Beyoncé, varied chatter, and Larry’s calming French accented voice.
I should be appreciating all three but what’s in front of me forbids that. Long, sleek Malaysian hair. Manicured, acrylic nails with Hello Kitty jewels embedded on their plastic top. Chiseled, glasses ridden faces–mascara not washed away by pre-tears. Hour shape glass bodies and perfect skin under made up faces–flawless made up faces, excuse me.
Yeah, I’m not really in the best mood at the moment. With all these tight dresses and screwed faces around me. It’s like all the women come to this dinner to compete for the men’s wandering eye. They have dates. Everyone does. But they’re not date dates I’m guessing with how many of females have already walked up to Larry twisting the ends of their hair–I’m surprised it didn’t knot–and biting their lip, almost draining blood. I’m pretty sure most of these people aren’t even dancers. They’re just fiends looking for a grind and a body to take back to their place. How the hell do they even get in? It’s such a tight event. Connections, maybe? Whatever networking they do daily is amazing because hardly anyone knows about this annual get together if they’re not engrossed in the dance world. These women were literal vixens. Bria Myles, Daphne Joy type 10s with 6-inch heels and asses you could balance red, house party cups on.
Then, there’s me. I’m a good bra size and my jeans don’t come in the smallest but I’m definitely not packing anything like these women are. My makeup probably looks awful, I have a extra pair of eyes on my face, and I’m totally barefoot at the moment–still limping–while girls are taking literal strolls with skyscraper heels, some of them up to Larry’s height even. I was like a shrimp in a sea full of sharks. Totally out of the loop. I mean, there were girls that looked a least a little like me but they were all on the other side of the room doing what everyone actually came here to do. Dancing. All of the busty, connection, video vixen women were over on our side, pinching Larry and Laurent’s cheeks, telling them how cute their accents are.
Laurent was eating it all up. Even with his date in the premises, he spit game like it was just another day, eyeing the women like they were hunks of meat on china. I playfully rolled my eyes but it was more out of sheer hilarity than anything else. The girls were giggling after every–corny–joke and cooing like a bunch of puppies. The best part had to be how much Laurent flaunted his relation to Beyoncé–every single time the DJ played one of her tracks. And, how much his audience swallowed it whole. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t entertaining.
What wasn’t entertaining was watching the other twin. My date. Larry Nicolas.
He looked the upmost uninterested while chatting but with him being the person he is, he did. I hung around for a while saving him when a girl got too close or tried to slyly slip a number–like I intimidated anyone–but after some time of resting on my naked feet, I decided to find a seat. He begged to come accompany me but I refused his request. I couldn’t let him risk his fun for my fatigue.
And, that’s where we’re at now.
Me. Sitting in a spot not too far from my date, watching him mingle with friends and brush off vixens. Perfect night. From time to time, I would see him turn and search for me but I would always pull out my phone in attempt not to look too helpless or bored. Even though I actually am a little of both. He’d caught me once though. I had been admiring his frame from behind, loving the way his pants hugged his behind and relaxed just after his thighs. They looked amazing on him, especially the sleek, black belt wrapped around his tiny waist.
While I eyed them, I noticed his hips beginning to wiggle lightly. Furrowing my eyebrows, I shot a look up to find him grinning at me with a raised eyebrow. His lip pushed between his teeth–as mine receded–before he licked his lips and fluttered his lashes, knowingly. My face was flushed in a matter of seconds.
I avoided even glancing his way for the rest of my time alone due to me never wanting to feel that flushed feeling again. Well…maybe I did just a tad. The butterflies that came with it felt warm as they heated my organs and rested at the bottom of my stomach. It was something I hardly got–intensely–when it came to Larry.
I was glad when real music began to play and the dancers started doing their thing. I couldn’t refrain from taking a few pictures through my phone. Maybe I could transfer the flicks to my computer and edit some when I got home. With the thought embedded in my mind, I couldn’t let it go, even if I tried, so when I found tiny arms pushing through a couple of people to head to the front of the giant circle everyone had created, I didn’t second think the action. My ambition switch had been flipped on just that quickly.
“Excuse.” I mumbled, snaking my way between bodies and squeezing my petite frame towards the corner section. “Sorry.”
Hopping, I forced my way through a tall dude and his date, apologizing for barging and turned around smiling at the sight. Of course. I should have expected them to be apart of the festivities if no one else.
I saw the afros before anything.
They’d already assembled their little group of competition along with an agreement with the DJ to play some of the songs off their IPad–I doubt he would listen. They were watching somebody dance at the moment. A bboy. I knew he wouldn’t get any shouts of approval from the twins. They were all about musicality while they claimed bboys were about anything but. This one seemed pretty good though. He had amazing control and along with his complex moves, he still managed to stay on beat even with his flares and windmills. I chortled as Laurent began to do windmills himself. He could hardly get a leg up in his pants.
That’s when I looked over to Larry’s eyes wandering across the room, directly towards me. A feel of shock brushed the inside of my stomach before I gave him a small smile and raised my phone. He squinted as his brows coiled. Looking down at his already adrenalized brother, he blinked, annoyed, before turning back to me.
I chuckled, pressing my lips together and raising my camera to my face, snapping a pretend photo. He caught my drift instantly, relaxing his features and straightening his posture. I smiled at his natural, photogenic face and body language. With a tilt to his frame, a thinning to his lips, and the relaxing of his eyebrows, he was perfect. I usually preferred candids but the single shot resonated with me as soon as I took it. Then again, it was Larry. Everything made a mark when it came to him in regards to me–in more than a thousand ways. The fact that it probably wasn’t the same vice versa crumbled everything to dust and soon my attention was on Laurent’s backbend, my mind looking for an escape mechanism–a distraction. When the crowd went wild, I knew I’d found it.
But being that I still felt the burning feeling of Larry’s eyes branding the side of my face minutes later, it proved to be a facade.
My better judgment went back and forth with my betraying subconscious, battling against the…sensible thing to do. To get caught in Larry’s misleading–miraculous–and mixxy–enchanting–trance or to stay in the safe zone where I didn’t risk getting my feelings hurt. The same imagination that was screaming to fall into Larry’s trap was the exact same one that would be screaming how foolish I was for thinking he was actually interested in me seconds later. It was cold and sly and loved to see me seethe but then again loved to give me hope for something I doubted was actually there.
