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I stand outside Eloise’s dorm–my palms sweaty, my collar tight, my heart in my throat. I have no choice but to knock; any hope of scurrying away is unavailable. I raise my fist and tap on the door three times. I think I’ll lose my voice when she answers the door. Through the wood, I can hear the muffled noise of a chair being pushed. I hear her feet pad on the floor. When I hear the latch leaving the strike plate, I’m certain I’ll vomit. She answers the door with a gentle smile, and my stomach somersaults.
“Reece, hi. Come in,” Eloise says, stepping out of the way. My name in her mouth makes a shiver run down my spine, and I want to ask her to repeat it, to hear her say its syllables over and over again.
“Hey,” I reply, and my voice squeaks–as I knew it would. As I place my bag by the now-closed door, I take in the small dorm.
Her room is rich with the scent of jasmine. It’s heavy on my tongue, to the point that I can almost taste it. An essential oil diffuser whirs and billows white mist into the air. Her room is so girly it makes me want to giggle. Her bedspread is a pale pink, almost swallowed whole with a collection of pillows and stuffies. A circular thick pink-threaded rug in the middle of the room consumes most of the white linoleum floor.
We sit in front of her desk, which is not big enough to accommodate us both, and we cramp awkwardly, trying not to touch. Eloise’s laptop is already open, and the data program has already pulled up. Our conversation does not drift from our work, and we’re focused on composing the conclusion of our assigned lab report. Yet, I think my body will explode from being so close to her. My stomach bursts with butterflies and my palms are slick with sweat and my heart hammers against my ribs and I’m afraid to breathe wrong and there’s nothing poetic to this feeling. I’m certain I’ll vomit if I so much as look at Eloise.
“Hold on, Reece, wait,” she says, and I almost jump out of my seat. “This part doesn’t make sense with the rest of our findings, and I think that screws with what we claimed in our second data table.”
I look at her, and my heart tightens at how cute Eloise looks when her eyebrows are scrunched. In her hands, she holds the paper she wrote our raw data down, and as we perform the transaction, my forefinger skates across the knuckle of her thumb. She snatches her hand back, and I keep my eyes trained on the paper while I imagine the clamminess of my sweat brushing her skin. What would typically be embarrassing now comes across as humiliating.
“Do you see it?” Eloise prompts.
“Yeah, yeah, I do. Right there. We fucked up those trials, which don’t match the other Condition 2s. Good catch,” I respond, the words tumbling out of my mouth. I haven’t even actually looked at the data. I hold the paper out toward Eloise, and, this time, her fingers brush along the back of my hand as she takes it from me. Her skin is cool compared to mine. I tuck my face into my elbow and face away from Eloise, pretending to cough as I hide the rush of color to my cheeks.
“You good?” She asks, placing a hand on my shoulder.
“Yes,” I respond, my voice coming out strangled at the shock of her touch. “Just, y’know, a tickle in my throat or some shit. All good. I’m fine. Thank you.” I sit back up, and Eloise removes her hand as I do. I’m tempted to double over again in hopes she’ll touch me again. “Okay, so what should we do?”
“We’ll have to redo all our Condition 2 trials,” she answers. “Yay, back to the lab!”
I let out a huff at the plasticity of her cheer. “It won’t take us too long. You’re quite the accomplished scientist. I’m so lucky to have been partnered with you–not that I’m not gonna do my share of the work. I’ll do my part, obviously. I’m here now, right?” I bite the inside of my cheek.
Eloise rolls her eyes at me, but I notice the way she purses her lips and smiles to herself at the compliment. A rush of pleasure erupts in my gut with satisfaction to see that I’ve flattered her.
“Okay, let’s get back to work,” she says. Eloise points at the computer screen to redirect our attention. I stare at her for a few milliseconds before forcing myself back to the laptop. Although, her eyes have not followed mine. I can feel Eloise’s gaze on me, and the hair on the back of my neck stands up. Gooseflesh erupts along my arms despite how my skin feels as if it’s burning, and I am terrified of what she’s thinking.
“Should we just move on?” I say, my voice coming out lower than I anticipated. I immediately cringe, but it’s a bittersweet relief to have her gaze off me.
“Sorry, I got lost in thought for a few seconds there. Anywhere, where were we?” Eloise leans closer as we stumble our way through our third data table. Her knee brushes against my lower thigh, and she props her right arm up on her desk, cupping her chin. Eloise’s knee stays where it is, and I pretend my whole body isn’t centered on that one point of contact, as if I’m not cataloging every detail of what touching her feels like.
