My Book Boyfriend is a weekly meme hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader. Usually held on Wednesdays, it will be on Tuesdays for the month of September.
My literary crush this week is Matt from Flat-Out Love.
Matt is a super smart geek who, when he’s not at school, spends his time caring for his odd 13-year-old sister Celeste since his parents are too absent to do it. He packs her lunches, drives her to school and back and even attends her parent-teacher meetings, all while living in the shadow of his handsome older brother who is traveling the world on various adventures and volunteer missions.
He was tall, at least six feet, with dirty blond hair that hung over his eyes. His pale skin told Julie that he hadn’t seen much sun this past summer, and a peek at his T-shirt gave a clue why. The shirt, tucked into his ill-fitting jeans read, Nietzsche Is My Homeboy. Clearly, he was not a run-with-the-in-crowd kind of guy, and she suspected that he’d been holed up in the library all summer.
“Julie? Julie?” She was aware of Matt’s voice, but it sounded foggy and unnatural. She could make out his green T-shirt as he turned toward her, slipping his arms around her waist and pulling her in as she started to drop. “I got you,” he said. “I won’t let you fall. Just hold on.” He held her tightly against his chest, and she briefly wondered if he was wearing Axe body spray.
The moonlight was enough that she could see he was awake, just not answering her. He was on his back, one hand folded under his head and the other resting on his chest. He turned to look at her. At least he looked as miserable as she felt.
“I’m sorry. Please. You have to forgive me.” Her voice was breaking. She knew that she was on the verge of falling apart, but she couldn’t help it. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry,” she kept repeating. “Matty, please. You can’t be this mad at me. I can’t take it.” Julie leaned forward, dropping her head onto his chest and slipping her arms under his shoulders, trying to make him hold her. The Matt she’d seen earlier tonight had been a stranger. She hugged him tightly, wanting nothing more than for him to come back to her, to be himself again.
A few minutes passed, and then she felt his hand on the back of her head, gently stroking her hair. She closed her eyes.
“Shhh…” he said. “I’m the one that’s sorry. I didn’t mean any of the things I said to you. You didn’t deserve that.”
Julie turned her head, resting her cheek against him and listening to his breathing. His voice was soothing, his touch relaxing, and Julie’s pain began to lighten a hint. She didn’t know what to say, so she said nothing, staying where she was as his hand continued to move through her hair and then to her back. He lulled her into a place where nothing hurt anymore, and this whole dreadful evening started to feel like a nightmare that she was coming out of. His stroke traveled over the straps of her tank top, brushing against her skin, making her shiver and curl into him more.
And then without realizing it, without thinking, she inched up just a little until her mouth was close to his. She had no idea what she was doing, as though she were following some instinct that she couldn’t control. Maybe she was still asleep. Maybe this wasn’t happening. She moved a tiny bit closer, barely touching her lips to his. His mouth was warm and tempting, luring her in. Neither of them moved.
Then his hand was firmly on her side, guiding her body up higher and bringing her mouth closer to his. Matt pressed his lips against hers and he kissed her.
His mouth was soft and unhurried. Teasing, even. His tongue just brushing hers and making her tremble. She kissed back, tasting him, breathing him in. Julie was dizzy, and shaky, and inundated with his heat. He made her temporarily lost, not able to see beyond the way this kiss felt. In the moonlit light, it was smooth, easy, instinctive.
She moved her leg over his, bringing them closer together.
She couldn’t possibly be awake.
Her chest was pressed against his, his hand on her lower back, his fingers digging into her skin. She didn’t want this to stop.
Thanks to Matthew Gray Gubler for embodying the geeky yet tender and caring Matt.