It was just after nine thirty that night when my phone beeped with an incoming text message. I was still up, sitting in bed reading, or, well, attempting to read. I’d been staring at the same paragraph for at least ten minutes now, preoccupied by thoughts of the afternoon I’d spent with Levi, and how abruptly and tragically it had ended.
I took a steadying breath, and picked up my phone, both fearing and hoping that it would be from him. I had forgotten to ask for his number again, in my desperation to get the hell out of there, and so I had no way to reach out to him and smooth over what had happened.
You still awake? the text read.
Yeah, I wrote back.
I just want to say sorry again for making you bleed.
My cheeks burned with embarrassment. Yup, it was definitely Levi.
It’s okay. And I’m sorry, too, I replied, desperately trying to think of some way to make light of things. I think it’s time you admit that I was right, I typed.
About what? Levi responded.
That you are a terrible flirt, I wrote back.
In my defense, I was caught off guard. What can I do to make it up to you? I would really like to keep my flirting references flawless, and I don’t want this to end up on my permanent record.
It was a struggle not to smile. Only someone like Levi could possibly be this cool about what had just happened. Anyone else would have probably moved again to get away from the situation.
I don’t know, Levi. Is there any way to get over that level of awkwardness?
There was a long pause before he responded with, Jesus Hussein Christ, that was so fucking awkward, wasn’t it?
It really had been. I closed my eyes, cringing at the memory. I’d pulled Levi in for what had promised to be one hell of a kiss, and, taken by surprise, he’d been forced to hastily set his hand down on the tailgate to brace himself. Unluckily, his palm had landed in a puddle of condensation from my beer, and his arm slipped right out from under him. We’d been only inches apart by then, and his forehead had collided with my mouth as he fell forward, hard enough to bash my lower lip open on my teeth. Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, he’d faceplanted right into my sweaty cleavage with an audible squelch that would probably haunt my nightmares for years to come. In my haste to get away, I’d pushed myself backward, straight off the tailgate, landing on my right side on the broken pavement, which resulted in an ugly bit of road rash. It had taken me almost an hour to clean all the debris from my scrapes, and I’d gone through half a band aid box patching myself up.
It was literally the most embarrassing moment of my life, and that included the time in fifth grade when I farted in gym class and tried to blame the noise on a squeaky sneaker.
So. Fucking. Awkward. I finally typed back to him.
I’ve been sitting here thinking about it since I got home, making this face:
A second later a picture came through. His head was leaned way back, making him look like he had a double chin, his full lips were parted in a huge grimace, his nostrils were flared out wide, and his cheeks were slightly lifted while his brows were drawn down, almost totally obscuring his eyes. He looked horrified, panicked, and embarrassed all at once, and the sight of such a ridiculous expression had me slumping backward in laughter before I remembered to hold it in.
“Ow, fuck!” I yelped, clapping my hand over my mouth. My fingers came away bloody.
Goddamnit, Levi, I wrote. I just split my lip open again laughing.
Okay, fine. I admit it now. I am literally The Worst, he responded. And also I am sorry. Again. For making you bleed. Again.
It’s okay. Laughing about it is better than crying about it.
OH MY GOD, YOU COULD CRY ABOUT IT?
No! Sorry, figure of speech. I’m not really that upset. Or hurt. Just so damn embarrassed.
My fingers hovered over the keys as I struggled to think of what to say next. He beat me to it.
Silver lining? This is literally the best story about getting to second base on a first date ever.
I had to clench my jaw shut to keep from grinning. First date? Abruptly the threat of smiling disappeared as I was struck by another, horrifying thought.
It’s a story you damn well better keep to yourself, Levi!
Hahahahahahaha. No way. I’m already writing a first draft email of it to send to literally everyone I’ve ever met.
That’s it. I’m saving the picture you sent me as your contact photo in my phone.
What! Nooooo! Use this one instead:
He sent another picture a minute later, of him staring off into the distance, with his chin resting on his knuckles and his features set in serious lines, as if he were deep in thought. It was probably meant to be another joke, but he was way too photogenic for it to come off that way. He looked like someone was paying him to advertise the watch he was wearing.
Nope. I’m keeping the first one, I told him.
What if someone sees it??? Please use the other. Or better yet, this one:
Another photo, this time of him smiling beatifically.
Or this one:
He stared into the camera broodingly.
Or this one:
Levi, stop! My phone plan is really basic. Your vanity is going to cost me twenty bucks in data charges if you keep this up.
