Pacey dropped down onto his couch and was adjusting the pillow behind his head when he heard a light tapping on the glass panes of the back door of the beach house.
“It’s open.” He shouted, not bothering to move.
He shot up at the sound of Joey’s soft voice as he felt his heart skip a quick beat. “Hey.” A surprised smile spread across his face as he watched her walk into the house. “I thought you were working a double?”
“I was.” Joey shrugged her shoulders as she crossed the living room. “It was slow so they took pity on me and let me be the first to go.” She moved around the couch to stand in front of him and looked down at him with an uncertain grin. “I figured I’d stop by here on my way home to see what you were doing.”
Pacey leaned back against the cushions, his eyes raking over her. “Really?” He replied in a deep voice, his gaze finally traveling back up to her face. “I wish I knew that, because I’m kind of busy right now.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Thanks for coming by, though.”
“Oh. Okay.” She responded quietly as she nodded her head. “I guess I’ll just be going then. It was nice to see you.”
“Yeah. You, too.” Pacey replied.
She turned to walk back towards the door but had not even taken a full step before Pacey reached out to grab her. She burst into giggles as he wrapped his arms around her waist to pull her down onto the cushions with him, immediately pushing her over onto her back. He kissed her thoroughly, silencing her laughter, as his tongue explored every inch of her mouth and his hands roamed over her body as if he already could not get enough of her.
He broke for air finally and moved to kiss her neck. Joey sighed and her eyelids fluttered closed as his tongue glided along the sensitive skin just below her ear. His hand smoothed around her hip to cup her ass, lifting her up slightly and pulling her in flush against his body as his kisses began to travel towards her lips again. Covering her mouth with his and muffling her surprised gasp, his hand slid to the inside of her tanned thigh, disappearing under the short skirt of her waitress uniform, as he impatiently edged the sheer material of her panties out of his way.
Pacey deepened the kiss, her moans lost in his mouth, as he slid his finger along her slick folds, parting them to gently stroke just the tip of his finger along her tight entrance. He began to trace slow circles around her clit and there was less urgency to his movements now. Joey’s hips lifted off the couch at his touch and Pacey slid one, then two fingers inside her.
Joey cried out in a breathy voice as he lowered his mouth to suck and gently bite the delicate skin on her neck. He thrust his skilled fingers up inside her with a practiced and steady rhythm and she reached up to grip tightly onto his broad shoulders as she rocked her hips against his hand, overcome by how quickly he was pushing her to the edge.
Pacey heard her labored breathing change over to short, quick gasps and he tore his kisses from her neck to watch her face. Not even his fantasies could compare to what it was like to watch her lose control, the way she would almost try to fight it at first as her eyes closed and a veil of concentration and pleasure settled over her beautiful features. She would give in finally with her whole body, tightening up and relaxing at the same time, as her face flushed, the color staining her cheeks and lips still swollen from his kisses. Her neck arched back and her long, dark hair spread out behind her and spilled over her shoulders. She would lose all inhibition, everything about her would become soft and sweet and incredibly sexy. The most amazing part of it all for him was when she would actually find her release she would cling to him tightly and cry out a single word. His name. There were no words to describe how that made him feel.
Pacey lowered his head to nuzzle her neck as he waited for the aftereffects of her orgasm to subside, her legs still trembling as he slowly caressed the smooth skin on the back of her thigh. He leaned up to kiss her gently, almost reverently. He didn’t know what he had done to finally have her here with him like this, but he’d been living every moment of these past few weeks as if it could all be over as quickly as it had started. He had been afraid for so long that he would never get the chance to tell her how he really felt, yet now that the chance was here, he was afraid to speak the words. Afraid to do anything that might change this, upset the balance somehow.
There was a time when Pacey felt like he might not be able to live without her. Now he was sure he wouldn’t be able to. So, as desperate as he might be to tell her the truth, he was more desperately afraid of what her reaction to that truth might be. Although he sometimes wondered how she could not already know. He felt like he gave himself away every time he kissed her.
“Wow.” Joey sighed when she was finally able to form words, brushing her tousled hair out of her face. “And, to think I was going to suggest we go get a pizza or something.” She giggled in a sleepy, satisfied voice, reaching up to rest her hand on his cheek. “That was so much better.”
Pacey chuckled as he turned his head to kiss her thumb. “We aim to please around here.”
