Discovering Wonderland (Chapter 14 & 15)

Get caught up before diving into Chapter 14 & 15

 

***Parental Warning – Sexual content & language  – ***

Chapter 14

Ophelia

Three days later I was in dance class with Steven. I don’t know what I expected out of him, anger, sadness maybe? All I know is that I wasn’t expecting kindness and understanding. He had been silent all of last week so maybe he just needed time to process. 

“I just want to understand, Ophelia,” He said offering me a hand to help me off the floor. We were trying to master this spin and tuck move and it wasn’t going over very well. Every time he went to spin me he threw me out too far and I would trip and fall. Part of it was the heals I was wearing. A huge part of our grade for the final project was how we dressed. At this point Ms. Bellefleur taught all the dances and we were now left to choreograph our final dance. We had to choose and song and combine all the moves we learned. We were going to perform in the schools ballroom and judges would be involved. Apparently it was very big production at Willows Edge every year. All the more proof that I was absorbed inside my own bubble. A bubble I was trying to pop but that was neither here or there.  

Once I was standing up and my back was pressed to Stevens chest, preparing to try the move again he whispered in my ear, “Was it the whole sex thing, because I can wait.” 

“No Steven, I already told you it just isn’t right for me to keep this thing going between us if you feel differently then I do.” Having to be dance partners with someone you just broke up with was honestly so incredibly awkward. Having to touch each other intimately while trying to move on is not a one way ticket to love sobriety. 

The bell sounded and all off our classmates practically ran out the door. It was lunch time and dancing using worked up an appetite. Steven and I stayed put though trying once again to smooth out the kinks in this too-simple-but-seemingly-impossible move. 

“Something is off with you two,” Ms. Bellefleur said. “Work out whatever bad air you two have and the move will work itself out.” She added. Steven and I were looking at each other, knowing that there wasn’t much we could sort out. 

“You have the place to yourselves I am outta here!” She said shaking her butt all the way out the door. 

Once we were alone Steven cupped my face in his hand and rested his forehead on mine. Thankfully these six-inch heals I was wearing made us the same hight. Which is why I choose such tall heals. It made our routine look better when the man wasn’t constantly hunched over. “I can wait for you. You don’t have to love me now. It is ok if we aren’t in the same place yet. I know you will be, I just moved too fast. I miss you Ophelia.” 

I sighed, “Steven, I would be lying if I said I disagreed with you. We are good together and I miss you too.” 

“Then whats the problem?” 

“The problem is that I don’t want you to give me too much more of your heart if it is meant for someone else in the end. Steven, we are only seventeen, which is way too young to be this serious about someone.” This conversation was starting to feel like déjá vu. 

“Exactly, so shouldn’t we enjoy the fleeting moments and young love while we can?” Steven said with a half smile.

“Would you settle for being friends?” I finally said. Yep, this conversation was definitely a flash back from my conversation with Archer. Only this time I was the one pulling the ‘let’s be friends’ card. 

He looked at me sadly, “I guess so if that’s the only choice I have.” 

“It’s all I want.” I said not wanting to play any games. A big part of me wanted to give in and say yes, but then I thought about the last two weekends with Archer and I knew that my heart was his and would only ever be his. 

Right then my phone rang from across the room. I walked over to answer it, “What’s up,” I said into the phone, it was Hollis. “Ok, I’ll be right over.” 

I gathered my things and looked at Steven, “Hollis needs me in the computer lab.” 

“Yeah, ok, I guess I’ll see you Thursday, ” he said running his hand through his dark hair.  

I made my way to the door but before I left I turned to face him, “Hey Steven?” 

“Yeah?” 

“Maybe when this hurts less we can grab a pizza or something,” I gave him my best smile. 

He smiled back, “Or something.” I couldn’t believe how well he was taking this. 

Five minutes later I am entering the computer lab to see Hollis sitting in an office chair, headphones around her neck, and Archer right behind her. “I’m here what is it that you wanted to talk about?” 