Fifteen minutes later, şişli escort Eloise says, “Wait, this part doesn’t make sense.” Putting her left hand on the back of my chair, she reaches forward to tap the screen with her right index finger. “I think you just need to switch the words around.”
The way we remain still touching makes my whole body hum, and while another part of me feels like it will suffocate from the feeling, I’m tempted to mess up our work so that I’ll get to stay here longer, my thigh to her knee. I glance over at Eloise and feel all the blood rush to my face as the collar of her shirt dips down. My breath catches at the sight of her lilac bra cupping her breasts, the way they spill forward with her positioning. I can even see down to her stomach. Flooded with embarrassment–and, worse, turned on–I turn my face back to the screen, trying to ignore how my dick twitches.
“Thanks,” I say, biting the inside of my cheek. “I see what you mean.” I had my eyes on Eloise for less than a second, but the image had carved itself onto the backs of my eyelids. I feel my mouth grow dry. I begin to bounce the leg her knee isn’t pressed against, and we sit in a thick silence as we finish.
“Reece?” Eloise asks. “You good?”
“Yeah, El, I’m all good,” I answer, but my voice is slightly hoarse. I wonder if she likes the sound of her name in my mouth. Does her spine tingle at it? I look over at Eloise, and our eyes meet for the first time since we sat down. My heart leaps into my throat.
“You just seem…really agitated? We can always do this at a different time if there’s something else you’re stressed about or whatever. It’s not that big of a deal.” My eyes are trained on Eloise’s lips and how they move when she speaks, and I feel my own begin to burn as I try to asphyxiate the desperate urge to kiss her.
“No, no, no, I’m good. I’m happy to be here. I’m so glad I’m here.” Fuck. “Just, y’know, uh. It’s kind of hot? in here. Could you maybe, like, get me a glass of water or something?”
“Yeah, of course,” she says, fingers darting across her lips as she notices my gaze. I cringe at myself when her back is turned. Eloise grabs a cup off a shelf and leaves the room.
I drop my head back, my neck pressing against the cool back of the wooden chair. “Fuck,” I say, dragging my hands through my hair. “Jesus Christ, I need to get myself together.” I give my head a good shake, trying to get the tingling sensation of desperate need out of my body. I want to get up and leave so badly so I can crawl into my bed and scream my humiliation into my pillow.
I can hear Eloise’s laugh in the hall as she talks to someone. I hate how I respond to it–I feel my whole soul practically latch itself to the sound. She enters the room a minute later and hands me the cup. We sit in silence for five minutes as we finish. I’m ready to bolt when she closes her laptop, and am immediately up on my feet.
“You seem like you’re in a bit of a rush, but, uh, if you’ve got time, do you wanna sit and chat for a bit?” Eloise asks, her voice soft.
“No, no, I’m not in a rush at all. Sorry, just antsy. You know, all that sitting. My butt’s sore from the chair. But I’d love to stay. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome to sit on the bed,” she offers, then gives me a weak smile. I’m not sure how to interpret it and am afraid she’s only offering it to me to be polite.
“I can just sit on the floor. You have a very fluffy rug.” A safe answer, although I wouldn’t mind sitting on her bed, hoping my scent would cling to the comforter and press her nose to it once I left. Jesus Christ, I can hardly stand my own thoughts.
I clumsily lower myself to the ground, my limbs feeling rubbery. I stretch my legs out in front of me, crossing them at the ankles, and put my hands behind me to support myself.
Eloise gets up and out of her chair and puts it back in what I assume is its usual place. She joins me on the rug by my knees, and I’m unsure how to interpret the face she makes. Is it a grimace? Or a nervous smile? She tells me about the essay she’s currently writing for her English class. I don’t take my eyes off her, wholly mesmerized by what she has to say. And this is what it’s usually like. I cherish her every word because I know I’ll ache for her company as soon as I leave. I’ll think about her as I fall asleep; she’ll be my first thought when I wake. To the point that sometimes I find myself blurting her name out into my empty dorm room as soon as my alarm goes off.
Nor can I stop staring at her lips, and the burning in my body begins to make me giddy. As the conversation progresses, I gradually start moving toward her. I’m now sitting up fully, and our legs are touching again.
“You know, I’m glad we were partnered for this project. I really like your company, Reece,” Eloise says, staring at the rug as she picks at it. A warm wave of pleasure erupts in my chest, and I find myself sitting up straighter, energized by her words.
“Thank you. I mean, I feel like it was a given to pair us together. We spend a lot of time together and work efficiently, so, y’know, why not? We’ve been doing our labs together all semester, so why not the final?”
