"The Birds and the Bees: An 'Always a Ranger' Anthology Story"
"Hey, Beautiful, how about a date?" Dr. Thomas Oliver playfully asked while swinging open the door of the gymnastics academy where Kimberly, his wife of several months, was a coach. It was eight o'clock Friday evening and earlier in the day, the couple had made plans for a casual dinner out when Kim realized that she would be working late. Her advanced class had a big state meet only two weeks away, and when it got down to the wire like this, she liked to be available for extra private practice sessions as often as possible.
"No thanks, I'm married," she returned with a sly grin. "In fact, my husband will be here any minute. I'd run if I were you. He's a sixth degree black belt with really big, strong muscles. You'll be in a lot of trouble if he catches you trying to pick me up."
Tommy strolled further into the studio towards his petite wife, enjoying the banter that they engaged in so frequently, yet never got tired of. "Is that right? Bring him on. You're worth it," he answered with a laugh as he picked her up and swung her around, planting a kiss on her soft lips before setting her down. "You ready?"
"Sure, my last student just left a few minutes ago. Let me just change and we'll get out of here. I'm starving!" Kim said and then bounced off to her office with its attached full bath. Just seeing Tommy after a long day put renewed spring in her step and she was looking forward to a quiet dinner alone followed by a night of making love until the wee hours.
Tommy took a seat on one of the benches flanking the mats to wait. It had been a long day for him as well. The semester was winding down, and after teaching his five science classes at Reefside High, he spent several hours after school with some of his students on the prom committee planning the major event of their high school careers. It was already after six when he got home and heard the message on the voice mail from Kim that she would still be another couple of hours. He knew she wouldn't be in any mood to cook that late, so he called her at the academy and proposed dinner out someplace. They always had a hard time making up their minds where to go, but tonight he could care less. The sooner they ate, the sooner he could get her home and ravage her satin-soft body to within an inch of her life.
As was usually the case with Kimberly Hart-Oliver, she took much longer to get herself together than her dear husband would have liked. Finally, she emerged from her office dressed in jeans, a pink tank top, and matching sandals. She saw that Tommy had zoned out while waiting, so she snuck up behind him and pounced on his shoulders. "Let's go!"
Tommy pulled her into his lap and wrapped his arms around her waist. "In a minute…" he replied before lowering his mouth to hers. They kissed long and deep for several moments, each quenching their thirst for the other after what seemed like an eternity apart. "That's just a preview of things to come," he whispered when they parted.
"Promise. Come on." Tommy lifted her off of him and grabbed her gym bag while Kim switched on the security system and shut off the lights. They had separate cars, but since tomorrow was Saturday, they could leave hers at the academy and pick it up anytime over the weekend.
They climbed into Tommy's Jeep and he started it up. A second later, though, he cut the engine and slammed his hand against the steering wheel. "Shit!"
"What's wrong?" Kim asked, surprised at his sudden outburst.
"I forgot my wallet. It's still in the khakis I wore today. I'm sorry," he apologized, frustrated with himself.
"The old Tommy Oliver forgetfulness strikes again!" she teased. "That's OK, sweetie, but I don't have much money with me. We'll just stop by the house and get it real quick, then we can go to that little café down by the beach."
"Alright," Tommy conceded. He started the Jeep again and they took off for their home on Valencia Road.
"Dr. O and Kim aren't home, Conner," Kira observed when they pulled into the gravel driveway of their mentor's house. "I'll just get them tomorrow."
"Dr. O said he was picking Kim up after work and they were going out to dinner. Come on, we're already here. Let's just go in and get your guitar strings, then we won't have to make another trip out here. You know Dr. O doesn't mind if we stop by the command center as long as we use the cave entrance when they're not home," he argued as he pulled his red vintage Mustang around the back of the house and down the path that led into the woods. He parked a few feet from the cave and started to get out.
"You don't have to come in with me," Kira said when she saw him following her. "I can just run in and get the strings. I'll only be a minute."
"What if I want to go in with you?" Conner asked with a suggestive leer. "What if I don't want to be apart from you ever again?"
"You're crazy, Conner," Kira replied, laughing at his silliness.
The Red Ranger rushed up to meet her at the mouth of the cave and pulled her into his arms. "Yeah, I am crazy. Crazy in love with you."
"You're corny, too!" Kira shot back, but she secretly loved it. In a million years, she would never have thought that she would find herself involved with one of Reefside's most popular jocks. She had always been the angsty musician, not a super-high-maintenance cheerleader-type, and not at all interested in being part of the 'in-crowd' at school. As fate would have it, though, their two worlds became intertwined by the call of Power Ranger life, and they soon found that they were a lot more alike than they were different.
