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Blinded by Assumption

School started in September and with it came relief. The summer had been too long – hot, stifling and overflowing with emotion. It had been almost two months since Dad’s funeral and talking to the same people had become as torturous as retreating to the four stark walls of my bedroom. Nobody knew what to say and I didn’t know what to say to them. I thought school could be an escape. New and different. The first year of sixth form would be the penultimate hurdle into adulthood and I figured it’d be easier to live in the boisterous crowds of high-school corridors than in the bleak silence of my home.

But the illusion soon wore off. The friends I’d had before were different. Or maybe I was different. Things were different. We drifted apart by the end of the first week. I wanted to commit to schoolwork but didn’t feel any form of motivation. What was there? I was seventeen. Was I really meant to have planned my life out? Everyone else was pushing for target grades, references, university applications and work experience placements. All I wanted to do was live; to breathe and discover.

But I tried in English class only because of the teacher. Mr Lance Eastwood brought colour into the old books we had to study. Under him the subject became deep, essential, and almost intrinsic in understanding life. So I paid attention in English. In every other class, I daydreamed about English. I also daydreamed about Mr Eastwood. His personality only seemed to emphasize his good looks and I wasn’t the only girl who noticed.

Rebecca Carlton. She wore miniskirts and tops that ended above her navel and seven earrings in each ear. I’d never even spoken to her but I knew her. Everybody knew her. She had the kind of sexy voice that a gossip reporter might have. Low and self-assured and full of scandal. She sat right next to me in English and all I could ever smell was her overpowering perfume.

“Mr Eastwood?” she murmured when Lance introduced himself to the class. “More like Mr I-sure-as-hell-would.”

Her friend giggled more extravagantly than the joke warranted. But Rebecca had a point. Most of the teachers at Westfield High were old. Men with grey hair and bald patches and ill-fitting clothes. Lance was the opposite; under thirty, dark haired and with a permanent shadow of stubble. He had an easy way of teaching, a kind of camaraderie with the class. It was refreshing. Everybody respected him.

Rebecca flirted with him shamelessly, spurred on by her enviable abundance of confidence. She feared no one. She said what she wanted and went after what she wanted. She’d hang back after class, leaning over Lance’s desk so her blonde hair fell over her face as she talked about essays and coursework and exam schedules; her attempts at seduction even stronger than her perfume. But Lance didn’t respond in any inappropriate way. He was a professional; a dedicated teacher with far more important things to deal with than a seventeen year old girl’s infatuation.

***

We broke into October with plans for a play. The school was arranging a fundraiser in the run-up to Christmas where it hoped people would donate enough money to make up the deficit for a new library. There’d be music, poetry readings, a spelling competition, art displays, raffles and a short play which Mr Eastwood was producing.

“I need all of you to take part,” he said, to widespread dismay. “If you don’t want to act, we have scenery to sort. Music, lighting, pretty much everything. But for anyone who wants to act I need commitment. We’re gonna have to stay after school and really put in the work to make this decent. So – who wants in?”

I considered it hastily. Staying after school meant less time at home which meant less time fighting with my mother and less time alone. I’d never been one of the kids into drama but how bad could it be? Nobody was even taking the fundraiser seriously. Half a dozen kids in the class had raised their hands. I followed suit. Mr Eastwood glanced at me.

“Okay,” he said. “Good. Now. The female lead could almost be played by two people but we don’t have twins so I’m gonna say…” He looked around the class deliberatively. Rebecca’s arm was stretched up so high that I half-expected the underarm of her shirt to rip.

“Taylor,” Mr Eastwood said.

I blinked. Rebecca flinched.

“Me?” I asked stupidly.

“Yeah,” he smiled. “You.”

He assigned the rest of the parts, handed out copies of the play, schedules of rehearsals and got back to teaching exam technique.

Rebecca turned to her friend.

“He just feels sorry for her ‘cause her dad’s dead.”

It wasn’t true. I couldn’t stand for it to be true. I should have told her what a bitch she was but I could never find the words. The emotion was there; the kind of rage that brings you to tears, but there were no words, no comeback, nothing to silence her. I just had to swallow it. I stared down at the play and read the lines until the world filtered away.

***

He didn’t feel sorry for me. He wanted me.

Inappropriateness lingered at the edge of every class, every rehearsal. It was in the way he looked at me, the way our eyes met, the way his fingers touched mine when he handed me script revisions and marked essays and stage props and my jacket and anything and everything he could find to give to me. The boys at school felt like nothing; like they wasted space with their teenage immaturity and loud voices. Lance was so different. So adult.

