Stephan and I had been flirting for a while, but I took it all as meaningless fun. I mean, everybody knows how asocial I am and I make it pretty obvious that I'm not looking for anything beyond friendship. Besides, I'm nine years older than him. That wouldn't be a big deal if I was fifty and he was forty-one... but he's in his early twenties. I'd feel like I was corrupting a kid. A cute kid, who I'd jestingly said naughty stuff to... but still, a kid.
One night, he asked me to meet up with him for dinner at this quiet little bar and grill about fifteen minutes from my house. I didn't think much of it. We were just two friends sharing a meal. I brushed my hair into a ponytail and went to the dresser. Just about everything I own is black. I grabbed a pair of black slacks and a T-shirt with "Mortal Kombat" written across the chest.
He looked really nice. "Wow. Looking good, Stephan! You got a hot date later tonight?"
Stephan seemed confused, glanced down at himself, then shook his head. "Everything else was in the laundry."
The place was a little crowded because it was dinner time, so I talked him into sitting at the counter. We ordered drinks and split an appetizer. He seemed a little grumpy, but things got better after I made some sort of lame joke. I don't really remember what I'd said.
Somewhere between encouraging him to get this cute girl's number and laughing at something one of our mutual friends had said earlier, I finally realized this was supposed to be a date. Oh, God.
In hindsight, it's painfully obvious, but it hadn't even occurred to me. I didn't date. I'd never gone on a date in my life- at least, not that I'd known about. Who knows? Maybe I've gone on some and been totally oblivious about it. I was mortified, but I was also tipsy. So, I addressed it.
"This was... uh, was this... you know. Was this supposed to be a date?" I didn't know if it was the alcohol or my embarrassment that made me stumble over my words. Probably both.
He shrugged slightly, glanced at me, and said, "... no. Yea. I don't know, maybe." His voice was a little quiet. Hurt. Damn.
"I'm sorry." I hoped I sounded sincere. "I didn't know. It didn't even cross my mind until just now."
"It's okay." His voice still sounded hurt. I felt awful! So, I did what seemed like the right thing to do. I kissed him. Hey, I was drinking. Common sense had left hours before. He was still talking, trying to come up with something to say to mask his hurt feelings, and I leaned in and pressed my lips against his. The kiss was intended to be soft and friendly. Then, he put his hand against my face and kissed me back. That's when my limbs turned to jelly.
It was like his lips were magic. They moved against my mouth and the kiss was far more intoxicating than my drink had been. It took me a minute to come to my senses. We were in a public place, with families and stuff. I pulled back and stared at him a moment before whispering, "Wow."
He looked a little sheepish. Clearing his throat, he glanced around nervously. He plucked something up in his hand and held it to me. "If you wanted the last chicken wing that bad, you could have just said so."
The awkward moments were really over then. We got dinner and ate it, our conversation going over all sorts of things. I kept catching myself staring at his lips and wondering if I'd seem easy if I kissed him again.
For the most part, he didn't notice. The two or three times that he did, he kind of laughed shyly and talked as if he hadn't noticed. By the end of the evening, I was beginning to feel like some kind of perv. Stephan and I left when we finished dinner, but it was like neither of us wanted the night to end. So we ended up driving to a twenty-four hour Walmart, where we could park our cars without worrying about getting towed. Then, we took a walk around the parking lot of the strip mall and chatted.
I don't really remember how or when it happened, but we were holding hands by the time we found ourselves back at our cars. We leaned against the side of my car, still finding excuses to talk. He finally got up and stepped around to face me. "About before, I mean, did you... Would it be okay if I kissed you?"
Would it be okay? My gosh. My heart was pounding in my throat. If he wasn't taller than me, I would have responded by just kissing him. Instead, I nodded dumbly.
"Yea?" he asked, putting a hand lightly on either of my hips. I stepped away from the car, getting a little closer.
Placing my hands on his chest, I nodded and whispered, "Yea."
He leaned in. I met him halfway, and this time when we kissed, I knew it wasn't the alcohol. There was just something about him. His kiss made me feel weak all over. It made me want to rip his clothes off. I slid my hands up his chest and put them around the back of his neck. I felt his hands slide up my back.
