Desiree tells me, rather than asks me, that we’re going to hang out with Conrad and Harrison tonight at her house. Her dad is out of town again, so we’re in the clear. The guys are going to walk over after the sun is down. My parents are used to me spending the night at Desiree’s when her dad is away, even on a school night. They trust me- and I feel bad betraying that trust, but it’s not like I have many opportunities to spend time with Conrad, so I’m taking this one, happily.
After packing my overnight bag, I walk over to Desiree’s. She’s upstairs in her room getting dolled up.
“You’re just wearing that?” she frowns at me, not pleased by my clothes, the same ones I wore to school.
“What’s wrong with it?”
“It’s time to look sexy for your man, Syd.”
“He likes me the way I am,” I argue.
“I know, but you can still make an effort,” she stands up from her chair and grabs my arm and pulls me to her closet.
She opens it and rifles through the rows before grabbing something and pulling it out and shoving it towards me.
“Go shower, and dear god, please tell me you have cute underwear?” she orders.
“Um...” I think about the white cottons I have in my bag.
“Let me guess. You brought the same boring white cotton underwear you always wear?”
“They’re comfortable,” I shrug.
“You’re lucky that I go shopping a lot,” she huffs and reaches for a pink bag on the floor.
She hands me the large Victoria’s Secret bag.
“Here, all new with tags, take your pick.”
“What I have is fine…”
“Syd, don’t argue with me on this. Gone is the girl, give Conrad the woman.”
I think about it for a minute and consider her last statement. She’s right. I am now officially a woman. Why not put on something sexy?
I look in the bag and find a lacy, pale pink thong. It's simple but sexy.
“I don’t think your bras will fit me, though,” I tell her.
“I knew you’d pick those,” Des says, “which is why I bought this…”
She reaches into the bag again and pulls out the matching pale pink lace bra, in my size. I give her a questioning look.
“I stopped by the mall on my way home today,” she tells me.
“You planned this?”
“Sure did. Now go get freshened up, shave and put those on, then that outfit I gave you.”
I hadn’t even looked at the shirt she handed me. I hold it up. It’s a delicate, and snug looking cream-colored top.
“Wear it with your jeans. It’ll look casual but grown-up,” she informs me.
I just nod because there’s no point in arguing with her, and I happen to like the top.
When I come out, Desiree points to a chair in front of her mirror.
“Sit, I’ll blow out your hair,” she tells me.
“Why are you so concerned with how I look?” I ask her.
“Maybe I’m just excited for you Syd, and we’ve never really done this before, you know? Had boyfriends at the same time, coming over to hang out.”
“I haven’t really had a real boyfriend.”
“Exactly. Though it is pretty strange that your boyfriend is our teacher, and our teacher is coming over to my house tonight. It feels so forbidden and exciting.”
“At least your relationship isn’t forbidden,” I muse.
“No, but Harrison is the lead singer of a band that could be famous someday, that’s exciting. Anyway, you and Conrad can take the guestroom later.”
“How do you know anything like that is going to happen?”
“Oh come on Syd? How many opportunities will you have to have alone time with him? And we both know how the last time went when you were at his place? This is safer for everyone involved,” she reasons, "plus- you've got the pretty underwear on- we both know where tonight is going."
“You’re probably right,” I agree.
An hour later, Desiree’s phone rings. After a brief chat, she informs me that the guys are here. We hurriedly rushed down the stairs and to the front door. Desiree opens the door and rushes the guys inside before even saying hello. Once the door is closed and locked behind them, we all stop and smile at each other.
“So ladies, what’s the plan?” Harrison asks with a huge mischievous grin on his face.
“Hopefully nothing too crazy, it is a school night,” Conrad adds, a devilish smirk on his face.
I can feel the instant blush on my face as he comes over and wraps his arms around me, lifting me off my feet and kissing me.
“Mr. Riley, what would you suggest?” Desiree teases.
“How about a movie?” Harrison suggests before Conrad can answer.
“I like that idea,” I agree.
