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Chapter Twenty-two


“It’s getting late,” I pointed out, making Paul nod in agreement. His eyes were closed, and he hummed under his breath, trying to get cozy at the other end of the bed.

“I think I should get going,” I said as his eyes fluttered open, giving me a questioning look.

“You can stay over,” Paul pointed out, caressing the case of his pillow.

I was at Paul’s house, and everything including this bathroom and bed was gigantic. I mean, we’re sharing the same bed, and it still seems like we’re miles away I had gotten lost in his place the first time I came here. I’d moved from room to room, forgetting what floor I happened to be in at certain times.

I closed my eyes halfway, realizing I’d spent most of my break in Paul’s home. I’ve been camping on his bed to be exact. His nanny (Who has a nanny at sixteen?) was not so pleased when I became a constant visitor to the fridge, although she learned to deal with it.

I watched his lips quiver ever so slightly as he stirred. His hair was in a mess, and his face was still flushed from hours ago. Oh, yeah. Kissing. We did that a lot too.

I shivered slightly at the memory, trying not to dawn on it too much. I haven’t been kin about home since my mum decided to publicly discuss my ‘case’ on the dining table. I’d choked in disbelief and my father had dropped his paper like he had just seen a ghost. She argued that we’ll start to ‘bond’ as a family during the process, and we’ll probably start having such meetings every night. Let me tell you, it’s damn uncomfortable and I’ve been avoiding dinner ever since.

“Paul...” I trailed using my finger to draw invincible nonsense on the bed sheets. He muttered slightly in response, as his eyes opened halfway.

“I want to talk about the kissing thing...” I trailed, casting a look down at the bed.

“How’s your boyfriend?"

I remember Jane asking out of the blue one night. I’d blushed furiously, pointing out that I didn’t have one. But she’d given me an odd stare, asking about Paul. She knew about him. We’d talked and hung out a lot during the holidays, she’d even caught us kissing on the porch before.

“I don’t get it,” she’d said arranging her ceramic plates into place, “You kiss and go on dates don’t you?”

“They’re not exactly dates...” I’d protested, stealing a handful of diced carrots from the bowl as she proceeded to dice more. She glared at me but she didn’t say anything.

But she was kind of right, it does seem like I and Paul are dating. Are we?

“It’s totally fine,” Paul said, curling up into a ball. “But if you want to stop—”

“Damn, it’s not that. And I don’t want to stop,” I said firmly. I hate the fact he can’t help acting so worthless; like he was some plaything waiting to be discarded. I hated that he felt I thought so little of him.

“Oh,” he muttered as his brows twisted into a little confused look.

I don’t understand Paul. His parents were shareholders in multimillionaire companies, and he was cowering at the sight of dimwit bullies. If anything, he should be bullying them — although I can’t really imagine Paul doing any of that. It’s like saying tweety from Looney toons wanted to steal your lunch money.

The point is. Paul has everything he could ever want and the fact that he still thinks so little of himself gets me really annoyed.

“You could have anybody or anything you want, why do you keep acting like you have less worth than everyone else?” I asked, feeling a slight frown take form on my forehead. Paul only curled up, even more, looking at everything except me. It was obvious he wasn’t comfortable when I called him out on his belittling behavior.

“I’m not stupid. I just kind of get that without all the money I’m not exactly a catch for anything. I know I’m not exactly dating material, and am not exactly good at anything...” he trailed burying his head in a pillow. I sighed, crawling over to him.

“You’re good at making my groin tingle,” I whispered into his ear. I laughed as he drew in a breath. He blushed, sitting up before attacking me with a pillow.

“Don’t say embarrassing things like that, ever again!” He screeched, as he continued to pound me into the bed with the pillow. I laughed, shielding myself with my arms. There was no way Paul would have burst out at me like this a few weeks ago. He could barely even utter a sentence to me. Well, until he told me he loved me.

“I thought you’d like to hear such, you love me don’t you?” I teased even further. He got off me as the pink in his cheeks darkened.

“I do like hearing stuff like that, but it’s still freaking embarrassing,” he muttered, biting his bottom lip. I felt my heart slam against my rib cage at his honesty. Not being able to help myself, I got on my knees and took his face into my hands.

“You make me hard all over. Do I make you hard all over?” I asked, making him blink in confusion before jumping away in fright.

“That’s private!” He yelled closing his eyes with his palms. My heart fluttered at how cute he was being; the way he was avoiding my gaze guiltily as he mumbled under his breath.

“Paul,” I started, making him look up at me.

“About the kissing, about us,” I said in a calm voice, pushing us down on the bed, face to face, so close that our noses were touching.

“I understand it’s temporary,” he said, looking down at his fidgety hands.

“I understand you have a thing for Alex and I respect that. Just — just take it easy on me when you want to stop, okay?” he said in a choked voice. I raised his head to find glittery eyes. I wiped at them, alarmed. It’s the first time he’s cried when I brought up this topic.

