THE DRIVE TO the dorms is only about five minutes away, and as I’m helping her out of the car she almost falls in her heels on the pavement, my hands immediately coming around her waist to steady her.
I can’t bear to look at her, but I eventually do and see those brown eyes boring into me. She has this drunk smile on her face, and when she laughs I get a huge whiff of vodka.
“Come on.” I tell her to break the awkwardness. “Let’s get you inside.”
Dion and Amelia are a couple of paces ahead of us, so she’s stumbling more as she grips onto me for support.
“Take off your shoes.” I suggest.
“Are you kidding?” She erupts into another fit of laughter and does a twirl in the middle of the pavement. My heart drops at images of Mia from that night. “Do you see these shoes? I can’t not wear these!”
She does another twirl, and as she turns back around to face me she falls down onto the pavement, cussing once her skin splits open on her knee. It’s not deep, but within seconds the bleeding starts.
“Look what you did.” I smirk. “You should have taken your shoes off.”
“Is she okay?” Amelia calls back to us, but she’s already more than halfway to the dorms. I let her know she’s fine and help Elena shakily stand to her feet.
“I don’t listen very well.” She giggles.
She’s staring up at me again with those eyes, and within seconds I’m drawn into her. Why am I fighting this? Why don’t we just be whatever the fuck she wants us to be right now? Sure, we can’t fuck, but we can have moments like these. Does that make me a pussy? It might, but at this point I don’t care. I couldn’t save Mia, but I can possibly save her. I’ll never know if I don’t try.
I pick her up so that she’s straddling me from the front, and she shrieks before erupting into yet again, more laughter. The way her thighs grip around me is so distracting, but at this point I’m just trying to get her back safely without anymore scrapes or bruises.
“Has anyone ever told you that you’re sexy?” She questions. When her fingertips rake through my hair I grip her a little tighter and fight the urge to pin her right up against this wall and kiss her.
“A few times.” I say with a cocky grin.
She tells me where to go to get to her room, and I learn that it’s the second door on the fourth floor. We take the elevator, and when the doors close with just the two of us she’s still straddling me, still raking her fingers through my hair. I actually allow myself to close my eyes for a moment just to enjoy it before the doors open again.
Dion is standing by the door while Amelia tries to fumble with the lock to get it open. Dion’s jaw practically drops to the floor when he sees Elena in my arms, but I just send him a death glare and shrug my shoulders. “She fell and couldn’t walk in these death traps.” I joke and grab onto her leg to emphasize the shoes. I feel goosebumps on her skin.
Amelia pushes the door open and I walk in to set her on the bed. Their room is really small. There’s just two twin beds on either side of the room with a big desk in the middle. I can immediately tell which side is Elena’s because one side is neat and tidy with a bunch of calendars spread out on the wall, and the other side has clothing everywhere with posters of different music artist’s. That’s definitely her.
“If you want, you could come back with me to our place.” Dion wraps his arms around Amelia’s waist and kisses her forehead. “You’ve had a rough night. Let me make it better for you.”
“And how would you do that?” She teases.
“Well, let’s see... I could make you a bubble bath, and I may just have bought that wine you were telling me about yesterday too.”
“Oh yeah?” She grins with excitement but then quickly looks back at Elena. “But who’s going to watch her? I want to make sure she’s okay.”
“Xavier can handle it.” Dion grins. “Right bro?”
I would be more upset with him, but I think I’d feel better staying here to make sure that she’s okay too. I don’t mind looking after her, so I just nod my head and watch Amelia grab a change of clothes from her neatly packed dresser.
“Thanks again.” She blushes and looks cautiously at Elena. “Let me know how she’s doing please.”
“I’ll text Dion.” I say. It seems to please her enough because she sends me a grateful smile and gently closes the door behind her.
Now that it’s just Elena and I in the room I can feel the awkwardness creep in again. She seems out of it on her bed, but she suddenly sits up and starts to pull her dress off.
“Um.” I turn around and let out a frustrated sigh. “Just tell me where your pajamas are and I’ll grab them for you.”
“What? You don’t want to see me?” She teases.
“Everyone does. This is your perfect opportunity. I-I’m drunk, and I won’t even remember this shit.”
