Saturday was the dance. I was a little nervous because I hadn't really danced before, but Cal reassured me. I stood in my room and fiddled with the tie. I'd watched a couple of videos, but I couldn't get the hang of it.
"Need a hand?" my dad asked from the doorway. I looked at his reflection in the mirror and sighed.
"I can't get this. Can you help me?"
He smiled as he crossed the room and took the tie from me. He started to undo the knot I'd gotten it in and he looked at me fondly. "You don't ask for help very much."
"I guess not," I said. "I thought I understood the video, but I'm all thumbs with it."
"Nervous?" he asked as he slid behind me and draped the tie around my neck.
"A little," I said. "This has all been out of nowhere. I'm just...riding the wave, Dad."
He started the motions, turning the tie from a pretty piece of cloth to the proper dash of color it was supposed to be. "Your mother and I are very excited for you. I know it hasn't always been easy, but Brandon seems like he was worth the wait."
I looked at myself in the mirror and then at my dad's face, filled with pride. "He is worth the wait, Dad. If you'd asked me a month ago, I would have said something different. But now?"
He nodded slowly and adjusted the tie slightly. "Enjoy it, son."
Brandon came to pick me up and I pinned a pink carnation to his lapel, and he pinned a red rose to mine. My parents took pictures, and I was overcome by a realization. I didn't think I'd ever go through this little dance of suit, corsages and pictures before a dance. My sister and brother, yes. I thought I'd be left out. It was a slice of pure magic as the school gym became a dance hall for one night, and the comparatively ugly ducklings you saw all day transformed into swans for the evening. We laughed with friends, but the world shrank down to just us whenever a slow song came on.
"A suit makes you look taller," Brandon said as he dusted my lapel.
I smiled at him and leaned in, feeling a spike of euphoria. "You look hot in everything you wear."
He blushed and smiled at me. "I guess I should always stay fully clothed around you then, right?"
I decided not to take the bait. "Ginnie is all pissed I'm dating you. She wants your abs. She wants me to write a love poem about them."
"Maybe a dirty limerick?" he asked with a laugh. "How would that go? What rhymes with abs?"
We turned in a slow circle and I leaned back just enough to see his face, then press our foreheads together. "Why me, B? Why in the hell did you ever pick me?"
He smiled. "Maybe it doesn't take that much to win my heart, I guess. Just sharing your candy and giving me kisses."
He looked deeply into my eyes and I felt a giddy flash that he could see all the purely sexual thoughts I'd ever had about him. It was a relief to know he was more than good looking; that he was imperfect, unlike the abstract I'd had in my mind. He was a jock, yes. He was creative, showing me drawings of buildings and a row of books with architectural styles he had in his room. He was a dreamer, looking up at the stars in the night sky and imagining the future.
I had dreams, too. The difference was, now they included a future with Brandon.
"What are you smiling about?" he asked me.
I wasn't going to get into all that with him right now. We were here to have fun. "I'm just wondering how fast the proctors are going to kick me out of here when I kiss the fuck out of you," I said wickedly. I only had time to note the gleam in his eye before my lips were on his. It didn't last long - the fun police broke us up, but we danced like mad all night. I'd never been dancing, but I think we may have missed two dances, otherwise we were out there having fun. It's also worth noting, he can dance. That 'Aww shucks, I can shuffle my feet' was a total lie.
Around nine-thirty the dance wore down. I was guzzling water and leaning on Brandon, who seemed perfectly content to let me do so. We said short goodbyes to our friends, even Cathy and Malik swept past us, seemingly pleased with each other. Brandon escorted me to his car, arm around my waist. I spun out of his grip, taking his hand and doing a quick pull to me, as if we were still on the dance floor. He just laughed at me. I grinned happily and we were just goofy until we climbed into the car.
"Thank you," I said, smiling. "I had a great time."
"Me, too," he said with a matching grin. He turned the radio on and we kind of wiggled in our seats all the way to my house, talking a little about the best songs we'd danced to and some of the people we'd seen.
He turned the car off on front of my house, and I admit I just wasn't ready for the night to end. "Come on in?" I asked.
"Uh, yeah. Cool," he said, perhaps pleasantly surprised. We walked in to find my mom making popcorn and my dad digging through their DVD collection.
"Hi," I said, wandering into the living room. My dad looked up and smiled at us.
"How did it go?"
Brandon looped his hands around my waist and set his head on my shoulder. "Your son is an amazing dancer. It was a total blast."
"Actually, he can dance pretty freaking well," I said, not quite correcting him.
