DISCLAIMER: All I want for Christmas is Paris...uh, no, ewww. not you Ms. Hilton. If I wanted genital herpes I'd have called you, now shoo, go make another sex tape or awful album or whatever a useless heiress like you does! As I was trying to say, all I want for Christmas is Paris Gellar and Rory together. In my way however is Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions, Hofflund-Polone and Warner Bros. Television, so looks like that wish won't come true. Doesn't mean I can't do it here in fic though (maniacal grin).
SPOILERS: This takes place the day after my modified I Can't Get Started, where Rory won the dance marathon with Paris, and Jess and Dean were nowhere to be found.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: It took me three months to write this, and I apologize for making you all wait, because some real life things (aka the boss at work putting the kibosh on extra-curricular writing) got in my way, so now I have to write overnights and during the day with distractions. I'm starting to deal though, so hopefully chapter ten will come out a little faster than this one.
THANKS: The usual thanks to Raven and Cinn for taking time out of their busy schedules to beta this for me. Thanks to Brian and The Raven (who wrote a great Lily Rush/Lorelai Cold Case/GG crossover I highly recommend, just look for it under her name in the GG section of RotS) for their email encouragement, and those at GGSlash who keep begging me for an update.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Longing With a Cherry Tomato on Top
And Then Paris Kissed Me...
I was feeling as high as a cloud as Paris and I slid in the backseat of her Jaguar, with Miss Patty being our personal chauffeur for the short ride between the high school's baseball diamond and my home a ½ mile from the town center. Paris was somewhat coherent as she buckled her seatbelt, but as soon as that task was done, her head was against the window and she seemed to be out like a light quickly for the ten-minute drive home. I could tell just by looking at her that the dance marathon took a lot of her, and beforehand as we waited for Miss Patty, she had leaned against me, so I had kept her steady for most of the next fifteen minutes between the last dance and that point.
Miss Patty started the luxury car's engine, and after a delay of a few minutes as we navigated the gummed up works of the parking lot with the rest of those leaving the school, we were on the road, leaving my worn eyes to try to gauge the slumbering girl to my left.
Paris was relaxed, the dim light of the upcoming dawn casting a soft glow on her face, her lips out and puckered, tempting me so much. Her legs were crossed together, and though her positioning was far from what could be called sexy, it was definitely very serene. I was glad to see her in such a human state, and I smiled as I looked at my compatriot and Miss Patty turned the car onto Town Square Circle.
I stayed like that for the next few minutes, contemplating what my invitation to Paris to spend time at my house post-dance entailed. There was a feeling on my end when I made the invitation that there was a plan B floating around Paris' brain somewhere about how she would get home, and though I don't know what that might have been, I'm pleased that my words and seductive actions talked her out of it. Now, the weekend was truly ours; I could catch her off-guard, unprepared to deal with a Sunday in my presence, and get even closer to confession. The best thing about what I was planning in my head from 5:30am on was that I had home-field advantage. The usual distractions and any interference were out of play, for I had the house to myself for at least the next thirteen hours. No one was about to stop by to congratulate, nor was Mom anywhere to be found to give me any second thoughts about my feelings for Paris.
Maybe it would end with confession, or maybe not. All I knew then was that I couldn't screw it up. Those ideas floating in my head to seduce Paris would put anything Tristan DuGrey ever planned for the both of us and the rest of his little black book to shame.
I looked at her in sleep as I told Miss Patty how excited I was that Kirk had been finally knocked from the top rung and that I won. I couldn't gauge her reaction since she was driving, but she was already gushing about how excited Mom would be to see that trophy in her own house and how I had won it, "I'm sure she'll be very proud of you dear," she said to me. It was more a conversation to fill the silence (Paris' stereo system was too complicated for Miss Patty to figure out and I had very novice experience working it around), and to keep my mind off the fact so much tanned skin along the neckline of Paris' dress was in my eyesight with her unable to call me on my lustful staring. Of course finding out that the backseat of her XJ8 had more than enough room to accommodate two bodies laying down on the leather bench was causing my daydreams to drift towards a more sexual way than I was used to. I could visualize the picture of myself above Paris on the seat clear as day, causing a blush to flare up my face as I looked at her. The conversation with Miss Patty was tiring and sort of white noise over those sexual thoughts of mine, helping cool down my body from the effects of twenty-four hour close dancing with the girl next to me.
Patty went on and on about Kirk's streak and I kept the conversation up lightly through the circle and towards Peach Lane as I felt my eyes start to lose the battle to keep awake. My body felt tight in the formerly loose dress that I had worn to lure Paris in. Twenty-four hours of close contact with her had rearranged my hormones, and though I was wearing something smooth beneath the red fabric, the strapless bra was digging against my side and probably leaving quite the red welt beneath. I had my long coat on beneath the dress since the temperature was chilly outside and Patty didn't turn on the heat, but it wasn't very long before the conversation was fading out and Paris was waking up again after the car hit the bump between the smoothly paved Peach Street and the older and thin asphalt path that was the road to my house, Cherry Lane.
We were both tired and about on par with a Resident Evil zombie wanting brains in our lack of enthusiasm as we got out of the car after Miss Patty pulled up into the gravel drive, and I helped Paris with her overnight bag and the trophy. Patty seemed to eye us both with a look of 'I know something you don't Rory', but I wasn't about to ask her about this sense she had right in front of Paris. I don't know, but Patty's look as we both got out of the car just unnerved me.
She said goodbye to both of us, and I waved back as Par mumbled out a tired "Bye!" as she stepped out of those high heels that irked her through the evening, and slipped into an old worn pair of running shoes, sitting on the bumper as she put them on and somehow maneuvered her emergency bag beneath her free arm and held onto it for dear life. I guess I was right from my earlier observation; this girl is prepared for almost every situation that can be thrown at her while she drives.
Then we both took a side of the marathon trophy and lifted it out of the trunk, balancing ourselves carefully as I did my best to dodge the chunks of gravel in the driveway until we found the grass and the walkway up to the porch. Paris wasn't complaining about having to help out with the effort, and even with that bag in her arm, got the door open so that we could both work the four-foot edifice of our victory through the front door.
I looked at Paris, and she seemed ready to trip on her ankles; she was that worn down.
"Where do you want me to put this?" she asked me, "I can help you bring it upstairs--"
"No, no, don't even think of it," I told her as I bent down and had her follow my cue to set the trophy down in the front hall. "You've done so much already, all I wanted to do is get this thing in the house. I'll worry about it in a bit; Mom's going to be really shocked when she sees where I put this." I already had the picture in my head of Lorelai bringing her luggage upstairs after I told her my weekend was fine, and then finding that one thing she coveted in her bedroom. I could hear the happy scream and her asking me whether there were hidden cameras in the headboard and all those other things she'd say when she found out I won the competition.
The trophy was mine and Paris', that's all that mattered. But there was a much more important and critical plan spinning in my head this morning; which was to prove to Paris that I needed her as more than a friend, or a dance partner. My mind was already spinning with thoughts of how to pull this all off when she asked me where her weary head could rest.
Also, the nagging question of her sleepwear was still in the air. As much as I wouldn't have minded her sleeping in her dress, I could see a red mark along the back of her neck where the halter was when I looked at her in the car, so she wouldn't have slept comfortably in it at all. The inner vixen in me also was really, really hoping that she'd refuse my request to bring her something of my mom's to wear, but the odds of her sleeping nude in my house were pretty slim. Paris is a modest girl to begin with from the way she dresses, so I wouldn't expect her to not be the same when it came to sleepwear. I told her to lie on the couch and that I'd bring up the trophy while I looked for something to wear for her, and I asked what she'd prefer.
She thought for a moment as she flopped down on the sofa, then gave me an answer. "Whatever, a shirt and some shorts, I usually like to sleep in something cool and billowy." Paris smiled, and I told her that I knew Lorelai had something like that. I made a joke about her past history of borrowing clothes from me, but in a light way. She didn't overreact about it thankfully, and after talking to her for a bit, figured she might want to do a little relaxing.
After watching her get a little comfy in the couch, I grabbed the trophy from the front hall, went upstairs and into my mom's room, setting the trophy down near the door and looking for something in her dresser that would fit Paris just fine. There was a debate going on through my mind about what I wanted her to sleep in; you really can't do sexy with shorts and an undefined shirt, but I'd be trying to do my best to counterbalance 'unknowingly sexy' with 'practical'. My brain might have been exhausted from doing nothing for 24 hours but go over Fred Astaire's footsteps, yet it still had enough charged juice to figure out how I'd try to draw Paris out of her protective shell and hopefully, into my arms. I couldn't bottle everything back up again; like a moth to a flame I wanted to know for sure if she thought the same of me as I was her.
It took me a few moments, but after a little crude matching up and mental picture comparing, I came up with a loose pair of black shorts and a blue flannel shirt as the perfect combination for Paris to sleep in. It would be comfortable to her, and at the same time bare just a smidge more skin than she usually cared to. It seemed like the perfect outfit, and before I could spend too much time letting myself wallow in thoughts of her, I folded the clothes together and closed the dresser drawers, trying to figure out my next move.
I tossed Paris her clothes over the railing as I walked down the stairs, but didn't warn her fast enough as the articles hit her in the side of her face.
"Rory, please, more warning next time," she admonished, turning around and then smiling at me. "You should know by now I've always been the first casualty in dodgeball since I can't pay attention in that game enough to save my life."
"Just keeping you on your toes Gellar," I let her know. She laughed, and I was able to glance once again at that serene smile she seems to only bring out in my presence. Then she placed the clothes down on her lap and looked at the shorts and flannel shirt, making sure they'd be up to her standards. Something I was expecting, I told myself; no matter how plain she might seem, Paris is still of a rich pedigree so she expects that in her pajamas.
She looked at my mom's clothes one more time, and then relieved me by telling me that they'd do just fine. "Nothing I'd be embarrassed to run out in if the house caught fire," she let me know, thus bringing that dark, wry sense of humor she has to the forefront.
"Where is the bathroom so I can change out of this?" she asked, pointing to her dress, still on her like a second skin and causing my mouth to water.
"Other side of the kitchen," I let her know, and pointed out the way, as I tried to keep my hormones in check. As she got up after thanking me for finding her last-minute PJs to wear and made her way past me in the middle of the living room, I found my eyes involuntarily drawing towards her slender back. In another situation, say with Lane or even Madeline, it would've been just a quick glance, then my attention wandering back to another subject.
With Paris though, any unexpected opportunity for staring, I ended up taking. Her hair was down to the middle of her back, which left at least the lower 2/3 of it and the naked skin over it exposed to me. I licked my lips as a flash came into my mind of her undressing in the bathroom; the tie in the back of her neck holding it against her dress unfurling in front of my mind image down as the black material fell into a heap at her ankles. However, my eyes were much higher than the heap and leapt right back towards the middle of her torso.
I then realized that I was letting a golden opportunity slip right through my fingers, unnoticed. Paris was going to change into those bedclothes, and there I'd be on the other side of the bathroom door, unable to get another close and intimate opportunity to look at this girl I had an insatiable crush on.
Where was this take-charge side of me these last two years? I mused to myself, wondering why I had never even dared think this way at all with Dean. I had never seen him more than shirtless, nor took advantage of any opportunity that was offered to disrobe him. I keep thinking about Dean and I through our relationship, and not once did I see lust enter the equation between us. He always thought I was pretty or beautiful, while I thought he was handsome. There has never been a thought of jumping him or having erotic thoughts of him floating around my mind, and that sense of I want him never was in play. Not just because of my mom, but the pheromonal connection wasn't there. He was a guy, and liked me. The more I think about it, the more it's clear that I went into that whole thing totally unprepared and hoping for a spark that never came, like the only reason I was attracted to him was that he was this odd groupie who hung around me all the time and thought of me as more than 'that quiet girl with a new paperback in tow everyday'.
With Paris though, it's like my sex senses got a power boost. I look at her, even in close study, and I just want to set my hand down somewhere on her and have any kind of contact, be it sexual or non-sexual. I stood in that living room, prepared to head to my room to change in my own pajamas, when again, my mind has another flash. This time though, it's reverse angle, with Paris' fingers trailing down my spinal column as she helps to unzip my dress. Those fingers, calloused from a pencil grip every weekday and the 75 wpm clatter of each of her fingertips against the keyboard at her Franklin desk, run against my middle, and I can feel it already.
My mind relays the fact it took me at least five minutes to maneuver my way into the dress yesterday morning, three of those spent unsuccessfully gripping the zipper and getting it up from my butt, then turning it around so I could zip it up in the front without much of a problem. Finally, I used that last minute to maneuver the zipper side from the front to back it so it's the correct way and I don't look like I'm about ten years removed from the Kris Kross 'wearing clothes backwards' fad that never made sense to anyone. So now if I tried to take it off, I'd tear the fragile fabric if I just lifted it over my head, and my sore body would grimace in pain if I tried to unzip myself.
That left me one more choice; help on the zipper from a second party.
Guess who happened to be the only person in the room who could help me unzip?
I smirked inside; This is going to be quite fun, my inner dialogue told me. Then it also told me that I should stop saying 'quite' in my head, because it sounded odd.
My mind somewhat distracted, I called out Paris to stop and help me unzip, explaining exactly why her help would be much appreciated. Those thoughts of helping her out with her own halter knot mixed in with my plea, and I ended up having my voice softer than intended. I was trying to be careful about not leading on too much with my feelings, and I was a little timid that she was starting to catch on to my feelings for her.
Still, whatever the tone of my voice, it ended up working.
"Uh, alright, I guess," she said, kind of nervous. "I could use a helping hand myself with my dress knot; that is if you don't mind. You don't have to and I can probably get it myself--"
Before she could ramble more, I responded that I could do it with a enthusiastic tone I usually left for an aced test or won game at a carnival. Paris didn't seem to notice this sudden jubilation thankfully, and before I knew it, I had turned around and stood with my back to her.
Suddenly, I felt then like I was layered for a trip back up Mt. Everest, and that I needed that dress off and soon. Her thumb and forefinger gripped the metal pull on the slider, seemingly a little shaky. A light touch of the tip of one of her nails, and I was lost in delirium.
I looked straight ahead towards the fireplace, trying to find a focal point to distract me from the feelings being aroused from Paris' simple brush of her fingers against my back. Just unzipping, just unzipping, honestly. Nothing sexual to be taken out of this...
At that point her left hand braced my shoulder, and it became more than unzipping to me. Just that one touch alone sent a colony of butterflies through my stomach, because I knew that right there, she'd figure out for sure I was wearing a strapless bra. I brought the hair along my back up to the front, and relaxed my body to hasten the zipping process further.
My concentration was at first focused on the shaded front window, looking at the dull beige shade and light yellow curtains shielding the window from the view of anyone who happened by. I found all my senses tightening up as Paris' hand moved down the middle of my spinal column, not fast and swift, instead, she took her time.
I could hear her exhalations waver a bit as I felt cool air sweep up the skin bared, and bit my lip to keep any sudden noises stifled and my feelings unsaid. Down and down Paris worked, as I felt the dress loosen up quite a bit in the front with each new portion of slack. My mind spun with a thought of turning around and shrugging off the dress, a sudden move to catch her off guard and see if my intuition of things was correct.
Thankfully, just her unzipping my dress was erotic. The moment felt like, along with the room surrounding me, with the dim light coming from that cursed monkey lamp (which I edit out of any dreams and fantasies I might have; animal lamps don't exactly scream sexy atmosphere) and her warm breath against the back of my neck, it was a romantic air in that room. She was close, but not too close; enough to tell me this is a sample and that if I want more she'll have to know about it. Paris' soft orchid perfume was behind me and wafted between each side of my neck and into my nostrils, making me want to turn around...
She reached the middle of my back, exposing my bra. She's come close to seeing this much of my skin exposed but had never ventured any lower. Paris paused, and for a short bit I feel her smoothing the zipper line from the nape down to the bra line, her curved index finger and thumb running along both sides of the zipper and across my skin.
"Just so the zipper doesn't snag," was the reasoning she gives me; that has to be a lamer excuse than 'I need to wash my hair tonight so I can't go out with you'. Zippers are rigid, never fail, and there's not a lot of material along the track to make it snag. No matter though, for my eyes shut and I feel a warm sensation run from my stomach and up to my cheeks. She unzipped beyond the bottom of my bra and continued, and I feel even more exposed than I ever have before. I feel as if my legs are going to topple in on themselves at the first opportunity and figure out that standing while unzipped wasn't the way to go. Her left hand moves down to the middle of my back and rests against it, rubbing it like she's trying to reassure me.
What are you doing to me Par? I told myself, as with each inch, I feel like I never wanted to leave this spot and wished the zipper was longer than the three feet plus length it actually was. I did end up gasping out a moan I thought was undetectable; Paris had found one of those sensitive spots where I couldn't help but react somehow. I hoped she didn't detect it, and thankfully she didn't.
My eyes stayed shut as she reached the dip of the small, where she continued to torture me with her feather-light touches and raspy breathing. Her hand was getting ever closer to that line not even Dean had crossed in our dancing, and my only thoughts weren't innocent by far. My heartbeat thumped in my chest, and I stood still and took a slow glance down my body. Looking down at myself vertically, Paris was again doing the same thing her damned perfect fingernails did Tuesday morning. In twenty-four hours of activity, I never felt modest about my small chest. Now I hoped that when I turned to help her out she wouldn't notice each of my hardened nipples peeking up through three layers of thin foam, cream cotton, and red rayon. My body was flushing, and as her slow unzipping seemed to reach my pantyline, it felt so tight and wound up I had to somehow not only even my breathing, but find the inside of each of my palms interesting, for I wanted to hook one or both my pointer fingers along the side of my hem, and slowly slide one of those hands up the skirt of the dress.
I felt so alluring, and Paris didn't know it at all. For all she knew she was either unzipping my dress and not thinking anything more than platonically about it, or she was trying to send me to an early grave with her torture. I didn't expect this at all and Paris was playing with an entire box of matches with the way her fingers stayed within that stubborn 2" width along my spine. My body tried to remain still, try not to show how much her touch was affecting me. Still my hands trembled and my heart was pounding, with my legs feeling like they'd give out.
That was nothing compared to when she reached the near end and stopped for a moment right at the waistband of my underwear. I had expected her to continue, for Paris doesn't do anything half-heartedly. When took her hand off the zipper abruptly, I felt jarred suddenly. I could feel her stare, and somehow I thought I'd heard her thoughts spinning around. My mind was projecting a thought in her voice; This is too much too fast, I better reel back.
I didn't though; I wanted her to finish and have something to remember me by. I groaned, and my eyes slitted as I tried to communicate she had my permission. For this may have been my seduction, but I still had things to gauge. If she finished and closed in those last four inches to the stop of the zipper, that would give me a huge clue to her intentions.
If she didn't though, I would back off my advances, that simple. Just like if I had told Dean to stop massaging because I wasn't ready.
There was no need to fret though, for my groan of 'you aren't done Par' was enough to tell her to continue. I felt her hand brush up against my rear and finish the job, wallowing in that seemingly accidental touch and feeling shudders of pleasure up my spine. Her fingers lingered for quite a bit and then she started up from the crouch she was in to travel down my body, the fingernails of one of her hands gliding effortlessly up my middle slowly, seemingly for an eternity. The hair along my arms stood on end and I involuntarily exhaled a deep breath as they departed from my body.
Now I know why the art of the tease is of such importance in the charged and more sexual type of literature. I've read so many scenes in so many years from so many books of seduction and the after effects, up to and including sex. At first when I got access to some of those books when I moved to junior high, being a curious red-blooded twelve year-old girl, I paged right to the sexual parts and read the scenes. However, they've never really had the effect on me a nice slow tease can do, and I started paying much more attention to the scenes before the actions, because the flirting did so much more for me than the actual activity. The shirt coming off, the brushing of the hair, maybe a hand running along the side of a woman as her lover feels her up through her slip; it's something you need in order to write a great American novel. Sex is all well and good, but in the end, it's just the dessert to end a great meal. Without the appetizer of the flirting and that main course of seduction, you're starved for much more than you actually got.
I let myself relax for a bit to calm so that when I turned around, Paris wouldn't see my beyond flustered and aroused state and think that something was up for me. It took a few spins of my mind around the 'never in a million years' portion to cleanse out what I was feeling. Yeah, seducing Dean in front of my mom as she watched really helped settle me down.
I had her walk towards a hassock in the room to try to keep her steady, then sit her down on it so I could undo her knot in the back. My mind immediately reasoned that since she had a knot in a backless halter dress rather than a long zipper, thing would be a lot less charged in this part of the changing, and leagues easier.
What I didn't expect was that Paris studied her knot instruction in Girl Scouts a little too closely. I heard her say 'thank you' and sigh happily as I brought her hair up to her front and undid her first loose knots, and then find myself in an odd roadblock situation.