I turn around to face her now to see her in a bright red bra and panties. Her breasts are enormous, and they’re enough to make me stare at them forever, but I break my gaze and meet her eyes. “That’s not my thing.” I say. “I wouldn’t do that.”
“Then why are you here? You said you wanted nothing to do with me, yet you want to take care of me when I’m drunk?” She slurs and stands to her feet, stumbling again and grabbing onto the bedside table. “Just cut the act. You just want to fuck me. That’s all men ever want to do.”
“Not all.” I tell her, seeing her features sadden. Her bottom lip pokes out slightly, beginning to tremble.
“I really thought you might be different. I trusted you and told you things that I normally don’t tell people, you know? T-then you go and tell me that your problems are worse than mine? You are fucked up for that. Soooo fucked up.”
She sits back down onto the bed again and crosses her arms over her chest. I decide to sit on Amelia’s bed across from her and let out a frustrated sigh. “I didn’t mean what I said, but you’re drunk, so I’d rather have this conversation when you’re sober.”
“Do you even know what I went through?” She laughs as if it’s funny, her eyes glossed over from the liquor. “Every night for two years I was sexually abused by my father. Every. Single. Night.”
My chest freezes, becoming tight when I hear the words fall off of her lips.
“I would have to sit there and take it. I didn’t know what was happening. I thought it was normal. I thought that was what all dads did to their daughters. B-but men are really shitty, you know? All they want is sex. All they ever want is sex.”
It’s almost as if I understand Elena so much more now that I know the reason behind her addiction. I know that if it weren’t for her being shitfaced right now she never would have told me, but I’m almost glad that she did.
“So, you can sit there and tell me that your problems are bigger than mine, but I already know that you’ve got a family that loves and cares about you. Dion was telling Amelia and I the other night when we came back from the bar and watched the movie. You’ve got a real fucking family, and what did I get? A mother that was on crack and a dad that needed to get off every night to a fucking little girl? That’s bullshit.”
Now the tears are slowly falling onto her cheeks, and it becomes unbearable to witness. I’m becoming attached to her whether I’d like to admit it or not, and unfortunately she’s opening up all of the parts of me that I thought were closed forever.
This could potentially be dangerous. I’m trying to stay sober myself, and putting myself into a risky situation like this could very well be stupid. The last thing I need right now is a broken heart. Especially since I just relapsed.
But I find myself saying, “Come here.” I open my arms out and ignore all of the doubts flooding through my head. I want her in my arms to try and somehow make this better for her. I don’t know how, but I’m going to try.
She doesn’t budge. She just puts her face into her hands and continues to cry, so I sit down next to her and wrap an arm around her shoulder. It only takes seconds until she allows herself to fall into me, climbing onto my lap and hooking her arms around my neck.
“You’re right about everything.” I mutter into her hair. “You do have worse problems than me, and I was an idiot for ever throwing them in your face like that without even knowing what they were. I’m an asshole, and I’ve been fighting this connection with you because I’m scared of it, I guess. I’m sorry if I made you upset.”
“And I’m also so sorry that happened to you, Elena. I know that you think that all guys just want one thing, and you have every right to think that, but I haven’t taken advantage of you yet, right? I’ve respected your addiction and I’ve ignored the feelings I have because I want what’s best for you.”
I can feel my cheeks grow hot once I’ve finished my speech, and all she can do is stare up at me in shock. I’m normally not this honest. I’m not sappy, I’m not romantic, I’m just stone cold half of the time. Well, I never used to be before the accident, but everything about me changed since then. I don’t know what to do with the fact that someone else is awakening these feelings again.
“I wish I didn’t have feelings for you.” She sighs and runs her fingertips along my jawline. I allow myself to close my eyes and lean into her touch. “But when you say things like that it’s kind of hard to stay mad at you.”
“I’m not saying it just to make up for everything. I’m saying it because I genuinely mean it, Elena. I wouldn’t have come tonight to make sure you were okay if it was bullshit. If you ever need to talk about anything that happened to you I’m always here, alright?”
“Can I kiss you?” She whispers. I study her for a second, my heart picking up speed. I wish she didn’t have this effect on me.
“You’re drunk.” I whisper back, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “And after you just told me everything about your dad, I don’t want to-”
“I want to.” She straddles me on the bed and rakes her fingers through my hair again. I think she knows by now that this is what makes me the weakest. “Trust me. I’ve been thinking about this for the past week.”
