My heart rattled in my ribcage hearing his words. For the second time tonight, I thought I was going to faint.
“Are you okay?” he asked, bracing my back.
“I just- can we sit for a second? I need to sit.”
I squatted to sit down on the steps in front of the school, but Joseph stopped me. “I brought my car. We can hang out there for a minute. I don’t want you to ruin your dress sitting on the ground.”
A nervous titter escaped me. “Oh, thank you. I appreciate it.” I latched onto his arm as we made our way to the lot to find Lucy.
⋅. ✯ .⋅
After sitting for a while, the air leaving and entering my lungs started to steady. Joseph set a lively and much less nerve-racking mood with some classic 80s music. With our heads thrown back in laughter, we sang along to Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’.
“I’m just a small town girl!” Joseph sang.
Turning in my seat, I gave him my full attention along with the spotlight- aka turning on the inside car light. He was illuminated in an artificial yellow glow.
“Oh? You’re a small town girl?”
“Mhm. Livin’ in a lonely world! I took the midnight train goin’ an-y-where.” Taking my hand, he encouraged me to sing the next part. “C’mon, Mariposa. Be my city boy tonight.”
I missed the first couple of lines because of the fit of giggles that overtook me, but I ended up letting him finish and joined him in the second verse. Boy, did he do a mean air guitar.
“A singer in a smokey room, the smell of wine and cheap perfume. For a smile, they can share the night —”
“It goes on and on, and on, and on!!” Joseph held his phone to his lips like a microphone and belted out the lyrics with passion. As often as I said I wouldn’t do it, I found myself grabbing Joseph’s hand to get a turn at the “mic.” We went back and forth.
“Don’t stop believin! C’mon Joey!”
“Hold on to that feelin’!”
“Streetlight! People, ohhhhhh!!”
His ending air guitar solo was just as badass as the first one, and I could say with confidence that at that point in time I had reached peak happiness. It was also at this moment that I knew my feelings for Joseph had been too intense to any longer be considered platonic. The gravity of this scared the daylights out of me, and I needed to talk to Alex like... last month.
I was having a little trouble believing the night was real. That I had been dressed to the nines and danced the night away with the most amazing guy I’d ever met. I couldn’t believe I was this happy. The ever-growing smile on my face could probably have been seen miles away.
“So,” I started, half kneeling in my seat.
“You wanna duet with me again?” He got ready to crank up the radio.
“Of course I do, but that’s not what I was going to say.”
“Go on then,” he said, tilting his head in my direction.
“My mom and dad are supposed to be out for the majority of the night.”
“Do you maybe want to come back to my house and extend our night?”
His brow quirked in surprise.
“I don’t- I didn’t mean it that way. It’s just that I’m having a really good time with you and I’d really hate to part ways so early. Not when we have time to make more sweet memories like this sick jam session.”
“Look at you feeling all spontaneous tonight.”
“Guess your bravery has been rubbing off on me. I did follow you off a cliff after all.”
“You’ve always been brave. You just needed a little push.”
“Or a jump... off a cliff,” I countered.
“Semantics,” he replied.
“So whaddaya say!?” I asked, excitedly.
“I say hell yeah.”
“Let’s do it then!”
Joseph dug into his pocket for his key and stuck it into the ignition making Lucy roar to life. I quickly fixed myself in my seat and secured my seatbelt for the ride. Safety first, folks.
⋅. ✯ .⋅
“Would you like something to drink?” I asked, depositing my clutch on the entryway table.
“Water would be awesome, thank you,” he replied, taking a seat on the left side of the couch. In the kitchen, I discovered a note from my parents taped to the fridge.
“There’s rice and leftover chicken in the fridge if you get hungry at all tonight -Papa.
Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do -Mom.”
I shook my head with a small smile on my face and filled a glass before joining Joseph in the living room. After handing him the water, I kicked off my heels and sat beside him, folding my legs underneath me.
He finished half the glass in just a couple seconds and cleared his throat.
“Before anything, I really wanna talk about that kiss.” His hand was balled up into a fist that repeatedly smashed into his upper thigh.
“Do you wish you hadn’t done it?” I asked, unable to take my eyes off of his fidgeting hand.
“No, that’s definitely not the case... it’s actually the opposite. I’m sorry if I came on too strong, I- I was just nervous. Whenever I’m around you I kinda lose my shit,” he said, placing the cup on the coffee table. “I felt like I had to make a move before I scared myself into not doing anything at all.”
I stared at him with my mouth slightly agape in surprise. Joseph? Nervous? Around me?
“Really? I’d say you kept it together pretty well.”
“I don’t know about that,” he said, rubbing his hands together timidly.