Over the better part of the school year, their tenure as Rangers brought them face-to-face with a danger and an evil so great, it threatened the existence of Earth as they knew it. Through it all, they fought side by side with Dr. Oliver, Ethan, Trent, and later, with Dr. O's new wife Kim, eventually emerging victorious over the forces of Mesogog and his plan to turn the planet back to the days of the dinosaur. Sure, there were lots of scary times where only luck could be credited with the saving of their lives, but there were also lots of great times, too. They were there to see their mentor and the love of his life marry, and as they watched the older couple's relationship develop, they soon couldn't deny that something special was blossoming between them as well. Finally, a few months ago, they took the plunge and began dating, and each day that passed brought them closer. They now shared a love that was unusually strong and mature for a couple of high school seniors on the verge of adulthood. Neither was sure what life after graduation would bring, but they both knew that whatever it was, they would face it together.
"Corny? I can accept that if you'll kiss me." Conner didn't wait for an answer. He bent his over-six-foot frame down to the small girl and captured her lips with his own. Up until now, they had exercised restraint in their physical relationship, but he couldn't deny that he had been fantasizing a lot about making love to her lately. Sometimes, he would glance over at her across the classroom at school and be hit with an image so vivid that he has been late to class because he was stuck sitting at his desk trying in vain to memorize the periodic table of the elements just so he could walk through the halls without embarrassment.
The young couple kissed in the dark forest for several minutes. Kira tried to play it cool all the time, but if she were honest with herself, she would admit that her mind could often be found wandering to the prospect of enjoying more adult activities with Conner. So far in her dating career, she had not yet found anyone worth giving her virginity to, but lately, she felt that was changing. The last thing in the world she considered herself was an idealistic prude. It was just that she had enough self-confidence to know that what she had to offer was worthy of only the finest candidate, and she couldn't imagine any man being a more perfect first recipient.
Eventually, they broke apart to catch their breath. Kira couldn't believe how carried away they got standing at the mouth of the cave deep in their science teacher's back yard. It was already after eight, and being the more responsible one of the pair, she knew that if they wanted to make the nine-fifteen movie they had planned, they'd better pick up her guitar strings and be on their way. There would be plenty of time for make-out sessions afterward.
Kira had just purchased a box of new guitar strings earlier that day, and while she was waiting for Conner to pick her up, she thought she'd start restringing. The problem was, she couldn't find the package. After a bit of backtracking, she remembered that she must have left them at the Ranger command center when she stopped over to drop off some pictures of the team that they had taken on a picnic this past weekend. Dr. O had just gotten back from school, so she hung out with him for an hour or so before heading home to get ready for her night out with Conner. The strings were in a Wal-Mart bag along with the picture envelope she had placed on the command center desk so Kim would find it. She had a gig Saturday night at Haley's Cyberspace, though, and the current strings on her guitar were going to snap any minute. They had to be replaced.
"Come on, Conner," Kira said as she pulled him along behind her into the cave until they reached the dinosaur skeleton standing at the secret entrance to the command center. Conner pulled down the jaw and the heavy concrete door slid open. Only the emergency lights were on, making the large open room they had spent so much time in seem like an eerie set from a bad horror movie.
She spotted the white plastic bag on the desk, so she crossed the space and stepped up onto the raised platform where Haley and Dr. O sat and monitored the evil activity in the area. There were three black leather chairs there, and Kira was taken completely off guard when Conner plunked himself down in the center one and swung it around so he could grasp her around the waist and pull her into his lap. "Conner!" she exclaimed while half-heartedly struggling to get free.
"What? Is it so awful that I can't keep my hands off of you?" he reasoned as he moved her long, sandy-blonde hair aside and kissed her neck.
"No, it's not awful at all, but not here!"
"Why not here? This is where it all began. It's because of our Ranger service that we found each other. I think this is the perfect place."
"But Dr. O…"
"…is out for the evening with Kimberly. We can see a movie anytime," Conner explained as his warm breath grazed her throat.
She had every intention of climbing out of his grasp, but that only made him hold her tighter against his lanky body. It felt so good to be in his arms, and self-control soon flew out the window. Kira returned his kisses whole-heartedly, completely forgetting where they were and where they had planned to be.
Something had snapped inside Conner, and every effort he made to be a perfect gentleman was forgotten at the first touch of her small hands around his neck. She sat sideways in his lap, giving him access to the curve of her slender hip and thigh. As he slowly ran his hand up and down her side, remaining on the outside of her clothes only by sheer strength of will, he could feel her writhing body grind against his groin.
Conner had always pictured his first time to be on a special occasion, like prom night. He and the lady in question would spend an enchanting evening dining and dancing before retiring to a swanky hotel room that he had saved every penny for all semester long. There, amongst the cliché candles and flowers, they would give up their virginity in a night of passion. It was a scene out of a romance novel, and although not very original, it was the generally accepted ideal for most teens.
