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The Tongue Tied


“Vary the tempo. Sometimes you go fast and urgent, like you’re the last two lovers on earth. Sometimes you go slow and sensual, like you’re the first lovers on earth. And remember to tease. A kiss is only as strong as the anticipation it builds.”

Judah had told me all that during our last practice session, and it was like I could hear him talking in my ear as I was in the middle of kissing Blake. Yes, I had met Judah several times since that day and we continued rehearsing for our scene. And yes, I had also been meeting Blake in secret again.

As crazy as this might sound, my lessons with Judah were quite educational. Just after a few cake-eating sessions with him, and I could already see the improvement in my own game.

I might go to hell for this, but I was definitely using what I learned from Judah to show Blake that I got game. Blake couldn’t get enough of me, of Taya Williams! He was eating at the palm of my hands and it felt amazing to have this much power over a guy.

It was crazy to think that just a few weeks prior, I had never kissed anyone. But one night and one deal later, everything changed.

This whole Taya 2.0 thing was the best idea I’d ever had. I should’ve done this a lot sooner!

So here I was, ditching lunch with my friends so I could make out with Blake in the parking lot. His Jeep’s windows were heavily tinted, so we didn’t need to worry about anyone seeing us.

Using what I learned from Judah, I captured Blake’s mouth in mine. I was taking charge. I started it slow and gentle, teasing him a little as my tongue grazed his lower lip in a sensual motion. Blake couldn’t keep silent as low moans and groans escaped his throat. His hands roamed my body as he couldn’t keep still and I had to keep smacking his naughty fingers away.

“Damn,” he hissed. “You’re such a bad girl,”

I could only bite my lip to suppress my laughter. I was about to lean in for his neck—when the sudden ring of the bell distracted us both. We groaned as I peeled myself away from Blake, straightening up my clothes and combing my hair with my hands.

“What are you doing today after school?” he said, as he fixed his collar.

“I dunno, I might have... rehearsal. Why? Do you have a better offer for me in mind?”

“Ah no, you should go. I have to go too. I got football practice,”

“Aw,” I pouted.

“But we can meet afterwards?”

“You told Ryder about us yet?”

“Not yet, but I’m getting there. I’m just waiting for him to be in a good mood. He’s got awful mood swings lately, something about fighting with his dad over surfing,”

“Ugh, that can’t be good. I’ll have to start getting your coffin ready for you,” I gave him a playful smirk and a quick kiss on the cheek.

“Text me!” he called out as I got out of his Jeep in one swift move.

Damn, I was so smooth. Taya 2.0 really didn’t disappoint.

Making sure no one was around, I made my way stealthily through to the hallways, joining the row of kids going back to their classes.

“Taya!” suddenly a voice called out. Thankfully it was just Gabe.

“Oh hey, what’s up?”

“Have you seen Judah around lately?”

“No! Why would I?” I said defensively. I didn’t want Gabe, or anyone else, to know that I had been meeting him for private rehearsals.

“I was just wondering. You guys seemed close, that’s all,”

“Why, is something wrong?”

“He hasn’t been in school the past three days. I just wanted to give him some stuff from class,”

I always met Judah after school and we never had any classes together, so I never even noticed that he wasn’t going to his classes.

“Give them to me. I’ll go see him today,” I said to Gabe.

That day after school, I followed my Google maps on a fifteen-minute bike ride as it led me to Judah’s house. I had only been there once before for practice. Located on the outskirts of town, his house was small, old, and somewhat unkempt.

I went up to the door and rang the doorbell a few times. I took note of how the paint on the walls was faded out and the wooden door had cracks everywhere.

After a few moments, the door finally opened and Judah emerged. He was dressed in a black T-shirt and joggers. His eyes were bloodshot red, his hair was messy and he reeked of cigarettes, but else was new?

“Blondie? I didn’t realize we’re practicing today?” he looked taken aback.

“We don’t. Aren’t you gonna invite me in?” I mimicked the way he spoke to me when he showed up at my house unannounced last time.

He narrowed his eyes at me for a moment, before finally stepping back and swinging the door open.

“Welcome, mi casa es su casa,”

I stepped inside and took a seat on the long sofa. He walked back in, turning the TV off before swiping the empty beer bottles from the coffee table.

Had he been drinking?

“Why weren’t you at school today? Or the past three days?” I said to him.

“Eh, just didn’t feel like going,” he shrugged and stalked to the kitchen with the empty bottles.

“And your parents are okay with that?”

“Mom’s out working ’til late every day. She won’t even notice,”

“And your dad?”

“Dead,” he said casually as he entered the living room again.

“Oh, I’m sorry—”

“Nah, you know, shit happens,”

He didn’t seem bothered at all. He simply threw himself on the empty spot next to mine and proceeded to cracking his neck.

“So, what brought you here?”

“Here, Gabe told me to give this to you,” I said, taking out several books from my backpack. “They’re notes from your classes. He also said you guys will have a Bio quiz tomorrow, so you should study up,”

“What a kid,” he chuckled as he took the books in my hand.

“Yeah, he’s a real good friend,”

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he’s real into me,”

“Don’t flatter yourself,”

“Is that all, then?” he cocked his head to the side, waiting for my reaction

“You know you should take your classes more seriously, Judah. We’re seniors now. Colleges really care about attend—”

“So, is that all?” he cut me off, repeating his question again.

I took a deep breath and sighed.

“Actually... no. I also have a favor to ask you,” I swallowed hard before continuing, “I need more tips, with kissing and stuff,”

I looked at the floor as I said it, feeling guilty and embarrassed as hell. But I couldn’t deny the fact that his lessons had impacted my relationship with Blake, and I needed more of that.

