Beauty and the Geek Ch. 20byfrozenhero1©
PART 1 - Two Kisses
Haley scowled at a stubborn smudge staining one of the jewelry display cases, spraying more glass cleaner on its surface. She attacked the annoying smear with a wad of paper towel, smiling triumphantly when it disappeared. Haley liked the store's glass displays to be pristine when she was working; people wanted to see the jewelry, not dirty fingerprints. As she was putting the cleaning products away beneath a counter, Haley saw a young brunette walking into the store dressed in a pair of scandalously-revealing hot pant shorts and a tube top.
Normally Miley's eyes would be drawn to all the jewelry glittering from every corner of the store, but as soon as she entered from the mall she couldn't take her eyes off the girl behind the counter. Haley was a stunningly beautiful blonde with wavy hair worn in a Farah Fawcett style. She was wearing a black pants suit and heels which hinted at her fabulous figure.
"Wow," Miley said as she approached one of the display counters, "When Charlie said you were cute I didn't realize he meant drop-dead gorgeous."
Haley smiled, though she colored slightly in the cheeks and looked a bit confused, "I'm sorry?"
"Hi," Miley greeted, "I'm Miley, Charlie White's girlfriend? Well, fiancé actually. You're Haley, right?"
"Oh, yeah," Haley nodded, recognizing Miley. "I've actually seen you before, in the mall with Charlie. It's nice to finally meet you. How is he, by the way?"
"He's much better," Miley replied. "In fact, today is his first day back to work. I just dropped him off."
Haley seemed relieved to hear Charlie was doing well, "That's so wonderful, I'll have to go say hi to him later when I get a break."
"I wanted to come by and thank you," Miley said, "for saving his life I mean. If you hadn't have found him that night and called the ambulance, who knows what might have happened."
Haley smiled at Miley, "You're welcome. I didn't really do anything other than dial 911, but I'm so happy he's going to be okay. Charlie seems like a really sweet guy."
"He is," Miley agreed. "Listen, can I ask you something?"
"Sure," Haley lifted her brows curiously.
"Where do you get your hair done?" Miley asked. "Because it's so fabulous."
Charlie wandered into the small stock room in The House of Spandex, where Chip was unpacking several boxes of magazines and paperback books, "Hey Chip, can I give you a hand?"
"You shouldn't be lifting anything with your bum ribs," Chip warned.
"At least let me help you sort them," Charlie said. "Theo's got the register covered and I need something to do."
"Yeah, okay," Chip agreed. "It sure is great having you back, Charlie. We missed you around here."
"It's good to be back," Charlie replied. "It was driving me crazy sitting at home while my mom treated me like a piece of fragile china."
"Whatever," Chip rolled his eyes and tore open a box, placing it on a counter for Charlie to sort through. "I bet you were surrounded by hot girls, waiting on you hand and foot, the whole time."
Charlie laughed, "I guess Miley was around a lot..."
"And Stacy Sullivan, too. Right? She was even in here buying comics for you." Chip bumped Charlie's arm with a teasing elbow, "I'm sure you had it real rough. You hang out with more hot girls than a rapper."
Charlie grinned, "Okay, maybe it wasn't so bad. She mentioned you by the way."
"Who?" Chip bent over to pick up another box.
"Stacy. She thinks you're cute."
Chip dropped the box, causing paperback books to spill out all over the floor.
Brian dug in his pocket as he sat in McDonalds for lunch, pulling out a buzzing cell phone. He glanced at the screen, smiled, and then flipped it open, "Hey Sam."
"Guess what?" Sam asked in an excited voice.
"Um," Brian swallowed some diet cola. "Marvel Comics called and they want to pay Charlie and me a million dollars to publish Captain Darkness?"
Sam giggled, "Not quite; still working on that. But my news is almost as good."
"You know that interview Miley hooked me up with? I got the job!"
"That's awesome," Brian smiled brightly. "But I thought you said you'd have to come to Tallahassee and do a personal interview?"
"I thought I'd have to," Sam explained. "But I did two phone interviews, and then they called me this morning and offered me the position. I start next month, which means I only have two weeks to move to Tallahassee."
"I'm sure Charlie and I can help find you an apartment by then," Brian offered. "And I'll even come get you."
"You'd do that for me?"
"Sure," Brian replied. "I'll bring a U-Haul truck."
Sam laughed on the other end, "That would be so awesome, I can't believe how sweet you are."
"I may be sweet, but you have to promise to go out on a date with me once you're here. That means dinner as well as a movie."
