#26 Fuck this, I want to kiss him
“What’s up, slut?” Ayaan ask as she slides into the booth across from me and Aimee. Holly walks in right after her, motioning for the waiter to bring us four cocktails, stat.
“I have a bit of a situation,” I say, deciding to get this out of the way immediately. “I erm… I think I did something stupid.”
“What did you do?” Holly asks, wiggling her eyebrows. “Or should I say… who did you do?”
“No one, but… not because I don’t want to,” I admit, gladly taking my cocktail from the waitress and sipping it.
“Oh my God, you’re totally hot for Khiêm, aren’t you?” Aimee asks, bouncing up and down beside me from excitement. “I knew this was coming.”
“Ew,” Ayaan says, wrinkling her nose. “You can do so much better than that fat, greasy nerd. I can find you a hot guy with abs for days in the blink of an eye. Just say the word.”
“He’s not fat, nor greasy,” I bite out, annoyed that she’s talking about him like that. Again. “He’s… he’s sweet, amazing, smart, funny, kind, and… hot.”
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” Aimee says knowingly. “Plus, it’s the inside that counts. I bet it doesn’t hurt that he’s totally off-limits because he’s your brother’s best friend, which makes him even hotter.”
That’s true. It’s not the reason I’m into him, but I’m not going to lie. Forbidden fruit tastes even better, and Khiêm is juicy as fuck even if he wasn’t off-limits.
“But he’s… he’s like… only five inches taller than you,” Holly says, looking just as appalled at Ayaan. “You can’t even wear heels around him. Plus, his hair is all… ugh. And his belly… those clothes…”
“Not to mention the fact that he’s a huge nerd who makes a living out of doing nerdy-ass shit,” Ayaan adds. “But if that’s what you want… screw him out of your system, girl. You live with him. How hard could it be? Just crawl into bed with him.”
I grind my teeth. “He doesn’t need to be tall or muscular or skinny to be an amazing person. I’ve been with guys like that. Many guys, in fact, and none of them ever made me feel the way he does. Plus, I think his nerdiness is cute as fuck.”
Ayaan and Holly exchange a look that says it all. They think I’m insane. Hell, a few months ago I would have reacted the same way if any of my friends had told me they were into a guy like Khiêm. Which just goes to show what a shallow bitch I used to be. Who cares that his clothes are baggy, that he’s a few pounds heavier than the guys I usually go for, and that he’s not the typical tall, dark and handsome type? He’s not tall, but he is dark and handsome, and most importantly, he has a big heart and he’s kind to me. He makes me laugh. He turns me on. What more could I possibly want in a man?
“I think it’s nice that you’re so into him,” Aimee says, putting her arm around me and glaring at our friends across the table. “I’m totally giving you permission to break our no-sex pact if that’s what you want, but… honestly… are you sure you’re up to start dating your brother’s best friend? Who you’re living with? Because if it doesn’t work out…”
She doesn’t need to finish that sentence. I know what would happen. It’s the reason I’m scared as fuck to act on my urges. Besides, I’m not sure about dating him. Yeah, I want him, but I know I’m too insecure and fucked-up to be anyone’s girlfriend right now. I’m all over the place. Besides, who knows what Khiêm wants? He pulls back like I repel him when I get too close, but then he gets hard from looking at me, only to back away like he’s repulsed by his own reaction to my body. I have no idea what to make of that.
“He’s dating someone,” I say at last, sipping my drink through my straw, eager to take the edge off. “So it’s a moot point. I don’t think he even thinks of me like that. Although he did buy me sex toys.”
“What?” Holly exclaims. “Okay, girl, we need details and we need them now. Tell us every single thing we’ve missed since we last saw you.”
“What kind of sex toys?” Ayaan asks, her eyes gleaming. “Maybe he’s not so bad after all. It’s because of him finding out you don’t masturbate, isn’t it? Is he helping you find your inner goddess or something?”
When I nod, they all squeal.
“Oh my God, details, now,” Holly repeats. “What kind of toys? Was he there with you when you used them? Did he use them on you? Did you get off? Is that why you’re into him now? Because trust me, we can find you another guy to get you off, girl.”
Slowly but surely, I tell them every single thing that has happened between Khiêm and I, sipping cocktail after cocktail as they listen with wide eyes and surprised smiles. When I’m done, Aimee lets a tiny little squeal that hurts my ears from how shrill it is.
“I can’t believe you’re finally masturbating!” she exclaims so loudly that people at other tables look up to stare at us.
