Authors: Ashley Wilcox
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Young Adult
me after all.
After taking our seats in class, Matt hands me a folded piece of paper.
“What’s this?” I ask, opening it up.
“It’s my buddy Collin’s cell number and the address to my house. They’re coming in tonight while I’m at football practice. I know I asked if they could just tag along with you to the game, and I know this is asking a lot, but do you mind keeping them company until I get back?” he says with a weary look.
I thought I was going to have the rest of today to prepare myself for tomorrow, but it looks like the bomb that he dropped on me Wednesday was just an appetizer for the grenade he’s tossing me today. Nothing like backing me into the corner, asking me this with only two minutes before our class starts, accompanied by the heart stopping, pleading grin plastered on his face.
“Um, yeah. Sure…” I respond, not sounding confident in my answer.
“I’m really sorry to spring this on you at the last minute…”
Yeah, no shit!
“But, no one is going to be there, and I feel bad having them greeted by an empty house,” he continues.
“Yeah, no. It’s fine.” I smile, even though my heart is about to lunge from my chest, and I’m pretty sure it just got ten degrees warmer in here.
“You’re the best,” he adds, cupping my face with his hand and staring into my eyes with a look of appreciation.
My face naturally nestles into his hand as I feel a sense of warmth spread throughout my body. I can’t help the goofy grin that I’m sure is visibly smeared across my face. Having him look at me the way he is, and having his hand on my cheek, makes all my reservations and modesties fly out the door.
Just as he’s about to say something else, the clock strikes nine and in comes Professor Adams greeting us with her usual “Bonjour,” and breaking the moment–or whatever you want to call it–that Matt and I just shared.
Pulling his hand back to his side, he gives me another breathtaking smile before turning his attention to the front of the room where Professor Adams is already getting into today’s lesson. I let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding and try to compose myself so I can actually comprehend today’s lecture.
Because on top of being whatever we are, I am also Matt’s French tutor starting this Sunday.
Although I couldn’t help the nervous knee bouncing throughout class, I did manage to pay attention while still visualizing the intense look that Matt was giving me as he cupped my cheek.
He touched my face!
The butterflies that seem present whenever Matt is around are on full alert when we stand up to leave the classroom. Just as he did on the way here, Matt holds the door open for me while placing his hand on my lower back, allowing me to exit first. If hell hasn’t frozen over yet, it certainly has now because as soon as we step foot in the hallway Matt takes my hand, lacing his fingers with mine. My body briefly goes numb and my mind goes blank as I stare at our intertwined fingers. Getting a grip on myself I look up at Matt only to find him facing forward, walking like it’s no big deal. Even though I’m silently freaking out inside, I know that right now is not the time nor the place to find out what the hell is going on. I wipe the “holy shit” look from my face and replace it with a smile, walking hand in hand to my next class with Matthew frickin Jacobs by my side.
Reaching my classroom, Matt removes his hand from mine and relocates it to my lower back, kissing my forehead before saying that he’ll see me later. Luckily, the door knob is near to catch my fall as my body finally goes limp, realizing the huge step Matt and I just made. Although I’m a newbie, I know I’m not blind.
No matter the relationship, holding hands equals more than just friends.
Just as I step out of my last class for the day, I hear my phone chime with a noise I have never heard before, so I stop and sit on a nearby bench to fish my phone out of my bag. Low and behold it says on the screen that I have a text message from the same number that I used to call Matt on the other night. Of course I know what text messaging is, but I’ve never been given a reason to use it. Honestly, the only time my phone ever gets used is when I check in with my parents every Sunday night and the only reason why I carry it around with me is because I promised my mom before I left for school that it would never leave my side in case of an emergency.
To say that my mom had reservations about me moving away and living on my own is a complete understatement. My mom knows that even though I’m kind of a loner I don’t take crap from anyone, which can land me in some sticky situations. Run-ins with stuck-up girls aren’t a foreign thing with me, and it landed me a few detentions during high school, including a suspension.
Even though I graduated at the top of my class and won a few awards for some of the photos that I have taken, I’ve never been the golden child and have quite possibly given my mom every grey hair on her head. With that said, part of the agreement I made with my parents is that if they allowed me to move away from all of the over dramatic girls at home, I would stay out of trouble here. Other than my little mix up with Brynn at work, I have been sticking with my word.
Clicking on the message, it reads,
How I could have forgotten that I’m meeting his friends at his house tonight, I don’t know, but the reminder of it welcomes back the knot I had when he first spoke to me about it.
Figuring that I can’t prevent the inevitable, I hit the call button twice. Picking up after just one ring, he greets me with a very warm, “Hey.”