The both turned to face me, Archer’s eyes looked me up and down and then he realized what he was doing and bored hole in my face as if it was taking all his willpower to not ogle me. 

“Wowza, so that’s what you look like under all those clothes,” Hollis said and I, of course, turned bright red. I was wearing a black scoop necked, spaghetti strapped, backless leotard with a built in skirt that had slits up the sides. Not to mention the heals I was wearing. I thought that choosing ballroom dance got me out of wearing a leotard but nope. 

“Shut up! It’s the dress requirement and I haven’t had time to dress back into my normal clothes yet.” I was also wearing my contacts because my glasses were constantly falling off during the dances. That alone made me self conscious because every time I wore them people always commented on how big my eyes were. It made me feel like the wolf in Little Red Ridding Hood. My face was still flushed from dancing and my hair was in a braid tossed over my right shoulder. 

“Tell me the guys have to wear leotards too because if that’s the case I am totally taking a dance class next semester,” Hollis said laughing. 

I laughed too, “Hollis, get to the point.”

“Hollis was showing me her progress and the album was sounding very good. Way more stylized then before.” Archer said from behind Hollis. 

“But then I told O’C that I felt like it was missing something because the whole album sounds so haunted and dark.” Hollis was speaking but my eyes traveled towards Archer as he mouthed the word ‘Hi’ to me. 

“I want you add a happier, more upbeat track.” Archer said. 

I made a face, “You want me to write bubblegum garbage?” 

The school speaker buzzed warranting our attention, I crossed my arms as I listened to my name being called, “Would Ophelia Micheals please report to the main office. Ophelia Micheals.” My heart raced and I looked at Archer in sheer panic. Did Principal Bain know about us? Archer only had a grin on his face though. I was clearly missing something.

“Looks like I am wanted everywhere today,” I said as lightly as I could but the truth was that I was completely freaked out. I have never been called to the office before. 

“I’ll talk to you about it during our time together this afternoon,” Archer said and Hollis gave him a weird look probably because he worded that wrong. I liked it though, our time together. 

“See you guys later,” I said as casually as I could even though just being around Archer made my blood pulse. 

I made it to the Principal Bain’s office in record time. Once I was walked through the main office doors Bain was waiting for me outside his door. Which was weird. He opened the door for me and waved me inside. 

Once I got through the doors I couldn’t believe my eyes. In his office sat the one and only Jimmy Nash. As in the acclaimed radio show, Nash tells Nashville, the name of the show was unoriginal but he we was a legend. He was the guy who talked to the whose who in L.A. and Nashville. I stuck my hand out a little over zealously, “Mr. Nash it is so nice to meet you.” 

“Call me Jimmy please.” He said taking my hand. He was in his mid to late forties, buzzed gray hair with a matching gray beard, his eyes were a dark brown, and he had gages in his ear. 

“I see no introductions are needed,” Bain said while taking his seat and gesturing for me to sit beside Jimmy. 

“Oh not at all, I am a huge fan,” I said in semi-hysterics. Ok Ophelia, take it down a notch, “Sorry about my outfit, I stayed late in dance class and didn’t have time to change.” I said as smoothly as I could. Act cool, Ophelia, act cool. How could I act cool when I was having a conversation with myself? 

Jimmy waved his had casually, “No worries, we’ve all been there.” Had he though? Had he really? Had he really been a teenage girl dressed in a dance leotard meeting a music icon? Doubtful. I smiled brightly trying to hide the fact that I wished I was wearing forty more inches of clothing. This was the definition of mortification. 

“Let’s cut to the brass tacks of why you are here.” Bain said sternly. Brass Tacks? It was obvious he got off on his level of authority.  

“As you know,” Jimmy continued, “I do a segment at the end of every year on promising new talent. I get a lot of submissions and I choose the person I am going to interview with great consideration.” Yes, I knew this. Everyone knew this. It was like winning the lottery, but only if you were nerdy like me. I was confused though because I never sent in a submission. So why was he here? “I have to be honest with you Ophelia when I heard your song, Ache, I got a feeling I haven’t gotten in a while. You’re going places kid.” He finished.

