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The more I'm learning (the more I don't know)

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“BEST SUMMER EVER!,” Sansa shouted at the top of her lungs. 

 

“Seven hells,” Robb grunted as he carried her up the back stairs. 

 

Myrcella tried not to laugh, but it was difficult considering Sansa had just tucked a flower behind his ear. Plus she was a little drunk. 

 

Though definitely not as drunk as Sansa. 

 

“How much did she drink?,” Robb asked her as she held the door open for them. 

 

“Um…,” she evaded. 

 

Sansa looked over and pointed her finger at her. Or tried to, anyway. It ended up about six inches to her right. 

 

“Snitches get stitches,” she warned though and then her face fell, “I’m just kidding I’d never hurt you baby but don’t tell him I drank four tekillas.”

 

“FOUR TEQUILAS?,” Robb practically shouted and she couldn’t help but stomp on his foot. 

 

He glared at her but when a pack of dogs started barking she raised her eyebrow at him as though to say see?

 

“Four tekillas,” Sansa corrected and Robb turned to look at her, “Tekillas.”

 

“Stop saying tequila like that,” Robb ordered. 

 

Sansa groaned and gave up, which resulted in her throwing her head back and making herself dead weight in his arms. He stumbled a little but righted himself well enough and redistributed her in his arms and started walking up the back stairs. 

 

He had to go up two flights, to the wing of the house where the elder Stark children had their bedrooms and only slowed as he neared the very top. 

 

“You’ve got this,” she cajoled. 

 

As though that had actually worked he started walking quicker and finally made it into Sansa’s bedroom. She pulled the covers back and Robb laid her down. 

 

“You’re both so pretty,” Sansa said, holding her hands in front of her to frame them like a picture. 

 

“So are you, Dovey,” she grinned, “Do you need advil or anything?”

 

“Noooope,” she cooed, she looked at them and shook her head, “So pretty. So tekilla.”

 

“TEQUILA,” Robb practically shouted and she clamped a hand over his mouth. 

 

“Do you want your Dad to come in, you ninny?,” she asked. 

 

She felt more than heard him laugh, his breath tickling her skin and she snatched her hand away. She smiled, trying to hide her blush by turning back to Sansa.

 

“Sleep tight, Sansa,” she said and kissed her forehead.

 

“Thanks El,” Sansa returned.

 

“I’m the one who carried you,” Robb pointed out.

 

“OOOh somebody’s jealoussss,” Sansa cooed at him and then held her hand out, “You’re the best brother everrrr.”

 

“I know,” he chuckled, “Get some sleep, San, it won’t be better in the morning but we’ll deal with that then.”

 

She giggled and headed for the door, feeling him at her heels. They shut out the light and closed Sansa’s door. The rest of the Stark house was quiet, the other kids long asleep and Ned and Catelyn assured that Robb would get Sansa home safely. 

 

He always did, he was just that kind of big brother.

 

Not like hers.

 

She pulled her phone out of her bag and checked it. A few texts from Trystane, one from Harry, one from Shireen. None from Joffrey though - even though they’d been at the same party.

 

It wasn’t a surprise, really. He wasn’t that kind of big brother. Not even a year away at college had endeared him to her or Tommen.

 

“Thanks for grabbing her, it would have taken me way longer to carry her back,” she joked. 

 

He grinned and stretched, his t shirt rising up to reveal those groin muscles that every attractive boy seemed to have. She tried not to look but it was kind of hard not to. 

 

“You staying over?,” he wondered.

 

She shook her head, “No I have an early tennis lesson. I should go back.”

 

He nodded, “Alright come on, I’ll walk you.”

 

She shook her head, “You don’t -“

 

“Don’t give me that, Baratheon. Your Dad would murder me if I let you walk home alone right now,” he said, “And so would mine, come on.”

 

He made a good point so she nodded and followed him back down the stairs. It wasn’t terribly far to her house, especially if you walked by the lake - but lot’s of people partied in the woods, not just teenagers. In truth, she hadn’t been looking forward to walking by herself. 

 

It was a warm night, and the tequila in her blood warmed her further, making the light breeze coming off the water a welcome respite. 

 

They walked in silence for a little bit. She’d always liked that about him, he never felt the need to fill silences like his best friend Theon did. She could be quiet as well, prone to daydreaming, and though she was social she was horribly introverted. Senseless chatter took the metal out of her. 

 

They came across a couple coupling against a tree and Robb chuckled as she covered her eyes, grabbing his arm so that she didn’t fall as she tried to give them their privacy.

 

“Nothing’s changed around here,” he said once they’d gone a safe distance.

 

She wondered, “Is it odd to be home?”