I looked at the nape of her neck, trying to trace how I could undo the second and much tighter bind, which was forming a bundle of deep red-colored skin where it came together. My eyes appraised it, however the tomato-onion pattern made trying to find the end and beginning a muddled mess. I tugged it hard, hoping to entice the entire thing loose. It didn't budge in any way.
I worked a fingernail to where I thought I'd find the beginning. It still strained to come apart and I was finding it to be stubborn. Pulling only seemed to make it worse, and working my finger between Paris' neck and the knot seemed not to do much at all except aggravate her when I tugged and found her body fall towards me from it. Sure, of course I relished this opportunity of my fingers against a very sensitive spot on the back of her neck, but that knot just didn't want to come apart. I complained about her tight knot; and I could've sworn that her dress would stay on with that first knot she made before leaving Hartford.
"My apologies Gilmore," she droned. "I felt like I was going to fall out of this if I didn't add another knot, so I made another one and tied it tighter than usual." A reasonable response, but words wouldn't get her out of that dress any faster.
I continued to try to work her dress open, to no avail for at least five minutes. I could feel her body start to overheat, and my eyes weigh with sleep. I had to get this done pretty quick, otherwise we'd both be finding ourselves sleeping in positions that make my kitchen table chair sleep before the Shakespeare exam look like a luxurious shiatsu massage.
Working it wasn't doing anything, and nails in the knot weren't either. I was about ready to stop and give up from the frustration of not getting it out. For a moment, I gritted my teeth, mad that I couldn't do this one simple thing I promised to Paris. My plan to give Paris seductive touching was down the Bemis and would end up failing.
My teeth were together, and I looked at that knot, when my mind melded a connection with those two simple things. My teeth; that knot. A very tight knot that wasn't coming apart, and my teeth, which had much more grip and power than I'd ever have in my hands.
Hmm...I pondered this to myself, looking at Paris' very bare back and trying to cloud out any uncouth thoughts of her, and then at the knot. It seemed to make sense that when all else fails, you use your teeth, be it in opening a drink bottle or ripping open a rather tough bag of snack chips. It was far from ladylike and using teeth to work something open was always meant as a last resort.
I was at my wit's end here though. The knot wasn't coming apart, and feeling around for the beginning slack of it, then tugging it open with my teeth seemed like a good solution, and an even better idea.
That's when the emergency alert in my mind went off.
Lorelai Leigh, don't forget whose knot that is!! Oh yeah, it was Paris' dress. And her back. And her neck.
Yes, I was seriously considering biting the back of the neck of the girl I was lusting for, and licking my lips like I was about to gnaw into a tender rack of ribs.
Now if this was the old me, in the days of Dean, I would've stopped right there and told Paris to undo her own dress, because I wouldn't do that. It could be taken as dirty and sexual and she'd overreact, I just would know it. She could wriggle out of the dress I'm sure and I'd be off the hook.
But this is me almost six days removed from the end of my heterosexuality. I was no longer the doting girlfriend of one Dean Forrester; I'm the newly gay Rory, trying to show Paris that I'd rather she not end up with a dullard trust fund boy from Glastonbury to warm her up at night. To her, she might have a stuck halter dress. But to me, that black cotton tasted like sweet opportunity.
I looked at her tanned neck, saying a silent prayer that she would think this was all innocent. It was better not to tell her plan B before I bit in, lest she freak out. The element of surprise would ease her mind, so I went in and softly nipped at where the knot could be undone.
Already I felt as if I'd lose control, because my breath rushed from my mouth. I started working the loop and it started to loosen a bit; my intuition was right. Temptation was high to suckle the area around the halter and bring my tongue against her skin. I wanted to so much, but for the sake of Paris and my own thoughts, I relented. She could feel the rush of my breath against her skin and I could see her shake a little. My plan was working; she was becoming lost to the world around her.
The knot was finally starting to cooperate, and I worked the wettened fabric with my fingers to unloosen it, taking my mouth away for a bit. Still needed a little bit more slack, so I went in again to try and bite in at the knot.
That second time wasn't a charm though, for instead of biting cloth, I got a small patch of skin right between my choppers. The bite wasn't that hard, but still enough to make her moan just a smidge, then...
"Ror! Ow!" She yelped in a high tone of voice as I bit down, not as rough as I expected. She actually seemed a little calm about it, and her voice seemed to be a little wavering. Still, she didn't move, just reeled back for a couple seconds to reach back and rub down my bite mark, then slid back into her previous sitting position. I took this as an 'OK' sign and finished doing my best to unknot her dress.
My mini-bite was distracting however; my mind was trying to stir me into thinking that it was a way of asserting ownership of Paris' heart, no matter that it was accidental. The remnants of her perfume, sprayed along her neck were also getting into me, for it was certain I couldn't avoid it with the inches between my nose and her skin. The lingering smell of her shampoo, along with that orchid scent sprayed along her neck, I was finding my blood stirred from the intimate contact with her. Geeze, not now, what if she turns around, is what was in my mind in order to scold myself from letting the sweet mixture of her favorite scents and the natural smell of her skin disrupt bloodflow. No matter that I wanted much more of this, did I ever need more it. I wanted to do a lot more than unknot Paris, but I had to stick to plan. Either I did it slowly or I would end up scaring her or having to back off because I edged against a comfort zone and she'd start to realize I wasn't doing this accidentally, or being this close to gauge the knot.
My mouth and hands worked to make it release, and after a couple of minutes, I had worked the stubborn one open enough to unfurl it, and was finally left with just that one pithy tie she did early last morning. I apologized to her for what I had to do, and she was a little shaken, but thankful that I had done what I had to do to help her out of her dress.
The last knot was the absolute easiest, and within ten seconds, Paris was free from the dress, as I threw the thin cords over to her front so she could head off to the bathroom and let the dress slide off the rest of the way. Before then though, I saw that both sides of her back, especially where the dress was over, were red from the imprints of the fabric edging. I wanted her to relax and make her descent into dreamland easier, so I massaged her back softly, along her shoulders, rubbing in and out from the tip of her shoulder blades back to the nape of her neck. Paris seemed to sigh, and this sort of belated thank you for her warming me up on Tuesday was well-deserved by her after a tough dance marathon win, not to mention how much she's made the breakup with Dean that much more soothing.
Dean would never do these things to spoil me, because he never wants to push himself further. He takes the minimum classes in high school and after encouraging him to take more English classes last year, only to find more auto/mechanical lessons on his schedule after only a few days, I pretty much gave up on the idea of 'first love forever' right then and there. He was a good first love, but my wildest fairy tale dreams never consisted of I, as the unhappily married Rory Forrester, having his grimy self sit on the couch and whine about cars and the people who ask him to fix them until kingdom come. How could I be happy when the only guy in my future was not only someone I didn't love, but who didn't mind that his old TV isn't not only not ready for cable, much less color? If he's not going to strive for a goal and let me help him, screw it. I didn't need Dean before I went to Chilton, and I certainly don't need him now.
I looked at Paris after I finished and before she went into the bathroom to change into the pajamas, and though a little tired, she was still smiling at me, happy that things between us were far from strained. God, I liked being the pursuer of her feelings, because it's so much more satisfying knowing that it was I who was doing this to her.
I watched Paris go into the bathroom, then headed to my room and shut my door, desperately wanting out of the unzipped dress and the lingerie beneath. Things certainly couldn't get any better; Paris was sleeping in my house, and I was getting steeled to tell her that I thought of her as more as a friend. Looks like an occasion for the purple sheep pajamas, I thought to myself as I straightened my hair in the mirror and prepared to retrieve that pajama shirt and the matching bottoms from my dresser.
"Hold on," I whispered to myself, thinking aloud. "That might be all fine and good for a regular sleepover, but you have Paris in that bathroom probably thinking about how wonderful those lips on her neck were."
I was in my bedroom, almost completely naked but a fresh pair of undies, and about to play into that cute image I was trying to shrug off so I could show Par that I could do more than look demure. She had also seen me in regular PJs already, and they didn't do much to flatter my figure or tease. On top of that, the entire plan was to repeat her sleeping in my bed like she did a few weeks ago, but with some kerosene thrown on the fire. I'd barely feel her in bed if I wore purple flannel, and that would silently scream to her that maybe I'm not interested, that this is friendly and our undressing wasn't meant to be anything but normal.
Trouble was, I wanted her. My body definitely showed that too, what with my breasts looking even more sexually alluring to me by the day with each new look in the mirror. They were aroused from the unzipping, and when I rubbed my stomach, then along the bottom, I felt like moaning from my self-contact, shutting my eyes and imagining that Paris had brought her touch from the small of my back and then around. I also felt a very nagging itch between the trunk of my legs from all those steps during the dance, along with the feelings I had of her. I ran a hand along the cotton of my panties, and though it wasn't wet, I still felt very sensitive down there because I almost wanted to get off when her hands were along my back. If she was a slow dresser, I would've given myself a quick frig, but there wasn't time to consider. Also in this case, giving myself pleasure could backfire and actually have kept me awake if I had, so waiting to release my tension was the best thing to do.
"You have to play into that," I told myself, "think of that in the way you dress." Those thoughts brought me back to Tuesday and the sprinklers, along with laundry day forcing me to improvise quick. My uniform preparation slipped that day, and though I expected it to be a disaster, the sprinklers and lack of underclothes ended with one of the most sexually satisfying days I'd ever had, and finally getting the weight off my back that was Dean. I smiled, recalling those hovering brown eyes Paris gave me as she slid her backpack onto her shoulder, turned around, and found her fellow classmate with her own shirt held in that girl's hands, her mood going from angry and pissed off down to wanting some friendly bonding, and that girl wearing a tank top that left very little to the imagination.
She loved it, and I loved that attention so much, along with the dirty ideas I formed. That scene you occasionally see in a bad sex drama of the woman looking over herself in the mirror and confidently stating to herself that 'I'd do me'? That was me in the Chilton darkroom at lunch, begging for Paris to get me off as my hands got to really know how alluring a girl I could really be.
I want her to want me, was the line in my head. Then that Cheap Trick tune played in my head, which thankfully I decided not to sing into my hairbrush as that would only make Paris question my mental state. I found myself thinking that a ribbed white top in the top drawer of my vanity with very thin spaghetti straps that I usually reserve for a 100° day when I'd rather be naked would be the perfect top for seduction. I took it out, and slipped it on, expecting it to look out of place on my body for an early November morning as sleepwear.
It was far from the case, and only convinced me further that I should occasionally stray from my usual wardrobe. Not only did it flatter me very well, but it was just as warm as if I would've worn the lamb PJs. I looked pretty nice, and Paris would definitely think the same was what I thought.
I considered going bottomless and just sleeping in that and my panties, but again, I want to seduce her, not rush things too fast; her mind could overheat. I took a pair of blue scrub pants from my drawer I usually match up with an oversized t-shirt. It did a little to elongate my legs and make them longer, but not really too much; I meant it to be a red herring to show I might be spicing myself up a smidge, but that I still try and dress conservatively.
With another quick look at myself, I determined that it was time to get out there and ramp up my flirting, for I still had a few things in mind to make my intentions known. "She ain't gonna know what hit her," I told myself with confidence into the mirror, as I heard her come out of the bathroom and walk back into the living room.
"It's time." One more look in the mirror, and it was time to go into action. I waited a few beats, then opened up my door and readied myself for the sight of Paris Gellar in something that though dowdy, was still infinitely much more alluring and sexy to wear than a frumpy nightgown that made her look like she was carrying septuplets instead of a junior in high school looking to get important life connections from a secret society.
I came out and saw Paris preparing for bed as if she was the inconvenient guest she may have been in February, but certainly wasn't this morning. I know she loathed sleeping on the couch and kept hearing about it days after that night she impromptly swept into my house to ask me for help, and ended up staying the night. She slept in her regular clothes, yes, so she was a bit uncomfy. Still, she's used to sleeping on a $2,000 mattress every night so it was a shock to her system to sleep on a piece of furniture she wasn't used to.
This was a sleepover after all in the rawest sense of the word; she just wasn't some far off relative from Kansas who I offered the couch to out of obligation. This was a girl who was quickly becoming my best friend, and maybe if I played my cards right, my future lover. My body was already overcharged beyond belief, and I yearned for her close to me, for Paris' presence around me was keeping me single-handedly grounded.
No way was I going to just say goodnight and walk back to my room; I had to take action. So I swept into the room, and before she could get comfy enough to not justify moving from the couch, I took the blanket right from her hand and told her that I wouldn't allow her to sleep on the cursed couch. I looked her down sternly and also let her know not to bother heading upstairs to Mom's room because she wouldn't ever allow someone else to sleep in her bed (though I don't know for sure).
This was a side that I was unfamiliar with myself, taking charge of the situation and though with some numbing, pretty much demanded Paris sleep with me in my bed. I tossed the colorful afghan onto the chair and just looked at Paris, lost in her thoughts and pretty much shaken by what I did.
I liked it though, being the one who was in control for once. Paris always had the upper hand, and through these last few months I had to get the permission, silent or said, to rub her back in class, help her out with the date with Jamie in Washington, and asking her to be my dance partner. Most everything was her reaction to my action.
Here though, she had absolutely no choice. I wasn't going to let her sleepy self out of this house, nor would I allow her to stay up so long she'd eventually nod off on the couch and fall asleep in a sitting position. It was my bed, my house, my rules. I wouldn't push if she said no to sleeping in my bed, but I conveyed with my emotions and face that I'd be gravely disappointed if she turned down another wonderful bonding opportunity.
With the way she looked in my mom's clothes though, I was praying she'd say yes to my invitation. She was lying there on that couch, her feet barely reaching the other side of the sofa because of her short stature, and I wished right then and there I could telegraph that picture in my mind to a printer. Paris just has this classical and timeless beauty about her, from her long legs and up to her beautiful and anger-worn face. When she's pissed I can't help but think that beneath those rolled eyes, gritted teeth and furrowed forehead, there's a soft girl in there, yearning to be loved but never finding the right one to share those feelings with. When I look at her, I don't just see that enraged girl with a superhuman interest in her academic studies; I see Paris, the hopeless romantic, going from Marie Curie trying to discover with her husband more of the properties of radioactive materials, to just another girl who has a heart waiting to be filled.
Two years later I still can't get out of my mind her look at Tristan as he tried to flirt his agenda into her; that nervous look and the loss of words as she sunk from 5'3" to 3'5" in the space of thirty seconds against her locker. Why Tristan would be more interested in me, or Summer is still a mystery to me. Paris revered him, and I still hear those sad words, where she called herself a loser and undeserving of my help the day after the date, comparing herself to a charity case.
She never has been that to me, not for one minute. Her life might be sad and her skills in high society unused, but she's just another girl competing to be #1, just like I am. Thing is, Paris should be more than that; she should be respected, revered, and given all the attention she deserves so much. She's far from perfect and even-keeled, but despite that, I love her for it.
That nervous little Jewish girl has found her way into my heart, and for that I had to show her just how much. It was time for the next phase of the plan after about a minute of pondering and a little bit of "Well, should I?" and "But the bed--", when she let me know, though with some hesitation that she'd take my invitation of sharing a bed.
YES! THANK YOU! I cried out in my mind, and with her eyes seeming to take the same direction as mine (in that she was staring at me in a rather unnerving way), she got up from the couch, and I felt another bout of yawning coming on. I stretched myself out, and she seemed to stop in her tracks, for even with shut eyes, I couldn't hear her move towards the bedroom. I could sense her eyes on me, moving up from my face and down to the middle of my body, where I felt cool air against my belly.
It wouldn't be wrong to say she was on edge, but she was nervous a little as I went around the bottom floor of the house and locked every window and door in sight, the better to reassure her that I could understand her nervous look towards the usually unlocked door before we moved towards the kitchen.
I was pretty much on pins and needles as she came into my room, feeling like I had to lighten the mood. Being a little dominant was putting her senses on red alert, and I had to help calm her way into slumber because her mind had to be filled with thoughts of failing tests left and right Monday due to the dance.
She was on an edge, seeming distracted by the unfamiliar atmosphere that was my room to her. She had been in there before, but not like this; in a mood for study or at six in the morning where her mind wasn't on the atmosphere and furnishings.
Paris wasn't comfortable; she was scared to come in, feeling like she was a needless distraction to what should be a time to recuperate with sleep rather than a socialization opportunity. She looked at me, then immediately darted her gaze to the floor below moments later.
The best way to warm her up was to compliment how she looked, which I loved. I stopped her in the door frame and told her she was looking lovely.
"I do?" she questioned. "I wouldn't normally sleep in this stuff."
"It's a nice change," I assured her, "you look wonderful Paris, honestly. The shirt is nice and loose, and the shorts fit you well."
"I guess I do." She seemed flustered, yet went on, her gaze shared by me and the carpeting as she eased herself from the threshold of my door and into the bedroom. "I don't look as nice as you though, that top looks like it fits like a glove."
Nothing to be taken sexually, was the instant analysis from my mind as I brushed off the compliment. After finding some more words, Paris continued on, and well, let's say that Dean had never been as complimentary about my clothing as Paris was a few hours ago.
"I mean it Gilmore, you're like a perfect fashion plate, anything you buy, it fits well, especially that top. I mean obviously I could never pull off that look since I have a surplus of...breastage." She smiled shyly, and it took all I had to hold off a laugh at the expense of a fellow NHS'er using that last word. "You can do shy and elusive so well; you don't have much in your financial coffers, yet you stretch your wardrobe so well. When you put together that outfit I dated Tristan in, your attention to detail was certainly amazing. I could never spend a million dollars and look as simply cute as you would in a tank and scrubs. How do you do it Rory, I mean..."
Yep, she was nervous alright. Her hands darted around her body and she seemed to try to throw attention towards me that was unneeded. Her eyes weren't looking into mine and her face seemed to flush a deep red. That's what I like about catching Paris suddenly with these compliments; her plainness and modesty make her use a defensive mechanism to try to bounce off the praise and throw it back the other way.
She continued on, listing a laundry list of my attributes, trying to think of any way to keep my attention away from her as a pesky guest and keep it on me. "I don't get how you manage to stay so slim and svelte either, because I eat light and filling, yet I still end up with a new pound at least a month. Then there's you, looking all slim and trim as you eat anything you want, and make me feel so cursed. Sure my chest is memorable, but what else is there really on me that some person could say would turn their head?"
Here she was commenting on my tummy, which though sounding academic and dry, was enough to send a chill up through me. She had looked at me in some way carnally through that hour, I could tell that with her nervous voicing on the subject. Again Paris was fretting and winding herself up nervously, and here I was, with my eyes on her legs.
They look so smooth, I was thinking to myself. How would they feel though? I was starting to be curious; not only did I need to settle Paris into bed; there was an urgent need to put my hand in the tiger cage, and see what would happen if I ventured physical touching above the usually friendly line I was maintaining. I had another reason beyond personal gratification to test things out; the track of her rant suggested that before long, suffrage, anorexia, and Calvin Klein underwear models and their heroin chic look of the mid 90s would end up being brought up, things would become ugly and I'd have to defend every size three and under woman in the world. I'm afraid to say that I wasn't exactly in the mood for that.
I had to calm her down, and touching her seemed to be the only thing in mind. So when she finally settled down enough, I blurted out that as a girl, I envied her legs.
At first this seemed to surprise her, and that avalanche of negative body image given to her by her mother again came to the forefront. Paris denied my compliment and tried to shrug it off immediately, trying to blunt it under more blame for what she thinks is a cursed body.
What I wanted to say was that she was voluptuous, but I went for a calming move, an attempt to reassure her and slowly ease my way in. I sat her down on the bed and made the point of using my eyes to convey what my words were also doing. Paris wasn't going to squirm out of this one, and I made sure to let her know that her legs were a very important feature on her.
I set my hand down on her knee; nothing freaky to be taken out of it instead of trying to make her understand. My palm rested against her cap and I intentionally stopped speaking in order to gauge what her reflexes might be if I started inching it up her thigh. Thing is a day of bottled up sexual tension does a lot to you and screws with your usual thought processes, and I was hardly thinking chastely. My look communicated it all to her, that I wanted more to tell her she had a great set of gams. I rubbed up and down the middle of her leg, trying to make it look friendly. I was all on edge, trying to keep myself in control, and it took me but a few moments but to recall that I was in the same boat just a few days ago in the front seat of her car on the way home. Talk about karma, for her touch which edged mere inches from where no one has dared was now being returned by me in kind.
My nails scraped against the thick skin as I shifted my hand up a little, trying to find any kind of sign of hair on her legs. Even with the best razor that Target offered, I've been still stuck with slight stubble on my legs (another reason for the hosiery at school before I ditched them), and thinking of how Paris' simple beauty somehow resulted in her having a smooth sheen. I commented on this, and she seemed not to have any words about the topic. Her eyes followed my hands, and her mouth was kind of tight, as if she did feel something from my touch. Not calling her on it, I moved my hand higher up her right thigh. My heart beat even faster, and I felt like I was really having some guts, feeling up my peer superior like this! Paris permitted this, and it puzzled me that she would let me be this daring.
