Charlie Ever After

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32| Charlie

Ever since the night of the party, Tanner and I have been closer than ever. It feels nice to finally have someone who supports me- someone who's there for me and by my side when they say they're going to be.

With Tanner, I've never felt more special or loved in my life. Being treated so well is definitely hard to get used to after years of mental abuse- being told you're not good enough, having someone scream at you over the littlest thing, being told when and where you could go, who you can go with, the list goes on. For the first few weeks of us being together I found myself stuck on some old habits.

Sometimes when I felt my phone vibrate, an icy sensation would shoot down my spine and freeze me in my spot. Then, there's been times where Tanner goes to place his hand on my face before he kisses me and I flinch as if he's going to hit me. He's never acknowledged it vocally, but the few times it happened- the look of sadness on his face was unbearable. No matter how many times I apologized afterwards, he always reassured me that it was okay, that I've experienced trauma and I'd have some after effects of said trauma- and as much as I believe him, a huge part of me is terrified that he will eventually get tired of trying to put my broken pieces back together.



"I love you, you know that right?" Tanner is smiling down at me but there's a hint of sadness hidden in his eyes.

I pout my lips up at him, my arms lazily wrapped around his waist. "Of course, and I love you too. I'm only going home for a few days, promise. I'll be back before you know it."

He nods his head and there's a question behind his eyes, and my gut tells me that it's him wondering why I didn't invite him to come with me. It's not that I didn't want him to meet the Ramirez family, it's more that I was afraid of who else he might meet. The thought alone sends a wave of panic through me- if I end up crossing paths with Gavin, I don't know what I'd do. Seeing my mother was also another sore spot for me.

Before he can even ask the question, I look up at him. "I'm sorry I didn't invite you along... It's just-" I sigh, unsure of how to explain my feelings to him.

He stops me with a smile. "Babe, relax. I understand- maybe not fully, but I do." He leans in and kisses my forehead- the sweetest, most tender kiss, and my heart nearly falls to the floor. Butterflies erupt in the pit of my stomach and I can't help the wide smile that spreads across my face.

"You're perfect." I whisper softly before grabbing his face in my hands, leaning up on my tippy toes and pressing my lips hard against his. I feel his lips vibrate against mine as he lets out a low chuckle before kissing me back, enraging the fire within me.

He bites my bottom lip, pulling it into his mouth; eliciting a soft moan to escape from my throat. I feel Tanner's heart rate skyrocket at the sound and the most mischievous grin spreads across my face.

After another moment or so I reluctantly pull away. "I'm going to miss you." I groan dramatically, pouting up at him.

He runs his hands slowly up and down my back, causing goosebumps to rise over my arms. "I know, sweetie. I'm going to miss you too. You, Lydia and Isaac are going to have a blast though, and I'll be here waiting for you to come home. You can call me or facetime me whenever you want, preferably naked." He winks at me and I bust out in a fit of laughter before swatting at his arm.

"Perv." I grin at him before wrapping my arms around his neck, pulling him in, one more time.

"I love you and I miss you already. I'll see you Sunday night, okay?" I smile up at him before giving him a soft kiss on the lips.

He pulls me in closer and kisses me back before resting his chin on top of my head, holding me in a tight hug. "I love you Charlie." He whispers softly before pulling away slowly. "I hope you guys have fun. Call me or text me when you get there safely." He pecks my lips one more time before walking me over to my car and throwing my bag into the trunk for me.

Once I'm settled in with the ignition on, Tanner comes up to my window, leaning in. "Be safe and have fun. I'll see you when you get back." Another peck.

I pout my lips as he steps back from my car. He watches me back out of my parking spot and leave the school grounds.



Traffic was an absolutely nightmare. I must've sat in a stand still for over an hour and I almost peed my pants- TWICE. I was on the verge of murdering someone due to hunger induced rage and once I finally pulled into the Ramirez's driveway, I threw my car door open and ran up the front steps, pushing my way inside the house.

"Honey, I'm home!" I yell out, and as soon as the words are out of my mouth I can hear Lydia's squeal come from across the house. In a matter of seconds she's in front of me, pulling me into the biggest bear hug known to man kind as Isaac follows behind her.

"I've missed you." She squeaks as she squeezes every ounce of oxygen from my lungs.

I pull back from her death grip just slightly, enough to breath. "I missed you guys too! How's life been without me?" I ask as she releases me fully from the hug, and I move over to hug Isaac.

"It's been great!" Isaac teases me as he pulls me in close.

Once he releases me, I swat at his arm. "Rude. You guys can't live without me, don't lie." I grin, moving my gaze from one sibling to the other.