My mouth was agape, “What? I never submitted anything.” 

“Yes, I know. It isn’t often we get teachers bidding of the behalf of their students. Archer O’Connor is a persistent man. He must have called a hundred times to make sure I listened the demo he set over.’ 

I was still speechless so I just nodded. Archer did this for me? Me. 

“As I’m sure you already know the interview will air on New Years Day, like it does every year.” Jimmy was talking and I had to read his lips to make sure I was hearing correctly. “The interview will be prerecorded though and we will fly you out to Nashville after Christmas to do the interview and photoshoot.” 

I had words, finally, “The photoshoot?” 

“Yes, I was so impressed you that I told a friend I have over at Nashville Today. She is going to do a feature on you.” Jimmy smiled. 

“I couldn’t be more honored that you choose one of my students,” Bain said trying to be more involved in the conversation. Then again, Willows Edge was about to get media coverage, so this was great news for him too. 

“Well, I’m sorry I can’t stay and chat but I have a flight to catch. I have an interview in Santa Monica.” Jimmy said standing. 

I stood and took his hand again, “Thank you Jimmy, I am so honored and grateful.” 

“I’m looking forward to this. I honestly love it when I get the right to first interviews because it means, I knew you when.” Jimmy winked at me before leaving the office. Knew me when? What did that even mean. 

“Congratulations, Ophelia.” Bain smiling when the warning bell sounded. Great I had enough time to get into my normal clothes but not enough time to eat. 

I sat through Archer’s two hour lecture everyday and never once had it bothered me. Never once was I antsy, restless, and eager to get him to shut-up. When he finally wrapped up and the lesson and the end of school bell rang, I actually let out a loud WHOOP. Which, warranted weird looks from my classmates. I didn’t blame them. The weird corner girl hath spoken.

One annoying girl kept talking to Archer long after the bell. Something about not understanding the final project. I tapped my foot so ready for her to leave. At last she made her way to her to the door and it clicked shut. 

I leaped off the bench and ran across the room and into his arms. He was laughing as he spun me in a circle. When he stopped spinning me and set me back down on the floor he kept his hands on my waist and I kept my hands looped around his neck. We looked into each others eyes for a long time smiling. 

“Congratulations, you earned this,” He beamed. 

“I can’t believe you did this for me,” I said coming to my tippy toes and giving him a quick squeeze. 

“I can’t believe you didn’t do it for yourself,” he whispered. 

“I’m not that good,” I said because I honestly thought was true. 

“You’re better then you think,” He started and the said, “Skip practice and come over, I’ll make you dinner.” 

I laughed, “You’ll make me dinner?” 

He shrugged, “I may have gone grocery shopping.” 

We were still in each others arms and not willing to let go, “Grocery shopping doesn’t teach you how to cook.” 

Archer blushed, “I may have watched some YouTube videos.” 

I laughed again, “Ok, lets go.” Archer smiled and finally let go of my waist and I immediately missed the burn his hands had on my skin.

On the drive over to his house I wondered why he chose the song, Ache, to send over to Jimmy. I had been carful not to play that song around him because it was too emotional. To connected to how I felt about him. He must have heard it on a soundbite that Hollis gave to him. We were fortunate that Archer lived outside town. The commute was long but the privacy was always worth it. 

“So whats on the menu,” I asked as we both entered the kitchen.

He got out a box of noodles and a jar of sauce, “Pasta, I figured I would start small.” 

I crossed my arms over my chest, “You watched a YouTube video on how to boil noodles and open a jar?” 

“Don’t judge, the Stevie Makes channel is very informative.”

“Isn’t that the channel with the five-year-old wanna-be chief?” 

“Yep,” He said and we both burst out laughing. 

The pasta was cooking within twenty minutes. I sat at the kitchen table watching as Archer played the role of chef. I loved being with him and in his home, it felt complete in a way. As if this was a love we were born to find. 

