“I liked it better when your parents were gone and we could make out in my bedroom all night long,” Shay told Joe as they lay together in his bed.
“Make out… and do other things…” He said, smirking at her.
“Well… the other things just go along with the making out,” she countered, smirking back at him slyly.
“And what about that other other thing?” He smiled at her, quirking an eyebrow.
“What other other thing are you referring to?” Shay said, giving him a curious smile. She knew exactly what the other other thing in question was.
“My Christmas present,” he elaborated, nuzzling his nose against her cheek.
“Ohhh, that other other thing,” she said facetiously, letting out a little giggle.
“Mm-hmm,” he hummed.
“Well, that was fun while it lasted,” she said, toying with him on purpose.
“What is that supposed to mean?” He asked, sitting up slightly, giving her a playful smirk.
“Well, it was a Christmas present. Do you expect it more than once?” She asked, raising a questioning eyebrow.
“Uh…” He stammered, looking at her with wide-eyes, completely speechless. Shay let out a giggle, unable to keep up with the farce.
“You’re a brat,” he said, narrowing his eyes at her.
“I’m kidding. I gave you my virginity for Christmas. The sex… now that’s something different,” Shay giggled.
“Mmm, so now?” He asked, leaning in to nuzzle her with his nose.
“While your parents are home?” She choked out, her eyes falling on his closed door.
“They don’t know you’re in here,” he reminded her.
That was true. Joe snuck her up there purposely so his parents didn’t know she was there.
“That doesn’t mean I’d feel comfortable…” Shay said quietly.
“Oh. Well, we don’t have to,” Joe said and Shay could tell he was disappointed, but was trying to hide it.
“We… how about we just have a really elaborate make-out?” Shay offered, not wanting the night to end without a little fun.
“With the potential for more?” He smirked at her with a raised eyebrow.
“There’s always potential,” Shay giggled as Joe’s hand slipped up into her shirt.
“That’s my girl,” he cooed, smiling brightly before his mouth came down to meet with hers.
His girl. She wasn’t really his girl, but at the same time she was.
Shay told him she loved him, but he wasn’t her boyfriend. And she wasn’t sure when she’d be ready to be his girlfriend. Because in order to be his girlfriend, they needed to tell people about them and frankly, Shay was having a hard time with that. She knew Joe wanted to be open about them, but she was scared. She was completely scared over how other people knowing about them would affect their relationship. She didn’t want things to change, but she knew everything would change once their parents knew about them – and once Jake knew. And that was the thing Shay was most scared of.
For now, she was content with how things were going. She was content to ignore Joe’s subtle hints of him wanting to be open about their relationship. She was content to ignore everything and everyone just to have Joe all to herself for a little while longer. As long as it wasn’t an immediate issue, she would pretend everything was just fine.
Joe lay below her as she slowly, torturously moved her body against his, their tongues tangling with one another’s. Their clothing was still on, but Shay could feel every sensation right through the fabric. And with the way Joe was breathing below her and choking back his moans, Shay knew he could feel it too.
“Oh my god, Shay. My god,” he breathed against her shoulder as she kissed her way down his neck.
“Is it too much?” Shay breathed heavily.
“Oh, god,” he moaned as she bucked her hips against him again.
Having had enough of her torturous rhythm, Joe flipped Shay onto her back and wedged himself between her legs.
“Are you sure about the not having sex?” He breathed in her ear.
“Mmm. We’ll see,” Shay teased, smirking up at him.
“I just… I don’t know how long I can take this,” he said, worming his hands up her shirt again.
“I’ve seen your endurance. I’ve witnessed how much you can take,” Shay giggled at his depravity.
“Oh, are you playing games now? Because we can play games, Shay,” he challenged, smirking devilishly at her and she laughed out loud.
“You are, aren’t you? You’re trying to break me,” he chuckled, staring down into her eyes.
“No,” she said, shaking her head as she bit her lip, trying to hold back her laughter.
“I think you are,” he eyed her.
