Practice is over.
I watch the others as they leave the pitch, in twos and threes, chatting, cleats slung over their shoulders. It's just about supper time. Many of them will probably go straight to the cafeteria and eat. Two and a half hours of non-stop drills, running and tackling leaves us all starving.
The air is cold, and my lungs hurt a bit when I breathe in, as they always do after I've been running. I shift my weight from one leg to the other and back, somewhat impatient. I know my body will cool down soon, and then I'll start to freeze in my sweated-through clothes. My head is turned in Lilly's direction, but she's oblivious to my impatient frown.
In fact, she seems completely oblivious to me being there. She's sitting in the grass, writing something in her notebook, tapping her pencil, writing again. She wrinkles her nose as she thinks, which looks cute, though I know it means she's frustrated about something.
"What's up?" I ask, and she looks up at me startled, her hazel eyes wide.
"Oh, you're waiting?"
"Aren't you getting cold?"
I mean, this is Rugby. I'm not a whiny little girl. I especially don't want to be a whiny little girl in front of Lilly, because she's never whiny. In fact, Lilly is the one who managed to get rid of my whiny streak in the first place.
"I suck," I'd sighed during weight lifting once, some time ago. She had heard it, turned arund, and fixed me with a stare.
"You do not suck, Leah," she had said, and I had blushed furiously, realizing very suddenly just how often I made self-deprecating comments like this, and just how much the others were probably annoyed by it. I'd spent the rest of the day worrying about what Lilly might think of me for being such an annoying bitch, but I vowed not to give her reason to think so from that point on.
And I haven't. Now, she's patting the grass next to her in invitation, and I walk over and sit next to her, keeping a respectful distance of a couple of centimeters between us. She is writing again, and I see a tentative line-up for Saturday's game when I peek at the paper.
"You got me down for lock?"
"Of course." She doesn't look at me, but I can see her smile as she takes my hand into hers. "I'm not trying to break your heart here. Do you want to partner with Holly or Emily?"
"Depends. Holly's better, but she might have to fill in as eight man. Do we have anyone else for that?"
"Jamie said she'd play."
Lilly fills in more names. I just sit next to her, hold her hand and watch her work. Watching her is a nice diversion from the cold. I don't get to spend nearly enough time with her, and a lot of the time we do spend together is wasted pretending we're nothing more than team captain and pack player. It's too awkward to do it any differently during practices. Only in moments like this one, when we are alone, can I allow myself to look without having to worry about being caught staring.
The wind is blowing her blond hair across her face. Her hair has just the length where the shorter strands will slip out of the hair tie she uses. I resist the urge to tuck it behind her ear for her. She's concentrating so nicely, and the sooner she gets this done, the sooner she'll be ready to leave.
"Should I put in Beth as fly half?" she asks after some time.
"Why? You're better."
"Yeah, but I keep thinking one of the others has to get some practice in that position some time. I'm graduating."
"Worry about beating Wilmington first," says a booming voice behind us, and we both jump about three feet high with fright, turning towards the man who has materialized behind us.
"Holy fuck, Mick!" yells Lilly, while he just grins under his fedora. Lilly has let go of my hand, which causes me to stare at Mick reproachfully.
Mick is our coach. He's not really ours, he coaches the local men's team, but he's about as close to a coach as we've got. He checks in whenever he finds the time, watches us practice and gives suggestions. Apart from his help, we pretty much have no choice but to coach ourselves.
Mick is ex-army, originally from Texas. He works construction now, which is what he loves to do. He's small by Men's Rugby standards, so he plays in the backline, like Lilly does, but that doesn't mean he's actually small. In fact, the top of my head barely reaches to his shoulder, and I'm a solid 5'6.
Now he's towering over us, chewing gum and pleased as punch about the fright he's given us.
"Lemme see," he says, nodding towards Lilly. She hands him the partially completed line-up.
"You want Pigtails hooking? She any good?"
Mick has his own personal nichknames for all of us. He doesn't even pretend to be very creative with them. Lilly is Blondie. I'm Blue, for my eyes. My very first day of practice, Mick said mine were the bluest eyes he'd ever seen, and it stuck.
"Abby's pretty decent," Lilly tells him. "She got it figured out last week when we played Lincoln."
"You know the Wilmington girls are big. They'll go for size in their scrum. Pigtails is gonna get crushed."
"No she won't," I interject, defending my pride. Abby will be sitting on my shoulder in the scrum after all, and she's only certain to go down if I do.
Mick regards me for the first time.
"You locking, Blue?"
"Course she is," Lilly chirps, and smiles at him. Her smile is the most infectious one in the world, I swear. She knows it, too.
"Good girl," says Mick to me, and I grin. I'm the only girl on our team who enjoys playing the position I play, and who doesn't try to get out of it any way possible. It's gotten me quite a bit of undeserved admiration. I just happen to be someone who apparently enjoys fabric burns on the face, having my ears bent backwards, and being kicked in the face by larger girls in rugby cleats. It's all part of a good game.