I scarfed down my food and had seconds because I missed lunch. I was standing by the stove picking the noodles straight out of the pan with my fingers and sucking them down as Archer started loading the dishwasher. 

“Slow down, oinker,” He teased.

I tossed a noodle at him, “Hey, whose judging now!” 

The water in the faucet was running because he was rinsing off the dishes before he loaded them. He had one of those sinks that has a sprayer attached to it. He didn’t hesitate to use it. Saturating me in seconds. I let out a scream and the dumped what was left of the pasta over his head. Thankfully it had cooled down a lot at this point. 

He started flicking off noodles, “Oh, its on now!” 

I ran to where I knew the bathroom was, intending to lock myself inside of it, “Get away from me!” 

I made it to the bathroom but not in time to lock myself inside. So I leaped in the bathtub and tried hiding lamely behind the curtain. He jumped in after me and slammed me to the shower wall tickling my ribs. His face was all red and gooey. I looked up and noticed that the shower head was the detachable kind with a hose. Thinking quickly I reached to grab it with one hand and blasting the cold water with the other. He was soaking wet and the bathtub floor was now red. Archer made a weird grunt noise and grabbed for the hose which only made us wetter. I ducked under his arms, out of the tub, and ran toward the living room laughing. He caught up with me and tackled me on the couch. 

He was on top of me now and breathing as hard as I was. The moment stopped being funny as we looked into each other eyes. Gold against emerald. Our noses were touching and if I moved my head just a fraction of a centimeter our lips would be touching as well. My head was laying on one of his hands and his other hand was on my rib cage. Nether one of us spoke. 

The hand that was on my ribcage slowly began to move down to my hips. I was wearing a black floor length, long sleeved dress, almost every inch of my skin was covered, yet every move he made stung me like a centipede. His eyes were still fixated on mine and his breathing was slow and rigid. His fingers began to pull up my dress, the fabric gathering in his hands until he could finally reach underneath. 

“What are you doing?” I said so quietly I wasn’t sure he could hear me. 

“I don’t know,” He said just as quiet. 

His fingers were now slipping under the hem of my underwear, “You’re a terrible friend.” 

“The worst,” He said reaching past my doll hair and inside the lips until his thumb was pressed against my sweetest spot. I breathed in sharply. I didn’t move as much as I wanted to. I wanted to speak, to groan, to tell him that this isn’t what he wanted but I didn’t. I was frozen in lust and unable to thaw myself out. 

He eyes, still on me, looked terrified as he bravely started to move his thumb. My body reacted which only caused Archer to press more weight on my body so I would hold still. I was breathing so intensely that I feared I would hyperventilate. The last time I was over here, Archer lost control and was willing to surrender to me. I could tell by his body language. Somehow I managed to find the strength to walk away. I didn’t think I could do that again. My body began to shake as Archer kept rubbing back and forth, in circles, quick then slow. I was breathing so hard and my body was loosing control. Archer’s eyes never left mine as he was touching me. Every time my body would convulse he would press himself against me even harder. The only thing I could move was my toes, which were curled tightly. His fingers kept moving all around me, inside, outside, in then out, grabbing, pressing, rubbing, it felt sensational and unknown. Deeply pleasing in a way that was foreign to me, though I never wanted him to stop, wanting this to last incessantly. I was sure he could see the way my eyes dilated as he brought me to the ultimate place of pleasure and release. Every part of me wanted to scream out but I couldn’t. All I could do was stare into Archers eyes and breathe rapidly. I just gave him my first ever orgasm and he was a mere millimeter from my face as he did so. It was erotically intimate and equally terrifying. I was his now, always and forever.   

His eyes started to shut as he closed that very small gap between our lips. I blinked my eyes closed and tilted my head up, I’ve already surrendered, the rest was up to him. 

And then the doorbell rang. 

Archer was off of me so fast I had whiplash. Thankfully he had a two car charge and told me to park my Bug inside of it because the cold weather. 

Archer looked at me with shock and anger in his eyes, “Hide.” He said trough gritted teeth. 

