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Making an Effort

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You awaken to soft lips trailing along your shoulder.

You crack your eye open and pale light is shining through your dirty window. The lips continue their gentle assault and move to the back of your neck. You hum in satisfaction, stretching slightly and rubbing your face in your pillow. You have to admit, this is a much better way to wake up than your stupid alarm. “Hmmm, wassap?” you mumble sleepily.

Ryan gives a soft chuckle at your reaction. “It’s morning, we should probably get up,” he says as he nuzzles your neck. His chest is pressed against your back and you feel so warm squished between him and the mattress. In all honesty, you could probably fall back to sleep that way. His body is lined up perfectly with yours and when you experimentally push your backside up, it presses against his morning erection.

“Time?” you ask as he sucks in a deep breath at your movement. You wonder if you two will have a chance for a quickie before you have to get ready for class.

“I don’t know, around six-thirty I think,” Ryan says, beginning to rain kisses on your shoulders again.

Six-thirty? In the morning? You make a noise of disgust and bury your head under the pillow. “Why the fuck are we awake then?”

Ryan laughs as your response. “I figured we could go get some breakfast,” he says, trying to push the pillow away. You have a death grip on it however, and don’t let him. He eventually gives up and his rough hands move to massage your shoulders.  

“We have class at eight,” you remind him. Just the simple feeling of his palms against your skin is enough to send tingles through your body.

“I know, hence the early hour,” Ryan says. “We have enough time.”

“I was thinking we could squeeze in a quick one before you have to leave,” you tell him, your voice muffled by the pillow. You arch backwards into him again, searching for that increasingly familiar hardness you teased only moments ago. He scoots backwards a little so you can’t find it and you pout, even though he can’t see your face.

“Not a chance, you evil succubus,” he says teasingly. “We definitely won’t have time for all three. Food is more important at the moment. At least for me. We can get some breakfast and then head to class. Come on, what do you say?”

“Probably not a good idea,” you tell him. You’re always running into coworkers and students when you head out for breakfast, and walking in with Ryan would be suspicious.

Ryan doesn’t say anything this time, but you can feel his body language change almost instantly. He freezes for a second before he draws away. The sudden loss of body heat makes you shiver and curl into a ball. “Fine,” he says stiffly.  

Uh oh. That doesn’t sound good.

You withdraw from under the pillow and sit up so you can turn to look at him. You’re just in time to see him easing his legs over the side of the bed. “Where are you going? What’s wrong?” you ask.

“Nothing’s wrong,” Ryan says firmly. He leans down and snatches his pants off the floor. He lifts them for a second and shakes them out violently to try to smooth out the wrinkles.

“Clearly something is wrong,” you say drawing the blanket around yourself, suddenly cold. “Talk to me. What is it?”

“I just thought we could do something other than screw,” he says through pursed lips. He pulls his pants up one leg then the other.

Oh. Damn it. You hurt his feelings. You really didn’t mean to.

“Hey, hey, wait a second,” you say crawling across the bed to him. “Hear me out before you storm off. It’s almost seven in the morning. We have class together at eight. By the time we get ready, have breakfast and then go to class, we would have to show up at the same time or very nearly close to it. Not to mention the fact that every restaurant and coffee shop on this block is notorious for college students and professors. We have to--”

“Be discreet, I know,” Ryan says. His hands are still gripping the waistband of his jeans, but he’s stopped pulling them up for the moment. Hesitantly, you reach out and rest your hands on his shoulders.

You fully expect him to shrug them off, but instead his shoulders sag as he releases the tension in his body. “I just, want to be able to go out with you whenever and where ever we want,” he admits. “And actually go out, not just have sex. I know you said you were looking for fun, but when you agreed this would be a relationship, I thought you meant we would at least be able to go out together.”

You sigh and rest your chin on his shoulder while your arms moves to slip around his waist. “I know, I know, I’m sorry,” you say apologetically. “This is all new for me, okay? I’m not used to having a…to being in a relationship. I’ll work on that. But we do need to be careful. If you really want to have breakfast, we can plan it so it looks like we just ran into each other…”

He makes a noise of annoyance and you tighten your hold on him to keep him from standing.

“Okay, or not,” you say. “What do you want from me? I could lose my job.” He sighs heavily and looks towards the ceiling and you know he understands this fact, but is still frustrated. “I know it’s hard. I get that you want don’t want to be some dirty little secret. Trust me, I don’t think of you that way.”

When he glances at you with a questioning raise of his eyebrow you amend your statement.

