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Damned Teenage Hormones
"What are you doing up here?"
The last person Matt expected to find in his room was Addie. Last he had seen she was downstairs, being drilled about school by their mothers.
Addie looked up from the magazine she was reading-Soccer America, stolen from his nightstand-and raised her eyebrows. "You missed that monstrosity Mom wants me to wear out tonight?"
"I got that," Matt said slowly, still confused. "But this is my room."
"Last place they'd expect me to be," she explained, popping her gum. Only then did he realize that not only was she laying in his bed, but she was still wearing her shoes. He had already opened his mouth to scold her for getting his shoes in his bed when it hit him: In his bed. She was in his bed. Girls just did not lie in Matthew Winter's bed.
This was something he was working to remedy, but his best friend was not what he'd had in mind.
"Addisone Cathlene Lewis you are going to make us late!" The pitch that Addie's mother managed to raise her voice to had always amazed Matt.
"She's not kidding, you know," he said, raising his eyebrows. "Our moms might band together and kill you if you make them miss their long-planned first-day-home-from-school dinner reservations."
Katie rolled her eyes, tossing the magazine off to the side haphazardly, causing Oliver to grit his teeth. His room was anything but neat, but soccer materials were sacred.
"I'm not refusing to go," Addie laughed. "but this is what I'm wearing and I'll be damned if anyone's gonna try and say otherwise."
Oliver looked her outfit up and down. Black mini skirt, fishnet leggings, combat boots, red tank top, and some very interesting striped gloves. Katie was certainly taking this rebellion thing she had started very...Matt couldn't find the word...steryotypically.
Matt sighed. "You could cut your mom a little slack. She's not handling everything as well as you are."
Addie's nonchalant gaze turned stone cold in no seconds flat. Up until that moment, the subject of her father's death had been something of a taboo.
"Just because her way of dealing is to control everything and everyone she can doesn't mean I have to put up with it." Her voice was cold as ice and it nearly gave Matt goose bumps. "And it's not like it's working for her. If she were "fine, just fine", then we wouldn't be living with you guys for the summer, now would we? The woman can't even function." Each and ever word Addie said was uttered in the same stone cold tone, her gaze not leaving his for the slightest moment.
And just as quickly as her intensity had appeared, it was gone, and she was back to her wry grin that didn't quite hide the strange emotion in her eyes that Matt had been trying to place since they got word of her father's death.
For all her rough exterior, Addison Lewis was just as fragile as anyone else, though Matt was probably the only one who knew it. Though she didn't like to admit it, he was her best friend, always had been, always would be. He had protected her, talked sense into her, held her while she cried, and she had always been there for him as well. They had whethered all their problems together, from relationships to grades to, well, this.
"Matthew, have you seen Addison?" his mom called from the hallway, and they could hear her footsteps coming their way.
"Quick, the closet!" Addie whisper-yelled, dragging him by the arm.
"What?" Matt yelped. "But this is my room!"
Once they were safe inside Matt's tiny closet, Addie rolled her eyes up at him, though it was far too dark for him to notice. "You have no poker face," was all she said.
Matt clearly had a retort on the tip of his tongue, but Addie silenced him with a finger to his lips when she heard a knock on his door and, a moment later, the door opening.
"Matthew?" his mother called softly. She seemed to get distracted, however, upon seeing his unmade bed and clothes strewn about as a result of his halfhearted attempt to unpack his bags earlier that day, and began picking up.
Matt was beginning to become uncomfortable. The closet was terribly small, and although he had known Addie for forever and a day, he wasn't completely oblivious to the fact that she was becoming quite...grown up, particularly in the chest area. He was also horribly afraid that if he didn't get out of there fast Katie was going to be right up against even more of him than she already was.
Addie removed her finger from Matt's lips, and he had the absolutely ridiculous urge to ask her to put it back. What the hell had gotten into him?
As he was thinking on these things, Katie interrupted his thoughts. "Matt? She's gone now."
In the moments following what happened next, Matt would blame it on the lack of oxygen in their tiny shared space, because in that moment, he did something he never thought he would find himself doing. He kissed Addison Lewis.
And he enjoyed it.
Which freaked him out.
But what freaked him out was that Addie was doing nothing to stop him. In fact, she was kissing him back! What the hell had gotten into her?
