It had been about three weeks since Digby had hopped on a bus back to Texas and my life had gotten a lot less chaotic. There was actually food around the house - well, it was pretty crappy food since Officer Cooper was still in the picture, but I didn’t spend my nights feeding Digby, so that was an improvement, right?
So why was I lying awake in bed, impatiently waiting for Digby to show up even though I knew he was miles away? He had never bothered calling me to tell me what he was up to - and that was fine, because I’m sure he could get me into trouble even long-distance. One phone conversation and he would pull me back into the infamous “World of Digby.”
Now I just needed to turn off my bored brain and fall asleep already. It was winter break now, so it wasn’t like I had to get up early for school the next day, but I’d still like to fall asleep before the sun rose.
I got tired of staring at the ceiling, so I turned on my side and stared at the wall instead. I had been in this house for months, but I had never bothered putting up any posters. I wasn’t much of a posters girl, anyway, but it would have given me something to stare at instead of a beige wall. Beige walls might be boring enough to put me to sleep, but in the meantime, they were really dull.
I tried counting sheep, but those fluffy bastards turned into irritating boys in suits jumping over a broken fence somewhere around “49.” Even in my insomnia-induced imaginings, I couldn’t get away from freaking Digby.
“Yeah, well, go annoy someone else,” I muttered out under my breath.
“You know, talking to oneself is almost always a bad sign.”
I practically fell out of my bed in my haste to turn over and see who was in my room. It was a male voice, so definitely not my mom, and it sounded too young to be Officer Cooper - not to mention too creepy for him to be in my room after midnight - but it took me a lot longer than it should have to place him.
Really, I should have known that it was Phillip freaking Digby - who else would break into my room late at night? It wasn’t like I had a line of boys chomping at the bit to see me under the shadow of night. It didn’t matter that he was supposed to be one or two time zones away (if I hadn’t stood up to my dad and were going to prep school, maybe I’d know what time zone Texas belonged in) - of course he was here, my window open next to him and the cold night air ruffling his hair. It looked a little longer than it had been when I last saw him, but otherwise, he looked the same, right down to his suit. Of course he was wearing that damn suit and nothing else, despite the December chill.
“What are you doing here?” The words came out as a grunt in an attempt to sound like I wasn’t scared or concerned at all. Judging by the smirk he gave me, it hadn’t fooled Digby one bit.
“I was hungry and figured you’d be up with a fresh pizza waiting for me.”
I just glared at him.
He sighed. “Fine, maybe I was freshly back in town and wanted to see a friendly face.”
“You should have popped into Henry’s house for a friendly face. Better yet, check on Felix - he thinks you’re a freaking hero after you set up the football players and got them off his back. He’d have been much more welcoming than I’m going to be.”
“Come on, Princeton, you can’t tell me that you’re not happy to see me,” Digby said with what he probably thought was a charming smile - it wasn’t.
I turned back to face the wall and put my blanket over my head for good measure.
I felt my bed dip as Digby sat at the end, not trying very hard to avoid my feet. I wiggled my toes in an attempt to save them, but Digby simply pulled the blanket off my head. I sat up with a groan.
“You don’t get to waltz back in here after midnight when you’ve been gone for weeks with no word. For all I know, you never even made it back to Texas in one piece - I figured you pissed someone off along the way and got left in a ditch on the highway.”
“So you were worried about me, huh?”
I threw my pillow at him. “Stop focusing on the part you want to hear and listen to the whole message - you are insufferable and I want to get back to sleep!”
“You weren’t asleep when I got here.”
“I was almost asleep.”
“No you weren’t.”
“Fine, I wasn’t, but I wanted to be asleep, so please leave me alone already.”
At that, I shoved my head under my other pillow - real mature, I know, but I was getting desperate. Seeing Digby again had brought up way too many emotions, most of them confusing. The last time I had seen him, he had kissed me and then hopped onto a bus without another word. I’d spent most of the time since purposely not thinking about it.
“I’m sorry, Zoe.”
The use of my actual name, not a nickname, was what brought me out of my pillowy cocoon - that and the fact that I knew he would just take my pillow and I would be out of things to throw at him should he act up, and I knew that he would.
“What are you sorry for?”
Digby sighed. “You’re going to make me say it all?”
“Yep,” I said, making the “p” in that word really pop. I sat back, leaning against the wall and keeping my pillow within reach.
He rolled his eyes. “Fine, Princeton - I’m sorry that I left without a word and haven’t talked to you since.”
Digby leaned against my wall, crossing his arms as well. “Is there something else that I should be apologizing for?”
I narrowed my eyes but didn’t answer. “How is your dad?”
He groaned. “You really want to talk about my dad? Right now, when you’re the one avoiding the elephant in the room?”
“And what’s this elephant so angry about?”
Digby raised his eyebrows. “That was really sad, Princeton. You need to work on your metaphors and figurative language.”
“At least I spend enough time in English class to actually work on that.”
“Come on, you know I don’t need classes to blow you out of the water in a game of intelligence.”
“Yeah, I really missed you too,” I said, finally giving up my last pillow so that I could smack him with it.
“Something tells me that you did miss me a hell of a lot.” There was something different in his voice when he said that, the pillow on his lap and now out of my reach.
“What makes you think that?”
“Well, you were still awake at three o’clock in the morning, muttering to yourself. It seems like you have something on your mind, and you can call me narcissistic, but I have a feeling that I might have had something to do with your insomnia.”