It was in the way he looked at me. There was indecency in the way his eyes met mine and dragged down to my mouth. He looked at me like he wanted me. Nobody so attractive had ever looked at me that way before. It made me feel like a woman.

***

Christmas break loomed. I didn’t know if I could deal with it. Even though I hated school, the timetable filled up the days. What else was there to detract from solitude? How could I even begin to get out of bed?

“So whatcha doing over Christmas?” Mr Eastwood was stacking chairs against the wall, his sleeves rolled up past his elbows. I wanted to touch his forearms, feel the veins and muscles, the evidence that he really existed and wasn’t just a fairytale.

“I dunno,” I said. “Same old, same old, y’know?”

But it was a lie. It’d be the first holiday without Dad. Maybe Lance saw it in my eyes. He paused and looked at me.

“What’s wrong?”

He knew. The entire school knew. It made me sick. Pain is easier when you keep it to yourself. When everyone knows, there’s almost a shame in it. The pity and the opinions. Pity. Is there anything worse? It forced people to be kind to me, to view me as something inferior, something damaged. I didn’t want to be less. I wanted to be whole.

“I just feel really alone sometimes,” I said and the words were too limp, too small to ever explain but I said them anyway. “But not around you.”

The distance between us seemed like nothing. I could step forward and reach up and kiss him. I could. I so could. What would he do? I thought about doing it so hard that I feared it might unconsciously happen. Lance stepped closer to me.

“You shouldn’t feel alone. You’re surrounded by people who’re privileged to know you.”

The words didn’t even register with me. His mouth. His eyes. They met mine, guarded and yet dying not to be. Did he want me? The self-serving thought felt dizzyingly beautiful. How could he want me? I looked at his mouth. He looked at mine and for a few precious seconds the opportunity danced between us. But he ended it. Stepped back. Ran a hand through his hair.

“Hey, why don’t I give you my phone number? If you feel down, you can call me. Yeah?”

He scrawled it onto a scrap of paper, his fingers touching mine as he handed it to me.

***

I called him a week before Christmas, self-control broken by the false festive spirit. My mother was going out of her way to pretend that everything was the same; that we could act like we had the last year, as if Dad was still around. The house was filled with tinsel, cards, light, candles. People visited. I didn’t want to see any of them.

I escaped, slamming the door so hard behind me that the plastic wreath fell off. I went to a party thrown by one of the kids at school but hated it as soon as I walked in. Cheap alcohol, cheap pills and loud music. People got drunk, high, made out, made fools of themselves, all just for the sake of doing it. I couldn’t stand it. Why couldn’t I? Why couldn’t I be like them; drown the cynicism and act like a regular person rather than a judgemental spectator?

Back outside, the night was cold. I tried to act like I had something to do. I looked at Lance’s phone number, scrawled down in his beautiful writing. Could I? He’d said I could. I started dialling, and then stopped. I hovered outside a pub, the light from inside glowing warm. The wind whipped my hair back. I looked down at the number again. I wasn’t wearing a jacket and the dress I’d worn to the party was short and sleeveless, the sequinned hem ending well above my knees.

I called him. It seemed to ring forever but when he answered, his voice felt like the most precious thing in the world.

“Hi,” I said.

“Taylor? Hey. What’s up?”

“Uh…” Maybe it’d been a mistake. I fought for something to say. Anything.

“You okay?” His voice tipped into concern. “What’re you doing?”

“Uh - right now? Actually I just went to a party.”

I could almost hear him frown.

“Do you need a lift home? Where are you anyway?”

I can’t explain why his concern warmed me so much. As it was, I could have easily walked home or called a cab. But I didn’t. I told him where I was and fifteen minutes later I found myself in the passenger seat of his Toyota.

“Thanks for coming,” I said, sounding as fake as Christmas.

He didn’t buy it. He looked at me.

“Why’d you call me so late?” His voice dipped low. It sounded like it could answer every question in the world. “Is everything okay with you, Taylor?”

I’d missed him more than I could ever admit. His attention filled me entirely, melting away the cold loneliness. I looked at him. Light from a streetlamp came through the window, slanting a white glow across his face. I’d never wanted to kiss anyone as much as I wanted to kiss him in that moment.

“Everything’s fine,” I said but the words were empty and he knew it because he let out a sigh like he got it.

