Soundtrack Song - The All-American Rejects, I Wanna
I'm feeling frustrated and angry. Not as frustrated and angry as I was before, but those emotions are still present nevertheless. They have faded but have not completely dissipated. Is that appropriate? I don't know. I've never been in this position before.
Charlotte only answered some of my questions. She liked me, and that's why she left before I woke up that morning, even though that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. I mean, when you like someone, you don't leave; you stay. And she apparently smashed her phone and lost my number, which is why she didn't call. She got a new phone number, and that's why I couldn't reach her. Those are all convenient answers, because they explain what happened, but they don't make the future any clearer.
That's why I still have so many questions. So she does like me, but what does that mean? Do we hook up? Where do we go from here? And what's exactly the deal with this guy she told me about? Is he going to continue to interfere, or is that finished? Will she go back to him? There is so much that needs to be explained. I use the drive from Moon Township to the South Side to mentally list everything I need to ask her. The sheer amount of questions running though my head leads me to think that we're going to be up all night.
I get home first. I wasn't joking when I told her that I expected her here in twenty minutes. If she doesn't show soon, I'm going to assume that she went home. Charlotte doesn't act rationally, whatever her reasons may be, so I needed her to know what precisely I expected from her and that she needed to fulfill it or else. Without going inside, I wait on the stairs as I rubberneck and think that every pair of passing headlights is her.
A few minutes later, she pulls Gina's car up along the curb. I watch as she huddles into her coat to keep warm as she walks to the front door. "How did you get here so fast?" she asks.
"I know the back way," I tell her, opening the door for her and waving her inside.
She doesn't acknowledge that gesture; she enters the house without me having to usher her in. It's not that she's rude about it. This is just so routine for us. Charlotte drops her purse on the floor, toes out of her shoes, and slides out of her jacket with fluid movement that is oddly elegant because she's done it so many times before. No other girl has been over my house this frequently, and it's like she's as comfortable here as she is at her own apartment.
Draping her coat over the hand rail of the staircase, she continues farther into the living room, sitting in the corner of the couch with her back against the arm and pulling her feet underneath her. I follow her and sit facing forward on the couch. I rest my elbows on my knees and lean into my hands.
"So, where were we?" I ask.
Charlotte shrugs. "You wanted to ask me some stuff." Why is she acting so defensive? I hate when she acts dismissive like this.
"Right. So, start over again. You smashed your phone? How did that happen?"
"I threw it against the wall and it shattered. The screen was cracked, the clip that held the battery in place broke off, and the keyboard fell off. You can back up your contact list, but you have to pay, like, two dollars a month for that service. I never thought I'd need it, so I didn't bother. Mistake on my part, I guess."
"You threw it? Why would you do something like that?"
"I was angry." I raise my eyebrows and encourage her to continue. "I, uh, was about to call you to thank you, and then, um, my ex called. I didn't mean to take his call, and I just got mad. Kinda turned into the Hulk, actually. I pretty much demolished everything in a five-foot radius around me."
"Whoa. You were angry."
"That's what I said."
"Are you gonna give me your new number?"
Charlotte hesitates. "If you want it."
"Of course I want it. Why wouldn't I?"
"Well, you're still mad at me."
"I'm not mad. I am, however, confused and a little upset, but I'm just trying to understand. I mean, all of a sudden, you're telling me all this stuff that I didn't know about you. I've been thinking that you're avoiding me, that I did something wrong, and instead you're telling me all this crap about your boyfriend," I mutter.
"Ex-boyfriend," she corrects me. "He's an asshole, a total jerk. I've been avoiding him for a month, over a month by now, and he still calls. He doesn't understand how I can possibly be mad at him. He left me alone for a while, but then he told me he was coming to town and wanted to see me."
Here comes the key question. "And what do you want?"
"I want nothing more than to see him fall off a cliff. Hell, I want to be the one who pushes him," she says, very exasperated, and something about that makes me laugh inappropriately. It's not funny how flustered she is, but what she said amuses me. "I'm glad you think this is funny."
"I'm sorry. It isn't."
"Damn straight it isn't!" she yells, now very agitated. "I'm at my wit's end! I feel like I need to be committed to an insane asylum. I've done everything I can think of, so I hope that this is it and he's out of my life forever. Because I just can't do it anymore."
I pause to let her calm down a little bit. She's backing into a corner, and I won't be able to extract any information from her if she feels liable to be attacked. But I'm not accusing her of anything. I just want to know the whole story. "You said he was the reason you left Chicago. So I guess he was a pretty big deal to you."
Charlotte picks at her cuticles. I can tell this makes her uncomfortable, but she basically confessed that he's been dictating our entire relationship, and I've never even met the guy. I deserve to know everything, don't I? Even if she doesn't want me to. "He was. Operative word being: was. I hate him now. The worst part is, it's not like he hit me or anything like that, which would make it easier to explain why it didn't work. It was just all these mental games he played and is still playing with me. I can't figure him out. I don't know why he just won't let go, but there's no talking or reasoning with him."
"So, that means he's out of the picture?" Is there room for me now?
