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perfection uses many disguises

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"I was reading up on pheromones last night. I really think that they would work."

"There's no smell that's gonna make Julie not hate me any more."

"A lot of studies have shown that responses to odors, you know, depend on emotions felt whenever that odor was first smelled."

" Even if that wasn't the stupidest thing I ever heard, I don't even know what smell she likes. "



I.

The first time she genuinely smiled at him he was bloody and smelled of the deep fryer, so he didn't think that it would work to remind her senses of that particular moment. However, during their first kiss he had been sweaty from the game and when he'd asked her out, his breath had smelled of cheap beer and doubt.

 

So far, it wasn't looking good for getting her in a forgiving mood.

 

In the end, he settled for the safety of flowers from the grocery store and nervously checked his collar before ringing the doorbell.

 

The door swung open to reveal the frightening blue block that made up Coach, which was accompanied by the gruff, accusing tones that seemed to associate the bouquet pushed underneath his nose with the fact that Matt must have done something to hurt his little girl.

 

Matt tried to find an answer that wouldn’t get him pummelled on Monday but he had never gotten the hang of talking to Coach, nor had he needed to. This was always around the time Julie came skipping in to save him. However, she didn’t come to the door at all, skipping or otherwise. So when Coach stared at him like Matt had given her the plague instead of just acting like an idiot, he has a sinking feeling that he’d be doing suicides next week at practice.

 

Now, he knew from the movies that Julie had made him watch, that sometimes the gorgeous girl comes running out into the arms of the totally pansy pretty boy that waits outside, even if he doesn’t deserve her.

 

He knows that his life isn’t like the movies but he’d promised Landry that he’d wait five minutes anyway. Just in case. He stood in the shadows, out of the glow of the streetlight because he was pretty sure Coach was still watching. He had a pretty good view of the house from under the tree’s canopy and waited for some sort of reaction. Unfortunately, his view was too clear as he could distinctly see where the flowers landed after being thrown out of a window. A female laugh follows it and before he begins the walk home he tries to take comfort in the fact that at least it hadn’t sounded like Julie’s.

 

(It was probably a waste of time, but he made a mental note of which window was hers.)



He's been texting her every couple hours but she still seems to be ignoring him because even though she must clearly see him standing by her locker, she breezes on past. It stings because he knows she has chemistry homework she needs to get done and he'd given her his best smile when they made eye contact.

 

After a couple of steps, she realizes that he’s following her and he can tell from the way her spine straightens. He half hopes that she spins around to tell him how ridiculous he's being but she must decide against it - she just keeps walking instead. He tries calling her name half-heartedly. Something in his voice remind him of the months when he would have willingly thrown himself in front of a train to get her attention, and she must hear it too because she slows her pace. When she finally does turn, her eyebrow is raised in challenge.

 

He cracks open the lid of the tupperware he's been carrying to let the aroma of double thick dark chocolate icing escape as he circles it under her nose. She feels the beginning of a smile, so he takes his lead and quickly crouches to the floor to set the Tupperware down for better access. Once he wrestles the lid off, he proudly thrusts the chocolate-coconut cake towards her like a child showing off his new toy.

 

She inspects the cake warily and then, just like he suspects she did as a kid, she sticks her finger into the icing for a test. She lets out an appreciative moan that seems to be involuntary and continues to cover her fingers in the creamy icing. She invites him to join her and they awkwardly hold the container between them with one hand as the other slowly rids the cake of its topping. Soon, her fingers look so deliciously sticky that he wants nothing more than to lick them.

 

Her phone buzzes again in her pocket and, sadly,  it brings her back to Dillon where boys don’t exactly make double layer cakes.

 

"Who made the cake, Matt?" She mentions this lightly, like she’s not really interested, like he’s safe. He seems to need time to gather enough brain cells to reply and when his voice comes out kind of scratchy and small, she moves closer to hear better, swirling her kitten pink tongue on the tip of her pinkie finger, grinning like the devil.

He senses that he's on dangerous ground despite all of Julie's body language and mumbles his words out of self-preservation.

