Before I Met You

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Chapter Twenty One

WE ARRIVE IN New York around three in the afternoon after a horrible flight. Elena ended up sitting in front of a little kid that kept kicking her seat, and despite our countless efforts for him to stop it was no use. I felt bad for her and offered to switch seats but she refused to. Now as we’re waiting for our luggage to come onto the belt I see her clutch her back ever so often.

“You alright?” I ask.

“Yeah, I’m fine. That kid was just a little shit.”

I see her pink suitcase and before she can grab it I pull it off for her, earning a grateful smile in return. My mom should be waiting for us outside to pick us up and I couldn’t be more nervous. She knows that Elena came with me and, like I predicted, was totally fine with it, but I’m just hoping she didn’t bring my dad along too. I’d rather push that off as long as possible.

“Oh, there’s yours!” She points to my black suitcase with the silver handle and once it’s off the belt I let out a sigh and look around the airport.

“Hey.” She nudges me with her elbow and gives me a look of reassurance. “You got this, alright?”

Somehow she has this ability to calm me down in the matter of seconds. I don’t know how she does it, but I’m thankful for it.

It’s not hard to spot my mom outside of the terminal. She’s the only one running towards us, arms flailing and tears running down her cheeks already.

“Oh, my baby!” She pulls me close and her familiar scent of lavender comes into my nose. I didn’t think I’d miss it, but right now as I hug her I realize I may have been more homesick than I thought.

“Hey, mom.” I pull her closer for a second before she glances over at Elena. I can tell Elena is nervous because she’s doing that thing where she fumbles with her fingers. It’s a habit I’ve learned.

“You must be Elena.” She pulls her in for a hug without permission, catching her completely off guard. “I’ve heard so much about you.”

I see Elena look at her and then look at me. If you were to see my mom and I on the street together it would seem like I’m adopted. I look nothing like my mother. She’s got bright blue eyes compared to my brown ones. Her hair is thick, curly brown ringlets while mine is black and straight if it weren’t for the gel I put in it. The only thing I got from my mother is my skin tone, which is a slight olive. I’m not surprised that Elena is confused.

“It’s nice to meet you too Mrs.Quan! Thank you so much for paying for these flights for us both to come here. I’ve never been to New York before!”

“Honey, you can call me Sharon. If you’re what influenced him to come here then I’ll pay for ten more flights. I’m so happy the both of you are here.”

I bring our luggage to the white sedan and load both suitcases into the trunk. I’m thankful that my father is nowhere to be found at the moment.

“It’s so cold here!” Elena giggles and wraps her coat tighter around her. I have a strong urge to pull her close to me, but then again my mom doesn’t exactly know how close the two of us are. I told her we were friends, but I see the way she’s looking between the two of us. She knows there’s more to it.

“Have you ever been up North?” My mom asks her.

“No, Mam. The only place I’ve been aside from Florida is South Carolina. That was only for a week though. I went with some friends for spring break during my senior year of high school.”

“So you’re really not used to cold weather then.” She laughs and turns up the heat in the car. “Guess I’ll make it extra warm then!”

I decided to sit in the back with Elena for the hour drive back to my parents house. My mom asks her what she’s going to school for, to which Elena replies childhood education. I never knew this about her. After all the time we’ve spent together I should’ve asked her that. It makes sense though given her past.

“I think that’s a great degree to have.” My mom smiles in the rearview mirror. “Xavier’s going to be a doctor. He’s going to make the family so proud.”

Elena looks at me sideways, her eyebrows shooting up. “A doctor?”

“He’s just the smartest boy I know. When he got the full ride to FSU I just couldn’t believe it. I’m a very proud momma.”

She looks at me with total and utter confusion. She didn’t know I was on scholarship, and she didn’t know that I was going to become a doctor. The conversation about our futures just never came up. We’re not exactly dating, so big things like that just didn’t seem worth mentioning.

“Very impressive.” She says, never losing my gaze. “It makes a lot of sense though. He’s always at the library and studying a lot.”

“Well that’s good information to hear. I was afraid he’d go off to that big school and get lost in the girls and the parties.”

I see Elena hold back a smile.

“No.” She smirks again. “You raised a great man Mrs. Quan. I mean, Sharon. Sorry.”

My mom doesn’t say anything back to her. She just gives me a look in the mirror. It’s a look that lets me know she likes her. I can tell she likes her a lot.

Elena keeps staring out the window at the snow falling all over the place before she glances over at me. She catches me looking at her and blushes. “I thought New York was made of like, a ton of buildings. This looks like the country.”

