Matt’s phone chimes out, a sing-song melody and he lets out a hard sigh as he falls back against the pillow. I would love it if he stayed, but we both know that right now we’re wrapped up in the newness of what is happening between us. Eventually it will wear off and we’ll be back to our normal lives and maybe our relationship will last through it.
I want it to last.
Matt reaches over and silences his phone.
“It’s my practice reminder,” he tells me, scrunching his eyes shut tight.
“I’ll make this easy on you,” I say, resting my head on his chest. “You should go to practice. It’s the right thing to do. And even though it feels like we don’t want to be apart, it’ll be good.”
“So are you saying you don’t want to see me after practice?” he now asks, sounding a little defeated.
I find this whole exchange quite comical. A week ago this guy would’ve done anything he could to avoid being stuck with one girl, but now he’s contemplating missing practice to stick around. When it’s right, it’s right. And with Matt it’s so damn right.
“Are you being self-conscious right now?” I question, an eyebrow going up teasingly.
“No. Please, babe. I know you want me.”
I laugh out loud. “There’s the cocky douche I met at the laundromat.” I straddle his hips, leaning down to kiss him. “Of course I want to see you after practice,” I whisper softly against his lips. “I’m thinking all about your bedroom skills.”
“Madison,” Matt growls, making me giggle. “You’re making this hard.”
“It’s not the only thing I’m making hard,” I joke, wiggling against his hips.
His phone chimes out again, reminding both of us that time is nearly up.
“I guess you gotta go, huh?” I now ask, moving so I’m sitting on the bed.
“Yeah, but I’ll text you when I’m done with practice. Maybe three hours or so once I go home to shower.”
“You could come here and I could shower with you.” I give him a wink.
“While that is an incredibly tempting offer, I’m not sure you’d ever want to sleep with me again. I smell horrible after practice.”
“I could definitely see that being an issue,” I reply, laughing.
“Get over here, cheeky girl,” Matt says, his hand cupping the back of my neck as he pulls me in for a kiss. “I’ll see you later.”
An hour later and I’m bored out of my mind. My roommates are gone, homework is done, and I still have a couple of hours till I hear from Matt. Not that I’m waiting around for him. Okay, I might be just a little.
I grab my phone and shoot Ruby a quick text to see if she wants to grab something to eat. She responds almost immediately and tells me she’d love to meet up. We decide on a place and when I get there, Ruby has brought Mila with her.
It’s such a nice surprise to see both of them. We became friends when I was meeting with Ruby at the counseling center to help me deal with my rape. She had brought her sister Mila in one day and ever since then we have developed a pretty strong friendship. Besides my roommates, Ruby was the first friend I made on campus. I always used to joke with her that she was only my friend because I was seeing her at the counseling center, but we both know it really turned into a true friendship.
“Hey,” Ruby says, flagging me over to where she and Mila are sitting. “I hope you don’t mind that I brought Mila along.”
I slip into the booth next to Ruby, smiling across at Mila. “Of course it’s okay that Mila came. I just figured she was busy with school.”
“Yeah, classes have been hectic, and I was actually over at Ruby’s studying when you texted. She was helping me with a few things.” Mila lets out a sigh. “I needed a break.”
“Don’t we all.”
“So,” Ruby starts, smirking at Mila and they both laugh a little. “We’ve heard you may have a boyfriend.”
“What? How the hell do you two know about that already? It’s literally been like a week.” My mouth falls open and not that I think Matt has been gossiping about us to his friends or anything, but he’s obviously been talking and it’s clear we have some friends in common.
“I live with one of Matt’s football buddies and he was over talking about how he met a girl. I guess it’s a pretty big deal for him. He’s not the smitten type from what I’ve heard,” Ruby says.
“Ah, okay, that makes sense. Reid, right?”
“Yeah, things are going good. He slept over last night and I’ve never slept better in my life,” I admit. Ruby knows what a big deal this is for me and since Mila has basically lived it too, she gets it.
“It’s weird being able to trust a guy, isn’t it?” Mila asks and I nod.
“It’s funny though because I knew almost immediately when I met him that he was a good one. I had this instant connection to him and I haven’t felt something like that in so long.”
“That’s how I felt about Adam. It’s definitely strange, especially when we’ve avoided relationships,” Mila adds in.
“And look how amazing your relationship with Adam is now. So fucking solid and perfect,” I tell Mila.
“And maybe you’ll find that with Matt,” Ruby chimes in.
