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#thank you for deeming me A Cool Chick
vanmccantfish · 4 months ago
Tbh you seem like the coolest chick ever. But the best kind of cool chick who like, secretly you can squeal in the corner with about a boy without changing facial expressions which is basically what I do to you by flooding your ask box with ridiculous rantings about Van McCann
akskdjhfvsjsj anon i love this!! yes i will happily squeal about b*ys in the corner with you any day with the blankest face imaginable because their goddamn ego's don't require any more inflation
anonymously tell me what kind of vibe/energy you get from me
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doderyscoffee · 6 months ago
strawberries & champagne (pt. i) |
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love is the only luxury qian kun can’t afford. but when he meets a prostitute by chance, he may give her all he has if the price is right.
PAIRING: ceo!qian kun x prostitute!fem!reader
CHARACTERS: ft. nct and red velvet members
GENRE&AU(S): fluff, smut, angst, comedy, strangers to lovers, slow burn(ish), pretty woman!au, ceo!au, prostitute!au, 90′s!au
WARNINGS: language, sexual innuendos, explicit smut (dirty talk, degradation, praise kink, pet names, slight possessiveness, marking, biting, overstimulation), suggestive content, mentions of sex, slut shaming, classism, slight fat shaming (but not severe), mentions of running away, mentions of being homeless, mentions of stealing, kun suppressing his emotions, y/n catching feelings kind of fast, y/n having existential crises at the most odd times, implied ten and yangyang being peeping tom’s, i tried my best to make as inclusive of a reader as i could, so i’m sorry if there is some things that aren’t very inclusive and please tell me!
LENGTH: 21.3k words (please read on desktop if it crashes on mobile!)
AUTHOR’S NOTE:      this is part one of my part of the 90′s love collab! i’m really proud of this as this is my first long fic! please let me know if you enjoyed this and send me an ask if you would like to be added to the tag list!
TAG LIST:      @ethereal-eirene​ @quokkacore​ @bearseokie​ @massivew33n669​ @odentist​ @hrjflrt​ @littlecatjeno @jenotation​ @jeetiesforthewin​ @astrofluke​ @dongmin0330-blog @sunshinedhyuck​
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No matter how many times you visited the Blue Banana Club on Hollywood Boulevard, you would never get used to the scent of sweaty bodies and cheap Axe cologne. Purple, blue, and red lights distorted your vision, making the mass of people on the floor one big mob of limbs and any familiar face a passing memory. It was just another Wednesday night.
You made your way over to the bar, pushing past a few stragglers, who threw you displeased glares and mumbled curses under their breaths, but they wouldn’t dare put a finger on you; they knew better than that. Behind the bar stood a man who you and your friends knew all too well, and if the patrons valued the booze they were pouring down their throats, they also valued the owner’s VIP guests.
Sliding into the narrow space between two men no older than thirty, you slammed your hand against the surface of the bar, hoping to garner the attention of your good friend, Pops, whose back was turned to you. Instead, you drew the attention of the man on your left, and he peered at you with an emotion only known by the name of lust as he took in your form-fitting attire that wasn’t considered modest by any means. He dragged his tongue along his lower lip when he intentionally brushed his thigh against yours, snapping your gaze to meet his when he slid an arm around your waist, pulling you flush to his chest.
“Having a good night, sugar?” he drawled, caressing your cheek with the index finger of his free hand before leaning in close enough to give you a whiff of whatever was in his cup.
You flashed him a smile, placing a hand on his chest and tapping your fingers against his plaid t-shirt. “Sorry, champ...”You frowned, pushing yourself up on your tip-toes, and pecking his cheek. “... but I’m not feeling it tonight.” You patted his chest, taking a step back and playfully swatting away the hand on your side with a wink. “Give me a call some other day, though.”
He grumbled something inaudible to you before picking up his glass and making his way to some other chick leaning against one of the amateurly done murals. Once he sidled up to the brunette, slinging his arm across her shoulders, you turned back to the barkeep, who was rubbing the inside of a cup with a dirty rag. “Hey, Pops,” you greeted the elderly man with a genuine smile, and he leaned in to hear you over the ruckus. “Have you seen Seulgi?”
“She’s upstairs in the lounge.” He gestured towards the stairs to the left of the bar that was blocked off by a velvet rope and a sign that read ‘VIPs Only’. You brought your eyes to scan the bodies lingering on the balcony overlooking the dance floor, glasses of neon drinks waving around in their hands as they laughed between puffs of weed.
“Great. Thanks,” you muttered, pushing yourself away from the bar and making your way up the stairs, ignoring the way they creaked in false warning under your feet. The VIP lounge was significantly less crowded than downstairs, bringing a wave of ease to settle over you at the realization that you could name every face that lined the walls. Nestled in the corner under an illuminated sign of an enlarged marijuana leaf sat your friend group, too long gone in whatever substance they were abusing that night to notice your figure stalking towards them.
Seulgi was the first one to notice your presence, pulling down the heart-shaped shades that covered her eyes to the tip of her nose when you stopped in front of her. “Y/N, baby,” she giggled, reaching for your arm as she scooted over in her chair, which didn’t look like it could support the both of you, “have a drink with us!”
You dodged her hand, rolling your eyes when she pouted and crossed her arms. “I’m not thirsty.”
The table in front of your friends was littered with empty beer bottles, the ashtray in the middle of the mess was filled to the brim with cigarette remnants and god knew what else. Seulgi leaned forward, taking a blunt from the hands of a man with dark brown hair, bringing it to her lips and taking a long hit. She closed her eyes, shoulders slumping, and blew out a cloud of gray.
“How much did you spend?” Grimacing, you picked up the closest bottle—an empty Budweiser—and brought it up to your nose for a sniff. “God,” you gagged, tossing it back on the table, “do you even know what’s in that shit?”
Seulgi only sighed, placing her feet on the table with a thump. “Seriously, babe, calm down.” She turned to look at you, her eyes so hazy it was a wonder she could see at all, and brought the butt of the roll back to her lips for another puff. “We’re fine. Jaehyun will take care of us.” She gestured to the man who had given her the drug with a flick of her wrist before tilting her head back to stare at the ceiling.
“No.” You grabbed your friend by the elbow, heaving her to her feet as you plucked the weed from her fingers and slammed it into the ashtray. “We need to talk.”
She made a noise of protest but didn’t stop you as you dragged her downstairs, past the men and women who would most likely be possessed by sex demons by the end of the night, and out to the street. A gust of cool air greeted you, and you shivered when it caressed your skin and cleared your head.
“What the hell was that about?” Seulgi demanded once she wrenched her hand free from your iron grip. “I was having a good time!”
“And putting all our rent money down the drain!” You pinched the bridge of your nose, praying to whatever entity was above that you would not lose your head on the girl who gave you a home in the first place. “How are we going to pay for the apartment, Seul?”
“We’ll figure it out, alright?” She pulled her jean jacket tighter around her figure, rolling her head to the side as she thought. “You know, it would be good to give him a chance. He could help us a lot.”
“Who? That Jaehyun guy?”
She nodded, pushing out her bottom lip and blowing upwards, ruffling the strands of her hair that had escaped from her ponytail. Rocking on the balls of her feet, she added, “He’s not so bad. And he kept talking about you earlier. I think he likes you.”
“That’s bullshit,” you scoffed, pressing your back against the nearest light pole, allowing the breeze to kiss your neck, which had acquired a glistening layer of sweat from standing in a club with little ventilation for longer than you would’ve liked. “He doesn’t even know me. He barely even knows you.”
“I’ve talked to him a few times,” your friend countered, idly kicking the base of a parking meter, emitting a dull thud into the bustling night air. “The point is that he can hook us up with more people, which means more money, which means a better life with better booze and better shit.”
“It also means that he’ll run our lives and take our money. Absolutely not.”
“You’re right,” Seulgi sighed. “We say who, we say when, and we say how much.”
You ran your fingers through your hair, twirling the strands when you reached the ends, turning your head to watch the cars zoom by in front of you. “It’s looking slow tonight.”
“Catch this,” Seulgi whistled, gesturing with her head for you to turn around as a smirk bloomed on her lips and the gears turned in her head. Coming up the semi-packed street was a Lotus Esprit that was switching between driving smoothly and jerking to an abrupt stop before driving well again. The vehicle drove past you as it drifted to the curb, coming to a full, intentional stop when the driver deemed it safe enough to park. “That’s rent,” she said, licking her lips in a predatory manner. “You look hot tonight, so you go get him. Don’t take less than a hundred and take care of you.”
“Take care of you. And don’t spend any more money.” You pulled her in for a quick hug before making your way over to where the car was parked, taking note of its shiny exterior and the amateurish way the driver had conducted the beauty. As you approached the front passenger door, you shrugged off the red jacket that had been protecting you from the cold and tied it around your waist, revealing the smoothness of your skin and the curve of your hips. “Hey, sugar,” you giggled, placing your hand on the open window guide and leaning down so you could get a good look at the man you were hoping to jump in bed with, “you looking for a date?”
The man let out a startled breath, snapping his head in the direction of your voice with furrowed brows. He was younger than you had expected, no older than twenty-eight, with black hair and cheeks you wanted to kiss. His heart-shaped lips parted to respond, but whatever he was going to say died on his tongue, making him appear like a fish as he tried to word whatever he wanted to say correctly. Finally, he said, “No, but I’m looking for directions. Can you tell me where Beverly Hills is?”
You tilted your head in an innocent manner, although the smile on your face was anything but. “I can for five bucks.”
“For directions? That’s ridiculous.” He leaned back in his seat, tossing the paper map that he was trying and failing to read onto the floor and placed his hand on the shift, tapping his finger on the top of it as if he were scared to push the car into motion.
“The price just went up to ten,” you replied in a sing-song voice, allowing your eyes to glance over his attire. He was dressed in a gray suit and a dark red tie with his collar properly folded: a dead giveaway that he had never stepped foot on this side of Los Angeles. From the looks of it, you figured he escaped some rich, high society function and was desperately trying to get back on the side of town where he and his flashy car belonged. You licked your lips at the thought.
The man shook his head with a scoff, narrowing his eyes when his gaze met yours, and if you weren’t some prostitute with your head sticking through the passenger side window, you had no doubt that you would have drowned in their brown depths.
“You can’t charge me for directions.” He seemed almost offended that a low life was demanding he pay for common knowledge. But, you supposed, he should feel a little humbled at the fact that he was being forced to play nice or he could go back to spending the rest of his night trying to pinpoint his desired destination under dim streetlights.
You clicked your tongue. “I’m not the lost one, baby. Have a good night.”
Turning your back to him, you only took two steps before you heard him sigh and call out, “Wait! Do you have change for a twenty?”
“If I can keep the twenty, I’ll show you a whole new world.”
“Yeah, yeah,” he muttered under his breath as you hurried to get in the car, sighing in relief when the air was a little warmer than it was outside. As you buckled your seat belt, he jiggled the shift, furrowing his brows with a frustrated grunt when he couldn’t coax the vehicle to drive. “Goddamn this thing,” he huffed before giving it one last forceful shove that, miraculously, got the wheels to roll.
The two of you sat in silence for the first five minutes, and you leaned your head against the window, watching the street lights change from barely flickering to as bright as the afternoon sun. “Take a right here,” you told him when the landmark that separated the influential area from the rubble came into view. You heard him curse under his breath as he quickly checked over his shoulder and switched lanes. “It would’ve been good to put on your signal. Drivers are merciless here.” He didn’t respond, instead jerking the car in a way that screamed ‘I’m a spoiled rich boy, who has never driven a day in his life’. “Is this even your car?” you scoffed, not caring about the annoyance in your voice and the fact that he was, in almost every way, better than you and could ruin your life if he very well pleased. 
“Did you steal it?”
“No.” Somehow, he managed to smoothly brake at a stop light, glancing at you from the corner of his eye as he shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “What’s your name?”
Bracing your arm on the console, you leaned forward, taking in the way his hair fell over his face, which was angelic in the way it rested. “Anything you want it to be.” He tore his stare away from the light, raising his brow in an unamused manner. “Y/N,” you supplied in a defeated tone, retreating back to the safety of your side of the car.
He nodded, bringing his attention back to the road just in time for the red light to turn green. Silence took over the car again, and you returned your forehead to the cool glass. You rolled your eyes. One would think that someone who paid for your help would be more talkative.
After a minute, it occurred to you that the man next to you never told you his exact destination, so you cleared your throat and asked, “Where are you staying?”
“The Regent Beverly Wilshire.”
“It’s down the block, right at the corner,” you instructed. “Are you always this fun to talk to?”
To your surprise, the question brought a small chuckle out of him, but he dared not take his attention from the traffic before him. “No, sorry, I’m just… not feeling great.” He came to another stop, turning his head to give you a genuine smile. “Thank you. Seriously. If you didn’t get in the car, I probably would’ve ended up in Vegas with my luck.”
“Now that’s a stretch,” you laughed, bringing your feet onto the seat and pulling your legs to your chest. “So, you really don’t know how to drive this thing, huh?”
“And you do?”
“I know a thing or two,” you said, pushing out your chest in a subtle, but boastful manner. “The boys back home were really into American heavy metal. They bought them cheap, fixed ‘em up, and I watched.”
His shoulders visibly relaxed. “Have you ever driven a Lotus?”
You dropped your head, letting out a soft and almost inaudible “no”.
“Well, you’re going to start now.” He waited until he had a safe opening before glancing over his shoulder and drifting into the other lane, once again forgetting to signal the change.
“You really have got to stop doing that, you know. You’ll cause accidents like that.”
“Well, you’ll be driving now, so you can stop nagging me, alright?”
He pulled up to the curb in front of a neon pink boutique shop, scrunching his nose in distaste when the two of you switched seats. “Do people really shop there?” he asked as you adjusted the seat and mirrors to your liking.
“Yeah. We don’t have anywhere else to shop.” You tilted your head to the side, making a show of your eyes dragging up and down his figure. “Why? Do you not like it, Mr. Regent Beverly Wilshire?”
“As a matter of fact, I don’t.” He buckled himself in, leaning back in the seat with a contented sigh. “It’s too flashy for me.”
You rolled your eyes. “Says the man with the Lotus Esprit.”
“To be fair, it’s Johnny’s. Now, are you going to go?”
“Hang on tight. I’m going to take you for the ride of your life.” You winked, giving the rear view mirror one last adjustment before turning on your blinker and safely merging into the flow of traffic. The city lights blurred as you drove past them, your foot gradually pressing down on the gas to match the speed of the car in front of you. “The pedals are like those in a race car,” you informed your passenger. “They’re easier for women to drive, I think, since their feet are a little smaller. Except for mine, you know. I’m a size nine.”
The man only hummed in acknowledgement, obviously not interested in what you had to say about the car’s make up. The two of you slipped into silence once again, but this time, it was comfortable. To fill the quiet, you hummed a song you heard in the club earlier that night, tapping your fingers on the wheel to keep a beat as you navigated the streets that were slightly foreign to you.
“Tell me,” he broke the silence after a minute, and you frowned at the idea that he probably couldn’t stand the horrid noise coming from your closed lips any longer. “How much money do girls like you make?”
“I can’t take less than a hundred,” you admitted, feeling a spark blossoming under the apples of your cheeks at the reminder that he had all the money in the world while you were just barely getting by.
“A hundred dollars a night?” He stared at you with disbelief painted on his face.
Your voice was quiet when you corrected him. “An hour.”
“You must be joking.” He shifted in his seat, straightening out his suit as he laughed. “You make a hundred dollars an hour and you have a safety pin holding your boot up.”
“I never joke about money.”
“Neither do I.” To his credit, his tone was sympathetic, and he spared you another glance with a soft smile that touched his eyes. “But it’s still pretty stiff, don’t you think?”
You reached over to place your hand in his lap, fingers brushing over the flaccid skin under his pants, smirking when you heard his breath hitch. “Well, no,” you commented, running your index along his promising length, “but it’s got potential.”
He swatted your hand away, his cheeks flushed with a rosy pink as he coughed to hide his embarrassment. “Both hands on the wheel. You, of all people, should know how important it is to be focused while driving.”
“Okay, okay,” you chuckled, placing the hand back on the wheel with a smack. “Both hands on the wheel. Happy?”
The Regent Beverly Wilshire was just up ahead, bearing down on the street with its golden glow as it loomed high above all the other buildings. You came to a stop in front of the intricately designed glass doors, pulling the keys out of the ignition as the valet hurried to open the side door for the expensive man next to you. Untying the jacket around your waist, you slammed the door shut, slipping your arms through the sleeves as you made your way over to the sidewalk, dropping the keys in the expectant hand of the hotel staff.
“Well, we’re here,” you awkwardly chuckled, rocking on the balls of your feet as your ears picked up on the shut of the car door and the starting rev of its engine.
“We’re here,” he agreed, glancing between the hotel’s grand entrance and your shivering form. “Will you be alright? Would you like to come inside?”
“I’d like that.”
He nodded with a sidestep, flourishing his hand as if to say “ladies first”. You started towards the entrance with a giggle, and he quickly matched your pace. “Oh!” he exclaimed after a minute. “Take this. People will stare.” He placed his jacket around your shoulders, and you slipped your arms through, thankful for the extra layer.
“Thanks. What’s your name, by the way?”
“Kun,” he replied, reaching forward to hold the door open for you. “Qian Kun.”
“A pretty name for a pretty man.” 
You gave him a wink as you stepped inside, rendered breathless as your eyes scanned the circular lobby. Sitting areas were scattered across the layout, occupied by people who donned clothes that held more value than your life ever would. Servants navigated between parties, serving expensive glasses of champagne and desserts with the occasional joke in hopes that a generous tip would find its way into their pockets. Classical music sounded through the speakers, and you weren’t sure if the hotel was trying to be pretentious or if their patrons actually enjoyed Mozart.
Kun placed his hand on your lower back, bringing his face close to yours. “This way,” he said softly, guiding you to the front desk. As you passed by the clusters of tipsy elite, you couldn’t help but feel a little self-conscious, and you pulled Kun’s jacket closer around your torso before shaking your head and dropping your hands back to your sides. It wouldn’t do you any good to show weakness around those at the top of the food chain.
“Stop fidgeting,” Kun hissed as he nodded at another guest who gave him a friendly wave before his sight landed on you and a frown made itself evident on his face. “Just keep walking,” Kun said through his teeth, somehow maintaining his charismatic aura. When the two of you reached the front desk, he retracted his hand, and gave the receptionist an amicable smile. “Do I have any messages?”
“No, sir,” the blonde woman replied. She had a hospitable expression on her face, but her eyes contained an exhaustion that was all too familiar. “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
Kun’s eyes flitted over to you. “I would like to place an order for champagne and strawberries, please. Bring it up to the penthouse.”
“Of course, sir.”
“The penthouse?” you teased as he slid his arm around your waist, leading you over to the elevators.
He hummed. “I have to have the best, but I’m guessing it’s a room you’ve never visited before.”
“Of course I have,” you countered a little too quickly, exposing your blatant lie. “I have clients in high places, you know.”
Kun only smirked. “I don’t doubt it.”
The two of you stopped next to an elderly couple who were dressed to the nines and appeared to be returning from one of those ridiculously expensive restaurants down the street that only served cheese cubes. The woman, who looked to be about fifty and had gray curls sprouting out of her head, gave you one lookover and, with a poorly disguised grimace, said to Kun with a sickeningly sweet smile, “I’ve always admired those who do charity work.”
“Oh, we love donating to charities!” you gushed, placing a hand over your heart. “Especially the ones that study dementia. You never know who gets it, you know. Maybe you’ll”—you softly smacked her arm—“get it one day!”
Kun cleared his throat to cover the laugh that bubbled up in his throat, turning his head to the side and dragging his free hand over his mouth before turning back to the older woman, who looked as if she was plotting your murder. “My apologies, ma’am,” he said without laughing, but the hint of a smirk was still on his face. “I’m afraid my friend has had too much to drink.”
“Yes, it seems so,” she replied stiffly, grasping her unsuspecting husband’s hand. “Young ladies should not be drinking this late at night. It’s improper.” With that, she tugged the poor man’s hand and led him across the lobby to another set of elevators.
“That wasn’t funny,” Kun said after a minute.
“It was. You laughed.”
“I laughed at her face. Not at your comment.”
“For some reason, I don’t believe you.” You flashed him a grin as the elevator doors slid open, and Kun ushered you inside.
“To the penthouse, please,” Kun told the operator, a young man, just barely an adult, in the same gray uniform as his coworkers.
On the back wall stood a cushioned seat, and you plopped down on it, positioning your legs in a relatively promiscuous way. The blush on the staff’s face did not go unnoticed by you, spreading over his cheeks and up to his ears. Craning your neck, your eyes zoned in on the name tag above his left breast, and the name rolled off of your tongue, “Yangyang.”
The poor boy let out a small yelp, his face turning a tomato red as he hurried to answer you. “Yes, ma’am?”
“Oh, nothing,” you giggled, brushing your hair over your shoulder. “You’re just cute.”
Yangyang’s eyes widened as he suddenly found the elevator buttons to be a point of interest, running his fingers over the braille. Kun’s hand found your thigh and gave it a warning squeeze, silently telling you to behave for the rest of the ride.
The penthouse was the only room that occupied the top floor, boasting a bird’s eye view over Beverly Hills. As you ran to the large floor-to-ceiling windows to take in the multicolored city lights, Kun tipped Yangyang and offered a quiet “sorry” before stepping out of the lift. His hand found your waist, guiding you to the oak double doors at the end of the hall. He pulled out a silver key card, scanned it, and opened the door at the beep. “After you, Miss Y/N.”
“Wow,” you breathed, moving inside with cautious steps as if you might break everything if you so much as stepped on a crack in the tiled floor. The room was two times bigger than the stuffy apartment you shared with Seulgi and filled with furniture that you would have to sell your soul for to even have a chance at getting. If Seulgi saw just how lucky you scored tonight, you knew she would lose her shit. “You’re staying in all this by yourself?”
Kun hummed his confirmation as he kicked off his shoes at the door, and you hurried to follow suit, not bothering to contain the gasp as you descended the two steps into the sitting room. To your right stood a long dining table fit for feeding all of the people you knew and then some. The bowls were a rich ivory and had white linen napkins lined with gold, folded to make swans spot dab in the middle. Silverware ranging from small to big were placed in a neat order on the matching plate that the bowl sat atop, polished to the point of perfection.
You wandered back to the sitting room, running your hands over the plush cushions and frilly throw pillows. The rug was soft under your feet, as if you were walking on a cloud. In front of the whole setup was a large TV that sat snugly on top of a chestnut wood stand that wouldn’t even fit along the longest wall at home.
“Do you like it?” Kun’s voice snapped you out of your inspection, closing the door to a room that could only be the study before making his way around the sitting room to the dining table.
“It’s beautiful.” You followed him over to the table, where he had taken a seat at the tail end, perching yourself up on the sturdy wood. “Do you live like this?”
Kun raised a brow as he loosened the dark red tie knotted around his neck. “I wouldn’t be staying in a room like this if I didn’t.” He gently nudged your leg with his knee. “Get off the table. Even though most people have seen your bare ass, nobody wants to be reminded of it while they eat.”
With a grumble, you placed your feet back on the ground, opting to lean your back against the table instead. “Let’s cut to the chase. What do you want to do with me?”
It was obvious that Kun wasn’t expecting the question as he burst out into a coughing fit before composing himself, bringing his fingers up to run through his hair. “Are you on a time limit?”
“I have to be,” you said with a shrug. “Everyone wants to keep me to warm their beds after the deed is done, and although I wouldn’t mind staying with some, the rent doesn’t pay itself.”
“How much would it be for you to stay the night?”
The question took you aback. “The whole night?” You pursed your lips, wishing you had time to consult Seulgi first before a ding drew you from your thoughts, saving you from Kun’s watchful eyes for a little longer.
“That must be the champagne,” he said, pushing himself to his feet and making his way to the door, revealing a server in the same uniform as everyone else standing in the hallway. He held a silver tray with two glasses, a bottle of champagne submerged in a bucket of ice, and a huge bowl of strawberries in his hands.
“Delivery for the penthouse,” the server announced as he stepped inside. “Where would you like this?”
“You can put it on the dining table.” Kun tilted his head to the side, telling you to get out of the man’s way. His eyes didn’t leave the staff’s back as he placed the tray on the spot where you once sat. “Will that be all?” Kun asked from where he still stood by the door.
The server turned to face him, bowing respectfully as he said, “Yes, sir.” He walked back over to Kun, who handed him a generous amount of cash, before leaving the room.
Kun rolled up his sleeves as he picked up the glasses and held them under the light, checking to see how thoroughly they were washed. After a moment, he deemed them clean enough and placed them back on the tray in favor of grabbing the neck of the champagne bottle. “Why don’t you make yourself at home?” he said, pulling the cork out with his fingers.
You made yourself comfortable on the steps, resting your arm on the floor as you watched his muscles ripple under his pressed shirt. He brought a glass over to you and took a seat, watching you eagerly as you brought the glass to your lips and downed the alcohol in one go. His eyes widened in surprise as you wiped your mouth with the back of your hand, careful not to smudge any makeup, and placed the glass on the floor. “What?” you giggled.
“I’m impressed, but...” Kun got to his feet, bringing over the bowl of strawberries and picking out the biggest one to hold in front of your mouth. “... you should drink it with the strawberries. It brings out the flavor.”
You leaned forward to take a bite, letting out a sigh when the juices surrounded your tastebuds, providing the perfect sweetness to balance the slight bitterness that lingered on your tongue. Taking the berry from his fingers, you glanced up to meet his eyes. “Aren’t you going to drink?”
“I don’t drink.” Kun brought a strawberry to his mouth, picking up your glass and bringing it to the table to refill it. “Are you going to answer my question?”
“Which was?”
“How much for you to stay the night?”
You took the glass back from his outstretched hand, studying the bubbles that rose to the top of the golden liquid as if they would burst into dollar signs. Finally, you said, “Three hundred dollars.”
“That’s all?” Kun asked with a hint of disbelief.
Bringing the glass up to your lips, you raised a brow. “Would you rather it be five hundred?”
“No,” he chuckled. “Three hundred is fine.”
You raised your glass with a satisfied sigh, clinking it against the air. “Cheers.” You downed the rest of the contents in one go, not caring that Kun still watched you with shock, and pushed yourself to your feet. “Can I use your bathroom? I’d like to wash up.”
“Right.” He took the glass from your hand, placed it on the tray, and led you to the bathroom past the dining table. “If you need it, I can give you a change of spare clothes,” he offered, swinging the door open for you. “Just let me know if you need anything.”
You were about to wave off his offer when it hit you that you weren’t prepared to stay the night, and although your dignity was begging you to pick up a phone and ring Seulgi to bring over an overnight bag, you also couldn’t afford to have her excitement and lack of manners show up at a high class hotel. So you swallowed the unsettling feeling crawling up your throat and nodded. “I could use a change of clothes.”
“Alright. Leave the door unlocked and I’ll put them on the counter.” You raised an eyebrow at his words, but Kun only shook his head with a chuckle. “You don’t need to worry about me watching you. I’m not into that. There’s unlimited hot water, so take advantage of it.” With that, he turned on his heel and made his way across the penthouse, slipping into the room next to the study, which you concluded was the bedroom.
Emitting a sigh, you closed the door and got to work gathering the hotel provided complimentary soaps and hair products from the drawers, placing them neatly on the middle shelf in the steam shower. Turning on the shower head, you adjusted the heat to your liking before stripping down and kicking your clothes into a pile in the corner. You made a mental note to ask Kun if you could use his laundry so they’d at least be clean enough to wear tomorrow.
As you lathered the entirety of the shampoo in your hands, the bathroom door creaked open and a hand placed a pair of folded clothes on the edge of the counter. The door shut without a word, and you quickly ended your shower, unsure of how it would come across if you spent more than ten minutes unwinding under the hot water.
Kun had supplied you with a simple t-shirt and gray sweatpants, but you were sure that the price of such plain wear was more than your rent, and the quality of the fabrics only proved your suspicions. Propping the door open for some ventilation, you began to search the drawers for other hygiene tools. The second drawer soon presented itself to be the jackpot, containing a couple’s set of hair brushes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and deodorant all securely wrapped in protective plastic. You ripped off the wrapping around one of the toothbrushes, squirted a glob of toothpaste on the bristles, and scrubbed your teeth and tongue until mint was the only flavor you knew.
Kun was seated on the couch in the living room when you emerged from the bathroom, a black folder rested open on his left palm and he licked his right thumb, flipping over the page. He had changed from his suit to more casual wear, sporting a pair of black sweatpants and a navy blue hoodie with white words embroidered on the front. At the sound of your footsteps, he glanced up from his papers and gave you a smile. “All clean?”
“Yeah.” You tugged at the hem of the shirt he lent you. “Thanks for the clothes, by the way. They’re really soft.”
“I thought you would like them.” Kun returned his attention back to his folder. “Why don’t you bring the snacks I ordered and we can watch a movie?”
It unnerved you how foreign his actions were, especially to a hooker, but you picked up the tray that was now filled with other goodies—chocolates, peanuts, grapes, and other small finger foods—and made your way down the steps to the sitting area. Kun had pushed the coffee table to the opposite corner of the couch and had laid a clean pool towel on the floor. “I thought you might want to have a picnic,” he said, reaching over to flick the switch that dimmed the lights.
Making yourself comfortable on the floor, you placed the snacks in front of you, careful not to spill anything on the professionally cleaned carpet. As you grabbed a blanket from the nearest couch, Kun turned on the TV and a burst of voices exploded through the speakers. You recognized one of them to be none other than Lucy Ricardo, and a smile took over your face. “Wait! I love this show.”
Kun placed the remote down on the armrest, crossing one leg over the other as he returned to whatever business paper called for his attention. It wasn’t until you had watched over an hour of I Love Lucy and were half way through munching on snacks and sipping at champagne that Kun finally closed his folder. Tugging on the collar of his hoodie, he cleared his throat and you tore your eyes away from the screen. “Is this what you usually do in your free time?”
“Sometimes,” you confessed, picking the last strawberry out of its bowl. “Other times I hang around The Blue Banana, but I usually don’t have a lot of time for myself.” Your eyes zoned in on Kun’s empty lap and the way his hands were shoved in the front pockets of his sweats. “Are you done with your work?”
“Yeah,” he sighed, resting his head on the wall, giving you a delicious look at his neck. “It was just a bunch of paperwork, but that’s all I do now.” Kun lifted his head an inch. “I don’t get a lot of time to de-stress.”
This was the moment you had been waiting for, the very reason you were here, so why did a wave of disappointment crash over you as you forced yourself to your hands and knees, crawling in a manner that made your affairs aroused, but made you want to curl into yourself and gag? “I can help with that.” Was that even your voice? Did those words truly fall out of your mouth? You wanted to run back into that bathroom and stand under that ridiculously luxurious shower until your eyes were puffy and you had squeezed out every last tear.
But you didn’t stop until you were nestled in between Kun’s thighs, running your fingers up the insides of his legs to the waistband of his sweatpants. He watched you intently, sucking in a deep breath when you returned your fingers to his underwear, tracing along the seams of the garment before beginning to ease them off. “Is there anything I should know? Any kinks or STDs?” You couldn’t bring yourself to look him in the eye. If you did, there would be no telling if you would break down or not.
“I’m clean. Are you?”
“Please,” you forced a laugh, relief spreading over you when it sounded genuine. “I’m safe and tested regularly. I’ll still put a condom on you, though.”
“That’s fine by me. Is there anything you’d like me to know?”
“I’m fine with anything. Just nothing gross, but you don’t peg me as the gross type.” You braced your hands on Kun’s now bare thighs, scooting closer to his half-hard dick. Sucking in a calming breath that could pass as one of excitement, you brought yourself to meet his gaze. “And I don’t kiss on the mouth. It’s too intimate.”
Kun’s fingers weaved themselves into your hair. “Neither do I.”
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These were not your sheets. This was not your bed. And the sunlight didn’t peak through the curtains at this angle. You rubbed your eyes, pushing yourself to a sitting position when it hit you: you had never gone home. 
Goosebumps lined your arms when unfamiliar silk sheets slithered down your bare torso, leaving your skin to the mercy of the morning air. It was another warm California morning that held the promise of a soft, pleasant breeze. Yet, the space beside you was cold and empty. You hadn’t expected to wake up beside Kun—he didn’t seem the type to want to drag a sex visit for too long—but you couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. You had a feeling he was a pretty sleeper.
With a groan, you forced yourself out of bed, giving the fluffy blankets that were already calling for your return one last glance. Now that you were on your feet, there was nothing to stop the tsunami of thoughts that threatened to drown you and wash you back to the shore of reality. You needed to get your head back in the game.
You grabbed the first shirt you could find—one of Kun’s white button-ups that he had draped over the back of a chair—and exited the bedroom, immediately getting hit with the overwhelming scent of sausage. From where he sat at the head of the table, Kun glanced up at you when he heard the door close, one hand flipping through the newspaper and the other holding a phone to his ear. He offered you a warm smile and waved you over.
“I’ll see you in an hour,” he told the man on the other side of the line. “Don’t make any decisions without me.” Kun hung up the phone, placing it on one of the empty chairs beside him as you took a seat. “I didn’t know what you wanted to eat”—he turned his attention back to you—“so I ordered everything on the menu.”
The array of breakfast foods that were laid out in front of you made your mouth water and there was a part of your brain screaming at you to dig in, but you knew that you were close to overstaying your welcome and that Seulgi would grow worried if you didn’t show up soon. “Thank you, but you didn’t have to. I’m going to head out, actually.”
“No, I insist.” Kun pushed the empty plate in front of you closer to your chest. “You must be tired and it would be rude of me to kick you out on an empty stomach.” Even though his tone was joking and you knew he was too kind a man to throw some girl out of his hotel room, the idea of being kicked out stung more than it should’ve. Were you seriously beginning to fall for this guy? You had only met him yesterday, for Christ’s sake!
You shook your head. “I really should—”
The glare Kun shot you made you gulp down your protests and pick up your plate. Once you had scooped a serving of eggs, grits, sausages, and hand-picked a pancake did he tear his eyes from you in favor of his newspaper. “Did you sleep well?” he asked, picking up his coffee mug and taking a few gulps.
“Yeah. The blankets are really nice,” you managed to answer through a mouthful of pancake. Kun shot you a slightly disgusted glare and you clamped your mouth shut. After you swallowed down a few more bites with orange juice, you asked, “Who were you talking to?”
“That would be Johnny,” Kun sighed, picking up a ballpoint pen and circling something he found interesting in the paper. “He’s my lawyer and the man who owns that lovely Lotus Esprit. He had some urgent business questions, so I had to pick up.”
“So what do you do then?”
“I buy companies,” he replied. “The ones that are about to crash and burn financially.”
You took another sip of orange juice. “You must be really smart then, huh?”
“You could say that,” Kun laughed, and the skin at the end of his eyes crinkled.
“I only went up to eleventh grade,” you admitted after a moment, picking at the eggs on your plate. “Oh well. This life is probably more entertaining anyway.”
Kun refilled his coffee mug and tossed his newspaper on top of where the phone rested. “I went all the way through college and I can tell you”—he took a long drink, pulling the cup away with a sigh—“that it was definitely worth it.”
You finished the rest of your breakfast in silence, clearing your plate in a decent amount of time considering the generous servings you took. As you gulped down the last of your orange juice, Kun emerged from the bedroom in a similar suit to the one he wore when he met you, except this time, his fingers worked to secure a blue tie around his collar. “Here, let me help you,” you said, pushing yourself to your feet and following him to the bathroom. He waited for you to catch up, stopping in front of the mirror when you pushed yourself onto the counter.
The fabric was soft against your fingertips as you worked, amazing Kun at your expertise. “How’d you learn how to fix a tie?” he asked, running his fingers along the collar of his button-up that you donned.
“I screwed the debate team in high school,” you replied nonchalantly, wiggling the knot into place. “They were a lot of fun.”
“I’ll bet,” Kun teased, grabbing the watch he placed next to you and fastened it snugly around his wrist. “I’m sorry to leave you so abruptly, but I have to meet Johnny in fifteen minutes. I’ll trust you can escort yourself out?”
You pressed two fingers against your forehead and saluted him with a wink. “You can trust me. Is it okay if I take a bath before I go?”
“Have at it. I’ll see you later.”
“See you later!” you called, leaning forward to watch him disappear from sight. With a squeal, you slid off your perch, crossing the room to the huge bubble bath that had caught your eye last night. You made quick work turning on the water and adjusting the temperature just right before leaving the bathroom in search of your clothes. Although Kun hadn’t explicitly told you that he had them cleaned, they also weren’t in the corner you left them in, which meant that he had to have found them.
On the table next to the front door was your clothes, folded neatly with a white note card on top that had your name printed in Kun’s neat hand. You brought the fabric up to your nose, deeply inhaling the scent of citrus that you had smelled on Kun’s clothes, and knew that he had asked for them to be professionally washed. The thought made your heart squeeze.
You returned to the bathroom, placing your clothes on the counter, and nearly jumped into the bath. Hot water enveloped your figure, luring you under with a promise of long deserved relaxation. After a few minutes of scrubbing your body with rose scented soap, you dried your hands and turned on the radio that was conveniently placed next to the tub, but far away enough to prevent an accident.
