Authors: K. M. Neuhold
“Oh my goodness, there you are Bradley.” A frazzled looking woman rushes over to us.
“Mommy,” Bradley screeches excitedly.
“Thank you for finding him,” She says releasing a long breath.
Once she hurries away with Bradley I smile at Asher.
“You’re good with kids,” I accuse playfully.
He shrugs and blushes.
“Kids like corny jokes, and I am the king of corny jokes.”
“Okay, lay another one one me,” I insist, bumping my shoulder against his.
“What do you call an alligator in a vest?”
I snort a laugh and Asher’s eyes sparkle with humor. Electricity passes between us as we hold each others gazes for several long seconds. My heart pounds in my chest and I lean forward a fraction of an inch as though our lips are magnetized. At the last second Asher pulls his gaze away and points off down a hallway.
“I think that the star dome is right over there, come on.” He leads the way and I’m left feeling slightly stupid.
“It’s so beautiful, but so depressing,” I murmur as we sit in the theater style seats, gazing at the replica of space swirling above us.
“I guess when you grow up in such a religious household you kind of get this idea that you’re so important because God made you special. But, looking at the universe like this it’s hard to feel any more significant than a single grain of sand,” I explain with awe.
“I used to feel that way, too. But, then I realized something. When the universe was young, before there was anything living on earth, there were stars. When stars die they expel elements and molecules that are the building blocks of life. So we’re intimately connected to the universe in a way that can’t help but make you feel significant. We were stars once, and who knows what we could be when the atoms of these bodies disperse. We could be anything.”
There’s a twinkle of passion in his eyes and his words give me a sense of comfort that I haven’t felt since I was a child.
“That is so beautiful.” I whisper.
I blink back the tears threatening to spill out.
We watch the swirling galaxies in silence for the next few minutes. I notice how comfortable I’m starting to feel with Asher even after just one day of hanging out one on one. Should I feel guilty about hanging out with Asher in spite of having gone on two dates with Brahm? I’m not very familiar with dating rules, I don’t even know if two dates means anything.
“I had my first date this week,” I blurt out awkwardly.
Asher’s expression is guarded.
“Oh? Well, why don’t you tell me about it.”
“His name is Brahm,”
Asher snorts a laugh. I shoot him a warning look.
“Sorry, your date with Brahm, go on.”
“We went out for coffee on Sunday after church group. Then we went to a Christian concert last night.” I tell him.
“So two dates? Do you like him?” Asher asks quietly.
“He’s okay. He’s really polite and definitely the kind of guy I’m used to,” I mutter half heartedly.
“Huh,” Is all Asher says. “Are you hungry?”
I’m keenly aware how quiet I’ve been since Eve told me about her dates with whatever his dumb ass name is. She looks so anxious and regretful as we sit facing each other in the vinyl dinner seats waiting for our food. I need to get the fuck over this. We’re friends, that’s all we can ever be. She’s too good for me anyway. Too sweet, too beautiful, too perfect.
The ache of longing in my chest persists as I look into her sad eyes again. I need to just deal with it.
“So, what was it like being home schooled?” I ask.
Regardless of anything else after hanging out with her today I want to know her better. I want to know everything about Eve Moore.
She says ‘sucked’ like it’s a bad word and for some reason that get’s me all hot and bothered.
“What was the worst part?”
“Gosh, that’s like asking what the worst part of hell is,” She says with a laugh. “I never got to have any friends, except for kids from church. I also wasn’t allowed to ask questions about anything my parents taught me. When I got older I would sneak out of the house sometimes and go to the library to read books about things my parents didn’t want me to know about,” She admits.
“Yeah, and I know it’s stupid but I’ve always been really sad I never got to go to prom,” She blushes as she says this.
God every time she blushes I just want to kiss her and see if I can make her blush deeper.
“That’s not stupid,” I assure her.
“Thanks for today, I had a lot of fun,” She says with a shy smile.
“Anytime Angel, I had fun too,” I say.“Ready to get home?”
