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Hey Everyone! I’m back and all went well with the exam. I still have another one to prepare for in May but in the meantime I have a few new posts coming up this week as a reward for your patience with me.

Maia’s story is gonna start to get a little more interesting from here on out. 😉

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The next couple weeks found Michael and I spending a lot of time together. I spent so much of my free time with him that Lyra started to notice I was rarely home anymore and concluded that I was dating someone. I told her all about Michael and she couldn’t stop teasing me by singing that childish song about the two of us sitting in a tree kissing and what not.

She could be so silly at times. The love and marriage part? We were far from anything like that. We only just started dating but so far I was having a pretty good time.

The more time I spent with him the more I liked him. It was so easy to let my walls down and just be myself. He always made me feel so comfortable and even though he was a big ole flirt the majority of the time, he still remained respectful.

One night I went over to his house to watch the latest episode of Knifed, a cooking show we both loved. We worked the same shift at the restaurant that day so we got off at the same time and since his house was closer to the restaurant than mine his couch became the venue for our date.

It was the final episode of the season and the competition was nearing its end coming down to the two contestants we were both rooting for so there was a lot of excitement over it. We even placed bets over who would win the prize. He ended up winning and as the credits rolled he bragged in a goofy way while I laughed at his silliness.

That evening seemed no different from any other date we’ve had. We laughed and poked fun at each other. He flirted and then found a way to touch or tickle me. I laughed it off and playfully pushed him away, feigning annoyance, only for him to pull me closer.

He really did seem to like it when I played hard to get.

We made out until I couldn’t handle it anymore then I’d pretend I had something to do so I could leave when really all I did was go home and take a cold shower. He never protested, he never pushed, and with one last soft kiss he’d take me home and wish me a good night.

But this evening was different.

All those other times we were in a public place like a restaurant or a nightclub or a park. A place where there were people around walking past us or sitting nearby. This was the first time we were all alone.

All alone.

So when we finally released each other’s lips to get some air he asked with a lick of his pout lips, “Wanna go to my bedroom?”

Of course, I responded with an enthusiastic nod.

I don’t know why I agreed to go in there with him. I should have suggested we watch another TV show instead or play a game of cards or something. I mean, why else would he invite me into his bedroom? To show me how he organises his sock drawer? To show off his new bedspread? Obviously, he wanted to woohoo and I should have known that the moment he asked the question but for some reason, I remained naïvely curious as he led me inside.

“Your room is really…clean,” I said as I looked around.

“You sound surprised.” He chuckled.

There was a good amount of clutter but it smelled like clean laundry and vanilla air freshener. “I don’t think you’re a slob I just didn’t expect your room to smell like mine.”

“I knew you were gonna come over and since you’re such a germ freak…”

“I’m not a germ freak!” I insisted.

“Heh, sure you’re not.” He took me by the hands and gently guided me to the bed to sit down.

“It smells like cookies in here. I love it.”

He smiled. “I thought you would. I wanted to get scented candles as well but they were out of the vanilla scented ones and I thought the mountain pine and cinnamon were too strong.”

“Candles? Didn’t know you were a scented candle kind of guy.”

“I don’t really care much for them generally.” He put his arm around my shoulders, pulling me closer to him.

“Then why would you want them?”

“Uh…to set the mood, I guess.”

He looked deep into my eyes and then it hit me. The reason why he brought me in there and why the sheets were freshly laundered and why every corner of the room was spritzed with vanilla and why he was looking at me like a parched man staring at a desert oasis.

Duh!

If Lyra was there she’d probably laugh at my slowness.

“Um…Michael…there’s something you should know. I’m a virgin.” I gulped and waited for his response.

He grinned, “Yeah, I figured that out a while ago.”

“You did?”

He nodded.

“When did you know?”

“Our first kiss.” He chuckled. “You were nervous as hell. I could tell you were inexperienced. Plus the fact that you said you never had a boyfriend also clued me in.”

“Oh.” I wasn’t sure if I should feel embarrassed that it was so easy to figure out or relieved that he didn’t mind my lack of experience.

“Hey, relax. Don’t be nervous. I promise I’ll be gentle.”

He then moved in and kissed me. And as usual, I melted.

His kisses were sensual and determined. I could barely catch my breath as he was more intense than ever. His bold hands slid down my arms and skillfully slipped up the hem of my top to caress the skin of my waist and lower back before he removed it from me completely.

The sudden coldness of the room hit my bare skin and made me shiver, or was it the feel of while his warm lips that found their way to the nape of my neck? The combination of sensations was driving me wild so much that I was urgently tugging at his t-shirt just so I could touch him the way he was touching me. Pretty soon his t-shirt had joined my top in its place on the floor.

When the bare skin of his smooth chest brushed against mine it was like a shock – a reality shock.

This was going to happen, I was going to lose my virginity to Michael right there on his bed. Not exactly the romantic candlelight and rose petal setup I had always imagined but he certainly knew what he was doing so physically I was more than ready for it to happen but I had this super nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach that was telling me to stop.

I reluctantly pulled away trying to gather my thoughts.

“Hey, look at me.” He said with a warm, reassuring smile. “If you don’t want to, it’s cool. I’ll go as fast or as slow as you want me to. No pressure, seriously. I just thought I’d make the first move but if you don’t want to…”

“I want to!” I practically shouted. I guess I wasn’t as in control of my vocal chords as I was of the rest of my body. “I mean, I really want to but…I’m not ready…as yet.”

