You guys are amazing! Thank you so much for all of your support thus far! It means so much to me. It really does.

.::.

I blew a puff of smoke into the air as I sat alone on the wooden bench underneath the gazebo. If I tilted my head, I could see the thousands of stars shining brightly in the night sky. It always reminded me of bein' younger, sleepin' in a tent in the woods with Merle before we'd wake up early to go huntin'.

I laughed to myself at a particularly humorous memory and inhaled another puff of smoke. I had only been sitting for a few minutes when I could see Ms. Roberts, or Lana, or whatever the hell I'm supposed to call her, quickly approaching.

I swallowed hard. She was wearing a form-fitting, lilac colored spaghetti strap dress that came a few inches above her knees. Her makeup was nicely done and her dark hair was halfway up, kinda even looked like she had curled it. She looks incredible.

She smoothed the goosebumps from her arms as a brisk wind blew through and I noticed I could see the outline of her hardened nipples through her dress. Fuck.

"Been waiting long?" She greeted me with a friendly smile.

I shook my head, tossing my cigarette to the ground and stepping on it with my worn out shoe. "Just a couple minutes."

She glanced around nervously. "This feels so weird." She laughed awkwardly. "So secretive."

I snorted. "Yer tellin' me. I'm sellin' pot to my history teacher."

"I have $30."

"Yeah, that's what I brought."

"Do we do it here? All out in the open like this?"

I nodded, desperately trying to keep eye contact. The contrast of her tanned skin against the color of her dress was devilishly tantalizing. And for some reason, I found myself becoming very anxious.

"Well, why not go behind a tree or something?"

"Damn, lady. Would you trust me? I sell here all the time and ain't never been caught. Look." I pointed to several small crowds of people-some playing on the swings, a couple walking hand-in-hand, and others sitting on nearby picnic tables carrying on with their own conversations. "Ain't nobody payin' attention to us."

She exhaled and followed it with a cute, sheepish smile.

To my surprise, I smiled back. For only a moment, however, until I realized how stupid I looked. I dug my hand deep into my front pocket and pulled out a small, clear baggie and handed it over. At the same time, she handed me a little stack of bills. Transaction complete.

We stood in a momentary, awkward silence.

"I'll uh...see ya around." I said, pulling a cigarette from its pack and sliding it between my lips. I took one last good look at her before we disengaged from each other and I started heading towards Jimmy's, which was within walking distance.

"Hey!" She called out behind me.

I turned to face her as I held a flame to the tip of my cigarette and inhaled the smoke. She walked the few feet between us until we were once again only a foot apart. "Do you maybe wanna share some of this with me?" She tucked a loose curl behind her ear and raised an eyebrow inquisitively.

Definitely wasn't expecting that. "Uh, I would but I should prob'ly be gettin' home. You kinda look like you were going somewhere anyway."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

I motioned towards her. "I mean, the way yer dressed 'n all."

She chuckled. "Not used to seeing your ol' teacher dressed like this, huh?"

I laughed along. "Not really. I mean, not that there's anything wrong with the way ya dress at school..." I immediately felt like an awkward idiot but then I noticed her smile.

We stood silently for a moment. "Actually, I just got back from a date." She tucked back the same loose strand of hair that always seemed to be threatening to escape.

"Oh, yeah?" I nodded, taking a long drag.

"It was terrible." She laughed shortly. The look on her face was so amusing that I couldn't help but chuckle myself.

Quiet again.

"So?" She tilted her head. "Want to join me?"

I chewed my thumbnail anxiously, unsure of how I should answer. On one hand, it'd be fun to hang out with someone new, especially a girl...especially a stoned girl. On the other hand, she's my fuckin' teacher and this entire situation is totally bizarre.

"Ok. It's fine." She smiled understandably. "Thanks for meeting me."

I watched her walk halfway to her car and I still hadn't moved a muscle. Still chewin' the same nail, still tryin' to make up my mind. Fuck it.

"Hey, wait up!" I walked briskly through the park towards the parking lot. She had turned around and waited for me to catch up, which only took me a short moment once I sprinted the rest of the way.

"Where ya wanna go?"

She smiled, surprised. "Uh...my place? Unless you have somewhere else in mind?"

"You ain't gonna make me catch up on late homework are ya?" I quipped playfully. "No history lessons, no pop quizzes?"

She snorted. "I don't know. You're not going to make me listen to shitty, angst-y teenager music are you?" She gestured towards my Sonic Youth t-shirt.

"Hey, now. Watch it." I replied as we made our way to her car.

"Only kidding. Actually, I saw them just last year."

"You?"

She snorted. "Is that so unbelievable?" She slid her key into the door, pressed the unlock button, and we both climbed in and fastened our seat-belts.

"Well, yeah...a little. You look like you listen to somethin' else."

"Like?" She turned the key in the ignition and pulled out of the parking lot, en route to her house.

"I dunno-Hey, can I smoke in here?"

"No."

"Figures." I had to fight back a smile from the look on her face.

"Jeez! Am I really that lame to you?"

"Nah, yer alright. Yer pretty weird...but yer alright."

"Mhm. Well, answer my question."

"What question?"

"What kind of music do you think I listen to?"

I pursed my lips and sighed, lost in focus. "Hmm. I dunno, I'm getting' a Spice Girls kinda feel from you."

She laughed out loud. "What am I, thirteen?"

"You tellin' me you don't listen to the Spice Girls?"

"Well, no, I'm not saying that exactly-"

"Told ya!"

"Yeah, yeah. Hey, it's a guilty pleasure. But in all honesty, I prefer something a little more...profound."

"Profound?"

"Yeah, you know, like Dave Matthews, Tom Petty, Alanis Morrisette, things like that. Things with substance."

"Yer lyin'. I bet you ain't listened to Tom Petty a day in yer life."

"Oh yeah? Wanna bet?" She raised a playful eyebrow.

"I'll give you another bag if you can name one of his songs that ain't had no radio play."

She made a puppy-dog face and I felt my knees go weak. Good thing I'm sittin' down. "Just one?"

I nodded and waited for a response.

"Hm. Well, let's just turn this on..." She mashed her finger to the play button on her stereo. Tom Petty's "Refugee" blasted through the speakers immediately.

I couldn't help but laugh. "Aw, fuck."

"Aw, fuck is right, young man!" She prodded playfully. "You owe me another bag."