Pacey raised himself up on his elbow, resting his chin in his hand to peer over Joey’s shoulder where she sat on the floor, her books spread out in front of her.
“What time is this exam tomorrow?” He asked as leaned into her, taking the opportunity to just gently nuzzle her neck.
“8:30…” She sighed, stretching her arms out in front of her and then just reaching one hand back to ruffle it through his hair. “It’s my first class.”
Pacey glanced at the time on the cable box, giving her neck another quick kiss. “Well, you’ve got about another 20 minutes before you have to leave if you’re going to catch the 7:00 train.” He flopped back on the couch, adjusting his pillow under his head and returning his attention back to the television screen where he was watching the hockey game with the sound muted, absently playing with the back of her hair. Joey just nodded, picking up the bottle of water next to her and reaching her hand into the bag of pretzels on her lap. Munching on pretzel, she raised her eyes from her reading to look at the television as well.
“What is this?” She asked, squinting her eyes at the screen. “What game is this?”
“NESN has been replaying old Stanley Cup games all weekend. This is Ray Bourque winning his Stanley Cup last year.” Pacey’s voice was slightly husky, and he coughed a little to clear it.
Joey raised an eyebrow, slowly turning her head to look at him where he was laying on the couch behind her. “Oh…my…God…” She said softly, suppressing a giggle as she looked at his face. “You were just crying.”
Pacey looked over at her in horror, his mouth falling open. “I most certainly was not!” He raised his voice as he responded and it cracked slightly on his words.
“Yes, you were - just a second ago. I caught you.” Joey laughed.
“You are out of your mind, Jo. I was not crying.” He huffed, sitting up to run his hand through his hair. “Crying watching a hockey game? Please.” He made a face, shaking his head in disgust and then turned to look down at her. “And…so what if I got a little misty there? Do you know how long he waited to win that Cup? Do you know how much disappointment and heartache he faced over all those years in his career with the Bruins? Are you really that cold and dead inside?” Pacey raised his arms in exasperation.
Joey could not stop giggling at this point, resting her hands on his knees to pull herself up and climb into his lap. “I’m sorry, Pace.” She tried to stop laughing as she placed both hands on his cheeks to lean in to kiss him.
“You know…I don’t think I really want to do this with you right now, Jo.” He said, feigning disinterest as he backed away from her kiss.
Joey giggled again, adjusting her body so that she was straddling him now, her knees pressed into the couch on each side of him. “C’mon, Pace…I’m sorry. You’re absolutely right - it is the kind of thing that could make a real man cry.” She kissed him softly, her lips lingering against his. “A real girly-man.” She whispered, giggling again.
“Okay…that’s it.” Pacey sighed, trying not to laugh as well, as he placed both hands on her hips to try to lift her off him. Joey just kissed him again and pressed down with more deliberate force, slowly beginning to rock her hips against his lap. Pacey groaned softly, raising his hands to bury them in her hair and moving in to gently bite down on her neck. She sighed and smiled as she closed her eyes and continued her movements, feeling him instantly harden beneath her.
Pacey continued to kiss the warm skin of her neck, glancing briefly over at the time on the television’s cable box. “Jo…” He sighed against her skin, closing his eyes as he breathed in the clean scent of the body lotion she always used. “You have to go if you’re getting on that train.”
“I’ll catch the 9:00…” She sighed as well, kissing his cheek.
Pacey shook his head, moving to her mouth. “No, that one gets you into Boston too late. I told you - I’m not letting you walk at night anymore.” He mumbled against her lips. She deepened the kiss, slowly exploring his mouth with her tongue, her movements soft and sweet. He groaned a little, grasping the back of her hair in his hand. “I’ll just drive you back later.”
Joey broke from the kiss to let out a quiet moan as Pacey thrust up to meet her, wrapping his hands around her and pulling her against him, and she could feel the heat of anticipation beginning to pool in her lower stomach. She bit down on her lip. “I don’t want you to have to do that again, Pacey….” She sighed, leaning into his chest to crush her breasts against him and lowering her head to nuzzle his ear. “There’s always that 6:00 am commuter express train tomorrow morning.” She pushed up the bottom of his t-shirt, running her hands up and down his chest.
Pacey reached his hand up to cup her breast. “Well, as you know…I, myself, am a big fan of the 6:00 am express train…” He looked up to watch her face as he brushed his thumb over her, just gently teasing her. “But I thought that test was in your first class tomorrow?”
