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Old 20-Dec-23, 08:59
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Heart High school story

It was a cold day in November, as I stood in front of the mirror looking at my reflection. I was 16 at the time, 5'9" and 165. The one thing I hated more than anything was working out. To be honest, I couldn't do a single pull-up if my life depended on it. I looked out the window, sun was dipping low on the horizon. I headed down to the basement. Thought of going for a run, but instead powered on my new PlayStation. I was dying to get started with Mortal Kombat Trilogy.

As I was about to put that on, the basement door opened and in walked Olivia. Liv and I had been friends since forever. Her family lived next door. Our friendship had somewhat cooled as we hit teens, but we ran into each other more often than not, either at school or in our backyard. We used to hang out in my basement sometimes. I'd had a crush on her since I was twelve, but had always been scared of asking her out. Our friendship had settled into a platonic one, since whenever. She was one of the most popular girls in school, while I was a relative nobody.

"Hey Chris," she said cheerfully. "What's going on?"

I just looked at her for few seconds. Her face was perfectly symmetrical, defined jaw line, and a slender, slightly upturned nose with dense golden blonde hair tied in a pony tail. She was about as tall as me.

"Just thinking of playing some video game," I answered, a mix of nervousness, excitement, and a subtle fluttering in my stomach.

"You and your video games," she replied plopping on the couch. "Bet your folks are happy, they got you this plaything."

"PlayStation," I corrected her. "But what are you doing here? Don't you have your gymnastic classes or gym sessions?"

And yes, she was athletic as hell. She didn't show it off, usually wearing long sleeves and loose jeans, but she was muscular as any girl could be at her age. Her dad, who passed away in a car accident when she was seven and her mom were both into fitness. Her dad was a bodybuilder before he joined the marines and her mom, was a retired National level sprinter who had almost qualified for 1984 Summer Olympics. And she now owned the town's most successful gym.

Olivia had been in gymnastics since she was three. She was also the best sprinter in the school and captain of girls’ basketball team.

"You know very well, I quit gymnastics last year." She snapped.

How on earth would I know that?" I responded, a tinge of frustration in my voice. "It's not like the good old days when we were practically joined at the hip, sharing every detail of our lives."

"I didn't realize you missed that," she replied, leisurely stretching her legs. "We can go back to that if you want."

"Do you?" I asked, a touch of caustic scepticism in my tone.

"I miss it too, Chris. We used to be inseparable. But over the last few years, a distance has crept in between us, and I don't want that."

I put on the game and settled next to Liv on the sofa. She smelled so good.

"Do you remember, how we used to sit in our backyard, talking late at night, scared our folks will wake up and get mad?" I said, looking at the screen.

"Of course, I do," she said leaning against me.

I was very aware of her body pressing against me. I could feel the muscular contours of her arm, hidden under the full sleeved tee-shirt as she leaned in, pressing against me.

"Mark Hagen asked if I would go with him to winter formal," she said, matter of factly.

A pang of jealousy went through me when she said that, but I didn't react.

"Mark Hagen, captain of the football team. Isn't he a senior?"

"Yeah, so," she asked.

"Nothing at all."

"I told him no. In case you were wondering."

I didn't reply, breathing a sigh of relief.

"So do you..." she continued, before getting interrupted by Rachel and Norman who burst into the basement.

"Mortal Kombat," they yelled in unison.

"Hey Liv, didn't know you were here," Norman's grin widened as he saw Liv sitting on the couch.

"Hey guys," she said.

"How come, you're playing alone with Liv, right here, sitting next to you," remarked Norman.

"Cuz, she thinks video games are stupid," I responded.

"Well, they are. I'd much rather be doing pull-ups than wasting my time in something so unproductive." Liv stated.

"I agree, Liv. you are always right." Norm agreed, only because he was more in love with her than I was. Liv ignored him.

Rachel grinned mischievously, her eyes flickering between Liv and me. "Speaking of push-ups, Chris, ever considered a fitness challenge with Liv?"

Live looked a bit uncomfortable, choosing to ignore Rachel.

I shrugged, playing along. "Sure, why not? But we'll need a fair referee."

"I can officiate," Rachel offered.

While I knew, I was going to fail miserably against Liv, I just wanted to see how many could she do.

We settled into a push-up position and while her posture exuded strength, mine was at best, subpar.

We descended at the same time and completed the first push-up. I was on my fourth while Olivia had already completed nine. On my fifth attempt, I could feel my arms trembling, the strain evident in my face as I gave in, and sank to the floor.

"That's all. Just 4," Norman laughed.

Liv, in the midst of her push-up, retorted, "Let's see how many you can do, Norman."

All of us fell into a stunned silence as Liv's push-up count soared past 50. Sweat glistened on her face, her white tee-shirt, damp almost clinging to her skin. You could see her muscles contract and expand even through the long sleeves.

Liv's movements were a study in controlled strength. The defined muscles in her shoulders, and arms flexed with each descent. I wished for the tenth time, that she were wearing a sleeveless top.

She got past sixty, before collapsing on the floor. Rachel and Norm couldn't hide their excitement. "Wow, you are superhero, Liv," Norm piped.

Liv pushed herself up off the floor and sank on the couch.

Dribbles of sweat streamed down Liv's neck, dampening the front of her tee-shirt and as she stretched resting her head against the backrest of the couch, I could see the pronounced sweat stains dampening her armpits.

She looked at me grinning, "Ready for round 2."

"No," I could only manage a sheepish smile, "I've had my fill."

After Olivia and Rachel had left, Norm asked, "Olivia doesn't usually come by your basement, does she?"

"Nope," I replied.

He paused the game. "What did she want before we barged in?"

"Nothing really, we were just chatting?"

"You thinking of asking her out for the dance? You know you want to," suggested Norm.

"She said no to Mark Hagen." I spoke.

"So, what does that signify? Just cuz she said no to him, doesn't mean she'll say no to you too. She has to go with someone after all and you guys have been friends since you were kids."

"I don't know. What if she says no and then it gets awkward and... we end being so uncomfortable with each other that we stop talking even."

Norm thought for a while. "Well, that is possible. But you can always ask her as in a way like, if she isn't going with anyone else, would she want to go with you."

That did sound a safer option. "I'll ask her next week. Winter formal's a month away." That would give me enough time to prepare a suitable monologue.

"Don't wait too long, bud," Norm advised.

A few days later, while Norm and I were in the basement still addicted to Mortal Kombat, Rachel walked in.

"Hey guys," she said plopping herself on the chair next to the couch.

"Hey Rachel," replied Norm.

"I just got a bombshell of a news," she said excitedly.

"What's that?"

"You'll be interested in this, Chris. Your next-door neighbor finally accepted a prom date."

My heart skipped a beat. "Oh yeah, who is she going with?" I asked, feeling a knot in my chest.

"Jacob Hansen!"

"Isn't the he the linebacker from our year?" asked Norm, giving me a withering look.

"That's the one," Rachel gushed, "Oh, he's so handsome. Tall, muscular..."

"And dumb as a bag of hammers," I finished acidly.

I felt like taking a hammer out of the said bag, and hitting myself on the foot with it. I was so stupid.

As the evening wore on, this feeling of rage and loss only exemplified. Norm looking at me sideways, "Let's go to my house man. My folks are out and we can have a few cold ones."

"Me too," piped Rachel.

The evening passed as we raided Norm's father's refrigerator.

The next day at school, I was hung over and pissed. At the cafeteria, as Norm, Rachel and I were wolfing down our food, Olivia dropped by at our table.

"Hey Olivia," chirped Norm and Rachel.

"Hello guys," she said comfortably and slid over to my side.

"So, Jacob Hansen, huh Liv?" remarked Rachel.

"Oh well!" Olivia replied, "he is okay, I guess. To be honest, I was thinking I won't get a date to the dance."

"Are you kidding? You are the most popular girl in school. Plus, you turned down a dozen eligible dates."

"Was just waiting for the right guy to ask me, I guess," Olivia said, stretching her legs.

"And Jacob was this right guy, you were waiting for?" asked Norm.

"Well, not quite. But if the right guy isn't interested in asking me out, might as well settle for the next best thing." said Olivia, blushing.

"Oww...," I cried as Norm kicked me hard under the table.

"What's wrong, Chris?" Olivia asked, turning towards me.

"All okay. My leg... ummm. it fell asleep."

"Anyway, got to run to the library." Olivia stated, getting up.

"I'll go with you, I have to return this book," Rachel said, slinging her bag over her shoulder.

My eyes followed Olivia as she left with Rachel. Olivia had the biggest calves I had ever seen. In fact, some jealous girls used to call her calfzilla, never to her face though. Her legs looked more like a gymnast's (which she was till a few months back), rather than a basketball player's.

Norm looked at me with frustration. "You are the stupidest guy I ever met, Chris. Olivia's been dropping hints and you still didn't ask her to prom. And if you didn't fancy her, that would be one thing. But you are completely in love with her, you idiot." he said, shaking his head.

I dropped my head on the table and cursed myself.

Norm and I were engrossed on PS the next weekend when he paused the game and asked, "So, have you asked anyone yet?"

"I'm thinking about asking Alicia Hayes."

"Still thinking about it?" he inquired sarcastically. "Haven't you learned your lesson yet? Your crush, Olivia, is going to the prom with another guy just because you chickened out."

"Shut up, Norm," I snapped. He had been criticizing me for it for over three days now. "And can you stop calling it prom when it's Winter Formal, for heaven's sake."

"Yeah, bite my head off, why don't you?"

"Alright, man, I learned my lesson with Olivia. I'll call Alicia right now."

Fortunately, she hadn't been asked out yet, and she was fine going to the dance with me.

"See, I got a date," I said, replacing the handset and plopping back on the couch.

"Bravo," he clapped sarcastically. "I'm sure she's just like Olivia."

I wanted to punch Norm. It was bad enough that I wasn't going to the snowball dance with Olivia, but her going with the tall, good looking Jacob the linebacker was just so depressing.

Alicia wasn't bad looking. She had a somewhat bookish and shy demeanour, a bit of a loner. However, she did say yes when I asked her to the dance, and I was grateful. Norm had plans to attend the dance with Rachel, so at least I wouldn't be the third wheel this time.

Finally, the day of the dance arrived. I had seen Liv off and on over the past few weeks, which wasn't that unusual given her busy schedule with after-school basketball practice, track training, and her gym sessions. Now that I thought about it, ever since she quit gymnastics, she had been around a lot more. However, since that douche Jacob asked her to the dance, she seemed to be occupied. I wasn't sure if they were going steady or not, but Rach did tell me they'd been on at least one date.

Norm drove over to my house after picking up Rachel. I hopped into the backseat. Norm was dressed in a dapper blue suit, while I wore my new sports jacket. Rachel looked beautiful in a green full-sleeved dress. We then proceeded to pick up Alicia.

Alicia answered the door, looking cute in her pink evening gown with her brown hair made up in a sleek bun.

"Hey, Chris, you look very good," she said shyly.

"As do you," I replied. She seemed a bit surprised to see Norm's van but didn't say anything.

"We thought of renting a limo, but Norm was adamant he wanted to drive," I replied to her yet unasked question. She just nodded and followed me to the van.

The school gym looked welcoming for a change. The place had been transformed into a glamorous setting for the dance. Cream coloured drapes adorned the high walls, while string lights cascaded from the ceiling, casting a cosy glow over the round tables. The huge dance floor was marked by LED lighting and looked inviting. As I surveyed the vast expanse, I could see a number of purple coloured Photo Booths strewn across the hall.

Norm's older brother, Marcus was DJing the event. He spotted us from his booth and gave a thumbs-up.

Half the school had already arrived. After meeting up with a couple of friends, we grabbed some snacks and secured a table near the dance floor. Few of the students were dancing. Norm looked a bit nervous at the prospect of asking Rachel to the dance floor. Alicia seemed happy just sitting there with me, waving to some of her friends as they passed by.

I turned towards the entrance, and a flutter of anticipation stirred in me. Olivia, accompanied by her asinine date, had just arrived. She looked truly resplendent in a form-fitting evening gown that showcased her hourglass figure.

Her eyes caught mine, igniting a spark of warmth. As she began to wave, Alicia leaned in, asking if I wanted to dance. In that very moment, Olivia subtly shifted her gaze away. A surge of emotions overwhelmed me — anger directed inward, disappointment at Olivia's presence with Jacob, and irritation towards Alicia for interrupting our fleeting connection. The desire to stand up and shout at the world bubbled inside me.

As the excitement swelled, I saw Olivia and Jacob entering the expansive dance floor. My heartbeat seemed to have synchronized with the rhythmic thumping of the music and I couldn't peel my eyes away from Olivia - she was like a beauty magnet pulling me in, making it downright impossible to look anywhere else.

Alicia gave me a playful nudge, her eyes practically screaming, 'Let's hit the dance floor!' I mustered a strained smile, extending my hand as we jumped into the swirling sea of people.

The dance appeared to have stripped away Alicia's shy demeanour, revealing a newfound confidence in her moves. As Alicia and I danced away, I couldn't shake the image of Olivia twirling with Jacob on the other end of the dance floor.

The dance was a total emotional rollercoaster for me — full of jealousy, longing, and regret that hit like a ton of bricks. I couldn't shake the thought, 'What's Olivia seeing in Jacob?' The guy's this towering moron, surrounded by his football mates, laughing as if they're in a contest to drown out the beats on the dance floor.

As the night wore on, I found myself on the outskirts of the dance floor, just soaking in the Olivia and Jacob show. There seemed to be this undeniable chemistry between them, but every now and then, I saw Olivia glancing my way. Or perhaps it was just wishful thinking and her glances weren't really directed at me.

Meanwhile, Alicia was tearing up the dance floor with Norm, Rachel, and few of our other classmates.

I started to feel a bit suffocated. Adolescent, unrequited love sometimes does that to a teen.

Craving some fresh air, I slipped out into the cool night. Back in high school, I wasn't exactly a regular smoker, but I'd shared a few with Norm. Still, whenever there was an event, I usually had a pack of cigarettes tucked away. I headed towards the bleachers by the tennis court.

As I sat on the cold bleachers, I could hear the distant thumping of music from the school gym. The night air had a crisp edge to it as I debated whether to light up a cigarette, fully aware that any passing teacher could easily spot me in the act.

While I was still debating, the bleacher beside me creaked. Lucky for me, I hadn't lit up yet. As I turned, I saw Olivia walking towards me. My heart did a little somersault as she drew closer.

"What are you doing outside?" She asked, her tone betraying a hint of uncertainty.