I walk her up to her dorm and she hesitates at the door.
“Could you do me a favor?” Eve asks her eyes filled with hope and innocence, her hand resting on the door knob like she’s ready to bolt if need be.
“I guess that depends what the favor is. If it involves nudity, then absolutely,” I tease.
Her face turns bright red and her eyes go wide as saucers.
“I was kidding Angel, what do you need?”
“I signed up for Netflix, but I feel like there’s a lot of stuff that everyone has seen that I’ve never even heard of. Maybe you could help me put the right shows in my watch list?”
She’s too damn adorable for words.
“Sure thing,” I laugh and gesture for her to open the door. Hell if it get's me a few extra minutes with her then I'm game. And, getting a peek into her dorm room is an added bonus.
She bites her lip nervously again before opening the door and leading the way in.
Her dorm is typical; Small space, two beds, desk in the middle with a TV and computer on it. One side of the room is decked out with several posters of shirtless men, a pink bedspread, and mardi gras beads. The other side of the room is plain, baby blue bedspread, no posters, nothing.
“Your side of the room is kind of bare,” I comment. “Didn’t you want to decorate, show off the things you like?”
“I don’t know what I like yet,” She answers with a shrug.
For some reason that statement is just so vulnerable and beautiful, like she’s a blank canvas, and she’s excited to discover all of these things about herself.
Eve stretches out on her bed and pats the empty spot next to her. My heart squeezes and my cock immediately get's some very dirty ideas.
Down boy, she doesn’t want you in her bed for anything fun,
I try to remind myself.
“Come on, I don’t bite,” She assures me.
Suddenly the image of her nipping at my collar bone floats into my head and I have to discreetly adjust my pants to hide my growing erection.
“That’s too bad,” I tease.
She blushes again and I chuckle, finally sliding onto the bed next to her, careful to keep several inches between us because I’m still not sure I can be trusted.
She pulls up Netflix on her laptop and then passes it over to me. I smile devilishly as I start to add an eclectic list of shows from Cosmos to Breaking Bad.
“Some of these shows may be out of your league, Angel,” I warn impishly.
She scoffs and grabs the laptop back from me.
“What do you want to watch?” She asks.
I stare at her in surprise for several seconds. She wants me to stay and hang out in her bed?
“I’m sorry, you probably need to go, don’t you?”
“No, no. I’ll hang out until you get sick of me.”
I tug my lip ring between my teeth, trying to remind myself not to kiss her.
“Put on Breaking Bad, that show is going to blow your innocent little mind.”
We watch three episodes in a row and I can’t get enough of Eve’s adorably scandalized expression, but she seems to be enjoying it.
Her roommate shows up just as the third episode is ending. She stops abruptly and looks between Eve and I with surprise.
“Sorry, I didn’t know you had company,” She says apologetically.
“That’s okay, we’re just watching Netflix,” Eve says as she sits up on the bed.
I do my best to keep any sign of disappointment from my face. Eve introduces me to her roommate Hadley.
“Nice lip ring.”
A look passes between the two of them that I can’t decipher.
“I’ll get out of here, and you two can get back to...whatever.” Hadley reaches for the door handle and starts to back out of the room.
“No, it’s okay. It’s getting pretty late.”
It’s already ten thirty and I’m sure Eve’s getting tired. She was yawning a lot during that last episode.
“I’ll see you soon?” Eve scrambles up to walk me to the door, with a hopeful look on her face.
“Of course, Angel. sleep well,” and before I can stop myself I give her a kiss on the cheek.
She inhales sharply in surprise as my lips press to her cheek. I turn to leave without another word, before I can press my luck for more than just a kiss on the cheek.
Asher: What did the triangle say to the circle?
Asher: You’re pointless
Eve: haha, oh my goodness you are such a goofball
Asher: anything to make a cute girl laugh ;) have a good day
My heart flutters a little and I can’t keep the goofy smile off my face.