A familiar tune filled the room, and since you were alone, you let yourself sing along in your awful voice. You weren’t sure how long you soaked for, but your fingers were pruned by the time you pulled the plug and wrapped yourself in a clean towel. It was then that you heard him clear his throat.
“I’m sorry to interrupt,” Kun said, pushing the bathroom door open, “but I have a proposition for you.”
“Go on.” You bent over, giving Kun a nice view of your ass as you ruffled your hair dry.
He coughed, cheeks turning a rose pink, and focused his attention on the counter. “I have a business dinner tonight with potential clients and Johnny thought it best to bring someone with me. And since you’re here, I thought I’d take you.” Kun traced his nails over the designs on the door, seemingly mulling over another thought when he said, “How about you stay the week with me?”
The question took you by surprise and you shot up a little unceremoniously, hitting your head on the counter. “Shit,” you cursed, rubbing over the spot with your towel. “I mean, I’ve never been hired for a whole week before.”
“I’ll pay you generously as I realize that I am taking your time, and therefore, your income if you agree. Does $3,000 work? And my credit card for clothes?”
“I agree!” you exclaimed a little too quickly, causing Kun to raise his brow. You coughed. “I have to pay rent somehow, and if you’re going to throw money at me for acting like your girlfriend for a week, I’ll take it.”
“This is strictly business, alright? If I think you’re starting to fall for me, I’ll send you home without another word. Got it?”
“Got it. Now, if you’re going to keep standing there, I’m going to charge you extra.” You playfully swatted him with your towel and he grinned, exposing his cute dimples, closing the door to dodge your attack. His footsteps receded from the bathroom, and you faintly heard the front door lock shut when you whispered, “Hired for a week.”
The situation really dawned on you then, and you jumped up and down, exclaiming “for a week” at the top of your lungs before you remembered Seulgi and how she must be overcome with worry that you hadn’t called her yet. You quickly dressed and hurried out to the dining room where Kun had left the phone, wasting no time in dialing your best friend’s number. “You’ll never guess what just happened,” you blurted out as soon as she picked up the phone.
“Damn right I won’t,” her croaky voice responded. “You woke me up and I have a terrible hangover.”
You ignored her complaint. “I got hired for a week, Seul! He said he’d pay generously.”
That got her attention. “The Lotus Esprit guy?”
“Yeah. Listen, he already paid me for last night in cash, so I’m going to leave it with the desk downstairs and you can come get it. I have to go clothes shopping because I’m going with him to a fancy dinner tonight. He left me his credit card.” Your eyes wandered over to the black card that rested innocently on the table.
“Damn, I wish I took him. What’s the address?”
“I’m at the Regent Beverly Wilshire. Make sure to dress nice. I’m not kidding. These people will pick you apart.”
“Alright, alright,” Seulgi groaned, and you assumed she was forcing herself out of bed. “Make sure to buy me something pretty.”
“You wish. Be here soon. And make sure you dress nice.”
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Rodeo Drive was nothing like the boulevard you were used to. High class people strolled down the sidewalks, donning furs and gold jewelry. Teenagers carried shopping bags on their arms, laughing as they leaned in to spill secrets that they promised they would never tell. Limousines drove by, carrying clusters of elites, who exited their vehicles with their heads held high. You stuck out like a sore thumb.
Pulling your red jacket closer to your torso, you braved the walk down the line of shops. The glares you received were colder than the arctic, piercing into your skin and tearing you apart from the inside out. Insecurity was a weakness that you couldn’t afford to have in your line of work. But these people, who hail from high class families and have never heard the word “no”, installed a bug of self-induced humiliation at the skin left exposed. Was it such a crime to flaunt your curves?
You stopped in front of a white building that boasted modest dresses in its windows. Clutching the black card in your pocket, you stepped into the shop, jaw dropping at the lush fabrics you would never even come close to affording on your own. It was like your feet had a mind of their own, carrying you to a rack of clothes nestled in the corner of the store, and your fingers traced over the velvet of a black dress with gold trimming.
“May I help you?” asked a standoffish voice. You turned to see a woman your age dressed in a brown pantsuit that complimented the chocolate of her eyes.
“No, I’m good. Thank you.” You offered her a smile before checking the price tag of the dress. The numbers printed on the tag made your breath catch, and if you weren’t in such an upscale boutique, you would’ve cursed.
The woman cleared her throat. “Is there anything you’re looking for in particular?” She took a step closer to you as if you would grab the frock and slip past her grip without looking back.
“Actually, I could use your help.” You retract your hand from the cloth, turning on your heel to continue wandering around the shop. “I’m looking for something a little more modest.”
“Yes, that would do you some good,” the lady replied coolly.
Ignoring her comment, you drifted over to one of the white dresses on display. “How much is this?” Your fingers traced over the intricate lace designs and you couldn’t help but wonder how they would look against your skin.
“It’s not your size. How about I refer you to another—”
“I’m sorry,” you cut her off, doing your best to keep the defensive tone at bay, “but I didn’t ask for the size. I asked for the price.”
“It’s very expensive!” piped in another woman from behind the check-out station. “We sell high class apparel.” She shamelessly raked her eyes over your figure, scrunching her nose in disgust.
At this point, you didn’t care that your eyes were staring daggers at the blonde woman behind the desk. “I have money to spend.”
“We don’t have anything for you here,” the first woman snapped. “Now, please, leave. You’re obviously in the wrong place.”
Your eyes widened before they quickly narrowed. It irked you how smug the two women looked, as if they were the utmost pleased with themselves at treating a human being, who did have money to spend—a black card, to be exact—such a foul way. Scratch that. It irked you that they treated a human being that way.
You turned on your heel, halfway out the store when you lifted your right arm and gave them a nice view of your bird. From somewhere in the store, you heard a gasp and an “oh my god”, but it only made you more impressed with your performance. It served them right.
The walk back to the hotel passed by in a blur. At the sight of the valet, you paused to take a deep breath and unclench your fists, wincing when you saw the imprints your nails left in your palms. Once you composed yourself, you lifted your chin up and strolled past the staff, who watched you skeptically. You refused to be belittled by such snobs.
You were halfway to the elevators, passing by the front desk, when you heard a man clear his throat. “Excuse me, miss, but I don’t believe we have you in our guest list.”
“Oh,” you sighed, closing your eyes as you took another inhale, remembering that the penthouse was under Kun’s name. Opening your eyes, you turned to face him, taking a few steps closer to the desk. “I should be in it.”
“Would you mind stepping into my office real quick? We can discuss your attendance there.” He lowered his voice, not so sneakily running his eyes up and down your figure. “We wouldn’t want to cause a scene.”
What was it with people today? Did you have a huge sign on your forehead that read ‘judge me’? You poked your tongue into your cheek in annoyance. “And who are you?”
The man seemed taken aback by your bluntness, but caught himself quickly, straightening out his suit as he said, “I’m Ten Lee, ma’am. The manager of this hotel.”
“Shit,” you muttered. Ten raised a brow at your word choice, but seemed to drop it when you corrected yourself. “Yes. I’m sorry. I should’ve known. Lead the way.”
Ten moved past his employees, who all gave you a curious look, and made his way to a door in the corner next to the desk with an ‘Employees Only’ sign nailed to its front. Now that there wasn’t a wood barrier between the two of you, you could fully take in his appearance.
He was a man on the shorter side, but conducted himself in a way that exuded confidence and authority, making anyone in their right mind bow to submissiveness. His black hair was styled in a half-up, half-down mullet that complimented his face shape. His choice of apparel matched the theme that everyone in the hotel had agreed upon by status, and you assumed that he probably landed the manager position based on family ties as well as his intimidating aura.
Ten fished a key out of his pocket, inserted it into the lock, and pushed the door open. “After you.” His eyes studied you as you passed, instinctively shivering under his heavy gaze. You assumed that nothing got past him, and you were only proven right when the door’s lock clicked and his voice echoed through the room. “Let’s be honest here, shall we?”
“Why wouldn’t we be?”
“Well,” Ten began, taking a seat at his desk and beckoning with his hand for you to do the same, “regular guests don’t dress like that.” He leaned forward, resting his head on his interlocked hands. “You don’t belong here, do you?”
You stiffened. “No. I suppose I don’t.”
The hotel manager smiled, and it was almost like the impish grin of the Cheshire Cat. “That’s right. So why don’t you tell me why you’re here. And don’t bother lying.”
The room dropped a few degrees, and you drew your jacket closer, but it was to no avail. Ten watched you like a hawk, licking his lips in anticipation as if the thought of exposing your true self was worth his valuable time. Maybe it was. But as a manager, shouldn’t he have other things to do?
“I’m…” Could you honestly tell Ten that you were a new employee of Kun’s? Would he believe you? Probably not. It wasn’t technically a lie, but you had a feeling that the man in front of you would find some way to make it a lie. “Qian Kun’s cousin.” Now, that was a lie.
“Qian Kun’s cousin,” the manager mused, and you knew that your fib had already been caught. “Fine. Let’s say you are.” Ten pushed himself to his feet, pacing over to the window that overlooked a nearby park. “Qian Kun, your cousin, is a valuable guest at the Regent Beverly Wilshire, and we appreciate him dearly. As a valuable guest, he is treated like a friend. A good one at that.” He turned to you. “Are you following me?”
“I think so.”
“Good.” Ten perched himself on the edge of his desk. “Because your dear cousin is a dear friend of ours, I will allow you to stay. But once he leaves, you will leave, too, and never show your face here again. Got it?”
“Got it.”
The same mischievous smile painted itself back on his face. “Now, do you have any…” Ten paused, trying to find a more delicate way to phrase his question. “... nicer clothes?”
“I was trying to buy some, but the store’s staff were very rude, so I left,” you huffed at the memory. “They were real mean, you know. Insulting someone because they aren’t rich or anything. Real awful people.”
To your surprise, Ten let out a chuckle. “People can be like that, can’t they? Tell you what”—he moved back behind his desk, picking up the phone and punching in a number—“I’ll call a good friend and she’ll help you pick out some nice clothes. It can be considered complementary.”
“Really?” you exclaimed before remembering yourself. You cleared your throat and tried again. “I would like that. Thank you.”
The manager waved you off. “I’ll have her teach you some manners while she’s at it.” You rolled your eyes, opening your mouth to retort, but the line connected and you promptly closed your mouth. “Ah, Joohyun,” Ten greeted his friend enthusiastically, “it’s Ten. I have a guest here who needs help finding the best clothes Beverly Hills and Los Angeles has to offer. Between you and me, she’s a bit… special. I trust you’ll take good care of her?”
Joohyun’s response was muffled, but from the pleased grin Ten had on his face, you knew she had agreed.
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The bags that hung from your arms were heavy. You stumbled into the hotel lobby with one ecstatic Joohyun trailing behind you, a bright smile spread across her face as she took in the new attire she helped you purchase under Kun’s credit card. “She looks amazing!” the older woman gushed, nearly breaking down Ten’s door as she threw it open. She pushed you into the office, not at all caring that your face almost met the floor thanks to all the clothes contained in your shopping bags.
Ten glanced up from his work, seemingly unperturbed by his friend’s obnoxious entrance. “Don’t push the poor girl,” he scolded her as you slumped into the seat across from him. “But she does look nice. How do you feel?”
“Expensive,” you sighed. “Very expensive.” Dropping the bags onto the floor by your feet, you stretched your arms across your torso and over your head, earning questioning looks from the other people in the room. “I don’t think I’ve ever spent this much money before in my life.”
“Well, get used to it, Qian Kun’s cousin,” the hotel manager chuckled. “Do you think you have enough to sustain you through your stay?”
“This is more than enough,” you confirmed. “This is more than I have in my closet at home.”
“She is so cute, Ten!” Joohyun reached over to squish your cheeks for the fourth time that day, and you wondered if she treated everyone like this. “And humble, too. What a lovely girl.”
“I think that’s enough, Ms. Bae,” Ten said rather sternly. “Let her breathe.” Joohyun dropped her hands back to her side with a pout, taking a seat on the edge of her friend’s desk. “Now, do you need any more help getting ready or do you think you’ll be okay?”
“I’ll be okay, but I will need a good nap.” Pushing yourself to your feet, you gathered all your bags back on your arms. “Thank you for everything, Joohyun. I hope to see you again soon. And you, too, Ten. Thanks.”
“Oh!” Joohyun exclaimed, looking as if she might just cry. “Come here!” She pulled you into a tight hug, wiggling you around before pressing a kiss to your cheek. “Now, you tell me if you need anything at all. Clothes, make up”—she nudged you with her elbow and winked—“boy trouble. You just let me know.”
“Alright,” you chuckled. “I will. I’ll be going now. Thank you again.” You waved goodbye as you made your way out the door, straightening your posture and walking over to the elevators. Yangyang’s doors slid open a few seconds after you pushed the up button, and he gave you a warm smile as you entered the confined space. The two of you made small talk as the lift ascended, and you found yourself genuinely interested in his day waiting on hotel guests. In turn, he complimented your new clothes and agreed that Bae Joohyun was one energetic woman.
“I’ll see you tonight,” Yangyang said when the doors opened on the top floor. “Mr. Qian is one lucky man.”
You hoped the heat that seared your cheeks wasn’t noticeable as you stepped out of the elevator with a soft “see you tonight”. When you reached the penthouse door, you pulled out the extra key Ten had given you and scanned it, pushing your way through when the beep filled the otherwise silent hallway. Slipping off your shoes and dropping off the bags in the entryway, you drifted towards the bedroom with a yawn, stretching your arms high above your head.
As if on cue, the telephone rang, interrupting the peaceful atmosphere with its shrill cry. You hurried over to the dining table where you had last left it, grumbling in irritation when it wasn’t there; one of the cleaning staff must have moved it. The ringing stopped, but the air was still tense with its lingering echo before the phone sounded again. You followed it to the living room, where it had been set next to the couch. Rubbing your eyes, you plopped down on the soft cushion and brought the phone to your ear. “Who calls twice when someone doesn’t pick up the first time?”
“Me,” answered Kun’s voice. “Shouldn’t you know better than to pick up the phone?”
“Why would you be calling if you didn’t want me to pick it up?”
“You have a fair point,” Kun laughed. “So about tonight’s dinner, did you buy a nice dress?” You hummed in confirmation. “Good. Meet me downstairs in it at seven. We’re expected to be at the restaurant by eight and it is always expected to be early for these things.”
Even though he couldn’t see you, you raised a brow. “Shouldn’t you come get me?”
“This isn’t a date,” Kun chided albeit his tone was playful. “And if it were, I wouldn’t be taking us to a fancy restaurant like some cliché romance movie.”
“I think it’s romantic,” you huffed. “A candle light dinner with wine and cheese sounds lovely.”
“Was the strawberries not enough? Should I buy candles and roses next time?”
You brought your knees to your chest. “Are you sure you’re not a romantic?”
“I am a romantic. Just not right now.” On the other side of the line, you could make out a few muffled voices before Kun brought the phone back to his ear. “I’m sorry to end our chat, but I have a meeting to attend.”
“Sounds like fun,” you teased. “Go get ‘em, tiger!” His chuckle was the last thing you heard before the line cut off. As you placed the phone back in its cradle, you snuck a peek at the clock: 2:45 pm. You had enough time to take a nap, shower, and get a quick snack.
Pushing yourself to your feet, you wandered over to the dining table, where you remembered seeing a menu earlier that morning. Once you obtained the folder, you returned to the couch, crossing your legs as you looked over the lighter options. You reached over to pick up the phone and place your order when it rang once again. “Hello?” you sighed with a roll of your eyes.
“Didn’t I tell you not to answer the phone?”
You groaned. “I was ordering food. Don’t you have a meeting?”
“I didn’t want to attend so I had Johnny take my place,” Kun admitted.
“How responsible of you.”
“It’s the perks of owning the company,” he joked, and you had a feeling that his adorable dimple smile was complimenting his eyes. “Don’t eat too much, okay?”
You faked a disappointed sigh. “I was just about to order steak.”
“Alright, enjoy your steak,” Kun said with a tone of mock defeat. “Oh, I meant to ask you earlier, but do you by chance know proper table etiquette?”
“This feels like a personal attack.”
“I promise it’s not!” he blurted out before clearing his throat, and you knew his face was flushed. “I just—god, you’re making me sound like an asshole—assumed that you might not know what to do in that situation.”
“Yeah, you got me there,” you sighed, running your nails over the edges of the menu. “I can probably ask Ten, though.”
There was a beat of silence on the line and you wondered if Kun had been yanked back into the conference room, but instead you heard the man have a coughing fit as your words hit him. “You know Ten? As in Ten Lee, the hotel manager?”
Kun emitted an exasperated sigh. “Did you do something? Break something? Oh god, please tell me you wore clothes down to the lobby.”
You raised your eyebrow at the last one. “Of course I was wearing clothes! What do you take me for? A flasher?” Kun muttered something incoherent under his breath, but was cut off by your somewhat offended “hey!” After he apologized, you said, “I met him when I was coming back from Rodeo Drive. The workers at the store were mean and as I was returning, he called me into his office because he said I didn’t look like the normal guest—”
“He’s not wrong.”
“Kun! Anyways, I might’ve told him that I’m your…” You cringed before continuing your sentence. “... cousin.”
“You might’ve told Ten Lee that you are my cousin?” Kun repeated slowly. “Y/N, you are something else. What did he say?”
“He didn’t believe me, obviously, but he called one of his friends and she took me shopping. He also told me to come to him if I had any questions or problems and table manners seems right up his alley.”
“If he offered his help, please take it. And please, for the love of my name—and apparently yours, too—thank him generously. Oh! And ask him to teach you how to waltz.”
“Why do I need to know how to waltz?”
“The restaurant has live music and you never know when you might be asked to dance,” Kun told you. “It’s kind of a—”
“Rich person thing?”
“You could say that.”
“Always be prepared to waltz.” You pretended to write it down on your leg with your nail. “Noted. Anything else, dear cousin?”
Kun groaned. “I’m hanging up. Tell Ten that we’re very thankful and will pay him extra.”
“Will do! So long, dear co—” Kun cut the line before you could finish your sentence. You scoffed. “How rude.”
Tossing the menu aside, you made your way over to the door and slipped on a pair of flats. Yangyang came and picked you up at the press of the elevator button and the two of you descended in silence. The boy had a deflated air surrounding him that contrasted from the liveliness he exuded when you rode with him twenty or so minutes prior. But before you could ask who he ran into or what was said, the doors parted and you were forced to leave him with his thoughts.
You found Ten in his office, not having moved an inch other than his nose was buried in another stack of paperwork. He glanced up when you entered, rolling his shoulders and placing the pen in his hand over his ear. “What brings you back so soon, Miss Y/N?”
“I don’t really know how to eat at a restaurant properly.” You suddenly found your fingers very interesting. “I also don’t know how to waltz.”
“Luckily for you”—Ten raised to his feet—“I do.” Pushing in his wheeled chair, he crossed the room and beckoned for you to follow. “Our second dining room is empty and I will fall asleep if I have to read one more application. Plus”—he leaned in close to your ear as he guided you through the lobby to one of the double doors along the walls—“I love to dance.”
The second dining hall was a spacious room with circular tables scattered throughout the floor plan, creating a labyrinth of aisles for the servers and hosts to navigate. Ten requested for a table near the back windows and the two of you were seated at a table with a view of the hotel’s pool and golf course. The manager gave you a quick lesson on how to fold your napkin, the purposes of each fork and spoon, how to properly tilt your glass when it’s being filled (“If they take the glass from you, let them. But some places prefer for the guest to handle the glass,” he explained.) Once he finished his lecture, he ordered a salad and had you recite how you were supposed to eat it before giving you the instruction to dig in.
After you got a good grasp on dining etiquette, Ten led you to another room adjacent to the second dining hall. It was just as spacious as the first room, but instead of tables, the floor was empty, spare the grand piano tucked in a corner under a spotlight. Placing a speaker he found in one of the ‘Employee’s Only’ rooms on the piano, he played a recording of Johann Strauss’s “Blue Danube” before leading you to the middle of the room.
“Place your hand on my elbow here,” Ten instructed, placing his right hand just under your shoulder blade, “and hold my other hand.” You mirrored his position, giggling at how close you were to the manager, his breath tickling the tip of your nose. “Now,” he began with a small chuckle of his own, “follow my feet.”
The two of you started with a box movement, moving forward, to the side, back, repeat. A sigh of relief left your nose when Ten told you that the man usually leads the dance, but you still did your best to remember the steps so as to not make a fool of yourself. You winced whenever you stepped on Ten’s toes, but he paid no mind and gave you praise where it was due. At the end of the song, he twirled you around and stepped back to a respectful distance before bringing his hands together to clap.
“I have a feeling Kun will have a fun time dancing with you,” Ten said as he put the speaker away and locked the closet door. “You picked everything up pretty fast, but remember that slow and precise is how we do it.”
“Slow and precise,” you repeated, leaning against the piano. “Where did you learn how to dance?”
Ten smiled with a nostalgic twinkle in his eyes. “I learned as a kid,” he began. “You could say that I was something like a prodigy as I had teachers lining up just to get me to dance at their studios. I wanted to pursue dance, if I’m being honest, but I ended up taking the job my father gave me.”
“Your family owns this hotel?”
“This one and a few others.” Ten shrugged. “Not very fun, if you ask me.” He made his way over to the doors that would bring the two of you back to the lobby before turning to you, extending his hand for you to take. “But you keep that between us, okay?”
You slipped your hand into his, and his slender fingers wrapped tightly around your digits. It was a comfort, but if he wanted to squeeze a little bit tighter than he was now, it would soon turn painful. “Okay,” you agreed. If Ten could keep your secret, you could keep his.
When the two of you reached his office, he bid you farewell and gave you a kiss on the knuckles for good luck. You returned to the penthouse and took a quick nap, mindful of the clock that now flashed red numbers that read ‘4:20 pm’. When you came to, you were pleasantly surprised to find that only forty-five minutes had passed, and opted to snuggle under the silk sheets for a while longer before forcing yourself to shower.
By the time you wrapped a towel around your figure, fingers pruned and steam curling off your skin, you smelled of vanilla and almonds. Throwing on a silk robe, you ordered a cup of creamed coffee and a cinnamon roll and went out to the balcony to soak up the last rays of the sun before it cowered behind the horizon.
The night carried a light breeze that rustled your hair and gave you a disheveled look. With a sigh, you pushed yourself to your feet and made your way over to the entryway. Squatting, you rummaged through a white bag with golden swirls on its surface, pulling out an elegant red dress with a lace top that boasted just the right amount of cleavage. You had to thank Joohyun and her brilliant eye for the beauty that would be hugging your curves tonight.
Draping the dress over your forearm, you dug around in a small black bag for the new make up set that Joohyun had said would go well with the red lace. Having acquired the night’s attire, you headed back to the bathroom, turning on the radio and tuning into your favorite station before beginning to get dressed.
With practiced ease, you dragged a brush across your cheeks and eyes, leaving red and gold to paint your face. When you pulled away from the mirror, smacking your lips to ensure the bold red would stay on, you gasped in awe at the work you had done. Gold accentuated the inner corner of your eyes, bringing out the hues of your irises. The highlight gave your cheekbones a glow that shone breathtakingly under the lights, and the evenly spread lipstick made you lethal to any man who dared to lay their eyes on you.
Fully satisfied with yourself, you sprayed two spritzes of finishing spray on your face and let it air dry. Peeking your head out of the bathroom, you checked the clock before starting to conquer the mess that was your hair. You had about ten minutes left, and you gave yourself one last look over. Shooting yourself with finger guns in the mirror for good luck, you slipped on a pair of matching red heels and made your way downstairs.
The lobby was bustling with couples getting ready to eat dinner or go about their night time adventures. You felt slightly underdressed compared to the other ladies and their handbags or flashy jewelry that dangled off their ears and necks, but eventually shrugged it off when you noticed Kun standing near the center of the lobby, next to a cluster of potted plants. He was dressed in a black and white suit and had his black strands slicked back. His hands were shoved in the front pockets of his pants, making him appear nonchalant, and you had to take a moment to compose yourself before approaching him. Damn him and his good looks.
“Hey,” you said, internally face palming yourself at your horrible greeting. “I mean,” you cleared your throat, “good evening?”
“Good evening, Miss Y/N.” Kun bowed his head slightly in acknowledgement, taking in your appearance with a single flit of his eyes as he straightened himself. “You look lovely.”
“Why, thank you! You look very handsome yourself.”
Kun offered you his arm, and remembering your brief training with Ten, you wrapped yours around his. “Are you ready to go?” he asked.
“I was born ready.”
The two of you followed the trickle of guests exiting through the main entrance, boarding limousines and other fancy cars that would take them to their destinations. Kun led you to a black Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph that was parked at the end of the curb. He held the passenger door open for you, and you slid in, reminding yourself that it was unladylike to let your jaw drop in awe of the interior.
“To the Cicada Restaurant, please,” Kun told the driver as he buckled himself safely into his seat.
“Right away, sir,” the driver responded, turning on his blinker as he prepared to merge into the night traffic.
You leaned in close to Kun’s ear with a giggle. “I feel so much better knowing the driver is not you.”
Kun shot you a glance before cracking a smile of his own, placing a hand over yours and idly drawing circles on your skin. The drive was a quick one as the restaurant was in the adjacent city of Los Angeles, but the streets were more packed than they were near the hotel. Clinging to Kun’s arm, you placed your feet on the sidewalk, glancing up at the light-up green and gold sign with the words ‘Cicada Restaurant’ printed in large font.
“Stop gawking,” Kun whispered in your ear, straightening out the hem of his suit. “And don’t fidget.”
You huffed, biting the inside of your lip. “I’m not fidgeting.”
The Cicada Restaurant was a grand establishment with an open floor plan that hosted more tables than you could count. And that didn’t even include the private booths and rooms. At the very back of the restaurant was a large stage that was already occupied by musicians, who were happily chatting amongst themselves between numbers, and calling out to a young woman every now and then to pick their next dancing tune. It was amusing how the lady would hurry up to the stage in her flowy frock, heat painting her cheeks as she cupped her hand around her mouth, leaning in to whisper her request in the lead singer’s ear.
“The Wongs did not book a private room,” Kun told you as the host guided you to the table you were to share with Kun’s business partners. “They want everything to be as public as possible.”
“Isn’t that a good thing?” You flashed a smile to a young girl, who could only be about five, wiggling contentedly in her seat as she pushed a forkful of pasta in her mouth. You turned your attention back to Kun. “Don’t you want it to be public?”
“Not yet. Doing business in the open like this isn’t exactly ideal. Now, remember your manners.” Kun squeezed your hand reassuringly as the two of you neared the table with two figures already seated, willing a friendly smile to spread on his face, but it wasn’t a genuine one. His eyes weren’t crinkling. “Good evening, Mr. Wong!” He released your arm to bow his head slightly and shake the hand of the older man. “How have you been?”
The man in question—Mr. Wong, you assumed—was a tall man in a gray suit that matched his receding gray hair. He had an amiable face, one that suggested he was a very good grandfather, the type who sat his grandkids on his lap and read them stories of princesses and princes from long ago.
“Oh, you know how I have been, Mr. Qian,” Mr. Wong replied in a seemingly cordial tone, but the venom that laced his words was blatant to you and everyone else at the table.
Kun offered him a stiff smile. “I suppose I do.” He placed his hand on your back then, just between your shoulder blades, and pulled you closer to his side. “This is my dear friend, Y/N. She will be joining us for dinner. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Of course not! The more the merrier!” To your surprise, Mr. Wong pulled you into a warm hug that contrasted greatly from the subtle hostility he was dishing to Kun. “Oh, you must be a lovely young lady to be acquainted with Mr. Qian. Please, sit.” The old man took a seat next to another man who looked like a spitting image of him, only younger. “You’ve met my grandson, Wong Yukhei, haven’t you, Kun?” Mr. Wong asked as Kun pulled out a chair for you.
“I have,” Kun confirmed, seating himself right next to you. “We met in business school.”
“Is that right?” Mr. Wong picked up his glass of red wine, swirling it around in his fingers thoughtfully before taking a sip. “Then the two of you must have a lot of catching up to do.”
“We weren’t in the same social group, Grandpa,” Yukhei said, sparing Kun a glance that held unveiled disgust. “I’ve only met him in passing.”
“Well, you can meet him now!” Mr. Wong exclaimed, raising his hand to wave a servant over. “Would you be kind enough to bring us another glass of this wine?”
“Of course, sir,” the girl replied, picking up the bottle to study the name before heading to the kitchens.
“Now, Miss Y/N”—Mr. Wong turned to you—“how did you meet the lovely Qian Kun?”
There was something about the way that the Wongs said Kun’s name that made your skin crawl. Was it how they spat it out as if he wasn’t sitting right across from them? Or the way they said it over and over again as if to state the fact that the very man who wanted to run their business to the ground was in the mass of guests like an intruder? You didn’t know, but you gulped down your growing distaste for the two men and answered, “We met in a pretty funny way, honestly. You see, I—”
“She’s an assistant at a library I like to frequent,” Kun said nonchalantly, folding his linen napkin over his lap. “I couldn’t help but want to get to know her.”
You shot Kun a quizzical glance, but he only shrugged, silently telling you to play along. “Yes,” you laughed. “I found it rather endearing when he came up to me one day and asked where the adult magazines were.”
The reactions you got were priceless: Kun looked as if his eyes were going to pop out of his head, Yukhei couldn’t stifle the laugh that spilled out of his mouth, and poor Mr. Wong looked as if he was waiting for someone to scoop the dirt back into his grave and on top of him.
“I apologize.” Kun smiled weakly after a moment, giving you a good kick to the shin under the table. “Y/N has quite the sense of humor. She doesn’t know”—he shot you a pointed glare—“when to stop sometimes.”
“I like her,” Yukhei commented with a breathtaking smile. He truly was a beauty with his sun-kissed skin and silky hair. “She’s not as stuck up as the rest of us.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.” You winked, and you swore a hint of pink creeped onto the apples of his cheeks before he grabbed his glass of water and gulped it down.
Mr. Wong cleared his throat, finally coming back to his senses in time for the servant to come back with the bottle of wine he requested. “Just to make sure,” she said, pulling out her notepad, completely oblivious to the still shocked expressions of the table she was waiting on, “you ordered the four course meal?”
“That is correct,” replied Mr. Wong.
“Perfect. Your hors d'oeuvres will be out in a moment.”
As the figure of the waitress retreated, Mr. Wong turned to Kun. “What exactly do you plan to do with my company?”
You diverted your attention to the stage, tuning out the boring business talk that would most likely go on all night. The band was playing some upbeat song that had a cluster of teenagers and children swaying their hips and throwing their hands in the air, shimmying their tiny bodies to the music as their parents and families wined and dined. You couldn’t help but notice a little boy in a maroon suit that was much too big for him, his fingers barely peeking out of his sleeves and his feet stumbling over air. He was laughing with a little girl, who wore a matching maroon dress, and you assumed the two were siblings as they twirled carelessly around the floor, stepping on older children’s feet, oblivious to the cries of irritation.
Part of you wanted to go out there and join them, but you knew better. Instead, you pushed yourself to your feet, intending to head to the bathroom, when Kun’s fingers gripped your wrist. “Where are you going?” The question wasn’t rude, nor did he speak to you condescendingly, but the tone of his voice let you know that you don’t just get up and go whenever you wish.
“Oh! I’m sorry. Excuse me, I need to use the ladies’ room,” you blurted out, and Kun dropped his hand. Heat seared your cheeks as you bowed your head politely before scurrying off to the corner of the restaurant where you assumed the bathrooms to be. 
Just to your luck, you spotted the short line of women waiting to relieve themselves, and you stepped into line behind a stout woman with circular gold earrings hanging from her ears. As if she could smell the scent of a poor person under all the new, expensive perfume, she turned around, whipping her head side to side like a snake searching for the location of her prey before her eyes landed on you. “You look lovely tonight, young lady,” she complimented, although the way her eyes raked over your figure told you that she thought you were anything but a lady.
“Thank you, ma’am.” You offered her a small smile, but her eyes only narrowed as if you were trying to trick her into selling her soul. “I really love this dress.”
“Yes,” the woman agreed. “It’s a great color on you.”
You nodded your head, hoping she would take the cue and turn back to face the front of the line, but the shorter woman seemed to have other plans. “Have you been in town long?” she asked, switching her tone to sound more amiable, and you would’ve believed her act if you could excuse the way she originally glared at you.
“No.” You shook your head. “I’m actually here with my cousin. We’re from…” Where was Kun originally from? You knew by his hopeless sense of direction that he wasn’t from California, but his accent suggested that he could be from the East Coast.
“From?” she prompted, the corners of her mouth twitching upwards at your faltering voice.
“From China,” you blurted out. The lady raised her eyebrow. You wanted to curl into yourself. From China? What was wrong with you? You’ve never even stepped foot outside of the West Coast! “Yes, China.” You nodded your head as if to confirm it to yourself and finalize your answer. “I was adopted from the United States, though.”
You couldn’t believe the bullshit that was spewing out of your mouth, but apparently, it was enough for the woman to understand why her classist radar went off. Her lips moved quickly as if to mask the fact that she muttered something under her breath, but when you leaned in with an “I’m sorry, I couldn’t catch that”, she clamped her mouth shut. If your eyes and ears served you right, you concluded that she had said something along the lines of “Once scum, always scum.”
“Excuse me,” came a voice from behind you, “but the line has moved.”
Turning around to get a glance at your savior, you came face-to-face with a woman your age, who seemed to be rather disgusted by the interview the older woman gave you or, like everyone else in this goddamn social group, you.
“Right.” The older woman stiffened, flashing the two of you a fake smile, and disappeared through the bathroom door, leaving you at the front of the line.
“I’m sorry about that,” the girl behind you said softly, careful not to be heard by the women behind her or any passersby. “Some people can be so stuck up. There’s plenty of money to go around.”
“Thank you for saving me,” you whispered back, fingers twiddling with the hem of your dress. “I was running out of things to say.”
The girl laughed. “You did just fine.” She leaned in closer, her breath tickling your ear to ensure no soul could hear what she would say next. “You’re not really adopted, are you? It’s not a bad thing if you are.”
You shook your head. “I’m here with a close friend,” you admitted, but the close friend part seemed like a lie. You could classify yourself as a friend, but a close one? You weren’t sure. “But I had a feeling she would keep nagging me if I said that.”
“She probably would have,” the girl agreed. “It’s your turn.” She tilted her head to point at the ladies’ room door. “Again, I’m sorry, and I hope you have a good rest of your night.”
Giving her a quick nod of thanks, you slipped into the bathroom and made a beeline for the open stall. You stood in there for about a minute, calming your nerves with deep breathing exercises you had learned from your elementary teachers years ago. If there weren’t about twenty other high class ladies in the bathroom, you probably would’ve splashed your face with cold water, but you settled for dabbing at your cheeks and forehead with toilet paper instead. When you were finished and back to breathing normally, you emerged from the stall, washed your hands, and joined Kun and the Wongs back at the table.
A plate of food had been placed at your seat, and the three men had taken a few bites each before retiring their hor d'oeuvre forks for more business chat. Kun stopped whatever he was telling the others mid sentence to look at you, a small smile that wasn’t there before spreading over his face. And it was one that met his eyes. “I thought you got lost,” he said when you sat down.
“Sorry. There was a woman adamant on finding out my origin story,” you explained.
Yukhei offered you a look of sympathy, reaching for his wine glass. “Unfortunately, there are people like that. Old money takes a good kick before they start to accept new money into their circles.” He shrugged, taking a sip. “But they get used to it after a few years.”
Thankfully, you wouldn’t be here for a few years, but he didn’t need to know that. So you nodded and picked up your fork, eager to try some of the delicacies that Kun was used to. The tines of your fork jabbed at a melon wrapped in prosciutto, and you did a quick examination of the food combination before popping it into your mouth, eyes going wide when its taste exploded on your tongue.
“Is it your first time trying that?” Mr. Wong asked, but it wasn’t judgemental. He had a warm smile on his face as he looked at you, a significant contrast to the suspicious glare he gave the man sitting beside you. “I remember when I first tried it,” he sighed at the memory, picking up his discarded fork and stabbing his own piece. “I was so confused as to why they put ham on fruit. But when I ate it, it all made sense.” He placed the fruit and thinly sliced ham in his mouth, crinkling his eyes as he chewed.
“I’m sorry if this is rude to ask, but you weren’t born rich?” You reached for your glass of wine, mindful to take quick sips instead of chugging it all down.
Mr. Wong laughed, leaning back in his seat. “No, I wasn’t. Sure, my family had a little more than most, but not enough to be considered wealthy. Everything I have now—my business, my house, my cars—was gained through hard work and a sharp mind.” He tapped his left temple with his index finger. “You said you worked at a bookstore?” You nodded. “I’m sure if you sat down with pencil and paper and gave yourself time, you could be a million dollar author.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that, but thank you.”
“Now, don’t belittle yourself, Miss Y/N!” Mr. Wong leaned in. “Anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it.”
Just as you opened your mouth to respond, there was a thump coming from Yukhei’s side of the table, followed by the sudden screech of a chair sliding back on polished flooring. “I need a moment of fresh air,” he announced to the three of you still seated, his hands in fists by his side. Before anyone could say anything to stop him, the younger Wong stalked out of the restaurant, invisible steam curling off his shoulders.
“What did you say to him?” you whispered in Kun’s ear as Mr. Wong placed his napkin on the table near his plate, neatly folded.
