Loving James Ch. 04byzolia_lily©
I left the party feeling cold and hot, almost numb.
What had just happened?
I started walking down the street towards home. All I felt was shocked.
I had never expected this. Granted, I'd never expected Alex to like me in the way he did and I'd never expected to start dating one of my friends, or even to fall into this as easily as I had...
I stopped at the end of the street and looked at my feet.
Alex... he couldn't have meant me to hear him. Which meant what? That he was saying things about me behind my back? But what did that mean? That this whole thing was just a joke to him? I couldn't believe that.
I didn't understand how this had happened. Or why.
The whole thing made me feel sick. This felt like nothing more than some great surreal cosmic joke.
I'd never expected this. Things had been so comfortable. So easy. And now they were over? How could they be over?
I started walking again, more slowly, then stopped and turned around.
I didn't want it to end like this.
It was suddenly really clear to me that I couldn't let go like this. I couldn't even remember what he'd said anymore. Only what I'd said and the look on his face. And there was my own growing realisation that I almost didn't care what he'd said. I could forgive that. But I'd never be able to forgive myself for letting him go like this.
And after what I'd said... and, Christ, I'd left him alone with Timothy fucking Blake of all people.
I broke into a run.
I had to get back to the party.
I leant against the cupboard, my teeth clenched so hard my whole head hurt. This had to be one of the worst nights ever.
Andrew had shut up, for which I was incredibly grateful, but he was still bleeding in torrents and I was still standing there, waiting for him to be well enough to drive me home. Or to James' house.
I wanted to go to James' more than anything, but I did not want Andrew to be there when I saw him. It would be awful enough without the addition of an audience.
I'd thought about starting off by going all cliché on him and throwing pebbles at his window, but I was afraid he'd ignore me or I'd break one or find I'd got the wrong room and wake his sister up instead. So instead I was considering knocking and if he didn't answer then I'd progress to ringing the doorbell. If people were asleep or even just home then hopefully he wouldn't be able to ignore me. And if he did then throwing pebbles could always be plan B.
But what if he hadn't gone home?
And what was I going to say to him even if he was there?
Christ, I was an idiot. I wasn't even sure he'd ever actually really wanted to date me in the first place. He'd started dating me after finding out how I felt, not because he'd come up with the idea on his own. And now this? As if he wasn't thinking he was well shot of me.
I should have been doing everything I could have done to make him fall in love with me, and instead I'd ruined everything.
Andrew was swearing about his shirt again. The party was still going on out there. My head fucking hurt.
A movement caught my eye and I looked up.
James was standing in the kitchen.
My heart pounded in my ears. My eyes stung with tears.
He was still here?
"What happened to you?" James asked Andrew, sounding very surprised. All the same, he was watching me more than Andrew.
Andrew looked up and scowled at me too. "Alex got in a fight and I sacrificed my face to save him." He said bitterly.
"Let me see." James said shortly. Andrew pulled the tissues away and James put his hand on his forehead- but not like he was taking his temperature. He had the heel of his hand on Andrew's forehead and his fingers in his hair. He tilted Andrew's face from one side to the other, eyeing his nose critically. "You're fine." He said shortly. "Put some pressure back on the bridge of your nose for a while."
Andrew glared at him too, muttered something about his shirt, but James was looking at me.
"Why'd you say that stuff?" He asked after an interminable silence, weirdly calmly.
"It didn't mean anything!" I snapped back. If he was going to forgive me couldn't he just say it already? "What's the big deal? You don't want people to know you were the one being fucked?"
That made him angry. "Alex, I don't care who knows what we do or how we do it! That's not the point!"
"I say crap all the time and it was nothing so I don't get why you're-"
"Because you acted like I was some notch on your bedpost, like being top makes you a big man, like it makes you better than me. You're my first, Alex. That really hurt." James was pink, looked totally sincere.
"It didn't mean anything!" I repeated.
"So why'd you say it?" He demanded with uncharacteristic heat.
"Because it was him, and you knew and you just left, like everything has to be on your terms,-"
"On my terms? Alex, all I want is to know whether this means something to you or if this is just some kind of a joke. Is this serious or not?"