“Okay,” he said. “Okay.”

I was still looking at him; at the way his stubble faded out, the way his eyes narrowed as he frowned. He looked back.

“What?”

I blinked.

“I don’t know,” I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time but most of all I just wanted to stay in his car forever with the heat up and the smell of him everywhere.

“What is it?” His voice leaned into me. “You can tell me.”

“I just – I never -” I looked down at my hands, at my fingernails, where the new nail came out clean beneath scratched silver polish. “I don’t ever feel close to anyone anymore. But you’re – you’re so nice.”

Nice. It was a useless word and I despised myself for using it. The silence hung in the small space between us. Rain started drizzling down onto the windscreen.

“I’m not all that nice,” he said finally. “But I know what you mean.”

“You do?”

“Yeah. I do.” He paused, swallowed hard. “I know exactly what you mean. You feel like you should make an effort to be included, to be kind, to have conversations and friendships but when it comes to it, you can’t. It feels fake. Sick. I feel like I hate them sometimes.”

“Them?”

“Pretty much everyone I meet.”

The rain had intensified. I watched the drops connect and fall on the windscreen, dragging one another down.

“D’you hate me?” I asked.

His laugh was barely there.

“How could I hate you? You’re – clean.”

“I’m not. I’m a mess. Isn’t it weird that I called you?” I laughed a small insincere laugh. “Isn’t this whole thing inappropriate?”

“Is it?” He didn’t sound like he particularly cared. He tilted his head just enough to look at me. “So why’d you call me, Taylor?”

God, the way he said my name. From him it sounded special, loaded, like it was full of something he wanted. I met his gaze. The streetlight hue across his face was dappled with shadowed raindrops. His eyes were so, so dark. Heat came out of the fan but I was more aware of the softer heat from his body. Human heat. Two people. Living, breathing people. The urge to touch him was everything. I looked away. I sat on my hands. He didn’t move.

“I think about you all the time,” I said. I didn’t look at him. The rain was coming down harder than ever, running off the windscreen, the soft patter almost drowning out my voice. But he could hear me. I knew it from the still way he sat, his eyes on my mouth, his breath held like he didn’t want to miss a word.

“Sometimes it feels like too much,” I continued. “Like real life can’t ever compare to everything in my head.”

“What happens in your head?”

I bit so hard on my lip it bled.

“I couldn’t even say.” My dress had ridden up too far and I looked down at my bare legs. “But I really wanted us to kiss that day in the hall.”

I wanted the words back as soon as they were gone. They were weak, desperate. Lance exhaled.

“What’s stopping you?”

My insides surged. My pulse set a racing beat to the erratic rain. I looked at him.

“What, now?”

He looked back undeterred.

“I’m not going anywhere.”

My mouth felt dry. I stared at him for what felt like an age. His hand came out and found mine.

“How much longer are you gonna make me wait, Taylor?”

I moved instinctively, turning in my seat. My heart thudded against my ribcage. I’d kissed guys before. Useless guys. Guys as insecure and incomplete as me. Lance was more. So much more. I was half-afraid he’d reject me as soon as our lips met. But he didn’t. He caught my bottom lip between his and I felt his hand touch my face, palm curving against my cheek like I was something precious.

I kissed him harder and his hand moved, slipping into my hair and gripping hard. He kissed me back hungrily. I moved closer to him, shifting clumsily against the gearstick, the handbrake, the steering wheel until he’d pulled me into place opposite him. He kissed like a man. Patient and warm and confident.

I felt his hands grasp my wrists, holding them to the small of my back so my body pressed against his. My legs were either side of his. It seemed suddenly indecent but I couldn’t try to close them without ruining the moment so I fought the urge and kissed him until we were gasping. His mouth went to my neck, pressing against my pulse, his tongue wet against my skin.

“You smell incredible,” he said.

I’d remember those words. I’d remember everything. It was the kind of night I’d revisit countless times, wishing it could play on loop. He let go of my wrists and touched my leg. His fingers were warm. They walked up, until they were under my dress. He didn’t stop there. His fingertip found the edge of my underwear and pushed past it. My heart thudded.

“What – what are you doing?”

He didn’t answer. He kissed me again, his tongue in my mouth and his free hand on the back of my neck, holding me to him. His hand moved against my snatch, feeling how wet I was. I gasped, breaking the kiss.

