Monday, January 20, 2014

a release day preview: where the heck is my first kiss?

well, how about a little scene i love so much? one of Jackson and Penny's first "dates" and the entrance of Carleigh Banks! i absolutely love the beginning butterflies of relationships. it's so much fun to write them, too! enjoy, little birds! xo

The bar we walked into smelled like motorcycle exhaust mixed with whiskey and was so thick I’m sure if you lit a match the air around you would catch on fire. Jackson held a hand at my lower back and steered me toward the bar. I felt like crawling into his plaid shirt and Levi’s and building a fort for safety. 

   “Where the heck are we, Jackson?” I pulled the fabric of my starched dress down hoping to cover a little more skin. My earlier attempt at appearing cute for only him was now futile. He laughed down at me, a few inches taller than me; he stopped us and lifted a hand to my shoulder. “I promise it’s not as bad as it seems. I just want to see the next band’s set, then we’ll book, swear on Mama.” 

   I sighed. “Don’t ever swear on your Mama, Jackson. I’ll be fine, I just feel overdressed.” 

   “You look absolutely perfect. Adorable, honestly.” His eyes roamed over me, his hand fell from my shoulder. “Penny, you’re too beautiful for words.” His hands came up to either side of my ribs, his thumbs just under the curves of my breasts. His lips came down closer to mine. 

  This is it, this is it! 

 He placed a delicate kiss on the corner of my lips and dragged his thumbs, albeit slowly, away from my excited flesh. 

  Oh what the shit? 

 He grabbed my hand and led us to the bar, which was made of beveled steel and appropriately painted the candy apple red color of a MAC Tools box. He turned his head to ask me if I wanted anything and I shook my head. 

 “She’ll have a Skirt Lifter.” He replied for me. “And I’ll have whatever that is.” He pointed his finger to a tap handle that trumped all the other taps in the row. It was shaped like the grim reaper and plainly said ‘666’ on it. He turned back to me and wiped the shit-eating-grin from his face when he saw my glare. 

 “What, Penn, what’s the matter?” He laughed, and thumbed my cheekbone. 

 “I hate drinking when I’m out. Or having my skirt lifted in public.” I folded my arms over my chest and nodded my chin back to the bar where the bar tender had just placed our drinks. Jackson turned around and put a $10 on the bar and turned back to hand me my drink. I brought it to my nose, it smelled like sweet tea. 

 “Who said it’d be in public?” He pulled me in close to him, his fingertips brushing where my dress ended at my thigh. The mix of panic and excitement was euphoric. 

I lifted the drink to my lips to hide my smile. It was sweet tea. “What is this?” 

 He smiled, “Sweet tea vodka and lemonade.” 

 “It’s deadly delicious.” I sipped slowly. 

 “That’s why it’s called a Skirt Lifter, Peaches” I quirked an eyebrow at his sudden pet name. 

  The band started to play behind us and we both turned to face the small, barely lifted stage as the guitarists started an opening song that sounded like The Who’s Baba O’Reilly if given a thick cheeseburger and a cold beer. They played the opening song like they were jamming out in their moldy basement. They finished and a girl came bounding up the stairs from the side of the stage, holding a microphone in one hand and her acoustic slung around her shoulder like a quiver of arrows. I was instantly on edge. She was gorgeous. Her hair was dark, but had an almost white streak of blonde behind each ear that was curled into giant rolls that dangled down over her chest and looked perfect. I pulled at my own hair that I hadn’t styled and it suddenly felt frizzy. Her tight jeans hugged her skinny waist just below her hipbones; her mid-section exposed what appeared to be a Lynard Skynard shirt purchased in the little boys section. Her had-to-be-fake breasts literally strained against the ‘L’ somewhere in her right armpit and the ‘D’ somewhere in her left. She immediately began wailing out, her throat moving as she belted.

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