“So, we can assume that whatever that just was, was bad?” Harrison asks us when we rejoin the group.
“I’m so sorry, Syd. I ran into him at the bar, and he knew you’d be here with me. I couldn’t get rid of him,” Desiree apologizes.
“It’s okay Des, it’s not your fault,” I assure her, “we weren’t exactly careful,” I say, my eyes flickering towards Conrad.
He looks deep in thought, rocking from foot to foot, hands in his hair.
“Got to love High School drama,” Kevin chuckles.
“Shut up,” Conrad grumbles under his breath.
At that point, I can see our situation through their eyes. This is really stupid. Conrad could lose his career over this because of me. Why risk it? This is High School drama, because I’m in High School, and Conrad is a grown man. He doesn’t need this crap. Maybe I need to stop being selfish and let him go, to protect him. Maybe, if I’m lucky, we can reconsider this in a year.
While I’m lost in my head, I feel Conrad’s arms wrap around me, and his chin rests on top of my head. He’s making what I need to do, exceptionally hard.
“I don’t like the thoughts running through your head right now,” he murmurs into my hair.
“How do you know what I’m thinking?” I say quietly into his chest.
“You didn’t know I could read minds?” He asks with a light chuckle.
“Another one of your many talents,” I say.
“Do you want to get out of here? I think we need to talk,” he suggests.
Hmm, maybe he’s going to break up with me, so I don’t have to do it?
“Okay,” I nod, even though he can’t see it.
Conrad steps away from me and goes over to the guys. He’s talking to them, and Desiree comes over to me.
“You okay?” She asks.
“We’re taking off,” I tell her, “I’ll call you later.”
“Later? I think you’ll be too busy,” she insinuates with a smile.
I shake my head slowly in response, causing her to frown.
“Don’t do something silly, Syd,” she whispers, “don’t do something you’ll regret.”
“How do you know it’s me who’ll do something?” I ask her.
“Because I know you. You’re already in your head, worrying. Don’t let Dane ruin this for you.”
I don’t have the opportunity to respond before Conrad comes back and takes my hand. We wave goodbye to our friends and leave the club.
Conrad and I don’t say much until we get back to his house. I assume it’s because neither of us knows what to say, or how to say it. I follow him into the kitchen and watch as he grabs some waters from the fridge, then he comes over to me and offers his hand.
“Come with me,” he says, his voice gentle and soft.
He leads me down the hallway into his bedroom then he closes the door behind us.
“Have a seat,” he gestures towards his massive King-sized bed.
I nod in response as he flicks on the bedside lamps. I can’t take my eyes off of him as he moves with ease around his room, removing his jacket, his boots, and then his shirt. He spots me watching him and offers a reassuring smile before reaching into a drawer and pulling out a grey t-shirt and pulling it on.
“My shirt smells like sweat and nightclub. Those lights they shine on you on stage make you feel like a roasting pig,” Conrad explains with a smirk, “I’d take a shower, but it can wait until later.”
Conrad comes over and sits next to me, taking my hands into his.
“You’re worried,” he says knowingly.
All I can do is nod. My voice is stuck in a lump in my throat. I’m afraid to talk; I struggle to find my courage. Conrad sighs loudly and pulls me toward him before pulling me down so that we lay side by side on his bed, with me tucked into the crook of his arm. I rest my hand on his chest and revel in the feeling of his warmth against my body. I feel so safe here with him. I wish we could stay like this forever.
“We’ll figure it out Sydney,” Conrad murmurs, his fingers tracing my arm.
His touch sends shivers of pleasure down my spine. I want more of him, but if I do that, I’ll never be able to let go.
“Conrad, Dane could ruin you,” I finally manage to choke out, “I’m not so naïve to think that he’ll just keep our secret.”
“He won’t ruin me, Syd.”
“How do you know that? Do you know Dane? I used to think I knew him, but now I’m not so sure. He’s really changed, so I don’t really know what he’s capable of, but I don’t want to find out, not at your expense.”
As I finish my sentence, I can feel the sting behind my eyes, but I have to keep going. I sit up to distance myself from Conrad so that I don’t lose my resolve. He frowns at me in confusion and sits up as well.
“We can’t do this anymore, Conrad,” I say, and the tears fall.
“Syd…” Conrad reaches for me, but I pull away and get up off the bed.
