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Shit. I didn’t know where this conversation was going anymore, except that I was starting to feel my jeans tighten at the thought of her wanting to be touched. God help me, I’d never wanted to touch any girl like I wanted to touch her.
My phone rang. It was Davey. “Davey? What’s going on?”
“Have you not realized that this death trap hasn’t moved?”
I looked up and saw him waving from the dangling seat. Then, he broke out some kind of hip-hop dance move while Aidan had his head down, hand over his face, looking frustrated. They were stuck at the top. Skylar and I had been so busy talking that we didn’t notice.
“They’re stuck?” she asked.
I walked over to the conductor who reeked of cigarette smoke. “What’s happening?”
He didn’t even look up from his newspaper when he said, “Equipment malfunction. We waitin’ on support.”
“Shit. Davey, are you still there?”
“I guess they’re waiting on help. Hang in there, buddy.”
I couldn’t help but laugh.
Skylar adjusted her grip on the giant stuffed animal. “I suppose you think this is hilarious.”
I shook my head with a grin. “No…no.”
Her mouth widened into a smile. “Because it is.”
We both burst out laughing.
I wiped my eyes and looked up. “Any minute Davey’s gonna bust out his Star Wars trivia.”
“And if Aidan gets hungry, I’m sure Davey wouldn’t mind searching his dreads for some leftover crumbs,” Skylar joked.
We waited for about ten minutes until I walked over for another update from the ride operator. “How much longer?”
“They’re telling me about thirty minutes now.”
I called Davey to let him know.
Poor Davey. But this night could not have ended up better for me. I turned to Skylar. “You hungry?”
She smiled. “I could eat.”
I grabbed the hippo from her. We ended up getting a couple of slices of pizza and taking them to a picnic area just outside the carnival gates. It was away from the action, but we could still keep an eye on the Ferris wheel in case it started moving.
When we finished eating, we moved to sit on a grassy hill that overlooked the entire fairgrounds. There was no one else in the vicinity.
We sat in silence until she turned to me. “You were thinking about your sister tonight, weren’t you?
Her question floored me because the truth was, I had been thinking about her. But how did she know that? “Why do you ask?”
“I saw you looking at the little girl in line when we were getting our pizza. She looked about five, and I know your sister is around that age.”
Sometimes, Skylar blew me away with how perceptive she could be.
I had only met my half-sister, Summer, a few times. I always felt guilty about not going to see her more, but things were always tense when I visited my father in Pennsylvania. Summer’s mother was one of the main reasons for my parents’ divorce and my mother’s breakdown, and I couldn’t get past it. It wasn’t my sister’s fault, and I felt guilty a lot for not being there more for her.
“How do you always know everything?”
“I don’t know everything. I know you.”
“Yeah, you do, don’t you?” I smiled. “That little girl did remind me of Summer. I was thinking about how I wished I could take her to something fun like this. I worry about her, Skylar.”
“I just have this feeling my Dad is going to f**k up again and rip apart her world someday, the way he did mine.”
“That could happen, but if it does, she has something you didn’t.”
“She has you, a big brother to turn to and someone who’s been through it and can tell her it’ll turn out okay. You’ll be there for her no matter what, even if he isn’t.”
She always knew the right thing to say.
I nodded. “She’ll have me.” I turned to Skylar. “And I had you. You were that person for me all those years ago.”
“I was thinking of taking the train to visit her during school break. Will you come with me if your mother lets you?”
She put her hand on my knee. “Of course.”
Skylar’s touch felt electric. I looked down and almost put my hand over hers but didn’t.
Her hair blew in the breeze, and I wanted to run my hand through it and tell her how much she meant to me.
Instead, I was silent as I looked up at the starry sky. Something beyond my control was building inside of me tonight, and I started to feel inexplicably nervous, as if suddenly this moment were different from the hundreds of other times Skylar and I hung out.
It felt like this was our first date instead of hers with the bozo stuck in the Ferris wheel.
She was looking up when I turned to stare at her pretty side profile. She had the smallest, pinned-up nose with a dusting of freckles. When she caught me, I instinctively looked up at the sky again.
A wind blew her flowery scent toward me and I breathed it in, wishing that I could do so much more than smell her. My heart started racing because I felt my inhibitions giving way to something else, something much stronger. It was something I wasn’t sure I could fight right now.
“Are you going to let him kiss you later?”
She looked surprised by my question. “I don’t know. I hadn’t really thought it through. I guess he’d have to be rescued first, or the chances are greater that he’ll be kissing Davey.” She laughed nervously.
I picked at the grass. “He’s gonna try. You know that, right?”
“Davey told me that Aidan asked you out a lot before, but you always said no. What changed?”
She looked up at the sky again. “I guess I’m growing up.” Then, she turned to me. “And maybe realizing certain other things aren’t gonna pan out.”
My eyes met hers. “Skylar…I—”
“Don’t say anything, Mitch. It’s okay.”
She had no idea how much I wanted to say and wanted to do.
I was pretty sure I knew the answer but asked anyway. “Have you ever kissed anyone?”
She shook her head no but didn’t say anything.
“Are you planning to give him your first kiss?”
The jealousy that nearly made me insane earlier returned in full force.
“You can’t do that.”
My heart pounded in anticipation of what I was about to do. “Because I’m stealing it.”
Mitch placed his warm hands on my cheeks, and my heart skipped a beat when he pulled my face into his. I had imagined this moment so many times but wasn’t prepared for how nervous I’d be.
I kept my lips pursed and whimpered as his mouth descended upon me. My body tensed. My eyes shut when his hot lips pressed into mine.
I couldn’t believe this was actually happening.
