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Fluff, Angst and Taxidermy

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You scrolled through your playlist in the community college parking lot, having already sat through three songs that you fucking hated. Dark purple shades pulled down over your eyes. You were struggling to keep your sight on the road and phone at the same time while maintaining a speed of only 15 miles per hour. All you wanted was to hear one fucking song that you liked to help you get through your three early classes. That was all. 

Instead you got a hand slapping down on the hood of your car that scared the absolute shit out of you. You slammed on your brakes, your black Toyota Avalon coming to a dead stop. You dropped your phone and held the steering wheel with both hands, terrified that you'd just hit a person or deer. Instead your eyes met the gaze of royally pissed off looking guy. Shaved undercut, black and blue hair, light grey t-shirt with a darker grey pair of pants. 

You started to roll down your window to woefully apologize, but stopped as you watched him raise a middle finger up and heard his muffled words.

"Fucking watch it."

But you just flipped him off back and flashed him a smile while he continued across the parking lot. You finally found a spot that was terribly far away from your first class, but pretty close to your last. You'd appreciate the spot later in the day. 

Your first two classes were Civics and Algebra 1. You pinched yourself to stay awake during them and thoroughly regretted only choosing early classes, but at least Connie chose to suffer through it with you. She matched your slouched expression, leaned over the table with your palm holding your head up.

"Oh baby, why are we here?? With our body we could be hustlin' the big bucks at a smokey topless lounge in the city!"

You rolled your eyes at her, "Stop it, you know the plan. I'll strip when I'm low on funds, but I have to go to college. It's only gonna suck for the next.. eight years, oh God damnit."

Your third class finally rolled around, Anatomy, the only one you were seriously excited for. You pushed your way into the classroom late, scanning over everyone to find a friendly face and an empty seat. Tons of friendly faces, not so many empty seats. The one empty seat you did find was tucked away in the back corner, right next to the most unfriendliest of faces. It was the guy you'd almost turned into roadkill this morning.

His apathetic eyes met yours and you saw him whisper, "Oh, great" to himself. You couldn't help but to smile and laugh as you walked his way, only because of the fact that you loved making guys feel uncomfortable. You and Connie had found some sort of humor in it early in your teenage years, sometime between realizing that your sexuality fell as far away from straight as possible and deciding that you had no plans to settle down into a monogamous relationship at any point in your life. 

You took the seat beside him and heard the stranger scoot his chair even further into the corner. Looking over at him, you saw his arms crossed against his chest and his gaze cast down, you scoffed and looked back toward the front of the class. The professor decided to be that guy and force you all to introduce yourselves and share a few facts.

It was the stranger beside you's turn and he was less than enthusiastic about it, or at least that's how he sounded. But you got the idea that this was how he sounded about most things in his life.

"Judd. I like butterfly knives and doing group projects alone."

You heard Connie's low whisper in your ear, it sent a chill up your spine as you closed your eyes to listen to her, "He is just so full of.. angst, isn't he? I bet he's got a nice, thick-"

But you brushed her off, "Good God, Connie, I'm not a 14 year old virgin anymore. Chill."

You looked up and noticed the class waiting for you to share, so you cleared your throat.

"Oh.. yeah. I'm Cali. I'm a licensed Taxidermist and almost made Judd into my next project this morning."

Thankfully, your joke broke the tension in the classroom. You thought you even heard a chuckle from the stoic figure next to you. 

The remainder of your class was spent copying down the name of every single bone in the human body, something that you already knew by heart. Before your professor dismissed for the day, he announced, "Alright, class, we'll be doing our first dissection on Thursday so make sure you show up. Remember that you can't drop your classes yet and still get your loan refund. Also, be sure to get the contact info for your neighbor, the seats you chose today will be your seats for the rest of the semester. The person next to you will be your partner."

Connie slammed her hands down on the other side of your table, "Now's your chance! Slip him your number, he DEFINITELY won't text you, but we can call up one of those big dicked-tiny brained guys from high school to come RAIL you to the thought of him tonight!"

"Oooh, the dumb ones really do pound the hardest, don't they?"

You took her demand into consideration but decided against it, wanting to save yourself the embarrassment of being turned down by someone who'd already stated that they preferred to work alone. Forgetting about him almost completely by the time you reached your car in the parking lot.

You stood in front of your car door and fished for the keys in your bag, finally pulling them out and unlocking it. As soon as you pulled the door open, a hand whipped around from behind you and slammed it back shut. Your heart stopped, all you could think about was that you were about to get raped in a college campus parking lot. The next episode of Law and Order: SVU was going to be based around your rape and murder and you wouldn't even be around to see who they cast as you. The hand pulled back and grabbed you by the shoulder, whipping you around. In front of you stood Judd.

You genuinely couldn't tell if he was angry about something or if he just looked like this all the time.

"Give me your phone."

His voice was low and monotoned and for a moment you didn't understand what he was asking, "Why? Are you robbing me?"

"What? No, we're partners."

"Oh-" you shook the confusion off of your face and pulled your phone out, unlocking it and handing it to him, "You said you liked working alone, so I just assumed-"

He dialed his own phone number on your screen and let it ring before handing it back to you, now you had his number and he had yours.

"Yeah, well, you cut up dead animals for a living."

It didn't sound like a complete thought but he didn't go any further, leaving an awkwardness hanging between the two of you, "... And?"

"And.. that's kinda fuckin' cool.", A semi smile crept across his face as he backed away from you, turning around and heading back to his own car.

Connie sat in your passenger seat as you climbed into the drivers' side, her eyes cut with a slick grin on her face, "How about that blue haired dykey chick with a tongue made of gold?"

"She'll look exactly like him with my eyes half closed."

Connie growled, "Oh now we're on the same page, baby."


 

You were thankful that you'd only signed up for classed on Tuesdays and Thursdays for your first semester. Taxidermying took an exceptionally long time but it was also in high demand, whether it was for home decor or for people to remember their lost pets. You'd managed to build up a steady clientele and had started selling mounted birds, insects, and bats while trying to save up enough to get ahead on bills for your next semester. By the time your Anatomy class rolled around on Thursday, you'd finally finished up two Cardinals and someone's pet opossum. Your other classmates thought it was odd how excited your professor was for the dissection today, but you matched his enthusiasm. 

"All right class, if you could just line up one by one to pick out your fetal pigs!"

You and Judd marched to the front of the room, everyone else taking their time, not wanting to get close to the corpses in the first place.

"Do you have a preference?"

Judd turned to you, "I think you're more qualified to make this decision."

You couldn't deny that his shitty attitude was a major turn on, you'd always been attracted to guys like that. But you always absolutely fucking loved throwing it back at them. 

"I thought future serial killers got off on dead animals before they moved on to their human victims?"

Picking up the one that you could tell had been dead for the least amount of time, you left Judd at the front of the classroom and headed back towards your desk. Unbeknownst to you, he was allowing you to leave him behind so he could subtly get a glimpse of your swaying ass. Maury crept up beside him, hopping up and down like a jack rabbit.

"Oh she TOTALLY wants to be your first victim!"

The hint of a smile dropped from Judd's face as he cut his eyes at Maury, "I'm not fucking killing.. well, not her, at least."

"Ugh..", He rolled his eyes and followed you to the back of the room. Watching you remove every organ and bone from the carcass and setting it in position to the left of the now hollow body.

"All right, what is this?", you pointed with your scalpel to the kidney.

"Pancreas."

"No. What's this?", pointing to the bladder this time.

"Liver."

"Still no. What about this one?", this time pointing to the small intestine.

"Large intestine."

You were honestly impressed by how wrong yet confident he was. Connie purred behind you, "Oh, sounds like he's one of those dumb ones. You remember what that means, suga?"

But you just ignored her and kept focussing on your dissection. You could've just told him the answers and let him copy them down, turn them in and not learn a thing, but you wanted to be a good partner.

"Close, small intestine. You'll need to know these for the test on Tuesday, y'know."

Maury spoke to Judd from over his shoulder, "That's right you fucking psychopath, play it dumb. Tell her you might need some "AFTER. SCHOOL. TUTORING." ", he said while thrusting agains the table below you. As much as Judd hated taking Maury's advice, it wasn't so bad this time and he actually would need help studying for the upcoming test.

You put all the organs and parts back inside the pig and started packing up, completely ignoring your professor as he yelled over the other loud students.

"All right you young, bright minds! Be sure to get together with your partners over the weekend, the test on Tuesday is pass/fail and you're graded as a unit. If one of you fail, you both fail!"

You got back out to your car and again just barely opened the door before it was slammed by another hand from behind you. You, again, were jerked around by a stranger, but it didn't scare you nearly as bad this time. Your lab partner stood in front of you, but he didn't say anything. 

You finally broke the silence, "Uh, hey?"

"Hey."

Maury was screaming in his ear, "Tell her! Tell her about how you want to set this entire school on fire and FUCK her on the hood of your car while you watch it burn!"

He hissed at Maury to go fuck himself, to which Maury gleefully obliged, before continuing, "Teach said we needed to pair up this weekend so you don't fail the test because of me."

You leaned back against the door, "It would be accurate payback for me almost hitting you with my car a few days ago."

The rare sighting of his smile made its appearance once again, "I've already rewritten my will. You're stuffing my body and hand delivering it to my army of raccoons when I'm inevitably killed in during a political riot."

Connie hopped down from the hood of your car with a confused look on her face, "I.. I think this is his version of flirting?"

You couldn't help but to smile back at him, "I'll text you."

 

Chapter Text

You woke up late on Saturday morning next to the blue haired girl that you'd invited over the night before. As many times as you'd had her over, you could never remember her name. Her number was saved in your phone under "The Golden Snitch". Because of this, you resorted to only ever calling her pet names, which was a bad move on your part. You knew she was catching feelings, but right now you just wanted her out of your fucking bed.

You threw your legs over the side of your bed and searched for a shirt on the floor, finally pulling on a plain white t-shirt and a pair of cheeky, black panties from your dresser. You stared at yourself in the full length mirror for a moment, admiring how the shirt rode up over your curvy hips. The slight jiggle in your thighs and the way your nipples poked through the t-shirt. After a long, tough battle with the Depression Kitty, you'd grown to really, really love your body. It'd definitely helped that you'd finally grown into it too, though.

Connie snaked her long hair around your hips while taking pride in what a beautiful, confident woman she'd helped you become. You sleepily looked over at her.

"I doubted you for those first few years, Connie. But I gotta admit, you did a damn good job."

She nodded in agreeance, "Some of my finest work, baby."

You heard the girl that you'd forgotten was still in your bed start to mumble, she'd be waking up soon and you wanted more than anything to just avoid another morning after conversation. So you ordered her an Uber and when they were two minutes away, you decided it was time to show her out. Though you had a less than subtle way of waking her.

You pulled back the covers, she lay on her stomach with her barely covered ass now exposed to the white washed walls and light that streamed in from your blindless windows. You swung down, planting your flat palm hard across her sensitive skin. That sure woke her up.

Her hands went to her cheeks and she grabbed her pink skin, "What in the fuck, Cal??"

You couldn't help but to chuckle at her expense, "Sorry, babe. I've got work to do and your Uber is almost here."

You tossed her the items of clothing that you'd been eager to tear off of her the night before. She scrambled to pull them on while you hearded her out the front door, stopping in the door frame.

"Can't we ever like.. talk. Catch a coffee, maybe get some breakfast."

You almost felt bad knowing that she was falling for what had always been nothing more than a casual hookup. But then again, that was her problem, not yours. You rested a hand on her cheek and she lovingly leaned into it, assuming you were about to finally ask her out on a formal date.

"Thanks for the orgasms, but I don't date."

She sighed in disgust and backed out of the door frame as you slammed the door behind her. She'd be pissed at you for a few weeks, but then she'd text you in the middle of the night during a horny moment of weakness like usual. You turned back around and started toward your kitchenette, Connie sat on the counter with one knee crossed over the other.

"Jesus Christ, you're like a.. frat boy without the rophies."

You responded while pouring your mug full of coffee, "I don't need rophies." Hopping up onto the counter opposite from your hormone monster and bringing the rich coffee to your lips, "Not to sound ungrateful, Connie, but I've been done with puberty for YEARS now."

She brought her knees to her chest and reminisced on all the good times you'd had together, "Ten years we've been together, suga. Wait.. are you saying??"

She grabbed her hair and held it close to her face, tears in her eyes and she feared the inevitable. 

"No, Connie, I'm not-"

"Are you tired of me?? What did I do, did I push too hard?! What did I say?"

You hopped off the counter and stood in front of her, holding her massive paws in your tiny hands, "Connie, we've been over this. I love you, you're welcome to stay as long as you want. I just can't help but to wonder.. what's next? You helped me through years of depression, exploring my sexuality, losing my virginity-"

Connie gathered herself and purred, leaning in close to you, "Mm, over and over and over again.."

You smiled and cocked your head, begging her with your facial expression to please stay on topic. 

"I see what you're sayin' baby, there will come a day that I will leave you. But right now, if it weren't for me you would NEVER get laid! You'd bury yourself in school and work and your poor little pussy would grow cobwebs!"

"Yeah, and I probably wouldn't have 'taken a year off' either. I could already be a year in to a fucking 8 year prison sentence."

It was true, you'd gotten lucky and taken on quite a few of your dad's old taxidermy clients. You were making good money straight out of high school and it only got better once your dad retired. You hadn't seen a need to go to college at first, so you spent your first year of freedom in a tiny apartment in the city. Acquiring the best fake ID you'd ever seen and going out at night, doing your work in the solitude of your apartment during the day. But living in the city was expensive, so you packed up and moved to Bridgeton. You paid less for a two bedroom here than you did for a studio there. You might've been 45 minutes away from home, but at least you weren't sharing a single room with a dozen dead animals anymore.

