It was very homey and people looked out for each other. Everyone was like family, weird but true. This is where I felt my true home was.
As he leaned over the table he looked up at me again and smiled that flirty smile and asked, “So, do you have a boyfriend?”
Why was he asking me this? I really did look as young as I was, not totally developed yet. I was still a young girl, really no figure to speak of. I felt myself grin a little looking at him directly and said smiling, “I am not in one place long enough to have any kind of relationship, friendship or otherwise.”
I think he felt like he needed to say something, but it wasn’t the comment I was expecting at all. “I could wait a few years.”
The puzzled look must have shown on my face because he continued, “I mean we could be friends for a few years, if that works for you.”
I got it now. He was interested in me.
Glued to where I was standing I had forgotten everything around me. I lifted my head a little, but closed my eyes. I did not want him to see the fear stirring in me. His lips found mine and the kiss was gentle, more like a soft trace with our lips slightly parted. I found myself kissing his lips back. It was only for a moment and he pulled back away from me to look into my eyes. I was nothing but putty now. He stood and stared at me. Did I do something wrong? Did he realize how innocent I was? Did he realize that this could never be? I was yelling in my head Please say something, anything. Don’t leave me standing here feeling really stupid.
He leaned in again, but to my ear and whispered, “Thank you. It was exactly what I thought it would be, perfect.”
James got up from where he was sitting and moved a little closer and leaned on the half wall that separated the kitchen from the living room. I studied him for a moment. He was much more mature looking than Jason. He had muscles that were amazing even under his t-shirt that was covered by layers of sweatshirts.
He looked directly at me and boldly stated, “I would be here all the time. You wouldn’t be able to get rid of me. I’m not as soft as Jason, and whatever you wanted to do to me I would let you.”
There! I was perfect, for how young I really was. If I didn’t look older now, I would have to wait for time to do its job. Okay, I was ready to make an appearance and to blow them off for acting stupid.Who was grownup now? I had my pony binder around my wrist. I knew I would need this later. I bopped out the door and down the stairs.
I didn’t pay any attention to Jason or James standing by the truck and said, “Excuse me dad, can I take the four-wheeler down to Sherburn’s? A bunch of kids are hanging out down there.”
My plan worked! Jason stood there expressionless. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking, but he kept his eyes on me the whole time. I looked directly at him with a great big smile on my face. He responded by giving me a disapproving look. James, however, gave me the response I was looking for. His mouth dropped open and he couldn’t take his eyes off of me. Now I gave him something to stare at!
I moved to dad’s chair with a smart ass remark, “You two look so cute together.” I plopped down on the chair and grinned.
James just stared at me not expecting I would choose the chair over sitting by Jason. I had already experienced too much for the day. “Are you chicken?” James taunted at me.
“Of you? Of course, who wouldn’t be?” I wrinkled my nose at him.
“What are you so afraid of?”
“Like I said. You!”
“I don’t bite.”
“Are you sure? I’ve seen your snarl.”
Jason smiled at me and said, “I’ll protect you.”
James snarled at Jason, “You do bite. I need to protect her from you!”
“I don’t need to be protected at all if I sit over here.”
Jason glared at James, “We’ll play nice, won’t we?”
“Scouts honor.” James put up his hand as if to motion the scout’s pledge.
“You’re not a scout.”
“But I could be…” James patted the couch in-between them.
“Thanks guys, but I am fine right here. Remember boys, you have to get up early tomorrow.” I flashed them a fake smile.