“This better be worth all the gas I’m wasting on you,” Kara huffed out as we pulled into the parking lot.
She opened her door and I followed suit after she parked. After sitting in the car for an hour, my ass had started to ache, and I was beginning to feel more apprehensive by the minute.
Time kept ticking away. There was only one shot for me to get this right, for Eleanor to listen to me. And the fact that her best friend, who I’d presume would be on her side at all costs because deep down she despises me, is the one who went to my apartment in pursuit of bringing me here. She picked out my disguise, fooling the gullible eyes of others that I was just another student with a cap, sunglasses, leather jacket, and standard clothes on. She refused my payment for gas and kept driving; making small talk of all the work she had to do this weekend when she should be going to the bar.
I walked around the car and embraced her. She was caught off guard, but immediately returned the gesture.
I sighed into her hair and pulled back, gripping her shoulders lightly, “Seriously, thank you.”
“There’s no reason to,” She insisted, waving me off.
We started walking towards the dorms, my cap pulled down low, sunglasses still on, and portfolio in my right hand. Getting caught while walking into the dorms would ruin the purpose of this whole shebang, and I only had one time to get it right.
“Plus, it’s the least I can do for the both of you,” She continued, walking up a staircase, “I’m tired of seeing her mope around. Even Supernatural can’t make her smile. And trust me, if there’s anything she likes more than you, it’s Jared Padalecki’s moose looking self.”
I chuckled at that. I knew that was true, from the season disc’s she brought over my apartment on Christmas Break. Then, my stomach started aching with realization that I was the one that caused her grief.
We were now in front of Kara and Eleanor’s dorm. She knocked three times and turned to me in a hushed tone, “I’m going to dip out for the weekend as soon as she opens the door. If she finds out I did this, she will lock us both out. So make it count and try not to get caught. I’ll pick you up if you need me to.”
The lock started to shift, and Kara was rushing down the hall as soon as I turned to see her back. Nerves settled in completely within the pit of my stomach. Threatening to make the lunch I forced myself to eat to make a reappearance. But as I always have, I masked those feelings with a veil as soon as we were face to face.
I had never seen anyone’s face drain of color that fast, or try to disguise her puffy red eyes with an expression of indifference. It made me fear the worst that she would slam the door in my face and I would be stuck here alone, to navigate my way through these unfamiliar halls. But instead, with my disguise not fooling her intuitive eyes, she just glanced at me in shock and half yelled, half whispered, “What are you doing here?”
“Let me in and I’ll explain.”
“Why the hell would I do that? It’s not like you want to be around me, anyway.”
“Who’s been the one getting called over and over and not answering?” I asked incredulously, “You. Not me.”
“Josh,” She said loudly, grinning just the slightest at trying to sabotage me, “You have three minutes to explain what the hell you’re doing here.”
My right hand presented the portfolio in front of us, shakily putting it in her palm. I hadn’t seen her like this; this angry, that malice, yet wounded look in her eyes. Quite honestly, it frightened me and I never wanted to see it again. I never wanted to be the cause of that again.
Once she glanced at me perplexed, I answered, “Just look inside.”
She opened the portfolio, not entirely convinced of my unannounced appearance. But once her eyes started viewing the photos, her expression softened and then I saw that lit up face again, slowly but surely.
Her eyes roamed over the first photo of her own silhouette in the dark with only the moonlight from my window seeping through my curtains, giving her flesh radiance. She had been viewing herself in the mirror, keeping up her hair while gazing over the love bites I left behind the previous night. My handiwork was so admirable that I wanted to remember it forever.
The second picture was of her in my bed, under the plush covers, trying to conceal herself from the camera. Her eyes squinted and were the only feature of her face not hidden, but you could tell she was smiling, from the twinkle in her irises and the crinkle at the edges. She was so vulnerable, in the sweet sense that I had to remember that questionable innocence that drew me to her.
The last photo was an enlarged version of Eleanor and Selena. Eleanor was 10, and Selena was 12. They both wore matching ugly Christmas sweaters, smiling wider and brighter than the sun expanding throughout the seasons. This was one of the few times I’d seen her genuinely happy, other than the time when we were at her home with her family. This was something I always wanted to remember her by.
The rest of the plastic covers were for other photos to come. On the cover, backside, and inside the front flab were words from me, engraved and printed in gold. I wanted to let her read, but I was so anxious that I had to take the portfolio from her stiff hands, reading it off as she looked at me, only with little to no suspicion now.
