“Do you think he’ll still want to be with me when he gets back?” I ask softly. Even if I wait for him, I wonder if he’ll still wait for me.
Ryke clenches the steering wheel tightly. “I don’t know.”
“What do you know?” I wonder, pulling Daisy’s sweaty hair out of her face.
Ryke gives me a solid glare. “You masturbate too much.”
My eyes widen, and I instinctively glance down at Daisy who is in another dimension. She may not have even heard. Hopefully.
“She probably won’t remember anything,” Ryke tells me.
That doesn’t stop the mortification from swallowing my face. Of course he couldn’t restrain himself from commenting about what I was doing in the bathroom.
Before I find the courage to reply back, Daisy groans and her lids flutter. I see the whites of her eyes until they roll back to show the green.
“Dais.” I shake her arm.
She turns her head a little, sluggish and weak. Her eyes rise to meet Ryke’s. He keeps one hand firmly on the steering wheel, his fingers clenched around it as he stares down at her. After a long moment of the two of them just f**king staring at each other, Ryke asks, “You going to puke?”
She blinks heavily and says, “No.”
Ryke clicks off his seatbelt and puts the car in park. He opens his car door.
“What are you doing?” I gape at him.
“She was being sarcastic,” he tells me.
I frown. That did not sound like sarcasm.
He walks around the Infinity to our side, able to leave the driver’s seat. He yanks my door open, and she slowly spins her body to face the outside, her feet on the edge of the car. She leans a hand on the door frame and breathes heavily, her color peaked.
I rub her back while her head begins to droop. She nearly falls forward into the street. I grab her shoulders to keep her on my lap, and Ryke kneels in front of her. He lifts her chin up with two fingers.
“Daisy, look at me.” He snaps his fingers near her eyes.
I can’t tell if she’s meeting his gaze or not.
“Some…f**king party, huh?” Her whole body shakes.
“Yeah,” Ryke nods, his eyes flitting over her arms and legs, noticing her trembles. “Some f**king party.”
“That…was…rhetorical.” Her body lurches, gagging. Ryke quickly moves out of the way and she vomits onto the pavement. He grimaces, and people start chanting outside.
We’re too far away to see the glittering ball drop, but the crowds scream in unison, filling the world in a jubilant chorus.
This has to be one of the worst and scariest New Year’s ever. Right behind the time I kissed a frog as a dare. Though that wasn’t so much scary as it was gross.
And this will be the first time I don’t have a New Year’s kiss.
Even when I was a kid, Lo would put his hands on my cheeks and kiss me really quickly, and we’d burst into laughter afterwards. He’d end up chasing me through the fancy parties that our parents brought us to, trying to steal another.
I’d always let him catch me.
“HAPPY NEW YEAR!!”
Daisy sits back up as the crowds roar in excitement, people pulling their loved ones for their first kiss of the new year.
Ryke scrutinizes her for a long second. “You okay?”
“Amazing.” She wipes the side of her mouth with her hand. “Can…you just take me home?”
He shakes his head. “You’re going to the hospital.”
She closes her eyes for a long time, and when she opens them, I can see her glare. “No.”
“Yes,” he states. “This isn’t a f**king democracy. My car, my rules.”
“My body, my decisions,” she snaps back. “…honestly, I’m just nauseous now.” And as she says it, she shakes like she has the chills.
He puts his hand to her forehead, and she slaps it down. “Don’t touch me.”
He glowers. “You’re an ice cube. You’ve been drugged, Daisy. If you go to sleep and fall into a coma, that’s on us.”
“He’s right,” I tell her. Wow those words taste gross in my mouth. “You’re going to the hospital. Rose would have flown in a helicopter by now, so you’re lucky we’re just driving you and not making a bigger scene.”
Daisy inhales a slow breath. She pulls her limbs back into the car and settles against my chest. Ryke slams the door closed and walks around to the driver’s side.
“I’m sorry,” Daisy whispers to me. “Tonight...was supposed to be fun…” She trembles. “I…was supposed to take your mind off Lo…”
I smile and nudge her hip. “You did. And you know what? Despite what happened at the end, I had a really good time.” That’s not a lie. I think I learned more about my sister today than I have in the past seven years.
“Really?” She closes her eyes, sinking back into a better place. I still check her pulse. Just to be safe.
Ryke climbs in and shuts the door. He stares out the front windshield for a long time. “I just have to ask you one question, Lily.” He glances at me. “Are all you Calloway girls this crazy?”
I choke on a laugh, about to deny it but I really can’t. “Poppy’s pretty normal.”
He nods repeatedly, letting this sink in.
The traffic begins to break up, and we’re finally able to drive. I take a deep breath, happy to be heading in a good direction.
The hospital was a fiasco. Even a week later, I cringe at how Daisy lied to the nurse. She asked for her name, and Daisy spurted out, “Lily Calloway.”