My better judgment has the thinnest strings but holds onto me as securely as it can. His burning eyes are pinching the imaginary material with intensity.
It wasn’t until I found his colossal figure in my left peripheral vision that I noticed he’d totally burned the dainty threads a long time ago without my consent.
I acted as if I didn’t see him as he trudged his way over, his bouncing stride making me nervous. By the way his feet doubled speed, it didn’t look like he was thinking about stopping. And, with him coming from the circle, I knew eyes were most definitely following his frame. He knows how much I hate attention but he’s Larry so his surroundings don’t phase his actions. He would do backflips over my way if he could. The eyes on him are disregarded and irrelevant in his mind while they’re a trigger for a panic attack in mine.
“Baby!” I shut my eyes so tight I could feel the lids ripping. “Alex!” He whined.
Pressing my lips together, I prayed no one was looking at me. That he wasn’t looking at me. Maybe he knew someone else named Alex. That could be a possibility. One of his boys. I mean, he calls his crew members baby all the time, this wouldn’t be a jump.
“Al, don’t ignore me.”
Turning to him, I caught his frown and declining eyebrows before peeking at the line of people giving us smoldering glares. Well…giving me smoldering glares. As expected.
Sighing, I looked back up to his gleeful smile. His face lines could serve as tiny homes for flower petals and his cheekbones could hold miniature pebbles without the slightest disruption. I smiled at the thought of the visionary. Even with the absurd image, he still held the same beauty I always marked him with.
“I’m…not, Larry.” I peeped as he playfully yanked one of my arms. I felt his fingers knead into my hot skin before he moved his way up to one of shoulders and spun my body, all in one movement. I didn’t refuse but I couldn’t help but to be a bit skeptic. It was just an odd action.
Well, until his palms engrossed over my hips and he pushed me forward so that we could lightly sway to the music playing. I began to turn around but he beat me to the next gesture, leaning into my personal space. His lips brushed my cheek before his cheek replaced the warm breeze of his breath. “Relax.” He reassured. I sighed as he curled his arms around my body and engulfed my worries of the immensely painful glares that cut my skin just a second ago. It was like his presence washed away the bad. Drained the worrisome. “Good.”
I didn’t even notice that we were the only ones dancing in couple formation until tall dude and his date decided to join us.
My dress served as the distress cushion between his pelvis and my backside, which I mentally thanked the heavens above for creating such fabric. Not saying I expected Larry to be…rubbed a certain way when it came to me but…the thought of it alone was one that I’d be too embarrassed to consider. Lets just say I’m not in the mood to make a fool out of myself yet again tonight.
“Shoulders down.” He whispered.
“Huh?” I chirped in response.
He rubbed his cheek against mine before kneading his chin into the middle of my deltoid. “Your shoulders tense. Relax.”
“Oh.” Slowly lowering my tightened muscles, I stuttered, “S-sorry.”
He kissed my bare skin, I guess accepting my unnecessary regret. I closed my eyes trying my hardest not to flinch against him. When he pivoted towards my face and mushed his lips against my cheek, I knew I’d been caught.
“Sorry again.” I clucked out.
He shook his head. “No sorry, Alex.” He huffed. “We just dance.”
I sighed. “Don’t remind me.”
He chuckled. “You don’t want for dance with me?” I could feel his fingers drumming against hips.
Crossing my arms, I shrugged, popping his head up with the movement. “Of course I do.” I nibbled on my lip. “But, so do they.” My eyes moved over to a cult of girls that held the nastiest group of snarls I’d every seen etched across someone’s lip. It twitched and I could’ve sworn one of them was damn near growling.
I knew he would follow my eyes sooner or later so I didn’t give him a verbal response. When he caught on, the sound of air being sucked between teeth animatedly dragged in my ear in a long, loud manner.
I chuckled watching all of the deep grimaces turn into bright, boastful smiles once Larry’s eyes latched on them. His didn’t leave.
“Larry!” I elbowed his side, making him huff out a breath of pain into my ear. “Don’t be rude.”
He shrugged against me. “Is true. I don’t like how they look at you. Like they better than you or something like this. You step on them if you want to.” I smiled at his kindish words. “But, you too nice for this so you never speak for them. Girls hate so much on you.”
“Usually because of you.” I groaned, making him smile against my skin. He was nudging his nose into my cheek like he’d done in the bathroom stall. The warm welcome back my stomach experienced made me smile with him.
“You stay with me though.”
“You give me no choice.”
He chipped my cheek, playfully. “You right. 'Cause you mine.”
I rolled my eyes at myself due to the fact that my body turned to a complete, oozy mess when the form of endearment slipped from his lips. Every part of me knew his definition of the word was miles away from my own.
Mushing his face away from me, I quickly changed the subject.
“It’s crazy how bold you are.” I whispered watching Larry’s lead take effect. Everyone had grabbed a body and now the floor was filled with dozens upon dozens of dancers, all of them either swaying gently or showing their expertise. I smiled catching sight of Laurent housing with a random chick on the other side of the room. He was doing all the work while she stood in one place watching his fast feet circle her.
“Bold?” Larry’s voice popped me back into my own present situation.
“Yeah,” I replied, laying my head back on his shoulder. His hands danced across my hips and stopped at the bottom of my heated stomach. “I would never do something like that.” I chirped, pressing my lips together.
“You know. This.” I gestured at our position and the people around us. “Starting the dancing. It’s like starting a clap. Nerve wrecking and tedious.”
He huffed against my ear. “You just do it, Al.” He challenged. “And, is not bold or…whatever word you say. Why me dancing with you have to be bold?“
My mind screamed what I wanted to say but I decided to disregard her choices. She never lets me win.
I nodded. “I have hi-def lenses and no shoes on.” I chortled. “Not really a great choice.”
He pecked my cheek once before pushing his head in the heat of my neck and then leaning back up kiss the spot again. “Greatest choice.”