“A business deal he didn’t like,” Kun replied, not bothering to whisper, instead bringing his eyes to meet the older Wong’s. “It seems that Yukhei can be quite hotheaded.”
“Yes, well, it will take him a while to calm down.” Mr. Wong pushed himself to his feet, politely bowing to you and Kun, but the flicker in his irises suggested that he was plotting murder. “I’ll leave you two to finish your dinner, but I’ll have to excuse Yukhei and myself. Have a good night.” And with that, he followed his grandson out the double doors.
“Don’t watch them go,” Kun said nonchalantly, bringing his glass of water to his lips and taking a long drink, and you brought your gaze back to the melon and prosciutto still speared onto the tines of your fork. “Don’t eat that either. We’ll be going now.”
Looping your arm through Kun’s, the two of you followed the path that the Wongs stormed through, holding your heads high as hushed murmurs surrounded you like an aura. When the two of you finally broke free from the stares of the restaurant’s guests and were embraced by the night air was when you finally sucked in a breath. “What happened back there?” You willed the courage to ask when Kun held open the door of the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph for you.
“Nothing happened,” Kun snapped, but immediately uttered an apology, interlacing his fingers with yours after he buckled himself in as if your touch brought him a sense of comfort. “Please take us back to the hotel,” he told the driver, who nodded and merged into the dwindled traffic.
The ride was suffocatingly quiet, and the only thing that reminded you that there were other living beings in the car were the circles Kun rubbed on the back of your hand with his thumb. When the vehicle finally pulled up to the curb of the hotel, you slid out of your seat and let Kun guide you through the lobby and up to the penthouse. He let go of your hand as he kicked off his shoes, turning to you with a look that you couldn’t decipher was angry or tired. “I’m going to take a shower. You can order anything you’d like on the menu.”
You didn’t get a chance to respond or thank him as he had already turned his back to you, and it didn’t take a genius to tell that he really wasn’t in the mood to chitchat. So you picked up the menu you discarded hours earlier, plopped down on the couch, and called the front desk to place an order of spaghetti. It was a simple dish, but it was a favorite.
As you waited for the telltale doorbell to ring, you turned on the TV and flipped to an Audrey Hepburn movie that you couldn’t quite name, but it made for good background noise. Now content that the penthouse wasn’t filled with silence, you drifted to the bedroom and changed into one of Kun’s t-shirts and a pair of sweats. Kicking your dress into a corner of the room, you returned to the living area, rubbing off some of your makeup with your thumb.
The bathroom door was ajar and the lights were off, but Kun was nowhere to be seen. Figuring that he needed time to himself, you flicked on the lights and turned on the faucet, gathering the lukewarm water in your hands and splashed it on your face. The tips of your fingers were stained with red and gold, and the water carried a light tint of your eyeshadow on its surface. Your eyes appeared puffy with smeared mascara on your undereyes, and you did your best to rub it away with your knuckle. Even though you looked somewhat ghastly, your face was clean and you hoped you wouldn’t break out too bad from the lack of your usual skincare routine.
There was a knock on the door, followed by a ding, and you hurried to dry your hands and answer the door. To your delight and surprise, Yangyang was the one with the tray in his hands and a sympathetic smile on his face. “I saw that you and Kun didn’t have the best night,” he said in a hushed tone, “so I paid the server and told him I’d bring your dinner to you.”
“Thank you.” You gave him a warm smile. “You shouldn’t have.” Taking the tray from his hands, you kicked the door open wider with your heel. “Do you want to come in?”
Yangyang’s cheeks flushed. “I-I really shouldn’t,” he stuttered out before coughing. He really was cute.
“No, I insist. Kun’s in his study and doesn’t want to eat with me, and as much as I love to watch movies, it doesn’t beat human interaction.” Yangyang rubbed the back of his neck, seemingly weighing the pros and cons. You gave him your best puppy dog eyes. “Please?”
“Okay,” the elevator boy sighed, but his lips were tilted upwards as he stepped inside. “But only for a minute. Ten will yell at me if he finds out I wasn’t working.”
“Are you close to him, then?” you asked, leading him over to the dining table and putting the tray down before pulling out a chair for the younger boy.
“Yeah. He’s like a father and an older brother at the same time.” Yangyang shrugged, taking the seat across from you. “He’s like that with the staff he likes, but to others…” He shivered. “... he’s not so kind.”
“He scared me when I first met him,” you admitted, pulling the cover off of the silver platter and nearly drooling when the heavenly scent of tomato sauce and parmesan filled your nose.
“I’ve never heard of him calling in a friend for someone before,” he told you. “You must’ve made a really good impression.”
“I sure hope so.” Picking up your fork, you twirled the noodles and sauce into a generous bite. “What’s it like working for such a fancy hotel?” you asked, covering your mouth just in case the boy got a glimpse of you talking with your mouth full.
“Uh, it’s alright, I guess. People can tip generously and all, but sometimes they tell me to make the elevator go faster and, well, I can’t make it go any faster than it already is.” He ran a hand through his dark brown hair, ruffling it a little at the front. “But it’s a good job and keeps me off the streets, you know?”
You nodded, knowing all too well the dangers that came with being unemployed in Los Angeles County. Before Seulgi found you about a few months after you broke up with your shit ex-boyfriend, you were squatting in alleys, digging through trash cans, and evading the police at all costs. After a little while, you finally got a job at a fast-food place and took up odd jobs on the side just to pay rent for your measly one-room studio. It was definitely not a route you suggested anyone to take. Especially if they were just as young as you had been.
“The streets are rough,” you agreed, taking another bite of your delicious dinner. “Are you from around here?”
Yangyang shook his head, a nostalgic smile blooming on his face as he recalled whatever memory that brought him a sense of his old home. “No,” he sighed, “I’m from a city a few hours north from here. But things got bad at home, so I stole some money, jumped on a bus, and came here.”
You almost dropped your fork. You were not expecting the sweet, easily flustered elevator boy to have run away. The universe certainly did have it out for some people. “Wow,” you coughed out. “That must’ve been scary. How old were you?”
You gawked. “How old are you now?”
“Holy shit,” you muttered. 
Yangyang shrugged. “I lived on the street for a little bit, but then I met Ten one morning about a year ago when he was walking to work —can you believe he walks to work?—and he told me he’d give me a job as long as I didn’t cause trouble. He”—Yangyang rubbed the back of his neck with a sheepish grin—“saved my life.”
“Wow,” you said again, utterly speechless at the boy’s life story. “That’s—I’m glad he fou—”
“Liu Yangyang!” Ten’s voice erupted from a walkie talkie that you didn’t know Yangyang carried, and the boy visibly flinched. “Where the hell are you?!”
Yangyang struggled to unbuckle the device with clumsy fingers, quite literally vibrating with fear. “I-I’m with a guest, sir.”
“That’s nice and all, but people need to get to their rooms.” Ten went quiet for a second, seemingly waiting to see how fast the elevator boy could move, but when poor Yangyang didn’t move fast enough, the hotel manager crackled to life again. “Today, Liu!”
Yangyang shot you an apologetic glance before getting up and running out of the penthouse, and if you didn’t know that Ten had practically adopted him, you would be fearing for his life. Instead, you chuckled watching the boy hurry out the door, slurping another noodle into your mouth.
Finishing your dinner in silence, spare the background noises from the movie still playing in the living room, you placed all your dirty dishes back on the tray and called for another server to come pick it up. Thankfully, the staff arrived faster than Yangyang did, and you assumed he had gotten back to the elevator and dodged a beating when you handed her the tray with a smile and a “thank you”.
Now that your stomach was full, you closed the penthouse door and decided it would be a good time to try and find where Kun had run off to. You checked the bedroom first, but all you found was a messy bed that you had left hours ago and clothes strewn across the floor. Next, you peeked into the office, but that, too, was void of one Qian Kun. Finally, you opened the door to the balcony, and your efforts were proven successful.
Kun sat in one of the patio chairs that made up a set with the other three chairs and a glass table, one leg crossed over the other as he stared out into the endless night dotted with stars that could barely shine over all the city lights. Despite the light breeze that creeped under your shirt and made you shiver, he kept still, like the air’s bite didn’t reach him.
You made your way over to the ledge of the balcony and pushed yourself up to comfortably perch on its surface. Glancing out into the night, your shoulders slumped as if staring at the sky brought you ease. It was a reassuring reminder that no matter where you were, at least the sky was the same. “What’s on your mind?” you asked, bringing your attention back to the man sitting before you.
He was dressed in the same night clothes he wore the day before—a navy blue hoodie and a pair of black sweatpants—and his hair was still damp, black strands plastering to his forehead for dear life as the wind swayed them every which way. The expression on his face was one of exhaustion. Not from over-exerting himself or the look one would have if they just ran four miles, but the look of a man who was tired of his life, his work, himself. It made your heart crack.
“Get down from there,” Kun told you with a curt tone, eyes stuck to your figure as if you would fall to your death if he so much as blinked.
“What?” You leaned forward, swinging your legs. “Are you scared of heights or something?” you teased, leaning backwards and reaching one arm over your head, wiggling your fingers in the wind.
Kun brought his eyes to meet yours, his body stiff. “Yes,” he muttered before raising his voice. “I’m scared of heights. Is that what you wanted to hear?” You had never heard him speak so coldly, anger seeping into his words and genuine worry for your safety flashing in his irises.
You straightened yourself and placed your feet back on the ground. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” For some reason, it hurt when he looked away, and you moved to take a seat in one of the other chairs. He jerked his hand and shoved it in his pocket when you tried to hold it, evidently still upset with your stunt. “Kun,” you whispered, scared that your voice might break if you spoke any louder. “I know we haven’t known each other long, but whatever it is, we can always talk.”
“We’re similar creatures, you know.” His shoulders slumped and he rested his head against the wall behind him, eyes trained upwards. “We both screw people for money.” He laughed, but it was a humorless one, and your heart cracked even more when he met your gaze with a dead smile. “At least you’re doing it because you don’t have any other choice.”
Even though Kun had a point, his comment still drove a dagger through your heart, but you shook it off and said, “We’re both doing what we need to survive.” You reached out to cup his cheek, letting out a breath when he didn’t resist your touch. “There’s no harm in that.”
Placing his hand over yours, Kun turned his head to press an appreciative kiss on your palm. “There isn’t,” he agreed, closing his eyes to compose himself. You pretended to not see the single tear rolling down his cheek. “But I’m not doing it to survive. You should know that.” Kun opened his now tearless eyes, moving your hand to his lap as he idly drew circles over your skin with his thumb. “I’m as evil as they get.” He scoffed. “I bet my old man would be proud.”
You shook your head. “You’re not your father. Look, I don’t even have to know who he is or what he did to know that you’re not him, alright? Just—” The words died on your tongue when you noticed Kun turned distant. “Hey,” you called softly. “Let’s just watch movies tonight. We can relax and—”
Kun pushed himself to his feet, your hand falling back to your side when you glanced up to see if you could find any hint of what he was feeling. He didn’t look at you when he said, “I’m going downstairs. You can do whatever.” Without sparing you a glance, he entered the penthouse, leaving the door open as if he was begging you to follow him. But he needed time. You would follow him later.
Pulling your legs up to your chest, you leaned back against the chair, watching Kun’s figure disappear into the hall. You sighed, drawing mindless shapes on your knee as the breeze picked up, almost as if it were trying to push you back indoors. But you stayed put, resting your cheeks against your legs, watching an ant peek its head out before scurrying across the floor. How is it that we’re all scared of the unknown?
Slowly, more ants crawled out of the miniscule hole in the wall to follow their companions, and soon, they were carrying a forgotten piece of cheese back to their home. You furrowed your brows trying to remember if you ate cheese out here earlier in the day, but drew a blank. Maybe Kun ate it? Or a bird dropped it when it flew overhead? The latter was the most likely explanation.
After the butt of the last ant was completely gone from view, you picked yourself back up and made your way over to the couch. The TV was still running, the beginnings of another movie flickering across the screen. From the looks of it, an Audrey Hepburn marathon was airing, but you couldn’t find it in yourself to complain. You were a fan of hers.
Wrapping a blanket around your body, you rested your cheek against the backrest of the couch and brought your eyes to the screen. The majority of the plot slipped your attention, your mind too busy running in circles about one Qian Kun. Was he okay? Where had he run off to? Did he need more space? Did he have too much? You dragged your nail against the cushion, pushing your tongue into your cheek. Did Wong Yukhei upset him? Or did Kun attack first? Did Mr. Wong say something when you weren’t paying attention? Wait— Why did you care?
Closing your eyes, you groaned, fearing the answer you already knew. Had you come to genuinely care about the man who was giving you a fat check for pretending to be his lover? Were you even pretending to be a lover? Or were you just a girl he could hang on his arm until he decided that you had been around too long?
It was all too much to think about and it was coming down on you like an avalanche. You needed to find Kun. To put your mind at ease. Nothing more. Picking up the phone on the side table, you dialed Ten’s number. Surely he would know where Kun went. After all, it’s not like a guest could just go missing under the cat-like watch of the manager.
“Ten?” you said when the line picked up. You were answered by a quick “huh”. “Is Kun downstairs by any chance?”
There was rustling on the other line, and you assumed Ten was flipping through the applications he told you about earlier. “Yeah. I’ll send Yangyang up to take you to him. But I think he might want to be alone right now.”
Right. Kun left because he wanted time, but the ending credits of the movie were already rolling and he’d been gone for about two hours. “That’s alright. I just want to make sure he’s okay.”
“Okay. I’ll give Yangyang off for about an hour.”
“Thanks, Ten.”
“Anytime, sweetheart.” With that, he disconnected the line.
Placing the phone back in its cradle, you got to your feet and went to wait for Yangyang by the door. He arrived a few minutes later, and you slipped your feet into a pair of slippers, following him into the elevator. The lobby was nearly vacant when the doors slid open, revealing a few janitors mopping the floors and dusting off the seat cushions. Hosts behind the front desk were filing papers back in folders and shutting off their computer monitors, readying for their shift to end and the night staff to take their place.
Yangyang escorted you over to the double doors leading to the ballroom where Ten had taught you how to waltz. A soft melody flowed through the crack between the floor and the wood, and you didn’t need to see him to know that Kun was the one pouring his heart out on the keys.
“I’m going in,” you told Yangyang, who nodded and turned around to guard the door as if he were a guard at Buckingham Palace. You raised a brow. “Are you going to wait out here?”
“Yes,” he said, giving you a wink. “Ten wants me to make sure no one goes inside.”
Narrowing your eyes in suspicion, you patted Yangyang’s shoulder appreciatively and headed inside. The lights in the room were dim and the moonlight shone on Kun’s face like he was a phantom in a haunted house. His eyes were closed, nimble fingers flying across the keys, completely in his own world.
He didn’t hear you close the door, and you took a timid step, unsure if you should sit beside him or linger in the shadows. But Kun’s eyes opened as if he felt your presence, turning to your direction with a mix of confusion and ease at seeing you. “Y/N,” he called softly, and it sounded like a melody. He brought his hands to rest in his lap. “Come here, please.”
Your footsteps were light as you made your way over to where Kun was sitting in front of the piano. He scooted the bench back, making room for you when he placed his hands on your hips and guided you to come stand between his legs. “I’m tired,” he said, resting his head on your abdomen. “I’m so tired.” His voice threatened to crack, but he held himself together. You wished he knew that his tears were safe with you.
“I know,” you whispered, bringing your fingers to card through his soft strands. He smelled of vanilla and the sweet dew of summer rain, and the scent made you want to melt into him. Bringing one hand down to caress his cheek, you picked up his chin with your thumb and index, knees almost buckling at the vulnerability swimming in his irises. “It’s okay to rest.”
Kun’s fingers tightened around your waist, pulling you closer as he stood up. His eyes searched yours for a sign of resistance, but when he found none, he leaned in, barely brushing his lips against yours before you turned away. You didn’t need to look at him to know hurt flashed across his face at your rejection, but thankfully, he didn’t dwell on it, dipping his head down to leave open-mouthed kisses down your neck.
His hands trailed down to your thighs, spreading them slightly before picking you up. You squealed, wrapping your legs around his waist as he continued to suck marks on your neck, painting your skin with purples and reds. Placing you on the cover of the piano, Kun pulled away for breath, gazing fondly at his masterpiece. “You look so pretty like that,” he said breathlessly, leaning close once again to steal a kiss from your lips. But like his previous attempt, you moved away before he could cross that bridge. The last thing you needed was another thought to keep you up at night.
“Kun,” you warned when he tried his luck one last time. “Please.” The word came out as a whisper, but it filled the room as if you had yelled it.
The way Kun’s demeanor changed in a matter of seconds both eased and confused you, but your dilemma was immediately pushed aside when he spoke again. “Please what, princess?”
Rubbing your thighs together to try and get some friction, you draped your arms over his shoulders, pulling him impossibly closer. You leaned in, lips brushing against his ear and you gently tugged at his earlobe. “Please fuck me until I can’t remember my own name.”
Kun’s hands slithered under your—his—shirt, arising goosebumps in his wake. With practiced ease, he slipped the fabric over your head, tossing it aside and unclasping your bra. As if someone pressed pause on their remote, Kun froze, taking in the way the moonlight cast its glow over your bare torso. His fingers ghosted over your skin, like he was scared to touch you and watch you disappear like a phantom that never truly existed.
After another few seconds, he seemed to get over his fear, grasping one of your breasts with his fingers and eliciting a moan from you. He wrapped his lips around your nipple, sucking and licking until you were a whimpering mess and begging for more. Only then did he bring his free hand down to the waistband of your sweatpants, slipping his fingers under the cloth and rubbing your covered entrance.
You moaned his name like a mantra when he moved the cloth to the side, dipping the tip of his index finger into your core, and your hand shot up to grip his hair. All too soon, he removed his finger from where you needed it most, and you bucked your hips to try and tell him to put it back, but he only pulled away with a tsk.
“Kun, please,” you begged, not at all caring about how loud you were. You could only hope that the walls were soundproof.
“Patience, baby.” Kun smirked, lowering himself back onto the bench. “Good girls know how to wait.” He tugged at the fabric of your sweatpants, and you raised your hips to help him slide them off easier. When they joined your shirt and bra somewhere on the floor, he pushed your thighs apart, licking his lips at the sight of your soaked panties. “Someone’s excited,” he teased, running his finger over the dark spot, touch feather-light, and it was starting to drive you mad.
Your breath caught in your throat when he leaned in, licking a stripe up your cunt. Your fingers immediately tangled in his hair as he licked and prodded at your entrance through your panties, mind going fuzzy when he planted a kiss to your covered clit. You barely noticed that he had removed the garment, too lost in euphoria, and you gasped when his mouth came in contact with your bare skin.
“Fuck,” you cried when he slipped two fingers into your core and flicked his tongue against your clit. “Oh my god!” You slumped back against the cover, the cold wood a welcome contrast to the heat that surged through your body.
Kun smirked against your skin, lips wrapping around your sensitive nub and sucking. Hard. He reveled in the way you absolutely lost it: fingers tugging mercilessly at his hair, moans and expletives spilling out of your mouth uncensored, legs shaking as your orgasm approached. He loved it so much that he almost wanted to stop. Oh, how fun that would be. But he didn’t know if he had it in his heart to watch and hear you whine in disappointment, desperate for release.
Your jaw went slack, mind numb and vision blurry as you came on Kun’s tongue, and he lapped it up like a parched man. You squirmed a little when you teetered on the edge of oversensitivity, but Kun got the message and pulled away, lips and chin glistening with your essence.
“Satisfied?” His breath tickled your lips as he hovered just above you, one hand propped right next to your head while the other easily discarded his sweats. You frantically shook your head, curling your fingers into the fabric of his shirt. Kun only chuckled, sucking a mark on your neck. “Of course not. My baby isn’t ever satisfied, is she?” He straightened himself, grabbing his dick and giving it a stroke. “Now what does my greedy princess want?”
“Please fuck me. Fuck me so hard that I’ll never want to leave.”
“As you wish.” Kun tapped his dick against your clit, chuckling when you jolted with a whine. Covering his tip with your slick, he slowly pushed into your core, clenching his jaw to keep himself from ramming into you entirely. Your walls clenched around him deliciously, and he closed his eyes to compose himself. Whoever saw you once you walked out of those doors would be utterly shocked at the marks covering your neck, and Kun couldn’t find it in himself to care. Let them all know how good he fucked you.
You traced over the features of his face with the tips of your fingers when he was fully inside you, and Kun took that as the signal to move. His strokes were slow at first, allowing you to get used to his size, but they gradually started to quicken as he let himself get lost in you.
“Fuck, you’re so tight,” he groaned, leaning down to sink his teeth into the skin of your collarbone. “I love it.”
Your mind was too fuzzy for you to formally respond, the only thing you could say was a simple “yes”, and the word filled the room along with the sound of skin slapping skin and Kun’s occasional grunt. Your eyes rolled to the back of your head when Kun wrapped his fingers around your throat, applying just the right amount of pressure as he hit the spot that had you seeing stars.
“Are you going to come on my cock, princess?” Kun brought his free hand down to rub circles around your clit, and you cried, gripping his biceps and digging your nails into his skin. “Go on, baby. Come all over. Make a mess.”
You didn’t need to be told twice, practically screaming as you finally came undone, the chord in your abdomen snapping in two and releasing the wave of pleasure that brought you under. Your vision went black and your thighs trembled, and still, Kun pounded into you.
“Aw, look at that, baby,” he cooed. “You look so cute all fucked out.” He clicked his tongue. “How pathetic.”
“Please, Kun,” you whined when you finally came down, placing your palms on his chest in hopes that his thrusts would slow. “I’m sensitive.”
Kun pouted. “But I’m not done yet. You can take it, baby. Be a good girl, yeah?”
Everything in you screamed for you to push him away, to beg him to stop because the ache between your legs was starting to become more painful than not, but you nodded your head. How could you say no to him when he looked at you like you were something dear to him? Like something more than the average Hollywood whore?
Your back arched as Kun released his cum into you, warmth coating your walls and making you feel undeniably full. He ran a hand through your hair, arms and face sweaty as he caught his breath, pressing a kiss to your shoulder. “You took me so well,” he whispered onto your skin. “Made me feel so good.”
You could only hum, throat sore from all the screaming you did when Kun sent you to cloud nine. You winced as Kun carefully pulled out, picking up his sweats and underwear from the floor and making himself presentable before helping you. When you were dressed and situated, Kun wrapped an arm protectively around your waist and placed a chaste kiss on your temple. “Thank you,” he said softly, irises shining with earnest.
“Anytime,” you whispered.
Kun helped you cross the room, a proud smirk contorting his features as he watched you struggle to stay upright. It was a good thing he was holding you. And he wasn’t planning on letting you go.
The creak of the doors opening filled the empty lobby, and you instantly shivered at how quiet it was. But you spoke too soon.
“Well, I didn’t expect you two to be awake!” Ten exclaimed from where he was leaning against the wall. “It was so quiet down here, right, Yangyang?”
Your gaze followed the manager’s to where Yangyang stood on the other side of the door. “Yeah.” The elevator boy scratched his neck. “It was so quiet I could hear myself think.”
“Right…” Kun narrowed his eyes.
“I mean, I heard some really nice music eventually. I didn’t recognize the piece you were playing, though. Was it Beethoven?” Ten asked with an innocent cock of his head.
Kun rolled his eyes with a chuckle. “Mozart, actually.” He turned to Yangyang. “We can take the elevator ourselves. Thank you.”
“Have a nice night!” Ten called as you and Kun made your way over to the elevators. And one thing was for sure: it was definitely a nice, long night.
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byeongqueen · a month ago
The Racer // SEVEN
Taeyang left early in the morning, Juho came to pick him up so they could spend the day together. The shop was closed for the day, meaning Youngkyun had the whole day to himself too. He had a few memories of last night, but everything was really confusing, and weird, so he just decided to not think about it, as it was better this way. Once up, he started doing a little bit of cleaning around the apartment. He wasn’t a clean freak, but he didn’t like things messy either, so he cleaned around once a week, when he could find time. When he was satisfied, he left the house to go and grab something to eat. He then went to spend the whole afternoon preparing his motorcycle, just like he does before each race. This time he was lucky, Joowon wasn’t there to try and make his life miserable. He sang along to himself as he cleaned and repaired what needed to be, until his phone vibrated in his pocket. He responded the call, seeing Juho’s name on the screen.
“Hey, what’s up?” He put the phone on speaker and placed it on the seat of the bike.
“Not much, are you still racing tonight?” Juho asked, and he could hear Taeyang’s voice in the back.
“Yeah, of course I am, you still wanna come?” Youngkyun asked as he polished the motorcycle.
“For sure we are, Taeyang has to go back tomorrow morning, so yes!”
“I’ll text you the hour and place then, alright? Thanks for coming that’s cool.”
He hung up quickly and texted him the info, before going to take a ride, to make sure everything was fine. Youngkyun wasn’t dumb, he knew racing was dangerous, and he didn’t want to add to that by having a mechanical problem, that’s why he was so thorough with his before race checks. Once he deemed everything good, he went back to his stall, and left to eat something quickly. He came back 30 minutes before the race, and checked everything again quickly. Juho had texted him that he was there with Taeyang, and something about that made the younger’s stomach twist and turn. He was rarely ever nervous before a race, but this time, he was, and he hated that feeling with a passion. When it was time, he left for the starting line. Everything was exactly the same as ever, they all positioned themselves, some hot chick like in the movies with a flag would tell them when to start, and they did, racing through the designed circuit in the streets. Youngkyun was ahead, he was content of himself, but that’s when hell went down. He could feel something was wrong with his bike, and he soon understood what. His brakes weren’t working like they should be. They still did half of the job, but with how fast Youngkyun was going, that wasn’t going to be enough to do a race. Fortunately, they were entering a very straight portion of the race, and Youngkyun had some time to try and slow down as much as he could, and so he did. He could hear the commentator completely lost, and then he saw him in the corner of his eye. Joowon, passing him at full speed, while showing his best middle finger. Youngkyun was boiling with rage. He finally managed to stop and put his foot on land, which automatically disqualified him for that race. He rejoined his stall, while still muttering the worst cures ever under his breath. The next thing that came to mind was actually checking what was wrong, and trying to fix it. He was so immersed in that, that when he heard someone enter his stall, without ever thinking, or looking, he pushed the person against a wall, thinking it would be Joowon again.
“Youngkyun, get off me, you’re hurting me!”
Youngkyun snapped out of his trance upon hearing Taeyang’s pleading, and definitely a bit scared voice. He let go of him and took a step back, his friend’s gazes lingering on him.
“I-I’m sorry Taeyang, I didn’t mean to do that.”
“Yeah, d-don’t worry.” He looked away, and stayed behind Juho.
“What happened? Why did you stop?” His friend asked, concerned.
“Joowon, that son of a bitch, he messed up my brakes.” Youngkyun’s tone was dry and angry. “I’ll kill him with my hands I swear.”
“Okay, come on, let’s not plan murders here. Can you fix it?” Juho asked, knowing nothing about engines or anything.
“Yeah yeah I can, it just makes me mad that he touched my stuff.”
“Yeah I get that, possessive boyfriend much?” Juho tried to joke to lighten the mood, but Youngkyun’s murderous gaze made him gulp. “Too soon, okay I get it. Can’t you punish him by reporting him to the police or something.”
“Nah, since these races aren’t legal, we can’t do anything. I’ll just push him off the road in the next race, and make it seem like an accident, no big deal.”
“Yeah, you’re scaring me right now Kyun, cause I can’t tell if you’re being serious or not.” Juho frowned.
“That should be an indication no? You always know when I’m joking.” He cleared his throat and sighed. “Sorry Taeyang for earlier, and for giving you such an awful night.”
“N-no, it’s okay, don’t worry. I’m just glad you’re not hurt.”
Taeyang still refused to look directly at Youngkyun, and it was bothering him a lot. Was it because of earlier? Or because of yesterday night. He was getting more and more frustrated by the second, and felt as if his head was bout to explode.
Thank you everyone for your interest in this story, it means a lot!
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Holographic Sand is a Kickass Band Name
pairing: peter maximoff/OC(graciella decuerpo) (high school AU/not canon)
summary: peter learns that a fuckton can change in the course of a week
warnings: none? bad language and peter is simp but thats it
notes **please read**: Heyyyyy how are you doing? good? that’s great. so ik this fic is a peter/oc fic, but honesty i only use her name a few times and a few defining features but like. thats it. so you can totally just imagine urself in her position. also this fic is 5,550 words exactly. that’s the most ive ever written and I am SUPER fucking proud. I think i might become one of those blogs where i write super huge monster fics that im proud of instead of just writing to fill requests.if u dont want that then just lmk and i will not do that. i dont know. maybe. also this fic is peter centric because uh it is. anyways enjoy <3
taglist: @creator-appreciator, @simonsbluee
           Peter sat across the room, his arms crossed neatly on top of his knees as he rested his chin on his forearm. He wasn’t paying attention to the lesson being taught in front of him, in fact, he wasn’t paying attention to anything at all. No, Peter was lost in his head again. Peter’s mind was a chaotic minefield of music and cheesy one-liners and random facts that he seems to just know. But this time, he wasn’t envisioning himself beating up a police officer or playing with Pink Floyd. This time, he was picturing a perfect world where nothing ever happened yet nothing was ever boring. Peter had built a utopia in his mind-- a kingdom created to his exact preferences. A blissful tower of joy and happiness and energy and satisfaction. A paradise where he stood on top of the world with Graciella DeCuerpo, the pretty girl from algebra  class, standing right next to him.
          Now, Peter was well aware that the pretty girl from algebra  class had no idea who Peter was. The pair had never exchanged more than a few words, but somewhere within those few words, Peter managed to decide that she was his soulmate. He’d created an image of her in his head that would make God weep tears of envy, the perfect personality for the perfect person.  Peter willfully ignored the fact that he was setting himself up for heartbreak as he imagined how nice it would feel to have her fingers intertwined with his. 
           All of Peter’s friends thought he was ridiculous, ‘you can’t love someone you don’t know,’ they’d say. Peter would only scoff and shake away their words. He absolutely can love someone he doesn’t know, it’s getting the other person to reciprocate those feelings that’s nearly impossible. However, that doesn’t stop him from fantasizing at night. That doesn’t stop him from imagining the various ways he’d confess his love to the pretty girl who doesn’t love him. Or maybe she does. Peter doesn’t know, he could never know; unless, of course, he worked up the courage to talk to her. 
          Scott constantly teased Peter about his one-sided infatuation, but Peter paid no mind to him. He was 100% content with his perpetual pining for someone who probably didn’t know his name. He was totally okay with the unending ache in his chest that would appear any time she walked by or met his gaze. Peter was alright with his ceaseless yearning and the eternal feeling of disappointment that overtook him every time he snapped out of one of his fantasies. He was a-okay with all of that.
          So, there he was, spacing out during biology class as Professor Hargreeves struggles to teach the silver teen about photosynthesis. The Professor looked at Peter with desperate eyes, soon deciding that having his usually energetic student be quiet and still was the silver lining of the situation-- no pun intended. Professor Hargreeves droned on as Peter glanced at the clock, counting down the minutes until 7th period. Counting the seconds until he got to see the pretty girl in algebra  class once again.
          6th period was always the worst part of Peter’s day-- the dreaded english class. There were many contributing factors to Peter’s hatred for this class; the professor was a bore, the material itself was uninteresting, and Peter could never seem to sit still or retain any of the words he read in english class. Worst of all, english class seemed to go on forever, leaving Peter to impatiently wait for the bell to ring and release him to 7th period. At the end of the period every day, he was practically vibrating in his seat. 
          “Can anyone tell me what Juliet’s suicide is supposed to symbolize?” the Professor asked expectantly. Peter couldn’t care less about the symbolism of some chick’s suicide-- he’d much rather be studying the features of his algebra  class infatuation. 
          She sat next to him yesterday. There were at least 5 other open seats and she sat next to him. Yes, Peter read too much into it and yes, Peter spent the entire class period trying to make himself seem naturally cool, but he didn’t care. Peter would act like the most desperate, pathetic, lovestruck loser in the world if it meant that she would like him. They didn’t talk, they didn’t exchange a single word, nevertheless, Peter was in a state of euphoria for the entire class period. 
          Sometimes Peter feels like a stalker. He watches her whenever he can-- he doesn’t follow her around or anything, but if she’s around, he’ll stare at her. He has her features memorized, the curve of her nose, the dark brown irises surrounding her pupils, the way that she always seems to have chipped black nail polish on. He sees the small things. He sees the way she bites her nails when he gets bored and he sees the way her leg never seems to stop bouncing. She hums the basslines to songs as opposed to the melody. 
          English class came to an abrupt end as the bell cut off the Professor’s teachings as well as Peter’s distant daydreaming. Peter was out of his seat within seconds, his notes and books quickly being swept up in his arms as he walked out of the room. The hallways are crowded and chaotic and busy, each individual student attempting to get to their locker then to their class on time. Peter watches as kids swing their lockers open, fatigue and weariness apparent on their faces as they disappear into their classrooms. Peter reaches his locker hastily, the few small posters of classic rocks bands adorning the inside of his locker door. A playful giddiness overcame his body as he made his way to algebra  class, a small smile left on his face.
          Graciella shows up across the hallway, her bright red hair catching his eye in a sea of brown and blonde and blue. His stomach flutters as they get closer and closer to each other, finally meeting outside of the classroom. Her eyes rise to meet Peter’s, and instead of pulling away, Peter keeps looking. She smiles at him before disappearing inside the classroom, and Peter felt his knees get weak. With a deep breath and a triumphant smile, he walked into the classroom.
          Lunchtime; possibly one of the most enjoyable parts of Peter’s school day. Peter is free to kick back and stuff his face full of whatever junk the school board deems nutritious enough for highschoolers. Usually, he ate lunch under the bleachers with his friends, but in some sick twist of fate most of them were absent. So, Peter was left to eat alone in his usual spot.
          The quiet was comfortable, refreshing. The gentle summer breeze would blow every few minutes and Peter would listen to the rustle of the leaves. There’s a certain tranquility to being alone; Peter can lay back and relax and just… think. No stress, no panicking, no--
          “Hey, uh, Peter, right?” Peter’s eyes snap up so fast he’s afraid they would detach from his head and fall out. His breath faltered and his hands began to shake a bit-- why was he so freaked out? She was just a girl; sure, she was the prettiest girl he’d ever seen, and yeah, he was madly in love with her, but that’s besides the point. 
          “Uh-- uh, yeah, P-Peter. That’s, uh, that’s me,” He chuckled awkwardly, desperately trying to stay cool. Peter was an awkward person, but he’d rather die than fuck up his chances with Grace.
          “You dropped this on your way out of class yesterday, I, uhm, didn’t get to return it to you until now,” She holds out a small key chain with three small keys hanging off of it-- Peter’s house keys, along with the key to his mother’s car. He quickly takes the key chain from the red-haired girl in front of him.
          “Holy shit, uh, thanks! I couldn’t get into my house yesterday so I guess you saved me from another broken window,” Peter held up his hand and showcased the scattered pattern of small cuts on his palm. Grace laughed lightly before gently running her fingers over the cuts on Peter’s palm.
          “Oh fuck, dude, these look pretty bad. Maybe keep a spare key hidden under your welcome mat or something,” Peter doesn’t fully process Grace’s words; he’s too preoccupied with trying not to collapse at the feeling of her fingertips on his palm.
          “Hey, you okay? You look… pale,” Grace pressed the back of her hand on Peter’s forehead in an attempt to check for illness, but that just made Peter’s skin erupt in goosebumps. 
          “I, um, I’m fine. I’m just st-stressed about the algebra  t-test on Friday, I th-think,” To be fair, Peter was stressed about the algebra  test. Peter may or may not have spent the entire class staring at Grace instead of, you know, learning the material.
          “Oh! Well, if you want, I can help you study. I’m also kinda worried about it, and I study better with other people,” Peter silently thanked god for what was happening to him.
          “That would be fuckin’ fantastic,” Grace smiled a smile that made Peter shiver.
          “Cool! Uh, I’ll give you my phone number and we’ll meet up tomorrow. One day isn’t much time to study, but it’s better than nothing.” She pulls a pen out of her backpack and rips a small piece of paper out of one of her notebooks. Peter watches as she scribbles down her phone number and hands the paper to him.
          “Thanks. For everything, the keys, the studying-- everything.” Grace smiled.
          “It’s no problem, Peter, really. I’ll call you later,” And just like that, she walked away. Peter was left alone under the bleachers, a wide smile plastered on his face as he read the piece of paper in his hands over and over and over again.
          30 minutes. 30 minutes until Grace Reaper DeCuerpo, the prettiest, nicest, funniest girl Peter had ever met would show up on his doorstep. She would be inside his house for god knows how long. She would sit next to Peter-- either on the coffee table in the basement or on the floor of his bedroom. Needless to say, Peter was freaking the fuck out.
          The plan was simple: Grace shows up, they study, they get comfortable, and she goes home. Yet, in those four simple steps, so much could go wrong. Wanda could interrupt, his mother could lose her temper, Lorena could start crying-- worst of all, Peter could embarrass himself and drive her away. 
           Peter was in the middle of reorganizing his record collection for a third time when he heard a knock at the door. His blood went cold and an electric excitement ran through his veins. Peter checked his hair in the mirror one last time before running to the door. He stood silently, staring at the chrome handle hesitantly. This was his one chance. His only chance to make his perfect kingdom real-- Peter really, really, really didn't want to fuck it up. With a deep breath, he slowly opened the door.