“That’s because we live in upstate New York.” I clarify. “There’s a huge difference. There’s a lot of wineries around here and lots of farmland, but there isn’t really much else in Rochester.”

She doesn’t say anything back, she just turns to look out the window and smiles again.

When we’re ten minutes away from the house my anxiety starts to worsen. There’s just too many memories here. We pass the Cold Stone Creamery that I took Mia to on our first date. Then the park on main street where we had our first kiss. Everything in this town reminds me of her.

I let out a sigh and put my head on the back of the headrest. Elena glances over towards me and it’s not long before she scoots slightly closer so that our thighs are touching. Is it weird that just by the smallest bit of contact from her I relax?

Our house isn’t great by any means. It’s a middle class home. My family isn’t poor but we aren’t rich either. It’s a country style one story with a bunch of rose bushes lining up the entryway. I used to love this house, but now when we pull up and I see my dad’s truck in the driveway my stomach twists up with nerves.

“We’re home.” My mom partly sings as she places the car in park.

I hop out to grab our suitcases as my mom talks to Elena about how she takes care of the rose bushes. I feel like my heart is completely dropping into my stomach when my mom finally opens up the door.

Our dog, Jaxon, comes barreling towards me, completely tackling me to the ground. When I was little I always wanted a golden retriever. I begged my parents for one until they finally gave in on my 7th birthday and surprised me with Jax. Aside from my mom, this is what I missed the most about home.

“Jax!” I laugh and scratch the top of his head while he attacks me with kisses.

“You didn’t tell me you had a dog.” Elena squeals with excitement and sinks down beside me so Jax can attack her too. “He’s so cute!”

We’re too wrapped up with Jaxon that we don’t even notice when my dad enters the room. I glance up at him and see his stone cold expression. The one he’s given me ever since the accident happened.

“Xavier.” He nods his head as a greeting and I see Elena quickly stand to her feet when he looks over at her. “Elena, I’m assuming?”

“Yes, sir. It’s nice to meet you.” She sticks her hand out to him and he shakes it while sending her a friendly smile. My dad is nice with others, just not with me anymore.

Elena still looks intimidated though because she’s doing that thing with her hands again. I guess my dad could look intimidating. He’s got a muscular build, the same dark eyes as me, and black hair that’s gotten partly grey from age. He always wears these black glasses too that make him look so intelligent that it’s threatening almost.

“Welcome to New York.” He says. “I bet it’s much different from Florida.”

“Yeah, it’s an adjustment that I’m getting used to, but I love the snow! It’s so beautiful.”

“Everyone says that until they have to live with it.” He chuckles. “You’ll see after a week what I mean.”

My father’s eyes land onto me once more and all I can feel is disappointment radiating off of them. I don’t think he’ll ever be able to look at me the same again. Everytime I come home it just makes me remember how I let everyone down. I can already feel the depression just seeping into my veins.

“How’s school?” He asks.

“It’s uh, been good. I’ve maintained my 4.0 GPA.”

“That’s good.”

Elena clears her throat after about ten seconds of silence. You could cut the tension with a knife right now.

“Well let’s get your things to your room!” My mom breaks the silence and ushers us to follow her down the hallway to the guest room. “Elena, you’ll be sleeping in here.”

“This is perfect. Thank you so much.” She looks around the room that’s mainly white. My mom is really good at interior design so she’s got some fake plants placed on shelves and little inspirational quotes hung up on the walls. She always used to tell me that sometimes the little details matter the most.

“I’ll let you two get settled in.” My mom says, sending me an apologetic stare. I can tell she knows I’m upset over the interaction with dad. “For dinner we were thinking we could just order a pizza? Is that alright with both of you?”

We both nod our heads in agreeance before she disappears towards the kitchen.

“My room is across the hall.” I point to the door before I look back to her.

“You ok?” She asks.

I know she has the ability to see right through me. I know she can tell that I’m not okay and that I’m not in the best mood.

“My dad’s just an ass.” I mutter. “It’s fine though. I don’t know why I was expecting anything to be different.”

She takes off her coat finally and heads over to where I’m standing, grasping my cheeks with her hands. “It’s just the first day.” She reminds me. “Give it some time, alright?”

I nod into her hands and just for a second consider kissing her. I don’t know what we’re doing, and I don’t know why the hell I invited her to come home with me, all I know is that whenever I’m with her it feels right. Like nothing could go wrong.

“What I really want to see is your room.”

“Really?” I scrunch my nose up. “It’s not much, but you can.”

I lead her into the bedroom across the hall and watch her look around, closing the door behind us. It’s been the same since I’ve been in the eighth grade. Dark blue walls, a grey comforter, and trophies from my achievements throughout my years at school sit on the shelf.