“If it makes you feel any better, I was freaking out too,” I said.
“Why?” he asked.
“Cause... I’ve never kissed anyone before,” I admitted.
Hearing this, his lips sagged into a frown. “Are you serious? I mean, did I cross a line? If I had known, I would’ve —”
I shook my head dismissively. “I’m glad it was with you, someone I trust. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”
“Then can I be honest about something?” he asked.
“You drive me absolutely mad. Your lips...” his eyes dropped down to my mouth. “...are the sweetest thing I’ve ever tasted.”
Words had escaped me completely. I didn’t know what to say, but I knew that along with my heart, my body yearned for Joseph. In the gym where our lips met for the first time, I felt a spark ignite within me.
Now, as we sat together on my couch, the spark only grew. It grew into a small fire that spread from my chest, down into the pit of my stomach, through my veins and out from my fingertips. He made me come alive.
I took a deep breath, gathered all my courage and softly kissed Joseph’s lips. His body tensed in surprise, but it wasn’t long before he relaxed and returned my kiss tenfold. He wrapped an arm around my middle and in one swift motion I was on his lap.
His warm hands braced my back as mine found his hair. The hard ridge in his slacks was impossible to miss in our position. I gasped at the feeling of him pressed so firmly against me. My femininity pulsed with an unknown, tingly burst of energy that made me whimper. I wanted- needed to be closer. Closer than we were.
Our lips parted as his name glided off my tongue. He took the chance to explore, placing open-mouthed kisses on my neck. Shallow, moaned breaths left my mouth when he started sucking on the delicate skin, likely leaving roses blooming wherever his lips touched.
My voice was a husky whisper when I spoke again.
“Let’s go upstairs.”
He pulled away, a sincere look on his face. “Are you sure?”
With that, he lifted me from the couch bridal style. He almost bumped his head against the roof of the staircase and we both laughed, which nearly sent us both tumbling backward. Safely on the landing, I directed him toward my room where he nudged open the door with his foot.
Once at the edge of my bed, Joseph lowered me onto it and hovered for a few minutes, just staring. I cocked my head to one side in question.
“Just admiring the view,” he said, shifting onto his side next to me.
“You’re so corny.”
“I’ll say it again- you haven’t rejected me yet, so part of you must enjoy it.”
The next time I pressed my lips against his he was hesitant in reciprocating. That’s when panic set in. His eyes were serious and firmly fixed on mine. I tried my best not to look away.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I like you, a lot, and I respect you enough not to take advantage of a moment like this. Y’know? I don’t want you to regret anything we might do.”
“Well... are you sure you don’t like me just because of the closeness we have?”
“Yes. I’m sure, Sienna,” he affirmed, brushing a lock of hair from my face. “And I like you more every passing moment we spend together. You’re smart, insanely beautiful, and sweet as hell. You make me laugh, but you also make me want to do some pretty bad things.”
“Yes. Bad things like kissing you.”
“Is that really so bad?”
“Maybe. I can’t control myself with you, and quite frankly I don’t want to. It’s like the rush an adrenaline junkie gets jumping from skydiving.” He chuckled briefly.
“Me? I get a rush from you smiling at me. You’re the only girl who’s managed to fluster me like this.”
There was no doubt Joseph flustered me too. He was the first person I’ve ever had such strong feelings for. The guy looking at me took away all of my inhibitions and made me feel so good. Over the course of just a few months I found a home in him. I trusted him wholly and wanted to give him my all.
“What’s goin’ on in that head of yours?”
“I want you to stay with me tonight.”
He croaked. “You mean... a-are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. I want to be with you.”
“I’m going to ask you again, this time in Spanish. Estás seguro?” (Are you sure?)
“Estoy seguro,” (I’m sure.) I said, giggling at him.
His pink lips curved shyly as he leaned down, lightly caressing mine once and then twice, before I was lifting my head from the mattress to meet him halfway. He smiled against my mouth.
“Patience is a virtue, sweetheart.”
I brushed off his teasing comment and lifted my head once again to claim his lips. He took the opportunity to remove the clasps holding my hair in place. My curls fell free, curtaining my shoulders.
After absently tossing the clips aside, he began tracing circles on my waist with the pads of his thumbs. “This dress is stunning, but may I please take it off of you?”
I sat up to remove the delicate straps from my shoulders, letting the silky fabric fall and bunch at my hips. The cold air hitting my bare chest made me shiver. Joseph pulled the remaining length of my dress down my legs with shaking hands, letting it pile on the floor. He took a moment to admire my figure, which was clad in just blue lace.
“Have I told you you’re beautiful?” he asked, his voice as unsteady as his hands. It amazed me to see that I affected him as much as he affected me.