 

“Did you get your precious little rally girl to make this?” Her tone is disbelieving and hurt and he unsuccessfully tries to salvage what little favour he had garnered with her, but it's too late, his faltering apologies fall on deaf ears.

 

He tries to repeat what he said before about how much he cares and his stomach tightens into a hot knot as their faces come closer while he explains why he got the cake made for her.

 

She sees, rather than hears her explosion as freshmen and seniors alike turn around in the hall to look at them.

 

He reaches out, almost forgetting to support the Tupperware, but she’s already moving her hands out of his sight to rest on her hips. She takes a deep breath, hot with anger.

He messed up somewhere, that much is clear, but he's too confused to answer her, so she takes a deep breath, gives him a deadpan look that was more damning than anything she could have yelled and walks off.

 

It wasn’t as bad as when he’d lied to her, but it was certainly enough to make him feel like shit.




III.

He stood in front of a vast display of ‘Scents for Seduction’ with Landry at Walmart, trying to guess if Julie was more of a ‘Suave Agent’ person or if she would prefer ‘Starry Knight’.

 

“Look at this one, dude. Its sixty freaking dollars! Why would anyone pay that much to smell like…‘ Antidote ’?” Landry called from another aisle, clearly disgusted at any product with a price tag higher than a bag of Doritos.

 

“Maybe that means that it’s just really good.”

 

“No way can these actually be different. Look, over here there are ones that are only twenty dollars. You could get three bottles of cologne for the price of one of those fancy boxes!” He nodded confidently, the bargain ensuring the quality.

 

“I don’t know...”

 

“Better odds, man. Better odds.”

 

“You think?”

 

“Sure, if one fails, you got two backups.”

 

“I’m going to kill you if this fails.”

 

Landry scoffed and clapped him on the back, “just thank me in your wedding speech.”

 

---

 

Matt had never had the chance to test out the newly purchased cologne before, but he thought that the day after officially asking Julie Taylor to be his girlfriend was as good a time as any. He tried not to swagger up to her locker.

 

It wasn’t exactly the reception he had expected when she pulled her shirt up to cover her nose. “What are you wearing? You smell like a skunk. Is this some delayed hazing thing?” His shoulders slumped and he had to use all his power to keep his face from turning a bright red.

 

“Umm...kind of.”

 

“Yuck. I’ll talk to you tomorrow, after you’ve showered, okay?” She coughs a couple times as she puts the last of her books in her bag.

 

“Oh, yeah. Tomorrow.” His face twists into a scowl and he begins rubbing at his neck with the sleeves of his shirt. There’s a small giggle from behind him, the kind like when she has some private joke she doesn’t want to share. It makes him a little uncomfortable but getting her to laugh is still a start.

 

“Here,” she licked a tissue before wiping it on his neck and throat, teasing him about smelling like the seedy guys who sit at the back of the strip club. All it does it put the image of Julie at a strip club, Julie on a stage just for him as she took off her clothes, Julie revealing more tanned golden skin than he’s ever seen before and he has to focus on Trig II to get his heart rate back down.

 

Once she was satisfied, she pushed him off to his class, not wanting him to be late. Cursing Landry, he continues down the hall, dragging his feet when suddenly, she popped up beside him, still clearly amused at something he’d done. She reaches up on her toes to murmur in his ear, “you know, I don’t hate Old Spice.”

 

He stood dazed for too long, the last bell warning him of his tardiness but he remained almost frozen, staring at where that bundle of perfection, disguised as a girl, had been.




IV.

They had been a bit too eager on the field of the park and Matt motioned in dismay at the grass stains that now covered his jeans and grey hoodie.

 

“Great, now I look like Oscar the Grouch.”

 

“But you smell like spring,” Julie commented from his lap, hugging his body close to breathe in the scent of new lawn and fabric softener.

 

“Then you should come over when I’m cutting the grass.” He looked down; one eyebrow raised in an attempt to look mysterious but instead only made her giggle.

