The Dancer

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Chapter 22

I was texting on George’s bunk bed in my Pajamas while he showered. It was Wednesday evening, and I was not supposed to be at George’s place. It was last minute. We were standing at the bus stop waiting for my bus to come after we were done with our shift that night. About five or so minutes until my bus got there I turned over and asked if I could just follow George home. George said yes after hesitating a bit, and we left the bus stop and took the bus route that led to George’s neighborhood. I had to call Austin, so he didn’t think I had been kidnapped or anything silly. Who cared about morning classes the next day, am I right?

GreyGains:

We haven’t talked in ages. Where are you?

WED, 1:39 PM.

Me:

I’m sorry I’ve just had a lot of things going on. Oh, I’m at my boyfriend’s place.

WED, 11: 40 PM.

I replied to Grey’s message. I haven’t been on Tumblr since forever, so I took the time to go through my page and answer the messages and questions that had been sent to me. My biggest fair with opening Tumblr was that I was going to have a message from one of my ex-friends waiting for me, but I didn’t get anything from there. I feel they took the threat I made to Harry very seriously and had now directed most of their attention to Grace. Speaking of Grace, I still haven’t been able to get in contact with her.

GreyGains:

You’re always with your boyfriend. If you forget about me, I swear to God. >: (

JK. I’m happy for you. He sounds awesome.

WED, 11:41 PM.

I laughed at Grey’s message before texting him back.

Me:

Yeah, Geroge is pretty great.

WED, 11:42 PM.

GreyGains:

Also, I’m moving closer to where you live next year.

WED, 11: 43 PM.

My eyes went wide at his message. He was moving closer to me. Maybe he was even going to attend this college? We had a good kinesiology and physical health program.

Me:

Really? Why didn’t you tell me sooner?

WED, 11: 44 PM.

GreyGains:

Ha, I was waiting until it was official before I told you. Also, there’s a high probability I’m enrolling at your university.

WED, 11:45 PM.

Grey and I continued to talk to each other for the next few minutes. I only looked up from my phone when the door to the bathroom creaked open. I texted Grey goodbye before watching George walk into the room with only a towel on. He went about changing, not even fazed by the fact that I was staring at him throughout. I wished I could do that. Just walk around naked without a care in the world, but I couldn’t.

I guess as time went by, I got a lot more comfortable with George touching me, and me touching him. It felt nice and created a warm knot in my belly. I knew that if I let my guard down just a little more all the touching and intimacy would feel ten times better, but I couldn’t help myself from retreating to a minor panic attack anytime I considered taking my clothes off.

I just couldn’t do it.

Not yet, at least.

“You’re going to regret coming over tomorrow morning,” George muttered as he climbed up the bunk bed. I kissed his cheek while he was still on the ladder. He gave me a warm smile as his face turned bright red. Ha, I don’t think I’ll ever get over George’s blush. It was too cute. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, but he was in long night pants. His hair was still a little wet, so it stuck to his face in odd molds. he climbed into the bed, rolling to space beside me before pulling me into his chest. We stayed like that for a bit before George started to run his hand through my hair and kiss my forehead.

“Mhm,” I hummed into George’s chest as he kept kissing me. He was kissing my jawline now, trailing down to the dip of my collar bones.

“You should go to bed,” George muttered, fanning my forehead with his breath. I rolled my eyes, spreading my hand out on his chest. His heartbeat was so fast, or maybe it was always like that when we were close. I don’t know.

“Do you think that kissing me helps?” I chuckled, making George laugh too before he leaned in to give me a kiss. My heart was racing, and my body had little ripples of pleasure running through me.

Lord, I loved kissing George.

I let my fingers comb through his hair as our tongues met. We kept kissing, but then I remembered I had a nine A.M. class tomorrow morning. I pulled away, making George raise a confused brow at me.

“I have class tomorrow morning,” I explained, making George sigh. It was twelve P.M. now, and if we kept kissing, I wouldn’t be going to bed anytime soon. I turned away from him, looking out into his room. I felt George wrap his hand around me as he moved closer, hugging to himself like I was a body pillow. It felt nice. I closed my eyes, trying to force myself to sleep, but less than five minutes passed before George’s hands had moved down to my waist. I gasped a bit, curling up, but I didn’t do or say anything in reaction. George just traced the outline of my waistline with his index finger.

Instead of going lower like I had feared he just buried his hand under my shirt; something I’ve been comfortable with him doing for a while now.

“Your stomach’s so warm,” he muttered, making me chuckle. The laughter killed the nerves I had from just moments before. I took in a deep breath as he worked his way up my chest and let the tip of his fingers touch my nipples. I hugged me closer, and I just buried my head in the pillow and I let out small pleased sighs.