"So Abby is hooking, the twins will be props, Leah and Holly locks, we've got an eight man, and we can always find some flankers. That's the pack." Lilly looks satisfied. I am too, mostly because this brings us one step closer to being able to go somewhere warm. Mick is peering at the Lilly's notes again.
"Let's take a look at your backline... you've got Peaches here, Curly as fullback... damn."
Just like that, the raindrops begin to fall. Mick hands the notebook hastily back to Lilly, who tucks it into her bag to prevent it from getting wet. I get up and grab the ball net, only too aware that we'll be soaked through by the time we make it back to campus. The pitch is out in the middle of nowhere.
"I've got my truck parked closeby, if you two want a ride," Mick offers.
"Please," I say. I'm already cold, and the rain isn't helping. Lilly next to me is beginning to shiver, too. Mick, of course, isn't wearing shorts and a t-shirt like we are, so he takes his time walking back to the truck with us. He's parked by the far edge of the pitch, which is why we didn't hear the truck when he drove up.
Mick's got one of those really big pickup trucks. He needs it for all his construction stuff, of course. Right now, all I'm glad for is the fact that the passenger seat is more of a passenger bench that will fit both Lilly and me. I throw the ball net in the back, and Lilly holds the door for me, sliding in next to me and putting her arm around me. I'm damn cold now. She is too, which isn't helping me any, though I do like her sitting so close.
"You ladies need a blanket?" Mick asks once he's gotten into the truck as well, and he pulls one out from behind the seat and throws it into my lap. It's green and red, tartan patterned. I pull it apart by the corners and cover Lilly and myself until we're all wrapped up to our chins. It's a damn big blanket.
Mick starts the truck up, and a stream of cold air from the vents hits us. Lilly and me both shiver. She slides even closer, even though our thighs are already touching. I put one arm around her shoulders, the other one around her waist under the blanket.
There is a short silence, until Mick turns the radio on, selecting some country music station, and starts to drive.
The back roads are bumpy, and Mick's truck seems the only car around. It's a pretty boring drive. Mick hums to himself along with the country tunes. After half a mile or so, I feel Lilly's hand moving under the blanket, and settling on my thigh. When I shoot her a glance, she smiles serenely. Her thumb keeps stroking my skin there, which is nice. I move my hand inconspicuously as well and slip it under her shirt, covered by the blanket. Her skin is warm, and I let one finger trail across her belly. I feel her breath against my ear as she exhales, apparently enjoying. A second later, her lips very slowly start kissing my neck.
She's on one side of me and Mick's on the other, so the chances of him noticing what she's doing are pretty slim. Still, I tap my finger on her belly to signal I'm nervous about this. She doesn't stop.
And this feels so good, too. I've kissed Lilly, and we've held hands and spent time together and made out and all, but this is different. This is she wants to kiss me so bad she can't help herself. It makes me shiver, the soft urgency in each kiss. She takes her time so her mouth on my skin won't make the giveaway kissing sounds, and her lips move up my neck and in a loop around my ear. I lower my head a bit and turn towards her, and she just keeps kissing, moving past my eye, across my cheek, closer and closer to my lips.
I want to kiss her badly, but I also know that, as soon as I do, Mick will probably notice. Lilly's hand is moving again, down to my knee to stroke it. My hand is moving too, up her shirt, and I slide one fingernail under the elastic of her sports bra. I can feel her shiver again as I do that.
Mick brakes, causing the both of us to look up. We've turned onto the main road. There are train tracks near the pitch, and it's those train tracks that we are now facing. The gates are down, though there isn't a train yet.
My hand is still halfway under Lilly's bra. I turn my head and look at Mick, to find him staring straight ahead, fingers tapping the steering wheel and head nodding with the beat of the song on the radio. Lilly slides her hand back up my leg and straight into my shorts. As my head whips around again, I see her grin mischievously. And then she plants a kiss on my lips.
Kissing is my favorite way to spend the time with Lilly. She is a really talented kisser, and I like to think I'm not bad either. Her lips are gentle and inviting and soft, and her tongue darts out, teasing me. I forget where we are for a moment. My lips part to her demands, and I push her bra up and cover her breasts with the palm of my hand. She's a bit more flat-chested than me, but I do enjoy the small handfuls she's got. And during all that time, her hand keeps worming its way up my shorts, until her fingers meet cotton. I'm somewhat in disbelief that she'd be that daring, but I also really don't care right now. It feels too good, the butterflies in my stomach are too many.
I massage her breasts, trying not to graze her nipple with my fingernail. I know she's really sensitive there, much more so than me. However, Lilly doesn't return the favor of consideration. Her fingers brush over the cotton covering my crotch repeatedly, until she finally finds me clit through the fabric, She scrapes her nail against it, and I gasp.
