Mind over matter. Mental telepathy. Or some sort of sleight-of-hand parlor trick. It had to be. Otherwise, how could I at one instant be this close to giving Jack the brush-off, and in the next, be in his arms?
Not just holding him, or hugging him, but pressing myself against him as if he could absorb me into his skin. How did it happen? What did he do to me? Wave a magic pendant in front of me to put me into a trance?
It wasn't supposed to end like this. I had my speech so carefully prepared. I was supposed to be kind, sympathetic, but firm in my resolve. I'd tell him what a good time I had, tell him what a sweet person I thought he was. I'd shake his hand, maybe give him a perfunctory peck on the check, then send him on his way. Simple, direct, all loose ends tied.
I held my hand out to him. A cordial, socially acceptable handshake of dismissal. He'd understand that, wouldn't he? Didn't all of his games begin and end that way? No matter how much he hated or respected the other team, didn't he always put aside his differences for a sportsmanlike ending?
But as I drew closer, my senses were suddenly overwhelmed.
He murmured my name and pressed his lips against my cheek. It wasn't the first time that he'd kissed me that night. He'd brushed butterfly kisses across my cheek, my hair. He'd even given my hand a very continental peck. But the passion in that single utterance after he kissed me on the front porch did more to excite me than all of the coy, flirtatous, give-and-take conversation we'd shared during the night.
I flung my arms around his neck, launched myself off the steps, and clung to him for dear life.
I should have been more discreet and thought how we must have looked to the neighbours. I should have worried about how that gossip would eventually reach my grandmother's ears.
Even at three in the morning, I knew that someone, if not my own parents, would be watching. A strange, expensive car pulls into the neighbourhood, parks in front of my parents' house - you'd better believe there would be talk among certain prominent circles in Oniru Estate, where I live.
Vestiges of those recriminations echoed in my ears like wind rustling through the poplar trees. Priye Cole, the headstrong daughter of Doris and Sunny Cole, turned up her nose at perfectly good local schools to run off to God knows where, finally drags her fast tail home in the middle of the night with a strange man, and practically mauls him in plain sight. The hussy! What could she possibly be thinking?
He'd groaned my name and instantly, none of that mattered. None of those concerns bothered me when Jack held me, caressed me. He kissed my cheek, my jaw, my ear, my hair. I felt my spine melt away as his large hands splayed against my lower back, drawing me to him.
Kisses strayed to my eyelids, the tip of my nose. He caught my lower lip between his teeth, gently nipping, then moving along my jaw. All I could do was hold on as he literally carried me up the steps and pulled me into the shadows at the farthest corner of the porch.
Shielded by the flower-covered trellis connecting the porch, I used the false security of the shadows to push the bounds of propriety. Never, in ten thousand years, would I have imagined myself like this. Never, not even during my wildest, most rebellious teenaged days, would I ever have believed that I could be this desperate for a man's touch.
I'm absolutely certain that if my first sexual experience had been anything like this, I could have easily become known as the campus skank. I would have done anything to seek out these sensations. Thank my lucky stars that my first time hadn't been anything like this.
As each of Jack's touches grew more insistent, I grew less fearful of discovery. I couldn't fault him for moving fast. I encouraged him. Not with words. I encouraged him with soft sighs as the mystery unfolded and with groans - greedy and guttural - as mystery turned to mastery.
Wordlessly, mindlessly I let him know in unambigous terms how he affected me. When he found the rught spot, and he did repeatedly, I rewarded him with more access. Heat from his palms warmed the backs of my thighs, slid upward past my thigh-high stockings, kneaded the contracting muscles of my bottom, bare and exposed by the thong Brenda had convinced me would help to make the lines of my dress lie smoother.
He pulled me closer, lifted me several inches, so that my feet dangled in midair. My back crushed morning glories on the wall as thick as carpet as he pressed against me. I felt him throbbing, lengthening, seeking me out. As my knees separated, Jack settled between me, slowly, deliberately moving his hips in a rhythm that I was able to fall into naturally, as if we'd been dance partners for years. I gasped as his fingers probed warm, moist depths. Warmth ignited instantly to flame. I bit into his shoulder to keep from crying out.
At first, I might have been able to fool my parents into thinking my soft, mewling cries belonged to some kind of animal - a stray female cat in heat, perhaps. But what kind of cat calls out, "Now, Jack! Please!" in the middle of the night? Somehow, I had to keep myself together long enough to remember where I was.
"Back pocket," he growled, once again bringing to mind images of the untamed.
I didn't have to question what he meant. I knew.
I didn't knoe how much longer I could hold out. When I'd explored her, felt how she constricted around my fingers and imagined how she would feel with me fully inside her. I knew that it wouldn't be long. . .my ability to wait, that is.