“Okay, maybe I do a little bit. But only because it’s really hot. Even if you weren’t my student I’d still want to keep things on the down low for a little. This is all so new. It’s nice to be able to be together with just the two of us knowing about it. I do like being around you and spending time with you. We only have to be careful until the semester ends and I’m not your professor anymore. After that, well…I will be more than happy to parade you around like the mighty-fine boy toy you are.”

That gets a smirk out of him and he chuckles, leaning back against you. “Do you mean that?” he asks.

“Of course I do,” you tell him. “You’re the perfect boy toy.”

He laughs and turns his head so you capture his mouth in a reassuring kiss. It’s a gentle press of lips but you know it means a lot to him. It means a lot to you too. His tongue prods your lips questioningly and you open your mouth to give him full access. His hand comes up to cup your cheek and he strokes his tongue alongside yours until he has to draw back and catch his breath. When he does, you turn your face forward and nod towards the mirror hanging over your dresser.

“Look at us, we look amazing together. Of course I want everyone to see us.”

He meets your gaze in the mirror and his smile widens. He reaches up to take your hand. “We do look amazing together,” he admits. “And physically…damn.”

“I know, right?!” you exclaim with a grin, giving him a playful nip on the neck. He jumps at the contact and you see his cheeks turn red. He looks pleased and you’re happy he’s not upset anymore. He leans his head to the side so his temple is resting against your forehead and you place a soft kiss on his cheek. “How about I make you breakfast instead?”

“You can cook?” he asks.

“Very, very well actually,” you tell him, pulling away and moving to sit next to him on the bed. “Pancakes sound good?”

His eyes drift down and you realize he’s staring at your exposed chest. “Yeah, whatever you say,” he says.

You chuckle and give him a playful shove. “They’re just tits, Haywood. God, keep it together,” you tell him, moving to stand.

He whimpers softly and grabs you so you fall into his lap. “No,” he says. “I refuse.”

His mouth drags along your neck, peppering it with kisses and you gently pry his arms off of your waist. “As much I would like you to take me to bed again,” you tell him with a groan. “You had it right before. There isn’t enough time for a quickie and food before class. Especially now. You should jump in the shower while I get breakfast ready. Do you have any plans for tonight?” You get up from his lap and cross the room to the door.

“Now I do,” he says, letting his jeans drop to the floor as he stands. “What did you have in mind?”

“Typical dinner and drinks,” you say, grabbing the robe that hangs on the hook on the back of your bedroom door. You slip the fluffy material on and tie the sash. “There’s a small place about forty-five minutes away or so that’s really quiet and secluded. It’s actually one of my favorites, I just don’t really like going alone. I end up getting hit on a lot.”

“Do I have to dress up?” Ryan asks.

You chuckle and lean against the doorframe. “It does have a dress code, yes,” you tell him. “As much as I love you as you are now, they would probably turn you away.”

Ryan glances down at his naked body and smirks before stepping out of his pants and towards you. “I think you had the right idea earlier,” he says, moving to slide his arms around your waist. “Food is overrated anyways.”

You shake your head lovingly and detach his arms from you for a second time. “Too bad, I want pancakes now,” you tell him, dancing out of his reach. “Go. Take a shower.”

He mumbles some unintelligible words under his breath and turns to go into the bathroom. You give his backside a small slap, causing him to yelp in surprise before you hurry out of the bedroom.

--

The restaurant only has a few patrons when you arrive.

You’re surprised, considering it’s Friday night, but you don’t mind. You’re actually a little nervous about your date with Ryan. Mainly because, well, it’s a date. An actual date. It’s been a long time since you’ve done that sort of thing. You give your name to the maitre d who gives you a polite nod and leads you to your table.

To your delight and absolute surprise, Ryan is already there.

He looks incredibly handsome in his suit jacket and tie. When the maitre d leads you over, Ryan gives you a radiant smile and stands. He pulls your chair out like a proper gentleman and everything. It makes you smile warmly at him. You didn’t tell him this earlier, but you’ve never invited anyone else to this place before. It’s sort of just been your own little secret place.

Now it’s yours and Ryan’s.

“Damn, should have gotten you flowers,” Ryan mutters as the maitre d slinks away and you’re left to scan through the menus.

You give him a soft laugh. “It’s okay,” you tell him. “Just you being here with me is plenty enough.”

“I know but, I feel like I should have brought you something,” he says, looking at you over the top of his menu. “You said you were going to try and you are.”

“Ryan, you don’t owe me anything,” you tell him. “I don’t need a pat on the back for keeping my word. I meant everything I said this morning.”

“I see that now,” Ryan says. “I mean, I believed you before. But, you know, there’s always going to be that small bit of self doubt…”

“Why?” you ask him curiously.