I shot up off couch and ran upstairs. I hadn’t been upstairs before so I entered the first door I saw. I heard Archer answer the door downstairs and immediately recognized Suzanna’s voice. Suddenly I felt like I was going to throw up. I sat down on the floor with my back against the door I just closed. 

I looked around the room. There was an unmade queen bed full of blood, a nightstand with a glass of water on it, the lip print was still visible, a dresser across the bed full of orange pill bottles. Vomit stains on the carpet, curtains drawn, and an oxygen tank beside the bed. I covered my mouth. 

It was his mothers room. It hadn’t been cleaned or changed since the day she died. I felt absolutely horrified. 

 

Chapter 15

Archer

My nerves were pedal to the metal as my heart rate accelerated to ninety-five miles an hour. Sweat was dripping from my temples as panic began to nestle in close. My hands were shaking as I went to answer the door. Before I turned the knob I made a quick adjustment in my pants. Thankfully the fear and surprise I had at being caught made most of my excitement go down. 

I answered the door to find Suzanna standing there in her scrub pants and a puffy green winter coat, “Suzanna? Hi, how are you?” What was she doing here?

She looked at me and a huge grin splayed across her face, “Have I come at a bad time?” 

I flicked a noodle out of my wet hair, “Umm…,” awkward forced laugh, “no…,” clearing my throat, “…not at all. Come on in.” I opened the door wider so that she could  follow me inside. 

Her eyes trailed from the spaghetti piled on the kitchen floor, to the sauce pan right beside it, to the puddles of water, to the wet foot prints, and finally landing on Ophelia’s wet body print on my couch. “Are you sure? This seems like a bad time.” she looked uncomfortable as she tried to stifle her laugh. 

“I was just cooking and things got a little out of control.” I was never good at lying. 

“Right…” She said super slowly. 

I scratched my eyebrow nervously, “So what brings you by?” I asked cutting to chase. 

She nodded excepting my lack explanation, “My son’s girlfriend’s grandmother invited  us over for Thanksgiving. Steven and I haven’t had a big family dinner in forever so I said yes figuring he’d want to spend time with his girlfriend anyways.” Wait, she didn’t know they broke up?

She reached out for my forearm and slowly moved her hand down so that she could grab my hand. The same hand that I used when I was touching Ophelia. I quickly pulled away and shoved my hand in my pocket not wanting to get Ophelia’s smell on Suzanna. Holy shit, this was awkward.

Suzanna looked stricken by my retaliation to her touch so I reached out with my other hand and patted her shoulder. Pat. Pat. Suzanna looked at my hand on her shoulder and made a weird expression. Frick, this was weird. I pulled my hand away and shoved it in my other pocket. I leaned against the back of the couch and crossed my ankles. I tried to look as cool and casual as I possibly could with noodles in my hair. 

“Anyway,” She said giving me a funny look. “I asked If I could bring a date and she said yes. What do you say?” 

“Oh, ummm…” Until this moment I forgot that Thanksgiving was the day after tomorrow. I had been so focused on Ophelia that I completely forgot that today was the start of a five day weekend. 

Suzanna held up her hand as if she was a crossing guard halting traffic, “Platonically, of course.” She smiled nervously and then continued, “I just figured you could use the company.”               

I was silent for a moment, unsure of what to do. I loved the idea of being in Ophelia’s house and meeting her family. I also really needed something to do to keep my mind occupied. The polite thing to do was to ask Ophelia how she felt about me being at her house on Thanksgiving but it wasn’t like I could go upstairs and ask her. 

“Yeah, ok,” I finally said then quickly added, “As friends.” 

Suzanna smiled, “Great! Maybe you already know Steven’s girlfriend, Ophelia Micheals?” 

Yes, I do, she’s actually somewhere upstairs as we speak, I thought. Out loud I said, “Yes I supervise her independent study. She is a very bright girl.” I forced a smile.    