I bit my lip slowly moving my hands over his and leaning my head on his chest. I could hear his heartbeat over the music gifting me with momentary serene. When I felt him squeeze my hips, my eyes shot up towards his waiting stare. His eyes were soft and his lip tucked between his teeth with a gentle nibble. I sighed as he swallowed, moving my attention down his long neck. My lips tingled as I licked away their screaming urge to touch the clear skin. Everything blurred for a couple seconds, including the music. I could tell we were no longer on beat as Larry’s hands squeezed the living hell out of my waist, still swaying absently. I was almost delirious in his hold; my focus fully embedded in everything…him.
My sense of touch and taste numbed only leaving me with my escalated sight, smell and hearing. I could almost feel his minted breath on my nose hairs as I watched his lips move.
“Dieu, pourquoi je ne peux pas juste vous embrassez? (God, why can’t I just kiss you?)”
My eyebrows furrowed as I looked back up to his perplexed expression. His brows had crinkled and lips warped in a twisted manner. I could clearly see his tongue poking the inside of his cheek making me swallow back my first words in exchange for the proper ones. “Huh?” I questioned, breathlessly.
He stared at me, letting his chest deflate along with my head that rested on the cavity. That’s when I realized how fast his heartbeat was.
Leaning up, I turned in his arms. “You said something?” I asked.
His mouth opened to answer but nothing escaped him. The absence of speech surprised me but my loss of his eyes frightened me more. Placing my hands on his chest, I rubbed the plate before hugging his torso. “La-”
“Alex! Dance with me!” I didn’t even get to acknowledge the voice before a hand yanked my forearm. The same grip curled around my hip and soon I was flying across the room toward the middle of the floor. “You stay with me brother too long. Come on, dance!” I groaned as Laurent’s eyes latched onto mine and soon I was in the same predicament as his last girl, watching him circle me while he danced around my lagged frame.
I didn’t hesitate to look Larry’s way, finding him in the same place I’d left him. His arms were still outstretched while his mouth hung open, his jaw hanging in an irritated position. I frowned as he dropped his arms to his sides and looked my way, his eyes rolling, harshly. Shrugging, I smiled weakly and mouthed a simple, “He’s your brother.” before raising my brows, knowingly. Larry’s grim expression lightened automatically before he flicked Laurent off and began to make his way off the dance floor. I giggled, nodding my understanding as he pointed towards the seats and made his exit.
“You’re wrong.” I said, crossing my arms as Laurent finally stopped in front of me. He reached for my hands and threw them down to my sides.
“He have you so much. Please. He be fine.” Placing his broad hands on my bare shoulders, he pouted. “Now we dance.”
“That was rude, Laurent. You owe your brother an apology.”
He rolled his eyes and moved his hands down my arms. Moving close to me, he bended his head so that I was peering through lashes to see his batting portals. “You with my brother so much. So much. He have you everywhere, all the time and you leave me for this guy with no problem. I steal you away one time and I bad guy?” His hands hit his chest as he widened his eyes.
“You could have asked!”
He shrugged. “No. This make Larry mad more. More fun for me.” He chirped, grinning.
I huffed, shaking my head at him.
“So, you dance with me?” He dragged, twisting his body.
I glared at him, watching his innocent facade come to play. The warm smile that stretched his cheeks turned my heart to gook. He knew he had me from the moment he’d dragged me over here. Laurent wasn’t stupid. “Fine.” I breathed, laughing when he jumped up. “This one.”
“One.” He stressed beginning to sway and grabbing my hands.
I followed letting the music take over my limbs as I looked towards the table Larry had gestured towards seconds ago. When I didn’t see him, my frown came immediately. Discarding of the what ifs starting to take over my subconscious, I gave my full attention to an almost delirious Laurent. Closing my eyes, I let the melody lift my arms and move my legs as it pleased. The night got better but my thoughts just had more to rest on.
Larry’s words and most importantly, the hesitance that came with them.
Not one dancer left before the music was shut off so the departure was a bit of a hassle but we managed. Larry made sure to keep me in his hold and my heels in his hands while we weaved in and out of must, chatter, and after party invites to get to an inhale-safe environment. He’d noticed my glasses fogging as soon as we stepped into the hallway of the hotel, giving him the hint that we should move quickly if we wanted untainted lungs.
I argued when he began to convince me towards the car–his body hunched so I could hop on his back–hating the fact that he was leaving so early for me. Larry and early nights don’t mix. He’s always the last one to go home. The last one to pass out. And, definitely the last one to wake up the next morning.
My phone said 2:00 in the morning. That’s equivalent to 4:00 in the afternoon to Lar–and his brother as well–so I didn’t want to steal him from his usual.
But with my protests came his denial, of course, and sooner than later, I found myself in the passenger seat of his car, my head on the fogged mirror and my eyes on his fluent, chiseled profile. His eyes were wide and watchful and his energy level on 10. I could tell by the way his jaw ticked and his eyes darted every which way as he leaned his chest against the steering wheel. He was like an energizer bunny.
I wasn’t restless myself but I could tell Larry and I were on two totally different definitions of awake. The blood rushing through his body was fueling off of adrenaline while my excitement was a very subtle one. I was on level 5. The very middle where my two options hung on a weak string waiting for the other to snap.
String 1: Pass out.
String two: Stare at a wall until I eventually pass out.
Whichever one snaps first depends on my surroundings. With a 6'4, feverish, clamorous, restless, buzzed Frenchman on my hands, string two seems to be winning at the moment. To be honest, I was a little buzzed as well. Larry’s turbulence wouldn’t be weighing down anytime soon so I’ve already begun preparing myself. Yes, mentally and physically. With Larry on a hunnit, you never know what you can get yourself into in his company.
But, for now, I left my thoughts to admiring. I’d gotten bored of his face–not really–since his jaw had relaxed to almost nothing leaving me to lower my attention to the contents of his unbuttoned collar. I could see his deepened collarbone that resembled the depths of the fucking Atlantic Ocean. He’d forced me to undo the confinement a long time ago, claiming it was almost cutting off his blood flow, before rushing back out to dance with his brother. I’m sure I looked like a soccer mom as I twisted the two top buttons a loose warning him to stay hydrated. I couldn’t help it. The sweat dripping down his forehead and the brutal rise and fall of his chest made me worry and in a matter of minutes I was forcing him to jug a cup or two before he left me with a juicy peck to the cheek and another sweaty one to spazz over.
