Chapter 1: The Move
|It’s here. The dreaded move is finally here, and it’s a week earlier than expected. Ryan has to be on campus by Monday, which means getting him settled into his new apartment today. The moving truck is already outside and ready to be loaded. I’m keeping it together on the surface, but inside I’m a mess.
The living room is full of boxes, leaving me only a small space in front of the couch to complete the packing process. As I finish taping and sealing the last box, I accidentally slice my finger on the tape dispenser. Ben walks by holding a box against his gray sweatshirt, taking notice of my wince and grumble. I quickly nurse my finger, using my mouth to aid the pain.
“Ryan’s in the next room,” Ben says with aimed indifference. But his face quickly turns devious as his lips start curling at the corners of his mouth. “You want me to get him? I’m sure he’d love to help mend your wound and then some.”
The kissing sound he produces to emphasize his suggestion makes it difficult to conceal my grin. But his poke-fun-attitude is fully expected. Ryan and I have been all over one another lately, so I can’t blame him. In his own goofy way, he’s being a supportive brother, and I’m grateful. Even if I don’t show it.
“Seriously. What are you like five?” I insinuate, smothering a smile.
He sets the box down next to mine and smiles. “I’m just trying to keep my breakfast down.”
“Don’t worry. After today, you won’t have to endure our need to be alongside each other every second.”
“You mean your need to grope and suck face every second?” He teases, gesturing provocative body movements on his way out of the room.
Embarrassed by his visual portrayal, I yell, “Yeah, you better leave! This tape is about to hit your face!”
“Woah, what did I miss?” Ryan asks from behind, slowly folding his arms around my waist. He kisses my temple and embraces me for a moment as if he’s soaking up my scent and anatomy.
I turn around, smiling and gather his cheeks with my hands, drawing his face close. “Only these lips,” I hint, grazing his mouth with mine.
But before I can kiss him properly, he’s already pressing his lips to me, aggressively, to the point of tipping me backwards on my heals.
Ever since Ayden’s funeral, Ryan hasn’t wasted a second of his affection. He can’t seem to get enough of me. Which is why I’m terrified for tomorrow. He’ll no longer be within a hug-able, kissable reach.
“Miss these lips, I will,” he hums, bringing me back to the balls of my feet.
“OK, master Yoda. I see you enjoyed the Star Wars marathon with Jason last night.”
“We had a good time,” he explains, pulling me close to his heart. “I’m glad we got to hang out.”
“Me too,” I answer, hugging his strong frame.
Jason and Kelly have been apologizing all week, sorry that they are unavailable to assist with the move. Ben and Christian have kindly offered their services, and I plan to do my part—making sure the process goes quickly so I can spend more time in Ryan’s arms, instead of the many boxes he’ll likely carry for me.
I’m a little nervous about seeing Christian. New Years was our last encounter and after playing that night in my head, over and over, I worry he still has carefully aimed feelings towards me. Despite my thriving relationship with Ryan, Christian hasn’t faltered. It’s important that he understands I’m all in with Ryan. But I have to find a delicate way to explain my feelings. I’m not hurting him ever again. If a friendship is what he desires, then we have to discuss boundaries. If anything, I need to set them for myself.
“I think we’re ready to start loading everything in,” Ryan says, tapping a box with his foot. “We can wait on the heavier things until Christian gets here.”
“OK.” I pick up one of the boxes next to me, then quickly drop it back down, realizing it’s full of books and way to heavy.
“Here.” Ryan laughs, handing me a lighter box marked TOWELS in a black sharpie. “Try this one.”
With my arms full, I awkwardly lean over to kiss his arm, meeting his black, short-sleeve tee with my lips. He smiles sweetly as I lift the large box above my head and advance towards the front door.
After placing the first box in the back of the moving truck, I maneuver down the skinny loading ramp a little too fast, sliding down and losing my balance. Luckily, Christian is there to catch me before I hit the pavement.
“You alright?” He asks, helping me stand straight.
Once I’m released from his arms, I admire his bulging biceps popping out of his white tee. It’s late January and he still manages to stay comfortable in just a T-shirt. Ryan too. All that body mass apparently has more than one benefit. Keeping warm and looking hot.
“I’m good,” I admit, pulling my navy sweatshirt over my gray leggings. “Thanks for the save. Pretty sure I almost cracked my head open.”
With a soft smile painted on his face, he warns me, “A little slower next time, OK?”
“Yeah...for sure.” I glance to the truck and point. “You ready for this?”
