7 Minutes In Heaven

I should've known as soon as I stepped into Katie Vanster's party, that this would've happened.

"Hey, you guys. Let's play Seven Minutes In Heaven."

Katie Vanster was my best friend, and a huge sex fiend. She wasn't school-slut material, believe me, there were others at our school that had far more and far worse escapades than she did. No, she just…had a fascination with it. She'd only had it with one person, but it was a lot. Well, I could say this for her: She was consistent. But there was only one drawback to her addiction: She was absolutely determined to get me laid.

I mean, I'm not going to say I didn't want laid, per say. I mean, I was a teen, hormones speak for themselves. But…well, I wanted more than just sex. Heck, at the time, I don't think I wanted sex. I just wanted someone I could connect with. But no matter how hard I tried—or how hard Katie tried for that matter, and some of the things she did…ugh, unbelievable—I just couldn't connect to anyone. There wasn't a spark. I got to the point where I thought I wanted too much from people. But Katie is a persistent one if anything.

In fact, I remember just last month, she found this really nice guy. We talked a little bit but it never got anywhere. Katie got so tired of waiting—shouldn't I have been the impatient one?—that she spray painted on his garage "ASK HER OUT". We went on one date, and it was very awkward. See? Persistent.

So with the end of that particular escapade, I wasn't really interested in the dating scene anymore, much less losing my virginity. So when I heard about a huge party she was throwing—she was notorious for those kinds of wild things—I automatically knew this was just for me to get to know people. I wasn't too excited to go. But Katie knew me inside and out, and she knew I needed to find at least one person I could make a connection with. I think she was afraid I'd become a celibate or something. But I did it for her. In the end, I ended up doing it for me. Finding someone I could connect with.

Just not the way I expected to.

Katie's coy eyes gazed around the whooping assemblance of people, smiling and laughing. I tried to feel excited too, but I just really wasn't feeling it. It wasn't coming to me. I was just used to disappointment.

However, Katie was not to be bowed. She was always complimenting my long ginger hair, the long dark lashes over yellowy hazel eyes. I wasn't the bustiest girl in the world, but I was thin, pale, and had what Katie called "a model's body". I'd always thought Katie was prettier than me. She was curvy, blonde and beautiful. She always had boys fawning over her, but she was faithful to her boyfriend, Mark. I'd always get curious, sometimes appreciative looks at school, but I never got gawked at the way they did Katie. "You, hunny, are classic beauty.," she'd always say. "Just let the inner out with it instead of being so shy!"

I was never shy. Just uncomfortable.

So here I sat at her party, secluded in a corner, wearing the obscenely short dress Katie had bought and made me wear. I wasn't into Seven Minutes in Heaven, or little games like that. I wasn't into the playful, sexy scene like the others around me. I'd never had an excuse to, so I was rather uncomfortable with it. I thought I was the only un-excited one at the party.

Or so I thought.

There was at least one other unenthusiastic person in the room with me.

About an hour or so back in the party, I had managed to escape Katie's imprisoning tether to run and hide in the kitchen. She had been parading me around for about an hour, and I was actually kind of sick of the heated stares at my bared legs and somewhat revealed chest. While she was distracted by a bunch of idiots dry humping one of her parents expensive statues for kicks, I snuck away and ducked through the kitchen door before anyone noticed. Well…someone noticed.

There in the kitchen with me, sitting at Katie's breakfast island, was the hottest guy I'd seen in my life. And he was gazing right at me.

He wasn't like the guys Katie would set me up with. Katie usually got one of her hundreds of jockish guys and sat us down together. No, he wasn't so simple as popularity, muscles, sports and grades. He was mysterious to me. Pale, tall, and almost athletic in build, yet gracefully so. Firm jaw, bright green eyes, and a beautifully shaped mouth. But he was what some people would call Emo or Goth. He his hair reached just below his ears, unruly midnight locks that framed his face perfectly. His lashes were thick and dark, lining his eyes, making them brighter and bolder. He wore a band T-shirt and black jeans. And his eyes…those beautiful eyes…were gazing right at me.