Joey made a little hiccup noise as she caught her breath, exhaling slowly. “That one will get me there in plenty of time. I can even review my notes on the way in.”
Pacey didn’t say another word, just reached under her shirt to run his hands along her sides, then slowly lifted it up and pulled it over her head, balling it up and tossing it over his shoulder with one hand as she giggled against his skin. He quickly pulled her bra strap down, immediately closing down on her breast with his mouth, soft and wet and hot. Gently biting down, he arched his hips up into her again at the same time, causing her to gasp his name and throw her head back. He looked up at her as she tilted her head forward again, her tousled hair framing her face as her cheeks took on that familiar glow and her eyes darkened with desire. He just watched her as she rocked her hips against his erection now, her lips parting as she began to pant slightly. Keeping his eyes on her face, he slowly undid the zipper on her jeans, pushing them down around her hips. He just barely brushed his fingers against her, groaning a little as he felt how wet she already was, soaking through the flimsy material of her bikini underwear. He continued to just gently stroke his fingers back and forth along the fabric, watching as she bit her lip and moaned in frustration. He finally pushed the material out of his way, sliding his finger along her slick folds before moving it up inside her and applying light pressure with his thumb. She closed her eyes, trying to thrust down on his hand, but he steadied her by holding onto her hip as he slid another finger inside her. He set the rhythm, thrusting his hand up while guiding her body from where he held her, still just watching her face as his own eyes began to darken. He listened for the change in her breathing, feeling her hips begin to instinctively move with his hand. Slowly and deliberately, he pulled his fingers from her. She gasped, moaning and shaking her head, trying to thrust down again.
“Hold onto it…” He whispered to her, lifting her up a little as he pushed his own pants down and pulled out a condom.
“I can’t, Pacey.” She whimpered, reaching out to grip onto his shoulders.
He removed her of her jeans and settled back onto the couch under her, pulling her onto him inch by inch as she dropped her head down and moaned into his ear. “Wait for me, Jo.” He whispered again, slowly thrusting up, moving even deeper inside her. She bit down on her lip as she tried to concentrate, fighting every natural urge to just let herself go. He began to move with more force and speed, lifting her hips up with his large hands and bringing them back down to meet his own with every stroke. Joey dug her knees into the couch, feeling like she couldn’t breathe, just holding on to him. Finally he whispered one word in her ear, his voice a low growl, soft and urgent. Joey cried out as she felt the warm rush of her release meet his, and wave after wave of sensation flowed through her body until all she could do was bury her face in his neck until she stopped shaking.
They stayed like that for a few minutes until Joey finally placed her hand on his shoulders and pushed back on trembling arms to look at him.
“What the hell was that? I didn’t think I could do that.” She gasped, still out of breath, as he chuckled and rubbed his hand over his hair.
“See – you learn something new about yourself everyday.” His deep, husky voice rumbled through her as she leaned forward to rest back against his chest. He lightly ran his hands up and down her back. “I would definitely give you an “A” for effort on that one.” He chuckled again as he gently kissed her forehead.
She looked up at him, her cheek pressed against the front of his shoulder, and raised an eyebrow. “If we are going to start grading one another, why don’t we move this into your room where I can properly test you?” She mumbled against his warm skin.
He smiled, moving forward to stand, wrapping his arms around her to lift her up with him. In that instant, their eyes met. They held each other’s gaze for a long moment until Joey closed her eyes and rested her forehead against his. “I love…this.” She whispered. Pacey just reached up to gently touch her cheek and kiss her.
Joey smiled as she blinked her eyes open, lowering her hand to rest it on Pacey’s arm where she knew she would find it wrapped around her waist. His warm breath tickled the skin on the back of her shoulder and she lifted her head a little off the pillow to glance at the clock.
“Oh, No, no, no! Oh, Shit!” She sat bolt upright in bed upon seeing the time. “Pacey!” She turned to shove him awake. “The alarm never went off - we overslept. I missed my train.”
Pacey opened one eye, sitting up slowly as he dropped his head. He rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hand. “What time is it?” His voice was still hoarse from sleep.
“It’s almost 7:00!” Joey jumped out of bed, pulling on the shirt that she saw lying on the floor. “I’m going to miss my exam. I just missed the last train that was going to get me into Boston on time.” She ran into the living room, coming back and hopping on one leg as she tried to pull her jeans on with one arm and pull her coat on with the other. Pacey just looked at her sleepily and got out of bed, walking past her without a glance. Joey scowled, hopping after him. “Pacey?”