“Hey there, I wish I was the one to put that smile on your face.”
I jump at the sound of Brahm’s voice.
“Hi,” I squeak in a small voice.
I blush bright red, suddenly feeling like I was doing something wrong by talking to Asher, even though we’re just friends and Brahm and I have only had two dates. Brahm pulls a rose from behind his back and holds it out to me.
“This is for you.”
I take the rose from him with a smile.
“Thank you, that’s so thoughtful.”
“So, who were you talking to on your phone?” He asks in a would be casual tone.
“Just a friend,” I say, blushing again.
“Oh? Someone from the church group?” He asks.
I almost laugh out loud at the idea of Asher going to church group. I’m sure he’d have some fascinating insights about whatever the bible study topic would be.
“No, a friend I met at a party the day before classes started,” I explain.
Brahms expression darkens briefly.
“A party? I didn’t think you were that kind of girl.”
“Eve!” Nikki calls out to me.
I breathe a sigh of relief because this conversation with Brahm was getting tense.
“Nikki, hi.” I practically run towards her.
“I’ll talk to you later,” Brahm says stiffly before planting a peck on my cheek.
It doesn’t give me the tingly, excited feeling that I got when Asher kissed me on the cheek.
“Okay, bye.” I wave goodbye and turn to Nikki.
“Wow, a rose and a kiss on the cheek. I take it your date went well?” Nikki smirks at me.
“Yeah, it was nice. I hung out with Asher on Saturday,” I add cautiously as Nikki and I head towards class.
She stops and looks at me suspiciously.
“Asher? That’s...surprising.” She eyes me questioningly.
I shrug, trying to act casual.
“Yeah, we just went to the planetarium, he’s kind of a cool guy. We’re just friends.”
“I didn’t think Asher had female friends,” She says with a hint of skepticism in her voice.
I shrug again, forcing myself not to get defensive, Asher is a sweet guy I don’t understand why people keep judging him.
“He does now I guess.”
“Hey, I have an idea, let’s all get together at
next week, you can bring Brahm so we can all meet him,” Nikki suggests excitedly.
I decide not to comment on the blatant change of subject.
“Um, yeah, that sounds good.” I mutter, trying to imagine what Brahm will say when I invite him to meet my friends at a bar. Oh and I should probably tell him I work at a bar.
I nestle into the oversized armchair in the coffee house and bring my coffee to my lips. I take a second to look around at the bustle of all the other students around me and I smile to myself. This is better than I’d even imagined it would be. My chest warms as I think back to the sheltered girl I was only months ago, making the bold decision to go against my parents wishes and break out of my comfort zone.
My phone buzzes in my pocket and my heart leaps with the hope that it’s Asher texting me. I can’t even bring myself to give a mental scolding for not hoping it would be Brahm.
Brahm: What time shall I pick you up for bible study tomorrow?
I let out a slow breath. Maybe I haven’t broken out of my bubble as much as I’d like to think. These things are a process though, right?
Eve: 6:40 would be good
I slip my phone back into my pocket and take another sip of my coffee, reveling in the sweet taste on my tongue.
Well, if breaking out of my shell is going to be a process maybe what I need is a checklist. At least then I’ll have milestones to work with. With a small thrill of excitement I reach into my purse to pull out my small notebook and pen that I always carry with me. You never know when you’ll need to write something down.
Do something that makes me blush
swear out loud, in front of people
I waffle for a few seconds on number five. Marijuana is legal in Colorado, but is something like that just too bold for someone like me? I consider scratching it out but ultimately decide to leave it. No one says this list is written in stone, these are just ideas for things I can do to really feel like I’ve had a proper college experience.
have a proper kiss
lose my virginity
get a tattoo
Maybe I won’t rush into the last two.
I'm lounging on my bed with my chemistry book open in front of me when my phone vibrates on my night stand.
Asher: what are you doing right now?
