#33 We need to stop
Okay, okay... I wrote one more. Damn, I can’t get any work done since I started writing this damn story. Khiêm and Nia are stuck in my head even more than Jagger and Rose were, and I didn’t think that was possible, to be honest. I even dreamed about them last night. I’m addicted to writing. I need to get some work done, people!! Anyway... ENJOY!!
“Oh crap crap crap,” I mutter, sitting up at well. “Did you at least close your door?”
He nods. “Yeah, it looks like I’m in my room, I think. Fuck. Okay, when he’s in the living room, you can join him to make sure he stays there so I can put on some sweats and a clean shirt, because if he sees me in last night’s jeans and shirt, there is no fucking way he won’t know.”
“Okay,” I agree, getting out of bed to pull my fluffy robe on over my pajamas.
My hand is already on the doorknob when his hands wrap around my waist, spinning me around. His lips find mine, moving against me with both eagerness and tenderness. I feel like I’m drunk on him, that’s how completely and utterly I throw myself into the kiss.
“Good morning,” he breathes when we come up for air, pressing one last featherlight kiss to my lips before letting go.
“Hi,” I whisper stupidly, smiling so much it hurts.
He looks just as happy, and I touch him again, tracing his jawline, moving down to touch his chest hair, then down his stomach to his morning erection, cupping it through his boxershorts.
“Ah fuck, not now,” he grunts, stepping away from me.
I giggle as he pulls on his jeans, wincing as he closes his fly over his hard-on. That’s got to be uncomfortable.
“You’re so mean.” He pouts, adjusting his junk before pulling his shirt over his head.
“You have no idea,” I reply teasingly. He makes me feel so bold, so powerful, so… myself. It’s a little intoxicating, to be honest. “Okay, stay put, I will go ask him to help me make breakfast. Jagger is a sucker for helping with stuff like that.”
“True,” Khiêm agrees immediately. “Okay, go.”
I give him one last kiss and then I’m out of the bedroom, practically skipping through the hallway. I pull myself together right before opening the door into the living room, where Jagger is watching TV in nothing but sweatpants, sipping his coffee.
“Morning,” he says, holding up his mug. “There’s a whole pot in the kitchen if you need something to wake you up. Hope me and Khiêm weren’t too loud last night?”
I smile to myself, hiding behind my hand as I pretend to yawn. I feel like I should be asking him that. “No, it was fine. Thanks for the coffee. I’m gonna make pancakes. Wanna help?”
Jagger gets up right away, just like I knew he would, opening the fridge to grab the ingredients. I put on some music and we work on breakfast in comfortable silence. It’s hard to believe that not even that long ago, I wanted to end up in bed with him. I wonder if I ever truly liked him, though. Sure, I thought he was kind, thoughtful and muscular, and I wanted a guy like that. Not specifically Jagger per se, but someone with those character traits. With Khiêm, it feels different. I don’t feel desperate, like I did with Jagger. I don’t just want a guy, I want Khiêm. Not someone like him. No… him.
“What are you smiling about?” Jagger asks, looking at me with raised eyebrows.
“Just thinking about how much things can change in just a few months,” I say, opting for a version of the truth. “Not that long ago, I was throwing myself at you, and you were all serious and pouty, hurting because of how everything ended with Celeste. Yet here we are… You’re with Rose, and I’m finally no longer acting like a stupid drunk slut.”
“Who’s a stupid drunk slut?” Khiêm asks, stepping into the living room, freshly showered and in a set of clean clothes.
“Nia,” Jagger replies, grinning.
Khiêm frowns. “No, she’s not.”
“Not anymore, but I’m pretty sure I used to be one,” I reply, unable to stop smiling as I look at Khiêm. Keeping this a secret is going to be hell, for sure. I want to climb him like a tree and take him back to bed with me. Stupid Jagger.
“Bacon or cheese?” I ask Khiêm, even though l already know the answer.
“Both,” he says, sitting down at the kitchen table. “And some coffee.”
I pour him a cup and bring it over to him before getting started on his breakfast. It’s not until I’m flipping his pancake that I realize Jagger is staring at me.
