On a night where ghouls and goblins, witches and warlocks, vampires and werewolves so often reigned supreme, something different was brewing in the air tonight. Twenty-seven All Hallows Eves had come and gone for those who had laid down everything to defend the planet, to be Earth's first team of Power Rangers. Tonight...was their night.
Nightfall was quickly approaching and that meant that it was only a matter of time before the first of the night's Trick-or-Treaters walked up Valencia Drive to ring the doorbell or knock on the door of the man who, as a teenager, had worn the best costume of them all. Alas, he would not be there to answer the door when they came dressed up and calling for sweets. Instead, a black plastic cauldron full of candy rested on his front porch to make up for his absence, a note attached to it with strict instructions for the kids to only take one piece.
They were instructions he knew would not be followed except for the kids who came with their parents. He vividly remembered the first time he went Trick-or-Treating without parental supervision and how, when someone did what he was doing, the massive amount of candy he would take. It was in Arizona, Flagstaff to be precise and, at nine years old, he had gone with three of his friends from the third grade dressed as the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles. He had fought tooth and nail to be Raphael and now, as an adult, the irony of wearing the red mask was far from lost on him.
Sitting on the couch in his living room, his costume in a bag next to where he was sitting, he held a white card that he had received a month earlier. It had come from his best friend and ex-girlfriend, an invitation to their first annual Halloween party. Reading the card again, he couldn't help but wonder just how many of his old friends would be attending. And not just how many, but who?
The card, generic in its' own right, was probably the same one that went out to everyone else that they had invited to their party.
You are hereby invited to the first annual Halloween Bash of Jason Lee Scott and Katherine Scott-Hillard. The party will take place on Halloween night, beginning promptly at nine o'clock p.m. Food and drinks will be provided. Costumes are a must and no kids are allowed. This is an invitation only party so please, don't bring guests without first consulting Jason or Katherine. Please RSVP by no later than Wednesday, October the 24th. Hope to see you all there. It's going to be a ghastly time.
Shrugging his shoulders, he let out a chuckle and tossed the card onto the coffee table. For two weeks after getting the invitation he had danced around the idea of going. He was twenty-eight years old, a doctor of paleontology and a high school science teacher. Wasn't he a little too old, weren't they all a little too old, for Halloween parties?
After constant pressure from one Jason Scott and his wife, Katherine Hillard-Scott, to attend the party, he finally caved in the day before RSVP's were due. Now, all he had had to do was find a costume on extremely short notice. He had searched high and low in every costume store in and around town but had no luck finding anything he liked. There had been a pimp costume, complete with purple smoking jacket, matching fedora and faux diamond-tipped cane that had caught his eye but they were out of his size.
Having spent nearly a week of searching, his friend Hayley suggested a trip into his basement where she helped him find exactly what he was looking for. The basement with its' old and outdated contents had proved to be the place he should have looked to begin with. If who he thought was going to be at the party actually was there, the costume he had in mind was going to be perfect.
Just in case things didn't work out the way he hoped they were going to, he was dragging Hayley along with him. Yeah, yeah, invitation only but Jason could go fuck himself for all he cared. Not in the literal sense of course, he just knew his best friend wouldn't care if he brought along someone who had been such an instrumental part in his adult life.
Jason had heard the stories about Hayley from him firsthand. How she had been his confidant through college when things were tough, how she had come to his rescue when every date he went on ended up blowing up in his face, how she had helped him build and harness the technology they needed for certain extra-curricular activities. In his book, and Jason's, she was as good and as welcome as any one who hadn't donned the spandex could be in their circle of friends.
Time and time again he had hoped this night would come. If he was honest with himself though, he dreaded it just as much as he looked forward to it. Not Halloween or being with his friends but being around her again. Just thinking about her gave him the same butterflies in his stomach that he felt on that oddly fateful day.
He had been the new kid in Angel Grove having just moved from Arizona. An expert in the martial arts, he had entered a karate tournament the weekend before his first day at Angel Grove High and had nearly won the whole thing. He would have too if not for the one person he had ever met who could match him punch for punch and kick for kick.
It was on that day, after tying for first place in the karate tournament, when he first laid eyes on the young woman who would forever hold the key to his heart. Shy and maybe even a little nervous about talking to her at school that Monday, he had pushed his fears aside and so valiantly come to her rescue when two of Angel Grove High's most notorious bullies cornered her against her locker. After a few punches and kicks that intentionally never connected, they had gone scampering out of the hallway leaving the two of them alone for the first time.
Oh the awkwardness of that first meeting. The way he had come to her rescue only to give her that shy smile practically made the petite brunette blush. He was, as she had so eloquently put it, wow.
That was how it started and it had continued that way for quite some time after that. Just like he had danced around the party, they had danced around each other until neither of them could deal with it anymore. Their emotions took over and they finally admitted to each other how they felt. The mutual friends they shared had known it would only be a matter of time before they gave in and confessed their feelings.
Kissing her that day by the lake had, for just a brief moment, lifted the weight of the world that was, literally, resting on his shoulders off. He had succumbed, had kissed her just once but it was a kiss neither of them would ever forget. The way their lips met in that soft and loving way, he knew at that moment that he would never kiss another woman that way.
Long after she had ripped his heart out with a Dear John letter, long after he had moved on and started dating Katherine, he still hadn't gotten over her. No matter how hard he tried to fight it, no matter how much he wanted Katherine to be her, he knew there would never be another woman who could do the things to him that she had done and still did.