Joey smiled, leaning up to give him a quick kiss before flopping back down against the cushions. She frowned, shifting uncomfortably. “Although, I think I’ve been lying on something.” Reaching under her back, she fished around under the pillows and pulled out a book.
“Oops, sorry. That’s mine.” Pacey took it from her hand and tossed it carelessly over his shoulder as he moved in to kiss her again.
Joey put her hands flat against his chest to hold him back. “That’s yours?” She smirked. “You were sitting in tonight with a book? Where is Pacey Witter and what have you done with him?”
“I do know how to read, you know.” His voice was husky and gruff as he raised his eyebrows, pressing his body down as he playfully fought her for dominance, until she gave in and dropped her arms so he could kiss her. He moved his mouth to her neck. “I actually went through a lot of books last summer. That’s how I used to pass the time on the boat. ” He mumbled against her skin.
Pacey did not talk about that sailing trip very often, other than a few stories he would tell the guys about some of his more exciting adventures out on the water, complete with his own embellishments, of course. Most people, however, wanted to know what possessed him to take off like that alone. He still wasn’t ready to discuss it now, especially with her, and suddenly wished he had never mentioned it.
“Can I ask you something?” Her voice was barely a whisper as he felt her hand trailing over the muscles in his lower stomach, gliding past the waistband of his shorts as she ran her hand along his erection. He closed his eyes with a soft groan at her touch, at the same time feeling his stomach sink a little at what she might want to know.
“What?” His voice was a low growl now as her hand found his zipper, her fingers sliding in to wrap around his width.
She began to stroke him and he bowed his head to rest it against her shoulder, closing his eyes tightly shut as he fought the sudden urge to just rip her clothes off and bury himself inside her. An urge he seemed to fight on a regular basis these days.
“Didn’t you ever get lonely out there all by yourself on that boat?” Her lips brushed against his ear.
Pacey sighed, pulling himself up slightly to give her easier access as he began to kiss her neck. He breathed in her clean, familiar scent as he traveled towards her mouth, and then propped himself up on his forearms to look down at her. His eyes drifted over her face a moment before he leaned down to kiss her. “No.” He whispered against her lips.
Joey kissed him back before he tore his lips from hers with a moan to bury his head in her neck as she continued to stroke his erection, her grip tightening around him as he slowly rocked his hips forward, thrusting into the palm of her hand.
“Next time you sail away like that…” Her voice took on a faraway sound over the blood rushing through his ears as his focus shifted to the tension building in his groin. “Take me with you.”
Pacey made a soft grunting noise, somewhere between a laugh and a sob, and pushed himself away from her as he cursed under his breath, overwhelmed by long-forgotten emotions brought on by her words. He quickly sat up on the couch, dropping his head in his hands briefly before pushing his still hard cock back in his shorts. Joey sat up as well, staring at him with wide eyes.
“What…what’s the matter? What did I do?”
Pacey glanced at her, the darkness in his tortured eyes lifting when he saw her face. “Nothing, nothing.” He leaned over to wrap his hand around the back of her neck, pulling her towards him as he rested his head against hers. “I’m sorry. It’s me. I, ah…just have a lot on my mind, getting ready for this move and everything.” He pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead, his lips lingering there a moment as he sighed against her skin. He pulled away to look in her eyes and winced inwardly at the confusion and doubt he saw there. “You were perfect, please believe me.”
Joey watched him, her eyes scanning his face. “It’s that you want more than this, isn’t it?”
Pacey’s eyes widen momentarily in dismay. “No, Joey. That’s not…I’m not trying to push you into anything.” He reached over to take her hands in his. “Please don’t think that’s what this is about, because that is the last thing I’m trying to do here. If you don’t want to have sex, that’s fine. I already told you that.”
Joey dropped her head to look at their joined hands. “Okay.” She looked up at him, her face blank.
Pacey smiled weakly at her, the old pangs in his heart making him catching his breath. “Okay.” He repeated in a soft voice as he leaned over to kiss her, swallowing back the lump in his throat.
Joey pulled her checks from the pocket of her apron as she sat down next to Sue to cash out for the night. She glanced towards the doors that led out to the club’s dining patio and the marina, the doors Pacey would usually appear through when he knew she was reaching the end of her shift. She discreetly checked the time on her watch and frowned. He didn’t specifically tell her that he would be picking her up tonight, but this would be the first time in weeks that he hadn’t shown up.