"Oh, sorry," I gasped as soon as I saw him. He stood suddenly. He was tall, very tall, maybe a head and a half taller than me. "I didn't know anyone was in here." I moved to leave, reaching for the doorknob. "I'm sorry, I'll just—"

"No, no, you're fine," he said hurriedly, stepping forward once. His voice made me shiver. It was deep, dark. Sexy. It stopped me and held me where I stood. "I'm sorry if I scared you. You can stay, I mean, it's not my house." He smiled slightly. "I just had to…" He gestured at the door.

"Had to get away?" I gave him a small smile.

"Yeah," he grinned. I could've melted into that smile. It was a gorgeous smile. I wanted to know who he was. I don't think I'd ever seen him at school before…wait, I had. I saw him lurking in the halls between classes, and sitting alone at lunch. He seemed like the loner type. I'd never approached him. "You too, I assume?"

I leaned against the wall and rolled my eyes. "Yeah," I said breathlessly. "I'm not really into crowds."

He chuckled. "Me too." He narrowed his eyes thoughtfully. "You're Katie's friend, right? Tempest?"

I liked the way he said my name. As if it was beautiful. I'd never really liked my name. Reminded me too much of the Shakespeare I grew up on with my mom. But…I didn't mind so much when he said it. "Yeah, I'm Tempest," I said, smiling at him. Then I gave him a playfully suspicious look. "But I find it disconcerting for someone I've just met to know my name, when I don't know his."

He laughed and it made me laugh. His eyes lit up. "You have a nice laugh, Tempest. You should do it more often."

You should, too, she thought back.

He held out his hand, an amused glint in his eye. "I'm Brandt."

I came forward to shake the offered hand, ready to take any excuse to be near him, to touch him. "Nice to meet you, Brandt."

He took my hand but didn't shake. Instead, he brought my hand to his lips and kissed my knuckled. His eyes never left mine. It was hypnotizing. "Lovely to meet you, Tempest." He winked.

I blushed and giggled. I couldn't help it. Smiling, he sat back down on the stool at the island. He patted the stool next to him. "Care to chat, seeing as how we're both trying to escape the monsters out in the other rooms?"

Laughing, I sat down next to him. For the next hour…or maybe it was longer…we talked. Just talked. Talked and laughed and joked. And for the first time in forever, I felt a connection. A spark. Brandt and I had a lot in common. I really liked him.

That was maybe an hour or so before. Now, I was sitting next to Katie, waiting for this stupid game of Seven Minutes in Heaven to begin. Everyone had to go. It would be strictly boy on girl. Sex was allowed, but it wasn't preferred. Everyone had to write their name down on a slip of paper, and it would be put into one of Katie's many absurd top hats. For some odd reason, she had a thing for crazy hats, and funky top hats were a favorite. Once everyone's name was in the stupid hat, Katie retrieved it and made a great show of digging around inside. She offered everyone a mischievous smile. "Only one rule you guys: Be safe."

I glanced across the room. Brandt sat in a far corner alone, his green eyes on me. At least he wasn't in the spotlight. I met his eyes and smiled. He leaned forward, elbows on his knees, and winked. He grinned at me and I looked away before he saw me blush.

Katie pulled a slip out of the hat. "And the winners are: Brandt Michaels."

While everyone else cheered—he must not have been such a loner with all the pats on the back and whoops he got—my heart shuddered. He stood, hands in his pockets. He seemed indifferent to the whole situation. For some reason, it comforted me. His eyes met mine.

"Aaaand," yelled Katie dramatically over the commotion. She pulled out another slip and everyone was silenced. She unfolded it, and her eyes widened to the size of Frisbees. "Aw hell yeah!" She waved the slip in the air and jumped to her feet. "Tempest Bradston!"

My heart stopped. No shit… Everyone cheered as Katie hugged me tight, her excitement more than palpable. I was frozen in shock. Brandt's intense gaze never left me, and it made me feel small despite the warmth. "Yes, it's about time," Katie crooned into my ear. She released me and grasped my and Brandt's hands. "As a special treat," she announced loudly over the whoops and calls. "You guys can use my room." Then she dragged us upstairs.