"Thinking whether I should light up a cigarette or not?"

"Since when have you started smoking alone?"

Instead of answering, I scooted over to make room for her, and we sat in a companionable silence for a while.

"I saw you leaving the dance," Olivia finally broke the silence.

"Yeah, just needed some air," I muttered, trying to sound casual, lest she suspect that my reason for leaving was seeing her in the arms of that jackass Jacob.

She looked at me and asked, "You seemed... upset. Is everything okay?"

"Why? What is to you?" I snapped before I could stop myself and instantly regretted losing my cool. It wasn't her fault that I hadn't asked her to the dance first. Or was it? She could've asked me.

Her eyes narrowed in anger. "You know Chris, you are very lucky."

Her statement sent my head spinning.

"How so?" I asked.

"Cuz you are wearing your new sports jacket," she replied evenly.

"How do you know it's new?"

"This is the first time you're wearing it?"

"And how would you know that?"

"Cuz, I live next door to you."

"I hardly ever see you. Stands to reason, you hardly ever see me either. I could've worn this any of those days when we didn't run into each other. Come to think of it. I haven't seen you since your precious little boyfriend asked you out."

"You're the one to talk."

"What does that mean?"

"Forget it, let me answer your earlier question first."

"Which one?"

"You wanted to know why you were so lucky."

"Oh, that..."

"Yeah, that. Consider yourself lucky, Chris, cuz you have this nice sports jacket on. If you were wearing something less dashing, I might have had to resort to my signature move – the headlock. You remember, the one I've been pulling off for the past sixteen years. Well, maybe it's more like fourteen years, since that's when you started avoiding me and drifting away from me."

"You... I ... I started drifting away from you?" I sputtered indignant.

"Well, yeah. You started talking less and less to me. I would come over to your place and you wouldn't pay any attention to me or even answer me when I talked to you. You were always absorbed in your computer games. It took time, but I got the hint. My company bored you."

"That is so unfair," I protested.

"Are you denying that you started ignoring me? Cuz, I remember all of it in vivid detail."

Things seem to coming back to me. I remember how we used to roughhouse and how much I loved those times. But a few times, she overpowered me in front of my parents, and in front of Norm. And I felt so emasculated, not that I didn't enjoy her dominance. That's when I grew distant and cold towards her. I was so stupid. I should've talked to her instead of giving her the cold shoulder. I felt a sudden overwhelming sense of regret.

"I remember," I mumbled, more to myself than to her.

"What do you remember?" she asked aggressively.

I turned to look at her. "I am sorry, Liv. I was stupid."

"What do you mean?"

"Remember how we used to roughhouse, and more often than not, you would beat me." I answered tentatively.

"More often than not?" She snorted, "I used to beat you all the time. But what about it?"

"I was angry at you, cuz you beat you so many times in front of others? Like in front of my parents, couple of times, you did that in front of Norm too. And you used to tease me by flexing your muscles in front of me, when others were around and I felt very emasculated."

She seemed a bit confused. "You seemed to like it. Usually, you would start fooling around, trying to trip me..."

"Well, I was embarrassed when you beat me in front of company."

"But you never said anything to me," she said, slowly. "Had I known how you felt, I would have never done that to you... Hold on, you're the one who always begged me to flex my arms or stand on tiptoes so you could tickle my calves. I remember that. I started getting buff pretty early on, thanks to all those gymnastics classes. But from what I remember, you were always weirdly fascinated by my muscles."

"Well, yeah," I agreed sheepishly.

"Just so I am understanding this correctly. You begged me to flex, you instigated our playful tussles, and when you started getting embarrassed, you simply closed up on me... started ignoring me, instead of explaining how you felt... You pretty much became an asshole."

"I am sorry. I didn't know how to talk to you about it. I felt weird bringing it up." I supplied, avoiding eye contact.

"To think of all those days, when I would go back to my house, and lie on my bed, crying and weeping half the night, since you were so dismissive towards me. I felt so dejected and hurt by your change in behaviour." She looked at me angrily, "you asshole, you ... you insensitive jerk."

Shame and guilt washed over me as I gazed at her. She stood up abruptly.

"I can't believe it. You were my closest friend, my only true friend who I trusted completely... more than anyone else... And you... You know what Chris, go fuck yourself," her voice broke, her eyes watering.

She started walking away from me. I ran after her. "Liv, wait... please."

She turned around, tears welling up in her eyes. An intense mix of anguish and anger painted her breathtakingly beautiful face "So, you casually dismissed years of friendship as if it meant nothing, all because you found it awkward to express how you felt... to me."

"I am sorry, Liv. We were so young; I was so stupid..." I pleaded, desperately trying to find the right words.

Her voice trembled with anguish as tears streamed down her cheeks. "That was just two years ago, Chris!"

"There seemed to be so many reasons for not opening up. It wasn't just that it felt weird, Liv. You have to believe me. I... I was afraid of expressing my feelings because I thought it would ruin our friendship. I was terrified of jeopardizing it."

"Chris, seriously, what a load of crap? You ended our relationship when you started ignoring me. You already jeopardized it. What else could opening up to me have done? There wasn't any relationship left until I started coming over to your house a month ago. Yeah, that was me too. Not you... You never tried to rekindle it. And you claim to care for me. You know what... Just stay away from me."

As she walked away, her steps echoed the distance that had grown between us over the past two years. Weight of extreme regret settled in my chest, squeezing the air out of my lungs. A profound sense of loss enveloped me as I went back on the bleachers and lit a cigarette.

I sat there smoking, bitterness of regret lingering on my tongue, mixing with the acrid taste of smoke.

As the cigarette dwindled to its final embers, I flicked it away, observing its descent as it pierced the darkness, eventually extinguishing. I found myself unable to evade the mess I had created, and the weight of my own foolishness bore down on me like an oppressive force.

Finally, I get off of the bleachers and make my way back to the gym where the winter formal was in full swing. As I approached, Alicia shot me a quizzical look.

"Where on earth were you, Chris? We were looking everywhere!"

"Yeah, we thought you ditched the whole dance," added Norm.

"Needed some fresh air, you know," I replied, trying to play it cool.

Alicia wasn't convinced. "Fresh air for half the dance? Really, Chris?"

"I lost track of time. Sorry, Alicia," I said, attempting a sheepish grin.

Rachel chimed in, "So... What were you doing outside?"

"Just needed a breather. Too much dancing, too little air," I replied vaguely, avoiding eye contact.

"Or perhaps you wanted to escape from the dance floor drama?" Norm teased.

I chuckled nervously. "Dance floor drama? What are you talking about?"

Norm whispered so Alicia won't hear, "Jacob and Olivia, Chris. They were dancing pretty close, didn't you notice?"

"Yeah, and Liv looked a bit upset when she came back," Rachel added.

I feigned ignorance. "Oh, I didn't really pay attention. You know how it is, lost in my own world."

Alicia, raising an eyebrow, said, "Well, next time, at least let your date know you're taking a 'breather' for that long."

"Sorry, Alicia. I was feeling a bit suffocated," I said, attempting a casual tone.

Later that night, after we had dropped Alicia and Rachel, I asked Norm, "Whatever happened to Olivia? Didn't see her at all after I came back from the smoke."

He looked at me suspiciously, "Come on dude, we all noticed Olivia follow you out of the gym. What happened there?"

"Didn't go very well. Are you going to answer me or not?"

Norm rolled his eyes, "After she returned to the dance, she seemed very upset. She left soon after. Jacob dropped her home, I think."

"So... what went on with you and Olivia?" Jacob inquired, shooting me a quizzical look.

"She was very upset at me for something I did way back in the past," I replied nonchalantly.

"What did you do?" he asked, a hint of irritation in his tone.

"Ran over her cat, a couple of years ago," I admitted.

"You're an asshole, man," Jacob replied, visibly irritated. "Keep it to yourself, then."

As we neared my house, Jacob remarked, "so Rachel was looking stunning tonight, don't you think?"

"You and Rachel?" I asked, looking at him in surprise. "I thought you guys went as friends to the dance."

"That's what I thought. But while dancing, we kind of kissed," he confessed, a shy smile playing on his lips.

"Wow! Good for both of you," I exclaimed, genuinely happy for him.

Back in my room, I couldn't sleep. The conversation with Olivia kept playing non-stop in my mind. Sleep remained elusive as I grappled with the weight of regret and the consequences of my actions.

The next morning, I took a shower and headed over next door, to the Olsen residence. I felt an overwhelming need to talk to Olivia; it was as if my very existence depended on it. Whether we ended up dating or not, one thing was clear - I couldn't imagine my life without her.

Astryd opened the door. She was a good-looking woman in mid-forties, who was still athletic as hell.

"Mrs. Olsen, how are you?"

"Chris, so good to see you.", She said kissing me on the cheek, "It's been a while since you came over."

"I thought you might be in your gym."

"If you came over as frequently as you used to, you'd know that I am cutting back on my hours. I've hired a new manager, so my weekends are free."

"Well, you look great, Mrs. Olsen," I said looking at her arms that were as defined as ever.

"You got to keep in shape, Chris," She laughed. With a playful confidence, she flexed her biceps, and the defined contours of her arm came to life. The muscles rippled beneath her pale skin, showcasing sculpted strength that bulged with purpose.

"You're as fit as ever, Mrs. Olsen." I remarked, a bit lightheaded at the remarkable spectacle.

"You're sweet, Chris," she said, her eyes searching mine. "You're here to see Liv?"

"Yes," I replied, a mix of nerves and determination in my voice.

Astryd Olsen, Olivia's mother, gestured toward the living room. "Come in. Did something happen at the dance? She was back so soon and wouldn't talk to me at all."

I stepped into the cozy living room; the air thick with unspoken tension. "There was a bit of a fight between us," I offered, feeling the weight of the words as they hung in the air.

Astryd sighed, a furrow of concern creasing her forehead. "This isn't ideal. After all these years, you and Liv are finally back to the way things used to be."

I acknowledged with a nod, the weight of the circumstance settling on my shoulders. "Alright, here's the plan. Go up to her room. When you're finished, bring her down, and we'll all have breakfast together."

With increasing trepidation, I walked up the stairs to Liv's room. The door was slightly ajar, and I knocked gently before pushing it open. Olivia lay on her bed, her gaze fixed on the ceiling. She wore a loose-fitting tank top and shorts, and her golden blonde hair cascaded down her shoulders.

"Hey," I said, my voice tentative.

Olivia turned her head to look at me, her expression guarded. "What do you want, Chris?"

I took a deep breath, trying to steady my nerves. "I wanted to talk. Can we talk?"

She sighed, gesturing to the empty chair beside her bed. "Make it quick."

I sat down, the distance between us palpable. The room was bathed in soft morning light, highlighting the subtle contours of Olivia's athletic frame.

"I... I came here to apologize, Liv," I began, my eyes searching hers for any sign of acceptance.

Her gaze remained fixed on me, waiting.

"I've been thinking about what you said last night, about how I treated you, how I distanced myself. And you're right. I messed up, big time," I admitted, my words carrying the weight of genuine regret.

Olivia's expression softened, but scepticism persisted. "Go on."

"I was stupid, Liv. I let my insecurities get the best of me, and instead of talking to you about it, I shut you out. I should've never done that. You were my closest friend, and I hurt you."

She sighed, a mixture of frustration and resignation. "Chris, you have no idea how much you hurt me. I trusted you, and you just... abandoned me."

"I know, Liv, and I'm so sorry. I didn't realize the impact of my actions until last night. It's been eating at me ever since."

Olivia's eyes flickered, a subtle vulnerability surfacing. "Why now? How come you didn't you realize it sooner?"

"I guess I was too wrapped up in my own insecurities, too afraid of confronting my mistakes. But I can't let it go on like this. I miss being with you, Liv. I... I miss you."

There was a subtle pause as Olivia seemed to mull over my words. She gathered her lustrous golden locks, pulling them back into a casual ponytail that accentuated the graceful curve of her neck. With a fluid motion, she secured the strands with a scrunchie. As she reached for the hair tie, the sinews of her arms tensed, and her bicep gracefully swelled into a sculpted peak, similar to an artfully crafted egg-shaped mound. The contours were defined with meticulous precision, her taut triceps providing a captivating visual spectacle.

As I gazed at her flexing biceps, Olivia caught my intense stare. She raised an eyebrow, a playful smile lighting up her beautiful lips.

"What are you staring at so intently?" she asked, her eyes sparkling with a mix of curiosity and amusement.

"What... Oh... nothing. Just... you know, nothing," I stammered, my voice betraying a nervous edge. I shifted uncomfortably, suddenly conscious of being caught red-handed.

"I remember that stare," she said, her tone a mix of condescension and sarcasm. "You've had it since I started getting all muscular..." She paused, a smirk playing on her lips, "Any profound insights on my biceps, or are we just silently admiring the view?" A playful annoyance coloured her tone, underlining her awareness of my lingering gaze.

I didn't know what to say. As I failed to reply, lowering my eyes, Olivia grew visibly frustrated. Her muscles that once brought us joy now stood as silent witnesses to the cause of our estrangement.

"So, these muscles are the reason for our falling out, weren't they?" Olivia's words cut through the air like a knife, each syllable bearing the weight of past misunderstandings. "And yet, you couldn't seem to tear your eyes away from them." Her voice dripped with condescension, underscoring the irony of my persistent fixation.

We didn't speak for a while. The silence lingered in the room, thick with unresolved emotions. I could feel Olivia's eyes on me. "Do you remember, when we were young, like five or six, we used to sleep on the same bed at times, either at your place or mine?" I asked, breaking the heavy silence. "It was like our own little world. No worries, no fights, just us."

The air seemed to soften as I looked up. Olivia's gaze met mine, her guard momentarily down. "Yeah, I remember," she admitted, a hint of warmth in her voice.

"We were inseparable, Liv. We meant everything to each other. I miss that, and I miss you," I confessed, my voice carrying the weight of regret.

Olivia sighed, a mixture of sadness and frustration. "Chris, we were supposed to be beyond this. We were supposed to be more than just a memory of childhood friendship."

"I know, Liv," I replied, my voice filled with remorse. "I messed up. But we can't erase the good times, the bond we had. We can rebuild."

Her eyes met mine, a glimmer of emotion dancing in them. "Rebuild? You shattered what we had, Chris. You shattered me. It's not that simple."

Undeterred, I moved closer, my hand gently resting on hers. Her hand felt even harder, more calloused than in the years before when we wouldn't take a single step out of the house without holding hands.

"I remember the first time we held hands under the blanket, promising to be best friends forever. We can find that again, Liv," I said, the memories of our innocent connection playing out like a movie in my mind.

