Oh, he was beautiful. He wore a pair of black slacks and a blue velvet blazer over a crisp black dress shirt. His hair was done up the same way he styled it, meeting my parents, slicked back and sexy. Breathing had become a difficult task. It was so rude of him not to give me a heads up before he waltzed in like an angel sent from God himself.
‘Hey Sienna, before you leave the house, stop by the hospital and grab an oxygen tank from your father just in case you won’t be able to handle my dashing good looks tonight.’
He noticed me gawking and my first instinct was to cower, but soon enough I realized he’d been gawking right back at me. I tried my luck to attempt what I hoped was a confident Joseph-esque smirk and it seemed to work. His eyes widened and immediately following was the cheesiest smile he’s ever smiled.
Pointing at me, he clutched his heart and feigned a pained expression that made me laugh. We stayed like this for a minute or two, just appreciating one another until I made the first move and walked over to greet him officially.
“Mariposa you look... wow- you’re... hi...” he stammered, seemingly at a loss for words as he fully took me in.
“Thank you. You look pretty good yourself,” I chuckled.
“You think?” he asked, giving me a quick 360 turn.
“Definitely. I couldn’t take my eyes off you,” I told him honestly.
“Mariposa, you’re making me blush.”
“I know and I kinda love it.”
He laughed, shaking his head. “Can I just say that the band is awesome? I don’t know what you did to get Kook to play here, but like, thank you.”
“I did it the best way I knew how. I wrote to him. Talked about how my first prom wouldn’t be right without his band rocking the stage etcetera, etcetera,” I said, regally waving my hand.
“I swear there isn’t a moment where I’m not amazed by something you’ve done.”
“Gosh Joseph, now you’re making me blush.”
“I know and I kinda love it,” he said, echoing my words from earlier. “Would you like to dance with me?” he asked, beaming down at me with his million-dollar smile.
“I would very much like to dance with you.”
He escorted me to the dance floor, decked out with a disco ball and all, and we got down. I had no idea Joseph could dance so well. Getting lost in the rhythm, he swayed confidently to the mid-tempo reggaeton being cranked out by the band onstage. I was in awe as he whirled around me. He looked so good, so sure out there compared to my shuffling.
“Don’t tell me you’ve gone all shy on me now. Show me what you can do.”
He challenged me as he continued moving to the music behind me, mere inches between us. I felt my arms prickle with goosebumps, but this was not the time to be weak. He wanted me to dance for him? I’d dance well.
Conveniently, Kook’s upbeat tempo evened out just right. With my back to Joseph’s chest I was able to hide my embarrassment if I failed. Slowly, I let my head fall back on his shoulder and raised my arm hooking it around his neck. Closing my eyes, I began to rock my hips back and forth to the smooth beat.
The music and the heat of Joseph’s body against mine entranced me further. I’d forgotten my initial goal and just enjoyed the moment, my body moving on its own accord. It was the tight grip on my waist that brought me back to reality. Before I could register, Joseph swiftly spun me around.
“Whoa!” I yelped.
“Enough, you temptress.”
His voice was so deep it was almost inaudible. I took this as a warning, but upon looking up at him, his eyes told another story. If I read it correctly, he didn’t really want me to stop dancing. I had to bite my lip to keep the complacent grin from growing on my face.
Joseph fully wrapped his arms around me and let his hands rest on my waist as if it were the most natural thing in the world. In turn, I draped my arms around his neck. It felt right. Things always felt right with him.
“I know I didn’t formally ask you to prom, but I’m glad you agreed to this dance with me. I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time.”
“I’m happy too, Joey. I always have a good time when we’re together, but especially tonight.”
The two of us had begun waltzing to a slow, romantic melody. For a while we exchanged no words. It was as if the room full of people faded into nothing. The lights around the gym twinkled like stars in a galaxy only he and I were a part of. It reminded me of the moment we shared in the ocean at the cliff and the night at the bar; there was this tacit connection. I felt myself being pulled toward him. He had to have felt it too.
There was no hiding the rippling in my voice. Hell, my heart was running a mile a minute. Sienna was staring up at me and she looked so beautiful. Her amazing brown, almond shaped eyes were sparkling under the lights, locking me in a trance. Looking away was unthinkable. I knew she was waiting for a reply, but words were something I just couldn’t produce.
I never really “had a crush” on anyone before. Truthfully, I didn’t even like thinking of the word when it came to Sienna. What I felt was much more than that. Me saying I had a “crush” would be belittling the way I felt about her mind. So sexy. I could drink her words like the strongest liquor and I’d fully enjoy being drunk.
The word “crush” would belittle the way I admired hair that fell in relaxed curls down her back. The way her lips formed the perfect smile or when they curled around my name. It was enough to make my heart beat so wildly in my chest to the point I thought it’d fly out. In this very moment I was positive it’d fly out... but I moved on before I had another second to think about it.
The look on Joseph’s face when he called my name was worrisome. I started to ask if he was okay, but was cut off when his lips suddenly met mine. That was my first kiss and it was no peck either. Joseph captured my lips in an electrifying hold that made my knees buckle.
His thumb grazed my jawline while his fingers gently gripped the back of my neck. I wasn’t sure of what to do with my hands so I placed them on his chest. If it weren’t for his steady hand on my back, I’m more than sure I’d have fainted right there.
Though I’d never kissed anyone, it was easy finding a rhythm with Joseph. He was slow and careful with me and I kissed him back with curious excitement. His lips were slightly chapped, but warm and inviting.
If I had any doubts about what he felt for me, they were whisked away like a bunch of fruit flies caught in a heavy gust of wind. When we pulled apart for air, I felt a little woozy. My heart was fluttering uncontrollably, lips were swollen and my face was undoubtedly flushed.
“Fuck. I’m sorry.”
I couldn’t believe he was apologizing. “Don’t be. It- that was amazing.”
His hands found the familiar spot on the back of his neck and right away I could tell exactly how he felt. “W-wanna take a walk?” he asked.
I nodded. “Yeah, I could use some air.”
“After you,” he said, allowing me to walk in front of him.
I waved to Alex and pointed to the exit so she knew where I’d be. She gave me a half-present nod, seemingly consumed in her own happy little bubble with her date. Joseph and I slipped outside and walked along the quad. There was a heavy silence. All I could think about was the feel of Joseph’s lips, how it lingered on mine. It drove me crazy as we wandered about.
I didn’t notice at first, but I strayed quite far away from him. He was now on the grass opposite me, but we were walking in the same direction. “You’re not trying to run away from me now, are you?” he asked.
“No, of course not,” I replied, stopping to face him.
“Good. Because I’d really like to talk to you.”
He made his way over the grass to the stone sidewalk where I stood and held both my hands. “This has been such a surreal night and I don’t want it to end just yet. I don’t want to go home. I don’t want to go anywhere without telling you how I feel.”