Hopeless, p.12
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       Hopeless, p.12

         Part #1 of Hopeless series by Colleen Hoover

  since I was five. I cry.

  I don’t ugly cry. I don’t sob and I don’t even make a noise. A single tear falls down my cheek and it’s one tear too many, so I quickly wipe it away. I take a tissue and wipe at my eyes in an attempt to stop any other tears from forming.

  I still don’t know what to say to him, but I feel like he put a pretty tight lid on the subject, so I decide to let it go for now. I shake out my hands and take a deep breath, then open the door. He’s standing across the hallway with his feet crossed at the ankles and his hands hanging loosely in his pockets. He straightens up and takes a step closer to me.

  “We good?” he asks.

  I smile my best smile and nod, then take a deep breath. “I told you I think you’re intense. This just proves my point.”

  He smiles and nudges me toward the bedroom. He wraps his arms around me from behind and rests his chin on top of my head while we make our way toward my room. “Are you allowed to get pregnant yet?”

  I laugh. “Nope. Not this weekend. Besides, you have to kiss a girl before you can knock her up.”

  “Did someone not have sex education when she was homeschooled?” he says. “Because I could totally knock you up without ever kissing you. Want me to show you?”

  I hop on the bed and grab the book, opening it up to where we left off last night. “I’ll take your word for it. Besides, I’m hoping we’re about to get a hefty dose of sex education before we make it to the last page.”

  Holder drops down on the bed and I lay beside him. He puts his arm around me and pulls me toward him, so I rest my head on his chest and begin reading.

  I know he’s not doing it on purpose, but the entire time I’m reading I’m completely distracted by him. He’s looking down at me, watching my mouth as I read, twirling my hair between his fingertips. Every time I flip a page, I glance up at him and he’s got the same concentrated expression on his face each time. An expression so concentrated on my mouth, it tells me he’s not paying a damn bit of attention to a single word I’m reading. I close the book and bring it to my stomach. I don’t even think he notices I closed the book.

  “Why’d you stop talking?” he says, never changing his expression or pulling his gaze from my mouth.

  “Talking?” I ask curiously. “Holder, I’m reading. There’s a difference. And from the looks of it, you haven’t been paying a lick of attention.”

  He looks me in the eyes and grins. “Oh, I’ve been paying attention,” he says. “To your mouth. Maybe not to the words coming out of it, but definitely to your mouth.”

  He scoots me off of his chest and onto my back, then he slides down beside me and pulls me against him. Still, his expression hasn’t changed and he’s staring at me like he wants to eat me. I sort of wish he would.

  He brings his fingers up to my lips and begins tracing them, slowly. It feels so incredible, I’m too scared to breathe for fear he might stop. I swear it’s as though his fingers have a direct line to every sensitive spot on my entire body.

  “You have a nice mouth,” he says. “I can’t stop looking at it.”

  “You should taste it. It’s quite lovely.”

  He squeezes his eyes shut and groans, then leans in and presses his head into my neck. “Stop it, you evil wench.”

  I laugh and shake my head. “No way. This is your stupid rule, why should I be the one to enforce it?”

  “Because, you know I’m right. I can’t kiss you tonight because kissing leads to the next thing, which leads to the next thing, and at the rate we’re going we’ll be all out of firsts by next weekend. Don’t you want to drag our firsts out a little longer?” He pulls his head away from my neck and looks back down at me.

  “Firsts?” I ask. “How many firsts are there?”

  “There aren’t that many, which is why we need to drag them out. We’ve already passed too many since we met.”

  I tilt my head sideways so I can look him straight on. “What firsts have we already passed?”

  “The easy ones. First hug, first date, first fight, first time we slept together, although I wasn’t the one sleeping. Now we barely have any left. First kiss. First time to sleep together when we’re both actually awake. First marriage. First kid. We’re done after that. Our lives will become mundane and boring and I’ll have to divorce you and marry a wife who’s twenty years younger than me so I can have a lot more firsts and you’ll be stuck raising the kids.” He cups my cheek in his hand and smiles at me. “So you see, babe? I’m only doing this for your benefit. The longer I wait to kiss you, the longer it’ll be before I’m forced to leave you high and dry.”

