***Part Five***
Word Count: 5,198

He'd had no plans on coming here. None at all. There was absolutely no one from high school he ever cared to see again. Well, there was one person, and she was the reason he was here tonight. The only reason. The question had popped out, something small to see what she'd say. How she'd react to his asking. He'd expected her to say she was going but not with him or something similarly dismissive. She'd said yes, and that had surprised him. Then again, he had just gotten done kissing her so maybe that was what led to the yes.

He'd laugh at himself if he got there only to find out she blew him off. It'd serve him right, he supposed, except she did seem to understand his reaction that day was a knee-jerk one. She had no idea how hard he'd worked to get the money together to find a small place and a new (to him) car. It had taken him that long to get more together to give to her.

He couldn't show up offering her fifty or seventy-five dollars, he had to show her that he could earn enough to actually help provide. The offer of her using the money on herself hadn't occurred to him until he'd said it, but he'd meant it. For bizarre reasons he couldn't quite figure out the thought process behind, it was immensely important to him she know he could provide for her, too.

He wasn't going to rush out and ask her to marry him. Marriage was the last thing on his mind. He was not going to follow in his parents' footsteps. He could lay the groundwork, though, for something more than what they had. Prove to her that it wasn't just a fluke she'd come to him that day. She'd said she wasn't dating anyone, because of the baby no doubt. Well, he already knew about the baby, was responsible for her carrying it so why couldn't he take her out once in a while?

He spotted her once he got through the masses entering through the main entrance of the park. There was no missing her because she stood out, at least to him she did. From her perfectly styled hair to her neatly pressed clothes she looked perfect. Too perfect for him, but was there anyone who would blame him for at least trying? He doubted it.

He had no idea if it would work, if she'd give him a chance. He just knew that he'd had a miserable feeling in the pit of his stomach the night of prom and the next few days afterward when her crowd did all sorts of things in between prom and graduation thinking of Claire with anyone else. She'd asked him the day of detention if he believed in just one guy and one girl. He hadn't at the time. He realized now the reason was quite simply because he hadn't yet met anyone he wanted to try that with. Then he may not have been completely truthful with her as to how many of those pictures in his wallet belonged to girlfriends versus girl friends. He had plenty of the latter not as many of the former as people gave him credit for.

"Hi," he said when he approached her. She was talking to someone John vaguely recognized from school.

"Hi, John," she said, sounding surprisingly sincere in her greeting. She slid her hand through his arm. "You made it."

"Yeah," he said puzzled. It wasn't like they'd set a time or anything. The fireworks started once it got dark and it wasn't even close yet. Her touching him in front of people she knew was a bit mystifying as well. "I wasn't sure what time you were going to make it and I had to work for a while today."

"Oh," she said. "I could really use that lemonade about now," she said, pressing on his arm to get him to walk. "Bye, Pat."

"See ya, Claire."

"What was that about?" he asked, though she hadn't taken her hand back.

"Just no one I liked much in high school and I certainly had no desire to stand there and talk to him tonight. He seems to think because Adam and I aren't dating…"

"He now has a chance?"

"Something like that."

John turned around to regard the guy she'd been talking to. He honestly had no idea who the guy was. Their school was pretty large, so there was no saying he was even a part of their senior class.

"Should I beat him up for you?"

She scoffed. "No, he'll get the hint this way with far less pain involved. Did you really have to work today?"

"Yeah," he said, getting in line at one of the food stands.

"I'm sorry."

'For what?"

"That you're here now."

He shrugged. "I asked. If I didn't want to be here I wouldn't have."

"Yeah, but you must be tired."

"It's all right, Claire. It's a carnival not a night of getting drunk."

"My parents are here for the fireworks."

"Ah," he said. "No problem. I asked you for lemonade nothing else."

"Well, you could watch them with us."

"I'm sorry?"

"You know meet my parents in a more casual environment than Sunday dinner telling them you're the father."

"They won't suspect?"

"Maybe, but it's still got to be a better way to meet them for the first time."

"I don't know, Princess. I don't do well with parents. I barely survived mine."

"Mine aren't that bad. Well, my mom seemed to be in a good mood tonight anyway, so she shouldn't be too bad."

"How are you feeling?"

"I'm fine."

"Yeah? Really?" he asked.

He tucked some hair behind her ear as he regarded her. She wasn't wearing makeup tonight, he noticed, but he thought she looked great the way she was. He'd heard about pregnant women glowing and he thought after seeing her tonight he might actually understand what people meant saying that.

"I haven't had the chance to ask you questions about that. Not that I have any idea what kind of questions to ask beyond asking if you're feeling well."