What? I stared at him in shock. Wasn't it over already? Or maybe not, since he'd come back... I shook my head hastily, realising I'd been staring at him with my mouth open. "Of course it's serious!" I objected.
"Then why don't you act like it?"His voice had fallen. He sounded weary more than anything. And that actually kind of scared me.
"James, this is just one thing," I tried to sound reasonable. I think I failed.
"Why were you trying to impress him? You don't even like him."
"I was not trying to impress him!"
"Then why did-"
"Because I'm afraid of him, ok? And it was like, maybe I wouldn't if I wasn't, I don't know, available to him anymore. I don't know, James, I just... I didn't mean anything." I finished miserably. What else was there I could say?
"It did mean something." James said quietly. The look on his face...
I looked at him in horror, my eyes filling with tears. It was stupid, seeing as he'd already left me once tonight. But it struck me that maybe he hadn't come back because he was regretting leaving me at all. Maybe he just wanted to leave me less publicly. Maybe he just liked closure.
"I'm sorry." He said with a sigh. "I shouldn't have left, you're right." He went on softly. Wait- he was... apologising to me? "I should have been there. I should have..." I stared at him. He looked so worried.
James finally tried a ginger sort of smile.
He was smiling at me? But... but smiling was good!
I didn't even have to try to smile back. It just sort of happened. And then James' hands landed on my hips and his smile got bigger. Mine got more watery.
And then he leant forward. It was surreal, like in slow motion. His lips finally touched mine and I never wanted the moment to end. It was an undemanding kiss, just sweet and soft and tender. I leaned into him, wanting more, holding onto his shirt and pressing my body closer to his.
I put my arms around his neck and hung onto him tight when we pulled back. James rested his head against mine and we held on in silence.
"Wait," Andrew's voice suddenly broke the silence. "So that's it? Everything's cool? Just like that?"
"There's a reason you're single, Andrew," I said pointedly, then stopped. Maybe I shouldn't be saying things (especially things about being single...) so soon ... but James grinned at me.
"You know, this party's getting kind of boring." He said, still smiling at me. "What say we go?"
I grinned back at him. This was good. This was better than good! This was better than I'd ever hoped. "Yeah." I agreed, slipping my hand into his.
"Wait!" Andrew said, following us to the kitchen door. "You can't go yet! Aren't you going to scream at each other? What the hell just happened?"
I made a face at Andrew over my shoulder. If he was being pouty then obviously his nose wasn't as badly hurt as he thought.
James suddenly stopped. I was going to ask why but then I saw Tim in front of him.
So not good.
"You're back." Tim said flatly.
"Yeah. Couldn't stay away." James said, beaming. "See, I realised that I can't live without Alex's cock. You know. Oh, wait, that's right- being the prick that you are you missed out, didn't you?" Tim was going almost as pink as I was. James stepped forward then, chest to chest with Tim. He said something, but he said it so softly that I couldn't hear what he said. I doubted anyone but Tim would have been able to hear.
Tim sneered, but James shot him another sweet smile and then dragged me after him out of the room.
I really really wanted to know what James had said.
James laughed as we made it out of the house and pulled me into his arms again. I clutched him back tightly, buried my face against him. His arms tightened around me and we stood unmoving for quite some time.
"Want to come back to my house?" he asked.
"What about your parents?" I asked. I didn't know them by any more than sight, but I knew my mum probably wouldn't be too happy if I brought my new boyfriend home without any prior warning.
"We can sneak in," James answered, grinning.
Was he hearing himself? "Really? They won't be upset?"
He shrugged. "They probably won't mind. Well, mum won't. And dad doesn't argue. They're pretty laidback about things. As long as we're not... you know. Like, naked or something. That's crossing the line."
"Oh." I wasn't sure I really wanted to go to his house, but I was very, very sure that I was not ready to stop holding his hand and go home. "Well. Only if you tell me what you said to Tim."
James gave me a curious look, then grinned and shrugged. "Just told him that if he or his tiny dick ever bother you again I'll hurt him."
I blinked. "I never said-"
James looked surprised. "What, you mean...? He's actually...?"
I coughed a little. Should never have raised this topic. "Uh. Can we like forget it already?"
He just laughed and pulled me along after him.
