The club is crowded as she pushes through; her feet have been stepped on twice, there's been beer, or something equally sticky, spilt on her, and she's been elbowed, jostled and bumped into ever since arriving. When the hand first grips her wrist she cannot differentiate it from anything other than the norm of a busy downtown club on a Saturday night, but the fingers tighten and she's being yanked and pulled through the crowd to what looks like the bathroom. It happens too abruptly for her to process or to know what to make of it. Is this a friend? Should she be alarmed? Has someone mistaken her for someone else? Angela tries to yank loose but has no success and then they're free and clear of the crowd in the long dim corridor to the back offices, supply closest and restrooms, and she's yanked closer and then his hand's at her face, angling her jaw upwards, grasping her hair, and she sees him in the split second it takes before his lips are at hers, powerful and crushing. So determined is he in this kiss there is little fighting it back; his tongue finds hers, the force of his teeth in his kiss push against her lips as he presses himself against her. Angela cannot breathe. She pushes him off and he lets it happen.

And there he is. Faded old tee, long wavy hair several inches past his shoulder, scruffy face, intense, furrowed brow above those unmistakable blue eyes. And more recognizable than anything, that fiendish smile of youth. Taunting and inviting. Self-satisfaction. Jordan shifts his weight and hitches his jeans at his waist. "Hey Angela." Bluntly Angela wipes her lips with the back of her hand. "I thought that was you." Ever wry. Ever gloating. Ever flirting.



Angela starts to walk away. "Are you serious?" she demands with ferocious incredulity.

Jordan, light on his feet shifts easily and blocks her path. "What?" She hates that innocent twinkle of his.

She stares him down dully, "What are you doing here?"

He answers easily, "We're playing here tomorrow night. Checking it out."

"Great; go do that." She starts to move past him again, but again he's faster than she and he blocks her path.

"What the fuck are you wearing?" He's asked this rather pleasantly, as only he is able. In fact her top is expensive. It is white silk and in the plunging peter pan collared, puff sleeved, roomy straight-cut cropped jacket she is polished and chic, but he has never seen her that way. Her glare is rigid. "Sorry. Sorry," he backtracks. "Didn't mean it. Just," he scoffs, "ya got enough fabric?" That's something she certainly hasn't missed. That unfiltered bluntness. He'll say anything, regardless of whether you want to hear it, and never say what you're waiting to hear. Or mean it in the way it's meant to be meant. "Why're you so covered up? You look like you're 60 in the 1892."


"Well," he gestures, biting his lip, "you're still fucking hot."

"Oh good." This time she does make it past him. "Un-believable."

Jordan turns to watch her; he jerks his head, "Hey!"

Angela doesn't want to, but she does. She turns back. He holds her gaze awhile before he speaks. He's enjoying the view of her again and milking the fact he's got her attention despite the fact she did not want to give it. He cracks a smile, "Go out with me." The smile is not that teasing swarthy one he's usually so quick with, it's boyish, and hopeful, and it's made more so by his eyes. Big. And blue. Angela melts fractionally.

"I can't."

"Yeah? How come?" She makes a face. She sighs, her posture changes. She's feeling and thinking so many different things at once. But in the end frustration wins out. He knows why not.

"Because." Jordan doesn't react, and she takes a step forward for longer lasting impact, "Because every time I see you you treat me like shit."

"You haven't seen me for two years."

"That's exactly the point."

He smiles, "I don't follow."

"Anything stick in your memory about the last time I saw you?"

"I made you come three times. Once harder than you've ever come before." He points at her friendlily, "You're words." He isn't playing games, this is what he remembers; he isn't throwing it in her face to shame her or to praise himself, he knows this to be true.

"Jordan," she demands his attention, "you were supposed to—" but she stops herself from dredging up old shit. It'll only make it seem like she still cares, and she is long past that. "But instead you just disappeared. For two years. And," she pauses with arched eyebrow, waiting for him to really and truly listen, "it wasn't even all that big a surprise."

He doesn't have a response to any of that, he responds to what is on his mind: "I think about you. A lot."

"Don't bother."

"That's mean," he observes.

"Jordan, it's over. We're done. We've been done for years. It's been so long I can't even remember back to when it wasn't over."

"You got it wrong Angela. We're never done." He isn't flirting, he isn't seducing, he isn't messing with her, he's talking. "I changed your body in a way nobody else ever has, or can, or will again. And you changed me. You belong to me and I am always fucking going to be tied to you."

Angela's eyes roll. "That's sick. Stop fetishsizing 'firsts.'"

"That's life; that's human, what's it, inter-fucking-connectedness. Com'on." And that look comes across his face, and he's backing her against the wall just with the sheer power of his eyes, and his taunting challenging lips and the anticipated feel of the weight of his body. He feels just from the shape of the distance between them her back shift from arched to slack and he knows her resolve will soon follow suit. No one excites him like Angela Chase. He can walk away from her for years, he can sleep with a hundred different women, it's still there; every time he comes back to her. And he never plans it. He thinks about it, about looking her up, about showing up at her doorway or her workplace or outside her family's home like he did way back when. But he never does that. But still somehow he finds her. In strange places and in strange ways. He doesn't stop to think about what it means.

He had tried to be Angela's. Exclusively. Fully. In a have real conversations, buying groceries together, listening to the other person's music kind of way. They'd tried it several times in fact. In high school and while she was away at school. And even after that. It never stuck. But still he felt she was undeniably his. Not to claim or misuse, or take for granted, but to come back to. Angela Chase was his to come to. His to love, even if it only felt like love to him. Long ago he'd stopped wondering why. Stopped thinking Why her? Why this girl? In truth she's not all that different from other girls, not as much as he tells himself. It's not the virgin thing. It's not the naïve thing. It's not the nostalgia, it's the not the drama or the unfinished thing of it. It's not a million of the things about her. It's just her. And maybe he goes months without ever thinking her name, but then out of nowhere it'll be her he's kissing instead of who he's with, her body beneath his hands, her legs wrapped around him, her short heavy breath on his neck, and the wanting starts again.

This feeling that she is his is not ownership, and is not exactly entitlement; what it is is a shorthand intimacy, which is why he feels justified in mauling her before a hello. In expecting to sleep with her before dinner, before a conversation. Nothing like Angela Chase feels so much like home to him. Which is why he can walk away, neglect it, forget it, and come back and still expect to have a place.

He doesn't begrudge her lovers. He doesn't begrudge her boyfriends and relationships, but the space of her and him is so large in his mind that he cannot practically conceive that she'd ever not really have room for him. More than that, he likes her so much, he likes them so much, the fact that he expects this of her, this instant willingness to take him back into her life, into her bed, into her arms, for however long as he is asking, does nothing to diminish her and her resolve and staunch womanhood in his mind.

His view of her remains unsullied and that, if anything, is what gets him back in. Angela does not rely on Jordan. She does not count on him. Nor no one should. Save for Tino. But she cannot help but love to see herself through his eyes, his unflinching, crystal eyes, so soft and pure in a moment and the next wicked and inviting and seductively selfish, sometimes even cruel, but they see her, in the best light, even when she does not deserve it. And through their years together she has not always played the saint or the martyr; there have been things that she has said, and done, and wrongly felt, and Jordan lets that be and leaves his vision of her generously unaltered.

And so, down the rabbit hole she falls, and the adult, adjusted, responsible, mindful Angela Chase forgets every version of herself but his.

Might be complete, may add one more chapter