Bonds of youth

Bonds of youth
Turning my head with a painfully deep sigh, I run my fingers through my thick, hazel brown hair. I look out of the window, gazing down upon the well kept college grounds from the perch of the third floor of the tower block. I can feel the boredom take a tight grasp over my mind, wishing that I could lie on the fields and just soak in all the sunlight. The exams had ended a few weeks ago and I had handed in every piece of coursework, but our teacher, the notoriously short tempered, and statured Mrs Lowe, had decided that we would stay till the standard end of the college term. Classes had become so simple lately, that I spend almost every day like this, finishing hours before the lesson does.

“Theodore!” I feel my heart skip a beat as Mrs Lowe barks out my name, and I realize just how far my mind had wandered, a blush descending over my cheeks as I slowly register the faint chuckles around the room from my classmates “We may have finished our examinations, but I do not expect you to neglect your work like this, eyes back to your computer, not the birds and bees”

I feel frustration bubbling to the surface at her words, and thoughts of what I would like to say run rampant through my mind “Take a look, I finished an hour ago!”, “But there’s nothing left for me to do, can't I just leave?”, “Why do we have to stay, the college is empty!” These complaints are swallowed, along with pride and empty air as I nod, replying in an obedient tone “Sorry Mrs Lowe” Turning back to my computer screen, I fiddle with the documents for a little while, playing with the font and format in a vain attempt to occupy myself before I hear the ding of an incoming email, and see the title of the message pop up on the screen ‘Good afternoon teddy bear’. I smile warmly, knowing who it is before even clicking the message, only Bellissa, my closest childhood friend, uses pet names with me.

Hey Teddy bear *Hugs* I know that you must be bored so I decided to brighten your day ^_^ Bet you want me to brighten it right there, sitting in your lap? ;)

I feel the tips of my ears heat up as I read the end of her message, and look around to make sure no one is looking She is always so timid around others, even when we were in primary school, but lately she has been acting so differently around me I guess she is just teasing me? Refocusing my mind, I type up a quick reply. Hey Bellissa *Blushes and hugs back* Bored as always of course >_> what about you? Having fun with your “independent studies”? Lmao

I barely have any time to wait before her reply comes in, and I can imagine her giggling on her side of the computer as she continues her teasing. Blushes? =o lol, hiding something in your lap Teddy? All on my own here The tone of her message soon becomes unusual, as I notice that she has attached a picture, but her message is not over yet. Wanna see what I’m doing?

I move the cursor to click and download the attachment, yet I pause as my breath gathers and sticks in my throat. I know that she is not the sort of girl to do anything indecent, but with all the teasing I just have to look around first, to make sure there are no eyes on me When I am sure it is safe, I click the link and save the picture to my usb, my heart hammering as I wait for a picture to come up on my screen Finally, the breath escapes my throat as I realize that it is an innocent picture of her, wearing her school blouse and skirt with a tie and knee high socks, a sad smile crossing her lips as she sits at home alone. Writing a speedy reply, I send it off, but feel an unusual disappointment welling up inside of me, almost wishing that the picture was something more Aww = ( You look so bored Bell. No way to entertain yourself? = P

Again, her reply comes quickly and I am left wondering if she had planned for my responses. Yup yup, you are Teddy Bear ;) Come over after class is over ok? Don’t want to spend another afternoon alone with my books =’(

I write my reply as quickly as my fingers can move, and say that I would love to come over, but she has no reply this time. Curiosity and concern cloud my mind as the day rolls on, and I am grateful that the last day before summer vacation always ends early

Gazing out of the window as I ride the bus, my hand tightens around the pole in front of me, my mind drifting back to the photo, but focusing on my thoughts before I opened it “What was I expecting to see? Was I really expecting something perverse from her? Was I really expecting her to want me to see her, to think of her like that? Was I Was I really expecting Bell to feel the same way I do about her?” Sighing deeply, I sink into the seat, my mind delving deeper along the road I had wandered a thousand times “Bell She is just a friend right? I have been the guy that helps, the guy that supports her, through the hard times, the guy who listens to all the gossip about her boyfriend, and shared all her smiles” Leaning forwards, I stand from my seat and hop off the bus, my mind wandering for the final time “Enough I know that I will never be more than a friend to her I should be happy to have that much”

Rounding the final street corner to her house, I stop and run my fingers through my hair, growling to myself in frustration and my stubborn desires for more than this perfect friendship, the fact that I would put it all at risk for my stupid lust I stop by the door to her house, and reach up to knock on the door, breathing deeply and forcing my feelings down as Bell opens the door, and welcomes me with her usual chirpy tone

“Took your time I see Teddy!” Reaching down, she takes my hand in her own and pulls me inside “Come on, come on!” I sigh mockingly as she pulls me inside, standing stiffly and pretending to resist as always until she turns with a grin, pulling me into a friendly hug “Same old boring Teddy!”

Smiling nervously, I wrap my arms around her shoulders, returning the cuddle as I speak in a carefree tone “Same old death grip huh Bell?” I grin as she nods into my chest, and I have to wonder if she is trying to tempt me to tell her about my yearnings for something more Same old Teddy she says? No, she is the same, so full of life and joy, the same old breath of life, while I am consumed by the needs I feel for her, and the angst of knowing that I may never have her

“Teddy? Are you alright?” Jumping slightly I loosen my arms from around her, and step back chuckling uncomfortably

“Yeah, just daydreaming” I struggle to put on a fake grin, and prolong the charade “Lessons with Mrs Lowe seem to do that to me!” I chuckle again and Bell seems to accept my reason as she walks me through to the kitchen. She stops inside the large, well equipped kitchen and reaches down a glass as her face turns sour while she pours me a quick drink of soda.

Without looking at me, her voice turns serious and I can make out a tinge of disappointment in her tone “I thought you might have been thinking of me, instead of college” Feeling the disappointment in her voice, the thought that I have caused her pain, feels like a knife in my gut and I step forwards, preparing to put a hand to her shoulder, to come clean and confess it all when she turns with a big smile. Placing the glass into my extended hand, she returns to her usual chirpy tone “Just kidding!”

