It doesn’t come as much of a surprise to Alex Ryan when she finds herself falling head over heels for Connie O’Reilly. How could she not? There isn’t a person alive who wouldn’t be drawn to the irresistibly beautiful and charming Connie. It seems impossible she could reciprocate -- not when Alex is so awkward, so timid, so very much a girl -- until what starts as a sweet friendship blossoms into something so much more than Alex could have dreamed of.
Alex knows what they have is a momentary thing, not enough to be called forever. Connie’s the most popular girl in the school, wealthy and admired. She’s going to go to Trinity, maybe marry a lawyer. She’s going to have everything Alex could never give her. She isn’t stupid, after all.
Status and reputation might mean nothing to Alex, but to Connie they are everything. The only out-lesbian they know is ridiculed by everyone she meets, and it’ll be a cold day in hell before Connie lets that be her.
But when rumours spark and new faces enter the picture, they’re both set to discover that, while it may be easy to walk away, it’s a lot harder to move on.
"And did you ever fancy me?"
"God, no. You're not my type, at all."
A long minute passed. I assumed Connie knew it was a half lie. She wasn’t stupid; she had seen how I looked at her before, wanton desire barely disguised -- she knew it was there. She had seen it, surely. Felt it in how we touched, sometimes, lingering hugs and brushes of hands.
Christ, I almost died with her in my arms only minutes ago.
"But you do think I'm attractive."
"I'm gay, not blind, Connie."
“And I know you want to kiss me,” she said, and my heart seemed to stop. There was a hint of teasing in her tone. I didn’t bother opening my mouth to deny it, just sat entirely still. She sounded so sure of it -- too sure of it. “You wanted to, when we were inside.”
“So?” It was all I could think to say.
“Why haven’t you? Tried to kiss me, I mean?”
“You mean -- like, now? Or ever? Or inside --”
“Because I know I shouldn’t.”
She looked away from me, then, and took another long drag. I wiped my hands against my thighs, wishing I too had something to hold, something to distract me.
“But you do want to," she said carefully. Our faces were inches away from each other. The air felt a little heavier than it had before, and the nightclub -- we could have been somewhere else entirely. I felt something catch in my throat. I could feel the alcohol rush to my head, a sudden spark of adrenaline in my blood, and I was dizzy, suddenly, sitting on that cold hard ground, and felt bolder than ever before in my entire life. Was it the alcohol? Or the night that was in it?
"Kiss me, then." Her voice was low. Daring me. She spoke the words as if she didn’t quite know she was saying them.
I let myself laugh. "No."
"You want to do it, then kiss me. Do it."
She shrugged nonchalantly, a smirk playing about her lips, and she turned her face away from me. "What a terrible shame," she muttered. “I’m sure you’re a very good kisser.”
And before I could process what was happening I felt my hand on her neck, pulling her back towards me.
I kissed her cautiously, as if I was afraid of myself. Unsure. She pulled back and looked at me, the ghost of her feather-light peck stinging my lips. We looked at each other hard and then I was leaning forward, closer than before. My head was buzzing, swirling at the sudden movements and all the haziness in the air. I kissed her again.
It wasn't soft anymore, and it certainly wasn't gentle, or cautious. We kissed each other blindly in the dark with no sense of anything other than our own intuition, both of us shifting to meet each other, minds spinning, hearts thudding, as if everything before had been nothing more than foreplay to this night -- as if our whole friendship was merely a match for the fire we would spark there, together, in a dingey black alleyway. Instinctively she parted her lips and tilted her head and her hand wound its way into my hair. The kiss turned sloppy, what felt like months of pent up anger and frustration and suppressed desire, all messy, clumsy tongues and heavy breaths and choked up moans. I gnawed gently on her lip, my heart quickening when I heard her whimper. It felt like raw, carnal lust and I could hardly think, in that swirling darkness. It wasn't even a kiss any longer, not really -- it was a declaration of hunger, a proclamation of insatiable wanting.
But it was good. It was perfect. It was everything.