“I adore her and my son seems to be completely smitten. Gotta love a budding romance, right?” She let out a soft giggle and I forced myself to mimic her. Ha. Ha. Ha. This was so damn, funny. Only, not so much. Another, forced smile, directed at her.

“You could’ve called. You did have to trek all the way out here.” Translation, why are you here unannounced?

“Oh, I was on my way to work for another client who lives out this way so I figured I would just pop on by.”  

“Well, I’m glad you could stop by. Sorry to make this short but I have a mess to clean up.”  I said gesturing around the room. 

“Yes, yes you do,” She laughed. “I’ll call you tomorrow with the details.” She said opening the door. We said our goodbyes and once I closed the door I let out a huge sigh of relief. That had been close. Too close. 

I walked upstairs to find Ophelia. I had feeling I knew what room she went into but I was praying that I was wrong. I opened the door to my room hoping I would find her but I didn’t. 

When I moved back home I moved into the master bedroom. My mom didn’t wan’t to die in the room that hosted so many good memories of her and my father. I sat on my bed and leaned forward so that my elbows were resting on my knees. 

“Hey,” Ophelia said standing in the doorway. She looked pale and freaked out. I didn’t blame her. “I’m sorry…I didn’t mean to go in there… it was just the first door I saw and…”

“Don’t worry about it,” I interrupted, “I’m sorry about what you saw in there.” I couldn’t meet her in the eye so I stared at the aged wood floors. 

“It’s ok,” She whispered from the doorway. 

Tears brimmed in my eyes and I started to tap my foot trying to hold it all in, “It’s not ok, I can see on your face how grossed out you are.” 

She walked over to me tried to left my head up but I wouldn’t let her. So she bent to her knees on the floor, forcing me to look at her. “Yes, Archer, I am freaked out. I could smell the death in that room. It was sad and very overwhelming, but I understand why you haven’t cleaned anything up. Reliving that day must be a nightmare for you. If anyone understands that, it’ll be me. Don’t forget that I found my father dead on the couch.” When I didn’t respond, she grabbed my face with her tiny hands and pressed her forehead to mine. “It’s ok, Archer. I can help you clean it up, if you wanted.” 

I closed my eyes because a tear had slipped out and I was trying to force them away, “You would do that?” 

“I would do anything for you Archer. Anything.” I took her hands off my face and pulled her too my chest. 

I wrapped my arms around her so tightly I feared I would break her, “I just miss her so much, Ophelia. I miss having a family so damn much.” I said biting my lip. 

“You can cry, Archer, I wont think you are less of a man. Everybody hurts.” She said into my chest her hands making small delicate circles on my back. I let go then, crying for all that I have lost. My brokenness dripped into her hair and I gripped her black dress as I fell apart completely. I could feel her tears too, soaking into my already wet shirt. That made my sobs louder because knowing someone cared enough to cry for me was so deeply loving. 

We stayed like that for a long time. Maybe an hour. Crying in each others arms. Grieving and finding happiness in the comfort of one another. When Ophelia stood up she grabbed my hand and led me into the bathroom. Her hand only let go of mine when we entered the master bath’s walk-in shower so that she could turn on the water. 

Once the water got warm she bent down gathering her dress in her hands. Lifting it over her head so that she stood only wearing a leopard print bra and black underwear. She then reached behind her back and unhooked her bra, removed the straps from her shoulders, and let it fall to the floor. Her hair only looked longer once it  was straightened by the water, covering most of her private areas. She took a small step toward me and unbuttoned my shirt. With every button she broke open my heart rate sped up. Once my shirt was off she undid my belt and opened up my khakis. I shrugged out of them until we were left standing in only our underwear. She pulled her last item of clothing off and then pulled off my briefs. 

