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Thank-you for taking the time to read chapter two! I highly suggest you read S’mores part 1 before this.
As always please favorite, rate, comment, and send me some feedback.
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A shout out to my favorite ‘editor’ Thank-you for always pre-reading, giving me input and for just being a great friend!
Also, as much as I love comments and feedback, if we could refrain from mansplaining how I should write some things that would be epic. Or what my next move within my stories should be. These are my stories and I will present them how I choose.
Brandon had the worst timing ever. He was the best friend I could ask for, coming to my rescue no questions asked, but his timing sucked.
Sitting in the passenger seat of our shared car, I could still feel Bria’s leg under my grip, my finger touching her hand. Her whole body in my arms as I wrapped her in a goodbye hug. The one I didn’t want to let go of. She had let go first. Making me question if what I had been feeling, the signals I thought I was getting, were real.
I couldn’t get her out of my head. Hadn’t been able to since that first night I saw her sitting by her fire. Bria had totally infiltrated my being and I wanted Brandon to stop, turn around and take me back to the campground. Back to her.
The urge to scream ‘stop’ filled me. He would do it if I asked.
I didn’t ask though. Instead, the car sped down the road. Sped away from her and towards home. Watching the trees disappear as Brandon drove me away from her was pissing me off. I did nothing about that. He rambled on the entire drive. My focus was not on him. He was saying something about finding Nate and ripping him a new one. My mind wanted nothing to do with thinking about Nate.
The fight that was the catalyst to him ditching me, had been brewing for months. Nate and his drinking, his lack of ability to give a shit about what I wanted or needed. The way he only saw the world the way he wanted to see it.
This camping trip had been a last-ditch effort to try and fix our relationship. My idea, not his. We both liked camping and hiking. It was what had originally brought us together almost two years ago.
Slowly, over time, I realized it was possible to like the same things, but in different ways. Nate liked to bulldoze his way through hikes. Crushing miles, checking off imaginary completed boxes that let him be king of the trails, at least in his own mind. I preferred to slow down, enjoy the world around me when I hiked. When I did anything.
He liked to bulldoze his way through cases of beer and handles of whisky too. I didn’t drink. It didn’t bother me at first. Now, it bothered me all the time. The rift between us had been growing for a long time. The first day camping had been fine. We didn’t fight while putting the tent up, we did a short, wet hike without incident. That night I was coming back from the bathhouse and saw her.
She was sitting in the dim light of her fire. I wondered how I hadn’t seen her when we were setting everything up. Maybe I just wasn’t looking. Or maybe she had been inside the cute pop-up that was behind her. Or maybe I had been too focused on making sure Nate and I didn’t fight over stupid stuff.
Either way, I stood there and noticed her. I had been watching her sitting there for a few minutes before she noticed me. I smiled then went inside the tent. She looked about my age, but I honestly couldn’t see her well. I wasn’t even sure why I had spent time watching the light from the fire dance around her.
I woke up early the next day, Nate and his damn snoring had made my sleep very broken, which threatened to make me very grumpy. Outside the tent I glanced over towards the pop-up and noticed she was sitting at her fire again. I stretched and looked her way. She was watching me, her eyes moving over my body. I realized I liked the way she was looking at me, which threw me off for a moment. I gave her a small smile then Nate was standing next to me, ruining the moment. She glanced over at our site a few more times, at me I was certain. I noticed, because I was glancing over at her.
We went for a hike, or a march depending on how you looked at things. Seeing someone at the base of the stone arch bridge at the end of the trail scared the crap out of me. I really thought someone had fallen. Nate gave me shit the entire way back to the trailhead about how scared I had been for those few moments before the figure had moved and told us she was okay.
That afternoon, I realized it was her that had been at the base of that stone arch. It gave me a reason to talk to her. She had these big brown eyes that looked sad and soulful and almost like an anime character. I found more reasons to talk to her as the days went on.
The hike we took together had been the best hike I had ever been on. It wasn’t the longest or the most physically challenging I had ever done. It was the best because she was easy to be with, to hike with. She didn’t yell if kartal escort I wasn’t moving fast enough or get huffy when I wanted to stop. She sat next to me at the beaver pond and all I wanted to do was lean into her.