“The real question is...are you ready for this?” he asks, concern darkening his brown eyes.
“Not really, but I’ll manage. I don’t really have a choice. I’m just trying to be supportive.”
His furrowed brow suggests doubt or maybe sympathy—I’m not sure which. But he doesn’t push me on the subject, instead he asks a simpler question.
“How’s Sam doing?”
“She’s good. Still on crutches but her mood has been surprisingly happy. I expected her to be depressed or at least sad for awhile, but she’s hopeful. Almost like something filled the void of Ayden. I just haven’t figured out what it is yet.”
His hands linger to his jean pockets as he praises, “Good for her...”
“We need Christian to help us with the couch!” My brother yells, poking his head out the front door.
“On my way!” Christian shouts back, making an eager stride towards the house.
The four of us make great progress. It only takes about an hour to get all of the boxes and most of Ryan’s furniture loaded. With a five hour drive ahead of us, we need to keep a speedy pace. Some of us still have to drive back.
Noticing heavy items are the only things left, I take a break and gaze out the living room window. I’m not ashamed to admit how captivating it is to observe Ryan and Christian carry bedroom furniture into the fourteen foot truck. My eyes are drawn to their strong arms as their rigid muscles swell with each movement. They work well together, guiding with good communication and encouraging one another with short motivational phrases. I could watch them lift and move things all day, everyday.
When they look about finished, I grab some water bottles from the fridge and carry them outside, realizing it’s rather warm for a winter day. I pass one to each of them and watch them guzzle the water down. Christian reaches for another bottle from my hand, but he doesn’t drink it. Instead he pours it over his head to cool himself down. Water flows down his face and chest, revealing his hard abs through his wet, white shirt. I glance away quickly and open my own water.
“You ready to go?” Ryan asks, taking a swig of his water bottle. “We’re all finished.”
“Ready as I’ll ever be,” I acknowledge, forcing a smile.
Ryan opens the passenger door of the tall truck and helps me inside, giving me a boost with his hands. He shuts my door and proceeds to the driver seat, releasing a sigh of exhaustion as he sits. A little sweat on his brow and neck linger, drawing attention to his fine features and proven manliness. If he only knew how much I enjoyed that appetizing workout...
Christian pulls into the driveway in his white SUV with Ben next to him. He rolls down his window and waits for me to do the same.
“Ben wants me to remind you that we’re stopping for lunch soon.”
My chuckle is paired with a shake of the head. “That boy is always hungry.”
“Tell him to chew some gum,” Ryan suggests. “We’ll stop halfway at a Denny’s.”
“Sounds good.” Christian grins, dropping his shades over his amused eyes. “See you soon.”
Within minutes of driving through our neighborhood, Ryan beckons me with his arm, urging me to come to him.
“Why are so far away from me?” He asks. “Get over here.”
I unbuckle my seat belt and slide across the bench seat. His arm reaches over me and rests on my shoulder. I snuggle into him and rest one hand under his arm and the other on his leg.
“Much better,” he confesses, quickly kissing my ear.
At the stop light, he reaches for the lap belt buried in the seat and places it over me. After it clicks, his hand sweeps over my lap and pauses on my leg, causing me to quiver. He continues to drive with his hand resting on my inner thigh, slowly rubbing it back and forth and sometimes skimming the curved edges between my legs with the softest touch. Each time I feel his middle finger press gently against me, it brings a soft moan to the surface.
Trembling from his last touch, I beg, “Babe, please...when are you going to give me what I really want?”
“Soon,” he assures me, patting my thigh. “Very soon.”
The last three weeks have been similar. Constant touching and teasing. It’s driving me insane. Ryan and I still remain chaste, despite our growing desire to please and explore one another. But I can’t imagine us remaining pure and virtuous much longer, especially with him being so far away. It’s only going to make us crave intimacy more.
I glare at him and grunt, “You’re such a tease. You know I hate you right now, right?”
His pleased grin agrees. “I can’t help myself. I love hearing you moan and beg.”
Two can play this game, I say to myself, gliding my hand to his groin, purposely missing the desirable middle. I skim my hand around his inner thighs, refusing to touch the most sensitive parts of him.
He adjusts his seat and asks,“What are you doing?”
“Nothing,” I dismiss, slowly and indirect.
I can feel the heat from his legs increase as I apply more pressure. He’s doing everything in his power to remain indifferent, but I can tell my carefully placed hand is about to break him.
