Welcome to the Jungle

Babes

This is a mostly true (you have to romanticize some of it, you know) story that I found too amazing not to tell. Buuut, I get a feeling this one will appeal more to you ladies out there. No worries though, there are plenty of steamy parts.

Alice:

She could hardly hold in the impatient sigh that threatened to rip through her lungs. She had less than twenty minutes to get food, pay for it, and get to her next class (which was all the way across campus) on time.

If her last class hadn’t run so late, she wouldn’t be in this predicament. But here she was. Tapping her shoe. Watching the very large man in front of her take his sweet precious time ordering. From a pizza place.

Frustrated, she looked at her phone again. Seventeen minutes. Damn it.

“You ok, there?”

The undeniably male voice behind her startled her, causing her to stutter, “Yeah, yeah I-I’m fine.” She mumbled.

“You.. sure about that?”

She started to wave him away as the giant in front of her finally started to move, pizza in hand, “I’m fine,” redirecting her attention, she spoke to the clerk, “I’ll have a number one, please.”

“Make it two number ones, please,” the stranger behind her moved next to her, handing the clerk his credit card.

Letting that irritated sigh out, Alice turned to the stranger, fumbling with the cash in her hand trying to count out what she owed him. “I don’t need your help,” she huffed before his hand came down on hers.

“It’s ok. You just look like you could use a good thing happening to you today. I figured I could at least get your lunch.”

Finally, she looked up at the stranger, and oh God she almost wished she hadn’t. Dark hair fell over the bluest eyes she’d ever seen, and the smile surrounded by stubble he flashed nearly made her faint, not to mention the fact that he hovered over her at a height of at least 6’2″ with a long, hard, lean body. Tattoos showed under the sleeves of his v-neck and slid down his muscular forearms, and his dark eyebrow, was raised. Ooh boy.

“Oh… well thank you,” she stammered, looking down again, then grabbed her pizza, drink, and attempted to bolt.

“Now hold on a second there,” he called after her, his hand gently taking her arm to keep her in place, “I just bought your lunch. Don’t I at least get to eat with you?”

“I really don’t have time.. I have to get to my next class by one, so I was planning on eating as I walked…”

“Just sit a second with me, then we’ll walk together. Sound like a plan?” He winked as he gestured toward the nearest empty table.

Blushing profusely, she sat and tried to eat her pizza without attacking it like it would run away from her. She had a bad habit of eating like a slob, and pizza sauce on your chin was far from sexy.

“So, what year are you,” her sexy stranger asked her, eyebrow cocked in curiosity.

In between gulps, she breathed, “I’m a junior… What about you?”

“Ah, I don’t go to school here.. or anywhere. I’m a musician.”

Oooof course he was.

“So… if you’re not a student, then why are you here?” She winced as she realized how abrupt she sounded.

“Picking up a friend from class here in about 20 minutes… figured I’d get here early and check it out. I’ve never been up here before.”

Trying to not sound so short, she nodded and mumbled, “Ah, I see. So you’re a musician. Let me guess. Guitar?”

He smirked and rolled his eyes, “Bass.”

Right. Well the pizza had disappeared in a short enough amount of time, so she got up and gathered her things, “Look I don’t mean to be rude, but I really have to go. My class is across campus and it starts in ten minutes, and if you haven’t noticed, this campus is pretty huge, and my car is not exactly close, so I really, really need to go…”

He got up in the middle of her speech and cut her off, “No sweat. I’ll take you if you want. My ride’s right outside.”

For the first time in this entire, weird conversation, Alice smiled. “That would be so great. Thanks so much.. for the meal and everything. I’m sorry I haven’t been exactly cordial. This hasn’t been the best day for me… but thank you.”

“Again, no sweat. Just follow me.”

She got into his old Chevy truck, and they were soon pulling up to the building she needed to be in. She hopped out, surprised to find him getting out as well, and walking next to her.

“You don’t have to walk me, it’s totally fine…”

“Actually, I got out to ask you for your number. It’s not every day you meet a pretty girl. I figure I’d better try to hold onto my good fortune.”

She stopped in the middle of the hallway as the clock struck one, the school’s bell tower ringing out. “Look.. thanks again for the lunch.. You’re very sweet.. but I generally don’t give my number out to people I don’t know.”