He nodded with a reassuring smile. “Okay, fine.”

“I’m sorry. I feel like I led you on and…”

He laughed. “Don’t apologize. I understand. Maia, look, I want you but only if it’s what you want too. I can wait until you’re ready.”

“Thanks for understanding.” I felt so relieved. Michael was always making flirtatious jokes and then there were a few times while we were making out where it seemed like he wanted more. Even my own desire for him added to the pressure I felt to woohoo with him. But I knew deep down that I wasn’t ready to take that step as yet so it was good to know that he was willing to be patient.

But then I started to wonder about something else.

I was curious about how many women he’d been with but I never asked since the topic never came up. Now seemed like the right time since we were on the subject. “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“How experienced are you? I mean, how many women have you slept with?”

He shifted uncomfortably and looked up at the ceiling like he was counting. And counting. That wasn’t a good sign. “Um…do you need to know the exact figure?” He groaned. “Could I just say…a lot?”

“Oh.”

“I was pretty wild back in the day but I always used protection and I’ve been tested so you have nothing to worry about in that regard.”

Suddenly I had a flashback to my ex-friend Luca and some of the guys I went on dates with and I started wondering if Michael was just like them. “So you just…what? Slept around so much you can’t remember all of them?”

“I remember all of them. I just don’t think you knowing the exact number is a good idea, for either one of us.”

“Because it’s such a large figure? You’re afraid it might turn me off or something?”

“Well, yeah, cause right now you look a little irritated just knowing it’s a lot.”

I sighed. “That’s not it. I just think woohoo should mean something. It’s not something to treat so casually, it should be between two people who love each other. That’s why I wanna wait. I don’t believe in sleeping with someone you barely know or have no real interest in just so you can toss them aside once you get a notch on your belt and if that’s how you operate then…”

“…Whoa! Wait a minute! How I operate? You’re talking like I’m some kind of jerk who sleeps with women just for bragging rights! Geez, I at least thought you would think I was better than that!”

“Well…I…uh…that’s how it sounds to me.”

“Listen, that’s not what I do. They all slept with me because they wanted to and if I didn’t call them later it was their choice for it to be that way. And they weren’t all casual hookups by the way. Some were girlfriends. Even if the relationship didn’t last long I still knew them pretty well and had feelings for them. I never went out there with the mindset of getting ‘notches on my belt’ or whatever you think. I’m an attractive guy and… it just worked out that way.”

He looked a little offended and I couldn’t blame him. I felt pretty bad about judging him like that. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions.”

“Why would I even agree to wait for you if that’s how I think? If that’s all I wanted from you…I could have had you earlier!”

I snorted at his cockiness. “Please. I was the one that stopped you.”

I could have persuaded you to change your mind.”

“What…no!”

“If all I really wanted was to get into your pants Maia, I could do it.”

“Don’t be so sure of yourself, Michael! I have a lot of self-control.”

“I see the way you respond when I kiss you, or when I touch you. Right now, you’re flushed!” He smirked. “You want me.”

“I…I’m…no I don’t!”

“Right now I want you just as bad as well but I’m holding back. Just imagine if I didn’t.” He grinned. “You wouldn’t be able to resist.”

He was hard to resist and even though he did back down every time including now as soon as I said no, what if one day he remained persistent? I got the feeling that this evening was just a taste of what he could do to me and that was surely hard to say no to. “Fine. Maybe you’re right.”

He laughed heartily as I rolled my eyes.

“Here’s the thing Maia,” he began, with a more serious expression. “I’m not ashamed of my past but at the same time, I want more for myself now. I really care about you and I think you’re the kind of woman I can see myself with for the long haul and I don’t want to jeopardise that by seducing you when you’re not ready. Woohoo does complicate a situation when the lines are already blurred so if waiting makes you feel more comfortable and sure about us then I will respect that. You don’t have to worry.”

Just like him, I didn’t want to jeopardise what we had either. It’s so weird how this guy I met randomly at a restaurant one evening could become so important to me in such a short space of time. I guess I was a little nervous about getting so serious so soon with someone that I jumped at any excuse to push him away.

His past truly didn’t bother me all that much. I was only curious which is why I asked the question but the fact that he was with a lot of women didn’t change the way I saw him. I knew he was more experienced than me from the get-go although it did make me wonder… if we were to go there, be intimate I mean, would I be enough for him?

I suppose he could always teach me.

I wouldn’t mind learning one bit. I’m sure his experience would be greatly appreciated in that regard. That big mouth of his already started setting my expectations pretty high. Now I was dying to know exactly how he would persuade me.

In the meantime, we would keep it strictly under a PG-13 rating.

After all, we weren’t in love or anything.

Sure I liked him a lot and I was very attracted to him, but love? I don’t know. Maybe I was too afraid to entertain that idea as well. Or maybe I needed more time. He is the only guy I’ve ever dated for this long so far. This was all very new territory for me and it’s not like he made any declarations of love either.

Good thing I decided not to go through with it because it would have been a mistake. I don’t want to have any regrets when I decide to take that step. I want to be sure that what we had was real love and not pure lust.

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