Tonight was not prom night, and they definitely weren't in a fancy hotel room surrounded by all the trappings of romance, but as he and Kira sat kissing and groping in Dr. Oliver's leather chair at the desk of the Dino Thunder Power Ranger's command center, something snapped inside Conner just the same. He wanted to make love to her more than he wanted anything else in the whole world…and he wanted it now.
Reluctantly, he abruptly broke from her lips. She pulled back with a gasp, clearly confused at his sudden action. "What's wrong?" Kira asked breathlessly.
"Nothing. That's just it…everything's perfect. I love you so much, but I'm having a hard time remaining a gentleman when I'm around you. I just want to touch you, and I want you to touch me. I want all of you, Kira. Please don't get angry with me. If you're not ready, I'll understand, but I think we've waited long enough."
"Conner, are you talking about having sex?" Kira asked, although not in a negative tone.
"Yeah, uh…forget it. I'm sorry. Just forget I said anything," he stuttered, his face turning as red as his Ranger suit.
Kira was speechless at first. She could always feel Conner's arousal when they kissed, but up until now, he had never even tried to feel her up under her clothes. At one time, she would have thought that he had plenty of sexual experience with girls. He was, after all, one of the most popular guys in school. Once she got to know him, and especially when they began dating, she realized that underneath all of his bravado was a sensitive, caring boy who genuinely wanted a meaningful relationship. The only time they had ever breeched the subject of sex he had revealed that he was still a virgin. None of the many girls he had dated in the past meant enough to him to take kind of step, although he has had several offers.
"No, Conner. I don't want to forget it. I want you, too." Kira took immense pleasure in watching the initial surprise on his face dissolve into a blinding smile.
"Really? I mean…are you sure?" he asked hesitantly.
"Yes, Conner. I've thought about it a lot, and I think we're ready. I'll admit I never expected my first time to be down here, but there's something poetic about it. I love you, too, and I want us to be together," she confidently replied. After that, they could only gaze into eachother's eyes. Without either of them realizing it, their faces inched closer together until they were sharing their breath. It was in the moment before their lips touched that they sealed their decision with an unspoken promise of commitment.
They kissed slowly at first, the stakes decidedly higher than before, but it didn't take long for their desire to overwhelm them. Conner needed to feel her skin her in a way he would have never though possible, so he finally gathered the boldness to slide his hand under her yellow T-shirt and up her back.
Kira hadn't expected the sudden jolt the first touch of his hand on her body had produced, but she quickly got addicted to it and wanted more. He was clumsily fumbling with her bra clasp, so she took pity on him and gently disengaged from his embrace to stand up in front of the chair. Looking him directly in the eye to show him that she was serious, she crossed her arms at her waist and slowly pulled the shirt over her head leaving her clad in a very pale peach satin bra trimmed in delicate lace. It was an exceptionally frilly garment compared to the practical and comfortable underwear she usually wore, but lately she had found herself wanting to feel more feminine. It was probably a direct result of her relationship with Conner, and it was a welcome change.
Conner could only stare at the soft flesh that had just been revealed to him. He didn't mean to gawk, and once he noticed that he was suffering from a severe lack of oxygen, he took in a deep breath and mirrored her gesture. Seconds later, his red button-down joined her T-shirt on the command center's concrete floor. Now that he was convinced that she was sure, he extended his arms out to draw her back to him. She settled down on his lap again, finally experiencing the exhilarating feeling of skin on skin.
Their mouths melded together, this time with an urgency and a passion that neither had experienced before. Conner's hands traced the outline of the last barrier between him and the soft swells of her petite breasts. He was just about to reach around the back and try to unclasp the hooks again, but she beat him to it. In a sensual motion, the flimsy piece of fabric fell to the ground, revealing the most perfect firm mounds of flesh he could have ever dredged up from the deepest depths of his imagination. They were capped with rosy-pink nipples, reminding him of two identical ice cream sundaes with cherries on top. His mouth watered at the sight as his hands moved towards them, seemingly of their own volition. He rested his large hands over the twin peaks, electricity shooting up his arms to set his brain, heart, and groin on fire. The soft curve of her neck and shoulder beckoned to him, so Conner had no choice but to answer the call. His lips latched onto her throat, causing her to gasp at the intense pleasure he elicited. From there, they proceeded to explore each other's upper bodies, both understanding that they should take their time and thoroughly enjoy the experience before advancing any further.
Tommy pulled in the gravel driveway of his and Kim's country home and parked in his usual spot on the side of the front lawn. He was still pissed at himself for forgetting his wallet in the first place, so his plan was to spend as little time as possible in the house.
"I'll stay here. You'll only be a minute," Kim said when he came around to open her door for her.
"You sure?" he asked. It was dark except for the porch light, and as silly as it was, Tommy still worried about her.