He grinned and stuck out his hand, “I’m Bryce Hicks, and I think you’re cute. And you are…?”

Unable to help herself, she smiled and shook his hand, “I’m Alice James… and I have a boyfriend. I’d love to keep entertaining this conversation, but I’m late.. It was really nice to şişli escort meet you though, Bryce.”

She walked away, but stole one glance over her shoulder and saw his smile, not wavering in the least before she disappeared into her classroom. Boy. That was the first time in a long time she’d wished she didn’t have a boyfriend.

But she did. And speaking of which, he was visiting her tonight. Jason had promised to take her out on the town and give her a long overdue date. She could hardly wait.

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

And everything Bryce was, Jason was not. Not in a bad way necessarily, but they were definitely polar opposites. Jason had short blonde locks sticking up with gel and hairspray, deep green eyes, and a slight smile. He was around six feet tall, give or take, his figure thin, though lean like that of a soccer player, which he had been in high school.

He was polite and sweet and everything a boyfriend should be, and he never pushed the limit as far as Alice’s virginal status was concerned. He’d asked for sex one time, but she’d told him that when the time was right, she’d do it. It just… never felt right. She’d always figured they’d just wait until they were married. It seemed like the right thing to do.

And it wasn’t as if they’d been together for a few months. They’d been together for nearly five years. She’d been half in love with him already before they’d ever even met in high school, watching him at every single soccer event they had. He was like her prince. Her knight in shining armor.

While Alice went to UT, Jason went to UNT. Still in Texas, thankfully, but they were hours away from each other, so times became hard between them, but Alice was determined to work things out. They were basically the perfect couple. How could she not do everything to work things out with him?

A knock came to her door, and she flew across the room, throwing the door open, and shot straight into Jason’s arms. He hugged her close for a moment, then pulled her back to give her the flowers he was holding in one hand.

She was puzzled at that. He knew she really didn’t do flowers. Yes, they were pretty, but all they did was die. Weird. But she let it go without much thought, finding a vase to place them in before they left her apartment.

In his car, he gently stroked her hand with his thumb and mumbled, “I really missed you, honey.”

“I know, babe. I missed you so much. One more year, right? One more year. Then we can figure out some sort of living arrangements where we aren’t hours away from each other.”

He cleared his throat and nodded as they pulled into a restaurant. Wow. Valet parking. Nice.

After they’d gotten inside, they were seated at a very private table, seemingly away from everyone. Alice sighed, knowing she’d spend every single night for years to come getting to see his face across from hers at the dinner table, whether it was out or at home.

They ate, making small talk about school, classes, their jobs, their parents, when Alice tentatively brought up the subject of the future.

“I know it sounds crazy, and I always said I’d start teaching right after graduating, but I’ve really been thinking about grad school. I mean, I’m not gonna be picky about it. You can even help me decide… and we can find a nice place after… it could be anywhere, hon. Wouldn’t that be great?”

He looked at her across the table, biting his lip and sighed, “That’s actually why I wanted to see you today, Alice. I have something to tell you.”

Immediately she felt panic. She looked at the table cloth, picking off the lint before her shaky voice allowed an, “Ok…”

He reached across the table and tilted her chin up, so she was looking at him, “Alice, I’ve met someone. Someone at school. Nothing has happened between us, and I would have never let it go that far, but I am beginning to have very strong feelings for her. I simply couldn’t continue our relationship this way, knowing how I was feeling.

“I love you, Alice, but things have changed. You’ve changed over these years.. as have I. I still care for you, very much, and if you’ll let me be your friend, I will… though I understand if you don’t. I just can’t continue this way.

“I think I may be falling in love with her.. Please understand that I never intended it to be this way. We were just.. in a class together. It was nothing. It is nothing, really. She doesn’t even know how I feel. I could never talk to her in that way without telling you first. I… I’m so sorry, Alice, but for my own happiness, as well as yours, I’m afraid I have to end our relationship.”

She sat there, unblinking, unfeeling… completely numb. Everything had just fallen apart. In two minutes, her life changed. As it registered, tears began to well up in her eyes, though she was determined not to make a scene. She dropped her head and nodded, the tears falling helplessly into her lap.

She was finally able to whisper, “Do you not… want me anymore, Jason?”