That had been about a half an hour after our stolen moment we’d been thieved of by Laurent Bourgeois, himself. He loves to pop in when he’s not wanted. I bet you money he’d been patiently waiting on the side for the right time. For the dreamy look or the initiation of a lean in. Something he could terrorize and slip away from his brother with a tug or an "accidental” push. He lives to aggravate Larry so I wasn’t surprised that he came when he did.
What pulled me was Larry’s sudden change in…everything once those words escaped his lips. His voice was so light but then again, weighed with frustration and need. He almost looked guilty or remorseful when I turned to inspect him. To have two French best friends and to never learn French is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever considered acceptable so I have to blame myself for not being able to understand a word that escaped him. He’d said it so fast and I was too distracted by the distress etched into his brow to catch my favorites that I actually knew.
Chatte, pourquoi, chien, & Janvier.
I’m pretty sure none of those particular words popped up in such an…awkwardish situation but if possibilities were possible…
“So, who won tonight? You or Laurent?” I asked, leaning in the crook where the seat met the passenger door.
Larry smiled. “L-A-R-R-Y.” He spelled, cheerily.
I chuckled, watching him attempt to sign the letters. I’d taught him a while ago while we’d been watching Switched at Birth. Since my aunt works in the field, she forced me to take a couple of classes when I was younger. I can structure a few sentences here and there. When I began to translate–while Larry covered the subtitles–he damn near ripped off my fingers trying to get me to teach him something.
After while, I surrendered, teaching him the easiest lesson there is.
Learning your name.
He got it on the first try.
“I do it, good?” He questioned, biting his lip.
I nodded. “I’m surprised you even remember that. I haven’t watched that show in a while.”
He gasped. “You don’t keep up?!”
I chuckled. “No, Larry. Most of the time I’m networking.”
He groaned, leaning back in his seat and spreading a leg towards the door. With one hand on the wheel, he gesticulated with the other. “No talking about work. No camera. Nothing. We talk for Switch at Birth and this is it.”
I raised a brow at him. “I still should’ve brought my camera tonight.”
He huffed. “You no need camera unless you want to take picture of me. If you don’t take picture of me, is good the camera stay home.” He smiled my way before facing back towards the road.
My smile lightened a little. I caught the weakness of it in time so I could turn away from him.
“You have fun?” He asked. I could still hear the cheer in his voice giving me the hint that he didn’t catch my flaw a couple of seconds ago.
Nodding, I watched the top of trees fly by us. “Yeah, it was fun. After I got pass the cult’s evil eye, I started to actually enjoy myself.” Huffing, I shook my head. “So many girls came up to me asking to give you their numbers.” I frowned. “They’re in my clutch as.we.speak.”
“Why you keep them? Give me.”
I looked his way, blinking at his annoyed expression. When he widened his eyes, impatiently, I leaned down to reach for my purse.
“Here. You hit a record.” I slurred, dumping the slips in his hand. “15 bodies in one night. Go figure.”
The alcohol that was resting in my system had unlocked my caged thoughts. My mouth becomes reckless when I drink so when his eyebrows rose at my bitterness, I ignored it like he wasn’t even there, and turned back to the moving trees.
“Some offered a good time others promised a night you’ll never forget. You know how it goes.” I waved a hand his way. “I didn’t give any of them your number though. Not sure…if I should say you’re welcome or I’m sorry but whatever.”
I could hear the sound of something fluttering in the wind from behind, making me turn around. Looking down, I watched as Larry plucked a number and proceeded to drop them out his window one-by-one.
Screwing my nose, I turned watching the paper whip away into the darkness towards the derriere of the car. “Hey! I worked hard to stuff those! What are you doing?!”
Larry laughed looking at me before pinching another crumbled paper and curling it in his fist. “Why Laurent let you drink?” Rolling his eyes, he tossed the ball out the window. “Never again.”
I huffed and crossed my arms, turning back to my window. The silence of the car made me realize Larry hadn’t turned on any music since we’d left the place, which was more than a surprise because he never drove without his tunes. My stupid, romanticizing monster of a brain tried to convince me that my voice was enough for him but I flushed the thought, letting it result to a sour taste in my mouth.
Or maybe that’s bile.
“Al.” I heard his voice but didn’t respond or acknowledge him until his free hand lay atop my thigh.
I didn’t flinch, only looked at the mesmerizing sight and then turned back to the passing nature.
I nodded to let him know I was listening.
“Why you don’t tell these girls you with me?” Again, my response experienced a delay but it wasn’t because I didn’t know the answer. I knew it wholly and consummately. I could’ve spit it at him before he even finished his interrogative statement. But, I didn’t because I’m a lovesick idiot that still cares about the feelings of a man that’s my condition. “Alexis?”
I stared at the rapid greenery a minute more before turning to Larry’s concerned profile. When he sensed my regard, he quickly pivoted my way, making sure he peered at the road here and there. His eyes were almost scary to meet being that they looked as if they knew what I was going to say next. Like, as soon as I parted my lips, he would cut me off and say the exact, same words in the exact same way with the exact, same tone in the exact, same manner.
I removed his hand from my thigh so I didn’t have to feel him take it away from me the second after I gave him my reason.
Turning his hand palm up, I began to slowly drag the tip of my middle finger over his lifelines.
He kept his eyes on my face.
“Because I’m not.” I voiced, looking up to his defeated expression. The transition between worrisome and defeatist was a quick and costly one. Costly because I immediately felt the guilt pooling in the middle of my chest when I placed his hand down and he weakly slid the limb across the separation between us that seemed a bit broader than before, both physically and mentally.
He didn’t say anything as we cruised down the road. Our minds were too deep in the gutter of regretted rejection and remorseful contrition to configure any sensible responses or commencement of conversation. I suddenly felt like a horrible person for telling the truth and not playing the part of the oblivious.
Fucking alcohol and its effective boost of confidence.
