A Taste of Sweat

byKethandra©

"This is all natural, girlfriend." He flexed his pecs, bringing clenched fists together at his waist. "Yeah, I think you were the one that pointed out that if your bubble-busted sister and I had offspring, they would have way oversized chests. Freaks."

"And you and I would cancel each other out: your pecs and my little titties would average out to perfect medium melons."

"Chrissie pointed out that those perfect-chested kids would be social misfits and geeks though, without her popularity genes."

"And your perfect pearly-whites would balance out my mouth: too small to hold the teeth I was born with and requiring extractions and years of metal banding to correct."

They were both laughing. He took the offered pipe and another hit before setting the empty bowl and lighter aside. "Yeah, our progeny were to be brainy, nerdy, and clever, with straight A's in honors classes."

"And your kids with the blonde would have been weaker in the scholastic achievement department but voted homecoming king and queen in spite of their disproportionately huge chests."

"They probably wouldn't have known what 'progeny' meant."

"And been so popular, it wouldn't matter." Trixie hesitated. "Why didn't you stay with miss popularity, anyhow? You broke her heart."

Ron shrugged. "She wasn't my type. At all."

"You broke up with her because her boobs were too big?"

"No. That was only one small thing. Well, not really 'small.'" It earned him a another giggle.

"I got out when I figured out I was just another bad boy, filling space."

"You were different. She knew that, even realized it before you broke up with her."

"Different, maybe. But not original. I was there to be salt in your parents' wounds. An irritant, obviously not good enough for their precious girl. Her way of rebelling without actually risking their taking away any privileges."

"She's...mellowed a little."

"You know, Trix? She was my bad girl rebellion. Not bad girl bad girl, but bad for me. Not my type in every way. She seemed like all those things a girlfriend was supposed to have and be. Like I said: she checked all the juvenile boxes. "

"Big tits." Trixie held up a single, enumerating finger.

"Check." He nodded.

She added a second finger. "Girly girl."

"Check. Cheerleader." He added.

"Blond. Liked to scream out your name when you fucked."

Ron felt immediate heat flush his cheeks. "Oh. Really? You heard?"

"Dude, everyone within a mile heard."

"Ouch. Uh. Check."

Trixie's lips screwed to one side. "Enough of the list. It's not helping my feelings of adequacy."

"Okay. He reached for the pipe and refilled it, continuing to talk. "But that's just it: it wasn't ever my checklist. It felt weird the way other guys looked at me, like I was somebody because I was nailing the cheerleader with the rack. She was my misguided attempt to do who and what society said I was supposed to do."

"And boy, did you do her. Over and over again." Her voice took on a comical, breathy quality. " 'Fuck me, Ron. Fuck me. Fuck me with that great. Big. Fat. Cock.' "

"Come on. Let's go sit on the couch." He was thrown off by Trixie's explicit imitation of her sister. She followed him to the single piece of furniture in the otherwise empty living room, plopped down on a thick cushion. Her hands, one covered with the half glove, fiddled with the black wig, shaking it out, then leaving it straightened and neat on the couch's upholstered arm.

The only other things in the apartment, besides the included appliances, were a small table and two chairs in the dinette off the kitchen, a bed frame and queen mattress in the single bedroom, and his three suitcases, open and still full of clothes. He had moved in on Sunday, and worked every day since.

"I'm good." She held up a hand when he offered her the pipe, then fanned her face with the open palm. She tugged the diminutive plaid tie's knot down from her throat, slipping the loosened noose up over her head to join the wig. " Whew! Is it just me, or is it getting hot in here?"

Ron noticed the absence of the loud a/c unit's hum. No lights were on, and it did feel warm. He leaned toward the middle of the couch, closer to her, to see into the kitchen. The digital clock on the stove was off.

"Man, I am sweating!" She went on. The mention of sweat conjured immediate memories of touching her slick back, tasting her, salty on his fingers. She opened the top button of the white shirt, exposing her throat.

Lifting one arm, she sniffed at her own armpit. "Damn. I stink! Here. Smell it."

She pushed herself toward him, while he still leaned close. It was light-hearted, kidding, locker room humor. And he surprised them both with his response.

Instead of laughing and pulling away, Ron accepted the invitation, burying his face into the offered, exposed space. He snuffled, loud and wet, like a truffle pig on the scent, pushing nose and mouth to the damp shirt.