Eve: just studying, pretty wild Saturday night
Asher: Haha, in that case I’m dragging you out to a party. Get dressed I’ll be there in 15
A smile spreads across my face as I toss my books onto the floor and start digging through my clothes for something to wear. My phone buzzes again and I reach for it, thinking it’ll be Asher again.
Brahm: what are you up to tonight?
Ugh, crap. Guilt burns hot in the pit of my stomach. I know that Brahm wouldn’t approve of me going to a party. But, that’s exactly why I left the confines of my parents judgemental household to go to college. I wanted to live a real college experience. My mind's made up as I text him back.
Eve: Studying, have a ton to do tonight so I’m going to be holed up here all night long
Brahm: oh, ok. I’ll see you tomorrow?
Eve: of course
A knock on my door sends me scrambling. I still haven’t decided what to wear yet.
“Come in,” I call out.
Asher opens the door and strolls in.
“Planning on going to a party in your pajamas?” Asher asks with a smirk, as his eyes travel over my bare legs and land on my ratty pajama shorts and then up to my tank top. “Not that you don’t look fantastic.”
“Do you want to sit down for a second while I run to the bathroom and then decide what to wear?”
Asher settles himself onto my bed without complaint.
When I return from the bathroom I find Asher looking at my notebook with a cat that ate the canary look on his face.
“Hey, who said you could read my stuff?”
“Sorry, it was just sitting open and I couldn’t help myself. This list is a good start, but I think you can do better. And, why the jump from a kiss to losing your virginity? You know Angel, there’s a wide world of pleasure out there in between those steps.”
“I know,” I snap.
I mean, I’m aware of the existence of steps between kissing and sex, I just don’t know much about the specifics.
Asher grabs a pen off my night stand and starts to add to my list.
“Hey,” I try to snatch the notebook from him but he holds it out of my reach.
“Relax Angel, I’m just adding a few suggestions, you don’t have to actually do any of them if you don’t want.”
Once he’s finished he hands me the list for my perusal.
8. receive oral
9. get a piercing
10. do a keg stand
11. flash a crowd
12. have sex in a semi-public place
“I can’t do any of these things,” I say before stuffing the list into my purse.
“Like I said, they’re suggestions,” Asher replies with a shrug.
I roll my eyes at him and toss the notebook back onto my nightstand, trying to ignore the heat creeping into my skin from his suggestions. Numbers eight and twelve especially have images in my mind that don't belong there. Namely, Asher with his head between my legs or pinning me against a wall in a public bathroom.
“What's got your cheeks such a lovely shade of pink, Angel?” He teases, tugging his lip ring between his teeth.
“Nothing.” I turn to my dresser and pull out a blue maxi dress to wear to the party. “Do you want to go wait outside so I can change?”
Asher gives me a devilish smirk and settles further into my bed.
“Nah, I'm pretty comfortable.”
I purse my lips and do my best to glare instead of blush again. My glare must not be as scary as I was hoping because he starts to laugh at me.
“I've never seen you blush so deep before, now you have to do it. Come on, something easy to cross off your list.”
“I'm not going to strip naked in front of you.”
“I'll close my eyes,” he suggests.
This feels absolutely scandalous, and for some reason it sends a thrill of excitement through me.
“Close your eyes,” I command.
Asher smirks at me and the naughty little thrill intensifies as I wonder if he’s going to peek. I strip my clothes off quickly and then pull the dress over my head.
“Okay, you can open your eyes.”
“Nice underwear,” Asher jokes.
I give him a teasing smile.
“Now I know that you didn’t peek, because I’m not wearing any underwear.”
Asher’s eyes go wide and he inhales sharply. I can’t help the smile that spreads across my lips.
“I hope that’s a joke.” His voice is a little shaky and my skin feels hot as I imagine what it would be like to let him find out for himself.
I shrug and smirk at him again.
“You’ll have to spend the rest of your life wondering.”
“You are a devil woman,” he says, tugging his lip ring between his teeth again, drawing my eyes to it.
