Before I Met You

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Chapter Eighteen

IN THE MORNING I’m wrapped up with Elena, her half naked body pressed against mine. For a moment I just want to sit and lay in this bed with her. I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to start the day. Instead I want to just enjoy one of the first mornings in a long time where I haven’t been reminded of my past.

Almost as if I spoke too soon, Elena stirs underneath the covers and gently blinks her eyes open before she lets out a groan. “Ugh.” She pushes the covers up over her eyes to block out the light. “My head is fucking throbbing.”

“Well you’re probably hungover.” I joke. “You had quite the night.”

When her eyes pop open, she lifts the covers up and glances down at herself. “We didn’t have sex, did we?”

“Um, no. You wanted to do other things, but we didn’t.”

She sits up in the bed now and runs her fingertips through her hair, letting out an irritated sigh. “I’m sorry.” She says. “I probably tease you all the time. It must be frustrating for you.”

“It’s alright.” I shrug and watch her rise to her feet while I try to take in every ounce of her body as possible. I know I’m probably not going to be able to see it again for awhile.

She slips on a pair of leggings and an oversized t-shirt, looking back at me for a second while I continue to stare at her. “Do you want to get something to eat?” She asks.

I want to ask her if she remembers telling me about her past last night, or if she remembers finding my bandage. I can’t seem to ever know what she’s thinking. She’s the most difficult person to read.

When I push the covers off of my body to stand up, her eyes trail down my body and to my briefs, staring longer than she should be. I ignore it though and tug on my clothing from yesterday.

“So, that’s a yes?” She raises her eyebrows at me, and that’s when I realize I still haven’t responded to her.

“Oh, sure.” I nod. “I could eat.”

When we head out into the hallway and step into the elevator, images of her wrapped around my waist come into my mind. Yesterday she seemed different. Like her walls were let down with me. Now she seems to have that same facade put back up. It’s hard to get to know her when she won’t tell me much about herself. Then again, I’m the same exact way.

“Fuck.” I groan when my phone starts to ring and I see my mom on the caller ID. It takes me a minute to decide what I want to do, but eventually I hit ignore and shove the phone back into my pocket.

“Why do you hate her so much?” She asks.

“I don’t hate her. She’s my mom.”

“Well you sure act like it.”

I watch her press the button for the first floor and rest my back up against the elevator. If it were anyone else questioning the relationship with my parents I’d be a lot more irritated, but Elena always has questions.

“I don’t hate her. She just wants me to go back home for winter break and I don’t want to.”

“Why not?”

“Because things with my dad aren’t the best. They haven’t been for awhile now.”

I’m thankful when she lets the topic of conversation go because I think she can tell that I’m irritated. We head out onto the sidewalk and begin to walk to her choice of a food spot that I’m still unsure of, and when the sun gleams down onto my face I realize that it’s not too hot, but it’s not too cold either. The temperature is perfect.

“Where are we going?” I ask.

“Waffle House. It’s just down the street.”

“Ew.” I wrinkle my nose up in disgust, causing her to let out a laugh. “Waffle House? You couldn’t have chosen a more disgusting place.”

“What’s so wrong with it? They have good food.”

“Food that’s cooked with utensils that probably haven’t been washed all the way. Honestly, we could go to a much better place. What about Denny’s?”

“Denny’s? Ew. That place is disgusting. I despise Denny’s.” She grins widely and tugs on the sleeve of my leather jacket. “Come on. It won’t be that bad.”

The walk to the forbidden breakfast place is only ten minutes, and when we walk inside there’s only two tables available.

“I can’t believe this place really gets this much business.” I say in disbelief when we both slide into a booth. “Crazy.”

“Have you ever eaten here before?” She looks up from the menu and rests her chin in her hands. “Because you can’t judge a place just from what you hear.”

“Oh, trust me. My parents and I used to go to Waffle House all the time in New York. But this one time my mom found a hair in her eggs and freaked out in disgust. It was a long black one too. We never went back.” I smile at the memory and let out a laugh when Elena rolls her eyes. “What?” I ask.

“So, a hair fell into her meal one time and you swore the place off?”

“Um, yes.” I nod. “Why wouldn’t we?”