"I'd love to," Sam replied in a beaming voice. "I can't wait to see you, Brian."
Charlie winced as he sat down at a table in the mall's food court, having twisted wrong and feeling a twinge from his healing ribs. He realized he had pushed himself at work that morning and made a silent promise to take it easier after lunch.
Opening his carton of milk, Charlie heard someone call his name from behind. He pivoted, trying not to twist his torso too much, and spotted Haley.
"Hey Charlie," Haley greeted, carrying a tray of Chinese food. "Want some company?"
"I'd love some," Charlie smiled.
Haley set her tray down, then leaned to kiss Charlie's cheek before sitting. "It's so great to see you. How are you feeling?"
"Pretty good," Charlie replied, putting a straw into his milk. "I'm stiff, but I'm glad to be back to work."
"Your girlfriend came by the store this morning," Haley said as she tore open a packet of soy sauce. "She is awesome, by the way."
Charlie grinned, "Yeah, she is."
"We're going shopping after I get off work, tonight."
Charlie looked surprised, "Really? Wow, you guys must have really hit it off. Miley doesn't go shopping with just anyone."
"Yeah, well, she hung around the store for a while this morning and we got to talking." Haley stirred her rice with a plastic fork, "Turns out we have a lot in common."
"Like what?" Charlie asked before taking a bite of his sandwich.
"To start with, we both like shopping, we're both big Lady Gaga fans, and each of us wishes our boobs were bigger."
Charlie laughed shyly, "I'm sure your breasts are just fine."
Haley smirked, "I can see why she adores you. You're such a sweetie."
Stacy sat on her bed sorting through pictures on her laptop from high school, thinking about putting together a scrapbook of memories. For some reason she had been feeling nostalgic ever since her abortion and thought it would be fun to go back to memories of a more carefree time in her life.
Most of the pictures were dominated by Miley and their other high school girlfriends, but as Stacy moved into the pictures from their senior year Charlie and Brian started showing up more and more. She paused on a picture of Brian, recalling how he reacted to the news of her abortion. He seemed relieved when she told him, like the weight of the world had been lifted from his shoulders, which only validated her decision to abort her pregnancy. Brian hadn't been ready to be a father any more than she was prepared to be a mother. She missed him.
The next picture she clicked on was one of her, Miley, Charlie, and Brian at the beach. Stacy smiled as she thought back to the day that photo was taken. It had been the summer before they started college and they all looked so happy. Brian was sill chubby and seemed shy, Miley was blowing a kiss towards the camera, and Charlie was holding Stacy in the air with his arms under her shoulders and knees. Stacy laughed as she remembered that moment; Charlie had scooped her up and Stacy had a surprised but laughing expression in the photo.
Charlie was the best of them, Stacy knew. It was because of Charlie that she and Miley had matured past their high school cliques and stopped judging people by the way they looked or how popular they were. And despite the fact that Charlie had started dating one of the most popular girls at their school he never stopped being his sweet and innocent self; he could have easily turned into a pompous self-absorbed jerk with a girl like Miley on his arm.
She missed Charlie, Stacy realized. They hadn't seen each other much since she moved out of Miley's apartment, and he had always been a good friend. Closing the lid of her laptop, Stacy decided she needed the company of her friends.
"He said 'I'm sure your breasts are just fine' but he was blushing the whole time," Haley recounted as she held up a bra, glancing at the price tag.
Miley giggled, "Charlie doesn't really care how big a girl's breasts are. He's not a boob guy."
"Whatever," Haley said as she and Miley were browsing the lingerie store. "All guys are boob guys."
"Not Charlie," Miley stated. "I mean, don't get me wrong, he'll play with my tits every now and then or suck on my nipples, but he'd much rather play with my butt. He's always squeezing my ass when we make love."
Haley laughed, enjoying Miley's unashamed candor.
"So what about you?" Miley prodded, "We've been shopping for an hour now and you haven't mentioned a boyfriend."
Haley sighed. "Twenty-five years old and single," she lamented. "Pretty pathetic, huh?"
"Seriously?" Miley glanced. "You're totally hot, Haley, guys must be drooling over you all day. You must meet a ton of guys coming into the jewelry store."
"Yeah," Haley nodded. "And they all come in looking to buy something for their wife or girlfriend."
"We need to find you a boyfriend," Miley remarked as she sorted through sets of panties. "Think of how much fun we could have double dating."
"Does Charlie have any friends as sweet as he is?"
