She revved the engine of her Mustang as the top went up, settling into the ridge just above her head. It was a beautiful Chicago summer day. She had the group she was supposed to pick up and just hoped the others would be there soon. From the train station they would head downtown and then to Grant Park.
If the group of close to twenty girls noticed the looks they got while riding the train downtown they gave no indication. Today was just for the girls. Those who had boyfriends would meet up with them later tonight for the concert. Claire was not one of them, but she was looking forward to tonight anyway. There was always someone to dance with if the mood struck her, which it normally did.
There would be no strings for her when she went to college next month. She wanted it that way, believing she was better off leaving everything behind. She'd gone to Prom, won her crown and as soon as she'd gotten her diploma made herself single again. Heartless maybe but she wasn't going to get stuck here. Sure she loved her friends and her parents were okay, but she wanted to experience life and be free to do as she pleased.
The day was so hot that water and other cold drinks were in huge demand. The stands were going crazy trying to keep enough in stock, especially the ones that sold spicy foods. They had sampled their share from Chicago's finest restaurants. Some were better known than others, all served food good enough you would brag about it for days.
She lifted her sunglasses as Nancy elbowed her to check out a guy ahead of them in line. "I do love the scenery here," she said with a low giggle. The object of their lusty gazes glanced at them and smiled. His smile served to make the passel of girls giggle even harder. He didn't seem to mind in the least.
The day had given way to evening and most of the girls went off to meet their boyfriends at pre-arranged spots. Nancy, Claire and a few others were getting their dinner before heading toward the grandstand where the music would be. The plan was to meet up with the others later, but Claire wasn't in a hurry. She was content, happy. The sun was setting behind the buildings to the west of the park, making it difficult to see at times. It was beautiful to look at. The windows of the skyscraper took on a golden hue making it breathtaking.
"If you keep staring off into space like that you'll hold up the line."
"I am paying attention," she replied to the rude guy behind her without a glance in his direction. Clearly, he didn't deserve her attention. Nancy was busy talking to the good looking guy ahead of them and the others had gone to a different booth leaving Claire essentially alone.
"Princess, you are doing anything but paying attention."
"Who in the hell do you think you are?" she asked spinning around to face her insulter. The pretense of being polite gone with the princess comment. She'd heard it so many times during high school. She was sick of it. The wide smile and the knowing eyes that were kind of sexy once you got past the tough exterior that greeted her were surprisingly familiar. "You," she said simply.
"Were you expecting someone else?"
"I wasn't expecting you to be behind me. What are the odds with all the people here?"
"I don't know. Some might say it's fate."
"I don't think running into you could be called fate."
"More like hell."
"Nice," he quipped with a wink. "You can't hide how much you love me."
"Hey, buddy, you're holding up the line. Hit on the chicks on your own time."
"Do you want a beer?"
"I can't buy."
"I can. Do you want one?"
"Sure," she said with a shrug. "Why not?"
"No one's going to know, Princess."
"Stop calling me that. High school's done."
"Are you sure about that?"
"Yes," she said blowing on her bangs in frustration. "I've got the diploma at home that says so."
"Just making sure. You can branch outside of your clique now if you want to."
"And spend time with you?"
"Why not? I can show you a better time than those girls you hang out with can." They approached the front of the line and he was quick to order, "Two Old Style's."
He took both cups and she followed him away from the throng of people by the beer stand. He handed her one of the cups, spilling some in the transfer, which he promptly licked from his hand. "Very classy."
"I'm fresh out of napkins. Would you rather I wipe it on my jeans?"
She rolled her eyes and took a sip of the beer. She scanned the nearby crowd looking for signs of anyone she knew. She'd never live down having a beer with John Bender.
"Are you here by yourself?"
"I am. I was working one of the stands earlier."
"Oh," she said. "Which one?"
"A tattoo place. Nothing you'd be interested in."
"You don't know that."
"Want to see my art, Princess?"
She eyed him curiously. She hadn't noticed tattoos the day of detention, but she hadn't been looking for them either. "You have tattoos?"
