First Kiss Story #2: The Art of the Kiss
“Crane?” Abbie called out, unable to find her fellow Witness in between the shelves at his favorite bookstore. He was usually easier to find than this, sticking mainly to one section but today, he must have gone exploring. She called out for a him a few more times before she turned the corner to find him in the self-help section.
He was completely engrossed in the book he was reading and didn’t even notice when she approached him. She could see the title plain as day when he finally looked over the top of the book and saw her standing there.
The Art of the Kiss.
According to the few lines she could catch on the back cover before he crammed it in place on the shelf, it covered such things as learning how to French kiss all the way to actual art that featured kissing. It seemed pretty inclusive and judging by the flush rising to Crane’s cheeks, pretty embarrassing to get caught reading if you were a grown man with no one to kiss presently.
“This is not what it seems,” he stammered, moving so he was standing in front of the section of books he had been focused so intently on that he didn’t even hear her call his name.
“What is it then?” Abbie asked, reaching around him for a copy of the book. She grabbed it and starting flipping through it. It was all rather lovely, actually. There were men kissing women. Women kissing women. Men kissing men. And art… from everyone’s favorite dorm room poster, The Kiss by Klimt to Pygmalion kissing Galatea in a work by Jean-Léon Gérôme.
“I was just curious,” Crane said, his hands now behind him as he stood there, not looking at the book as she flipped through the pages.
“Truth be told, it has been a while since I kissed someone… besides my wife…” Crane started to say, sort of mumbling through his sentence.
“Yeah, I remember. I saw a few of those kisses,” Abbie said, trying not cringe too hard at the memory.
“She and I weren’t getting along all that well then, as you remember… anyway, it’s been a while and I didn’t know if things were different now… if the occasion should present itself where I would be… kissing someone… again… if things… I don’t know,” he said, still not looking at her or the book.
“A kiss is just a kiss,” Abbie said, laughing just a little at all of this. “The fundamental things apply, Crane.”
“Don’t mock me,” he said, looking at her seriously. “This concerns… you.”
“What now? How?” Abbie asked.
He took the book out of her hands and set it aside before putting a hand on each of her shoulders and pulling her just a little bit closer. She wanted to tip her face up to look at him but before she could, he kissed the top of her head. Just a soft, gentle kiss. When he backed away slightly, she looked up at him, gazing into his eyes. His breathing was no longer as steady as it had been and as they looked at each other, they both breathed in and out, opposite of the other. Her heart started racing and she wasn’t sure how this turned into this so quickly but here they were, in a little bookstore, about to share their first kiss. At least she hoped he had the nerve to do it.
She stood up on her tiptoes and he stood with his legs just so that he could kiss her forehead now. He put his forehead against hers and they just stared into each other’s eyes, still breathing. She wasn’t sure how she was still breathing but she was.
He kissed her.
He kissed her and it was everything she had hoped for.
Just long enough so she could commit to memory the taste of him. Short enough to make her want more.
And she got more. She pulled his face down and showed him how she liked to be kissed. Yes, books were one thing but nothing beat practice. Her fingers twisted in his long hair, holding him close as her tongue parted his lips.
They were in a public place but yet somehow she had let this get far enough that he parted her thighs with a knee and she was rubbing against him as they kissed. His hands held her tight around her waist and the world was spinning… like she was some girl getting her first kiss all over again.
She was, sort of. The first first kiss that was going to matter for the rest of her life. The last first kiss she ever planned to have.
“Abbie,” he said, pulling away from her, and licking his rosy lips. His face was completely flushed now and she didn’t want to stop but knew that they couldn’t continue this here.
“Yes?” she asked, trying to catch her breath.
“I don’t think we’re going to need to buy that book,” he said and she laughed.
“No… I don’t think so. But what else do they have in here…” she asked, turning around in his arms and looking at the books on the shelves. Hard to believe that some of these were in print now, what with the internet acting as everyone’s guide these days.
“I don’t think we’re going to need any of these books, Abbie,” he said, pushing her hair aside, leaning in, and kissing her neck. She tilted her head to the side and he continued to place tender kisses across her jaw line and every inch of uncovered skin he could reach, taking a moment to suck on her earlobe. She shivered from the sensation and couldn’t wait for his mouth to explore all of her.
“Yeah. I’m pretty sure we can manage,” Abbie said, turning around and kissing him once more before staring into his eyes again. “We can manage just fine.”