Express Lane Ch. 04byRaLaWrites©
Hey, you've reached Larissa. I'm not here right now....
There it was again. I didn't think I would ever get sick of hearing my own voice, but I was starting to.
Curled up on the couch at home with remote in hand, I did what I do best. I avoided making a decision. I couldn't say no to James or Noah. Especially Noah. I guessed a night of watching Law and Order: SVU wouldn't be so bad anyway.
Joanna's heels clicked against the wooden steps as she walked down them. "Ris, if you don't answer that phone..."
"You'll just keep listening to it ring," I said. "I don't feel like talking to Noah. Or James."
"Crazy," she muttered. "I can see not wanting James, he's tired. But Noah? You're out of it."
"Whatever," I laughed. "Just go on your little date and get out of my hair."
Once I heard Joanna close the front door and leave, I sighed. I picked up my phone. 8 missed calls. James... then Noah. Noah again. Then James, two more times. I couldn't take it. I didn't' feel so bad about standing Noah up but I owed James more than that. I hit the menu button and then pressed send, dialing his number.
"Hey, James." I could hear a lot of talking in the background. Was he having a get-together?
"Ris." He sounded surprised. "What's up?"
"Sorry about our date tonight," I said.
"No, um..." I could hear laughter in the background. Screw a get-together: James was having a party. "Actually that's why I kept calling you. I had other plans tonight."
Well, didn't that make me feel good. "Oh. Well... okay. I guess I'll talk to you later."
"You too, babe." Click!
All I could do was laugh. All this worrying, avoiding James and Noah and it turned out that my decision would have been made for me already. Who knew? Slumped in the corner of my sofa now, I stretched while watching TV. Mariska Hargitay's character was inspecting an abandoned house, searching for a scared child on the run. I swear, this show always drew me in from the moment it started to the very end. Just as Dt. Olivia Benson kicked the door in to the abandoned house, I heard a thunderous knock on my own front door.
"Woo! Hold on," I yelled, shaking off my spooked feeling. As I got to the door, I rolled my eyes. How many times will Jo-Jo come back for something she left was a fun game I enjoyed playing.
"What you need now, Jo... Noah?"
"JoNoah," he laughed. With his hands nestled inside the pockets of his brown jacket, he peered at me. Good lord, he was wearing glasses and instead of making him look nerdy, he look distinguished. Sexy. His silver ring was in the middle of his lower lip and his dark brown, curly hair was tousled. I wonder if he went for the bed-head look or if he literally just rolled out of bed. You could never tell with Noah. Those deep dimples of his were showing as he said, "Now that's an interesting nickname."
This man couldn't be real. It was like something out of those cheesy harlequin romance novels. A lonely woman, alone and bored, is saved by a mysterious hunk. Except Noah wasn't a hunk. He was just a real guy. I stood there, gawking at him.
"Yeah," he walked past me, coming inside my house. "Since you're not going to invite me in, I'll just come in by myself."
I closed and locked the door. Still silent.
"Nice to see you too, Ris." Flopping down on the couch, he slid a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and pulled a single out. I walked towards him, sitting on the couch opposite of him as he lit it up. "You stood me up," he exhaled. "It's eight-thirty now. Rory's gone to bed, someone's watching him. But," he paused before taking another inhale of his cigarette, "I'm not even mad. I needed to get out of the house. Nice to walk in a room without tripping over some damn toys," he laughed.
"Um," I managed to squeak. "I just wasn't feeling good. Didn't feel like going out."
"It's alright. No harm, no foul. You know I could have came to you if you didn't want to come to me. I ended up doing it anyway. Something told me you weren't out of the house." Shrugging off his jacket, he tossed it over the arm of the couch. He raised an eyebrow. "Law and Order?"
"Yeah," I replied sheepishly. "I like it. Something wrong with that?"
"Down girl. I was just asking a question." Some time passed before we next spoke. Instead, we exchanged glances at one another silently, like two teens on their first date. As expected, he broke the silence. I could barely think because of him, let alone initiate conversation.
"Why you sitting so far away? I'm not gonna bite. Come over."
I rolled my eyes. "Like I'm scared of sitting next to you, Noah." But I was. Scared to death, even. I sat on the opposite side of my large couch, still a distance away from him. I looked at him and cocked my head to the side, as if to say 'Are you happy now?' Instead of replying, Noah winked and started playing with his lip ring.