  I laugh. “Your logic terrifies me. I sort of don’t find you attractive anymore.”

  He slides on top of me, holding up his weight on his hands. “You sort of don’t find me attractive? That can also mean you sort of do find me attractive.”

  I shake my head. “I don’t find you attractive at all. You repulse me. In fact, you better not kiss me because I’m pretty sure I just threw up in my mouth.”

  He laughs, then drops his weight onto one arm, still hovering over me. He lowers his mouth to the side of my head and presses his lips to my ear. “You’re a liar,” he whispers. “You’re a whole lot attracted to me and I’m about to prove it.”

  I close my eyes and gasp the second his lips meet my neck. He kisses me lightly, right below the ear, and it feels like the whole room just turned into a tilt-a-whirl. He slowly moves his lips back to my ear and whispers, “Did you feel that?”

  I shake my head no, but barely.

  “You want me to do it again?”

  I’m shaking my head no out of stubbornness, but I’m hoping he’s telepathic and can hear what I’m really screaming inside my head, because hell yes, I liked it. Hell yes, I want him to do it again.

  He laughs when I shake my head no, so he brings his lips closer to my mouth. He kisses me on the cheek, then continues trailing soft pecks down to my ear, where he stops and whispers again. “How about that?”

  Oh, God, I’ve never been so not bored in my life. He’s not even kissing me and it’s already the best kiss I’ve ever had. I shake my head again and keep my eyes closed, because I like not knowing what’s coming next. Like the hand that just planted itself on my outer thigh and is working its way up to my waist. He slides his hand under my t-shirt until his fingers barely graze the edge of my pants, and he leaves his hand there, slowly moving his thumb back and forth across my stomach. I’m so acutely aware of everything about him in this moment that I’m almost positive I could pick his thumbprint out of a lineup.

  He runs his nose along my jawline and the fact that he’s breathing just as heavily as I am assures me there’s no way he can wait until after tonight to kiss me. At least that’s what I’m desperately hoping.

  When he reaches my ear again, he doesn’t speak this time. Instead, he kisses it and there isn’t a nerve ending in my body that doesn’t feel it. From my head all the way down to my toes, my entire body is screaming for his mouth.

  I place my hand on his neck and when I do, chills break out on his skin. Apparently, that one simple move momentarily melts his resolve and for a second, his tongue meets my neck. I moan and the sound completely sends him into a frenzy.

  He moves his hand from my waist to the side of my head and he pulls my neck against his mouth, holding nothing back. I open my eyes, shocked at how quickly his demeanor changed. He kisses and licks and teases every inch of my neck, only gasping for air when it’s absolutely necessary. As soon as I see the stars above my head, there isn’t even enough time to count one of them before my eyes roll back in my head and I’m holding back sounds that I’m too embarrassed to utter.

  He moves his lips further from my neck and closer to my chest. If we didn’t have such a limited supply of firsts, I’d tear my shirt off and make him keep going. Instead, he doesn’t even give me this option. He kisses his way back up my neck, up my chin, and trails soft kisses around my entire mouth, careful not to
once touch my lips. My eyes are closed, but I can feel his breath against my mouth, and I know he’s struggling not to kiss me. I open my eyes and look at him and he’s staring at my lips again.

  “They’re so perfect,” he says, breathlessly. “Like hearts. I could literally stare at your lips for days and never get bored.”

  “No. Don’t do that. If all you do is stare, then I’ll be the bored one.”

  He grimaces, and it’s obvious that he’s having a really, really hard time not kissing me. I don’t know what it is about him staring at my lips like he is, but it’s definitely the hottest thing about this whole situation right now. I do something I probably shouldn’t do. I lick them. Slowly.

  He groans again and presses his forehead against mine. His arm gives way beneath him and he drops his weight on me, pressing himself against me. Everywhere. All of him. We moan simultaneously once our bodies find that perfect connection, and suddenly it’s game on. I’m tearing off his shirt and he’s on his knees, helping me pull it over his head. After it’s completely off, I wrap my legs around his waist and lock him against me, because there could be nothing more detrimental than if he were to pull away right now.

