Am I one of those silly girls? The kind of girl who sits by the phone and waits for the guy to ask me out and when he finally does, hours after when he said he would call, all is forgiven? The kind of girl who needs to be with a guy so badly because she is afraid of being alone that she will go out with him even if he isn’t good for her? The kind of girl who lets her the guy kiss her and hold her and then when he gets mad she doesn’t want what he wants he throws her out only to have her come crawling back to him a few weeks later because she misses him?
I was worried about all those things and more as I watched a shirtless Billy Caspian run up to meet me in the early morning hours. The sick feeling in my stomach and the fluttering of my heart competed with the whirl of thoughts in my head. Is this what love feels like? I felt more like a foal trying awkwardly to get its legs than an adult female. Is this what lust feels like? I couldn’t think straight around Billy. Perhaps if I just confronted him then I could set the record right. I could put this whole sticky mess behind me. Hence the phone call this morning to the man with whom I had a whirlwind of a relationship from meet-and-greet to makeout-madness to out-the-door-you-go to let’s-kiss-and-makeup. I pumped my fists. Breathe, Kass.
Billy looked like he belonged on the cover of a men’s athletic catalog and I felt like a foolish child in my lavender off-the-shoulder nineties top and my denim running shorts and sneakers with no socks. He was glistening as if a makeup department had applied the appropriate amount of shine to his chiseled chest and arms and I felt all sweaty and gross after my run over to the bleachers behind Brittlebrush Academy. Suddenly, I panicked, wondering if I had remembered deodorant. Too late. If I lifted my arm, I would be so conspicuous. I did it anyway in a sort of awkward high wave kind-of stretch and sniffed for a split-second. I was relieved. I caught a whiff of Va-Va Vanilla.
“Hiiiii…” I managed to slide out a word that resembled Simlish.
“Hey Red,” he greeted me with an oh-so-charming smile, displaying his gloriously pearly whites.
I found myself wondering what kind of toothpaste he used, and wondered if my habit of coffee-drinking stained my teeth. Self-consciously, I ran my tongue over my teeth before replying.
“Hey you…” I said, as if greeting a buddy, not a potential lover.
He laughed with ease, and I was jealous that he didn’t sound out of breath. I sounded like I was a whining washing machine caught in a tornado with a dying cow if I tried to laugh after taking a run. He ran a hand lazily through his thick head of brown hair with blonde streaks. The early morning drizzle turned into more of a shower, but he seemed to welcome the rain. I edged beneath the bleachers slightly to avoid getting any more wet than I already was. He slicked his hair back again, and lifted his head up to the sky with his eyes closed. I felt my heart pounding as if the bull races were about to begin and stampede through my veins. My skin was tingling, not from cold, but something else entirely.
How is he so damn sexy!?
I resisted the urge to lick my lips.
“What did you think of my flowers?” he asked.
“Billy, I can’t do this,” I tried to keep my cool, but my voice was shaky.
“Talk?” he laughed with ease. “I seem to recall you had no problems talking when I met you. In fact, I thought it was enchanting.”
“You did?” I replied, weakly with a half-smile.
“Yes, conversing with you is delightful,” he admitted.
Who says that?
“Can you forgive me?” Billy asked, a soft seductiveness to his tone. “I was a total jerk to you.”
“You can say that again!” I laughed uneasily.
No, wait, Kass, you said that aloud? I winced.
Billy smiled. “Okay, I deserve that. I know it. I’m admitting it. I’m man enough to admit mistakes.”
I’ll say you’re man enough… I couldn’t help but eye him up and down. Chiseled jaw. Respectable amount of scruff. Aesthetically pleasing chest hair. Sculpted calves and arms. A stunning six-pack. I trailed my eyes down the little stripes on his grey shorts. Billy Caspian was one hunk of a man. Oh gawd! Kass! Focus!
“I’ve been thinking about you a lot.”
Wow, Kass, quit repeating him, you sound like a stupid parrot or something.
“Well, you’ve been running through my mind all night, every night. So I started running last night.”
I recalled the storms last night. Between the thunder rolls and flashes of lightning and the howling of the wind and Dad’s restlessness, I didn’t sleep much. I had lain awake listening to the rain pound the trailer roof and the wind kick the sands against the trailer walls. The storm had finally subsided around five-thirty, but the rains had continued. Billy Caspian had been outside in that deluge? Thinking of me?