“Tell me to stop,” he said. We looked at each other in the dark car, his hand moving between my legs until it felt like they’d give out. I didn’t want him to stop. It would have been easy. One word. I didn’t say it. I pushed helplessly against his hand until his finger pushed inside me. I clenched around it desperately. Somewhere in the backseat, my phone rang, muffled and inadequate.

“I should answer that,” I gasped even as his fingers stretched me.

“Yeah. You should,” he said. But he didn’t stop fingering me and I didn’t stop taking it. His thumb pressed against my clit.

“You want me to fuck you?” he asked. He said the word like it was no big deal. It sounded exquisite from his mouth.

“I don’t – I don’t know,”

“You don’t?” His thumb pushed harder and my entire body quivered. “You don’t want my cock inside you?”

“God,” I pressed my forehead against the seat behind him and his hand pushed under my dress, finding one of my tits and groping it hard. “I don’t know, I don’t know.”

“C’mon, Taylor. You’re about to come all over my fucking hand and you don’t know?”

He had the perfect voice for talking dirty. It seeped into me and melted my insides, made me drip copiously around his fingers. Every so often, his thumb pushed against my swollen clit, making desperation course through my body.

He let go of my breast and found one of my hands, guiding it blindly to his jeans.

“Take my cock out.”

An invitation? Or a demand? It didn’t matter. I unbuckled his belt, pulling it free. I could feel the heat beneath the denim, the hardness. It made my mouth dry. I unzipped his jeans and felt underneath. He wore boxer shorts. My hand slid daringly under the waistband and found his hard cock. I could hardly believe what I was doing.

Fuck,” Lance exhaled as I guided his cock out. We both looked down at it in the dark car, the air between us palpable with anticipation.

“You want it?” He pushed a third finger inside me, stretching me. “You want my cock inside this tight little pussy?”

Did I? It felt so male in my hand, so hard and uncompromising.

“This is what you wanted, isn’t it?” His voice felt like it controlled me. “This is why you called. What you’ve been dreaming of.”

“No – I – I guess I -”

He laughed. It flowed through me.

“Did you make yourself come? Imagining this? Did you touch yourself, Taylor?”

“Sometimes,” The word fell out before I could stop it.

He laughed again.

“I can’t even count how many times I’ve thought of you,” he said and relief spilled into me, filling the cracks and overflowing. Relief. He wanted me like I wanted him. Mutuality was safe. Flattering, even.

His fingers slid free of my snatch and his hands went to my waist.

“Put my cock inside you,” he said, like it was a reasonable thing to request.

I squirmed in his lap. I’d never been so wet in my life. Flashbacks of all the times I’d masturbated to the thought of him were flickering through my head. Real life was so physical. So irreversible. So beautiful. He shifted, one hand covering mine to guide his throbbing cock to my entrance. It nudged against my wet snatch as his fingers grazed my clit. I wondered how long I could stay on the dreamlike edge of pleasure. Every movement felt like it might tip me over the precipice.

He pushed. Put his hands on my waist and pulled me down, making me take his cock. The size of it took my breath away. I’d had sex one inconsequential time before; a teenage rush to get it over with. It hadn’t felt like it did with Lance. He pushed into me, stretching my channel until my eyes watered. I didn’t tell him to stop. It felt too good. Connection. The heat of his cock felt so human. I could hardly believe the way we were fitting together. It felt instinctive, primal.

“God, you’re so fucking tight,” he hissed the words through clenched teeth, his fingertips digging hard into my hips. “I could just – fuck.”

We fucked. He guided me up and down until I figured out the rhythm to settle into and then he contented himself with jerking his hips upward to drive into me. His fingers curled in my damp hair, gripping hard as we kissed breathlessly. Even when we weren’t kissing, our faces were millimetres apart. He looked at me like he didn’t ever want to stop.

“What?” I gasped.

“Just – you’re really fucking beautiful.”

I almost couldn’t stand the sugar.

“Don’t say that. You don’t have to say that.”

His eyes narrowed.

“I can say what I fucking want, angel.”

I swallowed, still riding his cock desperately. I didn’t think I could ever get enough of the way it felt as it slid in and out of my grasping snatch.

“Don’t call me that,” I said belatedly.

He almost laughed.

“Like you can stop me.”

He pulled me closer and kissed me hard, his free hand grasping my ass and holding me down so his cock was buried deep inside me. He moved his hips, grinding against me as we swallowed one another’s moans. His fingers brushed against my asshole and then he pressed the tip of one finger to it hard, making me clench.

