Suddenly he stops. He turns me around to face his bed and bends me over the edge. I’m panting, out of breath, while he flips my skirt up to expose my ass, running his hands over my bare skin and squeezing my cheeks.
“Is this okay?” he asks softly, running the head of his cock against my ass.
“Yes,” I say, desperate for him to be inside me again.
He shoves my panties down and plunges deep, holding onto my hips. I moan at the sensation of fullness and push back against him. Wanting, needing him to get me off.
It occurs to me that my butt is right there, out in the open, impossible to be missed in the rays of late afternoon sun streaming in through the open blinds. And yet it doesn’t seem to matter anymore. What I’ve learned during all my naked encounters with Conor is that the man doesn’t care about my soft tummy and the dimples on my butt.
Hell, forget care—he doesn’t even notice. The other night when I was complaining about cellulite on the backs of my thighs, he stood there behind me and humored me for five minutes, searching and squinting and insisting he couldn’t see anything. Then he ate me out and I forgot what I was complaining about.
Great sex has a way of building your confidence, I suppose. Or maybe I’m just growing up a little.
With every stroke our voices grow louder. I fist the sheets in my hands, legs trembling, pushing back to meet his deep thrusts.
“Fuck, babe. You feel so good.” Conor reaches his hand around me to rub my clit as he urges me to my orgasm.
Biting my lip, I still can’t muffle the sound when I finally come, riding his dick.
“Hey!” Three loud knocks pound against the bedroom door. “Some of us are trying to study. Keep it down in there unless you’re going to invite us to join!”
“Fuck off, Foster,” Conor shouts back.
I stifle a laugh, which makes Conor groan through his teeth as my body clenches and shakes around him. He stands me upright at the foot of his bed, squeezing my breasts in his hands from behind, as he makes short, quick thrusts to find his own climax. Soon he’s shuddering, hugging me tight as he comes inside me.
“Why does it only get better?” he croaks, dropping his chin on my shoulder.
After he’s discarded the condom, we lie together in his bed recovering from the elated exhaustion.
“We should probably start doing this at your apartment more,” he grumbles. “I think they’re coming home earlier just to catch us.”
“Yeah, you’re going to have to make them leave so I can walk out of here. Hmmm. Or maybe we should get a rope ladder I can hang out your window.”
I like drawing little shapes on Conor’s abdomen as I lie across his chest. His muscles contract under my touch as I tickle him ever so lightly. He hates it, but tolerates it because he knows it amuses me. Then I really hit a ticklish spot and he pinches my ass as a warning not to start something I can’t finish.
“Nah, don’t sweat it,” he says in response to my escape ideas. “It’s not a walk of shame so much as a strut down the red carpet. After today, expect applause.”
I laugh. “I don’t know if that’s better.”
“Or I can threaten them.” Conor kisses the top of my head. “Whatever works for you.”
About an hour later, Foster bangs on the door again to ask if we want to grab a bite with them at the diner. I’m starving, so we take turns in the shower of Conor’s en suite bathroom and then get dressed.
“So,” I say, wrapping my hair up in a bun, “have you talked any more to your mom and Max?”
Conor sighs as he sits on the edge of the bed pulling on a fresh shirt. “No. I mean, I’ve spoken to my mom. And she’s texted me a couple times to call Max. I’ve made an excuse about class or studying or whatever. Said I’d do it later.”
“So you’re avoiding him.” I know this isn’t easy for Conor. Confessing was a huge step in the right direction, but the hard work isn’t over yet. Right now, though, his anxiety about talking to his stepfather is winning out over his better judgment.
“I keep thinking if I wait another day, I’ll figure out how to talk to him, you know? I’ll know what to say. I’m just…” He rubs his face, furiously combing his fingers through his damp hair.
“Nervous,” I supply. “I get it. I would be scared, too. But eventually it’s going to happen. My best advice is close your eyes and bite down.”
“I’m embarrassed,” he admits, leaning forward to slip on his socks. “I’ve always known that Max doesn’t think much of me, and now I’ve gone and proved him right. I knew better. Back then, I mean. I just got so angry and I fucked up.”
“That’s all you have to say.” I stand between his legs, wrapping my arms around his broad shoulders. “Tell him the truth. You made a dumb mistake that you regret, it got way out of hand, and you’re sorry.”
Conor draws me closer, hugging me to his chest. “You’re right.”
“Have they said anything about what’s going to happen to Kai?”
“I didn’t mention his name. I told Kai I wouldn’t if he left me alone. As it is, Max doesn’t want to press charges since insurance paid out. It’d be more hassle than it’s worth. So that’s a small victory, I guess.”
“You’ll do the right thing.” I kiss him on the cheek. Because I have faith in him. And I know as well as anyone what a difference it makes when there are people who believe in you. “In other news, my birthday is on Thursday. I was thinking about getting people together at Malone’s. Nothing big. Just hang out, have a few drinks.”
“Whatever you want, babe.”
“Yo! Let’s go!” Foster bangs on the door again. “Or I’m coming in there and getting weird.”
By the time I leave campus after class on Thursday, I have two missed calls from Max. I know I can’t avoid him much longer, but boy do I keep trying. When I first confessed to him and my mother, I was kind of in a blind stupor of guilt and panic. Now that my head is clearer, I realize there’s no part of me that wants to have the conversation that’s coming. Especially not today.
I put Taylor through hell over this bullshit with Kai. The only thing I’m worried about now is giving her a perfect birthday. I know she’s never had a serious boyfriend before, and I’m taking that to mean all the usual clichés are still new to her. That means flowers.
An obnoxious number of flowers.
An ecological massacre of flowers.
At the florist in Hastings, I try to relay this request, which for some reason is more difficult than I expected.
“What’s the occasion?” the middle-aged woman asks. She’s got a Vermont hippie vibe about her, and the whole place smells like a head shop. A flowery head shop.
“My girlfriend’s birthday.” I walk around the store, studying the pre-made arrangements and bouquets in the refrigerators. “I want a lot. Something really big. Or maybe several.”
“What are her favorite flowers?”
“No idea.” I feel like roses would be fine, but then I’m thinking maybe something more unique. Less expected.