You spent the remainder of the late morning touching up your lavender hair. You'd been neglecting it with the move taking up most of your time, it'd faded into a lovely icy silver color that you truly didn't mind, but it was time. 

Then you opened the blinds in your taxidermy room. It was the only room you'd bothered to put blinds up in so far, figuring that your neighbors didn't want to see animal busts and various animal carcasses laying out to dry for days at a time. Though more sunlight definitely would've helped the whole process. You were just moving on to your second bat of the day, an adorable little Northern Bat that you'd found while scouring the forest. Poor guy seemed to have flown right into a tree and met his demise. 

The sun was beginning to set just as you were making the first incision, that was when your phone dinged in your pocket. You usually put it on silent, so the high pitched noise and sudden vibration startled you, causing you to pierce right through his tiny, delicate rib cage.

You growled through gritted teeth, “God. Fucking. Damnit.”

You threw down your scalpel and snapped off your gloves, having already ruined your entire project. You didn't even look at who it was before answering and bringing the phone up to your ear.

"I swear to fucking God, Goldie-"

But who you assumed had ruined your work was not the voice that matched on the other end of the line.

"Goldie? Who's Goldie?"

You recognized the deep, monotoned voice and your tone immediately softened. 

Judd sat in his dark bedroom on the other end of the line, scowling at the phone. He wondering who the hell “Goldie” was and what they’d done to piss you off so bad. 

“Sorry, you’re not - Nevermind, what’s up?”

The sound waves of your voice drifted through the phone and into his head, causing his mind to swirl with a Starry Night view painted with pastel purples, shimmering dark blues and soft shades of grey. 

Maury slid off the end of the bed with the dreamy waves as they flowed out of Judd’s other ear and around his furry body, “Jesus CHRIST her voice is like fucking silk. We gotta pull out - WAIT, scratch that. We DON’T pull out. That’s it, we’re risking it with this one!”

Judd stepped off the bed and leaned against the wall on the other end of the room to get away from his hormone monster, “Studying, think you can manage to make time for that?”

He always managed to keep up his hard ass facade, using it to scare away as many people as possible. But you saw through it. 

“Try to contain your excitement, I’m begging you.”

He allowed a chuckle to slip past his lips and it brought a smile to your face before you continued, “Yeah, I’m free for the rest of the night. What time were you thinking?”

“I’ll surprise you.”

“Wait, do you need my-“ He hung up before you could even finish your sentence, “....address?”

Judd twisted his burner phone backwards in his hands until it snapped in half, dropping it onto the floor and moving his hands to his studded belt. 

Maury stepped in, “No, no, no! What are you DOING?! Don’t waste a perfectly good load on your bedroom floor, save it! Paint that girl’s insides with it!”

Judd ignored his pleas, pulling his throbbing cock out of his jeans, “I’m not letting you make me pop a boner the second she mentions.. slicing into a bear’s stomach and pulling out it’s guts, ohh fuck...”

This was exactly why Maury stuck around well past puberty with this kid, “You are seriously fucked up, man. But I’m into it.”

The sun set and the moon rose with no sign of Judd stopping by for your study session. You couldn’t deny that you were a tiny bit disappointed, but you forgot about him the moment your stomach started grumbling. Remembering that you hadn’t made time to eat a single time today, you settled into a pair of comfortable Nike shorts and an old, tattered Nine Inch Nails t-shirt before deciding on what to make. 

You turned up your phone and sang along softly to the music while frying a skillet full of vegetables. Unable to hear the low creak of your door opening over the music and oil popping in the pan. Judd creeped in slowly, listening to you whisper the lyrics to yourself and taking in their irony. 

“All the good girls go to hell, ‘cause even god Herself has enemies.”

He looked you up and down, seeing more of your bare skin now than he’d been exposed to those two days you had class together. He noticed your ink covered legs, one in all black and the other filled with color. But he soon snapped out of it, not wanting you to turn around and find him ogling at you like some pervert.

He’d decided on his way over that he needed a good laugh, a way to break the tension. So he walked lightly up behind you and made sure not to stand too close, waiting. It didn’t take long though. Soon you turned off the eye and the sizzling vegetables quieted down. You turned around your heart stopped, if only for a moment before you realized who was hiding behind you for God knows how long. 

Your hands flew to your mouth to stop from screaming and when you realized (or hoped, anyways) that you weren’t in any real danger, your eyes closed in relief and your mouth formed a smile underneath your fingers. 

Your hand went to your heart in an attempt to still it and you leaned back against the counter, “Is this how you greet everyone? Holy fuck dude..”

You’d heard a few of his half hearted chuckles in those two days you sat beside each other, but this time he let out a true laugh. 

”Your door was unlocked, that’s how you get carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey.”

You responded while popping a floret of broccoli into your mouth, “You understand that you are my murderer in this scenario, right?”

He did, if you were to turn up dead after Judd left that night, he would be a valid suspect. What he didn’t understand was why this young chick that lived alone wasn’t calling the police on him. Better yet, how did he just know that you were gonna be cool with his joke in the first place?

“Wait, how did you know where I live?”

”That’s.. none of your damn concern. I came here to study, not for you to grill me like those vegetables.”

”They’re sautéed, friend. Want one?” You asked while tossing a zucchini nickel into your mouth and extending the plate in your hand toward him.

You ended up sharing the plate with Judd while going over your notes. Sitting across from him on your living room floor with the papers and index cards scattered over your coffee table, you quizzed him with flash cards until he could name what organ or body part was on the paper before you even lifted the card all the way.

He leaned his shoulders back against the couch and looked at the room around him, “I’m disappointed with the atmosphere, I expected something a little more-“

”Morbid?” You interjected, having heard it before.

He smiled and nodded his head but didn’t respond. 

“Come on, I’ll give you a tour.” You stood up and extended a hand, he accepted it but couldn’t stop himself from eyeing your shorts that’d ridden even further up your thighs. 

You pointed out the obvious kitchen, living and dining room before moving down the hallway. Judd stopped in front of the spare bedroom, the room that you used as your workshop.

”Whose door is this?”

You slid between him and the door, resting your back against the wooden frame. You were closer than what he’d anticipated and he felt a chill run up his spine. 

“My roommates’ “

Judd motioned over your head toward the room, “They in there?”

You found joy playing with him, so you nodded your head ‘yes’ and lowered your voice, “Mhm.. you wanna know a secret about them?..”

He couldn’t find the words to respond, couldn’t even manage a simple “yes” or “no”. Instead he just nodded and focused on not leaning further into you. But your words came out in a whisper, so much so that he had to lean in closer just to hear them.

”They’re all dead...”

A sick smile spread across his face and he felt his pants grow. His arm lifted up to rest on the doorframe above you and his head turned to fit yours. Your hazel eyes holding contact with his green ones and his voice matching your low whisper.

“How about we skip to the part where you show me your room?”

You slid out from under his towering shadow and back into the light of your living room, amused by the suddenly confused look on his face.

”How about next time.”

Judd shoved his hands into his pocket and sized you up as he walked toward you, the whole while you were still backing up toward your front door.

”And how about next time-“ You swung the door open, “- You knock.”

He showed himself out the door, catching your hint. He was impressed though at how well you’d fooled him, he’d truly thought he was about to score an easy lay.

He nodded his head and you caught his last smile of the night, “Noted. Catch ya later, Cali.”

Chapter Text

Judd watched as you strolled into Anatomy a mere second before being counted late. Your lavender hair pulled up into a messy bun with strands of loose hair hanging down in front of your face, he noticed the heavy bags under your eyes from across the room. Your scattered state of mind didn't allow you to realize that the chair you were about to sit down in was nowhere near your legs, you were about to bust your ass in front of everyone.

Luckily for you, Judd noticed that something was off. He also noticed that you were about to embarrass the fuck out of yourself, so he quickly shoved your seat to the side, effectively catching you before you fell.

"What's up with you?", You caught a hint of genuine concern in his voice.

Your face rested in your hands as you responded, "I didn't get like any sleep last night. Right before I laid down I remembered that I needed to finish a customer's order by Friday."

"So we're pretty much fucked on this test."

You could've laughed, but instead just flashed him a cocky smile, "No, no, no. I could ace this test with my eyes closed."

It wasn't really you that Judd was worried about flunking the test, though. Your professor passed around the blank sheets of paper, on them was an illustration of a pig laying on its back. Other smaller illustrations of all the organs, tissues and various guts filled the pig drawing and you were all instructed to just write the names of each item inside of them. It was simple for you, you'd cleaned out dozens of pigs, but you took your time. You left your page uncovered and pretended you didn't see Judd's wandering eyes. 

Class was dismissed early after the test, you were all sent home with instructions to read the first five chapters in your textbook and fill out the matching sections in your workbook. Thank God you didn't have to see this classroom again until Thursday because you knew that homework wasn't getting done tonight. You had way too much work to do.

You were zoned out while walking through the parking lot. So zoned out that you didn't notice the low voice yelling your name behind you.

"Hey.. Hey, Cali!", Judd refused to speed up to a jog in order to catch up with you, "Hey, Earth to Aileen Wuornos!"

Now that caught your attention, you stopped in your tracks to find Judd walking straight toward you.

"How did I know that would get your attention?"

You didn't respond but he had at least managed to get a smile out of you, continuing, "I was, uh.. wondering if you wanted to get together to do that homework assignment?.."

You knew damn well that he didn't need help copying answers out of a text book, but his persistence was adorable. 

"Are you that bad at anatomy?"

Judd watched Maury appear right behind you and whisper in your ear as if you could hear him, "Ohhh yeah, but he's an expert in C H E M I S T R Y!"

"Yeah.. something like that. What, like you've got something better to do?"

You turned to continue walking away and he followed beside you, "Yes, actually. I have to completely skin two different birds by the end of the day, I've barely started on either of them."

He didn't know what came over him, but suddenly he was stepping in front of you. Forcing you to stop dead in your tracks and nearly causing you to run right into him.

"Can I watch?"

Your brow furrowed in confusion as you looked up at him, he towered over you by almost six inches, "If you really want to.. it isn't exactly exciting work."

Judd's hand nervously went to the back of his neck, rubbing his shaved scalp. "Yeah, I uh.. I think it might help me catch on, y'know."

You nodded and scoffed sarcastically, "Oh, I'm sure... Come on, you drive. I walked today."

 

********** JUDD'S POV **********

 

"It might smell in here, I preserved a bat in formaldehyde a few days ago. So.. be prepared."

She was right, there was still a strange scent lingering in the air. The room was bright and her artwork covered the walls. Butterflies pressed in frames, canaries surrounded by roses in shadow boxes. When I first heard her say she was a Taxidermist I imagined mounted deer heads and bears triple her size permanently fashioned into vicious poses. I approached a huge, round frame that was mounted on the wall and actually took the time to admire it.

"I was hoping for that reaction. It took me fucking weeks to finish that piece and I still have to fasten the legs onto it."

Now I saw it, it was the top of what would be a coffee table. Clear acrylic with electric blue and bright orange butterflies set in it so precisely, like they were all intricate puzzle pieces surrounded by a copper trim.

"Not to sound like a fag.. but this is fucking beautiful."

She chuckled and spun around in her chair, I heard the snap of latex gloves and took the seat across from her at the work table. Between us lay two small birds on opposite trays but facing each other.

"How did they die?"

She shrugged while moving around the feathers on the red bird's stomach with an exacto knife, "Don't know, don't care. It's not my job to ask questions, it's just my job to make them look beautiful forever."

I got the feeling that she needed to concentrate, so I just watched. Maury and I sat hunched over the table for hours watching her skin, behead and remove the innards from these animals. Our jaws gaping the whole time. At some point I noticed her knife finally stop moving and my eyes traveled up to hers, she was watching me watch her.

I closed my jaw and swallowed hard, I'd never actually seen so much blood and guts before.

"There's an empty trash can in the corner if you're gonna hurl."

For a second I thought I was gonna need it, but she finished up after awhile and coated the animals' insides with a cornstarch and borax mixture before setting their trays on a dry shelf in the corner. The sun had started to set and she closed the door behind us.

"Chill in here for a second, I'll be right back."

She retreated to her bedroom for just a few minutes, coming back out in something more comfortable than her previous skinny jeans and t-shirt. That was when Maury showed back up, right beside me on the couch.

"Listen you fucking young Ted Bundy, you know I wouldn't say this if I didn't absolutely mean it. Propose to her. Get down on one knee and propose to her right. fucking. now."

And I understood exactly why he said it. She came back out in a pair of tight ass leggings and an old school X-Files t-shirt, barefoot and holding her stash in her hands. A two foot tall bong tucked in one arm and a tin box in the other. She looked at me with a twinkle in her eye.

"Wanna match?"

My words almost came out in a moan, "Fucking.. fuck yes."

The bong was an awkward height, it was too tall for her to hold on her lap but too short for her to put on the floor and bend over. So she compromised by resting on her knees on the carpeted living room floor. Her perfectly thick thighs sat together and her bare feet rested under her juicy ass.

Maury's words echoed in my ears, "Now imagine her in that exact position, but with you THRUSTING into her throat in front of her!"

I closed my eyes, trying my fucking best not to get hard. I kept telling myself that I just needed to get high. As soon as that buzz set in, I wouldn't be able to pop a boner even if I wanted to. But I opened my eyes just in time to witness the most beautiful sight. He head tilted back, thick smoke blowing through her lips before turning and handing me the glass.

Soon we were sitting on the same couch and for the first time in so, so long, I was laughing so hard that I had tears in my eyes. She was telling me about a time that she'd gotten high with some friends as a teenager, broken into an abandoned building and impersonated a cop. 

I could barely get out my words through the laughter, "All right, I don't fuckin' believe you. There's no way!"