I know there's no way Mick hasn't noticed, even though the beginning of the train is now rolling past us with quite a bit of noise. I turn my head towards him to check, and see that he's watching us. He isn't embarrassed about it, just looking, like he might watch as though we were playing checkers or something. His hands are still on the wheel, tapping to the beat, but his head is turned towards us, his eyes focused on the movement under the blanket. He doesn't look at me directly, but I'm certain that he must know that I know he's watching us. There's no way he hasn't seen my head turn.
Lilly's hand grabs my chin, and she's turning my attention back towards her. She kisses me again, this time not even hiding it. Her hand leaves my face and instead her fingers tangle in my hair. She knows I like having my hair pulled. She does so, and I moan into her mouth.
My hand under her shirt slides the sports bra up further, so that both her breasts are freed from it. I switch from one to the other and back now, making sure to caress both plump, warm mounds evenly. I can hear and feel her breathing accelerate when I flick my fingernail over her nipple repeatedly. I've mastered the technique by now, she really likes having this done to her. Now it's her moaning in my mouth. Our tongues are still licking and teasing each other, the kiss just won't end. I like that a lot.
I thrust my hips out a bit towards her fingers. She's forgotten all about having her hand down there, I can tell. Now that I've reminded her, she's moving them again, trying to find her way under the panties, which isn't easy. My rugby shorts aren't that big. She tugs and pulls and finally clears a small path through which she worms her fingers.
And now it's me who forgets everything but what she's doing to me. I start to feel pleasurably dizzy as I feel her fingers advance, and she touches my flesh. She's trying not to hurt me, I can tell, but she's got limited maneuverability down there. She scrapes me with one finger, which I don't mind, and then she finds something and another of her fingers plunges straight inside me.
It feels lovely. We break the kiss, and I close my eyes and lean my head back and feel like I'm floating on something really light. Lilly adds a second finger to the first, moves them slowly but steadily and gets my heart to beat damn fast and hard that way. I feel her breath on my throat just before her lips start planting little kisses there, and all around my jawline. I feel myself starting to make tiny little whimpering noises, one with each quick breath I exhale. I can't stop myself. I can't think straight either.
Lilly shifts without removing her fingers or even stopping her caresses, until she is kneeling on the seat next to me. Her other hand taps my thigh, and I know she wants me to open my legs further, to allow her better access. As I follow her request, she shifts again, and the blanket slides down from around our shoulders. It's still covering our lower halves, still hides where exactly Lilly has put her hand, but it doesn't leave nearly as much to the imagination now.
In the middle of my euphoria, I wonder how Mick is reacting to all this. I open my eyes halfway and look over to him. He's still watching. He has taken his hands off the wheel and placed them at his sides, and his expression now is one of slightly more interest than before, maybe as though we were discussing Texas football. His eyes meet mine for a moment, and he reaches forward with his hand and turns up the heat for us.
Then Lilly has found the right position with her hand, thumb on my clit and the two fingers still inside me, and I close my eyes again. I lean my head against her shoulder, sighing with pleasure as she establishes a rhythm. Her other hand is lifting my shirt now, pulling up my bra and exposing my nipples to the blast of air from the heater. They instantly get as hard as they possibly can, and I shiver almost violently. Lilly's hand cups my breast, she's still fucking me with the fingers of her other hand, and the butterflies in my stomach are having a wild, crazy party.
Amidst all this, I feel the truck moving again, but I'm too far gone to care. Lilly has to still her hand as we cross the railroad tracks, but after that, the bumps in the road produce nothing but a nice variation of her rhythm. I remember that I still have a hand on her breasts, but as I begin to caress her again, she brushes it away and kisses me again.
She is getting more intense now. Her knee is between my legs, her hand is moving faster. Her head dips down for a few seconds, and she licks and sucks and nibbles fervently first on one of my nipples, then the other. I can feel my clit throbbing beneath her thumb, and there is some roaring noise in my ears that gets louder. I realize that I'm making sounds again with each breath I exhale, basically panting through half-open lips, and then I feel Lilly speed up the movement of her fingers, and I hear my own voice get more and more high pitched, and there is a rushing of something, of colors, sounds, feelings that speeds up like some record, suddenly getting so intense that I can't stand it anymore and I feel something, somewhere, explode and shatter inevitably. I float some more.
Then there's just the rain hitting the truck, and a feeling of happiness.
I realize I'm slumped against Lilly. She has both her arms around me now and is holding me. My shirt is down again, and the blanket is covering me. My entire body is still shaking. Nobody speaks.
Finally, the truck comes to a standstill. As I lift my head, I realize that we're in front of Lilly's dorm. People with umbrellas are walking past. Lilly reaches out and opens the door.
"Thanks for the ride, Mick," she says, and hops out. She hold out her arm for me to help me down.
"Yeah, thanks Mick," I echo her.
"Pleasure," he replies, quite gentlemanly, and actually tips his hat. Lilly slams the door shut while I go to grab the ball net from the back, and we stand together and wave after him as he drives off.
Special thanks goes to all who made this story happen – those who inspired it, made me write it, and encouraged me to share it.