It was busy at the pub that night. No surprise there - this place was always busy.
And I know most people are into that, but I don’t really love crowds. My friends tend to disappear on me and it makes reaching the bartender so much more difficult as the night goes on.
And if you're going to be alone at a stupid pub, you should at least have the option to get drunk.
Anyways, that’s pretty much where I was at – alone, because my friends had scattered. Standing in the middle of the room, awkwardly leaning against a handrail, generally doing my best to not let anything give away my simmering social anxiety. The night's soundtrack, a smattering of the better hits from my high school years, was hovering just above the din of the cheerful bar chat.
My drink was empty. I was stubbornly poking away at the lime wedge at the bottom of my empty glass, as if I might actually be able to beat a new gin and tonic out of the rind. I probably looked like I was contemplating the eclectic décor on the walls, but in reality, I was just trying to scrounge up the nerve to navigate through that gross gauntlet of warm bodies to get my refill.
I absently scanned the room in the meantime. And I happened to look over my shoulder just as the front door opened and a young man walked inside.
He always seems taller than he is, carrying himself with the same cool self-assurance I assume he exudes in the boardroom any other day of the week. His attire is always unpretentiously on-point. From the untucked dress shirt to the soft swoop of his bangs, every inch of him always reflects a casual deliberateness. He does this thing where passes his hand in a forward motion carefully over his hair, almost as if to ensure it’s still there...
Standing in the entry, he slowly looked around the room for familiar faces.
I felt my face go flush and a hot shudder shot out from behind my ears, wrapping around the base of my skull. Hoping he hadn’t noticed me, I turned away quickly to hide my face from his field of vision.
See, the thing is that this particular boy had become a recent addition to my list of... let’s call them "Questionable Life Choices" when we found ourselves at the same little house party a few weeks prior.
It’s hard to say who made the first move, or if the first move had even been intentional. By that point, the empty wine bottles significantly outnumbered the people consuming them, which makes for some hazy memory recall at best.
We were sitting on the same side of the table for the better part of the evening that night. Without breaking eye contact with the friends across from us, he slowly stroked the edge of my leg with his thumb. With them crossed, it was easy to lift one leg just a high enough to encourage him to continue. As far as I could tell, these clandestine caresses went unnoticed thanks to the tabletop concealing our exchange.
This persisted over course of the night, and with the patience and care of a surgeon, we dissected our mutually acknowledged attraction one furtive stroke at a time. He moved his fingers up my calf until the warmth of his palm rested comfortably on my knee. Occasionally, he would allow his hand to resurface to pepper his points of discussion with that extra dash of theatricality, as he does, but also to readjust his grip on me every time he brought his hand back down again.
As the conversation continued, he stood up to lean against the high edge of the table. I rearranged myself on the stool with as much stealth as I could muster, but I worried that perhaps I had pushed my luck a little too far when I stretched my legs out to rest on his empty seat.
My doubts were obviously misplaced. He let his free hand fall and brush reassuringly against the leg closest to him, just above the edge of my thigh-high stockings.
Throughout all of this, we didn’t even look at each other.
Despite the alcohol that had been consumed between us, we never lost our understanding of how important our discretion would be moving forward.
Still none of our drunken friends who had been there that night were wise to our sly moves. I was as confident as I could be that our recklessness had gone unnoticed.
We sipped our way into the early hours of the morning, and he and I were the only ones with the stamina to keep up with Amy – my roommate and our gracious host that night. The wine had dried up, so she switched us over to scotch. Mid-pour on the second glass, Amy announced that she needed to use the bathroom. She excused herself and ambled down the hall, leaving yours truly and the boy in question alone together.
We heard to door close softly behind her, and without another word, we got lost in each other’s eyes for hours. Or seconds.
“Fuck,” he muttered. He looked off into the nothingness at the other end of the table, and slowly shook his head.
I broke the silence with a confession spiked with liquid courage. “I have to say, James, it’s been hard to sit here all night like this and not be able to drag you down to the hall to my bedroom...” His eyes locked back on to mine as he waited for me to finish. “It’s a real shame for me that you have a girlfriend.”
I don't know who made the initial advance. It felt simultaneous.
We moved in towards each other and our lips met somewhere in the middle, and for a fleeting, heated, somewhat aggressive moment, the boundaries we had been dancing around all night came crashing down around us.
And then the toilet down the hall flushed, forcing the walls of reality back up again.
He looked at me with that same pointed stare and shook his head again. “Fuck…” Whether this expression came from a place of exasperated passion or disappointment, it’s difficult to say — he’s a hard read at the best of times.
My stomach turned aggressively when I felt him move deeper into the room. As I tried to come up with any kind of game plan, I saw Amy emerge from the ladies’ room and made my way through the small crowd to meet her.