“What?” he spoke hotly against my mouth. “You don’t want it? I’d make you feel good. Really good, Taylor.”

I twisted, trying to get away from his probing finger.

“Don’t, don’t, don’t.”

He spoke even with his teeth in my lip.

“Okay. Next time.”

My stomach spun with the idea but he’d started moving again, forcing me into a fresh, urgent rhythm as his hands gripped my waist. Every time I sank down onto his throbbing cock he pushed back upwards. One of his hands dropped between us, working my swollen clit until I couldn’t take anymore. There was nowhere to go, nothing to do but take it and fall apart right there on his cock. My body ached with the twist of pleasure and he didn’t stop moving his hand even as I gasped and moaned above him.

“Please – I can’t, please!”

“You gotta have more than one for me, angel.”

It was as though he knew me better than I knew myself. Even as I struggled to pull away from his hand, my body felt the jerking flood of pleasure again and this time he came too, spurting deep inside me. My face was pushed into his neck and I could feel the racing throb of his pulse as he groaned, his hands holding me so tight I was sure he’d leave marks.

Rain hammered down on the windows, the screen, the roof. We looked at each other, still breathing hard. His involuntary smile was heaven.

“I’m so glad you called,” he said.

***

I didn’t realise just how lonely I’d been until then.

The nights before had been endless. I’d become accustomed to lying in bed, flicking my dad’s lighter on and off only to see the magic warmth of that tiny flame. Sometimes I’d lean out of the window and chain-smoke cigarettes like I needed them. I didn’t need them. I didn’t know what I needed. I’d browse Instagram like an addict, staring at pictures of perfect celebrities and wondering how they could look so effortlessly beautiful. Inevitably, I’d bring up pictures of my dad and gaze at them, half-afraid I might begin to forget what he looked like.

He’d always smelt like smoke but I loved the smell of it because it was all I’d ever known from him. He never drank. But he smoked. He smoked and smoked and smoked. Whenever anyone he knew went on holiday, he’d cajole them into getting him as many duty-free cigarettes as possible. Benson and Hedges were his vice. Everyone has something. That one killer. Drugs or drink or gambling or sex or lies or anything; that one thing that ruins them. If Dad hadn’t been a smoker, he would have been perfect. But nobody’s perfect.

He wasn’t supposed to leave me. He’d never promised it in any words but isn’t there a promise in expectation? When you’re so sure that something will happen, when it’s almost 100% percent certain, is that not a silent promise? Didn’t he owe me another thirty years at least? I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to live.

Those words didn’t come out, didn’t even form fully in my cluttered mind. There were just feelings. A kind of desperation I though would be endless until Lance made me forget it. The night in his car was only the start. He became an addiction, spiralling further out of control with each passing day.

Sex. It was everything. His body against mine, the urgent grasping, the sighs and desperation. To be wanted was everything.

“You do like me, don’t you?” Hopelessly insecure, I’d find myself asking the question post-fuck.

“I wouldn’t make you come so many times if I didn’t like you,” he’d laugh. “You’re incredible, Taylor.”

And for a few minutes I’d feel incredible as we lay there, soaked in sweat and secrets. I couldn’t remember ever feeling so needed. We fucked with increasing frequency, his car, his flat, my house. Even my mother’s presence didn’t deter me; on Christmas Eve we hooked up in my room as extended family visited downstairs, the fake laughter and pop songs echoing up the stairs as Lance’s cock pushed into me over and over. I had to put my hand over my mouth to keep quiet but it was worth it. It was always worth it.

***

School resumed and a week after we got back, Rebecca Carlton dyed her hair dark, like mine. She didn’t change anything else; still wore an entire supermarket aisle of makeup and leaned against her locker in dangerously short skirts but it irked me. She wasn’t trying to be like me, was she? Why would she? She hated me. If I got an A on a piece of homework in Lance’s class, she’d always try to ruin it for me.

“He just feels sorry for her. It’s not his fault. She just cries about her dad 24/7, so it’s not like he can ignore her.”

Her words were furiously cruel but I didn’t feel them anymore. The insults didn’t hit deep; they barely scratched the surface. I was too high for her to pull me down. Besides, there was satisfaction in seeing her seethe. She had everything, except him. He didn’t want her. He saw past the short skirts and crimson lipstick.