She sighed heavily, rubbing her temples tiredly. As much as Pacey had tried to convince her last night that he had a lot on his mind, she couldn’t help but feel that he was keeping something from her. She could see it in his eyes. And, while she didn’t believe for a second that Pacey would ever try to manipulate her into sex, she couldn’t help but feel that it must have had at least something to do with it and that some part of him must want more than what they had been doing. Which made her reluctantly acknowledge the fact that Pacey could easily have more than what they had been doing. With someone else.
Not that it should be a reason for her to go ahead and have sex with him, of course. Although the fact she felt like she might internally combust if she didn’t soon might be.
She realized that she had wanted this thing with Pacey to happen, whatever it was. It may have started out as simple curiosity brought about by her teenage hormones, but now she was driven by a desire for him that surprised her. She could tell it surprised the hell out of Pacey. And, as much as he may have just been responding like any typical guy would to a girl’s advances, he also treated her with such care and respect, even tenderness, that it made it hard for her to see this as just a fling or just a physical connection.
But that was all it could be, right?
After everything with Dawson, all the mini-dramas and the fights and the soul-searching, Joey certainly wasn’t interested in getting into another relationship right now, especially since she was leaving to start her new life at college. And she knew the last thing Pacey was looking for was a girlfriend. That much was clear from what she saw of his behavior over this past year. They seemed to have some unspoken understanding that this was their little secret, which made her believe even more that they both agreed it wasn’t anything serious.
She had never imagined herself to be the kind of girl that would look for casual sex. And she wasn’t quite sure that was what she wanted now. She just knew that she needed to experience something different. Something different from Dawson. And everything was so easy with Pacey, she felt so comfortable with him and she could finally admit she was so obviously attracted to him that he seemed in theory to be the perfect person to be with right now. Especially since she knew that Pacey wasn’t going to want to anything more from her than just her company. Maybe this was something she had always needed to get out of her system, this thing with him.
Whatever this thing was.
Joey sighed again. So, why could she not stop imagining where he might be right now, why he wasn’t here? And why had she been so preoccupied lately wondering what his true feelings towards her might be? None of that should matter to her, right? Pacey Witter was not her boyfriend. She didn’t even want him to be.
She kept comparing him to Dawson in her mind and she guessed that was unavoidable, having only been with Dawson. There had never been that kind of urgency, bordering on desperation, with Dawson that she felt when she was alone with Pacey and he could bring her places effortlessly that she had struggled to reach before. Joey blushed slightly, remembering how they had rented movies to watch at the beach house that past weekend. Unlike movie nights with Dawson, those tapes probably still sat on top of Pacey’s television, still unwatched. And then it had taken her almost another hour in the driveway of the B&B to pull herself away from him in the front seat of his truck when he went to drop her off at home.
She assumed it was because everything about Pacey was new and exciting, but in actuality, she had known him just as long as Dawson, and they were almost as close. In some ways she was actually closer to Pacey, having discussed things with him that she knew Dawson would never be able to understand. This thing that was going on between them right now was a perfect example. Dawson would never understand her need for a casual relationship and most likely stand in judgment of her. Pacey seemed to understand her every need, and meet it, without her having to say a word. Maybe what she really wanted to know was if she did the same for him.
“What is up with you? Long night?”
“Huh?” Joey looked up to see Sue staring at her.
“You keep sighing over there. What’s the matter?” Sue asked her, looking back to her checks.
“Oh, yeah. It was just a crazy night. All my orders came out wrong.” Joey shrugged her shoulders.
“Well, if you are up for it, we’re all headed to a party at Melissa Martin’s house after this. Her parents are away for the weekend and she is supposed to be having some big bash. Although…” Sue looked up warily, cringing a bit. “If you’re meeting Pacey, I don’t think he’d really be welcome there.”
“Why?” Joey frowned.
“I heard he screwed her over. You know, the usual.” Sue shrugged. “I know you two have been friends forever, Joey, but you have to admit he is a dog. He’s a nice guy and he’s fun to hang out with and all that, but when it comes to girls…well, the way I hear it, he’d do anything that moves.”
Joey cringed inwardly, piling her checks up. She felt her stomach start to twist into a knot and the heat rise up in her cheeks. She didn’t want to think about Pacey’s sexual history. Especially not right now. She couldn’t be in the same category as all those other girls, having been friends with Pacey for so long, could she? What she didn’t want to consider was what category Pacey might put her in.
