tagRomanceRevenge of the Nerd Ch. 06

Revenge of the Nerd Ch. 06


"Jeff, this is Ashley. I wanted to tell you I'm sorry for how I acted."

He didn't say anything. I assumed he thought there should be more.

So I gave it to him.

"I've been with some pretty inexperienced, clumsy guys. They kind of handled my, breasts, like they were stress balls. It was painful and uncomfortable and I sort of flashed back to those experiences without trying to understand what you were doing or what I was actually feeling. I overreacted. I'm really sorry."

I radiated sincerity because, perhaps for the first time with a man, I was sincere, without artifice.

"I'm sorry it made you feel uncomfortable. I had no idea what I had done wrong. I could have explained if you had asked," he said.

"I know."

How had he made it to eighteen years old and remained this naïve?

"I'm not saying it was your responsibility to ask. When you feel a visceral response to something, you just react. You don't stop to analyze it. I'm just saying I did it for a reason. I'm sorry it made you feel bad."

"Visceral? Do you always talk like that? Sometimes you sound like a thesaurus."

He laughed. "You're actually hearing me trying not to do that. I really work on, well, trying to say things in a way most people can understand. Sometimes the perfect word jumps into my mind and out of my mouth."

"I'm not complaining. It's just surprising to hear sometimes: visceral, disingenuous. Anyway, I wanted to know if we could give this another try. I promise not to go crazy again."

He had a soothing voice. He was either well-practiced or sincere, and he clearly was not well-practiced.

"It wasn't crazy. It was just an understandable reaction given your experience. Enough said. The incident is forgotten. So what did you have in mind?"

He was way more understanding of me than I would have been of him, or would have been of myself for that matter. If he would only yell at me I would feel more like I deserved another chance.

"Study. Thursday? My place?" I asked.

"I've got something Thursday. What about the weekend?"

I had not been turned down; I had been postponed. I was not used to being postponed. People changed their schedules to accommodate me. This was new territory. Practically everything about Jeff was new territory.

Friday and Saturday nights were prime dating and party nights at school. As much as I wanted to experience him, I had to maintain my standing in my social circle.

"What about Sunday night?"

"It's a date."

As Sunday approached, I had a sense of anticipation which I tried hard to suppress. This was just another date, and not a top quality date at that. But the knot in my insides didn't agree.

It couldn't just be that he might have something to teach me sexually.

He didn't fawn over me. He had refused to kiss me, just walked away like I was rancid fish.

He thought of me as intelligent, which was correct though I'm not sure anybody else had recognized it. He thought I had a nice personality when I wasn't acting like Her Royal Highness. Basically, he was completely unexpected and had me all shook up.

I don't know what he did, but I found myself studying Sunday afternoon. I'm not sure why. I think I just wanted to be sure I would have time to spend with him before he left. I must have misjudged because I had little to do when he arrived.

He noticed.

I had to explain.

"I guess I've been doing my work and I'm caught up. When we set this up I thought I'd have much more to do. But you can do your work. I'll find something to read. It's just nice to be here together."

That was the first time I had ever said that and I think I meant it.

"That's nice of you to say. I like spending time with you too. As far as my work, I'm pretty much up to date myself."

"I thought you had so much to do, all those advanced classes and stuff."

"Yeah, well, I keep up. I put in the time. In fact, most of the time you don't see me I'm studying."

I suspected the truth was that the work was easy for him. Nonetheless, I accepted his generous distortion of the truth.

"Well, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. You need to have some fun."

"Well, Jill, you're going to have to show Jack how to break out of his drudgery."

"Okay. Let me put on some music and we'll dance."

I found the campus station on the radio and started moving to the beat. He didn't.

"What's the problem, Jack?"

"I kind of don't know how to dance like that. I took ballroom dancing lessons but I never learned this."

He was proving the nerd stereotype, though I thought they waited until they were older for that. Ballroom? I took his hand.

"Come on, just move to the beat. You can feel the beat, can't you? You must be able to do that for your ballroom dancing." I showed him how to move. "Just feel the music."