Length, in other aspects, wouldn't be a problem. I was a big man, in more than one sense of the word. I had no question whether I could satisfy her. It wasn't vanity. It wasn't an overinflated estimation of sexual prowess.
I knew that I would because it's all that I wanted to do. All of my energy, all of my passion was focused on a single objective: to bring pleasure to Priye Cole. I don't remember ever wanting a woman so much.
My deepest concern was whether or not I would hurt her. She'd seemed so small and tight. One finger, then two. . .I'd barely begun to explore before I felt early contractions - ever-widening ripples of pleasure making her tremble.
She'd called out my name and pressed her face into my shoulder in a futile effort to prolong the inevitable. You might as well have asked her to hold back an ocean tide.
I don't know who reached my wallet first, but it wound up in my hand. Priye made up for her lack of quickness by aggressively tackling the buttons of my shirt. She managed to undo the first three before frustration and haste gripped her.
For someone so small, she surprised me with her strength. She yanked on either side of my shirt, sending several buttons flying into the floor. My own clothing became my worst enemy while I tried with one hand to hold her and with the other to undo the buckle of my belt and the clasp of my waistband. The sound of the zipper going down sounded more like a rip of fabric as I yanked it away from me. An apropos sound. Not unlike the rip of my sanity as anticipation of bringing pleasure to her bordered on the unbearable.
The humid air was nothing compared to the heat pouring off my exposed skin. My head swam in delicious delirium as my heightened senses took it all in. The cloying smell of the flowers, the intermittent wind whistling through the trees.
"Let me," she offered, taking the foil packet out of hand. Priye carefully withdrew the condom and covered the tip of my p.enis with its lubricated coolness. Before fully sheathing me, she ran her hand up and down my skin. Her fingers closed around my girth, squeezing possessively until I cried out, "Enough, woman!"
I unfurled the condom as Priye reached behind her and clung to the treils. I grasped her hips, maybe a little too roughly. She gave a little gasp and bit her lip.
"Oh, no," she choked out, her face stricken.
"No?" I echoed. Not something I wanted to hear at this late stage of the game. "What's wrong?"
She lowered her head to my shoulder. Her voice was muffled as she said, "I have to go in now."
"What do you mean?"
"My mum. . .or maybe my dad. . ." She nodded in the direction of the front porch. "They've flashed the porch light."
"Flashed the porch light?" What was that, some kind of secret Cole family code?
"When I was a little girl, and stayed out a little past my curfew, the porch light coming on was my signal to come in," she explained.
"You. . .you've got to be kidding me."
"Priye, you're a grown woman." I smoothed my hands over her to emphasize my point.
"I know that I am. You know that I am. But to my family, I will always be the Sweet Banana."
"Sweet Banana?" I wanted to laugh. Something told me that it wasn't a good time. The look on her face was deadly serious.
"A nickname my dad gave me. That's probably him flashing the lights on and off at me. I've got to."
"Pretend like you didn't see it." I moved to block her view of the porch. "See? Problem solved." I tried to pull her to me again, at least for another kiss. But she turned her head aside.
"Problem not solved. If I'm not in the house in five minutes, they'll turn the floodlights on us."
"And after that, what's next? The dogs?"
She then roughened her voice in a poor imitation of her father's. "As long as you're living under my roof, young lady, you'll obey my rules."
"You and your family are intentionally trying to drive me into the nuthouse, aren't you?"
"We don't have to try. It's a natural progression from prolonged exposure to us. I'm so sorry, Jack. I didn't mean for things to get this far. . .so fast."
"It's all right, Priye." I mentally crossed my fingers behind my back at the little lie. It wasn't all right. I was hurting pretty bad. I'd live. I wouldn't like it. But I'd live.
"Promise me that you won't be mad at me."
"I'm not mad." Again, another half-truth. I could feel the punitive flames of hell licking at my toes. Lust and lies. There would be a seat at the right hand of the Devil himself for those two.
"Are you sure?" She looked at me, narrowing her eyes. She didn't believe me. I guess I wasn't a convincing actor.
"I'm not mad," I said through clenched teeth. Flames rose higher, scorching my knees. At any moment, I was going to spontaneously combust.
"Yes, you are," she said, and planted a kiss on my nose. "You are mad."
"Okay, not really, really mad."
"I'm sorry, Jack. Are you still coming to the outing tomorrow?"
"I've got some things I need to take care of in the morning, but I'll be there."
"See you tomorrow, then. Good night, Jack."
I watched her turn toward the house. She looked back only once, then waved, then hurried to the front door. Before she could get her key out of her purse, I heard the door crank open. She paused, speaking to whoever it was behind the door, then disappeared inside.