3011 Words
If there's one thing Elliot loved in university more than the challenge of being one of the brightest students in his batch, it's the freedom. It's the carving of his own path, whether the result is good or bad. Right or wrong, it was just his decision. He can do whatever the hell he wants with his time and with whoever he wants. Unlike in high school, there's no dad he needs to constantly check up on. There are no bills he needs to consistently keep track of. He does not need to emotionally and physically be all over the place because he was the one keeping the household intact. He's by himself and he loves the independence that gives him. It's very liberating and it also gives him the chance to get to know what he actually likes and dislikes as a whole person independent from anyone as opposed to his life before that he had to always consider his dad in all his decisions, no matter how small such as picking what to eat for dinner or complicated like adding more jobs to cover the bills. Here in Stanford, he can just focus on his studies and the few proofreading side hustles that he has. That's not to say that his double major in literature and psychology is an easy thing, but the liberal arts program in his prestigious school is somewhat manageable for him, to say the least. He's always been smart and his passion lies in words, writing and his penchant for understanding the human psyche. What a better combination than to go into liberal arts? He can open up so many options for himself with the skills he is accumulating and he is definitely looking into how he can earn more with his course after graduation. So the way he sees it, studying something you like is actually not that bad. Yes, the deadlines are a pain in the ass, maintaining his GPA for his scholarship is harder and working while studying is still not a walk in the park, but he could have been in a worse situation. A few years ago, he was stuck in his hometown just dreaming of being here and now, he gets to live his dream. To study what he loves and help out his dad with the bills as well. He's enjoying school, to put it simply. But living so far away from his dad though makes him worry sometimes. He wonders if Patrick is over at his house right now. Visiting his dad since they are neighbors after all. He still worries about his dad, if he is taking care of himself, if he is eating well and if he is doing alright emotionally. You see, his dad never got over his wife's death. Elliot's mom died quickly after they migrated to Montana. After battling her cancer for so long, her body just gave up and with that, Elliot's dad might as well have passed away with her. He became a shell of a man, all his dreams of a better future for the family went down the drain. All his intellect and experience were wasted. He got stuck doing menial jobs because he lost the will to keep pushing for more. It's like he is just surviving and moving forward just for the sake of Elliot and it's really monumentally depressing at times. Elliot saw how devastating it could be if you found the love of your life, only to lose her to something as debilitating as a life-ending disease. It's the basis of all his views about love. Because he saw true love through his parents but at the same time, saw the consequences of losing it. It both made him a hopeless romantic trying to search for his own one true love as well as scared shitless of taking the plunge because of that crippling fear of ending up like his father. So sometimes he worries about his dad because of his depression. Sometimes he has fears of losing Charlie because of his parents' story. But sometimes, he just appreciates that he can be away from his dad's melancholic state even if he has to study. For example, right now he has his thick book laid on his bed, he's finishing up this chapter he has to read but he also has his girlfriend's hands playing with his hair while doing so. Its these little things that makes him feel like he belongs to someone. He loves being in a serious relationship because of the simple and mundane actions that being together with someone affords him. Well, Charlie isn't just someone. Elliot's kind of, sort of, falling in love with her. And he knows how cautious he has been over this whole thing. He even tried to fight his feelings for so long. But how can he when Charlie is just so damn lovable? He can't help but to get magnetized by her. And although he knows he has to fess up to Charlie about his lingering feelings for Astra, Elliot doesn't even know how to begin outlining that thought procces in his head let alone verbalize it to his girlfriend. He's scared, he can admit that to himself. How can you explain to this wonderful person that you're falling in love with, that you still think of your first love once in a while? Is this considered cheating when you've never talked to the said girl for years? But he knows that his crush for Astra is still there. The attraction will always be there. Astra's whole being is imprinted in his mind, buried deep inside him. He's wondering if it will ever go away. With his previous girlfriends, the relationships were not so serious that he had to lay out all his past history. He didn't completely omit, they just did not need to know how deep his attraction still ran for the girl. Besides, girls in college and relationships with them were focused more on the present moment. Getting by in school, meeting