Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I had been thinking about it all night.  Tori was so close: across the table, under my arm, next to me on the street.  Everything about this felt like a date except that I hadn’t asked her out, too chicken, and I was pretty sure you couldn’t just assume something like that.

Then we started really talking.  Tori was a sponge, absorbing my worries without judging me.  She even stuck up for me when I mentioned Seguin.  But she never made fun or me or told me I was acting like a teenage girl - though I’m pretty sure I was.  The more I told her the more I wanted to tell her.  And the more certain I was that I was actually doing something right.

It was working.  She said I was fun and nice, and even admitted she thought I was hot.  HOT.  That was a serious word.  But I didn’t want to be a sad sack, and I didn’t want to manipulate the situation too much.  I had to stop luring her in and just make a move.  If I was going to ever make one.

“You’re so easy to talk to.  Bad enough we can’t go out, you don’t want to hear all this!”

God, this isn’t even a date and I’m the worst date ever.

A hot, angry blush rose in my cheeks as I realized how far I’d gone.  My instinct was to retract, but my impulse was to go one step further.  Just finally fucking do something about something and see what happened.  I turned to her, another apology on my tongue.

Instead I kissed her.  Without thinking, and so I couldn’t stop myself, I pressed my mouth to Tori’s and it tore the breath from my lungs.  I pulled her face in so she couldn’t get away, so I’d at least make my point before she ran away: I’m not hopeless, I’m not a loser.  I may be inexperienced but I am not a kid.

The she said, “Jeff, I kissed you.”

“No, I kissed you.”  I was sure I had.  I almost hadn’t, but then I had.

“Yeah, after,” Tori insisted.  There was a moment of disbelief, panic, alarm.  Then it broke.  We both started laughing.  

“I don’t get kissed a lot, Tor.  I think I’d know if it just happened.”

“If you’re kinda new at it, then you might not know.  But I definitely kissed you first.”  Tori was still in my arms, almost in my lap, near enough to go again.  I had one arm around her waist.  She looked aside for a moment.  

“Are you really a virgin?”

The word sounded like a piano falling out a window.  “Yeah.  Lame, I know.”

“It’s not.  I was 19.  I was just thinking that you’re actually even nicer than I imagined, which doesn’t seem possible.  You could have a million times, you know that.”

I was on the verge of another teen girl heart-to-heart moment, but I was afraid it wouldn’t end in kissing.  It would end with Tori giving me a hug and saying she was glad to be my friend.

“Yeah.  But those girls... it didn’t seem worth the risk.  I don’t want it on Facebook.  And I don’t want to be disappointing, that’ll be even worse on Facebook!”

We both laughed coldly, knowing it was true.  Tori’s eyes wandered; thinking, drifting away.  I turned her face back toward mine, as if I had the right to be touching her now.  A lot of things had come apart in the span of two minutes and it seemed like the time to keep making mistakes.  

“Why did you kiss me?” I asked.

“Because you needed it.”  Her mouth pinched.  “Because I wanted to.”

“You can do it again, if you still want to.”

Wah waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, is all I heard.  Because Tori’s lovely eyes were full of compassion and understanding, none of which looked like they’d be kissing me again anytime soon.  Or right now on this couch, and over and over till we got kicked out of this Starbucks.  It would  be the most trouble I’d ever gotten into.

“Jeff.”  She said my name a lot and I loved it.  Then she ran her hand down my bare forearm.  “What if I said you could do more than kiss me?”


She looked perfect - heart-shaped face, dark blond hair I knew to be soft because I’d touched it just once.  That curvy lower lip caught between her teeth.  I was unable to find any words to say.

“I think we want the same thing.  You want to learn.  I want to... um, haha,” she giggled nervously.  “Okay,  you were honest, I’ll be honest.  I want to be... intimate with someone.  But I don’t want a boyfriend or anything.  Nothing serious.”

Tori’s eyes locked onto mine - no hesitation in that statement.  She absolutely meant it.  I didn’t ask for details because she was busy offering me something incredible beyond imagining.

“What if I give you want you want, and you give me what I want?”

My heart pounded.  Was she seriously sitting in a coffeehouse asking if I wanted to be friends with benefits?  Asking if I wanted to fumble and trip all over her while she patiently showed me what girls like?  I felt like a kid on the first day of pre-school: new toys everywhere and all the finger paint you could try.  Heat crept up my neck and spread across my cheeks.

Before I could say something stupid and ruin this, before Tori came to her senses and ran screaming, I hauled her right into my lap and kissed her again.  She fit against me in a dangerous way that made me want to scream YES at the top of my lungs.  I let her free, panting from the exertion of not doing more, and she blinked slowly.

“I kissed you first that time,” I said.

A wicked smile I’d never seen before twisted the corner of her mouth.

“Then I get to do something else first.  Wonder what I’ll pick?”

Jeff’s eyes were as big as saucers, even as he manhandled me into his lap and kissed me again.  He was, well... stronger than I had anticipated.  And now I was really, really anticipating it.  We sat on that couch all tangled up like it was our own living room, just staring at each other as the echo of those first words faded into the background.

“So we just...?” he said, trying not to look anxious to get started.  He fought the grin for a whole ten seconds, then he was beaming like a lightbulb.

“We need some ground rules, Jeff.”  I reluctantly climbed free of him because it was impossible to talk about boundaries with all that thigh beneath me.  Plus, someone would see us - if not now, then soon.  That was issue number one.