He had dated, had slept with quite a few women in college and after that but they had never gotten what she had always had. They had him physically but, emotionally and spiritually, he would always belong to the only woman he could ever truly love. Like dressing up as a Ninja Turtle, he remembered in great detail the way Katherine had broken up with him and, even before she had given him a reason, he knew why.
Tears filled the Australian imports eyes when she told him that their relationship wasn't going to work out. He was holding onto the past, scratching and clinging at it for dear life. No relationship could withstand that no matter how willing both partners wanted it to. Katherine, the first woman he had ever slept with, ended it with a simple kiss on the cheek knowing she could never replace the love of her, the love he would forever hope for.
But, whether she realized it or not, she had helped him in more ways than he could ever verbally express to her. At a time when his heart had been obliterated to pieces she had cleaned up the mess, picked up the pieces and tried her hardest to put them back together. In a way, she had succeeded. She had shown him that, physically, there were other fish in the sea. It was the emotional part that had, and always would, hold him back.
For the man who had saved the world so many times fear was an emotion that he rarely, if ever, exhibited publicly. At least until another woman with an attraction towards him decided to come calling. He just didn't have it in him to open up and let them into his world. The defensive walls had gone up long before they would come and they would stay up long after they had left.
Only four people in his life had ever gotten inside those walls: Katherine, Hayley, his mom and her. Even saying her name was difficult for him. Why was he still holding onto her, to her memory? High school relationships came and went all the time so why was letting her go so damn difficult?
Maybe it was because, in his heart of hearts, he knew that the relationship and love that they had shared was simply not typical for two high school kids. Duty had bonded them in ways they couldn't even try to explain. She had been there through both his brightest and his darkest days, something that would forever tie him to her even if he didn't want it to be that way.
He had fought so hard to free her from his life and from his memory. Joining a fraternity in college where the sorority girls came flocking had been his way of trying to do that but it never worked. He'd take one out, they'd hang around each other for a few weeks and they'd fuck before he moved on. That was all it was to him. Fucking. It was never sex or making love, just fucking.
Even that had eventually lost its' luster and appeal to him. Probably because, in his senior year of college at Surfside University, he had picked the wrong woman to play his little game with. Most of the girls in college went along with it just because of who he was. That quiet and mysterious demeanor, the chiseled muscles and those piercing brown eyes had no trouble wooing the ladies but this one had been different.
Jennifer Kendall. The mere thought of waking up in the fraternity house the day after sending her packing still sent shivers down his spine. He had saved some money from racing with his uncle and used it do buy a near new Ford Mustang that, in some way or another, represented his past. The custom green paint job with red racing striped, the all white leather interior, it had all been ruined.
The crazy bitch had attacked his car with everything she could find. Paint thinner on the outside, rocks through every window and four slashed tires told him it was time to change his ways. But he was a college student and a male one at that. He had the same lusts and desires of any college aged male and, without her by his side, he was forced to look elsewhere to satisfy those needs.
However, the destruction of his car that he had affectionately named K, had opened his eyes. That didn't mean he stopped sleeping with women though. If he was attracted to one and the feeling was mutual, he just told them upfront that he wasn't looking for a relationship. Sleeping with them he could deal with but a serious commitment was, and had always been, reserved for one person.
For years he had wondered if she felt the same, if she still cared about him or even still thought about him at all. He was sure she had gotten over him until the day her father had passed away. When she had shown up at his apartment in Surfside, just a year after he had graduated from college, he knew that there was still something there, some kind of connection that had never really faded away.
He remembered standing by her side as her father's casket was lowered into the earth, his arm around her shoulder keeping her tight against his side. He remembered every tear she had cried, every whimper that had escaped her lips and he remembered the promise he had made to her. The letter had long since been put to rest, no hard feelings whatsoever existed between the pair and when they had gone back to her hotel after the funeral, he had promised her that he would always be there for her, even if as only a friend.
A friend had been exactly what she needed at the time. She needed that comforting arm around her, the soothing voice telling her that everything would be okay and she was thankful for it. So thankful in fact that she had actually tried to put the moves on him, something he regretted putting stop to every day of his life.
He wanted nothing more than to ravage her, to strip off every article of clothing she had on and kiss every inch of her body as they made love. And that's what it would have been. He would have made love with someone for the first time in his life if the infamous Oliver guilt complex hadn't gotten in the way. Taking advantage of the only woman he had ever loved while she grieved for her father was the last thing that he wanted to do.
With tears in his eyes, he had put the kibosh on it before if had even really gotten started. They had exchanged a few kisses when he told her he couldn't do it. Not right then. She had thrown him out of her hotel room, yelling at him the whole way and, as she watched the taillights of his Jeep pull away from her hotel, she thanked him.
The next day had seen a three hour long phone call from her to him full of apologies for the way she had behaved the previous night. At that point, they had agreed to be just friends. Nothing more and nothing less. A plane ride to Miami came two days later and, as fast as she had come back into his life, she was gone once more.
They played the email game, exchanging weekly messages to keep each other updated with the occasional phone call for a birthday or on Christmas but that was the extent of their contact. Through the grapevine of his friends, however, he had heard that she had left Miami to return to California the year after he had started teaching at Reefside. She bought her childhood home in Angel Grove and had taken a job teaching P.E. and English classes at Angel Grove High.