She looked at me with wide, bloodshot eyes, "What, why??"

"Look at you! You can't tell me that YOU not only stuff peoples' pets for a living, but you're a fuckin' stoner that trespasses and impersonates cops on the side, too?"

She cocked her head and looked at me curiously. Her voice softened in a way that made me feel like I was gonna melt into a puddle on her floor, "What do you mean 'look at me'? What do I look like, Judd?"

I don't know if it was from the weed or her intense eye contact, but my mouth felt so dry. It was probably only a few seconds but it felt like an hour before I could find the words to respond, and even when I did I just managed to make myself sound like a fucking dumbass.

"I don't know, like a.. fucking flower. No! Like one of those butterflies on your wall, the big orange ones."

"Monarch butterfly.. I'll take that as a compliment."

She didn't say anything after that and neither did I. My stupid, high ass was swimming in her sleepy, hazel eyes. I zoned out, didn't even realize that my thumb had found its way to her palm and began stroking her soft skin. The only thing that eventually brought my back was her voice.

"It's getting late, Judd. I need to get some sleep."

"Right.."

She showed me out the door but I turned back around before she could close it, sticking my foot through the frame.

"Wait -" She knew what I thought of her, now I wanted to know the same, "What do you think of me?"

She smiled, 'I think you should stop being a stranger."

 

********************

 

Connie and Maurice hid behind the stairwell and watched. Maury shook his head, "That poor guy is a sitting duck, your girl is gonna ruin him."

Your Hormone Monstress purred back into Maury's ear, "Oh yeah she is, in alllllll the best ways possible.."

Chapter Text

You sat on the trunk of your car after class that Thursday, smoking a cigarette and scrolling through your phone. Soon Judd was turning the corner to your car and stopping in front of you. He held his hand out for the cigarette, you passed it to him.

"What are you hanging around here for?"

He exhaled the smoke and handed it back to you, "You were late for your appointment to scare the shit out of me, I was getting worried."

Judd smirked. God, did you love how his eyes remained apathetic no matter what his mood was, "You're starting to expect it.. that means I've gotta turn up the heat."

The two of you passed the cigarette and a second one back and forth, you felt electricity running through your body every time your fingers accidentally brushed his. Like static shock, but without the quick burst of fear. 

"So my gay ass sister is having a stupid party tomorrow while our parents are out of town-"

Your eyebrows rose, you were always down to get fucked up so you interjected, "And you need someone cool to teach them how it's done?"

He stepped closer toward you, "You think you're cool?"

You parted your legs and he rested between them, sitting on the trunk of your car gave you a slight height advantage. Still, you leaned back with your hands resting flat behind you.

"You think I'm cool, Judd."

He bit his lip gently and didn't deny the fact. Instead you noticed his eyes sizing you up before he finally responded, "I'll pick you up at 9."

"Just send me the address, I wanna be able to dip out if you somehow get too weird."

Judd backed up from your thighs and made his way to his car, Maury waiting in the passenger seat, "Oh, it's definitely gonna get weird."

 

You spent Friday delivering the cardinal and bluejay that you'd worked so hard on, fashioning them into an antique bird cage and decorating it with preserved eucalyptus and hydrangeas. That afternoon you finally gave into Connie's persistent suggestion to take a bubble bath. The warm water soothed you of all your anxieties, the shea butter bubble solution left your skin velvety soft. Connie dipped her hooves in the tub and spoke to you while you relaxed.

"What's the game plan for tonight, honeysuckle?"

You spooned the water over your exposed knee with your cupped hand, "To get drunk, maybe smoke. That's my only plan."

She crossed her arms and looked at you suspiciously, "Mhmm, I don't recall you shaving from head to toe and taking a bwubble bwath any other time you just planned to get drunk."

Her large paw rested on your chest and guided you back against the bath pillow, she stirred the water with her claws so it flowed over your body and spoke to you slowly. You closed your eyes and listened, her voice always having a particular way of calming you.

"I've been doin' this for a loooong time, suga plum.. You and that boy could make the earth shake, angels would sing!"

You pulled the bath stopper with your toe and stepped out, wrapping your robe around you and towel drying your hair.

"First, even if we DID hook up, you and I both known it would be anything but biblical. Second, I won't have any openings for another fuck buddy until I kick Goldie to the curb!"

"So ghost the blue haired bitch and make room for your new blue boy, baby!"

You shrugged your shoulders at her suggestion, you'd been heavily considering it lately. But it was nearing 9 o'clock and you finally got the text from Judd with his address. You blow dried your hair and brushed it into the loose, thick curls that they naturally fell into before standing in front of your mirror trying on outfits for another half hour. 

You finally reached the house at half past 9, approaching the door in a pair of faded, midrise black skinny jeans that were ripped at the knees and a pale yellow t-shirt that you'd tied up into a crop top. The house was big, nice. Much nicer than your apartment or the house that you'd grown up in in the city. You rang the doorbell and rested your elbow against the pearly white door frame.

Judd came to the door in his usual black jeans and grey t-shirt, "You're not the middle aged delivery guy with his dick in a pizza box that I ordered."

"And you're not a naked eighteen year old that conveniently forgot she'd ordered a pizza right before hopping in the shower."

The house was filled with high schoolers, most of them looked to be fifteen or sixteen, along with a few middle schoolers. Judd showed you to the kitchen, in it was a group of kids drinking something called Cotton Candy Brandy and an older blonde girl refilling a solo cup to the brim with wine. 

One of the middle schoolers, a tan kid with dark hair, was taking shots from a bubblegum pink shot glass and yelling "Party Wolf in the hooouuuseee!" and then howling.

"Party wolf? I like it. I'd show you one of my wolf tattoos if I could roll these jeans up."

The kid eyed you and made a rather smooth attempt at flirting, "Well, helllooo.. may I offer you a glass of Cotton Candy Brandy, m'lady?"

You couldn't help but to laugh, knowing he'd be pulling chicks left and right in the next few years. "I'm good. All that sugar's gonna give you one hell of a hangover."

Judd grabbed a bottle of Jack from beneath the sink and mixed you a Jack and Coke, handing you a straight shot at the same time. He looked at each of them individually, annoyed at their mere presence. "She doesn't drink that pussy shit. Or your gay ass wine, Leah. All of you, scram."

The blonde girl was adorable. She wasn't your type, but she was like a ray of sunshine personified. "You finally bring home a girl and you aren't even gonna introduce us? So much for being America's sweetheart."

A tiny, brown haired boy approached you, holding out his hand rather formally for you to shake. You could tell he was already drunk, it was probably his first time. "Hello, miss. My name is Nick, I'm Judd's brother. If he's holding you here against your will, blink twice."

You laughed and shook his hand, "Just call me Cal, Nick."

Nick rolled your name around around in his lips, repeating it a few times before being satisfied with how it sounded. 

"All right, now that everyone is introduced you can all take your shitty juice and clear the fuck out." Judd ushered both of his siblings and their friends back into the living room with the rest of the party goers. You lifted yourself up on the counter and swung your legs back and forth, holding out your shot glass for him to pour you another as he walked back toward you.

He cocked an eyebrow, "Trying to show off?"

You shook your head as he poured, "Just showing you how it's done."

The two of you tapped glasses and threw back your shots, you chased it with your Jack and Coke. Admittedly, you fucking hated Jack Daniels.

"So you were talking shit about my apartment while you're the one living in Caesar's Palace, care to explain that?"

You kept holding your glass out for him to refill and Judd matched every shot you took. "They don't exactly put me in charge of interior decorating around here."

"There's probably a good reason for that. Let me guess, your room is either covered in disturbing details or completely bare with nothing but a twin sized mattress in the middle of the floor."

The alcohol finally started to hit you as you watched him come closer. Your legs instinctually parted, allowing him to make himself as home between them. His hands rested on the countertop on either side of your hips.

"I can show you.." Fucking A, you loved when his voice got soft, "I can roll us a blunt.."

Your face inched closer to his while you got lost in his emerald green eyes, "Booze and bud? I think you're trying to take advantage of me, Judd."

You could hear your own heartbeat thumping in your chest as his forehead rested against yours, then came to a dead stop when you felt his hands sliding over the top of your thighs. 

"I think you just want me to take advantage of you, Cal."

Suddenly, everything that you'd told Connie earlier had become a lie. You wanted him. He could've told told you to bend over the island right there and you would've happily obliged. But he didn't ask and your blown mind couldn't have thunk up a witty response even if you'd tried. 

"Come on."

He grabbed your hand and pulled you off the counter, grabbing the bottle of Jack with the other. You followed him through the crowd of drunk teenagers in the living room and up the stairs. Leah eyed the two of you, watching you disappear to the second floor of the house. 

His room was a dark contrast to the rest of the home. You were right, his walls were covered from top to bottom with posters and stolen street signs. Shelves were decorated with swords, knives and machetes. You sipped your drink while carefully looking over every detail. Judd kicked off his shoes and grabbed a box from his closet. He sat open legged on his bed and laid a tray in front of him, starting his work on the blunt that he'd promised you. 

Minutes passed and Judd finally tossed his makeshift work station off to the side of his bed, you heard the flick of his lighter and breathed in the strong scent. You too kicked off your shoes, taking the spot in front of him. Melting as he held eye contact with you while exhaling the light smoke, then passing it to you. Back and forth, back and forth until the world around you had slowed way down. 

At some point you laid back across his mattress, upside down so your head was resting at the end of his bed. Judd leaned onto his elbow beside you, watching you fall into a place of complete comfort. He held the blunt to your lips, allowing you to take one last hit before putting it out. 

He studied the details of your face, counting every freckle on the bridge of your nose when you finally noticed him looking at you so intently.

"What are you thinking?"

The weed and whiskey had his guard down, "I'd fuckin' love to see you rolling."

You smiled a wide grin and held back laughter from the thought of him on ecstasy, "You just like seeing me fucked up."

You weren't sure how long he'd been doing it, but you noticed his fingers grazing across your exposed stomach. Tracing circles and other shapes on your skin so gently that you grew goosebumps.

"I just like seeing you."

Your eyes shot up to his, they were drawing you in. You wanted so bad to just crawl ontop of him but at the same time, everything in your head was telling you to retreat. The way he made your heart flutter was making you nervous. You'd never felt like this before and you didn't know what to do beside run. But you couldn't move, not away anyways. 

"It's getting late, Judd."

His face was lowering, slowly closing the gap between the two of you. "Mhm. And you're fucked up, you can't drive."

His hand was now moving up your side, yours gripped the bottom of his shirt, "So are you."

Judd's hand slid around the back of your neck, pulling you up and closer to him. Your lips were so close to touching, "Looks like you're stuck with me, then."

Chapter Text

You closed the gap. You tilted your face to perfectly fit his and kissed him hard, more passionately than you'd ever kissed anyone. Judd held your face to his by the back of your neck, running his fingers through your soft hair. Your body was on fucking fire.

His warm tongue slipped past your lips and danced with yours. His rough hands moved from your hair back down to your neck, sliding around to the front of your throat. You couldn't stop the soft moan from escaping your throat. He smiled against you and pulled away for just a moment, whispering.

"God damn, you fuckin' like that, don't you?"

You nodded your head and pushed back against him so he was sitting up, swinging your legs over either side of his lap. His hand stayed on your throat, squeezing just hard enough for you to feel the pressure. You bit his lip, trying to get even more of a physical response out of him.

It worked, you felt a low groan escape his lips and his other hand gripped you by the waist, trying to pulling you even closer to him. It wasn't possible though, you were as close as you could be but you needed more. Judd leaned back against the wall behind his bed, giving you more room on his lap that you didn't waste any time taking advantage of. You ground yourself against him. Hard. 

"So fucking hot.."

He pushed his lap up against you and the hand on your throat joined his other one on your waist, sliding up your shirt and gripping your warm skin. It was like you were having an out of body experience. You were buried in each others' faces but you could just picture what you must've looked like. His hands traveling all over your body, your hips rocking back and forth against him. Soon his lips pulled away from yours and grazed your jaw, kissing their way down your skin and to your neck, sucking on you gently. You were lost in the slight pain of his bites that were followed by the soft relief of his tongue lapping at the wound. 

But a concerning sound outside of his bedroom perked your ears.

"What's that?"

Judd couldn't hear anything past your breathy moans, "I didn't hear anything, babe."

You tried to ignore it, moving your lips back to his briefly before hearing it again. It sounded like yelling. You placed your hand on his chest and pulled your face away from him. 

"No, something is going on.."

Judd stopped to listen and soon he heard what you had heard, it was Leah. You hopped off of his lap and went for the door, Judd following. You both peaked down the steps, watching the game of charades that ensued in the living room below.

"You're making it sound like I assaulted you or something!"

Leah was obviously upset, "You tried to push my head down!"

There was a crowd circling Leah and some guy, most of the girls backing up Leah's claim that the guy had tried to "head push" them. You turned to Judd and could tell he was getting angrier the more he heard.

"Sounds like that creep tried to make your sister blow him."

Judd grabbed you by the arm, pulling you back up the hallway and into his room. He grabbed a small switchblade from his shelf.

"Where are you going?"

He ushered you toward his bed and sat you down, giving you one last kiss before heading for the door. "You stay here, I'll be back."

The door closed behind him and suddenly your world was spinning. Your chest was heavy and your lungs felt deflated. Connie appeared in a tornado of bright red hair, spinning and grabbing your hands. 

“What’d I tell you? You were so close, baby! Until that closeted head pusher had to go and RUIN it!”

You pulled your hands away from her and held your head, trying to figure out what the fuck was going on. “What the hell is happening to me? I can’t fucking breathe, Connie. My heart’s about to jump out of my fucking chest..”

Maury erupted from the closet, “What the FUCK, is your girl fucking catching feelings?!”