“Well, you haven’t kicked me out yet. You’re annoyed with me, but that’s pretty normal for our relationship, especially when I’m being my charming and smart self. If you were really pissed at me and not actually happy to see me, then I would already be out that window. Instead, you’re actually talking to me and listening to what I have to say. Admit it, Princeton - you care, and you missed me.”
I rolled my eyes. “I won’t admit anything .”
“Fine, let’s see if this helps.”
I swear that he moved faster than my eyes could track - one second he’s sitting there, an odd look on his face, and the next second he’s barely a centimeter away, his eyes locked with mine and his lips so close that I could feel his hot breath. He didn’t kiss me right away, like he had last time - instead, he waited and was giving me the chance to make the first move.
It was up to me.
It only took me about one second to look at his forehead and see how he was sweating slightly, despite the open window, and I knew. I surged forward and grabbed his hair, bringing his lips to mine.
Right away, it was different from our first kiss. This time, I was fully aware of what was happening from the very beginning. I noticed the way Digby’s lips were chapped, rubbing against my own. I felt one of his hands on my hip and the other slipping into my hair, catching on a tangle that had developed after plenty of tossing and turning. Most of all, though, I felt the way my blood seemed to be on fire, my temperature skyrocketing. I was actually thankful that the damn window was open.
Digby must have been feeling the heat too, because he pulled back slightly to start pulling off his suit jacket. I tried to keep our lips locked together, but Digby’s “great intelligence” wasn’t helping him at the moment and he was struggling. I finally grabbed the arms of his suit with a slight growl and shoved them down, pulling it off.
“If you ripped it, you’re buying me a new one,” Digby said, his voice strained.
“You could use a new jacket anyway,” I said before I captured his lips again. He might have been my first kiss, but we had now blown past second, third, and more, so I went with my instincts and opened my own lips to pull in his bottom one. I gave it a little nip.
“Ow,” Digby said as he pulled back again.
“That was for leaving without a phone call,” I said. “Same with this.”
“Wha-” Digby didn’t get a chance to finish the word before I pushed him down onto his back. I started unbuttoning his shirt, glaring at the buttons that didn’t cooperate right away.
“Princeton, what would they think at that prep school?” Digby tried to joke, but he was out of breath and flushed, which ruined his delivery a bit.
“Seriously, shut up,” I said as I got to the last button. “Oh, screw it.” With that, I just tore the last button out and then stared at him for a moment.
I had noticed the way Digby was starting to fill out his suit a little more, but it was different to see him beneath his suit. He was still a bit scrawny, but all the time he spent running away from people who were pissed off at him had bulked him up a bit.
I wasn’t drooling, though - no matter what Digby might say later.
“Like what you see?”
I rolled my eyes. “Oh my god, can you be more of a cliche right now?”
Luckily, I had discovered a fun new way of punishing him, which was how I found myself surging down to meet his mouth again, giving his bottom lip another bite. I barely even noticed the way my legs found a nice position on either side of his chest, looking a bit like I had sat on him that time he had that panic attack. This was so much better than that time, though - not that I would admit it.
Digby seemed to have the same attitude as me - fighting with sloppy kisses and nips and the occasional fingernail was even more fun than vicious words and insults.
For once, Digby seemed to be the one who wasn’t as brave. While I had been in a rush to start undressing him, he was very hesitant when it came to my own clothes. His fingers kept brushing under my shirt, hot against my skin, but he didn’t try to pull it off.
So, I simply had to take charge for the moment. I reached down and grabbed the bottom of my shirt. The thought that it was the middle of the night and I wasn’t wearing a bra briefly crossed my mind, but it was a very, very small voice. The louder voice was the one suggesting that this might feel better if I could see what it was like skin-to-skin.
Of course, this was my life, so instead of doing some sort of sexy pulling-off-the-shirt move, I found my arms stuck in it. I tried to pull my arms, but all it did was pull on my hair and made my chest bounce. Maybe that was why I had to practically yell Digby’s name before I finally felt his hands on my head. He untangled my arms with a laugh.
When I finally got my shirt off, I used it to hit him, but he used the opportunity to grab my arms and pull me down to him.
That voice inside my head had been right - the feel of skin against skin made the anger evaporate immediately. The feeling got even better when Digby hesitantly slid a finger across the edge of one of my breasts.
I had spent some late nights tentatively exploring myself and figuring things out, but it was a whole new experience when it was someone else’s hands. I gasped in Digby’s mouth, covering the hand with my own. He directed that hand downward, lightly caressing my stomach before stopping at the string of my sweatpants and the buckle of his pants. I pulled back slightly to look at him.
He looked a little scared, but his pupils were blown wide open as well. Once again I was in power, and I was finding that I quite liked it. I started to pull at the buckle, and then…
An especially loud creak woke me up.
I jumped up with a gasp. I could clearly hear Mom and Officer Cooper trying to sneak around in the hall outside my room, but that wasn’t the first thought on my mind.
Well, what would you be thinking about if you had just had your first sex dream, albeit one that had been interrupted. Another milestone in my romantic experience - and, yet again, it had been hijacked by Digby.
I let myself fall back onto my pillow with a groan. Oh god, I was so screwed.
And yet, as sleep tried to claim me once again, I couldn’t help but hope the dream might continue. Yes, I was definitely screwed - or I hoped to be.
I was also really, really glad that I probably wouldn’t remember thinking that tomorrow morning.