Yet, for as close as they were to each other, neither had ever made so much as an attempt to see the other one. Even though a few years had gone by since her father's passing, the events in her hotel room still lingered for both of them. Neither was sure what the other wanted. Was friendship the only thing in the cards for them or was there the potential for something more?
Simply put, he had grown tired of asking himself that same damn question over and over, night after night, week after week, month after month and year after year. If she was there tonight, he was going to lay it all out on the line. He wanted her. He wanted her with every fiber of his being and not just physically, either. He wanted her heart, her soul and her mind just as much as he wanted her body. It was a do or die moment for him and he knew that.
The headlights and the sound of honking from the silver Ford Escort parked in his driveway snapped him from his thoughts and reminiscing. Quickly checking his bag and his person to make sure he had everything he needed, he ran upstairs into his room and grabbed a few condoms, sticking them into his wallet just in case. Just in case. Oh how he hoped it would be the case.
When he got outside, Hayley was leaning against her car waiting for him in full costume. The sight of his old friend dressed up like a nurse and a sexy nurse at that made him blush ever so slightly. She had always been rather conservative, attractive and pretty in her own way without drawing attention to herself. He liked that in her, it was a quality that he admired in a certain other female.
After a quick hello and a hug, she ran through a mental checklist of all the things he needed. Wallet, keys, cell phone, costume and condoms. The look on his face when she said condoms was, for lack of a better term, priceless. Conversations with his oldest and closest friends, conversations he didn't know about of course, had told her all she needed to know about the night ahead of them.
But she hadn't really needed those conversations to be honest. They had been more of a confirmation for what she had long suspected. The love he felt for her was impossible to ignore. It could walk up, spit at you and smack you in the face or sit there in the shadows, biding its' time for the right moment to arrive. Either way, Hayley knew who was going to be at Jason and Katherine's party. Now, it was only a matter of time before he did too.
For almost two hours they drove in silence. It was the most awkward two hours of his life. At random times he'd find himself fidgeting nervously, a comforting hand from Hayley always there to calm him down. When they finally arrived at the Scott-Hillard household he looked around for a few moments at the cars and decorations on the house.
Jason and Katherine didn't live in a normal neighborhood like most people. Like him, they chose to remain on the outskirts of town, far enough away to have some semblance of privacy. Their house was on the edge of Angel Grove, Jason's money from his ten karate schools across California having been well spent on it.
A half dozen or so solid pewter cauldrons filled with dry ice sat on the front porch, releasing a smoke-like substance that floated eerily into the air. From the large oak tree on their front lawn, a dummy painted blue and dressed in all gold, hung with a noose around its' neck. Only a select few people would get the joke and he was one of them
Shaking his head, he looked at the cars that lined the gravel driveway and the street. He immediately recognized the black and yellow Mitsubishi Montero that belonged to Adam and Tanya Park, the red Chevy Silverado of Rocky DeSantos and the matching yellow Ford Mustangs of Trini Kwan and Aisha Campbell, something that had happened completely by accident. Zachary Taylor's black Ford Escape and Billy Cranston's blue Chevy S-10 also were easily recognizable.
There were other cars there that he didn't recognize, probably colleagues and friends of Jason and Katherine from work but there was no sign of a pink vehicle at all. Maybe she wasn't there or maybe she was there and her car intentionally wasn't so he didn't think about her. Shaking his head, he looked at Hayley who pointed towards the house.
With her by his side, they made the walk up the gravel driveway to the front door. Before he had even had time to knock, the door flew open and he was greeted by the sight of a six foot tall man in a gorilla costume.
"No costume for Tommy! Party foul!" the gorilla yelled, moving to turn his plastic cup over his friend's head. Tommy instinctively reached out and grabbed the gorilla's arm before he could make his move.
"You do it and you die, Rocky. My costume's in the bag," Tommy told him, not even having to see his face to know who it was as he opened the bag so he could see what was inside. Rocky stared at it with wide eyes though his gorilla head covered his expression. "I just didn't want to wear it in the car. I need to find a bathroom and change."
Rocky nodded his head and stepped aside, allowing Tommy and Hayley to enter the house in peace. Hayley blushed when Rocky let out a loud roar followed by a whistle at her costume. Tommy watched Rocky put his fur covered arm around Hayley's shoulder, leading her to where the drinks were before turning to find Jason's bathroom. He was just turning the corner in the hallway when he collided with Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean.
They both let out loud groans, pushing themselves onto their feet and then taking a moment to observe who they had just ran into. Tommy stared at him for a moment, not immediately recognizing who it was but it clicked a few seconds later. The eyes were what had done it.
"Adam?" Tommy asked as his friend nodded. "Sweet costume man. I didn't even recognize you."
"That's the point, Tommy. Although I can't say the same about you," Adam laughed, shaking Tommy's hand. "Where's your costume? And don't tell me you came as a teacher either."
"Nah, my costume's in the bag," Tommy told him, opening it for him to see. "I was just about to go change when I ran into you."
"You're not gonna…you're not serious are you?" Adam questioned, Tommy nodding his head. "You sly son of a bitch. I can't believe you're actually gonna wear that thing. Go get changed, dude. I can't wait to see this."
"Alright, catch ya in a minute, bro," Tommy said as Adam clasped him on the shoulder and walked away asking people where the rum was.
Tommy laughed to himself quietly, opening a few doors that led to bedrooms and Jason's office before he found the bathroom he was looking for. Ducking inside, he dumped the contents of the bag onto the floor and started to undress. When he was down to a pair of white boxer briefs and an undershirt, he grabbed the pants for his costume off the floor and pulled them on. It took him a few minutes to get fully dressed and he stuffed his street clothes into the bag, tossing them into the shower and pulling the curtain closed before staring at himself in the mirror.