Connie pointed a long, painted claw at Maury’s chest, “MY girl?? Oh no, baby, YOUR boy hasn’t been able to stay away from her since the moment they met! He’s getting her head all twisted up in knots! Come here, suga-“

She reached out and held your still spinning head but you pulled away, “Please, both of you just go away!”

Connie clutched her hair, hurt, but she understood what was happening even if you didn’t yet. She disappeared in a light puff of smoke and Maury retreated back into the closet. 

“If either of you need me I’ll be in here.... not watching.”

You sat on the edge of the bed for what felt like forever, resting your elbows on your knees and holding your head in your hands. Judd pushed back through his door, closing his switchblade and tossing it onto his desk before he noticed you retreating into yourself. 

“Hey, you okay?”

Everything in your body was telling you to stand up, just leave and you’d feel better the second you walked out the door. 

“I just.. I gotta go.”

You struggled to grab your shoes, putting them on would’ve been a whole other challenge. You didn’t get the chance to face that battle though because Judd wouldn’t let you. He knocked your shoes out of your hand and squatted to your level in front of the bed, holding your face steady in his hands.

”You’re not goin’ anywhere. Look at me, what’s up with you? You got the spins? Are you gonna get sick?”

Suddenly he was so attentive, so concerned. You closed your eyes and shook your head. “No, I’m good.. I just shouldn’t have mixed vices. I need to get out of here.”

You tried to stand up but his arms were like cinder blocks resting on your thighs, ”I already told you, you’re not going anywhere. There’s a lot of recklessness that I fully condone but driving fucked up isn’t one of them. You’re staying with me.”

Judd grabbed your keys from the floor beside him, tossing them into one of the desk drawers and spinning the chain lock wrapped around the handle. Then he made his way to the door, yelling down the stairwell.

“Leah, tell your retarded friends to clear out! Party’s over!”

He slammed the door behind him and flipped off the lights, leaving only a few tiny black and red lights illuminating the room. You untied your loose shirt, letting it swallow up your torso. Judd pulled his shirt over his head and watched you struggle with your jeans in your inebriated state. 

“Ugh, here, let me help.”

He lowered himself in front of you once again, this time pushing you onto your back against the mattress. His hands quickly unbuttoned your jeans and pulled them down over your ass, thighs, calves and feet. You knew plenty of guys that would’ve used this as an opportunity to cop a feel, but not him. He was just taking care of you. 

Judd stood back up and dropped his jeans, leaving him in only his boxer briefs in front you. But not for long. He turned the corner of the bed and sat directly behind you, finding the bottom hem of your shirt and running his hand underneath it, tracing his fingers up your spine. 

“What are you doing?”

He stopped in the middle of your back, “You wanna sleep with your bra on?”

He waited for you to shake your head no before continuing, unhooking your bra with expertise. You pulled it out from under your shirt and tossed it on the floor. 

Judd slid up to the top of the bed and turned the blankets down, laying back and waiting for you. You looked at his open arms like they were some sort of bear trap, like once they got you in their grip they wouldn’t ever let you out alive. You were terrified. 

But you took the plunge. You crawled to the top of the bed and rested against him, he pulled the blankets over your bodies and closed his arms around you, not saying another word. 

“Why are you taking care of me?”

Judd was already asking himself the same question. He didn’t know why he felt such an intense urge to protect you, but he did. 

He sighed before responding, “I.. don’t know.”

 

********** JUDD'S POV **********

 

I laid in bed for hours seething over that stupid fucking fag Daniel. Slashing his tires, and everyone else's, brought some level of instant gratification. But it didn't fix the moment that he'd ruined. That's right, it wasn't the fact that he'd pretty much tried to molest Leah that had me pissed, I knew she could take care of herself. It was that he got in the way of me getting my dick wet. 

At least that's all I thought I'd wanted from this chick. I don't know, when I came back in the room and saw her spinning, all I could think was that I needed to protect her. And now, with her steady breaths hitting my chest.. No, not a wink of sleep was happening. 

The sun didn't shine through my black out curtains but I knew that it was early. She would be waking up soon. So I slipped out from under her grasp and pulled on a pair of sweatpants, heading downstairs to grab her some water and headache medicine, knowing she'd need them. 

A shrill noise interrupted my thoughts, "That for Caaaaal?"

Leah's voice had always been and will always be the most annoying sound to hit my ears. 

"Fuck off."

She leaned against the counter, "So you didn't kick her out after you were done with her, she must be special."

I ignored her and went to walk back through the living room, but stopped in the doorframe. "There was no "done" because your rapist boyfriend fucking ruined it, LEAH!"

Finally, she showed some ounce of shame, "Oh.. yeah. He's obviously not my boyfriend but.. sorry about that."

I stood in the frame for a moment, trying to find a way to ask her about what to do next. I fucking hated that I was asking my little sister for advice, but I couldn't fucking ask Maury. His only suggestions were always to fuck her or kill myself. 

Leah broke the silence, "She is special, isn't she?"

"I don't even fucking know her. She's not even my type."

Leah laughed and tossed me the bottle of headache medicine that I was about to forget, "Why? Because she's not a homicidal maniac?"

I shrugged, "So.. what do I do then?"

"Take her out. Do something that you want to do. If she's into it, maybe she's more of "your type" than you thought."

I stood beside my bed, staring over her and taking in every detail before she woke up. She'd pushed the blankets off and her shirt up, her hand resting across her stomach. Her other arm thrown over her head. I thought about what 13 year old Judd would've done if he had this sight right before his eyes. Fuck, he probably would've came his pants right there. Somehow I was managing to just admire her smooth skin while fighting the urge to reach out and touch her. 

She stirred though, opening her sleepy eyes and looking up at me, "My mouth is so fucking dry.."

Her usually soft voice was raspy, I handed her the glass of water and set the pill bottle on the nightstand beside her. 

"Yeah, you got pretty fucked up last night."

She sat up with her legs hanging over the side of the bed, holding her head just like I'd found her doing the night before.

"Sorry about that, I -"

I interrupted her, "Don't. You don't need to apologize."

She tossed her hair up and out of her face with the hair tie that was on her wrist, somehow she was even more beautiful now than she was last night. Like I was seeing the raw version of her. She gulped down the glass of water with a handful of pills before standing up and stretching. Her shirt rode up even further, leaving her almost bare from the middle of her stomach down. Her smooth, porcelain hips contrasting against her silky, black panties..

"So.. there's a show I'm going to tonight. It's sold out, but I could probably pay off security if you wanted to come... with me, that is."

She looked up at me suspiciously from her legs while tugging on her jeans, "What show?"

"Uh, this band. Well, it's really just one guy, but he goes by Grandson. You'd probably fucking hate it, he's really political and-"

She stopped mid tucking in her shirt, "No, I know who he is. You don't need to sneak me in, I already have a ticket. I planned on going alone but yeah, I'd fucking love to go with you."

"Wait, are you serious? We listen to the same kind of music?"

She was smiling wide and I was even more confused now that I was before. This girl that was the human equivalent of a fucking sunflower played with intestines for a living, loved to blow down and had decent taste in music.

"I guess so. Now -" She motioned for my desk, "I need my keys, please."

I gave her back her keys and walked her out, holding her car door open for her. We both knew that Nick and Leah were watching from behind the living room curtains. What was I supposed to do now? Was a kiss goodbye too much? Was it not enough? We'd dry humped like 16 year olds last night but now things felt.. different.

"So.. how much of last night do you remember?"

She looked up at me with a cocked eyebrow, "All of it, Judd. I wasn't black out drunk."

"Cool, so, uh.." My eyes shifted down and suddenly my hands were sweaty, it felt like there was a heavy lump stuck in my throat, "I meant what I said.. when I said that I just liked seeing you."

She nodded, "Mhm. And I just like seeing you too."  I felt her fingers move to my waistband, causing me to inch closer, "That's why I'm letting you pick me up in your creepy van at say.. 10?"

I couldn't stop my smile or my hand from moving to her hair, and she didn't try to stop me. My lips met hers, she still tasted like the Jack Daniels from last night. Jack Daniels and honey. It didn't last long enough. She pulled away and lowered herself into her car.

I watched her drive away before turning back around and noticing Leah and Nick duck behind the curtains.

Chapter Text

I stood outside of my van after texting her, letting her know I was there. She came down in a pair of fringed black shorts, so short that her ass was almost hanging out, and a tight black tank top. Her shirt was low cut and tucked in, smoothed out against her skin. She had a bright smile on her face, teeth and all like always. 

I handed my cigarette to her as she approached me and she plucked it from my fingers, taking a long draw. 

”Your ass is definitely getting grabbed in the pit if that’s what you’re wearing.”

She waved a hand in front of her while exhaling the smoke, ”I prefer crowdsurfing. But even if some douche does try something, I’ve thrown my fair share of punches at shows before.”

We rode the half hour drive into the city with the radio turned all the way up. I was halfway doubting that she actually knew the band, but she definitely proved herself. Her attitude was infectious and I couldn’t help but to belt all the words in time with her. Her feet up on my dash, air drumming along with the beat. Yeah, this is how I liked her best. 

The venue was packed and the two openers had already come and gone. We pushed our way to the middle just before the lights dimmed and the intermission music stopped playing. I took a protective spot behind her for the first few songs, the crowd had really packed in tight. She leaned her head back and I leaned forward over her shoulder, bringing my ear close to her lips so I could hear her. 

“Put your arm around me if you don’t wanna get separated!”

My arm wrapped tightly around the front of her shoulders. But it didn’t last long. The song Die Young came on and she pulled my arm loose, turning around towards me. There was a light in her eyes that I’d never seen in a human being before. I couldn’t hear her over the music but she pointed upwards and I read her lips.

”I’m goin’ up! I’ll find you later!”

And just like that, she disappeared into the sea of people behind us. I found the pit, gave and took a dozen punches for the next round of songs and watched her float by atop the crowd a few times. Crowdsurfing is a rough ride, but she looked so at peace with her eyes closed. Singing along to the lyrics and letting the crowd carry her over the barricade. 

The set was coming to a close, they were playing out their last few slow songs while I was searching through the crowd for her face. I felt a hand grip my arm and pull me forward, straight to the front of the venue. I knew it was her. 

I wrapped my arm back around her chest and swayed with her to the music. My chin resting on the top of her head while we sang along to the words.

Destroy me, destroy me, I don’t wanna come down. 

I felt my hand move up her chest and to her neck, she turned back toward me and my eyes moved to her lips. That moment.. it all just felt right.

I leaned down into her and and almost hesitated, wondering if there was any coming back after this. But I didn’t give a shit. I was high on her fumes and didn’t ever want to sober up. I kissed her.. She was soft and sweet. Everything about her made the hair on my neck stand on end. 

I pulled away from her lips and moved to her ear, “Let’s get the fuck out of here.”

She nodded and I grabbed her hand, intertwining my fingers with hers and pulling her through the crowd. She stopped outside the venue and sat up on a concrete barrier, pulling out two cigarettes for us. Her legs swayed over the edge as she handed me one. 

“Holy fuck, that was one of the best shows I’ve been to!”

I agreed, but my favorite part about it was watching her have the time of her life. 

“God damn, I’m gonna be so sore. I lost count of how many rib blows I took.”

The show let out and the concert-goers scattered. We reminisced on the show and let the ringing in our ears die down. It was getting cool out when we started walking back to my van, but the smile on her face never once faded. 

“Why are you so giddy? That wasn’t your first show.”

She stopped at my car, leaning against it. “That was just kinda cool. I see couples come to shows together all the time and they’re always attached at the hip, never having any real fun. I liked that you were cool with me doing my own thing and you doing yours for awhile”

She didn’t catch what she said, but I did. And I fully intended on using her screw up as a chance to fuck with her. “Couple?”

Her cheeks blushed and she rolled her eyes, “Slip of the tongue, you know what I mean.” She turned the corner of my van, “Come on, it’s getting chilly!”

 

****** FINALLY, YOUR POV ******

 

I crawled up into the passenger seat of his car, embarrassed about my slip up and scared as fuck that he was gonna think I was trying to cuff him. But maybe I was wrong. He threw his car into gear and grabbed my hand on the middle console. Who the fuck was this person behind the tough guy mask that he put on?

Judd pulled up in front of my complex and put the car in park, never once letting go of my hand. He turned to me, “This is your stop.”

“Sure looks like it.. doesn’t it.”

I didn’t want this night to end. My chest was on fire and I knew that this buzz was gonna keep me from sleeping all night. But more than anything, I just wanted one more kiss. I wanted to taste the cigarette on his lips one more time. Maybe he sensed that I needed more or maybe he wanted the same thing. I hoped that it was the latter because when he turned to me and my eyes met his bright green ones.. my heart fucking stopped. His words came out in a whisper.

“Come here..”

I leaned over the console as fast as I could and his hand went to my hair, mine found the back of his neck. My lips couldn’t get enough of his and soon his other hand was grasping for my waist. It took everything in me not to crawl over my seat and into his lap.

He slowed down and spoke to me between kisses and gasps of breath, “You know it’s *kiss* getting *kiss* late..”

I moaned an, “Mhmm.” against his lips. 

“Maybe *kiss* I shouldn’t be driving *kiss* in the dark.”

I smiled and stopped kissing him but my forehead stayed leaned against his, “Do you wanna come up, Judd?”

“Do you want me to come up?”

I did. Holy shit, I did. “That depends.. Are you gonna turn into a gaping asshole when I don’t fuck you?”

 

We got up to my apartment and Judd kicked off his shoes, flopping down on my couch and made himself at home. I could already see the bruises forming that he'd earned in the pit. His arm was thrown over his eyes. I leaned over the back of the couch, just kind of admiring him. Happy that he was starting to become just as comfortable around me as I felt around him.