          "Hey, Peter!" Her voice was smooth and melodic and it made Peter's heart light up. He’s about to respond with something smooth and witty when a squeaky voice chirps behind him.
         “Hi!! Are you the pretty girl Peter talks about?” Peter can physically feel his face turn bright red as he turns to see his six-year-old sister, Lorena, standing behind him. She’s wearing a purple princess dress that has a syrup stain on the sleeve. Grace laughs before stepping through the doorway. 
          “Lorena!” Peter groans in annoyance, a pleading look on his face. The young girl just giggles before scurrying away, her dress flowing behind her.
          “‘The pretty girl Peter talks about’, huh?” Grace grins at Peter cheekily. Peter runs his hand through his hair before motioning to the staircase.
          “God, Lorna is quite the kid. Well, uh, we can work in my room,” He sighs. “And Grace? Uh, m-maybe don’t let Lorena change your opinion of me,” She just smirks before walking past Peter.
          “Too late,” She called before disappearing down the stairs. Peter could hear the faintest trace of a smile in her voice. His heart skipped a beat as he quickly followed after her. 
          She was wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt and holding a backpack with various pins on it-- her left ear was pierced in three places and her right in five. The earrings she was wearing were black, or maybe grey; her bright red hair blocked Peter’s view of them. She was wearing rings, some odd words engraved in the metal. Peter couldn’t read them from where he was standing. She was wearing a skirt with fishnets, her hand buried in the pockets that seem to have been sewn in herself. She has callouses on both her hands, but Peter knew that already. Her appearance would put Aphrodite to shame-- suddenly, Peter was much less confident in himself than he was before. He ran his hand through his hair again before reaching the basement.
          He held his breath as Grace looked around his room, her gaze lingering on the plethora of stolen signs and band posters covering the walls. She placed her backpack on the floor and walked over to Peter’s record collection, her fingers carefully flitting through the different albums. She seemed… impressed. It was then that Peter realized it had been silent for much too long.
          “Y’know I can, uh, p-play some music if you want me to. You can just pick a record and, uh, I’ll... play it,” Peter winced at his words, cursing himself for being so awkward in front of the girl he’d been pining after since the beginning of the year. He felt like everything had spiraled out of control, and he watched idly as it happened. Then, Grace shot him a smile and pulled out a record.
          “You have a good taste in music, Silver,” No one had ever called Peter ‘silver’ before. He liked it a bit more than he should. “Although, that’s not really a surprise. I had a feeling you were cool.” 
          “You think I’m cool?” Peter asked, shocked. He wasn’t sure he heard her correctly.
          “Oh, totally. I see you in the hallways sometimes and you always seem so… carefree. Genuine. I don’t know, I guess it’s just… you, ya know? You’re naturally cool.” Every syllable that rolled off her tongue shot euphoria through Peter’s veins. Grace DeCuerpo, the girl Peter Maximoff had dreamed of for almost a full year, was telling him that she thought he was cool. Naturally cool. 
          “I know a lot of people who would disagree with you on that one,” Peter joked. There was truth behind his humor, but of course, he didn’t want to get into his insecurities now. “They think I’m a total loser, which isn’t totally wrong I guess.”
          “Well those people are stupid,” She stated matter-of-factly with a smile. “Speaking of stupid, we should probably get to work.” Peter nodded before sitting beside her on the floor. 
          For three hours they poured over their algebra  books. They quizzed each other and checked each other’s work; Peter’s proficiency in simplifying radicals aiding them both. Every now and then their hands would brush against each other, or the conversation would stray away from school and into their personal lives. Peter learned that Grace had two brothers, one of which passed away when she was younger. Peter talked about Lorena and Wanda and his miraculous abilities in the same way that she talked about her hometown and her own abilities. The conversation was smooth and natural-- Peter didn’t feel like he was being too annoying or too chatty and there was seldom an awkward pause. The pair were content in their time together, not a single moment went by where one wished the other would leave. 
          Eventually, Grace had to go home. Peter wished that she could stay forever, but of course, that would be considered kidnapping. He walked her to the door, although Peter didn’t feel like he was walking. He felt like he was floating.
          “Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow, Silver,” Grace said softly as she turned to face Peter. She looked him in the eye and he could feel his stomach flutter. 
          “Yeah, I guess so,” She opened the door, but before she left, she froze. She turned to look at Peter once again. 
          “Peter?” she said. “You’re not a loser.”
          Peter could tell the second he walked through the front door of his high school that something had changed. The energy that radiated in the halls shifted from a dull buzz of boredom to a rush of anticipation. The students in the hallway looked the same as always; tired and anxious and wishing for the day to go by quickly. However, Peter wasn’t wishing for the end of the day, and he certainly wasn’t tired. He was determined and energized and absolutely terrified, because that morning Peter Maximoff made the most important decision a seventeen-year-old could. He decided that he was going to ask Grace out on a date. 
          Peter made the choice to keep this from his friends-- it’s not that he didn’t trust them, it’s just that Peter knew he would be teased for his infatuation. It’s happened before and it will happen again. He walked down the hallways with a brave face on, his eyes forward and his heart racing. Truthfully, the silver teenager was terrified of… well, everything. The looming image of a harsh rejection forced itself into his mind; the idea that she would laugh in his face made his heart break a tiny bit, even though it wasn’t real. Peter simply shook those images away and walked on. 
          The day flew by much faster than Peter was comfortable with, and for the first time ever, he was dreading algebra  class. He was terrified that he would walk through the door and have everything be exactly the same-- he feared that Grace would go back to not knowing who he was, just like before. Peter was alright with never being her boyfriend, but he didn’t want to be a stranger. He didn’t think he could take being a stranger anymore. 
            So, there he stood, staring at the door to his algebra classroom from across the hall. He felt confident and prepared himself for the task at hand. In four long strides, he entered the classroom. Grace was sitting next to an empty desk, her eyes stuck on the small notebook full of doodles on her desk. Peter watched as her eyes raised to meet his, a wide smile forming on her face as she motioned him over. 
          “Hey, silver! I saved a seat for ya,” she called, and Peter felt his knees get weak. He then decided that he would wait until after class to ask her out. 
          “You did?”
          “Of course,” She grinned. “I like you, dude, you’re my friend,” Peter’s heart fluttered as he sat down beside her. Grace shot an odd look his way before reaching out and placing a hand on his arm. “Hey, you look stressed. Don’t sweat it, silver, you’ll do fine. We studied for, like, 3 hours yesterday. You’re gonna ace it,”
          To be frank, Peter had forgotten all about the test. The real reason he looked so stressed was because he happened to be sitting next to the love of his life, and the love of his life happened to be touching his arm. 
          “O-oh! Uh, yeah, thanks. I was just nervous because of… the test,” The bell rang and class began, the professor strictly laying down the rules that were to be followed while the test was in session. Peter could feel the lingering touch of her hand on his skin. It made his head feel fuzzy.
          Peter soon came to learn that sitting next to Grace during a test was a huge mistake. He couldn’t focus on anything other than her-- it didn’t help that she kept shooting him glances from where she sat. The numbers and letters on the paper in front of him seemed to rearrange before his eyes, instead spelling out various taunts. He feels a little pathetic for how easily Grace can unravel him, but hey, he’s a teenager. 
          The silver-haired boy’s eyes were struggling to decipher the words on his page when a small folded square landed on his desk. It came from Grace’s direction, and a small smirk had formed on her lips as she solved equations. Hesitantly, he unfolded the paper and read the neatly written message.
          Hey silver :)
          Peter smiled softly. He quickly pulled a pad of post-it notes out of his backpack and scribbled down a quick reply.
          I have no idea what I’m doing. I think Professor Stedman decided to write our tests in hieroglyphics this time.
          He flicked the note onto her desk and quickly turned his face downward. Class would be over soon, and Peter knew he couldn’t turn in a blank test. He uses his enhanced speed to do his assessment in seconds. Sure, he was almost certain he’d barely reach a passing grade, but hey, he had bigger matters to focus on. By the time he finished, another note landed on his desk.
          That bad, huh? Looks like we better study longer next time. 
          Peter’s heart swelled a bit. He really thought the study sessions were a one-time thing. He’s overjoyed to know he’ll get to see Grace semi-regularly, even if he never manages to ask her out.
          I think I’d rather hang out with you without the looming threat of schoolwork. 
          That’s the closest Peter could get to asking her out. He put deep thought into every word, he examined the phrasing and checked the spelling of every word. His english teacher would be proud.
          That can be arranged ;) 
          Peter had no idea that four words could make him feel so much. He had no idea that 17 letters could make him want to scream in the middle of a silent testing period. His hand was shaking and his careful planning was abandoned as he scribbled back a reply.
          Oh yeah? What did you have in mind?
          Patiently, he waited. He waited for Grace to finish writing her response and he waited for her to toss the note back over. He didn’t wait for more than a few minutes, but it felt like hours. He was panicking, and he was sure she could tell. She was probably joking, right? She was probably writing an awkward clarification-- she was probably explaining that she would actually rather die than be around him for non-academic reasons. He braced himself as the yellow post-it landed on the center of his desk.
          My aunt owns a drive-in a few miles from here and she gave me keys to the projector room and the gate. She managed to snag a copy of The Exorcist-- I thought you’d like to join me during my midnight escapade tomorrow night.
          Peter’s heart stopped. For a moment, he thought his eyes were fooling him. Maybe this was all some sick joke. Maybe he was being set up. Maybe he’ll get in her car tomorrow and she’ll drive him into the woods and murder him. To be completely honest, Peter wouldn’t mind if she murdered him. Peter wrote his reply.
          Really? You want me there? I might be a drag. You could probably find at least 20 other people who would probably be more interesting than me.
          Grace frowned at his response, and suddenly Peter decided he never wanted to see her frown again. She wrote confidently, her words solid and sure.
          You? A drag? Impossible. I don’t want to be alone, and I don’t want to be with anyone other than you, Maximoff. 
          This note was his undoing. He couldn’t help himself, he read it over and over and over again-- he almost forgot to respond. He wanted to hold onto it forever, he wanted it to be framed and hung on his wall. Hell, he wanted it tattooed on his arm. Peter had never been so happy while taking a test, that’s for sure. He wasn’t sure exactly what to say; he went from heartfelt responses to witty retorts. Finally, he decided to be totally and completely honest.
          I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
          There was seldom a time in his life where Peter Maximoff felt wholly content. Even in the most peaceful moments, there was always something bothering him, there was always something to pull him back to reality. However, sitting in the back of Grace’s dad’s convertible with the seats down and the roof pulled back, his head resting on her shoulder as they watched a cheesy horror movie, Peter was as close to nirvana as he’d ever been. 
          Life had always been so hard for Peter. He’s always had to fight for his seat at the table, to claw his way into a state of mind that wasn’t a hellhole. It seemed as if the world was plotted against him; he was ostracized from society and taught that he, along with his closest family and friends, were monsters. He never met his father and his mother spent so long fighting her own battles that she forgot to love her kids. Peter had to steal to stay fed, and he had to do his best to raise his little sisters to be good people. But right there, right then? That wasn’t hard. Peter didn’t have to be anyone or do anything-- he just had to exist next to someone who wanted him. That was the easiest thing Peter had ever done.
          Peter wasn’t exactly sure how he got there. Of course, he knew that they had driven to the drive-in, but he wasn’t sure how he was the person next to Grace. They had spoken for one day, maybe two, and somehow he landed himself in the most perfect spot in the entire universe. Less than a week ago, she didn’t even know his name. Or, maybe she did. Maybe she was just like Peter-- maybe she had spent the past year pining for him, and finally she worked up the nerve to just talk to him. Maybe. Peter isn’t complaining either way.
          “Can I ask you a kind of cheesy question?” Peter is startled by the sound of his own voice. Grace sits up and glances at him.
          “Do you-- well, uh, don’t read too much into this, but, do you believe in love at first sight?” God, he sounded awkward. 
          “Nope,” She said bluntly. Peter wasn’t expecting that answer, but he wasn’t exactly disappointed by it. “I mean, it’s kind of a stupid idea, ya know? Like, isn’t there a million poems and sonnets and books written about how love is this weird complicated monster of a feeling? I don’t think you can really love someone just by looking at them. You can love the idea of a person, sure, or maybe the look of a person, but you can’t love that person. Because a person is so much more than ‘first sight’,” she sighs. “I don’t know, maybe I’m being a killjoy. It just seems dumb to me-- dumb and, I don’t know, exclusive,”
          Peter stops to think for a moment. He steps out of his lovesick chaotic hellbrain and looks at his feelings from an outside perspective. He thinks back to the kingdom he created in his brain-- a kingdom built on a foundation of sand. Or, less than sand. Holographic sand, because the sand he built his kingdom on wasn’t real. He made a mental note that ‘Holographic Sand’ is a kickass band name, then resumed his impromptu soul-searching. She was right-- he could see  that now. Scott was right, too. You really can’t love someone you don’t know, because if you don’t know them, you fill in the gaps. You fill in the gaps with what you think fits, and then the other person stops being them and starts being parts of you. Peter suddenly felt weird.
          “I’m sorry if I said something wrong,” Grace interjects after a while. Peter hadn’t realized he’d been silent for so long.
          “You didn’t say anything wrong. On the contrary, you, uh, you made things a little bit more… right, in my brain. You somehow managed to take a little chunk of chaos and tame it, which is scarily impressive,” he joked. “Remind me to ask you your opinion on the meaning of life and the root of true happiness,” They’re joined in a chorus of laughter and Peter realizes that his little brain kingdom didn’t hold a candle to the red convertible he was sitting in. She slings an arm around his shoulders.
          “Y’know, I might not know the meaning of life, but I am pretty close to true happiness right now,” She says, softer than before. “Maybe the root of true happiness is you, Maximoff,” She chuckles. Peter smiles. He doesn’t want the ruin the moment-- god, he is desperately trying to keep himself from fucking it up, but he feels obligated to tell her about his year of pining.
          “Hey, uh, can I tell you something kinda pathetic?” He cringes at the way his voice trembled on the last word. 
          “Go ahead, Peter,” She used his name this time. Peter thinks she knows he’s about to say something mildly serious.
          “I’ve liked you since, like, the beginning of the year. You seemed so… cool. So nice. I saw you in the hallways and my stomach would get all twisted up and my head would hurt a little bit. It was like I was allergic to you, but I enjoyed it. That sounds weird. I’m sorry,” He stopped for a moment, attempting to take the buzzing mass of words in his brain and string them into a sentence. “I was too afraid to talk to you, so I, uh, asked around. I got other people’s opinions of you and then built a little version of you in my brain. I realize now that, uhm, the little brain version of you is like, way way worse than actual you,”
          When you talked to me the first time, you threw me off. I wasn’t really nervous about the test-- I mean, yeah I was nervous but that’s not why I looked so pale. I just wasn’t expecting for you to talk to me, like, willingly. So I lied because I was embarrassed. And I lied again in class yesterday. Because I was embarrassed,” He stopped talking. Peter felt like he was digging himself into a hole-- he felt like he killed the sweet sugary mood. 
          “Why are you telling me this?” Grace asked. She didn’t sound angry. She sounded a little confused, and she sounded like she was trying to help Peter decipher his brain. 
          “I don’t know, I guess I just feel bad. I feel bad for, uh, for not being honest I guess. I feel bad for being a coward,” Yep, definitely killed the mood.
          “Peter, you shouldn’t feel bad for being afraid, you know,” She assures. “I would’ve done the exact same thing in your position. Hell, I did do the exact same thing in your position,” That caught Peter’s attention.
          “You didn’t drop your keys in algebra. You dropped them somewhere in bio and my friend found them. She was gonna take them to the office, but I wanted an excuse to talk to you, so I said I’d return them,” Peter couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He was being pranked, he had to be. “Being awkward and weird is like a requirement in high school. Don’t sweat it, Maximoff, really. We’re all the same in that way, I think,”
          Peter felt a wave of relief wash over him. He was feeling too much at that moment, he was letting the bad drown out the good. He didn’t want to remember the day in a sad light.
          “I like you. A lot. Even if you are awkward and weird,” He smiles softly. Slowly, ever so slowly, he intertwined his fingers with those of the girl beside him. It was a simple display of affection, but it made Peter feel like he was floating.
          “I like you too, dork,” Peter smiled widely before placing his head back on Grace’s shoulder. Peter wasn’t paying attention to the movie, in fact, he wasn’t paying attention to anything at all. No, Peter was lost in his head again-- but this time, he wasn’t standing on a false kingdom with a false version of the girl he liked. No, this time, he was thinking about the very real girl beside him. He was thinking about the perfect world they had created in the small car they were in; a perfect world where he felt so much emotion and so, so safe. They had built a utopia in the back seat- a blissful tower of awkwardness and comfort and clumsy confessions. A paradise where he sat in the back seat of a Ford Galaxie with Graciella DeCuerpo, the pretty girl from algebra class, sitting right next to him. 
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u2canhappentoanyone · 11 months ago
Goodbye, Adderall
I want to get all this out before the withdrawal starts.
I’m quitting Adderall.  It’s official.  Doctor’s appointment tomorrow will just confirm my suspicions it’s been causing my panic attacks and rapid mood cycling this whole time, I imagine, especially because I have to take a shit load of Klonopin just to stave it off.  This is basically headed into Requiem for a Dream territory.
It’s hard to believe I’m even on it still to begin with.  That was John’s fault.  Pharmacologist and therapist extraordinaire was convinced the extended release was what I needed, instead of that Dexedrine shite I was on before.  And before that it was Ritalin LA (Los Angeles edition™), before that the short-acting Ritalin, and before that it was…what again?
Oh yeah.  Adderall.  IR, back then.  How’d I get into this mess?
Back in college I took Adderall for the first time on a lazy weekend when I didn’t feel like doing my homework.  I’d heard of “study drugs” before and avoided them, but something that day made me say “sure why not” to something I had no idea was fucking amphetamine.
I had never felt so euphoric in my life.  And boy, could I write.  I was in love with my work, in love with life.  For someone who had been depressed my whole life it was like a godsend.  Still, I didn’t get hooked right away.  It was just an “every once and awhile” thing.
Enter: man that ruined my life.
The long story short is I traded love for amphetamines, because I couldn’t really have the first.  Adderall loved me when he couldn’t.  Classic addict shit.  I abused it through the rest of college whenever I could get my hands on some - I ended up dropping out in part because of it - and then after that I managed to convince a doctor I had ADHD and write me a script.  After all, it ran in the family and I was already a walking DSM-V diagnosis.  What’s one more thing to add?
I knew I had a problem starting around 2015.  No, I think I knew even before that but it started to become obvious then.  The cycles of going through my prescription too quickly followed by hellacious week-long withdrawals.  I got used to living my life this way, figured it would always be…
Then in 2016 there was another guy, and this made me drop Adderall like it was trash in my hands because his crazy abusive girlfriend was an addict, and I wanted to immediately prove I wasn’t by stopping a years-long addiction like it was nothing.  Weirdly this worked, for a bit at least…the power of love, I tell ya.  Of course, it didn’t work out with Mr. Not-So-Perfect, and after a few months experimenting with nootropics like Modafinil as a potentially safer replacement I ended up back in the arms of Adderall.
It didn’t end there though.  I spent most of 2017 battling my addiction like a lion, at one point gleefully emptying my pills on the floor and kicking them.  My biggest victory was June 3 2017.  Technically I hadn’t seen a U2 concert fully sober since my first GA show way back in 2005 - in 2009 some chick we met on the internet smoked us out before the show, and in 2015 I was on Addy and some delicious and completely legal edibles.  Then my first 2017 in Cali I was high again, on both weed and Adderall.  Still addicted.  But Chicago… I was afraid that I couldn’t enjoy a U2 show not high anymore.  That being sober would ruin the magic…funny thing about U2 shows, they’re kind of their own drug, and certainly their own kind of magic. It doesn’t really matter what you have in your system beforehand - once the show starts, it’s like another universe completely.  But that night I went to a show totally sober for the first time since I was 16, and felt the joy of innocence returned in a roundabout I called “the return of innocence after experience, which I deem to be transcendence.”  It was the best night of my life.
Things complicated in 2018, but I came to Christ and a big part of that was admitting my Adderall addiction to my parents.  They were both incredibly cool and understanding about it, and while I continued to be put on various other stimulant medications for the next couple years I never once abused them.  Not even the Adderall, when that came back around.  But nonetheless I felt trapped in a never-ending nightmare, never able to find stable footing, prone to crying fits and rage fits and just way too many kinds of fits for an adult woman, thanks.  And I’ve tried fucking with my other meds, but it always made things worse.  I’m pretty convinced Adderall is (in part) ruining my life, and that’s why I’m going to stop it and all stimulant medication forever.  I’m a shade of the person I once was and I hate it.  I want my soul back.  And the only way to get it is to say goodbye to the thing sucking it away…
Goodbye, Adderall.  You and I sure had some fun times together, but it’s just not working between us anymore.  No, I don’t want to stay friends.  Sorry, I’mma have to cut you AND your lil stimmy buddies off completely.
This is going to be a fun couple months.  Or however long it takes to fix my brain after all those years of taking amphetamines.  But I know it’s the right thing to do.  I know it.  And that’s why I’m declaring this to the masses, because to be honest I’m scared and I could use all the love and support I could get.  To anyone who read all this…thank you.  I love you.  
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iwrite4obx · a year ago
It's a Date Pt. 2 | JJ x fem!Reader | Topper x fem!Reader
Read Part 1 | Read Part 3 | Part 4
A/N: So sorry for the delay. I took a short break due to life but I am back and ready to write! This is part 2 to my 4 part story requested by @sweetestdolan Please keep an eye out for part 3, which will be the date with her Topper! Requests are still temporarily closed. I will reopen them when this story is complete. Edit: nope I changed my mind, they're open!
T/W: Swearing and fluff. I think that's it.
Summary: Can I request a topper xx reader or Jj x reader where reader is Sarah and rafe’s cousin that’s staying with them for the summer and Sarah and John B wanna set her up with Jj while rafe (not a dick for once) sees her being with Topper and well she kinda has this thing where she says “make a date where it shows off your personality” and she goes on both and yea sorry if it’s confusing. This part is the date with JJ
Word count: 2k
You stood in front of Sarah's full length mirror, admiring the yellow gingham sundress you were trying on. It looked beautifuk on you. You loved the way it accentuated your curves.
“Nope, too formal,” Sarah decided, motioning for you to take it off and throw it on the pile with the dozen other outfits she'd already deemed too fancy or pretentious. You sighed, but obeyed, slipping the straps off your shoulders and letting the dress fall to the ground.
"How do you know it's too formal?" You questioned. "You don't even know what the date is."
"Because trust me, I know JJ. I've got a pretty good idea," she contended with a knowing smile.
You still didn't know quite how you'd gotten yourself into this mess. While your cousin Sarah and her boyfriend had been attempting to set you up with their friend JJ, your other cousin, Rafe, had interjected and tried to get you to go out with his friend Tooper. To stop your cousins from going at each other, you have promised to go on dates with both of them. It had seemed like an exciting idea at the time. You thought it would be a bit like the Bachelorette. Now however, you were starting to regret offering.
"Oh wait, I've got it!" Sarah announced after a moment. She pulled a rose-colored high waisted skater skirt from her drawer and went digging through the clothes pile for a white cropped tank top they had already discarded. "Try this on."
You put on the outfit and turned to look at yourself in the mirror. You liked it. It was cute, casual, and so you. But you were sure Sarah would find some issue with it.
"It's perfect!" Sarah squealed. "Just wear your swimsuit under it. I'd go with the coral one."
"We spent all this time finding an outfit, and I'm just gonna be swimming?"
Sarah just shrugged, making a motion that said her lips were sealed.
John B came to pick you up in his van. During the entire ride, you pestered both he and Sarah about where you were going and why JJ couldn’t come pick you up himself, but they shared very little information with you.
You had managed to find JJ on Instagram, so at least you knew what he looked like. And when you saw his pictures, you were almost surprised. He was incredibly good-looking, there was no denying it. His untamed blond hair and crystal blue eyes, combined with his tendency to wear cut-off shirts or simply no shirt at all, made it hard to look away from him. Still, you were unsure about how this date would go. From what little you'd managed to gather about his personality, he was a comedic reckless bad-boy, and it wasn't a type you usually went for.
"We're here," John B announced, switching his car into park and hoping out.
You looked around at your surroundings, confused. "This is your house, isn't it?" you asked John B.
Before he could respond, you heard a voice behind you. “Hey, there's the infamous y/n." You turned around to see JJ emerging from John B's house with a wide grin on his face.
You were surprised to find that he was even more attractive in person.
"And you must be JJ." You reached out your hand to shake his, but he pulled you into a hug instead. You could feel the muscles in his arms and chest and you'd be lying if you said you didn't enjoy it.
"Hey sorry about sending JB to pick you up. I had to do we last minute maintenance on the Pogue. I'm sure you're docking me points as we speak," he said with a cheeky grin.
You nodded even though you had absolutely zero clue what he was talking about. “Just a few,” you jokingly replied.
“Then we should get going before I can lose anymore. Hey Sarah, take care of John B for me, okay? I know he gets lonely when we’re apart.” John B flipped him off. You all said your goodbyes and Sarah and her boyfriend climbed back in his van and left, leaving you and JJ alone.
He turned to you with a smile. “Welcome to the Outer Banks, sweetheart. You’re gonna love it here.
Only when you got down to the docks did what JJ had said make any sense. There was a small fishing boat docked there with the letters HMS POGUE painted on the side. You knew about the island rivalry between the rich Kooks and the poor Pogues, but none of it meant anything to you. You knew that even though the Cameron's were significantly wealthier than your side of the family, you would be considered a Kook. But in your opinion, the class-based bias was stupid and pointless.
When you saw the boat, you were instantly excited. You loved the sea and there were few things you enjoyed more than being on the My Druthers with you Uncle and cousins. Somehow, you knew the adventure in this small fishing boat with JJ would be even more exciting.
"Are we going out on the water? I love boating!" You exclaimed.
"Oh yeah? It's not beneath a Kook princess like you?"
It honestly made you angry to be stereotyped like that, but rather than calling him out on it, you calmly responded, "Not at all." You suddenly understood exactly what kind of girl he expected you to be, and you were determined to prove him wrong.
He helped you into the boat and thanked him. He untied the boat and pushed off from the dock before starting the engine. ”So tell me a little bit about yourself. Like, where're you from? How are you related to the Camerons?”
“Uncle Ward is my mom’s brother. We live about six hours away in Virginia, west of Roanoke. I love coming here any chance I get. This is the first time I've come by myself and I'm spending the entire summer."
"I can't imagine not living by a beach," he commented. He was lounging in the seat by the wheel, attempting and failing to steer the boat with his feet. You stifled a laugh. "Well really, I can't imagine living anywhere but here."
“My mom grew up here, with her brother. She left to go to school and never came back.”
“Wait, Sarah said her dad grew up on the cut. So your mom did too?”
“Yeah. When he earned all his money, he gave some to my mom." You didn't like talking about the origin of your wealth, but you felt comfortable with JJ. "They’re really close.”
You and JJ continued talking. You learned that he was an only child, but he didn't say much else about his family. Mostly he told you about his friends and what he liked to do. He told you that he was a good surfer, and you made him promise, even if you two were a terrible match, that he would give you lessons. He agreed with a laugh. Eventually, when you were far enough out, he cut the engine.
"Wanna go for a dip?" he offered.
You raised an eyebrow at him. "Is this your secret plan to get me to take my clothes off on the first date? Because if so, it's working."
He laughed. "I did not expect you to be funny."
You tilted your head and smiled at him. "Well now that you've met me, I hope you've learned not to underestimate me."
"Yes ma'am," he agreed.
You both stripped down to your swimsuits. JJ, quickly dove in, but you were a bit hesitant.
"Come on. I'll catch you. Promise," JJ persuaded as soon as he broke the surface. He held out his arms to prove it to you.
You closed your eyes and jumped. True to his word, JJ caught you. The force from your jump caused both of you to go under, but he held you the entire time.
“You okay?” He asked when you both resurfaced. He didn’t truly sound concerned though, he was too busy laughing.
“I’m fine, but you won’t be when I get my revenge.”
“Revenge? Why, I caught you?” He protested.
“Revenge for laughing at me, obviously.”
He laughed again, seemingly not affected by your threat. You seemed to both simultaneously realize he was still holding on to you, and he gently released you, glancing away as if he was embarrassed.
JJ cleared his throat and broke the silence. “Okay, so I get Sarah, she’s a pretty cool chick, but how is a great girl like you related to a dickhead like Rafe Cameron?”
"Hey! That's my cousin you're talking about."
"Okay fine, sore subject."
You sighed. "Honestly, he's different around me. Different even than he is around Sarah and Wheezie. We’re pretty close. Not as close as me and Sarah, but still.”
“So that’s why you agreed to go on a date with Topper?”
“I guess.” You shrugged. Honestly, you hadn’t expected to connect this well with JJ. You already found yourself staring at him shamelessly, his lips specifically. The date with Topper was beginning to seem stupid. You could already imagine yourself spending your summer with JJ. Surfing, hanging out with his friends on the HMS Pogue, cuddling on the beach under the night sky. You shook your head to bring yourself back to reality. You'd only just met JJ, and you had no way of knowing if he even liked you.
“What should I know about Topper?” You asked JJ, curious.
JJ snorted. “I have nothing good to say about him. He’s a first-rate stuck-up kook.”
“Okay, sorry. Bad date topic anyway.”
“You know what’s a good date topic?” JJ began with a mischievous smile on his face. He swam up to you so that your faces were inches apart. You could sense his lips getting closer to yours. Your eyes fluttered shut. All of the sudden, he grabbed you by the waist and tossed you into the water, dunking you.
You gasped when your head emerged. “You are so dead,” you shouted.
You jumped onto his back, trying to force his head under, but he was stronger than you and easily threw you off. You chased after him, trying fruitlessly to get your payback. Only after ten minutes of chasing him were you finally able to dunk him, and even then, you had a feeling that he let you.
You were still both laughing when you climbed back on the deck on the Pogue. It was nearing nightfall, and you decided to head back. JJ had offered to let you steer, but he kept leaning over your shoulder and correcting your movements, so somehow you end up on his lap as you head back towards land. You were both silent, but it was a comfortable silence and you didn’t mind it in the slightest. When you pulled up to the dock, he turned off the engine and you both climbed off.
JJ led you to John B's yard where you reclined together on a hammock and looked up at the sky. It was slightly chilly outside, but JJ had his arm wrapped around your shoulder, and wherever his bare skin touched yours, you felt warm.
"This is one of my favorite places in the world," he explained."I love to sit here with my friends, roll a joint, just look up at the sky. I don't care if it's in total silence. It's the only time I shut up," he joked. You can't help but laugh
"It feels just as natural with you here beside me. I guess what I'm trying to say is I can see you as one of us. You should hang out with us. With me."
He rolled on to his side to face you and you did the same. He reached up a hand to cup your cheek and pulls you closer until your lips are touching. It's the perfect kiss. Slow and gentle, but electrifying.
"Think about it," he whispered. You nodded, a silent promise.
You didn't know how it was possible, but as you laid there next to JJ, you could already feel yourself falling for him.
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thewritingstar · a year ago
Until My Heart Stops Racing
Pairing: Mitch x Mike (or Bitch as I like to call them, ya know cause Believe x Mitch.....nvm lol) 
Fandom: The Powerpuff Girls 
Note: This was a commission for the wonderful @lisathefan who gave me the cutest prompt and I know she loves her crack ships. I hope you enjoy my dear and thanks to my beta, Faxx for helping me! 
Word count: 5538
The car whipped into the parking space, dirt flying around us and I felt my heart rate finally go back to its normal beating. I looked over to Butch who had a goofy grin and ignoring everything he just did.
“Butch your driving is terrible. Now I get why you fly everywhere.” I groaned as I finally got out of the car. “I swear if Brick saw how you drove this thing... actually I don’t want to think about it.” I thought that speeding was illegal but apparently if the cops can’t even see your car, it's a free pass. And being in touch with the puffs might be a bonus we all have.
Butch let out a laugh before locking the car. “Relaxe Mike, what Brick doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” He shrugged and sometimes I wondered how he could even say that. Brick could kill someone with just a glance but when you are a superhuman, and his brother, maybe the effect doesn’t work.
Maybe I should ask Blossom about that.
The beeping of other cars brought me out of my trance as I followed him on the dirt path.
“Anyways, why did you drag me all the way out here?” I turned to see the lights and the signs. “The fair?”
In front of me was the entrance to what could only be deemed as a somehow legal way to make people shell out three hundred dollars on cheap food and even cheaper ride systems. Every kid wanted to go to the fair and, yeah, it was fun when you were five, but now that we had just graduated high school, it seemed more dangerous than fun.
“Yeah, why not?”
I glanced at him and he only smiled widely but something in his eyes had mischief written all over it. “What's the deal?”
He sighed and smirked.
“A little birdy told me you got heart eyes for a certain someone.” Butch threw his arm around my shoulder. “And as the king of romance, I’m gonna help you out.”
Theres always a small tinge of fear whenever Butch gets an idea. It either ends badly where someone gets hurt, usually him or bad in the way that we all get in trouble and the notorious Powerpuff Girls have to get us out of it. But this...this was much worse.
“Butch, what did you do?” I said through gritted teeth. He only laughed at me instead of answering and pushed up towards the gates.
“Relax. Look they are here.” He pointed.
I followed his sight and walking up towards us was Buttercup, Robin and Mitch. Butch let out another laugh, probably because he could hear my heartbeat. Fuck superhearing. Of course Robin opened her mouth. You tell a girl while you’re throwing up that you have the biggest crush on your best friend who wears dark leather, has piercings and makes your heart swoon and think that she can keep her mouth shut. But no, she can’t.
“Hey guys.” Butch waves to him before leaving me to wrap his arms around Buttercup and ignore the public by kissing her square on the lips. PDA is always gross unless you’re the one doing it, so I can’t blame them. Also it's funny to watch her smack his arm.
“Sup Mikey.” Robin smiles smugly. Little demon.
“Hey. Hi Mitch.” He gives me a wave and a nod of the head and I have to mentally tell myself not to blush. Stupid hormons.
“Come on you two.” Robin says and grabs my arm and Mitch’s and forces us towards the carnival’s entrance. “Lets go!”
One of the perks to being besties with the puffs is the mass amount of freebies. Buttercup swiftly pulled out a ticket for each of us and handed it to the ticket collector.
“Sweet, free entrance.” Mitch smiled at me and held up his hand for a fist bump.
I gladly returned the gesture and every time I did so, I wondered if he could feel the electric spark between us. God, I need to stop reading romance novels.
“Alright losers. We’ll see you all later tonight, meet up for fireworks at 9?” Buttercup said and apparently everyone already had a plan that I was not aware of.
“Sounds good to me!” Butch smirked. “BC and I are going to do coupley stuff no one wants to see and Robin said something about henna soooooo.” He looked at me. “Guess Mitchy boy and Mikey are on their own.” I didn’t miss his wink and before I could protest, everyone was walking away.
My mind was now racing as I tried to comprehend what was happening. I realized in this moment that the group had ganged up on us, well specifically me. Mitch probably didn’t even think twice as the group broke up but they were out of their minds if they thought something was going to happen.
“Wanna hit the rides?” He asked.
I take a breath before nodding. We turn into the direction of the ride area and I have to remind myself that he is just a friend. A friend. Nothing more, nothing less. I usually have my emotions in check but for some reason, they want to act up now. All I have to do is get through tonight without embarrassing myself or giving Butch the satisfation of him being the king of romance. As if that were possible.
The area is buzzing with so much energy. There’s little kids whining and screams coming from the various rides. The smells of corn dogs, popcorn and, oddly enough, waffles mixed in the air and I can’t tell if it smells good or not but I know my pockets are gonna be much lighter by the end of the night.
We get into the shortest line for the tickets and it's truly a scam that each ride is a separate cost.
“I don’t feel like dying tonight so I think two rides is good for me.” Mitch says and I laugh a little because it's true. Just watching the swings makes me feel like one of them unhinge and plummet to the ground but that's what I get for being a paranoid person.
“I feel you. How about the rollercoaster and ummm... the spinning ride?” I suggest.
“Sounds good to me.” He smiles and god fucking dammit, those damn dimples.
The line moves as we chat about the newest horror movie coming into theaters and how Mitch saw a certain pair of redheads making out in a car.
“Wait for real?”
“I swear to god dude.” He raised his hand. “Unless some other chick wears a big ass bow, it has to be them.”
“Interesting.” I smile and soon we get called next.
“Hi there boys, how many tickets can I get ya?” the older woman asks.
“Ten.” Mitch says and I reach into my pocket to grab my wallet, that may or may not have a photo of all of our friends and definitely not for the reason that I can see his face at any given time, but Mitch stops me and places the cash in the tin. “I got it.” he says casually and something inside me felt all warm and fuzzy as the row of blue tickets was handed to him.
“Have a nice date night.” The woman says as we walk away and I almost do a double take thinking I heard her wrong. But when I look over to Mitch, he seems unaffected by the words so I just let it slide.
