Rick Sandoval had been in love with Kathiah since the third grade. His name was Californio, but his family Anglicized to the point where he was Richard and not Ricardo. They were thrown together often as children. The Sandovals owned pretty substantial agricultural lands throughout the valleys of the central coast and Daniel Sandoval had played both high school and college football with Owen Collier as well as being a major customer. In fact, when Owen was left with Kathiah, Dottie Sandoval, Daniel’s wife, was his biggest support.
Unfortunately for Rick, the families were too close. To Kathiah, Rick was big brother. He was also her closest and best friend. She confided things to him she didn’t even confide to Chloe and Rosemary. So, he knew every crush she had, every boy she dreamed about and every date she was hoping for to the Prom. Unfortunately, he was never included in any of those categories.
He was almost an employee of RECK, ever since Kathiah began the project he was there to do the heavy lifting. Elliot Majors once said that Kathiah was a girl that any man who met her would just fall at her feet before getting up to slay her dragons. And all her life, Rick had been the man at her feet, who slew her dragons.
When Kathiah started pulling double duty while Rosemary was seeking out a restaurant manager, Rick started staying with her as she worked nights with her designs and sewing machine the basement. One evening, he was holding a ladder for her as she was retrieving a special bolt of cloth that she had bought because it was a Celia Birtwell original. She slipped and he caught her. He held her tightly for a moment to be sure she regained her feet. Her nipples against his chest started to harden and when his chest brushed them as he let go, she felt it to her toes.
Kathiah was a virgin. She’d kissed a boy only rarely, and made out exactly twice. She was too pretty to ask, too delicate for heavy petting and had acquired an ice princess reputation because of it. When her naïveté caught up with her in Rick’s arms it shook her more than a bit. Could it be that she missed the most important thing in her life? So she started to watch Rick more closely.
The more she watched, the better he got. Physically he was impressive, a fact she’d missed entirely. Six one, one seventy-five, fit with great looking abs, broad shoulders, muscle definition, Rick was almost a male model. He had strong features and just a hint of Latin in his face. She watched other women around him, all the little flirty things that made up the modern female mating ritual were performed for him. In fact, she started getting jealous.
Almost three weeks after she fell into his arms, she walked up to him in the storeroom of the boutique just after closing time. She’d chosen her favorite outfit, the cut-out Pierre Cardin mini but went with dramatic black hose and patent leather black ankle boots with two-inch heels.
“Kiss me,” she said, standing in front of him.
He brushed her cheek with his lips, which was not at all what she wanted. Her dress was cut out on both sides and was almost a bra and mini skirt joined down her spine in back, her navel in front with a strip of fabric. She took his hands and put them through the cut outs, against her skin.
“Kiss me like a man kisses a woman, damn it.”
Rick was almost too shocked to comply, when he did, he didn’t want to stop.
She took his right hand and moved it up under the top of the dress to her breast and hugged it there, feeling little thrills between her legs and throughout her body as he gently brushed her nipple.
“How long have we been in love?” she asked.
“All our lives,” he answered.
She took his hand and they climbed the stairs to Chloe’s apartment. Sitting on Chloe’s favorite piece of furniture they found it hard to keep their hands off of each other.
“I wondered when you two were going to catch on,” said Chloe.
“I thought we were just friends,” said Kathiah.
“According to my stepmom, friends make the best lovers.”
“We’re not lovers,” said Rick.
“So, you’re here for advice? Manuals? The Couch?”
“Advice I guess, we’re virgins, and I know you and Eric were,” said Kathiah.
“Well, tomorrow you make an appointment with your gynecologist. Get pills, virgins can get pregnant with the first shot, and with what you just went through that would be super tough on you Kat. To be safe you have to wait a while which gives you time to make it right.
“Follow me, above your shoulders is first base, and it holds a lot more than you think it does. Above your waist is second base, and believe you me, it ain’t just tits. Below your waist is third base and that’s a whole lot. You should practice masturbating each other, so if he comes early, he can relieve your tension and frustration to start over.
“Honey can you get them the books?” Chloe said to Eric.
Eric brought half a dozen books over and set them down on the coffee table. “Making love is actually as individual as the people doing it. The books tell you that, I’m just cluing you in. Take as long as you need, explore each other. Find out what turns you and your partner on and off. And don’t get caught up in things. Chloe and I were so focused on foreplay I came all over her stomach.”