The woman batted her eyes. "Thank you. I--"
"I wrote it," said John the cameraman with a smug look on his face.
Theresa's face fell instantly. I looked to John and offered my hand. "Good stuff, man. You should be a writer."
He shrugged sheepishly. "Eh, you know. It's kind of a hobby--"
"And it's a wonderful hobby," Theresa interjected with more than a little rudeness. "You're the next Stephanie Meyers. Shouldn't you get back to the van now?"
The cameraman grumbled under his breath, stole a last longing look at Kit, then turned and trudged away.
Theresa flashed her teeth once more, her face softening as she addressed me. "Sorry about that," she said. "Sometimes he forgets he's just the cameraman. I wanted to ask you something, if you don't mind. A couple of little details to fill in the blanks."
I rolled my shoulders. "Sure. What do you need to know?"
Theresa glanced around, then seemed to find what she was looking for. "Let's go over here, where it's not so noisy," she suggested, gently taking my arm.
My initial response was to resist; her pushy demeanor was increasingly turning me off. But I allowed the reporter to steer me aside anyway, after giving a quick look to Kit and hoping I conveyed an 'I'll be right back' vibe. But Kit just frowned in distaste, crossing her arms over her perky breasts.
Theresa led me around the corner of the comedy club, to a breezeway that overlooked the parking lot below. Wind rushing past the building made the air suddenly ten degrees cooler.
With only a quick glance around, Theresa suddenly pressed herself against me, right hand snaking around my cock, fingertips tickling my balls. "Here's the deal," she said. "You guys are done at eight o'clock, right?"
I stammered. "Uh, right," I said, placing my hands on the woman's shoulders. But why I did not immediately push her away I would never understand. Certainly, the woman was attractive, even if it took industrial-strength makeup to get her face to look so smooth.
"I'll be in the van downstairs doing post-production. I'll send John away for coffee or something at about a quarter after eight. Should give us around forty-five minutes to have a little fun."
I frowned, cleared my throat. "Uh, fun?"
Theresa grinned and tugged on my cock. "Fun," she emphasized with a dance of her stenciled eyebrows.
I had to admit the way she was fondling me felt pretty damn good, and where we were fed right into my exhibitionist fantasies.
"I bet I can do things to you girls your age can't," she declared heatedly. "You know that trick about tying a knot in a cherry stem?"
"Yeah . . . seen that at a dozen sorority parties," I said.
Her eyes bore into mine. "I can make a rope ladder," she declared, then passed her tongue across her upper lip.
Despite my aversion to the woman, there was something about her that was actually starting to turn me on. Maybe it was some sort of basic primal male urge to take a woman like this and fuck her the way I wanted, to dominate her. She had such a strong personality, part of me would love to put her in her place, so to speak.
But I resisted. Once again, I realized, I was being addressed like a slab of meat.
"Sounds nice," I said, then stepped back, jerking my now half-erect cock from the woman's grasp. "But I, uh, should really get back to the others."
Theresa lifted her right hand and dragged her tongue up her index finger in a very suggestive way. "Eight-fifteen," she reminded me, then turned sharply on her heel and marched away.
I let out a deep breath, stared down at my cock like it was a friend who had betrayed me. Thankfully, the chilly breeze was having its typical effect, and after a few moments, I headed back around the corner to rejoin my fellow students.
Kit saw me approach and watched me with a scowling face. "What was that about?" she asked with more than a little acid on her tongue.
"Just, uh, filling in some details," I said, avoiding her gaze.
She stepped before me, so close that I had no choice but look at her. "Was one of those details getting her phone number?" she asked bitingly.
I met her eyes, reading anger and jealousy. This was something new coming from my lifelong friend. Kit had occasionally professed disdain for someone I dated, but had never reacted this way. The fact that she seemed genuinely insulted touched me, and made me react as if I had done something wrong and needed to apologize.
"Look, she came onto me, but I'm not interested, okay?"
Kit's glare slowly softened. "She came onto you?" she asked, her voice noticeably less grating now.
I huffed. "Yeah, she did. Look, it's no big deal. I walked away."
A small smile grew across Kit's soft pink lips. "You turned her down?" she asked slyly. "Miss hot TV reporter babe comes onto you, and you turned her down?"