I dug in my touch a little, basking in the newfound knowledge that she was smooth as silk, not a root to be found at all. My mind wasn't under control, and before I knew it I was telling Paris in no uncertain terms that I was shocked at her smoothness. Thankfully she was starting to have a sense of ease come to her, and with a little laugh at how I was acting, told me that it had been a freshman year perk she had gotten one day, and liked so much that she couldn't bear not to be bare. It was sort of natural for her to take up some kind of beauty treatment, I have to admit. Madeline and Louise, despite her many denials are influences on her style, and though she doesn't take to their hair and makeup regimens, she takes care of herself just as well otherwise. I enjoyed hearing her tell me about how a spa perk became as natural as brushing her teeth, and had to admire whomever helps her out with this job. Whoever does this for her, she must really trust since the waxer seemed to have gone pretty high.
That thought was where I almost lost my bearings. I was almost quiet as my imagination took the inopportune time to ponder that exact question of how high did she go. Freaked me out in the least; at the most, that thought was turning me on as I directed my vision so my eyes to Paris would look as if they were staring innocently at her legs, but around the periphery, the focus was on her lamp. I had this flash of her and I together in that bed, sliding my hand higher until I feel that lace fringe where my hands should be far away from. I bit down on the flesh in my mouth so I wouldn't let an erotic noise out, feeling myself tighten at the mere mention within of how she was...how do I put this within a vague term...patterned, trimmed, stripped?
Not that I've tried it myself mind you, well, too much. Once you hear about it though, you can't help but think how it might be, or how it might feel. Feeling up her legs then, it was only natural for my thought track to drift towards the dirty side, and I admit I've had dreams where I thought of how au naturel she was, as I dreamed of kissing down from her neck, down to her belly, until I find my eyes where a sliver of silk usually would be, which in this image, isn't there. I've never focused on what was below her abdomen in real life since her wardrobe is built to minimize sexual interest from anyone, but the dreams, and now the reality that she's damned smooth, would it really surprise me to see nothing but a thin blonde line down if we ever got to the point of sexual intimacy, much less finding our feelings reciprocated?
For a moment, I was having second thoughts of choosing the flannel and shorts for her; with an oversized t-shirt I'd have had a good excuse to trail higher and attribute my wayward fingers to an accident if they ended up high enough towards the inner portion of that thigh. I scratched a little deeper, hearing her sort of inhale sharply, but not so much she was reeling back. I kept my gaze locked, that vixenish imagination of mine running away with all these thoughts of taking the simple touch from a bookworm's inquiry, to a lover's wanting for more. I couldn't help it; looking at Paris out of her element, it was something that was causing the feelings for her I had kept inside to start leeching out slowly. The flushed heat I felt in my cheeks was giving me a clue that I needed to reel back from the edge a bit.
You're blushing, I reminded myself, better stop before she notices. Leave it to me to take what should be a soothing kind of motion and misdirect it into something dirty like that. How can I think of her like that all the time and feel absolutely little guilt because I think about how good her legs feel, but want to bring that hand up higher than where I had it.
Because she's beautiful, is what I simply thought in response. Nothing less than that, Paris is the perfect girl for me. She might be a little unbalanced, and yes, very kooky at times, but that just adds to the package of what makes her that one girl I have my eye on. Her arms, her legs, her eyes, hell her everything. I want to know her in and out, but to do that I have to be slow and cautious, and at that moment, just imagining her the way I did, it kept me riled up, yet the slow burn of the seduction kept me grounded.
I wish in my mind that I could've done a little more flirting with her at ease with me, however, that wasn't to be with the clock reading 6:40am, and her body ready to start resting her up against her will. No doubt about it that both of us were tired and sore, and the healing powers of sleep were needed far more than any kind of sexual gratification my worn mind was begging for.
I told her this and let go of her leg, causing her to freeze up for a bit so I could set the alarm to a proper must-wake-up time. She seemed to pause and act desperate for my touch again after I asked when she had to be back home.
After a bit of a pause, Paris let me know she had a lot of time to get home, and that her mother, per usual was putting her own needs far from that of Paris'. It saddens me that she might have to call some jet-setting card counter her future stepfather because Sharon regards her in the same way as one of Emily's maids. For God's sake, she's Paris' mother! I can never understand how a woman like her could win custody of her when she hasn't made any kind of contribution to her daughter's life in the time I've known her. It hurts me to hear Paris talk of her this way, yet she's not at fault. She's done almost every damned thing she can possibly do to win her mother's love, and it's never going to happen. It's Sharon's fault that Paris has to yearn for attention, and then become defensive about a close friendship, lest it ruin a delicate college connection no one but her cares about.
For now however I'm only thinking of things as they are; her mother is her own person and I have to respect what she thinks about me, whatever that might be. I can't do much about the future, this I know; I can only guide my present.
I see that it hurts her to talk about her mother, so I distract her into a conversation about Mr. Mercurio and his predictable tendencies. Nothing's a surprise with him and we both rant on about how his class would never change. If it wasn't for our lucky seating assignments Paris and I might have long ago told our counselors to fuck the English seal on our diplomas and study-halled the remainder of the semester. We crawled into bed together, her taking the left towards an exterior wall, and I using my eminent domain to sleep on the right near my heating vent.
Not that she needs to be close to the register; I'll be keeping her warm! There went my inner vixen again, running around and causing general chaos to my brain before I fell asleep. I made sure to keep my body as close to the edge of the mattress as possible so we didn't end up bumping into each other a lot in sleep. Though I was going to try to keep this chaste, the occasional Paris hand brush or soft puff of breath against the nape of my neck would be far from an annoying side effect. Just the fact she was in the same bed, safe and warm, ready to fall asleep was of enough comfort to me, even if I never said a word of the feelings I had for her.
After turning off the lamp for her, I asked her if she needed anything else, and told me she was fine as I took one last look at her before sleep overtook me in the dimmed light of the bedroom, with the sunrise barely peeking over the skies of Connecticut.
If nothing else, all that we had gone through over the last five days proved that there was a very strong friendship under that banter and arguing that we shared, and have won an endurance contest with nothing but our hearts and a heap of prayers and luck. I'm lucky to have you Par, I let her know, unsaid as her sleepy brown eyes penetrated my gaze one last time as she settled her side of the covers against her, and the pillow she was using against her head. You're the most I need, and you're my drive to be the best. If it wasn't for you and your pushiness these last two years I'd still be stuck in that high school I loathed going to before Chilton, and far off Harvard's radar. I wouldn't be able to make my mother and grandparents proud of me for winning the impossible contest without you in my arms. Forget about me letting you go anytime soon Par; this time I'm going to be the buggy little pest eager to pick something with you, the tables are turned. Thing is I'm not looking for a fight; it's your love that I want. Hopefully I get to say something today about it, but if I don't, you will know eventually. The only thing I can really do now is pray that you feel the same with me.
After that, it took but a couple minutes for me to fall into REM, and into some of the most restful sleep I've ever experienced. It felt slow and meandering, like my worn synapses had been plugged into the outlet and were recharging, I could really feel it in my dreams. They were of Paris, and the two of them were far from nightmares. One of them a fairy-tale like dream of her being my Princess Charming, dislodging the poisoned apple from my throat with her kiss as somehow I tied our past Shakespeare project with the storyline of Snow White. Funny, I always pictured myself as more of a Goldilocks honestly, especially if the bears happened to leave behind a cache of caffeine. Which then leads to Mama and Papa Bear being Mom and Luke, Baby Bear as Kirk, and my feeling like someone snuck some LSD into my Sleepytime Tea. Just don't ask, my dreamworld is odd enough as it is having to think of Kirk whining about someone sitting in his chair while he wears bear ears, much less him as my biological brother!
The second dream was a little more rooted in reality than the first; another one of those future moments images where we're sitting in a Harvard library and comparing notes, as both of us know we'd rather be doing something else back in our dorm room. My hands are on the book, but my eyes were elsewhere, staring at Paris from across the table and how a complicated essay on Prussia was vexing her. It was just...quiet and contemplative, at least at first. Towards the end, she noticed my staring and called me on it, as I failed to explain away the fact that her low-cut shirt was exposing a surplus of skin along her clavicle. Then after asking me why I'd want a study night when my mind was clearly on something else, she told me to gather my things and that we were on our way to the dorm for a romantic movie night. In the sense there was a romantic movie on our TV screen yes; however, we weren't watching it at all.
I guess this is what happens when you tire of being taken to Wonderland or the English countryside of Pride and Prejudiced as you grow up; the dreams become a lot more real, and so much more expressive of how you feel about your life. It felt nice to dream of something besides books or hopelessness with Dean, and to have the girl next to me who I have them about made those mirages so much more thoughtful and vivid.
I finally settled into a deep sleep after awhile, dreamless and quiet. The small space and Paris' body heat helped lull me off, and I couldn't help but feel much more comfortable than I usually was. Her soothing breathing near my ear, that occasional mumbling in her sleep about assignments, her hands against my stomach, her left leg below mine...
There was a sudden jolt as I felt something against my waist, and then something heavy against my back, and suddenly, I was sort of awake, but not much awake since I was only in the fourth hour of rest. I looked at my alarm clock, reading 11:04am, and thought for a moment that I'd overslept again. I was in my regular Sunday state of mind, and thought that it was funny Mom hadn't woken me to get to the Inn by 11:30 for my usual Sunday job; helping out in the dining room, checking some room book math and licking and stamping envelopes in lieu of Michel's day off. It didn't give me much money, but it was enough for me to eat healthy in the ala carte line for every lunch at the very least, plus I didn't have to pay taxes on it.
I opened my eyes to my surroundings, the drawn shades and darkened room around my bed, with Colonel Clucker standing sentry at my bedroom door. It felt sort of odd to me. Shouldn't I be more spread out and sleeping on my right side? I thought to myself, wondering why I was sleeping in a way I wasn't used to. My mind traveled back to that feeling against my waist and against my back, which felt so unfamiliar to me.
Still a little sleep-woozy, I brought my hand down from above the covers, and then beneath it, curious as to the feeling. I brought it beneath, running it down my side and against my breast, until I reached where the weight was.
That's when all of those pictures from Saturday came back to mind, and all that Paris and I had done. My fingertips touched that flannel, and everything came back to me.
My breathing suddenly picked up pace, and my eyes shut as I found out that without the limits of friendliness and angry tension surrounding us, Paris was acting adventurous. I could feel her lips against the back of my neck. Just a little bit, she was far from kissing me since I heard her breathing as if she was asleep; and she probably was too. I couldn't hear a noise from her at all as her arm rested against my belly as if she was trying to cuddle up.
I was in shock about how close she was to me in that bed, even though I shouldn't have been surprised because of how small my bed is with two sleepers. What I was in was the most awkward of positions you could ever get into with another person.
Paris, I thought, is spooning against me. She's right against my body, what on earth do I do? I was spinning because of how, despite the fact I wasn't looking towards her, compromising it must've looked. I woke up once with Dean next to me on the mats of Miss Patty's, but he was far from looking like we had just had a passionate dalliance. This was a lot different though.
It was just supposed to be close sleeping, and I didn't think anything more than the occasional touch would happen while we slept in the same bed. But I was in a spoon; one I couldn't get budge out of in any way, much less move. Her warm body was surrounding me on three sides, with her arm wrapped lightly across me. I could hear her breaths in my ear, and feel her exhalations against its outer shell.
I could also take in her scent, the mix of her orchid fragrance, the lilting aroma of her shampoo, which somehow seemed to be a seasonal scent, a mix of butterscotch and vanilla. Her body near mine was reassuring, and though the position she was in was compromising, I was too stuck, mentally and physically, to dare wake her up and ask her to move. What Paris didn't know in her sleep, wouldn't hurt her, was my reasoning. I was still feeling pretty tired and felt a few hours of sleep yet I could handle, and Paris spooning into me was helping me do it. Her bared legs were right against mine, warm and smooth, just as I had thought hours before. The flannel she wore was comfy against my skin, and her soft sleep was like a rhythm, soothing me with her soft sounds and occasional deep-throated stirring.
There wasn't any way to turn around without waking her, nor did I want to ruin this mental picture for myself. If she awoke this way and discovered her proximity to me, it would be for her to decode; she'd take offense if she realized I was the one waking her. Paris was like a heated blanket, a special treat to be enjoyed only on the coldest of days, a special feeling you want over and over again.
I wanted that. So, keeping as still as I could, I pushed up one of my shirt straps before it fell, looked over at my stuffed rooster, and counting in my head to myself by hundreds, decided there wasn't any reason to wake up at 11:15am. There was plenty of time for my plan of coercion to take root, and to feel Paris' blonde tresses against my back shoulder, it was enough, along with the tight and comfy sleeping arrangement to fall back into the land of Nod by 11:30am, just in time for my dreams of her to begin anew.
It was quarter after one when I awoke again, the sun bright in my window and in my gaze, so bright as to turn the darkness I usually see in my closed eyes into a dark red, forcing me awake despite my wish to use every minute I could possibly spend in bed until I could not sleep a minute more. My biology is a stubborn jackass however; never had I woken up at a time after two in the afternoon on a Sunday since by now I'd be heavily buried in either school or inn work, same as I had been every week since I was in third grade. Try as I might I couldn't force myself to sleep again, and with Paris tossing towards the other side and sliding out of her spoon I think an hour before, I only had a tenuous connection to her soothing sleep energy, not falling into the deep slumber I'd rather share, much less a nap. Reluctantly, at 1:20pm I started working myself out of the bed slowly, waking up reluctantly.
I didn't dare disturb Paris, not only out of fear about how she'd get up, but how this was probably the best sleep she had on a weekend for years. I know Paris, she's probably sacrificed many a lazy Saturday or Sunday for charity, extracurricular activities, synagological commitments, study meetings, and probably just days having to put up with her mother as she's dragged off to Talbot's or another dud of a clothing store against her will to receive more of that 'non-datable' attire that made her look homely and dull. She didn't have to be up or anywhere for the day, and she deserved the rest for all the hours and hard work she put in to prepare for the dance marathon.
My eyes took in her sleeping form, eyes closed, her head resting against two pillows, with her long mane of hair spread all over the fluffy item. The flannel shirt's sleeves were pushed up a bit from the cuffs, with her shorts riding up those legs I had lusted for hours before. In sleep, Paris looks so unaffected, natural, and plain beautiful. This state was where she could be herself, dream her own dreams, and never have to worry that her slumber would receive a failing grade. She smiles in her sleep, and I hear her mumble something I can't make out with the pillow in the way of her mouth; not that it was important to understand, since it was said in sleep and not with a lucid, conscious mind.
Just seeing her that way, resting, her brain in its proverbial charger, it makes her look lovely. Her smirk kills me each time I see it, and it's always a positive sign to see one place where her worries are washed away and she dreams of nothing but the best-case scenario. When I'd watch her sleep in Washington, her sleeping face was always a barometer of how the day would go. The deep frown meant she was worried about the itinerary; that would mean delays, cancellations, and being stood up by our House rep at his Capitol office. A smile always meant we were both going to have a great day filled with discovery, inspiration, and ideas to make the whole trip an experience not to forget and give us an extra credit head start on our progress reports.
The world would be well this afternoon; her smile was soft and caring, and I would be able to share it all with her. With one more look just to make sure her sleep was deep, I slipped out of the scrub pajama pants I wore to bed, and exchanged those with a tight pair of jeans especially bought for an occasion like this. Lane calls those blue pants 'The Jeans of Woo', while my mother goes with the more obvious and probably edited 'Do Me Jeans'. I had usually worn them around Dean when I wanted to clue him in at an event such as the town hayride or Valentine's Day, where I intended to warm up his libido by begging him with my words that kissing wasn't going to be the extent that I wanted to love him, that I wanted him to feel me up.
Sad thing for him is that he never did it; the most we ever did on February 14th was that he offered me an 85% discounted dented Cupid cake at the end of the Taylor's market business day, along with one of those grating audio greeting cards that played a love song with the equivalent of a $3 mini-keyboard circa 1990. He also gave me three roses, but yes, again on the discount, again the runts of the floral bunch, with bright spots on the petals. The romance of last year and the three month anniversary had disappeared, to be replaced with what seemed the Yankee Redneck equivalent of a romantic night out.
And no, I do not use that term as a compliment; joining the school hockey team isn't advancing your social status by any means if you're doing it for fun, and not a college scholarship to Colgate at the very least.
The more I think about it, the more I dread thinking of our past more and more. I was whipped by his charms, and with his handsomeness, thus my selling of all my J.R.R. Tolkien novels at Black, White, and Red All Over because his constant viewing of the first Lord of the Rings DVD as a 'date flick' became so grating as to turn me off from not only an entire trilogy of literature, but an entire genre at that. I'm only now realizing why both Tristan and Jess both loathed him; he was never enough to measure up to the pride my town had in me. Both of those boys challenged me somewhat, while Dean was safe and dependable, qualities that might be fine for the cocoonish existence I led in Stars Hollow, up until I went to Chilton.
Paris has an extended view of the world that I find myself drawing closer to each time I see her. I look at her as I pick up some of my texts and notebooks from my desks to have a quiet Sunday study session by myself, and think that with all that's been in our way, including the rivalry we shared, I'm lucky to know her for who she is, and not what she has to be. I give her a last smile as I slowly tiptoe my way out of my bedroom and past the loud creak in the threshold that's woken me whenever Mom steps on it accidentally when she checked in on me before she went to bed when I was younger. My hands loaded with books and mind with memories, I left Paris to sleep until she can't, and shut the door quietly, and head into the living room to wring all that dance stuff out of my head, and replace that information in my short-term memory with dull Russian novel facts that would definitely have no use in my life in the future.
I settled down on the couch and got to work, opening up the laptop and refreshing my mind with notes from a few subjects I thought I was getting rusty on. I tried my best to keep my mind on all things academic, burying my head in the textbook and even going as far as torturing myself through a particularly boring War and Peace chapter to take my mind off things, and Paris. Stop it, I tried to goad in my head, you're acting like someone else entirely, this is isn't you. You're supposed to be cramming to get into Harvard, you have to keep your mind off that girl! She's your competition, the one you have to beat, and to do that you must study your heart out, right now! So I went back to the texts and the notes, trying to get that extra edge on the girl sleeping in my room.
Trouble was, Paris might be my competition, but she was also the one plaguing my thoughts, I couldn't just up and drop her, or remain unaffected about the day that was passing. I was still spinning and head over heels infatuated with her, more at that point than I ever had before. She was forbidden to me, and we were never supposed to ever get to this point. Paris Gellar was supposed to be my life-long enemy and pain in the ass! What the hell happened to bring me to that point?
Five minutes later and a look in the back of the RN notebook gave me a reminder of why in the space of just five days, I went from thinking of Paris as a girl that I'd never have, to a woman that I needed to know if she was the way I was or not. Those four pages, scribbled in Dixon Ticonderoga #2 graphite gave me a glimpse into my psyche from October 3rd and on from there. A thin grey column on the left of many reasons to go with my gut, and then on the right, almost nothing. Six reasons that were excuses, ways that the old Rory wrote down in order to justify to herself that her idea of a lover wasn't blonde and brown-eyed, and didn't have a certain part. Only one made sense, the rejection I would feel for years if she said no, or worse; called me those same names Francie had used as an all-encompassing label for members of RTS, and then left in a huff of finality.
There was no doubt that I was gay; I knew that in my mind, and in my heart, that my best friendships may be with guys, but one girl, I long for her to give me more than a hand on the shoulder and reassuring words. Being married to a man I didn't love was where I didn't want to end up. At the same time, I didn't want to get involved with a woman that I didn't share a spark with either.
My scribbled handwriting, the notations along the margins, the paper skinned to within a very thin macro-inch with each erasure after a badly written pro or taken care of con, it was like a love letter in Excel spreadsheet form. Reason upon reason to kiss Paris and hope for more than that, at the end of column A sat the final solution, a declaration that would tell whoever read this that my goal was for Paris to realize that I saw more in what we had than just fiery banter; that within those fighting words was something more, a yearning to know her as more than a study buddy.
I wrote down a few more pros to complete the last page of the list in the back of the notebook, easily finding enough things about yesterday to finish off the list. After I finished adjusting a few of the past pros to fit more with my current opinions, I took one last look at the entire list, determined to make sure that without a doubt, I wanted this to happen; to tell Paris today that I find her attractive as more than a friend. The true purpose of a pro-con list is to tell you if you're making the right decision.
I didn't even need to get past the first page; just a mere flash of one of my Russian Novels massages, and a replay of that almost-kiss last night moments after she admitted she had fallen out of love with Tristan, is all that it took to help me make that final decision.