"Of course we can't, we're dying without you!" Lydia proclaims dramatically as she casts her award winning grin my way.

I roll my eyes. "Okay, a little over the top, but I'll accept it. What's on the agenda for this evening?" I ask as I make my way to the kitchen, on the hunt for a snack and lucky for me there's a whole plate of freshly baked cookies thanks to Lydia. I shove half of one into my mouth before taking a seat at the kitchen island.

"So, about tonight?" I repeat myself.

"Oh right-" Lydia starts. "Well, we can either stay in and have our own little party right in the living room with a bed on the floor, some horror movies and lots of snacks and drinks, or-" She drags out the letters in the word or for far too long and it makes me nervous.

"Or what, spit it out already." I say, rolling my eyes.

"Or we can go to a house party." She finally finishes.

Phew, here I was thinking she was going to ask me to go skydiving or something.

"How about we just stay in? I kind of just really miss you guys and want to have an us night." I smile brightly at them before inhaling the other half of my cookie, already reaching for another.

Lydia claps her hands together and squeals. "That's what I was hoping you were going to say." She giggles and smacks my hand away from the plate of cookies. "For later." She glares at me which causes me to roll my eyes.

"Fine, fine." I pull my hand back, rubbing it.

"Shit." I mutter. I almost forgot to text Tanner and tell him I'm here. I pull my phone from my back pocket and open his message thread. I smile imedietly just seeing his small contact picture come up in the chat. I bite my bottom lip, typing out my message:

I'm here baby. I miss you already and love you. I hope you have a good weekend. I can't wait to see you.

Send.

I never thought I could miss someone so much, especially when I saw them only a few hours ago, but Tanner must have me under some magical spell, because I could miss him with him being right next to me.

"Oooh, who are you texting?" Lydia teases.

"I'm going to assume it's your lover boy!" She sings out as she dances a small circle around me.

I giggle and roll my eyes. "Maybe." I say, drawing out the last vowel.

Isaac rolls his eyes at our typical girly behavior. "I'm going to go out tonight, let you guys have your girls' night, but all three of us will do something tomorrow."

"Lame!" Me and Lydia call out in unison, making us giggle harder.



After running out to Lydia and I's favorite fast food place Taco Bell, we set out blankets and pillows across the entire living room floor, making a bed for ourselves. We both change into our pajamas and settle down in our makeshift bed with our food and start our first movie.

It's a horror movie that Lydia and I have both seen before so with every jump scare we just laugh and make fun of all the stereotypical decisions that the cast make throughout.

Halfway through Lydia looks over at me. "So, spill the beans. I feel like I haven't really talked to you... In months. I don't like it." She pouts over at me as she rips at a Twizler with her teeth.

I pivot in my seat so that I'm facing her and pull my legs to criss-cross in front of me. "I know, I don't like it either." I let a pout form over my lips as Lydia reaches for another Twizler.

"Things have been good though. My roommate Scout is great- I think you guys would get along well. She reminds me of you." A smile graces my lips at the thought before I continue.

"Tanner and I have been really good. I'm glad I met him." I say as I'm sucked into my own thoughts of him and how happy I've been since meeting him. "It's like a whole different world; being with him, compared to being with Gavin."

I bite my bottom lip, looking up at Lydia and she's smiling so wide and practically bouncing in her seat.

"That's because Tanner isn't Gavin. I've only met him a handful of times but he seems like a really good guy. You deserve someone who treats you right, Charlie." I can see a shimmer in her eye and it almost looks like tears are building up.

"I can't tell you how many nights I've stayed up worrying about you, when you were out with Gavin." She finishes and guilt swirls in my stomach at the thought of my best friend losing sleep over me.

My own tears well up in my eyes. "I'm so sorry Lydia. I didn't know." I sniffle as she wraps her arms around me and pulled me into a tight hug.

I never once took a minute to put myself in the shoes of the ones around me. I always figured that they had no idea what was going on between Gavin and I- but I should've known better. Lydia and Isaac have both practically known me my entire life, they know when something is wrong- just like I know when something is wrong with them.

The guilt twists even tighter.

"I know you didn't, because I didn't tell you." She says and lifts my chin so that I'm looking into her eyes. "I didn't want you to have to worry anymore than you already were." Her eyes sparkle with a smile as she slowly releases me.

The credits start to roll and Lydia mindlessly selects another movie as we continue talking.

"So, I ended up running into his ex girlfriend." I say bluntly and Lydia nearly chokes on the handful of popcorn that she had just shoved into her mouth.

"You what?" She coughs out.

