She wasn't much of a drinker. She wasn't much of a party-goer either. But it was the end of her senior year and everyone was having parties, each one the last chance to say goodbye. She'd lived in Oak Park her whole life, so she knew many of her classmates from kindergarten on up. Some she was friends with and some she had been with in varying times of her schooling.
Tonight was a party given by someone she barely knew and there had been comments about her choice in dates. A few weren't very nice at all. There just weren't many black people at her school. She could count on one hand how many she'd gone to school with in her lifetime and still have fingers left over.
Joe let it go pretty easily, but when she was offered the first shot of Tequila she took it willingly. It had gone done easily, with the help of a little salt and lime. One shot had turned into another one and another. Each shot was followed by kissing Joe, the kisses getting a little deeper and probably sloppier the more she drank. Because she liked kissing him she drank more, which led to where she was now.
Feeling very good.
Contemplating throwing herself even further at Joe.
The whispered murmurs about her choice in dates could be forgotten for a while. She'd expected it, prepared Joe for it. Maybe that was why he was taking it in stride. It didn't explain why she was so embarrassed, though.
Brenda knew about Joe and was fine with it, but other than that even the other girls she considered friends were keeping their distance tonight. They'd heard about Joe, but either didn't realize before tonight he was black or it just didn't register in their minds. She just assumed her friends were better people than that, she supposed. She'd expected criticism and to hear the 'N' word from her dad maybe, but not anyone her age.
"I can't believe you haven't left yet," she whispered in his ear, clinging to him as he led her outside for some fresh air. It was a good suggestion on his part because the room was starting to feel pretty warm.
He shrugged as if he hadn't noticed or heard anything. "I came to be with you, I don't care what anyone else says. You're the one who has to see them Monday."
"But not after graduation."
He smiled, his dimples always got to her. He shouldn't have something so boyish because he wasn't a boy. She wondered if he'd ever really had the chance to be one.
"I love your dimples," she said, putting words to her thoughts and stopping their progress in the yard.
She nodded, hoping her words sounded as coherent as she thought they did. Tequila was a lot stronger than the few glasses of champagne at weddings or beer at parties she'd had before tonight. She kissed each dimple in turn before finding his mouth.
"Yes," she whispered before kissing him on the mouth.
Her lips parted and she groaned softly when he accepted her invitation. His tongue met hers with a long, velvety swipe and she let go, assisted by the Tequila more than likely. They'd kissed before, but she'd always held back. They were so different, their worlds nothing alike. He knew nothing about hers and the glimpse she'd gotten of his had scared the crap out of her. She wasn't afraid to admit that.
She heard the confused tone in his voice when he responded to her telling him she was going to prom with one of her friends. It wasn't a date, merely two friends who had no one else to go with. He had seemed hurt by that. She hadn't even thought of asking him. As if he'd fit into her high school prom? She'd just - wrongly perhaps - assumed he wouldn't want to go.
"Anything else you love about me?" he quipped.
She breathed heavily, giving a soft laugh in response. If only he knew. They hadn't known one another real long, a couple of months and their time together had been pretty limited. She was in school, he lived in the city, and it had taken him a while after that night to find her. The thing was, though, she'd fallen a little bit in love with him that first night. The way he'd helped her, taken care of the kids she was in charge of.
"You want me to tell or show you?"
"Showing would be good," he whispered and she didn't have to look at him to know he was smiling. She could tell by his tone, even when they talked on the phone she knew.
"Well, I already mentioned your dimples," she said.
"Yeah, you did, but you could again."
"I could, huh?"
"Uh huh," he whispered as she did just that, kissing each one again.
He stopped breathing for a second or two when she let her mouth trace a path of kisses along his jaw from chin to ear and then back again, to the other ear. She'd never done this before, always kind of letting him take the lead. And knowing she was pretty inexperienced he hadn't taken much of one.
"I like your earring," she whispered, circling the bit of his earlobe available to her with her tongue.
"Me, too, now," he said and she giggled.
Her laughter was cut short when his hands started exploring. They were in a relatively dark spot of Marty's yard so she wasn't too worried about anyone seeing. And so what if they did? She should have minded, especially knowing what they thought of her bringing him.
He'd never really touched her before beyond holding her hand or putting his arm around her. She'd thought about it, wondered what it would be like to have someone touch her. And, well, she'd be lying if she denied having done so herself, but it wasn't the same thing. At all.
Her eyes fell closed, but somehow she managed to continue what she'd been doing. Kissing his face and neck, inch by inch. She loved the taste of him, the feel of his muscles twitching just a little when her tongue grazed over a new spot, and the sound of his breath changing.