 

He’d just returned from his first year at college too. He’d gone to their father’s alma mater, The Vale, where she was heading in the fall. 

 

He shrugged, “A little, I guess. The normal stuff, my mom ragging on me for my messy room and that sort of thing feels a little strange but um… kind of nice too.”

 

She smiled at that, he’d always been a Mama’s boy. 

 

He nudged his arm against hers, “What about you? Are you ready for the fall?”

 

She felt a nervous shiver run down her spine but she nodded, “Definitely.”

 

He looked at her and grinned, “Liar. What are you worried about?”

 

She shrugged, “Lots of things.”

 

“Like? I mean, with the amount of APs you took, aren’t you practically starting as a sophomore?”

 

“Second semester freshman, technically,” she clarified, “But it’s not the academics - I feel like I’ll adjust to that but… everything else, I don’t know…”

 

“Don’t tell me you’ll be homesick…”

 

She chuckled, “Slim chance of that. No, but I’ll be Sansa-sick.”

 

He grimaced and nodded, “Yeah that’s a tough one. But, she’s so good about staying in touch. She was always sending me care packages and writing me letters and setting up times to video chat, and I’m just her brother. You’re her soulmate.”

 

She giggled and nodded, because that was fair. She might be the only person in the world who ranked higher in Sansa’s esteem than him. 

 

“But there’s just…,” she started and then shook her head, “I don’t know, I’m just being silly.”

 

“Maybe,” he said, “But knowing you I’d bet not.”

 

“I’ve had two tekillas so I’m just going to come out and say this…”

 

“OH MY GOD IT’S TEQUILA,” he practically shouted at her. 

 

She chuckled, “No, it’s tekilla… it’s Harry Hardyng’s signature cocktail.”

 

“God he’s a douche,” Robb grimaced.

 

She nodded at that. She wondered briefly if Robb felt that way because Harry had dated Jeyne Westerling after him or because he was currently trying to date Sansa. Or because he was just, well, a douche. 

 

“But you were saying…,” Robb prompted. 

 

She bit her lip and he raised his eyebrows at her. He made most girls nervous, some couldn’t even talk to him, but it had never been that way for her. In fact, he’d had to translate a lot of her babble when she was a baby, him being the only one to understand the language she and Sansa had developed.

 

He was gorgeous, that was obvious, but to her he had always just been Robb. The boy she could bring all her secrets to. 

 

“I’m a virgin,” she finally just said. Even in the dark she could tell that he was blushing. “See? Sorry, I just, I don’t know. I’m not embarrassed about it, or anything, but I’m just like…”

 

“Like what?,” he asked. 

 

“Well I’m really a virgin,” she said. 

 

“I believe you…”

 

“No I mean that… well… all I’ve ever done is kiss…,” she clarified and now it was her who was blushing.

 

He was silent for a moment and then he said, “That isn’t a bad thing.”

 

“It is if I find someone I’m really into and then I freak them out by being horrible at everything,” she pointed out.

 

“That’s unlikely,” he said. 

 

“What makes you say that?,” she wondered.

 

“Well because… when you’re that into someone, it kind of just… clicks.”

 

“How many virgins have you slept with?,” she challenged.

 

“What?,” he asked, as though horrified that the conversation had come around to him.

 

“How many?,” she asked again, though she could guess the answer.

 

Robb had never had a serious girlfriend. He had girls that he hooked up with exclusively, like Jeyne Westerling, but he’d never had a hold-hands-in-the-hallway-bring-them-to-Sunday-dinner kind of relationship. Which she knew, because she was usually at the Starks’ Sunday dinners.

 

He would never casually hook up with a virgin, because while he was a bit slutty, he was very careful with girls’ feelings.

 

“Um…none.”

 

“So…”

 

“Okay, fine, point taken. But honestly… guys are usually pretty happy to take the lead on that… and if they got a girl like you into bed they are going to think anything you do is amazing,” he waved her off as though she had nothing to worry about.

 

“What if I bit their dick?,” she questioned.

 

“Why would you do that?,” he practically gasped.

 

“To prove this point…”

 

He chuckled and shook his head, “Well I’ll bet you could even find some guys alright with that. But seriously I think the main thing is just not to overthink that stuff, you know? I mean, the best sex I’ve had is when everyone’s super relaxed about it…”

 

“You only say that because you’re good at it,” she reasoned.

 

“What? How do you know that?,” he sputtered.

 

“Come on, Robb. Everyone knows that…”

 

He groaned, “Now that I don’t miss. High school gossip.”

 

“Even when it’s about your sexual prowess?,” she teased, knocking her shoulder against his arm.

