We do exactly as he says. Nick knocks to tell us the pizza is being delivered. Nathan helps me off the bed. The pizza, sodas, milk, and water is all set up in the media room.
Grace Jackson comes in on a cloud of perfume and gives me a warm kiss on the forehead. Her eyes are glowing with affection as she looks at the three of us sitting on the floor, ready for the movie to start. We’re watching The Outsiders, a movie that was old even when Aunt Grace and mom went to college. Uncle Noah gestures for Nate to step into the hallway.
“You’ll need these.” She hands me a box of tissues.
“Thanks mom,” Nick mocks, ripping the box away from my hands. He pulls out a tissue and dabs away pretend tears from his hazel eyes, a replica of his mother’s. I punch him at the same time that Grace ruffles his hair. He ducks both of us but tips over causing us all to laugh.
“Love you both.”
“Love you too,” we chorus in unison. He’s still lying on his back so it looks like he’s saying it to the ceiling.
His mom rolls her eyes and leans down to pat me on the cheek. “Follow your heart,” she says and turns to walk out the door.
“As long as it leads into Nate’s pants.” Nick waggles his eyebrows but unfortunately for him Nate has returned from the hallway and he delivers a punch to Nick’s arm that sends him tipping backward again. This time when Nick is rolling on the floor it’s because of pain and not laughter.
“Ratdick.” Nate calls him.
“Assface.” Nick returns.
Before Nate can return yet another insult, I shove a piece of pizza in his face. Unrepentantly, he simply takes a giant bite of the pizza and winks at me over the slice in my hand.
“This movie is supposed to be about brotherly love.” I shove another slice toward Nick and the insults die down as the movie starts.
“This looks like it should be in black and white.” Nick comments.
“With no sound,” Nate adds.
All is well in the world again. I settle back against Nate’s hard chest as we watch the three Curtis brothers fight, fall in love, and die. By the end of the movie I’m making good use of the tissues and even the Jackson boys are looking suspiciously tense.
“I’m calling you Ponyboy from now on,” Nate finally says after clearing his throat a couple of times.
“Better than Sodapop,” Nick retorts.
“No, I’m Darry,” Nate says. “I’m the oldest.”
“You’d both be Socs,” I interject, throwing my tissues into one pizza box that the boys emptied by the middle of the movie. “Not Greasers.”
“We’d never be Socs, Charlotte,” Nick explains. “No one wants to be Socs, even the Socs.”
With a pointed look around the room, I pick up the box and head for the kitchen. The media room has theater seats and a projection screen that is the size of an entire wall. Ponyboy would just about die if he saw this place.
“Do you think we have too much?” I ask Nate who has followed me out with the empty bottles and remaining pizza.
“All the time,” he answers. Taking the box from me, he throws it into the incinerator and places the rest of the food into the refrigerator. His words sound so fervent as if our privilege is something he need to apologize for.
“I can’t see you being mean to someone who wasn’t as fortunate as you,” I say.
“No but I want to see if I can make it without the Jackson name or the Jackson money,” he replies evenly but his eyes are intent upon but I can’t read the deeper meaning that’s there.
“I believe in you.” I lean into him and his arms curl around me. He buries his face into my hair and we stand there, holding one another while the appliances hum quietly in the background.
“I won’t let you down,” he whispers but while his volume is low his words are firm and commanding.
“I know. I trust you.”
He trembles almost imperceptibly in my arms and I squeeze tight as if I can deliver all that emotion right into his veins and into his heart. Without another word, he lifts me in his arms like I’m featherlight and carries me out of the kitchen, down the corridor and into his bedroom.
“Goodnight Nick,” he yells out.
“Glove up. I’m too young to be an Uncle,” Nick yells back.
I bury my face into Nate’s chest embarrassed that Nick will know exactly what we’re doing in Nate’s bedroom.
He sets me gently on the bed and crouches down in front of me. Rubbing the inseam of my jeans along my calf, he assures me, “Nothing happens tonight that you don’t want.”
But I’ve wanted for so long, it seems. Even though I know that’s not rational it’s as if Nate and I were born for each other. At least that’s what I dream of. “I want it all,” I declare. This time I have no embarrassment because it is Nate and this is right. He gives me a slow smile tinged with something that I’ll later be able to define as dirty. But right now it looks hot on him.
“All right,” he says and those are the last words he says for a long time. He rises up and places both arms on either side of my body and fixes his warm mouth on mine. We fall back onto the bed in a tangle of limbs.When his tongue slides over the seam of my lips, I part them and am rewarded with a hot, open mouthed kiss.
