Chapter Twenty - I'm so Inexperienced
I was never one to enjoy the spotlight, the center of attention or any attention at all for that fact. So when I went to school on Monday morning I wanted to run, hide and curl into a blanket. Not that something bad happened, like my school photo being placed on each and every locker. I guess I should explain myself properly so let's rewind back to Sunday.
I wasn't expecting a call, I hear that with the 'Bro Code' -or that's how Lilly explained it to me- (her stepbrothers, actually any boy for that fact) wait 72 hours after the date before calling the girl again. So when my phone was abruptly ringing as I fed Annabelle I was...surprised.
"Brooks?" I answered after checking the caller ID. I was worried, what if something bad happened?
"Hey Al." He said casually, the sound of his voice instantly soothed me.
"What are you doing?" He inquired.
"Feeding Annabelle." I sighed which made him chuckle.
"Sexy. So, can I come over?" He questioned. What? Was I really going to say no to the guy?
"Sure, just give me time to have a shower." I conditioned, tucking a strand of falling hair behind my ear as I held my phone to my ear with my shoulder.
"Or, we can just conserve water and shower together." I could just imagine his irresistible smirk showing as he sprawled out on his bed. I was used to these sexual comments but they still made me smile.
Flirt back, I thought to myself. They were Bec's words that she firmly hammered into me after I told her about the date that didn't end the way we both wanted to.
"If you get here fast enough." I teased. Was I doing this right? I was new to the whole flirting thing so I had no idea what I was doing.
"I'll be there, ready for the towel to drop." He replied causing me to fall back on my bed, silently laughing to myself.
"Shut up Brooks and get your ass over here." I said smoothly back into the phone.
"You like it kinky?" He questioned, I could hear the smile in his voice.
"Brooks." I said in a low voice, warning him.
"Alright, see you soon Al." He drawled, it was evident that neither of us wanted the conversation to end.
"Bye." I chirped and hung up. Dashing to the shower, I quickly stripped down before hopping in.
Towel drying my hair was surprisingly effective before I dropped it, allowing my natural curls cascade down my backside. Slipping into blue skinny jeans, I buttoned up my white t-shirt. Unhappy with my choice as I stared back at my reflection in the mirror, I ended up changing it to a grey Ramones band T-shirt.
Nodding in satisfaction, I smiled hearing the door bell ring just in time. I skipped down stairs, informing everyone that the door was for me, earning myself three grunts in response. My breath hitched when I saw him standing at my door, butterflies consuming my insides.
"Hey," he said, making me melt inside out.
"Hi," I said in a tone that was supposed to be confident.
We stood there, gawping at each other before I turned on my heel, knowing that if I stared at his perfect complexion I was going to start drooling soon.
"Well come on." I teased, climbing the stairs, taking two each time.
When I arrived into my room, I advanced to my bed before dropping down to the floor. Using my bed as a back rest I leaned on it as I stared at my carpet which was in need for a vacuum. I averted my gaze to Brooks who mimicked my actions, sliding his back down the side of my bed and joining me on the floor.
"Did you come to check on Annabelle?" I asked in a worried tone, honestly, I was hoping that he was here to see me.
He chuckled and his shoulder rubbed against mine as he did so. "No silly, I came to see you." I tried my best to wipe the stupid smile off my face but I seriously couldn't.
"I'm happy you came." I said lamely, moving my hand closer to his which was laying effortlessly on the carpet.
He must have noticed what I was doing because he itched his fingers closer to mine before twisting them together, knotting them to form one. I looked up, meeting his eyes and a feeling consumed me but I pushed it away. It's too soon. I was soon in a trans, my eyes boring into his.
Many questions came to me like; Why did he ask me on a date? Did he enjoy it as much as I did? And then my mind travelled to the night we played truth or dare, when Luke and I were in the cupboard and he told me that he wanted to kiss me.
"Why did you want to kiss me?" The words danced off my tongue and it was too late to retrieve them. Luckily Brooks found this amusing, squeezing my hand as he laughed.
"Because I like you." And the cat was let out of the bag. He said it so calmly like it was no big deal, but then I read in his eyes that he'd been waiting to tell me.
He likes me. He likes me back.
Do I tell him?
"I like you too Brooks." I admitted quietly, so the mice could hear me and not the boy who I truly like. Slightly exaggerated because turns out, he heard.
"No Al," he shook his head. "I really like like you." He said, stressing the words 'like like' as if I were a little girl.
"And I like like you." I emphasized the words just the way he did and his smile grew.
Our joined hands now moved to my lap, my thigh to be exact.