"I can't believe I'm actually doing this shit," he muttered to himself, splashing some cold water from the faucet onto his face. "Well, here goes nothing. If I crash and burn at least I went out with a bang."
The last part of his costume was sitting on the counter. Reaching for it, he opened it and pulled it over his head, locking the clasps on either side but not before he put in his old gold earring for added effect. It was done. His costume was completed. It was now or never.
Taking a deep breath, he slowly pushed open the bathroom door to find Albert Einstein waiting to use the facilities. The look on the face of the famous scientist, his mouth falling open in shock and surprise made Tommy chuckle from behind the concealment of his costume.
"What's up, Billy-man?" Tommy asked, slapping his old friend playfully on the shoulder. Billy kept his eyes trained on Tommy, although he still wasn't entirely sure who exactly he was looking at. The costume was familiar but the man behind it was another story.
"Tommy?" he asked apprehensively, getting a head nod in reply. "You're a sick son of a bitch you know that?" Tommy laughed and gave Billy a friendly hug, his hidden face speaking volumes for his costume. "If you'll excuse me, I need to take care of some business." Tommy nodded again, stepping out of the way as Billy took his place in the bathroom. "Cool costume by the way."
The door shut and locked behind him before Tommy could get out a reply. Shrugging his shoulders, he started making his way back towards the party area. He got stopped at least five or six times by people he didn't know, all in admiration of his "costume" and how authentic it looked. If they only knew he thought to himself.
Almost to the main area, he felt a hand on his shoulder and spun around to find someone who was a lot more easily identifiable than the others he had already ran into. Zack, in a gray jumpsuit, looked at him in confusion. They went through the same rigmarole that he had already gone through with Adam and Billy before he asked who Zack was supposed to be.
"Harlan Band from Space Cases," Zack told him with a grin. "Remember that show from when we were kids? You guys always used to tell me I looked like him so I figured what the hell? Although, I wish I had thought about your idea man."
Tommy laughed and threw his arm around Zack's shoulder as he finally was able to get to where the party was happening. Loud music was playing in one room that was illuminated only by strobe lights, the hardwood floor occupied by a group of people dancing. He noticed Adam dancing with Tanya who was dressed as Pocahontas and gave them a wave. Tanya looked from him to Adam in shock and tried to go after him but Adam kept his arm around her waist and her body pressed against his, whispering something in her ear as they continued to dance. In another room, a group of people was playing Twister and Tommy made a mental note to stay as far away from that as possible. Scanning the people in the house, he made a mental checklist of the people he'd already seen.
Rocky? Check. Adam? Check. Billy? Check. Zack? Check. Tanya? Check. Of the people he knew were there, that left Jason, Katherine, Trini and…
"Aisha!" Tommy exclaimed, recognizing her even from behind as he turned her around and pulled her into a crushing hug against his chest. "How have you been?"
"Who the hell are you!?" she replied in surprise, pushing him away. "And why are you dressed up like that?"
"Aisha, it's me. Tommy."
"Yeah, Tommy," she breathed a sigh of relief at his words, immediately returning the hug.
"I'm sorry," she said softly. "I just wasn't expecting…that."
"Neither was anyone else apparently," he replied. "Hey listen, I'm gonna go grab a drink and say hi the others but I'll find you in a little bit. We can catch up and all that stuff."
Aisha, in her latex police officer's costume, nodded and smiled, giving Tommy another hug before leaving to chase after Rocky who was already rather inebriated and acting quite stupid. Something's never change. Luckily, Trini was in the kitchen with Jason and Katherine so that meant he didn't have to make multiple stops to explain everything over and over again.
Revealing his face so they didn't ask questions, he tried not to laugh at the expressions on the faces of his friends. Trini, tonight being known as O-Ren Ishii from Kill Bill and Katherine, in full on Marilyn Monroe garb, both started laughing but Jason in his karate gi just stood there shaking his head at his best friend's choice of costume.
"You really outdid yourself this time, bro," Jason said with a laugh, offering Tommy a bottle of Corona which he immediately took from him. With calculated and careful movements, Jason got close enough to Tommy where only he could hear him. "She's gonna love it, T."
"She's here?" Tommy asked. "Like, right now?"
"No, not yet. But she will be," Jason told him as Tommy breathed a sigh of relief. "That gives you plenty of time to get drunk with courage."
Tommy laughed, raising his bottle to his lips as he downed the cold beer in less than ten seconds. He had already told Principal Randall that he wasn't going to be in the next day so getting trashed wasn't a worry for him. Being who he was, he admitted, did have certain perks at Reefside High School, especially when it came to things like this. Randall, having once been Elsa, Mesogog's evil general, gave Tommy a few personal freedoms for saving the city from her path of destruction.
Immediately, another beer was thrust into his hands by Jason and the pair of best friends clinked bottles with each other before taking a drink. They went through three or four beers each without even saying a word to each other. They just had that bond where they could look at one another and know what the other was feeling or thinking. Jason knew what Tommy was feeling and what he was thinking.
His house, in all its' beauty and glory, had eight, yes eight, bedrooms in it. Each was reserved for certain people when they came to visit and they knew who they were. Aside from the master bedroom that Jason and Katherine shared, one was for Adam and Tanya, another for Rocky and Aisha, one for Billy, one for Zack, one for Trini and one for when their parents came to town. But that's only seven, right?