"And here," she said, kissing a spot on his throat that held no particular significance other than it was within reach just then. Judging by the way he was reacting, the soft sounds he was making that weren't really words but told her to continue, he was enjoying himself as much as she was.
As she nibbled on that same spot his hands slid upward. His hands were, for lack of a better word, rough. He used them in his work so they weren't smooth like her dad's who worked behind a desk and the heaviest thing he picked up was his coffee cup.
She didn't mind, it was just a very real reminder of how different their worlds were. Sure, there were guys at her school who worked hard jobs or worked on their cars, but not many. And none she'd ever gotten close enough to that they could touch her.
And touching her he was. His thumbs were stroking the underside of her breasts, which caused her to bite a little harder than she had been on his neck. It tickled, but not quite like that because her body never reacted the way it was at the moment to someone tickling her. She felt goose bumps on her skin, knew it wasn't the cool night air causing them.
"Sorry," she murmured, kissing the spot.
"It's all right," he replied, sliding a hand higher along her breast. "I'm not going to break, you can harder if you want."
She gave a soft groan, rubbing her cheek against his throat as he cupped her, grazing one of her nipples with the pad of his thumb. His other hand slid to her cheek, prompting her to lift her head. Bringing her mouth to his, he kissed her. This one was different, deeper. He wanted something from her. She may have been a virgin, but she felt the effect touching her was having pressed against him like she was. So, she could guess what it was he wanted.
For the first time in her life, she wanted to explore. Find out what he felt like, do things to him that she'd heard girls talk about but had never, ever been curious enough to do. Oh, she'd had some thoughts dating Mike, but never acted on them.
She brought her hand to his stomach, reaching under his shirt to touch him. He was hard and flat, warm to the touch, and quivered a little at her touch as if he hadn't been expecting it. It was the boldest she'd ever been with anyone.
"I should get you home," he whispered, kissing the top of her head. It was as if he'd read her mind, knew that if they stayed out here much longer she'd cross a line that she couldn't uncross later.
"Why? I have no curfew tonight."
"Because you're intoxicated or a good way there."
"Am not. Well, only with you."
"I stopped counting how many shots of Cuervo you had after three."
"I'm fine for now." She certainly wasn't feeling any pain at the moment, but she didn't feel like she was going to get sick or anything either.
"I'll be feeling it. I don't really drink."
"You could have fooled me."
"Why didn't you drink?"
"I had a beer, but stopped when I saw how much you were drinking."
"One of us has to drive home. And one of us has to be sober enough not to do something we'll regret tomorrow."
She smiled. "So, if I weren't under the influence you wouldn't take me home?"
"Hell, baby, I'd just be happy with you sobering up before we go any further. I know you've never and this is not the way you want to be your first time."
Her eyes widened. "You think I'm going to have sex with you in Marty Green's backyard?"
He chuckled then. "No, I was thinking more along the lines of finding somewhere to park on the way to your place."
"Oh," she said, a little disappointed not that she knew why.
"And I just said something wrong, didn't I?"
"No," she shrugged, finding it kind of odd to be standing here having a conversation when he was feeling her up. "Well, I don't know. The backseat of a parked car?"
She moved her hand a little, fingertips grazing his stomach and he gave a little hiss.
"Too clich ?" he asked. "I suppose you'd expect something a little classier. Not that you wouldn't deserve it, just the girls I'm used to in the neighborhood I grew up in. Weren't so much with the class or being above a car's backseat."
He didn't talk about where he'd grown up often, but she got the idea boosting cars was one of the least dangerous and most legitimate means of earning money he could have chosen. At least he wasn't selling drugs to kids. And he talked of getting out, but she got the idea that it wasn't as easy as just waking up one day and deciding he wasn't going to show up for work.
"Quick recovery," she said with a soft laugh.
"I'm good under pressure," he whispered.
"I get that. Now, I'm not ready to go home because I'm not done kissing you yet."
"And if I'm not done touching you yet?"
"I haven't stopped you."
"You're not going to be mad when you wake up tomorrow? Or regret it?"
"My head will probably hurt too much for me to think about anything but aspirin and sleep."
He smiled, tugging her closer against him. "Too bad you can't come home with me."
"Why?" she asked, curious.
"Because it would be fun to take care of you."
"Oh yeah, I don't even want to think about what I'll look like."
"And yet you drank the shots."
"They tasted good at the time and I'm feeling good now."
"I can make it so you feel even better."
"I'd like to see you try."
"And it doesn't involve a bottle."
"I think that's good."
"Yeah," he said with a chuckle then kissed her.