Thursday, August 25, 2011

chapter eight

Where is that penguin lifeguard?

That’s actually, embarrassingly, my very first thought as Patrick’s mouth lands on mine.

We practically sprinted from the car to the end of the pier.  It’s beautiful here, but no different from any other Chicago landmark we’ve managed to visit.  There’s no reason to think the elusive kiss will happen here.  Or happen at all.  Nothing except it feels like the end of the world, the lake stretching endless into the distance.  It’s someplace safe where no one can come up behind us.  Patrick and I, with our backs to the wall.

He forgets the cast on his wrist and tries to slide that hand up my back.  It nearly makes him laugh - I feel it where is chest presses to mine - but he quickly gets his other hand free and takes a fistful of my hair, holding my mouth to his as if I would break away.  All of a sudden it’s hot, surface-of-the-sun hot, and I’m sure I’ll end up in the drink.  His strong arms fold around me, locking me in from shoulder to elbow.  It’s like licking a lightning bolt as his tongue sparks across mine.

“Woah.”  We come apart, barely but gasping.  His mouth is mere inches away and breath heaves in my chest.  He’s holding me so close it’s like he knows I can’t stand.

“I’ve never waited so long to kiss someone in my life,” he admits.

“Two days?” I have to tease him, it’s so obvious.  

He smiles and shrugs.  “Felt longer.”

“Don’t ever do it again,” I say.  And we’re back to kissing, holding each other tightly to keep from pawing away in front of an audience.

Gasp.  I’m suddenly aware of a million potential eyes.

“We have to go.”  This time I take the lead, all but sprinting the length of the pier and two blocks back toward his car.  I tell myself to slow down - both in body and mind - before we reach a place where decisions cannot be made.  But all I know is that I haven’t kissed anyone but Tyler in almost three years.  I haven’t kissed anyone at all in four months.  Until today, I thought I might never be kissed again.

I need to be kissed again.  Now.

It’s stupid to run a footrace with a professional athlete.  Patrick forgets that I am not a Blackhawk and does a suicide for every hundred yards.  Soon I’m tripping to keep up.  I stumble across the finish line, only to be pressed against the side of his truck.

“Patrick.”  It sounds sexy rolling off my tongue.  If only he knew I’m reminding myself who he is.

“Are you going to kiss me or what?”

For all my thinking, that moment blinks my brain off like a blown fuse.  My careful planning sinks right to the bottom of the lake. One second I am thinking she’s so beautiful, almost ethereal in the harsh lighting and the next I’m kissing her for all I’m worth.

Kristen lets me - she lets me fold her into my chest, she opens her mouth beneath my insistence and kisses me back like she’s surprised to mean it.  Only when it’s breathe or die do we come apart.

“I’ve never waited so long to kiss someone in my life,” I tell her truthfully, as if she couldn’t tell.  As if two days were a gallant period of time.

“Don’t ever do it again.”  There’s no hesitation, only reckless abandon.

Reckless indeed.  I’m suddenly aware of a million eyes, thousands of camera lenses and the potential for disaster. After the Jumbotron and the penguin tank, Kristen is learning too.

“We have to go.”  She drags me from the brink of the city through the maddening crowd.  Somewhere along the way I outpace her in my rush to get back to kissing.  We reach the car in record time and before I can even beep the remote, her body is giving way between mine and the drivers’ side door.

The velvety smooth brush of her tongue sends a row of exclamation points down my spine.  Her hip presses itself into my lap - New Me would back up, but he’s busy trying to keep my good hand from feeling her up.  Kristen kisses like she’s never been kissed before.  Like it’s all new and exciting and she’s trying to remember everything about me.  

“Patrick,” she says, naming a place to file this.

After a few minutes, a flare bursts in the intensity and grants us a brief reprieve.  I hold her chin in my good hand.

“I can’t keep kissing you,” I pant.  Her silken mouth curls into a tiny pout, which of course sets me off kissing her again.  It takes a few minutes to untangle my thoughts and tongue.