We stood there naked, committing each other to memory. I grabbed my shampoo and with a beating heart I gathered all her hair into my hands, exposing every square inch of her exquisite frame. I washed her hair gingerly and then her body. Only touching her with the bar of soap. Never my hands or my lips. I was hard and I new she could see it. It was an incredibly vulnerable moment. Drinking all of her in like the wine served at the Last Super. I bent to my knees, my face in line with her breasts, so that she could reach my head when she washed the pasta out of my hair. I wanted to kiss her, lick her, suck her, invade her, but I didn’t. When I stood back up and let her soap me down I had to close my eyes because the temptation to take her virginity was too much to bare. I kept trying to do right by her but every time she was near, my vision become blurry, and my beliefs, my morals, the very core of who I was as a person disappeared. I reached around her and turned the water off and then stepped out of the shower to grab a towel from the cabinet above the toilet. I dried her hair and her body and she did the same for me. Once we were mostly dry I picked her up and carried her to the bed, dipping down to tuck her under the covers. Then I walked to the other side of the bed and slipped in under the sheets to join her. 

We laid on our sides, half our faces stuffed into my pillows, and stared at each other. She was so beautiful. Ophelia, had a heart shaped face, with a nose that pointed just enough. Her eyes were huge, when they weren’t hidden behind her glasses. I reached up and traced her perfectly thick eyebrows with my finger. They curved perfectly around her almond shaped eyes. Her pupils were so dialed I could hardly see the gold in them. I often wondered if God spun her eyes to gold like Rumpelstiltskin spun straw. Her lips were heart-shaped like her face and a pale pink. Ophelia had the completion of snow. It was soft, clear, and perfect. She reminded me of a porcelain doll, completely ethereal. 

She was exploring my face the same way I was hers, “Ophelia, nothing can happen. I am already taking too much.” I said, the words rough in my throat. 

“You aren’t taking anything I am not freely giving.” 

“I don’t want you to have any regrets.” 

“I could never regret anything with you, Archer. Never.” 

My hand moved under the blanket touching every inch of her bare skin. I kept looking in her eyes though. I wanted her to know that her face was all I needed to look at. As marvelous as everything else was, her gorgeous face was all I wanted to see for right now. I memorized her enough in the shower. My hand moved from her shoulder, to her ribs, her back, her butt, and her thighs. I wanted to touch her the same way I had earlier but refrained. Seeing the come in her eyes had been the most intimate moment in my entire life, thus far. It was magnificent, bewildering, and brave. 

She was moving her hand along my body too and it sent me to another world, “Tell me why again?” She said closing her eyes. 

“The moment I take you, all of you, I will never let you go. You’ll be mine forever and you aren’t ready for that.” I said 

I expected her to protest but instead she said, “I know, I’m not ready.” She let out a sigh. It was full of deep anguish. 

“But, I’ll be here when you are,” I whispered kissing the tip of her nose. 

“I can’t expect you to wait for me.” Her eyes closed but the tears flowed down her cheeks anyways. Bringing my fingers to her face I wiped them away.

“I don’t know, laying next to you every night sounds like a damn good life.” I said giving her a smile I reserved especially for her.   

“I love it when you give me that smile.” Ophelia said breaking out into her own wide smile, which was exactly what I set out to do. I hated being to one to cause her pain. 

“Yeah?” I said smiling wider still, working my magic until the tears stopped dripping.  

“Yeah,” She confirmed, “It takes me to wonderland every time.”

“That’s ironic.” 

“Why’s that?” She asked.

“Because every time you look at me like that I feel like I’m being discovered.” I moved my head so that we were nose to nose. 

“I guess that makes me Alice.” She whispered. 

“I guess so,” I answered without admitting that I’ve already thought that. 

“Seriously though, I can’t ask you to make me any promises. I can’t ask you to wait for me.” Ophelia stated somberly. Bringing us back out of the rabbit hole. 

“I won’t make you any promises and I don’t want any from you. Because, you’re right, I don’t know what the future holds and the last thing I want to do is deliver you an empty promise. I don’t believe in them.” I said laying on my back. 

“I don’t either,” she moved to her back and we stared and the ceiling. 

“I guess we will see how things go.” I said. 

“I guess so.” 

We laid like that for a long time, naked under my sheets, not touching. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. 

“I heard your conversation with Suzana,” She looked over at me. 