"What are you doin', Judd?"

He didn't bother moving his arm, "Dude, my ribs fucking hurt so bad. The pit did me dirty."

"You're at your weakest. Now would be the perfect time for me to kill you and get some practice in skinning and stuffing humans."

Finally, he peaked out from under his arm suspiciously, "Are you trying to turn me on?"

I cocked an eyebrow at him, "Is it working?"

"Abso-fucking-lutely."

I laughed and walked around the couch, "Come on, I'll show you my room."

He walked around my room just like I had his, looking at every little trinket and opening random drawers while I changed into an oversized t-shirt and boyshorts. I don't know why he was choosing to look away now, he'd pretty much seen me half naked just the night before.

He picked up one of the guitars that leaned against my wall. "You know how to play?"

I pulled the shirt over my head and stepped in front of him, "Yeah, do you?"

"Not for shit." He pushed the acoustic guitar into my hands, "Play something for me."

Oh god, my voice was so horse from screaming for the past 3 hours and hadn't so much as touched my guitars since the move. But he took a spot on my bed, legs crossed and waiting for me to prove myself. I sat in front of him and ran my fingers across the wood, cleared my throat and started strumming. Starting in the middle of a song that I hadn't sang in years and never in front of another person.

"Soft skin, hard stare
It feels wrong but all's fair
I try but I can't seem to look away and you don't care
Instead you meet my steady gaze and we go from there
Stay up all nightreal love for the first time
And I can't tell if this is all a dream or if I'm really here
But as long as I can feel you I don't really care
I don't really care

 

Can we pretend like it's just you and me? I wanna act like I can feel something
And you don't have to give it back to me, 'cause I can't promise much of anything
I see in shades of grey, I'm going blind again
But when it comes to you my world is red
I see in shades of grey, losing my mind again
But when it comes to you my world is deep red"

I stopped playing abruptly, praying that he would say something and ultimately regretting even choosing that song. I could've chosen one of songs from the band we'd just seen or a classic. Deep down I knew why I'd chosen that song. I wanted him to ask about it and I wanted to tell him so that hopefully it would push him away. 

"What's that song about?"

I shrugged, "Some stupid guy."

"He doesn't sound stupid. Sounds like he's pretty important to you."

It was working, he was getting annoyed. I could hear it in his voice. I smirked, but in a way that helped me hide the pain and shame that I felt. "Yeah.. I guess he was at the time."

Judd leaned back on his palms, "What happened?"

His voice sounded so stern. Like he was softly demanding that I tell him the answers. In that moment I felt so small, smaller than I had in so long. 

I hesitated, looking up from my instrument, "I just.. I lost a lot of love for myself when I poured it all into him." I shrugged my shoulders, "I don't know, it's fucking stupid."

"No-" He took the guitar from my hands and set it down beside the bed, "It's not. I wanna know you, Cal."

He leaned across his crossed legs. My subconscious plan wasn't working.

I sighed, "Listen.. I like you, Judd. Whatever it going on here-" I motioned between us, "I'm into. I'm so fucking into it, dude. But believe me when I say that I will never water myself down for another human being again. Not for a guy, not for a girl, not for my friends or family.. and not for you."

Finally, another smile erupted from his lips. He didn't respond immediately, instead he stood off the bed and got undressed, flipping off the overhead light before making himself comfortable again in my bed. He sat in front of me and held my face in his rough hands, only the nightstand lamp illuminating our faces. His bright green eyes stared so deep into mine.

"I want the concentrated version of you. Nothing less. I want to know what pisses you off and turns you on. I wanna know your dreams and fears. I just wanna know you."

I leaned into him, kissing him hard and passionately. I'd never wanted to be close to someone so bad in my entire fucking life as I did in that moment. Judd fell onto his back on my bed and his arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me down on top of him.

Chapter Text

I woke up to sunlight pouring in through the windows and the bed dipping down on one side. I barely opened my eyes in time to see her standing, shirt riding up her waist, giving me the perfect view of her ass. It was barely covered by her cheeky, red panties. I grabbed her wrist before she could get too far.

"Where do you think you're going?"

She glanced over her shoulder with a sleepy smile, "To shower. We're still covered in the sweat of 300 other people from last night."

I pulled her by the wrist back onto the bed, it didn't take much convincing on my part. "Key word there is 'we'." She laid down beside me and I pulled the blanket over our heads, "I don't get an invite?"

It didn't take long for her lips to crash against mine. Her hands were in my hair and mine gripped her waist with a force that was 100% being controlled by my morning wood. I rolled onto my back, pulling her on top of me and running my hands over her fucking delicious ass. She moaned against my lips, it sounded like fucking angels singing.. 

But she pulled away. She pulled away and sat up, her loose shirt pooling around her waist. I felt how I imagined sailors did while they were leaning over their boat, listening to the siren’s song. More than willing to meet their untimely death if it meant that they could just get a tiny.. bit.. closer.

Her hands rested on my stomach and she shifted on my lap, I almost shot my load right fucking there. She'd slid herself right on top of my fucking cock, and not by accident. The way she looked at me, she new exactly what she was doing. 

"Mm, is this for me?"

I nodded and ran my hands down her waist, over her thighs. "Fucking... fuck yes, baby."

My eyes rolled back and closed while she slowly rolled her hips over my lap, back and forth. I couldn't stop myself from moaning. If I weren't as sleepy I probably would've been grabbing her hips, pulling her down on me harder. But I was just enjoying her enjoying herself.

She stopped grinding and leaned down, her chest to mine. Trailing kisses from my collar up to my ear and whispering, "This is your formal invite to shower with me, Judd."

I nodded vigorously and she threw her legs over me and off the bed, sprinting towards the bathroom. She was fast, but my swatting hand was much faster. She squealed and laughed as my palm made a loud "Smack!" against her ass. I threw the blankets off of me, Jesus the tent in my boxers was fucking huge. I was literally aching. 

The shower turned on and I stepped in the room just as she was pulling her t-shirt over her head. God damn.. the curves on this girl. I knew she was watching me but it didn't stop my eyes from eating her up. She tried covering her tits with her arm, all it did was push them up on her chest further. An even better sight for me, personally. 

She stood in just her scarlet colored panties before my hands were all over her once again, squeezing her hips and running over the small of her back while I dove into her neck. Biting, sucking, licking her salty skin. Her fingers dipped into the waistband of my boxers, running through the hair above my shaft. They lingered there for a moment, softly tugging on my trimmed bush. I never knew that even that would be a turn on for me. But I moaned into her ear and my body stiffened, praying that she would go even lower.

She didn't. Instead she pulled away and backed toward the shower, holding eye contact with me while she slid her panties down her thighs. She stepped into the tub and I dropped my boxers, following her lead. I watched her underneath the hot stream. She pushed her hair back and let the water flow over her. 

I was so intensely focused on a single drop of water that was dripping off of her lips when she opened her eyes. I swear to god she looked like a fucking lynx, like she was going to eat me alive. And I was wanted her to. I was frozen in my tracks so she grabbed my hand, pulling me under the stream with her. My fingers dug into her ass and her hands gripped my hair. My cock was rock hard pressed against our stomachs, with the water falling between us was getting me closer and closer. But I didn't want to cum like this. 

I slid one of my hands from her ass to between her thighs. Pausing to make sure she was into it. She parted her legs slightly and my fingers dove into her. One at first, then two. She pulled her lips away from mine and leaned her head against my chest. Finally, I had the upper hand. I curled my fingers up inside her and her fingers dug into my shoulders, she moaned, "God.. fucking damnit.."

I felt her legs shaking as I thumbed her clit. She trailed kisses back up my chest, over my jaw and to my lips. Whispering against them, "Fuck me, Judd.."

"You're sure?"

How in the fuck did I have her asking to fuck me?

She cupped my face with one hand and looked up at me, "Please?"

God damn it, her voice was so fucking sweet. I lifted her by the ass and set her up on the ledge, holding one of her legs up with my arm and letting the other dangle over the edge. She sucked my tongue softly while I slid my cock up and down her slit. Then I pushed inside her. Slowly, trying my hardest not to cum already. 

I rested inside her for a second, gathering my thoughts and just taking in the feeling of her warmth around me. Finally pulling out and pushing back in. I couldn't stop the "Oh my ffffucking god" from leaving my throat.

But her moans followed mine. I got into a rhythm of pulling out and crashing back into her, over and fucking over again. She was nibbling on my neck the entire time, her moans vibrating my skin. My hand went between our bodies to massage her clit and she loved it.

"Just like that, baby.. God I'm so fucking close."

I was holding back but I knew that it was coming. So I picked up the pace, fucking her as deep as I could and massaging her clit gently. Her back hit the shower wall over and over again.

I knew what would send her over the edge though. My hand hand went to her throat and I squeezed softly.. just hard enough for her to still be able to breathe while I growled into her ear.

"Cum. God damn, I wanna feel you fucking cum."

Her pussy tightened around my cock, she was milking me. I slammed into her harder while the orgasm rolled over her body.

"Fuck yes, cum on my cock, Cali.." I trailed off, trying so hard to hold off but it wasn't working. My words came out labored, "Shit, I'm gonna cum.."

She nodded against me, "Cum for me, baby."

God damn it, her voice sent me over the edge. She didn't have to ask twice, I pulled her face to mine and kissed hard while her hand went between us. She squeezed and jacked me off while I painted her stomach with my load. I gripped her hair hair while the wave rolled over me.. 

I washed her hair and she washed my body. I swear, we weren't more than an inch apart for the remainder of that shower. There were a few moments where she'd just lean against my chest with her arms wrapped lazily around my waist. In those moments, I'd snake my arms around her shoulders and close my eyes. Taking in every bit of her for as long as I could. 

 

***** YOUR POV *****

 

I sat in my underwear on the floor in front of my full length mirror, towel drying my unruly hair. Judd sat with his legs hanging off the side of my bed, wearing nothing but a pair of old sweatpants that I'd thrown at him so he didn't have to put back on his sweaty, smelly clothes from the night before. I tossed my hair back over my head and noticed him staring. But even more, I noticed the dark bruises forming on his ribs from the blows he'd taken just a few hours ago.

"I've got something for those if you wanna try it out."

He glanced down, "What, you mean my fucking battle wounds? Hell no, you gotta ride those out like a man."

I cocked an eyebrow at him and he reluctantly agreed, "Fine, lay it on me."

I hopped up from my spot on the floor and grabbed the arnica lotion from my dresser, "Here, stand up!"

He stood off the edge of the bed and I took his previous spot, resting on my knees in front of him. Now face to face with the crimson red marks on his skin. 

"Don't hate me, this is gonna be cold."

I traced my lotion covered palms down either side of his rib cage, he winced with pain and inhaled sharp. I wasn't sure if it was from the cool gel or the soreness of his muscles. 

But he persevered and I massaged the lotion into his ribs. Slow and soft to save him from as much pain as I could. I think after a few minutes he was getting into it, I felt his eyes watching me from above and he placed a hand on the back of my head. I looked up at him, he had a mischievous smirk on his face. 

"What?"

He shook his head, "Nothing, I just like you in this position. On your knees in front of me, wearing nothing but your panties.."

God damn it, there was a gruff in his voice that made my heart sink into the pit of my stomach. I was a bitch for guys that took control, and he was controlling me without even having to use his hands. 

"Yeah?", I leaned in to plant tiny kisses on his deep red painted skin, trailing them down his stomach and over his hips until I got to the elastic band of his sweatpants.

Then I felt his grip tighten in my hair, he pulled my hair back and my eyes met his above me. His darted away, noticing how hard my chest was rising and falling. He chuckled at how easy it was to turn me on.

"Not even gonna lie, I could cum so fast right now."

His eyes came back up to mine, "I don't want you to cum fast. I wanna take my time with you."

Judd let go of my hair and backed up from the edge of the bed, "Which is why I'm not gonna fuck you again. Well, not right now, anyways.. My parents are almost home and there's no way none of my brother's pussy friends didn't snitch about the party. So.. kinda gotta go take care of that."

I unfolded my legs and stood up in front of him, "That's fair. I guess I'll see you on Tuesday then?"

He snaked an arm around my shoulders, mine instinctively wrapped around his waist. 

"Maybe.. or maybe you'll keep leaving your front door unlocked for any potential homicidal maniac to slip in."

Judd pulled me in for one last slow, heart stopping kiss.

 

***** End of POVs *****

 

Judd sat beside Leah and Nick on the couch, only halfway listening to his Dad's shitty attempt at scolding them, "We have half a mind to not give you these t-shirts!"

Leah tried to play it off, but Judd didn't zone back in until he heard his mom saying his name along with hers, "Judd, Leah, you're grounded for three weeks."

He partially laughed, "Three WEEKS? I don't think so."

Diane cocked an eyebrow, "You're right, make it four."

Leah could see that Judd was seething, she sighed and fell on her sword, "Wait - Don't punish Judd.. It was my party."

He looked at her, confused as to why she was taking all the blame. She turned back to look at their parents, "He wasn't even here, he was upstairs with his girlfriend the whole time."

That. Fucking. Bitch. He growled through gritted teeth, "LEAH."

But Nick chimed in before he could get a proper insult in on her, "She's right! Her name is Cal and she smells like raw honey and roses!"

Ignoring the fact that Nick was swooning over his NOT girlfriend, Judd began bracing himself for Elliot and Diane's reactions. See, most people would be terrified of their parents finding out they had their "girlfriend" stay the night while they were away. Nope, not him. Judd just wanted to avoid the storm of what he knew what coming next.

Elliot's hands raised to his heart and Diane's gripped her husband's shoulder. They both gasped loudly and said, in unison, "GIRLFRIEND??"