"She's going to know today," I told myself with so much confidence that I could match her stone-cold determination at every debate and quiz bowl we had participated in through the years. "I'm not going to let Paris leave this house until I tell her that I'm gay, and I feel a hard attraction to her. If it works out, great. But if it doesn't..." I looked down at myself, and thought of how she had been looking at me lately. There was still a chance this pull was one-sided on my part. Then again, she hasn't eyed up one guy at all since Tristan took off for North Carolina, unless those eyes were giving dirty looks to the ever-felonious Duncan and Bowman, who were both still attending Chilton due to large endowments by their individual fathers as 'apology gifts'.
Finally there was the matter that her sleep talking "Oh Rory, baby!" cry from that summer night in Washington still echoed through my brain 24/7. At the very least, she's had a sexual dream about me at minimum. That left figuring out if my body was her wonderland in slumber.
Uggh, John Mayer, out of my head, now! Why does Mom have to play that CD in the Jeep all the time?
Those doubts I had would have to remain, for now I had to build my case to show I wanted her, not just trying to clue her in. After finishing up refreshing on my notes, I stacked all my textbooks in one pile on top of my computer, and then spread the notebooks throughout the coffee table. She wouldn't look at the texts; Paris usually goes right for the notes. I put the notes she was going for first right in front, then her more dreaded subjects along the back, making sure that the Russian Novels book, and in turn my confessions, had a wide berth towards the right back corner. So she wouldn't miss that last hint, I slid the clip of a pen cap I had broken off between the first page in the back and the spiral, an unnoticeable bookmark that with her tired and groggy condition, she wouldn't think of seeing among the morass of metal wire and loose-leaf. I was smart enough to figure her frustration with the class, along with the lack of notes I made in the first place would probably keep her perturbed. When she gets frustrated she throws things sometimes, and a notebook wouldn't be an exception. So if she didn't look at the entire notebook the first time and find out that way, when she threw the book back down, it would open to the pro and con list.
The next step was to try to make her feel even more at home and comfortable here, and like a true guest. I thought back to a few weeks ago in my bed, when she had explained what she usually did when she awoke on a Sunday morning.
"I usually have Fran call out to this little sub place on Main that delivers," she explained to me. "I order the turkey; it's healthy enough and the way this place makes it, a very good sandwich, especially with those Sun Chips they sell along with it. The butler usually brings in the papers and I try to read them cover to cover, the Times and the Courant and if I'm in a good mood, add on the Boston Globe and the Herald for the 'cah-menahs' view, and the Providence Journal if it's one of those weeks when news breaks seemingly hourly. After I finish lunch, I get to work and study until my eyes blur."
"Heart through her stomach and reading habits," I told myself, counting through the remaining $20 of mad money Mom left me for the trip and comparing the prices on Joe's menu to make sure I had enough. My food and hers would come to $10 with a coupon from out of the Gazette that took $5 off a $15 order, and the papers were $6 together. Add $4 for the delivery driver's tip, I just had enough for everything.
"Anything will help right now," I said as I found the phone (how did it end up near the TV cabinet? I swear I hooked it on the charger before I left yesterday!) and dialed the #4 in memory, Joe's. Since it was mid third quarter for the Pats game, Joe was appreciative that someone would order something besides a Grande pizza or nine-foot Red October sandwich for a game party. I gave him my usual order of a medium works pizza and some cheese bread, then Paris' sub and chips choice, finishing out the order with a bottle of Coke and a cup of wintergreen tea (he uses the same supplier as Luke's so he gets the same kind of teas and other beverages).
"That's going to be $10.57 Rory, anything else?"
"Joe, could you do me a favor and have Brian stop at the newsstand and pick up the New York Times and the Courant please? I promise I'll pay him back and more when he gets here."
"Sure, anything for one of my favorite customers," he said to me. "Do you know when your ma is getting back, the guys here miss her orders and they're getting a little worried."
"Lorelai's getting back from Nashville tonight," I let him know. "I'll make sure to let her know you miss her buddy." We chatted a little bit more, and then he let me know it would be thirty minutes before they'd deliver.
I hung up with Joe shortly after that, and I spent the thirty minutes waiting for the food quietly doing the few dishes I used since Wednesday and remaking Mom's bed with the comforter and blankets I used to practice my dancing above in the living room. My mind was still completely on Paris, and I was wondering when she'd finally wake up and come out of my bedroom, along with what would be on her mind. Would she even realize that she spooned into me while she slept, and call me on all these signals I was sending her way? I was hoping for the best-case scenario; that she wouldn't wake up and I could sneak up to Mom's room and get the surprise ready, hopeful she'd stumble onto my pro and con list and find her curiosity piqued from it.
Half an hour later, Brian the delivery driver knocked on the door, indeed holding my pizza, Paris' sandwich and side of chips, and those two large Sunday papers in his hands. I gave him the twenty Mom left, along with a five that I planned to use for marathon refreshments but never had a chance to since Luke offered free coffee and Andrew free cold bottles of water. That, and Paris paid for most of the food for me, sort of chivalrous in retrospect but really not that much of a big deal.
After I ate a little bit of pizza and bread as I checked in on the football game's score and highlights, then put the leftovers in the fridge, it took me five minutes to set Paris up a place at the kitchen table. I piled the newspapers to her right on the edge, and then set out a plate with the sub unwrapped, chips opened up on the plate, in the bag, and the tea to her right. I wanted to make Paris at home and cozy as possible before things started going down, and remaining neutral seemed to be a good course of action.
I know in the end I'll score points with her though; showing I know her Sunday habit, even late, is an important step in letting her know I will pay attention, no matter how dreary and routine the item might be. That's what got me into trouble with Dean; I thought he was into books and music like I was at the beginning of the relationship, but it only took one viewing of Battlebots and the location of an extensive FHM collection in his bedroom when he wasn't looking that nosiree, that boy wasn't having a naughty dream of Clara Barton personally dressing his wounds.
But that was young and stupid Rory who was with Dean, for I'm now older and wiser, stewing in my mind over the last few months about how to approach the moment I let Paris know how I think of her. I took one last look at the kitchen table, and then out into the living room, where that blue spiral held the secret no one ever thought I, Lorelai Leigh Gilmore would ever have. The butterflies took effect in my stomach, and as I walked past the couch and onto the stairs, I knew the next time I hit that lower landing, Paris would never look at me the same way again.
I had finished dropping my hints; now every gesture and hint that was floating around the first floor of my house was ready to spring upon Paris to let her know that someone out there did love her. Please God, I prayed to myself silently, make this work. I'm not sure if you'd ever accept us, but if you make me feel these things for Paris, how can this be wrong? Those small doubts were setting in, and as I slipped into Mom's bedroom, shut the door, slid onto her bed and fell asleep for a short nap before I could make everything clear for her, I could only hope that Paris wouldn't turn her feelings around on me after finding out I was orientated towards her.
I did know one thing before I closed my eyes and let light sleep overtake me. It might not be the best decision, but it would in the end, be better to tell Paris everything, than keep my feelings for her hushed until death. That was the coward's way out, to not hurt or arouse a feeling in their subject. Our friendship was formed on conflict, and to not challenge one another was to say 'I don't care for you anymore, for I can spar better with someone else'.
There's never going to be another Paris Gellar though. This meant that for today, whether I liked it or not, it was up to me to prove without reasonable doubt that I felt we were meant to be more than friends.
"Zero hour," I made it clear to myself as I fell asleep atop my mom's bed. I was going to either lose the best friend I had made in more in a decade, or else find myself with one of the most loyal and hard-driven girls in all of the Tri-State as my new lover.
That friends line was going to be crossed and blurred out, even if it took tears and raw and untamed emotions to erase it forever from our collective memories.
I awoke again about 3:40pm, the hour long nap helping pass otherwise idle time that would have found me struggling to find something to do if I didn't decide to catch a few more Z's. I stretched my body out on the bed, feeling quite hot and wound up from these uncertain feelings and my nervousness at hoping Paris' finding out was more utter shock than disgusted revulsion. A part of me thought that Paris found the list, did not share those feelings, and was preparing to make my life hell again. I heard her voice in my mind, talking about me. "What a bookish dyke Gilmore is," she says in her voice, in my mind, to Louise. "Seriously Grant, are you surprised with the way she talked about Plath and Parker that she wished they were alive today? No wonder she never took to DuGrey, she wanted to munch on that oven-cooked mistress of prose!" Even in my worst nightmares, Paris' sarcasm is always sharp and on-target, which makes me fear what vile she has stored up if she wouldn't take well to the news.
Maybe she still doesn't know, my mind nagged. Impossible, because Paris would eventually wake, eat, and soak in my notes even harder than SpongeBob at a fraternity kegger with a beer-filled swimming pool. Routine was her companion and eventually nag her up, the less time she has for it, the worse she feels about it.
I grabbed a bottle of cherry Tums sitting on my mother's vanity and shook two out, dissolving them in my mouth to kill the patch of acid that was settling in my throat. I wasn't even downstairs and my heart felt like it was beating at sextet speed, my entire blood supply flowing through my entire system in less than a minute. I pushed my tank top down a little, feeling cold and a little more exposed than usual from the peek of my belly below the hemline.
You don't have to do this, my conscience reminded me one more time. There's still time to take back your preference for girls over boys and meet all of your expectations for life. Paris will always be there, as a friend, and nothing has to change.
I looked down at my hands, shaky as I shut the bedroom door and prepared for anything she has to say. I could take back everything, no questions asked. Paris still had no clear picture of what I felt with her, so there would be no risk in not telling her.
One more thought in my head before I went downstairs though, and it was about exactly that, no risk. It was also about expectations. The expected; the dictionary definition meaning the planned in advance, what would happen in probability. I was expected to be Chilton's valedictorian, the girl with a perfect 4.000 grade point average, with a few extra credit tenths thrown in for good measure. I expected to attend Harvard, the school I lust for like I do Paris. I expected to be the big-time journalist, the next Amanpour. That someday when I hit 50 and tired of traveling, I expected to be anchoring the evening news, like Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather before me, every weekday evening at 6:30pm from that building on West 57th. I was expected to bring glamour to Stars Hollow, make everyone I ever knew proud to associate to me, expected to work hard and never follow a second opinion my heart tried to use to overrule how I really felt.
I had many expectations of me. My whole life seemed to already be planned out for me, the Day-Timers up to October of 2084 lurking somewhere in a closet somewhere and already filled out with events, probably up to my death.
And that was the problem; I've expected myself into a corner where happiness is an extra-curricular activity. I fell for Dean when I was sixteen, right on schedule for a Hollywood movie. Found myself in a nutty love triangle a year later, again, Amy Heckerling couldn't have written a better time for that to happen. My life was planned, scheduled out and already in front of me, and already I was exceeding all my goals, but I was also dreading expectations.
Where would expectations ever get me? Where I wanted, of course, but if I kept following them to the letter, probably to a life with no excitement, or a thrill of what's coming up next. I don't want the expected, I just want to live my life the way I like.
Paris is a risk. A huge risk to my being, my façade, the way people look at my life. They've always seen the happy daughter and friend to all and the community, I'm living a fucking Norman Rockwell painting! No one could ever imagine that I, the brunette and blue-eyed wonder of their village, would ever think this way, of liking a girl like I do.
You know what though? I couldn't care less what anyone thought of what I was about to do. So I'm gay, big deal! It doesn't change my grades, or anyone's perception of me before I started having these feelings. Paris, no matter how many times in the past two years I wanted to think otherwise, is one of the most important people in my life.
"And I've fallen for her," I mouthed silently as to myself, with a smile on my face. I didn't let myself become bogged down in negative thoughts as I slowly made my way down the stairs, my fingers crossed and my heart swooning, hoping that the end result of the day wouldn't be an outright rejection, and not only that, a disassociation away from me because of how I felt for her.
I took in the surroundings of the living room, seeing that she wasn't there. The textbooks remained in place, but the notebooks had been moved somewhat. I headed towards the table and tried to find if she had taken the Russian Novels notes, or read them.
I pointed my finger and counted to myself how many notebooks were left behind. One, two, three, four, five, six...should be seven, let's count again. Seven, six, five, four, three, two...
No seven or one, and no Paris in the room. My eyes widened, trying to find the blue book, but it wasn't there on the table, it was gone. I started to get a little excited and hopeful that things were going according to my plans.
Just in case though, I checked the front door and out the window to make sure Paris was still in Stars Hollow, not running away from what was in that notebook. The door was still locked, and her car was still sitting on the gravel drive in front of the house. Since she hadn't called out my name when I came downstairs from the kitchen, that left one place in the house where she and the notebook could possibly be.
She had to be in my bedroom, no question. I steeled myself to any inquisition she might have about my feelings, and headed towards the kitchen, calling out her name to see if she was still up. I walked into the room, and at her place at the table, the plate was full of crumbs, the bags thrown out and the papers looking like they had been read. At least she wolfed her food down, I thought to myself, after eggless egg sandwiches anything seems like a four-course Thanksgiving dinner.
I heard silence from my bedroom, so again I called out her name. A little bit of non-response, but before I thought she left through the back door, she came out of my bedroom, looking just as adorable as she did before we went to bed. Her hair was a bit messy and eyes a little dimmed, but she was up and alert.
Although, she seemed to look as if she was a little bit in shock.
"Uhh, hello Gilmore." She looked down at the floor and at her feet, and I noticed the blue RN notebook being held loosely in her right hand by the spiral. She wasn't pale-faced shocked, but just in shock. If she found out anything, she wasn't saying anything about it because her face seemed unreadable. A cool tension was in the air, but it wasn't a tight tension, more easygoing and dull.
Her voice wavered as she handed me back the notebook and tried to spark up a conversation after I greeted her in return. "I suppose you'd want this back, these being your notes and all."
"Did you get what you wanted out of them?"
Paris seemed silent for a moment, trying to figure out how to answer. I used my finger to run down the spine where the pen cap had been stuck in to mark the pro/con list place. She gave me this funny smile, one I had never noticed before. "They helped."
She had to have read, I thought, since she was giving me this solid stare that was seemed like a rake of my form. She kind of seemed to flush, telling me she liked my notes, but not saying much besides that. I tried to read her emotions like a book, which wasn't helping; she was a clean slate, even face, even eyes, and an even non-signaling smile.
"I don't mind helping you out Par," I said, trying to keep her from monosyllabic speaking, "after all, important to keep us 1-2 gradewise, right?"
Paris nodded back, all the while knuckling a fist together nervously and using her fingernails to scrape dead skin from her palm. "You know it. Thanks a lot for lunch, I don't know how you remembered my routine so well."
"You're a guest, I'm here to serve." I smiled at her, trying to keep her at ease, but nothing seemed to work, Paris was speaking cautiously and slowly, not trying to arouse any suspicion. "As for the food, I was once the town Chutes and Ladders champion, I'd kick everyone's butt. Don't need that knowledge anymore, so I replaced it with your Sunday lunch choice." Yeah, my humor was tip-top today. I then told her about what I did when I got up and then called for the food, then after eating headed upstairs for another nap.
"I was starving and ready to raid the cupboards once I woke up, good perception Ror." She yawned and grabbed the half-full bag of chips off the table, munching on them as we sat down across from each other, and after prodding a bit to get her out of a three-words-a-sentence slump, engaged her in what turned out to be a fine conversation about the dance.
"My back still hurts from all that standing, I can't feel my feet, and I swear I don't remember the lyrics to any song unless it was from before 1949," she let me know. "I mean I woke up with a constant loop of Company B pounding in my head. That won't be good if I keep waking up with it pounding my head tomorrow morning." I thought she was doing a little bitching about the dance, but a signal, where she held up her hand before I could speak, gave me some relief. "Still, I haven't had that much fun since Spelling Bee week down in DC in '98, in competition that is."
"In competition?" I was confused a little by what seemed like a clarification, but she smiled back at me.
"Tell me you didn't forget the Bangles at the Pastorelli," Her memory was still clear about that night even a little less than two years later. "Remember, I really liked that band, Madeline and Louise caught at that beer bash, your drill sergeant mom embarrassing them in front of those not-so-hot guys? I still mean it when I say that was the most fun I ever had in one night, before last night of course."
"I'm shocked you still remember that, didn't we drag you there kicking and screaming?" I joked, laughing at the remembrance of Paris as we all tried to talk her into it.
She rolled her eyes up a little, munching on a chip and talking with her mouth somewhat full. "You're just lucky we still scored an A on that project. But I'm glad you did invite me to come, I'd love to do that again one of these days."
"Yeah, once we both can stand for more than three minutes without feeling like our shins are spears digging into our feet. I can't even keep myself up for two minutes before I feel fatigued from the pain. Thank God you're driving home and not walking." We both laughed as she recalled some more of the day before.
"I swear, that clock had to be so slow, like at about two when Lane came by to talk to us, I already thought it was 5:30, and then I looked at the readout, and just cringed because it was only two." She shook her head. "I didn't want to say anything and embarrass you, but it felt like hours upon hours since that gym lets in no daylight at all."
"It's just a whole other world when you dance," I said wistfully. "Time is infinite, you're one of a few participating and you're always fighting for your marathoning life out there."
"Or with Kirk and Carrie," she reminded.
"Think she's filing a lawsuit against the poor guy? Carrie thought she had a slam dunk, and crap, she got beat by two girls you're more likely to see at quiz bowl than Red Carpet Bowl." I asked her a question with honesty. "If they had pulled off that move Par, you think we would've taken the contest with more time?"
She seriously pondered the question for a moment, and while she did, her eyes seemed to wander down a bit. The table was high enough to go just above my belly, and the tank I wore was pretty obvious. Her foot brushed up against my ankle, bringing me out of my thoughts for just a moment as those bare toes hovered against the lower portion of my leg. I felt myself flush a little, but didn't feel very aroused from it because of the in-depth examination of the marathon.
"Honestly?" She brought her eyes up. "I think by 5:55 one of us would've found their energy supply at the F-line and fainted, either you or I. We really got a lucky break from Kirk's slip, because my feet were hurting, you were taking longer to keep up with me, and you saw me when the trophy was presented, I was right at the cusp of sleeping."
"You're not regretting staying now?" I nagged, deciding again to get some sweet revenge, and stretch my right foot against her shin. I saw an obvious dirty look directed my way, but I played coy and innocent as I took the offending extremity back.
"No Aunt Rory, I'm glad you forced me to stay behind," she said with a voice laced with sarcasm. "I got a victory and a nice brush up for my brain when we get back on Monday. Just one thing."
"You feed me a fake egg salad sandwich again and I'll throttle ya into the next week, got it?" She laughed, and I again brushed me toes against her shin, this time she didn't notice.
"I'll remind Mrs. Kim that to not use to fruit of the earth and replacing it with a ConAgra chemically-created product could be a possible original sin." We just kept talking for awhile, her seemingly in a wonderful mood from her long sleep, and I was still on top of the world from so many highs, not to mention the blatant looks I was directing her way. Paris really did look quite fetching in that shirt, and with the slumber fog long gone from six in the morning, I could take her in through the natural daylight, what little there was left, of how she looked. Her tanned skin contrasted with the blue plaid, with two buttons down undone, leaving my mouth watering with all those possibilities of seeing much more of her.
Even not having the view of those legs I coveted so because of the table, the whole outfit was enchanting. It was something that wasn't her, but yet, it was my own private fantasy to get her into these bedclothes; she made herself look cute, and dare I say it, a little butch-ish? Not that I would outright ever call her the 'b' word; she was still girly (she might deny it but she still likes those Care Bears I'm sure) and loathed sports and drinking unless it was a fine wine or well mixed bar drink. Her music tastes wavers between classical and modern, and she watches very little television unless it's something like Cosmos or Jazz or anything that was a limited PBS series/Ken Burns production once.
I don't feel like giving both of us a 'man/woman in the relationship' label so fast anyways since we're two smart girls, it doesn't matter. In the first place, my mental bed picture of her through the girls locker room and my staring is of her wearing fine lingerie, I doubt I'd ever find her in a JogBra and boring briefs. From talking to Mads and Louise in the past, their descriptions had always been of Par being girly herself. Plus the crush on Tristan? She was definitely trying to use every damned feminine wile she could to convince him 'Hey, hello? Yoo-hoo, I have big boobs, long hair and sexy legs too if you'd look under this potato sack of a blazer, just what you're looking for DuGrey, not to mention an IQ and WPM rate through the roof! I'm a woman too, what do I have to do, go Britney here?!' It still makes me mad at the guy; I was really trying to help her come out of her shell with the setup, and he didn't bite. In hindsight though, it helped things a lot; I got to know the real Paris while he fruitlessly tried to get into more than my good graces, and now he's scrubbing the concrete floor of a dorm in Tarheel country with a worn-out Oral-B.