“Damn, what’s wrong with you?” I asked, as his sobs turned into full-blown crying. He shook his head as if telling me he didn’t know before burying his head into my chest as he continued to cry.

“I’m sorry. I-I really thought I could handle it...” He muttered, pulling away from me.

“I’m sorry, It’s just — It hit me that we’ll become perfect strangers starting from next week Monday—”

“Who told you that?” I asked, frowning down at him.

“Well I just assumed—”

“Well, stop assuming. Damn it,” I scolded, pulling his confused body into a tight hug.

“I hate it Trav. I really hate the fact that I can’t defend myself so much. I really don’t know what’s wrong with me...” he got out as he began to cry again, soaking my shirt.

“Is that really what you think I’ll do? Just ignore you after the holidays?” I asked, resting my head on his brown locks. It actually hurt that he’d think that.

“Well, it’s what they usually do,” he said, pulling away from me.

“Who does that?” I asked, outraged by his answer. He shrugged like it was nothing.

“You know, people,” he said, sniffing. “Someone, in particular, pointed out that I was good for fucking, but not exactly dating.”

“Who did that?” I said, shaking involuntarily. I had the sudden urge to choke someone. Why in the world would someone say that?

“Don’t act like it’s anything, cause it really isn’t... I’ve been called worse; Slut, cum dump, promiscuous... I’ve just accepted the fact that I’m not exactly anybody’s number one choice, and it’s not hard to guess why...” He trailed, giving a dry fake sounding laugh.

“Everyone I’d had the slightest bit of affection for never liked me,” he said as his lips quivered.

“I like you,” I said sharply, making him look at me. He shrugged looking back down at his hands.

“I guess... but not as much as you like Alex... See, not exactly a number one pick.” He trailed. I took hold of his shoulders, shaking him with force.

“Don’t say that ever again,” I scolded, letting go of him.

“But it’s true—”

I cut him off, pulling him into a kiss. He bucked up at the suddenness of it, before relaxing into it. I sighed, licking his top lip. I didn’t feel as guilty about Alex as I used to when I and Paul kissed. The feeling to want Paul and only Paul had become a powerful instinct I couldn’t ignore.

He whimpered, running his hands through my hair. I groaned, rolling so I was on top of him. I love it. I love kissing him. I love Paul. I love the way he blushed when I teased him, the way he offered himself so willingly to me, the way he followed my guide with trust. (Well, except when we were bowling.)

I loved the way he backed away when he made an odd sound, or when I’d unknowingly taken it too far. Sometimes I touched where he’d asked me not to and he’d give me the silent treatment or ignore my attempts to kiss him for a few days. Surprisingly, it was a very effective punishment.

It killed me inside being around Paul and not being able to touch him. Since the first official silent treatment, I’d tried to respect myself. It was really pissing at first when I realized how much power he had over me, but I eased into it... learned to enjoy it.

Before I knew it Alex’s chocolate brown eyes had been replaced with dark brown ones, his beauty make and left dimple had been replaced with a shy smile and a cute habit of fidgeting, his lion-like brown hair had been replaced with darker shorter brown hair, and his sarcastic remarks were replaced with shy carefully planned out sentences.

“Go out with me,” I said all of a sudden, breaking our kiss. I don’t know why I did it really. It was like a sharp impulse.

Paul’s face turned three shades redder before he turned away without giving me an answer. I rolled my eyes at his childishness, coming up behind him, giving his neck and throat light butterfly kisses.

“What about Alex?” he shuttered as I nuzzled up to him.

“I’m asking you out, not Alex. I want you, not him, so let’s go out okay?” I said turning him over so I could kiss him full on the mouth. We moaned together, molding into each other.

“God I want you,” I moaned, running my thumb over his brows, pressing my lips gently over his kiss-swollen lips. He blushed, letting his hand run through my scalp shyly.

“I’m not dreaming this up, am I?” he asked as his leg went over mine. The light coming through the windows was now dim, exposing the fact that it was evening.

“No, not at all,” I muttered as I groaned mentally in frustration over the unsaid rule about touching.

“You can touch me...” He trailed, making my eyes widen in disbelief, “Well, if-f you want, I really don’t mind,” he mumbled, avoiding my gaze.

I smiled, taking one of his hands, and spreading the fingers against my lips as I kissed them one by one.

“Do you know what happens to people who make such broad statements?” I asked, hoping he knew what he was implying. My groin tightened when he shuddered as I took a finger into my mouth and began to suckle.

“They get ravished until they can’t stand?” he shuddered as I nipped at his ear.

“Good,” I said, smiling slightly. “I’m just checking if you understood the implications.”

He wrapped his legs around me as I moved down to kiss his groin. The way he encouraged me, the sweet moans he gave out did things... dirty things to my mind.

Sky had been right. I hadn’t been in love with Alex; just temporally transfixed by how much I had liked him.

I was experiencing first love now, first love right here with Paul.

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