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Here is a short sample from the book:
I was nearly sixteen years old when I got my first real kiss, much older than my friends were when they got theirs. I had opportunities, but let them pass because of one reason or another. Not the right boy, or not the right place, not the right time. Never just right.
Then I attended a school dance one Saturday night, and Alan Reed asked me to dance. I would always remember how it felt to slow dance with him. He was a full head taller than me, and I loved the way my head fit under his chin. Although he was still in that gawky, teenage boy stage, I thought he was terribly handsome, and I had long nurtured a secret crush on him.
He was on the basketball team, and I watched him on the court, admiring the way he ran, the way he blocked a shot. I watched him in the halls at school, too. He never seemed to watch me back, not until that one night, at the dance.
His heated body pressed against mine, holding me close, our feet doing little more than shuffling back and forth. My cheek rubbed against his t-shirt, and my hands were clasped behind his damp neck. We were both sweating lightly because it was warm in the gym, over-heated by hormones and teenage angst.
When the song was over, Alan led me off to get something to drink, but he didn’t stop at the table with the sodas and punch. He towed me straight past it, into a corner of the gym, behind the bleachers.
We ducked around and over the metal struts of the support beams until we were well underneath the bleachers, the only illumination coming from slanting bands of light that filtered through the narrow gaps below each row of seats.
I wasn’t thinking at all. Just following. I knew that naughty things happened behind the bleachers, and when he pushed me up against the cool concrete wall and pressed his lips to mine, I didn’t consider telling him no.
This was what I’d been wanting. The right boy. The right time. The right place. It was perfect. Alan Reed kissed me. That was all that mattered.
I had no idea what I was doing, so I followed his lead. When he pushed his tongue against my lips, I opened my mouth. I wasn’t sure how I felt about having his tongue inside me. I couldn’t figure out what was making him breathe so hard, why poking his tongue in and out of my mouth was exciting him.
Then he laid his hand on my breast. I stiffened, my brain kicking in finally. This was going too fast, so I pushed his hand away.
He kissed me for a while longer, then his hand strayed back to my breast.
Just then, I heard a sound, like a giggle. I looked back the way we had come and saw a pair of dark figures heading our way.
I pushed against Allen’s chest, tore my mouth away from him and hissed, “There’s someone coming!”
He looked. The couple was upon us. It was two other kids. I recognized them both. One was a friend of Alan’s, and the other was a girl I only knew as an acquaintance.
Alan nodded at the boy. The couple settled near us, the girl pushed back against the wall the same as I was. They wasted no time settling down to kissing.
Alan leaned forward and mashed his lips against mine. I realized with a start that his hand was still on my breast. Then his tongue poked into my mouth again, and he began gently squeezing my breast.
I pushed against his hand, pulled my head back and said, “Stop.”
Alan nuzzled my neck and asked, “Why? You’ll like it.”
I said, “Because … because … they’ll see.”
He didn’t stop squeezing me. “No they won’t. They’re too busy with each other.”
I looked over at the couple. Sure enough, they had no eyes for us. But they could have looked at us. They could have.
I gave in and let Alan do what he wanted. I even tried touching his tongue with my own, though I never got up the courage to stick my tongue in his mouth. I soon discovered he was right about me liking his hand on my breast. I felt very naughty, and very mature.
Alan eventually worked his way up under my shirt and was in the process of prying up my bra, when we were interrupted by the sound of, “Hey! You there!”
We flew apart, instantly knowing the sound of authority when we heard it. My cheeks flamed while I tried to settle my shirt back into place. Alan took off, dashing away into the darkness behind the bleachers, as did the other pair of lovers, both of whom blew past me at breakneck speed.
I stood there stupidly, surprise rendering me immobile. There would be no escape. A tall man jogged up beside me. It was one of the dance chaperones.
He scowled down at me. “Where are the others?”
I looked at the floor and shrugged.
He sighed. “Ran off and left you, did they?”
“I guess.” I thought, yes, that’s exactly what they did. That’s exactly what Alan did. Left me there to get in trouble. I felt a sharp tug in my chest.
The chaperone patted me on the head. “Come on. Let’s get back to the dance.”
I asked, “I’m not in trouble?”
He jerked his head, a movement that told me to get a move on. I did and he followed behind, telling me to watch my step over the metal struts.
He said, “You’re not in trouble. But you should be more careful. Don’t rush things. You’re young and have plenty of time to make out with boys when you’re older.”
My face was hot. I didn’t have anything to say to that.
At school on Monday, Alan spread it around the school that he felt me up Saturday night. I would never again lack dance partners.
There were many times in the future when I would wish I had heeded the chaperone’s advice, most heartily when I got pregnant at the age of eighteen.
Now here I was, nearly thirty years old, and I realized I still hadn’t mastered the art of patience. I still rushed things.
As for being young, and having plenty of time … I didn’t know. It seemed to me that if I didn’t make some serious changes, and soon, time would run out on me before I realized it.
Josh slid a warm hand up my thigh, stopping at the hem of my skirt. I turned my head and give him an encouraging smile. He smiled back at me, but his hand didn’t climb any higher.
I sighed in frustration.
