Word Count: 2,658
(Author Note: The movie referenced is Angel Heart with Mickey Rourke and Lisa Bonet. I apologize for any spoilers for that movie, but it's 24 years old so figured it was fair game.)
He'd been home on Friday night when she called. She'd waited until her parents were in bed to call, so she'd been surprised he was home. They hadn't talked real long beyond planning what showing of Lethal Weapon they were going to and where they'd meet.
He was at the theater before she was on Saturday and looked different than the last time she'd seen him. He wore his hair down for one instead of in the ponytail. She had to admit, she liked it.
He was the one to tell her that her choice in movies was sold out. They chose another one instead, her choice because it had Lisa Bonet in it. He agreed because he liked Robert DeNiro.
It was sort of strange seeing a movie with someone she didn't know well. They shared a small box of popcorn so their hands met periodically as Harry Angel struggled to piece together what he could about Johnny Liebling aka Johnny Favourite and where he might be twelve years after last being seen.
She ducked her head against his shoulder when Harry went back to the doctor's place, who was now lying dead on his bed. It was pretty gruesome. She felt Joe chuckle a little, at her she imagined because the scene wasn't funny.
"Don't like blood and guts I take it?" he whispered against her ear.
"No, that's not it," she said. "I just wasn't expecting it."
He offered her his hand then, which she took and he rested their joined hands at his knee. She left it there, not minding the contact at all.
"Can keep it there if you want," he whispered again when the scene was over and she went to lift her head. She smiled a little and let her head rest against his shoulder again.
She felt her face got incredibly flushed when Harry started undressing his journalist girlfriend. She glanced at Joe who almost seemed to purposely avoid looking at her. She laced her fingers through his, until that moment his hand had just been resting over hers. He didn't seem to mind and, in fact, brought their joined hands a little further toward his thigh. Fortunately, that was about all there was to the scene, and she breathed a little easier when it was finished.
It was a good movie. The very vivid sex scene toward the end came out of nowhere. She remembered hearing about it but hadn't put what she'd heard together with it being this movie. She certainly was going to see Lisa Bonet a little differently the next time she watched The Cosby Show.
His grip on her hand tightened during the scene, moving her hand up along his thigh a little more. She probably should have pulled her hand away, but found she didn't really want to. She brushed her fingers along the inner seam of his jeans. She heard him take a deep breath and felt him kiss the top of her head before pressing his cheek against her there.
As the credits rolled they remained in their seats. Joe's hand on hers was warm and he grazed the back of her hand with his thumb.
They were quiet as the other people left the theater. He spoke first. Well, sort of. He coughed softly, tilting his head a bit to look at her. She had no idea what to say exactly. Apologizing for him being potentially bothered was on the tip of her tongue, but she didn't want to apologize really. Talking about the movie was certainly an option, but she wasn't entirely sure where to start. It was kind of confusing so she was still processing everything she'd just seen.
"Listen. I had no idea," she said but was cut off when he shook his head. It was as if he knew what she was going to say, apologize for.
"Don't," he said simply.
"But I don't want you to think."
He leaned toward her, free hand reaching for her face, and just like that he was kissing her. Once she was over the surprise of it, she found herself kissing him back. Maybe it was the movie, seeing a man touch a woman like that. Coupled with an attraction to Joe, of course. She didn't know really, all she knew was that she was thinking things she never had before. Her body was tingling in places she knew had no business feeling that way at a movie theater on a first date.
It felt so good, though. She'd never felt anything like it. Electric. Pulse pounding. She didn't want it to stop. Ever.
His tongue found hers and she gasped softly. He drew away then, though she sensed he didn't want to any more than she wanted him to.
His hand settled against her thigh and she jumped a little at the contact.
"Sorry," he murmured.
"What are you sorry for?" He wasn't sorry for kissing her, was he?
"You weren't expecting me to touch you, I'm guessing."
So, he'd felt the movement. How embarrassing!