"His best friend is Brian, and sometimes he hangs out with these two guys he works with,. They're all sweet, but they're also all wrong for you."
Haley smirked, "Can I ask you something?"
"Yeah, of course," Miley nodded.
"How did you and Charlie hook up? I don't want to sound mean or anything, because I think Charlie is awesome, but he's kind of a..."
"Geek?" Miley finished for her.
Haley winced, hoping Miley wasn't offended. "Yeah. And you're like a total prom queen."
Miley grinned, "That's exactly what we were when we hooked up. But Charlie managed to get my attention and I just fell for him, you know? The way he'd look at me made me melt inside, like I was the most special thing in the world to him. He still looks at me that way."
"That's so romantic," Haley said, holding up a teddy. "I have to try this on."
Charlie paused the DVD he was watching when there was a knock on the door. Even though he hadn't moved into Miley's apartment yet, he spent most nights there and had been waiting for her to return from shopping.
"Hey Stace," Charlie greeted after opening the door.
"Hey," Stacy smiled. "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"
Charlie shook his head, "No, not at all. Come on in. I was just watching The Incredible Hulk."
Stacy accepted Charlie's invitation and entered, "Where's Miley?"
"She's out shopping with Haley," Charlie replied, returning to the couch.
Stacy followed, sitting next to Charlie. "Who's Haley?"
"She's this girl who works at the mall. She's actually the one who found me after I got mugged. So what's up?"
Stacy lifted a shoulder, "I was sitting at home and feeling lonely. I thought I'd come see what you and Miley were up to."
"Well, you can hang out with me?"
Stacy grinned, curling a bare leg beneath her. She was wearing a pair of shorts and a skimpy tank top, "Can you believe this heat? I hate it when it's so humid."
"That's Florida for you," Charlie commented, dressed just as casually in a pair of cargo shorts and a loose tee.
"So how are the ribs?" Stacy wondered.
"They're better every day, but still pretty tender. The worst is trying to get comfortable when I sleep, I'm used to laying on the side they're broken."
"Oh, that's the worst," Stacy said. "I remember when I was a kid and dislocated my shoulder. I couldn't sleep for a week."
"So what about you?" Charlie asked, "How have you been handling things?"
"I'm okay, I guess. I still feel depressed, but it comes and goes. I've been trying to keep myself busy with different things." Stacy suddenly smiled, "I was going through old photos earlier and found one of you, me, Miley, and Brian at the beach last summer."
"The one that wrinkly old guy took of us with your digital camera?"
Stacy nodded and laughed, remembering the old man they asked to take the picture, "Yeah."
"Miley has that one framed in her bedroom," Charlie remarked.
"That day was so much fun," Stacy mused. "Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be that happy again."
"Sure you will," Charlie promised.
"I don't know," Stacy fidgeted with her hands. "I feel so alone lately."
"You've still got me," Charlie said. "I don't have a lot of friends, Stace, but you're definitely one of them."
Stacy turned her gaze to Charlie, smiling at him. "You're the best, Charlie. Seriously."
"Give me a hug," Charlie said, leaning towards Stacy.
Stacy sniffled, feeling vulnerable, but eagerly wrapped her arms around Charlie.
Charlie winced as Stacy squeezed, "Go easy."
"Oh god!" Stacy let go, "I'm sorry, your ribs..."
"It's okay," Charlie smiled. "Sometimes love hurts."
Stacy gazed at Charlie, who was still close. The hug had felt so good and she missed having intimacy with a man. Without even thinking, she closed the gap between them and placed her lips against his.
Charlie was taken completely by surprise as Stacy kissed him. Her lips felt amazingly soft and nice and he actually kissed her back for just a moment, but then he put his hands on her shoulders and broke away.
Stacy stared, stunned by what had just happened, "Oh my god. Charlie, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean... oh god."
Charlie blinked, not sure what had just happened.
"I don't know why I did that," Stacy said as she hurriedly rose from the couch. "I'm such a wreck lately."
"Wait," Charlie urged. "Stacy-"
"Just forget I was here, okay?" Stacy moved for the door, "It didn't happen. Forgive me, Charlie."
Charlie tried to come up with something to say, but his mouth failed to produce any words before Stacy was gone.
"Miley, come in here," Haley called from the small dressing room she was in. "I need your opinion."
Miley peeked out of her own dressing room, making sure no one was looking, then pranced across the fitting area wearing the bra and panties she was trying on.
Haley was modeling the lacy teddy she had been eyeing earlier when Miley slipped in, studying herself in a long mirror.