She cried out, shocked and startled. The sensation was intense, intimate, tickling. The raised arm dropped over his neck and shoulders. She squealed, squirming, laughing, not sure if she was trying to escape the sudden assault or if her arm was holding his head closer to her, keeping him there.

"Ahh!" Her final cry came when he blew open mouthed at the cloth, pushing the wet fabric against her tender skin underneath, before he pulled back, grinning wide at her. Her hand stayed draped over his shoulder, fingers now laced through his hair.

His grin vanished, replaced with a shy, sheepish look. It ended her final tickled trills.

"What?" She followed his eyes, down. "Oh."

The squirming had slid her down on the couch, causing her short skirt to flop upwards. The plaid pleats now covered her midsection, exposing the front of the grey cotton that he had already glimpsed from behind, athletic knit cotton panties trimmed with a narrow white strip at each leg and a wider white elastic around her waist.

He saw a darker patch on the fabric in the shadows between smooth bare thighs. Sweat? Much smaller darkening spots showed elsewhere, he noticed, so it had to be sweat. Certainly perspiration had created a shine over the narrow stripe of skin that showed between the white elastic waist and her uplifted skirt.

Moving slowly, almost casual, hands smoothed the pleats back down, hiding his unexpected view. His attention caught on the cloth tattoo-art covered arm and the half-glove that on that hand.

"Trix?" He sounded hesitant.

"Yes, Tom?"

"Tom? Is that your mystery crush's name?" It hurt to even ask.

"No, silly. Peeping Tom. The one caught staring at my panties." Her eyes had a twinkle of teasing mischief to them. "You were going to ask something, Tom?"

"Your arm. That sleeve. It reminded me of your shield tattoo. You said I didn't know the half of it. What's the other half?"

Her eyes dropped, mischief and twinkle both gone.

"I...I'm sorry, Trix. If it's personal or I..."

"Ron. Shut up." He did. Her eyes searched his. Her jaw was set, her face wavering between anger and determination now more than the humor it had shown a moment ago. "You were the only one who knew why I got the shield. I don't think I could have trusted or told anyone, but you just...knew."

She paused, chewing on her lower lip in nervous consideration. "You said you wanted to protect me. But you weren't there and I had to protect myself."

The ungloved hand crossed over, began to tug down the top edge of the stretchy arm sleeve. He saw the remembered ancient-looking shield. It was still empty, with no art inside.

She pulled the sleeve lower.

He saw lames - the strips of curving metal that traditionally extended below shoulder armor - exposed, three stripes of matching, finely lined protection permanently inked running down the outside of her upper arm. The sleeve stopped.

"The shield wasn't enough." Her voice was low, almost dull. The lack of emotion in it weighed almost physically on Ron's heart, feeling the pain behind it. "I had to add more."

"Oh, Trixie..."

"Shh. I need to say this out loud, to finally tell someone. And there's no one but you."

The weight he felt deepened, sharpened. She sighed before she went on.

"I let the little things slide; I had to. They were constant. But Mom got meaner. More nasty.

"When she said or did something to me that was too cruel, too...abusive - and it was definitely abuse - I added protection. One item at a time. And I started to wear long sleeves, or cover it up. If she had seen these in those days, it would have been bad."

Ron held his tongue. He wanted to say how sorry he was. He wanted to tell her he wish he had stayed, to keep her safe, but he let her talk.

"She didn't stop." Fingers slid the covering lower. Ron saw a proliferation of art come into view. It would have been beautiful chaos if it hadn't meant what it did.

An almost cute little demon showed a toothy smile, peeking out from under the lowest curving lame of armor. It's forked tail wrapped around a deep red heart, squeezing it, forcing drops of blood out its bottom. Flowers and foliage filled space with greens, blues, more red, but each petal and leaf looked wilted, as though they were caught at the very beginning of their descent into decay, over-ripe.

A skull grinned, it and the smiling demon the only signs of joy. A dagger, its blade wavy and stained, showed as she continued stripping her torment bare. Twin snakes, banded in yellow, black and red, wrapped around the knife like a caduceus.

He noticed one snake showed yellow next to the red, the other separating the two colors with black: one was a coral snake, deadly venomous, the other a harmless king snake, almost identical but worlds apart. Their tales knitted together in a constricting band around her wrist.

The artist had inked in a painful looking stress to her own skin there, as though the two snakes actually pressed into her flesh.