“You’re right. It was natural. It would’ve been weird to work with anyone else, and I’m glad I get to work on this final too. Wouldn’t have wanted to be with anyone else.” Eloise’s voice is hesitant, and her gaze meets mine, and we both breathe out awkward laughs.
I’m expecting to go into cardiac arrest at any moment. My skin feels too tight for my body, something I’ve never felt before. It’s almost claustrophobic, intensified by how my nerves seem to be on fire. I’m aware of the tag on my t-shirt brushing against my back. My body feels unbearably heavy as if I am rooted to the spot. My stomach somersaults with an uncomfortable strength.
“You’re right. It feels natural, and that’s a perfect way to describe it.” I’m surprised by the tenderness in my voice, despite the nauseating thrill my words stir.
Eloise is staring at my mouth now, her whole body tense. The air suddenly feels heavy, hard to breathe, like it’s getting stuck in my lungs. My lips start to burn again, and I feel like my center of gravity is off balance. I find myself leaning closer to her.
“Mhm?” Her eyes meet mine again. I’m certain my throat will close, or maybe I’ll cough up my heart.
“I really, really enjoy spending time with you. Like, I usually hate labs, but being partnered with you makes them the highlight of my day.”
Eloise’s face lights up. We’re so close now; only inches separate us. We’re staring at each other’s lips, and I’ve never felt such an intense mixture of pain and want. I have never felt an ache this deep, this desperate, this hungry. I feel like I will die if I don’t kiss her.
“El?” It’s a whisper.
I shudder at the way my name sounds when she murmurs it. “Say my name again. Please.
“S-sorry. I don’t know what that was.” I try to play it off with a laugh. It’s hollow.
“Reece.” Her eyes are wide.
“Eloise, this is going to sound embarrassing–especially since this is my first time in your room–but you’re my favorite person here. I know we’ve only known one another for five months, but I trust you in a way I feel like I haven’t before with anyone else. I’m sorry if this is weird, unexpected, or cringe, but I just…wanted, to be honest with you?”
“You’re my favorite person here, too.”
“I am?” I’m embarrassed by my own surprise. “What about–?”
“Don’t act so surprised, Reece,” Eloise chuckles. “Can’t you tell?”
“I mean, I feel it’s obvious how much I like you–you’re company. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that my status is ‘upped’ by being associated with you.”
Eloise snorts. “Oh, please. Now you’re just trying to flatter me.”
“No–I’m not. You make me laugh harder than anyone else. Everything you say is interesting. You’re so smart. Sometimes I feel like you see right into my soul. It’s a little scary sometimes how well-understood I feel by you. You’re the full package. Plus, you’re so pretty so–“
A palpable silence fills the room. Fuck.
“You think I’m pretty?”
“Yeah, uh…I do.” My voice breaks at my confirmation.
Our chests are like magnets, and we are now both leaning toward one another.
“Reece?” She says my name under her breath with a tenderness that makes my heart sear. “Will you kiss me?”
The room starts to spin, and I tumble into her. Our teeth bump together at the urgency of the kiss. I scramble for a place to put my hands. Her knees? My brain can’t catch up when she kisses me back. I kiss her as if my life depended on it. I think I will die if I stop.
“Reece, I’ve wanted to do that for so long,” she whispers, breaking the kiss.
My body shudders at the sound of my name, and I feel myself harden. “That makes two of us. Fuck.”
“Really?” Her voice is full of so much hope, her eyes so wide.
“Yeah, of course. I-I’m crazy about you.”
“How could I not be? I mean, did you not hear all those things I just said? It also helps–just a bit–that you’re unbelievably gorgeous. Like, holy shit, Eloise. The first time I saw you, I don’t know, I think my brain short-circuited.”
“I like you too, Reece,” Eloise promises. She giggles, pulling me closer to kiss me again, giving me the confirmation I’ve pined for. This time the kiss is slow, exploratory. I’m so nervous, so overwhelmed I’m shaking. I slide my tongue across her bottom lip, which earns me a groan of approval. I graze my teeth across it, and Eloise moans into my mouth. I’m so hard it hurts. I’m afraid I’ll come just from kissing her. Our tongues brush against each other, and this time, the foreignness of the feeling makes my breath hitch. We listen to it echo in the room. Eloise does it again, licking gently across my tongue, my teeth, the inside of my bottom lip. She knots my shirt in her hands, and against my chest, I feel her heart hammer. Can she feel mine?
“Can we stop for a second please? I want to tell you something,” Eloise murmurs.