The thought of going home and staring at the wall of her bedroom while she was feeling like this suddenly didn’t seem too appealing. She still felt that she had missed out on so much of her senior year fun by limiting herself to Dawson, allowing him to monopolize all her free time. Sometimes she felt like she had been in seclusion when she was with him, just like when they were kids and they would hide out in his closet. Shut out the world and pretend it didn’t exist. She understood now that it was probably not a coincidence that she had gone back to him not too long after that fiasco with A.J., when she had been wallowing in self-pity and self-doubt. She was ashamed to admit that she could have been that dependent on someone else, that she would need a Dawson in her life to somehow validate her. And, the last thing she wanted to do now was to start obsessing over some boy again.
“You know what? I think I will go to that party with you.” Joey forced a smile to her face.
Sue looked up. “Great! Just give me a minute and we’ll get out of here.”
“Great.” Joey repeated unenthusiastically as she stood up, looking over her shoulder at the door one last time.
Joey glanced at the half empty beer in her hand and set it down on the windowsill next to her. Perhaps this party hadn’t been such a good idea after all. She should have just stayed home and used the free time to start packing for school. She could see Sue and the other wait staff from the club starting to move out back to where people were jumping and being thrown into the pool. Sue turned to look at her as she slid open the glass doors that led to the backyard, motioning for her to follow. Joey just gave her a half smile and waved, hearing the screams of laughter drifting in over the booming sounds of the music blasting throughout the house.
“I’m going to go.” She yelled over to Sue, but her voice was lost in the mix.
Sue just shrugged and nodded, as if she understood, before waving back.
Joey sighed and picked up her bag, starting for the front door. She was on the opposite side of town from home, but hoped that she could catch someone she knew leaving if she wandered down to the driveway.
She wrapped her arms around herself as she made her way across the dark front yard. This was the first night in while that she hadn’t been with Pacey. Despite her best efforts to enjoy herself, he was all she’d been able to think about.
As the sounds of the party began to fade behind her, Joey heard a high-pitched voice coming from the street. And whoever it was did not seem too happy.
She emerged from behind the row of hedges that lined the driveway and stopped short. There, under the streetlight in front of the house, was Pacey. Standing right in front of him was Melissa Martin, with just inches between them to spare. They were talking too fast for Joey to really hear what was being said, but the gist of it seemed to be that Pacey was attempting to apologize to her for something. Melissa suddenly reached up to push him, turning to run past Joey into the house. Joey saw how upset she was she passed her.
Pacey sighed heavily, running his hand through his hair, and as he turned, he froze in position as he saw Joey emerge from the shadows.
“Pacey.” She nodded her head in greeting, trying to maintain her composure as she felt the heat rising up in her cheeks.
“Hey.” He said softly, watching her carefully.
“You guys fighting?” Joey eyed him, trying to sound nonchalant.
“Um…kind of, I guess.” He replied in a small voice as he frowned and dropped his head. “Jo, I…”
“Don’t even try to say anything to me, Pacey.” She suddenly snapped. “Please just spare me.” She took a deep breath, willing the tears she felt stinging in the corners of her eyes not to fall in front of him. “It must be difficult for you, juggling so many girls, huh? And I probably screwed up your whole schedule by showing up here tonight, didn’t I? After all, how perfect that I was working the same night Melissa was having a party, right?” Joey laughed harshly. “So, what just happened there that you needed to apologize for? Did a third girl show up, as well? Who was that again from last month? Leah, wasn’t that her name?”
Pacey tried to respond. “Jo, you have to…”
“Have to? Have to what, Pacey?” She cut him off. “Because I don’t have to do anything where you are concerned. I was stupid enough to think that things might be different …” She paused before continuing, trying to compose herself and keep her voice steady. “Because we were friends. But I don’t know why I ever thought that. It’s obvious to everyone who knows you what you’re all about.”
Pacey watched her and his eyes began to grow dark. “I don’t really give a shit about everyone. What exactly do you think I’m all about?” His voice lowered dangerously.
“You just use girls for whatever you can get off them. If one isn’t putting out you just move on to the next. You don’t really care about any of them.” Joey was starting to lose her grip on her emotions. “But I guess I’m not in the position to say anything here, am I? After all, I only have myself to blame. I made this whole thing easy for you, didn’t I?”