I cleared my throat and read off the front cover, “Pictures are worth a thousand words, worth millions of tales that hold deep meaning within the depths of our souls. They’re engraved in our minds with only the remembrance of their true meanings. These pictures are odd to others eyes, but perfect and nothing less from our perspective behind the flash of a camera.”
My hand opened the flab as I continued, “These pictures reflect my thoughts on you; caring, loving, thoughtful, intuitive, and more than I deserve. The only thing they lack is the ability to explain how much you mean to me.”
As I caught a quick glance at her, she was still staring, her hands at her sides as I turned to the back, “Since photos are not enough to decipher or translate my thoughts, and neither are words sometimes, I will devote all the time I can and want to show you how much I love you. If this can’t prove it, then I will keep making the effort to prove myself. And when I’m one step closer, then we add another picture to this portfolio.”
Still without her input, I put the portfolio back in her hands and said, “This is my gift to you.”
Her eyes wandered from the portfolio to me a numerous amount of times. The flesh of her lip was now a pinkish shade of red, from how much she was biting into it. I feared blood would ooze out, only adding to her contemplation to make me more terrified than I had become.
I could hear the silence ring in my ears. It made me think that my efforts were, indeed, useless.
The hint of a smile working its way on her lips was barely noticeable. But I could see it from a thousand miles away, if that’s what this last chance of contact would come to.
She tugged at my arm and dragged me into the dorm, closing the door shut behind me tightly, leaning me up against it and whispering on my lips, “Thank you.”
My hands cupped her face. Her smooth skin underneath my palms electrified my senses, giving off the illusion that touching her would light me up. I was beginning to think that illusion was actually a reality.
Tears started running down my fingers. Her tears. She croaked out, “This is what you spent your time on?”
I nodded. What I didn’t tell her was that I’d spent more of my time trying to convince myself why she wasn’t good for me, why our separation was for the best.
Instead, I told her this version while leading her backwards toward the bed, “I couldn’t find one valid reason why you’re bad for me.”
The back of her legs hit the edge of her mattress. I sat beside her. She put the portfolio on the table beside her bed and questioned, “Not even the fact that I was your student and that I’m nine years younger than you?”
My head shook immediately as I gripped her hands, “Not even that. All the risks I have taken for you have been worth everything.”
She smiled weakly and glanced down to her lap. I continued voicing my confession, “I was wrong for letting someone else control what we have. I was wrong for pushing you away when all you’ve been doing is letting me in. I’m sorry for ever hurting you and I’m sorry I didn’t realize how much you’re really worth sooner.”
I felt my throat tighten with tears desperately yearning to exit my eyelids, but I swallowed them down. I refused to turn this situation around on me.
But Eleanor did that anyway, “No, I’m sorry for shutting you out. I’m sorry that I didn’t take your job into consideration-“
“Honestly, fuck my job. It would sure as hell suck if I got fired for someone ratting me out on something that isn’t their business. But if it meant that I still had you in return, I wouldn’t mind.”
“You mean that?” She whispered.
My lips leaned in to kiss hers gently, and smiled against them at how much ease I felt with simply reconnecting our contact. Our eyes gazed into each other briefly as I confirmed, “Every word of it.”
It was brief because she returned my kiss, deepening our contact and getting lost into her with the guidance of her hands and lips.
We kept this game going; her kissing me, and me kissing back with our tongues swiftly moving against each other. Both of our hands cradled each other’s face, feeling as if we were never close enough. It didn’t occur to me until after she worked my jacket off of me and I lifted that tiny shirt off of her that this might not be the brightest idea I had. A Professor messing around with a student in their dorm; this was essentially professional suicide.
But I didn’t care for a second.
Kissing her never got old. Every time we kissed again, those sparks started flying in every which way. New feelings set in the pit of my stomach that I could only guess were butterflies and nerves clashing together. And this time, the knowledge that I was risking everything for this one person that meant more to me than I was ever aware of, excited me with a new sense of longing.
I felt like a middle schooler having their first official relationship describing how Eleanor made me feel, how she made me want to discover all the bad parts of the universe and restore them with the life she seemed to give me.
My hands reached the back of her bra strap as I paused, waited for confirmation. She just looked at me and grinned softly, biting her lips and waiting patiently. I couldn’t help but grin myself as I unclasped her bra, letting the straps fall and her tossing it behind her.
My back was now against the wall as I sat completely on the bed, Eleanor straddling my hips and unbuttoning my blue flannel. I sped up the process, caressing her lips with mine when she was close enough, I was going to reach in for a kiss when she said, “I love you.”