I woke up much warmer than usual, then remembered Alex. All these limbs weren't my own. Only the top of his head was above the blankets, a vivid red tuft of hair. He was holding onto my arm like a teddy bear, which was cute, but I really really needed to get to the bathroom, and that was going to complicate things.
I tried to slide my arm away but Alex mumbled and pulled my arm closer. Damn.
I waited for a moment, hoping he might have fallen back to sleep, then tried again.
This time his head popped up and he was wide awake.
Well, sort of.
"Hmmph?" he said, or rather mumbled.
"I just need my arm back." I whispered.
He blinked at me then looked down as if trying to figure out where my arm was, then his face went pink and he abruptly let go.
"Sorry," he muttered, letting his head fall back onto the pillow. I hopped over him and got out of bed, then looked back at him. He had his eyes shut again but I didn't think he was asleep.
I planted a kiss on his lips, then scurried off to the bathroom.
On my way back down the hall my one and only intention was to crawl back into bed with Alex and just cuddle for a while. Problem being, mum was already knocking on my bedroom door.
"Ah- mum..." I said, wincing inwardly and hoping I sounded vaguely normal.
"Ah." She responded with an expression of enlightenment, looking at me and then at my door again. She was in her favourite pink silky pyjamas and her hair was just short of everywhere. "I didn't think that sounded like your voice."
I offered a hopeful smile.
"Who's that, then?" she asked.
"Alex." I said. "We got in late."
She nodded and looked at me again. "James..." she said, with a vague warning tone in her voice.
"Mum, there was this fight and it was just easiest-" she held her hand up to stop me and I took the hint and shut up.
"I just want you to remember," she said, very calmly and very clearly. I waited for the bomb to drop. "-that your room shares a wall with your sister's." She raised her eyebrows at me and I stared at her.
That was it? Seriously? I had expected a whoooole lot worse.
There was a thud and suddenly my bedroom door was flung open, and Alex, pulling on a shoe and with his shirt on back to front, was revealed mid flight.
He froze when he saw us, looked between us mutely, mouth open. He let his foot drop back to the ground.
"Alex." My mum said, holding out her hand, ignoring her state of undress and Alex's rather accomplished impression of a rabbit caught in headlights. "Nice to meet you properly at last."
Alex straightened jerkily and shook her hand, managed something polite to the same effect.
"You boys going out today?" she asked.
I looked at Alex and he looked at me and then we both shrugged.
"Right." Mum said pleasantly, then shook her head and headed down the hall.
"Are- are you going?" I asked Alex. I was kind of surprised.
"She knocked on the door and I thought she was going to freak," Alex hissed. "I kinda just threw my clothes on in preparation for getting tossed out of your house. James, I'm not even awake yet!"
"Your shirt's on back to front."
"It is? Oh," I pushed him back into my room and shut the door, then pulled Alex's shirt over his head. His hair wonderfully mussed.
I wanted to muss it more.
"Sleep ok?" I asked, but I hesitated with his shirt in my hands. I kind of liked having him shirtless. He had really nice, soft white skin. I wanted to touch him again.
"Yeah," he agreed with a frown. He was all pouty. "Until your mum scared the living cr-"
"Hey," I interrupted, pushed him so he stepped back, until he stepped back against my wardrobe with a soft thud. I stood almost flush against him, basically pinning him there.
"What-" he started, but then he stopped talking. He looked a little startled. I waited for the inevitable comment. Instead he just blinked at me.
"Alex?" I asked, smiling at him. Normally it didn't take this much to provoke him. I trailed the tip of my finger down his chin and then down his throat and over his chest and stomach... right the way to his jeans. He shivered slightly. His eyes were really wide again. "Aren't you going to say something?" He stared at me for a moment and then his eyes narrowed.
The pink tip of his tongue moistened his lips.
"Either kiss me or fuck off," he said softly with a certain menace. His voice was all gravelly and his eyes were all dark. He was so adorable I wanted to just eat him. I grinned.
And took the first option, of course.
We mooched around the house for a while, but after mum caught us making out for the second time we decided to go to Uni and do some study in the library.
I was probably still going to get a lecture when I got home anyway.
The library was quiet. Much better than at exam time when suddenly every chair and table was filled.