Mathlete Champion?” She bursts out in laughter and looks at me in shock. “Xavier, what the hell? Why did you not tell me that you loved school? Now I get why that teacher was hyping you up so much at the bookstore that one day. Everything makes sense now.”

So she did hear. Interesting.

“I wouldn’t say I technically love it.” I reply, trying to hold back a smile. “It’s just something I found easy. I guess I’m just good at it.”

She runs her fingers across the other trophies and smiles while I let my eyes graze down her body in appreciation. She’s only wearing leggings and an oversized hoodie, yet somehow she still looks sexy as hell.

“So a doctor is what you really want to be?” She asks. “Or is that more your parents wishes?”

“No, I mean, not really. I’ve felt pressured by them to do good in school, but after what happened with-” I pause and let out a sigh. “Well, after that I knew that I wanted to be a doctor. I want to help people.”

“And here I thought you were just some player scraping by through school...” She giggles and bites slightly on her lip. “Man, was I wrong.”

“Are you disappointed?” I smirk. “Did you want me to be some low life that’s only good at sex?”

She arches a brow up towards me and sets the trophy she was holding back down on the shelf. “Disappointed? Hell no. Hiding the fact that you’re smart is just plain stupid. It’s insanely hot, Xav.” Her eyes run over me before she clears her throat. “And, as far as the sex goes, I can really only assume that you’re good at it.”

“Assume?” I cock my head to the side and let my eyes rake over her once more, making her gulp. “Oh, Elena... ” I trail off but stop myself.

“What?” She persists.

I hate the fact that I feel like I can’t hit on her the way I want to. If it were up to me I’d get her so sexually frustrated that she’d practically beg for me. I would kill to see her on her knees in front of me, but I don’t want to push her.

“Nothing.” I say.

“Don’t do that.” She sighs. “Xav, tell me.”

“I don’t want to start something, Elena. I don’t want to get you to a point where we can’t finish. We can’t have sex in my parents house.”

“Who says you’d get me to that point?” She challenges. “Who says you’re good enough to make me want it that badly?”

“Wanna bet?” I smirk. “I don’t have girls coming up to me at Waffle House practically throwing themselves at me for no reason. I could get you to that point in less than ten minutes. Do you not remember a few weeks ago? When you came on my face?”

I walk closer towards her now, her expression not moving an inch. She puts on a good front. That’s for sure.

“My memory needs to be jogged.” She jokingly giggles. “I don’t seem to remember.”

“Oh, you don’t remember?”

I press myself up against her from behind, move her ponytail to one side and move my lips close to her ear. “You don’t remember my tongue licking you clean?” I kiss her earlobe. “My teeth nipping at your thighs?” I pull the skin on her neck back between my teeth and suck gently, earning a sharp intake of breath. I knew I’d get to her.

“Still don’t think I get to you?” I mutter on her skin.

“N-nope.” She stutters.

“What if...” I wrap my arms around her and push them up underneath her sweatshirt so I can push one hand into her bra, the other hand lingering on her abdomen. “What if I just played with your nipple... just...like...this...” I slowly twist and pull gently, her back immediately arching. “Does that get to you, Elena?”

She shakes her head, but this time she’s not talking.

“Or what if...” I continue my work on her nipple while I slip my other hand into the band of her leggings. My fingertips brush the lace of her underwear, already feeling the wetness. “Oh, I’m not getting to you?” I question. “Are you positive about that?”

Her breathing becomes shallow as I’m whispering into her ear. I slip my finger inside her underwear and brush her bare skin, careful not to touch her where she’ll get too much pleasure. I want to tease her.

“Could you imagine...” I let out a small laugh when she whimpers and kiss her neck. “What would happen if I went inside of you? How that would make you feel? I know you’ve felt me, Elena. Can’t you feel me now?” I press up more against her so she can feel my hard on.

“Oh my god.” She groans and throws her head back against my shoulder. “Xav, please.”

“Dinner!” My mom shouts from down the hall.

She jumps away from my touch and quickly fixes the waistband of her leggings, her cheeks rosy and her mouth practically watering.

“Still think I can’t get to you?” I smirk. “We should probably go eat dinner.”

“I hate you.” She jokingly punches me on the shoulder before she bites down on that bottom lip of hers. “I guess maybe you’re good at sex.”

“Maybe?” I chuckle when she opens the door.

“I still don’t know for sure.” She shrugs and then lets out a giggle when I lightly smack her ass.

“C’mon.” I laugh, feeling way better than I did when I first got here. “Let’s go eat.”

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