I loved it. For the first time in my life, I felt like something that mattered. I had something the most popular girl in the school didn’t have. She knew it. I know she knew, even with all the measures Lance and I took to keep it a secret. We couldn’t help the way we looked at each other. Nobody was interested enough to notice, except Rebecca. Lance’s eyes would meet mine and his mouth would lift in that shadow of a smile only I ever saw and I’d feel her watching us, silent and furious.

It didn’t stop me. It only made me want him more. We hooked up all the time, spurred on the by the thrill of deceit and the reward that accompanied every heart-racing risk.

Lance would come over when I was home alone and we’d fuck recklessly, in my room, in the shower, even on the sofa downstairs. My mother didn’t suspect a thing.

“What would she think?” Lance asked one time. “If she knew.”

I looked up at him from the bedroom floor, his cock in my hand and my eyes still watering from an urgent blowjob.

“I don’t know,” I said breathlessly. “And I don’t care.”

“You don’t?” His mouth curved into a smile. “You don’t care what she’d think about all the nasty things I do to you? About how dirty you are?”

“I’m not dirty,” I pouted.

His smile widened. I could never get over how good he looked.

“Yeah, you are.”

“I’m not.”

He caught my elbow and pulled me up. I was naked from the waist down, the hem of my t-shirt barely covering my snatch. His hand went between my legs and curled possessively, his foot pushing against my ankle to increase the space between my legs. His fingertip pushed back towards my ass. His eyes didn’t leave mine.

“Let me,” he said the words so softly, so seductively. It felt unreasonable to refuse but I did anyway.

“No.”

He frowned.

“No? God, I hate that word.”

He pulled me closer, his fingertip still pressing against my asshole as his thumb found my clit.

“I’d make you feel good,” His voice dropped low, seeping into me like smoke. “So good, Tay. I’d make you come so many times.”

I pushed back against his thumb. His eyes were on my mouth as my lips parted.

“Say yes,” he said. “Please, angel.”

I looked at him, sitting on my single bed, his clothes in a trail on the floor, his hair tousled and his face still damp with perspiration from the blowjob I’d delivered. He’d become everything to me. The only light. The only thing I looked forward to, the only thing I even cared about anymore. I couldn’t get enough of him. All I ever craved was his attention.

“Okay,” I said.

We did it in the shower, aided by copious quantities of Vaseline. It hurt less than I expected but it still hurt. The kind of urgently beautiful pain you get from pressing on a bruise and yet different because it was somehow shallower. His cock stretched me entirely. I pressed my hands against the cool tiles and tried to blink away the water in my eyes. We were both breathing hard, desperately, panting almost. One of his hands was grasping my tit. I looked down at it hazily, at his strong fingers and clean nails. It felt too precious.

I almost couldn’t bear it when he slid back but he pushed in again soon enough. It seemed like he withdrew more every time, leaving me in constant panic that he might pull out altogether. He didn’t. He moved with slow, purposeful thrusts. I could feel how every inch of him felt against every inch of me. He pushed in entirely and held himself there, his chest pressed against my back. His hands felt like they were all over me; dragging blindly across my torso and pushing against the heat between my legs. He grasped my tits, fingers digging in to the point of pain before retreating to tug at my nipples.

“You are just – perfect,” he hissed.

I didn’t believe him but the way he said it sounded like he really meant it and if he felt it, did it even matter if it was the truth? It was the truth to him. What more did I need?

He pulled back, his hands holding onto my hips. My snatch throbbed, desperate for attention. I felt desperately wild, uninhibited, like I could just about do anything. He went harder, quickening the pace of his thrusts until my hands curled into fists against the shower wall. My pussy was dripping and I reached my hand down to touch it but he got there first, his strong fingers moving against me until I moaned. My hand covered his, like it had half a chance of controlling where his fingers went. It didn’t. He pushed his fingers into my entrance and curled them, making me clench exquisitely.

God, Lance,” I pressed my forehead against the tiles, my legs weak.

“Come on,” I could hear that his teeth were clenched. “Come on, Tay. I wanna feel you come.”

His palm ground against my throbbing clit. My eyes closed as I gasped.

“Please. Please, please.”

It felt like I came harder than I ever had before. My fingernails sank into the back of his hand as the pleasure surged in endless spasms. I didn’t know if it would stop; or if he would stop. Even as I clenched, he didn’t stop driving his hard cock into me. His hand worked recklessly against my snatch despite my attempts to pull it away.

“Fuck,” he said. “Fuck!”