She deposited us in her room. Before she left, she gave me a reassuring hug. " I'll be in the stairway to keep anyone from coming up. I'm right there if you need me, Tempest."

"Thanks Katie," I whispered. She winked and closed the door, leaving me alone with Brandt in her huge room. We were completely alone.

My heart was thundering so loud I wouldn't have been surprised if Brandt could hear it from where he stood across the room.

"So," said Brandt quietly. I jumped: He was right next to me. I hadn't even noticed. A gentle but firm hand grasped my shoulder. "Hey, hey," he said soothingly, the other hand cupping my face. His thumb stroked my cheek. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "I seem to have a record of scaring you."

I giggled nervously at his joke. "It's fine."

He stared into my eyes for a long time. "So," he repeated. "Do you actually want to do something…or just pretend we did?"

The consideration of my comfort touched me. "I…I don't mind. Whichever you want to do, really."

His face pressed closer to mine. We were close enough to kiss. He eyed my lips, the heat in his eyes making them seem like green fire. "Are you sure?" Such a quiet whisper, a tease of breath against my mouth.

I took a deep breath. My heart was skipping now. "Yes," I breathed. And his lips pressed against mine.

It was like the calm before the storm. At first, there was almost nothing in that gentle brush of lips. Then…BAM! I had my first-ever taste of desire. And it burned.

I kissed back with a vigor that surprised him at first. Heck, I surprised myself. My first ever kiss. But then he began to respond, just as hungry. He embraced me with strong arms, pulling me closer to him. I wrapped my arms around his neck, bringing him further down to me. He smelled amazing. We both breathed raggedly. His eyes were stark with heat. With passion. I'd never been looked at like that before.

I never realized we had been moving until I felt a wall press up against my back, and Brandt pressed completely up against my front. It startled me and I pulled back, gasping for air. He opened his eyes. "You okay?"

I nodded vigorously. "Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine."

He considered my expression. "Tell me if and when I make you uncomfortable, please."

His concern touched me. He placed a hand to my face, the other to my waist. "I like you, Tempest. I don't want this to ruin a possible friendship, not over a stupid game of Seven Minutes in Heaven."

I smiled at him. "Hey," I said. He tilted his head. "It won't," I promised. "I'll let you know."

His grin was grateful before it became playful. Bowing his head, he began nibbling the nape of my neck. It sent chills up and down my body. I think I moaned, because he grasped my waist and pulled me even closer, if that was even possible. I grasped his hair and he growled into my throat. It was a wild sound, almost animalistic, savage. I loved it. Something inside me stirred.

Brandt's hands moved up and down my body, coaxingly, teasingly, and he moved back up to kiss me. His tongue slid through my lips and wrestled with mine, stroking my mouth, making me moan and whimper. We slid down into a sitting position. I got an idea. I pushed him back off of me, gently but firmly. He looked nervous, as if scared he'd overstepped a boundary. He opened his mouth to ask me, until I shifted until I was in front of him, pushing him against the wall, straddling his hips. Surprised delight lit up his emerald eyes. He cupped my face and kissed me. In this new position, I became the aggressor. I let my hands roam his great chest and I thrust my tongue into his mouth, giving him the same treatment as he had me, which he took invitingly and happily, stroking me as I stroked him.

I clawed at his back, having a sudden urge to rip his shirt off. I didn't think he'd appreciate that, so I suppressed the urge. Instead, I leaned down to bite his neck, hard. He hissed the moaned out. I reveled in the sound, and began to revel in my actions as I licked and bit. Until I felt him stir under me. He grabbed me before I could shoot back in surprise. "What's wrong?" His voice seemed panicked.

"You…I…" I stuttered, unable to explain what had spooked me. He gazed at me intensely, waiting. Sighing, I looked pointedly at the new lump in his jeans. He looked down, then looked back at me. "Well," he rumbled, smiling. "This is all your fault."

"My fault?" I was confused. "What—"

Brandt chuckled. It was husky. Sexy. "It's nothing to be scared of. You're turning me on, Tempest."

"Oh," I said, feeling stupid. I really wasn't familiar to the whole making out business. So all I said was, "Yeah, I knew that."