She seemed to soften, her guard giving way to a touch of vulnerability. Her gentle squeeze on my hand was followed by a firmer one, enough to send a subtle sting.

She let out a sigh, a mixture of reluctance and a hint of resignation. "I can't just forget, Chris. It hurt too much," she admitted, her eyes searching mine for understanding.

"I know, Liv. But maybe we can work through it together," I suggested.

Olivia hesitated, her conflicted emotions playing across her beautiful features. The strength in her grip softened into a more contemplative hold.

"I need time, Chris. Time to figure out if I can move past this," she finally said. "You distanced yourself. You pushed me away. How do you expect me to forget that?"

"Tell me, Liv. What will it take for you to forgive me?"

Olivia's stunning blue eyes narrowed; the intensity of her gaze unwavering. Her response sliced through the air, sharp and unyielding, "To beat the living daylights out of you."

Without a moment's hesitation, I urged, "Then do it. I won't defend myself. Promise."

She scoffed, a derisive laughter escaping her lips, "Defend yourself? Against me? Look at you, Chris; you're weak, delicate... I could snap you like a twig without breaking a sweat."

"Hey..." I replied, slightly offended.

"You don't think so. You'd fold like a napkin, seriously," she added, a smirk playing on her lips.

"Why don't you give it a try? Let's see," I challenged.

Olivia, suddenly determined, gracefully jumped off the bed, moving with the agility of a cat. Her landing on the floor was precise, every step deliberate, reminiscent of a coiled tiger. Clad in snug shorts, her long legs showcased undeniable strength, especially in her powerful thighs and huge, sculpted calves, demanding attention with their sheer mass.

The tank top Olivia wore, bared her midriff, revealing meticulously defined abs. As she secured her hair with a scrunchie, the sinews of her arms came to life, her biceps effortlessly swelling into sculpted peaks. The tank top, stretched to its limits, barely contained the power beneath. The absence of a bra allowed her modest yet shapely and full breasts to subtly protrude, adding an alluring dimension to her already captivating physique.

The visual impact of Olivia's body created an almost unsettling presence in the room. A sudden dryness enveloped my mouth, caught between arousal and fear.

Olivia looked straight into my eyes, a smirk playing on her lips. "Been a while since you've seen me like this, huh, Chris? Scared?"

Fear gripped me, a cold sweat breaking out as I confronted the undeniable reality of Olivia's imposing strength.

The intensity of her gaze bore into mine as she spoke, her words slicing through the air like a warning. "This is going to be very cathartic, Chris. Just do me a favour... don't scream or Mom will come rushing up."

"Are you really going to hurt me that bad, Liv?" I asked, my voice laced with apprehension. The fear of what was about to unfold lingered in the room, and I braced myself for Olivia's response.

Olivia met my gaze with a mischievous glint in her eyes. "Oh, don't worry, Chris. I'll ensure it hurts just enough to leave a lasting impression, but not so much that Mom comes rushing in. Also, feel free to defend yourself - defend, dodge, strike - whatever strikes your fancy, okay?"

Olivia's smirk widened, her eyes glinting with anticipation as my heart pounded in my chest. Approaching with predatory grace, each step echoed the undeniable power coiled within her sculpted muscles. The room seemed to shrink as her imposing figure closed in, leaving me acutely aware of her undeniable strength.

With a swift motion, Olivia effortlessly grabbed my wrist, her grip firm and unyielding. My attempts to resist were futile against the unbridled force of her muscular arms. As I struggled, my gaze fixated on the intricate definition of her arms, the sinews rippling beneath her smooth skin as she effortlessly pulled me in.

Letting go of my wrist, she wrapped her arms around my waist, pinning my arms to my sides in the process. I was keenly aware of her soft breasts pressing into my chest. Despite my attempts to wriggle free, Liv's strength prevailed. She lifted me up in a powerful bearhug, shaking my body from side to side. Though I thrashed with all my strength, I couldn't break free. She walked towards the bed and tossed me onto it like a ragdoll, the impact sending a shiver through my spine.

Scrambling to regain my composure, Olivia was relentless. With lightning speed, she pounced on me, straddling me and pinning my arms above my head. The weight of her body pressed down, and I could feel the unyielding power of her thighs against my sides. The warmth emanating from her skin intensified the helplessness that gripped me.

"Give it your best shot, Chris," she taunted, her voice dripping with confidence. Every movement, every flex of her muscles, was a testament to the overwhelming strength she possessed. I strained against her, my muscles tensing in futile resistance, but Olivia's unyielding force kept me firmly in place. I was completely overwhelmed by her superior strength, exerting all my might to break free, but it felt as futile as trying to move a rooted tree.

As Olivia maintained her unwavering grip, a triumphant smirk played on her lips. "You always did underestimate me, Chris," she chided, her voice dripping with playful condescension. "Any physical competition since we were kids, do you remember ever beating me? You never stood a chance."

I couldn't deny the truth in her statement; Olivia had always been faster, stronger, and now, as her captive audience, I had no choice but to acknowledge it.

The weight of Olivia's body pressed down on me, a constant reminder of my confined position beneath her. Her powerful thighs maintained an unyielding grip on my sides, forming a barrier that left me feeling helpless and trapped.

Amidst this physical struggle, the warmth radiating from Olivia's body seemed to intensify, contrasting sharply with the cool air around us. Her tank top clung tightly to her sculpted midriff, drawing my attention to the proximity of her well-defined abs. My own muscles strained in vain attempts to break free, acknowledging Olivia's undeniable strength with each passing moment.

Pinned beneath her, Olivia leaned in, her face mere inches from mine. The familiar fragrance of her shampoo, a lingering memory from our shared past, mingled with the charged atmosphere. Her captivating blue eyes locked onto mine, conveying both dominance and a hint of the affection we once shared.

I studied Olivia's face, captivated by the evolved beauty that had only grown more striking over the years. Delicately sculpted high cheekbones and a defined jawline added an intriguing edge, transforming the once soft features into a chiselled form that exuded power. Her sharp, slender celestial nose graced the centre of her face.

In the midst of our confrontation, Olivia's expressions briefly shifted. The intensity in her eyes softened, as she leaned down, searching my eyes for a reaction. The familiar contours of her face, now framed by the cascading waves of her golden hair, were closer than they had been in years.

Olivia's soft, pink lips hovered above mine. Bracing for a confrontation, I was surprised when her lips descended not in aggression but in a gentle, fleeting kiss. Her lips were soft and warm, pressing against mine with a gentle yet assertive touch. There was a subtle give-and-take, a synchronous movement as our lips moulded together.

However, as swiftly as it happened, Olivia pulled away, her expression reverting to the steely resolve that defined our present dynamic. She seemed conflicted. I was almost as confused. What just happened?

Before I could ask her, what that fleeting kiss meant, my heart raced, pounding in my chest like a craven chicken desperate for escape. The fear that had gripped me moments ago now mingled with a sudden and undeniable arousal, sending a shiver down my spine.

"Olivia, please," I stammered, my voice betraying both panic and an unsettling desire. "Let me go."

Her eyes, once filled with playful condescension, now held a glint of curiosity. As if sensing the shift in the air, Olivia tilted her head slightly, her pony tail loosening and her golden locks cascading around her sculpted shoulders. The smirk on her lips hinted at a newfound awareness, a realization of the effect she had on me.

"Oh, Chris, what's the matter?" Olivia teased, her voice a sultry whisper. "Afraid of a little wrestling match? You used to enjoy these when we were kids."

The pressure of her thighs against my sides, the unyielding force of her grip, it all magnified the sense of entrapment. My attempts to break free only seemed to amuse her, her eyes glinting with mischief.

"Please, Liv, I'm serious," I pleaded, the desperation in my voice echoing through the room. I had a raging hard-on. My erection was pressing against her pubic area. There was no way she wasn't aware of it. Either way, now that we were at least speaking, I didn't want her to dismiss me as a pervert. Having said that, she had just kissed me. But I was scared of her reaction, especially if she realized how turned on, I was. I begged her, "Let me up."

A playful smile danced on Olivia's lips as she leaned in, her face inches away from mine. The warmth of her breath grazed my cheek, and I could feel the subtle rise and fall of her chest against mine.

"Oh, but we're just getting started," she murmured alluringly.

The realization of my arousal intensified the fear. The more I struggled, the tighter Olivia's hold became, as if she could sense the vulnerability that had taken root within me.

"Liv, please," I implored, my eyes searching hers for a trace of understanding. "I don't want things to get weird between us. Just let me go."

She tilted her head again, studying my face intensely.

"What's weird, Chris?" she mused, her voice a melodic cadence. "We're just two friends having a little fun, right?"

The subtle shift in Olivia's tone heightened my unease. I could feel the warmth of her body seeping through the fabric that separated us, the proximity becoming increasingly intimate. I felt my erection press even more firmly against her clitoris through the fabric.

"No, Liv, this isn't fun for me. Just let me up, please," I pleaded.

A flicker of something crossed Olivia's eyes. Yet, it was quickly replaced by a mischievous spark as she tightened her grip.

"Come on, Chris. You used to love our little games. What's different now?" she whispered, her lips brushing against my ear.

The awareness of my arousal, coupled with Olivia's tantalizing proximity, made it difficult to formulate a coherent response. My mind raced, grappling with conflicting emotions that intensified with each passing moment.

"Let me go, Liv. Please," I begged again, the urgency in my voice escalating.

She leaned back slightly, causing my erection to sink further against her pelvis. The playfulness in her eyes had faded, replaced by a contemplative gaze that seemed to pierce through the layers of my vulnerability.

"Why should I, Chris?" she asked, her tone no longer teasing but tinged with a complexity that mirrored the tangled web of emotions between us.

"I... I don't want things to further deteriorate between us. I don't want to ruin our friendship," I confessed.

Olivia's expression softened, the intensity in her eyes giving way to a glimpse of understanding. She released her grip slightly, allowing a sliver of space between us. The sudden reprieve brought a mix of relief and uncertainty.

"Chris, we're already past that point," Olivia said, her voice carrying a weight of truth. "Things have changed, and we can't go back."

The truth in her words struck a chord, leaving me speechless. The air between us crackled with tension, an unspoken understanding lingering in the charged atmosphere. Olivia's gaze, sharp and perceptive, bore into mine, and there was a playful glint in her eyes that hinted that she had been aware of my erection all along.

"Chris," Olivia whispered, her voice suggestive and tempting. "You're not the only one feeling this, you know."

A flush of embarrassment heated my cheeks as I processed her words. The acknowledgment of our shared desire lingered in the air, making our unexpected encounter more complicated.

Her playful smirk persisted as she leaned in, her breath grazing my ear. "Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow."

The weight of her body pressing against mine heightened the intense desire within me. Olivia seemed to revel in the complexity of the moment, her fingers softly grabbing my arms.

"Admit it, Chris. There's a part of you that's enjoying this," she teased, her lips hovering near mine.

A nervous chuckle escaped me, a feeble attempt to deflect the undeniable truth. Olivia's eyes sparkled with amusement, and she tightened her grip, as if testing the limits of my resistance.

"Let me show you, Chris," she whispered, her lips brushing against mine in a tantalizing manner. The heat of the moment intensified, and I felt a surge of desire coursing through my veins.

I swallowed hard, my breath catching as Olivia's hand trailed down my side, her touch both tender and possessive. The realization that she, too, was caught in the whirlwind of emotions sent a thrill through my body.

"Liv, are you sure?" I asked, my voice feeble against the magnetic pull of the moment.

"We're just exploring, Chris. No harm in a little exploration, right?"

With a sudden, swift motion, Olivia released her hold on my arms. For a moment, I felt a surge of relief, the weight lifting as I expected her to let me go. Instead, she shifted her position, straddling me more firmly, her gaze locked onto mine with an intensity that left no room for escape.

"Now, let's see if you can handle a little exploration," she murmured, a playful smile crossing her lips.

As she leaned in for another lingering kiss, my head tilted upward with eager anticipation.

Her lips met mine in a tentative dance, soft and sweet. The initial touch was a tender exploration that swiftly deepened, our lips moulding together seamlessly. In the midst of our fervent exchange, she sensually drew my upper lip into the warmth of her mouth. A tingling sensation lingered as we kissed with abandon, her tongue delicately parting my lips and gracefully exploring the crevices of my mouth. Simultaneously, my fingers traced a gentle path, pulling back strands of her lustrous blonde hair over her ears, accentuating the intimate fusion of our connection.

Olivia's body, sculpted and powerful, pressed against mine, a tangible reminder of the strength that had both kept us apart and was now drawing us together. The warmth emanating from her skin intensified the intimacy of the moment, and I found myself surrendering to her passion.

As the lingering kiss reached its zenith, Olivia, with a subtle grace, delicately disengaged. She withdrew her lips in a slow, unhurried motion, leaving behind the ghost of warmth and an unspoken tension. Her gaze, once locked onto mine with intensity, softened as she pulled back, creating a fraction of space between us.

The room hung heavy with the aftermath of our intense encounter, and a tense silence enveloped us as we tried to collect ourselves. My hands fumbled with the buttons on my shirt, and Olivia hastily adjusted her dishevelled hair, a flush of embarrassment colouring her cheeks. A sudden knock echoed through the room. Panic levels skyrocketed as we exchanged wide-eyed glances.

"Just a sec, Mom!" Olivia replied, her voice tinged with a nervous octave.

Frantically, I scrambled to straighten my clothes. Olivia, on the other hand, attempted to straighten the bedsheet, her movements frantic yet determined.

As the door creaked open, Mrs. Anderson stood on the other side, an eyebrow raised inquisitively.

"What were you two up to in here?" she asked, her gaze flickering between us.

"Uh, just talking," Olivia replied, a tad too quickly, her attempt at a casual smile coming off as slightly forced.

Mrs. Anderson's knowing expression suggested otherwise. "Well, breakfast's ready. Let's go."

Before I could process the situation, Olivia took charge, abruptly telling her mom, "Actually, Chris needs to head back home. He won't be joining us for breakfast."

The sudden turn of events surprised me, and I found myself silent, unsure of why Olivia would want me to leave and not share a meal with them. The atmosphere in the room shifted, leaving an unspoken tension hanging in the air.

Walking back home, I couldn't shake off the confusion. What just went down at Olivia's place? It felt like a rollercoaster of emotions, from apologies to wrestling matches, and then that unexpected kiss. I needed some time to wrap my head around it all.