Ignoring the flutters that are invading my chest, I respond with a simple, “Hello.”
“I see you got my message,” he continues.
“I did,” I say with a smile, even though he can’t see me.
“So, are you sure you’re okay with meeting Collin and Summer at my place tonight? I don’t want to put you in an awkward situation.”
Um, of course it’s going to be awkward! Has he forgotten who he’s talking to?
“No, it’s fine,” I reply instead.
I can almost hear him smiling through the phone before he continues, warming my body to the core.
“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you doing this. Collin and I have been friends since grade school, so knowing that he and Summer are hangin’ out with you this weekend makes me happier than you will ever know.”
Although him adding that not only am I hanging out with his friends that I don’t know, I’m hanging out with his
friend that he has known since elementary school, scares the living shit out of me. As freaked out as I am, I know it is all worth it when I hear how much it pleases him that I’ll be the one showing them around while he can’t be there. There’s something in his tone and the way he says it that comforts me with happiness.
“It’s really not a problem at all,” I say with assurance.
“Okay, so I just got off the phone with Collin, and he said that they’re gonna be leaving around 5 p.m. It only takes them about forty-five minutes to get here, so they should be at my house no later than quarter to six. Does that work for you?”
Looking at my watch it’s almost 4 p.m. already, giving me less than two hours to gather myself and boost up my confidence before I have to face the music. Even though I wish I had more time, I know I have no choice.
Taking a deep breath, I respond. “Sure. Yeah, that works.”
“Awesome. I stopped at your dorm on the way down to the sports complex and left the key to my room in your mailbox. The front door is always unlocked and my bedroom is the third room on the left on the second floor. No one should be home, but feel free to hangout in my room until they get there or until I get home-whatever you guys want to do.”
Just as I’m about to ask the most important question lingering in my head, he answers it for me.
“I should be home no later than seven.”
One hour and fifteen minutes of awkward entertaining. I can do this!
“You’re the only girl that I’ve ever allowed in my bedroom, so don’t feel grossed out about sitting on my bed,” he adds with a chuckle. “I’ve gotta get going, but I’ll see ya later. Thanks again.”
“K, see ya later,” I say before hanging up.
Although I should be booking back to my room in preparation for my fun-filled evening, I’m frozen to the bench and trying to wrap my head around his last statement before he said he had to go.
No girl has ever been in his room until me?
All this time I’ve pictured Matt just like any other athlete–a drunken hornball player. Of course I never wanted to believe that it was true, but it is what it is and he is who he is, so it just seemed as though it should be the reality. But now, hearing him say that this picture I’ve drawn of him is false and he isn’t a perverted,
all I want to do is get in your pants
kind of guy, my feelings for him have just grown a little stronger.
If that was even possible.
After changing my clothes three times, I’m back to the outfit I’ve had on all day. I’ve combed my hair and rechecked myself in the mirror at least five times. My heart is racing and my nerves are off the charts as I make my way across campus and over to the football house. Although I’ve never been there before, I know where it is. I may not be much of a party goer, but knowing where all the sport houses are located is almost like a prerequisite for any girl on campus–popular or not.
Just as I planned, it is five-thirty when I finally step foot in the driveway. My stomach drops when I see three cars parked in front. Matt had mentioned that no one should be home since they all have practice, so I’m crossing every finger and toe that they carpool together. Taking a deep breath, I place my hand on the knob, and turn it to walk in.
The house is dark, silent, and looks empty as I take my first few steps past the entrance. In front of me are the stairs and to the left is a large living room with a bunch of mismatched couches and a huge flat screen TV on the wall. Flicking the light switch next to me, I decide now is as good as a time as ever to do a little snooping. Seeing an opening just past the living room, I walk in that direction. Although the house smells like sweaty men, I’m actually quite surprised at how clean it is. Don’t get me wrong. It’s definitely no
Better Homes and Garden
home, but for a house lived in by a bunch of college boys it’s not all that bad. After walking through the archway just past the living room, I’m greeted with a very large kitchen and eat in area. Again nothing matches and everything looks rather plain, but there’s not a dirty dish or crumb in site.
Noticing the time on the microwave, 5:35 p.m., I decide to make my way upstairs to Matt’s room where the real snooping can begin. I only have five minutes as I don’t want to get caught by his friends, so I put a little more pep in my step and take the stairs two at a time.
Each door has a dry erase board attached, with doodles and notes written across them. I laugh, seeing some of the provocative pictures drawn on the first two, but my stomach drops and my eyes almost pop from my head when I read what’s on Matt’s board.