“That was only one of their restaurants. Who’s to say that this one is the same? Maybe they’ll have the cleanest plates and hairless food you’ll ever see.”

This time I let out a laugh and roll my eyes at her, picking up the menu to scan it over even though I already know what I want. I always get the all-star breakfast. “Whatever.” I chuckle in defeat.

Our waitress comes over to get our drink orders and quickly returns with two orange juices before she gives Elena a bit more time to look over the menu.

“Can I give you a piece of advice?” Elena says suddenly.

“You can try to.” I reply with a cocky grin.

The leather is sticking to my skin from all of the heat in here, and for a second I seriously wish I could just take this thing off. This is the only downside to cutting. I can’t show other people what I’ve done. It’s too embarrassing.

“Don’t push away your mom for the pain your dad is causing you. Your mom loves you. Coming from someone who would give anything to have parents that love them, go see them both for winter break. Try to work things out with them.”

“It’s a lot more complicated than that.” I try to explain. “It’s not that I don’t see where you’re coming from, but New York just has a lot of bad memories to it. There’s a reason I came here for school.”

“And the reason being?” She cocks her head to the side and bores those eyes into me. Those beautiful fucking brown eyes.

“I’m not going to tell you in the middle of here.” My eyes widen before I plaster a grin to my face. “You want me to tell you my biggest secret in the middle of the forbidden breakfast place? Not going to happen.”

Elena erupts into laughter but is quickly interrupted by the waitress again. I order the all-star breakfast and she orders the cheesy eggs, and as we both drink our orange juice I just can’t help but smile. For the first time in a long time I’m allowing myself to be happy. So what if we can’t have sex? I can be friends with her. If it means feeling this happy around her then I’ll gladly be just friends.

“Xavier!”

I tear my eyes away from Elena until they settle on the freshman from the party a couple of weeks ago. Her red hair is in a bun on top of her head with a short red dress that barely reaches the middle of her thighs. She’s with a couple of her friends that seem to be gawking over me.

“Uh, hey.” I nod. “Jenny, right?”

When she eagerly nods her head she glances at Elena for a moment before she looks at me again. “I was just wondering if maybe you’d want to hang out again?”

“Didn’t you cuss me out a couple of weeks ago?” I chuckle and lean back into my seat. “Didn’t seem like you really wanted anything more to do with me.”

“Well, I changed my mind.” She bites on her bottom lip and trails her eyes up and down my body. “Here’s my number, okay?”

When the piece of paper lands in front of me I stare at it for a couple of moments before I look up at Elena. She seems pissed off, her arms crossed over her chest while she looks down at her shoes.

“Yeah.” I mutter to her and push the piece of paper to the side. I can’t exactly say that I don’t want Jenny because I don’t want Elena to think that I think she and I are more than friends. I know what she wants and I’m going to respect that.

“Well, if you get bored...” Jenny turns to Elena and cocks her head to the side, giving her a disapproving glance. “You know where to find me.”

After she sends me a wink she leaves with the remainder of her possy, and all that’s left to fill the space between Elena and I across the table is an awkward silence.

“Interesting choice of sex partners.” She notes, the corners of her mouth turning up slightly.

“I’m not actually going to call her. I just used her that one night to forget about-” I pause and clear my throat. “To forget about things.”

“Things?” She arches her eyebrow up.

“Things.” I repeat.

“Well, it doesn’t matter to me. You can have sex with whoever you want to.”

I pop my eyes up to meet hers and stare at her longer than I probably should. Does she really not care? She doesn’t mind if I fuck other girls? I know that this thing we have is confusing between us, but she would get jealous, wouldn’t she?

“I don’t want to have sex with anyone right now.”

"Xavier Quan doesn’t want to have sex with anyone?” She snorts in disbelief. “Highly doubtful.”

“I don’t.” I reply honestly. I’d never tell her that it’s because Jenny didn’t compare to the feeling I got when she kissed me. I’d never say that hanging out with her gives me a better high than being inside of any other girl right now, but it’s the truth.

“You’re going to need it eventually.” She shrugs. “Whenever you do, just know that you don’t have to spare my feelings. It’s cool. We aren’t a thing.”

“I know.” I reply, trying to hide the bitterness. “I got it.”

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