“Shh,” I hiss, embarrassed. “Not so loud!”
“But it’s so great!” she yells, giggling loudly. Damn, she’s drunk.
“Okay, so you get off on him reading you smutty novels,” Ayaan says with a smirk. “That’s actually pretty hot. Okay, you have my permission. Go fuck the nerd.”
Like I need her permission to do something about my feelings for Khiêm.
“I still think you could do better,” Holly says.
“Better than sweet, kind, hot and funny?” I bite out. “I don’t think so.”
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’re in love with him,” Ayaan says, cocking her head to the side as she searches my expression.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” I scoff. “I haven’t even kissed the guy yet.”
“Yet?” Aimee repeats, her eyes bright with excitement. “Oh my God, are you planning on kissing him? Please do. And call me after. I’m still very much not dating or sleeping around or anything, and I totally want to live vicariously through you.”
“I don’t know,” I groan, finishing off my cocktail. With liquid courage surging through my veins, going home and kissing Khiêm doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, to be honest. It’s after midnight, he’s done with streaming, and there is nothing I’d rather be doing right now. “Okay,” I decide, getting up immediately. “I’m going to do it.”
They cheer as I leave the bar, but then I remember that I took an uber here, so I walk back in and sit down to order one on my phone.
“Bit of an anticlimax,” Aimee says, giggling. “Hold that thought until your ride gets here. Or you could just call Khiêm to pick you up. He’s still awake with his fuck-up sleep schedule, and he’s a gentleman. He drove me home, and he was so nice about it. I bet he’d pick you up in a heartbeat.”
That’s actually not a bad idea. At least, my alcohol-infused mind seems to think so. I walk outside again with Aimee by my side, and I call Khiêm. He picks up after the second ring, sounding chipper. “Hey Nia, what’s up? Having fun with the girls?”
“Yeah, just waiting for my uber back home,” I reply, smiling just from hearing his voice. “Unless, of course, my knight in shining armor hasn’t been gulping down beers all night and has his faithful stallion filled up with gas…?”
“Oh,” he breathes, sounding surprised. “Yeah, of course, I’ll pick you up. I just… erm… Gail is here.”
Fucking hell. I leave the apartment for one night, to talk to my friends about how much I want to kiss him no less, and he has a girl over after midnight? What the fracking fuck?
“Sorry to disturb your date,” I say, trying not to sound like I’m about to cry. “It’s early anyway. I’m gonna stay for a bit longer and take an uber home. Thanks, though.”
“I’ll be there in ten,” he says, not taking no for an answer. “Gail won’t mind. I’ll text you when I’m there, okay?”
“You really don’t have to-” I curse when he hangs up in the middle of my sentence.
“Did you just say… date?” Aimee asks, her eyes wide. “Ah fuck, is he with the beauty-vlogger again?”
I nod, feeling stupid now. “What the fuck was I thinking? Of course he’s never going to want me when he can have girl like her. She’s all put-together and beautiful and shit.”
“So are you,” Aimee says softly, pulling me for a hug. “I’m so proud of you, Nia, working on yourself and finding your inner goddess and all that sappy shit. It’s amazing. Khiêm thinks so too. He tells you that all the time, Nia. When he drove me home that night, all he did was talk about how wonderful it is to live with you, how smart you are, and how he doesn’t get why any guy would ever treat you like anything but a queen.”
I smile. That does sounds like him. Still, he’s dating someone else, and I interrupted their date. Worst roommate ever.
I head back into the bar to sit with Ayaan and Holly for a bit, until Khiêm texts me that he’s here. I hug the girls goodbye and head out, only to feel like someone hit me in the stomach when I see that Gail is riding shotgun in his car, waving at me.
Ugh. I hate her stupid perfect body with her cup C tits, the shiny blonde hair, and those perfectly manicured fingernails and carefully lipstick red lips. Only… her lips aren’t perfectly red right now. And Khiêm’s lips look redder than they should.
He’s been kissing her.
Fuck me, I want to cry.
The drive home is horrible, with both of them trying to involve me in their conversation about streamers and vloggers they both know, explaining inside jokes to me. I laugh along, but it’s fake as fuck. Khiêm asks me to join them for a beer when we’re back at the apartment, but I lie that I’m tired and I go straight to bed.
Well, that answers the questions about whether or not he’s interested in me, I guess.
Back to the old plan. Roommates and friends. He’s nothing but my bonus brother.
I can do that. I’ll just have to fake it until I make it.