmur, “That was amazing.”
Joel sighs in relief, watching as you get dressed and tug your boots back on. “Good. That’s…good.”
“Why don’t you head downstairs first? I need to freshen up,” you suggest. Joel nods, but doesn’t make a move to leave. You raise your eyebrows at him and that seems to have him getting the hint. 
“Oh! Right, I’ll just…go downstairs,” he says. You giggle, leaning into him for one more kiss before he disappears from the bathroom and you busy yourself with fixing your appearance to look a little less well fucked.
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Downstairs, Joel wanders through the first floor in search of his son. He feels a flash of guilt for leaving him for so long, especially to fuck a woman half his age in a frat house bathroom, but the guilt is short lived when he finds his son with his tongue down the throat of a blonde girl in the living room.
“Jesus Christ,” he mumbles, turning to head for the front door instead. It’s getting late and now seems like a good time to head home.
He’s a few steps out the front door when he hears his name called out and you appear from the doorway. 
“You heading out so soon?” You ask, bottom lip jutting out in a pout that he kind of wants to kiss from your lips. He runs a nervous hand through his hair.
“Uh, yeah. Was gonna head home,” he says. Christ, he has no idea why he’s acting so weird, but you have him tied up in knots. 
“You know…my apartment isn’t far. Maybe…maybe you don’t have to go home just yet?” You say, looking up at him through your lashes.
Those knots of uncertainty loosen and Joel holds a hand out to you.
“Lead the way, baby.”
Joel Miller Masterlist
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jqyszn · 2 months
Like what you see?💤
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paring: dom!bestfriend!sunghoon x sub!fem!reader
genre: smut, friends to lovers (mdni !!)
summary: in which you come home to find your best friend getting off, weird but it's natural right? not until you heard him calling out for you.
warnings: smut ofc, masturbating, unprotected sex (don’t be a prick, wrap your dick!!) , panty stealing… riding, body worship, fingering, biting, degradation, spitting, marking, squirting, profanity, dirty talk, pet names (slut, cum dump, princess), breeding kink, sunghoon is a perv,, this is honestly just pure filth too😭 (Imk if i missed anything!!)
wc: 1.5k (1,597)
a/n: this is my first fic (😭) i apologize in advance for the cringe wattpad like writing,, also english isn’t my first language so please ignore any grammar mistakes <3 i hope u guys enjoy and im so sorry for the wait like i don’t know why it took me like three weeks to make a 1.5k fic😭😭😭 i promise for my other works they will be more hastily written🩷🩷
taglist: @lelelelelelenim @iamkali @jjonghoonist @ramenoil @deobitifull @velathaheigeros @enhaz1 @thinaswreck @heeseungsslutt @cherriruto @yohanabanana @hvnyujiq @fightqueen @parkhonnie (some of the tags aren’t working so i’m so deeply sorry for everyone who asked and isn’t here </3)
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“can i come over?” you read the writing on your phone as you best friend sunghoon messaged you. “yea, sure :) i’m still at work though but you have the extra key anyway.” you replied to him putting down your phone and typing away at your computer. your phone buzzes once again but desperate to rest, you ignore it and continue working.
on the other hand, sunghoon is at your door in a heartbeat. he unlocks the door with ease, walking in, the smell of you instantly hitting him. he inhaled your lingering scent as he closes his eyes imagining him nuzzling into your neck, pounding into you, taking in the smell of your natural perfume. “fuck.” sunghoon groans as his cock starts to feel heavy.
he makes his way towards your room, your scent growing more intense as he groans internally. “what are you doing to me y/n?” he thinks about his morals for a minute before diving into your laundry basket, picking up a used lace thong. he curses at himself but he doesn’t stop. instead he goes on your bed and propped himself up nice and pretty.
he holds your panty in his left hand bringing it closer to his face as he takes a fat whiff of you as he threw his head back. his other hand starts palming his refined boner as he continues sniffing at your undergarment. he pulls down his sweats down to his knees along with his boxers, freeing his hardened member. “oh god..” he grunts as he drapes your thong over his leaking, pink tip. staining it with his glossy precum.
unbeknownst to him, you’re already back home taking off you heels. “hoon?” you call out neatly tucking away your shoes as you make your way to your room. “fuck yes y/n, you’re taking my cock in so good~” did you hear that right? you stopped in your tracks thinking there must be someone else in your room. scared, you peep your head in your doorway, looking ahead into your room.
and to your surprise, it’s sunghoon. pumping his cock furiously, his eyebrows furrowed, lip bitten, hair sticking to his sweaty forehead and your thong over his length. fuck he looked so hot. you always had a thing for sunghoon but not wanting to ruin your friendship, you kept it to yourself and your trusted diary. you can’t help but clamp your legs together, almost moaning at the sight.
you decided to test your faith, so you walked over infront of your bed. “shit y/n! your pussy is so fucking tight princess!” sunghoon whimpers out, he opens his eyes only to see you. standing infront of him, arms crossed and face flushed with a crimson tone. “like what you see doll?” sunghoon smirks not showing one bit of embarrassment. instead, a sense of pride.
“i.. uhm..” you stutter shocked by the lack of embarrassment he showed on his face. “you love it huh? watching your best friend fuck himself with your skimpy thong? huh? look at you. i bet you’re all soaking wet from watching me pump my cock for you isn’t that right, slut?” he whispered, walked over to you, leaning down into your ear moaning playfully as he nibble on your earlobe.