"It's okay," she said, knowing she was again blushing profusely.
"Hey, it's all right. I'm not going to do anything."
"I know," she said, firmly believing that he was not only telling the truth but that she believed he was.
"Yes," she said. "Not that if you wanted to do that again I'd object."
She shrugged with a little smile. "Maybe."
"Maybe huh. All right," he said with a wink and a smile. "I'll test it out later. You hungry?"
"Sure," she said.
"You going to ride with me," he asked, helping her into her coat once they stood.
"Seems kind of silly to take two cars, but we can if you'd feel more comfortable."
"No, it's fine."
"All right," he said with a nod as they left the theater. It was still early since they'd caught an early evening show that everywhere would be busy this time of night.
"Wow," she said as he stopped at and unlocked a very nice Audi. "I guess you were good at what you did."
"Yeah," he said, opening the door for her.
"And you can just stop?" she asked once he got in on his side.
"It was just a job. I put the skills I learned as a kid to work for me."
She eyed the interior of the car as he let it warm up for a minute. "Is this? I mean."
"No," he said with a laugh. "It's mine. I wouldn't be stupid enough to drive around in a ride that I stole. I like being on the outside of a jail cell too much to risk that."
He shrugged, reaching with his right hand to brush some of her hair away from the collar of her coat.
"You can ask me anything you want. I have nothing to hide from you, unlike most of the people I meet."
"I suppose you can't very well walk up to people and tell them what you do for a living."
"No, not really," he said. "Now it's my turn for a question."
His hand was still right near her neck. Unlike her, he hadn't put gloves on so she could feel the pad of his thumb as he grazed her skin right by her ear.
"The other guy from last week."
"Mike?" she asked with a frown. "What about him?"
"No, don't think that was him. Mike was the boyfriend, right? I'm talking about the guy at the kids' house."
"Has he called?"
She turned to face him then, propping her leg on the edge of the seat a little. "That's pretty direct."
"I'm nothing if not that."
"Why do you ask?"
"Just wondering I guess what the situation is."
"I don't cheat."
"I wasn't suggesting you do, and if you'd consider yourself cheating after only a week that'd be moving pretty quick."
"You know what I mean."
"I think I do," he said.
"Would it matter?"
"No, I'd still be here if that's what you mean."
"Really," he said, eyes dropping to her mouth for a second. "And I'd still do this," he said before he leaned toward her and kissed her. It wasn't like the one in the theater. He didn't even try to open his mouth or anything, but her heart started racing just as it had earlier.
She knew now that Mike had been playing her all along. Even his kisses went to that end. Getting into her pants. She didn't have much experience before him to compare. Now, though, she knew that a kiss could be just that. It could be nice and sexy and sweet without feeling like there was the expectation for more to follow. Or that he was just kissing her as a means to an end.
Joe seemed to like kissing her. Maybe she was incredibly na´ve and having only one person to compare to she was no expert by any means. However, the gentle almost loving way he kissed her lower lip and her chin as if he was savoring being this close to her seemed sincere. He didn't try to do anything more with his hand than touch her face as he started doing.
He broke the kiss, grazing her jaw with his lips before pulling away. His hand remained at her neck, though, gently rubbing the skin there.
"He hasn't," she said softly.
"I'm surprised, but glad."
She smiled a little, casting her eyes downward for a second.
"Listen, about the movie. I didn't know."
"I just didn't want you to think."
"That you were trying to get me hot and bothered?"
"I know you weren't, and it's not a problem," he shrugged. "Won't deny it'd be nice to take you home and take care of that problem, but I can keep myself in check."
"I'm glad you aren't mad."
"Mad? Why would I be mad?"
"I don't know; if you thought I was teasing you."
"Nah, it's just a movie. I mean, sure I reacted, but more because I had someone attractive sitting next to me than the actual scene itself as I prefer my sex without blood. I would have even if they'd had a sheet covering them the whole time because you were there."