He did surprisingly well. I had expected he would be awkward, but he didn't move like your average nerd. Maybe it was the ballroom lessons.

Something slow came on. He had a good idea how to get me to move with him and I loved being held against him. I could feel his confidence.

When the song ended I turned off the radio.

"There's something else I would like to do. I really, incredibly loved it when we were kissing. It was by far the best I've ever had. Do you think you could work some more of your magic?"

He laughed.

"It was very nice. I liked it too. But I think you have the wrong impression about what happened."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"You thought I was really good, didn't you?"

"You better believe it."

"Not entirely true. I'm competent. There really isn't a lot of variation as to what you can do. It wasn't skill, it was mostly you."

"What are you talking about? It was both of us kissing and I gotta tell you, I've had enough experience to tell you that you were very good."

"What were you thinking when you started kissing me?" he asked. "You were thinking about the first time, weren't you? And when you did, you probably decided you'd show me what kissing was all about, that I wasn't as special as Jen said. Wasn't that how you were feeling?"

Did he read my diary?

"Well, kind of. But you made it great."

"No. You made it great. You wanted to show me what knee-wobbling, passionate kissing was all about, so you did.

"But that put you in a mood to enjoy knee-wobbling, passionate kissing. You were primed and ready to go. About all I had to do was not slobber down your chin. You gave passion. You felt passion. You were in a perfect frame of mind to enjoy it, so you did."

"I don't believe that," I said. "You had skill. You had technique."

"You probably can't even describe what I did. It wasn't because my tongue moved to this spot or that. It was because you were emotionally involved, not in me, but in kissing. If you got the same technique from a poodle, would you say it was great kissing?"

"Yuk. What a disgusting thought."

"Exactly. The first time, your attitude was so lousy, nothing I could have done would have been any good for you. The second time your attitude was so good that almost nothing I could have done would have made it bad for you."

"Well, maybe," I conceded. "But I still have my doubts."

"You know, it's the same for most things. If you go in with the attitude that it's going to be a positive experience, that you're going to enjoy yourself, you almost always will. When you go with a chip on your shoulder, you rarely enjoy it."

That resonated. When I went to a party with an attitude, it always sucked.

How did he know so much about people that he didn't have to know anything about kissing? Or did he? He was always surprising me and that was scary. I'm not a big fan of surprises. I like to know what to expect.

"Well, if the proper attitude is all that's required for a hot session of kissing, I plan to enjoy the hell out of it."

"Then I guess I'm going to be really good," Jeff said.

And he was. Or I was. Or we were. However it works. I was thoroughly aroused and I was ready for much more. I took his hand and led him toward the bedroom.

At my door he resisted.

"You go in. I want to get something. I'll be right in. Don't start without me. Or do if you want to."

I started to undress. If he was as good as Jennifer said, I didn't want to waste any time getting out of my clothes.

I heard noises from what sounded like the kitchen. Did he need to eat something to prepare himself because he was expecting such a strenuous session? Just a whimsical thought.

He appeared at my door with his hands behind his back. "Why did you get undressed?" He was genuinely disappointed. "That's part of the experience. Well, we can still have a good time."

He had some nerve telling me what the experience required. He moved to my night table and put a bowl down on it. It was filled with ice cubes.

I started to laugh.

"This is your big technique? You're going to drip melting ice cubes on me like Mickey Rourke did in 9 ½ weeks? Geeze, what an original thought."

He stood shaking his head. "I, you, can't even …" Then he turned and walked out of my room.

"Hey, where are you going? I'm just saying…"

What was I saying? Was my objective to drive him away?

I heard the front door slam. Did I want this experience, this relationship, if it was a relationship, to fail?

Maybe I was sabotaging it because I was afraid it would end in disaster.

Maybe I was sabotaging it because I was afraid it would end in success and what would that mean about who I was?

The first time I met him I challenged him about kissing. Then I blew him off for his handling of my breasts. Now I ridiculed him for wanting to try something with ice cubes. Maybe it would have been exciting even if it was cliché.

I was pissed. But I wasn't sure who I was pissed at.

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