"That's fantastic, I'm glad you guys had a good time." He paused and pulled up a disc. "Hah. I knew we had it."
My mom came into the room with the bowl of popcorn and ruffled my hair as she went past. "Your sister is still at that concert. Cal should be home in an hour and a half or so and Amanda is in bed, at last. Want to watch a movie with us?"
Some people might think it was lame to watch a movie with their parents and their date. My parents, though, did it to be inclusive - inviting my date to join us in a family kind of way. I turned and arched an eyebrow at Brandon.
"Sounds good to me," he said.
I looked back to them. "What movie?"
"One of the great feminist movies of all time," my mother said. "Brandon, are you familiar with Shakespeare?"
"We studied him a little in English. His sonnets, primarily. Other than that, only by reputation," he said.
"Well," my mother said, warming to the subject. "The Taming of the Shrew is often misunderstood because there is a section where the woman says something like, if the man needs to fix his shoe, the wife presents her knee for him to work on, stuff like that. So some people like to say," she said as she took a seat on the couch, "that it's the woman being subservient, but the other side of that is the response from the husband, which is them being in balance."
"So, wait. We're watching Shakespeare?" I asked.
My mother looked down her nose at me.
"Hey, I'm all for feminism, I don't know if I want to spend the evening with thee, thou and thus, though," I said with a grin.
"Do you see what you're dating, Brandon?" she asked with a laugh.
"We're watching a more modern retelling," my dad said, giving my mom a long suffering look. "It's called 10 Things I Hate About You."
"Oh. Cool. Let me get changed." I turned and looked at Brandon, somehow more attractive for his suit being a little relaxed from moving in it all night. "I'll find some stuff for B, too."
He followed me up and texted his parents to let them know what was up. I pulled out a heavy hanger to place his suit on and one for mine. I shrugged out of the coat and tossed it on my bed.
"You totally undersold your dancing skills," I told him as I started to unbutton my shirt. "You want sweats or shorts and a tee shirt?"
"You didn't even tell me you could dance at all. If anyone was holding out, it was you," he said, pulling his tie off and unbuttoning his shirt. "I have a tee shirt on under this, but it's pretty sweaty, to be honest. Are we getting under a blanket or just hanging out?"
"Whatever you want, really," I asked. "Why?" I pushed my slacks down and folded them over the arm of the hanger.
"I just noticed the window was open downstairs. If your folks keep it cooler, a blanket means we can cuddle under it. Cuddling in sweats seems sort of less satisfying. You think?"
"I don't know," I said, tossing my own damp undershirt aside and approaching him in my underclothes. I pulled up on the hem of his tee to encourage him. "Either way we're cuddling."
He got the message and removed his shirt, tossing it on top of mine. He pulled me in, pressing our chests together - a first for us, with this level of skin contact. I was instantly, readily, and apparently hard. He felt...overwhelming to hold so intimately. Gratifyingly, he was as hard as I was. Somehow it just seemed to make us even, having evidence of him reacting to the moment as much as I did.
"I get to touch more of you if we go the blanket route," he said, his voice a little shy. Sultry, too.
"Tee shirt and shorts it is," I said, my voice wavering a bit. I placed my chin on his shoulder and he copied me. I sighed, feeling our chests move against one another subtly as each breath moved in and out of us. I was divided in my emotions, one half filled with lust, completely engrossed in the feel of his body and his obvious interest pressing into me. Equally, though, I felt in tune with the world. It was a sense of being where I was supposed to be, when I was supposed to be, with who I was supposed to be with. A certainty. Knowledge. Fact.
"How long before your parents come to check on us?" he asked, his voice pitched low in my ear.
"Doesn't matter," I said softly. "It'd be too soon. I could hold you here for a long damn time, B."
He tightened his grip slightly and ran a hand up my spine, gently caressing each vertebra on the way and sending a shiver of delight through me, until he was holding the back of my neck. He turned slightly and kissed me just below my ear. "I love you, J."
I sighed. "You're fucking doomed," I said and leaned back a bit. He looked at me, his face torn between confusion and concern. "My mother predicted I was falling in love. I hate letting her be right, but I can deal with it this time. You are my missing piece, B. I'm totally in love with you."
Jesus, that was liberating. The kiss after wasn't too shabby, either. His hand moving up and down my back, playing my spine like an instrument, was sheer heaven. I didn't want anyone to walk in and ruin this moment; I wanted to remember it, unspoiled. So I did force myself to stop, get us tee shirts and shorts and snag my comforter before long, because the horny half of my feelings was getting the upper hand and I was going to embarrass us in another minute or so. My common sense was rapidly failing, so I steered us downstairs.
