Falling into you, p.3
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       Falling into You, p.3

         Part #1 of Falling series by Jasinda Wilder
 
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“Why we should wait? And how to be responsible if we don’t?”

  “Exactly. ” I was almost absurdly relieved that we’d gotten through that discussion without having to say anything overtly embarrassing.

  Again, not ready. So not ready.

  But then I felt his hands sliding onto my back to pull me into an embrace, and suddenly the idea of more with him didn’t seem so absurd.

  More…eventually.

  Chapter 2: Lucky I’m In Love

  January

  Kyle and I had settled into a comfortable but exciting relationship. In a very significant way, not much had changed between us. We were the same as we’d always been, we just held hands at school and kissed in the hallways, in his car, on the couch in front of movies. Our parents did indeed have “the talk” with both of us about being safe, which was beyond mortifying. They didn’t even give me a chance to tell them we hadn’t even gone past kissing, or that sex wasn’t on our horizon, as yet.

  At least, it wasn’t on mine. Kyle seemed to be taking his cues from me, and I was content to let things stay where they were. I liked kissing Kyle. I liked making out with him on the couch. It was maybe a little like how I hadn’t wanted to push our relationship from friendship into dating, simply because I hadn’t wanted to change something I enjoyed.

  Page 7

 

  In reality, deep down, I was scared. I might have psyched myself out a bit with all the shows and movies I’d watched with Becca and Jill that had sex in them. I was afraid the reality wouldn’t live up to my expectations. I mean, I knew in my head, logically, that TV and movies don’t portray things with any degree of accuracy to reality. Even the way characters kissed on screen wasn’t like kissing in real life. I couldn’t explain the difference, even to myself, though.

  I couldn’t say any of this to Kyle, though. I wasn’t sure he’d understand, and I knew it would sound silly. It sounded silly even to myself. But I just couldn’t shake the fears. I knew the facts, sure. I knew a girl’s first time wasn’t always that awesome, and that it hurt. I had plenty of friends at school who’d already had sex and had gotten the details from them. Becca, for example. Setting her up with Jason turned out to be exactly what I’d hoped. They’d been going steady ever since, and Becca had come over late one night, flushed and excited and glowing and fighting tears.

  I sat with her on my bed and clicked the volume up on my TV so the sounds of Teen Mom would drown out our conversation. I waited, fiddling with the drawstrings of my pajama pants, knowing Becca would tell me what was on her mind once she’d gathered the right words. Becca was like that: she never spoke until she’d thought through what she was going to say. She’d struggled with stuttering as a child, and as a result of the speech therapy, she’d learned to plan out every word, every sentence before she spoke. It had a way of making her sound as if she was reading a script, sometimes, which not everyone understood about her.

  I did, though, because I’d known her since before she went through ST. I’d learned to listen past the stuttering to the words she meant to say, and learned not to rush her. Even after ST, you couldn’t rush Becca. She’d say what she meant to say when she was ready, and not before.

  “I s-slept with Jason,” she said. And yeah, Becca still stutters occasionally in moments of extreme emotion.

  I jerked my head up, hair bouncing across my shock-wide eyes. Becca was half-smiling, tight black curls obscuring part of her face. I could see her blushing, which was tricky since she was half-Italian and half-Lebanese, and thus had dark, dusky skin and didn’t often blush.

  “You what? For real? When? Where? What was it like?”

  Becca twisted a curl around her finger and tugged on the springy lock of hair, a sign she was agitated. “It was everything we’d ever heard, Nell. Amazing, awkward, intense, and kind of painful at first. I mean, just like a pinch, not really bad or anything, and after it’s—it’s pretty incredible. Jason was very careful and very gentle. It was his first time too. He was very sweet. It didn’t last long, though. Not like in True Blood, that’s for sure. It was good though. ”

  “Did you bleed?” I asked.

  She nodded. “Yeah, a little. We told our parents we were going to Great Lakes Crossing to shop, but we actually went to a hotel. It wasn’t like I gushed or anything. ” She grinned at me. “The second time was even better, and less awkward. ”

  I frowned. “What’s awkward about it?”

  “Remember when you kissed for the first time? I mean really kissed. Like, made out. Remember how it was completely natural, like you knew what you were doing somehow, but you still had to sort of figure out how to do it right? Where your hands went, and all that? Well, it’s kind of like that. ” She looked out the window at the oak tree branches swaying in the winter wind, and I could tell her mind was back in hotel room with Jason.