He turned to see his siblings faces painted with cocky smiles and spat at them, "Have fun sleeping with fucking raccoons for the rest of your lives, you stupid fucking -"

But Elliot interrupted his son's threats, "Judd - you're off the hook... on one condition."

He crossed his arms, "Whatever it is, absolutely the fuck not."

Elliot continued, "We just want to meet the lovely lady that our eldest son is seeing!"

"I would rather just murder her and save her the embarrassment of having to meet all of you in one depressing setting."

Diane smiled at her son and crossed her arms as well, "Fine, have it your way. Four weeks."

Judd grit his teeth, holding eye contact with his mom and praying that she would break before he did. But he finally let out a huge sigh, "God damn it, FINE."

His parents squealed at the thought of their oldest son, their first baby, bringing home a girl. Diane dismissed her children and ordered Judd to find out what day would be best for you to come have dinner. He stomped up to his room, stopping in front of the mirror on his wall and actually looking at the bruises on his skin. It wasn't a new sight for him, but something about them looked different this time..

Maury appeared behind him in the mirror, "Jesus, man, she really did a number on you."

He was right, the bruises on Judd's ribcage came from fists and elbows at the show. But the small hickeys left on his chest, those were alllll you.

"Yeah she did. Her bark might not be loud, but her bite.."

Judd ran his fingers over the the tiny marks and his heart thumped, thinking of the last two days that he'd spent with you. Trying to make sense of how it'd all made him feel. He wasn't used to this, being around someone that made him feel anything but bored or annoyed.

He sat through dinner with his family, staring at his plate and avoiding every question that they asked about you. Always answering with a sarcastic remark or simply stating that you weren't his girlfriend. Finally, Diane told Elliot to lay off and Judd left his plate at the table, retreating back to his bedroom and pulling out one of his many phones.

Your face popped into view and all the annoyance from his parents floated away. He watched you adjust your phone on the stainless steel table and continue working on what looked to be a dog.

"How are you FaceTiming on a flip phone?"

You'd caught onto his habit of only using burners considering the few times he'd texted or called it'd been from a different number.

"Better yet, why are you FaceTiming me and not sneaking in to turn my bedroom into a crime scene?"

Judd's tongue ran across the back of his teeth as he bit the inside of his cheek, fighting the urge to storm out of the house and drive straight there. "About that.. my parents are pretty pissed about the party."

"I figured. How long are you on lockdown for?"

He ran his fingers through his hair, suddenly feeling so nervous. It wasn't that he didn't want you to meet his family, it was just that... well, why would you?

Judd took in a deep breath and let it out hard, "Until you come have dinner with them."

Your eyebrows raised as you made eye contact with him through the screen, his statement throwing you off. Judd rushed to explain himself.

"Blame Leah. The stupid bitch brought you up to get one over on me.. she'll regret it when she wakes up to six raccoons gnawing on her toes."

You dropped your concerned look and smiled at him before glancing back down to the dog in front of you. You were wrist deep in his chest cavity and made a few more snips, pulling out its heart and holding it up beside your face.

"Aww, she was right. You really are America's sweetheart."

You tossed the heart into the trash can beside you and gazed back at him, he was waiting for an answer. "How's Friday night?" 

"You're serious? You'll suffer through dinner with my family?"

Judd heard Maury's raspy voice whispering in his ear, "Cum inside her..."

You nodded, "Sure, why not? Your sister seems cool, your brother's a cutie, and if it means getting you off the hook.."

He rolled his eyes at the mention of his brother, "Ugh, Nick's probably jerking off to the thought of you now, if the little prick even can. He said you smell like honey and roses."

"That makes two Birch men jerking off to me then."

Judd couldn't deny it.. you drove him fucking crazy. He didn't understand how or why, but he was tired of questioning it. 

Chapter Text

The two of you saw each other only during class that week. You'd chain smoked in the parking lot together afterwards until he had just enough time to beat his parents home from work.

Friday came fast, faster than he did remembering the way you looked up at him on your knees. And soon he was throwing open his front door to find you leaned against the frame wearing a pair of tight, light wash mom jeans and a subtly cropped, tie dye, lavender t-shirt. Your top complimenting your wavy locks. 

You greeted him with a wide smile and he pulled you in by the waist, kissing you hard. You laughed against his lips and wrapped your arms around his shoulders, "Miss me?"

His kisses were interrupted by Elliot yelling from the kitchen, "Judd, is that Cal??"

Judd sighed and loosened his grip, "I'm gonna go ahead and apologize for this entire night.. Come on."

You followed him into the kitchen, finding a room full of people that really didn't look like they were related to Judd at all. All of them were smiling, bubbly even, you wondered how Judd had ended up the complete opposite. 

A beautiful, blonde woman greeted you, "It is SO nice to meet you, Cali. Judd has told us.. really nothing about you, actually. I'm Diane." She pulled you in for a tight hug. 

Following her was a rather eccentric man with a full head of hair, wearing an apron that read something about being a feminist. "And I'm Elliot." He stepped away from the stove and wrapped his arms around your shoulders, rocking you back and forth in probably the most welcoming hug you'd ever had. 

"Well I sure wish our son would've warned us about how BEAUTIFUL you are!"

You were honestly taken aback by everyone. So taken aback that you almost forgot about the bag you were holding. 

"It's great to meet you guys. Oh, I brought you something - " You sat the bag on the kitchen island, pulling out the vase and it's contents, "They're golden roses. I preserved them, they should last until the spring as long as they're kept out of direct sunlight."

Judd rolled his eyes, "Fuck, here we go."

Right on cue his dad gripped his knuckles near his chin, seemingly holding back tears, "Cali, I cannot verbally express to you how special this is to us.. but I can give you another hug. Come here-"

Elliot reached for you again but Judd had had enough, he intercepted him, "Chill the fuck out, Dad. When's dinner gonna be done?"

You sat through the meal and expertly navigated your way through his parents questioning, your hand resting on his thigh for the majority of it. Judd learned a lot about you during that hour, thanks to their relentlessness. He learned that your parents were divorced and that you had a sister close to Leah's age. Also that you were very close with your dad, but noticed you were hesitant to talk about your mom.

Elliot inquired, "So Cal, what's your major in college? No, no, wait! Let me guess.."  He concentrated for a moment, "Biology??"

You were impressed, "Yeah! I'll get my bachelors here in Bridgeton and then hopefully be going to SUNY for vet school."

Leah chimed in, "So.. you work with dead animals now, but you're going to school to work with live ones?"

You nodded at her, "Yep. Dr. Calico Jack, DVM and Taxidermist. Either way, you get your pet back."

Judd had been silent the entire meal but finally, you heard a soft chuckle under his breath over your comment. You looked over at him, squeezing  his leg underneath the table. 

He shot a glare in your direction and mouthed, "Don't."

You couldn't hide your sly smile though, sliding your hand slowly up his thigh. His family too distracted by their own conversation to notice your hand underneath the table. 

Your visual attention went back to Elliot as he spoke to you, "So, a doctor! Did Judd tell you that he's a biology major, too?"

But your hand continued moving upward, grazing his crotch just gently enough to send lightning bolts through him. "He didn't!" Turning back to face him, "I didn't take you for a science buff, babe."

Emphasizing babe by giving his jeans a soft squeeze. He hadn't taken his eyes off of you for a second. You noticed his tongue rolling across his pearly white teeth as he started warming up to your habit of teasing him. 

He turned toward his parents at the head of the table, "I think Cal and I are full. Mom, are you happy now? Am I off the hook?"

Diane nodded her head, "You guys are leaving? But we were just getting to know her-"

Judd loudly scooted his chair away from the table, gripping your hand and pulling you with him, "Yeah there's uh.. there's a movie we wanna catch!"

You barely had time to grab your bag off the couch, yelling behind you as he pulled you with him out the door, "Bye Nick! Bye Leah! It was nice to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Birch!"

 

***** JUDD'S POV *****

 

I flung the passenger side door of my car open and grabbed her by the ass, roughly lifting her up into the seat. My forehead met hers in what was almost a head butt and my voice came out in a low growl, "What's your fucking deal? What are trying to god damn do to me?"

She had a smug, shit eating grin on her face that never went away. Not even when she inched her lips closer to mine and said in that disgustingly sweet voice of hers, "I just wanna get under your skin, Judd."

And god damn it, was it working. I backed away from her, sizing her up with a look I'm sure could kill. She pulled her legs inside the car and I slammed the door shut, circling the front of the car and starting it up. She went to grab her seatbelt when I stopped her. 

"You don't need that."

She looked up at me and I held eye contact with her while my hands moved down to my jeans, unbuckling them and pulling out the throbbing boner she'd given me during dinner. She knew what was happening, I didn't need to explain it to her. 

It was a ten minute drive to her apartment and she spent it leaned over the middle console, my hand on the back of her head. Guiding her mouth up and down on my cock. Her hand squeezed the base and she lapped at it like a god damn pro. 

I flew into the parking lot and threw my car in park, simultaneously pulling her head off of my lap by her hair, "Remember when I said I wanted to take my time with you?"

She nodded, spit hanging off of her lips. 

"Good. Get the fuck inside."

We raced each other up the stairs in a storm of her playful laughter and my loud smacks on her ass. I lifted her legs around my waist at her door, pushing her hard against it and crashing my lips onto hers. Grinding my hips between her thighs as she fumbled with the keys to get the door unlocked. She dropped them on the floor when we finally got inside and I kicked the door closed behind me, walking her slowly into her bedroom. We lost our shirts and shoes somewhere along the way. 

I dropped her onto the bed and her hands fell above her head, I couldn't help but to just look at her. Her porcelain skin glowed in the moonlight that shined through the window. It was the only light that illuminated the room. I crawled onto the bed underneath her, kissing the skin below her bellybutton and pulling her jeans down over her hips. She parted her legs for me and I kissed my way up her thighs, looking up and meeting her eyes before pushing her panties to the side. 

I dove into her, slowly licking my way up her slit. Her head rolled back, one of her hands tangling itself into my hair. Jesus Christ, she tasted just as sweet as her moans sounded.. I rolled my tongue over her clit and slowly sucked on the most sensitive parts of her. Meanwhile, she was filling the room with her heavy gasps for breath. 

I felt her grip on my hair tighten, "God.. damn it, I'm gonna cum, Judd.."

I backed off abruptly and she looked down at me, confused.

"Not until I say so, baby."

I stepped off the edge of the bed, dropping my jeans and boxers. Stroking my cock while looked at her beautiful body.

"Take off your panties.. and turn around."

She was so, so good when she was horny. Not her usual mouthy, sarcastic self. It was cute, that she would've done whatever I asked her to if it meant she was getting fucked.

She pulled off her underwear and turned over, raising her plump ass up in the air for me. God damn, this was a site I could live with seeing every single day of my pathetic life. Her, bent over, legs spread, looking over her shoulder and waiting for me. No, begging for me. 

I got onto my knees and rubbed my head up and down her, she was sopping wet. I smacked my cock against her clit and she whined.

I lined myself up with her hole, "You want it?.. Take it."

God.. she didn't wait. I felt her push herself back onto my cock, sliding onto me with ease. I gripped her ass and prayed that she didn't see my eyes rolling back in my head. That first thrust was slow, she rested at the base of my cock for a moment, adjusting to my length, before sliding off of me and pushing back again. She bounced her ass back and forth on my lap, taking me in to the hilt over and over. 

My palm came down hard on her ass and she squealed, speaking in a mixture of laughter and gritted teeth, "Fucking shit, I just wanna cum, Judd. Please, tell me I can.."

I wrapped my arm around her shoulder, grabbing her by the waist with my other hand and pulling her back against my chest. Growling low into her ear, "Don't. You. Fucking. Dare."

I ground into her from behind and thrusted in and out of her pussy hard, moaning right into her ear. I felt her legs starting to quiver under me and knew I wouldn't last much longer. 

My words came out demanding, "Cum. Now. Cum for me, baby."

Her moans were loud and breathy and she contracted around me. I felt her milking my cock. Trying my damn hardest to hold off until the waves of her orgasm subsides.. but I couldn't. I should've pulled out, but it felt too fucking amazing. I didn't want to be anywhere but surrounded by her warmth.

So I spilled inside her. Cumming while I held myself as deep inside her as I could, nails digging into her waist and my face buried against the crook of her neck. She ground back against me until I came back to my senses. 

I was panting when I finally spoke to her, "Holy fuck.. I am so sorry!"

She pulled away from my chest and rested against the mattress, looking up at me. God, she looked so spent. Her body was shimmering with a thin layer of sweat and strands of hair stuck to her face.

Her voice was back to being sweet as honey, "For what?"

"I came inside you, like.. a lot."

She nodded, "Mhm, it was hot. And I'm covered."

The tiny bit of guilt I was feeling lifted off my shoulders and I fell down onto the bed beside her, pulling her tired body into my arms. She pulled the blankets over us and I pushed her messy hair out of her face, kissing her head and holding her until we both fell into a deep, comfortable sleep.

Chapter Text

Slowly, you and Judd fell into a comfortable routine. Completely by accident, but one that neither of you objected to. He was spending half of his time at your apartment, only going home when you hinted that you needed to get work done.

Weeks passed and your favorite time of the year was creeping up. Halloween time. The New York air was getting cooler and your dark little heart was filled with creepy, holiday joy. 

The night of October 31st, you approached the Birch home door, leaning your shoulder against the frame and ringing the doorbell like usual. You counted down -

Five. Four. Three. Two.

Until you heard the three of them racing down the stairs to answer the door, it'd become the usual. You heard Judd's deep voice on the other side of the door.

"Back the fuck off, shit stains."

The door flung open and he wrapped you up in his arms. Your arms went around his shoulders and your lips smiled as they met his. 

"God damn, you look so beautiful."