The last bedroom, at the end of the hall as far away from the others as possible, was the one saved for Tommy and Kim. Although they had never actually shared the room and neither of them knew it, they had both slept in the same bed just at separate times. Jason had always wanted them to be together and, in doing that, they were together in some weird way. He was hoping that, tonight, that bed would get put to good use.
Finding himself a little buzzed, Tommy's feet carried him into the bathroom to retrieve his bag of clothes before taking them into that bedroom at the end of the hall. Sitting on the king sized bed, he tossed the bag on the floor and looked around the room at all the pictures on the wall. Some were just paintings of random things and places but others held a more deeper meaning to them.
Hanging right behind the bed was a picture of Jason, Trini, Zack, Billy, Kim and Tommy in the Youth Center right after Zordon had given Tommy the White Ranger powers. How ironic. He sat there for a few minutes in silence until he heard the bedroom door open.
"Jason told me you'd be in here. I just wanted to come and check on you. See if you were okay and all that stuff friends do."
"Thanks, Hayley. I'm okay though," he told her although his eyes were telling a different story. Without asking, she moved to the bed and sat next to him, laying her head on his shoulder. "I guess I'm just nervous. I've waited for this night for so long and now that it's here, I'm afraid things aren't going to work out the way I want them to."
"So what if they don't? I mean, I know how much this means to you but it's not like your life depends on it," Hayley said sternly, causing Tommy to frown a bit. "Oh, don't give me that look. I'm pulling for you, I really am but things and people change. If things don't work out between you guys, your life will still go on. Besides, you have me!"
Tommy chuckled at his friend, his laughter concealing his true feelings. But, as much as he didn't want her to be, she was right. His life had gone on without her for a long time and he had accomplished a lot without her there. He had gone to, and graduated from, college, gotten his PhD, worked with some of the most experienced and esteemed paleontologists in the country and created his own team of Power Rangers all without her. None of those were small feats in their own right, together those accomplishments were outstanding.
Sighing, he nodded and stood up from the bed, offering a hand to Hayley who accepted it and allowed him to pull her onto her feet. Taking one last look at the room and all the things he wanted to happen in it, he walked out of the room with Hayley to rejoin the party. Hayley, was just the opposite of almost every other woman he had been with, not that they had "been" with each other.
She had his emotions and his spirit, had broken down his defensive walls but the body never came. Neither of them really wanted it with each other anyways. They were too good of friends, too compatible to ever have a meaningful relationship. He'd have slept with her in a heartbeat and she the same if not for the friendship they shared. If they had just been two random people meeting at a party for the first time, it might have already happened but the bond between them prevented anything from ever happening.
He was her shoulder to cry on and she was his. When something bad happened, they were the first place the other went to for support. Hayley's dad had been hit by a drunk driver a year back and had nearly been killed by it. Tommy had been there for her every step of the way. The night that Tommy and Kim almost slept together, she was the first person he called to talk about it. She listened intently and never once tried to judge or lecture him. They were perfect for each other in every way yet unable and unwilling to do anything about it.
And that was why it always came down to her. They weren't perfect for each other. They were two different people from two completely different worlds. She came from a broken home with parents who fought until divorce reared its' ugly head. He had parents, even though they weren't his blood parents, who loved each other more than words could explain. She had been pressured into gymnastics by her father who never once came to see her perform. He had taken up the martial arts under his own volition and his parents made every tournament they could get to.
She loved the color pink. He despised it with a passion, unless it was on her of course. He liked big cars with bigger engines. She liked coupes that went fast but had no real power behind them. She liked chick flicks and stuffed animals, pajamas with her favorite cartoon characters on them. He liked action movies with intense fight scenes, hadn't owned a stuffed animal since he was five years old and rarely wore anything at all to bed.
He was a pizza and beer guy. A salad and diet soda was just fine for her. He liked warm and sunny days where he could be outside and active all day. She preferred cold and rainy so she could curl up on the couch with a blanket and her favorite book.
They were so different yet the synergy between them was unreal. For all the differences that they had, he had never loved anyone in the way he loved her. Despite all their differences, in his mind, they weren't perfect for each other but they were perfect together.
That doesn't make much sense unless you've loved someone strong enough to do anything for them and not the love you share with a parent or a sibling either. It's a love that burns deep in your heart, a love that forces you to get up and fight each and every day through the good times and bad, the trials and tribulations of life because you know, at the end of the day, that person you love will still be there for you to pat you on the back and fight that same fight with you the next day. And the day after that and the day after that.
For all the imperfections they had in likes and dislikes, they just fit together in ways you couldn't even begin to imagine. He wanted her to be that person, the person he could yell and scream at then turn around and kiss her like nothing had happened. He wanted to wake up next to her every morning and smell the lavender shampoo she had used as a teenager. He wanted to hold her, to touch every amazing curve on her body. More than anything though, he wanted one last chance to tell her he loved her.
Sitting in a silver Dodge Charger in Jason's driveway fifteen minutes earlier, she was thinking similar thoughts. She wanted to fight with him and then have amazing makeup sex. She wanted to inhale the scent of Old Spice deodorant and Polo cologne. She wanted to run her fingers down his chest and abs, his firm muscles shivering at her touch. More than anything though, she wanted one last chance to tell him she loved him.