"I would like nothing more than to forget he ever existed. I've been trying to, but as soon as I think I'm past it, he'd call and ruin everything. Well, I'm not letting him do that anymore. I've done everything I can think of to show him that I'm finished with his games. And to be honest with you, sitting here and talking about him isn't helping me forget about him."
I watch as she hugs herself and rocks back and forth as she shakes her head and stares out into space, visibly distraught. "If this is such a major thing, how come it never came up before? Why am I only finding out now?"
"I told you. I liked that you didn't know about him. You not knowing let me be myself. Pretend like it never happened. I got to live my life again. Spending time with you in the past few months, Max, has been like heaven. And now," she sighs, "that all changes."
Suddenly it hits me that she's needed me these past few months like I've needed her. She was the distraction I needed as I rehabbed and dealt with not playing hockey; I was what she needed as she dealt with this. It's serendipitous that we met each other at such a fortuitous time. Like fate. "I think you should have told me all this sooner. But I'm glad I could help."
Charlotte nods. "Yeah. Me, too. It was great while it lasted."
"While it lasted?" I ask, now very confused.
She stands and smooths out the nonexistent wrinkles in her shirt. "I screwed up. It's what I do best. You're right, I should have been open about this from the start, and now you're mad—"
"I told you, I'm not mad. I get it now." I wrap my hand around her wrist and tug on her arm until she's standing in front of me, and then I grab her waist and pull her into my lap. Now I'm going to show her that I'm not upset anymore. Charlotte wiggles and tries to get away. "Stop that."
"I'm going to crush your femurs," she says, still struggling against me.
"Stop," I grunt, trying to keep the moment intimate while not crossing the line. But that's not going to happen if she keeps pressing her ass into my groin. She does stop, and I take her face into my hands. "I still have one more question. Did you mean it when you said you liked me, as more than a friend?"
She nods. "I'm sorry."
"Why in the world are you apologizing?"
"Because you don't like me like that anymore."
"Anymore? En as-tu déjà douté? Charlotte, I never stopped!" To prove my point, I press my lips against hers, softly at first until passion takes over and we're attacking each other with our mouths. I feel her tongue push against mine and feel my body respond accordingly. I lavish some attention on her freckled lip, but I keep my hands in place against her cheeks even as hers roam around my chest to my neck and then to the back of my head before reversing.
She pulls back a little, and none too soon. I wouldn't have been able to keep up my no-hands policy for much longer. "So, have you forgiven me? Are we... okay?"
"I don't know," I say, watching as that ambivalent answer makes her squirm. "But we can keep kissing and making up."
"Sounds good to me," she counters. Charlotte leans forward to kiss my neck, and I feel as her lips move when she speaks again. "Arms up."
"Arms up," she repeats, nudging my arms in the air and grabbing the hem of my sweater. She pulls upward. Then her nails dig into my flesh as she drags her hands down my bare chest to my stomach.
"Are you sure you want to do this? I don't want you thinking that you've made another mistake. I don't want you to run off again."
Charlotte moves her hands upward again, cupping the back of my neck so I look at her and see the unwavering certainty in her green eyes. "Don't worry, I'm sure. And I don't think this is a mistake. I won't."
"Then 'quid pro quo, Clarice,'" I say, quoting The Silence of the Lambs and making her laugh. I grab her shirt and pull it off, too. We go back to kissing. I wrap my arms around her and pull her against me as I slide my back to the seat of the couch, so I'm lying down with her body on top of mine. These past two weeks have been really long, making this feel really good. I run my hands down her back and squeeze her butt. I guess I'm an ass man. When she trails kisses down to my Adam's apple, I have to ask, "Do you want to go upstairs?"
"Yeah," she replies, sounding breathless.
I shift, grab her hand and pull her off the couch, and drag her up the stairs behind me. This time, it's going to be a little more special than the floor, but no doubt just as heated. I move to flick on the light switch, but she guides me toward the bed before I have a chance. Charlotte reaches behind her to unclasp her bra, pulling the straps down and removing the garment swiftly and unceremoniously.
"What's your hurry?" I question, my hands on her sides, rubbing small circles on her soft flesh with my thumbs. "We have all night," I whisper, licking her earlobe.
"And I don't want to waste a minute of it." She scratches lines down my back that will definitely be visible to the guys when I change into my gear for the game tomorrow. No shirtless interviews for me.
"We won't. Trust me." That's a guarantee I can make easily. Charlotte's trying to unleash the beast in me, but I rein it in. I am, after all, a professional athlete; my brain controls my body, not the other way around.
I lay her down on the bed and stretch above her. It makes her uncomfortable that I'm looking down at her rather than touching her or kissing her. She grows impatient and grazes her hands along the skin of my chest and arms, coaxing me non-verbally to make a move and end this tantalizing stalemate. When I think I can't stand it anymore, I finally kiss and suckle the flesh connecting her neck and shoulder. A loud breath escapes her lips as I feel her hands settle, one against my upper arm and the other around to the back of my head, her fingers laced through my hair.
Charlotte whispers my name, egging me on. Nothing is a bigger turn on than hearing my name on her lips, but still I keep myself in check. I move my mouth to her left breast, but I avoid her hard nipple. I know where she wants me to touch her, but I'm not ready for that just yet. I'm going to tease her and make her beg for it. I'm going to drive her as nuts as she made me these past weeks.