I watch her disappear off into the living room, left speechless by the facade of her pain, and the dashed hopes that she would feel the same, that I could confess, and then maybe I pause as I catch sight of my own thoughts and down the drink in an attempt to clear my head, placing the empty glass on the kitchen counter before following after Bell in a hurry, quickly finding her in the living room.

She is already sitting on the sofa, a cheap delivery pizza on the table and a few bottles on the side. I slowly walk up to her while she fiddles with the TV, trying to find the right channel for the DVD player before she pats the seat next to herself, and turns to me with her usual bright expression “Got a tummy ache or something Teddy?” I look at her quizzically, unsure of what she means, but her pale blue eyes drift to the floor when she continues, this time with a more sombre tone “Ted You don’t seem yourself today” She looks up, her eyes seeming to glimmer and shine with concern “Did I do something to upset you? If I did I am”

I smile warmly, walking to the sofa and stand in front of her, placing a friendly kiss on her cheek, and a gentle hand on her head, speaking softly “You don’t need to worry It’s just something that came up today, but I won’t worry about it, promise” My smile turns to a grin, and I turn around, jumping back to flop in the sofa, delighting in the little squeal that Bell makes as I land next to her “Same old Bell!” I turn to face her, and muster all my will into hiding my troubles, trying to bring out my usual grin “Always worried about nothing!”

Bell pauses for a moment, seeming to weigh up whether she should just give up and take my word, before replying with a nod, and leaning against my shoulder “Always worried about my cuddly friends” I become absorbed by the feeling of her heat on my arm, her body pressing against my own, and the temptation to just take her in my arms, to just lean around and claim her lips becomes almost unbearable. To just feel her nestled in my arms, to just feel the warmth of her body, and her soft sweet lips My eyes widen as loud, obnoxious music starts to play, and I jump underneath Bell, looking to the TV with a startled expression as she squeaks in shock.

“He he” Taking the TV remote, Bell turns the volume down from maximum and looks to me with a shy smile, a blush washing over her cheeks “Oops?” She stays flustered, speaking quickly and trying to pass her embarrassment off “G Good thing I have the big, brave Teddy to protect me!” She feigns a grin, still red cheeked “You jumped a mile!”

Chuckling softly at the ridiculous situation, and my friends’ reaction, I wrap an arm around her shoulders and speak in as suave a tone as I can muster “Well then. I will be sure to shape up and protect you!” I look up to check the screen, and groan as I see the title on the DVD menu “Sleepless in Seattle? Your favourite again Bell?”

She twists and turns on the sofa, grabbing for a throw cushion and plops it down on my chest before lying down and getting comfortable, grinning ear to ear as if she was a child “Uh huh!” Twisting again, she reaches for the pizza on the table, and offers me a slice “Why? Are you bored of it?” I consider telling the truth Then decide to be sane and humour her whims, shaking my head with a smile, signalling her to continue

We watch the movie, barely focused on the TV as we have fun, speaking out the lines, and chuckling as I tease her for her obsession with the film, then pretending to be shocked as she points out that I can do exactly the same. We continue to chatter aimlessly, discussing our day, the college, and our worries over the recent exams, even going on to our plans for university and beyond. The most curious moment however, is when I continue to ask about her boyfriend “So, how are things with Dominic right?” I cringe inwardly as I mention his name, my skin crawling with my newfound envy “Enough Let it go already”

She turns away, seemingly trying to hide in the cushion, and speaks quietly “Dom is alright We are having a bit of a rough patch but” She tries to fake her usual cheer, but there is an evident strain hanging in her voice “But we will work through it, what couples don’t fight, right?”

I pause for what seems like an eternity, wondering whether to stop the DVD, to hold her close and demand that she tells me what is worrying her, what is making her sad, but Leaning close, I kiss her on the side of her head, and stroke a hand through her hair, deciding to trust in her choice as I speak in a gentle tone “True But if you ever want to talk about it” I pause as she takes hold of one of my large hands in her small ones, and runs her fingers over my palm, leaning into the cushion, and me as a result
“Thank you Theodore” She speaks in the same sombre tone as before, and kisses my hand “I am lucky to have you” Looking up, I can see another of her faked smiles as she tries to stay positive “Now enough, the movie is still going!”

I try to chuckle warmly, and speak up wanting to lighten the mood for her, until the movie finally comes to a close, and I speak up “Ah yes, how does it go” I clear my throat before speaking again, trying to imitate one of the actors voices “Look, Annie I love you, but let’s leave that out of this. I don’t want to be someone that you’re settling for, I don’t want to be someone that anyone settles for” I pause as I hear a faint sniffle, and look down to Bell “H Hey, what’s wrong?”

“It’s nothing” I feel a warm drip fall from the tip of her nose, and seep through the thin fabric of my trousers, and brush her hair aside, looking down to see the tears pricking in her eyes. Smiling weakly, Bell tries her hardest to look strong in front of me, but I can just tell that something is eating away at her “I’m fine, it’s just the movie!” I shuffle slightly, and place my hands on each of her shoulders, helping her to sit by my side, and move the cushion from my lap “Ted? What are you”

Acting on instinct alone, I wrap my arms around her and ignore her faint surprised gasp. Instead of feeling nervous, or pulling away I just draw her towards me, allowing her to nestle her head into my chest “You always act so happy You always smile so no one knows when you need help, no one knows when you need to be cared for” I feel her arms move to loosely return the hug, and continue to speak in a sincere tone “You always try to be so much for so many people” I feel her arms tighten around my waist, and a warm drip slip through my shirt “You don’t always have to shoulder the world” I smile warmly, looking into her teary eyes as she gazes up at me “We are friends Bell You don’t have to act, just be you” Leaning close, I kiss her on the forehead and speak again “Ok?”