"Get going, you dufus! I doubt I'll get attacked by a rabid skunk while you're gone," she exclaimed with a hearty laugh. He was so cute when he got protective.
"Be right back…" and he gave her a short kiss. He knew he was being ridiculous, but he couldn't help it. It wasn't a slight to her abilities. She's proven that she can handle just about any adversity, but when they were alone and 'unmorphed', he still sometimes adopted that gallant White Knight persona. Thank God she thought it was charming rather than insulting.
Tommy quickly found the key to the front door and let himself in. The house was pitch black, so when he saw a dim light coming from the direction from the office, it immediately caught his attention. He slowly inched towards it, trying to keep his footsteps as silent as possible on the creaky hardwood floor. Peeking around the corner, he saw that the light was coming from the command center trap door that he had left open when he went to pick up Kim. The only problem was that the command center had motion sensor lights. They came on when someone was down there, and went off when there wasn't.
But they were on.
Alarms sounded in Tommy's head. He wouldn't have been so anxious if Haley hadn't been out of town visiting family. She often worked late into the night on special projects for the Rangers, but he took her to the airport himself and saw her get on the plane, so unless the sensor system was malfunctioning, somebody else was down there. It could also have been the Rangers, themselves, but they were always so loud he could hear them from anywhere in the house despite Haley's careful soundproofing.
Tommy took the several measured steps it took to get him to the entrance of the command center. He stopped for a moment to listen for any clues, but he still heard nothing. Grasping the railing, he lowered himself onto the first step, glad that they were made of concrete and therefore weren't noisy.
One step at a time, he descended the stairs. He had no idea what he was expecting to find, but what he saw once he cleared the wall and peered around the corner would unfortunately be burned forever in his memory.
In his chair, at the command center desk, the Red and Yellow Rangers were engaged in the middle of a very heavy petting session. Tommy's stomach dropped into his shoes. This was a teacher's worst nightmare. Conner and Kira were both topless, pieces of their clothing scattered on the floor in front of them. They were joined in a heated embrace, practically swallowing eachother's tongues. He was just about to turn around and head back upstairs to consult Kim when he heard one of them gasp. In his over-exaggerated concentration to remain as silent as possible, the noise caught him off guard, and he mis-stepped. Luckily, his sharp reflexes instinctively had him grasping the iron railing before he could tumble the rest of the way down the stairs. Unluckily, he just so happened to do so with his left hand, causing his wedding ring to bang against the metal, sending a resonating 'clank' echoing throughout the command center.
The sudden noise startled the young couple, and they quickly broke apart before they even had a chance to discover the source of their interruption. Kira jumped from Conner's lap and spun around, only to find their Ranger mentor attempting to scamper up the steps. He might have made it without exacerbating the already-most-humiliating moment of her life, but Conner's voice from behind her stopped the science teacher's ascent.
"Dr. Oliver!" he exclaimed, clearly without thinking.
Tommy wasn't expecting to hear his name, but when he did, he automatically responded the way anyone would, especially when one wasn't thinking straight: he looked in the direction of the voice.
Simultaneously, Kira screamed while Tommy shouted "Jesus! Turn around Kira!" The Yellow Ranger scrambled to pick up any article of clothing she could find to cover herself while Tommy smacked his hand over his eyes and shook his head back and forth to try and get the sight of his student's naked breasts out of his mind.
Kira didn't need to be told twice. She at last found her shirt and scooped it off the floor, slipping it on eventhough it was inside-out. Tommy waited a respectable amount of time before peeking between his fingers to see if it was safe to remove his hand from his face. Once the coast was clear, he pushed his embarrassment away and took one of those good, long looks at the kids that had them squirming in their shoes. Conner was at least as red as his Ranger uniform, and Kira looked like she had a second-degree sunburn. Tommy was still figuring out what he was going to say, but he tried to make it look like he was pausing for dramatic effect. He didn't know whether it was a good thing or not when Conner spoke up first.
"Dr. O, uh….what are you doing here?" The Red Ranger could have kicked himself for saying something so stupid, but it was the first thing that came to mind.
"I live here, but you know, it's funny, I was just going to ask you the same thing, but I guess I really don't have to." Tommy replied with not a small amount of sarcasm.
"We were just…" Kira started, but Tommy put up a hand to stop her from further explanation.
"Unfortunately, I could see what you were just doing, Kira. I came to get my wallet. It's behind you on the desk, Conner. Can I have it, please?"
Conner grabbed the wallet and started to get up out of the chair, but between having Kira on his lap for so long and the general awkwardness of the situation, his legs were a little weak and he stumbled forward off the raised platform where the desk was situated and fell flat on his face. The wallet flew from his hands and across the room, landing about a foot in front of Tommy. He reached down to pick it up, then stuffed it in his pocket. "Thank you, Conner. Now get yourselves together and come upstairs."