"Yes, really. Now if you'd taken me to see Nine 1/2 Weeks I may rethink my opinion of you."
He chuckled, kissing her lightly. "Let's just say that movie would put what we just saw to shame. You know, not all guys are that guy, Chris, and I'm not here to have a one night stand with you. No matter what movie we see or how nice you kiss."
She laughed. "Well, that's good, because you picked the wrong girl if that's what you're after."
"Not the wrong girl at all," he said, drawing his hand away from her neck finally. "So, food then."
Dinner was nice. Neither of them ate a whole lot, but they stayed until close to midnight. She couldn't comprehend how different he'd grown up. It was foreign to her. Sure, gangs were here in Oak Park, but they really weren't problematic. She knew someone who'd gotten jumped by some gang members outside of her high school's Homecoming dance in the fall. Otherwise, though, she couldn't relate to the world that was second nature to him.
He drove back to her car only when she noted the time. Her mother never expressly gave her a curfew, but it was an unspoken understanding that unless it was something special like Homecoming or a birthday or holiday party that she was to be home by midnight.
He got out and walked to her car with her. The parking lot that had been crowded when she got there for the movie was now pretty empty. A few cars remained, probably there for the same reason Chris' was. He opened the door for her while she got in to start it and got back out, wanting to let it warm up for a couple of minutes.
She was never good at ends of dates. This was a somewhat strange one. She wouldn't see him at school on Monday. None of her friends knew him. Brenda did, but they hadn't spoken in the car on the way home last week or anything. Brenda had been too frightened and Joe was probably trying to figure out just what in the hell he'd done. Her mom certainly had no idea who she was out with. So, she had no one expecting details.
She kind of liked that idea.
He reached for her, drawing the collar of her grandfather's coat up.
"You look cold."
"I'm fine," she said.
"We could sit in my car for a bit."
"It won't take long to warm up."
"All right," he said, lowering his hands to her hips. "I had a good time."
"I'm sure," she said with a roll of her eyes.
"Hey. Why do you do that?"
"I can just imagine how boring this was for you."
"If I didn't want to do this I didn't have to. No one held a gun to my head and made me call you or suggest a movie to begin with."
"I know. I just," she said with a shrug. "I'm eighteen, still in high school."
"You're making a big deal out of nothing, really."
"Our lives are so different."
"And yet our paths crossed. There are people who say opposites attract."
He shushed her before she could say more, leaning in to kiss her. The other kisses had been kind of awkward with them both sitting as they were. She took advantage of this position, him standing flush against her and slid her arms around his neck.
He broke the kiss first, brushing his cheek against hers.
"You're shivering," he said.
"Sorry," she whispered.
"No need to apologize, but I guess that's my cue to let you get home."
"How long will it take you to get home?"
"This time of night? About thirty minutes maybe."
"Okay. Drive safe."
He chuckled, cupping her face with his hands to kiss her again briefly. "There's that concern again. I will drive safe. You do the same."
"I will. And thank you for everything tonight."
"Thank you for agreeing to go out with me. I'll call you tomorrow. After church."
She ducked her head a little, pleased that he remembered that bit of information about her.
He opened the door for her and she got in. He didn't go back to his car until she pulled out of the parking space and drove from the area.
She wanted to go home and call Brenda immediately, but her friend wouldn't appreciate that. Never mind her step-mom. Chris didn't feel like getting on her bad side over something stupid. She'd just have to wait until tomorrow or Monday to tell Brenda about her date. It was perfect, the awkwardness from the movie aside or maybe even because of it. At least she knew he wasn't the type of guy that would take that type of movie as an open invitation. Mike would have.
She pulled into her driveway, using the opener to activate the garage door. It wasn't much after midnight so her mom wouldn't be too mad, assuming she was waiting up for her. She didn't usually because Chris had proven trustworthy to this point. She'd never abused her mom's pretty open curfew. She realized that might change if her mom found out how she'd met the guy she went out with tonight, but that was something to think about another time.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com