You're WHAT?!

by Melissa Treglia

Natalie winced. "So, you want to know who my first boyfriend was?"

Nick grinned. Even after several years of having a PG-rated emotionally intimate - and for the past few months, an X rated emotionally/sexually intimate - relationship with the tiny redhead, it never ceased to amuse him that she referred to him as her boyfriend. After all, he was now much more than a friend and hardly a boy...

He nodded. "Yup."

Natalie grimaced. "All the gory, ugly, nasty little details?"

Nick's grin widened, and he nodded more emphatically. "Yup."

Natalie sighed. "Alrighty then... you'll need to sit down for this one."

Natalie sighed. Why did she let her parents drag her to these boring parties? As much as she enjoyed associating with older people, - Lord knew she didn't fit in among other high-schoolers - she hated parties. She had always been a bit of a homebody. Why, getting her teeth pulled, cleaning her room and doing her algebra homework - all in one shot - was preferable to sitting at a table for several hours, twiddling her thumbs and watching her stepfather trying to be the Big Cheese and looking like an ass.

She began to drum her fingers on the table. Finally, she decided to get up and walk over to the bar. The party was at the local ELKS lodge - her stepdad was the lodge organist (and not even a very good one... she had heard far better) - and relatives of the lodge members were invited to the "festivities". Mama had refused to go, and the rest of Natalie's siblings were far too young. Having just turned eighteen the week before, Natalie was allowed to go. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

She sat at the bar. While she wasn't allowed to drink liqour - the rules stated "eighteen to party, twenty-one to drink" - there was no law against her sitting at the bar, drinking a Coke. After she had ordered her Coke from the bartender, she alternated between sipping the drink and stirring the ice around with the straw. Her boredom would have made watching paint dry interesting. A voice next to her remarked, "you look bored... care to chat?"

Natalie turned, and saw a handsome man - in his early thirties, she thought - seated next to her, on her right side. He was dark blond - with a small patch of grey - and liquid green eyes. He was dressed to the nines in a black tux. Possibly an officer of the lodge, she thought, as the "penguin suit" was the typical attire of lodge officers during a party.

"I'm Mark." He smiled ingratiatingly, and shook the hand she automatically offered.

"I'm Natalie," was her returning parry. "Are you an officer?"

"No, actually. I'm a lawyer. Just came from the court room. You in high school?" She nodded. "Sophomore?" She always got that kind of remark, because she looked younger than she really was. As annoying as it seemed, she knew her youthful appearance - a trait she inherited from her mother - would come in handy when she was her mother's age. She knew that for a fact because many people commented that Mama looked like she was in her forties, even though she was really fifty-three. Before she could correct him, he commented, "That was stupid of me. You're obviously at least eighteen... I mean, you wouldn't have been allowed in if you weren't. They must have given you a hard time, though."

"Nah. My dad's the organist. They would've never heard the end of it if they didn't let me in." He chuckled at that comment.

"You're pretty sharp for someone your age. Betcha don't fit in with the rest." She nodded, and mentally gave him extra points for being pretty sharp, himself. They continued to chat comfortably and, during their conversation, Natalie found out many interesting little tidbits about Mark, including that he was the divorced father of two. "I get a lot of ribbing for that. People tend to think I was my own lawyer during the divorce proceedings. But I wasn't. I'm a criminal laywer, and people have a lot to say about that, too."

"What, that it's criminal to be a lawyer?" she jokingly asked him.

He chuckled. "I'm not the blood-sucking, money-grubbing type everybody thinks of when they hear the word 'lawyer'."

She grinned. "I believe you. You seem like a real nice guy."

His manner changed from confident to more shy, more cautious. "If it doesn't sound too strange, I think you're nice too. I don't want to scare you off or anything, but if you're into older guys, well... I'd like to go out with you."

She smiled. "You're lucky. You're just my type: tall, blond, handsome and older. I'd love to go out with you sometime."

"How does Friday night sound?"

"Perfect!"

"Your parents won't object?"

"They don't have to know," she replied with a mischievous grin.

He laughed. "A girl - excuse me, lady - after my own heart. Friday it is, then." He quickly jotted a seven-digit number down on a clean napkin and handed it to her. "Here's my number. Call me if you need to renege, or if you just want to chat."

"Cool. Thanks. I don't think I'll have to renege, though."

"That's it?"

"Be patient! I haven't told the whole story, yet."

"Glad I fit your "perfect guy" profile."

"That was only the basics. There's a lot more criteria than that."

"Did I pass inspection?"

"You got higher marks than he did, that's for damn sure."

"That's good to know. So?"

"So, what?"

"So, what... the rest of the story, please."

"It's a doozy."

"I know. You did tell me to sit down. I smell a scandal coming..."

"Who told you that?"

"Nobody. Just a feeling I'm getting. I'm not completely dense, you know." He rolled his eyes, then muttered, "who told me... a little birdie..."

"Nick, this is one of the few times I do not appreciate your sarcasm."