He chuckled again, and kissed me. A soft peck. "Do you want to stop?"

I discreetly glanced at my watch. "We still have five minutes."

"Really?" He gave me an evil smile. "We're counting now?"

"Well, you know…"

He began kissing me again. Hesitantly, I pressed myself against his erection. He sucked my tongue on a gasped and arched up to rub against me, jerking. I was shocked to feel spears of pleasure and I followed his movements. I began to grind against him. He moaned out, breathing raggedly. "Tempest…"

I cried out. Hands closed around my breasts and his broad thumbs stroked across my nipples. They began to feel tighter and I reveled in the new pleasure that assaulted me. I continued to grind against him and he pushed back. "Oh…" I breathed, surrendering to the tingling pleasure. "Oh, yes…"

Brandt took my hips and guided them, pressing me closer. He felt hard beneath me, like a pole. My own sex began to ache, longing for more than just this simple touch. He kissed me with such passion and desire, I wanted to scream. I glued myself to him, still rocking my hips, wrapping my legs around him. As if he could read my thoughts, he reached between us and rubbed me through my pants. I involuntarily bucked against him and groaned. I bit down on his shoulder and his ragged growls made it feel even greater. My stomach felt tighter and I let his fingers tease me. Then he reached up under my skirt and stroked me through my underwear. I threw my head back and let out a long, ululating moan.

The world flipped as I ended up on the floor with him on top of me. He rubbed me, kissed me, touched me, bit me. I felt weak and helpless, swallowed by the burning bliss of arousal that surrounded me, filled me.

Wanting to touch him, I reached down and slowly, teasingly, unzipped his pants. He rubbed harder, making me wild. Daring me. I reached in, under his boxers, and let my hand close around his erection.

The sound he made was like a silent roar and bit down hard on neck, sending spikes of pleasure riding down my body to my groin. I squeezed gently and began to stroke him. "Is that good?" I asked him, hoping I was doing this right.

In response, he pulled my underwear down and slid one long finger inside me. At first I tensed, the foreign feel of something within a cavity no one had ever touched scaring me. But as he stroked me, my clit, nibbling me, kissing me, I began to feel insane bursts of pleasure.

"Tempest," he growled, sounding violent and savage. "Ah, you're so wet. Oh," he growled.

The sound of his voice speaking words that normally would have made me blush turned me on even more. I began to increase my tempo, the friction, on his erection. Feeling a little dirty, I whispered a bunch of random dirty talk into his ear. "I've never…you're cock is just so big, so hard. And just for me. Just for that hot, wet chamber you're stroking."

To me it sounded a little ridiculous, but he liked it and he kissed me hard, almost painfully. Then, he suddenly removed his hand. Taking this as a warning sign, I removed mine. He gazed down at me, eyes hot, burning emeralds. "Tempest?"

"Yes?"

"We should probably stop."

My body screamed in protest, but my head begged for good judgment. I nodded. "Yeah, you're right." As a sign of good will, I zipped and buttoned his pants for him. With the sudden awkward stop, I felt a little guilty and…strange. I felt awkward.

His eyes narrowed, searching mine. "I mean, this…this was phenomenal. Believe me. But I…I want to get to know you. I do, I really like you. I actually want to be something in your life…not just someone you happened to be paired up with in Seven Minutes in Heaven." He pressed his forehead to mine. "I don't want you for sex. I like you. I liked you as soon as I saw you, and especially after I talked to you." My heart thundered. I dared not hope. He pressed a gentle kiss to my cheek. "Tempest Bradston, would you go on a date with me?"

This guy…this Brandt Michaels…he was the best guy I'd met so far in my life. I wanted to keep him with me. I wanted him around. And he was sweet and kind…not like other guys. So Katie had helped me after all: Just not the way I had expected it.

I wouldn't have an opportunity like this again, or if I did, I had a very slight chance. I kissed him sweetly on the nose and said, "Yes." We smiled.

The moment was interrupted by a loud knocking on Katie's door. "Hey," called a voice. It was Katie. "Time's up, lovebirds. Come on back downstairs and face the music."