It felt good to do well in school. Paxton missed feeling accomplished. Ever since he broke his arm and couldn’t swim, he felt like there was a void in his chest..something he couldn’t quite pin point till this very day. Seeing his classmates clap for him at the end of his extra credit presentation felt good - like a few months ago when he was still on the swim team and breaking records. To top it off, Ojichan was there and now he couldn’t stop praising Paxton at dinner with Mom, Dad and Rebecca.
Paxton couldn’t help the dopey grin that overtook his face when Ojichan asked what inspired him to step out of his comfort zone. Devi. He wasn’t gonna say that though.
“I just wanted to go above and beyond in school.” He shrugged nonchalantly, his face still split in a grin.
Shaking his head, he chuckled to himself and mumbled under his breath, “I wanted to swim to San Diego.”
“Huh?” Rebecca asked, ever observant and Paxton, try as he might, couldn’t keep that damn grin off his face.
“Well, whatever it was, i’m proud of you Paxton. Thank you for convincing me to tell my story. It was the right thing to do.” Ojichan’s admission meant everything to Paxton and as he walked back to the garage after dinner, to play Call of Duty, it struck him that this wasn’t really what he wanted to be doing.
Without much thought, he grabbed his keys and was on his way to Devi Vishwakumar’s house. The closer her got to her home, the louder he could hear his heart beat. Adrenaline was pumping through his veins and he felt like he was about to compete at a swim meet, or maybe sit in that Facing History test for the first time again.
And then the insecurity set in… what if Devi was still into Ben? But that couldn’t be, right? Ben was with Aneesa and Devi was pretty chill with that. Her crying the other day has nothing to do with Ben. It was to do with her friends and he fixed that…he made her smile… so maybe…
He shook himself free of those thoughts as he parked on her street by the fire hydrant so Dr. Vishwakumar wouldn’t be able to see him. He wasn’t gonna make that mistake again. Besides, it was just going to be a quick in and out. He just needed to say thank you to Devi. No need to knock on her door and meet her mom. He was just going to…what, throw rocks at her window? That was cheesy as hell and Paxton didn’t do cheese.
He licked his lips, frowning as he realised it was raining. How had he not realised this before?! Well, he was outside her house now…and the longer he dithered, the more soaked he was getting. Grunting, he started climbing the tree outside Devi’s house. He had never done this before. He usually just knocked on the front door or invited the girl around. Damn Paxton, just get a grip.
He was on the roof now and her bedroom light was on and she was…she was sat there in these cute pjs that somehow did a great job at outlining her figure despite completely covering her. Her window was open, so he could just climb in… he blinked sheepishly…maybe he should text her before he did that. That’d be the polite thing to do.
He watched like a total creep as she responded to his ‘what r u doing’ text.
‘U want company?’ He had barely finished hitting send before he knocked. She was so goddamn cute - no. He was just here to thank her. Right. He climbed in as she got off her bed and approached him.
He breathed out a laugh at the ridiculousness of this situation.
“You’re in my house…” she appeared utterly confused, her brows furrowing adorably.
He laughed, a little shy, a little nervous, “Yeah…I guess so”
His palms felt clammy all of a sudden and he could feel every drop of rain seeping into his skin through his shirt. His hair must have been a mess but he was just going to start talking anyway.
“Look I just wanted to say thank you for all your help.” His eyes could help but stray down her form quickly, “It felt so good to finally do something well in school” and he noticed her eyes drift too, though her gaze was far more obvious than his had ever been. And it struck him suddenly. There was never any hiding with Devi. She always just did what she wanted, when she wanted - like that time she propositioned him for sex despite having never spoken to him before, or when she manipulated Mr. Shapiro into giving Paxton a second chance at that Facing history test.
So maybe it was time Paxton did what he wanted too.
“So…are you here to study…or….” The anticipation in her voice did things to him. Devi always had a way of looking or talking to him like she couldn’t quite believe he was talking back or looking at her or..well, now he was about to wipe that look off her face.
“No” he shook his head, closing the distance between them, barely giving her a chance to adjust, barely giving himself a chance to change his mind. His hand was in her hair, his gaze flickered down past her nose ring to her lips while he released a slow breath. This was happening. His eyes met hers for a moment before he closed them and leaned forwards, his lips pressing against hers in the softest of kisses that somehow felt different than any other kiss he had given her before. And then all bets were off; one hand wedged firmly in her hair, the other rose to grasp her waist as his lips moved sensually over hers and before he realised, he was backing her towards her bed. She didn’t seem opposed to any of it, her own hands gripping his forearms to start with, then grazing his arms before settling on his chest.