Having dated Mr. Jerk, Mr. Jackass, Mr. Six Kids By Six Different Women and Mr. Monogamy Is Stupid, she was ready for Mr. Right. It had taken her a long time to realize it but the man she had always wanted, the man she had always loved, had been right there in front of her face the whole time, she had just been too blind to realize it. She had spent years trying to find a man to replace someone who, she was finally realizing, was irreplaceable.
Taking a deep breath, she stepped out of her car and hit the alarm button on her key ring, the beeping noise telling her that her car was locked. Playing on Tommy's choice of profession, she was dressed as a schoolgirl complete with a short plaid skirt, knee high socks, a white blouse that was tied up to expose her midriff and the sexiest pair of fake glasses the Goodwill had to offer. She had even put her hair in pigtails on either side, something she hadn't done in years. Now was the time to knock his socks off.
Walking up to the house, she let herself in and found…chaos. Rocky had taken off his gorilla head and was dancing with Officer Aisha who had her back to him, grinding up against him. Tanya was playing a similar move on Adam who looked about ready to burst through the seam of his pants. Zack was bent over the Twister mat with two women she didn't recognize and Billy was sitting on one of the couches, engaged in conversation with Trini. Why those two were still dancing around each other was beyond her.
Desperately wanting a drink, she made a beeline to the kitchen where she found Jason and Katherine playing bartender for the crowd. Not even stopping to greet them, she snatched the tequila bottle from Jason's hand and took a long drink from it.
"Well isn't our little schoolgirl so full of manners," Jason teased with a laugh as she shot him an angry look. "Aww, lighten up, sis. It's Halloween. Have a little fun. Tommy's here somewhere."
He said the last part quiet enough so only she could hear it and tried not to smile at the mixture of emotions that wafted over her. She was somewhere in between shocked and elated, more elated than shocked though. After all, she was here for him.
Jason's arms wrapped around her in a tight hug as she finally let go and returned the offered embrace. She got the same greeting from Katherine and politely thanked them for inviting her to the party. Throwing out a "no problem," Jason poured some of the blended margarita from the blender into a cup for her. She took it without hesitation and downed half of it in a matter of seconds, only stopping at the coldness of the beverage going to her brain.
A sly smile came over the lips of both Jason and Katherine and she looked at them in confusion, the looks on their faces not revealing much of anything to her. And then a hand came, resting on her shoulder. She didn't even have to turn around to know who it belonged to.
Instantly, she turned around and found herself staring at him. Except he wasn't what she had been expecting, at least not his costume anyway. She burst into uncontrollable laughter as he stood there and laughed right along with her at his choice of costume. The white spandex clung to every inch of his body, the gold and black shield of old covering his chest, his whole head hidden in the confines of his helmet.
There he stood in all his glory, her White Knight. Unlocking the clasps on either side of his helmet, he pulled it off and smiled at her, pulling her into the best hug she had ever received. There was nothing overly special about it, they had hugged like that countless times in the past. But this one, here and now, it meant something different, at least to her.
She stayed that way long after he had tried to break the hug, her head resting against the shield in a way it had done so many times before. In his arms she was safe, comfortable and happy for the first time in a long time.
"I missed you, Kim," Tommy said quietly. "I missed you so much."
"I missed you too, Tommy. More than you'll ever know," she replied, grabbing his hand. "Come on, let's go dance."
There was no need for a long and drawn out conversation between them to settle their teenaged differences. That had occurred a long time ago. The letter had been buried and they had both moved on from it as best as they could. His heart didn't sting from the letter like it used to, it stung because she wasn't around. He didn't care about it because it wasn't a problem. No grudges or hard feelings existed between the pair. They had broken up like thousands of kids their age had done before them and would continue to do long after they were gone.
Dragging him onto the dance floor, she spun him around and pressed herself against his body, smiling when his arms found their way around her waist. They moved in perfect harmony, Kim grinding up against him, dropping low and then popping back up in unison.
A few people were still dancing but their friends had all taken a step back to watch them in action. Tommy, by his own admission, had never been a great dancer but this wasn't really dancing. It was more of a precursor to what they were both hoping would happen later on in the night.
"Kim's definitely got some moves," Hayley commented to whoever was listening, watching as Kim did her best to tease Tommy with her dancing.
"Man, his dick's gonna be sore if he doesn't get laid tonight," Rocky added in a serious tone, getting nothing but laughs from everyone around him including the females. "You guys think I'm joking? With what she's doing to him out there, he's not gonna be able to walk right for a week."
"So says the king of the blue balls," Adam interjected with a grin as Rocky blushed profusely. "Remember that time we all went to the strip club and you forked over all that cash just because you thought she'd bone you at the end of the night?"
Jason laughed loudly, wanting to add his own personal touch to the story he remembered so well but he was too caught up in watching Tommy and Kimberly to say anything. A tug at his hand, however, found him being pulled in their direction by Katherine. He got slaps on the back from all the guys until he was standing right next to Tommy, getting the same treatment he was being given.
The pair of old friends looked at each other and laughed, Katherine and Kimberly exchanging knowing looks and grins between them. Their men were going to get laid tonight, it was just a matter of how long before one of them decided to take it further than sensual dancing. They stayed that way for quite awhile until legs began to wear out.
"Alright, I think I'm all danced out," Kim said in a hushed whisper, grabbing Tommy by the hand. "Let's go somewhere quiet and talk."
He couldn't argue with her and, truth be told, he didn't want to. She could have led him to the top of the Empire State Building, jumped off it and he would have followed her at that point. Jason gave him a sly grin, a firm hand on his shoulder to stop him momentarily.
