Do you want to come inside?
Her words roll around inside my head even as I kiss my way up her neck. She’s sitting right in my lap now, having crawled over at some point after one of us started this whole thing, and I’ve got one hand on the back of her neck and the other on her lower back. Her top has lifted slightly, and my fingers brush over her warm skin, itching to go higher.
I exhale against her jaw, gently nipping at her skin before lifting my gaze to hers. “Yes, I want to,” I whisper, kissing her softly. “But I’m not going to. Not tonight.”
“No?” she asks and there’s a trace of hurt in her question, as though she’s suddenly wondering if maybe I am one of those douchebags after all.
I brush my lips against hers again, kissing her, gently teasing her with my tongue. “I want to, Madison,” I repeat, knowing this is a fine line we’re both walking right now, for so many reasons. “But I also want you to know I’m not one of those guys.”
She stills in my arms, her hands drifting from my face to rest on my shoulders as she pulls back a little. I regret my words instantly, knowing how fucking stupid they must sound, especially after everything I now know about her. Everything she already knew about me.
“Fuck, that sounded really stupid, didn’t it?”
She raises a brow, the corner of her mouth twitching a little. “I mean, it wasn’t that bad,” she says, fighting a smile.
I let out a soft laugh, leaning in to kiss her again. “Yeah, it was. Okay, shit, let me try this again.” I pause, taking a deep breath before continuing. “Madison, I like you. I like you a lot. And I really want to hang out with you some more.”
“But?” she says, her bottom lip between her teeth, that smile still lingering.
“But…” I pause, wondering how the hell I’m supposed to say this without sounding like a total dick. I’ve never been in a situation like this before and even though I know I could easily get out of this car and go inside with her, I really need her to know that’s not what I’m expecting right now, even if it’s exactly what I want. I glance over at her house, see the lights are on inside, people obviously at home. “Who do you live here with?”
“Two of my girlfriends, why?”
I turn back to her. “And what will they think if I come inside with you?” I ask, wondering if they also know about Madison’s past. Surely if she’s told me, she also told them.
She loops her hands around my neck again, her arms hanging loosely as she looks at me, a smirk on her face because she knows where this is going. “They’d think you must be a pretty great guy if I was bringing you home,” she says, confirming that they do know.
I smile at that, my hand on the back of her neck now slipping around to cup her jaw, my thumb brushing over her mouth. “I want to be that great guy,” I tell her. “So even though I really do want to come inside, I’m not going to. Instead, I’m gonna ask you for your number, then walk you to your door and kiss you goodnight.”
Madison watches me, her eyes searching my face in the almost darkness of the night, the only light coming from a nearby streetlight. I let my head fall back against the headrest, my eyes never leaving hers as the silence of the car surrounds us and she looks for whatever it is she needs to see. Then, without a word, she reaches over and pulls her phone from her bag, unlocking the screen before handing it to me, almost as though I’ve passed some sort of test or something.
I pull my hand from her lower back, my fingers trailing across her skin. She shivers in my lap, her eyes never moving as she watches me add my name and number to her contacts. “Can I have yours?” I ask.
Madison nods and I send myself a text before handing her phone back. She smiles now, before slipping across to her seat and opening the car door. I do the same, grabbing her laundry from the backseat and walking around to join her. We walk to her front door in silence and when we reach it, I turn to face her. Without a word, I step closer, and lower my mouth to hers in a lingering kiss. “I’ll talk to you soon,” I whisper against her lips, before handing her the laundry and watching her walk inside.
The alarm cuts through the silence of my room and groaning, I reach over to silence it, picking up my phone at the same time. The screen is filled with the dozen or so messages that we’d written last night, making me smile.
Some of the guys from the team had been here when I got home last night and even though they’d handed me a beer and expected me to join them, I hadn’t. Instead, I’d taken a shower and gone to my room, trying to decide whether it was too soon to text her and what it meant that I wanted to so badly.
In the end, she’d been the one to text me and when my phone had chimed out with a message, I’d smiled, settling myself back on my bed and spent the next couple of hours chatting with her.
It had been good, relaxed and I knew I’d made the right decision by coming home, even as I now type out a message to her, wondering if I’m coming across a little desperate at this point. I don’t know what it is about this girl, but she makes me want things I never thought I wanted before.
Me: morning…you wanna grab lunch today?
The bubbles pop up immediately to let me know she’s typing back, and I can’t help but smile, settling back against my pillows.
Madison: I have class all day today sorry 🙂
Me: Sucks…also I can’t believe I never asked you what you study?
Me: wow, beautiful and smart.
Madison: aaannnndddd that was cheesy
She adds a whole row of cheese emojis and I let out a loud laugh. Before I have a chance to respond though, another message arrives.
Madison: what are you studying? And how about dinner instead? My shout this time.
Me: graphic design and damn, I have football practice tonight…it’ll be late, finals coming up.
Madison: creative 🙂 …bummer, oh well, maybe another time.
Another time. I really want there to be another time, but I also want to know when that other time is going to be. Damn this girl, but I just can’t get her out of my fucking head.
Me: tomorrow? Breakfast, lunch, dinner…all of the above?