"Need any books?" I asked. Al shook his head, so I lead the way to the group of tables by the windows on the second floor we normally used. We sat down and pulled out the notes and books we'd come prepared with, and, feet touching under the table, got to work.
Well, I did.
Alex seemed more interested in examining his stationary, and fidgeting than anything else. He finally seemed to settle, but when I looked up I realised he was watching me, and not reading or writing anything at all.
"Ok?" I asked.
He nodded, reluctantly picking up a pen, and bent his head. I was pretty sure he wasn't studying.
I sighed and stood up. "Need a book. Help me find it?" Not as lame as you might think. The library's collection of books had outgrown the space available, so with the shelves they kept adding to accommodate the additions the arrangement got more and more confusing and less and less logical every year.
He nodded and rose as well.
We left our stuff (hey, there were plenty of other tables people could pick- and it's not like we were carrying anything valuable) and headed down the rows of books.
"What's wrong?" I asked straight out.
Alex blinked. "Nothing." He said defensively.
"Yes, there is." I argued. He gave me a hard look, his jaw set.
"No, there's not." He said icily.
"Fine." I said, and started browsing the shelf. If Alex had bothered to look around he'd have known it was a sham since I wasn't studying anything to do with Chinese foreign policy.
"How come you didn't crack it at Tim?" He suddenly demanded. "How come you yelled at me and not him?"
"Because Tim's a dick and everyone knows it. You, however, are my boyfriend." I looked back at Alex. He was leaning against a shelf, frowning at the ground. "Besides," I said, wondering whether I should be feeling annoyed or worried. "I came back, right?" I glanced at Al again, but he wasn't looking up still. I sighed and pulled a book out at random.
His voice broke the silence suddenly. "Do you love me?"
The book tumbled from my hand and I stared at him. He was flushed and worried looking. His eyes flickered down again and his shoulders were hunched.
"We only just started going out." I said reflexively, more than a little defensive.
Alex looked at his feet, nodded mutely.
I bent down and picked up the book, shoved it back randomly into a shelf. When I looked back up Alex was walking away.
"Alex!" I ran the few steps after him and grabbed his shoulder.
"Why are you even going out with me?" he demanded, finally meeting my gaze. Tears brimmed in his eyes.
"Because, idiot," I wrapped my arms around him tightly so he couldn't turn and run again. "There's something there. I don't know if it's love. I've never done this before... but it could be. Why do you keep running away?"
Alex looked determinedly at my shoulder.
"Babe," I said gently, and simply pulled him into my arms.
Alex held me back. But I would have felt better if he'd held onto me tighter.
"Come back to my place?" He whispered softly.
Back to his place? I looked at him. He looked edgy. Hungry.
I hesitated. Ok. So the sex thing was obviously turning out to be a big deal. Not that I didn't want it... but... Alex. Alex seemed to need.
"Ok." I agreed, letting out a breath and feeling my insides all wind together.
Alex looked a little softer, a little more collected.
He pulled my hand.
James' body was wonderfully solid and warm against mine. I stroked my fingers down the line of his spine. I wanted him now.
His hand stroked me gently, his mouth hardly leaving mine.
"James," I needed to say more, but words were eluding me.
James grinned at me and straddled my waist on his knees. My dick slid in the heat between his cheeks.
"What the fuck?" I demanded hoarsely. "I thought you were supposed to be the top..."
"But I am on top," James said. Prick was teasing me.
"You fucking know wh-what I-"
"Did you just stammer?" James interrupted me.
"Fuck you!" How many years had it been since I'd stammered? Obviously being pinned underneath my naked boyfriend after having been tortured by his hands and mouth until I was desperate for relief made me forget how to speak properly again.
James laughed softly and shifted. Now he was between my legs. Right where I wanted him.
His fingers drifted lower but he hesitated. This was something I hadn't really thought about. I hadn't wanted James to be with anyone else, but I really hadn't thought about him still being a virgin when he got to me.
"Well?" I asked. James brushed his nose along mine.
"What, just like..." He hesitated. He hadn't hesitated before.
"You're not going to hurt me just by touching me. Just use some lube before you start with your fingers or I will kick you out of the house without any of your clothes."