Pacey made a sound like he was catching his breath and let it out in a soft, sad chuckle. “Yeah, you always made it easy for me.” He replied in the same low voice.
Joey shook her head. “I can’t believe I did this. And I can’t believe for a while there I was actually worried about how this might affect our friendship. I don’t think I even want someone like you for a friend, much less…anything else.” She quickly swiped at her eye.
Joey turned to see Sue walking down the driveway.
“I was looking for you. I didn’t realize you were telling me you wanted to go home now. I can drive you.” Sue looked hesitantly between Pacey and Joey’s faces. “Unless you’re going with Pacey.” She said uncertainly.
Pacey laughed bitterly and looked away.
Joey scowled at him, and then looked at Sue. “Yeah, I’ll take a ride, thanks.” She walked away with her without another word.
Joey emerged from the ladies’ room at the Yacht Club, quickly walking back towards the dining room. Her eyes were still slightly puffy from crying herself to sleep, no matter how much cold water she splashed on her face. She pushed through the kitchen doors to check on her orders, groaning under her breath when she saw Drue leaning against the counter near the coffee pots.
“Potter, you’re here! I have to tell you that I may have overindulged last evening and I am stinging a bit this morning. Is anyone going to be making more coffee any time soon? Who runs this place?” Drue threw his arms up helplessly.
“Are you incapable of making it yourself?” Joey snapped in irritation.
“Geesh.” Drue stepped back as she brushed past him. “Why is everyone so angry lately?” He watched Joey look at her food slips. “So, I never saw you at that party last night. Were you there or not? Did Pacey finally find you?”
Joey felt her stomach drop at the mention of his name, “What are you talking about? What do you mean did he find me?” She turned slowly to look at Drue with a frown.
Drue placed his the palms of his hands together in front of him as if he were praying. “I beg of you. Coffee.”
Joey sighed in exasperation, walking over to pull out the foil coffee bags. She ripped one open as she stuffed a filter in the coffee maker, looking at Drue out of the corner of her eye. “Yeah? So?” She practically growled.
“Your eloquence and grace are really going to help you out when we get to Worthington, you know that?” Drue laughed and leaned down to rest his elbows on the industrial metal countertop before continuing. “I had Pacey help me move some stuff up to the condo after he got off work yesterday. He was whining like a little baby the whole time about needing to be back to meet you after your shift. Then we got stuck in traffic on the way back and he was all pissed off because my cell phone wasn’t working. Like that’s my fault…as if I pay the bill.” Drue looked to Joey for a response, but she just continued to scowl at him.
“Then we finally get back here and he is pissed at me again because you’re already gone. Again, not my fault. Right? But, still, I’m nice enough to ask around for him and find out you went to that party with some of the other waitresses. So, I take the guy there, and what happens? Pissed at me yet again because I neglected to tell him the party was at Melissa Martin’s house!”
Drue threw his arms in the air before grinning at Joey. “Which actually is kind of my fault. I did that one to him on purpose, just to see the guy squirm a little. That girl really would like to see him strung up by his balls.” Drue chuckled to himself, shaking his head in amusement.
Joey’s mouth opened slightly as she cast her gaze to the floor.
“So, anyway, long story short. I offer go in to find you, perhaps get a little too caught up in the festivities, you’re nowhere to be found and then he’s gone, too.” Drue smiled slowly, his gaze traveling to the floor as if he were lost in thought. “Although I did hear that Melissa tracked him down where I left him waiting by my car. I’m sorry I missed that.”
He looked back up at Joey with a laugh. “Poor guy. Try as he might to do the right thing, but he seems to have a knack for finding the real psychos, you know what I mean? He had a weak moment with her once, I think, months and months ago, and then she wouldn’t leave him alone. Calling him all hours of the night, and then turning around and trying to cover herself with all her little sorority sisters by claiming he’s the one after her. He’s either got to keep that dick of his in his pants or learn to be a little more heartless or he’s going to keep getting himself into these situations, you know? He just doesn’t have it in him to tell these broads where to go.”
The coffee began to sputter into the pot as it finished its brew cycle.
“Ah, let me at it…” Drue grabbed a coffee cup and pushed Joey aside. “You’re the best.”
“Yeah, right…” Joey sighed, shaking her head forlornly.
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