Somewhere in the midst of the ever-intesifying tonsil hockey going on in Matthew Winter's closet, the doorknob managed to go and get itself turned, and out onto the floor of Matt's room went him and Addie.
What with him on top of her and all, Oliver was now 110 percent sure that Addie was noticing his awkward situation, and she blushed furiously, something that was incredibly unusual for her.
Matt scrambled off the floor, sure that his face was just as red, probably redder, than his best friend's.
"That didn't happen," he blurted suddenly.
Addie nodded fervently. "You're right," she agreed, a little too eagerly, Matt thought. "It didn't."
He nodded, adjusting his shirt as Addie attempted to fix her hair. Not that anyone would have noticed the difference, seeing as howher long, blonde curls were always anywhere but where she wanted them to stay.
"Addison Cathlene!" her mother screamed, sounding close to some sort of nervous breakdown. "You win! No dress! For the love of God just get down here so we can leave!"
Addie grinned at Matt, doing, as far as he was concerned, entirely too good a job of pretending that their incident had never happened.
Later that night, Matt was awakened by the feeling of something much larger than his cat crawling into bed with him.
"It's me," Addie said in a tiny voice that Oliver rarely heard her use.
"Oh," Oliver replied stupidly, rather dumbfounded.
"She's crying again," Addie explained, "That sort of cry." Oliver knew that by "that sort of cry" Addie meant the sort that would keep her mother in bed for a week. They had experienced "that sort of cry" for the first time over Christmas break, the only difference being that during those night Katie would disappear from the house furious and not reappear until morning. It had Matt's mother terribly worried, though Addie's own mother hardly noticed.
Matt had a million questions to ask: Where did she go those nights? Why his bed now? but he decided now was not the time to ask them, so he snaked his arm around her shoulders and pretended not to notice her tears, just as he had learned was what she wanted him to do.
But there was one answer he needed desperately.
"Yeah?" she answered sleepily.
"About that kiss earlier..." he wasn't sure how to put it.
"It's just...I enjoyed it. Entirely too much, I think. And for some reason...for some reason I really want to do it again. Do you?"
As he waited, terrified, for her answer, Matt slowly came to recognize the slow, even breaths coming from the other side of his bed.
She was already asleep.
He thought of waking her up to question her. This was something he needed to know. But what if it was a sign? A sign that he wasn't meant to know, or that he wouldn't like the answer. So instead he pulled the blankets round her to assure she would stay warm in the night, and he forced himself to fall asleep.
Both friends were awakened next by a knock on the door, and for the second time in as many days, into the closet went Addison Cathlene Lewis.
"Yeah mom?" Matt called groggily, and the door opened to reveal a worried looking Mrs. Winters.
"Addison disappeared again last night," she informed him nervously, trying to smile but failing. "And her mother's not well. I think it's best if we get out for the day, don't you?" She didn't wait for an answer. "So your father and I are taking you two to the movies. Won't that be fun?" Again, she didn't wait. "LetAddison know if you see her, won't you dear?"
Matt nodded and hugged his mother, hoping it would give her some encouragement. Then, after a moment's hesitation, as if hoping he would spontaneously realize where Addie was, she left, closing the door behind her.
Addie opened the closet door doing her best to look uncaring, but Matt could tell she was feeling guilty for making his mum worry.
"You never told me where you went those nights," Matt pointed out. "You usually tell me everything."
Addie stared at him for a second, as if weighing her options. From her expression he could tell that she wanted to tell him, but she wasn't sure how he would react.
"I was with some...friends."
It took Matt a moment to figure out why she had hesitated. He didn't want to ask, but he needed to. "Of the...male variety?"
Addie nodded, her face revealing nothing. "Yes, it's exactly what you think, okay? I was angry and upset and I was off screwing guys I barely know and drinking anything I could get my hands on. Happy now?"
Matt swallowed. No. He was definitely not happy at hearing this news. He hated the idea that she was off with other guys, and not just because she was his best friend. What did these guys know about her? Did they know that sunflowers were her favorite flower? Did they know that her favorite ice cream flavor was mint chocolate chip, or that she never ate the crust of a sandwich? Doubtful.
Matt was looking right into Addie's eyes, and it was just starting to make her nervous when he spoke.
"Just for the record," he said slowly. "Not one of those guys deserves you."
Neither of them spoke for a moment. Addie opened her mouth slowly, but closed it. She couldn't think of anything to say.