“I’m sorry, but I’m not willing to let you ruin your life for me. We need to end it before we get in any deeper. I’ll tell Dane it’s over between us, and he can leave you alone.”
“Sydney, no,” Conrad shakes his head and moves towards me again, this time I don’t move away.
“I’m not going to let you do that,” Conrad says, taking my face between his palms, and forcing me to look into his eyes.
“Why not? Why not just cut your losses? Get out before I can really mess up your whole life? Maybe after I graduate…”
Conrad’s lips on mine cut me off. I’m struck by how desperate his kiss feels. I can’t help myself, and my arms wrap tightly around his neck.
“Why not?” Conrad grunts against my lips, “what a stupid question, Syd.”
He lifts me and I wrap my legs around his waist. Oh Sydney, you’re not going to win this one. Conrad carries me back to his bed and lays us down on it. His lips are on my neck now, and his hands hold me tightly against him.
“Why not?” he repeats against my skin.
“Why do you keep saying that?” I breathe.
Conrad pulls back slightly and makes eye contact with me. His dark eyes are severe and intense. He swipes a leftover tear off my face with his thumb.
“Because I’m in love with you, Sydney, that’s why not.”
“What?” I gasp.
“You heard me. So I’m not letting you go that easily. I’m not going to let that little punk take you away from me.”
In that moment, I know what my response needs to be.
“I’m in love with you too, Conrad,” I say, “That’s why I don’t want you to risk everything.”
“How about right now, we forget about all that other bullshit, and focus on the fact that we just said I love you to each other- because right now, that’s what’s most important,” Conrad implores me.
I think about what he’s asking, and decide to do as he asks, because that is what I’d love to do right now. It makes me wish we didn’t even have to worry about anything else. So for now, we’ll set the real world aside and focus on this moment.
“Okay,” I tell him.
“Okay,” he repeats with a smile.
I think that I’ve known all along that I’m in love with him, but I never expected him to feel the same way about me. I thought for sure that he’d be the first one to back out of this thing between us, but as it turns out, he’s the one fighting the hardest to keep us together. Conrad’s lips are on mine once again, but they are back to being gentle and sensual instead of desperate. His hands tenderly caress me, awakening every nerve in my body. I pull him tightly against me, and my hands find their way to the hem of his t-shirt and tug. Conrad sits upon his knees and throws his shirt aside, not taking his eyes off of me. His gaze is so intense that it gives me goosebumps. I can’t take my eyes off him, and they travel down to his chest, his stomach, to the edge of his jeans.
I sit up and slowly pull my shirt over my head and toss it aside before reaching for the button on his jeans. Before I get it undone, Conrad’s hands are on mine. I look up at him, and he’s smiling at me.
“Are you sure about this, Sydney?” he asks.
“I’m not sure about much right now, Conrad, but I’m sure about this. I want this with you,” I tell him.
Even if Conrad and I don’t make it, as much as that hurts to think about, I know that I want my first time to be with him. I want him, and I know that I would never regret it because I know it will be special with him, I know it means something, to both of us. He loves me, and I love him, that’s all that matters right now at this moment.
Conrad seems to think about what I’ve said for a second before moving his hands and letting me complete my goal of unbuttoning his pants, but that’s as far as I get before he’s on top of me again.
Conrad kisses me deeply and passionately. My heart begins to race, as I know what is about to happen here. This is it! His hands trace the skin on my belly before moving up to cup my breast. I love the feeling of his large hands on me, the calluses on his fingers from playing his guitar brushing over my sensitive skin.
“Can you turn on some music?” I whisper to him.
His hands stop what they’re doing, and he leans up slightly and chuckles.
“Sure,” he smiles and sits up.
He leans over to the side table and grabs a small remote. He points it towards the impressive sound system on the other side of the room. One second later the sound of a single guitar starts, followed by a soft melody of other instruments. Then a deep but surprisingly soft voice starts to sing. I’m distracted by it, and I can’t help but be pulled into the lyrics.
She’s the sun. She’s the rain.
She’s the reason why I sing again
I never knew it could be like this. She teaches me with one sweet kiss.
I know I couldn’t leave, even though I should.
But she’s what I’ve been looking for.
With my feet back on the ground, away from her, I never could.
I notice Conrad watching me, almost expectantly.
“Do you like it?” He asks me.
“It’s beautiful,” I tell him, “who sings it?”