“Do you… do you have any condoms?” She found herself asking.
“Mm-hmm,” he hummed. She could tell he was trying to keep a cool exterior while his insides were going crazy. She could see it in his face.
“You do?” She asked, quirking an eyebrow.
“Yeah,” he told her again and she sent him a sneaky smirk.
“Is that a ‘yes’?” He asked, finally letting his excitement show. How could she possibly deny him? He looked like a kid on Christmas morning, which was fitting since they lost their virginity to each other on Christmas.
Shay nodded her head and watched as Joe’s smile grew tenfold.
“You’re funny,” Shay giggled as Joe jumped up off the bed and dashed to his closet.
She watched curiously as he dug in the way back of his closet before coming back to the bed with a condom in his hand.
“Where was that?” Shay giggled amusingly.
“In the pocket of my suit jacket. I never wear it, so it’s the perfect hiding spot,” he explained, smiling proudly.
“Clever,” she giggled as Joe leaned down to kiss her lips just as they heard a knock at his door.
“Shit,” Shay gasped quietly as she stared at the closed door.
“It’s locked,” Joe assured her as he too stared at the door.
“Yo, Joe!” Shay heard her brother’s voice as the door knob jiggled.
“That’s fucking Jake,” Shay whispered as she pushed Joe off of her.
“Shit,” Joe said under his breath, stashing the condom in his night stand drawer.
“Oh god, oh god, oh god,” Shay mumbled as she quickly moved toward the closet to hide while Joe headed to the door.
“Yo,” Joe said, cracking the door open to greet Jake.
This was way too close for Shay’s comfort. She hid herself in the depths of Joe’s closet and hoped to God he could convince Jake to go away.
“Whatcha doing?” Jake asked.
“Uh… nothing. What’s up?” Joe stammered.
“You got a girl in there?” Shay heard Jake ask. And she completely froze. Christ. She was sure this was it. This was when Jake would find out she was involved with his best friend.
“Nah, dude,” Joe said, sounding remarkably casual.
“Come on, dude. Who is it?” Shay heard Jake ask. God dammit, Jake, you persistent bastard.
“Get outta here,” Joe said with a light chuckle.
“Oh, man. You do, don’t you?” Jake insisted.
“Just get outta here,” Joe told him finally.
“You better tell me all about it later, Jonas,” Jake told him, a menacing laugh echoing through the hallway.
“There’s nothing to tell,” Joe told him. Unless he wanted to hear all about how his best friend was about to have sex with his sister.
“Whatever, dude. I’ll see you around,” Jake laughed. And Shay prayed it was the end of it – that Jake would actually leave.
Moments later, Joe slipped back into the room.
“Shay?” Joe called out.
Shay slipped out of his closet and his eyes found her immediately, letting out a laugh.
“What were you doing in there?” He smirked at her.
“Hiding. I got scared,” she told him.
“You’re funny,” he said, grabbing her hand, pulling her to him.
“What if Jake finds out?” She asked quietly once his arms were wrapped safely around her.
“We’ll deal with that when it happens,” Joe said, leaning down to kiss her lips.
“You’re not worried?” Shay asked, concerned, looking up in his eyes.
“What would I be worried about?” Joe asked, giving her a questioning look.
“That Jake’ll kick your ass,” she said immediately and Joe laughed out loud.
“Jake knows I’d never hurt you,” Joe countered confidently.
“But I’m afraid of him hurting you,” Shay said as worry laced her words.
“I’ll be fine,” he said nonchalantly.
“I don’t want this to ruin your friendship,” Shay said as she frowned.
“Shay, it’ll be fine. Nothing bad is going to happen,” Joe assured her.
“You’re sure?” She asked, looking up into his green eyes.
“I’m sure,” he said with a nod before kissing her lips again.
It was New Year’s Eve and Shay was at home… alone. Everyone was out. Even her parents were out for the night. Rachel was at some stupid college party that Shay had absolutely no interest in going to. And Jake was out with Joe at some stupid kegger party.