With the tension creating a pool of lava between us, a few blocks felt like an hour-long ride. I kept my hands in my lap–trying my hardest not to tuck them between my thighs–and my eyes forward, while Larry kept both of his palms curled around the wheel–probably keeping him from drumming. I wish he would’ve followed the rules of awkwardness and forced his eyes on the road but no. He didn’t. Why? Because he’s Larry and naturally he has to disobey everything that applies to the nature of apprehensiveness being that he’s not in the slightest apprehensive about anything.
Not a thing.
Leaving me with all the weird, eerie feelings of discomfort.
“You need my back?”
I hadn’t even noticed we’d pulled into a parking space until his voice spiked its way through my conscience. He’d already unbuckled his seatbelt and was waiting for my next move. The problem was, I didn’t have one.
“Uh,” I stalled, looking from him to my steps. “Y-yeah.” I stammered. “Yes, please. If you don’t mind.”
He nodded, and before long I’d found my comfort spot again–my arms wrapped around his long neck while my legs occupied both his hands. He’d asked for my keys so I didn’t have to give up the bewitching smell that wafted pass my nose every time a breeze whiffed by. Acqua Di Gio by Armani never smelled better.
“Larry, I left my heels in the car.” I sighed. His head bobbed instantly giving me a mixture of his musk, his hair, and Armani all intertwined in one burst of heaven. My nostrils naturally flared as I watched him dangle my keys. When he plucked the right key from the chain on the first try, I smiled.
“Don’t worry.” He yawned, pushing his way into my home. Tossing my keys on the small counter table by my door, he urged me to pull the knob behind my back. I obeyed. “We get them in the morning.”
“You’re gonna come back and drop them off?” I asked, hopping off of him and immediately going to my hair to discard of the devil’s bobby pins seeping into my cranium. My eyes fluttered with each pull of a wretched hair accessory, stopping the imaginary screams coming from my scalp.
Larry looked back at me and smiled as he crossed the room towards my living room couch. He pulled a finger over the leather before flopping on it and starting to take off his shoes. “No, I spend the night tonight.”
When he looked down, my eyebrows furrowed into a swirl of concern and varied excitement. When his eyes connected back to mine, my features relaxed instantly.
“Oh.” I piped slowly placing the metal appliances curled in my clammy hand onto the same counter he’d put the keys. I felt my fingers struggle to lay them flat. That explained the sound of tiny patters on the ground and the miniature pricks to my bare feet seconds later. I didn’t dare look down. “O-okay.”
“You don’t want me to stay?”
“No!” My voice boomed but this time I didn’t care. With the help of alcohol, you can overcome anything. “No, no. It’s just that…”
His brows rose waiting for my reason.
My mouth gaped but nothing came out except a dismissive, “Nothing.” Smiling weakly, I reached in my hair for the last pin, sighing my relief. “It’s nothing. Get comfortable. I’ll be right back.”
My feet began to move towards the stairs that lead to my room located in the back of the house. I could feel Larry’s lasers still burning the space directly between my eyes as I passed him. My senses warned me a little too late–giving my reflexes a slight delay–so when my leg scuffed the arm of the chair, I wobbled and he caught me, his hand on the small of my back as the other gripped my wrist.
“Sorry.” I hiccupped.
Larry chuckled as he rose from his spot and placed both his hands on my natural arch. Giving me a slight push, he encouraged me towards the staircase.
“You too clumsy to be drinking, Al.”
“I didn’t drink that much-”
“You drink enough. Now, come on. I help you get undressed.”
“You’re a boy. Boys don’t help girls get undressed.”
“I a man, baby.”
I turned on the staircase in attempt to walk them backwards but Larry beat me to the punch–the punch being my next mishap–his arms curling around my thighs to lift me.
“Men don’t help girls get undressed either. That’s so patriarchal. It sounds like something you hear on that show, Taboo, when they’re researching indigenous cultures where their households are really female-oriented but then again really misogynistic.”
“Alex, you talk too much-”
“And, the host has this really deep voice that sounds like he hit puberty a bit too early and he’s all: In their time of rest, the alpha-male decides the conditions of the head female’s slumber solely based on his appeal. From arrangements of where she sleeps to what she sleeps in. If a female denies him in his time of sexual need, she will be punished in front of young females of the ages 13 and 14, to be taught a lesson of obedience to their head male. The women usually do most of the maintenance in their structures too, which isn’t a surprise because women are very strategic and independent. Did you know that female chimpanzees are usually the ones that go off on their own and fend for their selves while the males stay in communal groups for protection and companionship? And, there’s still a thing called an alpha male in their social structure?! It’s crazy, Larry!”
Larry shook his head as he softly sat me on the end of my bed and patted my cheeks to gain my attention. “Take off your hosiery, please.” He whispered. “Okay?”
I nodded and fluffed my dress so I could attempt to grab the bottom. When I deemed unsuccessful, I settled for watching him cross the room to my dresser. It was much more appealing to watch his hips maneuver themselves. His hips ticked and swayed gradually, making me think of two tiny screws being corked into his joints to create the unique motion. I wanted to place my hands around the pelvic bone to experience what his limbs got to work with everyday. Just thinking about how lucky the Ilium was made me envious, the taste burning on my tongue as he squatted to dig through my bottom draw.
“I like your pants, Lar.” I smiled already expecting the expected. When he turned around to take heed to my regard, I pointed to his behind. “They fit very nice.”
His brow rose before he let out a half of a chuckle that crossed into a nervous breath. I glared at his rotund ass as he slowly rose to his feet and pivoted my way. When the view was stolen from me, I wailed out, offering him my unnecessary sorrows.
“Thank you, baby. Now please, take off your stocking.” He gently said, walking over to me. “We eat nothing the whole night.” He sniffed and rubbed his nose as I pulled down the glittery plated stockings. How Lisa found the same color stockings as my dress, I have no idea. Her bargaining and fashion find skills have always been top-notch amazing so I’m not surprised. Her gift has always been through fabrics. Oh and, mouthing off.
“You want pizza?” Larry asked picking up the hosiery I’d thrown astray.
I nodded, biting my lip. “With extra cheese and pineapples and ham.”