 

“Hmm, I don’t think so. But if you cut my lawn instead, I promise to give you lemonade.”

 

“No deal, your yard is twice the size.”

 

“What if I threw in some cookies?”

 

“I’ve had your cookies before, they tasted like soap.” She lightly slaps his arm in retaliation and pouted, moving out of his lap.

 

“Well, that was an experimental batch. These will be store bought.”

 

“Now you’re talking.” He twists his neck to smile across at her and then, like a cloud that moves to block out the sun, her smile faded as she moved her fingers to his jaw where a particularly angry red gash was still healing.

 

Every now and then, she traced his after-practice bruises and post-game scratches with her fingers. He marveled at how she made the marks hers somehow, to the point that he found himself disappointed when they faded.

 

(He had wanted to return the sentiment but when he offered her his football jacket, she lectured him about how she was a woman , not some cattle that could be branded. He nodded his head fervently and stuttered a string of words together about respecting her individuality and how he didn't mean it like that....His voice trailed off when she gave him that quirked half-smile that meant he was trying too hard again.)

 

They stood up from the grass and walked back to the bench where Julie had set down their bags. Today was penance for a study session gone wrong and Matt had been forced to pack a picnic lunch.

 

He didn’t mind really, the only other thing he would be doing this early on a Saturday was sleep and he had been too forward last week. He still felt a little guilty at the memory.

 

She had come over to study and after five minutes of the Constitution, they were horizontal on his bed and he was clumsily groping her chest and moaning into her hair. If she hadn't flung her arm out awkwardly and whacked the back of his skull who knows how far they would have gone. He knew he wanted Julie, wanted her like he wants oxygen after running suicides. But he also wanted this new, fragile relationship to last and that meant not going too fast and ripping the strap off her newest bra.

 

(She had looked so beautiful though, her hair looked wild, her glowing face looked utterly spent and he desperately wanted to kiss her wet, swollen lips. But they were pursed into a frown as she examined her bra, so he waited and from then on kept his hands restrained to her back or her face and let her set the pace.)

 

So he had apologized and now they were spending the rest of Saturday together, her limbs lazily dangling off the tire swing in the park after their packed lunch.

 

Matt started humming faintly while pushing her back and forth, watching her hair fly out behind her. His fingers were balled into loose fists, battling for control of something. Despite how hard he willed his mind not to think it, when he saw the glint of her birthstone, resting just above the collarbone that he wanted to trace with his tongue, all he could think of while it swung back and forth in front of him was: mine, mine, mine .

 

Of course, Julie is too special for that sort of thought, so he keeps his mouth shut to prevent saying anything stupid and he forces his arms to let her go every couple minutes to start the game all over again. She swings backward and forward with little kicks and squeals and he spins the wheel until she looks just a little off balance.

 

When he can, he clasps her ankles gently between his fingers, marvelling at how warm she is everywhere he touches, slowing the tire so he can reel her in for his reward of catching her. He steps between her open knees and cradles her head back while he kisses her. She once told him that it felt like floating.

 

She gives a little squeeze with her thighs around his waist so he knows when to let her go again; pushing her higher and higher so he can watch the amethyst catch the light. It keeps him distracted enough to resist pulling her off and back onto the grass where he can fully press his weight against her while he sucks on that spot just below her ear.

 

Whether because she really can read his mind, or just by pure accident, her foot accidentally clips his shoulder and he falls to the gravel. In seconds, she’s off the tire and kneeling beside him, concern on her face.

 

He laughs at her worry, reminding her that he plays the other type of football where players don’t fake injuries. Still, he has to stand to assure her that he’s fine.

 

“Hey, you could never hurt me, Julie.” He says, sincere as his Gran when they’re dancing.

 

It’s the wrong thing to say because for the whole walk home, he’s ducking and dodging her until he’s been properly humbled. He bows to her superior fighting skills by picking her up and not letting her down until they’re at the foot of her driveway.

 

“Just for that, give me your sweatshirt.” She demands with a no-nonsense grin and breathes it in just a moment too long before looking up again.