“You like that?” he muttered, kissing my neck.

Yeah,” I answered honestly as my eyes went half closed. I reached under my shirt too, holding on to his hand as he continued to touch me. I liked this — I liked the small nice things he did to let me ease up to him. I was just hoping that one day I’d be confident enough for us to go all the way. For now, things like this were nice.

The room was quiet except for our sighs and the occasional loud car horn from outside, but then my phone started buzzing under the pillow. George paused, groaning as he took his hands away with some hesitance. I chuckled at how petty he was being, turning and, ruffling his hair before sitting up on the bed. I took my phone from under the pillow I was sharing with George before answering the call.

“Hello?” I said into the receiver, not checking who was calling me. I had just assumed it was going to be Austin since I didn’t come back even though I said I would.

“Hey, Oliver, do you have time to meet up tomorrow?” My blood ran cold when I heard Grace’s voice from the other end. After a week of looking everywhere for her and sending her messages, I had given up.

“Hello? Are you there?” she asked from the other end again, making me bite down on my bottom lip before running a hand through my hair.

“Yeah, just a little shocked. You just dropped off the face of the earth,” I said, my voice getting loud enough to make George sit up on his bed. I put my hand over the receiver before turning to him and telling him it was nothing. He didn’t look convinced, but he laid back down.

“Look, I’m having a hard time,” Grace said from the other end, and the small frown that had formed on my face softened a bit. That was true. Things were falling apart around her, and I was worried for her too. “Anyway, the reason why I called is that I’ve figured out how to end this shit with Harry,” she said, getting me interested. I adjusted my sitting position on George’s bed, looking out into his room as I waited for Grace to continue talking.

“You have a lot of evidence about Harry harassing you,” she started. “I was wondering if you could message them to me—”

“Grace, I don’t like where this is going,” I said, making her let out a groan from the other end of the line.

“Look, I snooped around his social media and got some information,” she said. “If you don’t give me the information to nail the coffin, I’ll just go with what I have right now. You’re not going be to final factor to whether I do this or not,” she said, making me lick my lips as I thought about it.

“If you do that, he’ll get expelled,” I said, remembering how afraid Harry was of the idea. So afraid that he back away from trying to get revenge on me.

“What the hell makes you think I care?” she asked.

I let out a sigh. True, it’s not like she cared. “Look, I can’t bring out that information without involving you. You’ll get expelled too,” I said.

“Well, if you care so much delete the information you about me, and just give me the dirt you have on Harry,” she said, and my free hand made a fist on my lap. Gosh, why was she being like this?

When I didn’t say anything, Grace started talking. “For the past month, things have been all over the place. Two days I was this close to overdosing and ending everything. Do you think if I get expelled at this point? I’m not a pussy. I won’t let Harry and the rest feel like they’ve won. Bunch of self-hating trannies—”

“Grace,” I said, cutting her off.

“I’m not talking about you. Sheesh, get off my case,” she said as if that made what she said any better. She cursed under her breath before muttering a string of words I couldn’t catch. I let the words she said before settling down.

She had tried to kill herself.

She had tried to kill herself, and she had just mentioned it like it was an irrelevant fact.

“Grace,” I called. I knew I caught her attention because she stopped rambling and the line on the other end went quiet.

“Yes?” she asked in a confused voice. She probably caught how shaky my voice was.

“A few weeks ago, I recommended you to the school counselor. Did you go?”

“That was you?”

“Did you go?” I asked, insisting on getting my question got answered before she dragged me into a whole new conversation. I heard a sigh from the other end.

“I’m not a pussy Oliver,” she said, and I just stayed quiet, not sure how to get through to her. If getting help was being a ‘pussy’, well I’m not sure how else to make her see that she needed help. The call remained dead on both ends for a while. I didn’t know how to phrase what I wanted to say without getting Grace upset.

“Okay, I’ll meet with you tomorrow. four P.M. at the student union building?” I asked.

“The cafeteria?” she asked, trying to get a specific location in the building.

“Sure,” I said, playing with the strings of my pants.

“Great,” she said before cutting the call. I guess she didn’t want me to bring up the counselor thing again.

“What’s going on?” George asked when I slipped my phone under the pillow before lying down beside him. I shrugged, letting out a sigh as I cuddled up to him.

“It’s complicated,” I muttered, burying my face in his chest. George nodded before wrapping his hands around me.

“get some sleep,” he mumbled, and I nodded.

I couldn’t sleep well that night. Worry was confusing me, and I finally gave into my thoughts and spent the rest of the night plotting something. It included getting Harry involved. I just hoped that what I had in mind for when I met up with Grace wouldn’t end up in chaos tomorrow.

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