That was the last thing the teens expected Tommy to say, and now they were really nervous. "Do you think he's going to call our parents?" Conner asked.
"No way. That's not his style. Besides, then we'd have to explain what we were doing at his house on a Friday night when no one else was home. No, I think this is one of those situations that he's going to handle on his own," Kira hypothesized.
"I'd rather him call my parents," Conner thought out loud while picking himself up off the floor. He put his shirt back on while Kira took hers off again to turn it right-side-out. Once they were settled, they headed upstairs like a couple of death-row inmates on their way to the electric chair.
Tommy went back out to the Jeep to get Kim. It looked like they were going to have to order pizza tonight. On one hand, this really wasn't any of their business, but on the other, the kids went and made it their business by getting caught in a compromising position in their house. He was just glad he didn't come in fifteen minutes later. It could have been much, much worse, he supposed.
Kim could tell something was up as he walked to her side of the Jeep with a distressed look on his face. "What's wrong?"
"I, uh, went down to the command center to get my wallet. There I found our Red and Yellow Rangers in a state of partial undress in my chair at the desk. Now I feel like I have to gouge my eyes out."
"Eww…you actually saw them naked?"
"Unfortunately, I saw more of Kira than I ever saw of you when we were in high school," Tommy teased.
"Yuck. So what are we going to do?" She suddenly didn't feel like a big dinner, either.
"I guess we should talk to them. Who knows? They may already have had sex, but I still think it would be a good idea to let them know where we stand on the subject. We can order pizza and have a little 'birds and bees' discussion."
"Alright, I guess, but should we separate them? I can take Kira, you take Conner?"
"I thought about that. Maybe they would be more willing to ask the more personal kind of questions if the other wasn't there. We can only hope that afterwards, they'll talk to each other. Let's go."
The couple found Conner and Kira sitting a respectable distance apart on the sofa when they got in the house. Tommy immediately went to the kitchen to get the phone and order the pizza, and as he passed the kids, he called out behind him for Conner to follow along.
Kim settled down in the spot that Conner vacated and turned toward Kira, laying a hand on her arm. The girl just stared down at the floor, obviously afraid to look at the older woman. "Hey, relax. We're not mad," she reassured her. Kim knew that wasn't entirely the truth. Tommy was a little angry, but only because he was unlucky enough to be the one to catch them nearly in the act.
Kira looked up in surprise when she heard that. "You're not?"
"Well, Tommy's not happy about what he saw, but we're more concerned than anything else. Kira, I'm not your mother, so I realize I have no right to ask this, but I hope that by now you can talk to me. Are you and Conner sleeping together?" Kim held her breath and waited for the answer.
"It's OK, Kim. I'd rather talk to you about this than my mom. No, we haven't had sex yet, but we were heading in that direction tonight. Thank God Dr. Oliver wasn't a few minutes later."
"He's thanking God, too. I think you've traumatized him for life," Kim joked before turning serious. "Kira, are you sure you're ready for such a big step? I mean, I doubt you planned for your first time to be in our basement. Don't you think it's better if you two talked about it first? You know, so you can make it special?"
"Yeah, you're probably right. I guess I'm glad Dr. O stopped us, even if I'll never be able to look him straight in the eye again. We got carried away, and I had somewhere along the line made up my mind to just go for it."
"So, you weren't thinking about birth control, then? That's dangerous, isn't it?"
"To be honest, it never crossed my mind. I don't think spandex is very flattering to a pregnant woman. I'm so stupid!" Kira was nearly in tears.
"No, you're not. You're just seventeen and in love for the first time. It's a pretty strong emotion and it can make you lose your head sometimes if you're not careful. But that's how accidents happen. I know it's hard when you're making out with a really hot guy that you really love, and things get all hot and heavy. It's not easy to control yourself. That's why talking about it beforehand is so important. That way, the decisions will have been made about how far you want to go and you'll be prepared. It would be a shame to ruin your whole future on one night of passion. You shouldn't do anything unless you're sure you are willing to face the consequences should something go wrong."
"I heard that no form of birth control is one hundred percent. Is that true?"
"Yes, it is. Some are obviously better than others, but you're always taking a risk. There are diseases to think about, too."
"We're both virgins," Kira said quietly.
"I have to say that I'm glad to hear that. That way, when you do decide to have sex, it will be special for both of you. There's no need to rush things, you have a long life ahead of you. There will be plenty of time to explore your physical relationship once you've solidified your emotional relationship. Unless you can stand on your own two feet, it wouldn't be fair to either of you, or your parents, to prematurely bring a baby into the world."
"You're right. I don't know how I'd tell my mom and dad. First, they'd kill me, then go after Conner. I know we're not ready for a family. There's s much I still want to do that would be impossible with a baby. Kim, can I ask you a personal question?"