“Maybe once or twice tonight.”
Leaning forward, I helped slip off his vest and undo the buttons of his dress shirt. His lightly muscled torso was on display. I touched him, gently raking my nails from his chest down. He hissed and flexed beneath me.
The scent of him became heady as he was once again close enough for us to share a breath. His fingertips ran up my calf, setting flames to every inch of skin he grazed on the way. But it was nothing compared to the heat that engulfed me when he touched me where I never touched myself. It was as if there, my senses were heightened by a million. Each gentle caress made me gasp and surge in delight.
I gripped the back of his neck and he leaned in, brushing his lips against my jawline as he thumbed my sensitive trigger. My head crashed onto the pillow, moans spilling from my mouth as pleasure began to overtake me.
Underneath Joseph I lay in a boneless puddle, covered in a light sheen of sweat. He wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me close, his hazel eyes dark and wild with affection.
“How do you feel? You okay?”
“I feel incredible...”
Like it had a mind of its own, my hand traveled a short path down to the front of his pants and tugged at the belt.
“But I want more. I want all of you.”
His larger hand covered mine, giving it a light squeeze before he brought it to his mouth and kissed the tips of each of my fingers. My heart was full to bursting.
“And I want to give my all to you, Sienna.”
Never seeming to get enough of each other, our lips collided with passion and the world fell away. Somehow we managed to rid the rest of Joseph’s clothes without ever separating, but when we did we were panting.
He hovered over me with his knees on either side of my body. I could feel the granite-like hardness of him teasing back and forth at my core.
“Wait, protection!” I quickly reached over to my nightstand.
“Did you plan on seducing me tonight?” Joseph asked.
It was hard to suppress my laughter.
“I think it’s safe to say we’ve seduced each other, but no. This was Alex’s doing, even though I refused them a million times,” I said, shaking the box of condoms in my hand.
I watched as he sheathed himself.
“If you don’t like the way it feels, or if there’s something you want me to do differently, tell me.”
He nodded and pushed himself inside of me with a deep moan. It was a stinging stretch that had me fisting the sheets. A single tear welled up in my eye as my mouth fell agape in a silent moan, but Joseph swept it away before it had the chance to fall.
With a tender kiss on my forehead he continued pushing until we were completely one, a lovely mess of limbs, mingled breaths and tantalizingly slow rocks. I sank my teeth into his shoulder as the momentary pain turned into pure, unbridled pleasure.
“You’re so warm, so pretty writhing beneath me.”
Joseph’s tone dropped to gravel, making my body prickle with goosebumps. His fingers dug into the soft flesh of my waist —nails likely leaving crescent moons glowing there— as we repeatedly connected. He swallowed my every moan with fervent kisses.
The starlit galaxies in his eyes swirled as his face contorted in ecstasy. I clung to him, fingers tangled in his hair and legs holding him near as he brought me to the peak.
"Mmm and so mine.”
“J- oh! Joseph!” I cried out softly.
My body quivered and tightened around him as the coil winding itself in my stomach finally snapped. He quickly followed me off the edge, biting my neck. For a few moments we admired one another. Joseph was a sexy, blissed out mess. Hair damp with sweat, sticking to his forehead, and he had the biggest smile on his face. I was equally disheveled, but he looked at me like I’d never been more attractive.
After pecking my lips, he climbed off of me to dispose of the condom in the trash bin across my room. I felt strangely empty, but happy nonetheless as I slid under my warm blanket.
When Joseph returned to the bed, he lifted the blanket exposing my bare bottom and positioned himself in between my legs again.
“Oh, no, I don’t think I can do that again right now.” I protectively cupped my center, an airy chuckle leaving me.
“Relax, Mariposa. Just... let me take care of you.”
Instead of the cheeky smirk I expected to follow, he smiled at me bearing all of his teeth. It was like watching a flower bloom. Slow, but so wonderful. It was as if the sun had somehow toppled down from the sky and made a home right there within him. It was a smile that completely undid me.
“Where’d you go just now?” he asked, snapping me from my haze.
“To heaven. I had to thank God for you personally.”
His smile grew even wider if possible, and a rosy glow further flushed his soft honey cheeks. He tapped my knee and I parted my legs. I watched as he brought a warm damp cloth to my center, cleaning me with the softest of touches. There and there. He moved carefully, trying to avoid rubbing up against my hypersensitive bundle of nerves.
Watching Joseph move with such affection made my eyes brim with tears. Tonight, there was a different type of warmth I felt blossoming in my chest. It was only he who could make me feel so beautiful and loved and important... so powerful yet so delicate all at once.