  I sat with her in silence, watching Jenelle argue with her mom on the TV. “Do you feel different?” I asked, eventually.

  She nodded. “Yes. A lot. Like, it’s hard to explain how you see everything differently. Physically I don’t feel much different. A little sore down there, but that’s it. Inside my head, I feel older. Wiser. But that’s not it, really, though. I don’t know. This part is the hardest to explain. I guess it’s like I finally understand what the big deal is. ”

  “Do you feel like you were ready?”

  She didn’t answer right away. “I guess. I don’t know. I mean, I wanted to. I really did. We talked about it for weeks, planned out when and where. We went to dinner first and it was romantic. But I was scared. Jason was too, but I think not as much as I was. ”

  I met her eyes and saw the hesitation. “Did he pressure you, Becca?”

  She looked away, then back to me. “A little? I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t want to. I just might have waited a bit longer, if it was only up to me. ”

  I wasn’t sure how to respond to that. “You were…safe, right?”

  She nodded vigorously. “My cousin Maria is twenty-three, and she took me to get birth control from a clinic. And we used a-a—you know. Protection. ”

  “Could your cousin take me too?”

  Becca met my eyes. “I can ask her, if you’re sure. But wait until you’re sure you’re ready. ”

  She took a couple deep breaths, then her shoulders shook, and I pulled her into a hug. “Are you okay?”

  She shrugged, shook her head, but said, “Yeah, I guess. I’m overwhelmed. I mean, I can’t believe I did that. ” She pulled away and met my eyes. “I”m not a virgin anymore, Nell. I’m a woman, now. ” She laughed, the sound almost a sob.

  “You weren’t ready, were you?” I whispered.

  She collapsed onto me. “N-no. But I love him, Nell. I do. ” She took a long shuddering breath, and then composed herself, sitting back and wiping her face. “I love him and I didn’t want to disappoint him. And-and I knew we couldn’t keep skirting the line like we had been, you know?”

  “What do you mean?”

  “Oh come on, Nell. You know what I’m talking about. You make out, and it gets more and more intense. And eventually, you just know where it’s going, and you have to keep stopping yourselves before it goes there accidentally. Like I said, I really truly did want to. Please don’t think Jason was putting all this pressure on me. It wasn’t that, and it wasn’t that I didn’t want to, because I did. I just…I don’t know how to explain it. ”

  “I think I understand,” I said. “Making out with Kyle is starting to reach that point of having to stop ourselves before we get carried away. ”

  She took my hands in hers. “Well, just do what we did. Talk about it. If it’s going to happen anyway, we figured it would be best to plan it, make sure it happens on our terms, you know?”

  Page 8

 

  I nodded, but I had to push away the dizzying storm of thoughts rushing through my head from the conversation. Becca hung out for a while longer,
finished Teen Mom, which suddenly took on a whole new level of meaning, and then went home.

  It took me a long time to fall asleep after Becca left. All I could think of was how I’d had to push myself away from Kyle that evening, how I’d felt like I was drowning in him, losing myself in his kisses. How easy it would be to just let go and let myself be swept away.

  I didn’t want to have any doubts, though. I didn’t want to show up at Becca’s house afterwards and cry because I hadn’t been a hundred percent ready to have sex with Kyle.

  A voice whispered deep in my head, though, and asked me if I’d ever be completely ready, if it was even possible to be a hundred percent ready for something like that.

  * * *

  Two weeks later, late on Friday night, I was sitting in the passenger seat of Kyle’s Camaro as we carved through a thick blanket of drifting snow. Our favorite song, our song, was playing on the radio: Jason Mraz’s “Lucky”, and I sang along. Kyle was frowning in concentration, the brights on and still barely able to pierce the pall of falling white. He was going barely thirty on a dirt road near our houses which I knew he knew like the back of his hand.

  “This snow is effing crazy,” Kyle said. “I can’t see ten feet in front of me, and my back tires keep slipping. ”

  “Maybe we should pull over and see if it lets up a little,” I suggested.