schoolwork deadlines and just balancing everything takes up bandwidth that he did not even think about divulging his past to everyone. He was finding his footing in college plus add to that his responsibility to maintain his grades for his scholarship, he just didn't have the mindset of digging up his history in the middle of it all. And it was almost always his exes who pushed for commitment than him. He was scared, to say the least, about hurting someone else when his heart is not fully all the way in it. Don't get him wrong, Elliot is ballsy. He goes after what he wants. He wrote to Astra even if he knew it was wrong. He kissed Astra, despite everything that was going on back then. It's just now, the playing field is different. He found out that it's easier to just go along since all the girls chasing after him were assertive enough to know what they want. It didn't hurt that apparently, college girls also loved his 'assertiveness' in the sheets. Who knew that Elliot the nerd in high school would have such a healthy libido? It was a bit freaky to find that side of him that was dominant in bed. Not b**m type dominant, but you know, sometimes he really likes to take charge. Turns out, reading a lot about fantasies in books helped him have an abundance of romantic scenarios he wants to play out in his real life. And yes, that includes the steamy parts. Sue him, he's a romantic at heart. So back to Charlie, he's been meaning to tell her about Astra but every time he does, Elliot finds himself ravaging Charlie instead. What the heck is that? Is that some psychological s**t that he has to figure out? Cause he doesn't want to scare Charlie away with his issues... but he also knows that he has to be completely honest with her. It's all so confusing for Elliot since this is the first time he's going to wholeheartedly open up to someone (well, technically again. Cause, Astra) "You keep zoning out, Ell. I can hear your thoughts from here." Charlie stops playing with his hair and just lays her body close to her. She moves to play with his fingers instead. Elliot takes this opportunity to be closer to her and look into her gorgeous face. Charlie's beautiful. She's so attractive, so much like how Astra turns heads everywhere she goes. But Charlie is different. She has a charm that comes through from self assurance. She has an air of class and grace that she opts to tone down by being casual and relatable with her words, fashion and how she interacts with everyone. Charlie is a representation of who Elliot wants to be as a person. Someone who is oozing with charm yet down to earth. Elliot wants to say so many things to her, but something is holding him back. Fear that Charlie will leave? That part of him that wants to keep Astra Torres to himself? "You know you can tell me anything, right? Like, did you murder someone back home or something? Are you keeping their body parts and eating them for brunch? You know serial killers actually add bone broth to their meals. It's okay... I can help you finish...." "No, no, Charlie...what?" Elliot barks out a laugh. He always finds a way to make Elliot laugh in the weirdest moments. Charlie's into forensics, crime history, all those psychological thriller stuff of nightmares and she takes every opportunity to insert morbid things into their lives. "..but really, you'll help me if I murder someone?" Charlie never fails to surprise him sometimes with the things she says. "Well, I mean... it depends. Why'd you kill in the first place? Self defense? Ooh... revenge?! Or, are you like the ones in Criminal Minds, serial killer whacko type? I'd have to consider it. I'm not one of those ride or die chicks, babe. Sorry. I have a big bright future ahead of me. I need... a good reason to stay, Elliot." She says that last line with such a straight face that Elliot does not know if she's actually kidding or there's something behind her words. Does Charlie suspect something? Well, she's smart. Smarter than Elliot, he thinks. She should have figured it out by now that Elliot is holding back. But does she know why? "Hey, you alright? For real, Ell... just spit it out. Wait, oh my gawd. Are you cheating on me?! The f**k, Elliot?" Charlie somehow went into an internal monologue and is beginning to panic. She kept on muttering "No, no... this can't be happening. I'm a catch. Well, I think so." She asks Elliot with panic on her face: "But do you? Know that I'm a catch, that is. Why aren't you saying something? So, it's true? Is it a girl from here? I'll f*****g lose my s**t if it's that girl who keeps on giving you candies.. like, that's so below your standards. Were you drunk? Don't tell me it's that girl, Elliot. Oh my gawd, am I hyperventilating?... I think I am. f**k. Fuck." And okay, Elliot knows this is a serious moment they're having now, by my god, is Charlie adorable... when she's panicking, when she's hysterical, when she's breathing. Just, that weirdo is Elliot's and he's in love. There, he said it. Well, inside his head but, yeah. "Charlie, babe. Stop, stop. Breathe. Chill out for a sec. You're so cute, I can't process this right now. I wanna kiss you." Elliot gives her a small smile and a nudge. Enough for Charlie to calm down. "What am I supposed to think Ell? You go quiet on me sometimes and it's really hard to guess what's on your mind. And with the amount of girls, (she said with an eye roll) flirting with you, I'm a tiny bit