“What?” I ask, checking to see if my robe is still securely tied around my waist, my clothes still on, nothing on show…
“Since when are you Khiêm’s servant?” Jagger asks, leaning against the kitchen counter. “You know he’s got two hands, right? He can get his down damn coffee.”
“Like you don’t jump up the second Rose so much as looks at something,” Khiêm shoots at him, laughing. “You’re her bitch, man.”
“True,” Jagger admits, not even denying it. “But I’m her boyfriend. I get a lot of love in return.”
“And sex,” I add. “Very kinky sex, judging by her comments over the phone last night.”
“Oh yeah,” Jagger agrees, smirking. “Lots and lots of it. Which brings me to my point… what are you getting out of making this asshole pancakes and bringing him coffee?”
“A roof over my head,” I reply, because saying that I love to take care of him isn’t going to help us keep our new… thing… under wraps. “Plus, if he makes the pancakes, they will end up black and inedible, and the smoke alarm will go off.”
“True story,” Khiêm agrees, laughing at the memory of a few weeks ago. “God, this place reeked for days!”
Jagger grins along, but I can tell he still thinks there is something going on between us. He’s not wrong, obviously. Luckily, he doesn’t ask anything else, and we have breakfast together without Khiêm or me slipping up. No groping under the table this time, but we do steal looks at each other every few seconds. I don’t know how we manage to keep it together, but we somehow do.
When Jagger takes a quick shower, Khiêm immediately grabs me and kisses me hungrily, lifting me onto the table while he steps between my legs. It’s stupid and we shouldn’t, especially since Jagger is leaving soon anyway, but I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one having a hard time keeping my hands off him. When we hear the water in the shower turn off, we jump apart and hastily clean the dishes. By the time Jagger walks back in, I’m working on Khiêm’s web shop on my laptop and he’s watering the plants.
“Look at you two all domestic,” Jagger teases. “Hey, thanks for putting up with me. I’m gonna head back home. Daisy has a play at school this afternoon and she’ll kill me if I’m late. I think she’s the back end of the horse or something. Very glamorous.”
“Best nanny ever,” Khiêm jokes, winking at his friend. “Keep me in the loop about Rose, okay? Don’t go all radio silence on me again, man. You know I’m here for you.”
“Yeah, I know.”
As they do one of those bro-hugs, I can’t help but laugh at how cute those two are. Khiêm, Marcus and Jagger have this bond that has been going strong since high school, and it’s so nice to see that at age 25, 26 they’re still just as close. Maybe even closer. The smile freezes on my lips as I realize that I have to power to come between them. God, I hope I don’t fuck up this thing with Khiêm. Because, let’s face it, I’m the weak link here. Either I fuck up like I always do, or he will eventually realize I’m not as great as he thinks I am.
“Bye, Nia. Thanks for dinner and breakfast.” Jagger hugs me close, patting my back a few times, and then he’s out the door. The second the front door shuts behind him, Khiêm and I are back at it, kissing like we’re afraid we’ll die if we stop touching. Never in my life have I been kissed quite like this. It’s like my entire body is on fire. His hands stay on my back, one moving up to knot in my hair. He holds me like I’m the most precious thing ever and he doesn’t want me to break.
“Okay,” Khiêm pants as we break away, realizing we’re still in the hallway. “We need to stop.”
“Stop?” I repeat, feeling my heart clench. “W-why?”
“No, no, no,” he says when he sees my expression. “God no, not stop. I just mean that if we want to take things slow, we’re gonna need to do something that won’t make me want to drag you into my bedroom.”
Oh God, why did we want to take things slow again? I know it’s smart and all, but when he looks at me like that… Fucking hell, I shouldn’t have bothered with guys like Randy and Xavier at all. This man in front of me is a hundred times the men they are.
“Do you have to work?” I ask, walking into the living room to pour both of us another cup of coffee.
“Not yet,” Khiêm says. “I’ve got some editing and narrating to do, but it can wait. The only thing I truly need to do today is streaming, but that’s not until tonight.”
“Friends marathon?” I ask. “Only one season left, right?”
He smiles. “Sounds good.”