I felt good, and Paris did too as we kept talking on and on for the next half-hour at the kitchen table. The notebook holding my secret was in-between the both of us like Jim Lehrer, keeping our conversation even and not as emotional as it had been lately. I continued to play innocent tease with her all throughout as she went on about peppermint tea (I tell you, Luke hooks more people on certain drinks than any multi-national cola company could ever do), and would look at me as her eyes appraised my breasts, sitting braless and sort of peeking against the white cotton. I'd fake a non-chalant look, yet on the inside I was really wishing she could make me come telepathically from her hovering stare; it was taking all I had to not notice, not slip a hand beneath the waist of my jeans, and not to blatantly dip down, stretch across the table and give her doey browns a downshot of that small cleavage I had, along with some nipple teasing. Tempted yes, but it was about the tease, not having her throw the chair off to the side, tip the table over, rush across and envelope me in a torrid kiss of passion and heavy lust, as she immediately goes for the ass...
What, you think my dreamworld is all fluffy Paris moments and sensual lovemaking here? I read the occasional bodice-busting erotic romance and have sort of a thing for 'take me now'-style sex. The occasional rough play keeps things heated up, I'm sure of it.
Back to where I was though. We talked for a little bit more at the table, and I really could feel things start to tighten up between us. We were both uneasy, wanting to bring up more, but both afraid. The distance, though not overwhelming, made me feel faraway and distant, unable to gauge or bring up the notebook. We both would look at it; I could tell she did see something within. The tension was palpable, and I wanted to tell her just how I felt.
Thing is, it was Paris' decision, not mine. It would be too easy, and then too jarring to bring up the confession myself, she had to say something about it.
We had to both be comfortable; the kitchen wasn't the place to do it at all. After she finished her last Sun Chip, we packed up and moved to the living room to talk more. I couldn't help but notice though that she had brought the notebook along with her. Again I didn't say anything, and after a bit of settling in, me on the couch and her sitting in the chair, we were right back in our talking groove.
Right away, she was looking at me with that mooning stare, making me nervous in my laying position. I was looking towards her in a position where she could easily seduce me.
Leave it to her to give me a nice jar though, back into the reality of what my life was before the sprinklers, the massage, and all that's happened this week.
"You know, Winter Formal's coming up next month. Biggest event of the semester, it's going to be interesting getting everything all ready to go," she mused.
"Is it already a month? Time sure is flying by this year," I told her. "One minute I'm sharing a dorm with you in Washington, the next it's November and the first snow is approaching."
"I was just curious Rory," she asked with a smirk, "anyone in mind for a date December 7th yet?"
That certainly brought me out of the girl-crush funk I was in. I told her I wasn't even thinking of anyone besides her, much less a guy seeing as I was five days removed from ending what I had with Dean. She kept pressing, and I let her know in no uncertain terms was any Chiltonian male getting the time of day from me. What I didn't add to that sentence; Not that I'm looking for a man of course, or anyone else except for you.
Still, Paris pushed on, mentioning Brad. Not my perfect ideal for a boyfriend, heh, which I let her know, while at the same time giving her the hint that Madeline has a hidden thing for the meek boy.
I got another hint of her interest in me when she said she didn't notice Madeline and Brad having a thing going on. The only time they associated closely was at lunch hour, and Paris, the perceptive girl she is, would have definitely noticed. Trouble was, she had a big case of amnesia when it came to that, not even knowing about those two. Looks like the lunch hour hinting is working well, I thought to myself, declaring victory on that front. I was distracting enough to take her out of the lunch gossip circle, that counts for something, doesn't it?
Next, she mentioned Dave, who I had been talking to her about for the last two weeks whenever I mentioned Lane. She thought I might have good chemistry with him just from my description of how he was and that I seemed to match better with him than Dean or Jess. It was an easy call to make, since I didn't see Dave anytime except for when the band practiced in the garage, plus I wasn't about to interfere with his wooing of Lane. He's doing very well with that, and once again, I'm not interested.
Damn it Paris, tell me something already!! She was driving me nuts with all this talk of boys and dates and dances; maybe it might go well if I just busted the conversation wide open and yelled out that I had homosexual tendencies towards her! It was infuriating to have to hear her talk about guys because really, I've only ever noticed two boys as more than friends. One is history, one is just a boy-friend. I didn't care about guys, I cared about her.
"You're sure?" she asked again, as if my long answer the first time didn't bring the point across. I nodded my head no again, taking time to eye up the dark and exposed skin along the line of the opened collar of the flannel shirt to try to send more signals her way.
Damn, she looked so good. If only she wasn't trying to push my buttons then, the way she sat in that chair brought out the animal in me. More denials though of what I felt for guys, and trying to keep my confession silent so that awkwardness wouldn't ensue. I kept my thoughts even and non-sexual, trying to keep the conversation warm.
This wasn't me anymore, Rory the girl who thought of guys. I wanted to tell her how I felt about her, that no boy made my mind spin like she could, that her challenging demeanor, which would be taken as intimidation by others, instead was a turn-on and another reason to be more than her friend. I just sat there, wondering if the clock would strike seven and I'd still be there as she gathers her things and leaves, still holding in that eight word sentence I'd rehearsed since Wednesday afternoon. 'I'm a lesbian Paris, and I like you.' Blunt, and to the point.
But it was still the wrong place and the wrong time to say that. I knew it, so I had to hold out and wait to bring those words to the forefront.
Thankfully the opportunity came sooner than later.
After joking about Dave's wooing of Lane via religion to satisfy Mrs. Kim, she turned serious, and brought up that topic I thought ended last night. Tristan was back in the picture, but this time as an example of what happens when you fall out of love. I nodded as I told her I remembered that part of the night.
She then brought up Jamie, the date in Washington that turned out to be a dud. She asked me if I remembered that. Of course I did, I was in the closet thinking of you as you came back to the dorm and relieved the stress of going out with that bore, in turn turned on from that and relieving my own stress.
Paris interrupted my real answer to that question, telling me she was about to explain why it didn't work out with Jamie. My ears piqued up, and my eyes were focused on her 100%.
"Please, move over, I want to be next to you." Her voice was firm and unwavering. I couldn't turn down the opportunity to comfort a friend because she was also sounding grave and serious at the same time. I got out of my reclining position, and gave her a bit of blanket as she huddled close to me on the sofa.
"There's sort of a reason those things didn't end up working out in the end," she said, and that brought my mind to so many situations far away from her admitting her liking of me. It could be anything, bad or good. Disease names, excuses, academic fraud, they all spun around in my head as she seemed to pause for a bit.
Then the dreaded 'P' word came up in my mind, the word that brought me into the world, my mother into Stars Hollow, and a 16 year strain between her, Emily and Richard. She had never been specific about saying if she slept with Jamie before she got back; that self session might not have been about me after all.
Paris, pregnant? My mind spun with the possibility she might be confiding in me about that. It would make sense, she's Hartford society and tops in her class, just like Lorelai was at Hillside in 1984. It was also almost three months since the trip, perfect timing for her to detect a change in her body and eating habits and then use an EPT stick to confirm if everything's been shifting because of that. I don't know her cycle, nor do I care to, but with her privacy, she'd probably kept a good front hiding the fact she wasn't having her period.
She let me know to keep things in complete confidence, not a good sign with her. She seemed scared and timid, and my mind was now losing hope that she shared an interest in me. Her eyes seemed sad, and that brought the pregnant/gay/diseased reasoning ratio I built in my head to even 33% figures. She can't have a baby with that boring guy! I cried out in my mind. Worse, Sharon's gonna fucking kill her before she can even have it, and all that talk about disappointment this and that! Grandma would accept one day, but Sharon? She wouldn't even give Paris a defense before she ruined her own daughter's life forever.
Her stare was dead serious. "What's wrong hon?" I told her, shaky with my voice. I never called her hon before, and it seemed to be something reassuring at the moment.
She told me that only Fran knew; this was definitely something that was about to be earth-shattering. She thought it might be a repulsive enough confide that I might reel back and ask her to leave.
I prayed silently that it wasn't a baby, because the girl in front of me had a very bright future ahead of her that could be ruined by a lame one-night stand. I did immediately put anything aside that I'd think bad of her for it. She's my friend despite, I'd support her if anything awful ever befell her, and it would be Judas-like to turn my back on a young mother when I was the product of one myself.
She tried to get it out, but words seem to fail Paris. I wasn't going to let her get out of this without telling me, and I made a move that could either be taken as flirty or concerned. Hovering over her in an almost-hug, trying to calm her down and help her form the words, I was her friend. She was scared, I knew that, because her body felt tight against mine. I wanted her to just say the words.
Again, she relented, trying to shy out. I had to get serious with her.
"Paris," I took her hand in mine; my sexual feelings were the last thing on my mind. "I won't tell anyone, cross my heart, now say something to me. What's wrong?"
"I, I can't, it's nothing," she mumbled shakily. I told her again it was OK, just spit it out.
"Really, it's nothing." Paris was now on the cusp of some serious breaking down. "Just something small, I can take care of it myself, just don't worry about it."
I had to, it was my job as her best friend. Knowing damned well that I could be opening up a huge can of worms, angst, and friendship strain, I went with my gut. I told her I didn't care, and about how I thought she was three months into pregnancy.
She stilled beneath me, and widened her eyes so much I saw more white than dark brown showing in her sockets. Her mouth opened in shock, and before I knew it...
...my theory was thank God, dead wrong.
"WHAT?!" She was seriously incensed by my accusation, and almost made me deaf in the process. "Rory, fuck no, I'm not pregnant, and Jamie doesn't have my virginity, I'm still safety-sealed, the most he got at the end of the night was a blown kiss, that's it! Why the hell would I bed that bore of a guy, I dated him your encouragement and because he thought it was a date when I didn't want to date him! I wouldn't have fucked him even if he offered me a million dollars in a suitcase and I can say with 100% certainty he's not making a love connection with me ever again!"
I breathed a huge sigh of relief! Now it was 50/50 she was either gay or had a form of cancer. "Sorry, sorry," I quickly begged for her forgiveness. "You said it was serious and I just think the first thing that comes to mind and it seemed like baby, three months, perfect timing--"
"Rory, calm down," she soothed sternly. "I'm on the pill, and I'm of the 'love before the first time' mindset, I'm not going to pop into bed with the first warm hard cock pointed my way, I promise you. I'm sexless, but I'm safe, you can relax. I understand it may have come off like I was about to say I'm knocked up, and I'm sorry about that."
"It's OK," I told her, and then thanked God aloud that Paris wasn't carrying a love child. I again asked what she was hiding, calming her down with a soothing rub of her hand, thinking with the baby rumor out of the way, she might just tell me without complications.
She shut her eyes, and breathed in deep, trying to find those reserves to tell. She was still too scared, too hidden, going back into the iron bitchiness that kept me out before.
"Never mind," she said. "Please, just back off, you really wouldn't understand. Once you hear what I have to say you're going to stop being benevolent and finally hate me just like I wish you did the first time we met. I just can't, it's too close to my heart and nothing you'd ever understand."
Just as I thought, she was falling back into her shell, the one her mother custom made in order to keep her from feeling or confiding in anyone. It made me not only sad, but pissed at Paris, despite what I felt for her. She sees me as sheltered from real life, was what I was thinking. I was basically being told that the way I thought of things was unlike her way of thinking. She was bitter poor little rich girl, and I was happy small town girl with nothing ever bad befalling my being. She looked at Lorelai and I, and saw nothing but happiness, that my life is sunshine.
I hated to make a scene, hated to give her a reality check on my past and why exactly I ever lightened her doorstep with my presence (reverse of darkness). But I had to shake some sense into her and let her know that whatever problem she faced here, it was probably very light compared to what I had gone through in my short time living.
I had never gone off on someone like I had before; I usually was a happy person, content with everything and brushing off anything bad. But things got to me over the years, things I was too afraid to vent out with Lane or even my mom. Certainly not Grandma or Grandpa. I don't know what led up to it, if it was the stress of holding in my coming out, that we were in the house with Lorelai nowhere to be found, that I found enough trust with Paris to just go off on her and tell her that yes, I understood her one small wrenching confession perfectly.
Try finding your first house to be an 8x8 cube on the campus of the town's inn as your mother prays her meager salary will keep you alive and that you don't catch the measles or head lice from that one dirty kid in class and kill the monthly budget for the next three months. Think about yourself trying to explain to your good friend Sandra, who you befriended in ballet class that you didn't live in a house, but a building downtown above the bookstore in cramped quarters, and that your room used to be a food pantry. Then imagine the month you lose eight of the friends, which include Sandra you've kept since kindergarten and except for loyal Lane, because some uppity Republican bitch of a sex ed teacher tells you that your 27 year-old mother, whom the town admires as a role model for all the citizens, was a fucking whore for not doing the right thing and aborting you or putting you on the adoption market when she was sweet sixteen, and that you're not to be admired for having a great brain that you sweep seventh grade with all A's. You end up with a table alone at lunch after that point, a CD walkman your only companion. "Just ignore them," the principal tells you, as you have to hear the tasteless jokes about how you should be knocked up even earlier by an 8th grader, 'just to keep that family consistent'. You can't ignore it, because it's your past, something you have to live with for the rest of your life, and the school won't stop it because they're too nice or stupid to do anything about this sick teasing!
Then bring yourself into the bitter and competitive high school environment, where those same misinformed hicks get right back to work through your freshman year. They come up with worse names, and you find yourself still getting all A+ grades, but after your mother goes upstairs to bed, looking at that Chilton application, crying your eyes out and hoping the Headmaster accepts you, and soon. You already know you'll hit the same teasing once you get into Chilton, but at least they have zero tolerance for that behavior. You wish, and wish, and wish, and then when you finally get in, your mother doesn't have enough to pay for the tuition, so she has to rebuild her relationship, a strained one, with your grandparents to get that money.
That was me, telling Paris my life wasn't all rosy and perfect. She thinks 'you'll never catch up, you'll never beat me' or 'I'll make this school a living hell for you' made me quake? I've heard so much worse than that, and even on the first day with her, she was still nicer than any other girl I met in the last five years. I basically was letting seven years of anger, piss and vitriol out at her, hoping she wouldn't find me less attractive with my confession.
"I don't have paternal grandparents Paris; they regard me as nothing but a 'humiliation'." I air-quoted that slur with bitterness. "A hu-mill-i-a-tion! Yes, imagine that, I'm an embarrassment to every fucking Hayden in Hartford except my own father, they don't care about me. You think I love that? It makes me just makes me want to...you know, God, I can't say it, but you know it's not pretty. Some groups in Chilton still hate me, no matter what, and the girls are no exception, they think I steal their thunder when I'm just being quiet and studying, and keeping the passed notes to myself so that their notice they'll be blowing some guy in the closet during free period won't ever see the light of day."
Paris stayed silent, listening to me, not commenting; I would've slugged myself by now for my candidness. But I saw it in her face; she understood that in the end I'm frustrated myself with life sometimes. I have things go wrong, and though my mom might be my best friend, I still have to bottle up at times, that not everything will be taken with that 'there, there, it's OK' kind of talking. This being gay will certainly be far from an exception.
I talked more about the rejection I felt with the Puffs and their placing the blame on me dissolving their group, and then I got to the woman of the moment. By then I was at tears, but I wasn't going to rip her as much as I did everyone else.
"Then there's you." I calmed down, and took her hand as I sat back down next to her, sending the signal that she wasn't one of those people who tried to rip apart my life. "The most vexing girl I've ever had the honor to know. The first time we met in that hallway, I knew from that moment I was going to be stuck with you for the rest of my life. I just had this small inkling, and not four hours later were we already having our first fight. I tumbled into you, and ruined a project, and boy were you stubborn about me not giving you assistance. But look who was at my doorstep a mere six months later fretting about how she'd dress for her dream guy."
I was making her squirm; the intended effect, because I was going to wriggle this confession out of her. "Par, face it, you've had more opportunities than Wile E. Coyote catching the Road Runner to disassociate with me, but no matter what, you always come crawling back. One moment you're calling me Farm Girl and telling the gossip mill the gory details of my mom and Medina doing more than meeting in the classroom, and then the next there I am, the only girl you see in all of Chilton that would even out your student body presidential ticket. You get all wound up and panicked about something, and there I am, ready to keep you grounded and down to earth."
She tried to apologize for her past behavior. "I apologize if I came off as too combative Rory--"
I stopped her, before she could try to say something in her defense. "Look, I'm not mad at you, at all, I never have been. Frustrated, yes. Annoyed? Oh, the times I made jokes about your robot-like demeanor to my mom after a tough day where you pestered the dickens out of me. Angered? Only when you've gotten personal, but you know how to keep it on the line and back off once you touch it. But really, in some odd manner, you are the most sane girl in that damned school. You're not obsessed with beauty, nor do you care about impressing any guys unless they're teachers. You're there to learn, and so am I, and both of us haven't let us get our heads too clouded with that crap."
She tried to counter with logic. "You're right though, at times I'm insane, a little too much. I get a jealous streak against you and take it overboard, thus alienating you and in turn, making me feel much more guilt for putting you through all this. Sometimes, honestly, I marvel that we haven't ended up throttling one another from our competition, you just have to take a look at the long transcripts I have with my therapist over my doubts with education."
"But at least you realize that insecurity, most others would bottle it up and work through it Par, when it would be revealed in a quad meltdown next year first semester." I smiled. "I respect and revere your ethic, and your mood swings make me only realize one thing." I tightened up the grip on her hand, and looked right down at the clasp it was in. "I'd rather have you than the most popular girl in the school. I can talk to you and never feel stupid, and I don't have to reduce concepts to such simplicity it loses a lot in the translation from smart to imbecile. You'll ask a question just to keep me on my toes, and I can't wait for what you have to say next after I answer. In the end, I know you can't bear to hurt me in any way. I'm not Louise, not Madeline, but the best friend you've always looked for, the one you wished you had for so long, and finally came along a couple years ago. One day I might get you as the Iron Bitch, and the next, you're back to being my secret Par-Bear."
She gave me an annoyed smirk when I used the new name on her again. "Rory, I swear you tell anyone that name--"
"Yeah, yeah, eternal damnation, fiery pits of hell, my lips are sealed." I smiled at her. "But you like it, don't you?"
"I do." She was hesitative, but despite her reservations didn't mind my new pet name for her.
"See, two years ago you were take-no-prisoners and never letting someone explain their motives, I couldn't find a reason to think 'yeah, I should be her friend'. But you want I want, just acceptance and respect. I will do that for you Gellar, taking you as you are, and then respecting that we're friends with a strong rivalry going. I can never hate you, because without you, I don't feel whole anymore. That dark sarcasm, the hovering presence, the yearning to compete with you, along with your beauty, it's unique, you can't find it anywhere else. If you aren't here, I crumble, just look at both of us three weeks ago in that bedroom; you used to hold a grudge until it made you physically sick, and I used to never care about your opinion. Now, I can't live without you."
Paris continued to look at me, focused in on me as I went on to tell her that things with Dean had taken a long, slow decline since last year, when a troublesome Tristan, who had zero shot at me, kept trying to make my eyes wander, but failed. The jealousy Dean had became a wall in our relationship, something I could never overcome and refused to deal with after a long period of time. It made me realize that dependable wasn't the way I wanted to live, with him not focused on keeping the flame strong, and instead depending on the fact I was loyal to him only. That one-sided thinking was dangerous, and now he's on the outside looking in.
My eyes wandered off, and they did find someone else I liked; Paris. Not anyone the studio audience on Love Connection would ever choose, but this is how I feel, that I want to love her. I feel challenged and respected around her, and hopefully more than that.
That is, if she could ever get to the point. Instead of the hoped for response and breakdown, she gave me the kind of comfort I expect from Lorelai.
"I don't know when you'll find that next one Rory," she told me, in a reassuring manner. "But I know that Mr. Right is out there somewhere, waiting for you when you're ready to fall back into a relationship."
I just poured my heart to her, and she gives me fortune cookie advice! One more time with the brush-off, and no resolution of what she had to confess. It was driving me crazy, and either she was getting off on seeing me all wound up, she never read the notebook, or she actually thought those notes in the back were for an actual Russian Novels assignment! This was getting beyond ridiculous, now it was just infuriating!
Fuck subtlety, I told myself with firm and stiff confidence, it's time to go in guns blazing. I've flirted with her for the last few months, and I'm done. It's time for action. The Mr. Right mention was just perfect for numbing this over-neurotic side interfering with her revelation.
I held her tight, looked dead in her pupils, and gave her the simplest explanation of my orientation ever, that I was after a Ms. Right. She gave me this numb look, and I could feel her shake when she tried to make sure her ears weren't clogged with wax and she was mishearing things.
Nope, was the gist of what I told her next. Dean was one of only two guys I ever noticed, and I gave her a slight hint that there was a female romantic lead in my dreams very often, many more than he ever appeared in. I gave her an idea that from my sexual awakening in sixth grade on until that day I met Dean, I barely thought about boys at all. I knew they were the key to keep life on Earth and I was supposed to be attracted to them, but I never built it up to that abnormal level you see with any foursome from one of those hot tub dating shows. I always associated more with girls than I really did boys, and would look at men as father figures rather than objects of lust.