Bell wordlessly replies, tightening her arms around my waist, and burying her head into my chest as she allows the repressed tears to flow. “Bell How long have you been holding all of this Do you ever free this sadness, this pain?” Whispering sweet encouragement into her ear, I stroke a hand through her hair, but a despicable feeling runs through my mind. While I am obviously sad to see her in tears, sad to see my dear friend so low, there is a conflict inside of me. It feels good to hold her, to be the one that she is opening up to, to be the one that she trusts so deeply. The conflict adds to the weights on my mind, but before I have the time to contemplate the conflict, I feel the palms of her hands on my chest and release her from my arms “Thank you I’m sorry Teddy”

I watch as she wipes the tears from her eyes and allow her a moment to gather herself, reaching to the table for a tissue, passing it to her. I finally speak in a concerned tone as I pour a drink for each of us “It’s Dominic isn’t it” Reclining back, I hand Bell her drink, and throw the damp tissue in the bin next to the sofa, continuing to speak “Why do you put up with him This isn’t the first time he has hurt you, is it?”

She shakes her head in response, but tries to meet my concern with a mask “No But it’s ok” She smiles once more as she speaks “I care about him, and he is willing to put up with me so”

Cutting in, I tilt her chin up slightly, and feel my heart begin to thud as I strain to hold myself back, yearning to tell her that he doesn’t deserve her, that she should leave the scumbag, that she That she could be with me, that I would make her smile every day. I shake my head, cutting back to the moment at hand as I speak “No It’s not enough for him to ‘put up’ with you” Gazing deep into her eyes I continue “You are amazing Bell He should be grateful, he should feel blessed to have you!”

I see her withdraw, timid and unsure as I tell her something so different then what she thought was the truth “But I am stupid, careless, naive Who would want to be with me but Dominic?” I see tears return to her eyes, threatening to fall

Gulping slightly, my hammering heart returns “I I would” Bell looks up to me, her eyes shimmering with welling tears “I mean, I” Closing my eyes, I try to speak the words that I feel in my heart, but they stumble and choke before they can escape, leaving me to avoid them once more “I think that you are incredible You are kind, sensitive, funny, hopeful You have the strongest will that I know” I pause as I feel all the heat in my body rushing to my cheeks, but my eyes remain tightly closed

I can barely believe it All of the guys I have been with, they all said the same That they were the only ones who would ever accept me, but Reaching forwards, Bell places her hand on the sofa, slowly approaching me. But Teddy He has always been there, he has always cared and made me smile, always Maybe he is the one that can do more than just settle for me She moves ever closer, until I open my eyes and see her right in front of me, her eyes closed, leaning forwards “Theodore, I I just don’t know Please?”
My hands begin to shiver and shake as she offers her lips to me, and my heart feels like it will explode out of my chest “Bell I” My mind becomes clear and focused, this is what I wanted, and so I should take it “I don’t know what to say” My body wants it too, it yearns for her taste, for the touch of her lips on my own as I place my left hand behind her head, holding her close as my head leans closer “I lo” Suddenly I freeze, and I cannot move. I love her. I can’t. I can’t say I love her, then take advantage of her when she is vulnerable I would be no better than Dominic. Finally, I speak out again, my resolve weak and fractured “I I can’t Bell I don’t want to take advantage of you” I feel a warm tear prick at the corners of my eyes as the words escape my lips, my heart sinking as I let go of my desires.

A sad smile crosses her face, but she nods, wrapping her arms around my shoulders, an embrace that I cannot return this time “Thank you Teddy” Pulling back, she speaks again “Thank you for your words, and thank you for not taking advantage of me”

A tired smile rises as I reply, feeling drained from the emotions of our conversation and I reply simply “You’re welcome Bell” We keep talking as the daylight fades, our conversation slowly returning to everyday gossip and light hearted banter until the sound of a key rattles in the front door, and Bellissa’s parents walk inside

Bellissa’s Father, Marcus, walks in first, looking at his daughter, then to me with concern, then a faint smile as Bell meets him with a grin “Good evening Theodore” He jingles his keys, and looks to the door “Tell you what, get ready and I will give you a lift home, does that sound good?”

I nod quickly, speaking in a respectful tone “Thank you Marcus, I would appreciate it” He smiles, walking back outside to start the car as I scoop up my jacket to follow before stopping. I speak without turning, my resolve slowly returning “Bell I will support you, now and always” I look over my shoulder as I see her perk up, and continue to speak “But If Dominic keeps hurting you like this I will do whatever it takes to stop him” Turning away again, I hear her stand to follow me and I lead to the hall “You deserve better then that” I slide on my shoes, and turn to give her a parting hug “Goodnight Bellissa”

My sleep is choppy and uneven that night, my thoughts locking and clouding in what would become a common dream, focusing around the conflict in my heart, respecting a dear friend, holding a childhood bond, the growing lust, and the new purer feelings, the desire to spend my life with this amazing girl

Suddenly, my eyes shoot open, and I bolt up in my bed as I hear the sound of my door creaking open, and a soft patter of feet on my carpet. I squint to make out the figure, obscured by a blinding light in the doorway, but they soon move, making their way slowly, teasingly and seductively to my bed. The figure finally comes into view, and her shapely, well kept body is bare naked, tempting, arousing and alluring, bringing every fibre in my body to a lustful life, yet her cascading dirty blonde hair hides her face from my sight.

I try to speak so I can ask who she is, but the words do not come, I try to look into her eyes, yet her hair keeps them hidden as she crawls along the bed like a wildcat, and my attempts to move are thwarted as I find my body stiff and unyielding. Finally, the mystery intruders’ voice pierces the silence of the night, her right hand resting against my ankle “Don’t fight it Theodore” My body finally moves, shivering in lust as the woman places a sensitive kiss on my knee, then trails up to the inside of my knee, and she begins to crawl higher once again, slowly peeling away the sheets covering my unmoving body, leaving me powerless to her expert seduction.