"I just get very tired and very thirsty. Getting thirsty means I drink a ton of water, which makes me have to go to the bathroom all of the time. I've heard that will get worse in another couple of months. And that's probably more than you wanted to know."

"No, I want to know. If you want to tell me anyway. I realize it might be kind of weird to say those things to me, but I want to hear it."

"Why are you being nice to me?"

"Because you're letting me," he said, buying her a cup of lemonade and a Coke for himself. It was real hand squeezed lemonade, too. He paid and they got out of line, walking around the area.

"So have you ever been here before?" she asked.

"Once or twice when I was a kid. A neighbor had kids and brought me I think."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be. It is what it is, you know."

She leaned up and kissed his cheek, a little lower to his neck. He was very grateful he'd stopped at home and taken a shower before coming here now.

"What is that for?" he asked.

"Hey, John," said a familiar voice. John glanced in the direction and chuckled softly.

"Hey Brian," he said, stressing the other guy's name for Claire's benefit. She likely didn't want anyone she actually knew to see her kissing him.

"Have you gotten any word back on those applications I helped you fill out?"


"Yeah," he said.

She turned then, but didn't pull away from him.

"Hi Brian," she said.

"Hi Claire," he said, clearly surprised. Why, though, John wasn't sure. Even not seeing her face it was clear she wasn't dressed like one of the usual girls he was seen hanging around with. "You guys are here together?"

"For now," John said. "Just getting something to drink."

"I see," Brian said, regarding both of them.

"What are you doing this summer, Brian?" Claire asked.

"Oh, you know, just getting ready for school. I have some tests I need to study for."


"Yeah, to be sure I get into the honors math and English classes. My mom will have a fit if I don't," he said with a roll of his eyes. "How about you?"

"Oh, you know, working at my dad's company. Then Northwestern."

"Oh yeah? I'm going there, too."

"Really?" Claire asked. "I didn't know that."

"Do you know your dorm assignment yet?"

"Uh, no, I'm going to live at home I think."

"Really? That's a bit of a commute, isn't it? But then I guess you have your own car so it's not a concern for you."

"Well, yeah, I was going to but then my plans kind of changed," she shrugged, sipping on her lemonade.

How she could make sipping through a straw suggestive John wasn't sure but she managed to accomplish it somehow. Maybe he was just fascinated with her lips, especially since he really liked feeling them against his skin.

John could practically see Brian's brain processing, filling in the blanks from the night they'd talked with Claire as the girl they were talking about. It fit; he hadn't lied when he'd described anything about her or their relationship. He just hadn't been forthcoming about her actual identity. Brian had tried to pry it out of him the day they'd worked on community college applications together after graduation. He'd gotten the letters of recommendation Brian suggested, not knowing if they'd really help as much as Brian thought they would.

It helped, too, that while she wasn't obviously pregnant anyone familiar enough with Claire would know she had filled out a little. John had to refrain from touching her slightly rounded stomach. He was fairly certain his hand would be slapped away if he tried to, but God he was curious what she felt like there.

"So, out in public together. Is this where I say congratulations?" Brian asked.

"You said you hadn't told anyone," Claire said softly.

"I said I told one person."

"You told Brian?"

"Well, I don't have a lot of friends to talk to about stuff like this and he's smart. I didn't tell him it was you."

"Oh God," Claire said.

"Hey, I won't say anything," Brian said. "I just remembered our conversation and you're here together so I sort of put two and two together. Well, that and why else would you choose to live at home. You have to, right, because of the baby."

"Yeah," Claire said. "What applications?"

"He hasn't told you?" Brian asked.

"I was kind of waiting."

"Man, you two really need to work on communication, but it's none of my business. Obviously I've said too much. I've got to go, though. I promised my sister a ride on the Ferris wheel," he said, referring to the obviously impatient younger sister standing next to him.

"Bye Brian," they both said.

"What applications?" Claire asked.

"Brian has a big mouth."

She smiled a little.

"I applied to some community colleges for the fall. Brian's idea."

"Oh, I think that's a great idea, John."

"You do?"

"Well, sure, why wouldn't it be?"

"I don't know. I make pretty good money working construction right now."

"Yeah, but like you said that's not all year round."

"I'd collect unemployment while laid off and it's only a few months."

"John, if you like it, if you've found something you enjoy doing and think you can do well at it then do it. I don't know anything about it beyond I know it's long hours and hard work. It's been engrained in me since I could walk that I was going to go to college. My brother has no desire to take over Dad's company and I do, but that means college."

"Well, I put in for the financial aid at one school, once I hear back I'll decide on classes and see what the fall brings me. It's hard for me to walk away from such good pay."