She tried to fruitlessly bring up my skip day to Brooklyn to see Jess, and how I felt unbalanced around him. Easy enough to disprove my hormones were on the fritz that day and that I still have a 'what the hell I was thinking' mindset for what happened that made me miss Mom graduating from B-school. I admitted my fantasies with him, all three of them. So he's hot, was my thinking. That shouldn't be the only rationale for starting a new relationship, a deep sense of longing and want for the other person should be the mitigating factor.
Paris seemed in a tailspin of emotions, wanting to reel back, but something wasn't letting her. I could tell I just threw her a Clemens curveball with the admission of my feelings, and she was trying to balance her mind between making sure it was a real confession or it was just an attempt to shock her and get full attention.
"Y-y-you, you like women?" She said, her voice in a high register. "But you're Mary, Farmgirl, and the most innocent girl in school, uncorrupted. This is true, you feel nothing but friendship from men, but girls, you want more than friendship?" She looked down at her hands, and seemed ready to need an inhaler in mere moments. "You're saying to me, right now, that you are, your sexual tendencies are double-X?
Leave it to Paris, even in this most raw of moments to be academic. I laughed, keeping her calm. "Yup, that's what I'm saying here, I'm gay, here, queer and you'll have to get used to it, because I'm absolutely sure about this. I've been ignoring these feelings for a year, but I can't pretend anymore, because I feel more passionate about a girl when I think of her than I do a guy."
"You're not bisexual," she tried to clarify. "because I think you are--"
"Paris," I stated firmly, "I am a lesbian, no doubt about it. I'm not bi, nor do I have any current sexual attractions to any men besides usual shallow celebrity lust. I'm not going back."
She let the confession sink in for a bit, and I tried gauging her reaction, my fingers crossed she wouldn't run away. She was staying calm and neutral, holding back what she might have to say about how she felt about her closest friend feeling this way. It took two minutes of silence and some 'are you OK's to find out her opinion.
"God Gilmore, you know how to make it really rough for the Chiltonites to like you," she finally let out, thankfully more as jest than a statement of the general consensus of the student body. She uncharacteristically started to nervously play with her hair, curling it around her finger unsteadily. "This is...it's definitely a surprise I never expected to hear from you, not in a million years, that you're gay. You're Rory Gilmore for the love of Pete, the sluts in school would give their left breast to have the chasteness and Disney princess glow that surrounds you. I think of you and see 'most likely to succeed' in the yearbook, not...this."
"Paris," I questioned nervously. "I don't want you to think anything less of me just because of this. Please," I sniffled up a little, starting to become a little scared that this mini-rant would develop into a hate screed. "Say you don't hate me, that you won't stop being my friend."
The blonde sensed how uncomfortable and exposed I felt, and immediately brought me towards her, into a hug, her hand on my back as she tried to keep me calm. "I'm certainly not thinking that at all," she made clear to me. "Yes, it's jarring, I'll admit as much, but it's far from revolting. No matter how much I might seem to have some prejudices, I'm always going to be on the right side of causes, and this is no different."
She released me, and made it damned clear that she was far from turning her back on me. "I'm going to make this clear right now Rory, the only thing that has changed in your mind is that you're a skirt-chaser, that's all. You're still my competitive equal, the ying to my yang, and most of all, my best friend. That's never going to change, I swear on my father's life."
I still wasn't clear on how she felt for me; though I was relieved we were good, her secret was still out there, unknown. "That's all I needed to know, and I'm sorry I suddenly sprung it on you."
"It's fine." She got inquisitive right about this point. "So who's the object of these affections?"
"I can't say," I lied, wanting to keep the evasiveness up. "I don't know if she even knows, or would return them."
"So even though you're unsure if who you want is willing to like you, you still think you're gay?"
Paris looked at me as my mind wrapped around that, and just like that, without any rhyme or reason, I became unglued at the prospect, a little scared myself of what she would think. She was holding back on things as I told her I wasn't sure if 'this girl' would like me, the reactions of others since she was the first to know, then finally admitting that my dreams with 'this girl' were far from angelic.
I thought I was in control, but the pull of Paris so close to me was taking me out of this confident track I was gliding by on, and back into the meek and shaky girl I prayed I wouldn't become when I let her know my feelings for her. I can't even remember what I said to her after that point all these hours later, it's all a blur, feeling like my chances with her were slipping away. I'd have to be content with her being my friend and nothing else, was how I was starting to feel.
And then, without any provocation, I let loose the waterworks. My speech became unintelligible, and I found myself crying like I never had before, because I was driving right by Paris' confession, seemingly more concerned with mine. I felt miserable, like I was putting so much weight on her shoulders that she didn't deserve. I started thinking that maybe I should've told Mom first and had her talk me out of it, or stayed with Dean despite his accusations. The last few months were starting to feel like a waste of time, a blur that never should have been or even ever happened.
Still, Paris showed humanity in it all. Her eyes conveyed that she really felt for me, the decision I had made to make clear I liked girls. It wasn't a joke anymore, something that I could imagine as tawdry or fluffy as I liked; it was now a real, human tangible feeling that was out there. She felt the constriction of my heart, and though I didn't think it at the time, the tightness in my heart and my nervous energy as I looked downcast, shamed, awful for what I had done to her.
She didn't hug me, or say anything caring. All she could do is hand me the Puffs box and try to keep me sane.
That's what I thought at least she probably would've done in that situation. She looked at me, with this stare I never noticed before, a mix between her enigmatic smile and inquisitiveness. She moved towards me on the couch a little.
I looked back up towards her, expecting her to bring me into a hug, or for her to offer to make some grilled cheese and chicken soup.
"Yeah?" I sniffed back tears, all of them remembrance that she had a secret she was still holding back currently on my mind's backburner.
She brought herself back into the conversation point blank with a simple inquiry; was she 'the other woman'? I couldn't tell if she knew beforehand, and didn't know if the pro/con list was known to her.
What I did see, was that her hand was still on the notebook, a fingernail slid right into the spot the list started. She had to know, she just had to, was no doubt about it. It was that abrupt questioning style that brought me out of my sadness, and at the very least I had to mention that notebook, so that if she truly did not know about the list, she could take a look and I could go over each one personally with her.
That's what I did, tell her that if she was smart enough, she'd know the list was about her, and her perception could have told her that. I confessed everything about the list, and how I was really feeling so much for her since we shared the dorm. It was all I could tell her for now; she'd have to push the rest out of me. I finished by telling her that my life is rough as anyone else's and I hope what I said before drove that home. I needed to know what she had to say in her reaction, even if it was 'I'm out of here you stupid dyke!'.
She took her time trying to form a reply, I could tell that the ending part of my confession was really affecting her, much more than a Chilton F or -0- grade would ever cause. She felt devastated, like her well-formed world, with the cute little small town sidekick and her own two lifelong friends was coming apart, and there was nothing she could do to stop the boulder's roll. She just sat next to me, breathing, not saying a word, keeping me on the tip of my toes with what she was about to tell me.
It seemed like forever, yet it was only three minutes before she said a word. What was she thinking in her own mind? Did my view of her immediately change in the aftermath of my words? Why was she just staring at me with a stilled jaw, reading my face like a book?
I was starting to feel like I was making the biggest mistake of my life, seducing Paris Gellar. I was brazen--no, downright predatory trying to pursue her, almost jealous of a boy she may have felt something for in Washington and trying to wish the date was an unqualified bomb. I didn't deserve her at all; I was like the Prairie View A&M of gay girls, trying to pursue someone that had Duke-quality skills and riches, what the fuck was I thinking?
Again, I started to bawl uncontrollably, thinking that she was about to hate me for the rest of my life.
She finally said my name, breaking the curtain of silence separating us from each other. I awaited my sentence like a prisoner, ready for her to fire and brimstone me away from her for the rest of my life. The worst fear was she was about to not only slur my orientation, but she was going to make sure and spread this new fact like wildfire through the halls of Chilton tomorrow morning.
Paris took her cup of wintergreen tea into her hand, with one of her hands brushing up against the side of my left arm. I gave her a hopeful look, and despite all the despair flowing through me, found myself a little light-headed from her touch against the small hairs on the extremity.
God, if you hear me now, please, make it short, blunt, and as easy as possible. I prayed to a deity everyone says is benevolent, but according to a few homophobes, probably hates my guts.
It was then I heard her speak those words, between sips of the foam cup of tea.
"I've felt the same way for you. Rory, I like you, in a romantic sense."
I was ready to sulk off to my room in shame, when the word 'like' hit my brain like the metaphorical anvil she described in the sentence before. "Like...like...like...like..."
No way! I couldn't believe it; she was just admitting she liked me. This had to be a practical joke, or as the cool kids call it, a 'punk' of some kind. My feelings were being returned? By Paris, the girl I liked. This couldn't have been true.
I looked up at the girl I liked, and saw her smile, a real honest-to-goodness smile, the kind she usually reserves for an 'Eureka!' moment during Franklin work. A smile that was telling me 'what I just said to you is the plain truth'.
I had to confirm it, just in case I missed a couple 'don'ts' in her saying she liked me. So again I asked, tense and wound up like a stretched belt.
"Ror," her voice was softer and kinder, and dare I say it, more soothing than it ever had been before. "Just a half-hour before, I was plopped down on your bed, reading the notes out of this notebook and thinking you were crazy as hell, because those notes, they didn't correspond to Anna Karenina at all. I read through what you wrote in the back, very confused, but then I turned to that first page, where you started the entire thing." She brought her hand back down into mine, while opening up the book to that first page. "As I saw each reason, my stomach did these handstands and I didn't know if I was reading something private, or what. All I knew was, these notes, they were far from friendly. I went back to page three, and looked again at those notes from Tuesday, where you felt this rush from going braless in my presence. It was then I remembered, Anna Karenina never wore a bra! I keep looking down, at the stuff about the fountain, how you felt in my shirt, the ride home from school that afternoon."
She turned to the fourth page, the start of the beginning, and read it to me. "Pro - She is now the only one who has a pull on my heart. Pro - He's history; I can finally ease up, and get a little daring." Damn, I loved how she says the word pro, so spiced up. "Pro - She cared enough to ask what happened to him. Pro - She cut off the bracelet for me, I'm finally free of the jealous bastard!"
"Two more things to mention, one on this page, one on the first." She looked down at the next reason on page four. "Pro - She's talented, beautiful, a great dancer, and she said yes to me. We're going to win this thing!!" She then turned back to page one, the topmost pro on the paper, one changed to fit the whims of my lust and love for her. "Pro - I want her, corrected six or seven times, followed by an asterisk which points to the fact you want me, and more." She looked me straight in the eye, and stated what she felt, candidly.
"I never thought you'd notice my subtle signs at all, but somehow, you did." She sighed. "Every one of those pros in that notebook, they are correct; I've been baiting you for the last few months, and hopeful you'd notice anything and respond in kind. I never expected to find this out in such a dry and academic form of sorting your feelings out, and I would've definitely written a few more things down on the con side, but Rory..." she played with my fingers, her voice slow and wanting. "I do want you. I have wanted you for at least the last five months, and even before that, I felt like I wanted to know you as more than a friend."
She looked down a little, and finally said those confirming words I was looking for. "I've only thought of one boy in my life, and that was Tristan, there was never anyone else. After he left, the thoughts started turning towards you, and before I knew it, there you were, in my mind all the time, in my daydreams, my sleep, and in spirit, pushing me to do more. Eventually those dreams became a little more risqué, until I found myself starting to flirt with you subtlety, and hoping against hope you'd notice." She looked back up, to my nervous smile.
"What does this mean then?" I asked her.
Let me just tell you now, Paris could make the ingredients listing of a shampoo bottle sound sexy, because when she said this, my mind got some nice hot flashes of her doing these things. "Considering I did some experimentation in my younger years with other girls at Jewish summer camp and enjoyed it despite it being merely clothed touching, the fact the sight of a man nude in a magazine repulses me, and the washboard look does nothing for me, I look at women with a lot more interest; not to mention that I find erotic stories on the internet and in books with two women much more intelligent and sexy than the guy/girl combo usually associated with romance. This, along with the overwhelming longing and want that I have for you, brings me to the final conclusion that yes, I have very strong lesbianic tendencies, and barely any heterosexuality to be found within my system."
I then smiled at her, and shook my head. "You know Par, 'I'm gay' would've sufficed." I then laughed as she rolled her eyes.
"Fine, I'm gay, there's the Cliff Notes version, you happy now?" Her voice was very light and not bitter at all.
"Oh, I'm more than happy," I told her honestly, feeling a large weight come off my shoulders. "Relieved, thankful, exhausted, I have a million terms I could use to tell you how I feel right now."
"All I feel right now is just good," she whispered. "Really, I've been feeling this way about you ever since I had to sub in as Romeo after Tristan ditched us. Back then I thought it would be just plain fleeting lust, my hormones adjusting to a love departing. It never went away, it stayed through the entire year, no matter how much I willed it to disappear. I figured out something was wrong when I reacted so violently to you not taking my invitation to celebrate the Hillside victory because you had to meet Sherrie; seriously, I had this 'spurned lover' thing in my head, even though you were far from being my lover."
"Thinking back, I thought it might be that," I mused. "But go on, I want to hear your side."
"There was me stopping by to have you tutor me, just an excuse to see you, and I guess you know now that the 'I want Jess so bad' excuse I made up in front of Dean was a big lie in itself." I nodded. "Once May hit and I was in that panic about a VP, I could only think of you, and hope that the summer went well enough in Washington. Which it did, we both still have our heads, and ten toes and fingers each and ran into nothing but the usual bed by the window fight, we tolerated each other well enough."
Paris went into detail about the summer, Jamie and the date she hated, so much that she tuned him out halfway through and couldn't wait to get home because he was such a dead guy to begin with. Then the start of the school year, and then letting me know that my begging for the hemlines turned out to be a good thing; she did ogle me, a good thing to hear from her. A little more on Tuesday morning and how she went crazy trying to accommodate me on such short notice and how nervous I was asking her to dance with me.
She then turned serious on me. "Still, nothing told me I had to go for this more than the field hockey match. If ever there was a sign that you saw me as more than a friend, it was that, you planned it out well Gilmore, pat yourself on the back. Just the way you carried yourself, the way you challenged me, and got me into the game, which is such a hard thing to do, it could've backfired. But you made it work, and I never had as much fun in school as I did that day. Or as much depression, right after I ran out on you in the shower and almost single-handedly killed everything with my silent treatment." Paris huffed out a breath, and came to a conclusion. "If I learned anything from those three nights without you and the awful argument we had, it was that I'm infallible and about as co-dependent on you being there for me as Barney Gumble is to the bottle. I was lost without you, and I couldn't focus. I had to make things up, and I'm glad I did, because it just proved that our friendship might be on shakier ground than Pisa at times, but it's still solid despite."
I completely agreed with what she had to say. "It was needed, that last conflict, call it a dress rehearsal," I rationalized. "And it helped you get some frustration out with your mother which I thought you really needed to get out. You don't need to blame yourself at all; it was floating in the air and someone would ask it eventually."
"Which meant it had to be you," she smiled a little. "I know she's going to be pissed when she finds out about all this, but I'm tired of not being my own person, it just gets to you after awhile. I feel so closed up around her, like I'm a Chinese dissident under her Mao-like rule." She frowned for a little bit. "I better not dwell on her right now, this is a good thing, right?"
I nodded back at her, and she gave that smile that makes me weak.
"I have one more thing to ask about the past before we start the future though."
"Go ahead, I'm an open book."
She seemed nervous a little. "Dean...uh, I know how much you loved him in the past. Did you decide that the overreaction to him finding out about Jess with you helping fix Dwight's sprinklers was the perfect break to dump him, and did you...you know, see it as the right time to bring things into motion? I mean, did you break up so you could have me, free and clear?"
I gave her a small little smile, and then gave her a quick rundown that said things fell into place, she danced with me yesterday, and here we were...
As her body moved closer to mine, and invisible boundary that was in the middle before that point, had disappeared with our confessions, since she was easing into my body, moving her hand up my arm and appraising my clothing choice. I'm thinking she took to it very well because her last question was about the sprinklers, and how they came into play. Was it accidental? It sure was, and I let her know that.
Her smile was getting closer to mine, and then she latched on to my calling her 'my friend' in that last sentence. Suddenly, she got all coy and flirty, a personality I had never seen in her before. Her nail scraped against the column of my neck, next to my pulse, and just as I thought this day couldn't get any more heated, Paris decides to 'I before E except after C' her way into my heart, by correcting one word for another.
Her voice was husky with want, and the humor was disappearing, as I realized her fingers below were curled around one of the belt loops of my jeans. Then, she whispered the correction, replacing 'friend' with that term of endearment I always wanted her to mention.
"Don't you mean girlfriend?"
My mind didn't spin into panic at all upon hearing this, since it was concentrating on the fact I felt a tightness below at her sudden dominance over the situation. I had control over the seduction, but the carrying out was about to become all hers. I tried to warn her that this was it, the point of no return. If she was about to do what I thought she was going to do, there was no going back from here. We would share a kiss and have been lovers once upon a time.
My body certainly was hoping she wouldn't take it back...her face hovered above mine, those brown eyes looking deeply into mine, and her hand rested possessively on my side, inching along the waistline of my jeans. She wasn't even aware she was playing with fire, and though she tried to distract with a brush of some stray hair from across my face as she gazed at me, I was all far gone. Already, this innocent, yet sexy positioning was beyond all my dreams.
Which she mentioned as she answered whether she was ready to take the first step. That my dreams were giving her overloads, it gave me a nice pink tint to know that I was warming her up on cold nights from a half-hour away. I could only wish to imagine what I was like in her imagination, and hoped the real me would live up to the marquee billing. Her orchid scent was getting to me, and her shirt, still undone in those two places, was hanging in front of my vision. I wanted to look in and have a peek of those breasts I've dreamed of kissing and nipping and cuddling up against, but my mind was more on her lips at the moment.
I gave her a little preview of how her dream self was. I made sure to note the dominance she displayed, and how commanding she would be, yet I noted how soft she was, and concerned with how her actions in bed were. I made sure to tell her she was cute in my dreams, then brought the compliment out into her real world self.
"Cute?" she gasped out. "I am far from cute, I'm downright homely, you don't have to say it."
She was turning as pink as a medium rare fillet, so I was going to insist as I looked Paris up and down, my mouth watering with the taste of a mix of wintergreen liquid and vanilla mints. Fucking lord, she was more than cute with that hair spread throughout the throw pillow, her eyes far gone and a hand brushing up against the side of her shirt. She seemed to flinch when my hair brushed up against her reddened cheeks, and I wanted to give her a kiss that would make that pithy one Tristan made seem like a crappy spin-the-bottle buss. I tell her again she's been cute for days upon days, and made her melt.
I must've hit the right spot, because just as I thought I couldn't see her as my new lover, she told me I looked both cute and hot.
Now Dean had always called me cute, but in that boring guy way that's like 'you're handsome' to them. The way Paris told me she thought the same, and then paused to catch her breath to give me the compliment that I was hot, it was something alien to me, Dean never thought of me as hot. My mom was hot to most young males, Sookie was hot to Jackson, Dave found Lane hot, and Madeline and Louise, to those two the word was almost used as much as 'hello' to them.
But lil' ol' me, hot? The way Par said it, with that monotonal husk, her lip bitten down to tease the hell out of me, and a hand up against my back, it did something to me. Oh my God, I just wanted to drag her into my bedroom and make her feel how fucking hot I was. And her eyes...her eyes, they took on this light, wanting shade of brown that screamed out 'these are my fuck me eyes'. They were usually studious and focused on one topic at a time, never wavering off track. Too feel them on me, appraising my form, aroused with want...I could feel my legs spread just from that one syllable. I felt my heart pound, and my modesty start to break down.
I just wanted her, right then and there. In a reduced form so I didn't scare the daylights out of her of course, but a kiss was still enough for me. I'm willing to wait as long as possible for her; she'll know when it's time to take the plunge.
I gave Par this sexy smile, and a slight hint as to what I wanted. I bent down closer and closer, telling her I was flattered by her use of the word hot, but that I was tired of playing games with her. I wanted her lips on mine, her hands in my hair, and to give her that knee-dropping kiss she had never, ever experienced before.
With the freedom of a lesbian relationship, I feel more daring. Much more is open to me, and I don't have to hold back as much. I made sure to show Paris this, that she wasn't falling for the old, boring, prudish Rory, who usually spent a couple minutes gargling Cool Mint Listerine once she got home to get the gross taste of Dean's too demanding tongue out of her mouth from his after-school 'kiss'. I took her face by each side, her giving her consent for the kiss to happen softly. She seemed to countdown silently, eyes closed, awaiting the reward of being loyal and unwavering about keeping me as a friend. Her face is soft, just as I imagine it, the softness of her cheeks soothing in my grasp. She threads her hands through my hair, and I can finally sniff her breath, up close and personal.