I look down and pretend that I'm having a real hard time opening my bag of mini m&m's. I look up when I can't fiddle with the wrapper any longer and pour a handful of them into my mouth before I nod my head.

"Yeah. She was at a party that Tanner and I were at. I went to use the restroom and I guess she knew who I was. She tried getting inside my head. She's a real gem, let me tell you." I roll my eyes.

"Oh yeah, I know." Lydia grunts out and I almost forget that Isaac dated the bitch's brother.

"I'm surprised we've never crossed paths before." I say as I slump back against the pillows.

"We've probably seen them a bunch of times. Hell, you've probably even met Tanner too, but never noticed or don't remember. We've been to a lot of parties and for a while Isaac did hang with their crowd." Lydia shoves another handful of popcorn into her mouth, successfully not choking this time.

I try to think back to any party that could come to mind in the time frame in which Isaac was dating Danny- even with the plenty of parties that came to mind, I felt like I would've remembered Tanner. He's unique. He may look like your typical college guy, but there was this energy to him that was way different than anyone I've ever met; I feel like I'd definitely remember someone like that.

I bite the corner of my bottom lip, dragging it into my mouth as I catch myself, consumed by thoughts of him again. A grin spreads across my lips and Lydia pushes me with her foot.

"Ew gross, you're in love." She teases, a huge grin plastered across her own face.

"Shut up. I know I am." I sigh dreamily as I fall back against our pillows, pulling one over my face and letting out a little scream of pure happiness, followed by an endless slew of giggles.



By eleven Lydia had passed out on me and Isaac wasn't home yet. I had spent the last forty five minutes scrolling through the endless Netflix catalogue and finally gave up.

I look over at Lydia; her breathing is steady and soft proving to me that she's dead asleep. I get up slowly, untangling myself from my blanket as I tip toe upstairs and make my way into Lydia's bedroom. I lay across her beautiful bed and smile for a moment before pulling my phone out and holding it in front of my face. I open Tanner's contact card and hit the FaceTime button.

After only a few rings his gorgeous face graces the screen and my heart skips about fifteen freaking beats.

His smile is stretched practically from ear to ear, and from the angle of his camera I can tell that he is shirtless. My teeth clamp down onto my bottom lip before my eyes return to his face.

"Like what you see, baby?" His sweet smile is now replaced with a mischievous grin.

I nod my head vigorously. "Yes. Yes, I do." I purr; a grin tilting up the corners of my lips.

Tanner lets out a frustrated groan and pouts his lips dramatically. "It's only the first night and I miss you this damn bad- this can't be healthy,"

I can't help but to giggle. "I know, I miss you too. I wish I was laying in your arms." My lips stretch into a smile as I sit up and crawl over to Lydia's pile of pillows.

"Are you having fun, at least?" He asks.

"Yes! It feels really nice to be home with them for a few days. Lydia and I stayed in for the night and watched movies and ate tons of junkfood-" I can't help but grin. "And of course she had to pass out before midnight. It wouldn't be a sleep over with her if she didn't."

"So, I decided to come steal her big comfy bed and call you." I lay back, holding the phone above me even further as I pan the camera across myself and the entire bed.

"So much room for activities." I grin playfully.

Tanner's eyes widen, his grin only growing bigger. "What kind of activities?"

"Hmm, wouldn't you love to know." I tease him.

"C'mon baby. Don't do that to me." He groans in frustration.

I'm just about to bust on him some more when the thought dawns on me. It's something so outside of my comfort zone but Tanner has done nothing but make me feel comfortable, and that sense of safety- I have to admit has made me a little braver when it comes to him.

I open up my music app and put on some low music before turning around and propping my phone up on the headboard. Tanner is staring at me, curiosity shimmering in his eyes as I move back on the bed, kneeling a foot or so back from the headboard.

"You're killing me here, look at you in those shorts." He throws his back dramatically.

I look down at myself, forgetting what pajamas I had on. I have on a plain black cami and grey shorts that hug the curves of my thighs and ass. I blush slightly, the balls I had before now shriveling up apparently with his comment.

He's facing me again and his eyes are scanning across my body, but unlike if any other guy were to do it- Tanner's gaze only made me want to undress further.

I suck in a deep breath of determination and strength as I try to lose myself in the slow paced, sensual beat of the song. Once my nerves ease up a little, I start moving my body along to the song; dragging my hands up the front of me, over my thighs- trying to be as sexy as humanly possible. I let my eyes flutter closed as I try to envision myself in his bedroom- doing this dance as I'm straddling his lap. The thought alone makes me squeeze my thighs even tighter together as I start losing myself to the thought of him.