“Great!” Harrison says, grabbing Desiree’s hand, “we’ll go make popcorn. Why don’t you two go and get comfortable?”
“Pick something good,” Desiree says to me before she and Harrison head down the hall towards the kitchen.
“This is really bizarre being here,” Conrad says when we’re alone.
“Why?” I ask, even though I know the answer.
“Because I’m at a student's house late at night without any parents present. It feels kind of wrong, but I’m glad I get to spend some time with you tonight.”
“Yeah, I know, but I’m glad too,” I ascent.
“Well, we should make the most out of it then. Let’s go pick out a movie in the meantime.”
Conrad picks a movie from Desiree’s vast selection and gets it ready just as Harrison and Desiree come into the room with two large bowls of popcorn and two beers.
“There's lots to drink in the fridge, just help yourselves,” Desiree says.
“I’ll probably stick with water, and you should too. I may be here in a social sense, but you still have class tomorrow,” Conrad says.
Harrison laughs loudly and slumps down onto one of the large leather sofas and pulls Desiree with him. Desiree giggles.
“Yes, Mr. Riley,” she says.
“This is too funny,” Harrison quips, “Conrad, how about we leave Mr. Teacher somewhere else tonight and just be here with these two beautiful girls, enjoying ourselves?”
“Oh trust me, I plan on enjoying myself,” Conrad replies, “but yeah, I get what you’re saying.”
“I’ll go grab drinks,” I offer.
I go to the kitchen, grab four bottles of water, and rejoin the others in the living room. Harrison shoots me an amused smirk when I hand him the water.
“I don’t have school tomorrow,” he says.
“Teacher's pet,” Desiree teases.
“Always, I hope,” I say, plopping down next to Conrad and tucking myself against him.
“Always,” Conrad murmurs in my ear.
“So did Conrad tell you the good news?” Harrison asks a few minutes into the movie.
I look to Conrad and catch him shoot an annoyed look at Harrison.
“What?” I ask.
“We’ve been signed,” Harrison, informs us before giving Conrad a chance to, “there were some music big wigs at that show we had a while back, and they’re going to produce our next album. They even want us to go on tour to increase our exposure.”
“That’s awesome!” Desiree says, “Congratulations. So when does all this happen?”
“I was going to tell you later,” Conrad says to me.
“That’s okay, it’s good news,” I say, wondering why he seems so weird about it.
“Yeah it is, but um…”
“The tour starts at the end of June. We’re going to do all the major summer festivals all over the states and then be the opening act for some major bands. They said it could be a yearlong tour.”
“Yearlong?” I squeak.
“I was going to tell you in private. I wanted to discuss it with you first,” Conrad tells me, shooting Harrison another glare.
“What is there to discuss?” Harrison asks, “This is what we’ve wanted all along isn’t it? It’s our dream come true.”
I look over at Desiree, and she seems a little unsure now too.
“So, you guys would just take off for a year?” she clarifies.
“Give or take,” Harrison nods.
“Ohh-kaay,” Desiree says, sitting up and moving away from Harrison slightly.
“What’s the matter?” Harrison asks, looking around the room and seemingly catching the sudden mood change.
“Why does everyone look so pissed off?” he asks.
“You can be a real asshole sometimes you know that?” Conrad growls at him.
I can feel a lump form in my throat, and tears are forming behind my eyes. Before anyone can see me get upset, I stand and walk swiftly from the room, and head upstairs to the guestroom. Conrad is leaving for a year? Just when I graduate, and we can be together, he’ll be gone? Then he’ll truly become a huge rock star, and that’ll be it for us, I just know it. After a beat, I hear a quiet knock on the door before Conrad comes in. I wipe at my face, embarrassed that I'm this way.
“I’m sorry, I was going to tell you,” he says softly, sitting down next to me on the bed, “I don’t want you to be upset.”
“I didn’t mean to get upset,” I sniffle.
“Why are you upset?”
“Because you’re going to be gone for a year and I’m going to miss you, and you’ll become a rock star, and we’ll break up.”