"Remember," Jason commanded "no glove, no love."
"Shut up, jerk," Kim growled, getting a wink from Jason in reply.
She led Tommy out of the room and down the hall, both of them ignoring the looks their friends were giving them. When she stopped at the entrance to the room at the end of the hall, Tommy looked at her with a puzzled expression.
"Why are we going to my room?" he asked, getting the same confused look from Kim that he had just given her.
"Your room?" she asked in reply as Tommy nodded. "This is my room. Jason said it was mine because you can see the lake from the window."
"He told me the same thing," Tommy replied, grins coming over both of them. "I think we've been had, Beautiful. They got us to sleep in the same bed without ever actually sleeping with each other."
"Son of a bitch," Kim muttered, the realization dawning on her. "Those sly bastards. Have you ever looked at the view and seen exactly where it is?"
"More times than you know. I've spent quite a few nights here staring out the window at our spot on the beach," Tommy answered with a smile. "They've set us up completely without either of us having a clue about it. I knew they were good but this? Jase stepped his game up big time for this one."
Kim nodded in agreement, finally opening the door as Tommy walked inside. She closed the door behind them, making sure to lock it and motioned to the bed for him to sit. He obeyed without a second thought like a little puppy dog.
"Look, I don't know how you feel about me but I know how I feel about you. And after that little charade on the dance floor, I think you feel the same way," Tommy told her quietly. "Kim, I've wanted nothing more than to be with you and not just sex either. Not that I'd complain but…that's beside the point. I want you here," he said as he touched his head, "and here," touching his heart. "I'm just…I don't feel complete without you in my life and this whole emailing thing once a week isn't enough for me."
She sat down next to him, absorbing his words as he laid his hand on her knee and she put her head on his shoulder. Hesitantly, she grabbed his hand and brought it to her lips, kissing it ever so softly.
"I'm sorry, Tommy," she replied, his face dropping like he'd been kicked in the groin. "I'm sorry that it took me so long to realize how much I love you, have always loved you. I kept you away for so long because I was afraid I'd hurt you again and I couldn't do that to you, not when you'd forgiven me for doing it once already. I've dated nothing but jerks and assholes since I broke up with you all because I thought I didn't deserve a good man after what I did to you. I don't want you, Tommy. I need you."
"Beautiful," he said, putting his forehead against hers. "You've always had me. Since the moment I saw you for the first time, I knew we belonged together. I've spent the last ten years trying to find someone who could replace you. Then I woke up one morning and realized that was impossible. There's no one I'd rather be with than you, Kim."
And then he kissed her. Just one soft kiss on the lips to test the waters. He didn't know whether he had crossed a line or not but the arm that went around his neck told him to keep going so he did. She moaned against his lips as they crushed against each other.
"Tommy," she moaned.
"I was hoping you'd say that."
"Make love to me, Tommy."
It wasn't a request, it was a demand and satisfying her demand became his only focus. His instinct took over and he pulled her against his chest, their lips meeting in a passionate kiss, savoring the peppermint taste of her tongue wrestling with his.
She felt perfect in his arms; soft, petite and oh so feminine. It was actually going to happen for them. It was real and it was more perfect than they could have hoped for. A gift from the gods.
She continued to moan deeply in his mouth, his big hands caressing her lower back as she untied her blouse and then pulled his white gloves off. Ripping off her top, she fell back onto the bed, pulling Tommy with her.
This was uncharted territory for them both though. They were locked in passion, taking the step they both wished had been taken so long before this. And as they continued to kiss, time seemed to freeze for them. Tommy moved his kisses down Kim's neck, bathing himself in her wonderful scent.
He couldn't help but stop for a moment to smile at her in admiration. She was everything he had ever hoped for and she was laying there waiting for him ready to satisfy the desire of his heart and body.
"You're so beautiful," he managed in between kisses.
"Shut up and kiss me," Kim commanded, reaching for the concealed zipper on the back of his shield. It took a few minutes but she finally got the shield and top half of his uniform off. Silently, she cursed him for wearing something that took so much time to remove.
In one sweeping motion, he covered her body and mouth with a kiss so deep she could only whimper as her legs locked around his torso, running her fingers through his hair that had been matted down by his helmet. She held on with lust, passion and love.
Tommy shuddered above her, relishing in the way he pressed against her body. They shared long and passionate kisses as Kim grabbed the waistband on his spandex trousers and desperately tried to remove them. With a little help from Tommy, they were finally off and on the floor, leaving him on top of her in nothing but a pair of briefs and a t-shirt.
They didn't care that their friends were nearby, Rocky probably sitting right there at the door listening to them in his ever present horniness. To both of them that only helped to increase the excitement they were feeling, not because of Rocky but because they could be caught and neither of them cared.
She needed him and he needed her. They needed to feel each other in that way neither of them had been ready to experience as teenagers. Her small hands rubbed against his shoulders and back, touching every part of him that she could manage to reach. He moaned in muffled pain when her nails dug into his back, drawing the slightest trace of blood.
His length was pressing against her, the wetness of her panties only fueling his desire to have her that much more. He worked on every square inch of her body from her lips to her neck to her ear lobe and down her body until he reached her breasts and his lips found their way down her chest. They brushed with great sensitivity over her quickly hardening nipples as he sucked firmly as if trying to get something to come out of them.
"Oh God, Tommy. That feels…so…good."
"I love you, Kim."