Conrad chuckles and lays back down next to me.
“Un-Classic Heroes,” he says.
“Really? It doesn’t sound like your usual stuff, and that doesn’t sound like Harrison either,”
“It’s not Harrison,” He says with a short nod.
I listen again, and then it clicks. I realize the voice is his.
“It’s you,” I gasp.
“I didn’t know you sing. You have a lovely voice.”
“Lovely,” he repeats with a laugh.
“Well, it is.”
“I don’t do it very often.”
“Why not?” I ask.
Conrad sighs and reaches for me, pulling me tightly against him.
“I guess I just haven’t had any inspiration to do it, until now. Anyway, this isn’t anything that I plan on releasing or anything. I just had the guys help me record it last week. It’s really only meant for one person,” he explains, giving me a pointed look.
“This song is for me?” I breathe.
My heart swells, and I can feel the tears itch behind my eyes again, but this time it’s from happiness.
“I wrote it for you,” he confirms with a nod. "It’s not much, it might not even be that good, but it’s my form of poetry.”
“I think it’s the most beautiful thing anyone has ever done for me,” I say, letting the tears fall.
I wrap my arms around him tightly and kiss him with extra fervor. His unexpected and overwhelmingly romantic gesture just cements my decision. My hands find their way into his hair and lock him to me, now I feel like the desperate one. I feel Conrad’s hands on my back, and with one quick movement, I feel my bra unlatch. Almost impatiently, I pull it the rest of the way off and toss it.
“Slow down baby,” Conrad croons, “we’re going to take this nice and slow.”
He pulls away again and kneels between my legs. I watch in anticipation as he undoes the button and then the zipper on my jeans, before hooking his fingers into the waistband and pulling them down my legs slowly, trailing soft kisses on my thighs as he goes. His mouth is warm and soft, each kiss sending an electric current through my body.
“Does that feel okay?” he asks softly, his eyes gazing up at me through his long, dark eyelashes.
He’s so sexy it should be illegal.
“Okay? Are you kidding? It feels amazing,” I practically pant.
“Good, that’s what I was going for,” he says with a light chuckle, “are you ready to go a little further?”
“Mmm-hmm,” he hums.
I’m not so sure what he means until he starts kissing me up to my thighs, towards my…
“Oh!” I gasp when he kisses me over my underwear.
Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!
“Sydney?” he stops, waiting for my permission.
“Yup, go for it,” I manage to say through my increasingly rapid breathing.
I can hear Conrad laugh softly under his breath before his fingers hook into the sides of my underwear and tug. Here it goes. I’m about to be fully exposed to him. I feel so excited, yet a bit nervous at the same time. This is the first time a man will see my naked body. This will be the first time I will see him naked too. I can’t say I’m not looking forward to the latter.
I gasp loudly, and my body jolts up off the bed. The second Conrad’s mouth finds its intended target. I was not expecting it to feel that way; it feels better than I thought it would. He places one of his hands on my belly to hold me still, and his other hand joins his mouth. My breathing becomes so loud that I think I might hyperventilate.
“Are you alright up there?” Conrad murmurs.
My fingers find their way back into his wavy hair and tug. I want him so badly right now I can hardly stand it.
Conrad takes his sweet time, and just when I’m about to beg for him, he stops. Without a word, he reaches over and opens the drawer of his bedside table, and pulls out a condom. I look at the foil square and swallow deeply. Here it is, the moment of truth. My eyes travel from the item in his hand to his face. I’m surprised to find that he looks almost more nervous than I am. I smile at him reassuringly and nod once, confirming to him that I’m ready for this.
Conrad stands up off the bed, and I watch him as he pulls his jeans off, until he stands before me in his tight black boxer briefs. I can feel the grin form on my face.
“What?” he asks with an amused smirk on his face.
“You’re so beautiful,” I blurt.
“No, Sydney, you’re the one who is so beautiful,” he says, and then he removes the last bit of his clothing.
My eyes go wide as I take him in. I’ve never seen a man naked before. I’ve seen bits and pieces in movies, television, and magazines because I don’t live under a rock, but this is the real deal. His tall, lean frame is sculpted with muscles in all the right places, highlighted by the black ink of his tattoos against his smooth skin. He rejoins me on the bed, opens the condom, and carefully puts in on with shaky fingers. I reach for him, wanting to kiss him. His lips meet mine, and we fall back onto the bed.