You were dressed from head to toe in all black. Black boots, black leggings and a black, strappy bralette that formed a pentagram across your chest. In your hands were two Purge style masks and a (fake) machete. 

You pulled away from Judd, "And you still aren't dressed."

Judd rolled his eyes and trotted back up the stairs. You turned your attention to Leah and Nick, whom you'd become pretty close with over the past two months. Sometimes even ditching Judd for the day to get some quality girl time in with Leah, she reminded you so much of your own little sister. Nick and his friends had gotten into the habit of coming to you when they needed advice about the changes they were going through, you were especially fond of Jessi and Jay. 

Judd finally came back down stairs, sporting the same color scheme as you. Black converse, black jeans and a black hoodie, holding in his hand an (also fake) black rifle. You handed him his mask just as his parents came through the kitchen doorway.

Elliot bolstered, "Alright, kids! Picture time, everyone act like they love each other!"

Nick held his white button down open, showing the bright Superman symbol beneath and staring ahead through the thick framed glasses. He was going as Clark Kent. Leah twirled her blonde hair in her finger, dressed in a yellow plaid two-piece skirt set. She was obviously Cher Horowitz from Clueless. You and Judd pulled the masks down over your faces, leaning together so you were kissing through them. You held the machete against your shoulder and he held the semi-automatic across his waist. 

Elliot snapped the photo and Nick and Leah raced out the door toward Judd's van. Diane pulled you in for a hug and kiss on the cheek, whispering in your ear.

"Enjoy yourselves, sweetie. But if you don't mind.. keep an eye on them, please."

You nodded at her and made that promise, leading Judd out the door.

But that promise was broken the second that you pulled up to the Bilzerian home. You could hear the loud music from down the block and the two younger Birch kids quickly jumped out of the car, Nick racing through the door and Leah joining a group of her Drama friends in the front yard. You reached for the handle but stopped when you felt Judd's hand on your thigh. You turned to see him staring at you intently. 

"You stick with me tonight, understand?"

You furrowed your brow, not understanding what he meant. Judd knew that you didn't like to be told what to do either, but he held his ground.

"I'm fucking serious, Cal. The Bilzerian guys are creeps, I don't want you caught alone with them."

And though you didn't like to be bossed around (at least not in a non-sexual setting), you respected Judd. You knew that he respected you and that he was ultimately just looking out for your wellbeing. So you leaned into him and stroked his cheek, kissing his lips softly.

"I only wanna be caught alone with you, babe."

Inside, the music was almost deafening. You picked up a cup of some sort of alcohol mixture and followed Judd down to the basement, meeting eyes with your favorite 13 year old himself.

"Party woooolffff!"

Jay was wearing a red flannel with fake hair bustling out of the chest and sleeves, dressed as a true party wolf. He met your enthusiasm with a howl, "Mama woooolfff!"

Judd rolled his eyes while you passed around hugs to them all. Jay the party wolf, Jessi the congresswoman, and Andrew the sad clown. 

But your time with the kids was short lived while you made sure to stay close to Judd. You were meeting his friends for the first time, and they were just as interesting as him. After a few drinks though, you really had them going. Soon, you were being held upside down beside a girl named Sara in a keg stand competition. Her boyfriend held up her legs while Judd held yours. You heard him cheering you on through the loud crowd chanting "Chug! Chug! Chug!"

Sara broke, she let the nozzle fall from her lips and spill onto the floor. You felt Judd lift you up, hoisting you over his shoulder for a split second before lowering you back to your feet and kissing you hard in front of everyone. 

You and Judd hadn't exactly been public with your "relationship" yet. You weren't hiding anything, but he hadn't met your friends or family and nothing was official. 

The two of you pulled away from each other and your head was spinning. Not because you were drunk (though you were), but because you couldn't get enough of him. Your mind had been hazy and full of pink clouds for the past month that you'd spent with Judd, and now was no different. But it cleared up fast when you turned back toward the crowd and came face to face with a familiar, blue haired girl.

Judd's arm was still draped around your shoulder when the two of you simultaneously groaned, "Ffffuckkk.."

You turned toward Judd, confused, "Wait-"

He looked at you just the same, "How do you.."

But the girl interrupted, arms crossed and looking furious, "Try not to look too excited, guys.. So this is why you both ghosted me last month?"

It wasn't funny. Truly, it wasn't. But in your drunken state of mind, you were trying your hardest to hold back laughter, and it showed. 

"You think it's fucking funny, Cal? I begged you to even have breakfast with me, but you're making out with him at fucking house party in front of everyone?"

Finally, gears starting turning in Judd's head and he asked you, "Hold up, this is Goldie?"

"Who the fuck is Goldie?"

The two of you were more or less ignoring the girl, having your own conversation between her pleas for answers, "Yeah! I told you I have a habit of keeping blue hair in my bed. Wait, did you -"

"Yeah!"

The girl was getting angrier, "Do you both think my name is Goldie?"

It dawned on Judd what she was saying, and he realized that he didn't remember her name either, "We don't think that's your name, neither of us gave a fuck enough to bother remembering it."

He was getting annoyed at her desperation, just like he had when they were hooking up. She looked upset and flabbergasted, turning her attention towards you in an attempt to set you off. She had a cocky smile on her face that Judd wanted to smack right off the second he saw she was coming for you.

"You know, I used to come to your place right after fucking him. Does it disgust you knowing that you'd eat me out right after he pulled his dick out of me?"

Judd was seething, he was about to step in and have words with the girl, but you handled it. Your hand moving toward her waist and hooking your finger in the belt loop of her jeans, gently trying to pull her toward you.

"I'd do it again tonight if you're down."

Judd's grip tightened around your shoulder and he looked down at you, noticing the look you were giving her. It was the same one that you'd given him during your first shower together, the one where he knew he was long gone. 

But the girl yanked her hip away from your hand, "God, you're both fucking pigs."

She stormed off with a huff and Judd yelled after her, teasing, "Wait! We never caught your name!"

 

***** YOUR POV *****

 

I turned my face into Judd's chest in an attempt to hide my giggles, he pulled me down with him onto the dusty old couch that sat in the basement. Erupting in a fit of laughter with me at the girl's expense. 

I sat across his lap, oblivious to the drunk party goers around us. My arms rested over his shoulders while his took their usual spot around my waist. Judd's lips found my neck, trailing kisses up to that sweet spot just below my ear. 

A chill ran up my spine as he whispered, "Did I hear that wrong, or were you trying to impose a threesome on me?"

My fingernails grazed his buzzed scalp, "Are you objecting to seeing my face buried in another girl's pussy?"

Now that, that got to him. I heard his nervous half laugh in my ear as he bit down on my lobe and felt the growth underneath his jeans. His hands digging into my skin and holding me tighter against him, "God, you can never just behave, can you? Keep acting up, Cal -"

I cut him off, pulling my ear away from his lips and turning to face him, "And you'll what?"

He couldn't have answered if he tried, this was one of my favorite versions of him. Tongue tied and nervous because he'd never encountered someone as blunt as himself before. 

My lips moved to his ear this time, whispering, "Are you threatening to punish me, Daddy?"

Thankfully, the music in the house was loud enough that only the two of us could hear the conversation. Judd growled and sneakily took a handful of my hair close to the scalp, "You're about to get fucked in the back seat of my van outside if you don't shut. the. fuck. up. Cal."

If the people around us could hear the words that were being shared, I'm sure they would've thought we were in an insanely toxic relationship. But this was just playfulness for us, me relentlessly teasing him and him getting sexually frustrated to no end. 

I hopped off of his lap, pretending to be offended, "I don't know what type of girl you take me for, Judd Birch, but it's certainly not the kind that would let you defile me in the back of your creepy van!"

He tilted his head and gave me a look that meant he was calling my bluff, I just leaned down and gave him a quick peck on the lips, "I'm getting one last drink, be right back."

 

The house was huge, or maybe it was just my double vision playing tricks on me. There were two different stereos playing in the basement and top of the house. The basement had been playing mostly aggressive, angry rap. Up here, it sounded more like a moody SoundCloud mixtape was playing.

I grabbed a cup of whatever was being served at the drink table without bothering to ask what it was. I didn't care, it was sweet, strong and getting the job done. That's all I needed. And just as I was about to push back open the door to the basement, my metaphorical little Sims bladder meter started going off.

Great. I was drunk in a huge house that I'd never been in before and seconds away from pissing myself. I squeezed my thighs together and made my way up the stairs as calmly as I could, pushing open every door in search for the bathroom.

Finally, I found it! You know that moment when you're taking the longest piss of your life and you come to the realization that you're literally piss drunk? Yeah, that was me. I was wasted. But finally I stood up and worked on pulling my tight leggings back up my legs.

I'd just gotten them over my thighs, and in my inebriated state was having a terribly hard time pulling them up over my ass. As if timed perfectly, the door to the bathroom flung open hard, slamming against the wall behind it. Sober Cali would've been terrified, drunk Cali just turned her head and stood facing the guy in the door frame.

He stopped in his tracks when he saw me there, catching the longest glimpse possible at my bare ass before finally saying something, "Oh, shit. Uh.."

But he didn't back out of the doorway or even advert his eyes. I finally got my leggings over my cheeks, giggling inside at how flustered he looked.

"Oh look, it's Richard Ramirez." He had to have heard how unimpressed I was, "Wait-"

I inched closer to him, my eyes going in and out of focus until the four silhouettes merged into two, then the two into one. He was wearing a pair of slacks and a button up shirt, covered by a transparent coat that was splattered in fake blood.

"Are you Patrick Bateman?"

He dropped the stunned look and put on a cocky smirk, "For one night and one night only, in the morning you can call me Val."

I laughed and tried to push past him, "In the morning I'm not gonna remember that you even exist, pal. 'Scuse me -"

But he didn't budge. My slowed reaction time caused me to run right into his chest like an absolute dumbass, and he didn't even flinch. 

I said it louder, "Excuse. Me."

My words didn't phase him, they went in one ear and right out the other. I could see that he was sizing me up, "What's your rush?"

I'm not gonna lie, I felt a tiny hint of fear at the realization that I was no match for him. I was drunk in a house that I wasn't familiar with, on a completely separate floor from everyone else. Even if I screamed, who would hear me over the deafening music downstairs?

But just as the words escaped his lips, he was grabbed by his collar and pulled back through the door frame. Hitting the opposite side of the hallway with a loud, painful "thud!"  

"She said fucking move, dipshit."

Judd stood between the two of us. He grabbed my arm, squeezing it hard and pulled me out of the tiny restroom looking fucking pissed.

He turned to look at Val, who still stood stunned against the wall, one last time, "And I already told you once, she's fucking mine."

Judd pulled me down the stairwell with his hand still locked around my bicep, out the front door and to his car. I sat in the passenger seat unsure of what to say to him. Judd was apathetic and angry in general, but I'd never experienced him pissed at me before.

He pulled himself up into the drivers' seat and slammed the door closed, "I fucking told you to stick with me, Cal."

"I just had to take a piss, dude. It's not that big of a deal -"

He cut me off, raising his voice and turning my direction. His emerald green eyes now dark and seething, "It is a big deal, babe! I know you THINK you're six feet tall and 200 pounds of muscle, but you're fucking not. You're 5'4 and fucking wasted in a stranger's house that I already god damn warned you about!"

Soon this was gonna turn into a screaming match for the ages, I moved my face closer to his and held my ground, "Stop. Fucking. Yelling. At. Me."

I fully expected him to kick me out of his car, but he didn't. Instead he backed off, simmering down in his seat and adverting his gaze. His fingers went to the bridge of his nose, massaging it, "You're right.. I shouldn't be yelling."

I didn't respond and after a moment he continued, "I just worry about you, Cal. The Bilzerians and I usually have a mutual respect for each other, being agents of chaos and all - but I fucking knew that when they saw you.."

Judd trailed off with a sigh, I didn't need him to keep going. I just held out my palm and he rested his hand in mine. We sat in a comfortable silence for a few minutes while he calmed down. 

Meanwhile, I was sobering up fast and my mind hung on the words that he'd growled at Val back inside the house. 

"What did you mean back there? When you told him that I'm yours."

He looked up at me from his lap, his eyes now clear and bright again but his voice still low and gruff, "You know what I meant, Cal.."

Oh I knew, but I wanted him to say it. My face instinctually inching closer to his, my eyes watching his lips, "Spell it out for me, baby."

Unsure if it was his thumping heart I heard or mine, he tilted his face to fit mine and growled the words out in a whisper, "You're. Mine."

It wasn't a question, he wasn't asking me to be his girlfriend. He didn't even fucking need to. I was his, all his. Whenever, wherever, however. I shook my head "yes" vigorously and his hand went to the back of my head, pulling my face to his hard. Biting my lip and playing with my tongue in the front seat of his car. 

He pulled away just enough to catch his breath and get a few words out, "Get in the back."

"What?"

He pulled away further so I could see the mischievous smile on his face, "I told you to behave yourself or else you were getting fucked in the back of my car. Now - Get. In. The back."

I'd never climbed over a middle console so fast in my entire life. It was then that I realized I was hopelessly, disgustingly in love with Judd Birch.

 

Chapter Text

November 26th. Two and a half months in and it would never be admitted out loud, but I was head over heels. Fuck, I thought I was empty before.. now? On the days she needed to spend alone, I was fucking miserable. Hollow, even.

It was 1 a.m. that Tuesday night. We'd both finished our last classes for the week before being off for a five day weekend, our college's sorry excuse for a "fall break". She was sitting up on my lap, lighting a bowl and taking a long, deep drag. I was trying to catch my breath and fawning over her shimmering, sweaty body that sat atop mine. Running my hands over her bare stomach and squeezing her hips before she offered me the bowl and lighter.