The rest of the day felt like a blur, no word from Olivia. No visits. I couldn't shake off the unease gnawing at me, standing at the crossroads of whether I should head back to her house. Finally, I grabbed my phone and dialled her number. After a couple of rings, Mrs. Olsen picked up.

"Hello?" she answered.

"Hey, it's Chris. Is Olivia around?" I inquired; my voice tinged with uncertainty.

"Oh, hi, Chris. No, she's not here right now," Mrs. Olsen replied casually.

"Any idea where she went?" I probed, trying not to sound too concerned.

"Yeah, she's out. Jacob came over, and they left together," Mrs. Olsen shared, her tone betraying a bit of sympathy.

"Oh, okay. Thanks," I managed to say, feeling a strange mix of disappointment and curiosity.

"No problem, Chris. Anything else?" Mrs. Olsen asked, her voice carrying a hint of friendliness.

"No, that's it. Thanks again," I replied, ending the call with more questions than answers.

The ache in my chest lingered as I processed the reality of the situation. Confusion and heartache intertwined, leaving me questioning the significance of the moment we shared earlier in the morning. The memory of our lingering kiss contrasted sharply with the news of Olivia leaving with Jacob, amplifying the sense of betrayal.

Thoughts raced through my mind, each one attempting to make sense of the tangled emotions. I couldn't shake the lingering question: Why would she kiss me if she was still drawn to Jacob?

The evening air hung heavy as I paced my basement. Finally, I decided to call Norm, and after a few rings, he picked up.

"Hey, Chris! What's up?" Norm's cheerful voice came through the phone.

"Norm, man, I need to talk to someone. Something weird happened today," I began.

"Whoa, spill it, buddy! You know I'm your go-to guy for weirdness," Norm chuckled.

Taking a deep breath, I delved into the story. "So, Liv and I... we kissed today. Like, out of nowhere. But now she's out on a date with Jacob."

Silence lingered on the other end, and I could almost hear Norm processing the information. "Wait, what? Liv kissed you, and now she's with Jacob? Dude, that's... complicated."

"Yeah, tell me about it. I'm so confused, Norm. I thought we were getting somewhere, and then this happens," I admitted, frustration evident in my voice.

Norm sighed. "Relationships, man, they're a whole mess of emotions. But Liv kissing you? That's...unexpected."

"Tell me about it. I don't get why she'd do that if she's still into Jacob," I mused, my confusion seeping into my words.

Norm responded thoughtfully, "People are complicated, Chris, especially girls. Maybe Liv is trying to figure things out herself. It's not always black and white, you know?"

"Yeah, but I feel like I'm stuck in this grey area, and it's driving me nuts," I confessed.

"Look, buddy, give it some time. Maybe Liv needs to sort out her feelings. Meanwhile, focus on you. Don't let this mess with your head too much," Norm advised, his words carrying a sense of wisdom.

"But what if I'm just setting myself up for disappointment? What if this whole thing is a mistake?" I questioned, the uncertainty in my voice laid bare.

Norm reassured, "You won't know until you talk to Liv. Maybe she has reasons for what she's doing, and you deserve to know them."

"Yeah, you're right. I should talk to her. I just... I need to figure out what's going on," I acknowledged, determination settling in.

"That's the spirit, dude! And remember, I'm here for you no matter what," Norm offered. "Rachel and I were thinking of going to watch The Return of the King. Why don't you join us?"

"What? And ruin your date... No man, you guys have fun."

Norm laughed. "Come on, Chris. It's not a date, not yet anyway. Just friends hanging out. And I can use some company with Rachel. She's been obsessed with Legolas, and I need someone to balance the elf-man madness."

Despite my swirling thoughts, Norm's invitation sounded like a welcome distraction. "Alright, sure. I could use a break from overthinking."

"Perfect! We'll pick you up in 30 minutes. Get ready for an epic adventure, bud!" Norm exclaimed.

As I hung up the phone, a mix of gratitude and anticipation settled within me. The prospect of spending time with friends and immersing myself in the fantastical world of Middle-earth offered a temporary escape from the complexities of my own reality.

In the dim glow of my basement, I quickly changed into more presentable attire. The events of the day had left me emotionally drained, and a part of me hoped that the cinematic journey into the realm of hobbits and elves would provide a much-needed respite.

As I waited for Norm and Rachel to show up, I couldn't stop wondering about why Olivia did what she did and what was going on in her head.

The theatre lobby buzzed with excitement as Norm, Rachel, and I made our way to the ticket counter. As we approached the counter, I caught sight of Olivia and Jacob in line, their figures illuminated by the vibrant glow of the movie posters.

Olivia looked stunning, irresistibly beautiful beside the tall, muscled frame of Jacob. Her golden locks cascaded effortlessly, and she wore a stylish, knee-length wool coat, her dark jeans, perfectly tailored, traced the massive and sculpted curves of her legs, showcasing undeniable strength and power. Beside her, Jacob exuded an air of arrogance, his confidence bordering on cockiness. His tall and imposing stature seemed almost exaggerated in the dimly lit lobby.

"Hey, Chris, everything okay?" Norm asked, breaking through my momentary distraction.

"Yeah, just a bit surprised to see them here," I replied, my attempt at nonchalance only partially masking my unease.

As we bought our tickets, Olivia and Jacob concluded their transaction and headed towards the entrance of the theatre. Our paths converged, and I couldn't help but feel a mixture of curiosity and apprehension.

"Hey, guys," Olivia greeted, her eyes locking onto mine with a mix of surprise and an undercurrent of something unresolved - perhaps a lingering spark from our earlier encounter.

"Hey, Liv," Norm replied, exchanging pleasantries as Rachel and I offered hesitant smiles.

Jacob, however, merely nodded.

Inside the theatre, we found our seats, and the familiar strains of Howard Shore's enchanting score filled the auditorium. The Return of the King unfolded on the big screen, transporting us to the captivating world of Middle-earth.

The epic tale of friendship, loyalty, and the triumph of good over evil unfolded before us. As the characters faced their own struggles and challenges, I couldn't help but draw parallels to the complexities of our own lives.

The movie provided a welcome distraction, and I found solace in the captivating narrative. However, the occasional glance in Olivia and Jacob's direction served as a stark reminder of the unresolved emotions lingering between us.

As the credits rolled and the lights gradually brightened, I couldn't shake the lingering tension. Olivia and Jacob swiftly exited the theatre, their departure leaving a palpable void.

"Chris, are you okay?" Rachel asked, her concern evident in her eyes.

"Yeah, just a lot on my mind," I admitted, the weight of the day settling in.

Norm patted my shoulder. "Take it easy, buddy. Jacob's just a bump on the road. You and Olivia will figure it out."

The cool night air embraced me as I stepped out of Norm's car, the soft purr of the engine gradually fading into the hushed darkness. As I was walking across the garage to the front door, I spotted another car pulling up to the curb - Jacob's car. Through the windshield, I witnessed an intimate moment: Jacob reaching in for a kiss, and Olivia adeptly dodging, redirecting his lips to her cheek.

As Jacob seemingly prepared to escort her to the door, Olivia uttered something, promptly disembarking on her own. The car door swung shut as Jacob sped away. Silhouetted against the moonlit night, Olivia strolled towards her house, her gaze inadvertently meeting mine.

"Liv, can we talk?" I said, my voice breaking the subdued moonlight.

She turned towards me, a cold demeanour in every step she took. The air turned chilly as she approached, her expression indifferent.

"What do you want to talk about?" Her tone was cool, almost indifferent.

"About us," I said, a soft plea in my words.

"What about us?" Her response was cold.

"About our kiss this morning?"

"Oh, that... Well, it was just a... you know, a mistake."

"It didn't feel like a mistake."

"It was nothing. I think I regressed into what we used to be."

"Liv, what... what do you mean?" My voice quivered with anguish.

"I am with Jacob now, as you can see."

"So, I mean nothing to you. Our moment earlier means nothing."

"You do. You're my neighbor after all. What else do you want?"

"Our friendship..."

"We used to be friends, but you kind of put an end to that. Now, we're just acquaintances who used to be friends."

Olivia's indifference and the stark contrast to the morning's intimate encounter left me feeling adrift in a sea of confusion and hurt. I struggled to grasp the reality unfolding before me.

"Liv, I don't understand. What changed?" I pleaded, desperation seeping into my voice.

"Chris, things change. People change. You can't hold on to the past forever."

"But this morning, it felt like... like there was something between us. Why kiss me if you're with Jacob?"

There was a fleeting vulnerability in her eyes that vanished as quickly as it appeared. "I don't have to explain myself to you, Chris. It's my life, my choices."

The sting of her words cut through me. The girl I thought I knew, the friend who shared secrets and laughter, seemed like a distant memory. I struggled to find words, caught in the whirlwind of emotions.

"I thought we meant more to each other," I admitted, my voice barely audible.

Her eyes met mine, devoid of any warmth. "People change, Chris. I've changed. You need to accept that."

"I can't just pretend like none of this matters, Liv. We were more than just neighbours; we were friends," I said, a mix of frustration and sadness tainting my words.

She shrugged, a gesture that spoke volumes. "People drift apart, Chris. It happens."

"I thought you felt something this morning," I confessed, my vulnerability laid bare.

"That was a mistake. I shouldn't have let it happen," Olivia replied, her tone unyielding.

A heavy silence settled between us.

"Goodnight, Chris," Olivia said, turning away without a second glance.

I stood there, watching her until she disappeared into the darkness of her home. The door closed behind her, leaving me alone in the cool night air, hurt and confused.

A few days later at school, Norm, Rachel, and I found a corner table in the cafeteria, trays in hand. The aroma of lunch wafted through the air, blending with the lively hum of students filling their plates and engaging in animated conversations.

Norm grinned, spooning a generous serving of mashed potatoes onto his tray. "So, Chris, anything new on the Liv front?"

I sighed, glancing at my own tray. "Not really. Things have been... weird."

Rachel, her eyes full of curiosity, interjected, "Weird? How so?"

"Long story short, we kissed, and now she's acting like it never happened," I confessed, a hint of frustration in my voice.

Norm raised an eyebrow, a mischievous glint in his eyes. "Kissed, huh? Details, my man, details!"

Before I could respond, the cafeteria door swung open, and there she was - Olivia, a vision of beauty that momentarily stole my breath. Her golden hair, usually cascading freely, was intricately braided, accentuating the beautiful curve of her neck.

My heart raced as Olivia sauntered over, the cafeteria seemingly dimming in comparison to her radiance. Norm nudged me with a sly grin, clearly aware of the effect Olivia had on me.

"Hey, guys!" Olivia greeted.

"Hey, Liv! Join us!" Norm offered, making room for her at our table.

She slid into the seat beside me, "What's up, everyone?"

Rachel couldn't contain her excitement. "Chris here spilled the beans about a mysterious kiss. Care to share, Liv?"

Olivia chuckled, her eyes flickering towards me. "Well, it was just a moment, you know. Nothing worth gossiping about."

Norm leaned in. "Come on, Liv. We already know what happened. Just want to hear your side of it"

Her gaze lingered on mine, a fleeting moment of connection before she nonchalantly replied, "Nothing much to tell, really. Just a momentary lapse in judgment."

I felt a knot tighten in my chest, the casual dismissal stinging more than I anticipated.

Rachel, sensing the tension, tried to diffuse it with a grin. "Well, moments or not, Liv, your hair looks amazing. What's the occasion?"

Olivia tossed her braided hair over her shoulder, a self-assured smile playing on her lips. "Oh, just felt like trying something new. You like it?"

With a playful grin, Rachel replied, "Even if you shaved your head, you'd still be the hottest girl in school. However, the braids do add a touch of elegance."

"Thanks, guys," she replied, her gaze still lingering on mine. "So, what's the plan for the weekend?"

Rachel, always the planner, eagerly shared, "Thinking of catching a movie. Chris, you in?"

I nodded, grateful for the change of topic. "Yeah, sounds good."

"Nice, I might have plans with Jacob, but you all enjoy."

Her words lingered in the air, and it felt like the lunch table had become a battlefield of unspoken emotions.

As we chatted about weekend plans, a feeling of unease settled in my chest. Olivia's mention of plans with Jacob served as a stark reminder of the complicated situation we found ourselves in.

The week dragged on with uncomfortable glances and awkward interactions between Olivia and me. It felt like an invisible barrier had emerged, separating us from the closeness we once shared.

I debated whether to reach out to Olivia for a heart-to-heart conversation. The uncertainty nagged at me, but the fear of facing further rejection held me back.

The following school week unfolded with little change. Olivia maintained her distant demeanour, responding to my attempts at conversation with polite but guarded replies. The invisible barrier seemed to have solidified.

One afternoon, passing by Olivia's locker, I gathered the courage to address the elephant in the room.

"Hey, Liv, can we talk?" I asked, my voice laced with a mix of vulnerability and determination.

She glanced at me; her expression unreadable. "About what?"

"About us. About what happened," I replied.

Olivia sighed, her gaze momentarily meeting mine. "Chris, I don't think there's much to talk about. It was a moment, and it's in the past."

"But it meant something, didn't it? Why pretend like it didn't?" I pressed, my frustration bubbling to the surface.

Leaning against her locker, a measured distance between us, Olivia responded, "Chris, I can't change the fact that it happened, but dwelling on it won't do us any good. I'm with Jacob now, and I think it's best if we move on."

Her words stung, and the reality of the situation crashed over me like a tidal wave. The girl I once shared laughter and secrets with had slipped away, leaving behind a void filled with lingering hurt.

As Olivia's words hung in the air, a heavy silence settled between us. The bustling sounds of the school hallway seemed to fade into the background.

"I just don't get it, Liv. Why does it have to be like this?" I questioned.

She met my gaze with a distant look. "Things change, Chris. We can't hold on to what used to be."

"But we were friends, Liv. More than that," I pleaded, my desperation laid bare.

A sigh escaped her lips, a mix of sympathy and detachment in her eyes. "We were, Chris, but people change. I've changed. It's time to accept that."

The weight of her words pressed down on me, and I struggled to find the right response.

"Is this because of what happened two years ago?" I asked, a spark of realization flickering in my mind.

Olivia's gaze wavered for a moment. "Maybe it is. Maybe it's time for both of us to move on."

I felt a knot tighten in my stomach. "Liv, I never meant to hurt you back then. I regret shutting you out."

She shrugged. "Well, it happened. We can't change it. I'm with Jacob now, and I need to focus on that."

The dismissal in her tone was like a final blow, sealing the fate of what was once a significant part of my life. The pain of losing Olivia as a friend and the confusion of the recent intimate encounter intertwined, creating a web of emotions I couldn't easily fathom.

