Give Me Tonight contains short stories about a variety of couples.


Closing Time

2006

"Last call y'all!" Coleman said then he headed into the storage room.

Carly and Jason had been talking, playing pool and listening to the jukebox for hours now. The rest of the patrons were long gone from the bar. Jason had a few beers but Carly had switched to club soda a while ago. She got her high on being around Jason.

She made her way to the jukebox, dropped some coins in the slot and programmed it to play three songs.

Closing Time by Semisonic filled the air. Carly started to walk over to where Jason sat on a stool, facing her.

She sang softly, giving him a wicked smile "I know who I want to take me home. I know who I want to take me. Take me home..."

He said, "Do you need a ride?"

"I don't want to go home alone." Carly said "Why do you think you found me in here tonight with Patrick? I'm trying to fill my time with anyone or anything that will keep my mind from..."

"Missing Jax?" Jason said, his voice was frustrated.

He could not understand how Carly had hooked up with the Aussie that she had never showed interest in before Courtney died. That was one guy Jason never thought Carly would give two seconds of her time to. But she said he made her happy.

Jason told himself that should make him happy. It didn't.

"Yes and a million other things." Carly said "Like wondering if Jax ever cared about me at all since he left so easily. And then there's Sonny. Sometimes I think I should go try and make it work with him again for the millionth time. Even though it always turns into a disaster." She let out a breath and said "Ahh, I don't know what to do, Jase. And now that you and Sam are broken up it's only worse for me."

"What would Sam have to do with it?"

"Because, " Carly said, sliding close to him, " now you and I are both single..."

"Don't go there."

"Why not? I keep trying to get lost in other men. I'm tired of it. Sick of the game. When all I really want to do is to be with you."

"Stop, Carly." Jason said.

But she moved closer, until their jean clad legs were touching and then she leaned close to his ear.

"Stopping is what you do best. Not me." she said "Don't tell me you can't remember what I do best? Huh?" She placed a kiss on his jaw. He turned his face and they were eye to eye. Carly said, "No, you haven't forgotten a thing."

Jason put a hand on her shoulder and gently nudged her. "Come on...we know how it would end up."

Carly refused to move back but her voice took on a hurt edge, "No, we know how it went last time. Nothing ended and it never will. Besides why are you talking about the future?" Her eyes scanned up and down his body. "I'm talking about right here, right now. We're good, hell, we were amazing together. Let's be amazing again tonight."

The room fell silent and Carly thought, This is the about the time he gets up and puts enough distance between us to resist the pull.

But Jason stayed on the stool and Carly watched him, his head cocked to the side, watching her.

The last line from the song played

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end...

And then the next song started, Melissa Etheridge's voice surrounded them as the first lines of Come to My Window played.

Carly ran her hand up his thigh. And time slowed.

Melissa sang, " I would stand inside my hell and hold the hand of death. You don't know how far I'd go to ease this precious ache. You don't know how much I'd give or how much I can take... just to reach you, just to reach you, just to reach you..."

Carly watched Jason's face go from determined to thinking it over. Most times he would have walked away by now. This time felt different, it felt like they on the brink of something but Carly knew she couldn't go over this cliff alone.

"Why do you do this?" Jason asked softly " We agreed..."

Carly smiled, "I don't remember ever agreeing."

Jason gave her a stern look but he wore a half smile on his face. " You, " he stressed the word " said you needed my friendship more than anything else. You can spend the night with anyone if that's what you are looking for."

"Anyone isn't the same as you, Jase. Not for me. But if you don't like fun anymore? If you like laying awake thinking about how no one gets you or why you had to do the things you've done lately. No one but me. Because I'm on your side, no matter what. Like you are on mine. That's us. Being here hanging out is us. This," she applied slight pressure to his thigh "is us. And I want more of us tonight, don't you?"

Jason's eyes closed briefly and the he said loudly "Coleman!"

Coleman came out from the storage room. " Yo, man. What you need?"

"Get out." Jason said

Carly smiled at Jason. Her eyes lit up.

Coleman said, "Whatever you say, man." He tossed the set of keys on the nearest table. " Lock up when you're done if you don't mind, alright?"

"Now, Coleman." Jason said

"Right. That's cool, man. I'm gone." Coleman said, with a crooked smile, as he hurried out the door.

Carly wanted to stay in this moment forever. This moment when she believed Jason wanted her despite everything in the past, maybe even because of everything in the past. Jason knew all of her and wanted her in every way.

But she also wanted to move on from this moment and be in the next and the thousand more left before morning would come. The sun would bring

the end to this night. And that was the last thing Carly wanted right now. This night felt like a ride she could stay on forever.

Jason eased his stool back a little and stood up. He brought her into his arms and they danced through the end of that song and the beginning of the next, Slide by the Goo Goo Dolls.

Could you whisper in my ear the things you wanna feel?
I'd give ya anything to feel it coming

There bodies barely moved as they stared in each other's eyes.

Then Jason's head dipped and his lips were on hers. Carly was rocketed back in time to other needy kisses they had shared, to the feeling that this one person could give her all she needed to survive the night. And then she was too caught up in this time, now, as his hands lifted her up to sit on the pool table.

He pulled back. Carly clutched at his shirt and tried to drag him close again. Jason said, "You sure?"

"Yes." She would shout it from the rooftops if he had any doubts of her feelings. As much as Carly wanted this she had to ask, " Isn't this what you want?"

"God help me but I do." He said with a look that he only ever gave her. It said everything he felt and more. Wrapped up in that look was a mixture of

" You drive me crazy." and "I can't believe you sometimes." and "I'll never get enough of you. " and "I'll never leave you, never." and "We feel too much to take this any farther."

"I do, too." Carly said. She kissed him then, bringing him the last few inches into this fully, past the point of backing out.

The jukebox played, the Goo Goo Dolls sung "I want to wake up where you are. I won't say anything at all. So why don't you slide? Mmmmm. Slide..."