My mind is a blur, who could have gotten into my house so late, why is she naked, why did she choose me, where is my family during this commotion, and why did she know my name? Finally, I find my voice, and speak up in a shaky voice, my head light with the feeling of heavy intoxication “Who Are you? Why are you” I am silenced by the figure as she places a finger to my lips, giggling softly and she raises her face to look into my eyes, a glint of blue entering my awareness, before she lowers her head back into the shadows, tracing kisses along each of my thighs

“You know who I am Theodore.” Her hands stroke along the bases of my legs, before snagging at my knees, gently lifting them “And why?” Her head rises again, and I can make out a devilish grin “Because you wish for it” I am still unable to control my body as she slowly pulls my legs apart, her eyes focusing on my gradually hardening manhood “Oh my Bigger than I expected” She leans close enough for her warm breath to tickle across my pelvis and hips, sending tiny twitches rushing through me before placing a kiss on the tip of my shaft, sending pleasure like lightning up and down my spine.

“I Wished for this?” I focus all of my energy on my limbs, trying to use my arms to push the woman away, to force her off me or to move my legs, to close them and maintain my dignity. My mind rushes over the possible explanations for my paralysis, and finally I speak out again “My body Did you do this to me?”

Another giggle is pulled from the figure as she lowers her body to lie on top of my own, her breasts pressing against my pelvis and her elbows at either side of my body “No” She slides up my body, her plentiful mounds grinding against my rough chest, and my body arching towards her as her stiff nipples flick against my own “You did it to yourself Theodore” Her grin grows darker as I shake my head, refusing to believe her explanations “No? Don’t believe me?” She leans towards my face, but veers off and places a fiery kiss on the side of my neck, seeming to send an infinite number of twitches and moans through me, before making me yelp loudly as she bites my neck seductively “Then just tell me to stop”

Marshalling all my will to ending this madness, I open my mouth, ready to tell her to stop, to get the hell off me or to yell for help, but not even a hoarse croak escapes my lips, much to my confusion. I look up to her, panic setting in as I realize how powerless I am to this figure, and she chuckles cruelly, grinding her slick folds along my chest, before pushing back and into my manhood, forcing me to groan loudly. Once more I feel compelled to question this figure, needing to know more “Wh.. Who are you?”

She groans, delighting in the feeling of my hardened manhood, and reaches around her body with one hand to guide my head “I am your ‘lust’ dear Theodore” With one brutal buck, she pushes back swallowing my whole manhood into her folds, and I am left panting with lust “I am your true desire” She giggles gleefully at my confusion, and places her hands on my chest to prop herself up while she slowly pushes up my shaft “You want me to go faster right?” She finally answers the pleas of my body, and plummets down and onto my shaft, tightening her vaginal walls around my shaft, creating an intense tightness

I grimace slightly, rapidly approaching an orgasm every time that the figure plunges down on me, before being robbed of my completion as she mockingly laughs at my frustrations. Finally, I surrender to the sensations, feeling the desire, no, the need to move to control and to sate my lust. Once more, I urge my body to move, to obey my whims but this time for my own pleasure and finally, my arms move.

Placing a tight grip on her waist, I pull the figure up my shaft, before pulling her down on me as hard as possible, growling in lust as her body slaps against my pelvis. The figure groans lustfully, apparently reaching an orgasm of her own, but she chuckles slightly and speaks in a blissfully fulfilled tone “You see Theodore!?” She moans blissfully as the tip of my manhood brushes against her g-spot “Lust is all that you need, just admit it!”

I grunt and increase the force and speed of my thrusts, finally taking control as I shift our position, so the figure is on her back with her legs in the air, and I now kneel by her womanhood, hammering my shaft inside of her with all of the force that I can muster. Over and over, I hit the spot that had made her groan so blissfully before, and her moans reach a fever pitch as she reaches completion, her juices squirting against my pelvis and shaft.

I feel the figures walls tightening around me, seeming to be milking me for my cum and they are successful. My orgasm strikes moments after the figures climax, and my seed floods into her folds, coating her walls until I collapse on top of her, joining together in a post orgasmic high. My mind is snapped back to attention however, as she reaches up to brush the hair from her face, and I finally see who my intruder was “Mm Not bad Teddy bear”

I gasp as I see her face, speaking in a shocked tone “B.. Bell!? What are you?” A shrill ringing fills the air before I can finish speaking, and the surroundings seem to slowly fade away as I cover my ears. The walls, windows and curtains seem to dissolve, soon followed by the furniture, the floor, and even the darkness, until all that remains is Bell and I, floating in a brilliant white void, until even she begins to fade. “No! Wait!” I reach out to her, trying to grasp onto her in the midst of this madness, but my hand is next to follow, slowly dissolving into the air but there is no pain

A natural light floods my eyes, and I bolt upright, surveying my surroundings. I I’m home? This is my bedroom I glance around again, and everything is where it should be Looking down, I notice that my hand is intact and whole too, and I now notice the beads of sweat rolling down my forehead. The ringing from before is still in the air, and I turn back and forth, finding my alarm clock and quickly silence it with a well aimed shoe

I collapse back onto my bed, feeling more exhausted then I can ever recall, and speak in a low growl “Damn That was a dream? But It felt so real Are those my true desires?”Before I can contemplate any further, I look to my bedside table, and see my mobile, flashing with a newly received text message

Reaching over with a sigh, I grab the mobile and flip it open to glance at the screen “And the pain in the ass texting me at” I gaze to the clock on my bedside table “Seven in the morning is” I sigh slightly as I read the name of a friend in my class, and his text, teasing me about Mrs Lowe telling me off for daydreaming yesterday. I stand from my bed, writing a quick reply as I make my way to the bathroom. So, did you wake me up this early for any reason, or are you just being an ass again Dante? I place the mobile on a side table as I make my way into the bathroom, discarding my clothes on the floor, but something happens before I can step inside.

Catching the reflection of my eyes in the mirror, I pause as if frozen, catching the confusion and doubt in myself. Before long, my mind returns to the dream, the image of her pale eyes, piercing into my very soul, and her soft, warm body that I had imagined so many times pressing against my own. I shake my head softly, and curse inwardly “It was just a dream, it doesn’t mean anything.” Looking down, I catch the sight of my stiffening manhood, and move my hands up to my head “Damn What’s wrong with me?”