I cocked my head, feeling momentarily insulted. "Believe it or not, just because I'm a guy doesn't mean I'm willing to fuck just anything," I growled, then brushed past Kit and snatched up my clipboard.
* * * *
Despite that bit of awkwardness, the night went well. During the last hour, it became obvious that word had spread across the city about our group's presence, for more and more people showed up with the definite purpose of seeing the truth for themselves. The six of us posed for more photos during that time than during the previous three hours put together.
That the crowd in and around the bar was becoming more inebriated was illustrated when a tall man in a gold-colored shirt approached Tanya and tried to grab her crotch when his buddy raised the camera. She slapped his hand away and delivered such an incredible and inspiring rapid-fire angry monologue, jabbing her finger in his face, that the guy backed off sheepishly as if she had pointed a gun at him. Our buddy with the badge stepped in eventually to nudge the man away.
"Might be time to go," Paden said to me once the episode was over.
"Just another half an hour," I said to him. "But if it starts to get rowdy, we'll pack it up."
Paden gave me a rueful smile, shaking his head. "Don't know how you pulled this off, Kevin," he said, then raised a fist to bump. "Kudos."
I laughed softly beneath my breath. "It was all Kit's idea," I said.
"Well, I gotta hand it to you," he said. "Wish I had a girlfriend like her."
"Nah, she's not my girlfriend," I said.
He raised an eyebrow. "You sure about that?" he asked, then stepped away.
His question perturbed me, compelled me to glance toward my friend, the girl -- the woman -- I had grown up with, who knew everything about me. At that moment, she was laughing and smiling as she interacted with men and women, so deliciously and casually naked and obviously comfortable in her own flesh. Her skin glowed, her cheeks shone with natural rosy hue, her eyes glittered.
Then, for just a moment, she turned her head and her gaze met mine. The expression on her face faded, yet the gleam in her eyes remained. And in that instant, as our eyes were locked, I lost track of everything else around me. The freight train I had always wondered about came barreling through my brain.
* * * *
It was several minutes past eight o'clock when we realized our time was up. We were all simply having too much fun. However, Paden gave me a look and tapped his wrist, prompting me to look for my phone and check the time. It was eight-oh-seven.
"If I can have everyone's attention!" I shouted, cupping my hands around my mouth. Scores of faces turned my way.
"As much as I hate to say it, our time's up," I announced, which was met by a rather gratifying chorus of 'aw . . .'
"We'd like to thank you all for coming out to sign our petition, and for celebrating Earth Day with us!"
"Happy Earth Day!" Kit yelled, and her cry was repeated by the others and even by some in the crowd around us.
"How'd we do?" I asked as we all gathered around the table.
"I filled almost six pages," Kit proclaimed proudly.
"Almost seven for me," said Deanna. She grinned wickedly. "Chalk it up to fire crotch power."
"Five for me," said Tanya, whose report was echoed by Letty.
"Well, I got just a couple over four pages on mine," Bill said. "But, hey, I was spreading the manliness. Nice to know the chubby-chaser nation is still alive and well. I got two phone numbers. Does that count?"
"Only to you," I said with a laugh.
"I guess someone's getting lucky tonight," quipped Kit with a quick glance my way.
Bill grinned. "Hell yeah," he said. "Not bad for a fat guy who smells like burritos, huh?"
Kit rolled her eyes, but she laughed nonetheless. "You know I love you, Bill baby."
"Well, I got a proposal," informed Deanna with a strange note of pride.
Kit's eyebrows danced cattily. "Don't you mean proposition?" she asked.
The redhead smirked. "No, a proposal," she insisted. "Some old Mexican guy wanted to take me away to his villa in Acapulco."
Kit rolled her eyes. "Only you," she quipped.
We did a quick tally, coming up with a total figure of a little over eleven hundred signatures. That was much more than I expected we would get. When I announced the number, the girls all squealed and hugged. I don't mind saying that the sight of four naked women pressed together in a group hug did wonders for igniting certain fantasies in my brain.
But Officer Paden butted in. "Much as I hate it," he said. "But you gotta get dressed now. The permit expired ten minutes ago. Don't make me arrest anybody for public indecency."
"Oh, pfft!" Kit exclaimed, sticking out her tongue. But Bill already had the tub open with our clothes inside, and we all quickly grabbed our garments and belongings.
"Kit," I said as I slipped on my shorts.