"Really?" He asked like a little boy trying to believe something like santa is real after some imbecile blurted the secret. Expect in my case I was telling the truth.
"Really." A reassuring smile tugged on the corners of my lips. Now I could see his dimple which made my smile widen.
"That's great, Teddy." He said. Moving my falling hair out of the way, his finegrtips brushed my cheek.
His face drew closer to mine, I felt his exhale from his nose as he placed a small, soft kiss on my cheeks.
"Thanks." I blushed, not knowing how to respond. My inexperience was going to cost me.
"Um Brooks," I began nervously. "Can I ask you something?" His thumb was rubbing in a circular motion on the back of my hand, fair to say my butterflies were exploding.
"Anything." He said calmly.
Inhaling heavily, I opened my mouth and crossed my fingers in hope for the answer I needed. "Why do you like me?" I asked, the nerves significant in my tone.
He smiled down at me, pushing his legs back, he leaned further on my the side of my bed.
"I like how you are smart and confident. You glow and I would never have thought it was possible until I met you but you literally light up the whole room. I like you because you aren't a push over and you don't conform to someones each and every need. You are diligent and hard working. You're so funny, especially when you're clumsy. I like how when you get mad, three lines appear on your forehead.
"I love your smile, it's gorgeous. I like how you're so beautiful and you don't know it. You don't flaunt your intelligence or your beauty. I like how we have arguments. I like how when you swear your nose crinkles. I like how your hand fits in mine. I like how you always have a come back and you are flirting. Al, I really like everything about you." He admitted, staring into my brown eyes.
I found it hard to breathe after his sincere speech. I hadn't really noticed that he analyzed me so much or actually took note of the little things like my nose crinkling when I swear or my lines on my forehead -which he outlined- that I get when I'm angry.
"And Al," He cooed, "what do you like about me?" He questioned, nudging my arm, wearing his smug smile.
"Nothing." I teased, sticking out my tongue which he poked.
"Okay Brooks, you are arrogant, conceited, big headed, cocky, pretentious, smug-" He interrupted my list.
"Skip to the part where you like me." He piped in with an eyebrow raised.
Huffing as though it were an effort. "But, I like you because you never seem to fail at making me smile. Even though I hate it I like your stupid signature smirk, I like the raunchy calls that you make, I like that single dimple when you smile, I like how your smell is so comfortable and I think your ego doesn't need any more boosting." I added, chuckling silently to myself.
Honestly that list could have gone on for three more pages but I stopped myself before he got the idea that I was obsessed.
"Oh and you think my voice is sexy." He added, smirking to himself. I punched his arm which he laughed at my strength and by strength I mean how weak I am.
He maneuvered himself so now he was right in front of me.
"Al, would it be okay with you if I kiss you now?" He asked in a hush tone, sort of like a secret that we shared.
My breath hitched in my throat and I didn't trust myself to reply so simply I nodded. My heart was pounding in my chest as he moved his face closer to mine.
"I've been waiting for this." He mumbled and I felt his warm words on my chin. He cupped my cheek with his warm hand and I almost forgot how to breathe.
I did what any inexperienced teenager would do. I took a page out of the romantic novels and I closed my eyes and waited. Just like he did last night, his lips brushed mine and I was about to sigh thinking that was all it was ever going to be. But then, I felt it. I felt his soft, warm lips pressing onto mine.
For a moment time stood still, nothing could effect me. It was then that all my worries about what I was going to do or how to do it went out the window. I mimicked his actions and soon I found myself kissing back. A whole feeling enveloped me, happiness and 24 volts ran through my body. Now I understood why people kiss and what they really mean when they said they feel fire works.
I gain encouragement because he isn't pulling out. That's a good sign right? I didn't even know if I was breathing, I didn't care because at that moment I was kissing the most gorgeous guy on the planet and by the pleasure I was experiencing, we were both enjoing it which isn't potentially bad.
If it felt this good. Why hadn't we done this when I first met him? Now I understood just what I was missing out on. But, all good things come to an end because soon it was Brooks pulling out first. His forehead rested on mine as our breathing was uneven.
"Teddy, don't do that." He said breathlessly and worry drained through me.
"Do what?" I asked, once again worried.
"Don't shudder when I kiss you, it drives me crazy." He said causing us both to smile. I was worried that I did something wrong and my inexperience was to blame.
And just like that, we were on the roller coaster again. His lips found mine and I wanted to scream on the tallest building to my self conscious fourteen year old self that it does get better. The old Alex that was disgusted at the thought of swapping saliva didn't know that in a few moments time I was doing exactly that.