I step inside the shower, turning the temperature as low as I can handle and just stand under the stream, hoping that the water will somehow wash away all the perverse thoughts that I feel for my cherished friend. Despite my efforts, the thoughts return as I close my eyes, and begin to run my fingers through my thick locks “It’s not the first time that I have thought about her as more than a friend is it?” I sigh softly as I feel the water trickle down my body, caressing every nerve with cool relief “But That’s natural! It has to be, I am a guy, and she is a beautiful girl Wanting more from her is just hormones or something, it has to be.” Lathering the shampoo in my hair, I feel my body relax to my own lies “That’s it; this is just a childish crush, nothing more. Give it a week, and everything will be back to normal” Deep down, I know that I do not believe my fake resolve, however for now it grants me the option to live in ignorance Until the feelings fade, if nothing else

Stepping out of the shower, I quickly dry myself off, and throw on some clothes, picking up my mobile on the way downstairs and read over the new text message, an invite to the cinema with friends. Shrugging my shoulders in apathy, I scroll through the numbers and find Dante “Hey, that you Dante?”

A thick, Italian accent replies on the other end of the phone, Dante’s unmistakable voice “I think so, let me check” He lets out a warm, lively chuckle and speaks again “Hey Ted, got my text yes?”

I nod slightly, ignoring the fact that he cannot see me “Yeah, I might be interested” Now in the kitchen, I poke through the fridge looking for milk “But it depends, are we watching some cheesy romance thing again?”

I can hear him pause, and the sound of typing on his keyboard “Nah, not as bad as last time, I promise” His next words come in a thick, teasing tone that drips sarcasm “Twilight?”

I feel a vein twitch in my head and speak, blandly and plainly “I’m sorry Dante, I’m heterosexual” I can hear hearty laughs on his side of the phone, and join him in a warm chuckle, pouring some cereal into an empty bowl as I wait for him to continue

He replies in a slightly more serious tone as he continues “Nah, I was thinking of this new thriller movie, it’s supposed to be pretty good” He can hear some doubt in my voice, but I have no doubt that his next suggestion is made with a big grin “Bell will be there You can hold her if she gets scared man!”

Raising an eyebrow, I finally agree to go, getting the details on when and where before hanging up the phone, sighing in apathy once more as I the realize that it will be a long summer

I slowly make my way to the bus stop we had set to meet up for the movie, fiddling with a small mp3 in my pocket as I walk. I sink my hands into my pockets as I find the right kind of song for my mood, piano blues, and trudge along. I am happy to see Bell again, but a nervous knot builds up inside of me, and I know that I will want to ask a million questions, and to tell her a million things, but, I have a feeling that my dream will create more conflict in my already unstable mind

I jump slightly, looking over the road as I hear Dante’s distinctive voice calling out my name, and see him waving like an idiot “Hey, hurry up will you!?” He grins slightly, beckoning me over. I can see that several friends from college, and Bell, had already arrived. My eyes focus on the man standing next to her, tall, well muscled, a few years older than us from the look of him, with short black hair, and pale green eyes, but I also notice him shoot me a glare as Bell waves happily at me.

Crossing the road, I return the cheerful smiles with one of my own, before looking to the new man, allowing myself to sink to returning a glare of my own, if only for a second. Reaching into my pocket, I turn off the music player and pop the headphones back into my pocket, grinning to Bell as she runs towards me while gripping the new man’s hand tightly, almost dragging him across the floor “Hey you, do you realize that you are late!” She tries to fake a glare, but soon breaks and hugs me quickly, before extending an arm to the man, almost showing him off “Let me introduce you to Dominic!” A cheeky smile crosses her face as she continues, whispering to make sure that only Dominic and I can hear her “I told you he was sexy” Her head bolts up as someone in the group calls her, and she turns back, speaking in frustration “Darn Play nice boys, I will be right back!”

The man and I smile warmly as Bell rushes off, both hiding the friction before she leaves earshot, and he speaks in a deep, compelling voice without even turning to me “So You are this ‘Teddy’ she speaks so highly of huh?” I can feel a trace of disdain as he says my name, and return with equal passive aggression

“Ted please, I don’t like being called Teddy” I feel myself twitch as he treats me without an ounce of respect, then uses Bells name for me “So, you are this Dominic that stole her heart, and fills her with such happiness, huh?” I turn to look over him, and the urge to punch him, to kick him, to make him pay for being the reason of Bells tears grips me, but I manage to restrain myself “No I can’t Even if he is a scumbag, Bell loves him” I sigh slightly, and try to let go of the anger, my tone turning neutral as I begin question him “So You have been with Bell for a few weeks now right? How did you guys meet?”

He chuckles silently; crossing his arms over his chest and speaks again, not deigning to look in my direction “She didn’t tell you Teddy?” I grimace, balling my fists as he ignores my request “Five weeks This Friday” I see a smug grin form on his face as he continues “And how we met? I was in the college library, I found the girl crying like a baby over her ex-boyfriend in the corner of the room. I felt bad and pretended to give a damn, then the next thing I know she is acting all sunshine and sparkles with me. In about a week, I snapped her up from the fool as my own girlfriend”

Gritting my teeth, I take several deep breaths, my fingernails beginning to dig into the palms of my hands as my anger gradually becomes intoxicating to me “So What do you think of Bell herself?”

He pauses before replying, and then finally turns to me, a glimmer of arrogant self-superiority visible in his eyes “A perfect little pet for me” His grin grows as he sees my anger, almost seeming to goad me when he continues “She is a real air head though Always smiling and laughing like a kid. With a little work, I can make ‘Bell herself’ into whatever I want”

Finally, I lose myself, and walk to stand right in front of Dominic, grabbing the older boy by the collar of his shirt “Don’t you dare to even think about it” My glare focuses, and my voice turns low and gravelly “I may not be as strong, or as old as you, but if you hurt Bell” I push him back, releasing his collar and grinning as he stumbles “I can make your life a living hell”

I turn to see the bus to town pulling closer, and start walking towards it when I hear Dominic chuckle, whispering to me in a mocking tone “You’re just pissed that the girl you want to screw loves me” I freeze in my tracks as he figures me out so quickly, and Bell returns to our side “It’s been a pleasure Teddy. Thanks for the chat”

Bell looks between Dominic and I, before smiling and speaking in a chirpy voice “So did you boys have a good time?” I see the joy in her eyes, and I know that telling her what has just happened will do nothing but hurt her Swallowing my pride, I keep quiet about Dominic, and nod with a smile, stepping onto the bus with my unrequited love, and settle down into a seat on the bus, trying to relax and laugh with friends over the short trip.