She looked up, smiling, after slipping a long, loose white T-shirt over her head. It covered her like a dress. "Yeah?"
I just smiled at her for a long moment. "Thanks."
She stared back, then approached me and reached for my hands. "So, have you figured it out, yet?" she asked.
Her question made me frown, briefly, but before I could answer, the others were swarming around us with suggestions of going to eat at Denny's, going into the comedy club or the bar, or whatever else they could think of to pester us with. Just like that, the moment was gone.
I dismantled the table as Kit gathered up the sign. The others grabbed what they could and we all descended en masse down the stairs, heading to our cars. We bid farewell to Paden, who told us, predictably, that it had been "his pleasure" to watch over us for the evening. Watching as he and Deanna stepped aside, I did not doubt his sincerity.
We tossed the table and sign in the back of Tanya's SUV, and with another round of hugs and handshakes, she, Letty and Bill took off, leaving Kit and I in the parking lot.
Still clad in just her long T-shirt and sneakers, Kit gave me a beaming smile. "I think I finally understand why you like being naked so much," she said.
I chuckled, my gaze inadvertently darting around. "It's kind of addictive, isn't it?" I asked, but as I did so, I noticed the Channel Twelve news van, parked not too far away from where we stood. The sliding side door was partially open, showing just a hint of the interior. The windows were heavily tinted, hiding everything else.
"What is it?" Kit asked, then followed my gaze. I could hear the drop in her voice. "Oh."
"It's nothing," I said, returning my attention to my friend.
"'Nothing,' huh?" she asked, a challenging tone in her voice. Her eyes hardened with suspicion as she searched my face. "Is she waiting for you?"
I sighed heavily, started to speak, but Kit interrupted me with a single short, loud, barking laugh.
"She is! Holy shit, Kevin, that bitch is actually waiting for you?"
"Whether she's waiting or not, I don't care!" I exclaimed, but Kit was already turning away in a huff, stomping toward her car.
"Kit!" I called. But she only waved her hand dismissively over her shoulder.
I stood upon the blacktop, fuming. I shot a look toward the news van, just as it opened and Theresa Cortes stepped out, an arrogant smile on her face. She beckoned with a finger.
But really, my choice had already been made. I didn't give the other woman another moment of my time, and ran after Kit.
There's no fucking way I'm giving up on this, I told myself.
Just as Kit was opening the door to her car, I was there, slamming it closed. She jumped back, startled, and gave me a frightened look.
"Now look," I growled at her. "Just because I didn't say no to her doesn't mean I said yes. She can wait all God damn night for all I care because I'm not interested in her, and if you would have given me half a chance to explain, you'd already know that!"
Kit stared back, wide-eyed and gape mouthed. I had never been so emotional around her.
"You said, when this whole thing started, that you hoped I would understand why you wanted to do this."
Kit nodded slowly. When she spoke, her voice was soft, timid. "Do you?"
I let out a deep breath, calming myself. "We've been best friends since seventh grade, Kit," I said. "For ten years, we've done just about everything together."
"Just about," she echoed meaningfully.
I felt my heart beginning to pound, and it wasn't from the exertion. "Why go through all this, if you just wanted to . . . to . . . ." I huffed in exasperation.
Her soft pink lips parted in a mischievous smile. "Because sometimes, Kevin," she said, taking a step closer. "You need to show someone, before you can tell them."
I frowned. "Show me what? Tell me what?"
She reached for my shirt, tugging gently. "I wanted to show you that I accept certain things about you," she said. "So I could tell you how I feel."
"What 'certain things?'"
"This," she said, gesturing around us. "What we did tonight. This is part of your world. You love going to nude beaches and walking around your apartment naked. You love being carefree, and spontaneous, and just a little bit reckless. I wanted to show you that I could be all that, too. And you know what?"
She grinned broadly. "I had the time of my life," she said, staring up at me.
My heart was hammering now, and I figured Kit's was doing the same, the way her eyes were trembling and how she gripped a handful of the fabric of my shirt like she needed to hang on.
"So what did you want to tell me?" I prompted her at last.
"Something that I think -- I hope -- we've both been wanting to tell each other for a long time."
I inhaled deeply. Is this really happening? I wondered.
"But not here," she said, abruptly backing off. With a wicked smile, she reached for the car door again. "Follow me."
