3. For the First Time

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It feels surreal to be in this house again as an adult. I couldn't even begin to count how many hours I spent in this kitchen helping Nancy with dinner prep or doing homework with Luca or getting a cup down for Beau before he could reach it.

Now, I'm leaning against the counter across from Luca, sipping my beer. "You're so wrong. The Cubs have maybe one good year left before they go back to sucking again."

"I guess time will tell," Luca says, laughing. "Speaking of which, do you realize it's four in the morning?"

My head turns to look at the clock on the oven. "Oh my God. I can't even remember the last time I was up this late." I lie.

We got to Luca's mom's house around one, and I spent the first five minutes being attacked with kisses by Nancy's newest rescue mutt. I hadn't seen him in weeks. I had missed him, too, but I had to admit that wished I were being kissed by someone else.

After making a frozen pizza, Luca and I could barely wait for it to cool down before stuffing our faces. I still think I burned the roof of my mouth. The conversation quickly turned to baseball, the one area that we have never been able to agree on.

"You should stay here," he suggests. "You're too drunk to drive, and there's no way you'll get an Uber this late."

I know he is right, but I hadn't wanted to bring it up. I wanted to ask...where would I sleep? A guest room? In his room? I honestly didn't know what I wanted the answer to be, so I had just been avoiding it.

Luca starts walking across the kitchen toward me. As he raises his hand, I think he might touch me, but he doesn't. Instead, he grabs my beer, pours what remains down the sink and throws the bottle away. So I guess he's still a neat freak.

Then he grabs my hand and without a word, begins leading me to the back of the house, where I know his bedroom is.

I am hit with a huge wave of nostalgia as we enter his room. It looks exactly the same, down to the band posters and old desktop computer. I never thought I would be here again.

"It's like the room that time forgot."

He smiles slightly and unzips his hoodie. Underneath, he has on a plain white t-shirt and black jeans. I can see now that his arms are covered in tattoos. He had told me he recently started an evening apprenticeship at a tattoo parlor, but it hadn't occurred to me that he would have any himself. The last time I saw his arms, there were bare. He's got a full sleeve on his right arm and several smaller tattoos on his left. I wonder where else he is tattooed...

He takes his shoes off and, without undressing, lies down on he bed. Before I have time to overthink, I slide my shoes off and crawl into bed with him. He stretches his arm out so I can rest my head on his shoulder and immediately starts rubbing my back.

I can't deny it anymore, I want him...bad.

However...I think the alcohol and the late hour are catching up to me, because all I want to do is cuddle into him and fall asleep. I slowly give up the fight and close my eyes, his hand rubbing my back is hypnotizing. The last thing I recall before sleep is hearing Luca sigh contentedly and kiss the top of my head. "Goodnight," he whispers.

I am awoken the following day to what feels like Luca shoving his face into my neck. He's kissing me...vigorously.

Before I have time to process this, he starts rubbing between my legs. His hand is outside my pants, and I curse myself for wearing jeans last night. If I had a skirt on, his hand would be touching my skin right now. The sensation of his lips on my neck and his hand on my core is too much and I moan quietly. He pushes himself into my side, and I can feel his hardness grinding against my thigh.

This is too much. It's time to get naked. I look down at his face to see if he's thinking the same thing and OH...MY...GOD.

He's sleeping. I can tell by how he won't open his eyes—even when I pull away slightly.

I've heard of sleepwalking and sleep talking...but sleep humping? That's a new one for me.

"Luca!" I shout.

He freezes, and his eyes pop open. He starts looking around, obviously trying to gather his surroundings. His eyes fall to his hand on me and then to the massive erection he's sporting in his own jeans.

"Wha..." And then I see that he's figured out what happened. "Shelley, oh my God, I'm so sorry." He removes his hand and stands up. He doesn't even look at me as he rushes out of the room.

Now what? Do I follow him? Do I wait for him to come back? I look at the clock and see that  it's eleven am. Shit. I have to meet my parents for lunch in thirty minutes.

I crawl out of bed and quickly find my shoes. I don't know where Luca is, so I just decide to call into the house "Um...I gotta go! It's not about...that! I just have to meet my parents!" I don't hear a response so I continue. "It was great seeing you, Luca! Keep in touch!"

I let myself out.
The next day is Monday, and as I'm walking into the hospital for work, my phone chimes with a text message.

It's Luca. I got your number from your mom. I hope that's okay. I don't expect you to respond, but I wanted to tell you how awful I feel. I am so so so sorry.

Me: It's okay. Really. But I have to know, is this something that happens to you often? I thought most boys grew out of having wet dreams 😉.

Luca: Real funny...and no it doesn't happen. You have to understand though...I'm in my bed from high school...with the girl I had a major crush on in high school. I think my body just couldn't handle it. But I am completely embarrassed.

Me: You had a crush on me?

Luca: You had to have known that.

Me: News to me.
Do you want to have dinner tonight?

Luca: Are you sure you want to see me again? It took me almost 24 hrs to get the nerve to text you.

Me: Yes I want to see you, but don't think I'm not going to give you shit about this for the rest of your life. 😊

Luca: Can't wait...😒
"So how did your night go after I left?" Leslie asks as I place my purse behind the nurses' desk.

"It went good. I think we left about thirty minutes after you."

"We? Are you telling me you actually went home with Luca Knight?"

"Yes, but it's not a big deal. We didn't sleep together, well...I guess we did sleep together technically." Leslie's eyes widen. "But we didn't have sex."

Leslie let's out an exasperated sigh. "Okay you're going to have explain that relationship to me again. I mean, I know you and I didn't hang out a ton in high school, but I'm pretty sure you weren't hanging out with Luca Knight either."

I have her the cliffs-notes version of Luca and I before needing to get to work.

I think about Luca all day. I can't figure out how I feel about Saturday night. I hadn't realized how much I'd missed him all these years.

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