In the cinema, I find the fatigue from my fitful night’s sleep catching up to me, and carefully lean back into the sofa. I slowly close my eyes, placing my hands to my temples as the fatigue and internal stress combine to give me a migraine, and slowly sink further and further into the seat, my thoughts and doubts raging back to life. Do it you coward! Show Bell what a scum her ‘boyfriend’ is! I groan as my head starts to throb. No All that telling her about Dominic does is leave her alone, and in pain as she realizes the man she loved was a lie Taking a deep breath, I try to clear my head as I feel a hand on my shoulder. That’s where I come in I fill that gap, I become her partner, and I show her a real man With my head slowly clearing, I whisper to myself “Is that the kind of ‘real man’ that I am?”

Feeling the warm hand on my shoulder, I turn my head groggily and hear a concerned voice “Ted Are you ok man? Can you hear me?” I look to see Dante, close to me and looking over my body for any signs of pain “Do you need to call for help or something?”

I slowly shake my head, smiling at my friends’ rare serious side as I speak “Nah” Looking into his eyes, I hold a steady eye contact and try to seem sincere “I just haven’t been sleeping well over the last few weeks, it’s nothing serious” Lightly punching him in the arm, I push him back with a smile “Thanks Dante, I appreciate the concern, but sit down and pay attention” I chuckle as I see his confusion, and point to the screen as the movie starts, smiling at the childish grin on his face

Bell soon sits next to me, and hands me my favourite drink and a hotdog with a shy smile and a blush as she whispers to me “Umm Thank you for yesterday Teddy” She takes a quick look around as if she is checking for someone, before returning her focus to me, placing a quick kiss on my lips, blushing deeply “It meant a lot to me”

Smiling warmly, I place my hand on the back of hers and speak softly, keeping a careful lookout for Dominic “It was nothing Bell I’m just glad that you can talk about it” Sliding my hand off hers, I nod my head towards Dominic and pass her the money for my snacks “Thanks Bell” Settling in, I sit back and smile with my friends, looking forward to the movie

I feel my eyelids grow heavy as I watch the movie, and look from the screen to Dante, and then to Bell in confusion, almost as if I am checking to see if they feel the fatigue too. Am I really this tired? Looking back up at the screen, I can see that yet another badly written romantic scene is up and I allow my mind to flow, too tired to resist it “This is love huh? Who in the hell thinks that it is all so clear cut and perfect” I close my eyes, not bothered if I miss a cheesy scene like this “Love is just a struggle Some people may get lucky, but But everyone wants the same people For every couple that gets happy, they leave lonely people in their wake” My consciousness slowly wanes as my thoughts delve deeper into my angst and insecurities, the sounds of the move becoming white noise as slumber rises.

Before long, I feel someone prod me in the side, and I jump with a small yelp. I turn to the poker with a blush and see a concerned look on Bells face as she whispers to me “Teddy Come on; let’s get out of here You look wrecked” She pulls me to my feet, and leans down to whisper into Dominic’s ear, presumably explaining where she is going. She quickly leads me out of the screening room, and back through the lobby to stand outside in the warm afternoon sun “Teddy I am going to ask you something, and please, don’t lie to me” She takes both of my hands in hers, and looks up at me, her eyes and tone brimming with concern “What’s wrong?”

I smile weakly, tightening my hands around hers as I speak “I told you Bell, I really am fine” She shakes her head, and a disappointment begins to cloud her expression, urging me to tell the truth “Ok I haven’t been sleeping well lately” I smile again as she listens intently, but I cannot put my own burdens on her, it wouldn’t be fair of me “I just have a few things, and even if I am not good at the moment, I will be, don’t worry”

I feel Bells hands squeeze my own tightly before letting go. She slides away, and casts her eyes to the floor “I am strong huh?” Before I can ask what she means, she speaks again with unusual intensity “Are you afraid of putting your problems onto me Theodore? Is that the faith that you have in my strength?” She looks up, her gaze piercing against my own “Isn’t it hypocritical, to tell me that I can trust you with absolutely anything, and then decide that you can’t tell me anything?”

Speechless, I open my mouth to reply, but the words do not come, and I can do nothing but cast my eyes aside as she calls out my hypocrisy. I finally speak up after what feels like an eternity, still unable to meet her eyes “I I’m sorry”

She bends down in front of me, looking up to catch the edges of my eyes “No, don’t be” Stepping forwards, she wraps her arms around my shoulders, and speaks softly into my ear “Theodore, we have always been such close friends And I have helped you through your hard times, just as much as you have helped me, but since I met Dominic” I look up; forcing my eyes to focus on hers “It feels like you aren’t happy It feels like I have done something wrong Did I?”

Pulling back slightly, I shake my head and finally begin to speak freely as tears threaten to gather with the air catching in my throat “There There is something that I want” I divert my gaze once more, looking up at the clouds as I speak “There’s this girl I have been her friend forever, but it’s not enough anymore” Turning my head back with a blush, I try to see if Bell understands what I mean

My young friend waits for a moment, considering my words carefully before replying, clearly trying to understand what I mean “You aren’t happy with the friend then?” I can see a flicker of hurt in Bells eyes as it dawns on her that I am talking about my relationship with her “Are you bored with her?”

I nervously squirm away, working my way out of her grip as I shake my head, my cheeks flushing bright red, and I take in a huge breath before talking “No It’s the opposite” I slowly lift my gaze from the floor, focusing on her feet “She is amazing, I could never be anything but happy to know her”

She seems to consider her next question carefully, before speaking in a bold tone “Then what is the problem Theodore?”