Sharing s’mores with her sent little flashes of electricity throughout my entire body. Setting off pulses and butterflies in a way I had never felt before. Wiping the smallest of spots of chocolate off her mouth nearly exploded me inside. Touching her face like that, feeling that need to touch her face…it was all confusing and raw. And thrilling.
I wanted more.
She made me breakfast and dinner. She had no obligation to share her supplies with me but did anyways. She was just, nice. I invaded her space more than once and she never seemed to mind. I couldn’t stop myself from finding any reason to go sit and talk to her.
The first movie we watched together had me completely perplexed. I basically invited myself to watch it. I entered her space and didn’t feel the least bit bad about it. Inside the pop-up, I got closer and closer to her as we watched. I did lean into her for a few moments. Something about her, was pulling on me. I had never felt this way about another woman in my life. I was confused but intrigued. And excited.
In all honesty, at that point, if I could have ditched Nate and stayed with Bria I would have. When we talked, she made me feel heard. I had forgotten what that was like.
There was an underlying sadness about her though. I didn’t know her story, but something told me she had one and it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. She got lost in the world around her often, I noticed that right away. Her face got serene and seemed utterly focused and unfocused at the same time. I wondered what she was thinking about, seeing, in those moments.
I saw her come back from the woods looking like she had been crying twice. Every part of me wanted to go wrap my arms around her, make her feel better. She was alone and I hated that for her. My heart broke looking at the way she was holding herself the second time. When we spoke, she was begging me with her eyes not to ask her what was wrong. So, I didn’t. I watched her walk to the bathhouse then go inside her camper. She didn’t come out. I couldn’t get her out of my head.
Nate had started to notice the way I was looking at her. He was obtuse and didn’t know what he was seeing, just that my attention was split. That first time she came back and had been crying I didn’t go over with s’mores stuff. I didn’t fully trust what I would do if I went over there. The fact that I was worried about that threw me off even more. I had zero experience with this. It wasn’t like I made a habit out of falling for women and knew what the hell to do. Or had any reason to expect that I would want to do anything with her. But I did. I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to touch her, to be touched.
The fight with Nate was my fault. What had started as a camping trip to try and fix us, had quickly turned into me having a giant crush on a girl I was pretty sure was gay. One thing about having a gay best friend since I was fourteen, was that my ability to sense these things, was usually accurate.
Nate’s drinking and being an ass was wearing on me more than it ever had. The fight started small, over a bag of chips. That escalated quickly and soon everything I wanted to say to him came flying out of my mouth. Everything that he did that I hated, everything that he wasn’t. When I walked away from him and walked towards her camper I knew we were over. No matter what happened, Nate and I were done.
She was so kind to me in those moments. Letting me stay, feeding me. Another movie where I almost went for broke and kissed her. If Brandon hadn’t shown up right then, who knows that may have happened. But I didn’t and he did show up right then. And now, I was five miles from home, and fifty-five miles from her. Without ever telling her what I was feeling.
I turned to Brandon, who had not stopped talking the entire ride. “What?”
“Do you need something to eat before we get home? Girl, where is your head?” He gave me a look that only someone who has known me for as long as he has could get away with.
I told him I didn’t and ignored the rest of his question.
At home, I unpacked then did a load of laundry and took a shower. Brandon made dinner and we spent that evening trashing Nate. I tried to be sad that my relationship was over, but I couldn’t muster those feelings. It had been over long before I had let it go. The only feelings I could find, were the ones that had been growing for Bria. Bria, whose last name I didn’t even know. I had no way to find her, didn’t know where she taught either.
It took Brandon exactly two minutes of me being back inside my head, to call me out on it. He had a way of knowing me like no one else did.
“Girl, it was her wasn’t it?” He eyed me. Waiting for the answer he knew already.
I told him about the last few days. At one point he just maltepe escort bayan laughed. “You know you are about to prove your parents right. That hanging out with me, will turn you gay.” He laughed for a long time on that one. I slapped him. I wasn’t gay. I had never been attracted to another female. Ever.