I don’t want to say it out loud and jinx the whole thing, but it really feels that way already. It’s only been a short time and whenever something is new it feels all-consuming and intense, like what I have going on with Matt does right now.
A silence falls over the table, and I’m sure they’re thinking I’m crazy for jumping into this headfirst given my past.
“Does he know about what happened to you?” Mila now asks.
“Obviously he does. Have you known me to keep it a secret from anyone these days?”
“That’s good. How did he take it?” Mila asks as Ruby looks over at me.
“As expected, or should I say as you would hope. He didn’t seem scared off by it, but he had that whole clenched jaw thing going on.”
“Oh yes, I know that look too,” Mila replies, laughing a little. “Adam is still super overprotective of me when we go out. Always worried that something will trigger me. It’s great, but sometimes it’s a little smothering. But in all honesty, I think I would rather have someone who worries than someone who doesn’t see the seriousness.”
“I would agree and so far Matt seems to be following the route of Adam. Although we haven’t really gone anywhere or done anything that might be triggering for me.”
“I’m just glad he’s supportive and understands what you’ve been through,” Ruby now adds.
“What’s he up to today?” Mila now asks.
“He’s at football practice. He’s going to text me when he’s done.”
“Well, then we better order so you don’t keep him waiting,” Ruby teases.
“It might be good for him to have to wait,” I joke back.
As soon as I walk in the door my phone is vibrating and when I pull it from my bag, it’s Matt’s name lighting up the screen. He’s actually calling me.
“Hey,” I say when I answer. “How was practice?”
“Hi. It was fine. Tired and sore but I’ll survive. What were you up to today?”
“I had lunch with some friends, and it turns out your friend lives with one of my friends.”
“Oh, really? Who?”
I close the door to my apartment and walk back toward my bedroom. The place is quiet, and my roommates are still out.
“Yep, she lives with Reid. He’s the team’s quarterback. The one who throws the ball,” Matt says, laughing as he clarifies since I’ve told him multiple times that I know nothing about football.
“I actually knew that,” I announce, far too proud of myself.
“That’s because the quarterback is usually the most well-known player, and the girls generally think he’s hot.”
“Well, I think you’re hot,” I say, wishing he were here instead of on the phone.
“And I think you’re hot too. Speaking of, I think we might have a made plans for the rest of today, am I right?”
“I’m not sure we said the rest of today. Might be getting a little sick of you,” I reply letting out a mock annoyed sigh.
“You’re funny. But what do you say? How about I come by and pick you up and we go by a friend of mine’s that having a party?”
I’m not usually much for parties because crowds can tend to make me anxious but going with Matt might be a good idea. I’ll have someone there I trust and I’m sure he’s not going to leave my side anyway. I need to start branching out and doing things I used to enjoy.
“I was thinking we’d head over there around eight, but I think we might have some bedroom plans before then,” Matt says.
“I remember you mentioning something about your oral responsibilities, and I think I could be up for that.”
“I’ll be there in an hour.”
And like clockwork, Matt is at my house and when I open the door, he’s holding a bowl with a huge pan of lasagna balanced on top and has a baguette of bread tucked under his arm.
“Okay, this is weird. Why do you have an entire meal in your arms?”
“I know it’s a little early for dinner, but I thought I would bring this, and we can eat later and then go to the party.”
He steps inside and sets everything down on my kitchen table. He reaches for me, pulling me close and I wrap my arms around his waist, burying my face in his neck.
“You smell good,” I murmur, kissing his neck.
“You always smell good,” he replies back, his nose buried in my hair. “So dinner and then the party?”
“Did you make all this?” I ask, a little skeptical that he somehow pulled off making an entire meal after practice and still managed to get over here in an hour.
“Not exactly,” he replies sheepishly. “You see we have this tradition where girls make us food on Sundays and bring it over. I’ve never been a fan of it, but I guess it’s something the school has done for years.”
“Wait, so you’re telling me that you brought dinner to my house made by another girl?”
“When you put it that way it sounds super fucking shady, but yes. It was either we eat it or it goes to waste. I didn’t want to throw it out.”
“What about your roommates?”
“They’re eating the other stuff. Some kind of soup and another pan of lasagna. They think we eat a lot of food, I guess?”
“Okay, it’s weird, but I’m not going to make a big deal about it because it’s free food and I’m pretty much the epitome of a broke college kid,” I tell him. “So put that salad in the fridge and I’ll pre-heat the oven for later.”
“You’re the best,” Matt says, kissing me hard and I can’t help but melt into him. Everything about him feels like home. “You never really answered my question about the party. Are we going?”
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