I can feel my heart thudding to life, and chuckle slightly under my breath “Just like your movies” Taking in another breath, I try to calm my nerves as I speak, my ears now tinged red “I I want more” My eyes slowly begin to glide up her body, tracing every curve on instinct, until they finally settle in her gaze “I want to say things that a friend can’t do I want to hold her, like only a boyfriend can I want to share and experience the life, with all of the ups and downs, that only” My voice catches in my throat, unable to escape as my will falters, the last tatters of restraint holding me back

Just as the urge to turn and run, the urge to escape and never look back becomes overpowering, I feel Bells hands on my cheeks, her eyes holding me with a gaze alone “Teddy Is there anything I can do to?”

I silence her with a gasp, placing my hands behind her neck and head, and I close my eyes tightly “Bellissa Please” I slowly move forward, pressing my forehead against hers, and lower one hand to rest behind her back “Just listen” I can feel my body begin to burn, and the sound of my thumping heart floods my ears “I I don’t know when things changed” I slowly open my eyes, taking in a deep breath, and hold it for dear life “But But I” Leaning forwards, I slowly approach, and prepare for a kiss. The seconds turn to millennia as I approach, and I never seem to get any closer until my hands loosen on her body, and I sigh in defeat. Marshalling all my will at once, I speak one final time “Bellissa? I love you” Finally, I lean forwards, my entire body painted a bright crimson as I claim her lips, in a light, tender kiss.

My heart thunders as our lips press together, and I expect her to push me away any second, to slap me and call me a pervert, but my fears never realize. Over the seconds, my fears melt, to the sweet taste of her lips, and her warm breath on my neck until we finally pull apart, both stunned and lost for words. She is eventually the first to speak, albeit breathlessly “Teddy?”

Blushing bright red, I realize what I have done I just kissed my childhood friend; I have just crossed the point of no return. I have just kissed a girl that is happy with her boyfriend. I have just given in to my lust Slowly, I step back, and speak, a faint panic in my voice “Bellissa I I’m sorry” Turning away from her I feel the tears build in my eyes, and the fear that my perversion has cost me my dearest friend takes a tight grip on my mind as I break away, running from the cinema “I’m sorry Bell Just forget about me”

I keep running until I finally arrive home almost an hour later, my arms glistening with sweat and my lungs aching from the lack of breath, and unlock the door, hanging my head as the tears continue to roll down my face and onto the hallway floor. I thank my luck that my family is busy today, leaving me to an empty house and slowly trudge upstairs, not caring for the mobile buzzing away in my pocket, speaking in the same defeated tone as before “I’m sorry Bell” Finally reaching my bedroom, I allow myself to fall forwards, sinking into the sheets and hoping to sleep into a never ending slumber

My sheets seem to form a cocoon around me, holding me in a safe, warm environment until I feel the mattress sink to my side, and the sound of deep, heavy breaths fill the air. I assume that someone in the family was still around, that they saw me coming in and ran up the stairs, but I am in no mood to talk, and keep my head sunk into the stained pillow. “Teddy Look at me”

The voice snaps me back to attention, and I turn to see Bell sitting by my side, looking down at me “How”

Smiling warmly, she speaks in a gentle tone “I ran after you the whole way Teddy” She giggles, anticipating my next question, and places her hands under my shoulders to pull me up as she speaks “You left the front door open Teddy”

My cheeks turn bright red yet again and I turn away, determined to hide my tears from her “Oh” Once more, I open my mouth to speak, but the words are a strangled mess, and I am left more embarrassed then ever when I feel her finger and thumb on my chin, turning my head to face her

“Teddy Did you mean what you said?” I try to look away, but once more her naive, yet forceful eyes keep mine locked on her “Do you love me?” She blushes as I nod shyly, and leans close to me, kissing a tear from my cheek “You have always been more than a friend to me Teddy You have been like a brother to me”

Willing myself to move, I place my hands on her shoulders, and match her gaze “I I always wanted to think of you as a friend Bell But our bond was too intense” I gulp slightly, speaking again “I wanted to call you my ‘Sister’, but the feelings were too passionate” Closing my eyes, I take in a deep breath, and speak once more “But nowI want to call you the woman that I love And I desperately want to be the man that you love”

I look over her face, and smile as I see a deep blush spread over her cheeks, and this time she is left speechless as I continue

“I want to be the man that you can always rely on, I want to be the shoulder that you can cry on, and I want to be the one that shares my laughter with you” I feel my blush grow further as I throw my feelings out and into the open “I want to spend every day with you, the smiles, the laughter and the tears”

Finally my words stop, and we remain silent, the beating of my heart and the ticking of my clock becoming the only sounds I can hear, before Bell speaks in a sweet tone, leaning towards me “I want you to be that man Teddy” She closes her eyes, almost begging for another kiss “I love you Teddy”

My heart skips a beat and time seems to stop as I hear her words, my jaw falling slacked and my eyes going wide as I register my dreams, no, my reality I smile warmly, and lean close to whisper into Bells ear “Thank you” I rest my left hand on the back of her head, lacing my fingers through her blonde locks and put my right hand on the small of her back, pulling her waist closer to me as our lips meet once more

Soft moans fill the air as we stroke each other, but this time I feel more daring, more in control of my own actions, and I push a little, slowly invading her mouth with my tongue. Stroking the tip of my tongue against hers, and begin a battle for dominance in the kiss, a graceful dance that is everything I had imagined When the kiss finally breaks, I am left breathless, and allow her to pull away from the embrace as she talks “Teddy” Her hands reach up to the top of her blouse, and she begins to slowly release the buttons “Please More”

I sit back, my shaft beginning to bulge and throb beneath my trousers as Bell slowly undresses herself, revealing her beautiful body to me, inches at a time and I barely restrain myself from jumping her right this second “Bell” Reaching to the bottom of my t-shirt, I grip it tightly and almost throw it over my head, before lowering my hands to the bed, crawling playfully towards her “It would be my pleasure” Placing my hands on her bare shoulders, I gently push her to lie back on the bed, and place a feather light kiss on her cheeks

Allowing myself to revel in her blissful moans, I continue to rain light kisses on her shoulders and collarbone, slowly moving with her moans and requests “Lower There Keep going Teddy” Her moans turn into another gasp as she feels my fingers at her waist, hooking under the band of her skirt and pulling them down to her knees. She moves her hands to my cheeks, and speaks with a begging look in your eyes “Please Teddy I need to feel you Even lower”

Chuckling at her adorable coyness, I comply, but with a twist. Placing my right hand just below her breasts, still hidden by a white lace bra, I begin a slow, downward stroke along her belly and follow the trail of my fingers with a thousand tiny kisses, determined to bring her nerves to life, and her arousal far higher than Dominic or anyone else had ever given her Finally, the merciful teasing comes to an end, and I kiss her erect clitoris through the thin fabric of her white lace panties, and look up to speak a final time “Are you sure this is what you want Bell?”