Oh, boy. Move, Larissa. Go.
Noah was intent on driving me crazy. We didn't even know each other that well, but I had a feeling he'd experienced things like this in the past. He knew he was good-looking and used it to his advantage. He nibbled on the corner of his lower lip, just next to the ring. Every so often he'd look over at me and raise both eyebrows; not in a seductive way, but almost in a matter-of-fact way. I liked Noah because trying to seduce was not his M.O. He went about it in such a low-key way.
Looking over at him again, I could see he was rubbing his tongue against his lip ring. Again, it wasn't in a 'don't you wish the ring was you' way. He was doing it in such a nonchalant way. He knew he looked sexy but acted like he didn't. I knew from that point on, it was going to take all of my willpower not to spread my legs and give it up right then and there. What I told Noah some days earlier was true; I didn't believe in just sleeping with anyone, no matter how sexy. But this boy was testing my limits.
"Okay," I said frantically, getting to my feet. "I need snacks. What do you want? If you even want something."
"Give me a second," he muttered before looking up at me quizzically. "Got any chocolate?"
Was he serious? I put my hands on my hips and looked over at him. He gave me a big smile that reminded me of Rory. They looked so much like each other. I guessed genes were strong in his family.
"The only chocolate in this house is me," I half-joked. "And even then, I'm more like butterscotch."
"Ugh. Do I look like I'm 70? Who eats butterscotch?" he complained.
"Fine! I'll grab some popcorn and get some soda." My feet slid against the carpeted floor as I made my way into the kitchen. Opening the shelves, I grabbed two folded packets of microwavable popcorn from the box. I could barely manage unwrapping them from their plastic case without feeling the pressure building inside of me. I had never questioned myself about anything regarding my sexuality until Noah. Although I was far from a prude, I didn't believe in just sleeping with anyone.
Especially people I wanted to be in a relationship with.
The buttery smell of the popcorn usually nauseated me but this time it was reality's slap in the face that turned my stomach. Noah had a girlfriend. Silver. I remembered the sight of the leggy redhead in the parking lot earlier today. I wasn't jealous. What for? I had curves that could stop traffic. But who says that would be enough for Noah?
I opened both popcorn bags and dumped the contents into a huge blue bowl Joanna and I used for get-togethers and parties. Tucking two bottled waters under my arms from the fridge, I flopped down on the couch next to Noah. Stray pieces of popcorn flew from the bowl and I heard him laugh.
"What?" I asked, self-consciously.
"Nah," he replied. "It's nothing. I just can't remember the last time I chilled with a girl at home, watched TV and snacked on popcorn. It's like I'm in Junior High all over again." The bowl rested on my lap. Noah's hand dove right in, making the bowl wobble against me. I closed my eyes briefly and turned away, wondering what would happen if the bowl wasn't shielding my desire for him.
"Uh." My voice broke as I talked, and I took the opportunity to clear my throat before I continued. "Well, maybe you think it's Junior High, but I do this all the time. Much better than going to random parties with people you don't know and listening to tired lines from sleazy guys looking to bang anything with a heartbeat."
I could see Noah from the corner of my eye. He nodded. "I can respect that." He paused before looking around the living room. "Is it always so dark in here like this?"
"Only when I'm watching Law and Order: SVU," I explained. "Not only that, but I was planning on watching a horror movie. 'One Missed Call.' Ever heard of it?"
Smiling, he tilted his head to the side and grinned. "Japanese or American version?"
"Lame. Japanese version will make you shit yourself," he exclaimed. "American version might make you jump a few times, at best. Horror movie buff like everyone else?"
"Not me," I shook my head. "Joanna. I'd much rather watch something else but we don't have any other DVD's."
"We don't have to watch a movie. That's horribly cliché anyway, don't you think? Girl watches horror movie with friend, guy gropes girl, they make out, fuck, and then get their heads chopped off by a psycho wielding a machete or knife or some other sharp weapon," he finished with a snort. "Hey, how about this: got any board games?"
