Two lazy days and passion-filled nights later, I feel like I’m walking on air. The hormone surge Aaron brought about makes me feel relaxed in a way I’ve never felt before in my life. I guess Amber was right. Even if this hasn’t turned into a summer fling yet, it sure helps me loosen up, and right now, I couldn’t care less about my parents’ impending lecture.
Aaron meant what he said about doing it again and again. To say I wasn’t prepared for sex with him is the understatement of all time. I expected him to be all dominant, all alpha, but the gentleness and attention he showed took my breath away. He stopped when I asked him to (not that it happened a lot), and he kept going when I wantonly begged for more although I was sure I would never do that.
I keep replaying it in my head, over and over and over, even now that I am meeting Amy, Lauren, and Tessa, another one of their friends, for lunch and a shopping spree. Not the best thing that I keep zoning out and thinking about Aaron and his hands and mouth all over my body and his–
My head snaps up from staring at my plate, where I’ve been shoving my pasta left and right instead of eating it.
“Is something wrong with your food?” Amy asks with furrowed brows.
I clear my throat. ”Uhm, no. Sorry. I’m a little tired. I didn’t get much sleep last night because I was... writing.”
Wow, I don’t even blush telling that lie. But I do blush as soon as I think back to what I was doing instead of sleeping.
They will never believe me.
“You’re a writer?” Tessa asks excitedly. “Like a journalist? Or are you writing a book?”
Or maybe they are. That must be because we don’t know each other that well yet. We get along great so far; I’ve liked Amy right away, from the moment we first talked on the phone. I like Lauren as well, and I’m sure it’ll be the same with Tessa. But luckily, they can’t read me yet.
“Well,” I croak. After clearing my throat again, I explain, “I’m writing a book that will hopefully get published next year.”
“Oh, really?” Tessa exclaims. “That’s awesome. I know someone famous!”
I laugh. “I wouldn’t go that far. We’ll talk again this time next year and see if I maybe made a fool of myself.”
“Shut up!” Amy scowls playfully. “Don’t be so negative.”
“Sorry,” I say with a shrug and a smile. “It’s just a lot of pressure. I don’t want to disappoint my family.”
“Oh?” Lauren raises her eyebrows. “Are they not supporting you?”
I grimace. “I haven’t told them yet. But let’s not talk about that; it’s a little complicated, and I’d rather avoid the subject,” I say.
Amy nods. “Sure. Do you have a big family?”
“Yeah. I have an older sister. My two uncles and my other aunt are all married and have two to four children each, and some of them already have kids too, which means a family get-together consists of anything between twenty and thirty people.”
“Wow. I can’t imagine what that’s like,” Amy says with a sigh. “I’m an only child, and I have just a couple of cousins.”
“But you’re working on extending the family,” Lauren says with a grin.
“Ah, yeah.” I sit up straight and beam at Amy. “That’s right; I almost forgot Philip mentioned you’re pregnant! How are you feeling?”
Amy wrinkles her nose. She leans back and places her hand on her belly, which shows no signs of the pregnancy yet. “Ugh, the morning sickness is bugging me this time. It wasn’t as bad when I was pregnant with Bella.”
"Uhh, it’s gonna be a boy!” Tessa comments with wide eyes and an even wider grin.
“What? That’s crazy.” Amy cocks her head and lifts her eyebrow at her friend.
“No,” I throw in, “I’ve heard that too.”
Lauren claps her hands. “Yay! A boy. That’s so exciting.”
Amy rolls her eyes and points her finger at Lauren and Tessa. “Now that you guys are getting married, too, I’m expecting loads of babies. You know that, right?”
Lauren snorts. “I would put my money on Tessa because there won’t be any babies from me in the near future. By the way,” she adds as she turns to Tessa, “I gotta say it was quite daring of Paul to propose at Amy and Ben’s wedding in front of everyone. He must have been pretty sure of himself. What if you had said no?”
“Why would she have said no?” Amy asks with furrowed brows.
Lauren laughs out loud. “Yeah, why? Amy? Why would anyone say no when their dream guy proposed, huh? Amy?”
Tessa, who sits next to me, leans over and whispers, “Ben proposed three times before she said yes.”
“No way!” I mouth. I curiously watch how Amy glares at Lauren, who bites her lips to stop herself from laughing. I get a kick out of their playful banter; they seem to be a great group of friends. They’ve made me feel welcomed from the start, and I’m so happy I met them.
“Have you set a date yet?” Amy asks Tessa, thus ignoring her friend’s teasing.
Tessa shrugs. “Kind of. I haven’t discussed this with Paul yet, but I want to get married in April, on my mom’s birthday.”
As our lunch date continues, we talk more about marriage, pregnancies, and babies. I can’t help but envy them a little for their joys and worries. Honestly, getting married and having a baby sounds a lot less scary than publishing a book and facing disapproving parents.
“Okay, ladies,” Lauren says as we get up after we finish our food. “Are you ready to blow a small fortune on new clothes?”
Tessa laughs. “Sorry, Lauren. Not everyone has a billionaire fiancé.”
“Pfff.” Lauren snorts. “I don’t have a billionaire fiancé. Even if I had, I’m spending my own money.” She chuckles. “Well mostly,” she adds with a wink. “Now let’s go; I can already hear Victoria’s Secret call my name.”