It was her own fault that she was sitting home alone on New Year’s Eve. It was her fault because she insisted that she and Joe kept their relationship a secret. If they’d have just come clean about it a while ago, maybe – just maybe she’d actually get a kiss at midnight inside of lying in bed watching Ryan Seacrest on the Rockin’ New Year’s Eve on TV, wishing she had a life.
Joe was off drinking and having fun without her with her stupid brother – who was probably trying to get Joe to hook up with some stupid drunk chick. The thought sent a wave of jealousy through Shay, so she did the best she could to push it out of her mind and remember that they weren’t exclusive. They were seeing each other – but there were no strings attached.
Except there totally were strings attached. Strings that were connected straight to her heart.
“Ugh,” Shay groaned as she lay in bed thinking about what an idiot she was.
She picked up her phone and opened up her text conversation with Joe and started typing.
Shay: Can we pretend we were each other’s kiss at midnight?
She stared at it for a while before she willed herself to send it. When she didn’t receive a reply back she knew Joe was most definitely out enjoying himself without her – probably forgetting all about the I love you’s they said to one another.
“Just five short minutes before we ring in the New Year!” Ryan Seacrest said through the TV.
Shay rolled over in her bed, away from the brightness of the screen. Maybe she could fall asleep in the next few minutes and she wouldn’t have to think about who Joe was kissing at midnight. If only it were that easy.
“Shay!” She heard a loud whisper. She whipped around quickly in her bed and saw Joe closing her bedroom door behind him.
“Joe!” She whispered loudly, sitting up straight in her bed.
“Hi,” he whispered, smiling widely at her.
“We don’t have to whisper. My parents aren’t home,” she told him as a smile ravaged her face. Joe sat down next to her on the bed and kissed her quickly.
“What are you doing here?” Shay asked, smiling widely at him.
“I wanted to kiss you… at midnight,” he told her, smiling back.
“Joe…” Shay sighed, feeling the incredible sensation of love toward him.
“I was at that party with Jake, and I just… I couldn’t stop thinking about you,” he told her.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about you either,” she told him truthfully.
“Good,” he said with a smile and kissed her again.
“Here we go!” Ryan Seacrest said, standing in the cold New York winter night surrounded by various celebrities.
“Here we go,” Joe said, stealing Seacrest’s words.
“Let’s do this,” Shay said, staring into his eyes through the dimness.
“10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! Happy New Year!” People on the TV chanted.
“Happy New Year, Shay,” Joe said, leaning his forehead against hers.
“Happy New Year, Joe,” she said, smiling ear-to-ear as his lips met hers – her very first kiss at midnight.
“You know, you kind of taste like beer,” Shay giggled against his lips as he coaxed her onto her back.
“I had a couple,” he said with a shrug.
“I might just have to take advantage of you then,” she giggled, wrapping her arms around his neck.
“Please do,” he laughed and kissed her again, sliding his warm hands up her shirt.
Joe’s kisses advanced rapidly and Shay was sure he meant business. They hadn’t fulfilled their attempt at sex the other night because of Jake’s impromptu visit, so Shay was certain Joe wanted to continue from there and she was ready.
“Do you have condoms?” He asked lowly.
“I… I got a whole bunch from the doctor,” she told him.
“You got condoms from the doctor?” Joe asked, confused.
“Y-yeah, when I got on birth control. They still insist on the use of condoms,” she told him.
“So they just… gave you condoms?” He asked, amused by it.
“A whole bunch,” she said with a nod and a smile.
“That’s fucking awesome,” he chuckled. Joe kissed her hard on the lips and she giggled into the kiss.
“Shay?” They heard, causing Shay to freeze underneath Joe.
“What was that?” She gasped mere seconds before her light turned on and her mother was standing in her doorway.
“Shaylynn!” Sarah gasped, staring at her daughter in bed with a boy.
“Oh my god, Mom!” Shay yelped, scrambling away from Joe.
