I am releasing my novel, Dawn of Endless Night, here on my blog. I will release a chapter each week. If you enjoy the story, and/or you’d like to give your support and encouragement, please let me know in the comments.
Dawn of Endless Night
Chapter 5: Alison
Alison stretched luxuriously in her bed. Although her eyes were still closed, she knew she’d slept late by the warmth of sunlight on her face. It didn’t come in her window this strongly until at least ten in the morning. Luckily it was Saturday, and she could afford a little extra lying around time.
She stretched again, a drawn-out sigh of contentment escaping her lips. She smiled in the sunlight; she couldn’t help it. Things were good, really good. She thought of Jeremy, and her smile broadened even as she felt a blush heat her cheeks. She’d been up till the wee hours of the morning talking to him. She loved talking to him, loved hearing his voice in the darkness, while she snuggled warm beneath the covers. It turned her on, talking to him late at night like that, and not just for his deep, strong voice, but also because of the things he said. He was intelligent, deep, complicated. She’d had a lot of guy friends in her small hometown in Indiana, but talking to Jeremy was very different. Guys back home seemed to think of little more than football, basketball and cars; and she’d learned early on to at least pretend interest in those things. She’d always thought that was just what guys talked about, that men and women had different interests.
Her first few days of college had been an eye-opening experience in more ways than one. Sure, there were plenty of guys there that were very similar to the boys in her high school, but she’d also met guys who were into art, music and movies.
And then there was Jeremy. He was into all those things, but he was also interested in history, religion and anthropology as well. Alison knew little about history and religion beyond what she’d learned in high school and the generic version of Christianity everyone seemed to believe in back home. No one had ever asked what her beliefs were before. They’d simply assumed they were the same as their own. That had been one of the first questions Jeremy had asked her the night they’d met.
Alison rolled over, burying her face in her pillow.
They’d talked for hours last night, and at the end the conversation they’d become more intimate. Jeremy had said he’d wished he were with her. Alison blushed again as she remembered herself asking him to tell her what he’d do if he were with her, in detail. Jeremy had, and his creative and sincere descriptions had turned her on even more. She’d begun touching herself; she hadn’t been able to resist, and she’d come as he’d described kissing her inner thighs.
She’d been mortified, knowing he’d heard her gasps, afraid he’d know what she was doing. He had, but he’d loved it. He’d said he’d never been so turned on in his life.
It was strange, but Alison felt even closer to him after that. She was still a virgin, and she’d never been intimate with a man before beyond kissing. She’d never even allowed a guy to put his hands up her shirt, much rather down her pants. She’d been taught that a respectable girl didn’t do those things, at least, not until she was married.
It had never bothered her before; she’d never really been tempted. The boys in high school had been so childish and uninteresting, and it had always been obvious what they’d wanted from her. For some reason, the more they’d pursued her, the easier it had become to put them off.
But Jeremy was different.
She knew he was attracted to her; she knew he wanted her. But she also knew there was more to it than sex for him.
A lot more.
He didn’t try to talk her into sex, and in fact, he’d been the first to suggest they wait. That had blown her away, and at first part of her had suspected he was being insincere, trying to lower her defenses. But now she knew he meant it; and though the intimate conversations, the kissing sessions, and now the phone sex tormented them both, he’d never tried to make a move on her. The first time he’d touched her breasts it had been because she’d put his hands there.
She found herself wondering whether it would be crossing the line if she guided his hand down her pants the next time they made out, then groaned, wrapping her pillow around her head. She doubted she’d be able to stop if he did that.
She rolled over on her back, panting, her heart hammering in her chest, and slowly squinted her eyes open. Phosphorescent spots danced across her vision.
She had to think about something else. This was slow torture!
She threw the covers off, got out of bed, and made her way down the hall to the bathroom. A shower probably wasn’t the best way to take her mind off things, but she needed one. Jeremy was taking her out tonight. She couldn’t wait. As much as she liked talking on the phone with him, being with him in person was even better.
She slipped out of her nightgown and turned the water on as hot as she could stand it. She stepped in and sighed as the hot water hit her. It felt so good!
She had the whole day to kill. She’d gotten all her homework done during the week in anticipation of spending some of the weekend with Jeremy. Maybe she’d go to the mall later and find a new outfit for tonight.
She smiled at the idea. She normally dressed fairly conservatively compared to most of her new friends here in Chicago, but maybe she’d try to find something a little more provocative.
Yes, that’s what she’d do, and Jeremy would eat his heart out! It was the least she could do for him after he’d left her so distracted this morning!
She began humming to herself as she worked the shampoo into her hair, looking forward to what she knew would be the best night of her life.
Alison lost track of time as she showered, enjoying the warmth of the water and daydreaming about Jeremy. He was so hot! He was tall, which she liked, with broad shoulders. His body was fairly toned, but he didn’t look like a body-builder or anything. That was fine by Alison. There was definitely such a thing as too much muscle on a guy. He had beautiful eyes, sometimes gray, sometimes blue, depending on how the light hit them. And she loved his hair! It was brown, but sometimes seemed to have blonde highlights. Alison was pretty sure he hadn’t highlighted his hair, he wasn’t the type. His hair was of a medium length, roguish, definitely not clean cut, but not so long as to compromise his masculinity. She loved running her fingers through his hair; it was surprisingly soft.