“ahh.. hoon..” you whimper at his words, his hands trailing up and down your body stopping where you wanted him the most. “shit. no panties? do you really are just a slutty whore aren’t you? practically begging any man to cream your pussy right? you better fucking stop. because this tight, wet, creamy cunt is all mine. understood?” he degrades as he slaps your warmth, making you jerk forward as you nod your head in response.
“use your words doll. you know i hate stupid little whores.” he orders rubbing circles into your clit making you moan and clinging onto sunghoon’s broad shoulders. “you’re gonna let me breed your sopping pussy yeah? fill you up with my babies to show everyone who you belong to right?” he mutters over your neck, sucking and biting marks all over your neck. “yes hoon.. i’m all yours.” you finally managed to moan out.
“good girl.. now come here.” sunghoon ordered as he picked you up effortlessly, slamming you down on his lap earning a yelp from you. “may i?” he asks for your consent before stripping you to which you consented. “oh fuck doll, you’re gorgeous.” sunghoon admires your soft skin, rolling his fingers over your nipples licking his lips. “feels good hoon~” you whine out bucking your hips into his. “i know pretty girl..” he coos a finger teasing at your wet hole, him waiting for a reaction.
“hoon please.. i want you.” you whimper grinding on his fingers as he smiles in satisfaction. “beg for it then. tell me how much you want me to fuck you dumb.” he grins looking down at you and watching your face contort from the feeling of his long and slender fingers sliding into your core. “i want you to fuck me until i can’t walk anymore.. i need your cum in me hoon. i need it so so bad!” you squeal at the sensation of his fingers going in and out of my sopping cunt. wet, gushing sounds reverberating around the room. “good girl..” he grunts, speeding up his pace.
you feel a familiar knot in your abdomen, panting uncontrollably as you arch your back, “fuck hoon i’m close..!” you whimper, him smirking back at your call as he continues to finger you in the ‘come here’ motion. “cum for me then slut.” he commands as you release on his fingers. the sight was so dirty, your squirt soaking his fingers and your sheets, his mouth sucking your juices off you and you arching your back, your mouth forming an ‘o’ shape.
“fuck,, you’re such a slut huh?” he teases, pulling his digits out of you and shoves them in your mouth. “now suck.” he commands, to which you obey. swirling your tongue around his fingers coating them in your saliva. his cock twitches at the sight, sunghoon wanted to absolute ruin you.
sunghoon sat comfortably on the bed patting his bare thighs, “come here.” he commanded, smirking at you. “what are you waiting for? is it because i’m not heeseung?” he gritted his teeth, the flashback of you giving heeseung a lap dance engraved in his mind wishing it was him you were grinding all up on. “no.. it’s not that” you mutter out quietly, crawling to sunghoon straddling him.
“what is it then? hm?” he caressed your thighs softly, looking at you expectantly. “it’s just.. i’ve been waiting for this since we became friends hoon..” you ground your hips down on his throbbing length, smiling at him softly. His eyes darkened at your words as he tightened his grip on your hips, pushing you down onto his lap roughly, feeling your wet pussy sliding along his engorged cock. "oh is that so? enjoying yourself aren’t you?" he smirked at you once again.
He grabs you by the hair and pulls your face close to his, thrusting his tongue into your mouth, kissing you with a deep passion as his cock twitches against your slick hot cunt. you kiss him back passionately moaning into the kiss. “trust me doll, you’re gonna forget who heeseung even is after i fuck you dumb.” he growls as he grabbed onto your hips pulling you towards himself forcefully slamming his cock deep inside your tiny hole stretching it wide "fuck... yes.... fuck..!" he grunts.
“you’re so fucking big hoon~!” you whine out watching him slowly thrust in and out of you. “i know doll, i know.” he replies cockily while grunts he slams himself against you harder, grabbing your breasts roughly and squeezing them, feeling your nipples get rock hard under his fingers as he continued to slam into you, using you like a toy as he pounded you relentlessly. you moan his name like a mantra, completely fucked out.
“yeah that’s it. moan my name like a whore. you’re all mine understand?” he glared at you waiting for your answer. “yes hoon! i’m all yours!” you pant out, bouncing up and down on his girthy cock, your cunt convulsing around his length. he smirked proudly, thrusting himself deeper inside you until he was buried completely within you. "that's right, doll. cum all over my fucking dick." He whispered huskily, grabbing onto your hips tightly as he began pounding away at you mercilessly, driving you crazy with desire.
“shit hoon i’m cumming!” you scream, feeling yourself come undone. a thick, creamy gloss ring coats the base of his dick, dripping down onto his thighs. “can i cum in you doll?” he asks for permission as you nod your head, “yes yes yes! cum in me sunghoon! i want your load in me so bad!” you beg, your body shaking from the stimulation your yet receiving.
“so fucking good, all wet and creamy all just for me.” he grunts as he finally shoots his milky, thick load inside of you. guiding your hips as he rides out his high. he pulls out of you, you whining at the emptiness. “look. watch my seed drip out of you.” he orders as you watch his gooey cum trickle from your well fucked hole down onto the sheets.
“are you gonna give me aftercare or are you gonna be a dickhead?” you cocked an eyebrow
“only if you be mine forever.” he smirked jokingly, getting towels to clean you off.
“i’ve always been yours.”
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