  He brings his forehead back to mine and our bodies reunite and fuse together like the last two pieces of a puzzle. He’s slowly rocking against me and every time he does it, his lips come closer and closer, until they brush lightly against mine. He doesn’t close the gap between our mouths, even though I absolutely need him to. Our lips are simply resting together, not kissing. Every time he moves against me, he lets out a breath that seeps into my mouth and I try to take them all in, because it feels like I need them if I want to survive this moment.

  We remain in this rhythm for several minutes, neither of us wanting to be the first to initiate the kiss. It’s obvious we both want to, but it’s also obvious that I may have just met my match when it comes to stubbornness.

  He holds the side of my head in place and keeps his forehead pressed against mine, but pulls his lips back far enough so he can lick them. When he lets them fall back into place, the wetness of his lips sliding against mine drags me completely under, and I doubt I’ll ever be able to come up for air.

  He shifts his weight, and I don’t know what happens when he does this, but somehow it causes my head to roll back and the words, “Oh, God,” to come out of my mouth. I didn’t mean to pull away from his mouth when I tilted my head back, because I really liked it being there, but I like where I’m going even more. I wrap my arms around his back and tuck my head against his neck for some semblance of stability, because it feels like the entire earth has been shifted off its axis and Holder is the core.

  I realize what’s about to happen and I begin to internally panic. Other than his shirt, we’re completely clothed, not even kissing…yet the room is beginning to spin from the affect his rhythmic movements are having on my body. If he doesn’t stop what he’s doing, I’ll fall apart and melt right here beneath him, and that would quite possibly mark the most embarrassing moment of my life. But if I ask him to stop, then he’ll stop, and that would quite possibly mark the most disappointing moment of my life.

  I try to calm my breaths and minimize the sounds escaping my lips, but I’ve lost any form of self-control. It’s obvious my body is enjoying this non-kissing friction a little too much and I can’t find it in me to stop. I’ll try the next best thing. I’ll ask him to stop.

  “Holder,” I say breathlessly, not really wanting him to stop, but hoping he’ll get the hint and stop anyway. I need him to stop. Like two minutes ago.

  He doesn’t. He continues kissing my neck and moving his body against mine in a way that boys have done to me before, but this time it’s different. It’s so incredibly different and wonderful and it absolutely petrifies me.

  “Holder.” I attempt to say his name louder, but there isn’t enough effort left in my body.

  He kisses the side of my head and slows down, but he doesn’t stop. “Sky, if you’re asking me to stop, I will. But I’m hoping you’re not, because I really don’t want to stop, so please.” He pulls back and looks down into my eyes, still barely moving his body against mine. His eyes are full of ache and worry and he’s breathless when he speaks. “We won’t go any further than this, I promise. But please don’t ask me to stop where we already are. I need to watch you and I need to hear you because the fact that I know you’re actually feeling this right now is so fucking amazing. You feel incredible and this feels incredible and please. Just…please.”

  He lowers his mouth to mine and gives me the softest peck imaginable. It’s enough of a preview of what his real kiss will feel like and just the thought of it makes me shudder. He stops moving against me and pushes himself up on his hands, waiting for me to decide.

  The moment he separates from me, my chest grows heavy with disappointment and I almost feel like crying. Not because he stopped or because I’m torn about what to do next…but because I never imagined that two people could connect on this sort of intimate level, and that it could feel so overwhelmingly right. Like the purpose of the entire human race centers around this moment; around the two of us. Everything that’s ever happened or will happen in this world is simply just a backdrop for what’s occurring between us right now, and I don’t want it to stop. I don’t. I’m shaking my head, looking into his pleading eyes, and all I can do is whisper, “Don’t. Whatever you do, don’t stop.”

  He slides his hand behind my neck and lowers his head, pressing his forehead to mine. “Thank you,” he breathes, gently easing himself onto me again, recreating the connection between us. He kisses the edges of my mouth several times, trailing close to my lips and down my chin and across my neck. The faster he breathes, the faster I breathe. The faster I breathe, the faster he plants kisses all over my neck. The faster he plants kisses all over my neck, the faster we move together—creating a tantalizing rhythm between us that, according to my pulse, isn’t going to last much longer.