He crawled on top of her bed, his lips never leaving hers for long as they adjusted so they were lying on their sides, kissing each other languidly. Soft kisses, open mouthed kisses, lingering ones, breathy ones…he could spend hours just learning her mouth and all the little hitches in her breath when he switched up the pace, or pressed his tongue against the seem of her lips. Then her leg forced its way between his and his brain short circuited a little. He didn’t think it was intentional, he didn’t really think she realised that her thigh was now pressed firmly against his… she seemed too absorbed in kissing him, her hands wading through his hair, nails scratching his scalp and making him shiver.
‘I don’t kiss guys often, Paxton!’ He remembered her admission weeks ago… for someone inexperienced, she sure was good at making him breathless. And to think he thought this would just be a quick visit. He was careful to not push. His hands stayed at her waist mostly, his thumb gently rubbing circles on her lower back. Occasionally his lips would drift to her jaw and kiss the spot below her ear. That drew a breathy sigh out of her that sent a heat wave up his spine. His lips returned to kissing hers, not wanting to get carried away, not wanting to push.
“Paxton?” she mumbled as they parted for breath, noses rubbing against each others. Her eyes were squeezed shut as she asked, “this isn’t a dream right? I’ve not just fallen asleep on my math homework? Am I drooling?”
He chuckled, cheeks blushing a little in embarrassment. There was a lot to unpack here - she dreamed of him apparently and God she was adorable.
“This is real”, the words were barely out of his mouth before she lunged the already short distance between them and started kissing him once more.
They must have been at it for at least an hour, he surmised, based on how uncomfortably tight his jeans were getting. He rolled onto his back to cool off, grinning dopily at the puppy dog frown on her face. She settled on her back too and they both stared at the ceiling, catching their breath.
“Did you talk to your Mom? You know.. after you saw her in the Maybach”
Her brows furrowed again and her fists clenched. It always fascinated him how quickly her temper flared. The first time he took notice of her wasn’t when she asked him for sex, it was when she said something about Nazis killing Ben Gross. He had been surprised a nerd like her had the balls to say something like that in class and get sent to the Principal’s office.
“I just feel like she’s moving on so quick - it’s not even been a year since my dad died” Devi huffed and Paxton turned to face her.
He picked up an errant strand of hair and curled it around his finger, “Maybe you should talk to her?”
“I yelled at her already and now I don’t want to talk to her. I don’t want to talk about this.”
He nodded. He didn’t know what to say. Devi’s life was intense with a lot more drama than he was used to. He called her crazy once, with her ‘psycho’ drama. He cringed a little at that. It did nothing to ease his hurt when he said it then and it wasn’t doing much else but deepen his guilt now. So instead of saying anything at all, he let his fingers drift from her hair to brush against her nose ring and then against her lips. He felt a flutter in his stomach on seeing her anger melt off her face..like he was the only one that could do that… just like when he made her smile after her face was all puffy from crying about Eleanor. ‘Swim to San Diego’ seemed to be echoing in his mind a lot lately, especially whenever he gazed into her eyes. Her eyes. Had they always been this pretty? He grinned at his own thoughts now and it grew further when she matched his smile. He sighed against her lips, unable to keep away for long. His lips hovered against hers, never quite touching, just teasing…till she let out a grunt of frustration, much to his amusement, and reached forwards to mash their lips together.
It was clumsy at first and he let out a groan as her teeth nicked his lips but his laughter died down when she snuck her leg between his again and then a different sort of groan left his mouth.
“Devi,” he breathed, pulling away from her and enjoying seeing that dazed look on her face he was so familiar with. His shirt was fully dry now and he figured it was time to stop pushing his luck. He shuddered to think what Dr. Vishwakumar would do if she caught him in her daughter’s bed.
“I’ve gotta go,” he pressed a quick kiss to Devi’s lips and she squeezed his hand in response. Walking to the window and ducking out, he found he was unable to leave without kissing her goodbye.
“I’ll call you tomorrow” he spoke gently against her lips and yep, there it was, that look on her face that made his stomach feel giddy. She looked at him like he had hung the moon and it was hella endearing.
It had him grinning all the way back down to her front lawn and to the short walk to his jeep.
Yeah this was definitely not a quick visit.
Swim to San Diego indeed.