"Chris, it's best if we keep our distance. It'll be better for both of us," Olivia said, her voice tinged with a mixture of regret and determination.

As the bell rang, signalling the end of the school day, Olivia left without a backward glance, leaving me standing alone in the hallway.

In the days that followed, Olivia's words echoed in my mind. The routine of school became a monotonous backdrop to the emotional turmoil within. I tried to focus on other aspects of my life, spending time with Norm and Rachel, immersing myself in my PlayStation, but the ache of loss persisted.

Days turned into weeks, and the distance between Olivia and me seemed insurmountable.

As the school year drew to a close, the bittersweet memories of my friendship with Olivia lingered in the background. The impending senior year brought a mix of anticipation and uncertainty. It was during the summer break that my life took an unexpected turn, leading me to grow closer to Claire.

On a sunny afternoon at the local park, as I strolled toward my meet-up with Norm, I unexpectedly ran into Claire. She was in our year, also a member of the basketball team, standing at an impressive 6'1". Her athletic frame radiated a graceful strength that perfectly matched her skills on the court. Unlike Olivia, she didn't have the same level of muscularity, but her sleek, slim build marked her as one of the team's standout players.

Claire was on the basketball court, dribbling the ball with finesse, effortlessly weaving between imaginary defenders. I watched from the sidelines, captivated by the fluidity of her motions.

Without realizing it, I cheered aloud as Claire executed a flawless jump shot, the ball swishing through the net with satisfying precision. She turned, catching sight of my unexpected enthusiasm. A playful grin formed on her lips.

Like what you see, Chris?" Claire called out, her tone teasing.

I chuckled, the warmth of the sun matching the newfound camaraderie. "Impressive moves, Claire! Mind if I join in?"

She flashed a mischievous smile. "Sure, why not? Let's see if you've got some game in you."

And so, a spontaneous game of one-on-one unfolded. Despite my best efforts, Claire's agile footwork and quick reflexes left me trailing behind. Her skilful manoeuvres left me in awe as she effortlessly evaded my attempts to block her path.

As the game progressed, Claire's slimly muscled arms and legs glistened with sweat under the sun's unforgiving rays. Her every movement showcased not only her athletic prowess but also the determination to emerge victorious.

"Nice try, Chris!" Claire taunted, executing a spin move that left me momentarily disoriented.

I grinned, realizing the futility of my attempts. "You've got some serious skills, Claire. I might need a few pointers."

She laughed, a melodic sound that resonated through the court. "Pointers, huh? Maybe after I beat you."

Breathing heavily, we both took a moment to catch our breath. The park echoed with the sounds of our laughter, and Claire wiped the sweat from her brow with the back of her hand.

"Good game, Chris," she said, a genuine smile on her face.

I chuckled, conceding defeat graciously. "You're unstoppable, Claire."

Her eyes sparkled with a mix of triumph and amusement as she draped her sweaty, muscled arms around my shoulders.

"Good game, Chris," she said, the warmth of her breath brushing against my cheek. "You put up a decent fight, considering."

I chuckled, feeling the weight of her arms around me. "Thanks, Claire. You're practically a basketball wizard out there. I've never seen moves like that."

Her arms remained comfortably around my shoulders, and the height difference between us became more apparent. Claire's toned and muscled physique exuded strength, and I couldn't deny the intriguing contrast as her athletic frame enveloped my own.

"Feeling short, Chris?" she teased, a teasing glint in her eyes.

I glanced up, feigning a contemplative expression. "Well, I never realized how tall the world is from down here. It's like a whole new perspective."

"You know, Chris," Claire said, her tone more serious but still light-hearted, "I had a lot of fun. It's been a while since I played just for the sake of playing. Thanks for that."

The sincerity in her words warmed me, and I nodded appreciatively. "Likewise, Claire. It's been a blast. We should do this again sometime."

Her smile widened, and she released me from her grasp. "Definitely. And maybe next time, I'll go easy on you."

I feigned offense. "Go easy on me? Where's the fun in that?"

Things seemed to be going quite well. Except that she was Olivia's teammate.

I decided to extend the casual hangout and proposed, "Hey, Claire, how about grabbing some ice cream? My treat."

She flashed a genuine smile, "Sure thing, Chris. Ice cream sounds perfect."

We strolled to the nearby ice cream parlour. The bell jingled as we entered, and the sweet aroma of freshly made waffle cones enveloped us.

"Two scoops of chocolate chip for me," I declared to the ice cream attendant.

Claire chuckled, "Make it three scoops. I'm feeling adventurous today."

With our cones in hand, we headed to a nearby bench in the park.

Over cones of ice cream, we shared stories of our lives beyond the basketball court. Claire spoke openly about her recent breakup with Brad, a football player.

"He cheated on me with some cheerleader," Claire confessed, a mix of vulnerability and resilience in her eyes. "I guess some guys never grow up."

I nodded, "I'm sorry to hear that, Claire. Breakups are never easy."

She smiled appreciatively, "Thanks, Chris. It's been a bit tough, but I'm also excited about moving forward."

Taking a thoughtful bite of her ice cream, she continued, "I've been immersing myself in basketball and trying new things. Rediscovering myself, you know?"

"That sounds like a healthy way to cope," I remarked, impressed by her resilience.

Claire's eyes lit up, "Absolutely. And today, this spontaneous basketball game and ice cream outing? It's exactly the kind of thing I needed."

"I am glad, I could be here for you."

Out of the blue, Claire turned to me, a playful glint in her eyes. "So, Chris, ever thought about going out with someone from the basketball team?"

I raised an eyebrow, a smirk playing on my lips. "Well, I've been considering expanding my social circle. Why? You got someone in mind?"

Claire chuckled, nudging me with her shoulder. "Maybe I do. Maybe she's sitting right next to you."

I felt a warmth spread through me, the realization dawning. "Are you asking me out, Claire?"

She grinned, the sunlight catching the subtle blush on her cheeks. "Maybe I am. What do you say, Chris? Up for a little summer fling?"

I couldn't help but return her smile. "Absolutely. I'd love that," and in that moment, our lips met in a gentle, tender kiss. As we leaned into each other, my hands instinctively explored the contours of her slim, muscled arms. They were slightly damp with sweat, a testament to the playful basketball game we had just shared. The touch was soft yet electric, and the warmth of our connection lingered in the simplicity of the embrace.

As I felt her arms, I was aware that I shouldn't give away my fascination with female muscles, especially since I didn't know her very well. My touch remained focused and cursory, concealing the curiosity that stirred within me.

But I continued to gently squeeze her arms, feeling the firmness of her muscles beneath the smoothness of her skin. The aftermath of our kiss lingered in the air, creating a subtle electricity that heightened the sensation of touch. As I pulled back slightly, my fingers traced the contours of her arms, exploring the solid strength concealed beneath.

Breaking the post-kiss silence, I couldn't help but express my fascination. "Your arms feel really solid, Claire."

She chuckled, a playful glint in her eyes. "Well, I do spend a lot of time on the court. Wanna see?"

Claire gracefully raised her arms again, her biceps flexing with a controlled ease. "Check these out," she teased, maintaining the flex as I admired the sculpted beauty before me. As I extended my hands towards her, my fingers met the firm, yet supple surface of her skin. The touch revealed the sculpted contours beneath, and I marvelled at the smooth and defined shape of her flexed biceps.

Her muscles felt like well-crafted, elliptical sculptures, responding to my touch with a resilient yet yielding quality. The surface was taut, conveying a sense of strength and dedication that echoed her commitment to her athletic pursuits. The subtle warmth emanating from her skin added an intimate dimension, as I felt myself harden.

With a satisfied grin, Claire relaxed her arms, allowing the tension to dissipate.

"That was impressive," I complimented.

Claire grinned, a playful spark in her eyes. "Glad you think so. It's all those hours in the gym paying off."

As we continued our conversation, the initial awkwardness melted away, replaced by a newfound comfort. Claire's openness about her life, paired with her playful demeanour, made the interaction feel effortless.
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Old 24-Dec-23, 23:11
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Default Re: High school story

Please continue!
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Old 25-Dec-23, 10:33
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Default Re: High school story

I posted the next part on the wrestling stories page. Discontinuing it here so there is only one thread.
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Old 02-Jan-24, 05:10
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The basketball court buzzed with energy as the home game unfolded, our women's basketball team facing off against Farmington High. The rhythmic squeaks of sneakers echoed through the gym, punctuated by the occasional swish of the net and the rigorous applause from the bleachers. I found myself amidst the crowd, flanked by Norm and Rachel, their excitement mirroring my own.

Olivia led our girls' basketball team as the captain, and I never skipped any of her games. In her sophomore year, she began as the power forward, but when she became the captain at the start of our junior year, she switched to playing point guard. Claire, who used to be the center, moved to the power forward position as Liv left that role.

As the game unfolded, Olivia seized control of the ball, effortlessly maneuvering past defenders and orchestrating strategic plays. Meanwhile, Claire, leveraging her impressive height advantage, skillfully secured rebounds and executed precision shots. The energy in the crowd intensified, and my gaze remained captivated, oscillating between Claire and Olivia.

They were both strong and beautiful, and while I was casually dating Claire, my deep affection for her still lingered strongly.

Claire appeared slim and muscular in her sleeveless jersey, using her long limbs with graceful ease to make successful basketball shots. On the other hand, Olivia had a more robust physique. Despite her full-sleeved top, her shorts exposed well-developed thighs and massive calves, particularly noticeable when she shot baskets on her tiptoes.

In the closing moments of the game, with the score hanging in the balance, Olivia orchestrated a strategic play. With a swift and accurate pass, she set Claire up for the winning shot. Claire, displaying her finesse, confidently launched the ball into the basket. The buzzer sounded, marking our team's triumph as the crowd erupted in cheers, celebrating the hard-fought victory on the court.

Amidst the jubilant celebration, Claire approached Olivia, and the two shared a brief moment of camaraderie. I couldn't help but wonder if Olivia had any inkling that I'd been dating Claire since the summer break.

Norm, sitting next to me on the bleachers, slapped me on the back. "Well, bud, that was one hell of a game. Both your current girlfriend and your potential girlfriend were on fire!"

I rolled my eyes, responding, "Potential girlfriend, yeah, sure... If she could just keep a straight face when I talk to her, I'll take that as a win."

The court slowly emptied as the spectators dispersed, their cheers lingering in the air like a sweet aftertaste of victory. Amidst the happy throng, I made my way toward Claire, her athletic frame glistening with sweat. A wide grin spread across my face as I embraced her, and she responded with a tender kiss.

As our lips met, I couldn't help but glance in Olivia's direction. Her eyes widened with surprise, and in that moment, I relished the subtle undercurrent of jealousy. It seemed my plan to provoke a reaction from Olivia was working, and I felt an unexpected surge of triumph.

As the crowd thinned out, there were only a few people left—the players and a couple of remaining spectators. Olivia's boyfriend, Jacob, headed toward her. He had been up in the bleachers, sharing laughs with his football buddies. He hugged Olivia tightly and planted a kiss on her lips. However, Olivia didn't appear very enthusiastic; her eyes quickly shifted towards me as she abruptly ended the kiss.

Jacob appeared to sense something amiss as he followed her gaze toward me. His expression soured, realizing that Olivia was looking in my direction.

I sensed that Claire, too, picked up on the tension between me and her team captain, Olivia, as she shot me a questioning look.

Half an hour later, Claire and I found a quiet spot after she had showered and changed into regular clothes. She looked at me, her expression a mix of curiosity and concern.

"So, what's going on between you and Olivia?" Claire asked.

I took a deep breath, considering how to explain without revealing too much. "Olivia and I go way back, having been friends since childhood. However, a couple of years ago, we faced some misunderstandings that led to a cooling-off of our friendship. Recently, we managed to reconnect, only to experience another falling out."

"Sounds like you and Olivia are playing an epic game of friendship ping-pong." she quipped. "So what kind of misunderstandings?"

"Just regular stuff that happens between friends, you know?"

"Hmm. It looked more than just friendly between you two back there."

I hesitated, choosing my words carefully."We have a history, Claire, but it's just friendship now. I value what we have, and I don't want anything to jeopardize that."

"You're not hiding anything from me, right?"

"No, Claire, nothing like that. I just want you to know the truth."

"If there's anything brewing between you and Olivia, maybe it's better for us not to rush things, you know?"

I appreciated her honesty and nodded. "I get it, Claire. Let's take things at our own pace. I don't want any complications either."

Claire smiled, "Good. I just want to make sure we're both on the same page."

We shared a reassuring smile, but the unspoken tension lingered in the air.

That night, as I lay on the bed, I pondered whether slowing things down with Claire was the right choice. Dating Claire was a stroke of luck — she possessed both beauty and athleticism.

On the other hand, Olivia was more than just beautiful; she was drop-dead gorgeous and heavily muscled. Most importantly, my affection for Olivia had roots in our childhood. She understood me better than anyone else, acknowledging and accepting my fascination with her well-defined muscles.

With Claire having no idea that I found muscles on girls particularly exciting. Even if my relationship with Claire felt certain right now, I was unsure of how she would react to my fascination with muscular physiques.

Caught in a dilemma with no straightforward solution, I shifted in bed and attempted to find some sleep.

A few days later, on a Saturday morning, I unexpectedly bumped into Olivia in our adjoining backyards. When our eyes locked, her expression revealed a mix of conflicting emotions, and a subtle sadness lingered in her gaze. Despite the recent distance and seeming indifference, I greeted her with a hopeful smile, wishing for a candid conversation. To my relief, she strolled over to our shared fence, and a rush of emotions enveloped me as she looked directly into my eyes, her captivating blue gaze filled with depth.

"Hey," I greeted, ready to engage in what seemed like a long-awaited discussion.

"So, you're with Claire now," she asked.

"Yeah, after you pulled away, I felt lost. Eventually, I met Claire, and we sort of clicked."

I could see a mix of emotions in her eyes, leaving me puzzled.

"It seems like there's something you want to say but don't know how," I added.

She smiled softly, "You've always understood me better than anyone else."

"That's true, Liv. Just like you've known me. We've been big parts of each other's lives. It feels odd that you've become so distant, especially after that day we shared a kiss in your house. I can tell something's bothering you."

As I saw her struggle with pain and turmoil, an overwhelming urge to climb over the fence and hold her in my arms swept over me.

"Chris, I just... I just," she hesitated, and I sensed her struggle.