"That looks really hot," Miley remarked.
"Yeah?" Haley turned her hips as she continued to stare in the mirror, "Oh wow, you too. You have to buy those; purple is definitely your color."
Miley grinned and struck a pose, "I think so too. Plus, these panties are crotchless. Charlie's going to love them."
Haley's eyes were drawn to Miley's reflection, "You have the cutest figure. I would kill for your stomach."
Miley checked herself out in the mirror, standing beside her newest friend, "Well, I'd kill for your hips."
"Whatever. Your hips are perfect."
"They're too bony," Miley complained, fidgeting with the panties she was wearing. "Charlie's grandma says they're not very good 'birthing hips'."
Haley blinked at that, "Birthing hips?"
Both girls suddenly started laughing and giggling.
"I better go change back," Miley said, still chuckling as she turned for the dressing room door.
"Wait," Haley stopped her, taking Miley's wrist.
Miley turned back around, wondering what Haley wanted.
Haley didn't say anything at first, simply looking into Miley's eyes. She needed a moment to build up the courage to speak, "Miley, I hope this doesn't freak you out but I really like you. I'm having so much fun, and you're so gorgeous."
Miley bit her lower lip. She'd never had another female flirt with her, and certainly not in such an obvious manner. She wasn't sure how to react, but she was surprised by the fact that she felt flattered and a little excited. "I'm not freaked out," she murmured.
Stepping closer, Haley touched a light hand to Miley's shoulder. The two girls stared at each other for a moment, trying to gauge what the other was thinking.
When Haley moved even closer Miley knew exactly what was about to happen, but was paralyzed by a conflict occurring inside of her. Part of Miley was screaming at her that she was about to make a mistake. The other part was insanely curious. Unfortunately, neither of her two halves could resolve their battle before Haley's lips were on hers.
Haley's mouth was soft and gentle, and she moved her lips against Miley's with an undeniable passion. Miley couldn't help but respond as the curious side of her gained the upper hand, and before a moment went by the two girls were kissing so passionately that they discovered what the other's tongue tasted like.
A sudden image of Charlie flashed through Miley's thoughts and she had to break the kiss and step back, bumping into the dressing room door as she did so, "I can't do this."
"You can't?" Haley sounded disappointed, licking her lips.
"I mean, I can..." Miley's tongue got tangled, "I-I could. It's not that I-"
"It's okay," Haley interrupted. "I shouldn't have done that, you're probably not into-"
"No," Miley interrupted in turn. "It's not that. I could totally be into it. But not without Charlie; not behind his back. I love him, Haley, and I can't do anything that would result in me hurting him or losing him."
Haley pushed a hand through her bouncy blonde hair, collecting herself. "Are you suggesting we let him watch next time?"
Miley studied Haley, trying to determine how serious she was, but then she saw the mirth in Haley's expression and both girls started laughing again.
When Miley returned home to her apartment she found Charlie sprawled out on the couch, bathed in the glow of the television. She smiled fondly at his sleeping expression and tried to be quiet as she deposited her shopping bags on the floor near the door.
"Hey," Charlie stirred on the couch, squinting towards Miley.
"Hey baby," Miley glanced over her shoulder. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you."
"It's okay. What time is it?
Miley glanced at her cell phone, "Um, almost ten-thirty."
Charlie sat up on the couch and wiped his eyes, "How was shopping?"
Grabbing one small bag in particular, Miley moved towards the couch to join Charlie. "It was fun," she said, sitting beside him. "We had dinner at that new Mexican place, and I bought some sexy new lingerie. But I need to tell you something..."
"Okay," Charlie said with a yawn, muting the television with its remote.
Miley took a deep breath, not sure how Charlie would react, and then blurted, "I kissed Haley."
Charlie turned a blank look towards Miley, "You kissed Haley?"
"I mean," Miley corrected, "she kissed me."
Charlie squinted, "Haley kissed you?"
"In a dressing room, at the lingerie store. I was wearing purple panties."
"You were in a dressing room with Haley, and she kissed you?"
Miley nodded, biting her lip nervously, "Yeah."
Charlie blinked as he tried to process that information, "Is Haley a lesbian?"
"I think she's bi," Miley answered. "Are you mad?"
"I guess not," Charlie replied. "Unless you guys are going to keep kissing?"
"Of course not." Miley touched Charlie's cheek, "I'd only smooch with someone else if we were doing a threesome, or something."
Charlie looked confused, "You want to have a threesome with Haley?"