"I guess that depends on the question. Ask away, I'll let you know." Kim really didn't mind if she asked her anything personal, but since Tommy was their teacher, she had to be sensitive to the fact that there he wouldn't want her to share any really sensitive information with them.
"Did you and Dr. O have sex when you dated in high school?" Kira asked, unable to look Kim in the eye.
"Honestly? No we didn't. We must have known we weren't ready, because it never came up. My first time was with a guy I was dating in Florida, well after Tommy and I broke up. I was nineteen, and I thought I was ready, but looking back, I wasn't."
"Do you think people should wait until they're married?"
"That's a really personal decision based on your individual belief system. It's not really part of mine, but that doesn't mean I think you should give yourself away to just anybody. Tommy and I slept together before we were married, but it was right. We were committed to each other and deeply in love. Not only that, but we were both adults who had finished our educations and were able to handle the responsibility of a child if it happened. The only regret we have is that we both had others before we got back together. We should have been each other's first and only."
"Kim, thank you for being willing to talk with me about this. I guess we're not really ready for sex yet."
"I think that's a wise observation. Just promise me that when you do decide to take that step, you'll be smart about it. I'd be more than willing to visit a doctor with you or take you shopping to buy condoms, or whatever you need. All you need to do is ask." Kim gathered her young friend in her arms and gave her a squeeze. She supposed it was good practice for "the talk" when her and Tommy's own children grew up. Of course, her own kids probably wouldn't be so willing to talk to her about sex, but she hoped that they will have another adult that they could open up to like Kira just did to her. She also hoped that Tommy's talk with Conner was going as well.
Tommy stopped by the kitchen to grab the phone and hit the speed-dial button for the only pizza place in Reefside that delivered to the outskirts of town where they lived. He knew that he was making Conner sweat by not speaking to him just yet, judging by the way the Red Ranger was following him like an eager lost puppy. That was OK with Tommy, since he needed the time to calm his nerves after seeing his young, female student topless. With his luck, this would be one of those times when the infamous Tommy Oliver memory wouldn't fail him. With dinner on the way, he realized that he could no longer put off the inevitable. He stepped out onto the back porch, Conner still on his heels.
Conner waited for his teacher to settle himself in one of the comfortable patio chairs on the large wooden deck before he took a seat across from him on the porch swing. It had gotten dark outside, and the only light came from the kitchen window, unless you count the occasional lightening bug that fluttered by. Tommy finally decided that the kid had suffered enough from the silence, so still not looking at him, he spoke up. "I'm not mad," he said suddenly, catching Conner off guard. The young man snapped his head up sharply and stared at his mentor in disbelief. "I'm a little disturbed, as you can imagine, but that's not the same thing. I just wanted to clear that up right off the bat."
"OK, so you're not mad. So why'd you bring me out here if not to chew me out?" It came out a bit snottier than Conner meant it to, but his defenses were naturally heightened at the moment.
"Watch it, Conner. I said I wasn't mad, but I'm not exactly happy, either. Now, I won't ask you to explain what you and Kira were doing in the command center in my chair, because I think I can figure that out on my own. I just want to know why?"
Conner's bravado faded quickly, leaving only an intense anxiety in its wake. He didn't know what was worse, having been caught, or having to talk to Dr. O about it.
"I'm waiting, Conner," Tommy said impatiently. He knew the kid was stalling out of nervousness, but he was not too comfortable with this either, and really wanted to get it over with.
"Sorry, it's…a hard thing to talk about. We didn't mean to get carried away right here in your basement. It just happened. I know it was stupid."
"Yeah, that it was, but I doubt you think it's stupid for the same reasons I do. Conner, what would have happened if I hadn't interrupted you? Or worse, if I had interrupted you fifteen minutes later?" Tommy knew the answer, but he wanted to see how the Red Ranger would reply. Besides, it was fun making him squirm. If he had to suffer, then so did Conner.
"I didn't think I'd want to say this, but I'm glad you came when you did. It was embarrassing enough."
"For you guys and me both, remember," Tommy added. He wasn't going to allow the kid to forget that.
"I guess that things were getting out of hand. We've been dating for several months, and I suppose we just thought it was time to take our relationship to the next level."
"So you two talked about this first, and decided to have sex in my basement?" Tommy asked incredulously.
"Well, we didn't exactly talk about it or plan it that way, but we both just knew it was the right time."
"Tell me, Conner, how did you come to the conclusion that it was the right time? And if you didn't talk about it beforehand, how do you know what Kira was thinking or feeling?"
"She loves me and I love her. We both know that. What else do we need?"
Was I ever that immature? Tommy thought to himself. It was amazing what an age difference of ten years could make. "So you think that's all that's required to be ready for sex?" There, I said the 's' word.