She was inside her car before I could blink, leaving me discombobulated for just a moment. Right! I thought, and bolted toward my car.
* * * *
Kit had always been the type to drive just a few miles below the speed limit, but now she was weaving in and out of highway traffic, goosing the speed limit as if she was channeling the spirit of Carlo Abarth. I actually had to struggle to keep up with her.
What the hell is she doing? I wondered with alarm. She's acting like me!
I followed her, several car lengths behind, as she switched to the north-bound highway. By the time she took the exit at O'Connor, I already knew where she was headed: Wonderstone Park.
At such a time of night during the week, the three-hundred-acre park would be practically deserted. It was a fairly popular place on the weekend for kids to go to and make out, but on a Monday night it was as devoid of human habitation as some pristine alien planet. The only lights were the headlights of our cars; the glow of the city faded away as Kit drove further through the winding roads framed by mesquite trees and red oaks.
Finally, she parked in the lot beside the four-acre kite field, and I pulled in on the right side of her car. Her lights switched off, I heard her car door slam, and the following moment, Kit's naked body flashed in the light of my headlamps as she ran out into the field.
What the--? I switched off the lights and jumped out of the car. The brilliant radiance of the moon rained down upon the vast open field, making Kit's naked body glow with an alabaster hue. She was about fifty or sixty feet out when she stopped and turned to face me. Even at that distance, I could tell she was grinning.
So this is what she wants, I thought, peeling off my shirt and shucking my shorts. Okay. Leaving my clothes beside the car, I jogged out into the field.
Kit laughed and turned, running from me. I was glad for my adventurous life; I possessed an impressive amount of stamina. It helped, of course, that Kit wasn't really trying that hard to get away from me.
Despite the chill in the air, our exertions nearly had us sweating by the time I caught up with her. She was grinning and glowing, her exquisite body fully outlined in the moonlight.
"Is this part of what you wanted to show me?" I asked as I came up to her.
She nodded, licking her lips. Then with a movement that startled me, Kit jumped into my arms, wrapping her arms and legs around me. I could feel the heat of her sex against my lower abdomen. Without a word, she pressed her lips to mine, giving me the most incredibly passionate kiss I had ever enjoyed. She moaned and sighed into my mouth, sucking my lips, searching for my tongue with her own. Arousal charged through me, making me erect. The head of my cock tapped against Kit's firm cheeks.
She drew back, face impassioned. "There's something I want to tell you before we . . ." she smiled. "I want to tell you something, Kevin."
My hands smoothed up and down her back. "What's that?"
Her eyes burned into mine. "I'm in love with you," she whispered. "I think I always have been."
I smiled, my heart fluttering. "You were right," I told her. "That is what I've been wanting to tell you for a long time."
She smiled sweetly. "I just suddenly woke up one day and realized that I wanted to be with you. But I had to show you -- and myself -- that I could be part of your world, your life."
"You picked a pretty memorable way to do it," I said with a laugh.
She nodded. "Yeah I did, didn't I?" She kissed me again, emitting a yearning moan, and squirmed against me. "I want you," she whispered as she broke the kiss.
"Uh-huh. Right now, right here."
She pushed back and uncurled her limbs, settling to the grass. Face blazing with passion, she lowered herself to a squat before me, bringing her face in line with my erection. Her hands ran up and down my thighs. "Finally," she whispered, gazing upon my cock.
Her lips parted wetly, and she pressed them against the tip of my penis, slowly sucking the head into her mouth. I trembled, letting out a moan of pleasure. Kit engulfed me slowly, taking half my length into the warm recess of her mouth, then stopped, sucking the flavor from my dick. Her hands caressed my thighs, my abdomen, then delved between my legs to cradle my swollen balls. Everywhere she touched left a tingle upon my skin.
She finally slid back, gazing up at me. I had no words, no way other than through the expression on my face to convey how incredible I felt at that moment. It dawned on me that, for the first time in my life, this wasn't just sex. This was making love.
"I'll do anything you want, baby," Kit whispered up at me, lips fluttering against the head of cock with each word. "Anything you've ever wanted a girl to do. I mean it."
I swooned, almost falling over, but steadied myself by lowering to my knees. I touched Kit's face. "That goes both ways," I said. I let out a sudden, small laugh of wonder. "God, I love you."