“Not… not like I used to. But I do care about you, and I want us both to be happy.. which is why I’m doing this. How could you ever be happy with me when I want to be elsewhere? It just doesn’t make sense anymore, baby.”

“Five years makes sense, Jason. Five years we’ve both put into this relationship. We’ve gone through so much together! And you’re just giving up… and for what? Someone who doesn’t even know how you feel… Jason what if she doesn’t feel the same?”

“Alice you don’t understand. I do love you. And I’d rather be miserable alone than making you be miserable with me.”

“That doesn’t make sense, Jason. You’re making me miserable by trying to not make me miserable.”

“No Alice… not in the long run. I love you. But I’m no longer in love with you.”

She nodded, defeated, and he took that as a sign. He signaled for the check, and within minutes, they were leaving. When he finally pulled up to her apartment complex, he didn’t get out of the car to walk her in like he usually did, but instead, he leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. She turned away from him, and he sighed, “I will give you time to recover, honey. I know this isn’t what you expected. But I promise, when I feel it’s been long enough, I call you, and check on you. For now…”

Before he could finish, she climbed out of his passenger seat and shut the door. She couldn’t stand any more of it. The words just kept pouring from his mouth, and she didn’t want to hear anymore. He never did know when to stop talking.

Climbing the stairs then walking into the complex, she just trudged onward, finally making it into her room, then bed. The tears had never stopped coming, though silently. She wasn’t the weepy type. They just fell, now down the sides of her face, past her cheek bones, over her ears, and into her hair.

What was worse was that she couldn’t drift off to sleep. That’s how she rid herself of problems. She just drowned them in sleep. She wasn’t a drinker, nor a partier. In fact, she was particularly boring. A virginal, non partying, nerd princess. Dear God. She’d be alone for the rest of her life.

She’d never understood how someone so alive and vibrant as Jason could want her. Apparently, he didn’t anymore.

She glanced over and over and over again at the clock, which was now glowing 4:00 a.m. She sighed and turned away from it, determined to drift away.

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

Bryce:

It’d been an entire month, and still he couldn’t get Alice James out of his head. He’d never seen anything like her. She was tall, around 5’6, with the biggest, sweetest brown eyes he’d ever seen. They weren’t like the brown eyes that people complain about. They were like honey, and they poured over him every time she’d grace him with a look.

Her hair was this crazy mess of dark curls that fell to the middle of her back. There was curly hair, and then there was Alice hair. It was wild, and sensuous, and everywhere, and he just wanted to tangle his hands into it.

And those lips… oooh those lips. They curved at just the right places and curled into a sarcastic smile that was a little lopsided, leaning into the left side of her mouth, until she gave a full one that showed her perfect white teeth.

Her body was exactly the opposite of the ones he’d held before. He’d always been into full figured women, whether the figure had some fake parts or not. “It’s nice to have something to hold onto,” he’d always said. But she was something else. Her frame was so tiny, probably sitting at 115 lbs, her breasts petite and perky, her waist so dainty and delicate, but her hips full and enticing, curving in the back to one of the most perfect asses he’d ever seen on top of these legs that never, ever seemed to end.

That ass is what started it all. His eyes were captivated, until they slowly traveled up the rest of her body, and onto her angel’s face. He’d never seen anything quite like her.

And she was a mystery to him. Her impatient sighs, retorts, and short remarks that blended into blushes, stutters, and giggles stumped him. He knew there was more to her than what met the eye, yet she wouldn’t show him.

Fuck. When did he turn into such a sap?

He shook his head and continued in his task, which at the moment was restringing his bass, since there were no customers in the shop.

Though he was doing his best to keep his mind off of her, his mind had a mind of it’s own. Whaddya know.

She would have a boyfriend. Of all the things he expected her to say, that wasn’t it, though he should have seen it coming. Had it been some flirty party girl in front of him, it would have taken next to nothing but standing there to get a number… at least. But Alice had a boyfriend. Of course.

Fuck. He’d been so immersed in his thoughts he hadn’t noticed someone come in.

“Welcome to Lee Music, can I help you?”

The cute red head turned around and tilted her head, eyeing him up and down with a smile before answering him.

“Yeah.. I was wondering.. My boyfriend’s birthday is coming up, and he’s, like, a bass player, and I noticed he doesn’t have any pics to play with. I figured he might want some for his birthday. Do you sell those here?”