That’s when I noticed she paused for my response. I didn’t seem to notice until then, because time had lost its meaning. I had to blink, swallow, and process the information. She loves me.
The question I’d beat myself with for days, if she actually did love me still and if I was worth loving, was now answered. Always, and never without a doubt would I blame myself for not defending her better, if there was any other possible way that I could. And now that I received confirmation, that despite my flaws and despite everything I’d put her through, she loved me.
I seized the opportunity, groaning into her mouth as our mouths connected. The sleeves of my button up swiftly fell down my arms, and I bunched up the shirt and threw it behind her.
Before I knew it, before I was even aware of what was happening between us, we were panting, and all of our clothes were strewn across the floor in careless piles. I tried gesturing her on bottom, but she stayed persistent in straddling my hips. And I didn’t mind her staying there.
My hand was at the small of her back while my right was tangled in her waves, bringing her face as close to mine as it could get without feeling uncomfortable. Her wet clit ground against me. Before she could tower herself onto me, I broke away from our lip lock and whispered, “I love you so fucking much.”
Her eyes lit up from that dark shade of hazel that was masked with desire. She didn’t have to respond, and I was okay with that. Instead, she lifted herself up a bit, and with the guidance I gave her, I was all the way inside of her, and she instantly assisted me in finding that one spot that made her beg for oxygen.
She kept one hand on my chest and the other on the side of my head, playing with my hair. I kept one on her hip, guiding her to the speed she desired with my left cradling her cheek and occasionally traveling to her hair. Our closeness, even still, made my breath hitch. Made my heartbeat quicken. Made the hairs all over my flesh rise at attention. She looked so beautiful. Not just on top of me, riding me with such confidence that I could climax right there, but all the time. This beauty…it was with her all the time.
And witnessing it after days of fearing I’d never see it again encouraged me on.
I groaned into her ear, biting her earlobe softly and scraping my teeth against the skin, making her arch into me, “Fuuuuuck.”
I felt my hips rise to meet hers in each thrust she made on top of me. So deep, so fulfilling with each time she was lifted down. Her clit brushed against the base of my cock as the dampness from it made me shiver. She wanted to go fast, but I didn’t want this to be fucking, so I steadied her at a reasonable pace, guiding her hips to meet mine with such impact that we both saw stars in time with each other.
“There?” I whispered.
“Mhm-hm,” She hummed, pressing her lips against my neck.
The smile wavered on my lips, occasionally shifting when I moaned. But I held in as much as I could. What I really wanted to hear was our skins come into contact, and her moans echo off these walls. She was more quiet than usual, restraining herself from anyone eavesdropping. But I didn’t care. I just wanted to hear her moan or scream my name once. Preferably scream.
The hand resting on her hip slowly traveled up her smooth flesh, feeling every inch of her tensing body until I landed on her breast. It shook slightly in my palm as she moaned and ground into me. Feeling the flesh in my palm squeeze was not enough, even if it went straight to my groin and made my hips jerk, so I took her in my mouth, sucking and moaning softly until I could feel patches of goose bumps on some parts of her.
“Fuck Josh,” She half whispered and screamed, “Holy fuck.”
My teeth captured her lips as they toppled over mine, returning from my neck. I pulled and heard a sound produce from her mouth that I’m not sure I ever caused before. Nonetheless, I kept my act of sudden rough and caressed actions so I could hear it in a chant. I wanted to remember it and let it lull me to sleep.
Her nails dug in the flesh of my chest as she pulled on my hair as well. Her pussy tightened around me as we both began panting, having lost sense of all ways to catch our breath. Now, she was grinding into me with a quicker speed, the bed rocking in a nonsensical manner with our bodies moving each second. She shut her eyelids as she half whispered and screamed, “Fuck Josh, yes.” And I wanted to watch her do that again forever.
“Come for me baby,” I panted as our lips toppled over one another, “Come hard.”
But nothing compared to the moment of watching her body arch into mine completely. Her mouth opened with a moan escaping that couldn’t be contained but had to be unleashed with a beautiful melody I was proud of. Nothing compared to the moments of her walls contracting around me continuously as she came, the waves of pleasure crashing through her, but her still not willing to slide out until she’s absolutely had enough of her body bucking every which way.
It’s no wonder I came right after her, biting down on her shoulder and groaning into her flesh.
Her body had enough and stilled on top of me. Good thing, because I wasn’t sure how much my dick could take of it anymore, though I just wanted to stay inside of her and keep making her come. But she slid out of me and let her head rest on my chest. Let our sweaty flesh touch and soak in each other. Let me trace circles on her spine as her fingers danced along my hips.