I trace the curves of her body, starting with her knees and thighs and moving upward. She cups my hard dick through my jeans, and the friction of the fabric temporarily causes me to exhale through my teeth and hiss. I grip her wrists and push them against the mattress. "A little impatient, aren't we?"
She hooks a leg around my ass and pulls my body down on hers while she pushes up against me. Our bare chests meet, which sends a jolt straight to my crotch. Charlotte answers, "Very impatient."
After one more hard and bruising kiss, I drop my pants while she shimmies out of hers. I push her back against the bed and immediately reach under her panties. She feels so wet, so ready, so hot—all for me. Pulling her underwear down her legs to have better access to her body, I push my index finger into her without much warning. It slides in with ease, so I add my middle finger and push in quickly, as far as I can, making her gasp and grab the sheets. With my thumb, I trace figure-eights over her clit and watch as she begins to pant and writhe beneath me. I lean down and kiss around her breasts before finally taking turns between them, sucking on each of her nipples and flicking my tongue over them, one at a time. Charlotte continues to moan and twist under the guidance of my touch. She's right where I want her.
"Does that feel good?" I ask, dragging my lips down her stomach, knowing full well that her nerve endings are working overtime as the stubble on my face is making contact with her skin. I remember how much she liked that. I concentrate on keeping my movements steady and consistent.
"Yes," she sighs, while gyrating her hips against the movement of my hand.
I crook the fingers inside of her until I hit her G-spot. "And now?"
"God yes. Please, don't stop."
"As long as you tell me that you'll be here in the morning."
"I'll be here," she moans softly.
"Promise," I growl, moving my hand a little faster and more forcibly.
"I promise!" she half-squeals, half-grunts as her body shudders from the increased pressure and tempo. "This isn't fair. You could get me to say anything right now." She wraps her arms around my shoulders and hooks her leg over my hips, guiding me to the bed as we roll and switch positions.
"That's the point," I confess, looking up at her.
She begins to rub her hand against my thigh, moving higher until her hand is reaching under the leg hole of my boxers. Her hand's at the base of my hard, almost painful erection, teasing me just like I did to her. Whispering so low that I can barely hear her, she says, "Please tell me you have a condom."
"We didn't the last—"
"I know, just please tell me you have one now."
Instead of answering, I reach for the nightstand and tear one from the strip; I never bring girls back here, but I always keep a supply. As I rip open the wrapper, she hooks her fingers under the waistband of my boxers and I slip the rubber on. Charlotte hovers over me and slides into place, until my dick is all the way inside her.
She moves slowly at first, leaning back and giving me an excellent view of her soft, plush body. I run my hands up her thighs, past her hips, to her stomach. I don't force or guide her movements; Charlotte is the one taking charge. For now, at least. That's fine with me. I let her take her pleasure while I focus on the Kid's nasty, old jock strap that hangs in the stall next to mine. Or the way Staalsy likes to walk around naked in the dressing room. Don Cherry. Anything that's going to take the edge off the way she's moving over me.
Charlotte leans forward, placing her palms against the wall as she increases the speed of her hips as she rocks against me. I place my thumb against her clit as she rides me, and I feel her tense all over before she lets out a silent scream and her body explodes into wild spasms.
When she looks like she's coming down from outer space, I roll her over, careful to never slide out of her. She looks at me through hooded eyelids. I grab her legs and push her knees further apart and against her chest, so I can go deeper. It's my turn now. I pull out slowly, almost fully, before I slam back into her. I keep that up until I need to go faster, harder. Charlotte's hands grab my ass, encouraging me to increase my pace until I'm moving at a frantic speed. No longer being romantic and kind, I fuck her until my primal, base urges are fulfilled, and I fill the condom as her muscles contract around my dick again.
Rolling away, I take a deep breath and collect myself. This was worth the two weeks in purgatory.
I peel off the used rubber and turn onto my side, facing her. Charlotte's on her back but looking at me, waiting for a sign. She keeps her distance until I make a move to reach out for her, and then she gladly shifts her body closer to mine. I slide my right leg between each of hers and press against her so she's on her back again and I'm half over her, half beside her.
"I just have one last question for you," I say, looking down at her.
"Mm hmm?" she hums, closing her eyes and nestling against me.
"Your ex. What was his name?"
Charlotte gets irritated. Her eyes fly open and she tries to squirm away from underneath me, but she can't move because I've trapped her. She's pressing against my chest with her hands, but she can't push me away. "You're going to put me into a sex coma, and then ask me about him?"
Before I let her ruin the mood, I explain because I know she'll like my answer. "My mother taught me proper manners. I need to know who to address the thank-you note to, because I owe him a big thanks for letting you go. So I could have you."
Charlotte stops trying to resist me, and I can feel as she metaphorically melts in my arms. The light beaming in through the curtains from the street lamp just barely reflects off the water that's starting to well up in her eyes. "Geez, Max. Can you get any more perfect?"
"No," I tell her with a cocky smile, and she laughs despite the streams of tears overflowing down her cheeks.