"Well, I have to pay rent now and stuff. Moving back in with my parents is not an option."

"Oh right. Some of the community colleges offer night classes. You could do that."

"Then I'd never see you, the baby I mean."

Her eyes widened a little, but he refused to take the words back.

"Well, we'd be home when you could see us. No one, not even me or my parents if that's who you're worried about, could blame you for working and going to school."

"So you wouldn't hold it against me if a few days went by and no word from me?"

"No. I could always bring the baby to meet you for lunch or something around my classes, too."

"You'd do that?"

She shrugged. "If you can try, John, so can I."

She took a seat at a newly vacated table and he joined her.

"You all right?" he asked.

"Yes, just glad to find a spot to sit down for a minute."

"Sorry. Listen if you want to go find your parents…"

"Are you going to watch with us?"

"It's been years since I've seen fireworks."

"Is that a yes?"

"Do you want me to watch them with you?"

"Sure," she said.

"Do I get to kiss you?"

"In front of my parents? No."

"That's too bad. We don't have to sit with them, do we?"

"Well, no, but I rode with them."

"I could give you a ride home."

"You sure it won't get too late for you?"

"I think I can suffer through being tired tomorrow."

"You just don't want to meet my parents."

"Not tonight. Can you blame me?"

"I'm not agreeing to kissing you," she said.

"I'll just have to do my best to get you to agree then."

"Don't hold your breath," she said, standing from the bench. "I'll be right back then."

"I'll be here," he said, taking a sip of his Coke.

If anyone had told him he'd be sitting here watching fireworks with Claire Standish four months ago he probably would have punched them for making a joke at his expense. The likelihood of this happening was minimal. And that was putting it nicely.

"You cold?" he asked when he felt her shiver a little against the shoulder she was leaning against.

"A little," she murmured.

It wasn't that cool, but it was breezy so he could see where she might be chilly. He slid his flannel shirt off. "This isn't really going to help much, but here," he said, pulling away from her for a minute to drape it over her shoulders. The problem was she was wearing shorts, too. He didn't have two shirts to offer her.

"Thank you," she said, glancing at him. She kissed him on the cheek, settling against him again.

Yeah, she knew how big of a deal it was for him to leave his arms uncovered. He was getting better about it while working. There were days it was so unbelievably hot he had no choice but to shed layers. No one said anything, questioned him, or stopped what they were doing to stare at him. His father wasn't dumb, he knew how to keep the authorities out of their lives by leaving marks where they wouldn't be readily visible. There'd been a time or two after a bad one John had been tempted to show someone. Anyone. He'd been too scared to, though, because he had no idea what would happen to him if he did that. Where would he go? Would the place he was sent to be even worse than home? Would he get returned to his father eventually? And if so would he live through the next beating? It wasn't a risk he was willing to take.

"Yeah," he said simply.

"Your friend is glaring at me," he said a little later. The sun had finally set, the last minute stragglers were settling in, trying to find spots, so things were about to get going.

"My friend?"

"Yeah, the guy you were talking to when I got here."

"Oh, Pat? Why?"

"I imagine because you're sitting here with me instead of him."

"I hardly know him! He was friends with someone I hung around with sometimes so thought I was his friend, too, or something. I don't know and I don't care."

"So not a potential boyfriend?"

"God no," she said and he was oddly relieved to hear that.

"I have an idea on how to get rid of him, probably for good. Other than beating him up since you already told me I couldn't do that."

"I doubt that. I've tried being rude to him and he still doesn't get the hint."

He shrugged a little, dislodging her head from where it was resting comfortably against him. She glanced at him curiously which was part of his plan. A plan that involved leaning in and kissing her so that Pat would get the hint that she wasn't to be messed with. He wasn't counting on her kissing him back so enthusiastically. God the thoughts those lips of hers gave him. Her lips parted and her tongue darted out to meet his, surprising him because while she'd taken the first step that day in the closet she'd been somewhat passive for most of the rest of it. Not that she didn't participate, but she didn't initiate much after that initial kiss she'd placed against his neck.

He groaned softly at the taste of her on his lips. He slid a hand along her arm, thumb grazing the swell of her breast as he slid it to her stomach. He remembered vividly what she'd felt like before and knew the difference in her body today. What was more; she didn't make a move to slap his hand away as he'd predicted she might do if he gave into his curious side.

"We could go," she whispered, finding his ear with her mouth.

"Where?" he asked. His place wasn't exactly company-worthy so he wasn't going to suggest bringing her back there.

"My house."

"Your parents?"

"They're still here."

"Not for too much longer, Princess" he whispered. "They'd see my car in the driveway and know you weren't alone. Unfamiliar car you can't tell me they wouldn't come investigate."