Of course I did! I was the queen of board games. Silly or not, I loved playing Scrabble, Pictionary or even clue. "Yeah, a few," I answered. "Clue, Scrabble --"
The fantasy I had of Noah's body thrashing against mine didn't take place on a twister mat. But maybe that was a good thing. "Yeah I do. Hold on." I slid my hand underneath the couch and pulled out the crumpled twister box, thanks to years of wear-and-tear. I couldn't recall the last time I'd played it, but I knew I would never forget playing it this time around.
Noah pulled the coffee table off to the side as I unfolded the mat, spreading it out on the floor. Placing the spinner next to the mat, I nervously put on hand on my hip, and raised the other one towards him. "You're up."
Rubbing his hands together, he grinned at me and flicked the spinner, which landed on left-foot green. Noah simply placed his now sock-covered foot on the circle, and waited for me to go. The spinner took forever to choose where I'd go, and my upset stomach fluttered with butterflies. Right-foot red. This pattern continued, each hand and foot that he or I moved making me all the more anxious. When it was my turn to spin and move again, I noticed that I was on all fours underneath Noah. Occasionally I'd hear him groan which would make me crazy, but he insisted that it was lack of exercise. "Being in one fucking position like this is... murder," he puffed. "I really should toss the cigs off of my list of bad habits and jog once in a while."
A condescending laugh escaped me. "Told you. Just because you're young, it doesn't mean you have an agile body like mine." I moved one more time and could feel my arms starting to give. "Oh, Shit!" I smiled going down and laughed non-stop when I hit the mat. I didn't notice that Noah had gone down as well, with his arms propped up to support himself. While he wasn't directly over me, he was still close enough to put me ill at ease. His dark, grey eyes penetrated me. He wasn't laughing; not even a smirk. I wondered if he was hurt. "What's the matter?"
He stood up and clasped my hand, pulling me to him. His large palm brushed against my jawbone as he cradled my cheek. All the alarms were going off inside, and on the outside, my hard nipples and damp panties were a testament of how much I wanted this man. He inched forward, strands of his straight brown hair obscuring his eyes. My eyes closed as I felt his lip-ring brush against my own full, bright pink lips. I trembled as it sank in that we were embracing in our first kiss. A kiss that shouldn't be happening.
As if he read my thoughts, he pulled away as quickly as he could and reached for his jacket. I walked towards him, putting my hand on his shoulder. "What?" Noah --"
"Have to get back to Rory," he explained as he slipped his feet back inside of his shoes." He stopped when he saw just how confused and slightly hurt I was. He pulled my hand to his mouth and kissed it softly. "It's been fun." Opening the front door, he winked at me before closing it.
With my back against the door, I stared ahead of me, barely blinking. What the hell just happened?
"How's Rory?" Noah asked as he entered his three bedroom, two-bathroom abode. The toys that lay askew all over the living room with Rory in the middle of the mess answered his question. Instead of smiling at the sleeping tyke, he sighed and cocked a brow at Crystal, who was too busy filing her nails to look up at him. "Crystal," he barked. "Why the fuck is Rory not in his own bed?"
"He's too heavy," she whined. "What was I supposed to do? And I told you about calling me Crystal. My nick is Silver."
Even having a girlfriend with the hottest body in the world didn't compensate for her lack of intelligence and common sense. Noah scooped up Rory in his arms, being careful as he maneuvered his way around the various blocks and toy cards blocking a clear path to the bedroom. Laying the three year old in his bed, he tucked him in and swept the hair out of his face. He had embraced him as his own. Hell, Rory might as well be his son. If it wasn't for their mother high-tailing it out of dodge, maybe the kid would have a better life. When Noah found out that his then 45 year old mother was unhappily pregnant and wanted an abortion, Noah begged her not to. An only child, he had always yearned for someone to play with. Now, as an adult, he wanted nothing more than to take Rory as his own, and give him the best life his mother never could.
Placing a soft kiss on his forehead, he quietly retreated from his bedroom and grimaced as he looked at Crystal. Now fully nude on the couch, she flashed what was once a seductive grin Noah's way. Her fiery-red hair was wild and her green eyes told the story; when in doubt, give it up. Noah adored that some years ago, but now it did nothing for him. "Put your clothes back on, Crystal."
"Whatever. I'm not in the mood tonight." He continued admonishing her as he gathered Rory's toys and put them in his wooden toy chest. "Just tell me how he was."
