Chapter Twenty-Two

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I felt so humiliated I couldn't even look at Trace. "I'm sorry," I said sheepishly, feeling like my face was on fire. No, it wasn't just on fire it was in the middle of a full on inferno. I was sweating so much, and I couldn't stop any of it. Was I going to have a panic attack? No, but I was close. I just needed to breathe. But instead of breathing I just kept blathering on, "I didn't realize it would be a problem and— oh my God, I'm so embarrassed." My voice cracked and I felt like I was going to start crying.

I stared down at the patterns of the boxers I'd hastily put on after things hadn't gone well. They were blue with tiny sheep on them. The big and tall section didn't always have variety but I secretly liked the sheep. It wasn't particularly manly, but neither was wanting to hide under the covers after humiliating myself in front of my boyfriend.

Trace was facing away from me and when he turned I could see his face was as red as a tomato. "It's my fault. I know my body and what it can handle but I just got too excited. It's been a while since I've been with a guy and I should have been more prepared but I didn't really expect us to do anything this weekend. And I've— never seen you naked before so I wasn't thinking." He gestured vaguely while he spoke. "And it's not like we've exchanged nudes. We should think of this as a learning experience." Even after everything, Trace only seemed mildly embarrassed and a little bit amused. I wished I'd taken it so well. In my mind everything was supposed to be smooth as silk, like a Nicholas Sparks Rom-Com but instead of basking in an afterglow I was staging off a panic attack.

I had just really wanted our first time to be special and anxiety free. I took a few stuttering breaths and stared down at my hands. They were shaking. "I'm sorry—"

"Don't apologize for having a big dick." Trace gave me a long look. "Trust me when I say I'm very excited to get well acquainted with it when the time is right. But I guess I didn't consider how difficult it would be with someone who's so—" it was like time slowed down and Trace's next words felt impossibly stretched, "well endowed."

Wow, he'd really said that out loud. "I should've warned you."  That one part of me that had nothing to do with my height ended up being bigger than average as well. It was like God pulled a prank on me. My previous partners had been surprised if not delighted but it was more trouble than it was worth if I was honest. Only select condom brands fit well, some of my boyfriends had fixated on it a little more than I'd liked. Mainly Jeremy.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized dating Jeremy had been a reflection of a very insecure time in my life. I was just getting used to Sweets N Things and I was lonely. Lonely in a way I'd never been before. Jeremy happened to be there and even if his compliments had felt hollow, they'd been compliments.

I guess I was always waiting for someone to realize there was something wrong with me and I wasn't worth it. But, maybe, even if there were things wrong with me, I was still worth it. Trace was teaching me that somehow and I didn't think he realized it.

Me and Trace finally being intimate in a way we'd never been before and it being cut short because Trace said it just wasn't happening even with the best lube in the world. Yeah, well, that was the ultimate mood killer. I felt like shit even though I was happy it hadn't gone that far. Trace had seen me naked for the first time and in a way that was already a lot for someone like me. But, it was like as soon as the clothes came off the both of us wanted everything even though it wasn't realistic. I never got caught up in the moment but that had happened tonight because Trace was mouth wateringly perfect. It was like I forgot everything that stressed me out and he plucked all these amazing sensations out of me.

"I can understand why you didn't," Trace said softly, "I probably wouldn't have believed you unless I'd seen it myself. Guys exaggerate that kind of thing all the time." He reached out and squeezed high up on my thigh. His grip was firm, and I knew he was teasing me but I couldn't help but enjoy it. "The night is young and there's lots of stuff we can do without penetration, right? I only have one-point-five legs but I've got two hands, a mouth and an imagination." That made me laugh and Trace gave me a kiss. "Tell me what you want."

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