Fine. FINE, RUBY. But just so you know, since I’m now banned from sending pictures, I’m frowning really petulantly at you right now.
I bet you are.
Also, I am bored.
Wow. You really know how to woo a girl. First you beat her up, and then you destroy her ego.
Shit. I didn’t mean it like that. I meant that I was bored before I started texting you. Texting makes everything weird. Easy to misread intent. Wanna talk instead? Or better yet, come over? Oh, and since I’m guessing that I’m banned from sending video as well, I’m giving you the quibby eyebrows right now.
Waggly brows? Come hither brows? Aren’t I such an undeniably sexy beast brows? Any of this working for you?
OMG, LEVI. Please don’t make me laugh again. Sadly, I have to get up at four a.m. to open the diner, and talking hurts me right now. So, temporary pass?
Right. Sorry. Again. And now I’m remembering it all. Again. And making that face from the first picture I sent you. Again.
DO NOT MAKE ME SMILE RIGHT NOW, LEVI.
You think my face could freeze like this?
I’m turning off my phone.
Ooh! You’re much quicker with the witty retorts via text than IRL.
Phone. Off. Goodnight.
Good niiiiiiiiight, Ruby. And no nightmares! Sweet dreams only…
I didn’t really turn my phone off. It was my alarm clock, after all. And so, five minutes later, when he texted me again, I set my book aside and picked it back up.
I rolled my eyes, my fingers lingering on the keypad before I thought better of responding. I was already wired from talking to him, filled with a mixture of relief and amusement. If we started back up I might never get to bed, and I needed to, because I really had to catch up on sleep if I didn’t want to look and feel like a freshly turned zombie tomorrow.
Levi was in the shower when I walked in. It was one of those all glass contraptions, the panes of which were currently fogged over. Through the door of it, I could just make out his outline as he stood beneath the shower head. His back was to me, the black ink of the sibilant tattoo that snaked up his spine looking like a living, writhing thing because of the torrents of steam that whorled around him.
It seemed I blinked and I was transported inside with him. I stood in the corner, my back pressed against the cool tiles as I wondered how the hell I had gotten here. He was facing away from me still, and I decided that it didn’t really matter after all. What did was that I was here now, and I had all the time in the world to trace the lines of his long, muscular legs upward, my focus pausing to roam over his tight, perfectly rounded ass. Just above it, his lower back muscles dimpled on either side of his spine, framing the bottom of the tattoo. My gaze lingered on it for several moments. Up close, it almost looked like a language, only one I had never seen before, the edges of what might have been the lettering branching off at odd angles here and there.
Levi turned around then, raising his hands to slick his hair back from his forehead as he faced me. I pressed myself harder into the tile, wishing I could disappear into it, wondering how the hell I would explain what I was doing here. It turned out I didn’t have to, because when his eyes blinked open, he seemed to stare right through me as if I wasn’t even there. As I watched, he closed his eyes again and dipped his head backward, allowing the water to run in rivulets across his muscular shoulders, before flowing down over his chest, between his abs, and lower still.
My gaze shuddered to a stop as I took in his nudity. His pubic hair was non-existent, not even a stubble hinting at where it would grow, as if he had just finished shaving. Maybe that’s why his dick looked so big. He was circumcised, the smooth shaft leading to a wide, water-slicked head. I had a sudden desire to reach out and touch it, wondering if it was as soft as it looked.
Levi lifted a hand toward me then, and I froze, but he merely reached for something a few inches to the right of my shoulder, completely ignoring me. Soap, I realized, as he pulled away. He somehow still didn’t know I was here.
He lifted the bar he now held and began rubbing it over his arms as he washed himself clean. His movements were quick and efficient, but my hunger for him only grew, because every movement, every shift, caused the muscles that stood out on his body to contort in a way that made my mouth dry, despite the humidity in the room.
I watched as he moved the soap in circular motions across his wide chest, leaving suds in its wake. His nipples hardened in response, and I had to fight the overwhelming urge to lean in and brush the bubbles gently away from them, curious about just how sensitive they were.
Then his hand slicked downward, the soap skipping across his abs. How many sit ups did you have to do to get definition like that? He slid the soap lower still, and his dick stirred as he neared it. I lifted my gaze to watch his lips curl up in a lazy grin. I licked my own and looked back down. His dick began to swell as he soaped it, and his motions slowed as he took his time coaxing it into a full erection. He stopped then, and let the water wash it clean.