"You distanced yourself because you thought I needed to go through the same pain and anguish you did because of that stupid stunt I pulled years ago. I, shut you out without explaining. Liv, I didn't realize the extent of your pain. I was foolish, caught up in my own emotions. But you... you understand better. You know how much you're hurting me by keeping your distance, by ignoring me. And, honestly, I think you're hurting yourself too."

As I gazed into her eyes, tears welled up, forming a glistening reflection of the inner turmoil. The air thickened with emotion as she uttered, "You're such a know-it-all," her voice carrying a blend of anger and, surprisingly, affection.

I couldn't help but smile, gently coaxing her, "Tell me I'm wrong."

Her reply was seeped in a mix of frustration and sadness, "but now you're with Claire, and I'm with Jacob,"

"Even if all of that is true... so what? It doesn't mean that we keep suffering," I suggested, "We can break it off with them..."

Her interruption was sharp, "Oh, and that would make the hurt go away?"

I hesitated, acknowledging the uncertainty in my own words. "I don't know, Liv, but I think we owe it to ourselves to try," I said. "Unless, of course, your anger at me for my stupidity all that time ago still hasn't subsided."

She sighed, her gaze dropping to the ground. "Chris, it's not just about that anymore. It's about everything that happened afterward, about how we drifted apart, about the pain of feeling abandoned by my closest friend."

"I know, Liv. I can't change the past, but I want to make things right. I miss our friendship, and I hate seeing you hurt. I want to understand, and I want to be there for you."

Her eyes met mine again, searching for sincerity. "What about Claire?"

I care about her, but my history with you, Liv, it's something I can't just ignore. I'm not saying it's easy, but I can't go on like this, not having you in my life."

She closed her eyes slowly, a solitary tear tracing a silent path down her cheek... "And what about Jacob?"

"I don't know about Jacob, Liv. But if being with him makes you happy, truly happy, then..." But I couldn't continue hoping against hope that he wasn't really making her truly happy. "I just want you to be honest with yourself and with me."

"Chris, it's too much," she murmured. "Okay, hypothetically, if I break up with Jacob and you break up with Claire, and we start dating, how do I know you're not going to discard me just like you did before? How..."

"But Liv," I began, a feeble attempt to interject.

"Hear me out, Chris," she implored. "Back then, you started ignoring me when, all of a sudden, you felt humiliated and embarrassed when I would overpower you in front of your family. Or when we were roughhousing, I would flex my muscles and tease you about being soft, in front of friends. Instead of talking to me and making me understand how you felt, you just abandoned me."

"I was an idiot. I should've talked to you," I admitted.

"Let me finish, Chris," she continued, her words flowing with a sense of urgency. "Say we start going out, and people start making comments. What if they make fun of you for being weaker than me? Or if we are in a swimming pool and they see us in our swimsuits and chide you for being softer than me? How can I be sure that you won't do the same thing? How can I be sure that you will not leave me again just so you do not feel embarrassed?"

In the muted quiet between us, I grappled with the weight of her concerns.

"I would never do that," I pleaded, my words earnest and laced with a sense of desperation.

"But, Chris, you have... you have done that before," Liv countered, her gaze unwavering and filled with a blend of apprehension and pain.

"Then Tell me," I implored her, my voice breaking, "what can I do to make you trust that I will never do the same thing again?"

Before Liv could respond, Jacob emerged unexpectedly, coming out of Olsen's backdoor; his tall, muscular frame casting a sudden shadow over the conversation. "Hey Liv," he said, his voice breaking the momentary silence. "Your mom said you were in the backyard..."

His eyes shifted towards me; curiosity replaced by a storm of anger. Colour drained from my face, fear setting in. Liv looked at the change in my expression as I registered Jacob's presence. She turned around and in a very firm tone said, "Give us a minute, Jacob! Chris and I are talking.

"What's going on here?" Jacob demanded, his eyes narrowing with intense fury as he glared at me. Liv, on the other hand, remained completely unaffected by Jacob's anger.

"Calm down," she told him, her tone cutting through the tension. Jacob, catching Liv's tone, clamped his mouth shut but didn't turn away.

Olivia sighed, turning back towards me, "I wish I knew... what advice to give you, Chris. But I'm not sure what you need to do to... to regain my trust. Let me think this over. Okay?" She offered a sad smile. "Now, head back over to your house," she whispered softly.

I didn't really need to be told twice. In the face of Jacob's wrath, I would unquestionably head in the opposite direction. As I walked toward my house, she turned around and approached Jacob. I rushed to my room as soon as I entered my house. By the time I reached my window, Jacob and Olivia had already departed from the backyard.

In the following weeks, I tried to give Olivia the space she needed to process everything. Our interactions were limited to casual greetings, and a palpable tension hung in the air whenever our eyes met.

Taking things slow with Claire seemed to be working out fine. We were both comfortable with the pace. Then suddenly, Winter Formal arrived, and Claire and I found ourselves going together. Despite the apparent progress in my personal life, the situation with Olivia remained stagnant. After our talk in the backyard, she hadn't made any effort to reach out for a deeper conversation, leaving me feeling frustrated.

Adding to the mix, Jacob's presence seemed to be a constant source of tension. Every encounter with him came with the unmistakable stink eye, further complicating what was supposed to be my senior year highlight. It wasn't shaping up to be the greatest year overall.

On a brighter note, my eighteenth birthday was just around the corner, offering a silver lining to the challenging times. It also struck me that Liv's birthday was approaching, a mere week ahead of mine.

The Winter Formal finally arrived, and there I was, preparing for the night with a mix of excitement and nervousness. Claire, in her elegant dress, looked absolutely stunning, her eyes filled with anticipation and joy.

Stepping into the venue, the thumping music and the crowd of dancers created a momentary diversion. I attempted to lose myself in the festivities, yet Olivia's absence seemed to create a void in the midst of the celebration. It was challenging not to ponder on the possibilities that could have unfolded if circumstances had taken a different turn.

Olivia made quite the entrance, capturing the attention of half the school. Her off-white gown adorned her, hugging her hourglass figure like a second skin, and she looked absolutely stunning. It was hard not to be taken aback by her presence. Our eyes briefly met, but I purposefully shifted my gaze elsewhere. The weight of Olivia's indifference had become increasingly unbearable. The love I once held for her was slowly transforming into bitter resentment.

Jacob, on the other hand, seemed visibly ecstatic as he enveloped her slender waist with his arm. Despite the inner turmoil I was experiencing, I reluctantly acknowledged that they formed an exceptionally good-looking power couple.

Claire looked stunning, her slender figure exuding an inviting allure. However, my thoughts remained fixated on Olivia. I excused myself from the dance, extricating myself from the lively crowd, with a glimmer of hope that, just like the previous year's formal, Olivia might follow me outside. Settling on the bleachers, I lit up a cigarette. This time, however, it wasn't Olivia who joined me.

As I sat, enveloped in a cloud of smoke, the creaking of the bleachers behind me caught my attention. I turned to find the tall, imposing silhouette of Jacob, his eyes glaring at me with a dangerous intensity.

My heart raced as Jacob stepped toward me, every step echoing with a sense of impending doom. The cigarette trembled in my hand, the ember flickering nervously. His eyes bore into mine like a predator closing in on its prey.

I quickly flicked the cigarette away, my fingers fumbling in the process. I just stood there, shaky, as Jacob halted a few feet away. The tension hung thick in the air.

"What's your game, Chris?" Jacob's voice was low, seething with anger. I stammered, searching for words, but fear seemed to have robbed me of my voice.

My brain kicked into overdrive as panic surged through me. I made a mad dash for the gym entrance, my legs pumping, heart racing. Victory seemed within grasp as I reached for the door handle.

But before I could swing it open, Jacob's fury hit me like a freight train. We collided, crashing to the ground. Dust mixed with the glitter on my suit as I struggled beneath him.

Gasping for breath, I attempted reason, "Seriously, man, what's your deal?"

"What's my deal?" Jacob's words dripped with anger. "You've been trying to steal Olivia from me. And to be honest, why would you even try? I mean, look at you, look at me. You're a nobody, a weak little worm I could simply crush."

"If I'm no competition, why beat me up? You've got Olivia, right?" I wheezed, trying to inject reason into the chaos.

Jacob's grip tightened, and a malicious grin played on his lips. "I don't like people messing with what's mine, especially not puny losers like you. Olivia might have a soft spot for you, but I am going to make sure you stay in your place."

I winced as he emphasized his point, the pain from his hold intensifying.

"Jacob, this isn't going to solve anything. Let me go, and we can talk this out like adults," I pleaded.

He laughed, a derisive sound that sent shivers down my spine. "Talk? You think words are going to fix this? You've been playing with fire, and now you're going to get burned."

Pinned beneath Jacob's formidable strength, my attempts to break free resembled a trapped animal's desperate bid for escape. His weight pressed down, making every breath a laboured effort. Panic surged, and I thrashed, a futile struggle against his overpowering hold.

His eyes gleamed with a mixture of superiority and malicious satisfaction, relishing my useless efforts to escape. The fear of his immense strength paralyzed me but I still fought to break free, my attempts resembling the futile resistance of a trapped insect.

Jacob easily overlapped one of my wrists onto the other, employing only a single powerful arm to restrain me. A renewed wave of fear coursed through me as he effortlessly subdued me with just one hand. Despite my frantic resistance, his immense strength made my struggles seem feeble and futile.

With his now unoccupied, large, calloused hand, he delivered a powerful slap to my cheek, the burning sensation intensifying as tears welled up in my eyes.

"Are you going to cry now, cry-baby" he jeered.

I thrashed against his grip violently, only to painfully realize that he possessed more strength in his left arm than I had in both of mine.

"Let me go!" I screamed, desperately hoping that someone from inside might hear my voice.

He slapped me again; this time harder. I yelped like an animal, a mixture of shame and fear washing over me. And this time, my tears couldn't be held back.

"Keep your voice down if you don't want to get slapped again," he threatened, his words cutting through the air with a menacing tone.

Summoning whatever energy and pride I had left, I managed to choke out, "Why are you doing this, Jacob? This isn't going to solve anything."

His laughter echoed through the night. "Oh I know, Chris. But here's the deal – I need to address this intense crush you've got on my girlfriend. Olivia is with me, and I'm not about to let someone like you mess that up."

My mind raced, searching for a way out.

Jacob's grip tightened further as he leaned in, his face inches from mine. "You're lucky I haven't flattened you yet. Maybe this will teach you a lesson."

The slaps came fast and hard, one after another intensifying my pain and humiliation. I winced at the physical and emotional assault, feeling a deepening sense of helplessness.

Suddenly, Claire's voice cut through the chaos. "Jacob, stop!"

She rushed toward me but was grabbed by someone else.

"Brad, let me go. What are you guys doing?" she yelled.

I realized there was someone else - Brad, another teammate of Jacob.

"Calm down, Claire. Jacob's not really hurting your precious twerp. He's just teaching him a lesson." Brad said, restraining her.

"Jacob, let him go, right now!" Claire yelled, struggling against Brad's hold.

"All done, I think," Jacob sneered as I lay there, under his weight, tears streaming down my face, a mix of pain and intense humiliation. To make matters worse, my own date stood nearby, witnessing the scene, watching me cry like a little baby.

There was more commotion. Someone else was trying to get out of the gym. Seemed like, Jacob's football buddies were guarding the exit.

"Let me through, Derek," came a muffled voice from the gym. It was Olivia.

I felt Jacob straighten as I lay under his substantial weight. The next moment, he was up on his feet. He turned around shielding my prone body.

"Liv, what's up?" he asked casually.

"Why are your friends guarding the door? I was looking for you," Olivia said, her tone changing, "Who's behind you on the ground, Jacob?"

"It's Chris. He was out here, took a swing at me, and slipped." Jacob lied glibly.

"Chris tried to punch you?" Olivia's voice lowered.

"Well, yeah. He got worked up and swung at me as soon as he saw me," Jacob continued.

"Let me see him."

"He's fine, Liv."

I put my hands on my face, trying to hide my tears, as Olivia pushed Jacob aside. "Move, Jacob." she said forcefully.

"Are you okay, Chris?" She knelt beside me, gently pulling my hands away from my face.

I winced, "Yeah, just a bit shaken up. As tears streamed down, she cupped my face, her thumbs tenderly wiping away each silent droplet.

"He made you cry, baby?" she asked gently, her soft voice delicately prodding at the edges of my emotions. I scrunched my face in an attempt to hold back the tears that teetered on the brink, threatening to spill over.

Suddenly, a flood of memories engulfed me, taking me back to a park when we were just ten. Liv had left for a few minutes, leaving me alone. A twelve-year-old boy seized my binoculars, initiating a cruel game of domination. He pinned me down, taunting my weakness.

After he slapped me softly, making fun of my weakness, he got up and walked away with my binoculars in his hands. Around that time, Liv returned. She saw me on the ground, covering my face with my hands, shielding tears. Just like now, she gently pried my hands away, revealing my tear soaked face. Her gaze met mine, and she asked, "He made you cry, baby?" I nodded, speechless.

Without uttering a word, Liv sprang into action. She pushed the bully and as he fell on the grass, she straddled him, unleashing a barrage of punches, leaving him with two swollen eyes and a sore jaw.

In the present moment, the memory of that childhood incident triggered a protective instinct within me. I grabbed Liv's wrists, whispering urgently, "No, Liv. Don't even think about it. Jacob is too strong for you. If you try anything, you'll get hurt. I can't bear to see that happen."

In response, she offered a gentle smile and said, "Chris, relax. I'm just going to talk to him. He had no right to hurt you." She turned her head slightly, looking at me with an amused expression. "What did you think I was planning to do?"

A mixture of relief and a hint of disappointment washed over me – relieved that she wasn't going to confront Jacob and potentially get hurt, but slightly disappointed, realizing she might not be the same girl I remembered.

Liv stood up, her movements exuding confidence as she walked purposefully toward Jacob. Her voice carried a stern tone, "You really shouldn't have hurt him, Jacob. And for no reason at all. I'm truly disappointed in you."

Jacob, looking guilty, managed a weak smile and responded, "I'm sorry, honey. You're right. It was a mistake, and I feel terrible about it. I'll make sure to apologize to him." He reached out, holding Liv's arms, seeking reassurance and forgiveness.

She said, "Of course, you need to apologize," but then her tone went completely cold. "But you see, Jacob, you made him cry."

Before Jacob could comprehend anything, she kneed him in his groin so powerfully that he went airborne for a moment, yelping like a pig being slaughtered.

As he crumpled to the ground, clutching his injured pride, Olivia lunged at him, quickly straddling him, and started raining powerful punches on his face, shouting, "How dare you hurt him? What gave you the right?" Her fury was such that it appeared to intimidate even Jacob's football mates, who had come out following Olivia when she arrived on scene.