His face screwed. “That shit so nasty, Alex. I don’t know why you eat that.” I huffed a fake titter as he rounded my figure and eased a knee on the bed behind me. “Stand, s'il tu plaît.”
“It’s delicious, that’s why.” I argued, hearing my zipper descend down my back. His finger quickly trialed down my spine sending shivers in and out of my nerves. My body convulsed but I didn’t care since I was already half expecting his touch to follow the warm atmosphere of the room. “It’s like sweet, meaty, and cheesy at the same time. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
“You sweat so much.” He whispered, pushing my dress over my breasts and then leaving me to the rest.
“Lisa warned me that the gown had extra fabric but it’s alright. I sweat a lot anyway.” I frowned at the truth but Larry’s attentive eyes brought back the burst of gaiety I’d been feeling since we stepped in my home. Standing up, I wiggled my way out of the dress, letting it surround my feet in a pool of cream.
Larry was already on the phone ordering the food.
A shower and a bottle of water later, I was sitting on the couch watching a shirtless Larry pop in one of our favorite movies, The Wood. The movie was one of the reasons we began chilling with each other. I had a thing for Omar Epps while he just liked every movie that resembled Boyz In the Hood so we latched onto one another–while I toured with them during workshops–like we’d done the film so many years ago.
So, basically I had Rick Famuyiwa to thank for Larry’s presence in my life.
“How did you find a potential pizza place that delivers at 3 in the morning?” I mumbled through the beef jerky hanging from the side of my mouth.
He shrugged and rose from his spot on the ground. I internally smiled at the Paramount Mountain appearing on my flat screen and then let the real thing spread across my cheeks when his figure blocked the way.
“Pizza Hut never close.” He grinned, proudly, before kicking my thigh with the bottom of his foot. “Spread them for me.” When my smile faded, he rolled his eyes. “To be so shy, your mind always in the gutter.”
I slowly lowered my legs so that he could situate himself between the bare fleshes. I turned my attention to a frantic Omar Epps so I wouldn’t have to watch him slide his torso between my legs and lay his head on my covered stomach. My smile was automatic when he breathed out in solace and his shoulders relaxed so that his chest lay against my pelvis. To make sure of my comfort, he grabbed my calves to curl my legs around his torso but I refused with a light nudge to his side.
“I’m fine.” I reassured, chucking my jerky on the counter and placing my hands behind my head. “And, just because someone’s timid doesn’t mean they don’t think about sex. That’s like saying a dog hates a bone.”
Of course, that took his attention.
I felt something mildly sharp hit my stomach. When I exhaled, it moved with the respiratory gesture, making me look down. He’d laid his chin directly on top of my belly button so that his eyes peered at me with faint intention.
I swiped my tongue with my lips and looked back to the movie. “You’re missing the movie.”
“I like this conversation.” He shrugged. “Forget movie.”
I sighed as he mushed my chin his way in hopes of gaining my eyes again. I rolled them closed not entertaining his speech.
“But, it’s The Wood. We haven’t watched it in a long time.” My voice was monotone and a bore giving him my thoughts on the current topic.
“You think about sex a lot?”
I huffed out a chortle. “Who doesn’t?”
“People.” He stated.
“No human being doesn’t think about sex at least once a day or so. It’s our natural animalistic urge to want it.”
“Yeah.” I uttered, finally looking at him.
“So, you think about it a lot.” He said again, pulling my shirt up so he could lie on my bare skin.
“But I not talking about everyone. I talking about you.” He said it so matter-of-factly making me purse my lips.
Our stare held for a minute or so, him studying me, me glaring at him. When he raised a single brow–his arrogance clocking me in the temple–I spoke, “I think about it just as much as you do.”
His simper taunted my agitation. “So, you think for it all the time?”
I shrugged and redirected my attention to the ceiling. “If that’s when you think about it.” I remarked. “I guess I think about it all the time then.”
“Who you think about it with?”
I shook my head. “Whoever you think about it with.”
“What?” I looked at him.
“Alex.” He said again. His gaze was relaxed and straight. The only sense of emotion I channeled was the same pompous smirk I’d just been wanting to smack off a second ago.
“Why are you saying my name?” I rolled my eyes annoyed with his perturbing attitude he’s suddenly latched onto.
“Why aren’t you saying mine?”
“Larry, you’re being irritating.”
“Say it again.”
“No.” I shied away from his gaze feeling my anxious buds start to set a scandal to themselves. His light giggle told me he was picking at me just because he knew he could. He knew I would react in such a way because…I always did. This used to be constant with Larry and I. Him teasing. Me shying. I see he found it fit to start right back to where he left off.
“Why?” His bunny teeth peeked under his lip as he bit his bottom.
“Because it’s weird. Now leave me alone. I’m trying to watch the movie.”
His fingers poked my sides making me jerk in his embrace. I yelped as he pushed down on my ribs and then bubbled his lips against my stomach making me accidentally knee his chest. He pouted a huff before coughing out the aftermath, earning a light giggle from my chords.
“I told you to stop.” I warned, watching him grimace.
‘Why when I flirt with you, you block me out so hard?”
I ignored the question firsthand before reevaluating the wording and trialing my eyes back to his still twisted features. “Huh?”
He shrugged and shook his head. His finger dipped into my belly button and then popped from the inny making my stomach tighten slightly. He smiled when he noticed and then continued to do it again. “I flirt and you shoo me off and say it make you feel weird.” My mouth gaped, as he got bored of my tiny button and moved up to my skin. He traced a giant L across my sensitive surface and then drew something else over it. I later noticed it was his signature with the few times he curved and swiveled his index. “But when I don’t do it, you feel something.” His eye connected to mine when he concluded his thoughts.
I sighed and marked the ceiling with the imaginary lasers I imagined propelled from my pupils. I copied the complicated signature he’d moved across my gut multiple times.
“Well…” I began. “I don’t really know. I guess I don’t notice.” I peeped.
“You don’t notice you do it?”
I chortled. “I don’t notice you actually flirt with me, Larry. This is new to me.” The end of my speech made me frown. “You sometimes give mixed signals too, you know?”