We snuggle on the couch, watching TV together for hours. We kiss from time to time, and sweet as he is, he pauses the show each time or rewinds, so I won’t miss anything. So fucking cute. Other than kissing and cuddling, we don’t do anything else. Still, it’s one of the most romantic days of my whole fucking life. We both just want to be close, to spend time together, and it’s so nice to know that this is enough for him to stay interested. If this had been any of my past boyfriends or hook-ups, there would be a hand in my pants already, or the guy would grab the back of my head to lead my mouth to his throbbing cock or something. Khiêm just holds me, strokes my hair, gets me snacks and kisses me so tenderly that I all but melt into a puddle.
We don’t feel like cooking, so we order pizza, eating on the couch. Then, finally, it’s time for him to get to work. We kiss goodbye like he’ll be gone for hours, when in reality he’ll only be in a different room of our apartment.
When I’m alone in the living room, I sink down onto the couch to call Aimee. “It happened,” I tell her the second she picks up.
“Oh my God, you kissed him!” she shrieks. “Okay, tell me everything. Wait, let me get popcorn. No, never mind, that will take too long. What was it like? Did you have sex? When did it happen? What did he say? Is he your boyfriend now? Are you still going to live with him? Oh my God, he does like you, right? If he hurt you in any way, shape of form, I will come over to yell at him, I swear. But I don’t think he did, he is totally into you. Oh my God, why aren’t you telling me everything yet?”
I laugh and tell her to calm down. The next hour, we talk about every little detail of last night and today. She sighs at all the right moments, curses at the misunderstanding from last night, and she tells me over and over again how happy she is for me.
Guess what? I’m pretty fucking happy for myself too.
Waking up in Khiêm’s arms, in his bed, without having to sneak out because there’s someone else in the apartment is pretty fucking nice. We kept things PG, even though we both wanted so much more. I think he wants to make sure that I don’t think he’s only in it for the sex, with my past and all, and I’m trying to convince him of the same thing. A little silly maybe, but it works for us. I doubt we’ll be able to keep ourselves in check for more than a few days, though. We’ll see how it goes.
I have work at the bridal boutique, so we spend the day apart, which gives me some time to truly figure out how I feel about the way our relationship has changed over the past two days. The honest answer? Pretty. Fucking. Happy.
“What has you in such a good mood?” Sonia asks when she hears me singing while I work on attaching lace appliqués to a skirt.
“I erm, I met someone,” I confess. Valerie and Sonia don’t know Marcus, or Khiêm, or anyone else, so I feel alright talking to them about this.
“That’s great,” Valerie says with a knowing smile. “Young love is so amazing. I remember back when I was on cloud nine when I first started dating my husband. Such a rush.”
“I’m not sure if it’s love…” It’s too soon for that big word. Especially since I’ve never loved anyone before. It’s only day two of our… well, I’m not sure if it’s even a relationship. I’m pretty sure we’re exclusive, but maybe I should check when I get home tonight, just in case. I’m obviously not going to even so much as look at anyone else, and I doubt he will, but maybe it’s smart to make it clear what we are to each other. I’ve never done that with a guy before, but I’m determined to do everything different with Khiêm, since none of my past relationships ever lead to anything real. “What I do know is that he’s really sweet, and cute, and pretty fucking amazing.”
Sonia smiles. “That’s great. Now get back to work, because love won’t make the world go round. Money does, Nia.”
I roll my eyes at my boss. “Then I guess my world doesn’t go round all that fast, because you pay me barely anything.”
“Cheeky girl,” Valerie teases while Sonia shakes her head at me.
We go back to work, and by the end of the day, the wedding dress is done. It’s gorgeous, and I take a few pictures to show Aimee when we meet up later this week. I feel like bragging about my work, and I know she’ll squeal and jump up and down in excitement, which is exactly the reaction I’m looking for.
When I get back to the apartment around dinner time, I kick off my shoes and walk right into Khiêm’s studio, expecting to find him behind his desk, editing, but he’s nowhere to be seen. With a frown, I make my way to the living room, pushing open the door. I gasp when I see the scene before me. I was so not expecting this when I came home.
I'm really going to get some work done now. I hope. So... give me your best guesses. What does Nia see when she walks into the living room?
God, I love ending my chapters with cliffhangers. IT's so much fun. :) Well... for me, at least. Hahaha.