I couldn't wait anymore. I noted the time of 4:37 on the VCR's readout, my eyes taking one last look at the world as a Mary, the girl who never took a risk in a relationship and had a romantic life that would be a good cure for an insomniac in book form.
I met her soft lips in the middle, and it took mere milliseconds for jarring shocks to go through my body. My eyes focused on her that first second, both our pupils receding. I heard that first kiss, and the passion between us was so much.
The kiss was soft, not meant to do much more but to blow off a year and possibly plus' worth of steam. Still, it was outpacing any time Dean ever tried to shove his tongue down my esophagus, because I wanted this, truly wanted this so bad. I felt my eyes shut as I felt the suction of the kiss increase, then heard that first release and smacking as she moved away to catch some air.
She kissed me once again, trying to imitate what I did the first time. Sure, she was novice at it, but it didn't lessen the impact of this first kiss any less. I understand going in she's catching up on a lot of lost time, so I'll be more of a guide than her. Whatever the case, her first attempt at kissing was still on the mark, and sending shivers down through my back.
I felt like I was losing my breath, yet I wanted more. To make clear that this was no Mickey Mouse crush, far from a phase, that I was committed to this idea of an us.
I crushed my lips hard against her, my hands moving towards the nape of her neck and making her melt into the cushions of that couch she loathed so much. There was no protocol or template to what I was doing, it was all spur of the moment. She grunted out for breath, and I let her go for just a second so she could intake a little air before I started making out with her anew.
Her mouth felt just right, and her body felt perfect against mine, her short legs coming to an end at her feet, resting against my shins. Her eyes were closed and the only word she could find in her brain was "More..." stretched out, which brought to mind her humming deep and long against the sensitive tissue of my clit. Mmmmmm...I thought as I got a little bold and bit my teeth softly into the skin of her bottom lip. Paris shrieked aloud and just about scraped her fingernails down my back; by Jove, I think she liked it.
I brought her even closer, continuing to kiss her like we were a couple of young teenagers. I brought my hands down towards her bra line, and shifted a little so one of her legs fell in between mine. There wasn't any way I was going to give it up so fast, but bringing her into that position and moving my right leg between hers kind of gave her a hint. Her breathing picked up a heavy rhythm, and in my grasp she started to shake below me.
God, having that picture of her in my head of her eyes closed and body prone, ready and prepared for more as my mouth continued to tangle against hers, it's a first kiss I'll never, ever forget. In my eyes, all that tension had disappeared, though unlike what everyone would hope, I was still wanted her as my lover. Not a chance that anything I felt with her would disappear just because I finally got to have a hot torrid kiss with her.
Just as I felt like I was about to lose control, Paris' brain functions had rewired and she found just enough in her to make her hands push me back a little a separate from the kiss. I looked down at her, and she was smiling as her hands messed up my hair beyond any kind of redemption; apparently she has a habit of doing something else while doing the major thing. That didn't leave me disappointed, and made me wonder what kind of interesting things would happen during projects from now on.
She got up from the position she was in, and inched over a little so I could sit next to her on the couch, face to face. We were both so messed up, faces slick with perspiration and some stray drool, which made me grasp for the tissue box so I could hint she needs to curtail her saliva production a little. Still, it was very nice; I finally got to kiss Paris, the end result being the first time was beyond all my dreams and fantasies. I was just thankful we were both makeup-less; the last thing we needed were lipsticked collars and running mascara.
Both of us had to looked stunned and out of it, because we were only focused on one thing; each other. Her hand kept touching mine as we started to recover from the effects of that kiss. Especially Paris, for it didn't take long for her to start microanalyzing the kiss and everything surrounding the said buss.
Her reaction was stunned, very few words except for a very distracted her telling me it was very nice. Then she went on with her side of things.
"Was I good? Did I make you nervous? Was I sloppy, did I bite too hard on your lips, was it too wet? I have to know these things so I can improve, that was just OK I think." I shook my head as she continued. "I'm just wondering, is there anything I need to do so that I can get this right, I--"
I tightened my grip on her hand and got her to stop before she ever had the chance to Dr. Laura her way out of my good graces, so I sat her down and told her that she was beyond my expectations, everything worked so well. I joked about her first date with Tristan and the index cards, and that seemed to bring her into a sense of much more calm and ease.
What I expected next was for her to take a break from this influx of conversation and to sort her feelings out, to make sure everything would be fine before she left Stars Hollow. I also thought we were about to get down to some dual studying with all those books sitting on the coffee table.
However, it only took her a few more moments to realize that both she and I never got such a great opportunity to spend time all alone, with no one about to interrupt this intimacy that was starting to just form. No matter what, I'd be content.
She gave me this deep and mooning look, those 'kiss me' eyes again on display as this time, she pushed me towards the end of the couch and she used her left hand to brace against the coffee table. She moved up along my body, her hair falling down against the skin exposed from the low cut of my tank top. The fingers of her free right hand brushed against the nape of my neck, just near where days before her touch had almost made me faint from that slow and sensual back massage. Her index finger brushed in the middle of my hairline, and I could feel her stomach pressing against mine as Paris told me she wanted to kiss again, using those big academic words to turn me on.
My humor was lost, with the signals usually running to that portion of my mind detouring to create some of the lamest and dorkiest seduction lines ever. "Closed lab environment of the living room?" I actually told her that! Yet somehow, she found humor within the lame commenting, shaking her head at me with a wry smile.
"We're going to be a very odd gay couple, aren't we Gilmore?" I made the usual bad Oscar/Felix reference that had filled many blanks for the last thirty years, hoping she wouldn't groan at my temporary loss of wittiness.
She was smart though, and instead of letting me go on, shut me up with a very tender and mind-altering kiss, all the while telling me that I was the only one for her. The only thing I could do, and just the only damned thing I wanted was to gasp out that her remark of how she'd never go out with a guy, young or old again was noted, and then fall into what was very far than the kiss of a novice. As her hands slid down my shoulders and she laced a finger around the straps of my top, there was no need for anything else.
When she's not looking, I pinched myself; mainly because the way things with Dean were going, I didn't expect last Tuesday morning that five days later, Paris and I would not only be dance marathon champions, Dean would be a faded memory, and her teeth against my upper lip made me cry in both pain and pleasure at the same time.
I can't even think of how far we might go and that she could be even more caring and domineering than this; but I do anyways, and I shut my eyes and kiss Paris back with equal and hungry passion, it's making me anxious to find out where this thing is going.
I just hope it doesn't require a bigger bed in my room; it's fine for sleeping, but for making out, not so much...
We did eventually separate, and with our attractions known, found ourselves talking about the reality of Chilton and this town, and how they'd react. We were both nervous, yet we were calm, since no one had to know for at least awhile.
She told me about the history of homosexuality in Hartford society, which was very blunt and short since only in recent years did the city's upper class start to embrace the fact some of their heirs and heiresses were attracted to their own sex. "Even then though, the family members and staff hired by some rogue members are trying to find ways to disinherit them from any kind of trust. It's discrimination, but since it's a family member, you really can't do anything about it." This made me fear Chilton more, and her family, but she calmed me with a rational explanation of things.
"My mother is going to hate me for sure, but I think my father, he'll understand. Since he took over the reins of the family company after Grandpa Gellar died, he's opened up the lines of communication between the minority community and them, and he forced the board to put in specific language that if a person is found out gay, they cannot be fired unless the termination is justified. It's a very open workplace; everyone's accepting and the office bigots usually get the lonely middle cube if they even try to speak out."
"So you think you're fine?" I asked.
"Daddy loves me, I'm still his little girl; he's only ever wanted me to be happy." She smiled, and sighed. "He's always wanted to meet you one day, says that I should have more friends like you." She rubbed my hand, and asked about Emily and Richard, two people she respected.
"Honestly," I hesitated, "I'm not sure, I mean I was expected to be mom's validator and bring the family back to glory. They never say anything, very old line and centrist, so I don't know. I'm more fearful of my mom though, this is going to weird her out so much."
"Ror, she'll be fine, she's cool mom, remember? You have a close friend-like relationship, and she has enough of a heart to realize you're Rory, not 'her gay daughter'."
"I know, but if we work and we don't come out to her in a short period of time, that'll be the longest lie I've ever held onto in my life. She's going to be disappointed--"
"Hey," she told me, in the commanding tone. "It's justified, we're not ready to outright think we'll work. If she finds out, we'll tell her, but for now, just hold it in and we'll see if this pans out the way we both hope it does. Got it?"
I thought for a moment, and realized I didn't really have much of a choice in the matter.
"You're right, I guess." I settled up against her, and grabbed the remote to check in on the 6 o'clock local news. "I would hate having to ever make a decision between you and my mom however."
She gave me a sad look, and huffed. "I'm already building a defense to keep you if it ever gets that perilous. I refuse to lose you because of stubborn family or homophobia; I promise right now, we'll fight for each other." She turned around and offered her hand. "Do we have a handshake agreement on that?"
I took her hand and didn't take long to seal the deal. "Us against the world." With that firm declaration, we focused on the outside world for the first time in twelve hours, yet still found her cuddling against my shoulder as we watched the Sunday evening news, like clockwork and right on time. Something I hope is a habit we'll repeat many times together in the near future.
Eventually, all good things have to come to an end eventually, and my time with Paris was sadly, not an exception. When the reverie of Paris' cell phone in my bedroom rang and she read the caller ID as her nanny, I realized it was time to let go. I wanted her to stay with me so we could chat some more, but with Lorelai just landing up in Windsor, I found myself really missing my mom and wanting to make up for that five days of lost time with her. Paris seemed uneasy about leaving, but I assured her that I'd be fine, she could go home and get back into some comfy jammies and finish out her weekend.
My heart was already tugging with want as she packed up her things in my bedroom, but I know that for awhile it'll have to stay this way, a relationship separated by twenty miles of roads and a commandeering stubborn mule of a mother. Thank God I have her private room and cell phone number, along with her email address and screenname to chat with her whenever I feel lonely, because I'm already getting that sense my keyboard will be worn out by mid-December just chatting with her about anything and everything. This was the afternoon after we broke down and expressed how we felt; the boring talks about school subjects, science news, and inappropriate humor about Mr. Mercurio's never-changing curriculum. It would've put Dean to sleep in a minute, and Lorelai would ask for a translator. I could relate to Paris and never get bored however, and that's all I wanted, someone I could chat and love on my own level.
I struggled to say goodbye to her, and as I kissed her at the front door, wished she could stay. No doing however, and I could only count the hours until 8am, when I would next see her in class after another awful bus ride out to Hartford.
"About that," she told me. "You've expressed nothing but hate for public transportation lately. Now that we're, uh, closer, remember my rides offer from Tuesday?" I nodded in the affirmative. "If you wouldn't mind, I could come down here from now on and take you to school. The Jeep's on its last legs and the odds of you getting another car are pretty slim, and besides Ror, I could use the company."
"You're serious?" I thought she was playing me, that she was willing voluntarily to deal with Hartford traffic not only twice a day, like she did delivering me from Chilton back here, but in the morning.
"It's not a big deal, really. My car burns efficiently and receives excellent gas mileage, and Mother wouldn't notice an increase in the fuel bill. I wouldn't ask for more than the $10 you already give me a month, it's something I've wanted to offer to you for quite awhile."
I thought about the extra time in the morning spent with Paris and tried to play devil's advocate, noting the inconvenience of an earlier wake-up time and the mood swings of the weather, but before I got another word in trying to convince her I didn't want to be an inconvenience, that damned infuriating girl pushed me up against the doorpost and kissed me senseless, shushing my arguments with each kiss. After about another minute of a tangled embrace, she released me, and went on like nothing happened.
"If it snows, I have a Rover in the garage, it could get through the Ice Age if it decided to create a sequel. As for my sleep, I'm done with studying by nine and bored by ten, so it's not going to radically change my sked. Promise." Another knee-weakening smile; damn it, she's trying to use it to gain the upper hand.
Again, I refused, until finally, she told me I'd be there waiting for her at seven, or else she'd chase down the bus on the highway, screech in front of it and pull me off by the backpack strap.
For a moment I considered letting her do that because of her hotness in anger, but in the end a pissed-off Paris wasn't exactly an animal I was ready to deal with in a lover's sense quite yet. So I sighed and told her she could be my ride, which made her about as giddy as something like that could do.
I went outside to see her out, and walk her to her car, where she thanked me for the wonderful weekend and the dance marathon invitation. I was chilly, but just seeing her off in a chivalrous way warmed me up, along with her stare since I was smart enough to know that cold meant stiffened erectile tissue. Yeah, no jacket was good for once as I put my arms right below my chest, keeping the part where the front of my breasts could be seen. I gave her a knowing look as she said goodbye and rolled up the window, then she blew me a kiss (to keep the gossip mill down and make it look like friendly intentions), and I watched her pull out in reverse, onto Cherry Lane, and out of town back towards the Manor.
I watched her for that small minute as she drove down the road, until her vehicle made the Peach Street turn, leaving me alone for the next hour to clean up my half week-old messes before Mom arrived home at eight.
Despite my overly aroused body, I still mustered the energy for a quick vacuum and dust, and a straightening of my room before I took a shower to rub of the aromatic and visual elements of what Paris and I had done only hours before on the sofa. I kept the focus on a rote Latin quote I was memorizing for that class in sixth period tomorrow afternoon for extra credit, and did not dare focus on expending the energy that built through the day with each touch and brush my blonde classmate caused to keep the domino chain of lust tumbling. I stepped out and changed into a more mother-appropriate wardrobe of those same lamb jammies I turned down in the heat of the moment to give Paris a couple things to think about as she slept and spooned against me.
I rushed around the house, throwing my hair into a ponytail, gathering my books into my backpack and Febrezing the couch to remove any trace of more than innocent sitting from the offending furniture. I ordered out another couple of works pizzas and bread from Joe's from my Fez cash pot, trying to make Mom feel as welcome at home as she possibly could after days upon days of PowerPoint, hard sells, cramped quarters and missing me beyond belief. I checked the answering machine to see if she called while we slept, and she did indeed leave one message around 11:30, where she said "Hey hon, I'm coming home, love you!" before departing from Nashville Metro.
I finished spic n' spanning the house at about 7:58, just in time to sit down, grab a random book from my room shelves and curl up in the chair as I heard the airport shuttle van pull up in front of the house, just in time and another fine bit of timing since the pizza had come three minutes earlier. Despite how much Paris has become more a part of my life this weekend, my mother is still the one who truly needs me, and that I in turn she needs to be in my life.
If I knew something, Mom was going to be very tired and worn out. I heard her luggage hit the porch with a dead thud, pretty much denoting she was struggling to drag even her own body up those three steps. I opened up the door to her and her five bags, and she seemed so relieved to see me, at least that's the sense I got from her whining about what the last seven hours had done to her.
"Fritz, could you speed it up with the carry-on, my arms feel like they're going to unsocket here any second!" Mom looked at the shuttle driver, who was struggling to roll two bags towards the front porch.
"Geeze lady, what the heck you put in here, dead bodies? You went to Nashville miss, not Stonehenge."
"Hey, that's what happened when my only caffeine source for the last five day's been filter bags of that generic Torke crap from Wisconsin from that gross room carafe that was stained more than a cathedral window, and lukewarm Dr. Pepper, someone's gotta pay the price for my denial. You were a savior for at least stopping at a Dunkin' Donuts in Rocky Hill, it helped keep me sane and you alive." I shook my head and smiled, this is what happens when my mother is taken out of her comfort zone, otherwise known as 30 miles from her most frequented diner.
"Glad I could help," the older man responded gruffly. "You have a nice evening ma'am, and get some sleep."
Mom reached into the pocket of her jacket, and pulled out a five dollar bill for him. "Thanks sir. I know the gratuity was charged out already, but for that stop I owe you this at the very least. Keep the change." He took the money, and tipped his cap at my mother.
"Always a pleasure to serve." He dropped the carry-on into my hands, and after we both said goodbye, we both brought the heavy baggage into the front foyer.
My mom yawned aloud as the weight got to her, and started to rant about her trip home. "If I don't have another hotelier's convention to go to, it'll be too soon, and this day was infuriating! Can I ask you why none of the Bradley airlines have a direct flight out to Tennessee, please?"
"Well if you find me a country music scene in Hartford and New Haven, let them know."
My mom shook her head, tired and worn from what the last five days did to her. "I came home having to transfer flights in Detroit. Who, may I ask, had the splendid idea of thinking transferring flights in dreary and rainy Michigan, then to give me a middle seat since they decided to overbook the flight and give my original one to an uppity snob girl from LA. I tell you Rory, next time Mia begs me to head to the hotelier's convention, I'm thumbing my way out to Denver or Topeka or Timbuktu, whatever boring town the NIHA wants to send me out to next year. Anything not to repeat these days that were so boring I actually considered order a pay-per-view not meant for young eyes from the hotel--"
OK, had to stop her now. "And you complete that sentence Mom, you'll be paying therapy and Paxil bills on my behalf until your dying day." I smiled, and couldn't help but launch into her arms to feel the caring presence of the woman who borne me for the first time since Wednesday morning. "God, I missed you."
"Missed you too kiddo, Nashville couldn't be painted red without you to help me." Lorelai kissed my forehead softly, and dropped the three bags she was holding onto the foyer's floor, walking out into the living room and taking in our familiar surroundings. "I see you disappointed me; didn't I tell you that you could wreck the house and hold a beer bash while I was gone here? Sure, I'd ground you up until your fifth reincarnation as a bear cub, but what a way it would be to go."
"I sent out the invitations and no one came," I cried out with dramatic inflection and playing into her weird mindset. "Guess I shouldn't have mentioned the kegs were filled with Coors Cutter and I had non-alcoholic gelatin shots in the ad." She collapsed onto the couch, slipping off her high heels and grabbing the top pizza box from table to open it up and grab a slice.
"You may not know how to throw a party but you know how to keep your mom happy." She bit into the loaded slice and moaned at the taste with her mouth full. "See, this is why I can't leave the little box of a state we live in, the food here is digestible and delicious. Hotel room food, especially in the hovel those people put me in, is barely edible, space food would get a Emeril 'BAM!' much sooner than the Center City Wyndam's entire idea of a menu." She looked towards me expectantly. "I'm guessing since you still seem healthy and stout Luke's and Joe's treated you quite well." I nodded back in the affirmative that indeed I was spoiled rotten from their contributions.
Mom got up from the couch and took off her jacket, with the slice of pizza still in her hand. "How was your weekend anyways? Had to beat my exciting sales slides and marketing mantras I had to repeat with other members of the hotelier's association all weekend like a cult meeting."
"It was good, really, really good." I started putting my plans in motion to show just how good a weekend I have. "You know what would be even better though?"
"Comfy pajamas, some girl gab and two spoons inside a pint of cookie dough ice cream with a dark coffee chaser."
Her eyes lit up like headlights, and before I knew it, she was starting to make the beeline to her room. "Actual coffee that doesn't come in a small red bag, sugar-rushing food and gossip?"
I gave her the signal that said I was game. "Nashville was fun, right?" I gave Lorelai an evil grin.
She held up her hand in a stop gesture. "Lobotomies are fun, hearing at least five tone-deaf 'next Garth Brook/Faith Hills' a day between the hotel, the convention center and then the reverse makes me want to consider deafness as a new career option. We can talk tomorrow about the trip, right now we both need to reacquaint ourselves with each other." She rolled her eyes up and imitated a Valley Girl. "Like, you're Rorwenda, riggght? Didn't I so totally give birth to you, omigod, that gave me killer pounds to burn off--"
I pushed her towards the stairs, shooting a dirty look in her direction. "You, bedroom, now, no jokes."
"Yes dear." She faked a pout and slowly climbed the stairs up towards her bedroom, as I sat back in my chair awaiting her revelation of my dancing title. It took a little longer than I thought, but within sixty seconds I heard my name being called loudly from upstairs.
I played innocent and unknowing. "Mom, get your butt down here, I don't have all night to stay up." Then I turned around towards the stairwell to see her leaning over the railing of the second floor.
"You might not know anything about this, but what is a five foot trophy doing, sleeping in my bed?"
I smiled at her, choking laughter back from her reaction. "Well, if you must know..." I went upstairs and proceeded to give her all the details about the dance marathon she had missed from not being in town for the next seven days. She was shocked to hear that I had paired up with Paris and we had both won the competition as relative novices, but after awhile she started to become excited and happy for what I had done. I reminded her of her alternate title back in '87, and how that inspiration kept me from backing out. Needless to say, she was very proud of me and gave me a hug for finally attaining one of our combined goals. I felt a rush describing all those 24 hours we danced and spun across the floor; feeling the memories rush back through my head and that moment where we attained the victory, it was a tale I definitely wanted to share with everyone I could possibly know.