"Park on the street," she whispered.

He drew away a little. "Are you saying what I think you're saying, Princess?"

"I really wish you wouldn't call me that in public, but yes I'm asking you to take me home," she said, standing then. She offered him her hand, which he took not that he needed the help getting up. She didn't let go of it once he'd stood as he walked them in the direction of his car.

"What about the fireworks?" he asked. They hadn't even started.

"There will be fireworks next year," she said, sliding his shirt off her shoulders.

"Keep it," he said.

"But it's yours. And obviously new," she said, running her fingers along the buttonholes. There wasn't a frayed, torn, or faded patch on it.

"Yeah, I actually went shopping for a few things. But keep it just the same. Looks better on you anyway."

"Hmm," she said. "It's kind of big."

"Not in a couple of months it won't be."

"You don't need to remind me," she murmured.

"By that time it'll be fall, you could wear it to bed or something. I'd like going to sleep with that image in my head after a long day."

He stopped at his car, opening her door for her. She arched a brow at the gesture, but didn't say anything. He got in the car then and fired the engine up. He really needed a rain day sometime soon so that he could do some more work on it. He'd done what he could to get him to and from where he needed to go, but it still needed some TLC.

She showed him where to park on her street and they walked the rest of the way to her house where she let them in.

"Your room is downstairs?" he asked.


"Okay," he said, confused.

"Well, like you said, my parents will be home soon. So, I figured down here was better. Mom will come down to check on me, see us watching a movie, and leave us alone."

"You have it all planned out then. I didn't think girls like you thought about sneaking guys into your houses and lying to your parents about what you were up to."

"I'm not usually," she said, kissing him. A great way to get him to shut up for certain. She led him to a pretty nice couch and he was very glad he hadn't mentioned going back to his place. As if her dad's BMW wasn't proof enough of their differences.

She turned the TV on, turning the volume down.

"So I hear them come home," she said with a shrug, setting the remote down next to him. And then she seated herself on his lap, arms going around him as his slid to cup her ass, supporting her as she adjusted on him.

She was almost immediately busy unfastening his belt. He chuckled lightly at the tone of frustration that escaped her mouth.

"Want some help?"

"Yes! It's a belt, how hard can it be?"

"I'll get right on getting a new one that's easier for you to undo, Princess."

"Ha ha," she said. "Just undo it."

He didn't need to be asked twice. She joined him in unfastening his jeans, finding his neck with her mouth as she pushed his T-shirt up. He reached for it and she stopped him.

"Has to stay on for now," she said.

She made up for that, though, touching and kissing his chest and abdomen everywhere she could reach even with the shirt there. He thought for a few minutes she'd forgotten about his jeans being undone, waiting for her but evidently she was just taking her time getting to that point.

She hadn't touched him much the day they'd had sex. Not like this anyway, hand reaching for his hard-on and stroking him gently. She slid her tongue along the edge of his belly button before sliding completely off of his lap and taking him into her mouth.

His head fell back against the couch and he let his eyes fall closed as she worked him in and out of her mouth. He'd assumed she was looking for a quick roll in her bed, but the way she was currently going down on him suggested she wasn't in a particular hurry.

She pulled her mouth off of his shaft completely and he murmured his complaint at that. She chuckled softly, but said nothing. Instead she set upon licking him up and down from base to tip and tip to base all the way around his length. She pulled on his jeans some and he got the hint, lifting his hips enough for her to move them out of the way further.

And, "Christ," he muttered as she kissed each of his balls before cupping them with her palm. Her other hand slid along his shaft as she continued kissing and licking him. God, he loved the sound of her hand stroking his shaft, wet from not just her mouth but the pre-cum she was bringing out of him. She didn't seem to mind either, which sort of surprised him, but he wasn't going to complain. There was something sexier than hell about a chick accepting everything about the various acts of sex.

She focused on his head then, circling it with her tongue, taking it just inches into her mouth and then letting it go again. She did that so many times he thought he might just finish on her face from the excitement of it.

"Tease," he murmured.

That was when he started focusing a little less on how good what she was doing felt. Her parents coming home to very physical evidence she'd just given him a blow job probably wouldn't go over so well. So, he had to hold off until she was ready to let him finish. He hoped that was soon because it'd been a while and he was more than ready.

She giggled softly, kissing him on his pelvic area. Sliding up a little more to his lower abdomen she really went to town licking and sucking on his skin there. Her hands were still working his shaft and stroking his sac.

She let go of his balls.

"Don't do that," he whispered.