He sensed my nerves, stopping the kiss for a moment, his hands still on my face when he whispered over my mouth, “Open for me, Skylar.”
He licked across my lips slowly, and my entire body went limp when his tongue slipped inside my mouth. He tasted like pure sugar and something else that was indescribable. It was his taste and suddenly, I couldn’t get enough of it.
Mitch groaned when my tongue swirled fast around his. His hands moved from my face, and he gripped the back of my hair, fisting it in his hands.
My nerves were a thing of the past suddenly, and all I wanted was for him to kiss me harder, faster, deeper. Now, my hands were in his hair, bringing him closer to me, and he moaned into my mouth. I loved the feel of his silky hair between my fingers. I had always wanted to touch it like this.
His lips opened and closed over mine as he continued to move his tongue around the inside of my mouth. He pulled and sucked on my tongue at one point before slowly letting it go, making my ni**les harden instantly.
This was nothing like how I imagined my first kiss. This was what I imagined sex felt like: all-consuming, addictive, and it made me want more. I would have done anything he asked me to, and it didn’t even scare me because it was Mitch. This just felt right.
Minutes went by, and we never came up for air. My underwear was completely wet, and that had never happened to me before. He kept his hands on my face or in my hair but never touched me anywhere else.
The only time his lips left mine were to kiss slowly down my neck. I wanted him to go lower, and my br**sts tingled in anticipation. But he kissed a line back up to my chin and then returned to my mouth. He growled over my lips. “What are you doing to me? I can’t stop kissing you.”
Desperate for him to continue, I kissed him harder. “Don’t stop.”
“I feel like I can’t, and it’s scaring the shit out of me.”
I repeated, “Don’t stop, Mitch.”
He said in between kisses, “l have to.”
He kissed his way up to my forehead and finally pulled away. His eyes were full of lust, but they also looked pained. I leaned in, desperately needing to taste him again, but he backed away.
Then, his phone rang, and he pulled it out of his pocket. I couldn’t stop staring at his mouth as he spoke.
“Davey?” He paused. “Good…that’s good. Yeah…we just went…” He looked at me. “to get some pizza. We’ll meet you by the Ferris wheel in like five minutes.”
I rubbed my lips. They were sore in the best way. “Are they off of the ride?”
“Yeah. I guess we missed that development.”
I shivered, rubbing my arms. “Apparently.”
“Are you cold? Take my jacket.”
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”
“I don’t care what Aidan thinks,” he snapped before taking it off and putting it around my shoulders. “Just tell him you were cold, and I gave it to you. He doesn’t need to know anything else. You don’t owe him an explanation.”
I nodded. “Okay. Thanks.”
Mitch seemed agitated and looked me up and down. “We should go.”
The walk back to the fairground was awkward to say the least. Neither one of us seemed to know what to say about what had happened, so we chose to say nothing at all.
When we approached, Davey was sipping on a giant drink while Aidan was checking his watch.
“Hey, guys,” I said.
Aidan looked up, walked over and put his arm around me. “Well, that sucked! Where have you been?”
“I ran into my friend, Mitch, and we went to grab a bite until they got you guys down.” I gestured back to Mitch. “You guys know each other from school, right?”
Aidan smirked. “Yeah. Thanks for looking after my date.”
Mitch had daggers in his eyes. “The pleasure was all mine.”
“Ready to go? I’ll drive you home,” Aidan said.
Mitch looked over at me, and my heart broke. I knew he was conflicted about our kiss. I was certain he was just as confused as I was right now. Neither of us expected what happened tonight.
Still, I had come here with Aidan and felt I had no choice but to leave with him. I walked away, leaving Mitch and Davey behind. I couldn’t look at Mitch as I left.
When Aidan dropped me off at my door and tried to kiss me, I turned my face, giving him the cheek. Between that and my disappearing act at the carnival, I was pretty sure he wouldn’t ask me out again.
That night, I lay in bed nestled inside Mitch’s hoodie, smelling him on me and replaying our never-ending kiss. My body was still fully aroused. I touched myself and licked my lips, imagining that it was Mitch touching me until I came.
I couldn’t fall asleep.
If I was jealous of his seeing other girls before, now that I truly knew all that I was missing, I couldn’t fathom how I was going to handle it.
My phone buzzed close to midnight. It was a text from Mitch.
Let me know you got home okay.
Skylar: Home in bed.
A few minutes later, my phone buzzed again.
Mitch: I’m sorry I shut down. I didn’t know what to say. And then you left with him. I haven’t been able to think about anything else.
Skylar: I know. Me too. Don’t overthink it. It is what it is.
Mitch: It was amazing.
I had been trying to play it down. I wasn’t expecting him to say that. Since we were being honest…
Skylar: I didn’t know a kiss could feel like that.
Mitch: It normally doesn’t.
Just when I was getting my hopes up…
Mitch: I don’t think we should do that again, okay?
My heart dropped. A sinking feeling developed at the pit of my stomach. I didn’t respond.
Mitch: It felt like I was losing control. Like I couldn’t stop myself. I don’t want to take things too far and lose you.
He kept on.
Mitch: Do you understand what I’m saying?
A teardrop fell down my cheek. I understood where he was coming from, and a part of me worried he was right. But that wasn’t going to change how I felt.
Skylar: Loud and clear. Goodnight.
I shut off my phone before he could respond, took off his jacket and cried myself to sleep.
It had been a couple of weeks since the kiss at the fairgrounds—the kiss that changed everything. It was proof that I couldn’t trust myself with her anymore. All of the reserve I had worked hard to build up was shattered, and it felt like I had to start all over again now.