I lick my lips, dying to know what it’s like to kiss him. It honestly seems like a crime womanhood to
“We should go.”
“Yeah,” I agree weakly, pulling my gaze from his lips.
Goddammit all I can think about is whether Eve is wearing underwear or not. It’s a question my dick is extremely interested in and therefore I’ve got a hard-on that just won’t quit. Her dress clings to her curves in the most enticing way and I just keep reminding myself she has a boyfriend. And, aside from that, she’s too good for me. Way, way too good for me.
The party is loud and rowdy and Eve looks both excited and terrified.
“Don’t ditch me, okay?” She asks desperately.
“Why would I ditch you? I’m the one who invited you to come with me.”
“I don’t know, Hadley ditched me for a hook up like five minutes after we got to the party the day before classes started,” She explains with a shrug. “I wasn’t sure if you would want to find a hook-up too.”
The thought of touching anyone but Eve at this moment has a nauseating feeling rumbling through my stomach.
“Come on, I’ll teach you to play beer pong. Maybe we can cross getting drunk off your list too,” I offer, gesturing toward the ping pong table set up with cups of beer all ready to go.
“My first drinking game, this is so exciting!” Her enthusiasm makes me laugh.
I place my hand on the small of her back and guide her towards the table, reveling in the feel of even the slightest contact with her.
In no time at all Eve is a pro at beer pong and is also starting to get pretty drunk.
“I need to go to the bathroom,” She says close to my ear so I can hear her over the noise of the party. Her words slightly slurred but her hot breath against my ear almost makes me moan.
“I’ll go with you,” I offer when I see her stumble as she turns to leave.
She waves me off, catching herself.
“I’m a big girl, I think I can go pee all by myself,” She assures me. “I’ll be right back.”
I watch as she disappears. No sooner is she gone than two bottle blondes attach themselves to me.
“Oh my gosh, I loooove your tattoo,” blonde number one coo's in a nasal voice that makes me cringe.
“I like your piercing. Do you have anything else pierced?” Blonde number two asks seductively, placing a hand on my chest and gazing up at me.
“Sorry ladies but I’m here with someone.” It’s not really a lie.
“Oh come on, we can show you a good time,” Blonde number one insists.
“Have you ever been with two girls at once?” Blonde number two asks.
I have, and it was pretty fucking cool, but not something I’m looking to repeat. Fuck my life, but the only girl I can think about lately is Eve. As if summoned by my thoughts Eve appears and looks between the blondes and myself with a small frown forming on her lips.
“Again, thanks but I’m not interested,” I reiterate, disentangling from them and making my way to Eve.
She smiles weakly.
“I shouldn’t have made you promise to stay with me. I want you to have a good time. Go with those girls I can walk home,” Eve says, a hint of sadness in her voice.
“Nah, I’m having a good time with you,” I assure her.
She looks skeptically at me, and then glances back at the girls still watching me from the beer pong table.
“Are you sure? I’m not trying to...what’s it called?...’C’ block you,” Eve says with a blush.
I burst out laughing at the way she says ‘c’ block.
“You are too funny, Angel.” I throw an arm over her shoulder and steer her towards the door. “Let’s get out of here.”
“You’re taking me home already?” Her face falls with disappointment.
Hope blooms in my chest, but I do my best to beat it down.
“Unless you want to come to my place. We can hang out,” I offer.
Eve’s eyes light up with a smile and it’s all I can do not to kiss the shit out of her.
Once we get to my place we make ourselves comfortable on the couch in the living room and I put on
, since she seemed to be getting into it last time. She leans her head against my shoulder and I tentatively put my arm around her to help her get comfortable. I hope to hell that Dex doesn’t show up and catch me with the exact girl he was made to warn me away from two weeks ago.
“This feels nice,” She murmurs sleepily.
A warmth spreads through my veins.
I could sit like this with her forever.
Oh man, if this keeps up I’m going to have to turn in my man card. She starts to snore quietly and I glance down to see her passed out against my chest. Totally worth it.