Everything about Nathan feels different right now. His skin is warmer and firmer under my fingers. I glide over the curve of his shoulders and the down his back where his muscles bunch under my touch. The weight of his legs against mine is even better when I part my thighs. He settles between them as naturally as if we’ve been in this position a hundred times instead of our first time.
And against my most sensitive region he is thick and hard against me. My heart trips a couple of times in excitement and even a little fear. But the fear fades with each passing kiss and each caress. His entire body seems propped up by one strong arm bent at the elbow while the other hand finds the delicate skin at my waist. I shake in response to that small touch.
His mouth breaks away from mine and he murmurs softly against my temple, “We aren’t doing anything that you aren’t ready for.”
“It felt wonderful,” I tell him and seek out his mouth again. When he returns to kissing me, I pull my shirt up higher so that there is more skin for him to touch and this time it is his body that responds with a tremor.
I never want to stop kissing him but as his fingers trace along my ribs and move higher until his palm is resting right below my right breast, I think possibly that I may never breath again. When he broke away a second time it is so he can kiss my neck and then lower. As his head moves down my body, his hand pushes my shirt higher until my breast is exposed to the air, to the dusky light, to his hot gaze. And his mouth. The sensation is so foreign, so delicious, so amazing, my back bows and I clutch at his head. “Nathan,” I say in shock and delight.
Somehow he is able to interpret this and he continues he attentions. He uses his lips, tongue and even his teeth on first one and then the other breast. Inside my head and my body, I’ve lost all control. It’s as if I’m on a ride at the Navy Pier and I’m out of my mind with joy and excitement. When he moves even lower, I suck in my breath. He places soft kisses all along the tops of my jeans. They are wet kisses and I can hear the sounds he’s making as well as feel the wet warm trail he’s leaving across my abdomen.
“Can I take these jeans off, Charlotte?” he asks, his voice gruff and tender.
I squirm on the bed. “Please. Please do.”
His deft hands pop my button and lower my zipper. I’ve my nicest pair of panties on. They aren’t super sexy but they have a nice lace around the top and a small bow at the front. He releases a long, slow sigh—almost a moan and the air from his body dances across my skin, alternatingly warming me and raising gooseflesh.
The jeans come off and he’s between my legs again and he places his mouth directly over the center of my panties. “Oh my god.” I cry out at the sensation. His laugh is low and naughty.
“No god here,” he says smugly, his lips against my inner thigh. “Only me, Nathan.”
“Are you going to…” I ask breathlessly.
“Yes,” he says and he does. At first I am embarrassed but after a few licks, the sensations are good to be embarrassed. This is what he meant when he said he was going to make it so good for me. I can’t believe how amazing his mouth feels between my legs. And from the sounds he’s making, it’s evident to me he is enjoying this too which makes me even more excited.
And as he licks me and gently strokes me with his fingers, I close my eyes and let euphoria take me away. It’s one giant endless loop of pleasure and fierce happiness. When one of those fingers pushes inside of me, my eyes fly open.
“Oh Charlotte,” he moans and the vibration rumbles through every part of my body, “I’m so glad that I’m your first. I know I shouldn’t care, but I do.” He climbs on top of the bed again so that he’s half draped over me, his heavy leg lying over one of mine and his head tucked close to my shoulder. All the while, he’s slowly gliding his finger in and out of me, until that feeling of tense ecstasy begins to build again. He doesn’t stop stroking me not even after I’m crying out his name again and shaking like a leaf from the sensations that he’s eliciting with just his finger and his mouth.
“I’m glad it’s you,” I say after my shuddering has stopped. He slides his finger out of me and disrobes quickly. My eyes widen at the sight of his erection. It’s at least four fingers in diameter and far, far longer than even his middle finger. I gulp and turn away so as not become frightened. He sits me up and removes my shirt so I’m nude except for the panties he had pulled back up.
He kisses me again, soft at first and then demanding—his hard length lying rigidly against the side of my hip. He dips his hand inside my panties again and the fear that I had after seeing his penis is quickly forgotten under the onslaught of desire he stokes. This time he pushes two fingers inside and soon I’m arching toward every touch.
“Promise me it will always be me,” he says fiercely.
“I promise.” How could I not promise? I’ll never want another person to touch me in this way. Never. But a fierce surge of possessiveness washes over me. “And you’ll never have another besides me?” I demand.
“Never,” he vows. “It will always be Nathan and Charlotte.”
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