 

“You can get it back next weekend because for that little stunt, you owe me another date of my choosing.” He attempts to look nervous under her scolding gaze but the sound of Coach’s voice from the front door had them both breaking into giant smiles.

 

At this rate, he’d never finish serving his sentence of Julie-mandated penance. (And he wouldn't have it any other way.)




V.

The library isn't the most private of places but Landry joined the AV club last year and although he was disappointed that most of the school’s equipment had been reserved for football games, he still kept a copy of the key for Crusifictorious emergencies. By borrowing the key, Matt could guarantee a room where they could have privacy for at least two hours, a commodity they seemed to have in short supply lately.

 

JUlie remarked that it smells a bit musty as he looks around for a place to set down his football gear without damaging a dusty amplifier, outdated camera or other ill-used equipment. In the end, he settles for hanging his bag awkwardly off a tripod while she waits in the corner. When he motioned for her to sit next to him on the floor, she let out a large sneeze. Surprised by such a loud sound from such a small frame he explained later that he couldn’t help laughing. She let out a tiny huff when he finally asked her if she was okay.

 

“Its fine, I don’t mind.”

 

“That’s good,” he said, laying a soft kiss to the tip of her nose.

 

Without any finesse, his lips moved to her sweet little mouth and he thanked all his lucky stars that her hungry hands snaked up to link around his neck as she deepened the kiss. Sometimes it just downright floors him that Julie Taylor might want like he does.

 

He leaned into her until she was lying on the cold floor beneath him. Matt couldn't help but take pleasure out of every part of her, focusing on her shoulders, the hollow below her ear, the gentle skin of her eyelids, the pulse point on her neck. Every part of her is so soft he wants to lick and suck at every available inch.

 

Her shirt was soon discarded and padding the stone floor beneath her head as he nuzzled his nose into the hollow that rested between her breasts. She tried to flip them over and her retribution was to be teased until she was squirming with laughter when he grabbed and tickled the back of her knees. She breathlessly called for mercy, smiling up at him and he liked that making out with Julie was fun , that they tussled and laughed. He didn’t know it could be like that.

 

Actually, he liked just about everything with Julie but he had a special folder in his brain cataloguing all of her sounds and sighs. She made a strangled one when his fingers traced the underwire of her bra, his thumb nudging up to tease the soft underside of her breasts and she leaned back, her elbows propping her up as he began to count freckles.

 

Then her arms slid to her sides and she flinched slightly whenever he would blow wisps of warm air across her skin as he counted. He struggled to maintain control, to build up the fire in her belly until it was like his, but he noticed a hitch in her breathing when his mouth got close to her belly button and he was instantly back on her, his hands moving to her shiny hair.

 

Their kisses were wet and messy, all eager mouths and clutching hands. He shifted to deepen their kiss, he tongue sliding against hers and it caused her to arch up into him in a move that scrambled his brain so completely he could think of nothing but a porno he’d once seen where the girl looked so much like Julie he’d come the second her bra was off--he hoped that if that if she allowed him to get his hands on her perfect tits today he wouldn’t embarrass himself like that.

 

Letting out a tiny noise of frustration, she moved her hands up from his waist to his back, he could feel her trace the ridges of his spine through the cotton, and she began to tug the fabric up into a bundle where her fingers rest, high on his back. Once his torso was exposed, she moved to pull the shirt off him, causing his lips to separate from her skin. He missed the contact more than he liked to admit, but then she sighed when he returned his focus on her throat and he had to agree that the feeling of her mostly bare chest against his was incredible.

 

She didn't have to pull him down this time, he wanted every possible inch of their skin to touch. He shivered when she wrapped her arms tight around him while his hands moved to support his weight, a little afraid he would crush her.

 

He knew she preferred to be on top but today he felt hurried and desperate. He mentally promised her that he'd be slow, so slow , next time but right now with her trapped under him, he felt like his blood was filled with firecrackers.

