Chapter 19 – After

I have no idea what I’m doing, but I can’t stop. As my lips touch Hardin’s I feel his sharp intake of breath. Hardin’s mouth tastes just like I had imagined. I can taste the faint hint of mint on his tongue as he opens his mouth and kisses me. Really kisses me. His warm tongue runs along mine and I can feel the cold metal of his lip ring on the corner of my mouth. My entire body feels like it’s been ignited; I have never felt like this before. He brings his hand to my face, cupping my flushed cheeks, before both of his hands go to my hips. He pulls back a little and plants a small kiss on my lips.

“Tess,” he breathes out, then quickly brings his mouth back to mine, his tongue sliding in once more. My mind is no longer in charge; the sensation has taken over every inch of me. Hardin pulls me by my hips closer to him as he lies back on the bed, never breaking our kiss. Unsure of what to do with my hands, I put them against his chest, and then climb onto his torso. His skin is hot and his chest is moving up and down with his rapid breaths. He pulls his mouth away from mine and I whimper at the loss of contact, but before I can complain he’s at my neck. I feel every swipe and lick his tongue makes. His breath moves across me. He grabs hold of my hair to keep my head just above his as he continues to kiss my neck. His teeth graze my collarbone and I moan, the feeling shooting down my whole body when he begins gently sucking on my skin. I would be embarrassed if I wasn’t so intoxicated, by Hardin and the alcohol. I have never kissed anyone like this, not even Noah.


I say, “Hardin . . . stop,” but I don’t recognize my voice. It’s low and husky, and my mouth is dehydrated.

He doesn’t stop.

“Hardin!” I say again, my voice clear and sharp, and he lets go of my hair. When I look into his eyes, they are darker, yet softer, and his lips are a deeper pink and swollen from kissing me. “We can’t,” I say. Even though I really want to keep kissing him, I know I can’t.

The softness in his eyes disappears and he pulls himself up, knocking me onto the other side of the bed. What just happened?

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” I say, and they are the only words I can think of. My heart feels like it will explode any second.

“Sorry for what?” he says and walks over to his dresser. He pulls out a black T-shirt and pulls it over his head. My eyes go down to his boxers again and they are noticeably tighter in the front.

I flush and look away. “For kissing you . . .” I say, though something in me really doesn’t want to apologize for that. “I don’t know why I did it.”

“It was just a kiss; people kiss all the time,” I hear him say.

His words hurt my feelings for some reason. Not that I care if he didn’t feel what I did . . . What did I feel? I know I don’t actually like him. I am just drunk and he is attractive. It has been a long night and the alcohol made me kiss him. Somewhere in the back of my mind I fight down the thoughts of how much I wanted it to happen again. He was just being so nice, that’s why.

“Can we not make a big deal of it, then?” I ask. I would be humiliated if he told anyone. This isn’t me. I don’t get drunk, and I don’t cheat on my boyfriend at parties.

“Trust me, I don’t want anyone to know about this, either. Now, stop talking about it,” he snaps.

And there’s his arrogance again. “So now you’re back to your old self, I see?” “I never was anyone else—don’t think because you kissed me, basically

against my will, we have some sort of bond now.”

Ouch. Against his will? I can still feel the way his hand gripped my hair, the way he pulled me on top of him, and the way his lips mouthed “Tess” before kissing me again.

I shoot up off the bed. “You could have stopped me.”

“Hardly,” he scoffs and I feel like crying again. He makes me too emotional. It’s too humiliating, too painful how he’s basically saying I forced him to kiss me. I bury my head in my hands for a moment and head for the door.

“You can stay in here tonight since you have nowhere else to go,” he says quietly, but I shake my head. I don’t want to be anywhere near him. This is all

part of his little game. He will offer to let me stay in his room so I’ll think he is a decent person, then he will probably draw some vulgar design on my forehead.

“No, thanks,” I say and walk out. When I reach the stairs, I think I hear him call my name but I keep going. Outside, the cool breeze feels wonderful against my skin, I sit on the familiar stone wall and turn my phone back on. It’s almost 4 a.m. I should be waking up in an hour to get an early shower and start studying. Instead I’m sitting on this broken stone wall, alone and in the dark.

With a few stragglers milling about, and unsure what to do, I pull out my phone and scroll through the text messages from Noah and my mother. Of course he told her. It’s what he would do . . .

But I can’t even be upset with him. I just cheated on him. What would give me the right?

Series Navigation<< Chapter 18 – AfterChapter 20 – After >>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!