“What? Why do you say that?” he asks, reaching for me and turning my face to look at him.
“Oh come on, Conrad, get real. You’re going to be so busy, surrounded by beautiful people all the time, becoming a big star. How would I fit into that scenario? I’m going to be away in college. When will we even see each other? It’s not like you’ll have more time when the tour is over. In fact, you’ll probably have less. It’s looking pretty bleak.”
“It doesn’t have to be that way Syd, we could make it work.”
“That’s what we want to believe, but realistically, it probably won’t.”
I don’t know what I’m saying, why am I saying these things? I look into Conrad’s deep dark eyes, and his eyes are filled with worry, a deep furrow on his brow.
“I love you, Sydney. I don’t want to lose you over this. I’ll quit the band if I have to…”
“No, you won’t. I wouldn’t let you do that because all that would do is cause you to resent me for holding you back, eventually. I don’t want you to give up your dreams for me.”
“Sydney…I thought you understood this could happen?”
“I guess I was so focused on the fact that you’re a teacher, I forgot about the possibility that your band could hit it big and this could happen.”
“That’s right. I am a teacher; that’s my career. How do you know that being a rock star is my dream? I never said it was, maybe I love what I do?” he challenges.
“And I think you’re just saying that to appease me. I know music is your first love before teaching, don’t pretend it’s not. You told me so when we were at your dad's,” I argue.
He goes silent then, and I see something flash behind his eyes that confirms what I’ve just said.
“I love you, Conrad, and I want you to chase your dreams. You’re going on that tour,” I tell him.
“And if I do, what does that mean for us?”
I reach out and run my fingers through his hair and lean in and kiss him softly.
“I don’t know right now. I guess we have some time before we have to decide.”
“Decide what? I don’t want to decide, Sydney. I want you, and it can be that simple. Why do you do this?”
“I’m just trying to be logical.”
“As your teacher, I’d say that’s a good thing, but as your boyfriend, I say to tell your brain to shut the fuck up and just go with what your heart wants. Stay with me, and try to believe that we could defy the odds.”
I take a deep breath and stare at Conrad. He looks so vulnerable at this moment. I can’t stand it. Why do I do this? Why do I always have to second-guess everything? Maybe I should just listen to him because he could be right. Why give it all up on the possibility that it might not work? Conrad pulls me against him then and kisses me deeply. I can’t resist. I don’t want to resist. I wrap my arms around his neck and kiss him back fervently. Conrad groans softly and lays me back on the bed. My fingers find their way to the hem of his shirt, and it’s off in a flash. My shirt is gone soon after.
“I’m locking that damn door,” Conrad murmurs, his voice gruff.
He stands and quickly locks the door before coming back to the bed. I look up at him, and my mouth goes dry. I don’t think I will ever get used to how beautiful he is.
“Take off your pants,” I say before I even realize it.
Conrad doesn’t say anything; instead, he just does what I ask him before laying next to me on the bed in only his underwear. He reaches for the button on my jeans, his eyes never leaving mine as he undoes the button and then the zipper. I shuffle out of my jeans, and we lie there, staring at each other for a moment.
“You’re my muse, you know that?” he says, brushing my hair away from my face, and resting his hand on my cheek.
I place my hand on top of his and close my eyes. His words are so simple but so full of meaning.
“And you’re my Un-Classic Hero,” I say back.
“I know that’s the name of our band, but what does it mean to you?” he asks.
“I think you are an amazing man, Conrad. You’re so kind, loving and gentle, smart and talented, all the makings of a true romantic hero. But then there’s the motorcycle riding, guitar playing, teacher with a forbidden lover side of you.”
“Forbidden lover…yeah, I guess I’m edging on the side of villain here aren’t I? Taking advantage of the sweet, innocent student?”
“A love story for the ages,” I say with a smirk.
“Well, it’s not your classic tale, but I think it should still have a happy ending that ends with you and me being together, no matter where the story takes us.”
With that, Conrad kisses me again, and soon we are lost in each other.