“So, do you want to talk about the thing?” he asks, after a moment.

“The thing?”


“The thing you were about to tell me.”

“Oh yeah. The Thing.” I smile slightly.

“The Not Supposed to Make Out with Olivia Thing.”

“Yes. That is a Thing.”

“And there’s a reason for this Thing.”

“Yes.”

“Beyond the fact that she’s not the person I’m in love with.”

“In love?”

“I don’t know.” He smiles. And then he picks up my hand and threads our fingers together.

Oh.

My heart’s in my throat.

“I’m going to kiss you,” I say, and I hear my voice shaking.

“That’s a good idea.”

He wraps his arms around me, and the swing creaks faintly. I think my brain has become unglued. I lean forward. Somehow, my body knows how to do this.

And I do this.

His mouth is softer than I even thought.

I sneak him up to my bedroom. I’m actually sneaking a boy up to my bedroom. And for a minute, we just stand there grinning at each other.

Did I mention Reid is in my bedroom?

He steps closer. “Yeah, I’m just going to—” And almost before I can process it, his lips are on mine.

I don’t think. For once. And I’m not even slightly careful. My eyes slide shut, and my hands slip over his shoulders, and I kiss him back. I kiss him like it was my idea. I don’t know what I’m doing, but maybe it doesn’t matter, because we’re kissing. Again. Finally. Finally. His hands find my waist, and he pulls me even closer. So close I can feel his heartbeat. And then I feel him smile against my lips, and I open my eyes. “What?” My lips tug upward.

“No, I’m just . . .” He hugs me tightly. “This is actually happening.”

“Yeah.” I smile.

“Right.” He kisses me again, softly. “I’m just so . . .”

“I know.” I tuck my head into his shoulder and sigh.

We’re quiet for a moment. And then we both speak at once.

“I’m really glad—”

“Do you want to—”

He laughs. “You go first.”

I swallow. “Do you want to go over there?” And I’m blushing. God. I don’t know how to do this part. I don’t know how to say this in a movie way.

Hey, so my bed’s over there.

Hey, we could try this horizontally.

Anyway, he gets it. He nudges his shoes off and climbs onto my bed, stretching his arms out toward me. I take his hands, and he tugs me closer.

“I don’t want to crush you.”

“You won’t.” His eyes are bright behind his glasses.

“Okay, but . . .”

“Here.” He pulls me gently onto the bed and wraps his arms around me. “This okay?”

“Yeah.” Every part of my body is pressed against part of his. “You’re sure I’m not—”

“You’re not crushing me.” He smiles.

“And my hair’s in your face.”

“I like it. Is that weird?”

“I don’t know.” I laugh, but the sound falls away as soon as our lips meet.

And it’s different, lying down. I don’t know how to explain it. But there’s this prickle below my abdomen, and it makes me want to kiss him even more. Kiss him everywhere. I tilt my face sideways and press my lips against the line of his jaw. Into the crook of his neck. I slide down and kiss him gently on the collarbone.

“Oh,” he says, more breath than sound. And there’s this sudden, soft pressure against my jeans. I think he’s hard.

God.

My heart is pounding.

“I’m just—” he says. I thread my hands into his hair and kiss him harder. His eyes drift closed again. And I think I might understand. Almost. I think I know why this is such a big deal. To some people.

To me.

But he pauses, breathing heavily. “Molly, I don’t want . . .”

“Oh. God. Sorry, I didn’t mean . . .” I pull myself up clumsily.

“No, no. I mean, I want to. But not.” He exhales. “Maybe not yet.”

“Me either. I’m so sorry.”

He sits up, sliding his legs out, and he grabs my hand. “But seriously,” he says. “I want to.”

“Okay.”

“Like, a lot.” I look at him sideways, and his dimple flickers.

God. I can’t stop staring at our hands. Reid threads our fingers together and softly traces his thumb along the length of my index finger. And something below my stomach squeezes taut. Maybe it’s actually possible to combust with joy. Maybe that’s actually a thing.

“So, did you even check your mailbox?” he asks, completely out of nowhere.

“What?”

He leans back and smiles up at me, still breathing hard.

“Wait, you sent me something?”

“Nope.” He grins.

“I’m so confused.” I lean back next to him, and he tilts his head toward mine.

“I didn’t send you anything,” he says. “I just think someone else might have.”

“Good to know,” I say, and I bury my face in his chest.

It’s funny. I didn’t know I could feel like myself in this kind of moment.

But I do. I feel extremely me.



BUT WOW. NO ONE WARNS you how tender your mouth feels after making out.

Making out. That was me.

I press my lips gently with my fingertips and immediately tap into my phone’s selfie camera to examine them. They look bee-stung and swollen. I look like a different Molly. Now I’m wondering how people kiss without the whole world knowing. Maybe it’s like flossing. Maybe if you keep kissing, your lips get used to it. I think I could do that. I could make kissing a habit.

Missed texts from Reid, sent at four fifteen this morning.

It’s official

That was the best thing that has ever happened to my mouth.

That includes Cadbury Mini Eggs

And egg-free cookie dough (no offense!)

I giggle, scrunching my legs up. None taken!

He writes back immediately. Whew! Three dots. Also, hi.

Hi. Beaming-smile emoji.

I am entirely made of butterflies.

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