  I dig my heels into the bed and my nails into his back. He stops kissing my neck and looks down at me with heated eyes, watching me. He focuses on my mouth again, and as much as I want to watch him stare at me like he does, I can’t keep my eyes open. They close involuntarily as soon as the first wave of chills wash over my body like a warning shot of what’s about to come.

  “Open your eyes,” he says firmly.

  I would if I could, but I’m completely helpless.


  That one word is all I need to hear and my eyes flick open beneath him. He’s staring down at me with such an intense need, it’s almost more intimate than if he were actually kissing me right now. As hard as it is to do in this moment, I keep my eyes locked on his as I drop my arms, clench the sheets with both fists and thank Karma for bringing this hopeless boy into my life. Because until this moment—until the first waves of pure and utter enlightenment wash over me—I had no idea that he was even missing.

  I begin to shudder beneath him and he never once breaks our stare. I can no longer keep my eyes open no matter how hard I try, so I let them fall shut. I feel his lips slide delicately back to mine, but he still doesn’t kiss me. Our mouths are stubbornly resting together as he holds his rhythm, allowing the last of my moans and a rush of my breaths and maybe even part of my heart to slip out of me and into him. I slowly and blissfully slide back down to earth and he eventually holds still, allowing me to recover from an experience that he somehow made not at all embarrassing for me.

  When I’m completely spent and emotionally drained and my whole body is shaking, he continues to kiss my neck and shoulders and everywhere else in the vicinity of the one place I want kissed the most—my mouth.

  But he would obviously rather hold his resolve than give in to his stubbornness, because he pulls his lips from my shoulder and brings his face closer to mine, but still refuses to make the connection. He reaches up and runs his hand along my hairline, smoothing away a stray strand from my forehead.

incredible,” he whispers, looking only at my eyes this time and not at all at my mouth. His words make up for his stubbornness and I can’t help but smile back. He collapses to the bed beside me, still panting, while he makes a cognizant effort to contain the desire that I know is still coursing through him.

  I close my eyes and listen to the silence that builds between us as our gasps for breath subside into soft, gentle rhythms. It’s quiet and calm and quite possibly the most peaceful moment my mind has ever experienced.

  Holder moves his hand closer to me on the bed between us and he wraps his pinky around mine as if he doesn’t have the strength to hold my entire hand. But it’s nice, because we’ve held hands before, but never pinkies…and I realize that this is another first we passed. And realizing this doesn’t disappoint me, because I know that firsts don’t matter with him. He could kiss me for the first time, or the twentieth time, or the millionth time and I wouldn’t care if it was a first or not, because I’m pretty sure we just broke the record for the best first kiss in the history of first kisses—without even kissing.

  After a long stretch of perfect silence, he takes a deep breath, then sits up on the bed and looks down at me. “I have to go. I can’t be on this bed with you for another second.”

  I tilt my head toward his and look at him dejectedly as he stands up and pulls his shirt back on. He grins at me when he sees me pouting, then he bends forward until his face is hovering over mine, dangerously close. “When I said you weren’t getting kissed tonight, I meant it. But dammit, Sky. I had no idea how fucking difficult you would make it.” He slips his hand behind my neck and I gasp quietly, willing my heart to remain within the walls of my chest. He kisses my cheek and I can feel his hesitation when he reluctantly pulls away.

  He walks backward toward the window, watching me the whole time. Before he slips outside, he pulls his phone out and runs his fingers swiftly over the screen for a few seconds, then slips it back into his pocket. He smiles at me, then climbs out the window and pulls it shut behind him.

  I somehow find the strength to jump up and run to the kitchen. I grab my phone and, sure enough, there’s a missed text from him. It’s only one word, though.


  I smile, because it was. It absolutely was.


  I keep my head buried in my arms. I don’t want him to see me crying again. I know he won’t laugh at me—neither of them would ever laugh at me. But I really don’t even know why I’m crying and I wish it would just stop but it won’t and I can’t and I hate it, hate it, hate it.

  He sits down in the sidewalk next to me and she sits down on the other side of me. I still don’t look up and I’m still sad, but I don’t want them to leave because it feels nice with them here.

  “This might make you feel better,” she says. “I made us both one at school today.” She doesn’t ask me to look up so I don’t, but I can feel her put something on my knee.

  I don’t move. I don’t like getting presents and I don’t want her to see me look at it.

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