In my experience, most men were either growers or showers. They either had smaller penises that grew to surprising lengths when fully aroused, or huge flaccid cocks that gained barely half an inch when they were totally engorged. Levi, it turned out, was both a grower and a shower, but beautifully so, his shaft still flawlessly smooth, without a bulging vein in sight, the head mushrooming up from it in a way that made me want to wrap my lips around it. I would need to use my hands, too, to get him off like that, because there was no way I could take his full length in my mouth.
He was huge. Like, almost too big to fit in any part of me.
Fuck. That thought made me suddenly really curious about whether he would. The all-consuming sensation of being full to bursting was something I hadn’t experienced in far too long. Possibly ever, I thought, rethinking what exactly that meant as I stared at him. God, what would it be like to feel my body try to stretch to accommodate something that large? Would I feel every inch of him as he slid in and out of me? Would he reach some magical part of my anatomy deep inside that no one else had? I’d read about cervical orgasms before, but as far as I could tell, I’d never experienced one. Because, sadly, I hadn’t had deeply penetrative sex that lasted long enough to trigger one.
Levi’s fingers wrapped around himself then, pulling me from my musings. He stepped backward, farther beneath the water, so he could lean his shoulders against the opposite wall and brace his feet out in front of him. As I watched, the fingers of his right hand smoothed down his shaft. At the same time, the fingers of his left loosened around the soap, and it dropped from his grip to bounce, forgotten, over the shower floor. He used his left hand’s newfound freedom to gently cup his balls, which were as hairless as the rest of him. A low moan slipped through his lips, and he closed his eyes and leaned his head back, his face turned toward the ceiling, the water cascading down his chest.
I kept my own eyes wide open and locked on him, unable to look away, too entranced to feel ashamed for being such an uninvited, unseen voyeur. The sight of him touching himself was the hottest fucking thing I had ever seen in my entire life, and I refused to even blink for fear of missing even a heartbeat of it.
Up his hand stroked again, his thumb teasing over the head of his penis when he reached the top of his shaft. Then down again, all the way to the base. Up, down, up, down, his hand worked, finding a steady rhythm. I watched with rapt attention for what felt like a small eternity, my own hands curled into fists at my sides to keep from reaching toward him or touching myself. Whenever I masturbated, it was to find release, usually as quickly as possible so I could get on with the rest of my day. Not so, it seemed, with Levi. He jacked off like it was the only thing he had to do tonight, quickening and slowing his pace, teasing and tormenting himself as if to prolong his pleasure and delay his orgasm for as long as possible.
Holy. Shit. What would someone with this kind of willpower be like in bed? I nearly moaned aloud at the thought.
A minute later, a moan did echo through the shower. His. It seemed that he had finally run out of patience. The rhythm of his hands became slightly erratic, his lower abs clenched deliciously as his hips began to thrust into the motion, and the skin around his balls tightened as they ascended upward.
“Ruby,” he groaned.
My gaze snapped to his face. To see his eyes open and staring directly at me, his gaze slightly unfocused, his expression filled with lust and need and – oh my God – he was coming and I was watching it and he was watching me, and I might just fucking come right along with hi –
I jerked awake, gasping, my knees locked together, my hand shoved between my legs, my hips writhing as I ground my palm against my clit. My orgasm hit me swift and hard, my mind still filled with the vision of Levi working himself to his own climax.
I lay there afterward, gasping in the darkness, the sharp, coppery tang of blood on my tongue thanks to my split lip, which would take weeks to heal at this rate. An aftershock rolled through me a second later, and my spine stiffened, fingers digging into the sheets that were bunched around me, toes curling in sweet release.
“Oh my God,” I said, shakily, over and over again. “What the fuck was that?”
I had never had such a vivid sex dream, nor woken to such a violent orgasm. My underwear were soaked. Once I felt like my legs might hold me, I pushed myself to standing and went to clean myself off. I checked my phone when I got back to my room. It was three forty five in the morning. I might as well get up; my alarm would go off in fifteen minutes anyway.
I smiled then, because I hadn’t had any nightmares that I could remember. Levi’s text commanding them away worked. It must have been falling asleep to the thought of his last one that brought on the wet dream.
Ha. Literal wet dream. Because shower.
My goofy grin held despite the fact that it also hurt. I was so high on endorphins that the pain almost felt good. Maybe I could get him to text me every night before I fell asleep.
Oh, shit. How the hell was I going to look him in the eyes again the next time I saw him?
I found out the answer to that question only a few hours later.