His tongue run along my bottom lip and I had read enough cheesy romance novels to know what that sign meant. I honestly had no idea what I was doing, all I did was part my lips and Luke took the reigns. Some how my hand found his hair, his hands were firmly on either side on my waist which I was grateful for. This moment felt perfect and never had I ever wanted to forget it.
For my whole life I've been thinking about this one, very moment, I've dreamt of this perfect feeling, imaging the perfect guy. What age I was, what I looked like, what I was wearing. We watch film, read books for ways that the author imagines this moment but I never thought that these moments are ever replicated into reality. But it was just like this moment was teared out of a book because we were living it.
Now I could officially say that I had shared my first kiss and my second, with Brooks. That thought made me smile into the kiss.
Pulling out in sync, just as we kiss, we found ourselves panting as though we had just run a marathon. We smiled like fools at each other and it was apparent that we had both felt it, we both shared that spark.
"Al," He drawled, looking no where but my eyes.
"Mhm." I answered, not knowing if I could trust my voice to form words because my heart beat was not decreasing.
"Will you be my girlfriend?" The whole world fell in place at that moment and I would be stupid not to say yes. All I ever wanted since I met him, maybe I didn't show it but deep down, under all that sexual tension I wanted it.
"Yes." I breathed, holding his neck. Leaning in, he kissed my forehead and whispered a thank you to me.
"Teddy." He said, grasping my attention as he plucked the strings on his guitar. He brought it with him because he wanted to show me a song which he was now just playing the chords to.
"Yeah?" I asked, mesmerized my the perfect tune.
"Do you expect me to believe that you hadn't kissed a boy before me?" He questioned, raising a perfect boyish eyebrow.
His question struck me by surprise. "You were my first kiss." I stated, blushing slightly as I did so in embarrassment.
"Not if you kissed like that..." He trailed off causing my pink cheeks to turn crimson.
"Are you saying I'm a good kisser?" I quizzed which he nodded to.
"Thanks Brooks." I smiled, so was I like a natural or something?
"But I want to be the only one who kisses you." He said strongly but still smiling down on me.
"And what makes you think I'll let you kiss me again?" I teased, twirling the ends of my hair with my finger.
"I think you will be volunteering for me to kiss you again, begging almost." He taunted and we both knew he was right.
"What ever you say Brooks." I said, pushing off the carpet and flopping on my bed.
When I was younger I saw my daddy cry
And curse at the wind.
He broke his own heart and I watched
As he tried to reassemble it.
And my momma swore
That she would never let herself forget.
And that was the day that I promised
I'd never sing of love if it does not exist.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
He sang sweetly to the lyrics and I hummed to his tune. It was our song.
"You aren't too scared of wheels, especially after our date are you?" He inquired as he played, the chords getting softer as he spoke.
"No?" My response rang like a question.
"Good because I want to teach you how to skate board."
"Move your foot back and lean on it." Luke instructed. Carefully I shuffled my foot back, it was hard considering my incredibly shaking knees. He held my body in place as I pushed on the concrete and I was rolling down the driveway.
"I'm doing it!" I exclaimed which Brooks chuckled at.
Slowly, his fingers peeling from my arm and waist and he let go and I was rolling all by myself. I screamed thinking that I was going to crash but I bent my knees like he said, pushed to keep myself rolling and soon enough, I was riding effectively.
I felt movement from beside me, thinking its a car I began to move to the side. A hand caught mine and I knew without looking that it was Brooks. So we rode, hand in hand on our skateboards like reckless, young teenagers.
Monday - Present.
Now that you are up to speed you may understand just why all eyes were on me. You see, here in Melbourne word zooms around pretty quickly. Considering Luke is popular it went around faster than you can say 'I have a boyfriend'. I squealed like a little girl on Christmas morning, I couldn't believe what had happened in that short hour. I managed to have my first and second kiss, followed by a third for when he left and he asked me to be his girlfriend.
Dreams come true, I thought. So everyone found out about the little date, the relationship and now they knew that I was going to the formal dance with him. I'd never had such attention on me, everyone wanted to talk to me, be my friend, tell me their dress colours.
Then I walked past Mikaela and it was a whole other ball park. She looked around for Brooks who was on his way to serve his morning detention, classic. She growled at me, scowling as she did so.
"I thought I told you to stay away." She sneered, stepping closer to me. I didn't back off.
"And I remember telling you that I wasn't going to listen to you. Quote 'I'm not scared of you' Unquote." I hissed back, now I was mad.
"You're just the rebound." She shot back, getting slightly emotional.
"If that helps you sleep at night." I wavered.
