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Chris is internet date #2,573. I’ve known a lot of Chrises.

I knocked three times under the metal number six on his front door. A few seconds pass, and the light from the peephole is blocked. I raise an eyebrow in case he is looking.

The door swings open. Dark hardwood floor. Black and gray couch to my left, red carpet to my right, and there he is.

He looks like his pictures without looking at all like his pictures. It’s a weird dissonance, I run my eyes over him. He’s a little huskier than I thought, but it’s not bad. Blue jeans, blue button-up, sleeves rolled to his elbows. Muscled forearms. Tanned skin. My height. Brown eyes. Mohawk dyed in the red and purple family. Strong jaw. Stubble. I can’t tell if I find him attractive yet—I’m far too busy computing.

He steps aside to let me in, smiles. His arms spread outwards. I step into his hug.

He sits and gestures to his couch. I sit across from him, fold my feet under me.

We talk. Meaningless words float between us.

Twenty minutes pass. Finally, we move to the door and hail an Uber. I roll the window of the car down, let my hair dance. Beach cities have the best breezes, Santa Monica is no exception.

Threading through tourists, he leads me to an arcade on the pier. I watch him lean over the air hockey table. He grins, his lips parting in a perfect smile. Sweat trickles down my back as I lunge towards the puck. The sounds of the machines around us are so loud, they drive out any space for talking.

Back at his place, we’re in limbo. I needed to leave for a party I had committed to before this date surfaced.

So I invite him along.

It’s a brief stop, long enough to wish the birthday girl well, to embrace a few friends, make a few jokes, and leave. Both of us are too tired for more. On the way back to my car, he comes up behind me and wraps his arms around my torso, squeezing my breasts in his hands. I arch my ass into him with a purr.

It’s easy to drape across him when we return to his place, crawl into his bed. He’s warm. He’ll always be warmer than me, I run cold so much of the time. His chest hair is a mix of brown and white, soft, easy to touch. I run my fingers through it, nuzzle his chest, and try to stop myself from grinding against his leg.

We take it to the shower. He fingers me. I hook my right leg over his left arm and lean against the cold tile as his fingers twist and curve inside of me. He laughs as his touches inspire whimpers, kisses me aggressively, pushing me harder against the shower wall. I plead with him to take me back to the bedroom.

I get between his legs on the bed. He’s in my mouth. He arches underneath me, his hands crawling frantically, looking for something to clutch—a pillow, the sheets, the headboard. He grabs onto each in turn, restless. His head, his shaft, his balls, my tongue roams, my lips tease. My hands join and I work on him. He’s humming under my touch, I encircle him with my fingers dancing around.

“I want you to remember this, remember me, tomorrow,” I tell him. His teeth flash white in the darkness and, suddenly, I’m lost.


Part 1 of 3 feature installments in the Nerve series Case Files: Exploring bedrooms and the men who inhabit them.

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