Damn. She’d looked so cute, too. “Well, ma’am, to be honest, most bass players don’t use pics.. though some might. If he doesn’t already have any though, I’d imagine he doesn’t play with them. I can still show you some if you’d like.”

“That would be, like, so great.”

She left toting a bag full of twenty pics. Poor guy.

His back was turned as she walked out the door, and he heard the door jingle again as someone else walked in. He began his speech before he even turned his head.

“Welcome to Lee’s, can I help…” he turned to see none other than Alice James.

And if he’d thought the red head had looked good, he had another thing coming. Alice was the oddest dresser he’d ever seen, but she sure did make it look good. It was so off beat that it fit her. She wore a black and white pin striped button up with ruffles at the collar tucked into high waisted royal blue shorts with black suspenders attached and crossing over her back, along with wide, black rectangle glasses covering her honey eyes.

“Yeah,” she said, not turning to see him yet, “I was actually wanting to see about buying….” she trailed off as she looked up at him, his grin growing wider. “Well, now this is just getting weird,” she grinned back at him, “I was just thinking about you!”

“No shit, huh? I was just thinking about you!”

Her eyes widened at his language, but she laughed and shook her head, seeming much more approachable today than when he’d last seen her.

“So, are you here because I’m just too irresistible, or is there something I can help you find,” he smirked at her suggestively.

She blushed and rolled her eyes, though the smile that played on her lips spoke volumes. “Actually, I’m thinking about buying a guitar. I’m just trying it out, so I don’t want to break the bank…”

He went into serious mode then, all business. “Ok, well are you looking for electric or acoustic, or do you know yet?”

“Definitely acoustic.”

“Alrighty, well we have a few options here, but the best one for the money is probably this Yamaha. Really pretty, and has a nice sound, though of course it’s no Gibson.. But like you said, you don’t want to break the bank. This one will be really good to learn on, and if you want to continue with it, you can come back and buy something of better quality.”

She took the instrument from him and turned it over in her hands, her fingers delicately plucking the strings and running them along the wood. “It’s beautiful,” she said, eying it with uncertainty. She bit her lip, then nodded, “I’ll take it.”

They talked over care, and she got some pics as well as a cloth case, sighing shakily at the commitment she’d just made with herself.

She looked at him, and smiled that half smile and laughed, “Now that I bought this thing, do you know where I can get some lessons?”

He smirked and raised his eyebrow, “I think I have just the guy for you. Do you want me to give him your info?”

“Oh yes, would you? That’d be so awesome. As a matter of fact, if you have it, I’ll take his, too.”

He nodded and recited a number to her as she typed it into her phone, “Ok, and his name?”

“Uh sure, that would be Bryce, b-r-y-c-e, Hicks, h-i-c-k-s.”

She stopped typing, startled, and looked up at him, “I thought you played bass..”

“I do sweetheart, but no one ever said I could only learn one instrument.”

She blushed, and stuttered apologies while he laughed and shook his head, “It’s fine, it’s fine. I know I didn’t mention it before. No sweat. So now that you have a professional interest in me, do I get to have your number?”

Her blush only grew darker, and he had to admit it was the cutest damn thing he’d ever seen. She was so sweet looking.

“I guess I’ll just have to give you my number now… for professional purposes only, of course,” she tilted her eyes up at him and grinned, biting the corner of her curvy bottom lip.

“Well, that’s too bad. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d rather know you professionally than not at all, but I was thinking about closing shop, and taking you out. Unless you still have that pesky boyfriend.”

Her angel face fell a little but she tried to mask it, grinning again and tilting her head, “Actually, I would love to go out with you. How about this. You follow me to my apartment where I can put all my new toys, then I can ride with you wherever you’d like to take me?”

The question was bold, but she spoke softly, the shyness creeping into her voice near the end.

He reassured her, giving her a playful wink, “That sounds like a plan to me.”

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

Alice:

Omigod omigod omigod omigod what in the world was she doing? Hooly crap.

She was spazzing on the inside as she jumped back into his truck after dropping her stuff off. She’d never done anything like this before. Ever. Well really.. all she’d ever known was Jason. Jason was safe. Jason was the usual. Jason was everything she was used to. But Bryce.. Bryce was colorful, and new, and different.. and dangerous. What the heck did she think she was doing running around with someone she didn’t know?

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