  “No, I’ll be fine. We’re not far from home anyway. I’ll just take it slow. ”

  I rolled my eyes, having known even as I suggested it that he wouldn’t pull over and wait. We rounded a curve and Kyle let out a curse as the back tires fishtailed. I peered through the snow ahead of us and saw the reason for Kyle’s panic: a huge doe standing in the middle of the road, eyes gleaming blue-green-silver in the headlights, stock still and frozen and getting larger by the second. He cursed again and downshifted, trying to get the car under control, but the Camaro only fishtailed worse before twisting into a flat spin.

  “Move, goddamn it, you stupid deer!” Kyle shouted as we span closer to the animal.

  Kyle knew how to drive in the snow, however, and he pumped the brakes, turned into the spin and touched the gas. The Camaro went through a third complete three-sixty, but it was slowing on the dirt, gravel and snow mixture. The front quarter of the car thudded into the deer, and the car shook violently on the impact. I screamed and braced my hands on the dashboard, but was unable to look away as the deer was knocked backwards, stumbling and falling to its side in the snow. Kyle was able to get the car to a stop, the lights bathing the motionless deer in the middle of the road, snow like a curtain of white all around us. We were both panting, Kyle’s hands clenching the wheel in a white-knuckle grip.

  I sucked in a deep breath and let it out, glancing at Kyle. He met my eyes, and we both cracked up in semi-hysterical laughter. I lunged over the gearshifter and wrapped my arms around his neck, trembling now that it was over and the rush of adrenaline hit me. The seatbelt was cutting into my chest, so I clicked it free and held tighter to Kyle. He shoved the shifter into park and then pulled me closer. I clumsily clambered across the console so I was straddling him, clinging to his neck. He took my face in his hands and pulled me into a deep, heated kiss.

  I lost myself in him, then, gave myself over completely. Adrenaline was coursing through me, powering me with lightning-hot energy. I clenched my fists in the hair at the back of his head, then clawed my hands across his shoulders. My fingers caught the neck of his shirt and my palm slipped under the cotton to stutter over bare flesh. I gasped at the heat of his skin, at the electricity zinging through my body at the feel of his skin.

  And then he touched me. Oh god. His fingers curled under my coat and under my shirt and palmed the hot flesh of my back. I arched into his touch, felt his tongue dart out to taste mine, and I felt dizzy, subsumed, drowning wonderfully. I brought my hands around, feeling the ridges of his abs and the slabs of muscle on his chest. He mimicked my motion, sliding his hands around to trace my belly with his fingers, and then our kiss broke, leaving our lips touching, eyes open and sparking intensity between us. I held my breath as he brought his palms upward, bit my lip and drew a deeper breath as his hands cupped the lace of my bra.

  I felt my ni**les harden under his touch, even through the bra, not looking away from him, giving him tacit permission to keep touching me. I shifted backward so my weight was on his knees and my back against the steering wheel. He hesitated with his hands cupping both br**sts, and I could see him thinking, wanting to push the moment. He wanted to touch bare skin. I wanted to let him. I liked his hands on my flesh, liked the lightning thrill of his hands on my skin.

  I reached up and under my shirt, brushed the strap of my bra off one shoulder, then the other. Kyle curled his fingers under the edge of the cup, tugged it down and lifted my breast free. My shirt was still hanging between us, my coat unzipped and dangling open. The heater was still blasting, overheating both of us. I fumbled with one hand and cut the heater off, then returned my gaze to Kyle. He was watching me with a hooded gaze, warring with himself, his desire fighting reason.

  I felt the same war. I wanted this with him. Here and now, I wanted him. Nothing else mattered. A voice in the back of my head reminded me of my conversation with Becca a couple weeks before. I pushed the voice aside. Kyle’s hands were roaming my belly, my sides, and returning to my br**sts. He had both of them free of the cups now, and was exploring my br**sts with his palms and fingers.

  I shrugged out of my coat, and then, before I could second guess myself, I pulled my shirt over my head. Kyle sucked in a breath, a giddy smile curving his lips.

  “God, you’re so hot,” he breathed, taking in my pale skin and the dark circles of my areolae and the pink buttons of my ni**les.

  I bit my lip as he cupped on breast, rubbing the nipple in circles with his thumb, squeezed my eyes shut in a rush of nerves, feeling suddenly exposed, shame fighting with desire. I wanted this. I liked this. It was okay, right? This was Kyle, my boyfriend and best friend and I loved him.