“I don’t want it to get like the last time.” I admit. “You got really upset, and then you went and kissed Cam.”
“I promise it won’t.” She leans close into my ear and whispers, “I’m going to control myself. Can you tell me you haven’t been thinking about me for the past week, too?”
When she bites down onto my earlobe I accidentally let out a moan and rest my head back against the wall. Her breasts are completely distracting to me. I can’t think of anything else but the memories from that alley, but I know that we need to stop.
Her lips press to my neck before she tugs the skin back between her teeth and sucks lightly, and before I know it she’s tugging at my jacket, so I throw it off and toss it to the ground, along with my t-shirt, and as her hands are raking down my arms she stops when she feels the bandage. Fuck.
“What’s this?” She asks, grabbing onto my wrist. I’m supporting myself on my elbow as she studies it, looking up at me with disappointment. She knows why there’s a bandage. She’s not stupid. “Why?” She asks. “Was it because of me?”
I shake my head. “No.” I say. “Not because of you.”
I sit back up onto her bed now since I’m no longer turned on. Now all I can think about is Mia and how she twirled on the pavement that night. How she pleaded for me to not drive us home. How I stupidly persuaded her into doing it.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” I finally say. There are tears brimming in my eyes, so I quickly blink them away. “Please just drop it.”
Surprisingly she nods her head and winces when she sits back up. It’s only then that I realize she’s still bleeding from her fall. “Oh, shit.” I say and stand up from the bed. “Do you have any band-aids?”
“In my toiletry bag.” She points over to the small closet, and I instantly spot the blue bag that’s perched on the top shelf. This seems to be the only thing of hers that actually is organized.
“Here.” I grab a band-aid and a wipe to clear out the dirt and pass them over to her. “I think you should drink some water though. If you don’t have any here then I can go grab some water bottles at the gas station. There’s one just down the road.”
“There’s some in the mini fridge below the desk.” She smiles at me while she wipes out the cut on her knee and places the band-aid over it. I hand her the water bottle, feeling slightly better once she gulps most of it down. I want her to get sober again.
“You know,” She looks up at me after another gulp and sets the bottle down onto the nightstand. “If you ever want to talk about what happened too then I’m always here. I’m here for you like you are for me.”
“I know.” I immediately reply, which surprises me. I guess it’s because I know it’s true. “Thanks.”
She’s still only in her panties, and I think she notices this because she crosses her arms over her chest. She’s so fucking beautiful. “I can get dressed into something else...” She trails off. “I don’t really care either way. You’ve seen me, so, it’s not like it’ll make a difference.”
“It’s fine.” I choke out. “I’m sorry if kissing you made you upset. It’s just oddly very hard to say no to you.”
“I told you I wanted to.” She replies. And I’m not freaking out, am I? I’m actually doing okay, which is kind of shocking to me.”
“You are.” I note.
I don’t know whether or not she cares if I sleep in my briefs, but she’s practically sleeping naked so I tug off my belt and shrug my jeans off before I climb back onto the bed with her. She leans over to turn off the light, and it takes me no time at all to tug her body against mine. All I can feel is skin.
“What does this mean?” She asks tiredly and traces her fingertips along the flag tattoo I have, causing goosebumps to rise on my skin.
“It’s um, the Korean flag.” I explain. “For my heritage. My father has a matching one. He took me when I turned sixteen to Pennsylvania in order to get it. My mom was so pissed.”
We both laugh, my heart aching from the good memories I have of my father. I want more than anything for things to go back how they used to be between us.
“Xavier?” She whispers. I tug her closer to let her know that I’m listening. “Please don’t hurt yourself again.”
“Why?” I mutter against her skin.
“Because I care about you. I know I haven’t known you that long, but you’re important to me. Please don’t hurt yourself, because if you do then it’ll hurt me too.”
She turns around to face me and wraps her arms around my waist, nuzzling her face into my chest. It almost feels like my heart could burst out of my chest at any moment, and never have I ever had this feeling with another girl before. Not even Mia.
“Then don’t drink again.” I say to her. “I’ll keep my promise if you keep yours.”
She pauses for a moment while she lets out a yawn before she mumbles, “Deal.”