His voice strained slightly when her hands reaching down between them. She grabbed him firmly but with great care, stroking him slowly until his eyes rolled backwards in his head. Her legs shifted above his hips, parting wide as she offered herself to him.
"Now, Tommy," she practically begged.
"Just let me get a condom," he requested as she nodded in approval.
He kissed her one last time before hopping off the bed, moving to his bag of clothes that had gotten knocked over in their flurry of passion. It took him a few minutes as his hands struggled to open the condom wrapper until he had finally gotten it open.
"Hurry up already," she ordered, Tommy nodding as he climbed back onto the bed and slipped the condom over his throbbing manhood.
Who was he to turn down such a request? Not even trying to prolong his exploration of her body, Tommy eased himself inside of her in one strong and fluent thrust, his reward an intense gasp from her perfect lips. He had had plenty of sex and so had she but no one and nothing had felt this good to either one of them.
Bringing his eyes to meet hers, he found her staring at him with an expression he had never seen on any of his past partners. This wasn't just wanton sex or a drunk fuck, she had an undeniable love for him in her eyes. Kissing her once again, he pulled out slowly, eliciting a groan from Kim. In one swift motion, he plunged himself back inside of her as she moaned in delicious ecstasy.
Kim groaned through clenched teeth, their hips slamming into each other time and time again while she held onto the headboard for dear life on a ride better than any roller coaster could offer. Where her body was soft, his was rock hard and she grabbed his muscular physique, forcing him deeper inside of her.
She tried desperately to keep her eyes open as the first of many orgasms set in, her body shaking as her eyes rolled back in her head. Locked tight around him, she had to grab something so she dug her nails into his back. It would leave a mark, Tommy knew that but he was enjoying this far too much to care. For the first time since Katherine, he was with someone he actually cared about. But even with Katherine it hadn't been like this.
"Oh…my…Gooooood!" she yelled, another climax setting in. "Oh God, keep going. Do it like you mean it, dammit!"
Staring down at her, a smile crept across his lips as his mouth descended on hers once again. She cried out in intense pleasure, Tommy knowing that he was doing his job. Warm sensations ran up and down her back, her mouth hanging open with her eyes shut tight, crying out through the orgasm.
"I love you," she managed in a barely audible whisper.
"I love you too," he replied, driving his hips against her.
He watched as her face lit up in pure and unadulterated ecstasy, each thrust causing her to moan in an intense feeling of pleasure. Their skin, soaked with each other's sweat, glistened in the light neither of them had bothered to turn off. He wanted to look in her eyes when they made love. She felt the same way.
Holding onto his firm butt, she clenched it in her hands, clinging to him as she felt the onset of tears creeping into her eyes. They had waited for this moment for so long. So DAMN long and neither wanted it to end.
She held onto him while he took his time, making love to her with a satisfaction that neither had ever experienced before this moment. This feeling, this passion, this love, they had craved it from each other for years. It could have been three minutes or three hours, the clock wasn't a concern for them because it was that perfect.
Tommy, sensing the end coming, pushed himself inside of her as deep as he could possibly manage, getting another pleasure filled moan from Kim. In a sudden moment, Tommy's body went completely stiff. His eyes rolled back, her name escaping his lips numerous times in between groans and "Oh my Gods,"
Finally finishing, Tommy collapsed on top of her, their sweat covered bodies rubbing up against each others. It had finally happened and it had been amazing. Just like how he had pictured it.
They both laid there in silence, their heavy breathing doing all the talking that needed to be done at that moment. After a few minutes, his breathing had finally steadied and he kissed Kim quickly before rolling off the bed, disappearing into the connecting bathroom to take care of the condom. When he returned a few minutes later, she was sitting up in the bed, the black tee shirt Tommy had worn over covering her body.
"Where do we go from here?" she asked with a hint of embarrassment. "I don't want this night to be the end of us."
"No one said it had to be," Tommy answered, trying to kiss her but finding himself being pushed away, a nervous and partially fearful look on Kim's face. "Beautiful, I meant what I said earlier. I want to be with you and not just for the night, either. I love you in every way a man can love a woman. I'm not saying I want to run off and get married right away but I do love you and I want to build a relationship with you. Things won't be like they were before but they'll be new, fresh, maybe even better."
The sounds of muffled laughter came from outside the bedroom door, easily recognizable as belonging to their friends. All of them most likely. Rolling his eyes, Tommy tried to kiss her again and this time she allowed it.
"I love you, Tommy," Kim said with tear filled eyes once they had broken the kiss. "I love you so much. From this moment on, I'm yours."
"I love you too, Kim. I always have," Tommy replied, wiping away the lone tear that fell down her face. "I've loved you since the moment I saw you at the karate tournament. You were amazing then and you're even more amazing now."
She blushed, pressing her lips against his in another kiss. Reaching across his body, she hit the light switch as the room fell dark. Tommy, taking the hint, climbed under the covers with Kim's tiny body curled up against his.
In one amazing and perfect night they had erased ten years of loneliness and heartache. There would be no more letters, no more heartbreak and no more years of being apart. They were finally together again, perfect in every way.
DAMMIT! I tried desperately to get this finished before midnight. I really wanted this to go up before Halloween ended. Sorry guys, it's a little bit late. Hopefully there aren't any glaring spelling, punctuation or grammar mistakes in this. Usually, I edit my work pretty closely but I pretty much just glazed over this one cus I wanted to get it out as soon as possible. I really hope you liked it.