“First, we can’t tell anyone.  I am pretty sure this isn’t what the front office meant by ‘get along with the players’ and I don’t want to lose my job.”

“I promise.  I don’t want to get you killed in the stands,” he smiled.  “Plus, none of the guys would believe it anyway.”

“Okay,” I said sarcastically, uncomfortable with the compliment even now.  “Second, we stop whenever one of us wants.  The point is for you to meet a girl you like and be comfortable with her.  Just say the word and I’m gone.”

“But you too,” he hurried to add.  “If you get... bored of me, or it turns out I’m awful or whatever... what?” He stopped because I had covered my face for laughing.    You’ve seen me golf, Tori.”

“I’ll tell you.  But you can’t be as bad at anything as you are at golf.”  He shrugged.  We both hoped it was true.

Impossible.  One look at those hands or shoulders or - hell, even his socks were kinda sexy for being white and probably having his initials written on them.

“Also... look at me.”  I lifted his chin so his eyes met mine.  Jeff was perpetually smiling but his face was serious now - this was important.  It felt important in the way my stomach rocked a little at the dark brown of his eyes.  “This is going to be awkward, Jeff.  At least at first.  I - I don’t want you to be nervous around me.  Be nervous for what we’re doing - whatever.  But it’s just me, okay?  Please don’t make me into some fantasy idea of a girl because I’m not going to live up to it.  I’m just as big a spaz as you are.  I don’t....” I stopped.

“You don’t what, Tor?”  His hand was on my arm, hot through the sleeve of my shirt.  We were whispering, close together, in a warm and cozy place with soft music in the background.  The whole thing made me want to curl up against him.

“I don’t want to let you down.  It’s a big deal, the first time.”

He kissed me again, softer than ever, and somehow it said more than the other kisses combined.  It was the kind of kiss you give someone you have the right to kiss whenever you feel like it, because they are yours.  And I guess I was his, now, at least some of the time.  And he would be mine sometimes too.

“You couldn’t.”

I had officially no idea what to do as I pulled the door open and let Tori out into the night.  I came into this coffeeshop one thing and I was leaving completely stunned.  I wanted to hold her hand. I wanted to put my arm around her.  Really I wanted to throw her up against a parking meter, the brick wall, hell even that stop sign and kiss her into next week.  I made a fist of my sleeve to keep from reaching for her.  We started walking slowly - two buildings passed, three, and we still hadn’t said anything.

“This is weird now, huh?” she finally admitted.

I exhaled loudly.  “Yup.”

Tori smiled and bumped against my side.  My self-control slipped - the fabric was gone from my hand and I tucked it into hers without meaning to.  She flexed once, then wove her fingers between mine.  It felt a million times better - like a handshake sealing our little deal with the devil.  No one even looked at us twice - just another young couple on the sidewalk.  

Except we’re not a couple.  I would do well to remember that.

When we were in the car, I put the key in the ignition but didn’t turn it.  “Where to?”

Her eyes shone in the reflected light from the street and her lips looked as soft and ripe as I now knew they were.  My chest ached from holding back the urge to taste her mouth again.

Please say your place or my place or let’s get in the backseat or hey, how about under that tree?

“I think you should sleep on this, just to be sure” Tori said without looking at me.  “I don’t think you can make decisions with me around.”

I started the car.  “You’re probably right.”

She didn’t realize what I was doing until I drove past her exit on the highway.  I saw from the corner of my eye as she watched it disappear behind us.  Two later I got off at my own street.  Without a word Tori let me pull into my garage and cut the engine.  I opened the passenger door, took her hand and led her right up the stairs to the guest room.

“Sit,” I said, plopping her down on the bed.  She just watched me with a half-smile on her perfect face.  I kicked off my shoes, emptied my pockets onto the night stand then started toward the bed.  

Oh go for it.

Tori raised an eyebrow as I pulled off my long-sleeve shirt and tossed it onto the floor.  Then I stretched out behind her behind her, laid down and turned the lamp off.

“Now when I wake up still sure, you’ll be right here.” I even turned, facing away from her to make my point.  “Should take about twenty minutes.  Power nap.”

Her silent laugh made the mattress shake.  It had been a long time since I’d been on a bed with a girl, and there had been little to no shaking involved.  Tori tried to keep it together, her hair falling forward to cover her face.

I sat up, scooted over and wrapped around her from behind.  One hand pulled the curtain of soft hair back and hooked it around her ear, which I then kissed as softly as I could manage.  I dragged my finger down the side of her neck and followed it with my mouth.  She shuddered in my arms.

“I’ll make you a deal.”  My voice was quiet.  “Stay here, Tori.  I won’t....”

I won’t do anything because I never do anything.  What I’m doing now is more than anything.  And I’m so close, I won’t ruin this.  I can’t.

“Just stay.”


  1. pretty sure ive been waiting all day for this update! sooo cute! cant wait for more :)

  2. Argggghhh. I feel like such a freak, but the thought of teaching him is killing me. I love this.

  3. Dying a little bit here. Need more soon!

  4. More. Immediately. Oh please don't make us wait! This is fantatsic!!!

  5. Oh my. This is going to be interesting. But I love it already.

  6. I love this SO much. Jeff couldn't be cuter

  7. omg this is exactly how i picture Jeff with all his cute akwardness! thank you! this is an amazing story so far!