He walked into the kitchen in just his boxers and opened the drawer next to refrigerator, turning around with a set of keys in his hand. “Here.” He yawned, handing them to her as he walked towards the bathroom. Joey just stared at the keys in her hand, following after him.
“What are these?” She asked, frowning as she moved to stop in front of him, buttoning her coat up with one hand.
“My spare keys to the truck. You are going to have to drive to get there on time now, right?” He asked her casually, rubbing his hand absently over his stomach.
“Yeah…” She replied uncertainly.
He placed his hands gently on her shoulders, moving her out of his path for the bathroom. “So, you take my truck.” He went to go by her. “I’d take you myself, but some of us have to work around here.”
She grabbed his arm. “Well, how are you going to get to work?”
“Jo…” He sighed, rubbing his hand over his hair as he shook his head. “I can practically see the Yacht Club from that window.” He pointed past her shoulder. “I think I can figure out a way to get there if I really, really tried. Now…can I go to the bathroom, please?” He cringed a bit.
Joey just nodded, biting her lip and staring at the keys in her hand until he emerged from the bathroom again.
“Oh. You’re still here?” He smiled, nodding to her pleasantly as he walked past her again, as if she were someone he was just passing on the street.
“Pace…I have exams all week. I…I don’t know when I’ll have time to drive back and…” She swallowed nervously.
Pacey just turned to look at her and sighed heavily, understanding. He came over to place his hands on her shoulders again, his warm blue eyes just taking her in for a moment “That’s why I gave you a spare set, sweetheart. Just give me a call and tell me where you parked it when you get there – park it wherever you have to, as far away as you have to - and I’ll take care of the rest, okay? Don’t worry about it.” He leaned down to kiss her gently on the forehead, whispering against her skin. “Just try not to leave it in a tow zone.”
Joey sighed, relaxing a bit. “Thanks, Pace…”
“No problem. Now get going and drive safely.” He leaned down to kiss her and she wrapped her arms tightly around his neck to hug him.
Joey pulled her comforter over her head, trying to block out the sunshine coming in through the large windows in her dorm room. After taking her exam, she had come back to the room to leave Pacey a message where to find his truck. Now that the rush of excitement of her frenzied morning was over, the anxiety of taking her exam gone, the lack of sleep from the night before was beginning to catch up with her. She sighed, closing her eyes and trying to nap, but all she could think of was how Pacey was going to have to find a way up to Boston to get his truck. Under the circumstances, she knew there were very few people he could ask for a ride without having to explain why his truck was in Boston without him. She rolled over, fluffing her pillow before dropping her head down again. At least she had found him a safe spot in one of the public parking lots near campus.
She had just started to drift off when she heard a key in the lock and Audrey’s unmistakable voice. She was talking to someone, and Joey realized with a sickening feeling of dread in her stomach that it was Dawson.
“There she is!” She heard Audrey exclaim. “At least - I think that lump over there under her comforter is her. Oh…Joey?”
Joey sat up slowly, yawning and running her hand through her tangled hair. “Hey.” She said softly. “I guess I fell asleep.” She smiled, tucking her hair behind her ear as Dawson came over to stand next to her bed.
“Well, I was going to see if you wanted to go grab lunch with me since I never heard from you last night…what time did you get back anyway?” He looked down at her from where he stood, bringing his heavy eyebrows together.
“Umm…not until this morning. I missed my train again last night so I just…ah, came back this morning and went straight to my class.” She shrugged her shoulders, avoiding his eyes. Audrey had gone to sit on the end of her bed and was just looking at her strangely. Feeling uncomfortable to be in her bed like that with them both looming over her, beginning to feel like they were suffocating her, Joey threw the comforter off to jump up to stand. She looked over to say something to Audrey and saw Audrey just staring back at her now with her mouth slightly open. Joey raised a questioning eyebrow at her before she heard Dawson’s voice.
“Why are you wearing a Capeside Yacht Club & Marina shirt?” He asked quietly.
The color drained from Joey’s face as she stared down at the embroidered emblem on the chest of the large Henley shirt she was wearing. The shirt she had picked up off the floor of Pacey’s bedroom. She opened her mouth and just began to stutter a bit. “I, ah… umm…”
“It’s mine.” Audrey cut in quickly.
Dawson raised a dubious eyebrow. “It looks suspiciously like Pacey’s.”