"We should get going," Matt said with a slight smile.
That night he found himself in bed with Addie once again.
"Is this going to become a habit?" he asked jokingly. She didn't respond.
"Matt?" she asked in that tiny voice of hers.
"Did you mean what you said last night? About wanting to kiss me again?"
He was at a loss for words. "You-you were-and I-and you-asleep!" he rambled, hopelessly confused and embarrassed.
"I didn't know what to say," she told him. "I never thought you would feel that way about me. And I never thought I would feel it back."
Matt was silent for a moment. Then, without warning, he turned to face his best friend. She expected him to say something about how it was a mistake. He wasn't thinking clearly, and they should go back to pretending nothing had ever happened.
What he did do was give her the softest, sweetest kiss of her life.
Matt would later think it strange that just a few days after having a girl lie in his bed for the first time ever it would be put to the use that every teenage boy dreams of.
Addie woke up nervous. What on earth had she just done? Gone and ruined their friendship, that's what. Sure, maybe they would have worked out as a couple, maybe been happy, she could even imagine them having gotten married...
She snapped herself out of that daydream. That was never going to happen now, because they'd gone and ruined it. You can't just sscrew your best friend after having kissed him twice; you just don't! She didn't want him to be just another guy she had meaningless sex with to distract her, but she was sure that that's how Matt would take it. Hell, after hearing her confess what she's been doing over Christmas holiday, that's probably what he'd intended.
She was disgusted by herself. Quietly, carefully, she slipped from the covers and threw on the pajamas she'd been wearing the previous night. With extreme caution, she crept out of his room, but was relieved to find that no one else was awake.
As she slipped through the front door, Addie didn't know where she was going, but she knew that she couldn't stand to see him. She knew that all she would have been able to think about was what they could have been.
Meanwhile, Matt was cursing himself. It was five P.M., and no one had seen Katie all day. Oliver was a wreck. Last night had been perfect, everything he had ever imagined it to be but more, because it was with Addie, a girl he would never have imagined himself falling for but all of a sudden he couldn't picture them apart.
And now she was gone. All because he'd made a stupid mistake.
He knew that she had a problem with dealing with her emotions, and he never should have allowed that to happen. If he had been able to control his damned teenage hormones, they could have stopped, taken things slow, actually had a shot.
But now she probably just wanted to forget it ever happened. She probably thought he was just like all those other guys, all those other b******* who couldn't control their damned teenage hormones!
If only he could find her, explain himself, maybe he could salvage what might have been.
She whipped around, her rain-soaked hair slapping her face as she did so. "Matt?" she had to shout to be heard over the rain and wind.
"I have to talk to you!" he yelled, his eyes pleading. "Please!"
She closed her eyes, glad that the rain hid her tears. This was it. This was when he would tell her last night meant nothing. She would lose her best friend and the man she could quite possible love all at once.
But when she opened her eyes he was there in front of her, staring into her eyes, unlike all the cowards she'd been with, the ones who only stared at her chest. This made it even more painful that he was going to tell her they couldn't be together.
"Addie," he began, but she cut him off.
"Don't say it, Matt" she begged him. "I know what you're going to say, and I don't wanna hear it, okay? I get it. I'm just some w**** whose pants were way too easy to get into, and you wanna pretend like it never happened. I understand." She was no longer looking at him, his gaze were too intense.
"Addison Jane Lews," he said seriously, lightly pulling her chin up so she was looking at him again. "I cannot possible pretend that last night never happened. It was the single most amazing, perfect night of my life. And I think you're right, it was too soon. I should have stopped it, but my damn teenage hormones had other ideas and I just couldn't. But maybe we could try it again? In a few months or so, after I've had a proper chance to ask you to be my girlfriend? It'll give me a chance to buy you flowers and grin like an idiot when you hold my hand. It'll give me a chance to kiss you as often as I like and we can have fights and kiss and make up. We can go on dates and you can still sleep in my bed when your mom upsets you, but all I'll try and do is hold you in my arms. How does all that sound?"
Katie had tears in her eyes once more. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. She let out a tiny sob as she threw her arms around his neck. "It sounds perfect. Absolutely perfect."
"I love you, Addie."
She looked up at him and smiled the brightest smile he'd ever seen cross her face. And this time, when they kissed, it was a proper first kiss.