Trixie continued tugging, removing the lacy half-glove too. The art continued down without a break, becoming more abstract, geometric, fractal, that somehow suggested a skeleton's collection of mismatched bones. A spider rested above her thumb on the unnatural web, which ended finally as a dark, detailed woven herring bone pattern across her knuckles.

The heat and the silence felt oppressive and heavy. After a long, uncomfortable pause, she began to pull the glove back on.

"No." It wasn't loud, but his single word vibrated through the stillness. Her eyes were wide.

"Let it show." He took her inked hand in both of his. She tried to pull back, away from him, but he held her. With the slickness of her sweat in the room's heat, escape would have been easy. She sighed, allowed her arm to relax. "I know I can't fix it, can't change what happened, but please: don't hide your pain from me."

Her eyes were damp before she dropped her face, blinking. He felt a momentary flex of tension, followed by acquiescence and an almost silent inhale, when he bent his own head down and placed a delicate kiss on her knuckles.

He followed it with another kiss, on the back of her hand, then a third, on her wrist. Her hand quivered in his but stayed limp, unprotesting. He kept his eyes down, away from hers, concentrating all his attention on the defensive, pain-inspired art and the hurting girl beneath.

On one level, he knew it was a corny, cliche. Or two. Kissing his way up her arm like Pepe Le Pew in the cartoons. And kissing away the boo-boos, like a parent might do for a crying child with a scraped elbow. But he wanted to honor each and every addition to her armor, recognize every cruel cut from her mother. And he relished the closeness, the intimacy, being able to hold her hand, kiss her private, hidden skin, crawling up closer to her on the couch as his lips ventured nearer her shoulder, throat, and her own full lips he could hear funneling faint panting breaths.

Sweat ran down his spine, from the heat and his nervous excitement. A splash landed, dropped from his brow, full on one snake. He tasted his own salt, reminding him again of her back's sweat sucked from his finger. He suppressed a groan, resisted his hips' urge to grind against the cushion, or along her bare thigh.

Too soon, he reached the empty, barren shield. His kiss lingered there, before he dragged them from her, to look up, meeting her eyes. His breath caught.

Her lips were wide in shock and disbelief. Her eyes shone with moisture and a single tear streaked down her nearer cheek, a thicker wetness on the shining glow of perspiration that covered her face.

He hadn't meant to make her cry.

"I'm sorry." He leaned near with his throaty whisper, kissing once more, at the teary cheek, to kiss it too away.

She twisted. Not away, but toward him, catching his lips with her own, in a quick urgent peck. "Don't be."

Strong, slim hands seized his shoulders, pushing him back. Her gaze was intense.

"That." She sucked in a breath, rubbed at her eyes with the back of the ink-free hand. "That was amazing."

"I wasn't there to...I wish I could have...I wanted to..."

She shook her head. Red hair splayed out while others, darker now, stayed wet and clinging to her forehead. "Don't ruin it with an explanation, Ron. Let your beautiful, wordless act stand on its own."

Her eyes dropped before popping back up to his, startled. "Damn."

"What?"

"Something else is standing on its own." Her smile was tight lipped, her eyes again twinkling bright.

Ron looked where she had. He knelt on the couch facing her. The front of his pants tented out, obvious, straining toward her. "Well, you kissed me."

"I did not."

"You did. Right on the lips."

Another shake of the head. "Nah. That was just a peck. Like the French do. That's not a kiss."

Clever debate with Trixie was familiar ground, more comfortable than a discussion of his own obvious arousal. Ron slid into a seated position, close, and twisted to face her on the couch. "So a kiss 'like the French do' - a French kiss - is not really a kiss?"

"A quick peck like this." She leaned in and pushed tight lips to his cheek. "Is not a French kiss."

"Really? A kiss like the French do is not a French kiss? And not even a kiss at all? I'm confused."

Her eyes rolled. "Obviously."

He saw her bite down, chew on her lower lip. Then she moved.

One bare leg, still ending in a neat white sneaker, slipped over his waist. She straddled his lap, grinning down. His arms slid naturally around her lower back and his hands found an even layer of slick sweat. Fingers circled in it, massaging, savoring the touch.

She leaned in, kissed both cheeks, then quickly pressed lips to his own. She pulled back. "Those little pecks, which are traditional and common among the French, do not constitute a French kiss. Not at all. They're more of a greeting, a formality."

"So you aren't worried about your oblivious crush finding out you spent the afternoon getting stoned, all hot and sweaty, kissing another guy in the French style?"