  The last thought came a shock, drawing a gasp from me. I love him? Did I? My heart swelled and ached every time I was near him, and the thought of not being with him scared me. That was love, right? I wanted to be with him all the time, every moment.

  “I wish I could see all of you right now,” he said, caressing my breast.

  Page 9

 

  A bolt of need shot through me. I wanted him to see all of me. But here, now? Like this? I opened my mouth to speak, but he beat me to it.

  “Not here, though,” he said, squeezing his eyes shut and gritting his teeth. “I want you, Nell. I’m not gonna lie. ”

  He withdrew his hands from my skin, and I nearly whimpered at the loss of his touch. I stuffed myself back in my bra, but didn’t put on my shirt. Kyle’s eyes were bright and intense.

  “I want you too,” I said.

  “But I want it to be right. I want it to be special. ” He seemed to be struggling with himself.

  I felt my heart squeeze at his words, and leaned forward to kiss him, taking his face in my hands. “And that’s why I love you,” I whispered, not thinking.

  He froze, his eyes wide, searching mine. “What?”

  I bit my lip, worried it was too soon. “I—” My eyes slid closed as I fought for the right words. I decided to own it. “I said, that’s why I love you. I do. I love you, Kyle. ”

  His hands slipped around to skate up and down my back before coming to rest on my hips in a familiar, sensual, incredible touch. I suddenly loved his hands there, wanted them there forever. His hands on my hips above the waist of my low-rise jeans felt perfect.

  “I’m not gonna say it yet,” he said, then frowned. “I don’t want you to think I’m just saying it back because you did But I do. ”

  The thought had crossed my mind. “You do?”

  He shook his head, thumbs rubbing in circles on my hipbones. “Yep. ”

&
nbsp; I smiled and leaned in for another kiss. “Good. You should love me. ”

  He chuckled into my lips. “Oh, I do. ” His hands roamed up my sides, and I arched my back out to allow him access to my br**sts. “Especially these. I really like these. ”

  It was my turn to laugh. “Oh really? Especially those? Just those? You only love me for my boobs?”

  “Hmmm,” he pretended to consider, then slid his hands around to my back, hesitated, then descended to cup my backside. “And this. I like this too. ”

  I slid my palms up under his shirt and pinched his ni**les, eliciting a squawk from him. “Try again, buster. ”

  He laughed and pulled me into a hug, whispering into my hair. “I’m teasing, Nell. I love you for you. For who you are. ”

  I turned my face up to kiss his jaw. “I know. I was teasing too. ”

  With the heater off, cold had snuck into the car, and I felt goosebumps cover my skin. Kyle felt it too and handed me my shirt, cranking the heat back up. I slid off his lap and put my shirt on.

  “I wonder if the deer is dead,” Kyle said.

  I peered over the hood at the shape in the still-falling snow. “It’s not moving. ” I glanced at him as I zipped my coat. “Should we check?”

  “I’ll look,” he said. “Stay here. ”

  I snorted. “No way! I wanna see too. ”

  He shook his head, huffing a laugh. We both got out, stepping softly through the powdery snow. Flakes settled on my nose and in my hair, covering me almost instantly in a cold dusting of white. I wrapped my arms around my middle and leaned into Kyle’s side. He stopped a few feet away from the deer, put a hand on my shoulder to keep me in place, then moved forward again. A tense silence stretched between us, the engine rumbling behind us, headlights bathing us in a swath of brightness that pierced the otherwise dark winter night.

  I watched as Kyle carefully approached the deer. He extended a toe to touch the animal’s side, nudging gently. Nothing. I let out a breath. Kyle moved forward a bit more, crouched, extended a hand to touch the doe’s side.

  He turned back to me, surprised. “She’s still alive. Still breathing. ”

  “What do we do?” I asked. “We can’t just leave her here. ”

  He held his hands out in an ‘I don’t know’ gesture. “She might just be unconscious, or if she’s hurt somehow…I don’t know, Nell. ”

  At that moment, the deer’s hoof twitched, then her flank shuddered and she huffed out a breath. Kyle scrambled backward, cursing in shock as the doe flailed wildly, gathered her feet under her and trotted a few steps away, stopping to regard us with doleful eyes and swiveling ears. Kyle was on his butt in the snow, watching the deer as she gazed at us for a long moment, then bounded off across the road.

 
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