The waiter comes over for your drink order, stopping Ryan from answering. You order a glass of wine, while Ryan sticks with water. When the waiter moves away to get your drinks, you prop your elbow on the table and rest your chin in your hand. Ryan notices you’re waiting for his answer and takes a second to gather his thoughts before speaking again.

“Well, you’re older than me, and I’m not the most experienced guy around,” he says carefully. You can tell he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, but you’re not sensitive about your age or the age difference between you both. You let him continue though, because you know he needs to say what’s on his mind. “I don’t know…I guess I just want to keep things interesting. Part of me felt like if we kept things going just physically…” He trails off.

“...that you thought I might get bored with you?” you ask.

He purses his lips together and gives you a small nod.

You reach across the table and take his hand, giving it a light squeeze. “Trust me, Haywood,” you say in a low voice, one that immediately makes his eyes snap up to yours and his pupils dilate. “I have no plans to get bored of you any time soon.”

“People never do,” he points out.

“I’m not ‘people’, I’m me,” you tell him firmly. “I know who I am and what I like and, more importantly, what I want. I want you.”

He ducks his head shyly and you realize that blush spreading across his cheeks is going to be the death of you. He looks up at you again, a lopsided smile on his face. “That’s…very comforting to hear,” he says.

“I’ve told you before, I don’t beat around the bush,” you tell him, taking your hand back as the waiter arrives with your drinks. You and Ryan give him your food order and he takes the menus away.

“You have no idea how much I appreciate that,” Ryan says. “Even if it does make me blush from time to time.”

“Sweetie, you blush all the time,” you tell him, making his cheeks go even redder.

“Stop, now I’m aware of it,” he mutters, covering one cheek with his hand.

You laugh. “You’re too adorable sometimes,” you tell him.

“I’m not adorable, I’m a sexy, young man,” he insists with a grin.

“You can be both,” you remind him. You pause for a moment, contemplating whether or not to ask the question that’s on your mind. In the end you decide that there is no reason not to. “Hey, can I ask you something?”

“I don’t know, is it going to make me blush again?” Ryan asks, lowering his hand now that his cheeks are starting to return to their normal color.

You chuckle. “Not that I know of,” you say. “Even if it would, I was going to ask anyways. What are you telling people if they ask if you’re seeing someone?”

Ryan shrugs. “No one has asked yet,” he says. “Frankly I don’t know anyone even really cares. But if they did ask me, I would tell them the truth. I’m taken.”

“Oh come on, no one has hit on you?” you ask him, giving him a look of disbelief.

Ryan shakes his head. “Nope,” he says. “I’m a transfer, I barely even know anyone aside from my friends. And even if I did, girls always seem to not be interested in me when I’m actually available. But none of that actually matters because, again, I’m taken.”

He looks at you pointedly when you don’t offer him a response to your own question.

“Oh, don’t worry,” you say with a wave of your hand. “Anyone hits on me, I will put them in their place.”

“You would do that even if we weren’t together,” Ryan says with a snort of laughter.

“Very true,” you admit. “But yes, if someone asks. I am seeing someone.”

Ryan’s smile is so sweet and genuine, it makes you blush a little but you hide it by taking a sip of your wine.

“So, was last night the end of our teasing streak?” Ryan asks with a smirk, reaching for his own drink. It seems now that his fears have been put to rest, he’s trying to lighten the mood a little.

“Just because you asked, no, it was not,” you tell him.

“What? Why not? I won!” he exclaims, then winces when he realizes his voice was a little louder than he meant for it to be. A couple of people shoot you both annoyed looks, which you return with an eyeroll.

“Exactly, you won,” you tell him, leaning forward on the table so that he can see down the front of your dress. Just as you expect, his eyes immediately glance down at your cleavage. “Which means I need to get control again. And you still have my underwear, which I would like back at some point.”

“Nope, once again I won. So they are my trophy,” Ryan says, winking cheekily.

“Then, consider this your warning that we are not done,” you say, leaning back in your chair. “I need to get back on top.”

“Hey, if you want to be on top--”

“Oh shut up, that’s not what I meant,” you interrupt with a mock glare.

“I know but you left it wide open,” Ryan says, lifting his glass of water to his lips. “Coincidently, that wasn’t the only thing…” He takes a sip of water.

Your mouth drops a little in mock horror. You give him a theatrical gasp of surprise. “Mr. Haywood, that was incredibly crude,” you say in your best authoritative voice.

“What are you going to do about it?” Ryan asks, wagging his eyebrows at you.

You think for a moment before a large smile slowly crosses your face. Ryan must have sensed the intent behind your smile because his ears turn a little pink and his hand pauses as he goes to take another sip. “Don’t worry, Haywood,” you say, dragging your foot along his leg. “I’m sure I can come up with something.”

You can’t tell if he looks scared or aroused.