You see it coming because somehow you get the feeling he’s been planning this moment for weeks now. It’s just like him to plot behind those soft gazes that land on your lips and the sharp inhales of his breaths when your tongue darts out to moisten the dryness of the July heat on your mouth. Tonight, sitting at the back of his parked jeep and listening to the sounds of summer on the wharf, the air is thick with humidity and thrumming with expectation. He leans in or maybe you lean forward— it doesn’t matter. What matters is the shadows chasing the rose-gold light that falls upon his face as the sun blinks off into the horizon. And yet somehow, he still manages to catch you off guard.
When it happens, he pulls back in a panic like he had meant to do something else but somehow his lips found yours instead. You tell him it’s okay, but the words— apologies, excuses, something about the bubbly— are coming out of his mouth too fast for coherence or sense or anything but the inflamed dribble of sounds pouring unfiltered and unpracticed. So you wait it out until silence falls over you both like a cold blanket. But when it doesn’t, your hand slides up his chest to take a fistful of his shirt, but even that only slightly derails him from his seemingly endless ramblings. At least, that is, until you catch his lips and shut him up. For now, anyway.
young k brian
The first time renders you helpless and weak in the knees, bass in top volume pulsing hard and deep into your bones. Falling apart in his embrace, you’re barely held up by his strong arms around your waist. One by one your senses roar back to life. First, his lips warm and soft. Next, the smell of his cologne and the feel of his sweater under your palms. Then everything all at once: the drops of rain trailing a path down your hair, your cheeks, and into your kiss, the crisp chill of the night air creeping underneath your clothes, and the carefree laugh that escapes your mouth as you say wow. Guitarist fingers threading into your hair, he pulls you in again. Once is never enough.
It’s challenging focusing on a piano lesson when your instructor is pouting at you with full bubblegum lips. Staccato, he says, like songbirds hopping on the hot concrete. His fingers jump ever-so-lightly across the keys, hop-hopping from one note to another filling the practice room in a sweet clack-clacking sound that reminds you of the beach and bubbles. Thoughts elsewhere, you rest your chin on his shoulder just as he declares you hopeless, playfully flicking the tip of your nose. Another pout and you’re hopping forward like that poor bird on hot concrete. Ever-so-lightly your lips touch his, one-two-three-four, each kiss its own. Each kiss separated by the spaces in between. Staccato, you think. You learned your lesson well. Again. Again. Again. And again.
You kiss him first because it’s taking him forever and patience is not one of your finer virtues. You all but tackle him when he sits next to you on the sand, uncaring of the cans of soda threatening to spill on his hands and his clothes. For a split-second his eyes grow wide until understanding dawns upon him and you see the expression on his face shift from shock, to awe, to acceptance, and defeat when your lips finally descend upon his. For another moment you’re both frozen under the fireworks unfurling in the technicolor sky until a soft laugh escapes his throat and the pieces fall into place. Then you let him kiss you first, just so you’re even.