"Wouldn't you like to know?"
"No, I wouldn't," she said in her best haughty voice. She had long ago perfected the tone and it worked well.
"Oh, cheer up, I only have one and it's nowhere indecent."
"Why are you working the booth then?"
"My friend's one of the artists and they needed someone who could be here in the afternoon a few days of the Taste. So, here I am."
"That was nice of you."
"Yeah, that's a kicker, isn't it? I have a kind bone in my body."
"I never said that."
"But you were thinking it. You were thinking about my body and how good it felt to be pressed up against it."
"Don't be disgusting."
"You didn't think it was so disgusting that day."
"Don't be crude then."
"I think you like it that way, Princess. You haven't gotten near your fill of walking on the wild side."
"That's too bad really, because I had barely gotten started."
"You're a pig you know that?"
"Thanks for the update."
"Why were you pretending to be nice to me?"
"Who said I was pretending?"
"Then why are you being such a horse's ass now?"
"Because someone has to do it and none of those Brooke Shields want-to-be's is going to."
"You can stop making it your mission in life to piss me off."
"But that would mean I'd have to change my mission to something else."
"Yeah, so?" Those expressive dark eyes, full of pain and hatred most of the time, glimmered with amusement and suggestiveness. In the distance she could hear the sounds of a band warming up and realized they had been standing there for quite some time. Her beer was almost gone and his already was.
"Looking for someone, princess?"
"No," she said turning her attention from the bandstand back to him. "I was just looking."
"I can let you go back to your friends if you want."
"And if I said I didn't."
"I think I can find a way to keep you occupied and happy until you decide it's time for us to part company."
She contemplated saying no, going back to her friends. She had spent the day with them like they'd planned. Tonight they were really on their own even as far as getting home. No one would be alone so safety wasn't an issue. Except her, she'd be by herself when John was done with her.
She watched him through hooded eyes as she took a sip of her beer. She'd never gotten used to the taste of beer. She'd been to her share of parties with kegs, but after the first obligatory glass handed to her when she walked in she rarely drank much.
"I should go find my friends."
"If that's what you want to do."
She finished her beer and tossed the empty cup into a nearby garbage container. She licked the foam from her upper lip and wondered if she should leave him wondering or be honest with him.
"I need to tell them they're on their own getting home."
He arched an eyebrow, a 'say that again' look on his face. It was priceless and made her laugh. She glanced at her watch and then regarded him discreetly. They made an interesting pair. She was dressed in a barely there cotton skirt and a linen tank top both brand new from Ann Taylor. She'd dyed a pair of Keds yellow to match the skirt. He, on the other hand, wore a black T-shirt with a very faded Van Halen logo on it and a pair of blue jeans that had seen better days. "I'll meet you back here in about an hour."
"How long do you plan on taking to tell your friends you've picked up a date for the night?"
"I'm not sure I'll find them right away."
"I guess I'm not invited along for the information relay."
She glared at him in response. Had he really asked that? She'd rather die than let her friends know who she was going off with. Surely he knew that. She had little doubt he'd show her a good time, probably one of the best of the summer. No one else needed to known about it though.
"The stopwatch is running already."
She shook her head as she walked away. She couldn't help but think the night was looking up for her. She had tried to forget the feel of his lips, the way she'd craved him. She had never sought out a guy before that day. She'd never needed to. The furthest they'd gone that day was a kiss to her breast through her shirt. It had left her wanting more. He had been the one to put a stop to things going further.
She had made it clear she'd wanted him. He'd given an excuse of preferring a bed or at least a car's backseat. The storage room hadn't exactly offered ample room, but it had left her unsatisfied and wanting more. Maybe that had been his intention all along. Had they gone as far as she'd wanted to that day she wasn't sure she'd agree to go with him tonight.
There was something simpler and baser driving her as well. Claire Standish was not used to being told no by anyone. Looking back she was glad she hadn't lost her virginity like that but there was still that stigma of him having turned her down.