“Yep. Thanksgiving should be fun huh?” 

She let out a small laugh, “Yeah, freakin’ awkward, that’s what it will be. I can’t believe Steven didn’t tell her we broke up.” 

“So, why are they coming over?” 

“Nana said it would be rude to break plans and Steven said he was still ok with coming.” 

“Great.” I clipped. 

“Hollis will be there too. She and her dad come over every year.” 

“They do? What about her family?”

“It’s just Hollis and her dad, they have no one else. That’s actually how Hollis and I met, we both lost our parents at the same time. After I was sent to live with Nana and Pop, they sent me to a therapist to help with my grief. The therapist then suggested group therapy for pre-teens who had lost their parents. And the rest is history.” 

“The rest is history,” I echoed. 

There was another moment of brief silence before Ophelia said, “That was my first, you know.”

“What was?” I asked rolling back over on my side to look at her better. 

“When you touched me earlier, it was my first, ever.” She said turning to look at me too. She looked incredibly vulnerable now that those words were released. 

“What? Really? Not even with yourself?” I asked shocked. 

“Yes really, I’ve never been into touching myself. The idea of it is weird to me.” She whispered. 

I couldn’t believe she gave that piece of herself to me, when she had the power to stop me. I brought my thumb to her cheek, “I’m honored.” I said sincerely. It was a gift I didn’t deserve but was grateful to have. 

Ophelia moved her hand to my hip, “I’m glad it was with you.” She looked at me with such longing that my body ached. I wanted to make love to her with everything inside of me but I didn’t. We had already gone too far and I wasn’t even in a committed relationship with her. It made a hypocritical. 

“I feel like I am taking advantage of you.” I spoke honestly as her hand slowly trailed from my hip to the inside of my thigh causing my temperature to rise.

“You aren’t, I want this. I want you.” Ophelia said taking a hold of me in her hand causing me groan. Damn, what she could do to me.

“Ophelia, we can’t.” I said grabbing her hand and pulling her off of me. 

“Can we at least try?” Her eyes looked hopeful and it broke me in ways I didn’t know I could break. 

I was silent for a minute, a long minute, my hand still holding hers away from me under the sheets. “Try what?” I asked, giving in. Surrendering. Unable to stop what was full force in front of me. 

Ophelia, moved her hand back onto my hardness and I tugged it away again, “Ophelia, what are you doing? Didn’t we just agree to not go any further?” My words were right but my voice was breaking. 

“Yes, but can I at least have this, for now?” She asked scooting closer to me and tucking one of her legs between mine. She was making it impossible to say no.

“Have what?” I asked swallowing hard. 

Ophelia wrapped her fingers around me again and I let out a big sigh. 

“Teach me, Archer.” She said looking deep into my eyes. 

“We shouldn’t…”

“Please,” She interrupted. 

*{PARAGRAPH CUT OUT DUE TO GRAPHIC CONTENT} Replaced with: I let her touch me, even though I shouldn’t have, but that was all we did.*

After a minute I pulled her head up and met her gaze, “I’m crazy about you, Ophelia. You know that, right?”

“I’m crazy about you too.” She said putting her hand on my face. I think that we both wanted to say something else but didn’t.  

I scooted away slightly and rolled onto my back. Ophelia scooted up next to me and put one of her legs over mine and rested her head on my pillow. Her forehead was resting on my cheek, her mouth was against my shoulder. I could hear her breathing me in. We stayed liked for hours, talking about anything and everything. 

Somewhere around two in the morning Ophelia curled into my chest and said, “I’m not sure if we will ever have another night like this, but thank you. Thank you, for giving me tonight. I’ll remember it forever.” She then tilted her head up and kissed my cheek. 

“I’ll remember it too,” I said kissing the top of her head. I closed my eyes then and fell asleep with the puzzle piece I didn’t know I was missing until now.

2 thoughts on “Discovering Wonderland (Chapter 14 & 15)

  1. Pingback: Discovering Wonderland (Chapter 16) | Revival

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