"Not all red, no puffy lips. Pay up," my mom said, holding her hand out to my father.
"What's this?" I asked, not sure I wanted the answer.
"I have to admit," my dad said as he picked up his wallet from the side table and dug out a dollar for my mother. "I didn't think you guys would be able to resist each other."
I looked at Brandon. "That seemed like we had their blessing, to me. Let's go back upstairs. "
Brandon's face grew very red, but he smiled at me. Yeah, that beyond beautiful smile. Instead of going upstairs, we settled on the love seat, me leaning back against his chest, with my hand resting on his knee and his arm draped across my chest, holding me loosely. The movie was actually very funny. There were several scenes that had us in stitches, and when it was over my dad kept repeating 'Scoot!' in a high pitched voice, imitating one of the actresses, leaving us in tears with laughter.
That did trail off, eventually. My mother announced the formal end of it by stating, "So!" and looking at Brandon.
I turned to warn him, but my mother sharply said my name and then smiled sweetly at me. I put my hand back on his knee under the covers and stroked his leg, just to let him know I was there. Among other things.
"Brandon," my mom said. "What did you think about the movie, given what we were talking about with the source material - Shakespeare's play."
"You mean with that conversation? The balance between both halves of the couple?" he asked.
"Yeah. What do you think?" she asked.
"Well, she was totally right to dump him for how he played her. I thought it was kind of 'seen that, done that' when it came to him developing feelings for her. But then he realized he'd been a jerk, and he went totally out of his way to make it up to her. I think that shows she wasn't going to lie down and take crap from him, just because they were dating. He had to respect her if he wanted to be in a relationship with her, and she wasn't afraid to leave if she wasn't getting what she needed - respect, at that point."
I looked smugly at my mother, who looked appropriately pleased with his answer.
"She reminded me of J a little, actually," he continued. I turned my head quickly toward him in surprise.
"Say what, now?" I asked.
"Yeah, I'm interested in that," my dad added.
Brandon grinned at having gotten my attention and addressed me. "J doesn't take crap from anyone. I'm pretty sure my apology would have gone nowhere if he didn't feel he could trust it, and more that it wasn't just an apology to make me feel better." He smiled at me. "J is with me because it's what he wants, and I'd be smart to never forget that."
"Okay, you can keep him!" my mom said and burst out laughing. I glanced at her, but gave Brandon most of my attention with an assessing gaze.
"This is an equal thing, though. I don't think if I were disrespectful of you that you'd still be with me, either."
"Let's not find out just how much I'll let you walk all over me, okay?" he asked and giggled as my eyes shot wide open. I was reminded of Amy's assessment and knew there was some truth to his words. I didn't like having that kind of power. I wanted to love him, not hurt him.
"Yeah, let's not," I agreed. Cal came bouncing in the front door, said hello and goodnight, did a double take at Brandon and me on the couch, smiled again and headed to bed. Mere minutes later, Janice dragged in. She grunted at us and ascended the stairs, clearly not pleased to be home. I swear, she could live as a roadie for the rest of her life and be happy as a pig in shit. I stretched, pushing back into Brandon and let out a large yawn.
"Holy crap, I'm tired!" I said, or tried to.
"Yeah, it's late," Brandon said.
"Staying, Brandon?" my dad asked.
I glanced at my dad, back to Brandon, and then back to my dad. "Yeah, he is."
"Okay. Get some rest, guys. See you in the morning," my dad said. My mom leaned down to kiss me on the head.
"Sleep," she said, the corner of her mouth curling up. Then, in sort of a surprise, she leaned over and kissed Brandon on the top of his head as well and also admonished him to sleep. They headed upstairs and I turned to look at Brandon.
"So I need to apologize for volunteering you to stay?" I asked, only half-kidding.
"I'm going to go with no on that," he replied, the corner of his mouth pulling up. "Let me text home, though, and make sure I'm not going to get yanked home by anxious, over-protective parents."
"Okay. I'm going to be an optimist and go find you a toothbrush," I said. I climbed off of him and headed for the pantry near the kitchen where we kept virtually all supplies. I poked around and was not surprised to hear him speaking. My parents weren't prudes, nor were they under any illusions that us kids wouldn't get up to sexy times in our own good time. At the same time, they believed in educating us and letting us make mistakes and achievements on our own. That wasn't to say we had a license to screw when we pleased, only that they knew they couldn't stop it and would seek to guide us to the best ends possible.