 

He chuckled, “Especially then.” She grinned and he shook his head, “But seriously, El, you’re overthinking this. The guys are going to go wild for you and you just have to worry about finding someone worth your time. Everything else will happen naturally.”

 

She nodded, trying to take him at his word. He never lied, so she knew he meant it, she just wasn’t so sure that she believed him.

 

It was the second tekilla that made her admit, “I just wish I knew if I was even a good kisser.”

 

“Well without having kissed you I couldn’t say for sure, but I’m sure that you are,” he noted kindly.

 

She stopped walking as the plan formed in her mind. Even as she thought of it, she knew that she couldn’t actually do it. It wasn’t fair to ask, plus he was Sansa’s brother. He was practically her brother - they had taken baths together as kids.

 

She watched him walk ahead, not having realised that she’d stopped and took in the sinewy muscles of his back, evident even in his t shirt and his russet curls. He was a far cry from the boy that used to read her Goodnight Moon. He was practically a man now. 

 

And he really was undeniably gorgeous. With a reputation for being incredible in bed. 

 

She couldn’t. She wouldn’t.

 

“Would you?,” she found herself asking anyway.

 

He stopped walking and turned around, “Would I what?”

 

She fidgeted with the hem of her top, “Kiss me. Just once. And tell me, for sure.”

 

“You want me to kiss you?,” he asked, sounding nervous. Strangely that made her less so.

 

“I know I’m not your type or anything but-“

 

“What makes you say that?,” he interrupted.

 

“Well just because… the girls you date… tend to be…,” she started and he raised his eyebrows at her, “B…-runette.”

 

He chuckled at her, as though he knew she was about to say busty, though both were true. There had been the Jeynes (Poole and Westerling) and Margery Tyrell and Roslin Frey. All brunettes, all significantly curvier than her. 

 

“You’d tell me, if I was bad it I mean,” she pointed out, “And you wouldn’t… make fun of me… or tell anyone.”

 

“You sound awfully sure of that,” he said. 

 

“I’m surer of that than just about anything,” she told him, “It’s not who you are. I trust you.”

 

He scratched his cheek, “Not sure that’s such a good idea.”

 

She nodded, “You’re right, I shouldn’t have suggested it… sorry I just…”

 

“I meant you trusting me,” he clarified. “But… you’re right, I mean… I would never tell anyone anything you didn’t want me to.”

 

“So… should I walk closer to you?,” she wondered.

 

He nodded, “I think that’s a good start.”

 

She took a deep breath and closed the distance between them, until there was only about a foot. He was tall, much taller than her, and when he stepped a few inches closer to her she looked up at him.

 

She wished that she had put on chapstick or something, but there was no time. She asked him a question with her eyes and he nodded slightly.

 

She stood up on her tiptoes and he bent down and their lips met somewhere in the middle. His were warm and soft, and they pressed against hers briefly before he pulled away.

 

“Very nice,” he stepped away.

 

She scowled at him, “That was a peck… look, maybe this was a mistake…,” because he clearly didn’t want to go through with it so she started to walk away, desperate to forget this embarrassing ordeal had ever happened.

 

She’d hardly gone a foot when she felt his hand on her forearm turning her back to him. Before she could ask him what he was doing he had kissed her again. 

 

This time was different, his other hand held her face gently and he kissed her like he meant it. His lips wandered over hers in a delicious pattern, every time she thought she’d gotten used to it he altered it and she found herself chasing his lips. It was the most intoxicating frustration and she wrapped her arm around his neck, trying to hold him steady and then she felt his lips teasing hers open, his tongue gliding against hers. 

 

A warm rush shot down straight to her core and she licked at his tongue gently before she retreated and took his pillowy bottom lip in between hers, sucking on it. 

 

The hand that had been holding her forearm wandered up until he gripped into her hair, tilting her head back. She sucked on his lip again, liking the way it tasted, and he groaned into her mouth which sent a shiver all through her body. She could feel the heat radiating off of him so she pressed herself closer to him, her tongue wandering into his mouth.

 

He pressed her back against something hard, and she wrapped her arm around his waist, pulling him flush against her. 

 

He broke the kiss and before she knew it his lips were at her throat. They ghosted up the column of it, before pressing a kiss behind her ear that made her toes curl.

 

Robb,” she whimpered.

 

He froze against her, and it was only then that she realised her hand was in his hair, his leg pressed in between hers.

 

She could have sworn he nuzzled into her once before he pulled away. She dropped her hand and tried not to shiver when he did, it was tricky though, with the loss of heat - and him.

 

He looked away and cleared his throat, twisting his legs momentarily.

 

“Confirmed,” he nodded.

 

“Hmm?,” she wondered, her mind still a little hazy.