I lightly brush my hand over his slow, rising bulge and the groan he projects informs me his sexual aggravation has reached its peak. I immediately feel vindicated, giggling a little to show off my win.
“Alright, I’m calling a truce,” he says in surrender. “We have a long drive ahead of us, and I can’t be thinking with the wrong brain.”
The traffic in front of us suddenly halts, and Ryan has to slam on his breaks. My chest is swiftly met with his arm as he uses it as a bar, instinctively protecting me. His sweet gesture receives a kiss on the cheek.
With the pace appearing to be at a crawl for several miles, I decide to approach a heavy topic in hopes of getting some much needed answers from him.
“Can we be real for a second,” I ask, serious in my execution.
His beautiful blues leave the road and quickly dart my way. “You think we’re not being real?”
“I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just...All teasing aside, where do we stand on sex because for the longest time you gave me a hard time about waiting.”
Grief and shame sweep to his face. “I know,” he begins, gently. “And I’m sorry for avoiding this conversation—when from the beginning I told you I wanted us to be open and honest. I let myself get sidetracked with my own selfish needs. I’m sorry if I let you down.”
“You didn’t let me down. I’m just confused with your intentions.”
He takes my hand and intertwines our fingers. “In a perfect world, I would love for us to wait until our wedding night, and if that’s what you want, I will honor that. I love you enough to wait. But I’m twenty-four going on twenty-five and I want to be realistic. I’ve never wanted someone as much as I want you. It takes everything in me to stop myself every time we get close, and I don’t know how much longer I can resist your beautifully curved body.”
Letting my head sink into his shoulder, I confess my desires, “I don’t want to wait. I need you now and always. You have my heart forever and that will never change. The only thing keeping me from being with you is you. But I want both of us to be on board one hundred percent.”
“Trust me, I am fully on board. Already had my ticket punched and my refreshments. I’m ready to take this journey with you.”
“Good. But I really wish we had decided this sooner because we’re not going to be alone in your apartment for weeks.”
His heavy, discouraging sigh is exactly the way I feel and somehow that comforts me a little.
The Denny’s we stop at is swamped. Like shoulder to shoulder as soon as we walk in swamped. The entire female staff has been whispering and ogling our direction since we sat down. I’d be willing to bet money the only reason we didn’t have to wait long for a table is because of the three attractive males in my party.
I don’t have much of an appetite, but I order some yogurt to avoid a lecture from Ryan and a potential glare from Christian. They both order a burger and Ben gets a Grand Slam with extra pancakes.
“Tell us about your roommate,” Christian requests, stirring his ice tea with his spoon.
Ryan clears his throat and wipes his mouth with a napkin. “His name is Nate. He Ben’s age, nearly twenty and is majoring in Psychology. His past is a bit rough and troubled, but from what I can tell, he’s full of life and one of nicest people you will ever encounter.”
“Where did you meet?” Ben asks, pouring an enormous amount of syrup on his stack of pancakes.
“One of the school counselors connected us. I heard he was looking for a place near campus and since we got along so well, I offered to let him stay with me. Not sure if it will be temporary or not.”
At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about Ryan having a roommate. Honestly, I’m still not sure if I’m in love with the idea. But I admire his accepting, generous heart, and I’m excited to meet Nate. I hope more than anything that he likes me. Because apparently he’s already made a big impression on Ryan.
I play with my bowl of yogurt, shifting the spoon back and forth, reflecting on the the days ahead of me. This is my last full day with Ryan. Our interactions will be almost entirely through our phones from now on. Visits will be few and far between until summer arrives. My shoulders start to droop from the negative thoughts consuming me.
“Dude, you realize you’re putting sugar on your eggs, right?” Christian alerts my brother.
Ben stops shaking the glass container over his plate, disgust arising from his mouth. “I thought it was salt.”
Ryan snickers at my brothers mistake, and I immediately plant a hand to my forehead, sickened by the thought of him eating those eggs with all that sugar.
“This is the salt,” Christian explains with a faint smirk, drawing everyone’s attention. “The bigger container is usually the sugar. But if you’re still not sure you can always taste them first.”
“My bad,” Ben shrugs. “Anyone want my eggs?”
Sometimes I think Ben is a genius and other times I’m fully convinced he never graduated kindergarten. Today is the latter. Either way, I love that he makes me laugh.
Two blocks from Ryan’s new apartment, is Palo Alto University, where he will be teaching psych and working on his PH.D. in Clinical Psychology. It’s his second college experience, however, he’s informed me that his goals are bigger and his academic challenges have never been more daunting.