Sometimes you don’t know that bravery exists in you until you voice your thoughts without even noticing you voiced them. Just like I’d done then. I would never admit such a thing to Larry so easily…with full regard.
He laid his cheek against my stomach and I immediately felt the cold of his earring on my abdomen. I relished in the momentary nippiness noting that he probably could hear the speed of my heartbeat double 10 times over.
“I guess…I’m just not as aware as other girls.” I awkwardly shrugged, not wanting to meet his eyes. I knew he was looking at me. He was Larry. Eye contact was inevitable with him. “I close up and panic.”
“Men like that.”
I almost choked to death as my laughs came out in horrendous coughs instead of cute, little girly chuckles.
“Stop Lar.” “Is true.”
“Stop, Lar.” I looked down at him happy that his eyes were on the TV screen. “It’s alright. I don’t need your pity.”
“Men look for challenge.” He whispered. His tongue poked my stomach through his cheek before he ran the side of his face up and down the same spot. “You give that.”
“I’m sure.” I sighed. “I’m sure it’s true but men look for a certain type of challenge, I think.”
“All the things you do,” He whispered. “Men look for. They just too stupid to know.”
I chuckled. “That’s…pretty ironic coming from you…”
He shrugged. “It take me long time to notice you so it fit.” I twisted my lips feeling him tense against me immediately after. “Don’t think bad. You know what I mean.”
I huffed, turning my head towards a drunk Taye Diggs. “I guess.”
“Lisa tell me a long time ago that you have a like for me and I don’t believe her.”
To have a bitch for a best friend.
“She tell me you talk for me a lot when I not around and how you tell her we never be nothing more than friend because girls like you never get the guy. I laugh at her because that shit sound like she get it from chick flick or something. She talk too much for me so I don’t listen to her.” He huffed. “Then, I start to watch you more and see how you act around me. I start to mess with you to see where you heart at. I never know what to think because you never give shit away. You just hide from me and it annoy me so I leave it alone. But, that don’t mean I stop watch you. I notice how you act when I touch you and when you smile for me no matter what mood you in. I see you when you most happy and it make me want to see you like that all the time. I start to get lost in what you say and notice every time you change your glasses. I see how your eyes twitch every time you uncomfortable and how you bite your lip every time you see something you like or want. When you think you rub your hand together and when you nervous or confuse you sigh and put your teeth together tight. I start to see how you move so graceful and your ambition. I see you in different light all because of annoying ass Lisa.” I softly smiled as he chuckled against my gut.
“Things get bad when I start to compare you to every girl I date and sleep with. They never like you so I drop them. They always so extra and needy. I feel guilty when I have them in my bed and not you and that make me call because I miss your voice. You always make me feel better with your talk and how you so positive. I feel like you the only reason I smile sometime and I think that scare me for a long time. It scare me because I get so mad at myself for being dependent on someone I don’t know if she like me or not. My heart don’t care for how I feel though. When I see you all the shit I tell myself I not gonna do for and around you, I do it anyway. It fuck me up because it just make me fall deeper and then when I leave you I remember I alone again and you still not with me. ”
We remained quiet for a while just relishing in his words until he found it fit to speak again.
“I always tell myself I gonna kiss you the next time I see you just to see how it feel but I never do. I tell myself this for maybe two year now but I get scared and go back to Paris and look so stupid. Laurent always tease me for it. I tell him it not easy but he a bitch and don’t know what it like to feel what I feel for you so he fuck with me all the time. He just like Lisa. They start shit and put stuff in your head and leave you to think for what if, you know. ” I felt something sink into the flesh of my stomach again and him nudge my chin with a single knuckle. His gesticulations told me he was asking for my eyes.
I gave them without complaint.
“I give mix signal because I don’t want to fall in you too much and you don’t want that. I don’t ask because I in denial myself for what I feel for you. I in denial and I blow everything when I see you because I nervous that you brush me off. That it.”
I lowered my eyes as he sighed the heaviest breath I’d seen in my life. It was the relief of burden and the gesture made me smile a thousand red-cheeked leers in existence. My whole body relaxed under his as he moved his hands up and down my ribs. I instantly caught movement of the anxious drumming and covered my face to hide the coming blush.
“Don’t do that, Alexis.” His hands gripped my wrists and pulled my hands from my crimson countenance. I couldn’t function properly. He’d just laid out a whole mind-crafted confession that would’ve sent me overboard to vocalize even a sentence from. Larry had to find a way around his original straightforward method of getting his answer. He’d told me a drawn out layout of what was itching his heart all this time to one too direct question. “Say something.”
“I don’t know what to say.” I answered, honestly. “That was a shitload, Larry.”
He nibbled on his lip. “Is how I feel.” His voice was light but still was grounded and had regained its bass. I noticed his hand rubbing the barren spot on his neck and I internally frowned at the fact that he was reaching for his temporary hideaway. “Alex, you not helping.”
I grinned and pushed a hand into his hair before hesitantly moving it down his cheek. He watched me intently, his lip still tucked between his two front teeth–top and bottom. My palm engulfed his shoulder and before I could stop myself I was pulling his bicep since the spark on my skin was asking for him to touch me. To come closer.
My words were jumbled and would make no sense if I voiced them.
I sighed inwardly as he caught onto my need for his closeness and began to lift himself so his body could envelope mine. I tensed when his hands clutched my ribs in a tight grip. Relaxation came immediately after when his chest touched mine and his hands moved down to encourage my legs to open. I obeyed, closing my eyes as his face neared so that he could lift my hips and nestle his bottom half into my mound’s warmth range.
I exhaled but listened willingly popping my eyes open to his almond storytellers.
He was so close. The position was almost too intimate as I felt his elbows rest beside my breast and eyed his hands as they danced over my collarbone. Larry blinked at me, his lips thinned.
I held my breath for a second longer before finally blowing my heated waft onto his waiting lips. The exhalation was choppy but at least it was a true story of my feelings.
I was nervous, yes.
But I also wanted this. More than anything in the world at the moment.
“Speak.” He whispered, wavering his glare over my lips and then slowly moving his eyes back to mine. “Tell me what you thinking.”
“I-I’m not.” I chirped.