 

“You… are a… very good kisser,” he said.

 

“Oh,” she remembered how this had all started. “Thank you.”

 

He nodded and, as though nothing had just happened, they continued walking towards her house. He walked her into the circular drive and only stopped walking when she’d gone up the two steps to her terrace.

 

“Thank you,” she said once again, turning around to face him, “For walking me home and for…”

 

“The pleasure was all mine, Baratheon,” he teased.

 

She blushed and chuckled, giving him a small wave and then heading towards her house. 

 

She unlocked her door and went inside, locking it behind her. The house was quiet so she tiptoed up the stairs to her suite. She found Tommen’s cat, Ser Pounce, sleeping soundly on her bed and she scratched behind his ears and pulled off her tank top and shorts, unsnapping her bra and pulling down her underwear.

 

She tossed everything in the hamper and was going to grab some pajamas when she heard her phone ding.

 

She grabbed it out of her bag, and was surprised to see that she had a text from Robb.

 

You’ve got nothing to worry about, El. College doesn’t stand a chance against you.

 

She grinned and bit her lip, putting her phone down and going to her drawers to pull out a pair of pajamas. She grabbed a blue and white striped set and pulled them on and went into her bathroom to wash her face and brush her teeth. 

 

She should be tired, but for some reason she felt wired and practically skipped back to her bed.

 

She plopped herself down and Ser Pounce meowed in annoyance though he got up and walked up her body before settling on her chest. 

 

She grabbed her phone and looked at the message again before responding.

 

I hope you’re right… but there’s more to it all than just kissing, right?

 

She saw the typing bubbles appear and a moment later he responded.

 

More to college? Yeah. There’s drinking too.

 

She giggled but sent back the eyeroll emoji. You know what I mean.

 

Robb: Yeah, I know what you mean. 

 

Ella: It’s weird, huh? Me talking to you about this.

 

Robb: Well it wasn’t what I expected to be talking to you about. But I don’t mind. You can talk to me about anything, always, you know that.

 

Robb: Don’t you?

 

Ella: Yeah, I know.

 

Ella: I just hear all these horror stories about girls first times, you know? I don’t want to be one of them.

 

Robb: I don’t want you to be one of them either. 

 

The typing bubbles appeared and then disappeared. And then reappeared and then disappeared again. This happened four or five times before she pressed call.

 

“Lo?,” he answered, and it sounded like he was getting into bed.

 

“Hey…,” she said, suddenly nervous. “You um… it seemed like you were having a hard time saying whatever you were about to say…”

 

She heard him sigh and she wondered if she shouldn’t have called. 

 

“I don’t like you freaking out about this,” he told her.

 

“Yes how unfortunate for you,” she noted dryly.

 

He let out a loud sigh, “I just don’t like the idea of some guy preying on your lack of experience.”

 

“Yeah well it’s a little tough to get experience without risking that,” she pointed out, then joked, “Unless you’re offering, of course.”

 

She expected him to laugh, but he didn’t. 

 

“What if I am?,” he asked, “Offering, I mean.”

 

“To what… exactly?,” she wondered. 

 

“To…show you the ropes,” he said, which didn’t really clarify much but had her sitting up anyway. “If you want.”

 

She thought about that kiss, the way it felt with his hands in her hair and his lips on hers. He was good at it, everyone said so. And she trusted him. More than any boy she’d ever known.

 

“You’d do that?,” she asked. 

 

“Why not?,” he returned and she could practically see him shrugging. “We’re both single and um, it’s not like kissing you was such a chore.”

 

“You should be a poet,” she teased.

 

He chuckled, “Don’t be like that. You want me to say it? I’ll say it. Kissing you felt good… Really good. I’d like to do it again.”

 

Her heart was beating wildly and she wondered how only earlier tonight she’d thought that he didn’t make her nervous.

 

“Kissing you felt good too,” she admitted, because whenever something frightened her she liked to push ahead. 

 

“So, think about it,” he said, “The offer is there whenever you want it. No hard feelings if you never take me up on it but it’s there.”

 

“I want to,” she told him immediately, “I want you to teach me to be good at it.”

 

“That’s not what I’m offering, El, I’m not doing this for your future boyfriend, I’m doing it for you,” he told her. 

 

“So what does that mean?,” she wondered. 

 

“It means that I know too many girls that don’t know what they like, because nobody has ever tried to figure it out. They end up dating douchebags that act like flopping around on top of them is a gift. I don’t want that for you,” he lamented. 

 

“So you want to…”

 

“Help you find what you like.”

 

“Why? I mean, what would you get out of that?,” she couldn’t help but ask. 

 

He chuckled, “Oh you sweet, summer child.”