“Don’t make me take you home.”  My words roll across her neck, leaving goosebumps in their wake.  I bite down gently to punctuate my sentence.  Kristen moans quietly like she wants me to bite harder.  And elsewhere.  I know it’s been a while since she was with anyone, and a long time she she was with anyone knew.  She’s practically vibrating - her body begging for it even if her brain doesn’t.

“Kristen, I’m....”  I don’t know what I am, there is actually no end to that statement.

“Scared,” she breathes near my ear.  My lips explore a fresh patch of skin along her neck.  “I’m scared.”

Well, shit.  Why don’t I just get my period and have a bad hair day and step in front of a bus all at once.

“I’m scared.”  The words are out of my mouth before I can stop them.  A lot like my tongue.

“I know,” he says quietly.  He’s stopped assaulting my skin with those lips.  Now he just breathes deeply, chest and hips rolling against mine, as if I were any more used to that feeling.  “I don’t want to go too fast.”

The Earth screeches to a halt on its axis.  Some people fall off.

Apparently the Pope is not Catholic and a bear does not shit in the woods.  Because Patrick Kane just told me he doesn’t want to go too fast.  Yes, all the signs were pointing in that direction.  But right now they’re all pointing toward my soaked panties and the fact that it’s been years since I was touched by someone I wouldn’t kill on sight.

Take me, I want to say.  There have been a million girls, make me one of them.  Take me. Make me nothing.

I feel like nothing, which is way too tragic to consider when Patrick’s free hand is twisting hair from my neck so he can continue biting and sucking.  All I want is something that doesn’t matter, that can’t lie to me or humiliate me or make me interrupt it in the middle of giving another girl an orgasm.  Something not important enough to be dangerous.  I want him and this and now.

I want to forget.

“Patrick,” I’m about to beg.  He leans back, barely separating our bodies, and stares at me with those bottomless blue eyes.  Any girl who read them wrong was a fool - those eyes can’t lie.

“Come on.”

I have an idea.  We can’t be apart but we definitely can’t be alone.  Maybe ever.  Well, I can’t hold out that long.  Even New Me has needs... and ideas.  Lots of ideas.

We go around the car and back onto the street  There’s nowhere I’ll take her but home once I get behind the wheel. Instead of being confused,  Kristen looks at me like we’ve just committed a crime and escaped.  Like we’re partners.

At least she sees that.  Eventually I will have to make sure she knows New Me from Old Me, and the kind of person I hope she can help me to be.  But for now, she can see that this is not easy.  And she is not easy.

If she asked, I would.  If she offered, I could not say no.  She’s riled up and frightened and judging by the way she inched up my thigh while kissing, it’s been a while since she touched something just to prove it was hot.  It’s the perfect opportunity, and the victory would be glorious.  But I will not take advantage of her - of this.  I made this.  I will not ruin it.

Old Me throws himself against the bars of his cell.

I walk to the only place I can think of where I can be near Kristen but not too near.  It’s like having a chaperon.  Good thing too, because the way her hand looks for mine the second we’re moving says we’re going to need looking after.  

I see the lights of the AMC Theatre from half a block away.  Kristen keeps up, nearly jogging, and doesn’t stop as I swing the door open for her.  The air conditioning in the theater lobby is a shock.

“Two for, uh... Captain America,” I pick a movie that has just started.  Chalk one up for the box office agent who mercifully doesn’t know me.  Because if we’re not in the dark soon...

“Thanks!” Kristen yells over her shoulder as we hustle down the hallway, tickets in hand.  The movie is not too crowded and already playing previews.  We climb the stairs toward the back row, falling into the two seats in the top corner.  Before I can reach for her, Kristen lifts the armrest from between us.

“Did you know about this?” she whispers, turning our space into a loveseat.


That’s a lie.  Kristen laughs, right out loud, at my shameless attempt to pretend to be better than I am.

I’m not sure this is a good idea, Captain America.  My hormones are a Category 5 hurricane, and I drop into the theater seat like I’m coming down on a trailer.  Then the armrest goes up - double wide.  It’s dark, there’s a lot of loud noise; a storm is coming.