By the time she stepped out of the shower and began toweling off, the bathroom was filled with steam. She knew she should take shorter showers to conserve water, and she usually did, but sometimes you just have to indulge yourself.
She smiled into the mirror as she ran a brush through her hair. She’d hated wearing braces in middle school, but now she was grateful she’d had them. Alison knew most people thought her pretty, but she really didn’t think of herself that way. She was always waiting for people to realize she wasn’t as great as they thought she was. But her teeth were something she could be proud of. They used to be a train wreck as her mom had been fond of saying. Now they were perfectly straight. Like a movie star’s, she thought to herself. Come to think of it, a lot of movie stars had pretty crooked teeth. But her teeth were one thing about her appearance she could call her own. She knew it had been the luck of the draw that she had been born pretty. It didn’t say anything about her. She hadn’t done anything to earn it. But her teeth were different. She’d endured a lot of ridicule during the years she’d worn her braces. She’d earned nice teeth.
The important thing was that Jeremy thought she was hot. He’d said so. More than once. Alison smiled even wider, blushing. She had to stop thinking about him! At this rate the day would take forever!
Alison left the bathroom, her hair combed and wet. She would do more with it later. She went into the small kitchenette and poured herself some cereal. Lucky Charms. Well, the generic version anyway. But they were still good; she loved Lucky Charms! She was beginning to think the generic was better than the real thing. On a student’s budget, saving money wherever possible was necessary for survival.
She heard the TV murmuring in the living room, so she took her cereal in there. Katie, one of her roommates and already a dear friend, was curled up on the couch, watching a gardening show of all things. The woman on the TV was telling Katie how to find the perfect place to plant her rosemary. Alison grinned as she sat down. It amazed her how much Katie was like her mom, and yet in other ways she was totally different. Katie returned her smile. Alison thought she was pretty, much prettier than Alison herself. She had beautiful dark brown hair and a lightly-tanned complexion Alison envied.
“Hey you!” Katie said with a smile, her words in a Southern drawl that Alison found adorable. “You were up pretty late last night. I didn’t expect to see you till after noon.” Katie’s eyes twinkled. She was almost always in a good mood, and when she was, she loved teasing people.
Alison felt her face grow hot.
“Oh my god, you didn’t hear did you?”
“Don’t worry,” Katie said with a laugh. “I couldn’t make out the words. I tried, but all I could hear was the sound of your voice.” She laughed as Alison punched her arm, almost spilling her cereal in the process.
“What are you watching?” Alison asked, if only to change the subject.
“I wanna start my own herb garden. We always had one at home, and I miss it. You might want to help me. Consider it part of your training,” Katie said with a wink.
Out of habit Alison glanced around to make sure their other roommate, Loren, wasn’t nearby to hear. Then she remembered. Loren had gone to visit her boyfriend in Michigan for the weekend.
Katie had a secret. Well, not a secret exactly, just something not everyone knew. She was a witch. Or at least, that’s what Alison thought of it as, although Katie found the term highly offensive. Katie came from South Carolina. Her family had lived there since the state was first settled. The women of her family passed down a tradition that was part religion, part philosophy, and part mysticism.
When Alison had first arrived at school, she’d been more than a little overwhelmed by everything—the school, the city, the people. She’d almost had a panic attack in this very room, and Katie had been there to talk her down. She’d guided Alison into a relaxation meditation, and the exercise had settled her almost immediately.
Alison had meditated before. When she’d been on the varsity volleyball team in high school, her coach had taught them a form of meditation that they’d used before games and practices to help them focus. But she’d never used it in any other context.
That was when Katie had first begun telling Alison about her family’s traditions. At first she’d seemed hesitant to talk to Alison about it. She later told Alison she’d made the mistake of letting kids in her elementary school know about it, and they’d never stopped making fun of her for it. She’d been glad to go away to college so she could make a fresh start, and she’d decided she would tell no one there about her beliefs. But she’d said Alison had a gift, that they were kindred spirits, so she’d taken a chance on her.
Alison really appreciated that. She loved Katie. She reminded her a lot of a couple of her best friends back home. People in the city were so different from the people she’d grown up with. Alison never made fun of Katie’s beliefs, not even in a joking way. She knew how sensitive she was about it. Besides, Alison had never been one to make fun of people. She’d endured more than her fair share herself. It wasn’t her idea of a good time to try to bring someone else down.
So Katie had begun teaching Alison. It was interesting, and not at all what Alison had expected. She really had thought Katie was a witch at first, but now she knew it wasn’t like that. Most of what Katie taught her were new ways of thinking and looking at situations and people. Alison had always been a bit anxious, but now she was overcoming it, learning to relax and let go.
“Okay,” Alison said. She’d always liked plants and having her fingers in the soil. “Sounds like fun. Hey, would you wanna come to the mall with me today? I’ve gotta pick out some new clothes for tonight. I’m going out with Jeremy.”
“Congratulations!” Katie said, and gave Alison a big hug. Alison had to hold the bowl of cereal out to the side. “Sure, I’d be happy to come. It’s too bad Loren isn’t here, though, she’s the fashion expert!”
“Well, we’ll just have to make do without her. Besides, I don’t think her style is really Jeremy’s thing anyway.”
“It’s a date then. Now hush and eat your cereal,” Katie said with a wink, “I’ve gotta learn about rosemary.”