Taking a deep breath, Bell relaxes her body, and pushes her hips up to meet me “It is” With her words granting me the permission I desire, I wrap my fingers around the hem of her panties and begin to pull them down at a torturously slow pace, kissing along her legs and thighs as I follow them down

“Just tell me if you need to stop Bell” Returning to Bells glistening folds, I stick my tongue out and lick all the way up and down her womanhood, lapping the first juices from her labia and into my hungry mouth. Looking up to her, I catch her eyes once more, yet only for a moment before slowly pushing my tongue into her wetness, chasing down every drop of her sugary juices, as I search for her sweet spots

Bell begins to moan lustfully, her hips bucking towards me as the tip of my tongue finds a sweet spot, then turning to liquid once more as my tongue leaves, building an endless cycle of rising pleasure, building to a crest before slipping away “Please No more teasing Teddy I I need to cum” She squeals out in lust as I finally find her g-spot, throwing her head back while her hands rush to the back of my head, holding me close to her “There, right there!”

Spurred on by her lustful moans, I redouble my efforts, grinding and pressing my tongue against her g-spot, and slowly move my hand to her pelvis. I wait till I feel her walls twitch around my tongue, taking it as a sign of how close she is, then lower my hand from her pelvis to frantically stroke and tease her clitoris, adding the final push, allowing her to plummet over the edge of her climax

Bells fingers tighten into my hair, moaning loudly in completion and I feel her juices flood onto my tongue, before a strange ringing fills the air.

I feel my head spinning as I reach a separate consciousness, and I look around, surveying my surroundings. I quickly identify it as my empty bedroom, and sigh deeply “Great Another dream I guess that is the only place that I will be able to see”[/i} My thoughts are interrupted by the same beeping that woke me up, and I look to the bedside table to see my flashing mobile, and an incoming call signal on the screen. Picking it up, I press it to my ear and speak blandly “Hello, Theodore speaking” I am silenced as I hear sniffling on the other side, the caller having probably cried, but they gasp as they hear my voice

“Teddy?” I feel my heart sink as I recognize the voice as Bells, but before I can speak, she continues in a tone, thick with resolve, but weak from an unknown reason “I need to talk to you Can you open your door please?” I look quizzically at my mobile, but she hangs up before I can reply.

Standing from my bed, I find my knees wobbly beneath my weight, and I realize that my slumbers must have burnt up several hours I look out of the landing window as I make my way down the stairs, and feel my mind calm as I see rain falling therapeutically, but I do not dally and soon reach the door, turning my key in the lock, and swing it open, recoiling as I see Bell on the other side, soaked and shivering from the rain “Oh god” I pull her into the living room, and speak with concern “BellHow long have you been waiting out there” I press a button to light the electric fire, and turn to rush to the bathroom for a towel, but Bells hand on my sleeve keeps me by her side

“Please Just sit with me” She looks up from where she is sitting on the floor and I nod silently, slipping my jacket off my back, then wrap it around her shoulders before I join her on the floor and allow her to talk “I tried to follow you when you ran out I wanted to talk, but Dominic followed us out” I turn to look into her eyes, but her gaze is locked on the fire in front of us “I told him that I wanted to follow you, that I wanted to take care of my friend, but he changed He tried to order me to stay away from you”

I continue to look to her, with concern and compassion and eventually speak up, trying not to pry too far “What happened Where is he?”

Bell sniffles slightly, and rubs her nose with her sleeve before replying “I told him that you were my first priority right now That I couldn’t just leave you, and he couldn’t order me to stay.” Her eyes glaze over as she recounts the events “He tried to hurt me He called me a no good cheating bitch, he said I was seeing you behind his back and that this is why no one but him could ever love me”

I clench my fists tightly, and try to console her “I am sorry Bell You lost your boyfriend because of me I” She shakes her head, and leans to rest against me as we watch the fire

“No If that is his idea of love, then maybe he and I weren’t supposed to be” Bell begins to speak slowly; almost afraid of her own words “I don’t want the man I love to just ‘accept’ me But I don’t want to be their project either” She looks up to my eyes as she continues “I want the man I am with to know that I am someone they can always rely on I want them to know that I am the shoulder they can lean on” She smiles warmly, looking like her usual self as she continues “But more than that, I want to share my life with them All of the smiles, all of the tears, and every single laugh”

I feel my breath catch in my throat yet again as she speaks, almost repeating the words I had spoken in my dream, and I wrap my arm around her shoulder as I reply, resting my head on top of her own “Bellissa?” I take one deep breath, ready to take the final plunge “I I always wanted to think of you as a friend Bell But our bond was too intense I wanted to think of you as my family, but the feelings were too passionate” Closing my eyes, I take in a deep breath, and speak once more “But nowI want to be the man that you need, I want to be everything that you dream about” Pulling up from her, I speak for a final time “I want to be the man that you love Bellissa”

Tears prick in the corners of Bells eyes as she hears my words, and I realize that this may be the first time that she truly believed those words. She shuffles forwards to pull me into a cuddle, pressing her forehead against mine “Teddy?”

“Yeah Bell?” Smiling warmly, I wrap my arms around her, content in this moment I had imagined so often in my fondest dreams

I loosen my arms around her as she squirms to move back, allowing her to look into my eyes with her old life filled lustre “I love you” She leans up to kiss me on the lips, and I drift into my own mind one last time

[i]“Maybe just this once Love was worth the struggle”

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