We were both breathing faster when we pulled away. I immediately felt a little guilty, for the same reasons I hadn't taken the flirting seriously before. What could possibly come of this? I had to say something and stop this before it turned into something a lot more serious. "Stephan..."
"No." he said it softly but firmly.
"No?" I asked, almost amused. "You don't even know what I was going to say."
"Yea, I do... and I don't want you to tell me all of the reasons this wouldn't work," he said. "Don't you think I've thought about all of this before?"
I wanted to frown, but was feeling weirdly content. My perfectly well thought out arguments faded from thought and I just sighed. "I don't know, Stephan. This all seems... wrong, somehow."
He gripped my arms firmly but gently, leaning in to kiss me again. I had this distant thought that I should probably tell him to stop, but I really didn't want to. It seemed like the more he touched me, the harder it was to think clearly. Physically, I really wanted more contact, but in my head, I knew it was all wrong. I couldn't really remember why anymore. I guessed I must have had more alcohol than I'd thought. My thoughts were completely fuzzy. As his face moved in, I turned my head. Me, a victim of my hormones? I think not.
"You're pretty strong willed, huh?" he said it affectionately. I'm pretty sure he's the first person who was ever pleased about me being stubborn. "Maybe I misunderstood the "wow" earlier? You know, you kissed me first."
I nodded guiltily. "It wasn't supposed to be that kind of kiss." He released me then, stepping back. My body missed him already.
"That kind of kiss. That kind of kiss? What kind of kiss was it, and what kind of kiss was it supposed to be?" Normally, Stephan was kind of laid back. I was pretty thrown off by how sensitive he was being, but I figured I probably sort of deserved it. I'd let things go too far. All of the flirting, the sort-of date, the kiss... Man. I was kind of a jerk. He had every right to feel upset and confused.
Once he'd released me, my mind had started working again. "It was just a friendly kiss, Stephan. You know I'm attracted to you, but c'mon. I'm way older than you, so this wouldn't work as a relationship. And I don't do casual sex."
"Woah, you're not 'way older' than me. You make it sound like you're ancient or like I'm a little kid. Anyway, friendship is a relationship, isn't it? And we've been doing just fine as friends. I don't know why allowing ourselves to feel more would be bad." He kissed my forehead softly, adding, "I don't do casual sex, either."
His lips were still against my forehead, and I stood silently, with my eyes closed, just feeling them there. Neither of us said anything. Slowly, we moved our faces until we were looking at each other. "... but what if it doesn't work out?"
He didn't answer. Instead, he leaned down to kiss me again. He was coming slowly. I could feel his breath on my lips. It was a struggle, but I managed to whisper, "I don't want to lose another friend this way. I can't lose another friend by letting things go farther."
"I'm not going anywhere." He replied softly. Confidently. I hated how sure he sounded. They always sounded so sure. Despite the desire to hear that everything was going to be okay, I hated the fact that they always seemed to believe everything was going to be okay. I was a little angry, but his lips were brushing against mine when he added, "I promise."
I didn't turn away this time. Maybe the years of loneliness were to blame. I lifted onto the balls of my feet to reach him. With his tongue sliding over mine, I couldn't remember what my concerns had been. I could hardly remember anything at all, really. I just knew I wanted more. If we hadn't been outside, in a parking lot, I would have started tugging at his clothing. That hit me harder than the other stuff, whatever it had been. We were in a parking lot!
"Stephan..." I sighed into his mouth. "We really have to stop..."
He was suddenly rigid, and he jerked back in surprise. "How are you doing that?"
I blinked at him in confusion. "How am I doing what?"
He didn't answer. Instead, he just peered into my eyes. "Hm. Okay. Uh, what's wrong?"
"This isn't exactly an appropriate place for the things I'd like to do right now." Did I just say that? I bit my lips.
"Oh." The tension left him. I realized my hand was running up his torso. I couldn't stop touching him. I wanted to roll over him, rub him all over my skin like a cat with catnip. What the hell was wrong with me? I was only vaguely aware of how bizarre my reaction was. Mostly, I just wanted him. He watched me touching him with an almost guilty expression. "Uhm, I think maybe we need to talk."
Talk? He wanted to talk now? Just as I was getting warmed up, he wanted to cool it down? Ugh. Why did I always end up feeling like the man in the relationship? Was he going to ask me about my feelings now? My fingertips made contact with the skin over his collar. I shivered as a tingle moved down my arm. "Okay. Talk."