 

In a clumsy attempt at authority, she tried to shift their position but Matt was too focused to be of any help. In the end, she had to swat at his arm to get his attention while she blushed from below him.

 

"I want to sit in your lap." She rasped out, voice unsteady with desire.

 

“Yes, absolutely.” He bobbed his head in a series of fast nods. “Whatever you want.”

 

He pulled over a chair for him to sit on and then motioned for her to sit straddled on one of his legs. His other leg helped to support them as she began to rock her body against his; the urgency in their kisses causing her to slide up in down in tandem with their breathing. It felt like heavenly torture as she grinded down on his thigh, clearly enjoying the sensations as she moaned into his mouth.

 

“I want…”

 

Her skin looked flushed and he felt like he was at the mercy of a goddess. He desperately wanted to do whatever put that dark look in her eyes. His hands, which could could be so calculating when putting a spin on the football, sometimes felt over-large and useless with Julie, always getting tangled in her ponytail or bra clasp. But she seemed to want them anyways as she grasped at his fingers and pushed them down to her waist.

 

However, Matt didn’t know how to ask and Julie didn’t know how to tell, but if her tiny panting breaths against his neck were anything to go by, she’d found something that she liked anyways.

 

As for Matt, her left leg occasionally bumped with his hard-on but he focused on guiding her hips to give her better access. The denim was starting to chafe his thighs but she felt pliant and ready in his arms so he kept his complaint to himself. Anything that gave Julie pleasure was a good thing in his book. She shifted her crotch slightly and keened at the change, the increasing movement causing her fingers to grip his shoulders.

 

She rested her head on his shoulder, whispering, “Yes, yes, yes ,” into his ear and his hands slid down to cup her ass, helping her with her rhythm. She grinded herself against him a final time, shuddering before falling bonelessly against him.

 

His mind went blank with lust. Holy shit. Did Julie just? With him? Like this? He felt powerful and smug for about 3 seconds before his own body’s needs made themselves embarrassingly clear.

 

Julie looked worn out but happy and she still found enough breath to place gentle kisses on his neck and jaw as he gently shifted her to her feet.

 

She looked down to the bulge in his jeans and smiled nervously as she picks up her shirt from the floor.

 

“We made a bit of a mess.” She says, gesturing to the fallen down tripod that he must have knocked out in his haste to get her a chair.

 

“I’ll clean up in here. Can you keep watch?”

 

“Yeah, I’ll just, uh, wait outside.”

 

His hands are down his pants as soon as the door clicks close, he pushes them past his knees so he can fully grasp his cock. He comes in just a few strokes, his imagination no longer having to supply the sounds and feeling of Julie Taylor coming undone in his arms. He closed his eyes and pumped, instead imagining what it would feel like to be inside of her the next time it happened.

 

He cleaned up with an old towel from his football gear, changes into his practice sweats and takes a swig of some Gatorade, feeling drained and exhilarated in the absolute best way. He’s never done that before with Julie so close. God, she could have so easily opened the door--he stops that line of thought before he gets hard again.

 

They wanted to avoid her mom coming into the building in search of her so she braided her hair into a side plait to obscure his attentions as best she can and he carried her bag over his shoulder with his as they walked to the entrance to wait.

 

“Oh, by the way, that algebra problem you were doing when I came in? It’s kind of like the Left Red 70, isn’t it? Because you’re given an unworkable play so you have to change the shape to something you can use. Then, instead of throwing to your tail end receiver, that angle is how you solve for x.”

 

He stared at her hard, so in awe of her. It’s hands down one of the sexiest things he’s ever heard and his brain went on a small mental break. He wanted to attack her lips again, but she’s waving her hand in front of his dazed face.

 

“It might be my Dad driving me home today, you might want to stop drooling.” But she bit her lower lip as she said it, her blush showing that she was pleased she could help. He’s never adored her more than in this moment, where she’s still a little shy and unsure even after everything they got up to in that cold and musty AV room.

 

He loves her. Totally and completely and he’s going to tell her soon. He promises her this by taking her hand in his and laying a chaste kiss on her fingers.