The rollercoaster isn’t as grand or cool as the ones at the theme park, it doesn’t even go upside down but it has a good bit of hills and bumps to give some air time so i guess it will do. The only problem is that these workers don’t care and make Mitch and I sit in the same cart as these two younger kids.
After we get the bars onto us, the ride starts to go. In front of us the girl grabs the boy's arm and I give a small eye roll as we start to climb the lift hill.
“Babe I'm scared.” She cries and he wraps an arm around her shoulders and I’ve never been so jealous of middle schoolers before.
“These carts are so damn small.” Mitch complains. And it's true. The two of us squished in this together leaves no space for our arms. The pressure of our shoulders touching isn’t too bad but it's to the point it almost hurts. “Hold on.” He says and I feel him pull his right arm away from mine and throw it behind us. “Sorry this is better.”
“No, it's cool bro.” I say even though I realize that this boy really just made it ten times harder to breath now.
I can barely grasp my surroundings as the rollercoaster takes its first turn before the drop. I can see the ending of the track as we go down but the only thing my brain is processing is the fingers tightening on my shoulder.
“Holy shit.” I mumble hoping that Mitch doesn’t know how he's affecting me.
We let out screams and shouts as we go up and down, flying around on the track and I try to enjoy myself, I really do. Before long, it's over and Mitch reaches his hand out to help me up and I take it with silence.
“That was fun.” He smiles and I am really happy he ignored his moms protests and got that lip piercing. It suits him.
“Yeah.” Is all I can muster and he gives me a look before walking towards the next ride.
Luckily as we enter this ride, there’s more room. Only our knees touch as we buckle in the seatbelt and I feel myself being able to breathe better.
“Good thing we didn’t eat before getting on here.” I laugh as the lights start to flash.
He snorts and nods. “Robin would have blown chunks either way.”
The ride is a simple circular track with small hills. All it does is follow the path and goes around pretty fast. Simple but a classic. The music begins and soon we feel the cart shift. I'm sitting on the right while Mitch is on the left, next to the exit and he wiggles off his black beanie just for good measure. His light brown hair, slightly damaged from dying it black back in freshman year, is ruffled from hat hair and my god is it cute.
“Fucking love this ride.” Mitch smiles and it begins to pick up the pace.
Soon, we are at full speed, which is fine. Perfectly fine. Except for the fact that the gravity from the ride is pulling me towards Mitch and no matter how tight I hold on, I end up smacked against him. Shoulders touching and I can clearly smell his cologne. It's the scent of sandalwood and campfire and my god does it smell heavenly. Men just smell like nature and I am more than okay with that.
But Mitch doesn’t mind, because why would he? Instead he's laughing and truly enjoying the ride. I smile and laugh too because honestly, it's just fun to spend time with him. The ride is over faster than I wanted and we hop off, slightly dizzy and I walk a little out of line but he catches my arm and pulls me to him.
“Easy dude.” He chuckles and I nudge him playfully and ruffle his hair before he plops on his beanie. Goodbye cute hat hair.
All of a sudden, my shoulder is hit. It was a pretty hard smack and my body jolted to the side as Mitch grabbed me from falling.
“Look a bunch of homos.” I look up and realize that it's some assholes from our school.
Duke Jones and Mark Dalton. Some of the few people who actually try to be douchebags on the regular.
My eyes do heavy eye rolls and I want to scream at them but I've never been a confronting person. My voice is in my throat but Mitch takes a step forward, his hand never leaving my arm.
“And what of it? Really dudes? You think some lame insult is gonna hurt our feelings. You’re lucky I don’t just kick your ass, better enough I can call Buttercup in a second and have your bodies all the way across this place. Grow the fuck up and maybe don’t choke on your toxic masculanity.” He sneered and sometimes I forget that Mitch can be pretty intimidating.
Their eyes widened as Mitch pulled out his phone to show BC’s number. They mutter something before turning and rushing off in a hurry.
“You okay?” He asks me.
“Yeah.” I say. “Sorry you got caught in that.”
“It's not a big deal.”
But it is. It's not a secret that I'm out and proud. Yeah its cool and all to not have to be closeted, even Princess came out last year so its nice to know that someone higher up won’t pick on me, but even then, it sucks. No matter where I go in life, someone will be there with a flame thrower of slurs or anger for something I didn’t choose. As for Mitch, theres something about him being called gay and him not having a hissy fit about it that makes me feel safe. Uhh fuck.
I take a second to recollect myself and Mitch just pulls me from the herds of eyes that saw that fiasco.
“Lets go here.” He points to the hall of mirrors and for some reason it's beginning to get extremely hard to be around him.
But I take a deep breath and push those feelings to the side once again.
The hall of mirrors was by far the lamest thing the fair could have done. Sure, as a little kid it was cool and slightly scary but now, all of our heads could see just above the tips of the mirrors making it lose the effect. It probably would have been more fun if the others were there. Butch would hide behind the mirros trying to scare us before Buttercup sent some lasers his way causing them to bounce everywhere and making us duck and cover. Good times. However, it was just Mitch and me.
While Mitch was walking, I couldn’t stop thinking about those jerks just now. Of course everyone already knew about my preference but Mitch seemed unbothered by being referred to as gay. Probably because he's not some asshole that thinks it's a bad thing, I mean if he did, why would he be friends with me for all this time? He’s just a good person, that's all.
Not to sound like the coming of age kid, but I knew I was into dudes before I could comprehend the idea of love or romance, I just thought they were pretty to look at. Moving to a new city at such a young age was hard for me, not to mention the whole invisible friend that tried to kill everyone. But after everything was said and done, I did in fact make some friends.
The famous superheroes had become my pals and when Buttercup introduced me to Mitch, I think that's when it all went downhill. We became the dynamic duo and everyone always paired us as the best friends, which is true makes me feel guilty.
He turned a corner and I stopped walking. All of a sudden I was lost and staring at a mirror. Just me in my beat up sneakers and the uncertain face I seem to be wearing a lot lately. There's always a time in your life where you stop and contemplate everything, question all your decisions and how nothing truly matters.
“Hey you stopped walking?” Mitch said to me and I looked at him with a shaky smile.
“Sorry. Lost in thought I guess.”
“Care to share?” He asked and leaned against one of the mirrors.
I laughed to myself thinking about what I could possibly say. “Yeah sure Mitch, why don’t I just tell you that I’m in love with you and how it pains me to wake up to know that you will only see me as just a friend. Why don’t I just rip out my heart and put it on a silver platter for you to squash or just confess and kiss you here, ignoring all the states and hopefully pissing off some people?”
My eyes shot open and my eyes met his. He looked at me with confusion and shock. His mouth hung open slightly and it took me a solid three seconds to relaize that my dumb ass had just blurted that all out.
Panic. That's all I could feel as he stared like a deer caught in headlights. I could feel myself on the verge of tears and suddenly the air was too thick as I turned and ran, not caring about the employee telling me I was going the wrong way.
Mitch’s voice echoed behind me but I couldn’t stand to turn and look towards him. To hear the pure rejection and probably the disgust. Throwing away years of friendship for some stupid feelings? What was I thinking?
After nearly hitting my head several times, I made it out and ignored the weird stares and glances people were giving me. All I wanted to do was find Butch and get out of here and hope that I can just pack up and move away for college. Maybe even change my name.
Instead I found myself pushing my way into the bathroom stall and biting my arm to stifle my sobs. I felt like my heart was about to shatter, that all my nightmares where coming true all thanks to my stupid mouth. I was a fool to think that someone like him would even consider me as something more, a complete and utter fool.
“Mike?” A voice called and of course the sneakers peaking outside the stall belonged to Butch.
“What?” I spat bitterly. “Go away.”
I barely heard his sigh. “Dude, I don’t know what happened but suddenly Buttercup saw you burst into here. Really dude, is everything fine? At least come out and talk to us. Plus it smells really bad in here and there's a line of dudes.”
There's some truth to the matter and I wiped my face and pushed open the stall with a little too much force but luckily he grabbed it and just nodded towards the exit.
Robin and Buttercup are standing outside and luckily, I don’t see Mitch.
“Wanna explain what happened?” Robin asks as she hands me a tissue from her purse.
“No. I just wanna go home.”
Buttercup looks arounds then back to me. “Where's Mitch.”
“Probably somewhere and never wants to see me again.” I mumble.
“What?” She asks and looks towards Butch then back to me.
Butch raised his brow. “Mike, did you tell him?”
“Tell him what?” Buttercup asked.
It was at that moment that Buttercup didn’t know that I was practically in love with her best friend. Maybe Robin and Butch planned this together but it didn’t matter, not anymore. I would be losing two friends after this. Great.
“Look. It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t feel the same way.” My throat is dry and it hurts and there's no doubt that my face is red and flushed with tears. “I'm just gonna call my mom to come get me.”
“Come on Mike don’t go.” Robin asked and she padded my arm.
“You don’t get it, Robin.” I spat. “You don’t understand what I just did. Thanks to someone’s dumb idea, I now lost my best friend. And for what? Did we really think he would like me back? That he could even see me in such a way? I don’t even know if he’s gay or let alone into dudes. But who gives fuck? I don’t.”
Butch took a step towards me but my anger only rose. “C’mon Mike I'm sure-”
“This was a stupid idea Butch!” I yelled and at that moment I didn’t care what anyone thought. I was embarrassed and hurt. “I just want to be alone.” I pushed past him and the others, ignoring everything they were saying because it didn’t matter any more.
It didn’t matter that my friends tried to help something that shouldn’t have even been considered. It was just a stupid crush. Nothing more, nothing less. Hopefully by the new semester, it would be gone and out of my system…. hopefully. A stupid crush that I’d been harboring for years and titling on a scale of something more.
It wasn’t long until my tears dried and I found myself among the section of carnival games. All of the rigged and hard to win and if you did win, it would be a small sappy prize that you would toss into a garbage bag or try to sell for a nickel at a garage sale.
There were darts and guessing the weight of a small pig. The basketball tossing and hitting the giant hammer looked tempting but instead I walked to the game that no one had ever won. Ring toss. A game of chance and so incredibly rigged, it's a miracle if one prize is won in a year.
Without a second thought, I gave up a fresh twenty dollar bill and the girl working, who clearly hated her job, handed me the biggest bucket of rings. Enough to keep me entertained until I call my mom or muster up enough courage to ask Butch for a ride back like a dog with its tail inbetween its legs.
I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I could be okay with this. But I was stupid. Stupid to think that the boy I had a crush on, one of my best friends, would like me back, or even be into dudes for that matter. But no, instead of having my secret crush kept, ya know, a secret, the one person who shouldn’t know, did.
I tossed another ring into the sea of bottles, the high pitched clinking echoed for just a moment as another was tossed. Maybe this was pointless. Maybe trying to figure out feelings was a waste of time because in all honesty, I never knew.
Like the plastic rings people pay way too much for, you jump and you think you’ll land on that bottle, secure the prize and show everyone up. Prove that you can do the impossible.
But then you miss and reality comes back. The bucket dwindles down and soon you’re left with nothing but regret for trying and shorting eight bucks.
I turned, of course he would follow me. Why wouldn’t he? He was probably here just to tell me to let it go and sweep it under the rug, and say it's not weird when it totally is. Or he was going to come out and say that maybe our friendship has come to its expiration date.
“Oh. Hey.” I threw another one, missing again.
I tried not to care as he stood next to me but I passed him the bucket and he took his own shot, missing, just like me.
“Have you been crying?” He asked and there was no way around it.
“Yep.” I popped the p and threw another ring. “Look Mitch, I’m sorry what I said-”
“Don’t be.”.
“Most guys would just push someone like me away if that happened.”
He hummed and tossed a ring, missing. “Well, I’m not like most guys and I thought that was pretty clear. Especially after those jerks. I value your friendship too much to get worried or upset.”
I looked over at him, and that in itself was a mistake, because it would be just my luck that the other carnival games with their bright flashing lights would surround him and make it seem like he was glowing. The lights soften his features, a small twinkle on the black orb of his earring and making those very so light freckles appear.
Almost like a painting hung up in a museum. You think the trip is boring, and for the most part it is. A few interesting things here and there but just as you are about to leave, you find a room you hadn’t explored. It could be nothing and you could leave, forgetting everything in the last three hours and moving on with your life.
Or it could be life changing. As if when you walked in there, the most captivating painting was on that wall and you wonder how you skipped it in the first place. You stare at it, taking in the picture itself and the meaning. Stepping closer and looking at the paint strokes, the time taken to make this is clear and it's full of questions and mystery. The small plaque on the wall fails to answer.
He picked up the last ring. It twirled in his fingertips unsure of where to go.
“I kept thinking, you know.” He said. “I remember watching a show, a random cartoon and an ad for a pride festival popped up. I thought nothing of it, didn’t know what it meant at the time but my father did. He was outraged and changed the channel, screamed and shouted saying that if his son ever was caught doing something like that…” Mitch paused and closed his palm.
I could see the hurt in his eyes as he sighed.
“Then he would have no son. So when I found out what it all meant and learned about myself....I thought it would be best to never act on it. No matter how much I wanted to look towards another guy, I couldn’t.”
“I’m sorry Mitch, I didn’t know.” And it was the truth. I wanted to mentally slap myself for not realizing that he was, in fact, gay as well. Way to go Mike, your gay-dar is broken. But then again, you can’t just tell a sexuality clear as day. I can’t blame him for hiding it, after everything with his dad.
He sighed again. “But when you told me that. Told me you wanted me, I think I started to realize that I would rather have something I want no matter what others think of me. I envy how you can just come out and be proud, as you should, but I wish I was that brave instead of a coward.”
“Mitch.” I slid my hand on top of his cautiously. He didn’t flinch or have any indication of pulling away. “I’m scared every day. Scared that someone might yell something offensive or even try to hurt me. Just like those assholes did earlier.But I can’t stop those things from happening but I can choose to not let them affect me. It's hard but you know you’re surrounded by people who care about you. Plus your best friend is an actual superhero.”
“I know, I’m sorry. You probably don’t want to date such a fuck up like me.”
Fuck up? Did this boy really think that?
“I would never see you as that.” I said honestly. “It's normal for us to have conflicting feelings when someone in our life isn't supportive. It's never gonna be a walk in the park or smooth sailing but when you're with someone who cares about you, it makes it easier.”
He sighed for the hundredth time. It was clear the gears in his mind were running at full steam and he looked at the ring in his hand then to the bottles.
“I guess you’re right Mike. I guess I was thrown off that the dude I've liked since kindergarten likes me back.” He looked towards me and tossed the ring, not bothering to pay attention. “I just hope you haven't changed you mind-”
The next thing I know, my hand is tugging on his worn leather collar and his lips are pressed to mine.
I never thought that my first kiss would be as enchanting as this. You always think it's magical and fulfilling but in reality it's probably a mess of lips that don’t move quite as well and somehow there's a tongue doing whatever it wants. I guess I can’t count this as my first kiss because Robin had peaked me on the lips in third grade, also giving me the clear sexual awakening of how I never want another woman to come near me again, but this was different.
He tasted like cotton candy which I should find gross and oddly weird but I didn’t mind one bit. At the beginning there was a bit of hesitation, or maybe he was caught off guard since I did interrupt him but I couldn’t help myself. Stupid hormones. He wasted no time kissing me back and I even felt a hand on my waist pulling towards him. Although it lasted only a few mere seconds, it was like a lifetime of waiting had lifted.
When we pulled apart, loud speakers and alarms went off above us. I looked towards the game, I noticed one single plastic ring was stuck on the bottle. The worker smiled at us before nodding.
“Wow, I can’t believe you made it, especially without looking.” She said and I looked to Mitch who just shrugged.
“What? You kissed me, I just threw it.” He smiled brightly and I hugged him.
“So what will it be?” I asked him and he turned towards the prizes.
“Well, what about that dinosaur?”
“I love dinosaurs.”
Mitch smiled. “I know.”
The worker used a ladder to climb and retrieve the massive blue dinosaur prize. As a kid, i used to dream of winning such a cool thing but know, I think I got something better. Mitch handed it to me with a blush and I looked at it with just as much pink on my cheeks.
“Ya know.” Mitch started. “I have enough tickets for one last ride. Maybe the ferris wheel?”
“That sounds good.” He reached out his hand and I took it. Before I could blink, I felt his lips press against my cheek.
“I don’t like to see you cry.” He said.
I simply hummed and we walked hand in hand to the ferris wheel before deciding to give the prize to some kids. He handed the tickets to the worker as we climbed into the cart and began to go up. He threw his arm over my shoulder like he did on the rollercoaster, but this time, I leaned against him and let those emotions I tried to keep at bay, run wild.
“I’m really glad Butch dragged me here.” I said honestly and Mitch only laughed and silenced me with his lips pressed against mine.
“Me too.”
When we pulled apart, a few questions still lingered in my mind.
“You mean, you’ve liked me this entire time? And you knew I was gay?” I asked hesitantly. It wasn’t a secret, the last part at least.
He scratched the back of his neck, a nervous tick he's had since he was little. “I mean I wasn’t hundred percent sure, I thought maybe it was a one time thing or just happened occasionally. But as we got older, more specifically high school, I think that's when it hit me.” He sighed. “All I knew was that I wanted to be with you until my heart stopped racing.”
His eyes met mine. I’ve always hated when people didn’t see the beauty in brown eyes. They think they are dull and lifeless, only one hue but that's far from the truth. Mitch’s eyes had spots of gold and a slight tint of green, breathtaking to say the least.
“I mean it’s a shame we spent our high school years just as friends.” My hand went on top of his. “But I’d rather have you as my friend instead of losing you so I understand. But what about your dad? Will be okay with us dating-or well I assume we should-”
“I don’t care about his opinion of us. Plus we would be idiots not to date at this point. If he doesn’t accept. That's his loss not mine.” His gaze went to the sky where a firework exploded.
The colors lit up in the sky and we realized we got lucky as our cart stopped at the very top. It felt unreal to be sitting next to my best friend and now, boyfriend. There's always moments in your life that you feel like were meant to be. Maybe it's the career you chose or the person you marry. Milestones that are already set in stone and fate just happens to bring you together, all that stuff. And as I looked at him through heavy lashes I thought that maybe, just maybe, the stars aligned on this one.
That or I would have to admit that Butch is the king of romance, even though he did literally nothing today and this was all me. Either way, Mikey boy’s got a man.
I hope you enjoyed love!!
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asweetmelodytrickling · 2 years ago
prompt: secret handshake :)
Bechloe - ‘Secret Handshake’
Chloe stands in the middle of her Barden dorm, her smile beaming from ear to ear. She shuffles from one foot to the other, her hands shaking by her sides as she begins practically limbering up for what she is about to do next.
There, stood before her, is Beca Mitchell. And to her left (Beca’s right) sits Aubrey on the edge of Chloe’s bed. Aubrey’s determined expression reveals just how serious she deems this Bella tradition. Beca’s expression reveals just how ridiculous she thinks it is.
“This is a wind up.” Beca declares, looking from Aubrey to Chloe and back again, “This has to be a wind up!”
“Beca, I know you hate tradition-” Aubrey begins with an air of grace, but Beca is quick to interject.
“-No, I don’t hate tradition I just...” Beca pauses, looking at Chloe in confusion while still speaking to the blonde, “...have no idea how this particular tradition has become a tradition.”
“A secret handshake between Captain and co-Captain has gone down the generations since-” Aubrey tries to preach but again Beca is quick to interrupt.
“-Dude,” Beca says, turning back to Aubrey, “I don’t mind that it’s a handshake. I just...” And she turns back to Chloe whose beaming smile has softened slightly, “ a kiss at the end really necessary??”
<!-- more -- >
“Dixie Chick necessary!” Aubrey confirms sharply while Chloe nods, and Beca looks down at the ground with her hands on her hips.
“I don’t...think...” she mumbles and Aubrey doesn’t really hear or acknowledge the brunette’s input while Beca finishes, “...I don’t think that’s how the Dixie Chick thing works-”
“-The secret handshake,” Aubrey announces proudly with a sparkle in her eyes, completely ignoring Beca’s words, “is what binds Captain and Co-Captain indefinitely. It is a move that they and they alone share. And once I leave, the two of you will add an additional move somewhere within the handshake that nobody else will know about, and that you will then pass on to the next generation of Bellas when you yourselves leave.”
As Aubrey finishes Beca feels a little lightheaded. This is all very overwhelming. When she’d been invited to Chloe’s dorm on campus, she hadn’t for a second expected this to be the ‘super important business’ that Aubrey had insisted be discussed.
But as she looks up into Chloe’s bright blue eyes, Beca finds herself - as always - unable to say no. There’s an excitement that oozes from Chloe’s being that’s infectious. So infectious that even Beca gets a drop of it. And as a result, it’s what fuels her to continue with this ‘tradition’ charade.
So with a heavy sigh, her eyes flutter closed, and she says in a reluctant tone, “Fiiine!”
Her eyelids snap open just as Chloe lets out a squeal of delight, and she’s too nervous and shocked to notice Aubrey throw Chloe a ‘keep it cool!’ expression. (And Chloe does, in fact, manage to compose herself).
Beca is now the one to shuffle from foot to foot, and she clears her throat awkwardly as she looks at her co-captain for next year. She supposes if she has to do this handshake with anyone, she’s pleased she has to do it with Chloe. But still...
“So how does it go?”
“What was that??”
Beca is reaching down for her rucksack, having just completed a successful Captains meeting with Chloe in the rehearsal space at Barden. And, as had happened all through last year, their meetings ended with their ‘secret handshake’.
It is all so easy and normal to Beca now that she doesn’t even really think about it any more. Doesn’t think about how perfectly she and Chloe’s hands match as they slap to a rhythm. Doesn’t think about the ripple of excitement she feels while they move in perfect harmony with one another from beginning to end. Doesn’t think about the smile that is always plastered on her face during it. Doesn’t think about that short sweet brief peck on the lips to seal the handshake at the end.
It’s just...this is the first time someone has ever seen them do the handshake. And that someone unfortunately just so happens to be Beca’s boyfriend.
“Oh, hey Jesse.” Beca says in a casual tone, not bothered in the slightest about how awkward he might feel seeing her partake in a ‘secret handshake’ with Chloe.
“No, seriously Beca. What was that??” he asks with a frown, having arrived down at the piano where Beca and Chloe are stood together, now packing up their belongings post-handshake.
“It was a handshake.” Beca says with a shrug, stuffing her rehearsal papers into her bag. Chloe, meanwhile, is sipping water from her bottle, patiently waiting for Beca to finish packing so they can walk home together.
“A handshake.” Jesse says in a tone of disbelief, but Beca - who has just finished packing her bag - nods with another shrug, “That involves kissing?” He adds.
“It’s not kissing.”
“Your lips touch, Beca. It’s kissing.”
“It’s a peck.” Beca states with her eyebrows risen at him, “And it’s part of the handshake!”
“Part of it??”
“Yeah,” Beca says with another shrug as if none of this is a big deal, “part of this secret captain’s handshake Bellas Captains have. It’s tradition!”
Neither Beca or Jesse see Chloe’s expression change to an awkward one as the redhead rolls the toes of her sneakers round on the floor nervously.
“Look, I don’t have a go at you and your stupid ‘butt tradition’.” Beca counteracts successfully, and Jesse brings a hand from his hips to point at Beca.
“Not my tradition. And one that died the second Bumper left the Trebles thank you very much.”
“I’m just saying,” Beca says with a sigh, “you know what it’s like with traditions-”
“-I know what you’re like with traditions...”
Beca rolls her eyes at this jab, knowing exactly what her boyfriend means by this, and pulls her backpack up onto her shoulder.
“I never say you can’t go to comic con every year, Jesse. I just can’t see the point in it when it’s basically the same thing each time.”
Beca begins slowly walking away from the piano and heading for the exit of the rehearsal studio, satisfied enough that her boyfriend and her co-captain are following.
“There is never the same thing at comic con.” Jesse mutters in an irritated tone which forces another sigh from Beca.
“Look can we just agree to disagree?” She suggests, pushing the department door while looking over her shoulder and purposely choosing not to glance at Chloe for fear of more confrontation with Jesse.
“Fine.” Jesse grumbles, stepping past his girlfriend to leave through the door first. Beca finally looks to Chloe with an apologetic grimace, but Chloe shakes her head with a kind smile and Beca immediately feels relieved.
“Now, are you still coming to ours for pizza?” Beca asks him as the three loiter outside the performing arts building, and she sees Jesse’s eyes light up. Clearly he’d forgotten, such was the shock of seeing his girlfriend sharing a quick kiss on the lips with her best friend.
“Should we try incorporating a bit of the captain’s handshake into our performance?” Beca suggests, sat at the kitchen table with Chloe, tucking into leftover Carbonara that Chloe had made for the rest of the house earlier that evening while Beca had still been at her internship.
“Which bit did you have in mind?” Chloe asks with an amused smile, and Beca grins, reading Chloe’s mind immediately.
“Not the end bit.” she answers in a warning tone, and Chloe simply chuckles, “but maybe just the ‘facing each other slapping hands left to right then together? Maybe?”
“Yeah sounds good to me.” Chloe says as she gets up from the table to take Beca’s empty bowl no sooner had the brunette placed it down on the surface by their rehearsal papers, “At the beginning or at the end?”
Beca, who is busy watching Chloe with a calm smile, just shrugs, “Up to you.” then adds with a loud whisper “Beginning.”
Chloe chuckles and Beca grins. She watches as the redhead places Beca’s bowl in the dishwasher, and switches the machine on. Sometimes Chloe’s OCD is annoying (like the time Beca put her book down in the lounge to grab a drink and by the time she’d got back Chloe had already swept by and had put it up in Beca’s room). But sometimes it’s endearing and really very convenient - particularly after house parties when most of The Bellas are too hungover to help tidy.
“Beginning it is.” Chloe confirms, and Beca begins gathering the papers on the table up together. 11pm is late enough and they fortunately never dwell on decision making when it comes to The Bellas. They’re a Captain team. And a damn good one at that.
Beca stands from the table empty handed, and faces Chloe as the redhead approaches her. They quickly and automatically perform their ‘secret handshake’, sealing it with a fleeting kiss on the lips, an action that always leaves a coy smile on both their faces once they part. Then Beca heads up to her bedroom while Chloe rearranges the paperwork that Beca had gathered up, before heading to bed herself.
“World champion and a degree?” Beca says with a grin, “Pretty impressive Beale.”
“Speak for yourself!” Chloe replies, slowly walking towards Beca with a coy smile on her face. This was it, the end of their time at Barden. And while it was easy to assume this was also the end of Beca and Chloe’s awesome partnership captaining The Bellas, they were actually just moving to be captain’s of their own life, up in New York of all places. Same old partnership, just a different location.
“Final Secret handshake as Bellas Captain’s?” Beca asks, holding her hand out towards Chloe, and the redhead looks down at it with a grin.
They perform it to perfection, having done it on so many occasions in private over the three years of shared captaincy. They had taught it to Emily - the new Captain - though had ommitted the kiss at the end. The poor kid was nervous enough about things, and in a way both Beca and Chloe wanted that particular part of the handshake to end with them. It was a weird tradition.
When it comes to the final ever quick peck on the lips, Beca and Chloe both tugg each other’s hand as is normal, bringing their bodies colliding against one another. But the kiss - that has always been a brief peck on the lips in the past - lingers.
As they break apart, Beca clears her throat. She’s still with Jesse. But she’s also still struggling to deny that with every peck on the lips she shares with Chloe she falls that little bit harder for her. It’s tormenting to say the least. And this lingered kiss hasn’t helped matters.
“So um-” Beca begins and to her relief Chloe exhales with an embarrassed smile on her face.
“-me and Amy will pick you up from your Mom’s at the end of the week?”
“Sounds good.” Chloe replies but it’s so obvious that she’s thinking about the lingering kiss too that Beca desperately wants to sweep everything aside and pretend it hasn’t happened.
“Yeah Amy, um, she’s managed to snag a week in Dad and Sheila’s spare room so...she’ll already be with me...” her sentence peters off as she loiters in the doorway of Chloe’s old bedroom, and she stuffs her hands into her back pockets.
“Great. Yeah. Thanks.” Chloe manages, mirroring Beca’s body language without realising.
“Oh and Dad’s putting you on the insurance so we can share the driving.”
“Wow that’s...that’s really kind of him.”
The room falls silent. Both of them are still thinking about that lingering kiss. Both of them are still wondering if it means something more to the other. But at the end of the day Jesse’s still in the picture, even though he lives in LA and Beca’s moving to Brooklyn. And neither Beca or Chloe feel confident enough to confront the other about whether that kiss does signify deeper feelings than friendship.
“Everything’s going to be okay. Right?”
Beca’s question regards all manner of things. Their big move to Brooklyn. Life after Barden in the real world. Their friendship. Life after that lingering kiss...
And Chloe’s face lights up, answering all of those things with a bright, “Oh totes! Everything’s perfect.”
They both clear their throats with small nods and nervous expressions. Then Beca takes a couple of steps backwards.
“Awesome, well...I’ll see you on Friday.”
“Yeah, see you on Friday.”
“Check! One - two!”
It’s packing central in Beca, Chloe, and Amy’s Brooklyn apartment. A last minute decision to embark on a five day USO tour in Europe meant they and the rest of The Bellas are finally going to reunite as a performing group once again. And while it had been Aubrey’s suggestion, and while Emily is the more recent captain of the current young Barden Bellas, Beca and Chloe have immediately and naturally resumed their positions as co-captain’s. They have a folder and everything.
They have to be at the airport in an hour or run the risk of missing their flight. Aubrey would kill them. But Chloe has a freak-out just as they’re about to leave, worried that they’ve forgotten something, so Beca dutifully empties both suitcases onto the bed and repacks each individual item as Chloe reads them off the packing list they’d compiled the day before.
“Aha, floss! Check!”
Beca throws what looks to be the final item into her suitcase, which so happens to be filled with as much of Chloe’s possessions as there are her own, and stands up tall with a pleased exhale.
“And our ringbinder.” Chloe adds with a tone of finality, holding the binder up with a satisfied smile and slipping it into her handbag.
Ah their ringbinder. Their ‘Bellas Captains’ ringbinder. The one that currently held the thorough details of their routines, music, and itineraries both for travelling to and from Europe as well as what they were all doing once in Europe.
“Happy we’ve got everything?” Beca checks, not a single note of sarcasm to her voice which is a rare thing that’s for sure.
“Yes.” Chloe breaths out with a heavy exhale of relief and Beca zips up both their suitcases.
“We got this, Captain.” Beca says with a grin as she stands before Chloe and holds her hand out. They haven’t done their secret handshake since leaving Barden a couple of years ago. They haven’t needed to, having not been co-Captains of The Bellas outside of college.
Chloe looks down at Beca’s hand and grins before taking it in her own hand. And it’s as though it were 2015 again, because the two best friends perform their secret handshake to surprising perfection.
“I can’t believe we remember this so well!” Chloe giggles while spinning on the spot, midway through the handshake routine, before facing Beca again to slap her hands to a particular rhythm. And Beca giggles right back, because she too can’t believe how well they remember this handshake two years on.
And as with every partaking of their secret handshake, the two best friends get to the end, grabbing the others hand and tugging so their bodies collide. But there is no peck on the lips like all the times they did in college. Not even a lingered peck like the final time they’d done the handshake in college.
No, this time Beca and Chloe’s lips meet with such force and with their faces at such a perfect angle, that what had once been a peck on the lips is now - in this moment - a full on heavy kiss. Committed. Passionate. And lasts around ten times longer than past pecks on the lips.
By the time they part they are breathless. But mostly because of the adrenaline racing around their bodies. They look to one another in stunned silence as they both take a step backwards.
Before they can say anything however, Fat Amy barges through the door of the apartment, sweating buckets and throughly out of breath:
“Come two!! Cab’s...ugh...waiting!... What’s...ah...the holdup??”
Beca and Chloe quickly clear their throats, reaching for their respective cases, and both scurry out of the apartment after their roommate. Chloe apologises that she was worried they’d forgotten something while Beca is busy locking the apartment.
Neither mention the kiss for the whole journey to Europe.
Neither are given a moment alone now that The Bellas are reunited and inseparable.
Beca strides off stage, a beaming smile on her face while surrounded by The Bellas. Her family. They’d killed it with the performance of ‘Freedom 90’. And that performance marks their final performance as a group on this USO tour.
Eventually she steps away from the girls, noting that one of them isn’t there. The one.
Chloe is stood alone with nervous anticipation, her hands behind her back while she rocks on her heels. The moment Beca sees her, they both smile. It’s a smile of recognition. A smile of affection. A smile of relief. And as Beca slowly approaches the redhead, she begins to blush.
“A perfect end to an eventful tour, Captain.” Chloe says in an affectionate tone and her eyes sparkle at Beca as she holds a hand out.
Beca takes it with a grin, “I couldn’t agree more, Captain.”
And had they been at Barden, or even at home, the two would’ve conducted their elaborate secret handshake. But the kiss they’d shared last week as they were leaving their apartment for the tour still echos on their lips.
So neither Beca or Chloe do their secret captain’s handshake. Instead Beca tugs Chloe by the hand so their bodies collide and they both crash their lips together in a piercing deep kiss that is laced with desire and lust and need. Because they’ve both wanted this for so so long.
The kiss breaks naturally after several moments, Beca and Chloe sighing happily with smiles on their faces. But Chloe’s smile drops slightly and Beca leans back with concern.
“I haven’t been honest with you.” she confesses, looking into Beca’s eyes with vulnerability that Beca isn’t sure she’s ever seen in her best friend before.
“There was never a Captains secret handshake.” Chloe bursts, “I made it up!”
“Okay tone it down a notch, Chloe.” Aubrey tries to encourage while sat on the redhead’s dorm bed. Chloe has been pacing in the small room for five minutes. The five minutes since revealing to Aubrey that while it is amazing that Beca has just texted her to ask if she’ll be co-Captain with her next year, it also means that her toner for Beca will only get worse unless she does something about it.
Aubrey has strongly suggested Chloe doesn’t tell Beca how she feels for the good of The Bellas (and for the good of her friendship with Beca, but Aubrey is certain Chloe could live without Beca better than she could live without The Bellas).
“I can’t exactly waltz up to her and kiss her!” Chloe exclaims in an erratic tone, her hands flapping everywhere while she panics. But suddenly Aubrey has a brilliant idea and gasps as she rises to her feet.
“I’ve got it!” she says with a broad grin, “We tell her there’s a captain’s handshake!”
“There is??” Chloe asks with a furrowed brow, but Aubrey just tuts.
“No, but she doesn’t know that! We’ll tell her it’s tradition.”
“But Beca hates tradition..” Chloe tries, and Aubrey reasons with her again.
“But she doesn’t hate you? The least you can do is give it a try?”
“And, what I just hope she falls in love with me?” Chloe asks, sounding unconvinced, but there’s a mischievous twinkle in Aubrey’s eyes.
“You put a quick kiss at the end of the handshake. The more times you do it, the more comfortable Beca will become. Then she’s bound to fall in love with you!”
And Chloe hesitates. Because it would be lovely to have an excuse to kiss Beca every day. Especially on the lips.
“Hey thanks a bunch for that ridiculous handshake tradition by the way.” Beca says with an amused tone, chuckling before taking a swig of her beer and looking out at the ‘Worlds After Show Party’ before her.
Alice, a former Bellas Captain who handed the baton to Aubrey in time for Aubrey’s senior year, furrows her brow. She looks to Beca in confusion.
“What handshake tradition?”
Beca swallows her mouthful of beer loudly, “You know...the...secret captain’s handshake?”
Alice’s eyebrows rise and she shakes her head while grinning in amusement, “I’ve no idea what policy Aubrey and Chloe installed after I left,” she pauses to chuckle at Beca’s ever dropping jaw, “but we sure as hell never had a secret captain’s handshake tradition.”
Beca’s gaze moves from Alice to the woman stood beside her. Aubrey’s cheeks are flushing pink and Beca can see that the blonde is about to make a run for it.
“Excuse me.” Beca says as politely as possible to Alice, before stepping past her and grabbing Aubrey by the arm to tug her away.
“Dude what the hell?!” Beca snaps, and Aubrey holds her hands up in defence, “Care to explain to me why I’ve been doing a dumb handshake with a kiss with Chloe for the past three years??”
Aubrey is certain she might pass out. Beca was never meant to find out!
“Chloe had a toner for you a-and we came up with the handshake idea in the hope that you...might...fall for her or something.”
“Seriously??” Beca exclaims, and Aubrey quickly shushes her, looking around in the hope that Chloe isn’t within ear distance.
“Look, I know it’s twisted, but in my defence I didn’t actually think you’d go through with it!”
“So this is my fault now??” Beca hisses, her brow furrowed and her face looking like thunder.
“No, I just... please don’t tell her Beca! She’d be so embarrassed and upset.”
Beca hesitates then let’s out a heavy sigh. Because yeah, it’d suck to see Chloe embarrassed and upset on what is supposed to be one of the best nights of their lives. So the brunette caves and waves her hand as if communicating to Aubrey that she won’t ever tell Chloe.
“There was never a Captains secret handshake.” Chloe bursts, “I made it up!”
Beca chuckles, a soft smile on her face as she looks at Chloe affectionately. She squeezes her hands to gain her attention and watches as the redhead’s face relaxes slightly.
“Yeah I know. I’ve known for a couple of years now. At Worlds?”
“But...” Chloe begins, her brow furrowing as she thinks back to that time, “that my room...back at Barden-?”