Brandon just laughed again.
I sulked around the house for the next few days. On my kindle, I was reading the book she had been reading, ‘Tell it to the Bees’. It was resonating with me as I read. I wanted what these two had found and I didn’t understand that desire.
Brandon was utterly sick of me. “Geez Maya, go talk to her. Why are you still here when you know where she is?”
I stared at him like he had ten heads. Then snapped out of it. Why was I? I checked the time. There was a chance I could get back there before she checked out. “Drive me B, please?” He groaned but then agreed. Halfway there I made him stop at a gas station and I ran in and grabbed s’mores stuff.
“S’mores? You’re going to woo her with s’mores?” He looked horrified.
He also didn’t know how many times we had shared s’mores by the campfire. I confidently looked at him, “Yes. And please stop driving like you are ninety years old B. I’d like to have a shot at getting there on time.”
When we finally arrived at the state park, I paid the visitor’s fee and we drove up. I could see her pop-up was still popped-up. I got out of the sedan and Brandon shut it off, fixing to follow me. I told him no, he could go home.
“Maya, I am not leaving you stranded here. I’m not Nate”
“I won’t be stranded.”
“I love your confidence girl. I do, but what if.”
I cut him off and told him there was no me being stranded here. That wasn’t something I was willing to have happen. He could go home. I would be in touch. Very reluctantly he pulled away from me. I walked to the pop-up and knocked. Nothing. Maybe she was hiking.
I sat down on the picnic table and waited.
The words came out of my mouth with ease.
Without the need to ponder further.
Yes, to s’mores.
Yes, to Maya.
She was smiling at me. That smile that made her eyes small. That smile I loved. That drew me to her.
Time seemed to stand still as we stood there watching each other. The air around us shifted, as if we were now moving outside of time. If other people existed in the campground, they didn’t inside the bubble she created with her presence in my space. We existed together outside of everything else. Inside this perfect moment. When neither of us had to explain anything to the other. When the energy rolling off each of us collided and for a brief fraction of time, nothing else mattered.
The s’mores stuff was still in her hands. My eyes were still connected to hers. I feared blinking. Feared she would disappear in the millisecond that blinking would disrupt my view. That my reality would be altered inside that fraction of life.
I stepped back just a little, she didn’t disappear. My left hand pinched the skin on my right arm. I felt the pain and she was still here.
She stepped to fill in the space that had briefly existed between us. Her lips met mine again. This time, our tongues danced together. I heard the sound of the s’mores stuff hitting the packed earth under us. Smelled her coconut scent.
Passion. Desire. Questions. All playing out inside the warmth of our mouths.
I put my hand on her face. Pulled away, just a few inches. My thumb was stroking the skin underneath it, still in disbelief that she was here.
It was still just us.
Me, trying to wrap my head around what was real.
Her, kissing me. Again.
Me, kissing her back.
Her, moving us as we continued kissing. My back was up against the pop-up. Her voice whispered into my ear, “I’ve never…”
Those simple words shattered the perfect bubble that had been around us. I didn’t let her finish. Couldn’t. I pulled away again as much as possible, putting more space between us. She watched me. I watched her. She never… she didn’t need to finish that. I knew exactly what the rest of that phrase was.
She moved to kiss me again, I couldn’t let her. I wanted her to. Her mouth was warm. Inviting.
I wanted to take her inside.
She didn’t know me, not really. Which, up until five weeks ago, wouldn’t have mattered to me. It would have barely mattered to me a few weeks ago.
It mattered to me right now. I was starting to see glimpses of me again. The me that existed before Liam died.
She was watching closely as my mind raced. Waiting for me.
Waiting for a reaction that would lead her inside the pop-up.
My eyes closed. My lungs filled deeper than they ever had before. Filling to give me the breath to say what I needed to. “Maya. No.”
I watched as her face changed.
Confusion. Rejection. Worry, escort pendik all spread across it at once. If I could have put more space between us, I would have. I was still backed up against the camper, she was a foot in front of me, her mouth slightly open, trying to figure out what was happening.