“Yes, I’ve been running all night.”
“In the rain?”
I felt like an idiot.
“Yes, around town, and I’m running out of reasons.”
“Reasons for what?”
“I’m running out of reasons why we shouldn’t be together.”
“I can think of plenty,” I retorted, attempting to stand my ground.
That’s right, Kass. You go, girl! You tell ’em. Don’t look him in the eye. But ohhhhh! He has those mesmerizing green eyes… why did your eyes have to be my favorite color, Billy? Bill… Silly-Willy-Nilly Billy… I tried to make up stupid rhymes in my head to avoid falling for the man a foot or two from my face.
“So you’ve been running all night and you’ve been thinking up reasons why we should or shouldn’t be together and you what? Talked yourself out of all the shouldn’ts?” I strung the words together. “And you want to be with me. And you’re sorry. And you want me to forgive you. And you… you…” I sputtered. “You couldn’t have possibly been running all night.”
“Kass, I literally started running at eleven last night and haven’t stopped,” Billy asserted quietly.
“That’s ridiculous!” I exclaimed. “Aren’t you exhausted? Why didn’t you stop?”
“Because I’ve been up all night wanting something,” Billy replied seriously.
I knew the answer, but I wanted to hear him say it. “What?”
“I’ve been wanting to do this…”
In one smooth movement, he stepped toward me, placed his arm around the small of my back and the other arm around my shoulders while kissing me. I threw up my hands, but the warm saltiness of his lips melted any word of protest on my own. His arms embraced me tightly, and I could feel him drawing me into himself. Billy Caspian was an utterly irresistible magnet. He was a positive charge and I was his true north. My metaphors were getting mixed with saliva and stirred with emotions.
Somehow, we entangled ourselves and rolled around the bleacher posts without disengaging our lips. I slid my foot forward between his legs to balance as he pushed me against the pillar with ravishing force. He placed a hand against the pillar and with the other he teased along the edge of my shorts, his fingers sending little electrical pulses through my spine. I thrust my fingers into his hair, twirling around the wet strands as I kissed him with abandon.
We moved around more, kissing, moving deeper beneath the bleachers. I wasn’t even fully sure how it happened but at some point, my shirt fluttered to the ground. Billy’s lips left mine, and he twirled me around so I was facing away. My eyes rolled back into my head as I felt his fingers caress my rib cage and his breath tingling along my neck. His other hand slid to my belt, but he didn’t move any farther, merely clasped my fingers with his. He trailed kisses down my exposed back and around my neck, each press of his lips against my skin awakening new wonders.
“May I?” his voice cut through the fog like a lost boat looking for a place to dock.
I gulped and nodded. He thumbed his way along my bra, toying with the line but never crossing it. He trailed his lips down my neck and to the center clasp before pausing and looking up at me with eager eyes. I wondered if he could hear my heart pounding. He continued beyond, trailing his lips down my sternum to my abdomen and stopping at my belt.
He looked up at me. I could drown in those green pools. He seemed to be processing and thinking something. I wanted him to share, but instead he stood up and handed me back my shirt. For some unknown reason, I felt disappointed, as if I was a kid who got a taste of the candy at the store and wanted more. Perhaps that was the point.
“Let me catch my breath,” I laughed as Billy kissed me again as if addicted to my lips.
I leaned into the kiss though, ignoring my own statement, caressing the sides of his face, running my fingers against the beginnings of a beard. My shirt slid up and stuck to his slick, wet body.
“Spend the day with me,” he murmured into my ear as I straightened my top.
“The whole day?” I asked.
“The whole day,” he was nuzzling my neck again. “I think we might want to get out of these wet clothes though first.”
The way he said clothes made my heart skip a beat. Could he… want more? Did I?
“Don’t think,” he urged. “Just say yes.”
His voice was low and husky.
I thought about how I was supposed to meet Ethan for a tutoring session in a half hour.
I thought about how I was supposed to make my father lunch today.
I thought about how I was planning to see a movie with Audrey this afternoon.
Then all those thoughts flew out the windows of my brain, flitting away like a bird on the wind. It was nice to feel my responsibilities just float away. No worries. No pressures. Just Billy and his wonderful arms and his glorious lips.
Not a care in the world.