“-Was me trying to figure out if I felt the same way for you as I heard you did for me.” Beca says with an affectionate smile on her face.
“And last week-”
“-Was something I’d wanted to do for so so long, Chlo.” Beca replies, loving the sight of her best friend’s shining eyes that danced while looking back at her.
“” Chloe asks in a quiet voice, her face nudging closer to Beca’s. Soft smiles showing as their foreheads meet.
“Now I never want to kiss another person ever again.” Beca admits.
And with one last light chuckle, their lips draw back together again while their arms wrap around one another’s bodies.
“I now pronounce you legally married. You may kiss the bride.”
Beca and Chloe beam at one another. But rather than throw their mouths onto one another with a huge kiss to seal their vows, they take each other’s hands and, for the first time ever in public, perform their ‘secret captain’s handshake’...
...Ending it with the most perfect kiss.
174 notes · View notes
calpalirwin · a year ago
Pretty Girl, Handsome Boy
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A/N: So Mikey has felt a little underappreciated in my opinion, so I did something about it. Enjoy!
And away, and away we go!
“Ah, shit! Fucker…” you grumbled, setting your controller down in frustration as you waited to respawn.
“Whoa, you’re a chick?”
“Fuck!” you grumbled again, fiddling with your headset. You hated when people found out you were a girl in the gaming universe, but you had forgotten to mute your mic before playing. 
The chat at the bottom of the game starting blowing up in the realization of a girl in their midst. The same shit you were used to- comments ranging from about how it made sense how much you sucked now to more lewd comments about other things you could suck. 
“Fuck this,” you said, picking up your controller to take yourself out of the game and find a new match. You reached up to hit the switch on your mic to mute yourself. 
A notification popped up in the corner of your screen to let you know someone by the tag Mikerowave_X had messaged you. 
“The fuck?” you said aloud, opening the notification. Why did that tag sound familiar?
Sorry about those assholes, the message read. 
Nah, it’s all good, you typed back, forgot I wasn’t muted. 
They’re still assholes. You were playing just fine. Better than some of them, even. 
Haha, thanks. 
I’m Mike, btw. 
I could tell. Clever name. What’s the X for?
It’s a Final Fantasy thing, lol. 
Sick! I’m Y/N. 
Nice to meet ya, Y/N. 
Nice to meet you too, Mike.
What else do you play?
Oh, loads of stuff. I’m not too picky. 
Cool. We should play sometime. 
For sure. I use the same gamer tag on all my accounts so just hit me up, you typed, not quite sure why you were opening yourself up to play with someone you didn’t know, but figuring if push came to shove you could always block the dude. But something told you you wouldn’t need to; that this Mike character was a good guy. 
You down to play something now or were you going offline for the day?
Nah, I was just switching matches. Can’t really play once people find out I’m a girl. Ruins it for me.
Is that why none of us can find the girl gamers on these things?
Just a gamer, Mike. A girl yeah. But a gamer just like you. We don’t call you guy gamers. 
Shit, my bad. But you’re for real a girl?
Nah, I’m a middle aged dude with the voice of a prepubescent boy. Yes I’m a girl. 
Just checking, damn… can’t be too careful these days. 
Says the one who’s prob a middle aged dude himself…
Lol, I’m 24. Swear. 
Prove it. 
For real? Hang tight then. 
A few moments later a picture of a boy with a hat covering his blonde hair, with the greenest eyes you’ve ever seen and beard stubble flashed on your screen, his phone with the date and time next to him for added proof. My mate took it so we could timestamp it for ya, the message below the picture said.
Damn… you typed, immediately recognizing him, all the pieces of the puzzle clicking together: his gamer tag, the use of X being a Final Fantasy reference. No fuckin way...
Haha, like what you see?
As far as nerds go, yeah, you’re kinda hot, you responded trying to keep your cool. 
Lol, I got a song by that name. Well almost. 
Yeah, I know. 
Oh? You good?
I’m a little stunned, you admitted. 
Lol why?
Cuz you’re Michael fuckin Clifford
It’s Gordon actually. But yeah, so?
Michael fuckin Clifford is messaging me… fuckin hell this is wild!
Shh, don’t blow my cover. I’m just a gamer, yeah?
Just a gamer, yeah, okay. 
Can I get a pic of you? Shit, not like that… I just meant… ah fuck…
Lol, it’s fine. Gimme a sec. If Michael fuckin Clifford wanted a picture of you, you were gonna give him a picture. You tried to do a cute, goofy pose with your tongue poking out, making sure your TV screen with the date and time was visible in the background. Shit, that’s awful, you typed as you sent the picture to him. 
Haha, like what you see? you teased, using his words against him
Very much so, Y/N, very much so. How old are you, btw?
Same as you, 24. 
What, wanna see my license for proof? I don’t lie, Mike.
Nah, you just hide that you’re a girl. 
I don’t hide it. It’s visible on my profile. I just keep a gender neutral gamer tag. Keeps the assholes away. 
Damn, defensive. I was joking Y/N. 
Oh… so you serious about playing a game sometime?
Hell yeah, I’m serious. But, I actually gotta go. Famous duty calls. 
Oh, alright. See you around then. 
See ya, pretty girl. 
Bye, handsome boy. 
You played with Mike for the next few months every time he was on. You didn’t admit it in your messages to each other, but your heart sank when you would see he was offline and it did a little jump when he was. Unbeknownst to you, his heart was having the same reaction. 
Hey, pretty girl? he typed about 4 months after the first message. 
You heart leapt in your throat. You loved that he had deemed you “pretty girl” although again, you’d never admit it. 
Yeah, handsome boy? you typed back, using his deemed nickname in response. 
We’re getting back in town here in a few days. Was wondering if we could meet up in person?
Yeah. I feel like we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well these past few months. Why not?
I don’t want to disappoint you…
Disappoint me? Aw, pretty girl…
I’m a nerd, handsome boy. What you see is what you get. No surprises. 
Pretty girl, that could never disappoint me. 
You sighed. Alright, name the time and place and I’ll be there. 
You walked into the arcade, double-checking that you were in the right place. “Pretty girl?” a scruffy voice sounded from behind you. 
You turned and looked up at the blonde-haired, green-eyed boy who had his arms open for a hug.  “Handsome boy,” you greeted, accepting his hug. You smiled into his chest as his arms enveloped you. Damn he felt good. “So, an arcade, huh?” you asked once you let go of each other. 
“Figured it’d make a good first date,” he winked. 
“Date?” You quirked an eyebrow at him, hands going to your hips. You weren’t dressed for a date. You had spent the better part of your morning deciding what to wear before opting for a simple black t-shirt and jeans. Every day attire, not first date attire. 
“Well yeah? What did you think this was?”
“2 friends meeting up?”
“Pretty girl…” he sighed, rubbing his temple. “Look, I’m not good at these things okay? Ash is the…”
“Wordsmith,” you nodded. “I know. Ash is the wordsmith, Cal’s the squishy cheeks who hates love, Luke’s hungover Jesus, and you’re the gamer. I know.”
He let out a small chuckle, “Yeah. But, I like you, okay? I don’t call just anyone ‘pretty girl’. In fact, you’re the only one I call that.”
“Well, I like you too, Mike, but…”
“But what? Is this too real for you now?” His voice wasn’t angry, it was almost sad. Like he was scared he was losing you. Which he was. He had grown attached to you and he wanted more than a gaming friendship with you. And here he was, ruining it. So typical. 
“A little?” you admitted, trying to find the words. “I mean, before… you were handsome boy and I was pretty girl. And… and that was enough for me. But now… you’re here. In front of me. And you’re him. You’re Michael fuckin Clifford…”
“It’s Gordon, actually,” he half-joked. “But, Y/N, that doesn’t change anything. I’m still handsome boy, and you’re still pretty girl. What you see is what you get, right? No surprises?”
“Yeah, but you’re you! Like actually you! And I’m… I’m me. And people like me don’t go on dates with people like you.”
He pursed his lips together, a wave of emotion coursing through him. He was angry, yes. But more than that, he was hurt. Hurt that he had hurt you by trying to get close to you. Hurt himself by making himself vulnerable. Maybe this is why Calum hated love so much. This shit hurt. 
You looked up at him, as his face tried to process your words and his feelings towards you. You could see the pain etched in his face. “Mike,” you said softly, reaching out to touch his arm. “This has nothing to do with you, okay? I like you. A lot, if I’m being honest. But, I’m scared, okay? I’m not blind to your professional life and what that entails. It was easier before. I could ignore that you were you and just pretend you were just Mike, my friend in the gaming world. But this?” you gestured with your hands. “Well, my world’s spinning a little too fast.”
“I’m still him, Y/N…”
“You are. But you’re also not,” you said sadly, thinking that this is exactly why you weren’t supposed to meet your idols. 
“God, that’s such bullshit… I’m me, Y/N!” he shouted suddenly, his voice ringing out around you. “I’m still the dude who messaged you to apologize for assholes who think that just because you’re a girl gives them a free pass to make a pass at you. I’m the same guy you’ve been talking to for months. I’m still the same guy in the picture when you knew who I really was. And I’m still here, in front of you, trying to ask the girl I like on a date.”
“Mike… I…” you sputtered. It was too real. It was too real that he was right here in front of you. The feelings you had for him were too real. This was just… too much too fast. 
“Look me in the eye and tell me I’m not the same person you’ve gotten to know these last 4 months,” he challenged you. 
“Mike, it’s not that simple, and you know it!” You were doing what you did best, closing yourself off so you couldn’t disappoint anyone.
“Bullshit, it isn’t! Look, if this is about you being scared of disappointing me I got news for ya: you don’t. I meant every word I’ve ever said to you.”
“Mike…” you said, your voice breaking. “I can’t be the girl you want me to be. I just can’t, okay?”
“I only ever wanted you to be you…”
“And I am!”
“And that’s enough for me! Can’t you see that? Haven’t I proved that to you?”
“It’s clearly not enough if you want to date me, Mike…”
“Pretty girl, I want to date you because you’re enough. It’s not easy for me to open up to people, okay? I’m not like Ash, I can’t just make myself vulnerable and pass it off as charm. I’m not like Cal who just passes his feelings off as indifference. I’m not a cute dork like Luke. I’m just nerdy ole me who likes nerdy ole you a hell of a lot. You have made these past few months away from home more bearable than I can put into words. Yes, I love my job. I love what I do, and wouldn’t trade it for anything. But it gets lonely. And it gets hard. But when I was with you, I felt at home. Like for once in my life there was someone to come home to. And that’s not a feeling I want to let go of. If this is too much, that’s fine. I get it. I have a tendency of coming on a little strong because I don’t know how to open up, so when I do it’s like an avalanche. If we need to go back to just being gaming friends, I guess I’ll find a way to be okay with that. But I like you, okay? You feel like home to me and I just need you to know that.”
“Mike… I don’t think that’s what it means to like someone…” you said, once he was done giving a voice to all the feelings you’d been having yourself. “Pretty sure that’s love.”
“Oh… well, fuck, maybe I love you then, pretty girl.”
“Maybe I love you too, handsome boy,” you said before reaching up to touch his cheek, needing to look at those green eyes of his.
“Maybe?” he said softly, as his gaze locked with yours, the tip of his tongue poking out to wet at his lips.
“Maybe,” you nodded, before your lips touched his.
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secretkidcolor · a year ago
A Good View from the Sidelines
A simple game of basketball with a bunch of sweaty guys in shorts shouldn't be that big of a deal. Naturally, it ends up being a bigger deal once Tyler meets someone from the other team for the first time.
Also posted to and Archive of Our Own under the same title~
Happy Pride Month!
“Bro, you might want to sit this one out.”
Tyler adjusted the sweatband keeping some of his hair out of his face as he heard his friend’s advice. Well, friend was a loose term. He and Geoff weren’t exactly close, but they got along fine. Geoff, who oozed coolness with his fondness for open-chested shirts and cowboy hats, had no reason to invite Tyler to hang out as often as he did. But that was Geoff’s character-defining trait. He was cool in every sense of the word. That included being nice to everyone. So when he advised Tyler to sit out, Tyler knew it probably wasn’t in a way that was meant to be disrespectful.
“No way dude,” Tyler said, “I just got warmed up. Afraid I’m gonna beat you guys?” Tyler and Geoff were at the local park with two other guys, DJ and Duncan, and were supposed to be shooting hoops together. They hadn’t started yet though, which was why Tyler was confused. Usually he’d play a couple rounds, hurt himself, and sit out to watch, but he was in perfect shape still and wanted to take advantage of that for what little time he was able to maintain it.
“Pffft, as if,” Duncan cut in, rolling his eyes. “That new guy, Alejandro, is going to be coming by with some of his buddies to play us in a little game of three on three. And no offense, but we want to win.” Unlike Geoff, Duncan was most likely intending to be disrespectful. With his bright green mohawk, various piercings, and constantly pissed off expression, Duncan scared the crap out of Tyler. Whether it was death threats (followed by an unconvincing “Kidding!”) or just senseless violence against people Duncan deemed uncool, Tyler tried to stay off his radar as much as possible. There had been a brief conflict between them when Tyler had dated Lindsay, and the jock had truly feared for his life for a moment, but that had come to pass.
“Ale…” Tyler’s voice trailed off as he tried to replicate the name. It was clearly Spanish, but Tyler wasn’t the best speaker to begin with. “Alejandro,” he managed to say finally. The name sounded vaguely familiar. “He’s new?’
“Chyeah dude,” Geoff said, dribbling the ball in place. “He just transferred here over the weekend. Bridge said that all the girls were talking about him today. Even Heather.”
“I was getting an icepack from the nurse when I heard him introducing himself to Principal Mclean,” DJ spoke up from his spot on the ground. “That man doesn’t like anybody, but this guy pushed all the right buttons. Mclean even offered to let him skip his first class of the day. He’s smooth as Mama’s gravy.”
“Which is why it’s important that we beat his ass at basketball today,” Duncan said, his eyes narrowing. “Nobody makes our chicks talk but us.” Tyler winced a little at the possessive wording Duncan used. Duncan’s girlfriend Courtney would probably throw a fit if she heard him talk about her like that, and Tyler wouldn’t have ever dared claim ownership over Lindsay.
While Tyler’s relationship with Lindsay was solid, it was certainly an anomaly to everyone at school. At first the idea of a pretty- no, beautiful. Tyler believed she was the most beautiful girl he had ever met. The idea of a beautiful, blonde cheerleader dating a jock was a given. It was less of a given when it was apparent that Tyler wasn’t very good at any of the many sports he participated in. He was clumsy to a fault and spent more time on the bench than actually playing, and the few times he did play he usually ended up getting hurt. This normally didn’t put a damper on his spirits though. He had won the Team Spirit award every season since freshman year. His teammates had given him flack for it at first, but Lindsay’s immense popularity and their immediate connection had helped with that. By now, most of the other school athletes admired (at least secretly) his perseverance and now that he was a junior, he saw some of his younger teammates actually looking up to him. Rival schools still gave him a hard time, but he had come to rely on his teammates to have his back when that happened.
Tyler wasn’t an overly spiritual man, but he thanked the higher powers for putting Lindsay into his life. She was the perfect girlfriend. Sweet, caring, smar- okay she wasn’t that smart. But that hardly mattered anyway, especially after she had gotten past always getting his name wrong. Their relationship had started as a quick burst of teenage passion and had actually developed into something meaningful. As they got older they began to rely on one another for more than just a physical release. Tyler considered Lindsay to be his best friend and he trusted her with everything, and that bond only seemed to strengthen when they had stopped dating (there was a bad incident with her forgetting his name in front of his parents). He trusted her with everything. Well, almost everything…
“Chill dudes,” Geoff said. “Alejandro’s bringing three friends so it’ll be four guys to a team. Tyler can sub in at some point. Is that cool?” He looked at Tyler as he asked this, and Tyler nodded.
“Yeah, it’ll give me extra time to warm up!” With that, Tyler began to do some push-ups for effect. Soon enough, four guys could be seen walking toward the court as Tyler flopped on the ground after his push-ups. He groaned as Geoff, Duncan, and DJ greeted the approaching four guys. There were a couple of voices he could recognize as the guys talked.
“I’ll be the first one sitting out,” said Justin, a guy who ran a modeling Instagram account. “This is the perfect lighting for some sporty pics. You guys just let me know if you need me, okay?’
“Pfft, whatever,” Duncan said and Tyler could practically feel his eyeroll. “Are we gonna stand around all day or actually play?”
“Lightning’s ready to play!” That was another voice that Tyler definitely recognized. Lightning was the star quarterback and the only student who referred to himself in third person almost constantly. Tyler never really cared for him as he was one of the less kind football players when it came to Tyler’s habit of injuring himself. His dad was a big name in sports broadcasting and donated generously to the football team though, and Tyler did like the new uniforms each year.
“My friend, are you in need of some assistance?” A voice flowed through Tyler’s ears like silk and he looked up to see a tan hand being offered. He grabbed it and was immediately surprised by the firm, but careful grip that pulled him to his feet. Tyler steadied himself and found himself face to face with one of the most attractive men he had ever seen. That…sounded weird, but it was true. This man was jacked, and while Tyler himself was pretty muscular he felt a little self-conscious as he looked at the guy in a totally objective way. He was wearing a dark red shirt, not too much darker than Tyler’s own, which clung to his muscles. There was something tied to a cord around his neck. A skull of some kind. His hair was long, but well-maintained. The closed-mouth smile he gave Tyler seemed to just be polite, but his eyes were…calculating. Not recognizing him, Tyler assumed that this must be Alejandro.
As Alejandro’s eyebrow raised, Tyler realized he must have been staring at him for an unusual amount of time and looked down, only to see that he was still holding his hand. He quickly withdrew his own hand and sputtered out the first thing that came to mind, “I-I uh, I like girls!”
Alejandro didn’t even seem fazed by the remark. “Noted,” he said politely. “Although probably not relevant to basketball.” He chuckled and Tyler really hoped that nobody else had heard his remark. “My name’s Alejandro,” he said, confirming his name. “And you are?”
“Tyler,” the jock responded quickly. “Uh, nice to meet you…er, yeah.”
“Um, are we gonna play or what?” Duncan asked impatiently from a few feet away. He held up the basketball.
Alejandro nodded at Duncan and turned back to Tyler. “Best of luck Tyler,” he said with another closed-mouth smile.
“Uh thanks but I’m actually gonna be sitting this one out,” Tyler said, backing up off the court.
“Pity,” Alejandro replied, “but I hope you enjoy watching the game then.” Another smile. Tyler felt his face begin to heat up, but fortunately the guys were quick to start their game.
Thirty seconds of watching the game and Tyler had come to the conclusion that basketball was the world’s most unnecessarily sexual sport. Growing up, Tyler had played more sports than most, and he was just now deciding on this fact. Contact sports, while intensely physical, usually involved the wearing of gear for protection. Basketball? While it wasn’t an intentional contact sport, there were still plenty of points of contact during a single game. And with no gear, there were no barriers between skin. Nothing between smooth, sweaty, tan skin.
Tyler had started the game trying to focus in on his friends and provide moral support from the sidelines, but that quickly stopped when he saw Alejandro on the court. Tyler had never seen someone play basketball so gracefully before. Alejandro moved with confidence and power, but he clearly possessed total control over himself and the ball when he had it. None of the other guys could even touch him as he practically glided across the court. At one point, he even seemed to turn and look right at Tyler.
His calculating eyes.
Slowly widening in alarm.
A large orange orb slowly growing bigger over his face.
A flash of pain and Tyler’s vision temporarily darkened as the basketball collided straight into his face. His head snapped back, his neck making a soft pop as he fell onto his back. Fortunately, he had been sitting in the grass and the back of his head came into contact with untrimmed grass and not the concrete of the basketball court. Tyler may have developed a high pain tolerance, but he wasn’t invincible and concussions were no joke.
Tyler could hear laughing, and some concerned shouts, but soon that seemed to fade away as he saw Alejandro’s face appear hovering over him. “I am so incredibly sorry,” he said, and Tyler could feel a hand on the side of his face. Alejandro had such smooth skin. He slowly helped Tyler up to a sitting position, asking him the usual questions that coaches and trainers asked Tyler after he got took a hard enough blow to the head. It was all very professional sounding coming from someone who likely was the same age as Tyler, but there was something else too. Alejandro had come off as so confident and in control of everything when he had introduced himself not even fifteen minutes ago, and yet now he was flustered and worried and just reacting. And yet he still oozed confidence. And if anything, he was even more beautiful for it.
“It’s all good dude,” Tyler finally said after the round of questions and Alejandro was convinced he didn’t need medical attention. “I’ve taken way harder hits before.” He reached up to rap his knuckles against his skull for effect, Alejandro’s soft hiss under his breath made him reconsider. “But,” he offered, “I’ll probably stay out for the whole game to be safe.”
“Yes, I…I think that would be best,” Alejandro agreed. “It was an accident, I swear.”
“Doing us a favor honestly,” Duncan muttered. Geoff jabbed him with his elbow. “Kidding,” he added.
“Is it cool if we keep playing?” Geoff asked Tyler. “As long as you’re good.
“I’m good,” Tyler said with a slight nod. Duncan went to get the ball and the guys tried to figure out where to position themselves for the game to resume.
“Hey Alejandro,” Tyler said with a grin as Alejandro stood up to resume playing, “I knew what you were doing. I know you just needed to take out the strongest player before he could turn the game around on you guys.”
Alejandro look’s initial look of alarm quickly changed to match Tyler’s grin. “You caught me,” he said in a teasing tone. “It seems you’re too smart for me Tyler, and I was intimidated by the athletic prowess you possess. I do hope you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me.” They shared a laugh and after a few seconds Alejandro gave him a nod before heading back to the game.
Tyler rubbed the bridge of his nose, feeling where a bruise was going to form, and leaned back. If he wasn’t going to play, he was at least going to enjoy watching the world’s most unnecessarily sexual sport. Of course, there was one player he tended to focus on more, and he was pretty sure that player caught his glances multiple times without breaking his concentration on the game.
In the end, Alejandro’s team had won by a lot of points. Duncan was annoyed, DJ seemed a little embarrassed, and Geoff was chill like always. The guys still shook hands with one another, and Alejandro walked over to shake Tyler’s hand as well.
“Again, I do hope you can forgive me for your bruised face,” he said, which Tyler just waved off. “Maybe next time, when you’re able to play, your friends won’t lose quite as badly.”
Tyler looked over at his friends and then at Alejandro, meeting his amused gaze with a smirk. “Yeah,” he said, standing up, “because next time…we’re gonna win.”
“Well then I might have to hit you with the ball again,” Alejandro remarked, again with that teasing tone.
“Well then I guess we’ll have to keep playing until my face becomes so strong it bounces the ball right back at you!” Tyler declared.
“Sounds like we’ll be playing basketball together for quite a long time then,” Alejandro said, and Tyler realized that while their handshake had stopped, neither of them had let go of the other’s hand. Tyler felt his face begin to heat up.
“Guess so,” Tyler said, but his voice sounded much less confident than it had moments ago. Alejandro chuckled and released Tyler’s hand.
“I’m sure I’ll see you around Tyler,” he said before turning to leave. “Let me know if you ever want to just play one on one.” It was a normal enough offer but the way he said those last three words sent Tyler’s mind racing as he watched Alejandro walk away.
It hadn’t been a lie when he told Alejandro he liked girls. It was more of a half-truth. But maybe Alejandro had known that from the start. He would have to ask Lindsay what she thought of all this later tonight.
As Tyler said goodbye to his teammates and headed home, he used his phone to check the bruise on his face. It was big, but it would heal quickly. Just in time for another game of Tyler’s new favorite sport.
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anunvalidcritic · 2 years ago
                                                MOVIE REVIEW
June 27th, 2019 the year of our Lord (whichever one that may be) I watch a spectacular movie that I can truly say that the awards won were well deserved. Spider-Man was the first superhero I can truly say I looked up too and he’s super duper awesome my dudes. I plan on rewatching the movie again so I can complete this post.
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Man, this post is gonna be extremely long but it’s totally worth it!
“With great powers come great responsibility” - UNCLE BEN
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The love that his parents give is amazing.
I’m glad to see an ethnic spiderman its dope that he speaks Spanish and English.
I understand that Spider-man is a vigilante
“With accountability comes great accountability“ - JEFFERSON DAVIS
He didn’t have to do MILES like that lol
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LOL MILES needs to get his face off that window.
Ayyee black people really do that stuff with that chill talkin’ being all smooth and shiiii ROFL
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Damn his roommate just loves to study.
That is a lot of sweat tho
Haircut looks cool though if you ask me.
PETER droppin’ bops huh??
That was some freaky shit when that spider glitched though. It kinda turned into a thriller movie for a minute.
DAAAMMMNNN a normal person would be dead
“Stanton Island maybe but not Brooklyn!” - PETER
You better catch him!!!
he better not say you only get one of th…….. AAAHHHHH HE SAID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE FUCKING SAID IT!!!!!!!!!!
PROWLER got a lot of balls flyin’ up on him like that.
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Dang, these glitches remind me of when Vanellelope has hers. (I think her name is spelled wrong but it’s whatever at this point.)
You know whenever people make promises they sometimes are hard to keep.
WTF HE’S BLONDE!!!!!!!! WOAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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ROFL “Yeah I think it’s a BANKSY.” - BYSTANDER
RIO is the sweetest mom ever.
PETER should not have gone out that way! MAAAAANNNNNN
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Boy, you better not jump off that building that black in you bette… LOL, HE TOOK HIS ASS RIGHT BACK DOWN!
damn, he messed up the hard-drive.
Aww, I love that ominous blue and red lighting… good symbolism.
Spider-Man for the last 22 years
blah blah blah workin’ hard and fallin’ in love
15 years past
buried Aunt May
Split up with MJ
Seahorses mate for life 
“Could you image a seahorse seeing another seahorse… and then making it work.” - PETER B PARKER
pizza is life
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“Adios” - MILES
DAAAMMMNN he didn’t have to do PETER B like that!
“Looks like a child dressed like spider-man dragging a homeless corpse behind a train.” - POLICE OFFICER
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Aye, I fuck with the song that was being played through that guy’s headphones even though I don’t even know what it was. 
“Why is your body another shape” - MILES damn that’s fucked up 
These fucking sweatpants man
“DON’T PLAY WITH ME.“ - MILES (black people love that line lol)
“You good with that Spider-Man?!“ - MILES
“In my universe, this place closed 6 years ago. I don’t know why.” - PETER B PARKER (Probably because the restaurant has a C rating)
Was lowkey waiting for a roach to crawl across something 
“Spider-Man doesn’t wear a cape.” - MILES (He doesn’t wear sweatpants either)
How tf did WILSON FISK get his BIG ASS INTO THAT CAR?!?!?!
lol his booty jiggled a bit hehehehehe
hold up this chick sound like Jessie from Toy Story…
WOAH either she a freak or she likes pushing people
“And I for one can’t wait to watch.” - DR. OC (WTF DID SHE JUST SAY!!)
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Aww, they’re having a bonding moment! 
Last 2 years
Joined a band
Saved her dad
Couldn’t save her PETER PARKER
Doesn’t do friends to save herself feeling.
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Oh, we’re getting a little WILSON FISK flashback.
Damn, why is she driving so fast…
Something like that was bound to happen I’m sorry to say. 
This dude really got some board shoulders.
Why does PETER B PARKER have on two different types of shoes?
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“Wherever I go, the wind follows.” - SPIDER-MAN NOIR
Year: 1933 
Job: Private Eye
Likes: Drinking egg creams and fighting Nazis (A LOT)
“Sometimes I let matches burn down to my fingertips just to feel something anything.”
Year: 3145
Has a psychic link with a spider that lives inside of her father’s robot.
Lost her father
Bitten by a radioactive pig 
Photographer for the Daily Beagle
Usually, when he’s not working like a dog he chasing a story
Likes to frolic and dance while doing it in his pants. 
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if stitch had a glitch lol
PETER B PARKER really puttin’ MILES on blast. 
This movie is back on their spooky ooky shit
Damn only if he knew his uncle was the PROWLER...
LOL, THAT MUSIC!!!!!!!!!
“This is a pretty hardcore origin story.“ - SPIDER-MAN NOIR
“We don’t pick the ballroom we just dance.” - SPIDER-MAN NOIR
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Of course, MILES dad is on the way
OH, FUCK!!!!!!
How the fuck you gonna be flying around without some type of bulletproof vest. DAMN SMH
Man, a kid should not be seeing someone die right in front of them. 
JEFFERSON didn’t deserve to find his brother that way. 
I’m glad they’re having a heart to heart to him. But that room is too small
“MILES the hardest part about this job is that you can’t save everyone“ - SPIDER-HAM
“Do animals talk in this dimension because I don’t want to freak him out.“ - SPIDER-HAM
Let the bodies hit the floor. 
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“A leap of faith” - PETER B PARKER
At least his dad came by to speak to him.
He had that boy fucked up again!
Man them taking the bus is really killin’ me
Bruh the waiter
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“Do you have a problem with cartoons?!?!” - SPIDER-HAM
PENI I’m sorry to say but your BUD FOR LIFE is gone.
MILES is a smooth criminal!!
I find it so cool that each time they jumped back into the portal it was reflected off of them.
ROFL “That’s all folks” “Is he allowed to say that legally?”
WILSON FISK always tryin’ to hurt somebody damn!
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MILES did that (with help of course)
C-Mobile = T-Moblie hehehehehehe
SPIDER-MAN for 2 days
Finally, finished his essay
Saved a lot of people
Spent time with his father
Got hit by a drone as well
Had a proper meeting with his roommate
Slapped his sticker where his dad won’t find it
Will always remember his friends. 
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“Anyone can wear the mask. You can wear the mask. If you didn’t know that before I hope you know that now.“ SPIDER-MAN (MILES)
Y’ALL THERE WAS A GLITCH IN THE SYSTEM! Everything and I mean EVERYTHING! So thankful I was able to salvage a little bit of it back. I really do wish I was able to get what I said at the end because I meant it. :( 
EDIT: I was fast forwarding through the movie to get it off of my “continue watching” list and I discovered something at the end! So I’ll be making a bit of an edit. (This is a reminder that you need to ALWAYS STAY AT THE END OF EVERY MARVEL! (smh I made a rookie mistake))
James Blake has such an amazing voice
“I was gone for less than 2 hours.” - MAN
oooo the man’s name is MIGUEL 
Earth ‘67
“How dare you point at me!” - SPIDER-MAN
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broke-n-bitchy · 2 years ago
Wicked Dreams
Part Three
Nikki Sixx / OC Part One Part Two
Part Three
Warnings: Drinking, drugs, alcohol, cursing, shit gets a lil steamy 
Nikki Sixx / OC
-Lucy’s POV-
It had been three weeks since that day at the studio, we kicked off the tour last weekend. But the beginning was fucking brutal, and amazing at the same time.
My band and I busted our asses every single day, fifteen hours a day, perfecting our performances until we got it right. We sounded good, but it was the pizazz that Doc was worried about. Seeming as Motley Crue always put on a show that people would always remember, their opening band had to not be absolutely boring.
None of us minded, though. We got our chance, we took it and we gave everything we had to get here. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and I have a lot of things I miss. But this? This was different. 
We’ve also been getting along extremely well with everyone, see, I grew up with my cousin and when we were in high school, he was always in trouble. There were countless moments when I had to cover for him. So, the fact that Motley Crue was insane, meant they all got along very quickly.
I, however, enjoyed my quiet time every now and then. I mean, I loved my band, they’re my brothers. My family. But I’m the only girl on this tour and I liked a little time to myself.
It was always ruined, though.
“LUUUCYYYY!” I heard screaming outside of the tour bus and I looked up from the music lyrics I was going over for a possible new song.
“What the hell?” Standing up, running outside and busting out the door, I saw my lead singer, Alex, running past me butt ass naked. Vince was behind him, also naked.
“Why are you guys’ naked!?”
“We burned them in the trash can in the lobby! The COPS ARE CHASING US! LET US IN!”
We have been stopped off at this hotel room for not even ten fucking minutes. Doc was still getting our rooms signed in and set up.
Without responding, because honestly, I had no words. I stepped back into the bus and left the door in so they could run inside.
Sitting back down, and refusing to even look up for a second, I jogged a few more things down before closing my journal and shoving it into my bag.
“Hey, give me some of that,” I mumbled as Nikki followed behind shortly with a bottle of Jack in his hand, but without giving him a chance to answer, I snagged the bottle and took a few swigs. Feeling the burning sensation flow down my throat, and sighing in relief, he snatched it back.
-Nikki’s POV-
It’s been three weeks getting to know System Insomniac, and honestly, the guy’s were pretty cool. So was Lucy, she was a pretty good musician, not to mention she was hot. But the only thing was that every night, after getting off stage, she’d grab her smokes and her booze and just go back to her hotel room.
It was weird, she never partied. Everyone else did, hell, even Doc joined us a few times. Not to mention she always looked so fucking serious and was always writing shit down, I’ve never seen her relax once.
“Get your own.” Grumbling in frustration, I took my bottle back.
“Alex drank it all.” She retorted without looking up, I wish she would. Her eyes, goddamn. For some reason, I couldn’t get them out of my fucking head and it was annoying.
“Alright, I’m going to go to my room and take a shower. See you guys later.”
We were off for the night and our show wasn’t until tomorrow, so me and the guys were about to head out and party. Which, thank god. I’m out of blow.
“Hey, wait-” Grabbing her by the wrist, she turned to face me, there they were. I lost my train of thought for a second.
“What’s up?” She questioned, and snapping out of it, “Uh, we’re all going out, even your band. Why don’t you come and join us? I promise you, it’ll be a good time.”
I know she can handle her alcohol, she always has a flask tucked in her boot or bra, if not just carrying around the bottle itself. So, why didn’t she ever just come with us?
She hadn’t answered yet but she gently moved her hand over mine and removed it from her wrist, her brows were furrowed together and her nose was slightly scrunched, I noticed it did that when she was thinking.
Lucy always had something on her mind.
“Um, sure. But I’m still going to go get changed and freshen up.” She had finally agreed. And with that, she turned around, walked off the bus and headed into the hotel. Ryder, Sami, and Tommy all stepped onto the bus to grab their bags,
“Hey man, your cousin finally agreed to go out with us,” I told Sami while stepping off of the bus myself, taking a swig out of the bottle before passing it to Tommy while they followed behind.
“I don’t know why she hasn’t been coming out with us before, she was insane in high school. Never home, on benders, hardly ever sober. Hell, she’s still hardly ever sober. She just coops herself up. Even before we got here, she partied harder than we did. I guess she’s taking the tour a little too seriously.” Sami confided in me about his younger cousin. I thought it was kind of weird how they lived together since kids, and how they’re now in a band. But then again, that might be because I don’t really have any family of my own except for my bandmates, my brother’s.
“Hm,” I couldn’t help but smirk. Lucy used to party, I knew she fuckin’ had a wild side. Maybe I can help bring it out of her tonight.
We headed to our rooms, I changed into some leather pants, a halfway buttoned-down shirt, and put some cologne on before stepping out.
The guys’ were waiting for me in the lobby and I picked my head up to see Lucy coming out as well.
She was wearing this backless tight little black dress. Goddamn. Her hair was down in curls, her little feet were actually in a pair of heels. I was teasing her the other day about how my heels were higher than hers, I didn’t think she owned a pair. She always wore sneakers or boots.
But Lucy looked fucking gorgeous, no, not just gorgeous, she was sexy. Curvy in all of the right places.
“Hey,” She smiled once she saw me, “Ready?” She asked me and I nodded at her, “Cool, let’s go.”
“You look hot,” I blurted out, I was gonna tell her she looked beautiful but my mouth had other things to say.
“Why thank you, Sixx, you don’t look so bad yourself.” She winked before walking past me and I quickly followed behind her, watching her hips sway back and forth while my eyes trailed down to what I can only describe as a smackable ass, gazing upward to the flawless, fair skin on her back and that’s when I noticed it. She had a tattoo right below her left shoulder blade. All I saw was the petals of a rose, I wonder what the rest looked like.
-Lucy’s POV- 
It had been about half an hour since we’ve gotten to the party, I didn’t know anyone here except the people I came with. It smelled like alcohol and sweat in here, music blasted throughout the place. I think we were at someone’s house? I’m not sure.
Everyone had disappeared so I don’t know where anyone is, I was standing in the kitchen, making myself another drink. Originally starting off with a few beers, it got boring, so I figured some hard liquor would help me loosen up.
There was a bottle of scotch, I couldn’t pronounce the name on it so it must’ve been expensive. Pouring some into a glass and taking a sip, “Oh my god, that’s so fucking smooth.” Finishing off the glass before just setting it down and taking the bottle, I made my way towards a different room.
“Hey, Lucy! Come do a bump with me!” I heard Tommy yell over the music, him and Nikki were settled next to each other on a couch, Tommy had his arm wrapped around some redheaded chick, and Nikki was leaning back with some brunette leaning into his ear.
Nodding, I made a Beeline over there and nestled myself between Tommy and Nikki, I’ve never snorted anything before unless you counted nasal spray.
I did party, a lot. But my extent was drinking, weed, and the occasional happy pills.
“I’ve never done blow before,” I told Tommy as he handed me the same dish I saw Nikki with on the first day I met them, even lines of blow spread across and there was a little black straw.
“I can show you,” Tommy said but I shook my head, “It’s just shit going up my nose, can’t be that hard.” I shrugged, sometimes I was too independent for my own good.
