This story contain’s sexual content, violence, coarse language and consumption of alcohol it is rated R and 18+
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It’s Not A Date (Waking Up Jayla)
I went from giddy excited to see Curt tonight, to nervous and regret-filled for seeing Curt tonight, to feeling guilty for seeing Curt tonight. I could not find a reprieve from my emotions over my not-date. Even though I had no commitment to Bill, I still felt as I as betraying him somehow. This wasn’t a date. It was… Sort of a date I guess. I won’t call it that or give it date status.
I got out of my car into the humid air and wished for some rain to break it up. I wore a dark grey t-shirt and dark blue jeans to deter the mosquitoes that would be out in droves. Especially in a semi wooded park near pond of all places.
The fundraiser was for a local boy who needed to raise money for a special desk at school for his disability. I don’t know all the details, but I like when communities reach out to help. I saw the poster Wednesday near my work and tried to rally people to go. Turns out a Saturday night in the summer is not the easiest time to convince people to offer up their blood to the blood suckers and watch paper lantern boats float on a pond.
The gathering was larger than I expected and I was glad for it. It seemed like a small town sort of thing to be doing in a massive city. I hadn’t seen anyone I know yet. I bought a rice crispy treat from the baked goods table and paid three dollars more than asking. It was melty, gooey in the heat, and perfect. I meandered through the crowd and figured the odds were in my favor for avoiding bug bites. There was plenty of lightly dressed people. I brought my spray anyway.
“Hey you.” Curt said abruptly from behind me while poking me in the sides. I jumped and yelped and we both laughed.
“You scared the…” I glanced around. “You scared me.”
Curt looked around. “This feels small town. Odd but interesting.”
“I was seriously thinking the same thing moments ago.” I held up my half eaten rice crispy treat. “Want some?”
“I can never say no to marshmallow.”
I pulled off a bite and held it out with my left hand. Curt pushed my arm up and ate it from my fingers brushing his lips over them. I shivered from the delightful surge of arousal deep within. We started moving around looking at the boats for sale. Grossly overpriced but I’d probably buy two since Asha ditched me. I ate a bite and held up the last for Curt. Once again, he lifted my arm and this time my heart hammered in my chest along with the arousal.
“I don’t like my fingers sticky with sugar.” He said slyly.
“Oh, that’s nice, so what am I supposed to do?” I had marshmallow on my thumb and forefinger. He grabbed my hand and put my thumb in his mouth. He sucked off the gooey mess. I stared in aroused disbelief as he put my index between his lips. He maintained eye contact and ran his tongue and teeth gently over the pad of my finger. He released my hand and I clutched it to my thumping chest.
“There all better.” Curt smiled and reached for my right hand. He grazed a tender spot and I flinched. With a frown, he lifted my hand to look at it. “What happened to your hand? It looks like you punched someone or something.”
“My ex.” Well damn. Looks like my filters are switched off again.
“Wait. What?” He kissed my slightly bruised knuckles. “Did he hit you?”
I looked away in shame. At the time, it felt empowering to put Paul in his place. He hit me first.
“Jayla is he why you run from me?”
“Sort of. No.” I tried to pull my hand away but he kept inspecting it.
“We had an argument, he back-handed me. Now he’s never hit me before, I punched him in the nose; he laughed and advanced so I clipped his cheek hard. Knocked him on his ass.”
“Horrible I know. I have mixed feelings about it. He backed off and.” I stopped. Curt does not need to hear this and I do not want pity.
“I was going to say hot. You had every right to wallop him.”
I laughed despite the topic. “Wallop? Are you serious?”
“I like funny words. He wasn’t expecting you to fight back was he?”
“Oh no. Never. I…” Again, he almost made me start rambling about it.
Curt kissed my knuckles again. I was too attracted to him. He was too touchy and I hated that I liked it. Well maybe not hate. He moved to my left and laced his fingers in mine. I let him. I liked the attention and he made me feel good. Wanted and attractive.
We walked around and stopped as a group of tweens came up selling glow in the dark accessories. I was looking at a necklace.
“Those only last a day once you snap them,” Curt said. “I’ll take seven of those.” He bought glow in the dark silicone bracelets that were reminiscent of the ‘gummy’ bracelets in the nineties. They were recharged by light and would probably last forever. He put six on my wrist and one blue one on his. Ugh, I loved them.
“Thank you.” Yes, I was grinning like an idiot.
The sun was gone and someone started talking about the reason for the fundraiser and thanking the volunteers and all the people who came out to support. While she went on with her rather lovely speech, we went over to the people selling the lantern boats. I bought two of the most expensive. Curt did the same.