"Annoying," she scoffed. "First he wanted me to read to him. Then he wanted me to play with him. And when the little bast-- I mean, tyke, finally wore himself out, I tried to pick him up but he was just too darn heavy. You understand, right?" Silence. "Right?" she asked again.
Noah look at her scornfully. "Not right," he growled, trying not to raise his voice. "You know better."
"Whatever! You know, I'm tired of you treating me this way. You wouldn't even have this fucking house if it weren't for me and my dad. Or your job, for that matter."
The bitter laugh that emanated from Noah startled Crystal. The side effects of dating a local socialite. The quintessential rich 'Daddy's Girl.' When they had met in high school, Noah didn't care about her life or her background. He just wanted to hit the sack with her, but Crystal didn't give it up so easy back then. So he waited a very long year before he scored with her. By that time, Crystal had already "fallen in love" with Noah and wanted them to be an official couple. Her wealth never came into play, until his Mom dropped the bombshell that was her pregnancy. Crystal and her father, Norman, really came through for he and Rory. Norman Foyer owned roughly half of the businesses in the suburban town, which made for a very rich man. He also dabbled in real estate, and even allowed Rory and Noah to live in one of his homes, with the price of rent reduced at a considerable rate -- all because of Crystal.
She had done a lot for him. But it still wasn't enough. He didn't love her.
"You know, you're right Crystal. I would not have this house if it weren't for you. I wouldn't have my job if it weren't for you. Thank you." Noah stiffly turned and walked to his bedroom. He was grateful that Crystal didn't live with he and Rory; she constantly complained that the house was too small. Not a far fetched complaint from a girl who was used to only living in large, luxurious homes.
"Silver," she reminded him for the millionth time.
Gritting his teeth with his back turned to her, he dropped his head and turned to look at her. "Right. Silver." He closed the door to his room and sighed. His body stayed tense until he heard the familiar sound of his front door closing. God, that chick drove him nuts. At 23, Noah didn't expect Crystal to want to be a mother to Rory right away, but up until recently he had hoped that she would at least warm up to the premise of being around him on a daily basis. It was clear she hadn't and didn't want to.
His angry thoughts turned to sweet ones as he remembered when Rory and Larissa first met. Rory was shy, like Noah had been as a child. Usually, he didn't take to strangers but when Noah told him that he was spending time with Larissa, before he even saw her, decided to grab flowers for her. Could he tell Ris was a special person ahead of time? Noah sure did. Rory talked about her whenever he recalled his first and so far, only visit with Ris. "Noyah, ah we gowing to see yarissa?" the little man would ask every so often. He spoke just as Noah did as a kid, and it made him laugh.
Then he remembered tonight: how Larissa had sat nervously next to him throughout his whole visit. It was endearing at first because he knew she liked him. He'd gone through the motions a million times before. But he didn't want to do the same old song and dance with her. She didn't just seem different, he already knew she was. Good lord, he could barely keep his eyes off of her nipples that jutted out from beneath her shirt clear as day. God knows how he ached to rip that little flimsy shirt she was wearing off and caress his lips lovingly around what he assumed were beautiful chocolate buds.
As he looked down at his feet, he quickly realized his view was blocked by the tent that had risen in his boxers. Lying on top of his bed covers, he found himself slipping his hand inside of his shorts to wrangle his member. The reason Crystal loved him, as well as other girls, was all thanks to his package. He was blessed with an above average shaft and he couldn't recall a time where a girl didn't want to jump on him right then and there after they saw it. But he wasn't thinking about them. He was thinking about Larissa, and her luscious golden brown skin. He had dated many girls before in the past whenever he and Crystal took "breaks", including Asian, European and even Hispanic. But he had never had the pleasure of laying his eyes upon such a beautiful Black beauty like Larissa. She was positively stunning, without even trying to be.
"Oh," he groaned softly as his clenched fist traveled back and forth around him. It was never Noah's M.O. to go for the girl-next-door type and not too many men did the same. But maybe he should have. Maybe, no, there definitely was a hypothetical trophy to be won for having a gorgeous, classy, hospitable and kind woman on your arm, even more so then having some smoking hot bimbo by your side. Larissa was that classy woman. She was definitely gorgeous and so, so kind. Bashful. It was refreshing to meet someone like her. His mind outlined the shape of her body and he grunted as the first trickle of his seed dribbled down his hand. He wasn't there yet, but the thought of her body made him so damn close.