The sounds of impact were punctuated by Jacob's desperate attempts to shield himself from the onslaught. His groans melded with Olivia's fierce determination as she continued her relentless assault.

As Brad, letting go of Claire scrambled to save Jacob, attempting to pry Olivia away, she swiftly delivered a well-aimed elbow to his balls, causing him to crumple in pain as well.

It took a considerable effort from the rest of Jacob's friends to pull Olivia away. They were of course wary and not that forceful, as none of them wanted to get hit on their nuts like Jacob and Brad, who still lay curled up next to each other..

After being pulled away from Jacob by his friends, Liv forcefully shrugged herself free from them, her eyes seething with rage. "If you ever lay a finger on Chris again," she warned, "I'll kill you."

I wasn't sure if Jacob caught her words, as he promptly rolled over and started vomiting profusely on the ground.

As I looked at Jacob, his face was a mess after Olivia's punches. It looked all swollen and discolored, with red and purple marks. You could see the spots where he got hit the hardest – they seemed tender with a few trickles of blood staining his bruised skin. His friends hauled Jacob over to his car, Brad silently limping behind them.

By then, Claire was cradling my head on her thighs, gently inquiring if I was alright. I nodded weakly. Norm and Rachel emerged from the gym, equally distressed. As Olivia approached us, a silent hush descended. She retained her stunning beauty, even with her dense golden hair in disarray. Claire glanced at her, slightly intimidated by the remnants of Olivia's anger. Despite the specks of dirt covering her form-hugging dress, Olivia exuded both sexiness and an intimidating presence simultaneously.

Norm informed us that the majority of students and all the teachers remained oblivious to the incident outside the gym. One of Jacob's teammates had urged him to conceal it, arguing that it wouldn't benefit anyone if the news went public. I was willing to keep it a secret, not only to conceal my own vulnerability after Jacob's slaps but more importantly to shield Olivia from any repercussions following the intense beating she had unleashed on Jacob.

"So, how are you feeling, bud?" Norm asked.

"Much better, now that Jacob is no longer around."

"Yeah, Olivia saw to that," piped Rachel, looking at Olivia with intense pride and awe.

"Got lucky with the groin shot," Olivia smiled, "Jacob is a tank."

"Guys, I think I want to go home now," I spoke softly.

"Yeah, I think we'll all leave. Enough excitement for tonight. And I can drive you and Olivia back home before dropping Claire and Rachel," Norm offered.

"My car is here," I said. "I don't want to leave it behind."

"I can drive your car," Olivia said softly. "I mean, we are neighbors, so no one needs to take a detour to drop us." She looked at Claire guiltily.

"That makes sense," Rachel agreed before turning to Claire. "You want to come with us? Norm and I can drop you, unless you want to spend more time in the dance."

"No, no, I am ready to go. Like Norm said, enough excitement." Claire helped me up and hugged me softly. She kissed me tenderly on my mouth and said, "I am sorry for all you went through, Chris. I am just glad it is over. I'll call you tomorrow."

"Yeah, thanks, Claire. Take care."

As they departed, I met Olivia's intense gaze, her eyes ablaze with emotion. She averted her eyes swiftly. "Let's just go. We can talk in the car," she suggested.

I handed her the keys, and she looked at me. "Can you walk? I can carry you to the car."

I chuckled softly. "No, I can walk, I think."

She smiled and wrapped her left arm around my waist. "Put your arm over my shoulder," she instructed.

I complied. Walking wasn't too challenging; we were of the same height. While my right leg felt a bit stiff, I found myself being carried sideways, enveloped in Olivia's muscular arm.

Halfway to the car, she stopped. "This is just stupid, Chris. There's no one around to be embarrassed in front of. I can sense you're having difficulty walking." She turned to me, wrapping her arms around my back and under my knees, lifting me off the ground effortlessly. She walked to where the car was parked, and I avoided eye contact. Too much had happened too quickly, and I felt a bit uncomfortable discussing it.

We reached the car parking. She unlocked the door and gently eased me into the passenger seat. Then, she slid into the driver's seat. As we drove past the school, I looked at her.

"Liv..." I said softly.

"Uh-huh..." She responded without turning.

"Can you park the car by the side of the road?"


"Can you just do it, please?"

"Fine," she slowed the car down to a halt under the trees. I retrieved the first aid box from the glove compartment.

"Are you hurt?" she asked, concerned.

"No, but your knuckles have a bit of blood."

I rubbed the spirit on the cotton and cleaned the blood off her fists. I blew on them softly. I could feel her gaze on me. Before I could unwrap the adhesive bandage, she shook her head. "I don't need that."

As I carefully wiped the blood off her knuckles, tucking the first aid box back into its place, I couldn't help but intertwine my fingers with Olivia's hand. Her fingers, long and defined, and her calloused and hardened palms bore the distinctive markings of countless hours lifting heavy weights.

With Olivia's hand in mine, I gingerly rubbed my reddened cheeks, still throbbing from the powerful slaps dealt by Jacob. The vivid memories of the degrading encounter flooded my mind. Olivia, sensing my distress, delicately disengaged her hand, soothingly running her palm against the side of my face.

The overwhelming sense of shame and humiliation washed over me as I relived the scene, and I couldn't contain the tears that streamed down my face. The mere recollection of Jacob treating me as a whipping post intensified my emotional breakdown. I instinctively covered my face with both hands, attempting to shield myself from the haunting memories.

Olivia pushed back her seat and encircled her hands around my armpits, effortlessly lifting me off the seat and settling me onto her lap. With my head nestled against her shoulders, I continued to weep, my vulnerability laid bare in the safety of her embrace.

Her voice, slightly breaking, resonated with compassion as she uttered, "Let it out, baby. I am so sorry for what you went through." Olivia's possessive hug provided a modicum of comfort, her fingers running through my hair, and her gentle touch rubbing my back. As I clung to her powerful frame, for the first time since that harrowing incident, I felt a sense of safety and love. Olivia's embrace acted like a sanctuary I could shed the weight of my shame and let my guard down.

Her gentle touch and the warmth of her strong, powerful body finally quelled the torrent of tears. In Olivia's arms, the soothing comfort made the overwhelming emotions subside, and I felt a profound sense of calmness and relief.

Raising my head from her shoulder, our cheeks touched, a wave of affection swept over me as I felt the smoothness of her skin. Softly, I pressed my lips to hers, and she responded with the same tenderness. It was a gentle exchange, a moment where the pain of the past seemed to dissolve.

Our lips gently separated, and I found myself lost in Olivia's eyes, our faces inches apart. I delicately cradled her face in my hands, and as her eyes closed in response, I sensed our renewed connection. I pressed a lingering kiss on Olivia's forehead.

As she looked up, at me, I asked her, "So, what does this mean for us?"

She put her arms around my waist and replied, "Why don't we talk about it tomorrow? We've both had a very difficult and traumatic night."

I managed a smile, enjoying her arms around me. "Somehow, your 'tomorrow' never seems to materialize, Liv. You've become quite unpredictable over the past few years. Remember last year when we kissed, and then you went all cold towards me? And then a few months back, we agreed to discuss our relationship, but you went incommunicado again."

She smiled in acknowledgment, "There just hasn't been the right time."

"I disagree. We've been in this confusing state for well over three years now."

"Well, you're still with Claire, aren't you?" she asked.

"Yes, but I can just as well break it off with her tomorrow."

"Think this through, Chris. You need to let her down easy. And then, there is this thing with Jacob. Does beating him senseless imply that I've dumped him?" She smiled, her cheeks forming adorable dimples on both sides - a cute touch that added a playful note to her words.

As I lightly caressed her dimples with my fingers, she sighed, the gentle touch adding a tender intimacy to our moment. Then with a hint of seriousness in her eyes she said, "I promise, Chris, no more dithering. But you've had a very trying evening. Why don't we get home, get some sleep, and I'll be over in the morning."

"Do you promise?" I asked, trying to sound cute.

She smiled and kissed me lightly on my lips, "I promise. Now, can you get back to your seat on your own, or do I need to help you?"

I chuckled, "I can manage."

Olivia pulled her seat back up and the engine roared to life as we resumed our journey home.

After we arrived home, Olivia and I stepped out of the car. The night air was cold, and the quiet neighbourhood enveloped us. As we stood in front of my garage, Olivia took my hand. "I'll talk to you tomorrow, Chris. Get some rest," she said.

I nodded, a faint smile forming. "Yeah, we'll talk tomorrow."

Olivia leaned in and kissed me gently. As she pulled away, her eyes met mine, holding a depth of understanding. We exchanged a lingering gaze before she turned and walked towards her own house, leaving me with a quite sense of euphoria. It seemed we were finally together.

As I opened my eyes the next morning, a dull ache pulsed through my leg - a painful reminder of Jacob's misguided aggression. I winced, attempting to sit up, when my mom walked in, balancing a laundry basket in her arms.

"Morning, sweetheart. How are you feeling?" she asked, concern etched on her face.

I groaned a bit, rubbing my sore leg. "Not the best."

Mom sighed, placing the laundry basket down. "Boys and their fights. I hope you gave as good as you got."

I managed a weak smile. "You could say that."

She continued sorting through the laundry, her expression shifting. "By the way, the Olsens left for California this morning. Olivia's grandfather fell down the stairs, and he's in the ER."

My eyes widened with concern. "Oh no, is he okay?"

Mom shook her head. "Seems serious, but Astryd didn't give many details. She'll call me in the evening."

I reached for my phone on the bedside table and found a text from Olivia. "Grandpa fell down the stairs. On my way to California with mom. Will call when I get free. Hope you're feeling better. XOXO"

Norm's messages followed, updating me on Jacob's situation. Apparently, Jacob spent the night in the hospital and was set to be discharged later in the day. Luckily, no one seemed aware of Olivia's hand in putting him there.

Mom observed me checking my phone. "Friends checking in?"

I nodded. "Yeah, Olivia and Norm."

She patted my shoulder. "Well, you take it easy today. No more fights, okay?"

I chuckled. "Promise, Mom."

As she left the room, I couldn't help but wonder about Olivia's grandfather and silently hoped for his recovery.

As the realization dawned that Olivia's birthday was just a day away, my excitement mingled with a tinge of concern. She was in California, looking after her grandfather, and I couldn't celebrate her special day with her. Nonetheless, I decided to make an effort and get her a meaningful present.

Having initially purchased a book, I felt that with our relationship possibly heading toward dating, a more intimate gift was in order. Determined to find something special, I left the house and headed to the mall, where Norm and Rachel were already waiting.

Rachel, with her knack for selecting the perfect gifts, helped me in picking out a nice silver necklace for Olivia. With the birthday present secured, I filled Norm in on the recent developments.

"Norm," I began, "you won't believe what happened. Olivia and I... well, we kissed last night."

His eyebrows shot up in surprise. "Seriously? That's a big step, man. How did it happen?"

I grinned. "Well, on our way back... How isn't important. Just that it did."

"Nice, I hope it goes better than your last kiss, when she froze you out right after."

"Yeah, well. I think this time's going to be different. Just hope her grandpa is doing well."

"Hey, so not that you asked, Rachel and I are going well too. I think we are ready to take the next step," he said, winking.

I chuckled. Rachel, who was browsing tops, turned around. "What are you laughing at?"

"Nothing, Rach. Norm just made a joke about the necklace."

She looked at Norm sternly, who quickly looked away.

"Anyway, are we on for the concert?" I asked Norm.

"Oh, Rachel got three tickets."

"We may need four."

He grinned, "You sure? Olivia is going with us."

I smiled back, "That's the hope, man."

"Well, I'll be happy if it does. What about Claire, though?"

"Oh, crap. I forgot. I have to break up with her."

"Are you sure? What if your thing with Olivia doesn't materialize?"

"I can't just keep Claire stringing along, waiting for Olivia to say yes."

"Well, you better be sure about Olivia. Cuz if you break off with Claire and Olivia isn't interested, you'd be alone again."

I sighed, "I don't see that happening. I am telling you, man. There was real passion in our kiss last night."

"Okay man. Anyway, what do you want for your birthday next week."

"Surprise me," I quipped as we headed to the parking lot.

Around four in the afternoon, Liv called.

"Hey, Liv. I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather. How's he doing?"

"He's doing very well. It was a nasty fall but it looked more serious than it actually was. He is going to make a full recovery. In fact, they are discharging him tomorrow. But Mom wants to spend time with her parents so we are here for a week at least."

"Oh," I paused, "Bad timing, huh? I mean, with your birthday tomorrow. I was hoping to spend it with you."

"I know," she said softly. "I wanted to spend it with you. I can't believe I'm turning eighteen, and you're not with me."

"I know," I sighed.

Liv's tone turned soft. "Chris, it's so strange not having you here. I was looking forward to celebrating with you, especially now that we've... you know."

"Yeah," I chuckled, "our second romantic kiss did change things."

"It did. I can't wait to see you again, hold you. I've been thinking about it a lot."

"Me too, Liv. It's been tough not having you around."

She sighed, "Well, at least we can talk. Imagine if this happened back in the days when we didn't have phones. I'd be dying without hearing your voice."

"I'm glad we can talk. It makes being apart a little more bearable."

"True," she said, her voice softening, "but nothing beats having you close, feeling your touch."

"I can't wait for that too, Liv. Until then, we'll just have to make do with calls."

"Sorry, I can't switch on the camera. I'm still at the hospital."

"Hey, so can I call you at midnight? Just wanted to know, cause I am assuming you'd be in your grandparents' house."

"You better," she said, feigning anger. "It's a big house with plenty of rooms. I have my own.

"Can't wait to see you, Liv. I... I miss you terribly."

"So do I, baby," she said, her voice low.

Later that evening, Claire and I met at a small diner we used to frequent since we started dating.

Claire, in a sleeveless top, showcased her toned, muscular arms as she settled into the chair. The subtle glow of dim lighting cast shadows on her face, accentuating the anticipation in her eyes.

"Claire," I began, my voice laced with emotion, "there's something important I need to discuss with you."

"Sure, Chris. But how are you feeling now, after last night? I mean, physically and emotionally?" Her gaze bore a hint of concern.

"I'm doing better, but, Claire, I wanted to address something else," I admitted.

Her expression shifted to one of understanding, "I guess I can imagine what that's about. I saw the chemistry between you and Olivia last night."

"Claire, we did talk about it earlier... about Olivia and me," I concluded with a touch of awkwardness.