He gave an exasperated sigh. "Will you get on with the story already!?"

"Alright! Alright!" A pause. "But I need a glass of water, first."

Nick growled in frustration. "Nat, you're driving me crazy!" But he got her her glass of
water.

"Now, where did I leave off?"

Nick muttered something colourful in Italian, then remarked off-handedly, "He gave you his number and said to call in case you needed to renege your date on Friday. Can we get on with the story now?"

"Oh, that's right. Well, anyway, Friday, of course, eventually rolled around..."

Natalie rushed through her preparations, quickly combing her hair and applying her makeup. She wasn't about to put herself together in the style that was prevalent, but rather in her own style. She rarely wore makeup, too; only when she absolutely had to. She quickly pulled on her nicest dress (black, of course), and a nice pair of dress shoes. Outside the house, she heard the loud beep of a waiting car.

"Natalie!" her mother called. "Your friend is here!" As far as Mama knew, she was just going
to hang out with one of her friends.

"Coming!" Natalie yelled from her bedroom, upstairs. She grabbed her jacket and pocketbook and pounded down the steps. As always, her shoes stolidly took the beating she gave them.

"I want you home by eleven!" her stepfather roared at her from his position in front of the television.

"Yes, Daddy," she replied meekly, and gave him a kiss on the head, more out of force of habit than genuine affection. She gave her mother a quick buss on the cheek, then vanished out the door.

Natalie and Mark held a lengthy discussion over dinner - which was at a very nice, expensive, five star restaurant - and went to a movie. When their date was coming to a close, he dropped her off at her house, in his nice shiny black car.

"I'm glad I went out with you." Mark said, quietly. "I'd like to see you again."

"Me, too," she replied shyly. They sat there in the car for a long moment, just looking at each other. As if on the same cue, they both leaned closer and gently kissed. He pulled back and gazed into her eyes for a moment, then kissed her again. She felt his tongue gently flicker into her mouth. Then he pulled away.

She smiled shyly and told him she'd call him later during the week. Then she got out of the car, and walked to her door, turned and waved, then went inside. Mark drove off, back to his
place, presumably.

They continued to go out for another four months, and each time they were together was a little more intimate than the last. Although she had never told him, Mark figured out that she was a virgin, and became a little nervous that she wanted to give up her virginity to him. He temporarily "chickened out", and for a while they did not see each other. When he finally relented, Natalie had grown reticent in her own right, and it was only after a loud and lengthy arguement that the date was finally set.

Living with her parents and four younger siblings, Natalie had no room or privacy for such an event. Mark had dodged the possibility of using his home by saying that his children were always underfoot, and that would inhibit him. They eventually decided to rent a hotel room to gain the privacy they required.

The hotel was just across the street from the entertainment multiplex. She met him at the theatre, and after seeing a movie, they carefully crossed the street to the hotel. Mark had decided to rent the presidential suite, feeling that Natalie would be more comfortable in beautiful surroundings.

After they entered the room, Mark drew her into his arms and kissed her, his hands caressing her. He pressed against her as they continued to kiss passionately. Slowly at first, they began to undress each other, making their way gradually to the bed.

As their passion rose, they more urgently pulled each other's clothes off. In a move that surprised him, she pushed him backwards onto the bed, and playfully jumped on top of him. She hungrily kissed him, her mouth travelling in an inexorable path downward. He moaned when, despite her virginity, she seemed to know instinctively what to do. And she did it very well.

Suddenly, the door burst open. Natalie turned, the blush of embarassment on her face. A very angry woman stared back at her, looking as if she wanted to kill the girl.

At the height of her embarassment and confusion, Natalie asked the unexpected visitor, "who are you?"

"I'm his wife, you little tramp!" was the answer she received from the enraged woman.

Natalie turned to Mark, her face mirroring his wife's. It no longer mattered how the woman had found them. The important fact was that Mark had lied to her. "You bastard! You told me you were divorced!" In a fit of anger, she hit him over the head with one of the down pillows. Not satisfied that she had hit him hard enough, she gave him a backhanded slap across the face. Then she immediately got up and gathered up her clothes.

"He will be, by the time I get done with him," his wife announced huffily.

Natalie marched into the bathroom and quickly dressed herself. Then she stormed out, swearing to herself that she never wanted to see that snake again!

"So that was how my first relationship went."

Nick whistled. "I feel bad for you. What a scumbag! What, did he really think you'd never find out?"

"Ironically, if it wasn't for his wife's appearance, I might never have found out."

Nick rolled his eyes. "Oh, come on... you're much smarter than that. You would've eventually figured out."

"I just hope I'll never have to go through anything like that ever again. I mean, my self-esteem was so low, I was willing to give it up to someone it turns out I never really knew."

"Well, if you stay with me, you won't have to worry about crap like that ever again."

"I can honestly say that I have never known you to lie to me. I can take a thief, but I can't take a liar."

*Fin*