As the temperature dropped, the day turned to night, an early sign that evening was coming. Still in his work clothes, dress shirt, and slacks, Lavelle had listened to Ariel for some time as she accounted for everything wrong in her life and her relationship with Carlos.
Lavelle had heard it all before, yet he sat quietly next to Ariel as she smoked cigarette after cigarette and rattled out the shortcomings of a man she nearly had a baby with. Soon after, Ariel circled her story for the third time, telling Lavelle how Carlos would belittle her and how Carlos would become jealous of him, a neighbor Ariel saw as a shoulder to lean on. Whereas Lavelle would call it more of what it was a dude firmly in the friend zone.
Lavelle did enjoy hearing the trash talk; if he was honest, he saw something in Ariel, and it gave him hope she’d see the light in him and make some changes in her life. Although Ariel would help foster that desire in him even as she was with Carlos by stopping in dressed in ill-fitting clothes that revealed more of her body than needed and forever removing her bra, she would say for comfort or not wearing one in his presence her breasts always b-bopping about freely under her thin shirts and blouses.
Lavelle never complained. He did wonder if this was her way of seducing him into making a move on her, something he daydreamed about even when she wasn’t around. In one instance, she felt so comfortable she sprawled out on his bed as he worked on his laptop at his desk in his bedroom. She spread their braless on her back legs, rattling off another situation with Carlos she was dissatisfied with. Lavelle, at one point, turned to his printer. Looking back at her on his bed, he could see the gaps in her worn purple cotton gym shorts, her form of loungewear, and her shaved hot box.
As the evening looked like night and three cigarettes later, that thought crossed Lavelle’s mind of those purple shorts, and she was wearing them as she spoke. Lavelle glanced down to see Ariel’s legs were crossed together; no show today. “Fuck!” a voice in Lavelle’s head muttered.
Lavelle suggested they go inside, flipping on the porch light, as it was dark out. As they moved inside his apartment, Ariel reached over, grabbing Lavelle’s hand and thanking him for listening. That was Lavelle’s thing, he guessed; gritting his teeth, everyone told him he was such a good listener. Well, not everyone, just girls. He secretly pined for that came to him because he played the guy in the friend zone so perfectly. “Fuck!” the voice exclaimed again.
Once inside Lavelle’s apartment, the lights were still off; only the glow from the street lights partially lit Andrew’s living room. He went to click on a lamp near the sofa, sitting down first to reach the lamp when Ariel plopped herself across his lap, snuggling into him.
Lavelle froze up for a split second, unfamiliar with this form of affection from Ariel, yet he could hardly resist. It was like Ariel offered herself up to his whim, knowing or feeling that his love would make her feel better. Lavelle felt the moment, always wanting her to feel better. He began to kiss the back of Ariel’s neck, back, and shoulder that was exposed in her loose-fitting spaghetti-strapped top.
The aura of cigarette smoke covered her exposed skin and stung with bitterness on Lavelle’s lips, he was a non-smoker, yet he continued. As he did this, he could tell he was making the right move as Ariel’s body consented, and she rubbed his arm. Her eyes closed, and her breathing quickened. With each soft kiss on Ariel’s body, Lavelle made his way to kiss flush on her lips.
At first, it seemed she would not reciprocate the kiss to her lips. Lavelle’s lips were dry, sticking to hers as he pulled away the taste of cigarettes now full-on in his mouth. He licked his lips and went to kiss her on the lips again, and this time, she reacted, kissing him back. Lavelle feeling now in control, whispered to her it was “ok” he knew the situation, and reassuring her that he wasn’t going to get all weird or that she should feel weird, he proceeded.
At that point, Lavelle rolled her over on her back and spaced her legs apart. He could see her honey pot in the gap of her loose purple gym shorts; this time, it was plump and glistening in the dim light. She was ready. She also knew what she’d been doing to him all this time; it was a game.
Lavelle looked down at her on his knees above her on his sofa as he unbuttoned his collared shirt. Her blond hair sprawled out like a champagne halo above her head; she looked at him intently, waiting for him to continue. Lavelle couldn’t believe what was happening, so he took a moment looking down at her with her long legs sprawled outside of him, his manhood swelling up under his black Dickie slacks.
He reached for her top, pulling it up, showing her stomach, forever being tempted seeing her breasts frolic under her shirts when she’d come over braless. The anticipation was palpable. His hands are a little shaky, and his breathing quickened. He felt intoxicated.
Inch by inch, he pushed up her top, exposing her belly button. He continued about where her breasts showed, but no nipples were peeking out. Lavelle’s eyes widened. When the front door clicked open, Lavelle’s roommate Cameron showed up.
The surprise in Lavelle’s and Ariel’s eyes was a combination of shock and mortification by being caught in the act. Cameron froze, trying not to stumble. Gathering himself and realizing what he had just walked in on, he apologized. Ariel, in a flash, pulled down her shirt, snapped her legs together like a bear trap, and rushed to the bathroom with her head down.
In the moment’s awkward silence, Lavelle flipped on the lamp he initially meant to before things took a sensual tangent. Cameron continued to bring in his groceries, continuing to stumble as he was still embarrassed by his intrusion. Lavelle sat on the sofa in the now partially lit living room, wondering what to say or if he needed to say anything. In the back of his mind, he was fuming, realizing how close he was to taking his friend-zoned relationship with Ariel to another level.
Sitting with that, Lavelle continued to get frustrated, his mind telling him this is why you don’t get roommates as his frustration fumed to a plateau. While in the bathroom, obviously flustered, Ariel contained herself, looking at herself in the mirror, cheeks flush red, and her body tingled with butterflies. She was aroused, touching herself engorged as she had never been and wet.
She cooled herself down with a slash of water from the faucet, tossed her tussled hair back, and regained her composure. As she came out from the bathroom, Cameron was in the kitchen putting away his goods while Andrew sat, hands over his head, slumped on the sofa, looking devastated and embarrassed.
With her composure ultimately regained, Ariel went over to Lavelle, grabbed a hand from his head, and leaned in for a kiss, then another, and then another. Their eyes met briefly during these kisses that, for Lavelle, felt like something purely 2nd place. Yet the expression in their locked eyes said it all as Lavelle felt released from the friend zone, wondering when his next opportunity to have his way with her would be.
And it was so with Ariel that Lavelle had sparked a burning desire that, at some point, would need to be quenched. At that, Ariel grabbed her things her purse, cigarettes, and lighter and walked out the door ignoring Cameron, but gave one last lingering lustful glance back at Lavelle and disappeared in the darkened night back to her apartment.