Driving around the area generates feelings of doubt and uncertainty in me as it registers how different Ryan’s world is going to be. He’s sure to be surrounded by intellectual people, creating new personal relationships, and enjoying unique experiences with them. I’m a small part of his life now and that seizes my heart.
“We’re here,” Ryan announces, quickly shifting my mind set to curiosity.
Thankfully, the tour of his new residence lifts my spirits and excites me for my next visit, reminding me that with patience and great communication we can make our relationship work.
While the boys unload, I meander to the narrow, galley style kitchen, appreciating the updated granite counters and gray cupboards. After I set up his coffee machine, I put away some of his plates and other dishes I know he’ll utilize.
Ryan’s new roommate arrives halfway through our unloading process. His bronzed skin and brilliant white teeth are the first things to draw my attention. I watch him carefully as he introduces himself to Christian and Ben, noticing when he smiles it’s hard not to mirror his reflection. It’s a very attractive quality.
The slight limp in his left leg catch’s my eye as he walks towards me. Standing near the bay window in the small, but cozy living room, I scoot some boxes over to make room for his friendly approach.
He greets me with a flashy grin, offering me his hand. “Hi, I’m Nate.”
“I’m Ally,” I reply, shaking his hand. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“Likewise.” He sits on the small bench protruding from the window. “Did Ryan mention my plans yet?” He asks, enticing me to join him.
I take a seat on the bench, suddenly peeked with interest. “What plans?” I ask, crossing my ankles.
“The plans to loosen him up. Get him to live better. Bigger. I haven’t known him long, but I see so much potential in him. He’s told me his story and it’s not without grief. I understand the pain and fear he carries, but that’s no excuse for living a simple life.”
Nate leaves me speechless. If anything, Ryan is living a full life. He’s going after a dream. Taking risks. Enjoying himself. Finally letting himself love again. What else does he expect from him?
Everything inside me wants to defend my boyfriend, but I go against my will. Instead of questioning Nate and his bold insight, I offer my support. “Sounds like he has an awesome roommate to encourage him. I’ll help however I can.”
His lips pull upward, triggering a spark in his dark eyes. “I knew you would. Ryan’s told me a lot about you. You want what’s best for him and that’s going to help him go far.”
“Hopefully not too far,” I admit, wistfully. “I’m so afraid of losing him...but don’t tell him I said that. Please.”
“I won’t. I know better than that.” His promise sounds authentic as does his polite smile. “Just remember,” he continues, “when you put someone’s needs above your own, it doesn’t guarantee permanence. I learned that the hard way. However...it does assure your heart that you did everything you could, leaving you with no regrets.”
“I’ll try to remember that,” I reply, softly, downplaying my astonishment. “Are you sure you’re only nineteen?”
“I’ve had an eventful life, but that’s a story for another time. I just wanted to come by and meet everyone. I’m moving my stuff in tomorrow.”
He stands and offers his hand like an old fashioned gentleman. I take it out of courtesy, but feel very awkward as I accept. Where did this engaging, yet peculiar boy come from?
“So is the muscular guy the ex?” He whispers close to my ear, sweeping a hand through his short black hair.
“You know about him? About us?” I ask, shook with confusion.
“Like I said, Ryan told me a lot. But don’t worry, I’m not one to judge. Life is a big mystery and we all have to figure things out in our time.”
“I don’t have anything to figure out,” I answer, defensive. “Not anymore. Christian’s apart of Ryan’s life now. It’s weird, I know, but the two of them became good friends despite all the relationship drama, and I’m OK with it.”
Nate nods his head, but I can tell he’s holding something back.
“Well, I better go see if they need any help,” he says, taking careful steps towards the door. “Enjoy your night.”
“Ditto,” I answer, loud and clear.
Ryan orders three pizzas after we finish unloading the truck. Nate insists he’s not hungry, but my guess is he doesn’t want to intrude. After he leaves, the four of us relax in the front room with our pepperoni slices and napkins.
“What did you think of Nate?” Ryan asks, his question aimed mostly at me.
“He’s friendly and helpful,” Ben offers with a mouthful of pizza.
“Yeah, I liked him,” Christian adds. “Very respectful.”
“Ally?” Ryan asks, an arch appearing on his brow line.
I set my pizza and napkin down on one of the boxes in front of me and speak thoughtfully.
“We had a really interesting conversation, and I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone like him.”