“Joe!?” Sarah gasped once she saw his face.
“What is going on?” She asked, looking at them wide-eyed.
“Oh my god,” Shay said, holding her hand over her face, completely mortified.
“Uh…” Joe stammered.
“Are you two… what are you two doing?” She asked quickly.
“Mom, can you just… can you go away, please?” Shay said, wishing she would just disappear.
“Uh, Shay…” She started, her hands planted firmly on her hips and Shay knew she meant business.
“Please!” Shay screeched.
“I am keeping this door open and the light on,” Sarah said firmly.
“Fine,” Shay growled and watched as she slipped out of the room.
“Oh my god,” Shay breathed lowly, holding her hands over her face.
“I guess… I guess the cats out of the bag,” Joe said, trying to break the tension.
“Oh my god,” Shay said as she shook her head, feeling extremely uneasy.
“At least she caught us now as opposed to ten minutes from now,” Joe told her.
“Oh. My. God,” Shay said dramatically, looking at him with wide-eyes.
“Is that all you’re going to say?” Joe asked her with a smirk on his lips.
“I don’t know what to say. My mom just caught us, Joe,” she said, stating the obvious.
“I’m aware,” he said sarcastically.
“Oh, this sucks,” Shay breathed, running her fingers through her hair.
“Is it really that bad, Shay?” Joe countered.
“What do you mean? My mother just caught us making out in my bed, Joe,” Shay snapped at him.
“Yeah, and we knew people would find out eventually,” Joe said, shrugging his shoulders.
“Yeah, eventually,” she snapped.
“When did you think it was going to happen? Sneaking around was bound to get us caught,” he told her, sounding slightly annoyed.
“Uhh,” Shay groaned under her breath.
“It’s not that bad. Maybe she won’t tell Jake,” Joe offered.
“No, she’s going to make me tell Jake,” Shay said, swallowing back the fear.
“We can tell him together, Shay,” Joe said, gripping her hand in his.
“Yeah,” she breathed softly as her worried eyes looked up into his confident ones.
“Maybe I should go,” Joe said after a moment of silence.
“Yeah. I’m thinking my mom is counting on that,” Shay told him.
Shay walked him to the door, completely dreading being alone with her mother. She gave Joe a quick kiss before seeing him off and then ran as fast as she could up the stairs to get back to her bedroom, but of course her mother was waiting for her at the end of the hallway.
“What was that, Shaylynn?” She asked, confronting her immediately.
“Oh my god,” Shay said, making a beeline for her bedroom. Sarah followed her in, determined to talk it out.
“I’d like to know what’s going on,” she said, standing with her arms crossed over her chest in the doorway.
“We like each other,” Shay admitted, unable to even look her mother in the eye.
“I’d hope so, after what I just saw,” Sarah said, letting out a chuckle.
“Don’t,” Shay warned her, not ready to make light of the situation.
“Don’t, what?” Sarah asked, quirking an eyebrow at her.
“Don’t laugh about it,” Shay snapped defensively.
“Honey, I’m not laughing about it,” Sarah cooed.
Shay crawled up in her bed and switched off the TV with the remote as her mother stared at her.
“How long has this been going on?” Sarah asked, making Shay even more uncomfortable.
Shay finally met her eyes and just stared at her like an angsty teenager.
“How long, Shay?” Sarah asked more sternly.
“A while,” she admitted quietly.
“Oh.” Sarah nodded, looking surprised and Shay rolled her eyes at her mother’s reaction.
“How long is a while?” Sarah asked carefully and Shay cringed because she knew that question would be asked.
“September,” Shay confessed, her eyes dropping down to the blanket on her bed.
“Wow,” Sarah said, sounding surprised. Shay shifted uncomfortably in the bed, wishing Joe had never come over that night.
“Does Jake know?” Sarah asked, causing Shay’s blood to boil.
“No!” She snapped.
“Ohh-kay. Jeez. I was just asking,” her mother said defensively.
Shay’s jaw clenched as she shook her head, hating that they were having this conversation.