“Why did you buy two?” He asked as we approached the water with our lit lantern boats.
The boats were made of small pieces of wood donated by a local high school shop class with paper lanterns securely fastened by staples and a tea light on top that was also secured. We were assured they would all be collected and recycled. The local fire department were not only nearby in case they were needed but were letting kids climb all over their truck.
“My sister was supposed to come with me. We were going to light one for each of our parents.”
I watched as our boats bump into others. It didn’t take long before the large pond was lit up brightly. There was a small group on the other side singing, the conversations became hushed and it was very serene. Curt stood behind me and pulled me against him wrapping his arms around me.
It felt so familiar and safe. I both heard and felt him sigh deeply as the lanterns flickered and bobbed in the water. Conversations started picking up and kids started running and being rowdy again. Moment over. I pulled away.
“I’m glad I came.” I said. “Thanks for joining.” I started walking toward my car.
“Oh no you don’t.” Curt cut me off and blocked my way. “You are not disappearing again. I am not taking the chance that I’ll never find you or see you. “What is your last name?”
“Nilsson.” It was but my maiden name. I had already changed it back.
I shrugged. Both my parents were fair-haired immigrants from Europe. My father Swedish my mother British. They were two of many stops on my honeymoon.
“Phone number?” He asked.
Why the hell am I making this so difficult?
“Fine. At least tell me why not.”
The anger in his tone made me flinch. Not from fear or anything, it was from remorse.
“Are you still in love with your ex?”
The horror on my face was not held back. “God no and before you ask it’s not about him.”
“Am I about to get the ‘it’s not you it’s me’ crap line?”
“No.” I smiled at his angry pout. “Even if it’s technically true.” I wrung my hands. I don’t know how to explain how I feel because I can’t sort it out myself. “Honestly I thought if I saw you you’d be pissed or offended or at least put off by my erratic behaviour.”
Curt tucked a loose strand of my blond hair behind my ear. “When I sat in that restaurant I went over in my head at least a thousand different ways to approach you sitting there pretending not to be angry. I was just about, to when your date showed. I can’t even tell you how badly I wanted to toss him out and take his place.”
He brushed the palm of his hand over my cheek resting his fingers on my neck. The pull I felt was astounding.
“Why?” I just had to ask.
“I didn’t know.”
“Didn’t? Do you know now?”
Curt’s hand tensed and he pulled me closer. “I figured it out the second my fingers touched your hand.” His sweet breath was a degree warmer than the air around us. When his lips touched mine, my eyes were closed and I pushed up to my tiptoes. My hands rested on his chest and it was all I could do to not spontaneously combust. I was hot and wet and it was all-encompassing.
Breathless, Curt broke the kiss and we stared a moment.
“Someone’s getting lucky tonight.” A male passerby jeered.
My face went crimson and the moment was lost in the laughter of the man who walked away. I wasn’t accustomed to public displays of affection. Losing myself completely in the moment was altogether terrifying. We started walking back out to the street were there were many cars parked.
“Go on a date with me next Saturday night.”
It sounded wonderful and I almost said yes. “I can’t.”
His frustration flashed across his face. “Why not?”
“I already have plans Saturday and a date Saturday night.”
I did not expect Curt to laugh. I stared at him puzzled.
“I’m not surprised. You’re gorgeous; I figured there’d be swarms of guys trying to get your attention. Sunday afternoon then.”
Did I hear him right? He sure knows how to flatter.
“After my son is picked up, go out with me.”
Could I? Should I? “I don’t know…”
“Oh Jayla I’m okay with a bit of competition. In fact it will make me step up my game.”
Step it up? I was impressed and this isn’t even a real date. “I suppose.”
“I’ll take it. Can I please have your number so I can text you at least? I promise I won’t stalker text or call.”
I snickered and took his phone from him. I put my contact information in. “There.” I handed it back. “I think you’re crazy for sticking around but I suppose birds of a feather and all.”
His warm deep laugh was sweeter than any sound I’ve ever heard. He kissed me again. For a not-date, he was pushy. I’m not complaining. My body buzzed with hormones as he stopped.
“You know,” he smiled, “I think I’m going to enjoy this old-fashioned competitive courting.” He kissed my forehead, gestured to my car that we had stopped beside. “Good night Jayla.”
I smiled demurely and got into my car. I watched him walk down the street towards, I’m assuming, where he parked. I think I need to go home and finish what I started this morning.
To be continued…
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Next Chapter: Sweet Messages