He snarled the words, forcing another orgasm from me and this time, he came too, driving deep into my ass until his cock pulsed and jerked extravagantly. His weight was on me, pressing me against the tiles as we both shook. The water poured down hotter than ever but I still felt cold when we eventually detached.

***

I liked to believe the obsession was mutual. It must be. Why else would he risk so much, jeopardise his entire career? He loved me. I’d daydream about life after college. Just over a year away. What would happen then? I didn’t think about it in any great detail, too blinded by assumption. It never occurred to me that we wouldn’t last. It’d work somehow. Like it did in the movies. Disney and Hollywood and fairytales. I couldn’t ask him. The words never came out. I could lie right beside him and touch every millimetre of him but I could never bring the future up. I promised myself I would and then delayed it until I was overflowing with the questions I could never bring myself to ask.

And I never got to ask. He gave me the answers all on his own, one lazy May afternoon. It was a Saturday and we were in his apartment, lying side by side on the bed when he sat up.

“I’m gonna miss this,” he said, very quietly.

I stared at his strong, broad back and felt the cold, stomach-turning unease that always preceded trouble.

“What do you mean?”

“I’ve got a new job,” he said. He turned to look at me then. “I’m leaving at the end of the month.”

***

I’d wanted him more than he wanted me. I don’t know how anyone can explain that kind of hurt. It changed everything. Did he pity me? I felt a gaping sense of loss; an ache inside me that persisted even as I tried to act like everything was fine. Part of me wanted to hide it. I was almost ashamed of it but shouldn’t he see? Shouldn’t he know what he’d done to me, the pain he was responsible for? Shouldn’t he suffer too?

And then, barely a week later, it seemed like he would.

The head teacher called me into her office. I sat on the hard backed plastic chair across from her desk wondering what was going on as she made telephone calls. Was it my grades? They weren’t great but they were hardly cause for concern. What else was there? I had perfect attendance and punctuality. I hadn’t done anything wrong.

Mrs Robertson set the phone down. She put her pen into the desk tidy and sipped coffee. She looked at me and smiled.

“Are you okay, Taylor? I know this year must have been hard for you.”

“I’m fine,” I said. “Is there a problem?”

She sighed.

“I don’t know. Maybe you can tell me.” She breathed in deeply like she could hardly bring herself to continue. “You see, I’ve had a student report that Mr Eastwood has been behaving in a – uh – inappropriate way with you. So I have to ask; is there anything – anything at all - that you need to tell me, Taylor?”

I blanched. My mind spun. A student? Who? It clicked almost instantaneously. Rebecca. She’d been here, probably sat in this very chair and acted all violated when she spilled my secret out of her Maybelline mouth. I could have sworn I smelled her perfume. I looked down at the carpet and pressed my knees together. Words. I needed words. Deny it? Or what? I’d never planned for the situation.

Mrs Robertson cleared her throat. I looked up. She was watching me over her frameless glasses.

“Taylor, I need you to tell me. Mr Eastwood is moving schools and it’s my responsibility to write his reference. If anything inappropriate has occurred, you need to tell me. You won’t be in any trouble, I promise you.”

I felt the power. I felt it as though it was tangible, as though it was there in my hands in that candle-scented office with the bookcase full of yearbooks and the over crammed academic year planner on the wall. Oh god, how I felt it. He’d rejected me. He’d picked money over me. He’d filled my stupid head with lies. He’d used me and used me and now I was all used up with nothing more to give.

I could make him hurt. I could snatch away everything he’d ever wanted just like he’d done with me. He was in the wrong after all. He was the bad guy. I was just a student. An immature seventeen year old he’d taken advantage of. Didn’t he deserve some kind of recompense for building me up so artistically only to knock me down? But then, hadn’t the ride been fun? Hadn’t he brought light and laughter with his lies? Vices. If it hadn’t been for him, I might not have even survived the year.

“Taylor? Do you want to talk to someone else? The counsellor, perhaps?”

I shook my head.

“No,” My voice was flat. “There’s nothing to talk about. Rebecca’s just jealous of me since Mr Eastwood gave me the lead in that play we did. She’s making it all up.”

Mrs Robertson exuded relief.

“You’re sure?” Her voice was rushed. “There’s absolutely nothing Mr Eastwood has done to make you feel uncomfortable?”

Aside from fucking my ass and breaking my heart? Not really.

“No.” I stood up. “Can I go now?”

 

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