“So… so all that sex talk… it was because of him?” Sarah asked, looking like she might faint.
“Mom…” Shay groaned, feeling as though she might puke.
“It was, wasn’t it?” Sarah asked again.
Shay set her jaw again and just stared at the wall, hoping and praying that if she didn’t answer her mother would just get the hint and leave.
“Are you having sex with him, Shay?” Sarah asked cautiously.
“Oh my god,” Shay breathed under her breath.
“Are you?” Sarah asked.
Shay let out a large huffed to let her mother know she was incredibly annoyed. She wished she was anywhere, just about anywhere else, instead of having this conversation. The only thing that would be worse, would be having this conversation with her father.
“You can tell me, Shay,” Sarah said softly, walking deeper into her room toward the bed.
“Mom…” Shay said, shaking her head, trying to fight off the tears that were threatening.
“I want you to feel comfortable talking to me, Shay,” she said, sitting down on the edge of the bed.
Shay hesitated for a few moments. Was this a trap? Was she going to use this information against her in the future? When Shay looked up and saw the concern written all over her mother’s face, she knew she was sincere. She knew she just wanted to be there for her daughter.
“Just once,” Shay finally admitted.
“Oh,” Sarah said, letting out a jagged breath.
When Shay’s eyes shot up to look into hers she tried to redeem herself.
“Okay,” she said, sounding more optimistic, more open.
“How did this happen? Not the sex. I mean, just with Joe in general,” she asked curiously.
“We… I don’t know. One night he just… he kissed me,” Shay said with a shrug. What else was there to say?
“Did you like each other before?” She asked.
“I don’t know. He’s Joe, Mom. He’s always just been Joe,” Shay said, unable to find the right words to explain it.
“And what makes him not just Joe now?” She asked.
“He loves me,” Shay admitted.
“Oh,” Sarah said again, surprised.
“You wouldn’t understand,” Shay scoffed, finding offense in her reaction.
“No, baby. I do. I understand,” Sarah said, patting her leg.
“He’s just… he’s different. I really like him,” Shay told her.
“Do you… do you love him?” She asked. Shay stared at her for a moment before she nodded her head.
“Wow,” Sarah said evenly.
“I know I’m only sixteen and you’re probably thinking I’m naïve. But at least I know him. I truly know him and I’ve known him for years. You said it yourself—that I should give him a chance,” Shay pointed out.
“Shay, I do not think you’re naïve,” Sarah said, shaking her head.
“I just really like him,” Shay told her.
“I’m glad,” Sarah said, smiling sweetly at her. Shay felt a weight lifted off her shoulders. Her mother knew her biggest secret and it was freeing.
“But honey, you can’t keep hiding this from your brother. Joe is his best friend,” Sarah said, bursting her little bubble, bringing up the very thing she didn’t want to deal with.
“I’m scared, Mom,” Shay admitted quietly.
“Of what?” She asked.
“Of what Jake’s gonna do. He’s not going to like this at all,” Shay said, shaking her head, fighting the tears again.
“Why not?” Sarah asked, her eyebrows furrowed in question.
“Because I’m his sister and Joe’s his best friend!” Shay said, feeling aggravated.
“I think you need to give your brother a little more credit, Shay,” Sarah said, quirking her eyebrow.
“Mom, he’s going to freak out!” Shay said incredulously.
“He may be a little taken aback at first, but I think he’ll come around,” Sarah tried to assure her.
“I just… I don’t want him to hate Joe,” Shay said quietly.
“Those two are joined at the hip, Shay. And have been since they were little. I don’t think anything can break their friendship,” she said, not seeming worried at all.
“I don’t know,” Shay said uneasily.
“I think you need to tell Jake, sweetie,” she coaxed.
“God…” Shay groaned, feeling the nerves in the pit of her stomach.
“It won’t be that bad,” Sarah said, giving her daughter a reassuring smile.
“I’m not so sure,” Shay mumbled, hating her predicament completely.