I had gone from yes to no in near record time. But I wasn’t saying no to her. I was saying no to what she wanted to do. What I wanted to do. What I knew couldn’t do. I was out here to not be that person any longer. To not fuck random girls to dull the pain. To not need booze and pills when sex didn’t dull it enough. To do right by my brother’s memory and myself.
The foot of space between us was gone and I was kissing her. Deep. Hands on her face holding her there. She melted into me. Pushed her body into me and every nerve ending in my own body reacted. I wanted her. Now. My chest was filled with electricity as desire flowed through me.
I pulled away again. The same emotions as before washed over her face. I was confusing the hell out of her. It wasn’t fair.
Stop doing this to her Bria. A voice I hadn’t heard in seven months filled my head. Liam
“Maya.” Her eyes were boring into my soul. “Sit. Please.” I pointed to the picnic table. She didn’t move at first. I moved around her and sat, picking up the bag of s’mores stuff as I did.
She hadn’t reacted yet. Was still standing in the same spot, her back now to me as I sat at the picnic table. The one we had sat at together before. Slowly she turned, took a few steps and sat down. She didn’t speak, was averting her eyes, sending sharp pains of guilt through me.
I wasn’t even sure where to start as I sat there watching her. She was here. Never did I expect to see her again after she left with her roommate. She was a mile down the road before I realized I didn’t even know her last name. Had no way of finding her. No intention of looking. A thousand questions hammered inside my head. One slipped out of my mouth.
“What’s your last name?”
My last name? More confusion filled me. We had kissed. I could feel the heat between us when our bodies pressed together. There was no way she didn’t want me. If she said she didn’t, she would be lying. I was certain of that.
Now, all she could do was ask my last name.
My reply came, quiet and unsure, like I wasn’t certain of my own name. “Turner.”
She took that info in then opened her mouth to speak. I was focused on her lips, the ones that I had just felt the warmth and softness of. “Winthrop”
My eyes were on hers now. Was she one of the Winthrop’s? Shit. Didn’t one of their kids die a while back? Motorcycle accident if I remembered right. Fuck. I searched through scattered memories of headlines and a funeral announcement. Looking for her in the images that went with those articles. Double fuck. I think she was there. She was a little younger maybe, in that picture that looked like it had been taken a few years earlier. Her hair had been blonder and longer. She was thinner now. Looked sadder than she did in that family picture that was now screaming at me inside my head. Fuck.
I tried not to let on that I recognized the last name, or now, also her face. I doubt I was successful. It would explain all the sadness I had felt coming off her before.
We continued to just sit there staring at each other. She started to speak more than once but nothing came out of her mouth. Her eyes closed for a moment. I moved closer than I had been. “Bria?” My hands went over hers. She didn’t pull away. Her hands were soft.
Slowly her big brown eyes opened and looked into mine. She started and stopped a few times before words finally flowed out of her soft lips. “I’m trying to make sense of this Maya. You. Here. Kissing me.” Her voice was strained. Hesitant.
I found myself moving even closer to her, my hands still on hers. “I couldn’t get you out of my head Bria. I tried. It didn’t work.” I hadn’t tried that hard. I didn’t want her out of my head.
I had barely finished when she nearly cut me off. “I can’t do what you want Maya.” Her eyes left my face, were looking everywhere but at me.
Had I read her wrong? No. The way she kissed me confirmed what I thought I knew. There was more to this. “Can’t or won’t?” If she wasn’t interested, if she didn’t feel what I felt she could just be honest. Everything about the way she reacted to me told me she did feel the same though.
Her eyes found mine again, “both.”
I sat back a little, not sure what to do with this, but didn’t move my hands off hers. Her eyes were back everywhere but on me.
The wheels inside my head were turning trying to find the right words to say to her. “Okay. Can we start over?”
Her eyes came back to mine and she let out a deep sigh.
I opted not to give her a chance to think too long. Removing my hands from on top of hers I started. “Hello.” I smiled as I started speaking, finding confidence in the words that were slowly forming in my head and coming out of my mouth. “My name is Maya Turner. I’m 28 and an EMT. I like hiking, camping, eating s’mores, watching movies and you.” I put my hand out in a proper introduction.
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