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Instead of You
Author:Anie Michaels

His hands left my breasts, sliding down, and he sat up a little when they reached my hips. His fingertips started slowly bunching up the material of my nightgown, pulling it up to my waist. His eyes were locked on mine, silently and respectfully asking permission. I gave him a slight nod, wanting to feel my body on fire again, and my breath hitched as I watched him pull my nightgown all the way up, then over my head, revealing me to him for the first time ever.

I was trapped in a weird moment where I desperately wanted to watch his face, to see his reaction the first time he saw me nearly naked, but I also felt more than a little embarrassed and fought the urge to cover myself. Cory, the boy who’d pulled my pigtails in kindergarten, who’d seen me throw up in the bushes during our families’ annual camping trip, was looking at me topless. My best friend was looking at me as though I were the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen, and I had to remind myself that he was my boyfriend, that I should be excited that he wanted to see me naked, not embarrassed.

However, much like all our previous encounters of the physical nature, my thoughts ceased when his hands came to my skin. When the warmth of his skin slid over me, my eyes closed and I was no longer looking at my best friend, I was only feeling. His fingers slid up my skin and I nearly cried out, the tension in my nipple surprising me. They were tight and hard, practically aching, and I needed something to take away the ache.

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to feel Cory’s warm tongue circle one of them. We’d never been this intimate with each other and I didn’t think he’d be that bold, but I was obviously mistaken. A low moan left me as his mouth closed over my nipple, one of his hands palming my other breast. He sucked me further into his mouth and tingles shot throughout my body while warmth flooded between my legs.

I was moaning and squirming beneath him, trying to deal with all the new and powerful feelings, but also trying to keep somewhat of a level head. We’d never gone this far before, but I knew I didn’t want to go any farther. One step at a time. I didn’t want my first sexual experience to be in my bedroom while my parents slept down the hall.

“Cory,” I whispered. He stopped immediately and slowly removed his mouth from me, only to rest his forehead right between my breasts and let out a groan. “You should go.”

He took in a deep breath, but then lifted his head and his eyes found mine in the dark. “I love you,” he said. His voice didn’t sound loving, it sounded exasperated, and I heard a “but” coming. “Why don’t you trust me?” Ah, the “but” came in the form of a question.

“I do trust you. I’m just not ready.” I tried to keep my words calm, but I was tired of always having to tell him to stop. I wished he’d stop himself sometimes. “You know I’m not ready.”

He let out another breath, but this time it was louder and he pushed off me. I pulled a blanket up to cover myself and sat up, readying myself for the argument we’d had a few times already. It always came back to me. He didn’t understand my mixed signals. And I would be the first to admit I sent them. There were times, like two minutes ago, when I was totally into it. Times when I wanted to feel something, to know what that level of connection felt like. But I also wondered, in the back of my mind, why I didn’t feel more connected with Cory to begin with. I didn’t long to feel connected to him, I just wanted to feel. And it was those doubts that stopped me.

Regardless of all that, I stood firm in my belief that if I wasn’t comfortable, for whatever reason, it was my right to be so and to stop him. I didn’t like that he sometimes got angry with me for putting the brakes on.

He stared at me for a moment and then flopped on his back, making the mattress shake. He raked his palms down his face and then rested his hands above his head. After a quiet minute he rolled toward me.

“I’m sorry. You’re right. I’ll try to keep myself under control in the future.” Another but was coming. “But, sometimes McKenzie, it really feels like it’s not sex you’re unsure about.”

Panicking a little on the inside, wondering if I were truly that transparent, I had to steel myself on the outside because the last thing I wanted to do was hurt Cory. Swinging my legs around, I lined my body up next to his, propping myself up on one elbow to look down at him. I brought my other hand to his chest, then ran it up over his neck to cup his cheek.

“This is normal, losing-my-virginity jitters. I’ll try harder not to get too swept up in the moment. I’m not trying to lead you on or make you angry. I just, quite honestly, don’t feel ready. I need you to respect that.” My eyes darted back and forth between his, watching as he took in my words.

He closed the small distance between us, bringing his mouth up to mine in a very sweet and chaste kiss. He pulled away after a moment, and we stared at each other. Until he spoke.

“But, if you had to guess a timeframe, when do you think you will be ready?”

My mouth opened, jaw dropping, and I scoffed at him. He was smiling, but obviously a little serious. I playfully slapped his arm. “Cory, my God….”

“I’m just kidding. Sort of.”

I looked down at my boyfriend, my best friend, and knew he was only being a normal seventeen-year-old boy.

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