insecure sometimes, okay? It's just, you're really... I'm so.." She shrugs her shoulders, seeming to stop herself from going further. But Elliot knows, he thinks Charlie feels the same way but she's also holding herself back from saying the L word. They really need to work on their communication. And stop with the s*x marathons, well stop is a harsh word. They can always talk after. Or before. During? Elliot's determined to be better though. Charlie deserves better from him. "I'm sorry I keep on zoning out sometimes. It's just, a lot of things on my mind and I don't know how to share all of them with you. I'm serious about us Charlie. I want to be good for you and I know I need to work on some things about myself. But just know that you're special to me, I really like you.. and I want to be the best boyfriend I can be for you. I'm just figuring out how. I want to share my everything with you. All my history, worries and fears, all of it." "Oh thank god. I was about to have a heart attack. It's all good, you're my favorite boyfriend actually." She said, tasing Elliot with a wink and a smile creeping up on her beautiful face. "No but really, we need to work on our communication babe. I'll try to be more open too. But yeah, I don't know how much more open you want me." Charlie says with her signature smirk. "Stop it Charlie. I'm being a softie here! Don't give me that look." Elliot's fighting his own smile. And fighting that tingling in his stomach and elsewhere whenever Charlie gives her THE look. They have a very healthy s*x life. Of course being adults with raging hormones in college, what can you expect from them? But he can say that even with how frequent they are, they are safe and careful. Elliot never pressures her and it's almost always Charlie who initiates something more. As much as possible, he wants to be a gentleman to his girl and will of course extend that to the bedroom. That is not to say that he cannot be very dominant at times. He just chooses his moments. But more often than not, he is happy with whatever Charlie is in the mood for. He respects her so much that he never wants to pressure her over anything. They actually took things very slow at the beginning. It took months before Elliot crossed that line with her. The s****l tension was always there, even from the moment they met. Which coincidentally Elliot translated as annoyance and frustration over the girl. But deep down he knew, this was someone he would be serious with. This is a girl he wants to progress things in a proper way. He knew that the casual relationships with others is not applicable and he had to be extra careful with his heart. This girl can really crush him. Charlotte Adams had the power to ruin him, not like Astra, but in her own way. So he treaded carefully with her and is still very cautious and respectful with her until now. He can say that he hopes it's not something he will tire of. His effort in making sure Charlie is okay with their relationship and its progress. His willingness to take her feelings into account. That's why it's weighing on him that he can't just tell her about this thing with Astra since it's just in the past. So he musters up the courage to just blurt it out. After all, there's no harm in telling her, right? "I know, I know, I'm sorry. It's just that i've been waiting for this for a while and now that you're saying these things to me, I don't know how to react. And it's been a day of us not... f*cking. Sorry. I can't think of a better word right now." Elliot full on laughs. Completely delighted by his girlfriend and his antics. "Really? Not one? Not a single less crude word in that brilliant mind of yours Miss Charlie?" Charlie shifts, sits on his lap with her legs on Elliot's sides. She gives him this tender look. It's like she's saying something but with no words. She leans forward and just looks into Elliot's eyes for a few seconds before tilting her head to the side and touches her lips with his. It's soft. It's meaningful. Elliot wants to cry. They really should talk more. He wants to, he needs to just lay it all out to this wonderful girl he has in his arms right now. But instead, he puts his right hand on the small of Charlie's back to pull her in closer. She grabs his neck with her left hand to angle her mouth so that Elliot can part her lips with his tongue. Slowly, but with so much raw emotion that Charlie can't help but hum into Elliot's mouth and ground down her hips. Elliot takes this as his cue to slip his right hand into the back of Charlie's shirt while the hand on Charlie's neck moves to her sides to tease the underside of her bra with his thumb. Charlie moans again with Elliot's hand movements and his hot breaths on her neck now. Charlie grips on Elliot's hair while he sucks below her ear then on her neck. If this is how Elliot is after he communicates properly, then by all means Charlie is so willing to talk. Everyday, twice a day. It's so good, Charlie thinks this might be considered a slice of heaven right here. With Elliot's tongue and fingers playing with her body. She wants to comment how thankful she is of her boyfriend's stint as a town pianist in high school and thank god for his talented fingers, when Elliot does more, and all thoughts rush out of Charlie's head and she just lets herself enjoy her boyfriend's ministrations that afternoon. They can talk later.
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