It was the last night of my vacation, and the next morning I’d be packing up and heading home with my friends, back to real life. Before that happened, though, I needed a fling. When I met Josh three days before, I thought he’d be the right man for the job. Good looking, tall, tanned and well-built, he seemed the perfect find.
Josh was a local, and probably had been hooking up with vacationing women since before he was old enough to drive. He knew all the right things to say, had perfected the moves to seduce a woman into his arms and bed.
Well, to seduce a regular woman.
I had discovered I wasn’t a regular woman anymore. I discovered it the night before when Josh and I were entwined in a make-out session on the beach.
His kisses were sweet, but undemanding. His movements and breathing erratic and uncontrolled. When he closed his hand over my breast, he squeezed me as if I were breakable. It wasn’t enough. Not for me. Not anymore.
Still, all of those inadequacies might have been overlooked, since we were on a public beach, and anyone could walk by at any moment, discover us there, a fact which added a thrill all its own.
When I took Josh’s hand and placed it between my legs, he groaned and said, “God, Nonnie, I wish we were in your room.” Then he took his hand away.
Well, hell. I sent him home alone, and took myself back to my empty bed.
I lay there in my lonely room, put out with fate. I had been doing a lot of thinking during my vacation, and I decided it was time for me to commit myself to my own self interest. It was time for me and my wants to come first.
One positive outcome of the aborted make-out session with Josh was that I learned that there was no going back for me, no returning to a vanilla sex life. If a hot male like Josh, with his ample arsenal of practiced moves, couldn’t get me revved up past second gear, then an ordinary sex life was no longer an option for me.
Good to know, I supposed. One important question answered.
I made a promise to myself. The next night, I would be more determined, and I would do whatever was necessary to get what I wanted, to learn what must be learned. I would set the stage for what I needed, put Josh where I wanted him, and find a way to make it work.
So, for the last night of my vacation, I formulated a plan.
Josh and I, along with my friends and their dates, were gathered around a big table on the patio of a quaint club. Candles in jars flickered on the tables and colored party lights twinkled from the framework surrounding the patio. A full moon reflected on the ocean view in front of us. A lovely summer night.
I was a little buzzed from the cocktails, and Josh had a look in his eye that said he was ready to seal the deal with me tonight.
After Josh disappointed me by not slipping his hand underneath my skirt, I took matters into my own hands. The new me. Going after what I wanted. Making things happen.
I leaned into Josh and whispered, “Want to take a walk?”
He nodded. I told my friends that we’d be back soon, ignored their waggling eyebrows, and headed off toward the beach, holding hands with Josh.
A row of tall hedges lined the sides of the patio, separating it from the darkened courtyard next door. Once Josh and I were far enough away from the patio that no one would be watching us anymore, I doubled back to the bar, dragging Josh along with me.
He asked, “Hey, where are you going? I thought we were …”
I shushed him. “Just follow me.”
I pulled him between the hedgerow and the wrought iron fence that enclosed the courtyard. After peeking through the gaps in the hedge to find a spot I liked, I stopped and put my arms around Josh’s neck, pulling him down for a kiss.
His hands closed around my waist and I snugged tightly against him. In no time, his growing erection pressed into my belly. Yes, good.
I wrapped my arms around his waist and smoothed my hands up under his shirt, sliding my palms over the muscled planes of his back. Josh groaned and kissed a soft trail down to my collarbone.
I turned to look through the hedges. Could anyone see what we were doing here? It was possible. I couldn’t be sure. If they looked through the gaps in the shrubbery, they could see. Of that, I was certain.
After more heated kisses and caresses, I put my hands on Josh’s shoulders and pushed down firmly, taking us both to our knees, sinking into the soft sand. I guided Josh’s hand underneath my tank top, and he hesitantly squeezed my breast.
He panted, his voice sounding reedy when he whispered, “Damn, Nonnie, let’s go to your room.”
I shook my head. “No, can’t wait for that.”
I shoved against his chest, pushing him backwards, trying to get him flat on his back, but he wouldn’t go down all the way.
He whispered, “Not here. There are people right on the other side.”
I kept pushing at his chest. “I don’t care.” Though, of course, I did care. The people were the whole damned point.
He groaned, finally letting me shove him onto his back. I landed on his chest, between his open legs.
“Oh, God,” he mumbled when I nibbled his neck and ear. “I’m going to get sand everywhere. It seems like a good idea, but it’s not. Trust me.”
I said, “When we’re done, I’ll take you back to my room, get you in the shower and rinse every last grain of sand off your naked body. I’ll use my tongue, if that’s what it takes. I promise.”
“Mmm,” was his response.
I reached under my shirt and quickly undid the front closure hooks of my bra. I guided Josh’s hands to my freed breasts. Savoring his groan of pleasure, I captured it in a kiss.
I opened my mouth to invite him inside, and he accepted the invitation with a force that pleased me enough to ignite a spark between my legs. I rubbed my hips against his erection, pushed my breasts against his hands, hoping to increase the pressure of his fondling.
Josh’s eyes were closed, so I stole glances through the gaps in the hedge. Had anyone noticed us? Not that I could see. However, the fact remained that anyone could notice us. It was just a matter of chance.
A big thud sounded in my chest. A matter of chance.