Buzz Kilman and the All Bubba Blues Band had just taken the stage when Claire found the group of friends she had come with. Most of her friends listened to Johnny B's morning show while getting ready and driving to school so they had been looking forward to see Buzz live and in person.
Having a few minutes to spare since it hadn't taken her too long to find them she stood for a while and listened to the band. The group of girls, even those with boyfriends, screamed and cheered their appreciation of Buzz's harmonica playing.
She came up behind one of the girls who had ridden to the train station with Claire that morning. "Hey, Jessica. Will you, Christina and Amy be all right getting home if I don't make it back at the same time you do?"
Jessica turned from the stage. "Are you bailing on us?"
"I am," she said not feeling a bit bad about it.
"Weren't you with us on being so adamant boyfriends shouldn't be here tonight?"
"I was, but they're here and I'm going to go hang out for a while."
"Anyone I know?"
"Maybe," Claire answered, purposely being cryptic with her answer. She wasn't lying outright at least.
"We'll be fine, I can call my mom. So go have some fun."
"Thanks," Claire said. She had picked Jessica for a reason. She and Claire were not particularly close in their clique of friends. She hoped that would work to her advantage and Jessica would be under the assumption that Claire was hurt by her breakup after Prom.
"Call me tomorrow; let me know how it goes."
"Sure," Claire said knowing she had no intention of doing any such thing. Tonight was her guilty pleasure. And it would remain her secret.
She made her way back to where John would be waiting for her, humming along to the song the band was playing. She glanced behind her a couple of times wondering if anyone had followed her.
"I was beginning to think you'd changed your mind."
"If I had?"
"I guess I would have found someone else to share my beer with."
She wasn't surprised by his nonchalant attitude, but it still hurt. She had little doubt he could find someone else easily. "Well, it's a good thing I didn't change my mind I wouldn't want someone else to suffer because of something I'd done."
"Touché, Princess. You ready?"
"I guess so." She was not sure what she had just committed herself to but was ready for whatever the night would bring.
It was after midnight. Claire and John had spent most of their night by the Jade Dragon booth once they'd gotten their fill of food and music. She'd danced; he'd watched scaring any potential dance partners away with his perfected tough guy stare. If anyone would have told her that morning that she'd be hanging out with a bunch of thug looking guys she would have laughed. Add to that she was having fun. They could hear the blues music. The smell of cigarettes, cigars, sweat, perfumes of varying fragrances, and marijuana joined together to give the night air its own unique scent.
The night was hot and sticky making the cold beer taste good. It was going down faster than normal. She was working on a good buzz and loving it. Her head rested comfortably against John's shoulder as she listened to the guys – and they were all guys – talk about their work. She had to admit if tattoos were her thing these would be the guys she'd go to.
She lifted her head from his shoulder and regarded him. She was admittedly high maintenance, anyone who knew her would agree with her, but even she could just sit once in a while. "No, why?"
"Just wondering, I realize this isn't the party you were probably expecting. You wanted to dance more."
"It's not fun dancing alone. And they're fun, really. Which one is your friend?"
"Pete, he left a few minutes ago."
"Oh," she said with a nod. She took a sip of beer and returned her head to his shoulder. He placed an arm around her. She scooted toward him, closing the distance between them.
"Hi," he whispered.
He shrugged his shoulder ever so slightly, causing her to lift her head once more. She swallowed past the lump that had suddenly formed in her throat. She recognized the look in his eyes from that day months ago. "What?"
He leaned toward her a hand reached for the side of her face to draw her toward him. Not that she needed encouragement. Her heart flip flopped and she closed her eyes, surprised at the jolt that shot through her when his lips finally found hers. It was like that before, but she had attributed it to the danger. He was as bad as they came and she had broken the rules to go to him.
His lips fit against hers intimately. It didn't take long to kiss him with the wild abandon she had before. A soft whimper caught in her throat as his tongue darted out and grazed her lips. She slid an arm around his neck, moving as close to him as sitting on the ground allowed.