He hasn't said anything and for a moment I start to panic until I open one eye to look at him; his jaw is practically to the floor as he drinks in every single inch of my body.

I lean down on all fours and crawl slightly closer to the camera before straightening back up. I trail my hands down my body, but this time as I drag them back up, I pull my thin cami along with.

I pull the material off, leaving me completely exposed in front of him, the cool air biting at my already hard nipples.

"Fuck, baby." Tanner practically moans over the music, causing a shiver to run down my spine.

He may not physically be here, but god am I imagining my hands as his.

I trail a hand slowly down the middle of my chest, stomach and even slower along the waistband line of my shorts. I hook my thumb into the elastic and give them a small tug, giving him a sneak peak before snapping them back against my skin.

A grin spreads across my lips as another groan escapes his, which only adds fuel to the fire that's burning within me. I can feel my arousal only getting worse and I'm sure in no time it will be dripping down my leg if he keeps making sounds like that.

"How bad do you miss me?" I ask as I yank my hair free from it's messy bun, letting it cascade around my shoulders.

I can hear a soft fuck escape Tanner's mouth as he adjusts himself behind the camera. "You have no fucking idea." An animalistic growl escapes from him and I can't help the gasp that escapes from the back of my throat.

"Show me...How bad." I try sounding confident, sexy, but my voice wobbles near the end with both excitement and anxiety.

His mouth drops open as if he's about to say something but he just gives a quick nod of his head before I see the camera start to shake, and hear a rustling on the other end as he pulls down his pants.

I bite my bottom lip as he props up his phone on his night stand, giving me the perfect view of both him and his manhood. I know I've seen him exposed before, hell I've even had him in my mouth. Still, every time I see his cock I'm taken aback. I was never one to find men's junk at all appealing to look at- but god every inch of Tanner was the sexiest thing I've ever laid my eyes on.

Now it was my turn to mumble a quick fuck.

"Touch yourself for me, beautiful. Tell me how wet you are for me." His words come out strained, almost as a hoarse whisper.

I nod and obediently and slowly slide my hand slowly down the front of my shorts. My arousal shocks me at first, I don't think I've ever been this wet in my life.

A soft gasp falls from my lips as my fingertips brush across my swollen clit. "Tanner..." His name falls from my lips in a soft whisper but just the sound of his name coming from me causes Tanner to groan out. He has his hand firmly wrapped around his cock, moving it up and down slowly as he watches me and the sight alone nearly has me coming undone on the spot.

I rub myself in slow circles as he instructs me to do so, but my eyes are glued to his erection and the way he's stroking himself.

"I want to feel you inside me." The words fall from my lips before I can stop them. I can feel my face heat up but my words only seem to excite him more.

"How bad?" He grunts as his hand starts moving slightly faster. His breathing is becoming more ragged and as I rub myself I can feel my own release fast approaching.

"So fucking bad." I moan out and it's almost a mere whisper as I find my sweet spot, adding the correct amount of pressure and speed- and within a few moments and a few more of Tanner's tantalizing moans, I come undone all over my fingers letting out a moan that only drives Tanner wild and before long he finishes too.

With one more trick up my sleeve that I know will have him panting like an excited puppy dog, I lift my wet fingers to my lips and slide them into my mouth, swirling my tongue around and licking up every drop of my arousal.

Tanner looks like a deer in headlights with how big his eyes are.

"I'm about to hop in my truck and come bring you home. Don't test me." He grunts out as he sucks in a shaky breath.

"Don't worry baby. I'll be home soon and then you can have your way with me, all you want." I send a wink his way. "Maybe if you're lucky you'll get a real lap dance."

I blow him a kiss as he lets out a groan of frustration. "I want you home, now." He pouts.

I giggle, my smile growing wider as I tug my shirt back on. "Tomorrow, baby."

"Tomorrow isn't soon enough." Tanner sighs sleepily.

Tanner and I agree to stay on the phone as we fell asleep. He may not physically be next to me, but this was the next best thing. It's funny to think how just a few months ago I had no idea who this amazing man was and now I get to fall asleep, listening to the soft sounds of him breathing on the other end. A wide smile spreads across my lips as my eyes flutter closed, sleep finally taking over.


A/N: I hope you guys enjoy this chapter. I'm so sorry it's taken me this long to update. Life had been crazy, as I'm sure everyone can understand! I'm not 100% happy with this chapter, but I wanted to get it out for you guys and continue on! If you guys have any feedback on what you'd like to see, let me know! As always, all comments and votes mean the world to me!
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