BAM! Another update so soon. Please tell me what you think.
Amanda is pacing. Like actually walking up and down nervously, thinking about if Josh was going to come. It's not Josh she is nervous about; it's the idea of a guy besides Kyle coming over to her house and trying to get to know her.
And just like that, the doorbell rings. She immediately stops pacing and tries to get to the door before her mother but her mom is too quick. She stands quietly under the living room entry way, intent on watching Josh's interaction with her mom.
"Amanda I brought- oh why hello Mrs. Bloom. I don't suppose Amanda is here?" Josh says quite hopefully. Amanda smiles when she realizes this is Josh's way of toying with her mother. But her mom is not having any of it.
"Another Traeger at my doorstep." Her mom purses her lips at the thought. This is the moment she has been so curious to see. Josh could either be playful or sarcastic or polite or maybe rude.
"I promise Mrs. Bloom that I will do nothing besides make your daughter forget about my brother with a night filled with candy and video games. I am nothing like Kyle and you can take that anyway you want but I would like to see Amanda. Is she here?" Josh's response astonishes her, in a good way. He was charming in a weird stand-up-for-myself kind of way. He was definitely not like Kyle and she found herself grinning.
She steps out of the slight shadowy room and walks behind her mom. "I'm here Josh. Let's go up to my room and get set up. I got a TV out of the basement just for the occasion." She feels all the nervousness just melt away when she realizes how excited she is.
"Amanda." The way he breathes her name gives her shivers and suddenly everything Hillary said came rushing back. Slightly shaking her head to push away those ridiculous thoughts, she reaches past her mom, who is still surprised as well by the address, and grabs Josh by his hand. She drags him past her mom and up the stairs. Her heart starts beating rapidly at the feeling of holding his hand and knowing she is leading him to her bedroom. Somehow she can't seem to let go.
"Keep the door open!" Her mom shouts last minute as they reach her room. She feels her cheeks heat up and she knows she is blushing. When they walk into her room, she can sense Josh's eyes on her. She turns around and finds Josh staring at her. He immediately looks away but glances at their hands. If it wasn't for her own embarrassment, she would have sworn that Josh blushed. Amanda lets their hands fall apart.
"Well this is my room. Do you want to set up the game while I get us some water for the snacks?" Her voice wavers as she tries to control whatever she was feeling in the moment before.
"Sure." His voice was low and his hazel eyes were focused on setting up everything. She finally saw what Andy had probably seen all along; the determination of a boy who is used to people not seeing what he is capable of. Her heart skips a beat but she ignores it and walks downstairs to get water.
"Honey?" Her mom calls out to her. She can feel her muscles tense; ready to hear what her mom will say what is wrong with Josh. Amanda walks into the kitchen and sees her mom holding two water glasses, looking expectantly at her.
"So? What do you think of him?" The suspense is building up inside her. She doesn't know why it is that big of deal to her to get her mom to like Josh. Her mom examines her up and down before handing her the glasses.
"So help me god, if that boy hurts you like his brother I will permanently ban you from any of the Traeger's. But he seems like a good boy, better than Kyle at least. I may warm up to him." The idea that Josh is better than Kyle makes her stifle a laugh but she takes what she can get and quickly escapes.
The night went smoothly. Amanda's mom barely checked in on them… from what he noticed. And Amanda was getting used to playing on a controller. Every now and then she would yell out a darn or a damn it when she messed up and it made her look even more adorable. He found himself actually smiling and laughing at her attempts to kill him. Somehow they found themselves sitting side by side on her bed and the time slipping away. He tried to keep an eye on the time so that he could judge when a good time to go home was but it got away from him. It was midnight and they were still at it.
"Come on! I could have so killed that guy if you hadn't distracted me." Amanda says, laughing slightly. He glances at her with an inquisitive look.
"I distract you, huh? How? Because I wasn't doing this." Josh sends his hands towards her body and tickles her mercilessly. He had no idea if Amanda was ticklish or if she would let him but he tried anyway. Josh beamed when he found her most ticklish spot, which was right underneath where her ribs ended, but as soon as he found that he got a hard elbow to the stomach. It knocked the wind out of him and he instantly stopped tickling her. He tried to catch his breath but nothing would come. It started to freak him out. He leaned over and let himself tip over onto his side. Closing his eyes, Josh tries to focus on getting air in but nothing is working. He opens his eyes and finds a very concerned Amanda staring at him.