She spoke in a strained voice, trying to hold the smoke in for as long as possible, "You remember about tomorrow, right?"

I sat up against the headboard with her still on my lap, my now soft dick slipping out of her. Cum spilling out from between her legs and pooling onto the bed below us. She let out a disgusted "Uck" along with her smoke while it didn't phase me at all, I just lit the bowl and took my hit.

She whined, "Damnit, Judd, I just washed these sheets.."

"Yeah, yeah, I remember -" I'm sure she could hear the annoyance in my voice, "Your gay ass family is coming in so I have to go home."

She rolled her eyes at my complaining and lifted herself off the bed, catching the remainder of my cum that was seeping out of her with an impromptu jizz rag that was once a t-shirt.

She tossed the cloth to me, "I told you, you don't have to go home, babe. But I really don't think you're gonna be too entertained listening to my dad complain about retirement and my sister attached to my hip."

I half ass cleaned off my dick and set the bowl to the side, pulling her by the hand back onto the bed and rolling on top of her. Planting loving kisses across her chest and little tongue laps over her perfectly pink nipples.

"Just tell them something came up. I'll blow my family off and we can spend National Genocide Day with a rotisserie chicken and a Saw movie marathon on the couch. Come on, baby.."

I felt the goosebumps raise on her skin, knowing that she melted when I used pet names on her. But she wasn't falling for it this time.

"As enticing as that sounds, it'll have to wait until Friday. I miss them.."

I noticed the tinge of pain in her voice and gave up the antics, resting my chin against her hip and looking up at her, "I know you do. Y'know, the other offer still stands, too. My parents are fucking begging for the three of you to spend Thanksgiving with us."

She finally cracked a smile and ran her fingers through my damp hair, "Tell them that I love them as if they'd fucked me into existence themselves, and that I'll keep that in mind."

I winced in disgust at my parents banging, "Ugh, I might just have to break up with you over that, Cal."

She looked down at me with a cocky smile, "Yeah right, you're not goin' fucking anywhere."

My halted kisses resumed across her stomach and my voice lowered, "Nowhere besides down on you.."

She pretended to resist but her voice turned soft and sweet, like it always did when she wanted more, "Nuhuh, I can't cum again, Daddy.."

Despite her words, she slowly spread her legs and I kissed my way down through her trimmed pubes, "Sure you can, sweetheart.."

~

~

"WHERE IS CALI? I WAS TOLD SHE'D BE HERE. NOW I'M HERE, AND SHE'S NOT. THIS IS FALSE! ADVERTISEMENT!"

Judd was genuinely considering blowing his fucking brains out if this 13 year old crack baby didn't shut the fuck up. It was Thanksgiving afternoon and Nick had invited Jay over for dinner, since Jay's family was less than traditional when it came to meals or spending time together in general.

Nick tried to reason with him, "I told you that she might be here, Jay!" He grabbed Jay by the collar and brought him in close, whispering, "And shut the fuck up about your obsession with my brother's girlfriend. He has an army of raccoons for Christ's sake."

Judd rubbed my temples, suppressing the homicidal thoughts running through his mind. Diane walked through the kitchen archway, "I wish she could've made it, sweetie. It sure would be nice to meet what could be our future family members."

"Mom, shut the fu-"

Leah chimed in as she came down the stairs, "Her sister is my age, it'd be cool to have a girl like me around."

"What are the chances of another person as fucking lame as  you  existing, Leah?"

She stood next to their mom in the door frame, holding the exact same pose as her. Arms crossed and smiling like Judd's insults didn't even effect them anymore.

Diane spoke in her usual, loving tone, "We have definitely missed your charisma around here, sweetie."

Leah, Nick, Jay and Judd sat on the couch for hours. They were that family, the ones who starved themselves all day before pigging out on carbs for dinner.

Judd yelled from the living room, "Dad! Is dinner almost done yet?!"

"Yes, Juddy! We're just waiting for the green bean casserole and macaroni."

Right on cue, the door bell rang and Elliot continued, "That should be them. One of you, get the door please."

He ignored him, figuring it was one of his doctor friends. Jay stood up and raced to the door behind them, another second and Judd heard his ear rupturing voice yet again.

"MAMA WOOOLLFFFF!"

What. The. Fuck...

His head whipped around and saw Jay's arms squeezing you around waist. The words repeated over and over again in his head, "It's her. It's her. Is it really her?"

You held a covered pan of green bean casserole under your arm while leaning down to squeeze Jay right back. Judd hadn't seen you like this before. You were usually sporting something lazy, like leggings and a t-shirt. Or when the two of you would go out it would be some combination of tight jeans and a low cut tank top. But right now, you just looked.. homey. Your usual tight skinny jeans with a flowy, burnt orange sweater that hung off one shoulder. Half of your hair thrown up into a top knot.

You stood up from Jay and walked toward Judd, who's legs had inadvertently already rose and turned the corner of the couch. He stood in front of you looking confused, something you'd been hoping for.

"I might have "forgotten" to take the turkey out of the freezer in time."

He caught on and grabbed the dish from your hand, lazily tossing it onto the couch, "You didn't think to warn me that you were coming over?"

"Then I wouldn't have gotten to see the adorable, confused look on your face."

The words almost came out of Judd's mouth. He came so close to muttering them without even meaning to, but he was interrupted by the conversation ensuing behind him. Your sister and dad had found their way inside the house and everyone was introducing themselves to each other.

Everyone besides Jay. He stood to the side, staring straight ahead with flushed cheeks. He'd just been struck by cupid's arrow and was making heart eyes at your little sister. You laughed and crouched down to his level, whispering in his ear, "Her name is Madison and she's too old for you, stud."

Oh, but that didn't stop Jay. He pushed his way past Leah, who was quickly making friends, and awkwardly held his palm out for a handshake.

"Hellooo.." He stumbled over her name, "M-m.. M-madi-"

She nodded and shook his hand, "Madison. I'm guessing you're Jay, Cal's told me about you."

Judd took one look at your sister and honestly, he couldn't blame Jay for being nervous. The two of you favored each other. Fair skin, freckles, but her wavy hair was colored a shade of forest green that made her look like a mermaid on dry land.

You eventually wrangled them all into the kitchen where Elliot was setting the food out onto the table, Diane was pouring glasses of white wine for the adults.

"Diane, Elliot, this is my dad, Alex. Dad, meet the Birch's."

Your dad sure could make friends with anyone, and he was starving for human contact since retiring. He offered to carve the turkey and you all took your spots around the table. You sat between Judd and your dad. Your sister between Leah and Jay. Nick between Jay and his parents and his parents right beside your dad.

Bowls and platters got passed around in front of Judd and the conversations ensuing around him felt overwhelming. Overwhelming in a good way because for the first time in his entire life he finally felt.. home. You noticed his eyes darting back and forth, like he was subconsciously searching for an escape route in case it all became too much.

So you reached under the table, brushing your fingers over his and giving them a light squeeze just so he would know that you were there. You had his back, whatever he needed. And that act alone helped ease his racing thoughts and heart rate.

The dinner was delicious to say the absolute least. The turkey was perfectly moist, mashed potatoes were buttery and the stuffing wasn't too dry. Leah and Madison sat to the right of Judd, showing each other pictures of guys on their cell phones. Jay sat with his chin rested in his hand, he'd barely eaten a bite while staring at your sister for the past hour. You'd thought it was suspicious how quiet he'd become.

Elliot spoke to your dad in his usual, flamboyant tone, "So, Alex! What was it like raising such a lovely young lady? You must be so proud of her, going to medical school."

Alex tossed his napkin down on his empty plate, "Oh Cal was easy, she was scared of everything as a little one! But I always knew she'd work with animals, just didn't expect it to be dead ones. One time, when she was maybe.. three years old or so -"

Your ears perked up, familiar with the story he was about to recite, "Dad, really, they don't wanna hear that story."

"I'm retired, honey, the only job I have left is to tell embarrassing stories about my girls." He turned his attention back toward Elliot and Diane, "I had a huuuge bucket full of worms I planned to take fishing. Now, she loved bugs. It didn't matter what kind - lady bugs, honey bees, roley poleys, she loved them all. Well, she decided that these worms were her "best worm friends". So, needless to say, those worms did not get used as bait. But she left them out in the July heat uncovered for a full day, and when she came to check on them the next morning, they were all dead! All shriveled up like dry noodles. Ooooh lord, my baby cried for TWO days over those damn worms."

You rolled your eyes at the story, having heard him tell it so many times over the years. It was cute, you couldn't deny that. But your dad kept going,"And don't even get me started about her first puppy."

Your heart sped up immediately, "Dad, please -"

But he didn't stop, "She had that poor pup for four months, tops."

You knew there was no convincing him, and your head was already fogging. You loudly scooted your chair back from the table, grabbing your pack of cigarettes from your bag and walking quickly towards the patio door, "I'm gonna go smoke."

Judd eyed the door, unsure of what to do. Should he follow? Did you want to be alone? The questions were answered for him when he heard a "Psst.." from a few seats down. It was Madison, she'd tilted her chair back on its two hind legs and was leaning behind Leah to whisper to him.

"If you don't go, I am. She doesn't need to be alone."

He took that as his cue and followed you out the back door, closing it quietly behind him. Judd watched you leaned against the porch railing, puffing on a cigarette like it was your only source of oxygen.

"Hey.. you okay?"

You looked over your shoulder and nodded your head, "Yeah, just trying not to have a panic attack.. I fucking hate that story."

The sun had long set and it was dark in the Birch's back yard. The cold air was helping to calm your nerves. Judd leaned his elbow against the railing beside you and you passed him the cigarette.

"Spill it."

It took you a moment, there was a lump hanging in your throat that you had to work past in order to get words out. But eventually, they came, "When I was like.. six, my mom got me a little puppy. Just a little ankle biter, he was all black and I named him Comet. He was a dick to everyone, but we were best friends."

You took another long drag and continued, "I was fucking. Six. I didn't know how to take care of a god damn dog.. I didn't know not to give the damn thing Halloween candy. I figured I liked it, Comet would like it, too! And he did like it! But obviously, it was poisonous to him. Long story short, he died a few days later."

Judd couldn't help but to think,"that's it?". With the way you were acting, he expected something more climactic.

"I hate to sound insensitive, but.. you're having an anxiety attack over the dog that you accidentally killed when you were a kid?"

You laughed, knowing how stupid it sounded, "God, no. It's just.. that was my first real encounter with death, and I wasn't exactly raised in a religious household. It was like something clicked in my head and I realized that was gonna die, too. That one day everything around me would cease to exist.. myself included."

You'd never told a soul about this fear, your biggest fear. Your entire life, it'd haunted you like a jump scare from a movie. It came out of nowhere and at the worst of times. You'd be spending time with friends or laying down for bed, and all of a sudden you'd remember that one day, it'd be like none of this ever happened. Like you never happened.

You felt your heart rate speeding up again and your skin turning clammy, you were panicking, "Ffffuck! Does that not scare the shit out of you, Judd?? God, I'm surrounded by this whole wide world, I could be standing in the middle of an open field and still feel claustrophobic. It's like I'm in a fucking labyrinth, like I'm stuck in a corn maze and there's no way out because there isn't."

Judd could see your thoughts racing behind your eyes and tossed out his cigarette, wrapping his arms around your shoulders and pulling you in tight. Shushing you and stroking your hair.

"Babe, you're never gonna be forgotten. Your freaking art, all the good you're gonna do for animals. There's no way in hell you're just gonna fade into the background. You're too.." he let out a sigh, trying not to drop the wrong words, "...fucking perfect."

You rested your head against his chest, allowing his steady heartbeat to sooth your own. His heavy embrace helping to bring your mind back down to Earth. You whispered to him after finally gathering yourself, "I'm sorry.. I don't know why it just hits me like that."

Judd kissed the top of your head before releasing his grip on you, "Don't apologize. I told you, I wanna know everything. That includes your biggest fears."

The two of you finished off another cigarette and went back inside the house, noticing everyone had relocated to the living room. Leah and Madison were sitting like they were best friends, practically on top of each other while sharing the recliner. Jay and Nick sat on the floor below them, drooling all over themselves. Meanwhile, your parents all sat side by side on the couch. Your dad still gushing over what a great child he'd raised.

"...but Cal, she's brought a sort of  beauty  to taxidermy that I'd never seen before. I never thought of it as an art form until I saw some of her work. She's made me proud."

You leaned into Judd and he rested his arm over your shoulders as the two of you watched the scene from the door.

Diane spoke to her other two children, "Leah, Nick, it's getting late.."

Leah turned to her mom and gave her the sappiest puppy dog eyes you'd ever seen, "Mom, Dad.. Maddie and I were wondering if we could have a sleepover."

Madison went in for the kill, too, "Please, Dad? We're only in town for one more night."

It was fine with all of them, and Elliot extended the offer, "Actually, Alex, we have a guest room. I'm sure it's much more comfortable than Cal's couch if you want to take it for the night?"

~

Hours later you hugged your Dad goodnight and checked on the girls in Leah's room, sneaking quietly back into Judd's room down the hall. You pulled off your jeans and changed into one of his shirts before crawling into bed beside him.

You asked, "So what do you think happens when we go?"

He thought about it for a moment, "I read somewhere that we're technically made of stardust. That we came to because of stars that exploded billions of years ago. So maybe it makes sense that we end up the same way we started.. stars just shooting around in all of the galaxies."

You nuzzled against his chest and wrapped your fingers around his waist, "Well I hope we end up in the same galaxy."

Judd caught your eyes looking up at his and he felt his heart drop to the pit of his stomach. He could see all of the universe that he cared to right there, right then. He wanted more than anything to tell you, to just say the words.. but he couldn't.

"I'd bet my life that we end up forming the brightest star is this fucking galaxy."