"Ready to get out of here?"
Was he kidding? "Yeah," she whispered.
He stood and offered her a hand from the ground. She brushed off the back of her skirt while he said goodbye.
"Good night," she said to the few that remained at the now closed booth. They walked away to various echoes of "nice to meet you" and "see you tomorrow" aimed at both of them. She wasn't drunk but was tipsy enough that when he slid his arm around her waist she leaned into him. At the moment she didn't care if anyone saw her.
"Where are we going?"
"Do you really have to ask?"
She swallowed hard, glancing up at him. Their eyes met and held. His were so intense that she had to look away. "No," she whispered, lifting her eyes to meet his again.
"Oh wait, my car's not here."
He stopped walking and used his arm at her waist to propel her toward him. He drew her against him, his hands cupping her ass through her skirt. "While I'm sure yours is sportier mine isn't too far from here."
"Oh," she said, feeling the heat of a blush on her cheeks.
He leaned toward her, nuzzling her ear before he nipped it. She sighed softly, arms finding the back pockets of his jeans. Her fingertips massaged his ass through the jeans as she pressed against him. She wasn't sure if it was him or the beer making her act so brazen. Perhaps it was a combination because she'd only reacted so intensely to him in all of her dating experiences.
A hand slid low along her thigh and she felt his fingers against her skin. Her breath hitched as he pushed the thin cotton material up, fingertips stroking the edge of her panties. Thank God she'd worn one of her good pair, hot pink and satin.
She felt heady, sexy and incredibly turned on just then. Her mouth found his ear, tongue circling it with a low moan. She felt the warm night's breeze against the bare flesh of one of her ass cheeks, which was quickly covered by his large hand.
Distantly she heard a low whistle. "He's got himself a live one." A low chuckle. "Why can't I come to the Taste and find myself a guaranteed roll in the hay that looks like that?"
"Princess," he whispered low against her ear.
"We need to get to my car or we're going to get arrested for indecent exposure."
She rested her head against his neck. "What was I thinking?"
"It's okay," he whispered soothingly. "It's dark, no one saw anything they shouldn't have. I haven't seen enough, though. Satin, I can tell. I'm curious about the color. Jet black or fiery red?"
He placed a finger against her lips when she started to reveal the answer. "I will find out on my own." She shook ever so slightly, arousal coursing through her body from his touch and what he said. He was too bold, assuming he would get to go all the way with her tonight.
The tease in her stayed buried as they made their way to the nearby parking garage. It didn't take long for her to kiss him once the doors to the elevator car that would take them to the level his car closed.
Her hands slid under his Van Halen T, spanning his broad chest. Her lips parted, tongue seeking his with a loud groan as he backed her against the elevator wall. "Better than I remembered," she whispered as he ducked his head to her throat, kissing the pulse point there. What was it about him that she couldn't get enough?
"Got that right, Princess." He shifted the tank sleeve of her linen shirt aside and kissed her collarbone.
"John," she whispered wrapping her arms around his neck. Her hands ran through his hair, stiff from the effects of a long hot day. She could feel his hard on pressing against the front of her. She couldn't remember wanting anything more in her life. His hand slid between their bodies and reached under her skirt.
His hand was flush against her hip, fingers skimming the waistband of her panties. He slid a finger over her panties between her legs, pushing the pad of his finger against her slick opening. She could get off right there if he'd touch her in just the right spot.
"I like it when you squirm," he whispered. She should have been offended, but had to admit she liked it, too. He was good at making her do it. Next she heard the faint sound of a zipper and before she knew it he had lifted her up, cradling her ass in his hands he thrust her against him. The only thing separating them from going all the way now was her skimpy panties and whatever underwear he wore.
Her legs straddled his waist and she wrapped her arms around his neck wanting the ride to start. She wasn't sure which of them was grinding harder, but it wasn't enough. She wanted him inside of her. "Now," she cried out, reaching between them to cup his erection in her hand. Boxers, she realized haphazardly as she reached through the material to get her hand around him skin to skin.