"Sure. We're committed to each other, and we want to express our love. Why's that so hard to understand?"
"It's not, Conner. But love doesn't magically guarantee that you're ready. What about the practical aspects of sex? The consequences? Are you sure you're willing to take the risk of Kira becoming pregnant at seventeen years old?"
"I have a condom in my wallet. I'm not that stupid," Conner said defensively.
"Really? How long has it been in there? Let me see it." Tommy extended his hand to show that he was serious.
Conner couldn't believe that Dr. Oliver actually wanted to see the condom he had, but when after a few seconds the older man still showed no signs of kidding around, he reluctantly took out his wallet and handed over the small plastic package.
Tommy took the offered condom and looked it over. It was difficult to see in the dim light, but eventually, he was able to make out the expiration date. With a Herculean effort, he restrained himself from laughing by thinking about how now it was a really good thing that he walked in on them when he did. "Conner, where did you get this?" he asked innocently.
"Mark Jacobsen stole a bunch of them out of his brother's room when we were in the seventh grade. He passed them out to all of his friends so we'd be 'prepared'," Conner admitted.
"So that explains why this thing expired in April of 2001," Tommy said with amusement.
"It did? I didn't know they expired."
"Obviously. Here, open it." Tommy handed the package back to Conner, who just looked at it. "I'm serious, open it."
Conner paused a moment, then tore open the plastic wrapper and pulled out the circle of latex. It looked just like he expected it to look, but it sure didn't feel like it. And he certainly didn't expect the mess of power that escaped from the packet and was spilling from the condom into his hand. "What's this stuff?" he asked, still not sure if it was normal or not.
"It's, or it was, lubricant, but it's dried up and turned powdery from age and being in your wallet for six years. I bet it's probably pretty brittle, too. Here, give it to me."
Conner passed the condom to Tommy. Once in his hand, he pressed a finger into the tip, and the latex immediately gave out, allowing the finger to easily poke through. "See what I mean? And you didn't even know this wasn't how it was supposed to be. What do you think would have happened if you had used this?"
"I guess it would have broken," Conner mumbled sheepishly.
"No doubt. That's what I'm talking about…practical aspects. If you didn't know this, what other important information are you missing? Are you really ready to be a father right now?"
"No way! God, I feel like an idiot." Conner dropped his head into his hands.
"You're not an idiot Conner, you're just young. Although, that answered the other question I had in my head. Clearly, you haven't had sex with any of your other girlfriends. I'm glad, but do you understand what I mean now? The two of you have to talk about it, to have a plan, to make sure you're prepared to deal with any consequences of your actions. Imagine telling your parents that Kira's pregnant. They don't deserve that, and there's no way you could handle it on your own."
"Yeah, I understand. I mean, I love Kira, and I want her to be my first, but you're right, it's too soon."
"Believe me, I know what it's like to be full of hormones. To tell you the truth, they don't all go away after the teenage years. It's hard to control the urge to just ravish the girl you're in love with, but you have to do it. Talking ahead of time and mutually deciding on how far you're ready to go will really help. And you don't really want your first time together to be in a chair in a basement, do you?"
"No, I want it to make it special for her. I think that's worrying me, too. I don't…know what to do, you know, how to make it good for her. God, this is embarrassing." Even in the low light, Tommy could see Conner blushing.
"Don't be embarrassed. Listen, you probably shouldn't expect fireworks your first time. It's like anything else, you have to practice. Eventually, you'll learn what the other likes and doesn't like. It just takes time. Remember, she might feel some discomfort the first time. She may even bleed."
The look of horror on Conner's face was priceless. "Bleed? Really?"
"Can I ask you something?" Conner waited for Tommy to nod his consent before continuing. "We're you and Kim eachother's first?"
"No, we weren't," Tommy admitted. "Kim and I didn't go very far in high school. My first time came during my freshman year of college, and it was the first time that girl, as well. It was thoroughly traumatic."
"She bled?" Conner asked with a hint of a grin.
"Yeah, it was awful. I tried so hard not to hurt her, but it's kind of inevitable. She looked like she was in so much pain. I felt so bad." The unpleasantness of the memory was written all over Tommy's face.
"So, did you do it again with her?" Conner realized after he said it that he might be asking for too much personal information, but if Dr. O didn't want to answer, he simply wouldn't.
Tommy laughed lightly at the question. "Yeah, yeah we did." A lot, actually, he thought, thinking back to the many days and nights spent having wild sex with Katherine, especially the time they broke her headboard with their enthusiasm. "The good news is that the pain doesn't last, but that doesn't mean that it's automatically going to be earth-shattering, either. Like I said, it takes some time to really get to know eachother. You have to get over your natural inhibitions before it gets really good."
"Is it better when you're in love with the girl?"