As we make our way to 5th Avenue, Tessa and Lauren walk ahead while Amy and I lag behind. Once the other two are out of earshot, Amy turns to me. “Are you okay?” she asks with her eyebrows drawn together. “You’re quiet today.”
I clear my throat and glance at her. “As I said, I’m a little tired,” I murmur with a frown and give her a forced smile, hoping she doesn’t question my excuse.
“Are you sure it’s just that? We’re not too obtrusive?”
Oh, so that’s what she’s worried about. I let out a small sigh of relief. “Of course not!”
“Listen, I’m sorry about that conversation we had the other day – about Aaron. I didn’t mean to scare you. He might be a little rough around the edges, but deep down, he’s a nice guy.”
I wave my hand and nod with a still not genuine smile. A slight flutter starts in the pit of my stomach as worry worms its way through my thoughts. If I look at the situation at hand a little more closely, I realize the relationship between Amy and Aaron troubles me. I’m still not sure about the nature of Aaron’s feelings for her, or if they’re still there now that we got closer. At the same time, I don’t want to read too much into what happened between us and make it something it isn’t.
“I know,” I answer Amy. I direct my gaze to the ground and take a deep breath. But when Amy doesn’t speak, I look at her. She studies me with narrowed eyes as if she was waiting for a reaction that would give me away.
“You know?” she repeats. I’m not sure why she suspects my response to have a deeper meaning, but all of a sudden memories flood my brain of just how nice Aaron is, and I can’t prevent the heat from creeping up my cheeks. I bite my lips and break eye-contact.
“Oh my gosh, you slept with him!” Amy blurts out the discernible truth.
I gasp. “Shh,” is the first thing I say instead of keeping my cool. I look around nervously even though it wouldn’t matter if anyone had heard her. Lauren and Tessa walk too far ahead to have caught anything from our conversation.
Amy stops in her tracks and grabs my arm. “So it’s true?”
Amy chuckles. “Oh, Kaitlyn, your face tells a different story.” She takes my hands in hers. “Hey, I’m not judging you. You’re both adults; things happen. But, uhm...,” she says hesitantly, “was this... well... a one-night thing?”
I shake my head. And I really don’t know what makes me answer her, “So far, it’s been three nights.” I know even less why excitement bubbles inside me all of a sudden. I feel like a teenage girl who tells her best friend the story of her encounter with the boy who kissed her – only that this is about far more than an innocent kiss. “And he’s taking me to a party tomorrow night,” I add.
Amy’s eyes widen. “He’s taking you to a party? Aahh,” she squeals. “We’re gonna be sisters!”
Lauren and Tessa stop walking and turn around when they hear Amy. “Sisters? Who?” Lauren asks as they join us.
“Kaitlyn and I,” Amy babbles before I can stop her. “Aaron is taking her to a party.”
“Really?” Lauren smirks. “Wow, he’s really putting his back into this.”
Amy chuckles. “Nah, they already had sex. Three nights in a row.”
“I knew it!” Lauren declares and I gasp. This would be the perfect moment for the earth to open up and swallow me whole. My stomach drops and my thumping heart pumps the blood through my veins. But as Amy said, we’re all adults here, so I don’t know why I feel embarrassed.
“Relax,” Lauren says when she sees my flustered state. “We would have found out eventually. And don’t feel bad. Aaron can charm the panties off of any woman.”
“Lauren!” Amy and Tessa gasp in unison, and I’m still waiting for that hole in the ground.
Lauren squeezes her eyes shut and grimaces. “Oh my, that came out wrong. I’m sorry, Kaitlyn. I didn’t mean it like that.”
I take a deep breath and rub my forehead. “It’s okay,” I say with a heavy sigh. “I get that Aaron has a reputation.”
“But still, I shouldn’t have said that. I didn’t mean to insinuate that Aaron’s intentions can’t be sincere.” She looks at me with a pained expression. “So you’re not mad at me?”
“No, don’t worry. I know what you mean,” I tell her with a warm smile – a genuine one to show her I’m really not mad. It just bothers me a little that I know she’s right. There’s no guarantee that Aaron is any more serious about what happened and what still can happen between us than he’s been about some other girl in his past.
“And how did you two get so close?” Tessa asks. “I mean, I don’t know Aaron too well, but I’ve heard stories about him.”
I shrug. “We spent a lot of time together over this past week. Things kind of evolved.”
“So you’re not one to kiss and tell, huh?” Amy chuckles. “I guess we need to go out and get you drunk. Maybe that’ll make you spill some details.”
“Yes! Join us at O’Reilly’s next Friday,” Lauren throws in, “to hear our guys play.” She points to Tessa and herself. “Henry and Paul are in a band, and every week, they play at this pub.”
Amy beams at me. “Yes! We should do that. But don’t worry,” she adds with a wink, “you don’t have to tell us anything you’re not comfortable sharing. Let’s just have a fun girls’ night out.”
“Uhm, okay,” I say with a tentative smile. “Sounds good.”
“Yay!” Amy says with a big grin. “But now we need to find you a cute and sexy dress for that party; one that’s gonna make Aaron drool.”
As we continue on our way, I feel a bit more cheerful and a little less embarrassed. A night out sounds like an excellent idea. I’m not sure if I’m going to spill anything, but it feels good to have someone I could talk to about this if I wanted to because talking usually helps me put things in order. Maybe this will help me organize my thoughts and emotions as my head is one big mess.