I move into him.  Everything I told myself the night before, about Patrick not being the reason for my excitement, is drowned out by the noise of something exploding on screen.  Or maybe it’s in my head.  His mouth is hot against mine and his body so, so solid I want to curl up on it like a cat in the sun.

The first moment is all a hot rush, then the pace slowly falls away.  We are gentle, exploring. I nip his lip and tug it between mine.  Patrick uses his good hand to drop my head back and slowly take his mouth down the curved side of my neck.  He kisses along my jawbone, right up to my ear.  Then he lifts my hair away and kisses around the arch.

“I thought you didn’t like me,” he whispers.  Dialogue on the screen is unintelligible.

I don’t, I think.  Or maybe.  But I like this a lot.  I’m drunk on this feeling of power and freedom, intoxicated with the idea that someone wants me.  And not just anyone, but someone who could have anyone.

And has had everyone, my brain says.  It’s that dusty back room in my mind, where I heaped all the broken pieces left after Tyler finished wrecking the place.  That place where you hide things before company comes over and swear someday you’ll clean it out for real.

But for now it’s impossible to listen and feel at the same time.  Patrick’s good hand loops around my waist without ever copping a feel.  We are wedged together.  I ache to climb into his lap and throw my feet over the side.

Coming here was a brilliant move.  Alone but not alone, in the dark with the lights on.  Like any successful attack – was it calculated or luck?  Or did I just surrender?

The cool darkness is perfect semi-privacy.  And because I cannot get caught have another problem, it’s the only place I can guarantee that no more than two bases will be crossed.
But I might not even need that.  Kristen’s lips are smooth beneath mine, her mouth soft.  She’s even playful, kissing me fully then pulling back, swiping her tongue over mine.  Her fingers cheat under the sleeves of my shirt as I mentally thank God every push-up I did before my surgery.

It’s more than kissing her.  She is warm and sturdy in my arms.  Her skin smells of something close – sugar or something else I usually can’t have.  Running my lips along the divot of her collarbone I swear it tastes that way too.

We come up for air, still tangled together, and watch a little of the movie.  My mind wanders to having her on my couch, on a lazy afternoon with the wind howling outside, doing exactly this.  

Naked, adds Old Me.

To my surprise, New Me doesn’t think will be required.

The movie is probably pretty good, but we only watch the action sequences.  In between, we’re just kids making out in the back of a movie theater.  I keep my one hand where it’s visible at all times.  Kristen does the same, touching me only gently and without the same aggression as before.  Being here has taken some of the rush out of us.  

When the show finally ends, we untangle and wait for the place to clear out.  

“We’ll have to rent this when it comes out,” I try.

Kristen smiles.  “We could just stay for the next show.”

I would get arrested for sure, so instead we head back into the warm summer air.  It’s evening now and I know she has to work tomorrow.  She settles back into the passenger seat of my car and we wind out of downtown.

“Are you hungry?”

I smile.  “I’m always hungry.  I know a great burger place.”

“Nope.  I asked you out so I get to pick.”

Touche!  “This is still the same date!”

“Well I can’t wait till tomorrow to eat!” Kristen giggles.  

There’s an open curbside space so I pull into it quickly and put the car in park.  She raises and eyebrow at me.

“Go ahead, ask.”

“Patrick,” she pauses dramatically, “are you having fun?”

I simply nod.

“Think you’ll still be having fun on Tuesday?”

I shrug.  “Depends on tomorrow.”  

Kristen punches me in the arm.  “Will you come to a dog’s birthday party with me?” _


  1. Im really falling in love with this story!

  2. I'm so in love with this story it's not even funny!
    And I absolutely love the way you write the battle between 'old me' and 'new me', it's treat to see how he's struggling to keep himself on the 'right'side... =D

  3. So cute!! It's about time they finally kissed. The back and forth with them is perfect and full of tension (the good kind). Can't wait for more!