Leaning forward, I placed the straw barely in my nostril and placed the other end over the beginning of a line, snorting until I reached the end of it.
Handing the plate over to the redhead, she had her hand out for it, I waited a moment before wrinkling my nose and sneezing four times in a row. Everyone started laughing at me.
“Fuck you guys.” I flipped them off before picking up my bottle, tilting my head back as I chugged. My eyes were watering a little from the blow and this scotch was helping me feel better in every way. Plus, I think the drugs were starting to hit.
“Whoo! Thank you, Tommy,” Wrapping my arm around his lanky shoulders, I gave him a little squeeze,
“You’re welcome!” He responded, but then Nikki smacked his arm.
“You should be thanking me because I’m the one fuckin’ who fuckin’ paid for it!” Nikki told me, I turned to look at him, I didn’t deem him for a touchy-feely person unless it was with his girl for the night. But, I wrapped my arms around him anyways, “Thank you, doll.” I told him before leaning back, crossing one leg over the other. I fell quiet, taking a swig out of my bottle before Nikki snatched it from me.
He took a drink, “Shit, that’s good.”
“Fuckin’ right? I love scotch. I love scotch more than I love myself, but I checked the label, 500 dollars. That’s worth more than my car.” I randomly babbled, oh yeah, I got chatty when I was buzzing.
“Well, maybe if you’re nice to me I’ll get you another bottle later on,” Nikki said while making eye contact with me, I tilted my head to the side. I was always nice, a little sarcastic but never rude.
“I am nice,” I responded, a little confused. 
“That’s not what I meant,” His free arm snaked around my waist and tugged me closer, the brunette on his right was giving me a deathly glare. I leaned in, tilting his chin upward until my face was barely centimeters away from his. I wouldn’t deny it, Nikki was fucking hot. His hair was messy and his makeup from yesterday’s show was faded across his cheeks, his lips were taunting me, and his cologne was fucking intoxicating. My eyes trailed from his down towards his bare chest as I licked my lips before meeting his eyes with my own again, “Never going to happen, Sixx.” And with that, I shoved him back, giggling to myself.
“We’ll see about that, Lovelace.” His voice was right in my ear, whispering to me while his fingers trailed ever-so-tenderly down my back. Fuck.
“I need some fresh air,” I said quietly before getting up, making my way outside so my entire body wouldn’t feel like it was going to burst into flames.
Nikki had a different girl with him every night, I wasn’t about to be another one on the list. It was never going to happen.
Or was it?
@slowandangry @rxsesinjune @fandomshit6000 @knightwhosaysnii @prettysureimgayxo @carmineharry @triplehaitches
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adapted-batteries · 2 years ago
Out from the Facades
Fandom: The Librarians
Rating: General, sfw, some swearing
Relationship: Jazekiel
Word Count: 2236
Going off a previous post where I headcanoned Stone as a trans guy, this is a fic revolving around that, and the concept of found family for June 4th's prompt: Found Family.
Also posted on my Ao3.
Jacob came home, hair cut short, with a button down shirt from the thrift store, trying to ignore the uncomfortableness of the too small sports bra he was using to bind. His father was usually home later, so he figured he’d have some time to think up what he was going to say, and where he could go if he ended up getting kicked out.
Unfortunately, Isaac Stone was standing at the kitchen counter, looking at some bill that had come in the mail that day. His father looked up, squinting at the open door from the bright Oklahoma afternoon. When Jacob unfroze and shut the door, Isaac sucked in a breath.
“So, you’re a boy now,” Isaac said, inspecting Jacob like he was a prize heifer at the county fair. While his feet could move, Jacob’s throat did not want to cooperate, so Isaac continued. “Since you couldn’t even be a decent girl, you better be a better man, you understand?”
Jacob nodded, mentally finishing the thought that came next: because I can’t have a queer for a kid.
So that’s what Jacob did. So long as he acted like a good ol’ boy, everyone went along with it. He was surprised how quickly people just decided that yeah, Rebecca Stone was actually Jacob Stone, star of the high school football team, more than capable of drinking with the actual linebackers, and making the same comments, though thankfully he never felt compelled to act on them like others did.
But the real shocker was how easily Isaac Stone swept the notion of Rebecca, the rough tomboy, under the rug like he had with his late wife's heritage. Surprising support wrapped in the ultimate thought that if things weren't right by themselves, he'd force it into a more acceptable image and move on. He’d drive Stone to Oklahoma City for hormone replacement therapy until he could drive himself, his father hid of all the pictures past baby stage that indicated a girl that wasn’t on board with being one, and somehow never misgendered him.
Of course, his father didn’t have to worry about misgendering if he wasn’t home, or was passed out drunk on the couch if he was.
By the time Jacob turned 18, no one made any mistakes. He’d been blessed by the transgender gods, spending most of his formative years on testosterone, and soon got top surgery in the city (thankfully paid for before his father completely ran the company into the dirt). To complete the perfect picture, he got himself a nice, manly job oil rigging. It was easy to forget he’d ever been Rebecca first.
But jacob couldn’t ignore how much of a fuckup he still was. No one knew that he’d went to college instead of “a stint up on the Keystone pipeline,” that he’d published dozens of scholarly essays on art and literature of all sorts while “apprenticing to be a surveyor,” that he still liked men even though he was a convincing fake womanizer. Despite briefly living more like who he really was, he was terrified of what would happen if the people back home found out. So, what better way to prevent that than to come back to Oklahoma and work long hours on a dead-end pipeline job, biding his time until Isaac decided he’d done enough to murder his company and let Jacob actually take over.
And then, when he was at the bar with some of his buddies, after dutifully hitting on the hot foreign chick with a Latin tattoo, ninjas showed up, and a NATO counter terrorism officer saved his ass.
The Library made it really hard to be Jacob Stone, manly oil rigger from Oklahoma, because he wasn’t any use to the Library for just that. No, Jacob Stone, brilliant scholar and expert in all things liberal arts, that was exactly who the Library needed to repeatedly save the world. And Jacob realized that, hey, it was pretty nice to actually be the real Jacob Stone, the one under all those facades.
The problem was old habits, ones that were decades in the making, were hard to break. It took him a few months to quit instinctively playing stupid before realizing, no, he didn’t have to do that. Only recently did he actually tell his colleagues what he was always busy working on in their off time, still publishing under Dr. Oliver Thompson, though the thought of abandoning the pseudonyms gave him the same fear that kept him hidden in Oklahoma.
At least the artificial interest in women was becoming not so artificial, but then there was Ezekiel Jones, doing his damn best to remind Jacob how not straight he was. And he still wasn’t totally truthful with the team; no one knew he was trans. Though he knew he didn’t owe them that bit of personal history, it felt like one more mask still hanging on his face.
And then the Library sent them to one of his father’s new sites in Wagner, and his past that he tried to shed came rearing its head all at once. Fortunately his father had hired local contractors who didn’t know Jacob, but he couldn’t do much about Isaac himself, or the fact they were dealing with some Choctaw mythology causing a ruckus, with protestors who seemingly could see through his white-passing visage and into his native blood.
It was as if the universe decided that he needed to actually confront the cultural past he’d carefully locked away years ago with his mother’s death, and the past he’d managed to lock away recently with becoming a Librarian. And maybe he actually would.
Isaac, of course, was off being useless in a bar, so naturally he got to introduce his colleagues to his father in his worst state.
“The hell you doin’ here?” Isaac was looking at him, just like he had that afternoon 25 years ago.
It took all of his willpower to not just turn around and leave. “...hey Pop.”
They managed to convince Isaac that he was just a surveyor assistant to Ezekiel, though part of him was on guard in case Cassandra decided to throw down with his father’s disgusting misogynistic behavior (he was convinced she gave Isaac a headache with all the jargon she threw around, so she got some revenge). It was easy knowing what to say to keep Isaac from suspecting anything, to get him to cooperate (especially considering he was oiled with alcohol), but after effectively being “out” intellectually for a year, it hurt to shove himself back into the good ol’ boy role, even if part of him was screaming it was the safe thing to do.
Being locked in the truth chamber was a thrilling experience, in that his anxiety about kept them from escaping. He thought he was going to have to come out right there to Ezekiel and Cassandra, but thankfully the door was happy enough with him talking about his father.
In the end, even after getting a practice run with Hokolonote, he realized it didn’t matter if Isaac had no clue who he really was. Isaac would never care, because Jacob still ended up being the family fuck up, just the “turnin’ your back on your family” one. He left Oklahoma with a different hurt, the low ache of realizing he never actually had genuine family to begin with.
And then he spent more time with the Librarians, and that ache began to fade. These people he worked with, saved, got saved by, knew him as he was, and loved him for it. And realized he felt the exact same way about them. He near spooked himself with how much he cared if Eve had died by Dulac’s sword, if Ezekiel got killed by anubis’s werewolves, if Cassandra didn’t make it through the surgery, if Flynn hadn’t been strong enough to take in evil while they scrambled for a solution to Apep, if Jenkins somehow died (thank god he was immortal). Family was only half of having people care about you; you had to care about them too.
He had family.
But he didn’t want any secrets with the family, and he still had one left tugging on his heart. And who better to tell than the other professional faker on the team.
He cornered Ezekiel in the main room while the others went about doing whatever they were doing. “Hey, Ezekiel, can we talk?”
Ezekiel looked at him, a mix of confusion and concern, since Jacob rarely pulled the first name card for him. “Sure, mate. Is something wrong?”
“No...uh, just, let’s go somewhere more private,” Jacob said, about-facing and walking deeper into the Library. Ezekiel followed him, and he knew the thief was suddenly hyper aware of everything because Jacob caught him off-guard.
The wandered for a bit, eventually far enough from the others and any main walkways where someone might come near. “Okay, what’s this about?” Ezekiel asked, folding his arms.
Jacob took a death breath. “I’ve not been completely truthful about my past-”
Ezekiel cut him off. “No one ever is, least of all me, so what of it?”
“No, just-” Jacob rubbed his face in frustration “-I know you and Cassandra found out I’d lied to my father about myself for decades, but that’s not the only thing about me you don’t know.”
“Okay?” Ezekiel just looked at him even more confused. “Are you like, coming out or something? Because that isn’t a big deal, I mean it is, but like, Cassandra has a girlfriend, mate, and you know I’m not the straightest bloke around.”
“You’re not?” Jacob shook his head, ignoring that bit of apparently obvious information for now. “I, uh, well, yeah, Jones, I’m coming out. I’m trans.”
There was an awkward silence as Ezekiel tried to figure out what Jacob meant by that. “Congrats?” He opened and closed his mouth a few times like he was trying out sentences in his head and deeming them not appropriate, and then a flood of words came out. “Um, so, do you have like prefered pronouns you want me to use? Are you thinking about a new name? Cuz that’s cool too. Are you still into women, or do you not want me to set you up anymore-”
Jacob felt like he’d been doing Atlas’s job for him, and Atlas had finally relieved him. “Ezekiel,” Jacob started to get the thief to quiet, “I’m a trans man.”
“Ooh, okay.” Ezekiel, despite his ability to don a quality poker face, had no control over the blush on his face right then.
Deciding he had nothing left to lose, Jacob decided to answer Ezekiel’s last question. “And you can stop with setting me up with women too...because I’m not straight either.” He let out a bark of a laugh at how surreal he felt, which made Ezekiel startle. Apparently Ezekiel realized how big this was for Jacob, because he was looking at him in amazement now. “I can’t believe I’ve not told anyone else that in two and a half decades.”
“’s been that long?” Ezekiel blinked in disbelief. “How did you hide that?”
Jacob shrugged. “You’d be surprised how easily people will ignore things if you fit in somehow. And I wasn’t ever totally met Slaten. He knew me, well, more than anyone else until the Library.” He knew what was coming next after he said that.
“Were you...together?”
A smile crept onto Jacob’s face, reminiscent. “It’s the worst when you fall for your straight best friend.”
“It really is,” Ezekiel replied, and then his expression changed to something more serious, his posture annoyingly more seductive with just a slight tilt of his head and angle of his hips. “Now I pride myself in reading people, a necessary skill for effective grifting, and, well, when I first met you, you gave off some repressed gay vibes for sure. Was there something more when you shoved me against that bookcase when ninjas were invading the Library for the crown?”
Jacob thought back to that moment. “Not exactly, I mean, I'm a fighter so my first thought was to immobilize you.” Ezekiel raised an eyebrow, but Jacob had more to say. He stepped closer to Ezekiel as he said, “then my second thought was you looked like you were enjoying it.” Now he was almost toe to toe with Ezekiel, and the thief had certainly picked up on where he was going. “And my third thought was that I enjoyed looking at you like that.”
Conveniently, they were near a bookcase, not the one from the memory, but close enough. With all other thoughts out the window, Jacob grabbed Ezekiel by the shirt and pushed him against the bookcase. Ezekiel let out a little gasp when his back hit the wood, making Jacob's heart flip in his chest. What he said was true; Jacob was enjoying pinning Ezekiel to the bookcase, and based on Ezekiel's turned on expression, he was too.
Ezekiel interrupted his observations. “Are you just going to look at me?”
“Hmm, I might with that attitude,” Jacob purred. Ezekiel scoffed, but he glanced down at Jacob's mouth, and then Jacob couldn't resist any longer. He relaxed his elbows and brought his face near inches away from Ezekiel's, but something making him hesitate.
Ezekiel read him like an open book. “You aren't second guessing, are you? There's nothing wrong with who you are, though your wardrobe could still use help-”
“Oh, shut it,” Jacob growled, but he didn't back away.
“Make me, cowboy,” Ezekiel retorted. That was enough to get Jacob to close the remaining distance and press his lips onto Ezekiel's.
It wouldn't be an exaggeration for him to say he felt fireworks when Ezekiel kissed back.
This was his family, this building, these people. Blood wasn't everything, despite what the folks back home thought. It only took him 40 years to find it, but he was very glad he did.
Post Notes: So, this is some idyllic world where trans teens got HRT in the 80's, which as far as Google would tell me, wasn't a thing until more recently. Also, since I used “And What Lies Beneath the Stones” for reference on Jacob and Isaac interacting, I also noticed how the one protestor reacted when he looked at Stone, and my brain decided that was him recognizing Choctaw or another tribe in Stone because that's also a fun headcanon in my head from when people mentioned it way back.
I picture this happening after season four, so technically the LiTs don't remember the whole Jenkins dying bit (I feel like Flynn and Eve wouldn't say for time line stability, since Flynn does watch out for that already from “And the Final Curtain”).
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unbetaedimagines · 3 years ago
Virgin Territory
Summary: Your best friend Roman Godfrey stormed into your life when you were a little girl, and you’ve never been the same since. After spending a life time focused on academics, it’s now the summer before college, and all you want to do is lose your virginity. The problem is everyone you try to sleep with rejects you. After hearing rumors that Roman has told everyone you’re off limits, you can’t help but wonder why. Luckily, you always have your other close friend, Peter, to turn to.
Words: 1860
Paring: Roman Godfrey x Female Reader, Peter Rumancek x Female Reader
Warnings: Foul language. Intense sexual themes (the whole thing is about someone who wants to have sex), underage drinking, reckless drinking, angst, mentions of sex, mentions of threesomes. Smut in future chapters. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF I’VE LEFT ANYTHING OUT.
It all started the night your parents took you to Godfrey Manor. At eight years old, you prefered to stay home and read a classic, but your parents insisted on taking you to the gala that night. They’re apart of the Hemlock Grove elite after all, and membership into that club comes with a hefty price tag; your soul.
Olivia Godfrey had a sparkle like no one you had seen before. She reminded you of extraordinary heroines you read about. After greeting her, you wander around the party, glued to your parents side. Eventually, you decide you’ve had enough. Growing restless, you begin exploring the gothic mansion on your own.
After half an hour of exploration, you hear a tiny voice in the distance, swearing like a sailor. Tilting your head, you walk down the hall, only to find a tall, lanky blonde boy, standing over a broken vase. Looking up at you, he sticks out his tongue, before turning around and leaving without a word.
Six months later, at another lavish party, you finally work up the courage to talk to the mystery boy. After asking your parents, you find out his name is Roman, and he’s Olivia Godfrey’s oldest son. You’ve seen him at school, and he’s always in some sort of trouble. Roman fascinated you from the very beginning; such a little devil with an impossibly angelic face. After your parents warned you about his escapades and to stay away from him, you couldn’t resist befriending him. There was nothing you loved more than playing with fire.
After searching for the elusive Roman all throughout the house, you spot him on the veranda, smoking a cigarette.
“Aren’t you a little young to be smoking?” you ask, crossing your arms as you lean against the door.
Prancing up to you, Roman snubs the cigarette out on the railing. Looking you up and down, he smirks, a playful grin spreading across his full, pouty lips.
“Don’t you think it makes me look cool?”
“I think it makes you look like an idiot”
From that moment on, you and Roman Godfrey were inseparable.
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Senior year comes and goes like a blur. You’ve always been a race horse when it comes to academics, giving you little time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. As summer starts, you’re excited for all the possibilities your future will hold and the fresh start you can make for yourself. University is just around the corner, the thing you’ve been working your whole life towards.
Romance has eluded you your whole life; most people assume you’re in love with Roman, which couldn’t be further from the truth. He is your best friend, but also kind of a pig when it comes to relationships and sex. He’s cute, but you know any sexual relationship with Roman would end in disaster. At least, that’s what you keep telling yourself.
Everytime Roman seduced someone, it broke your heart a little, and you never really knew why. There is no way in hell that you’re in love with him; he’s like a brother to you. So why is it everytime you see him kiss someone else, you die a little inside?
One night in mid June, you decide to attend a rockous house party. Not normally one to attend soirees unless forced, you’ve decided you need to spend some quality time with your two closest friends, Roman and Peter Rumancek, before you go off to college. You know Peter will stick by your side all night, unlike Roman, who will spend the entire evening in the pursuit of ass. Plus, it will be nice to get to know some of your fellow compatriots before you head off to to your post high school lives.
“You look really pretty tonight, (Y/N)” Peter says, looking you up and down with a sweet smirk. Blushing slightly, you thank him. Peter was always flirting with you, but that’s just his nature. Not once did you ever take it seriously. If you did, you could easily let your crush on him take over, forever ruining your friendship. He looked very handsome tonight, wearing his favorite brown jacket that makes him look like a sensitive bohemian poet. Glancing to the left, you glaze at Roman, who looks like his typical sex God self. Dressed in a black blazer, his sleeves are rolled up, his veiny forearms on full display. It gives you a sense of pride to be walking into your possibly last high school party with such dashing gentleman on your arm.
After an hour of walking around in circles, you’re bored out of your mind. Peter goes to get you a drink after Roman set his sights on the gymnastics team. Leaning against the wall, you wonder why you bothered leaving your house. Closing your eyes, you eavesdrop on conversations. While high school is full of vapid teenagers, at least their gossip was juicy.
“I heard (Y/N) is at the party. How can you hover around Roman fucking Godfrey so much and still be a virgin? You think he’d at least throw her a pity fuck” an unfamiliar voice says.
“How anyone anywhere can graduate high school a virgin is a mystery to me” someone else saying, laughing loudly.
“They didn’t have any more diet, but I did manage to rustle you up a root beer” Peter says, handing you a red cup.
Looking down at your drink, you sigh. What the hell were you doing with your life? You had succeeded in every other aspect of humanity, so much so that you ignored one fundamental part of it. Tonight, you are going to remedy that. You wanted to reinvent yourself, why not start right now?
“Peter, I’m going to need you to add some vodka to this”
Spending the next hour drinking heavily, you end up smashed. Consuming anything in sight, you make up for a lifetime of sobriety in one evening. People at the party give you strange looks; you’re supposed to be a goodie two shoes after all. Instead, you’re double fisting a bottle of plastic vodka and a root beer.
All night long, you attempt to engage in conversation with anyone. What you lack in flirting skills, you make up for in sheer determination. After several failed attempts to flirt with some people you deem attractive, you finally plop down on the couch next to Peter.
“Peter, tonight is the night. Tonight, I’m going to get fucked” you slur in his ear, giggling at yourself.
Peter spits out his drink. “I don’t think that’s such a good idea, (Y/N). You’re kind of wasted”
“Wasted smasted. I’m just being a precocious teen” you reply, making him laugh.
“Who will the lucky person be?”
Looking Peter up and down, you bite your lip. He was looking really sexy tonight. I mean, who better to lose your virginity too than a close friend? Peter is caring, sensitive, kind; maybe tonight is the night you finally let yourself indulge in your crush.
Crawling onto his lap, you sloppily trace his lips with your fingers.
“What are you doing tonight, baby?”
“No, no. No way. I don’t sleep with chicks so drunk they can’t even stand”
“Come on Peter. I’ve always thought you were really, very sexy” you reply, resting your head on his shoulder and batting your lashes at him. “Be a friend, and pop my cherry, won’t you?”
Looking into your eyes, Peter holds your face steady. He stares at your lips, before slowly leaning in. Your heart races as he leans forward. Suddenly, he stops, pulling back.
“Not my style, kid” he whispers, his face so close you can feel his breath fan against your face.
“Fine” you huff, getting off his lap. Straightening your skirt, you give him a look before sauntering away.
For the rest of the night, you approach person after person, doing your best to flirt with them. Even the nicest of them blew you off after a few minutes. It was official; there must be something wrong with you. Here you are, a willing and eager teenage girl, yet no one is biting.
Collapsing on the couch, you cross your arms. When Alister Abercrombie sits next to you, you decide to take matters into your own hands. Pouncing like a cat, you straddle Alister’s legs, pinning him to the sofa. He yelps and drops his drink, staining the leather couch.
“Alister, why doesn’t anybody want to have sex with me?”
“What the hell are you…”
“Just answer the question Allie Cat”
“You know I hate it when people call me that!”
“If you don’t tell me the harsh truth, I’m going to show everyone those pictures I took of you at Nicki’s graduation party. You know, the ones where you are…”
“Alright, alright. Roman told everyone that you’re off limits. That’s all I know”
Falling off Allister with a thud, you stare blankly into the crowd. Why the hell would Roman do that? What the hell does off limits mean anyways?
You stagger to your feet, deciding to confront Roman about this whole ‘off limits’ bullshit. You don’t need a protector, so why the hell would he do this to you? You’re a big girl; you can sleep with whoever you choose. Best friends should not be cock blocks, you tell yourself in a drunken haze. I mean, it’s not as if he has feelings for you. He was simply doing this because he could be an overprotective ass sometimes. That’s it, you tell your drunken brain.
After searching every corner of the house, you finally find Roman being led into a bedroom by two members of the gymnastics team.
“Roman mother fucking Godfrey!” you scream, pointing at him.
Rolling his eyes, he turns to you. “Someone’s wasted”.
Pushing him against the wall, you stare into his green orbs like a feral animal.
“Why are you telling people I’m off limits?” you spit out, your face inches from his.
“What the hell are you talking about?” he replies, rolling his eyes.
“You told everyone not to have sex with me, and I want to, I want to have sex” you slur, your head swirling around.  “So undo whatever you did. Or better yet, convince someone to have sex with me. My virginity has become a nuisance”
This last thought causes you to start sniffling. Suddenly, you begin balling, throwing yourself into Roman’s lengthy arms. Never did you expect to be the crying drunk girl, but here you are.
“Why doesn’t anybody want me?” you sob, getting slobber on Roman’s blazer.
Looking back at the girls, Roman sighs.
“Come on guzzles, let’s get you home”
Wrapping his arm around your waist, Roman texts a towncar to come pick you both up and take you home. After the ride, he carries you inside and up to your bed. He makes sure to leave water and pain meds by your side, before kissing your forehead as you pass out.
“Goodnight (Y/N). I love you” he whispers, quiet enough that you don’t hear him. He closes the door, wishing he could stay with you.
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imsopaigeyo · 2 years ago
Prey: Part 1
Shawn Mendes Fan Fiction 
Three Years from the present day.
July 4th 2015. The first meeting.
“I’m really happy you’re coming out tonight Marcy” Bradly said to me as he was spinning in my desk chair and playing with the pencil I was previously using to do homework. We had been friends since the day my family moved in next door. Almost 10 years of friendship.
“Have I ever missed one of your famous 4th of July Parties? No matter how much they push me out of my comfort zone.” I joked, but there was an incredible amount of truth behind my words.
Bradly was friends with the most popular kids, not just in our school, but within our entire town. He was one of the most charismatic and likable people that I knew. That translated to him being friends with anyone and everyone. I however was the girl that knew all the answers but never raised her hand. I would often peal the wood around my pencil tip to avoid having to make the dreaded trip to the pencil sharpener in fear of drawing too much attention. These parties caused me an insane amount of anxiety, however this was for Bradley.
“Well considering this is the only time of year you actually socialize with anyone other than me or your family, I don’t feel bad about it. You need it.” Bradley flashed his glorious smile. I have almost grown immune to his charm over our many years of friendship.
“I talk to Addy” I pointed out, more pleased with myself than I probably should have been.
“She’s my girlfriend! You are practically forced to talk to her!” Bradley laughed as I finish tying my shoes.
“Well I enjoy talking to her” I argued. While the socialization between the us was a must, I did genuinely enjoy the friendship that was evolving between us two. Even if it was only due to Bradley.
“Marcy you do realize you've warn that same exact shirt to this party for the past three years.” Bradly said standing up causing me to roll my eyes. I suppose it was officially time to embark on this journey.
“It’s my party shirt” I said jokingly lifting the collar of my breathable yet very warn gray tee shirt. This was the shirt I felt the most comfortable in, and I always wore when I knew I would be in a high stress situation. “Let’s kick it” I took a deep breath as Bradly through his arm around me and we made our way across the street.
The party went on much like the other years for me. I stood as far away from the crowd as possible without trying to come across as anti social. I did my best to keep Bradly in my view in case I would need to find someone to talk too. I would look around and notice what faces were familiar to me. However, I would never approach anyone. With What few people approached me, I would make polite small talk with until I or them would awkwardly walk away, then I would curse myself for being so awkward.
There were a few differences at this party then the last. There were more people than last year, however that did not surprise me. The amount of people has gone up every year, for Bradly was incredible at making new friends without loosing any it seemed.
Also this was the first party where alcohol was very much prevalent. I again knew this was going to happen eventually . The past few years there were a few kids that would sneak some here and there, but this year it seemed that everyone had a red solo cup in there hand filled with some mysterious liquid. Except for me.
“Marcy I brought you a drink!” I turned to see my second favorite face that could be at this party. Bradly's girlfriend Addy, I knew that I could talk to her without feeling awkward or out of place. However the thought of consuming alcohol under this much stress scared me, just as I was about to politely decline i was cut off. “No worries, it’s Sunny D! Bradly told me it’s your favorite” she smiled handing me the glass.
“Thanks Addy” I was thankful, for all of the thoughts running through my head were making me thirsty. And Sunny D was indeed my favorite.
“Of course! Now come on, Bradly wants to introduce you to his new friends!” Addy said grabbing My arm gently and pulled me through the crowd.
I knew better than to protest. For this was apart of the yearly tradition. At some point during the party, Bradly always deemed it necessary to introduce me to his top new friends of the year, and they always managed to be different than the last.
This was my least, and favorite part of the party. While I hated the anxiety that came along with meeting so many new people at once,I knew after this portion it would then be acceptable for me to leave.
“I’m for-warning you now, Brad has had a bit too much to drink. So just play along with his antics if you can.” Addy yelled to me over the roar of the crowd and I stiffened unsure of how I felt.
“Oh joy” I said Sarcastically. I had nothing against drunk people, only that I had never really dealt with one before.
“MARCY!!!!!!!!” I had heard Bradley obnoxiously yell only to then be embraced with a large and very smothering hug. “ I just want everyone to know how cool this chick is” Bradly yelled to everyone although no one was really listening to him. There was far too much commotion from everyone around. “Let’s go girls” Bradly then demanded the two of us.
Addy, gave me a pleading glance and mouthed “just go with it” and I reluctantly followed Addy and she followed brad into his crowded kitchen up to the table where there was a group of boys sitting around playing a game of cards. One of which looked incredibly familiar. I figured that he was probably a football captain for a rival school or something like that. I most likely saw a few of his posts on Instagram.
“Boys, Boys, Boys” Bradly drunkly got the entire tables attention and my insides began to twist anticipating all of the attention Bradly was about to cast onto me. “I want everyone to meet my best gal pal, Marcy Mae Dawson!” He said then proceeded to clap by himself.
I smiled and waved as I usually do when Bradly introduces me to his friends. Only this time was much worse considering an entire table of incredibly attractive teenage boys were gathered around a table.
There was a very very awkward moment of silence until Addy gracefully entered the conversation. “Marcy this is my cousin Johnson, and his friend Jack, Cole, Drew, and Shawn.”
“You mean Shawn mother fucking Mendes” Bradley drunkly yelled. “A mother fucking rock star. You here that Marcy there is a rock star at my party” Bradly aggressively sat down into his kitchen chair throwing his hands up. Almost falling if it wasn't for Johnson catching him.
Things clicked at that point. I had seen Shawn Mendes on line quite a bit, I even followed him on vine and he was really taking off. I was a little star struck but not really surprised. If anyone would have a celebrity at there party it would be Bradly.
“Alright buddy why don’t you have some water” Shawn handed Bradly his own glass. “It’s nice to meet you Marcy” he then smiled at me and my insides twisted this time in an entirely different way. I smile at him wanting to say more but not wanting to risk saying something stupid so I stayed silent.
As Bradly tried to take a sip of water he dropped the entire glass all over him self. “Well damn” he moaned as Johnson handed him some paper towels and I got a bottle of water off of the bar and handed it to Addy knowing she would have best chance at getting him to successfully drink it.
I stood my arms crossed, looking down at my feet and stealing a few glances at Shawn. Still amazed that it was actually him. While this was incredibly entertaining, I indeed did want to get home. As the table started to have discussion and share a good amount of laughs I couldn't help but begin to think of when the best time to leave would arrive.
“Marcy, would you like to sit down, I can go find another seat?” Shawn had asked me and while the offer did make me swoon, I thought this might be my only shot to escape.
“Oh no that’s okay, I was actually just going to leave. Thank you though.” I said trying to sound as nonchalant as possible.
“Whattttt?? Marcy no! Addy tell Marcy to stay” Bradly whined but Addy nodded at me before reassuring Bradly that it was late. I smiled at her.
“I’ll see you tomorrow Bradly, thanks for having me. Nice meeting you all.” I said turning to leave in fear that if I stayed to socialize more I would make a fool of myself. As I turned to leave I felt a tap on my shoulder and I turned around expecting Addy but I was entirely shocked to see the eyes of Shawn Mendes a foot away from mine. This caused me to stumble back as I’m sure it would most however I was lucky enough to regain my footing prior to completely embarrassing myself. Shawn laughed causing my face to turn red im sure almost instantly.
“I just wanted to check and see if you were okay to get home, would you like a ride. I haven’t drank anything.” He asked and my eyes went wide.
Does he think I’m drunk now. How horrible would that be. I actually meet a celebrity and they think I’m trashed when really I’m just a giant pile of awkward.
“What! Oh, no I’m not, I didn't, I don’t drink. All I had was Sunny D!” I defend.
“Sunny D?” He laughed even more. Does he think I’m lying? Oh god.
“I swear, you can smell my breath” I defend. Smell my breath? what is wrong with me. “I’m just really clumsy.”
“I know your not drunk Marcy” he laughs. “Just making sure you have a way home.”
“Oh okay.” I say reassured. I then realize he is still waiting for an answer. “NO” I scream when I realize I’m not answering. “I’m so sorry I didn't realize you were asking me. I live right across the street. I just. God I’m so sorry.” I say rubbing my forehead looking down trying to avoid eye contact. This is mortifying. I expect him to walk away but instead his soft giggle escapes his lips again. I look up to see his smile. A smile even more charming then Bradly’s.
“It was very nice to meet you Marcy, have a good night.” He says and pats my shoulder before turning around to go back to his table of friends. ----------- Shawn and his friends have been at every party since. While every party I only socialized with Bradly or Addy, Shawn always made an effort to say hi to me and make small talk. Even as he grew more popular in the years. You could say I developed a crush on him, but really what teenage girl didn’t at this point in time. ----------- Present Day
“I can’t find it!” I yelled.
“Find what?” Addy asked looking up from her phone. She was FaceTiming Bradly about his party tonight.
“Her Party Shirt” Bradly answered for me causing me to aggressively shut my dresser drawer and rip the phone from Addy’s hand.
“Where the hell is it.” I don’t ask, I demand.
“To be returned on the morning of July 5th.” Bradly flashes me his smile.
“Then I won’t go to your stupid party” I threatened. I know it could seem a bit dramatic, but with social situations comes stress. With the incredible stress that will come from a social situation there is nothing wrong with wanting to wear what makes you feel comfortable.
“Then you won’t get it back.” Bradly threatened causing me to groan giving the phone back to Addy and flop onto my bed in the midst of a fit. “It’s been six years Marcy’s, it’s time to get a new wardrobe!” Bradly announced through the phone and I put a pillow over my face not wanting to hear it.
“Maybe Brads right, maybe you could take this opportunity to dress a little bit sexy. Maybe meet a cute boy” Addy began to insist making her way from my desk chair to the bed next to me.
“You were in on this” I take the pillow from my face and look at her in the eyes.
“Yes” she says regretfully.
“What is so wrong with my party shirt” I moan throwing my hands in the air.
“Nothing. There just nothing right about it either.” Addy says gently trying not to hurt my feelings. “ I’ll help you find something, something super cute and of course comfortable I promise.” She reassures me.
“Plus Shawn’s gonna be there, you want to look cute for your crush don’t ya Marcy” Bradly teased.
“I don’t have a crush on Shawn” I defend
“That is not what your Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr history says” Bradly continues and I put the pillow over my face again. I never planned to tell anyone about my crush, but when your best friend has no means for privacy it’s kinda hard.
I of course knew nothing would come of it. I was just like all of the other girls who had a crush on him. I was just lucky enough to be able to see him once a year. I wouldn't say I was I fan, but I was definitely into his music and watching him grow as an artist.
“I think that’s enough. Bye Brad, see you in a bit, love you.” Addy quickly hung up before ripping the pillow from my face. “He’s an ass, yes, but he’s an ass with a point”
“What point?” I look at her in disbelief.
“We are trying to get you out of your shell Marcy. I mean come on you just finished your first year of college and what exactly did you do all year?” She challenges.
“I got straight A’s.”I gloat.
“Aside from that, how many friends did you make, parties did you go to, Boys did you flirt with, what good memories have you made aside from getting honor roll and watching an obscene amount of netflixs.
“None.” I say regretfully.
“Exactly, you need to open up. Start living life.” She said and I saw her point, I just don’t see how my shirt had anything to do with it.
“Fine” I give in, I really didn't have a choice if I wanted to get my shirt back.
“Great I have the perfect outfit for you.” Said leans over and starts pulling cloths from her book bag. I should’ve questioned why she had brought a book bag to my house in the middle of summer. ----- Over all the outfit wasn't horrible. I was expect an entirely to tight a revealing mess however Addy was quite thoughtful when it came to my style. A pair of ripped jeans and a cozy white tee that was slightly cropped.
“This isn't to bad” I say and she glides the last of the mascara over my eye lashes.
“Don’t speak to soon” she smirks before going to her bag to pull out one last thing.
“No” I say the minute pulls out a pitiful excuse for shoes.
“Come on. They are just heels. Plus you live right next door worse comes to worse I’ll come over and grab your sneakers. Just try for me Marcy” she pleas and I shake my head no and go to grab my sneakers. “You want your tee shirt back don’t you?” She states causing me to stop into tracks and shoot her a death glare. ------- “I’m tired already” I say trying my best not to sink into the grass as I walk across my yard to get to Bradley's.
“Stop complaining, Addy does this every day” Bradly says. Addy seconds. I roll my eyes.
This year Addy and I are going over early, im too sure as to why. The only reason i agrees to so I may find a comfort place to sit and sulk for the night. As I walk over I see there are already two cars I don’t recognize in the drive way meaning people are already there thus I will need to socialize and I groan.
“It’s 6, how are people already here” I complain.
“My darling Marcy have you never heard of a pre game.” Bradley pats my back almost causing me to stumble.
“And that is how you always seem to get so trashed” Addy adds in and I laugh.
“I liked it better when you guys didn’t always team up against me” Bradley complained opening his front and the sound of men screaming and grunting. I reluctantly follow behind the two.
Inside are the same boys I met three years ago at Bradlys kitchen table. All stumbling around, yelling, drinking, and laughing. There is also a group of very pretty, incredibly dressed girls hanging on them. Shawn however is not there. I don’t know if I’m relieved or disappointed.
I take a seat on the couch in the living room that’s pushed against the wall away from the commotion. Addy and Bradly go over, while I go on my phone pretending to do something important, however I’m only playing angry birds.
All of a sudden the front door opens and in walks Shawn Mendes and my stomach immediately is flooded by a stream of butterfly’s, but they are quickly massacred as three women who look like super models follow close behind.
“Look who made it to the pre-game” Drew, one of the boys I met at the kitchen table exclaims and high fives all of his friends.
Shawn makes his way to the rest of them indulging in the high fives. I notice he seems different then the past years. He’s taller, more masculine, darker.