"Seriously? You're worried about him? That's sweet, Ron, but I assure you: I believe in honesty. He will know every single thing that happens here. And we haven't kissed, certainly not in the French style."

"We haven't?"

"Nope." She paused, eyes once again searching, flitting from one of his own to the other. "Do I need to demonstrate?"

"I think you might."

Ron felt a thrill when her inked hand brushed his hair back from one temple. It was a simple gesture, but both intimate and familiar.

"Now, this is a demonstration only, agreed?"

He nodded. "Simply for clarification."

Trixie brought her lips to his, still closed, but softer, lingering a bit longer than before. Pulling back an inch, she whispered, breathless. "A peck, not a kiss."

Soft lips found his again. This time they parted and a careful tongue tip brushed brushed him. His mouth eased opened and tongues found each other, slow, gentle, tentative.

Slim fingers wove through his hair and he felt the dim vibrations of a sound escaping her, a sound he could not quite hear. Her tongue tensed, more active, sliding, exploring over his. His slipped past the contact, probing into her mouth.

His hands grasped at each side of her slim, sweat-slick waist above the skirt. She had to hear his moan, had to feel the stiff tenting that was now pressed low against her. He leaned into her, maintaining the contact when he felt her begin to withdraw.

They were both breathing hard.

"Now that was a demonstration of a French kiss."

He smiled, fingers caressing her bare lower back. "Just for the clarification of terms?"

"Exactly. See the difference?"

He looked thoughtful, or tried to. "I think so. But I may need another demonstration."

She smiled at the suggestion. "That could be arranged."

"Demonstrations don't count as actual kisses, right?"

"Smart boy."

"Beautiful girl."

Her mouth dropped open. "You keep saying that and I might just believe you mean it."

"Challenged excepted. I have never meant anything more."

She leaned in quickly this time, pecking at his lips, and gone before he could react. She followed it with matching visits to each cheek.

"Thank you. Now, a test: which was that?"

"A non-kiss in the manner of the French."

"Exactly. And this?"

Her lips were open, soft before they met him, her tongue exploring and eager. Her back arched, bringing her slim body close, against his chest. They kissed, deep, hungry, swirling, breathing in each other's damp breaths, smothering each other's wordless sounds.

When she pulled back, he followed, and she relented. Tongues continued, lips tasted and tugged. Her hips moved against him. Finally, they reached a silent agreement to ease away, catch their respective breaths.

Her fingers idly twirled a lock of his damp hair. His arms cinched snugger around her waist detected the small motions of her hips continuing.

He spoke first. "That was quite a demonstration."

"Yeah." It was a faint whisper. He was fascinated by the sight of her upper teeth sinking into a lower lip that looked fuller, more swollen than earlier.

"And that was a French kiss, right?"

"That was a demonstration of a French kiss." She corrected him.

"Ah. That explains the detached, clinical nature of it. Though, toward the end, you seems more...demonstrative."

"Brat." She giggled. "Clever, yes, but definitely a brat."

"So, to make sure I have this clear: technically we still haven't kissed? Just an experiential illustration of two possibly confusing terms?"

"Correct. Clarification. But I must admit, this exercise in philematology has me rather hot and sweaty. Do you have cold water, or maybe ice?"

"Ice? I think so. Cold water? As cold as it gets from the tap. Let's see."

She climbed back off of him to stand, then offered her hands to help him up. She looked down, briefly, before raising an eyebrow. "I see intellectual intercourse still excites you."

Ron shrugged, less embarrassed than if she hadn't joked about his obvious erection. "I have missed our stimulation conversations."

Her smile turned serious. "Me too. Really. I missed you, Ron. Come on."

She kept one hand in hers, led him to the kitchen. She only let him go when she was at the sink. Turning on the water, she splashed it over her face with both hands. She splashed more over her throat and upper chest.

He watched the inked hand carry more water back, rubbing it over the bare back of her neck. He considered, and rejected, the idea of licking her nape there, tasting her mingled sweat and water. Instead, he pulled two of his three glasses from a nearly empty cupboard, filled them with ice from the freezer.

The air swirled with frosty mist when the cold freezer air mixed with the over-heated room.

"Oh god, that cold air feels wonderful." Trixie turned the water off after splashing more on her face and throat. She pushed past him, then held the freezer door open, leaning in to hold her head almost inside the small insulated space above the refrigerated section.

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byKethandra© 10 comments/ 34873 views/ 36 favorites

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