"So we did," she sighed. "So, are you breaking up with me?"

Guilt washed over me as I looked at her. Taking a deep breath, my gaze briefly dropped to the table before meeting hers. "Claire, you're an incredible person, and you've been an amazing girlfriend. But, after last night, I realized something about myself, about us."

Her eyes hinted that she may have anticipated my words, yet she encouraged me to continue, "Keep going, Chris?"

"I can't deny the connection I have with Olivia. Something happened between us last night, and it wasn't just a one-time thing. There's history, an unspoken bond that I can't ignore anymore."

Her eyes welled up, but she nodded, urging me to proceed.

"I care about you, Claire. I do. But I can't be fair to you or to us if I keep pretending that there's no one else in my heart. Olivia and I share something, and it's not fair if I keep stringing you along."

"So, what are you saying?" she asked with a shrug.

"I think it's time for us to part ways, Claire. You deserve someone who can give you their whole heart, and I need to be honest with myself about where my heart truly lies."

Acceptance mingled with sadness on her face as she nodded, "I appreciate your honesty, Chris. It hurts, but I'd rather know the truth."

"I'm truly sorry, Claire. You deserve all the happiness, and I hope you find someone who can give you that."

She managed a small smile, "Thank you for being honest. I wish you well, Chris. You've been an anchor to me after all that mess with Brad."

"Claire, I want you to know that I will always be there for you... as a friend. I mean, you and Olivia are teammates, so we will be running into each other."

She leaned back and sighed, "I'll tell you something. I have been with three different guys before you. And I can safely say that you are the only one I can trust." She stood up, and I followed suit. She hugged me tight, "I'll take you up on that offer of friendship, Chris," she smiled.

"Absolutely, Claire," I smiled. She kissed me lightly, and we parted ways.

I dialled Olivia's number at the stroke of midnight, the screen illuminating her face as the call connected. She seemed to be lying on the bed with what I could assume was either a tanktop or a sleeveless nightie. I couldn't suppress a playful chuckle.

"You like what you see, baby?" she whispered, her voice oozing seduction.

I stammered, "You look... breathtaking."

Her gaze turned seductive as she traced her fingers along the edge of her nightie, "How about now?"

I swallowed hard, "You're driving me crazy, Liv."

She laughed, a sultry sound that sent shivers down my spine. "Good. I like driving you crazy."

Olivia's voice lowered even further to a sensual purr, "You know, Chris, I've been thinking about you all day especially after I found out Grandpa was going to be okay."

My heart raced, "Yeah?"

She nodded, her eyes smouldering, "I can't help but imagine how it would feel to have you right here with me, to celebrate my birthday together."

"I promise we'll make up for it when you're back. Maybe a belated celebration, just the two of us?"

She grinned, "Sounds perfect. But for now, I'm just glad I get to see your face, even if it's on a screen."

"Before I forget, cuz looking at you is just turning my brain into mush... Happy Birthday, love." I almost didn't say 'love', but I loved her so much; I didn't care if it sounded corny.

Her eyes brightened as she said, "thanks baby!" stressing on baby, making it sound sexy. And then her expression turned mischievous as she playfully flexed her biceps, you've always loved these, haven't you, Chris? Since you were just a little boy."

I nodded shyly, "Guilty as charged." Realizing that I could never be this frank with Claire, or with any other girl.

My eyes traced the contours of Olivia's powerful arm as she casually tucked it under her head. The definition in her biceps was just so amazing to witness, as they bulged beneath her smooth skin. I sighed in admiration, captured by the HD clarity of the video that brought every detail to life.

As the conversation flowed, my gaze couldn't help but wander, and that's when I noticed the fascinating contrast - her strong, powerful arms, and the lush expanse of soft, dense, blonde armpit hair that filled her hollowed armpits.

I couldn't hide the intrigue in my voice, "Liv, your biceps are incredible. They drive me crazy."

She chuckled, her eyes twinkling with mischief, "Glad you appreciate them, baby. They're just for you."

My gaze lingered on her armpits. Unable to resist, I playfully teased, "And what about that? Your armpits are a surprise. I've never seen them like this."

Olivia grinned, her confidence evident, "Oh, you noticed. I've stopped shaving unless I wear sleeveless which I almost never do, at least in public."

"Yeah, I noticed that. I remember you used to go sleeveless all through summer but you abruptly stopped. Even your basketball jersey is full sleeved."

Her eyes seemed to narrow for a second, "And you don't know why?"

I was a bit surprised at her question, how on earth would I know.

She seemed to see my confused look. "Chris, I used to shave my underarms, because I always wore sleeveless till I was 14. And then I stopped wearing sleeveless. Can you not connect the dots?"

"I don't... I am not sure what you are saying, Liv." I sputtered.

"I stopped wearing sleeveless after you shut me out, Chris. The reason I used to wear sleeveless was because I knew, you loved to stare at my arms and you were always touching them. But after you started avoiding and ignoring me, I didn't see any reason to go sleeveless."

"Walked right into that one, didn't I?" I whispered, "I am sorry Liv."

"You look so scared right now. Forget it. I've made my peace with it. You made me cry for two years by ignoring me. And I got your ass kicked by Jacob, inadvertently, of course. But we're even now," she grinned.

"So no more getting angry at me for that?" I asked.

"We'll see," she smiled wickedly. "So how about my underarm forest, hot or not?"

"Everything about you is hot, Liv."

She laughed, "Glad you like it. Maybe one day, you'll get to experience them up close."

She seemed to be in a very playful mood. as she traced a path down her neck, her fingers gently grazing her collarbone. The camera followed, capturing the subtle curves that led to her enticing cleavage. She maintained eye contact, the playful energy between us building.

"Like what you see, Chris?" she teased, her voice dripping with a sensual undertone.

My heart raced as I grinned, "Absolutely. You're a vision."

The camera continued its journey, exploring the contours of her toned abdomen. She flexed her abs playfully.

Olivia's playful exploration extended to her huge, sculpted thighs, each movement deliberate and enticing. The camera lingered, capturing the sheer mass of her legs.

Slowly she moved the camera to her calves; they'd always been big, but in the camera, they looked even more voluminous. She slowly tightened her muscles and her calves flexed. I couldn't keep from shivering. Slowly she brought the camera's focus back on her face.

She arched an eyebrow, her eyes sparkling mischievously. "So, Chris, do you like the private show?"

I chuckled, "You know I do. You're making me hot all over."

Her lips curled into a sly smile. "Good, because you're going to make this birthday unforgettable for me."

My eyebrows shot up in surprise. "Oh, really? Any hints on how I can achieve that?"

She winked. "You'll figure it out. But for now, let's enjoy the show."

As the camera playfully explored her enticing features, she whispered, "You've always had a thing for my biceps, haven't you, baby?"

I grinned, "Guilty as charged. They've been my weakness since we were kids."

Her eyes gleamed with affection. "Well, get ready for a lot more weakness." With a subtle flex, she showcased her powerful biceps; The smooth elliptical mound of muscle protruding from her pale skin. "Still irresistible?"

"More than ever," I admitted.

She laughed, "That's what I like to hear." The camera panned to a tantalizing view of her lips, and she whispered, "Remember the taste?"

My heartbeat quickened, "I remember it like it was yesterday."

"Well, you'll get a refresher soon enough," she teased, her deep blue eyes smouldering with anticipation.

"My God, Liv," you've no idea how excited I am right now." I confessed.

"Just wait for my return, baby," She whispered.

Finally, we disconnected. And needless to say, I had a very naughty dream despite my release before going to bed.

For the rest of the week, Olivia and I maintained our nightly video chats. Two days before my birthday, Olivia and her mother, Astryd, returned from California.

It was only ten minutes after I witnessed the taxi departing, having safely delivered them to their front door, that I found myself standing outside, pressing the doorbell. Astryd, despite a hint of weariness, still looked fit and sharp as ever...

"Hi, Mrs. Olsen. I'm glad your father is doing well," I expressed.

Her response was a sweet kiss on my cheek, accompanied by an invitation inside. "You're sweet, Chris. I'm assuming you're here to see Liv," she smiled. "Go on up."

I lightly tapped before entering. As I entered through the door, Olivia seemed to be getting out of her bathroom. She looked as radiant as ever, albeit with a toothbrush hanging from her mouth.

Her eyes lit up as she saw me. Swiftly, she rinsed her mouth and hurried over. The embrace that followed was so intense it lifted me off the floor. My hands eagerly explored the contours of her muscular arms, bared in the sleeveless t-shirt she wore. Giggling, she playfully tossed me onto her soft mattress, and leapt on top of me, straddling me. Our passionate kissing escalated rapidly, and within seconds, I was completely aroused.

She noticed, a teasing smile spreading on her beautiful face. "There it is," she teased, clearly referring to my erection as it pressed into her body.

Embarrassment and arousal mingled as my face flushed pink. Shifting uncomfortably, I felt my cheeks warm with embarrassment.

"So, Chris," she asked teasingly, "what exactly is making you so hot and bothered right now?"

"Well, it's, um... your strength. The way you effortlessly tossed me on the bed just now. It's, uh, kind of a turn-on."

Her playful smirk deepened as she ran her fingers through my hair. "Strength, huh? I guess hitting the gym paid off more than I thought."

Nervous laughter escaped me. "It's not just the strength. It's the way you move, so graceful and powerful. Like a freaking panther or something."

Olivia's eyebrows raised, "So, I'm a panther now?"

I laughed. "Yeah, a panther. You know, sleek, powerful, dangerous and a bit intimidating."

She leaned in, her lips dangerously close to my ear. "Intimidating, huh? Does that scare you?"

A shiver ran down my spine. "Maybe a little. But it's also kind of thrilling."

Olivia chuckled, her warm breath sending tingles down my neck. "Thrilling, huh? What else?"

I hesitated, searching for the right words. "Your eyes, Liv. They're so intense at times, and when you look at me, it's like there's nothing else you see."

She grinned, her eyes locking onto mine. "I've always had intense eyes, haven't I? Go on, what else?"

"It's your touch," I admitted. "The way your hand feels on my cheek, the strength in your grip. It's both gentle and... demanding."

Her fingers traced a slow path along my jawline. "Demanding, huh? Like this?" Her hands grabbed my wrists, pinning them over my head.

I swallowed hard. "Exactly like that."

Olivia's playful demeanour softened into something more tender. "Keep going."

"Your soft lips, Liv. When we kissed just now, it felt like a rush of emotions, it was so intoxicating."

She leaned back slightly, "A rush of emotions, huh? Tell me more."

"And all our memories, Liv. All those moments we've shared, from childhood to now. They came rushing back, and it was overwhelming."

Olivia's eyes softened, and she brushed her lips against mine in a teasing manner. "Overwhelming, you say? I think I like overwhelming."

I grinned, "And, well, there's your body, Liv. You're stunning, strong, so... powerful."

"Powerful, huh? You've got a thing for muscles, Chris?"

I nodded; a bit sheepish. "Now you're just playing with me. You know fully well how... how sexy I find your muscles."

Olivia's eyes sparkled mischievously as she continued the playful interrogation. "So, Chris, do my biceps turn you on?"

I chuckled nervously. "Well, yeah. I mean, they're pretty impressive. The definition and all."

"Impressive, huh? You used to rub them even when we were kids, remember?"

I blushed, recalling those innocent moments. "Yeah, I guess I did. But, you know, I was just a kid."

Her laughter echoed in the room. "Okay, what about my thighs? Do they turn you on?"

I couldn't help but admire the powerful thighs that had just moments ago pinned me down. "They're powerful, Liv. Like, so big. It's kind of a turn-on."

Olivia grinned, her eyes glinting. "Strong thighs, noted. Now, what about these massive calves of mine? Is that why you used to rub them even as kids?"

I laughed; a bit embarrassed. "Guilty as charged. Your calves were like the ultimate stress relief buttons."

She flexed her calves playfully. "Stress relief buttons, huh? How much stress did you have when were kids?"

I smiled, "Okay, I loved them. Stress or no stress. They've always been so much bigger than mine and so defined."

"I know baby," she said, softly.

"Bigger, huh? What if I told you they've only gotten bigger and more defined with time?"

"Oh, I know, Liv." I grinned shyly. "Now enough of your questions, it's my turn now."

"How'd you figure? Only the stronger person gets to demand answers. Try pinning me down, like I am doing right now to you and then you can ask any question you like."

"You know, I would never be able to manage that, Liv."

"Oh, I know, baby," she kissed me softly on my lips again. I felt as if my erection would tear through my pants.

"You're not going to ... blow, are you, Chris?" she teased.

"Blow?" I laughed.

"You know what I mean? you pervert. Geeting all hot just cause; a girl is pinning you."

"Hey..." I protested. "What do you mean, a pervert?"

She laughed, "I am just kidding baby. Go on... ask me what you want."

I took a deep breath," Okay, so what about me turns you on?"

She tilted her head, a mischievous smile playing on her lips. "What makes you think anything about you turns me on, Chris?"

I chuckled, "Well, considering you're still straddling me, knowing fully well, how hard, I am. I figured there's something about me that you crave."

Her eyes sparkled with amusement. "Oh, really? Crave might be a strong word."

I raised an eyebrow. "You're the one still pinning me down, so I must be doing something right."

She let out a light laugh, lightly grazing my lips. "Fine, if you must know, it's your softness that gets me."

"My softness?" I echoed, a mix of surprise and amusement.

She nodded, a mock-serious expression on her face. "Yep, your delicate and soft arms, your soft chest. It's irresistible."

I couldn't help but laugh at the unexpected response. "You're into softness? Not the typical strong and muscular type?"

Her tone became a little serious. "Chris, you could be a muscle man, a fat man, or even a skinny man... It wouldn't matter to me. You turn me on, you've always turned me on... by just being you... period!"


"Yes, really. It's about the way you make me feel, the way you've always been there for me; well except for your douchy years... let me think... from ages 14 to 16, during which time, you were the sole source of my anguish. But forget about that. I don't want to talk about that right now," her eyes softened, her smile reappearing, "and when we kiss, when we're together, it's like the world fades away. It's just you and me, and that's where I feel the most alive... and the most turned on."

As I absorbed the enormity of what she had said, my face broke into a grin, and I asked her teasingly, "So does that mean, you're turned on, right now?"

"Somehow I knew, you'd focus just on that last thing I said," she said, as she pressed her lips into mine.
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Old 02-Jan-24, 14:24
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Default Re: High school story

please keep going. Great build up to her playful showing off. I love affectionate dominance.
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beautiful girl, love, sex domination, wrestle, young boy rival, young girl

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