“So is that good or bad?” Ryan inquires, titling his head.
“Good,” I answer, smiling. “I can see why you like him.”
Ryan shoots me a pleased grin and then sets his pizza down.
“Thank you guys for helping me today. I couldn’t have done all this on my own.”
“No problem,” Christian nods.
“I’m just glad I don’t have to make the drive back,” Ben says with appreciation, reminding me that Ryan asked him to stay a couple days to help him unpack and also to get a feel for what college is like. His music career isn’t panning out the way he hoped and Jason has been on his case. Ryan is hoping my brother gets inspired on this trip and decides to further his education.
“Ally, will you come with me for a minute?” Ryan requests, walking down the hall towards his new bedroom.
I hide my hopeful smirk and follow him. “Yeah, I’m coming.”
As soon as I enter the room, Ryan quietly shuts the door and picks me up under my bottom. I squeal as he flings me around, tossing me carefully on his bed. While laying on my back, Ryan attaches himself on top of me. His eyes linger to my lips, teasing me with appealing anticipation.
“Kiss me,” I whisper, pleading with my eyes.
He trails my lips, slightly, brushing them in a slow, untimely pace.
“Please,” I beg, impatient with his approach.
He lifts his head to brush a strand of hair from my face. “You are so beautiful,” he compliments, taking in my features with his appraised eyes.
I reach for him and collect his face. “Stop stalling and kiss me.”
His cheeky grin turns straight as he grants me a hungry, taking kiss. I latch my hands securely to his face as my fingers move loosely through his dark waves. Gaining heat and velocity, his lips ignite a fire in me.
One of his hands embarks to my outer thigh, creating a strong heat source as it slowly sails up my hip, along the curve of my breast, and ending under my neck. He gathers me close, permitting his smooth tongue to press soft against mine and then firm, switching his methods purposely.
I release myself from his vigorous pursuit, delaying him with the burning truth. “I want you inside me,” I whisper, slowly.
His answering look is like a revved up engine, ready to accelerate his desires for me. He finds my lips again, fervently, gaining layers of passion. I let my hand linger to his swelled front, but he slowly removes it and himself, turns on his side and jump-starts my frustration.
I don’t even get the chance to question his dismissal. He’s already sliding his hand under the front of my leggings, muting my rational thoughts. Heat rises to my face as I look at him with a coy smile, unsure of how to react to his sensual gesture. But that heat quickly spreads through the rest of my body when I feel the careful insert of his finger. I moan as he explores the wet, warm area with slow and steady flicks.
The motion of his hand speeds up, allowing his finger to press deeper inside me. It creates louder moans from my mouth and a growing excitement in my pulsating body.
“Shh,” he mumbles, inducing a tingle in my ear from his warm breath.
“Please don’t stop,” I plea. “I promise I’ll be quiet.”
He cracks a smile, before giving me more of what I want. Fast and firm movements sliding in and out of me. I’ve never felt more alive or excited as the pressure inside climbs to new heights. It’s exhilarating.
With the building climax, I grow louder and quickly get muffled by Ryan’s other hand. It doesn’t bother me. The only thing my brain can focus on is the constant penetration of his finger and how I might die if he stops. I’ve never been more consumed by one single feeling in my entire life.
The intensity finally reaches its peak and my body arches with a finishing outcry of pleasure. I’m surprised by the body quivering that follows, but Ryan draws me close and waits for it to subside.
“I love you,” I say, softly, turning to my side to kiss him.
After the softest press of our lips, I let my hand wander below his waist again, eager to pleasure him. He feels even harder than before, and it makes me wonder if my elated response had anything to do with that.
“I think we’ve taken enough time already,” he says, sitting up on the bed.
I frown at his unexpected detachment. “Why can’t I please you?” I ask, lifting myself upright. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong. It’s getting late and you still have a long drive home.”
“That’s not a good reason,” I say sharply. “It feels like you’re just making excuses. I’m not leaving until you let me touch you.”
His brows quickly raise, surprised by my dictation. “Wow, I appreciate the enthusiasm.” He smiles. “But the truth is, I don’t feel comfortable doing anything tonight, not with Christian and Ben only a 100 feet away. It doesn’t feel right. I’m sorry.”
I glance to his hand resting on my thigh and stare pensively, gathering my thoughts. Peering up, I give him a questionable gaze.
“Why did you decide to pleasure me, then?”
His face brightens with a heavenly grin. “Because I love you, and I wanted you leaving happy and excited for your next visit.”