He pressed his lips together and moved his forehead until it touched mine gently.
“Then, tell me what you feel.”
I swallowed back the frog raising pure hell in the back of my throat, the gulp seeming to echo. Omar’s smooth voice took my attention giving me the hint that my senses were elevating by the second. Only Larry could make every single part of me feel like the epitome of raw. Sensitive.
“I feel you.” I admitted.
“I feel…” I blinked as he inched closer to my lips but then rethought the action and stopped short. “I feel you physically. Your heartbeat. It’s loud. Like it’s…pounding against my own and they’re both echoing past just the sound of our pulse.”
“Tell me more.”
“I feel your breathing. I feel your hands. And…your excitement.” His nose brushed my lips as he nodded. “I feel…everything you’ve said radiating from your pores and I feel like I need to conclude that somehow.”
My eyes flicked down to his lips the time the bottom was bitten into. The skin reddened and I looked back up to his wandering glare. “I feel you physically and mentally…emotionally.” I breathed as his hand cupped my cheek. “And, I need more.”
“More?” He whispered, moving his eyes up to mine in urgency. The glint in them resembled the dimension I’d only seen when he danced. Passion. A passionate mien that flashed with something close to determination but never withheld that look of frenzy that clouded the control of his features. I could only imagine my mirrored expression as he pushed himself away from me so my body would fully slide itself on the couch cushions under us. The missionary position was one that I’d been in before but never had a felt the surge of euphoric concupiscence adrenalizing itself through my veins. Through my pores. My senses. Everything had hit a hundred as Larry’s tight grip pressured my thighs and his lips brushed against my own.
“More?” He whistled again. The growl that brushed his vocals scared me but also set fire to the flame as he lingered over my features. “Tell me.”
“Yes.” I exhaled, breathlessly.
Time swirled into nothing but a handful of single and double digits as his lips slowly pressed onto mine with a sultry finish. The peck creased my tongue from the immense compaction he offered but also blessed my lips with the softest favor. I bit my lip as he barely let me breath, his lips still grazing mine. His carbon dioxide was my oxygen and vice versa. His hands were my hips and vice versa. His thoughts were mine and vice versa.
“Look at me.”
His command didn’t go without notice but my initial attention did. I opened my eyes to bewitched lips that carried a scar. I ended on eyes that pleaded for something that I couldn’t decipher until his mouth moved again.
“You feel that?”
My eyebrows furrowed as he grabbed my hand and placed it between our nearly conjoined chests. My heart pounded against one side while his beat against the other. When I looked up to him, he licked his lips and moved our palms to the convergence of our stomachs. The contrast between textures totally threw me off as his bumped against the back of my hand and mine lay flat over my lifelines. The comparison spoke immense volumes as the haggard breathing coming from both ends became overwhelming after while.
“This is me for you.” He whispered, staring at my neck before leaning down and kissing the spot gently. “This is me.”
I cupped his cheeks and slowly pulled him down to my waiting want. He obliged with pure patience on his end, starting with soft and sly pecks that fused into smooth licks of my bottom towards the benediction of each. The process continued forever it seemed, the slow drags of his flesh on mine feeling like the residue of macaroon crumbs. The sweet liquid of honeydew when its first drizzled onto the tip of the tongue and the incessant lasting of molasses, its origin sugar beets instead of sugarcane. I could make a whole menu of tastes when it came to Larry’s lips. Larry’s sly tongue. His patience. It resembled the warmth of fresh bakery bread and the slow, vulgar finesse of real leather on dampened skin. The feel made me whimper in longing when he slowly pulled my hands from his thermal cheeks and guided my neck to a crane. His palms pressed dents into my ample cheeks as I wrapped my arms around his long neck until he was molded to my skin. My need for closeness resulted in his tongue twisting against my upper lip. The jump in my bones made me gasp and just like I’d commenced with the upper hand he snatched it from my possession in slow strokes against my fleshy opening.
His method made me shudder–my body seeming to experience a million convulsions in one second. He was using the same back and forth motion he provided my hand in the car. Slow, slick, and savoring. Sinful, sultry, and seductive. He’d jumped from one boat to the other as his tongue danced over one side of my mouth and then took an expedition to the other. My moans intertwined with Sean Nelson’s nervous wails in the background and soon I was being lifted from my spot, Larry fingers seeping into my lower back like melted rocks to skin.
I leaned into his pull giving me a brief moment to hover over his beautiful face. My main interest was his swollen lips that were perked and pouted at the moment with the shredding of my long-term desire. I kissed them slowly, opening my legs so that I was straddling his upright upper half. The imagery of his coming smile was left as a last memory as my eyes closed and my lust took over for a second round.
“I love your tongue.” He whispered the compliment as he kissed the tip before pecking my lips again. I grinned my gratitude and dipped my head so that my hair fell over my face and he was left with the sight of my tumid mouth.
The moment was pierced by gentle ringing of his phone on the countertop. My attention jerked towards it as his hands fished its way up my shirt and then descended.
“Leave it.” He breathed, trying to gain my notice again.
“I dare you to touch it.”
Twenty minutes later we were both sitting on the couch stuffing our faces with semi-cold pizza. I smiled as the credits began to roll down the flat screen television before uncrossing my legs and leaning over for another slice.
“I hope you gave him a good tip.” I said, shaking my head.
Larry’s hand fished its way across my leg and snatched the slice I’d just owned.
Taking a bite, he reassured, “5 dollars is enough.”
I huffed and reached for another pepperoni. “He waited a good 15 minutes out there.”
Larry grinned, “Is for a good cause.”
I rolled my eyes at his arrogance.
“I handle my business.” He finished.
I snorted. “Don’t get weird.” I breathed, reaching for the remote and hitting main menu. The screen blacked and then reverted back to the starting setting. “We’re not even an item yet.”
I saw his figure pause from the corner of my eye as I bit into a garlic knot and threw it back into the pizza box. Larry’s breath of realization echoed in the back of the beginning frame for Paramount Mountain films–for the second time.
Scooting closer to me, he took another bite of his pizza. “Be mine.” He said, casually.
I twisted away a hidden grin before shrugging, “Okay.”