"I need a hand for a second," she murmured, returning her mouth's focus to his side. She was leaving hickeys, ones that would show at work no doubt but she didn't know that. And he didn't make any move to stop her. He heard the soft sound of a zipper and realized what she'd wanted her hand for.

"You can get naked but I can't?"

"For now, yes," she whispered. "It's just my shorts."

"It's enough," he said as she slid back onto his lap. She used her own hand, pushing aside the crotch of her panties with his head before pressing it against her core.

"Princess, you're killing me," he said, sliding a hand to her hip. The other was busy pushing her blouse up so he could pay attention to her breasts. A bra in the way was better than top and bra. She was being awful slow about completing the deal here.

He used his cheek to push her bra aside as best as he could, licking and sucking on her skin there. His hand pushed the cup of her bra down completely so he could take her peak in between his teeth, licking and sucking it. God, he loved the sounds she made, the way her skin got flushed from being aroused.

His head was inside of her, parting her lips which were evidently more than adequately wet just from her going down on him. He reached from her hip for her nub, grazing it with his thumb timing the stroke perfectly for when she decided to sink herself onto him completely.

They both cried out, neither seeming to notice or be embarrassed. Her mouth found his as she rode him slowly. His fingertips were stroking her spot; wanting to be sure she got off before he did. He knew he wasn't going to last long. They'd been horribly pressed for time that day in the closet so he hadn't even stopped to give thought to the fact he was in her without protection. Today, though, he took every second available to him to memorize exactly what she felt like sheathed over him. He watched, forcing his eyes to stay open as she wiggled her hips sexily on a downward thrust, taking him all the way inside of her once again. She evidently liked him there because she did it again and again until he thought he would combust from the heat between them.

"Now," she whispered, biting his ear.

"Now?" he asked.

"John, oh God, now. Right now. Finish," she cried out, latching onto his neck to stop from making any more sounds.

It was an easy request to give into because he'd been ready to explode from the first lick she'd given his hard on. Her body shuddered around his about the same time he let loose with the orgasm that had been building for a good thirty minutes.

She was still and quiet for a few minutes, but soon her hands were stroking his abdomen and chest. She seemed to like touching him and he hoped one benefit of working construction would be that she'd like the way he felt under her fingers.

He brought a hand to her chin, tilting her face up to look him in the eye.

"Best Fourth of July ever," he said.

"Yeah? You sure you wouldn't have rather stayed for the fireworks?"

"I think ours were much, much better."

"On that note," she said.

"Yeah, I know, time for me to head out before the parents come home."

"No," she said.


He wasn't sure exactly what this was to her, but he'd sort of figured once they'd achieved their climaxes she'd feel guilty or have second thoughts or something. He didn't think she'd throw him out with his jeans around his ankles or anything, but he expected a heave-ho to come pretty soon.

"I should clean up, put my shorts back on, you should adjust yourself, but you can stay."


"You think I'm done with you yet?"

He swallowed a little at that question. He hadn't expected her to want more.

"Wow, who knew the prom queen had a horny side?"

"I didn't!"

"I did," he said.

"I think you thought about my sex life more than I did."

"It's your lips."

"What about my lips," she said, using them to pout prettily.

"They're sexy and give a guy ideas."

"Did I fulfill any of those ideas?"

"A few."

"Just a few?"

"Well, yeah, watching those lips complete the deed would be a turn on."

"I was going to. I just, God, I don't know why I just wanted you inside of me."

"You think I'm complaining?" He laughed at the very idea that she might think that. "Not at all. Not one bad thing coming out of my mouth about tonight. You asked if you'd fulfilled them. I was being honest."

"I'll work on it next time," she said.

He hated when she slid off his lap. She leaned down to pick her shorts up off the floor but instead of picking them up she maneuvered herself between his legs again and licked him. He sensed she wasn't doing it right now to get him hard again, merely doing it because he was exposed and she could.

"I'll be right back," she said after a few minutes.

"Uh yeah, I'll be here."

"Fix yourself," she said as she walked toward a closed door he presumed was a bathroom.

"Would've been a lot easier five minutes ago to accomplish that."

"Yeah, well, think about something to make it go away."

"Princess with you nearby it ain't going away."

She returned a few minutes later and grabbed the TV remote.

"They've got to be getting home pretty soon."

"I'd say. You sure I'm all right here."

"Yeah. They'll go to sleep and then you can stay as long as you want."

"Impossible because I have to be at work in the morning."

"Okay, as long as you can."

"You have an alarm clock down here, Princess?"


"Set it for before your parents wake up so we're sure I'm gone before they find us down here together."

"It's summertime, and I don't work tomorrow I'm not sure they'd really do anything."

"I'd rather not take the chance just yet."

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