While they had no concerns for me in the sense of pregnancy, they had always stressed right person, right time, and self-respect. I had never felt like I was going to need that advice before college, but I think my parents had given their tacit blessing to Brandon and me, our relationship, and how we chose to handle it. That wasn't totally the case even a week ago, but I knew spending a little time with him and seeing how we were together would likely go a long way to ease my parents' minds with respect to how well I'd absorbed their lessons about relationships.
In fact, I'd listened intently. I wanted a relationship. I was kind of built for it. I actually was pretty tired, but I figured I had a little left in the tank for my boyfriend. I grabbed him a toothbrush that had a printed image of the Eiffel tower on the cardboard backer. It seemed like the right one for him, given his interests. I went into the kitchen and got a half a glass of water, downed it, and headed back to the living room, hoping that was enough time for him to convince his parents.
He was sitting on the couch, looking down at his phone.
"Yeah, I think. Pretty sure I just lied to my parents," he said as he looked up at me.
"Oh?" I asked, frowning lightly. "How so?"
"I told them I was sleeping on the couch."
"Yeah, you lied," I said with authority and gathered my comforter from the couch. "I'll ease your conscience though."
"I didn't say I regretted it," he said and grinned impishly.
I held up the toothbrush. "Eiffel tower. Seemed like a fit, to me."
He nodded and stood up. I waved him to follow me and he did, climbing the stairs behind me. Over my shoulder I asked, "Do you think your parents actually believed you'd be on the couch?"
"Probably not. They aren't stupid, but I doubt they'd want to be giving me permission to sleep with my boyfriend," he said with a nervous snicker.
I led him to the bathroom where we both washed up and took turns emptying our bladders. Once in my room, I closed the door and turned toward him. It would be easy for someone to say he just looks like a nice looking guy. To go no farther than that, in many cases. I knew he'd never turn Cathy's head on the street, for instance. Ginnie would stare, especially if he didn't have a shirt on. For me, though, Brandon was the kind of guy that stood out in a crowd. There are some nice looking guys at my school, but nobody fucks with my insides like Brandon does. I walked to the bed and tossed the comforter over it, tugging it for a moment to get it reasonably even.
"Are you actually tired?" he asked, his voice wavering slightly.
"Exhausted," I said and pulled my shirt off and tossed it on top of my dresser.
"Me, too," he said with a sigh, that sounded regretful. I really do need him to speak up for himself. Right now seemed as good a time as any to make that point.
"Brandon, listen," I said as I peeled off each sock and tossed them toward the hamper. "You have to speak up. I hate seeing that hurt expression on your face or that tone in your voice. It hurts. I need you to remember this isn't my relationship; it's ours."
"I know," he said and bobbed his head once before stripping off the tee shirt I'd loaned him. "It's not like you're abusing me, making me do stuff."
"But just now, you were disappointed that I said I was tired. Why can't you just tell me what you want? What were you hoping for?" I stepped toward him, keeping my eyes on his face.
He cleared his throat. "You know. I was just thinking we might...fool around a little. But you're tired and I don't want to-"
I pushed my underwear down to my thighs and wiggled my legs to get them down on my feet. I stepped out of them, a foot or so closer to him.
"I'm not comatose. I am tired, legitimately. Trust me that I woke the fuck up when my parents asked if you were staying." His eyes roamed up and down my body and I stood still, letting him drink in what I had to offer. I'm not a jock, nobody will mistake me for someone who works out. I do think I look okay, though. Right now, I was hoping he thought so, too.
"God damn," he said under his breath. I stepped away from him and hit the light, dumping the room into shades of gray. I crossed the room and turned the knob on my bedside lamp three times, which brought it to its lowest setting. It wasn't candle light, of course, but I think it set the mood all right. I climbed on the bed and lay on my side, watching him as he watched me. He wiped his mouth with the palm of his hand and then pushed his own underwear down before climbing on the bed with me.
Like our kisses, sex with Brandon was like a dance. We moved to music that only we could hear, a beat that allowed us to keep time with each other. I won't say it wasn't fervent at times, and I won't say it wasn't tender and gentle at times. Like any legendary melody, the music our souls danced to had faster beats with thundering drums and insistent horns. It also had soothing strings and delicate woodwinds. There was a time to hurry, to move faster and a time to luxuriate and live in that single beat as if it were a lifetime all on its own.
I will say, as well, I was so mistaken in thinking jerking off to him caused me to splatter myself with any real force. Brandon made me feel like I'd actually ejected a testicle. I also didn't think it was possible for anyone to produce more than I did with him, but I'll be damned - he could drown someone.Next Chapter Previous Chapter