“Well, yeah…duh.” Audrey shrugged, standing up to walk over to the bathroom. “I hate to be the one to break it to you, Dawson…but clothes were exchanged between Pacey and I at one point in our relationship.” She raised her eyebrows at him in a comical way before disappearing into the bathroom.
Dawson just shook his head in amusement, looking back at Joey. “Well…I thought Pacey didn’t start working at the marina until after they broke up, but – knowing those two - I’m not going to touch that one.” He snorted.
Joey just swallowed and smiled, fairly certain that she was probably a nice shade of ashen gray at this point. “Um, I really need to shower, Dawson…and I actually grabbed a bagel on my way back from my exam so I’m not really all that hungry…” She just shrugged her shoulders, dropping her head to avoid his eyes.
“Well, okay then.” Dawson just watched her. “But, how about we make a plan for dinner…we can grab a pizza or something. I’ll just come by here to get you around 7:00?”
Joey smiled a little and nodded. Dawson grinned, leaning over to kiss her on the mouth, but she turned at the last second and he only got her cheek. He went to look at her but Audrey came out of the bathroom at that moment.
“Okay…see you at 7:00.” Dawson shrugged again, turning to leave. “Audrey – always a pleasure.”
“Likewise.” Audrey smiled at him, turning abruptly to quickly walk over to her bed. Dawson disappeared through the door, leaving them alone now.
“Audrey?” Joey said softly, taking a tentative step towards. Audrey was just stuffing things into her bag, her back to Joey. When she didn’t respond, Joey tried again. “Audrey? Please say something…”
“I can’t say anything.” Audrey whipped around at this, her face reddening and her eyes flashing. “You made it so that I can’t say anything here, didn’t you?” She said pointedly, staring Joey down. “You set the precedent on this one, Joey.”
Joey opened her mouth to speak, the tears forming in the corners of her eyes. “It’s not what you think…”
“It’s not?” Audrey looked at her. “Because what I think is that you’re fucking Pacey, and fucking over Dawson. But…that’s not it, Joey?”
Joey just dropped her head.
“Yeah. I thought so.” Audrey shook her head, grabbing her bag before leaving the room and slamming the door shut behind her.
Pacey trudged up the sidewalk, sighing as he spotted his truck in the distant parking lot up the street. He had been lucky enough to catch a ride with a guy from work as far as Quincy Station, but then he had been on his own in maneuvering his way through confusion of the color-coded MBTA subway system. He had finally found his stop, and now, tired and hungry and still covered a little in diesel fuel from the boat he had been working on that afternoon, he just wanted to get in his truck and make the trek back to Capeside before it got any later. Before anyone saw him.
He could see the towers of Worthington rising above the trees and buildings to his right. He dropped his head a little as he walked, the thought of just going to her now and telling her that he couldn’t do this anymore coming into his mind as it did at least a couple of times a day - as it had that very morning when he saw the anxiety and distress written all over her face. But, then the thought left him just as quickly, as it always did. The sad truth of the matter was that he could do this. Hell – sometimes this was easier than it had been before with her. At least now Dawson was right out in the open, not some insidious presence always lurking in the shadows, hiding in the corners.
Pacey was just about to his truck now and - thinking that this must be some proof that life did, in fact, like to spite him – Dawson suddenly emerged from a dark corner of the parking lot.
“Hey Pacey.” He said in a much more casual tone than Pacey would have expected, considering they were supposedly just randomly bumping into each other in the middle of Boston at night.
“Hey Dawson.” He nodded, slowing to a stop and regarding him a bit warily.
“So, I guess my speculation was right.” Dawson shrugged, glancing at the truck and then back to Pacey.
“What’s that?” Pacey looked at him quizzically.
“That you and Audrey have something going on again.”
“Me and Audrey…?” Pacey glanced slowly over at his truck, nodding as he bit his lip and considered this. “Yeah, I guess that would be one reason to explain why my truck is here...” He said almost as if to himself. “But, no.” He shrugged, looking back at Dawson but not meeting his eyes. “There’s nothing going on with me and Audrey.”
“Okay…so, I guess that brings us to the real reason you are here.” Dawson replied quietly.
Pacey just raised an eyebrow, dropping his head and watching Dawson, but didn’t say anything.
“Look, Pacey – I understand that it must be hard for you to be back in Capeside, feeling stuck there. Especially when we are all here in Boston, moving on with our lives. And, that’s why I’m sure it was nice for you to see Joey coming back on the weekends. But I think you are starting to use this situation with her sister to try and insinuate yourself back into her life, and I don’t appreciate it.”