“I’m guessing things are going well with Mr. Jealousy, huh?” a naughty grin crept up his lips.

“His name is Blake. And things are good, so far,”

As if he could read my mind, he scoffed in response and shook his head.

“Is that why you wanna learn tricks from me? So you can keep your guy?”

“I—I,” my breath was caught in my throat.

“Girls always say that guys are jerks. But damn, girls are manipulative as hell. They’re just as bad,” he stated.

“S—shut up. Do you wanna help me or not?” I said, swallowing my pride.

He bit his lip and cocked his head to the side. I knew this wasn’t a great idea, but hey, worth a shot, right?

“Come here,” he turned his body to me suddenly, motioning for me to come closer.

“Now repeat after me,” he said again and I rolled my eyes.

I knew he wasn’t gonna make this easy for me. I just knew.

“Be nice or I won’t help you,” he flicked my forehead with his fingers and I flinched back.


“Now repeat after me: Judah...”

“Judah...” I said flatly.

“You are such a god,”

“...You are such a god,” my eyes kept rolling back towards my brain.

“You’re fine as hell,”

“...You’re fine... as hell,” I had to bit my lip in order to suppress my gag reflux.

“So please, please teach me,”

“So... please... please teach me,”


“I am not calling you daddy!” I gaped immediately.

“Okay, no lessons for today, thanks for coming,”

“Fucking hell, Judah!”

“Nope, that’s not the magic word,”

“No way in hell,” I scoffed.

“Say the magic word Blondie,”

His eyes held a playful glint as he licked his lip teasingly. I shook my head from side to side as I couldn’t believe I could sink this low. Swallowing the last bit of my pride and dignity, I took a deep breath and prepared myself.

“...Daddy,” I muttered as low as I could.

That sinister smirk appeared on his face and he nodded approvingly. Not wasting anymore time, he closed in on us as his hand gripped the side of my face. Angling my face just right, he delved in.

“That was low, even for you,” I murmured against his lips.

“Less talking, more kissing,” he said, deepening the kiss.

Although he tasted like alcohol and cigarette and it repulsed my senses, Judah’s kisses were magnetic enough to get me to stay. I always learned something new every time we kiss. He was creative; he never made it into a routine.

Now before you get all crazy on me, don’t worry; this was strictly just kissing. It was only a physical act, nothing more, nothing less. I simply regarded this as pure anthropological research.

“Today’s lesson...” he breathed, pulling away just for a moment as he said, “The element of surprise!”

And suddenly I was pinned down against the sofa. My wrists were held down on either side of me as Judah’s face hovered above mine. I couldn’t even get one word out before his lips crashed onto mine again. I wanted to protest, but his lips had coaxed me into submission.

Damn, he really knows what he’s doing!

His tongue found its way through my lips and it roamed the corners of my mouth. The taste of cigarettes and booze was harsh against my mouth, but the way he was kissing me made me overlook all that.

His tongue circled around mine, making an invitation. But when my tongue was about to reach his, he suddenly pulled back, teasing me.

That was a cool trick, I gave myself a mental note.

I gathered my strength and in one fell swoop, I managed to push him back against the sofa. Hovering on top of him, I leaned back down and planted a long wet kiss on the corner of his lips. I could feel him smirking through the kiss.

But before I could return any favors, Judah flipped us over again so that he was on top. I caught a glimpse of his eyes for a split second—he was totally enjoying this game we had going on.

His tongue grazed over my lower lip, asking for permission. But I held my lips together, closing it on purpose. He let out a growl as he bit on my lower lip roughly, catching me off guard.

He took the opportunity to slip his tongue right in. He really wasn’t kidding when he said the ‘element of surprise’.

“Hey, I’m home—oh my!” suddenly we heard a loud gasp and both of us jerked up instantly.

“Judah, I didn’t know you have a friend over?” said a woman with long dark hair. She was standing on the front door with her eyes and mouth wide open.

“You’re early,” Judah got off of me abruptly and I quickly pulled myself up and straightened up my clothes.

“Yeah, there weren’t a lot of customers in the diner. They let me go early. Well, wow, your friend is really pretty. Aren’t you gonna introduce us?” she said as she turned to me.

“Nah, she’s just leaving,” Judah grabbed my hand briskly and pulled me up from the sofa. Seemed like he couldn’t wait to get rid of me.

“What? No, she should at least stay for dinner,” the woman interjected.

“She’s busy,” Judah answered for me. He was stiff and he looked uncomfortable.

“Judah! Be a good kid and ask the pretty girl to stay for dinner,” she scolded him and he clenched his jaw.

“Oh no, that’s fine, really—” I said politely, not wanting to cause any trouble.

“Blondie, do you wanna stay for dinner with me and my ma?” Judah said suddenly, catching me off-guard.


“Please do,” Judah’s mom smiled sweetly.


I looked at her, then to Judah, and then back to her. Although I wanted to say no, she seemed so nice and I didn’t want to be rude. My tongue was tied up, literally, as both of them waited for my response. After a few more seconds, finally I gave Judah’s mom a smile and a nod.

“Great! I’m making my famous pasta,” she beamed and made her way to the kitchen.

Judah waited until she was out of sight before releasing my hand. He was holding onto it so tight, it left a mark. I looked at him and he had this grim expression on his face, a clear sign that he wasn’t pleased with me staying.

But it was too late now. I could only give him a weak smile as I followed his mom towards the kitchen.

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