“Roomie, you’re empty!” she exclaimed, pointing at the mangled piece of fruit in the bottom of my glass. “Let’s get you a shot.”
Oh god, yes, please...
While we were standing there waiting for the bartender to notice us, I pretended not to notice James make his approach.
Amy squealed to welcome him. “James, you made it!” She affectionately kissed his cheeks one at a time. “Is Tiff coming?”
“She won’t be able to make it tonight,” he said. He was already looking at me by the time I turned around to greet him.
“Jayne. How are you,” he said, his words falling with a dry, matter-of-fact charm. He kissed my cheeks in the same fashion. “You look lovely.”
“Thank you.” His lips branded a blush on my cheeks and I silently thanked an imaginary god for the dim lighting.
Casual conversation ensued as other members of the gang reappeared, greeting our newcomer. James didn’t give me so much as a second glance, which frankly I appreciated as I wouldn’t have known what to say if prompted anyway. I couldn’t tell if I was becoming anxious or aroused, but my blood was boiling to the surface all over my body.
“I’m feeling really warm…” I said to Amy. “I think I might go outside for a minute.” I noticed James eavesdropping on this exchange, and suddenly, I had an idea. “Could I bum a cigarette off one of you guys?”
Knowing that James was a smoker, I was hoping it would be him who would volunteer.
I was met with a few shrugs and at least one look of disappointment. With a history of lung cancer in her family, Amy never cared for my occasional indulgences, but she had also learned that arguing with me on it was futile.
Finally, James chimed in. “I might have some in my truck, actually.”
This was exactly what I wanted, but I was stunned that it was working out.
“I’m just parked up the block if you don’t mind going for a little walk,” he added.
It took everything in me to keep my cool. “I don't mind at all.”
Leaving our non-smoker friends behind, he opened the door and ushered me through. The outside air was cool, but my light jacket was enough to block most of the wind. The breeze tousled my hair around as we made our way to the end of the street and turned the corner onto the quieter residential road.
We didn’t say much to each other as we walked. We must have made some idle chitchat about the cigarettes or something, but I honestly don’t remember. I was too preoccupied rehearsing in my head what I really wanted to say to him in that moment, which even then, I couldn’t yet figure out. The memory of our kiss kept taking priority in my mental feed.
When we finally got to his vehicle, I watched in silence as he leaned in through the passenger’s side to find these alleged cigarettes. I say alleged because up until then, I wasn’t entirely sure they existed or not.
I propped myself against the side of the truck—which was more of an SUV than a truck if you ask me—and instinctively crossed my arms. Because one, it turns out my jacket was too light after all, and two, I felt it made me look a little more nonchalant. I didn’t want to seem too eager.
But when he climbed out, he did indeed have a pack of cigarettes.
“Look what I found,” he said shaking the carton at me to prove that there was something inside.
I smiled and looked him up and down as I ran through the words in my head once more. The problem was that when he reemerged and looked at me with those serious, sobering eyes, I lost every drop of the audacity I had been trying to collect.
James closed the door softly and took a step towards me.
“You probably shouldn’t.” It sounded better in my head.
His response was equally as shoddy. “Yeah, I know.”
Carefully at first, he reached a hand out towards my face. Rather than pulling me in towards him, he used my neck as an anchor in order to propel his lips towards mine. I felt my lungs collapse.
Complimenting the softness of my own, his lips were comfortably dry and commanded a certain authority.
I realized later that his day-old stubble had irritated the periphery of my lips. Needless to say, this didn’t bother me at the time.
As I leaned back into the vehicle, James pressed his body into mine. We made out voraciously in the amber glow of the street lamps. He caressed the back of my head with one hand, lacing his fingers in my hair, as he nipped at my lips and down my neck.
Eyes closed, my reverie was suddenly interrupted by the realization that this could very well be our only chance to consummate this secret affair. Maybe ever.
I shared my observation. “We really only have the time it takes to smoke a cigarette to get back before anyone suspects anything.”
At first, James said nothing. But then he took my hand, and I accepted his stoic gaze and lack of any verbal objection as consent. Emboldened by this, I led him down the terribly classy back alley behind our bar, tucking us in between spotlights and the shadows around the dumpsters.
This time, I took my turn to move in towards him. I stood up onto the balls of my feet and reached my mouth towards his. I traced the edge of his jawline with tesaing kisses. He tilted his head invitingly as I proceeded, and I heard his eyes trip into the back of his head when his breath lost its foothold in his lungs.
I grinned for my own benefit and moved my hand down slowly. Down the length of his chest. All the way down, until it was low enough for me to reach right under and cup him. I could feel his pulse pounding back into my palm.