I didn’t correct her because I understood her motives. She didn’t want the hospital to call our mother and have her involved in the situation. So I handed the white-scrubbed nurse my I.D., which could pass for Daisy because my sixteen-year-old picture is nearly obscured. I was even surprised the DMV didn’t force me to retake it. In the photo, my hair nearly shields my whole face, and I tilted my head down, trying to end the photo-taking process as quickly as possible. Afterwards, Lo made fun of me for the picture, but his wasn’t much better. He smiled sarcastically, looking like a supreme sixteen-year-old a**hole.
Thinking about Lo does not help my mind tonight. I roll in my bed, clenching the sheets and pressing my face to my pillow. Some nights are worse than others. This one has been brutal.
My body heats with a layer of sticky sweat. I just want him. My eyes tighten closed, and I imagine his hands raking the bareness of my back, spindling up my h*ps towards my shoulders…
I need someone to take me in their arms, to rub their palms over all the aching parts, to knead my breast and suck my neck, to make this tension explode into a high. I crave it so badly that I end up biting my fingernails to the beds, turning on my side and staring at the wall, wondering if I should go find something to ease this into a nice, blissful release.
I lick my lips and shudder, my body shaking as I prolong what it wants. Or maybe, it’s just my brain playing tricks on me. Maybe it’s all in my mind.
I inhale a deep breath and rise against my oak headboard. I find the remote on the end table and click on the flat screen television above my dresser. It swamps the wall, looking futuristic among my white canopied, king-sized bed and red velveteen chaise. Rose decorated my room, and I have to admit, she did a pretty good job with the pop art and the black checkered pillows. I could do without the canopy. One night, I rolled into it like a tortilla and started moronically swatting at it.
I click through the On Demand channels and peruse the nightly specials, landing on an X-rated film where a professor seduces a student. So cliché, but it’ll most definitely make me hot and bothered. I just hope that it helps me find the release I’m looking for.
I fast-forward the beginning where the girl usually just gives head. Normally, bl*w j*bs in p*rn don’t turn me on…unless the guy does something sweet like hold her hair back and tell her she’s beautiful giving it. But I’ve seen too many scenes where the guy jackhammers the thing down her throat. Being choked by c*ck does nothing for me.
I reach the middle of the film, and the professor spreads the girl across his desk. He wears vintage framed glasses and a white button-down. His pants are already off and he quickly charges into her without any other foreplay. She lets out a frighteningly loud scream and then her moans start. “Mmmmmmmyeah. Like that....yeaaahhh.” She massages her own large breast while he thrusts hard. I can tell she’s faking it, and maybe horny guys don’t care—but I do. Her noises heighten and I realize that her orgasms are making me cringe. Not all p*rn is created equal.
I exit out and order another film.
Wanting to be surprised, I skim the description and barely glance at the title. This time I fast-forward again and quickly discern what type of category the film falls into.
The girl is draped over a bench in a locker room while the guy spanks her bare ass. It’s either submission or bondage or maybe a bit of both. I sink into my bed, silently hoping this girl doesn’t scream like a hyena.
She lets out a small yelp when the guy pushes inside of her. His thrusts are hard and rough and she clutches to the lockers for support. He grabs at her body and lets out a series of carnal grunts. After only a couple minutes she says, “Please make me come, sir. Please.”
Usually this does it for me. But I feel nothing. Not even turned off. I’m just…empty.
I mute the video and debate about purchasing another, but I’m not even sure a film with my favorite p*rn stars will help. This seems silly when all I want is Loren Hale. Visual stimulation doesn’t cure the craving for my boyfriend.
Tonight’s miserable experience suddenly triggers a recent memory with Lo—when he was sober for a very short period of time. I pause the film and wipe my eyes.
Lo plopped on my bed in our Philly apartment while I fired up my porn. I’d asked him if he wanted to watch a video with me, thinking it might be different now that he was sober. He had looked at me with crinkled eyebrows and a crooked grin before shrugging and following me into my room.
On the screen, a girl-next-door blonde rested in the jail cell, and a young, sexy cop entered, scanning her body with a lustful gaze.
“Why is she even there?” Lo asked, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. I rested my head on his hard chest, my heart beating wildly at the thought of what might happen next between us. I wanted him to take me just as the cop would take the girl.
“I think she was mistakenly jailed for soliciting or something, and this cop is going to question her about it. But really she’s going to have sex so he’ll let her go.”
Lo’s brow arched. “I see.”
I swallowed hard, wondering if he was analyzing what I wanted. He rarely watched p*rn with me. Whenever I put one on, I made it a private event, but with Lo there, the anticipation was enough to prick my nerves and tighten my insides.
The blonde girl fidgeted a little as the cop started to frisk her. His fingers moved down to the hem of her shorts. “Shouldn’t he have done that before he put her in jail?” Lo asked with a smile.