Pacey’s mouth opened then closed. “Insinuate myself?” He repeated as if he had not heard him right.
Dawson just sighed tiredly. “I think Joey – for you – has always represented everything you can’t have, Pacey. I mean…look at yourself. I think that has always been part of what fueled your desire to try and win her over. I think you feel like she gives you some sort of validation. But you have to understand that Joey and I are together now, and that’s just the way it is – just the way it was always supposed to be. So, it’s time that you realized it’s never going to happen, Pacey. You are never going to have her.”
“Have her?” Pacey’s mouth fell open again. “Oh, now see – I have obviously been operating under the mistaken assumption that Joey was actually a human being acting of her own volition. Thanks for setting me straight there, Dawson. And now, if you’ll excuse me…” Pacey shook his head and started towards his truck.
Dawson snorted as Pacey passed him. “Any kindness or attention Joey might show you now is just done out of pity because of your current life situation – you know that don’t you? After everything you did last year, she’d never even let you near her again. It wasn’t enough to humiliate her and then leave without a word, but then you come back to start screwing around with her college roommate? You really can’t tell me that you actually think she would consider you again, that she ever even bothers herself with thinking about you – now that she knows what you are really all about? She may have been foolish enough to sleep with you when she was young and naïve, but you can just forget about that ever happening again. If you are looking to get laid, perhaps you should consider setting lower goals for yourself, Pacey.”
Pacey stopped and slowly turned to face Dawson, his eyes dark and dangerous. He just looked at him a moment as Dawson stood staring back and a light of realization crossed Pacey’s face. “You really are that smug, aren’t you?” He spoke softly, almost as if in amazement. “You can look at me right now and not even feel one ounce of insecurity or self-doubt, knowing that she was with me – by choice, I might add - for a year.”
“Your year was up a long time ago, Pacey.” Dawson said in an even tone. “You were never meant to be a permanent part of her life.”
Pacey dropped his head, chuckling bitterly. “Yeah, I know…I was only the distraction, right?” He looked back up at Dawson. “Can you ever have a conversation with someone where you aren’t quoting lines from some fucking movie?”
“Here’s a quote from me - stay away from her.” Dawson drew out his words, his nostrils flaring a bit. “Joey is mine now, Pacey. And that’s the way it’s going to be, so get used to it.”
Pacey tilted his head, almost laughing at him. “Are you seriously trying to tell me to stay away from Joey right now?”
All of a sudden they heard someone calling out to them and turned to see Jack making his way down the sidewalk. Pacey groaned a little, dropping his head in his hand. “This just gets better and better.” He muttered to himself.
“Hey Pacey!” Jack came up to him, patting him on the back. “What are you doing here?”
Pacey couldn’t help but laugh a little now, shaking his head and looking at the ground. “Long story.”
Jack just shrugged. “Well, are you sticking around? I’m on my way to meet Jen. Why don’t you come with me?” He looked over at Dawson. “How about you Dawson, what are you up to? Do you feel like coming out with us?”
“No. I have plans with Joey.” Dawson said quietly, staring pointedly at Pacey.
Pacey shook his head, rolling his eyes. “And, I have to be getting back now so…” He raised his arm to point over his shoulder to his truck, starting to move away when he heard his name being called out again. Glancing over his shoulder he saw Jen approaching from the other end of the street. “You have got to be kidding me…” He muttered to himself again, shaking his head.
“Pacey? Hey…this is a nice surprise. What are you doing here?” Jen smiled, coming up to give him a hug.
“What am I doing here?” Pacey chuckled now, shrugging his shoulders helplessly. “I’m not sure…because I certainly didn’t realize hell was a parking lot in the middle of Boston.” Jen just looked at him blankly and Pacey shook his head again. “I’m just going to go now.”
“Well, wait.” Jen stopped him. “I was actually going to call you anyway. My radio station is hosting that huge concert over at the Harbor Pavilion next week. There are going to be 4 or 5 different bands playing. And I’ve got tickets…as well as all-access passes for the very-exclusive after-party.” Jen grinned.
“Sweet!” Jack high-fived her with a little too much enthusiasm.
“Ow…dude.” Jen frowned, rubbing her hand. She looked back at Pacey. “So…what do you think? We can all go – you, me, Jack, Dawson, Joey. It will be fun. Can I count on you to be there?”
Pacey looked at her, and then slowly raised his head to meet Dawson’s eyes. “Of course I’ll be there.”
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