Remembering that time was not on our side, I hastily unzipped his pants and pulled them down just low enough to expose his fully erect cock. I wrapped my hand slowly around the shaft, holding it still for a moment. It throbbed once into my grip before I released him.
Though it was dark, I could see James looking at me. Watching me. Anticipating my next move. I tried to mirror his serious face in response and squatted down in front of him. With one hand circling the base of his shaft, I licked the head of his cock, swirling my tongue around the tip once before taking him halfway into my mouth. I felt a surge run along the length pressing against my tongue. I then took him all the way into my mouth until it threatened the back of my throat.
“Jesus…” James exhaled heavily. “I don’t know how long I’m going to last.”
That. That right there is the shit I live for. When he’s so turned on by what I'm doing with my mouth that he’s worried he could explode before he even gets inside.
I ignored James for a moment to relish the power I held over him. With one hand still secured at the base, I cupped his balls in the other and gave them a gentle squeeze. I finally looked up at him and said, “Tonight, that’s exactly what I want to hear.”
We obviously don't have the time to dive into a deep, explorative love-making session here.
After sliding my mouth up and down the length of his shaft a few more times, I stood back up and turned to face the wall. I just wanted so badly for him to fuck me. Hiking up my skirt, I pulled my underwear to one side and with one hand, I reached a finger between my labia. I was met with a gush of wetness as I teased them apart.
I assumed he was holding his cock in one hand, watching as I presented my bare ass to him. He moved in a step closer to me and I bit my lip when his free hand palmed and squeezed the fleshy curve of my ass cheek for the first time. He fumbled around with the tip of his cock, trying to enter my pussy.
I grew impatient. With my other hand, I reached back behind and guided his cock to its target. I teased my labia with the fleshy head, wetting him up and down the length of my lips before pushing my hips into his. On the first thrust, I took him all the way inside me, feeling the fleshy head reach my limits. He mirrored my action to increase the intensity of the push, and his exhale melted to a growl.
I slapped the cement wall in front of me as he continued to plunge in and out of me, and reached my hand up over my head to run my fingers through his hair. In his haste, his cock slipped right out of me. I felt the excess wetness trickle down my inner thigh before he shoved himself back inside.
Our rhythm was deep and feverish. He grabbed a handful of my hair like reins, but the rest of it got caught up in my eyes and mouth as we got caught up in our passionate frenzy. He reached around in front of me in an attempt to stroke my clit but he kept missing the mark. And I mean, understandably so – he doesn’t know this version of me yet.
“Don’t worry about that right now,” I reassured him. We just didn’t have the time for me to give him a crash course on the nuances of my clit.
“Next time,” he gasped from behind.
I scrubbed feverish circles around my clit myself and pushed back harder into every thrust he delivered, tightening my pelvic grip around the girth of his cock as though I could swallow him entirely. I felt him grow even more rigid and his pace quickened.
“Jay,” he gasped. “You’re going to make me come.”
I pushed him back enough for me to turn around and squat down once more.
“Good. That was my intention.”
His cock was wet and acidic with my juices, and I attempted to replicate with my mouth the rhythm our bodies had just set.
Deep and enthusiastically, I slid my lips up and down the length of his shaft. I could feel his hips twitch, and brought one hand up from the ground to cup and gently massage his testicles as he approached the peak of his pleasure. He grabbed onto my hair for support, and I felt the sudden rush stream down my throat.
Nearly doubled over, James leaned with one hand against the wall as I stood up and brushed myself off. With no mirror nearby, I trusted the shadow on the side of the building to straighten out my dress and hair. I wiped the corner of my mouth with the pad of my thumb and smirked at him fumbling to shove his exhausted dick back into his pants.
In the chaos, the cigarettes had fallen out of his pocket. I picked the pack up off the ground, pulled two out, broke them in half. I lit both of them in my mouth and handed one to him when he seemed ready. “To make it seem more legit,” I explained.
I ran my fingers through his hair as he took a deep, triumphant drag, looking unwaveringly into my eyes. Again, James shook his head at me, but this time he followed it up with a coy grin and light scoff.
I walked ahead of him, and closed my eyes, noticing how the smoke of the cigarette laced the lining of my throat as it moved down towards my lungs.
There is something undeniably gratifying in the simple act of enjoying a cigarette now and then. Especially so right after sex.
I exhaled the hazy tendrils into the darkness in front of me, knowing that he was taking in the figure of my silhouette from behind.
Just as we approached the entrance, we were greeted by a familiar face on its way out.
“Hey, Jimbo,” Amy’s big brother, Dan said as he clapped James on the shoulder amicably. “You got any smokes?”
“Yeah, man,” said James without skipping a beat. He handed Dan his pack of cigarettes and looked at me knowingly.
With a subtle nod, we hushed our secret affair back into silence.