"Absolutely. I imagine some guys could care less, but for me, sex with a girl I don't love just leaves me feeling dirty and empty. It's only happened a few times, but they were all times when I had just started dating a girl and we went too far, too soon. Once we had sex, it was the end of the relationship. When I found Kim again, it was just so different. Sex compliments a relationship, but it can't comprise it all by itself. Kira probably is the right girl for you, but you should really talk about whether this is really the right time."
"Dr. O, thanks for being willing to talk to me about all this. My dad is cool, but, well, he's old and it's creepy to talk about sex with your parents. There are some things I'm just happier not knowing about them."
Tommy stood up and patted the younger man on the shoulder. "No problem, Conner. I didn't want to discuss sex with my parents, either, but I do think if I had been more comfortable asking them questions, I might not have been so shocked by my first experience. If there's anything else you want to know, promise me you'll ask. Also promise me that you'll talk to Kira. I'm sure Kim has imparted abundant wisdom on her, so now it's up to you guys. Once you can stand on your own two feet, you'll feel a lot better about yourselves when you do decide to have sex."
"I promise I'll ask and that she and I will talk, but I don't think Kira is ever going to be able to look you in the eye again," Conner joked.
"You had to remind me, didn't you? Talk about traumatic!"
"Tommy, Conner…the pizza's here!" Kim yelled from the kitchen window, providing a welcome interruption to Tommy's train of thought.
"Come on, I'm starving."
The guys headed to the living room where Kim had already set up plates, napkins, and soda on the coffee table. No one mentioned anything about the incident while they ate, instead keeping the conversation light and casual with topics like graduation, colleges, and scholarships. Time passed quickly, and it was after eleven before they knew it. Tommy let out a huge yawn, which was contagious to the others. "I'm beat, guys. I think it's time for bed," he said, hoping the kids would get the hint.
"Yeah, so am I," Kira replied. "Let's get going, Conner. I think we should talk, and I still have to be home by 1:00." She stood up and grabbed her purse. Conner followed along with her to the basement trap door, as his car was parked in the woods at the cave entrance. "Are you going to make my gig tomorrow, Dr.O?" she asked, but not looking directly at him.
"Yeah, we'll be there," he responded, not making eye contact either. He knew he'd have to get over this, but it was just too soon…the image too fresh in his mind.
"Goodnight, guys," Kim said while giving both of them a hug.
"G'night…and thank you," Conner returned and then descended the stairs with Kira.
Tommy and Kim watched them leave, and when they were all the way down, he pushed the dinosaur skeleton's jaw closed, in turn closing the trap door in the floor. He saw that Kim had already started cleaning up the dishes. "Did your talk go OK with Kira?"
"Yeah, it did. I think she was grateful to have someone with more experience to talk to. She had a lot of good questions."
The last thing Kim expected just then was for Tommy to swoop in like his old Falcon Zord, scoop her into his arms, and start towards their bedroom. "Hey, I thought you were tired!" Kim asked, surprised.
"I just said that so they'd leave. All this talk about sex has gotten me pretty horny. Why don't you show me some of that experience you mentioned?" Tommy didn't even wait for her to answer. He bent down in one fluid motion and captured her lips in a deep, heated kiss.
When they came up for air, Kim got a good look at the ravenous expression on Tommy's face. He could still turn her knees to jelly. "That sounds like a plan," she said, pulling at his shirt, needing to feel his smooth, warm skin. They tumbled to the bed, undressing eachother with practiced ease until they both were laid bare. The sex was hard, fast, and intense at first, their eagerness to be joined after all day readily apparent.
Lying sweaty and contented in eachother's arms afterward in their darkened bedroom, Kim suddenly pushed herself up and turned on the bedside lamp so she could see him. The sight of his naked, muscular body at first distracted her from what she was going to say, but she forced herself to get back on track. "Do you really think they'll be OK?" she asked with a worried, motherly tone.
"Yeah. Yeah, I think they'll be just fine. I'm not going to sweat it too much," he answered while rolling over on his side to face her. "I'd rather work up a sweat with you." He grabbed her and pulled her back into his arms. This time, they made love slowly, taking the time to give one another the pleasure they knew only at the other's hands. Exhausted and sated, they climbed under the blankets and prepared to fall asleep.
Tommy was just dozing off when Kim's voice startled him awake. "I love you." She had to say one last time for that day.
"I love you, too. And they really are going to be just fine…"
Sleep took them not two minutes later, both of them wishing with their last coherent thought that their two young friends would someday feel the same joy and contentment that they did with eachother.
Author's Notes: Many thanks to Jeanine Trevizo for allowing me to hang out in AAR-land for awhile. I really enjoyed my stay! My little hiatus from "Conflicts of Interest" is officially over, now. Give me some time, but I'll have a new chapter up soon. Love to you all!...Gina