Madison: 🙂 sounds good. Talk soon.
I throw my phone onto the bed, groaning a little partly because of the vagueness and partly because of course I have a fucking hard-on. I mean yeah, I woke up with it, but just texting with her has made it harder. But it feels wrong to do anything about it while we are chatting because she wouldn’t know and it’s not like I could tell her because I am absolutely certain we are not at the sexting stage yet.
It’s hard because I feel so damn nervous about how to act with her now I know about her past. I want her, that much I do know. But I also know I need to be careful and not rush anything. At the same time, I don’t want her to think that her past is all I’m thinking about or that her past is the only thing I see when I look at her.
Because even though it makes me fucking livid to think some guy could do that to her, when I look at Madison, all I can think about, all I can see, is her.
And damn if that doesn’t have my head all sorts of messed up.
My head stays all sorts of messed up all day and by the time we’re halfway through football practice, I can tell the guys are ready to lose their shit with me. I’ve missed so many passes and plays, it’s ridiculous and when coach finally calls time on practice, I walk into the locker room expecting the worst.
“Dude, what the fuck?” Reid says, as I throw my helmet into my locker.
Logan laughs as he pulls off his shirt. “Yeah something’s up with our boy alright.”
Reid smirks and I can tell that he’s about to be a fucking smart ass. “You need to get laid or something?”
I don’t want to punch him, but that’s the first thought that enters my head, even though I know he has no clue about anything and this is exactly the type of thing he’d normally say to me and I’d joke about it right back at him. It’s just who he is, a loud smart ass who means well but doesn’t filter anything or give a shit what people think either. I’m normally totally okay with that, but for some reason, tonight it annoys me.
“Fuck off,” I snap.
He laughs, knowing he’s hit a nerve, even as he gives me a look, silently asking if I really am okay. “Alright,” he says, tipping his head in my direction. “Shower, then drinks. Let’s go.”
After we’re all cleaned up, Reid, Logan and I head down to The Last Drop for a couple of drinks. Some of the other guys from the team come with us, but hang back, almost as though they know something’s going on.
The place is busy, not quite full, but busy enough that we can’t get a seat anywhere. As the three of us stand at the bar, Caleb comes over, grinning. “Boys, what’ll it be?”
Reid orders us some beers, just as Adam wanders over. “Alright?” he says, his accent obvious as he leans over to clap hands with Reid.
Reid laughs. “Yeah we are, but our boy here has a bug up his ass about something,” he says, slapping me on the back. “What’s going on Matt?”
I shrug, not really wanting to talk about it because I know these guys are just gonna give me an endless amount of shit for it. I don’t get a chance to answer anyway, both Adam and Caleb turning away as their girlfriends walk into the bar. I lift my beer, taking a long pull, but nearly spit my mouthful everywhere when I see Madison with them.
“Hey beautiful,” Adam says, grinning as he pulls Mila close for a kiss.
Caleb does the same to Ruby and when I glance at Madison, I can see she’s watching me, a questioning look on her face even as a smile tugs at her mouth.
“Hey,” I say, stepping toward her.
“Hi,” she says, her eyes flicking behind me. “You know these guys?”
I glance over my shoulder and see Reid watching us, a knowing smirk on his face. “Yeah, I play football with Reid and Logan, live with them too. Well I did until Reid shacked up with Caleb’s sister.”
Madison lets out a breathy laugh. “Wow, small world.”
“You know them too?” I ask, confused. I mean obviously she does, she walked in here with Ruby and Mila.
Madison nods. “Yeah, I mean, I know Ruby and Mila and so I know Adam and Caleb too.”
“Shit,” I say, rubbing a hand across my jaw. “So were you…were you at Mila’s birthday party here?” I ask, wondering if she was and I somehow missed her.
Madison shakes her head. “No, I mean I’ve only been friends with her for a few months, but we’ve grown close.”
I can feel the smile tugging at my mouth as I step closer. I really want to kiss her right now, but I don’t know if that’s something she wants. “This is like one of those weird six degrees of separation thing, isn’t it?”
Madison laughs. “Okay Kevin Bacon,” she says, making me laugh. “But I’ll admit, it’s a little surreal. Still, I like that we have friends in common.”
“Me too,” I whisper, slowly reaching out and threading my fingers through hers, my eyes never leaving her face. Madison doesn’t pull away, if anything, she steps closer. “So, you never answered my question before?” I say, my words low. She tilts her head, clearly confused. Brushing my thumb against the inside of her wrist, I say, “Breakfast, lunch, dinner? All of the above?”
She smiles. “That’s an awful lot of choices,” she says, squeezing my hand. “How was practice by the way?”
I love that she remembers; that she even bothers to ask. “Hmmm, bit of a disaster actually.”
“Oh? Why’s that?”
I smirk. “Couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t get this girl I just met off my mind.”
Madison returns my smirk. “Is that so?” she asks and fuck me if I don’t know the perfect thing to ask her now.
“Yep,” I reply. “Maybe she should come and watch me play this weekend? Might help, what do you think?”
Voting has now closed but you can find out what happens next by clicking on the button below!