He glances over and sees my eyes glued to him he smiles. But it’s not the same smile I had swooned over the past 3 years, it was a smirk. A smirk I haven’t seen before. Not from him, not from anyone.
I’m sure my cheeks go red when he catches me staring and my eyes go back to my phone. I try and stay calm even though I am still incredibly star struck, though this is my fourth time being in a social situation with him. Although I am never social.
As he goes around the room greeting everyone I notice his voice has changed. Not deeper, just harsher. He’s more demanding, asking the girls to get him a drink, and them all rushing to get it for him. Me still sitting glued to my phone hoping no one brings me into the conversation.
“It’s Macey right?” Shawn turns to me and leans back on the pool table about ten foot away. Everyone turns there head to me and my stomach drops. How could he get my name wrong? What do you mean Marcy. Of course he got your name wrong he hardly knows you. You should be happy he was even close. How do you even go about correcting him. Just smile and nod. Smile and nod.
“Her names Marcy.” Addy corrects him for me and again I’m conflicted. Am I thankful, am I mortified, I should of just corrected him myself.
“Yeah sorry” I say. Fuck why did I just apologize for my own name. I want to go home. The girl to the left of him let’s out a giggle. Not a nice one, a condescending one. My eyes go back to my phone and everyone thankfully goes back to there conversations.
That could’ve been worse is all I keep telling myself. They are all standing and laughing around the pool table. I don’t think they are playing the game really, more of less just using it as a prop.
“How about a little drinking game to get this party started” one of the suspected models that followed Shawn into the room raising her glass.
They all agree and circle around the pool table as if this had been rehearsed. Addy points to a spot next to her urging me to join then and I shake my head no.
“Marcy come on.” She demands and once again all eyes turn my way and I reluctantly walk to the spot not wanting to draw anymore attention to myself. The same girl that laughed before laughs again, this time joined by the others.
“You’re gonna need a drink dear.” Johnson laughs handing me a beer.
“I don’t drink. Thank you though.” I say hesitantly not wanting to come off rude. Luckily Johnson puts it back and hands a water with a smile.
"No no no!" Bradly, already seemingly less sober then he was 20 minutes ago, snatches the water from my hand and replacing it with the solo cup from which he was drinking from. I try to stop him but he cuts me off saying "I dont want to hear it, tonight, you drink. Don't worry, its not strong." I says as he starts to make himself another drink.
"Clearly." I saw not thinking,luckily my comment gained a few laughs from around the table and i feel grateful nobody saw the comment as bitchy. I look up to see Shawn looking at me with the same smirk he had when he first walk in. Im sure my cheeks turn red and i look down hoping he didnt see. I take i sniff from the red solo cup and the pungent smells throws me off and i pray I can get away with faking my drinks throughout the game.
"So what game are we playing" Addy asks. The room fills with a few suggestions and one of the girls mutter out the words "Truth or Dare" which seems to grab everyones attention and they all agree.
I think the idea is a little juvenile but im not complaining. No one ever calls my name anyway so i feel slightly safe in this..."Marcy!"
I look to see the Model who laughed at my social skills making eye contact with me looking incredibly devious. "Truth or Dare" She practically challenge and I feel my knees begin to shake and chest tighten. Stay calm I remind myself. Its just a game that everyone plays.
"Truth" I reply trying not to sound as frightened as I am. Obviously I go for the safest option.
"How many people have you slept with?" She asks trying to seem innocent. Im sure she already knows my humiliating answer is zero however i dont want to go through the mortifying defeat of saying that.
"I mean dare" I say somehow fooling myself into thinking this option would be better.
"Thats not fair, you can't..." She starts to ridicule me and I feel my body start to freak out even more before she is cut off by a deep voice that makes my heart stop.
"Finish your drink." I look to her left and see the smirk thats been haunting since hes gotten here. Shawn's.
His request may have seemed simple to some, but as someone who has never tasted alcohol it was a lot. I think he knew that too. However, the thought of having to answer the question put far worse fear into my body so I slowly and regretfully bring the red solo cup to my lips, and force my body to allow all of the awful contents to be consumed.
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foryourlifefic · 2 years ago
Chaper 2 (Part 1)
The Hyatt House
Read the sign of the hotel as we all pulled up to it.
Ron leant me a fur coat for protection against the cold, and I couldn’t help but feel like royalty as we had all shared drinks in their limousine.
When we got out I grabbed Jimmy’s arm for balance, as I could already feel the alcohol hitting me.
Mr. Richard Cole, the famous tour manager had gotten out before us along with some other husky men to keep people out of the way so we could get into the hotel.
The rest of Led Zeppelin and my band mates were behind us as we exited the limo. It was a surreal experience walking into the hotel with Jimmy Page while a line of teenage girls stood outside, hoping to do the same.
“Come on stay over there now!” I could hear Richard yell in a thick accent up ahead.
“Is this every night?” I whisper in Jimmy’s ear gesturing towards the girls.
“Well more like every other night.” he looks towards them and laughs “but hell tonight must be one of those nights” he says with a hint of cockiness.
“I guess so” I remark “so what floor are you guys on?” I ask him as we approach the door.
“Well the very top one of course” he says opening it for me “there is a lovely pool on the roof as well, so having the top floor only makes sense.”
“I see” I say stepping in “and thank you”
“My pleasure” he says putting his hand on the small of my back.
I could be hear talking and laughter from the clump of people behind us, they were all pretty hammered similar to Jimmy and I.
Richard and his helpers were the last ones in as they had to fend off crowds of super fans and teenage girls.
“What’s it like to always have that many chicks available to you?” I can hear Matt slur from behind me.
Robert is quick to answer “well it’s not much different from anything else, you want it, you go get it. That’s just how it is around here.”
“Well that must be nice” Kenny says “I wish girls were like that with us”
“Oh lord” I say rolling my eyes causing Jimmy to chuckle into my neck as we were still arm in arm.
“Tell you what” Robert snaps his fingers “why don’t the two of you go out there and pick out a couple of birds, you can bring them up to our floor and do with them what you will.”
“No shit, really?” Kenny asks.
“My treat” Robert laughs then looks at the clock above the front desk of the lobby “I am actually expecting some one right about now, so I’m gonna go out there with you guys.” He says
“Well then let’s go!” Matt says with a little to much enthusiasm.
Him and Kenny basically run down the lobby steps pushing each other to the front door, while Robert casually walks behind them.
Percy, I can get your bird! It’s crazy out there!” Richards yells following him out the door, but Robert just ignores him.
They push both the doors open and I can hear screaming from outside. I can see Kenny and Matt freeze in their foot steps. Robert just casually greets everyone, while Richard fends off peoples wondering hands. The whole sight was pretty comical.
“And then there were 4” Jen said awkwardly.
“Not to worry little one” Bonzo says wrapping his arm around her head “I’ll take good care of you”
“Thanks” she huffs in the nape his arm.
He laughs “looks like Pagey and your ole friend Lil have already made good company.”
“What do you mean?” I ask causing Jimmy to sharply look at me.
“Well you just seem comfortable is all” He howls “Pagey likes you.”
I can feel Jimmys body immediately tense but then he tries to play it off “thanks for the narration Bonzo.”
“So you do like me?” I ask looking towards him smiling a mischievous smile.
Jen and Bonzo immediately start laughing obnoxiously pissing Jimmy off.
He looks from me to them, then to me again “come with with me” he grunts grabbing my arm leading me to the elevators.
By this time Bonzo and Jen’s laughing has caused me to giggle as well, which is what I did as I waved to them goodbye barley able to contain myself.
Once we got in the elevator the laughing had died down and I began to apologize to him.
“Hey I’m sorry about that, I didn’t mean to- huh” I gasped as he grabbed my waist and put his lips on mine.
I about fell from the surprise, but Jimmy caught me and pushed me against the elevator wall.
“I really am sor-“ He cut me off by putting his finger on my lips.
“Shhh” he says pushing my bottom lip down with his finger.
I just stare at him, still in shock over what happened even though I was definitely okay with it.
“No need to apologize love, he’s right I do like you.”
“But why?” I blurt out, immediately regretting saying it after.
“Because your a beautiful girl, with a beautiful voice, who I admire. You’ve got something special.” He says.
I point to my chest “really? Me?”
He laughs and bites his lip “yes you”
“Huh” I say unable to comprehend the things he was saying to me. “Well Mr. Page you have deemed me speechless.” I say continuing to look closer into his eyes.
He moves closer to my face “Hardly love, the only question is, are you interested in me as well?”
“What if I say yes?” I ask biting my lip.
“Well I would ask for you to stay the night with me in my hotel room. I would definitely show you a good time.” He smirks.
“And no?” I ask raising my eyebrow.
“Well that wouldn’t be very fun would it.” He says.
“Hmmm... let me weigh out my options.” I whisper as the elevator approaches the top floor.
I move away from him and enter into the master Led Zeppelin suit.
I look back at Jimmy who says “I will have you Ms. Rose.”
“And I will have a look around here.” I wink.
I accidentally run into a rather large man with some quiet messed up hair.
“Oh I’m sorry” I say embarrassed “I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
“Not a problem girl” he says in a thick accent. “Pagey is this one with you?” He asks.
I can hear Jimmy begin to approach the conversation. “Yes G she is, her and her band played at the Whiskey tonight. We just brought them back to have a good time.”
“I see” He says “I didn’t catch your name love.”
“It’s Leila” I say extending my hand “it’s nice to meet you.”
“And you as well” he says “well don’t let me get into your guys way, I’m about to retire anyway I have some business that needs attending to in the morning.” He says.
“What business?” Jimmy asks crossing him arms.
“Nothing to worry your pretty little head about.”
“G” He says annoyed.
“Oh cool your panties Pagey, there was just a problem with... well the record company seems to be... and part of my French little one, fucking us over.” He enunciates.
“What do you mean.” Jimmy asks.
“There not giving you 25%” He says.
“What?” Jimmy says anger beginning to touch his voice “that’s what we signed for!”
“Yes well it looks like there was a mixup with the ceo. Don’t worry about it Jim, I’ll figure it out.” He says beginning to go to go down a hallway into what I can only assume to be his room.
“Do I need to attend that meeting?” Jimmy asks.
“No” he says looking back at Jimmy “I told you, I’ve got it.”
“Just keep me up updated” Jimmy says rubbing his temples.
“Will do” He says continuing to walk down the hallway.
“Who was that?” I ask “he never introduced himself.”
“That was our tour manager, Peter Grant. He never feels the need to introduce himself.” Jimmy chuckles.
“Oh that makes sense.” I say.
Yeah, and I apologize about that. For some reason we are having trouble with record labels. The one we just switched to apparently isn’t paying us what we agreed on.”
“Oh that’s annoying.” I say.
“Yeah it his.” He smiles “but enough about that. Now let’s see if there’s something here for us to have some fun with.”
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Chapter 4
The trek back home was a relatively quiet one, both of them stuck in an awkward silence and sifting through their individual thoughts. That is, until a flash of lightning came from overhead chased by mere seconds by the crackling boom of thunder. The sudden noise made Chie jump and bury her face into Yosuke’s shoulder, a rather adorable squeak coming from the pudgy Persona user. Tightening her grip around his waist, he looses a noise of his own in surprise. “W-whoa, Chie, what the hell?” The sudden shock caused him to jerk slightly but he was able to right them before anything bad happened.
Rain soon starts to pour down on the pair, forcing him to pull off to the side, reaching a little rest spot with an awning and vending machines. Switching off his scooter, he cranes his neck to see the girl shivering, out of fear and a little bit from the heat being sapped by the rain that had drenched the both of them in a short period of time. Even with it being in the warmer months, a quick shower like this can really cool things off. Loosing a sigh, he works the both of them off of his scooter and onto the bench, her grip hardly loosening as another bolt screeches across the skies.
“You’re still terrified of storms?” He asks, a concerned look on his face. The only reply he earns his a nod as she keeps her face buried in his shoulder. He can feel her shaking like a leaf in the wind and there’s a bit of warm liquid seeping through his shirt. An awkward arm reaches around her shoulders as he pulls her into an embrace he hopes is comforting, his hand rubbing circles on her upper back. A quick thought springs to mind as he reaches into his bag and pulls out his old headphones, the same pair he always wore in the television. “Chie, put these on. It’ll help drown out the storms.” Her head moves just enough to see what he was referring to and she allows him to put them on her head, her arms still firmly coiled around him as her still full gut pressed into his lithe frame.
Clicking the jack into his phone, he starts up some music from a movie soundtrack... Trial of the Dragon to be specific. Sure, it wasn’t his usual wheelhouse, but he still enjoyed the movie and the music from it. Plus, he thought it better to put something on he knew she loved. It seemed to work, her hold on him becoming a little bit more comfortable, allowing him to breathe a little easier. It helped a little bit that the strikes of lightning seemed to let up a little bit, but the downpour certainly didn’t. Looks like they’d be stuck here for a little while.
Partway into the soundtrack, Chie moves the headphones and takes a look out to the skies, her eyes a mite puffy from the tears she shed. Deeming it safe for the moment, she removes them outright and hands them over to Yosuke. “Th-thanks.” Her voice was still a little shaky, not to mention the proximity made her a little bit shy. “Uh, sure thing.” He nods, taking his headphones and exiting out of his music player. “‘s not like I could let ya sit there and suffer. I mean, I know I made jokes about it before, but... I didn’t mean anything bad about it.” A soft smile was on his face, brightening the mood just a little bit. “Still, I knew it was supposed to rain, but I thought it’d come later. Mariko’s usually good about her forecast...” Little did they know, she shifted a few things around just in case as a favor to Yu. They’d either be stranded in Okina for a little while or this exact scenario would’ve played out, either way, they’d have been forced to spend some extra time together due to the plan of the fool.
“Yeah... oh well. It’s not all bad, I guess.” Which was true in her opinion. While things might be a little weird between them at the moment, she’s glad that they’re hanging out. Yosuke’s a good guy in her books, overall. Someone she’s had a great deal of fun with, someone she’s been able to rely on in both battle and as friends. Sure, he’s a bit of a klutz and sometimes says the wrong thing or might perv on the girls a bit, but she knows he’s a good person at heart, trying to add a bit of light and humor to the world in his own way. Plus, when he’s not tripping over his feet, he’s actually a pretty good fighter and dancer and kinda hot... huh, where did that thought come from? And also why did it make her feel so warm and giddy when he was staring at her and even when he complimented her legs and... her pudgy gut. It wasn’t like she was oblivious to the weight she put on, and it’s not entirely slowing her down in her training either, just a few kilos she can’t seem to lose. Oh, and let’s not forget that spark that ran up her spine from the accidental poke to her squishy center along with how great he is to cuddle... Geez, now she’s even more confused.
“Earth to Chie... hellooooo?” Waving a hand in front of her face, she blinks a couple of times before realizing he was talking to her. “Huh, wha? What is it?” Her voice didn’t even remotely hide that she was in a daze. “I asked if you wanted something to drink while we’re stuck here.” Jerking a thumb to the vending machines next to them, his grin grew a little bigger as he caught her unaware. “Oh... sure.” Loosening her arms, he is able to escape her grasp for a moment to grab a bottle. A thought runs through the both of their heads about missing that warmth they shared in those few moments apart and he’s quickly planted himself next to her with bottle in hand. “Aaaaand it looks like they only had the one thing left. Guess my luck still isn’t too great, huh?” He jokes, handing it over to her. It’s enough to make her chuckle as she popped it open and took a swig, her nerves jumping around still as she hands the bottle back to him. With him taking a drink and handing it back, they sat and listened to the rain, sharing indirect kisses through their beverage without even realizing it.
“S-so... you, uh... you like fat chicks, huh?” Smooth Chie... “What brought that up?!” Voice cracking as he turns to her, face dyed red once again. “Well, if we’re stuck here for a bit, we might as well talk about it. So, yes or no?” Even with her being a bit embarrassed about it, not to mention admitting that she’s gotten a bit fat, she needs to know so they can work things out.
“I... w-well, yeah, I do, but it’s more than that with you, Chie!” With them out in the middle of nowhere like this, he’s not as worried about being looked at funny for shouting. “You’re such a fun, kickass person to be around! You don’t mind my jokes, it’s really easy to talk to you, and I don’t ever feel like I need to hide who I am around you. You put me at ease just about as much as you put me on edge, not to mention you’re way hotter than you give yourself credit for!”
She’s taken aback by this sudden spilling of his guts. It’s still odd to her that someone thinks she’s that attractive or that she’s really that fun to be around. Her self confidence might be a bit higher and less of an act than it was a year and a half ago, but she still had her issues. But rather than staying on the backpedal, she’s going to take the offense back at him. “You know, you’re a pretty great person to hang out with too. While you might make jokes, I know you don’t really judge me about what I like... and... it’s nice to know that you think I’m... w-well, that. But you should know that you’re pretty hot in your own right. I’ve seen the way you move... you have this weird sense of fluidness to your actions when you’re not tripping over your own feet, not to mention how calm and happy you make me feel normally, even when you also happen to piss me off. I just... I dunno, I thought you liked Rise and Yukiko more than me...” She hated feeling jealous of her friends like that, especially when it came to boys like Yu and Yosuke. Maybe she’s been harbouring feelings for the lanky lad for a bit longer than she realized before.
Hearing her tirade sent him reeling. “Chie... I do like Rise and Yukiko, they’re our friends. But... don’t think of yourself as a consolation prize. You’re amazing in your own right, and anyone lucky enough to be with you is the luckiest person in the world.” Holy shit, when did he get so smooth. Looks like some of those charm lessons from Narukami paid off, even if he’s genuinely speaking from the heart. “Yosuke... I...” With a deep breath, Chie pulls him into another embrace, a much more tender, heartfelt one this time around. Her neck craned, she looks up into his eyes and stares deep into them, him replying in kind as their lips hover near each other. Mere millimeters apart as the rain around them ceases and time seems to slow. “The rain stopped...” He idly says before she musters the confidence and closes the gap. It was light, but fiery, a hidden passion shared between the two that built up over the course of time that they spent together finally being released in this short moment before they pulled away slowly. “I really like you.” They tell each other in unison, unsure if it was safe to say the ‘L’ word at this time. But, it seemed like this sufficed for the both of them at the moment as waves of joy flew through the pair, grins growing on both of their faces before a fit of laughs filled them both. It looks like they’ve figured out at least a little bit about what they mean to each other.
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greeneyedsuccubunny · 3 years ago
The Art of Seduction 101
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Summary: Natasha needs (y/n)'s help to seduce a mark on one of her mission's however (y/n) is confident she's the worst at seduction. So Natasha has decided to do a practice run before the big day with our one and only Winter Boo Bear. Will she make the grade? Warnings: Fluffy fluffy goodness. Major feels?
A.N. If enough people ask I will do a Part 2. Also if anyone would like to be tagged just ask. I love ya’ll.
"No fucking way!" You practically shouted at Natasha who was grinning evilly at you. "Yes fucking way perhaps literally if I teach you well enough....or if I can get you to tap into what's already there buried just underneath the surface." Natasha mused with a pensive look on her face giving a quick wink to you at her double meaning. "What the hell are you talking about Nat?" You sigh placing your index finger and thumb on the bridge of your nose pinching slightly to alleviate the pressure you knew was bound to become a migraine soon.
"Well I could teach...." Natasha began but you had too many things going on in your mind right now and you found your mind beginning to wander. It had been like this all morning Natasha had the brilliant idea of using you to seduce the mark in both her and Bucky's undercover operation. She had no other option it would seem considering the mark was one Sr. Antoine Alverez a drug cartel lord and all around scum bag known for trafficking in young women on the side for fun. He was known to be able to spot a lie a mile away so Nat knew she would need someone very skilled at lying. Someone like say another Avenger someone who is her best friend and owes her a favor for spilling red wine on her carpet. Someone like you. You had been going back and forth on this subject she was trying her very best speeches as well as her cute little puppy dog expressions to convince you to help her out. Apparently not only were you a skilled liar but your body and looks were very attuned to Sr. Alvarez's specifications, he had a type. With your luxurious (y/h/c) locks and stunning (y/s/c) skin not to mention your beautiful figure type was what he craved. You didn't mind at all helping her out on this if it was anything other than seducing someone. When you had joined the Avengers it had been under the assumption that you would be the agent behind the scenes using your mutant abilities only when it was deemed necessary. You hadn't ever thought they would ask you to seduce someone because the God's honest truth was you just didn't know how. You saw yourself as the quirky chick the one always with a funny joke not a sexual being that had men fall at your feet, that was Nat's job. You had definitely had sex before and you were quite good at it it's just you weren't the smolder type you were the type who if things got to tense would throw on a Borat impression call it 'the sexy time' saying 'I like' to reduce the awkardness. Long story short you weren't cut out for this shit. You remembered when Natasha had told you that you were exactly the type of girl that Alvarez wanted. Your reaction had been less than stellar when you mumbled out, "Oh freaking fantastic. Just what I need the one man in the world who truly wants me and he is a sick depraved bastard....thanks mom for the winning genes... you're a real peach." In truth, the only man that you did want was the guy you never thought even looked your way once. The beautiful man with Chestnut waves and ocean blue eyes that were so haunted and made your heart speed up fast and run slow at the same time. The man who could make the world feel like it is staying in place when he chuckled at your jokes which is why you sprinkled in extra quips when he was around. You thought if you could lighten up the load on this man's burdened shoulders if you could make his life a little better for even a split second then that's what you were going to do. Who is the man in question? That man is the one, the only, James Buchanaan Barnes. Though it seemed as if Bucky was maybe starting to warm up to you a little lately. Not that you would really notice if you didn't have a major crush on him. Bucky would try and skirt away from you every time you spent for than 10 minutes with him. You wanted to go so far as to tell him that you swear you didn't have cooties....and then you most definitely wanted to proceed that with licking his face, body, and di-...... "Snap out of it (y/l/n). You were daydreaming again." Natasha said while smirking at you. You knew she knew what and most likely who you were daydreaming about. "I'm sorry babe forgive me please repeat yourself and do go slow. My brain is turning into mush at the prospect of me having to keep my ass upright in hooker heels, while trying to pull off any assemblance of something resembling sex appeal." You pout trying to keep the nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach from showing up on your face. "I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted by you brain fucking Barnes. I could teach you how to be sexy and seduce. Believe me when I tell you a monkey could do it. You know that was most of what I did when I got out of the Red Room. Your hot babe I swear you can do this and I really need your help think of all the girls that you would be helping if you put this monster behind bars." Natasha explained in a cool demeanor while smirking at your blushing expression when she mentioned Bucky. "That is so not fair! I hate that your right.....What do I need to do?" You ask begrudgingly.
“Y-y-yeah. Nat." You swallow the large lump in your throat nervously. You begin patting down the curls on your head gently while smoothing out the flattering (y/f/c) dress that hugged your curves in all the right places. Natasha had picked out just the right pair of wedges after you had stumbled and fallen like a baby deer trying to stand up on it's own after being birthed. Apparently the heels women usually wore for this kinda thing were not your cup of tea after having almost broken your ankle in every pair Natasha forced you to try on. "I-I can’t do this. It-It’s not a good idea. You do sexy y-you not me I got the whole 'can control mother nature thing' down ya know?!” You stammer out while violently punctuating the air with your finger quotes. Natasha just stares at you blankly while you have a mild panic attack. "I don't got this! I repeat I don't got this!!!" You exclaim loudly while trying to steady your breathing that's when Natasha finally spoke up. "Y/n you are sexy I swear! I know Bucky he's a nice guy he would never do anything to make you feel bad about yourself. He is the perfect man to try out the seduction on he's agreed to help me fine tune you. If I do say so myself he was quite eager. He slapped Sam in the head and punched Steve in the shoulder while death glaring Tony with his Winter Smolder to get them to put their hands down when I asked who wanted to volunteer to see if (y/n) could seduce them." Natasha reassured you with her speech while quirking her eyebrow at your nervous antics. "He was probably just trying to be nice because he feels bad about thinking I have cooties." You mumble out in a defeated tone. "What?" Natasha questioned with a tick of her eyebrow confused by what you had said thinking she had to have heard you wrong. "Nothing. Never Mind. Just go back out there and get Steve I can't do this with Bucky." You answer quickly making a sweeping motion with your hands to indicate to get Bucky to go away. Silently praying anyone else in the world was out there for you to practice on. "Yeah--- about that (y/n) I kinda sent everyone else on their way out of the tower so you wouldn't feel so stressed when you seducded Barnes... I really didn't think you would mind this much I thought you might enjoy it in fact." Natasha proclaimed with a wince when she saw the terrified expression on your face. "Oh God, Natasha I am the freak with a bad complexion and extra wobbly bits! There is no way he is going to fall for me especially when he has seen you, and oh ya know, any girl in this damn building!" You whisper shout at Natasha trying to breathe deeply and evenly so you didn't pass out. "Barnes already has a thing for you I am sure of it." Natasha chirped out trying to keep you upbeat and positive about the situation at hand. "No he doesn’t! Stop lying to me." You snap at Natasha who quickly comes over to you squatting down and putting her hand on your cheeks. "(Y/n) look at me." Natasha prompted, causing you to look up at Natasha who had a soothing smile on her face. "Baby girl you're beautiful, you're timeless. I wouldn't have volunteered you for this if I didn't believe a 100% in my soul that you couldn't do this. Hell I would have you seduce me but I am already biased I would definitely sleep with you." Natasha winked at you and nudged you in the ribs gently with her elbow. "Really you would sleep with me? You queried with a soft chuckle trying to use a little comedy to lighten up the dread settling over you. "I most definitely would love bug. Now get out there and give him a trouser tent! Remember the lesson I taught you swing your hips, flip your hair out of your eyes, cock a side smile and sexy smirk. Really, you've mastered those moves already and those are all you need to know." She stated matter-of-factly. "Is this one of those this is who we are, this is what we do, and this is what you need to know Simba moments? If so I think I have a little red lipstick and it's not too late to draw a little mark on my forehead." You giggle at the serious expression changing to one of amusement on Nat's face as you're beginning to lighten the mood you had caused due to your self deprecation. "I mean what do you say you could probably lift me up you're really quite strong. After we could practice for Dirty Dancing?" You quip as Natasha shakes her head, her red curls shaking with her laughter. "You know what we could try it as soon as you show me what you can do out there. It's show time Baby Girl!" Natasha exclaims excitedly fluffing your hair correcting the little slip up of red lipstick on the corner of your lips and pushing you with a firm shove out the door and into the Break room.
Bucky Barnes was a picture of perfection and calmness sitting in the break room. At least he appeared that way thanks to his Winter Solider days. He found it easier to school his emotions because of the programming that Hydra had done. The malicious trigger words were out of his brain now but some of the aspects of his training like his control still stayed with him. 
Little did you know but Bucky was a trillion times more of a nervous wreck than you were at the moment.  Sitting and waiting for you to 'make his day' as Natasha had put it. He was still a little hazy on the details except that it involved you and anything that involved you and or helped you he wanted to be a part of. If he was honest with himself he'd do anything for you, with you.....and to you. This feeling inside of his heart wasn't anything he was familiar with. Sure he had been with quite a few women in fact he had been quite the ladies man in his day. Those women were the cat and mouse kind of women though. He was always the one being pursued for a relationship that he never wanted in the end... but not this time. This time he wanted the woman more than anything he'd ever wished for in his entire life. He tried to talk to Steve about it and after recounting the way he felt he came up with a few points to talk about to Steve like the fact that his stomach would try to wiggle away from him when he saw you smile or how his heart pounded out it's own unique rhythm every time he heard her laugh. His best friend had concluded with a wide smile and a hearty chuckle that Bucky had major feelings for (y/n). He had explained that what Bucky had described was the exact way he felt when Peggy was around back in the day. Hearing this Bucky put a hand on his favorite punk's shoulder giving him a reassuring smile and telling him that he knew and she would always be with Steve no matter what. Bucky had been running away from (y/n) for as long as he could remember. The thing was when he tried his hardest he could stick it out for about ten minutes before her smile, her smell, hell even her voice made him want to kiss her and caress her beautiful face. Honestly, he was definitely not the best person to see if (y/n) had the seduction chops considering he was already head over heels with (y/n) in the damn first place. She could punch him in the arm while calling him bro and pounding a beer can shotgun style and he wouldn't give a fuck. She was perfect to him with her quick wit, always defusing the situation with a joke. He couldn't even count the number of times that she had single handedly stopped Tony and Steve from coming to blows over some minor problem with a well timed 'that's what she said'. She had told him once that when someone's mind goes to funny sexcapades in an argument it throws off their shitty thoughts for a split second. Enough time to get the tension to lift a bit and that's when you are able to strike and separate the dueling parties according to her, Bucky always listened to her. Damn, this is what the songs on the radio always talked about. Fuck all the songs were starting to make sense now. Did this mean that he.... loved you? Bucky is sitting there waiting and pondering if someone like you could ever love someone like him when out comes (y/n) stumbling from what looks like a push from behind. Quickly gathering her wits and composure she straightens up cocks her hip a little while tugging her lower lip gently between her teeth and cocking her eyebrow slightly. Deep inside she knows she is trying to mirror an old cover photo of Cosmopolitan with Scarlett Johansson on it. She took long languid steps as Nat taught her not looking at Bucky yet because she knew she would definitely see him trying not to laugh at her and that would cause her to run away. She felt like she was playing dress up in her mother's clothes but she had to do this for not only Natasha but herself she was gonna prove to herself she could do this. So without further ado she looked up and the look on Bucky's face confused you more than you could even express. Wait a minute. What was that expression? Was it.......................... A.N. I am the Queen of cliffhangers my friend's. I love you guys I had a day off of work so I decided to write a little something. If I get enough asks I will do a part 2 . So to see what the damn expression on Bucky's face is just ask Mwah! 
@prettyyoungtragedy @champion-ofthe-☀️ @dragoste-lunes@theinsomniacsblog @thiccmillions @jumpingmanatee@markusstraya@inumorph @groovytyphoonbouqett @nat-1-2@maggyme13@feelmyroarrrr@frenchfrostpudding @geeksareunique@wanna-see-my-lease @frozen540 @mummy-woves-you
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dancingwithdylan21 · 3 years ago
Slow Burn - Part 2
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Summary: The reader is reluctantly setup on a blind date and it doesn’t go as planned. Is there an instant spark or is it a slow burn?
Pairing: firefighter!Stiles x Reader
Part 1 - Series Masterlist
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“Your best friend? Well this is a first.” You chuckle. “I’ve never had my date set me up with someone else.”
“It’s a first for me too.” Scott admits to you. “But I think you two would hit it off so why not?”
Hm. This could be a match made in heaven or a complete freaking train wreck. You might as well just give it a try. Scott seems like a decent enough guy. So his friend can’t be much different right?
“What’s your friend’s name?”
“Not telling.”
“How old is he?”
“Not telling.”
“Um what’s he do?” You sigh when Scott just smirks at you. “What the hell, man?”
“Listen, I know my friend and he doesn’t like being setup. Like at all.” Scott stresses before taking a sip of his wine.
“So I think it’s better this way. I won’t mention you before the party. When you show up, I’ll eventually introduce you two and then whatever happens happens.”
“I guess that could work. So if we meet and I’m not interested then he wouldn’t know the difference.”
“Exactly! I’ve set him up in the past and it didn’t go well. So now he’s weary and I want to make sure he gives you a fair chance, ya know?” He explains making you nod in response.
“Then again, you’re drop dead gorgeous so I don’t think I’d have to twist his arm. I won’t be surprised if he asks me about you right away.”
“Can I bring my friend Allison?”
“Nice! She’s single ya know…” You wiggle your eyebrows.
“This will definitely be interesting, Y/N.” The professor laughs softly.
Oh, yes it will.
“So your date hated you so much that he pawned you off on his friend?” Allison bursts out laughing, almost falling over onto the ground.
“Shut up! It’s not how it happened!” You defend sticking out your tongue.
"It could get awkward fast...”
“Then it’s a good thing the guy doesn’t know about any of this. If I’m not that attracted to him, I won’t have to worry about hurting his feelings.”
“This is gonna be so entertaining!” Allison squeals making you roll your eyes.
You check the clock and realize there isn’t much time left to get yourself ready for Scott’s party. You start rushing through your makeup, thankful that there’s no added pressure this time around.
“Are you gonna wear a cute dress or skirt?” Your friend asks, loudly rummaging through your walk-in closet.
“Nah I’m wearing my ripped jeans and a black tank top with boots.” You’re in the process of applying your foundation but you know Allison, she’s behind you with a look of shock on her face.
“And before you say anything…” You spin around. “This isn’t a date. So I’m gonna wear what I usually do.” Like you figured, she’s holding out two skimpy dresses but keeping her mouth shut.
“No! Put them back!” You giggle when she sends a dirty look.
“I’m doing my hair and makeup two days in a row! I deserve fucking praise, not dirty looks.” You glare looking back in the mirror.
“Yeah, you’re right. You deserve a metal.” Allison sasses throwing a rolled up pair of socks at you.
“You’re ridiculous.” You snicker. “Are you ready? I just have to change my jeans.”
Allison nods her head without looking up from her iPhone and you’re pretty sure she’s trying to find a picture of Scott on Facebook. You clear your throat grabbing Allison’s attention and she smiles while you do an exaggerated twirl.
“I must say you do look hot. Let’s just hope Scott’s friend isn’t into a chick who wears pink bows or some shit.”
“Pink bows?! I don’t think anyone’s into that, Argent.” You shake your head.
“You know what I mean!” She exclaims slipping on her platform heels.
“Whatever. I just hope he isn’t the type who wears Lacoste shirts and boat shoes.” You say shuddering.
“There’s nothing wrong with Lacoste shirts, Y/N.”
“If the guy wears one for a certain occasion then fine. I’m talking about the fuckers that wear them on the regular. Like to the grocery store. Too preppy for me.” You sigh heavily.
You hear your stomach rumble obnoxiously and it makes you curse under your  breath. You were so distracted by getting ready that you forgot to eat something. Shit. You really hope Scott has some decent things to eat tonight.
“Ok, let’s go. I’m hungry!” You yell to Allison bolting towards the front door.
You pull up to Scott’s split level house and start feeling instant butterflies in your stomach. It hits you that there’s an unknown man inside and you’ll have to meet soon. Ugh. This blind date thing is really getting fucking old.
Whatever. The goal right now is to find yummy food that you can shovel into your hungry mouth. Then you’ll deal with everything else. You glance over at Allison who’s now walking up Scott’s walkway while singing a Taylor Swift song under her breath. She then bounces on her heels while waving for you to follow her.
Here goes nothing.
Before you get a chance to knock, the front door swings opens to reveal Scott who’s looking as handsome ever with a warm smile, “Hi guys! Glad you could make it.” He says sweetly.
“Hey Scott!” You quickly introduce him to your best friend before he embraces you in a tight hug, the muscled man lifts you off the ground like it’s nothing.
“Wow, Y/N. You look hot.” Scott whispers into your hair. 
He sets you down then turns his attention towards Allison, shyly complimenting her as well. The two dorks both start blushing like teenagers and you take that as your cue to leave.
“You kids have fun! I’m gonna go grab something to munch on.” You ramble already moving away from them.
Wrapped up in your own little world, you speed walk through the busy house to find some much needed sustenance. You fail to notice that since you showed up, Scott’s best friend Stiles has focused all of his attention on you.
You find the kitchen easily and get excited when you see all of the delicious dishes in front of you. Mulling over the options, you grab a carrot from the veggie platter and scoop up some nearby dip. You throw it into your mouth and instantly moan because you love the taste. It definitely has a little kick to it but nothing you can’t handle.
You throw a few more carrots into your mouth, eyeing the teriyaki chicken wings and that’s when it suddenly hits you. Your entire body grows hot, your eyes start to water and your mouth is fucking burning.
Holy hell! You literally feel on fire right now and yet you’re trying desperately to keep your cool in a packed house. In a quiet panic, you search around for a drink that you can guzzle but find nothing that will give you relief.
Out of the corner of your eye, you see someone stroll up next to you with a drink in their hand. Fuck it. You grab their drink and down it without even looking at them. Of course it’s fucking alcohol so it just intensifies the pain in your throat.
“Are you ok?” A smooth, sexy voice that belongs to an even sexier man makes your heart beat out of control. Damn he’s so attractive it hurts. And you just stole his drink. Wonderful. You continue coughing unable to compose yourself.
“Let me guess…you had some of that dip, sweetheart?”
You only nod in response, making him rush over to the fridge and then pour you a tall glass of milk. You chug it down attractively, silently cursing that only this type of thing would happen to you. Thankfully it seems to do the trick or at least allow you to function better now.
The helpful man starts chuckling at you, “So I see you like my dipping sauce. It’s called Hella Spicy.” He smirks making your eyes bug out.  
“Dude! You should label that or something!” You gesture to what you’ve deemed as freaking evil in a bowl.
“Where’s the fun in that?” He gives a mischievous grin.
Oh boy. He’s just gorgeous.
“I’m Stiles by the way.”
“I’m Y/N.” You reply shyly. “I’m sorry that I stole your drink.”
“No worries. You needed it more than me.” Stiles appears beyond amused. “I’m actually on call so I shouldn’t even be drinking it.”
“Oh ok. On call for what?”
“I’m a firefighter.”
Hot fucking damn.
“You can put out my fire anytime.” You giggle before fanning yourself. You’re still feeling warm but now you know it’s definitely not the dip.
Stiles lets out a full body laugh, “I’d rather light your fire, Y/N.” He growls in your ear.
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