"Not here," he said. "Somewhere private." Now we were talking.
"Okay! Where should we go?"
He furrowed his brow, thinking about it. "How about... you get in my car and I'll drive you to my condo? I'm not sure you can drive in your condition."
It had been hours since the drinks, but I recognized I wasn't exactly sober. "O...kay." I'm not really that girl. You know, the one you worry about because she goes home with just anybody. The one who has one night stands all of the time. This wasn't a stranger, it was Stephan. We've known each other a while now. I just hadn't ever been to his place before.
He helped me into his car- and not because I was so drunk or clumsy. He was just being nice. Damn, it's rare to meet guys who open car doors and stuff these days. Then, he got into the driver's seat. He turned the radio down so we weren't blasted with music, and off we went. About ten minutes later, we pulled into a parking lot. I followed him in and he gave me a quick tour.
"You want something to drink?" He asked as he took off his jacket.
"I think I've had more than enough, thanks." I looked around. It was reasonably clean. Not neat freak tidy, but not messy. He barked a laugh. It sounded weirdly forced and artificial.
"I mean like water or something." He opened the fridge. "There's soda."
"No, I'm okay." The buzzing in my head was starting to fade. I was starting to have the sense to be a little embarrassed about my behavior in the parking lot. "Uh, Stephan... I think the alcohol kind of made me... I mean,"
"Don't, please? Just, just sit." He gestured at a comfortable looking chair. I sat. Bringing his glass along, he sat on the ottoman. We were close, but not enough to touch. Stephan took a long drink and set the glass on the table. "Okay."
"Okay." I replied agreeably. I wasn't sure what to say, but he's the one who said we needed to talk.
"Ask." I wasn't sure what he was talking about. Ask what? So I just stared at him with the whole deer in headlights expression going on. "Ask me why you want to touch me. Why it feels good."
"Gee, that sounds a little egotistical," I said, laughing lightly.
"You mean you don't want to know?" he said it softly. Seriously. There wasn't a hint of arrogance in his voice. "I know you felt it. Your eyes are still a little glazed over."
"What?" I blinked, hard. "What are you talking about? Did... Did you put something in my drink?"
"What? God, no!" he looked embarrassed, hurt, and angry all at once. Then, he started to say something, paused, and sighed. "I don't know how to talk to you about this without sounding like a corny movie," he said.
"Well, you could think of some really bad ass movies and try to steal some of their dialogue." I suggested. He laughed- a real laugh this time. Then, he took my hand. His fingers were warm, and I could feel the heat move through me. I relaxed a little at his touch. That made me a little mad. Why did he have this effect on me? Oh. That's what he was trying to talk to me about, huh? "Okay. Just tell me." I said. "Whatever it is, just... tell me."
"I'm not like other guys." He said it, then laughed. "I always wanted to say that."
I stared at him. I was sure it would be hilarious later. "Okay?"
"Just say it, huh? Okay. I'm... damn. Okay, you like sci-fi and fantasy kind of stuff, right?" I nodded. If he didn't start talking, I was going to get mad. He looked away, then looked back at me, rubbing a thumb over the backs of my fingers. "I'm, uh, I'm not human."
I arched a brow at him. This was stupid. Whatever his game was, I wasn't playing. "Riiiiiiight."
"No really, listen to me, I'm not kidding and I'm not crazy, but I need you to believe me because suddenly, I dunno why, and I'm probably a moron for this, but it's important to me that you understand what you're getting into." If he took a breath at any point in that, I'd missed it. I didn't really know what to say in response. He'd just said he wasn't crazy, but he had to be if he believed what he'd just said. If he was crazy... well, I started looking around for a good impromptu weapon.
"Stephan, this is..." I was going to say it was stupid, but that seemed like a risky idea at this point. Don't antagonize the crazy person. "Uh, this is just too much for me. I don't know what to think right now, other than I should probably go home."
Stephan growled under his breath and tugged my hand, pulling me up. I could feel the adrenaline starting to pump through me. Obviously, he was insane, and the violence was going to start now. I reached into my pocket for my keys so I could try to defend myself with them. As my fingers made contact with them, his lips made contact with mine. Damn. He was a good kisser. The moment our lips touched, I was putty. So not cool. I couldn't get angry enough about it to fight it off, though. He pressed his forehead against mine and asked, "Are you sure that's what you want?"