The elevator had come to a stop, the doors opening and closing again. If it started moving again that meant someone had called for it on another level.
"How far is it to your car?" she whispered against his ear before sliding her tongue around the curve and against the lobe.
"Get us there," she said her tone betraying her impatience.
"You're going to have to let me hike my jeans up," he said and she retracted her hand from stroking him immediately. Anything to get them to his car faster. She heard the sound of a zipper again and before she knew it the elevator doors had opened and he was walking with her still straddling him. She never realized how strong he was, not that she weighed much but still.
He set her down on the hood of an old Cutlass and reached into his pocket. She tightened her grip around his waist, rubbing her crotch against him as he pulled out a set of keys. Her hand slid along his chest, under his shirt, tweaking his nipples.
"Keep doing that and we're not going to make it to the backseat, Princess." Despite his protest she could tell he liked it. Her other hand slid to the waist of his jeans, working the button and zipper clumsily. She took his erection out from his boxers and stroked the head.
She knew she was on the right track when his eyes rolled to the back of his head and his nostrils flared. He seemed to be having as difficult a time keeping composed as she was.
He tossed his keys near the windshield and dropped his hands to her hips, pushing her skirt higher and drew her to him. He placed his hand over hers and together they guided him into her. He used his fingers to slide the satin crotch of her panties aside.
"Finally," she cried out as he slid into her.
She whimpered as he pulled out. "Don't worry, Princess, but you've got to get used to me."
"Okay," she whispered. He gathered her to him again like in the elevator. Her legs went around his waist and her arms rested against the hood of the car keeping her propped up and balanced.
"Jesus Christ you're tight. Am I hurting you?"
"A little," she admitted. "But isn't that normal?"
"No, it's not normal unless it's your first time."
She bit her lip, but said nothing as he slid further up and into her. She could feel his length stretching her. It wasn't really pain, nothing unbearable anyway. His mouth found the side of her neck and she tilted her head, placed an arm around him to hold him there. He sucked hard on her neck contradicting the gentleness with which he was entering her.
"More," she called out. He added some teeth to his sucking at the same time he pulled out of her and slid back in harder. She cried out, biting her lip to stop herself from getting too loud. She heard muffled moans of pleasure coming from him and worked at thrusting her hips to meet his pumping.
"John," she called out as she careened over the edge she'd been teetering on since the day she'd first kissed him.
He stopped kissing her neck and she felt a cooling sensation there now that it was exposed to the air. She imagined he'd given her a hickey. Her mother would have a fit but nothing mattered to Claire except John.
He lifted her off the car. "Don't want to hurt that lily white ass," he whispered as he began to pump into her.
She understood then, had he left her on the car's body it would have been too rough on her. She lost track of time, wouldn't have been aware had anyone walked by them. All she cared about just then was the fact John was finally in her, physically. He'd been there mentally for a while now it was only fitting he be her first.
"Claire," he called out causing her to open her eyes and look at him. She couldn't recall him ever using her real name before. He jerked hard against her and then stilled, letting her ass set against the car again after a few minutes.
Other than the sound of their rapid breathing neither made any noise. What was there to say? She realized this probably meant nothing to him. Gentle fingertips grazed along the side of her neck. She couldn't help but laugh lightly and tilt her head toward the offending fingers for tickling her.
"I marked you."
"Good because I'm not sorry."
"Me neither." She clutched to him, resting her head against his chest. She listened as his heart gradually returned to a slower rate of beating.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"Tell you what?"
"That it was your first time."
"Does it matter?"
"I wouldn't have taken you on the hood of a car if I'd known that."
"It seems to me I didn't give you much of a choice."
"I guess not," he said pulling out of her. She instantly felt empty everywhere. "Still, I could have hurt you. I assumed you'd at least celebrated Prom the way most of your types do."
"Not me," she said with a casual shrug. She suddenly felt very exposed sitting on top of his car with her skirt hiked to her waist.