"Are you okay?" She says with fear lacing her voice. Josh nods and finally feels air reach his lungs. He gasps as the feeling of being able to breathe spreads. He lets a small smile slip out when he sees Amanda let out a sigh of relief. He tries to sit up but he grows dizzy when he does so he shakes his head to Amanda when she asked if he could sit up.
"I am so sorry. I didn't even know that spot existed and it startled me." She blushes slightly and Josh finds that even cuter. When that thought crosses his mind, a blaring red light goes off. He knows it went off a while ago when they had started moving closer together but this was a flashing warning. It is getting dangerously personal and bordering on something he would have to ask Kyle if it was okay. Kyle is probably listening to this whole evening with Jessi pathetically letting him.
Suddenly he feels the bed shift and soon his body is being pulled up towards the pillows. His mind is shouting for him to stop whatever is going on between him and Amanda but something else is making him ignore that. The pulling stops and his head is lowered onto a very comfy pillow. He glances up and is pleasantly surprised that Amanda is his pillow… well not all of her, just her lap. And he is not thinking about anything sexual because this is Amanda.
"It's okay. I- I probably needed that. I've been a jerk today." He admits, thinking about how he treated his family and her. His nose crinkles up when he feels her long wavy hair touch his face. His heart races when he hears her laugh at his expression. Keep it under control, Traeger. You got this. Josh chuckles, very aware of how the voice inside of his head reminds him of Declan.
"You just have had a hard time. And besides, if you weren't so moody to begin with this wouldn't have happened because you wouldn't have had the need to do this." Amanda's eyes search his eyes, for something she might have missed, and for once he lets her see some of his pain. The recognition, shock then sympathy race across her features and he can't make himself look at what is probably next: pity. So he stares at the TV as it just shows the replay of all their moves.
"I have a mustache." Josh impulsively grabs Amanda's hair tendrils lightly and puts them on his face like he has blond facial hair. He knows it is his defense barrier to tease and play but he can't stop it. He is scared of everything that is happening. He glances back at Amanda and realizes his attempt to be funny has pulled her face closer to his. The personal space has vastly been violated to where everything they do is shared. He immediately lets go of the hair and watches carefully as Amanda's head slowly lifts farther away from him.
"Josh. What happened?" Her eyes plead with him to tell the truth and he can't lie to her. He can see why Kyle was so enthralled with Amanda because he is quickly finding himself wanting more.
"I kind of yelled at my family about all the stuff that annoys me and I am afraid that I screwed up this time." He feels his eyes sting but he quickly brushes that off. He has to be strong and not let anything slip or else he is going to be a big mess and probably say a lot of stuff he shouldn't.
Her heart aches when she sees Josh struggling for composure. She wants to do anything to help him but he doesn't want her to because he is fighting himself and her.
"You have a family who loves you no matter what and understands you are still hurting. I am sure they will understand." Amanda tries to comfort Josh but realizes nothing she is doing is working. Taking a deep breath, she gathers enough courage to push the boundaries already being tested. She slowly drags her hand over Josh's hair and begins to rub his head along with playing with his hair. She learned that guys like the feeling from Lori. She always thought she would be playing with Kyle's hair though.
As soon as she starts, she can feel Josh tense up for a moment. He is probably as unsure about what they are doing as she is. But as she continues to massage his head, she feels him relax and watches as he closes his eyes. With his defenses temporary lowered, she notices the frown lines, and the darker shade of skin underneath his eyes that are a sign of lack of sleep.
"Amanda." He breathes out her name again and her breath hitches. It didn't sound anything like the way Kyle said her name, or any other guy. It is filled with sadness, relief, and need. The last one scared her the most. Well not the fact that he needed her but the feeling of hope and a nervous pit in her stomach as a reaction to it. He could probably feel her breathing become slower and more controlled. She wanted to make sure this was real, that what was happening was real and it wasn't going to disappear.
It is getting intense. Don't worry, it won't turn into a creepy M fic but the next chapter will be why it is T rated.