“Yeah, what’s up?” I bury my face into the crook of her neck.
“T-this is my first time kissing someone–but that doesn’t mean I want to stop.”
“This is my first time, too.” The confession is painful, but the shame and embarrassment are tolerable with Eloise.
I feel her sag with relief in my arms. “I don’t want to just…kiss. If that’s okay.”
A giggle bubbles up in my throat. “Yeah, yeah…of course it’s okay.”
Eloise guides my face back to hers and kisses me, deepening it. I cup her cheek in my hand. We move together in sync now, slow, cautious, each of us waiting for the other to lead.
“Is it okay if I take my shirt off?”
“It’s more than okay,” Eloise answers.
Together, we pull at the hem of my t-shirt and lift it over my head and off. I toss it away, unsure of where it lands. Eloise drags her palms down my chest, and the contact sends a shot of electricity straight to my cock. I break the kiss to press a kiss to her forehead, and Eloise buries her face into the crook of my neck to giggle.
“Hold on, let me just–” she starts, grabbing the hem of her shirt and shimmying it off. My mouth dries at the sight of her, my cock throbbing. Anticipation has never felt like this before–I have become greedy, desperate. I will die if she doesn’t let me put my hands on every inch of her body. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted something this badly or felt desire this consuming.
“Fuck, Eloise,” I whisper, marveling at the dip of her collarbones, the swell of her tits, the curve of her stomach. “You’re so gorgeous.”
She places a hand on my chest and gently pushes me back, positioning herself over me and straddling my hips with her knees. I set my lips where her shoulder meets her collarbones, and Eloise curls her fingers in my hair. I begin to kiss my way to her neck, my motions sloppy due to my exhilaration, my disbelief. I kiss the space between her collarbones. I kiss her tits. I drag my mouth over them, and Eloise gasps at the touch.
“Can we maybe take this off?” I ask, running my index finger under the strap of her bra.
“I’m gonna let you do that so I don’t embarrass myself,” I murmur. When her bra falls away, and I pull back to look at her, my heart jumps into my throat. She’s so pretty, it hurts. Her eyes are wide with nervousness, and Eloise is chewing her lip. I drink in each detail of her–the way her tits curve and her nipples are slightly darker than the rest of her skin–the slight dip of her waist.
“El, shit. You’re, you’re so pretty. Fuck. Fuck me, Jesus Christ.”
Color spreads along her cheeks, and when she beams, it makes my heart swell. “Thank you. So are you.”
“Can I please, uh, put my mouth on you?”
She nods vigorously, shifting forward to align my face with her chest. I bring myself to her right nipple and pull it into my mouth. Eloise whimpers and arches her back into me as I suck. I palm her left breast, and her breaths quicken. I marvel at the new sensation, the slight firmness of her nipple. I wonder what it feels like for her. I dig my fingers into her hips. I switch to her other breast, now kneading the right. I roll us over gently, and now on top, I kiss the space between her breasts and take my time as I move down her navel.
I laugh at the urgency in her voice and struggle to undo the button of her jeans. I get it on my third try and shimmy her clothes down her legs, and I ball up her jeans and toss them.
“Don’t forget yours.”
I undo my belt buckle and yank it off, and kick my jeans off with an unbelievable lack of grace. I cringe at myself, worried that she’ll find it unattractive or get second-hand embarrassment. The pressure on my dick lessens dramatically, and we stare at the tented shape of my boxers for a few seconds. She giggles nervously, bringing a hand to her mouth to cover her smile. Eloise’s knees are drawn to her chest, hiding her. I settle in front of her, run my hands over her knees, down her legs, and wrap my hands around her ankles.
“Eloise, can I?”
“Yeah,” she responds, voice breathless. She takes a shuddering breath in and slowly parts her knees. Eloise leans back on her elbows. “Reece, I’m really nervous.”
“That’s okay. I am, too. I don’t know what I’m doing.”
We both laugh but are also both shaking. I am overwhelmed–sensorily, emotionally. A part of me is terrified–and all the self-doubt comes crashing over me. What if Eloise doesn’t enjoy this? What if I mess it up? What if–
“Can I…can I touch you between your legs?”
I settle between her knees, running my thumb down the thin pink cotton covering her pussy. It’s damp to the touch and my cock pulses in response, straining against my boxers. I do it again, applying slightly more pressure. Eloise’s eyes are closed, all her attention on my fingers. I begin to touch her through the fabric, and she guides my thumb to the apex of her pussy. Eloise places her fingers over mine, showing me how to touch her. Her breathing is slow, and we sit in silence.
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