Hearing her breathe was nice. The silence between us was comforting and welcoming. I missed this, and never wanted to lose it again.
It seemed like we never even shifted positions or loosened our hold on one another. But numerous times we did. Right when we lay down, looking at each other and holding each other close. Right when my hand traveled to her clit and she got even closer to me until she came and had to push me off. Right when we got into a debate of baked potatoes and mashed potatoes and deciding which one is better. Now, I was lying on the bed, nude to the audience of her in the room as she sat at the edge of the bed and looked at the portfolio.
She admired the photos, just as I envisioned. Perhaps more so than I intended. I was glad that I was able to bring beauty to her eyes, make her realize I really wanted this with her. She kept grinning like an idiot, and her eyes never wavered off of her sister as her eyes landed on that picture.
I gripped her forearm and groaned, “Come on. I demand body heat.”
She giggled, put the portfolio down, and came back into my arms as I let the blankets conceal us. Her sigh went into my neck and sent a shiver down my spine, and I hoped she didn’t notice my small reaction.
Four months. Four months was all it took to love her. Not just love her, fall in love with her. Even the thought was unthinkable.
Most people in a relationship for four months aren’t even ready for intimate contact. Here I was, thinking of her almost every moment of the day, anticipating the next time I’d see her and satisfy her in more ways than one. With my finger twirling and wrapping her hair around it, I admired every characteristic of her body and personality, finding flaws that were impossible not to love. Because they made her who she is.
Honestly, it terrified me to be in love with her. It really did, knowing that there was a low chance of this actually working out and I was challenging the odds by making them even more difficult to get in my favor. I couldn’t even think of separating from her. Not now, not ever.
What pained me the most was the fact I couldn’t even tell her all this. I never let my past relationships affect who I’m with in the future, and she was no exception. Only my doubts got the better of me, and each time, that weighed me down. That prevented me from sharing my thoughts, making it seem like I didn’t even have much thought about us at all when I did.
The silence got too unsettling for me. She placed a hand gently on my chest and raised her head to look at me, “Tell me what’s wrong.”
My eyebrows furrowed, “Nothing’s wrong.”
“You must take me for a clueless girlfriend.”
That word, girlfriend. I loved hearing it again, knowing we were okay, but fearing that she may not use the word again once I’d tell her what’s on my mind.
So I put it lightly, “I’m kind of scared.”
She got on top and laid her weight on me lightly. Her clit right there, so teasingly against my dick, made me think of her again on top, fucking me relentlessly. But those thoughts were brushed away into dust as she asked, “Scared of what?”
“Of losing this,” I admitted, breathing in and out silently to steady myself.
She didn’t comprehend, “Losing what?”
“You. Us. All of this. I just don’t want to make another mistake again.”
She sighed silently and nodded once, “We’re always going to make mistakes, and sometimes, we’re going to antagonize each other for it. But you’ll never lose me.”
She giggled and held out her pinky, which I graciously took with my own, and we shook on it, “Pinky promise sealed.”
Still, I had to tell her more, “You know as long as we’re here on the same campus, that this may put us at risk.”
At that, her smile morphed into a firm frown, and I knew from this point on that we were stuck.
I couldn’t say I regretted bringing it up, because I didn’t. This was an issue that had to be put on the table and dealt with. The only problem was…neither of us was willing to own up to it and make the first move.
Neither of us did that night. Instead, we laid there in comfortable silence, cuddling close and occasionally caressing and kissing each other. It was much better to communicate through actions. To show her how much I truly loved her, rather than telling her. No matter how well I was able to execute my thoughts into words, it was still a whole other ball park actually doing so.
We redressed ourselves eventually. She called Kara to come pick me up, and even then, we distracted ourselves by talking about a variety of things. If the theory of how the world came to be on scientific terms is accurate, if the illuminati is bullshit or not (which it is in my opinion and apparently to her it isn’t), and anything else we transferred to all of a suddenly. The easy conversation flowed and I was thankful for it luring me away from all the thoughts of breaking this off clinging to me.
When Kara dropped me off, she walked me to my door to give me a mouthful.
“That look on your face tells me you solved the problem but not all of it,” She started, “So listen closely. Decide what you truly want before you hurt a woman with enough on her plate as it is. You wouldn’t be helping yourself, either.”
“I know,” I rolled my eyes, shaking my head at myself, “But I think I know what has to be done. And no one is going to like it.”
She sighed out of her nose and said quietly, “Just make sure it’s fast and painless.”
But that’s the problem. No matter what decision I make, no matter what, someone will get hurt.