"I'm going to get you Alex. When you think that nothing could possibly go wrong, I'll be there, I will make your life a living hell and then I'll get Luke and you can cry in the corner where you deserve to be." She shouted, silencing the whole hall way.
"Revenge is ugly." Not the best come back but it did the job so I walked away.
I didn't know what she was plotting but a feeling consumed me, a familiar feeling that I hadn't felt for such a long time, not since primary school. It was the feeling where I knew I had to watch my back at every second.
This feeling was never good.
"Why did I hear from Tommy that you are dating Luke?" Bec interrogated me the moment she saw me at lunch.
"Because I am..... I'm really sorry Bec, I was meant to tell you but Tara hauled into me and by the time I was done fantasizing his lips on mine it was late and we had school." I excused.
"Al, you dream about me?" His voice taunted as he wrapped his arm around my waist. Just. My. Luck.
"Shut up Brooks." I said, punching his arm slightly as I felt my cheeks burn.
I walked over to a wooden table outside which was empty and surprisingly clean. Considering the change of events would this then mean that Luke's group would amalgamate with my own? I wouldn't want him ditching his friends for me.
Taking a seat, Brooks deflected my second punch, smirked and took the seat beside me.
"If I knew having a girlfriend would be so violent I wouldn't have gotten one." He teased, taking a bite out of his apple.
"It's okay, I'd be off the market in no time." Two can play one game Brooks.
He cocked his head up and raised his eye brow. "Oh really?" He quizzed, challenging me.
"Yeah, there is this kid called Jai Brooks. He's kind of cute." That got him, he wore a smug smile.
"Yeah, there is this chick called Al, she's pretty cute too." Knowing I would blush I think he won.
A vomiting noise escaped my friends mouth. "Please, I'm trying to have lunch." Bec pretended to be sick.
"So Alex, show us the scar Luke gave you." Lilly's asked interguied. I smiled happily, lifting the sleeve to my jumper.
"Which one?" The cocky tone of Brooks' voice sounded.
"What do you mean which one?" I inquired, shooting him a confused look.
A smug smile tugged on the corner of his lips and his fingers trailed up my arm and stop at my neck. He didn't! A sharp gasp came from Bec's mouth and I knew that it was there because it takes a lot to shock her.
"Brooks, did you give me a hickey?" I asked, my hand rubbing vigorously on my neck around the area where he pointed.
Folding his arms in satisfaction he nodded. "I did Teddy."
I'm such a skank! I've been going around all day wearing a hickey that I didn't even know I was there. No wonder girls shot me filthy looks all day. "But I prefer to call them love bites." Brooks offered, kissing my hand and swatting my arm away.
"You're my girl, people have the right to know so they can keep their hands off you." I almost scoffed, as if that would be hard. I admired his protectiveness, it was quite cute.
You know after people go on their first dates, they've spent heaps of time with this person, they've kissed and now they are an item, the same feelings don't go away. I've gone through all that and let me tell you, these butterflies aren't going away any time soon but that's okay because I'm his girl.
"So when were you going to tell me about Mikaela?" Brooks whispered in my ear and I was mentally shooting daggers at Bec and he big mouth.
"You don't need to worry." I croaked, obviously not convincing every one.
"I'm not scared of her." He said in a hushed tone, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. I sunk into him, inhaling his toxin.
"Neither am I." I said in a more believable voice.
"Good but she isn't going to get away with threatening you like that." He said, his words laced in hatred.
I placed a hand on his thigh and rubbed it in a soothing manner. "Brooks, I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself." I informed him, taking a small bite out of my peanut butter sandwich.
"I know you can but I want to protect you because you're-" I interrupted him, getting the hint.
"I'm your girl." I said, rolling my eyes at how cliche I sounded.
He smiled, kissing my forehead. His lips burned through my skin and I mellowed out.
"Good Girl." I laughed at his unintentional pun. Get it, 'cause I'm a Good Girl and he said- never mind.
But who would have guessed it? The Bad Boy with his arm wrapped around the Good Girl, well in my case not so much because good girls don't get drunk or detentions, good girls don't get tattoos or ride on the back of motorcycles so what exactly was I?
Was I just a girl or could I be a Bad Girl?
And for all those judging saying that I'm changing for some boy I have an argument. One, Luke isn't just some boy and Two, Brooks is teaching me to let go. I was never the follow-rules-always type of girl. It wasn't until my dad stopped being a dad that I had to pull all his dead weight and become this monster.
I like who I am, who I am with Brooks and if you have a problem with that then we may have a fight on our hands.
It's settled, either there is something in this peanut butter or I've officially gone crazy. The only clear thought in my head was Brooks and he being my only exception.