"Good," he said. She heard what she could only attribute to possessiveness in his voice and wondered what that was all about. He kissed her then, hard and fast but with lots of tongue and feeling behind it. Passionate. She was like putty in his hands, ready for another round if he was so inclined.
Without another word he lifted her off the car and set her on the ground, adjusting her skirt for her before tucking himself in and zipping his pants.
"Promise me one thing?"
"What's that," she asked as she watched him, fascinated.
"Give me a chance to show you how it's really done."
"That wasn't it?"
"Hell, no, Princess."
"It gets better?"
He chuckled then. "I'll make it better. I'll ruin you for anyone else."
"I think you already have," she whispered.
"Where are you going for college anyway?"
"So I guess I have to work fast to ruin you." He ran a finger over the hickey. "Of course, there's always breaks."
"That does sound appealing." Her mind was screaming at her heart to jump ship now. She had chosen Stanford and ended her relationship on purpose. She did not want any ties here, anything she felt compelled to come back for and here she was making a date with him for breaks.
"How long will this walk on the wild side phase last?"
"I don't know."
"Plan to tell your friends about me?"
"I don't really have any friends."
She thought on that and closed her eyes. "I don't either I guess. None like the way you mean friends. I have girls who I hang out with, girls who want to be like me, guys who want to date me, guys who want to get into my pants."
"You should have told them just to act like a dick to you until you gave in and wanted their dick."
"I know, it's tough." He lowered his mouth to kiss her. "Tell, don't tell, I don't care. I'll be your dirty little secret, but one day the lying will kill you."
"How do you know?"
"Because you're inherently good and while it might bother you to come clean and admit you're getting it on with the likes of me you'll feel better knowing the truth is out."
"My parents would die."
"Plan on living with them for the rest of your life?"
"No, of course not, it's just."
"What? You've never bucked the system, gone astray from the debutante lifestyle they set out for you."
"Are you ready to do it? Or was this just a one time thing for you?"
"No, yes, I mean," she sighed softly. She didn't know where to begin. She had kind of hoped it would be a one time thing, that she could get him out of her system. "I don't know what I want. I don't want to have to come back here. I cut all ties, broke up with Jeff and have said goodbye to my friends to the best of my abilities."
"What are you talking about anyway? You who has a girl for every day of the week. And suddenly tonight you're ready to pick out wallpaper patterns."
"You know that's not really how I am."
"I do? You could have fooled me."
"I was just holding out for the right girl."
"Why didn't you come after me? Talk to me? Call me? Something?"
"And say what? 'Hi, Princess, John Bender here, I just wanted you to know I can't get you out of my mind. So, do you want to take a break from your richie rich friends and come on down to the bowling alley with me. I'll show you a real good time.'"
She tilted her head back and laughed. "Yeah, that wouldn't have gone over too well."
"We're from two different worlds."
"And for some reason we were brought together."
He nodded, looking rather smug at the moment. "It would seem so."
"I'm going to Stanford."
He held his hands up in a 'I surrender' pose. "You caught me. It's my twisted plan to get you to drop out of school."
"No, I just meant, my dad already paid the deposit and everything."
"They have phones at Stanford?"
"I figured as much for the money you'll be spending on tuition they should have gold plated phones."
She bit her lip trying to refrain from laughing. She hated that he could do that so easily. "Right."
He touched her cheek with the back of his hand, brushing a stray hair away. "So, I'll call, you'll write and we'll see what happens."
"One night of sex and you're ready to call it quits with all of your girlfriends?"
He laughed then and shook his head. "This wasn't about sex, Princess, and you know it. I won't deny that I have friends that are girls that I'll probably hang with, but I can abstain from getting physical with them. What about you?"
"I don't have a boyfriend."
Her eyes met his, never wavering. She wasn't sure what he was thinking, it was so difficult to tell with John. He slid his hand from her cheek to the nape of her neck and drew her toward him, planting a kiss on her lips. "You do now," he whispered before backing her against the car as he deepened the kiss.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com