I couldn't really answer him. What I wanted and what I thought I should do were completely different things, and I wasn't sure which to follow. As I stood there indecisively, he reached a hand to my face and traced my cheek and lips with his thumb. "No..."
He started to pull back, but I stopped him by finishing my sentence. "I'm not sure that's what I want."
With a smile, he lifted my face to his and we kissed. The rush going through me was amazing, and I didn't ever want it to stop. I could have lived my entire life, just kissing him, and would have been able to die feeling as though I'd led a very rich and happy existence. So it was with a reluctant whimper than I let him go when he moved away.
"Kim, I really like you," he said. "A lot. That's why I don't want to do this without... I need you to really understand..."
He followed the fragmented sentences with a frustrated groan. I didn't really know how to respond. I suppose I should have been more annoyed and exasperated, but all I really felt was hopeful. I really wanted him to come and touch me some more. It was like a drug.
Stephan moved the ottoman aside and stepped back. I raised a brow curiously and waited to see what he was going to do. He reached down and started taking off his shirt. Awesome! I was pretty excited about that.
First, his belly button was exposed, then his chest, and then his... what the hell were those things? Two... somethings started out thick and got slimmer farther away from his torso. They moved slowly, twisting, and I saw that they had circular disks on one side. The shirt continued moving upward and two more were revealed. They were slimmer than the first two, and seemed more flexible. His shirt continued its process and in the end, a total of eight somethings were visible.
Stephan discarded the top and looked at me hopefully. For some reason I could not fathom, I was not terrified. I don't know why I wasn't scrambling to escape. I did drop to the chair, too stunned to stand. He smiled a crooked smile at me as I looked at him. Then, he slowly approached me. He put his hands on my legs and gently pushed them apart, kneeling between my feet. I didn't know what to do. At least he was just touching me with his hands. I'm pretty sure that if he'd touched me with the things, I would have freaked.
My breath was coming in short panicked breaths. I remember feeling a combination of fear, confusion, and unexpected excitement. That's when I figured that maybe I was in too much shock to really know what I was feeling. He put my hands on his stomach, then moved them up his chest. I let him guide my hands as they skimmed over his body. His skin was soft, supple, and pale. It was skin that obviously didn't go topless into the sunlight often- if at all. Of course not. How could he?
My fingers were tingly, and I wondered if I was about to have a heart attack or something. I mean, surely I was bound to at least pass out, right? I was a little startled to realize I was getting kind of wet, though. Then again, I usually turn to sex when I'm stressed out. Maybe my body was just reacting to this extreme amount of stress. Besides, it was the first time I'd touched a guy like this in years. The tingling moved up my fingers and traveled up my arms. Suddenly, I felt a little giddy and surprised myself when I leaned forward to flick my tongue over his nipple.
There was an audible intake of air. Gripping my wrists, he pushed me back so I couldn't reach him, then frowned slightly into my face. I giggled at him and he had a resigned expression for a moment before he muttered, "Okay... maybe that was too much."
"Too much?" I asked, feeling a little light headed. Rather than answering me, Stephan just grumbled and let go of me. I stood, a little dazed. I didn't really know what was happening, but I felt like I was high. I didn't use drugs, but thanks to some injuries requiring pain killers, I was aware of how it felt. Just knowing I was unexpectedly high kind of killed part of the loopiness. "Wait, what? What's... what's going on?"
"Uhm... okay, you've seen my tentacles-"
"Tentacles? Is that what they are?" It suddenly hit me that if I wasn't going to be terrified, I should be really curious. I mean, I'd spent part of the night kissing an alien guy with tentacles! That didn't bother me as much as it should, which almost bothered me in itself. Wait, important question. "Are you an alien?"
"Shh!" Stephan said, putting a finger to my lips. I opened my mouth a little and nibbled at his fingertip. I gloated as I watched a little shiver ran up his body before he jerked his hand back. "Listen. You can ask all of the questions you want in a minute, okay?"
I nodded, licking my lips, getting the last trace of his flavor from them.
"You know a little about biology and stuff, right?" I nodded again. "Okay. So you're familiar with the chemicals your body produces that make you feel different emotions, and the way the hormones we make can affect other people?"