“Happy and excited doesn’t begin to describe it. There are no words to express how you made me feel. Which is why I really want to return the favor.”
“Trust me, I want that too. I wish I could christen every part of this apartment with you attached to me.”
I’m suddenly flooded with emotions, realizing his beautiful idea can’t happen. Tears fill my eyes.
He cups my face with one hand. “Hey, don’t be starting the waterworks yet. This is not our goodbye.”
“But it is,” I cry, fat tears spilling down my cheeks. “It’s not fair that Ben gets to spend two more days with you.”
“I know. You think I’m thrilled about you making that long drive with Christian? I wish it were you staying.”
My voice perks up.“Then it’s settled—I’m staying. I can fly home with Ben on Monday night.”
In a gentle response, he takes my hand and kisses the inside of my wrist, pleased with my notion, but undetermined to make my wish come true.
“Sweetie, you have school on Monday. Besides, I’m going to be so busy with meetings and responding to emails. I already have students contacting me with a million questions. So we would barely see each other and when we did, I would be glued to my laptop. I need to get adjusted first and then you can come stay with me. I want to be able to give you my full attention.”
Ryan stands from the bed and extends his hands to me.I sigh loudly, defeated and frustrated. The thought of waiting weeks to visit him feels unbearable, but he’s not giving me another choice.
“I’m not ready for this,” I imply, letting him pull me to standing.
“Me either,” he admits, both his eyes and voice full of sorrow. “But we can’t make Christian wait forever.”
I wipe my eyes and nose before entering the living room. Christian and Ben are enjoying themselves, laughing in conversation, and it almost gets me to smile.
It’s not long before Christian approach’s me, worry etched on his face. “You OK?” He asks, stopping himself from reaching for me.
I can’t disguise the anguish in my face, but I attempt to hide it in my voice.
“Yeah, I’m fine. You ready to go?”
“If you are,” he replies, uncertain.
Ryan appears behind me, resting his hands on my shoulder.
“Thanks for driving her home,” he says to Christian. “And for all your help today.”
“Happy to help.” His soft smile follows him out the door as he says, “I’ll be in the car waiting. Have a good night, Ryan. See ya, Ben.”
I hug my brother goodbye and insist he help my boyfriend as much as possible. Then I walk out the front door with Ryan, realizing the sun has already set and the moon is peeking through the clouds. The air chills my skin as I admire the small flower bed to the right.
“We can plant flowers here in the spring,” I say, avoiding his sad eyes. “I don’t know anything about gardening, but I can learn.”
He grabs me at the hips and draws me close. “Yeah, that sounds nice,” he concurs.
Still avoiding his face, I point to the short railing covering half of his porch. “We can decorate this area next Christmas...”
“Ally,” he says, gripping my waist, attempting to get my attention.
“And we can get two chairs to sit on the porch. Or a swing like back home and—“
“Sweetie,” he interrupts, grasping my face. “Look at me.”
I comply, slowly, tears filling my lids again as I stare into his gorgeous blue eyes.
He rests his thumbs on my cheekbones and speaks sympathetically. “You’re stalling, and it’s very sweet, but it’s time to say goodbye.”
“I can’t,” I mumble, crying quiet tears. “I won’t.”
He folds his arms around me in a tight embrace and whispers, “I love you, and I will see you soon.”
After his long hug, he kisses me with a thirst, pursuing my tongue like a dessert. Time stands still for a moment as I enjoy his taste and talented lips.
Once the kissing stops, my frown returns. I eventually walk away, my body dragging itself to Christian’s car, only depressed thoughts entering in my head. As I start opening his car door, my anxiety kicks in, and I suddenly rush back to Ryan’s arms, kissing him with everything inside of me.
“Two weeks,” he assures. “Give me two weeks and I’ll have you back here in my arms.”
I squeeze his chest tight, embedding the memory of his affectionate arms to my mind. As I pull back to gaze at him, I realize he’s not as upset as I am. I question him, sniffling.
“How are you so calm?”
“I’m just trying to keep it together for you. As soon as you’re gone, I’ll be a mess. So do me a favor. Don’t be FaceTiming me five minutes after you leave. You don’t need to see that.”
He earns a small smile from me, as I’m slightly amused by his fear of embarrassment. I finally get why he’s holding back his emotions. If he starts crying, I’m never leaving. He knows that.
We say our goodbyes one final time and I keep it together. That is until I enter Christians car. My arm immediately covers my face and leans into the window, and I sob and I sob.