We kept talking and talking about the dance, until finally I arrived at a good opening to mention that I would be given a ride to school from now on by Paris. I was surprised that Mom didn't like the idea at first; she insisted that taking the bus to school was 'making a statement' about how unique I was rather than something I had to settle for. I tried to make her see that Paris became even closer to a friend this week, and that I now trusted she had no ill will to gag my academic standing at Chilton. Lorelai kept trying to swing me back onto the bus, but with each reminder of a past incident that irked the daylights out of me, I kept wearing down her resistance.
Finally, I had to make a point, so with her opinion seemingly unchanged, I ran downstairs into my room, retrieved my bus pass, and with her watching in the kitchen, tore it up, while making it clear I didn't want to take a bus ever again. I let her know about the pervert who stared at me Tuesday morning, the ass of a bus driver, and how awful I felt not getting to school when I really wanted to. She started to become a little sympathetic, but kept trying to play the 'Paris is a bitch card', no matter what I said. All I kept doing was to try to smash through her resistance.
After a small argument where she tried to compare my getting rides from Paris to Michel falling in love with her, I gave her the puppy dog eyes, trying to swing her towards my argument. She just had to, I was unhappy taking the bus to school anymore. I still remember the first day of school this year after the inaugural meeting of the Franklin staff (which I arrived ten minutes early to, much to Paris' chagrin, she wasn't going to pull that early time-late arrival trick on me again!). The time had fled by and before we knew it, the time was 4:55pm with the meeting just getting out...
I ran to my locker, in another building on the other side of campus and grabbed my backpack, having just enough time for a count to make sure all my subjects were there. It took me three minutes to get to the front entrance, by which time the bus was making the left turn into the front drive...
Then went right past me as I fruitlessly tried to catch it, going 25 and so disobeying the Chilton and city speed limits in order to rush by the routes. No one on the bus even waved to the driver to stop and wait for me to catch me, and I saw some of them looking dead on towards me. It turned right back onto the busy road it came, and I collapsed on the front drive's sidewalk, exhausted and frustrated that the bus drivers was such a dick.
"God damn it, I was out here, five on the dot! You've gotta be kidding me, fuck!" I growled to whom I thought was an audience of myself. The next bus was at six and God knows the first day of school took everything out of me. "Now what the hell can I do?"
Leave it to Paris to happen by the scene right as I cursed out our lord and savior for the concept of public transportation. She heard everything and tapped me on the shoulder, startling me right out of my skin.
"AHHHH!" I jerked up to find her staring down at me.
"Going nowhere Gilmore?" she deadpanned, sending a chill up my spine.
"I'm sorry I swore," I blurted out, "It's just that the bus didn't see me and--"
"They're fucking jerks protected by that mob they call a union to make themselves seem more sunny and friendly to the outside world, so you have the right to take missing their bus personally. As for how I feel about profanity, this might be a private school but after school hours, go ahead and give me the George Carlin Seven monologue for all I care." She shook her head at me and held out her hand to take my backpack. "Come on Gilmore, you can hitch a ride with me."
"No, I couldn't do that, I'll just call my mom," I told her, trying to beg off her charity.
"And wait until 5:30 for her to pull up?" We walked toward a bench next to the parking lot's entrance gate to the grounds, and sat down. "Look, you're second in command this year Gilmore in two respects at this institution, and I refuse to see you fret much more about whether that loser of a bus driver has a vendetta against you rather than the school's agenda, I'm not going to let you get distracted by it just so you can make an unorganized beeline out here, then pray the idiot knows enough that you're wanting his bus."
"I've taken the bus for two years Par, it's not that much of a problem--" I tried to excuse my commuting habits, but she was having none of it.
"You're still winded from running the equivalent of two football fields to catch a stupid bus! Last year you were just a reporter, which was fine; this year you're my co-editor and my brain trust in trying to stop Jarvis from staging her coup. Besides, that thing can't be conducive to reading from the herky-jerky movement and bumping that thing does on the local roads, does it?"
Oh, I couldn't forget the headaches and how sick I'd get the moment I'd hop off the bus from the diesel fumes and my unfocused eyes unable to read more than three pages on that hunk of junk.
"What are you suggesting then?" I asked.
"I'll ferry you home for $10 a month in my car, no questions asked. All you pay for is gas and I won't use the money for anything besides that. It'll give the Jag some healthy highway mileage that looks good when I eventually sell it, and you get a ride home that doesn't involve jam-covered kids and derelict temp workers while some freak in the side seat next to you eyes up those tighted gams and tries to turn you into the next Chandra Levy."
"Geeze, morbid much?" I responded.
An eyeroll, then her attention shifted back towards me. "Look, do you want the rides or not? The Jag has heated leather bucket seats, and judging from how much you can't wait to get into the library before school to sit on one of the overstuffed chairs you'd love sitting in it. I've been perceptive the plastic benches that pass off as comfortable seating on the bus, they're ruining your back."
She gave me this hovering little look that seemed to show that her intentions were all good, and that she really didn't want me to suffer any more indignity of chasing that damned thing throughout south Hartford. $10 was a very small price for an average of 22 rides home a month; I was paying $1.81 a trip by my calculations for the 22 times I month I used the $40 pass. Plus I couldn't beat the company of a girl my dreams were starting to think of as more than my competition and superior.
"Fine," I sighed and sealed the new agreement with a handshake. "You're sure you can do this? I'm not going to--"
"The only thing you're doing is keeping Mother out of my sight for an extra hour a day, so trust me, we both win in this arrangement." We started walking towards her car, and I gave her this look that was telling her she was the best for helping me out when she really didn't have to.
We all know what the rides led up to, right?
I gave her one last look, and though she hesitated, she didn't seem repulsed by the idea of the rides.
"Fine, Paris can be your new ride to school," she told me. "Just, keep the $40 for now, in case you fall into a bump again, I'm still getting used to this idea of Paris not your mortal enemy anymore."
I ignored her apprehension and hugged her. "Thanks so much Mom. I promise, this won't be something to regret."
After talking about the bus a little more, we moved the conversation into the living room and I caught her up with what little gossip had circulated through town since she was last here Wednesday morning. Not much to tell, except for Taylor getting another weird idea, opening up a whole foods corner in his market, but to kill any nutritional value that display in, there was a hot dog/sausage roller up in the front, making you salivate the moment you get in for a hot Italian sausage or three Vienna Beef franks. There was also the small argument between Mrs. Kim where the man wore a long coat into the store that tripped him, and as he went past a shelf with porcelain dolls, accidentally took down the entire unit. Mrs. Kim's 'you break, you buy' policy had been multiplies 70 times the usual rate and the man would end up paying at least $10,000 for the damage, leading to Miss Patty having to mediate the dispute between the two until Mrs. Kim eventually settled with him for $3,500 and ten hours of community service.
It was about nine before we both stopped talking about the dance and everything around all she missed. She also asked about how Dean was, which was the first time in five days I had really thought about him at all. She was shocked that I hadn't seen him, but to keep her in a cherry mood so she wouldn't cancel the trip just to protect my being, I left out details about the breakup fight. Now with her back, I went into detail about his problems with Jess and I in the same place, his jealous streak, and how pissed he was I asked for Jess' closer help than his that would make me miss the bus.
It was when I told her he called me a whore and tried one last time to beg my forgiveness that she felt sticking one of her high heels in a certain tailpipe position of his.
"You're not a whore kiddo, far from it. You kept your loyalty to him for as long as you could, but you couldn't take it anymore." She smiled and then gave me a compliment I had been yearning for having the longest time.
"You could've called and told me, but you were so mature about everything babe, not needing my help and taking charge of the situation. I am so proud of you for what you've done this entire week, building your friendship with Paris, asserting your destiny, and telling Dean you were sick of dealing with his crap." She gave me this look, and almost seemed on the verge of tears. "This is one of the reasons I went to Nashville; we have to learn how to be alone once in awhile, because face it, you're eighteen, and next year that room downstairs is going to be filled with echoes, not you. These next few months are the last that we're going to be this mother-daughter team, and I don't want to see you leaving for Cambridge next year calling me every night with worry."
I thought about how much in the last week, and in turn the last few months, I had gone from being content to the way I left my life, to finding out that I felt something for Paris. I could've ignored it and gone back to how I was, but I gripped the reins, held on and never let go of them, steering towards sparking a relationship with her.
Something I wouldn't trade for anything, I thought to myself, realizing how I was going from passive to active. For the first time, I feel free and unafraid of the future. Nothing's going to stop me from this, no matter how wrong society could view it.
I hugged Mom, getting emotional with her as she told me how proud she was of this odd, but fulfilling week. "Thank you," was my simple acknowledgement of her words, and after some more of that moment, we both realized that the time was flying by quickly. Friday night I talked to her before I went to bed, and we planned a movie-junk food fest for the moment she came home.
She went downstairs so she could change into more casual clothes so she could head out to the video store to pick up a movie. I wanted a quiet little love story, but she felt that after a few days in Nashville another movie might be more appropriate.
"Urban Cowboy? That's a good movie, and I can show you all the people I made fun of in Nashville. I counted more cowboy boots than Skechers, honest to Pete."
"No you didn't," I argued, "Nashville's like Hartford with accents, they have a river, we have a river. They have a beltway, we have a beltway. They're the state capital, and guess what, we also have a shiny dome where the governor and legislature meet!"
"OK, fine, there weren't that many cowboy boots," she conceded, "more on my fellow convention-goers than any actual residents." She went over the keyrack and retrieved her keys, looking towards me. "You want to come with the video store and the market, I could use some help."
I would've normally gone with, but there was something that after an hour and a half that I really needed to do. "You go on Mom, I still have a few assignments to do."
"Alright dear." She walked towards me and kissed me on the cheek. "No schoolwork after I come back though, you're mine until bedtime after that." I laughed, and we said goodbye, leaving me alone for about another half-hour.
In that hour and a half, I already felt myself missing Paris, and thinking I left a few questions open even after she left. I thought of calling her just to hear her voice, but she might be catching her mind up on schoolwork; disturbing her during a study session has been known to be lethal to that person who interrupted. IM would be annoying and I still had never gotten used to the concept of talking to a person that way except when trading Harvard notes and study advice, it was more an academic tool than fun to me.
That left me to plug in my Ethernet cable into the iBook and open up my mail program to sort out those unsaid things I wanted to tell her. I closed the bedroom door, hovered my fingers over the keyboard, and though it took a bit to gather my reserve, started to write an email to her. With the time to think like a real letter sent with postage, I had time to edit myself out and just state how I felt. I didn't try to go into the sexual parts, keeping that to a minimum as I kept in mine how hard it was for her to say she felt the same way. Going with how great the first kiss was compared to the sudden ones with Dean and Jess, and that we were on the same page for it all, that was a good way to start the letter.
I got to a point where I started describing her anger as a turn-on, and I started thinking about just that. Over the years, seeing her face redden and all of her energy towards putting me in my place, what would have been scary ended up turning sexy after a year or so. After that, I basically told her to get ready, because I was going to sweep her off her feet and make her never regret what she felt for me. The charades were over, the facades had crumbled. It was down to just us; two girls, who like each other. I wasn't going to lose her. We were always in touch and onto each other, and that bond would become stronger in each other's arms.
I felt like I wanted to share more than that, maybe get deeper into detail about things, but then I heard the door open and a loud "YEEEEEHAAAAAWWWWHHHH!!!" emanate from the front entrance.
Do you know another 34 year-old woman who would make that noise and then yell "Hey there cowgirl, I rounded me up a mechanical bull movie with my 10-foot licorice vine, and I got some sweet kettle corn for some delicious vittles! I suggest you get that hinder out here now so we can watch some hot John Travolta on bull action!"
I just shook my head and laughed as I started to close out the letter. My mom might be nuts and could use a couple Ritalins at times, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Life is good, just very good. It's even better because I get to tell Paris in a postscript that my habit of kissing and running is mercifully dead, a wonderful sign that things are going to be much different with this relationship than what I had with both Dean, Jess, and of course that kiss with Tristan at the piano. Thank God she didn't keep it and burned the tape immediately after she got it; I don't need that on a hidden video show because frankly, that was one of my worst kisses.
I sent the email, and headed out to the couch to join Mom in watching Urban Cowboy and filling myself silly with sugar and coffee, all the while finding myself more drawn to the female lead than Travolta, like I had for most movies lately. A lot of actresses have a freaky resemblance to Paris, and I find myself at times daydreaming of us acting out those scenes together. The movie was good, and Mom seemed happy to spill her own gossip, so we talked and talked through the entire movie until the credits started to roll at midnight, and we both came to an agreement we were both up too long. After watching Siskel and Ebert to make fun of the bad films they reviewed, we both headed off to bed, exhausted from our individual weekends and looking forward to the week ahead.
I crawled into bed, and that's where I am now, looking over the stories filed over the weekend by the Franklin writers and uploaded to the newspaper's intranet. Most of them are good; a few of them could use a red pencil. I turned to the sports section and felt bad for not supporting the Blue Demons Friday night because of their tough last-second loss to Seth Thomas. I don't usually care about football, but Paris was going to be down that she wouldn't be able to plan a state championship edition in order to wow the high school journalism association. I saw her plans Thursday afternoon and they looked amazing. Now they'll just stay in a dusty folder somewhere on the server, hoping that a future editor can dig them out the next time the football team goes to state.
I finish checking the stories, marking those I feel need revisions in the 'corrections box' next to each one so Paris can give them a once-over herself. I'm about to close out the computer for the night...
Where as I'm about to click on the shutdown command, the email icon on my Dock shows one message unread in my DSL email account. I've only given that out to those I trust, which means Mom, Lane, Grandma and Grandpa, Madeline and Louise, and of course, you-know-who. I never see a message at midnight, so I'm curious. I open up AppleMail to retrieve the message, hoping it could wait to be read until later today.
The blue bar comes up to tell me that it's ready to be read, and I look at my table of contents window.
Paris (Comcast Acct.) RE: Goodnight Sent at 10:27pm, Sunday November 10
I didn't expect a reply so fast, or none at all, but this makes me curious to what she has to say. Oh God, I hope she's not taking everything back. Nervously I click on the line and let the message open up in a new window, and look over what she has to say. My stomach is nervous and I'm seriously smiling huge as I look over her reply...
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Paris E. Gellar)
To: email@example.com (Rory's DSL)
Subject: RE: Goodnight
I didn't expect to hear from you so soon after I left, but it's definitely a welcome surprise to see that you took the time and effort to write to me before you left the computer for the night. Usually I don't expect email so late, but this was certainly nice to read this before I fell asleep. I'll stay up a little longer because I don't want to leave this unanswered. For future reference however, you can call my cell; I made a custom ring to know if it was you or not, and no one will be the wiser. Then again, writing is the most romantic form of communication; I'm thinking about how this would look in my longhand rather than the default Apple font, and was substituting your writing in for the words in your letter.
I'm getting off-point, aren't I? Enough about my graphology analysis, it's time to get a few things off my chest about the day that has just passed. Really, what we just shared, it's beyond words, I had a hell of a time mulling it all over with Nanny and what this all meant, but she was very supportive of it all and she's thankful I finally got what I felt for you out. That's why she was so accommodating of you when stopped by Tuesday, she knew how I felt about you. I had to tell someone, and I hope you don't feel bad about it.
First point, about how you thought our fighting eventually turned from combative to Tracy/Hepburnish banter over the last two years. I would try to deny your hypothesis, but would have a hard time arguing about the facts. When we use those words, things do heat up. We tighten, get combative, and our bodies start to react to our stances as passion rather than wanting to assault each other physically. Your word play is second-to-none Ror, and I'm just amazed at how top shelf your wit is. When we have a conversation, I already start to tense up, knowing seeing you angry and ready to defend your cause, it's going to weaken me, no matter what I do to dull the effects.
I also will admit here to looking at you both in the heat of the matter, and instead of striving to back you into a corner to make my point, instead I want to push you towards there, to just tell you how hot you look and God, I just want to kiss you. Would you believe that's what I was thinking once you said a couple weeks ago in the conference room that with my attitude, you wouldn't have your way with me? Sorry if I'm being too forward, but the way I was thinking when we were talking about 'fuck this and fuck that', let's say for argument's sake that our proximity to each other, how close we were. I wanted you on that table. I'm not afraid to admit it; you know as much as anyone how blunt I am. Of course I'll hold back for you, but I will be truthful right now, my dream image of you isn't of you being Strawberry Shortcake by any means, it's very raw and passionate. I know that as we get into this I'll start toning down what I think of you in my head and assimilate the real you as my lover. Expectations are dangerous, so I will turn down my fantasies to a manageable level now that I know for sure you like me, as more than a friend, and much more than an enemy.
This last year has been the toughest for me, seeing you so close, yet so far from my grasp, from what I wanted. The many times I made a move to try to be close, be it with the little things or just being in the right place at the right time (Bracebridge Dinner, the study sleepover, that damned night you had to meet Sherrie when I just wanted to celebrate with you after the debate), I took every opportunity to try to get closer to you. I've felt more for girls more than I ever did men; honestly, Tristan was the right boy at the right time for me. But I have no actor I idolize, who I dream about having a sexual relationship with. Even in my younger years, I was more curious of those like me more than I was with the boys. Then as I grew up I disassociated from the regular female peer groups because of my advanced brain; Barbies were an image to be loathed, jewelry is decoration, a waste, that music telling me I'd be Jordan Knight's or All 4 One's only lover was bullshit. They didn't want me, they just wanted my $16 and the profits from the ancillary merchandise, so they could smoke a few joints with that cash. See where the cynic I am today came from? My idol was Marie Curie, my bookshelves loaded with so many experiences of men and women in love. I read more of the women and how they felt, and found them more fascinating than men. Eventually, Tristan fell out of the way, leaving you to project that idea towards me of the perfect girl I wanted, and I knew it from that point; I wanted you, and you only.
You should know by now that when I write down a goal, I intend to not only fulfill it, but then exceed the expected. You have been number one for months, from the day I asked you to be my VP. God willing, I'm not going to keep being the nervous girl you saw me as tonight. I hate coming off unprepared, so be ready for me to assert more control tomorrow. I wish I could just close the distance between us right now and be together, in that bed again. That was the best sleep I've had in years, and it's all thanks to you.
I'm still amazed we won the marathon too, that proved we were an unstoppable combo. I felt great guiding you, like I was needed, and I'm looking for a story idea in there somewhere (Of course; you think I'm letting this journalistic gold slip out of my pan hon? I already see the article and maybe even a book deal out of this!), and I did feel like I proved so much out there. I've fallen for dancing all over again, and though I'm too old and uncoordinated to get back into it professionally without giving up Harvard, it's something that I have in mind as something fun we can do together.
With a time limit of course. No more dances longer than three hours, my feet beg of you! Although if you want to sway me as close as you did yesterday, I certainly wouldn't have an issue with that.
I'm glad to see you're over Dean too, and that you left him before you pursued me at a 100%. The opportunity was sudden, but you didn't love him anymore, better to end it now than to have waited longer when you felt strongly for someone else. With certainty, I would have told you if you came up to me and asked me to spark a relationship, yet still was the girlfriend of Dean, I would have said no and rejected those advances, for I refuse to be a side dish, something to be ashamed of. I need a loyal love, not an uncertain one. No matter what I think of him, the least he deserved was to know you didn't feel for him like you did a couple years ago. Thank you for that, it gives me confidence this will work out.
OK, I'm seeing on my clock that a half hour has passed since I started writing, and I've cut and added so much to this letter that any more editing and I'll lose the original point of what I wanted to say in response. Besides, I'm getting near to my new bedtime, so I suppose I should click send before I end up sending a line of non-sensical text from my nose hitting the keyboard, too exhausted to stay up and write more. So I will end this letter to you Rory, pleased that I'll be able to be your morning ride from this point now (and the $10 will still suffice, really, you forget how I live?). Do you think it would be too much to fake the bus driver out at the stop and wait like you used to, then the moment he opens the door, run across the street towards my car, jump in, and flip up a middle digit toward that jackass?
The idea is open, but I doubt you'd take to it. Still, fun to imagine.
I better wrap this up before I ramble on all night then. I'll see you tomorrow morning; maybe I'll come into town early and stop in at the diner, I'll decide when I get in there. I like that Luke guy a little more but I'm still a little wary of his health code compliance, but I'm sure he's fine now. Go back to your cowgirl of a mom, you miss each other and I don't want to be in the way of that. I'll talk to you later, you sleep well now.
P.S. - So I was a good kisser, hmm, far from a 'Georgia' Porgie? Not that I had a lot of practice, I just used your guiding me on that couch and hoped and prayed all those sappy movies and books with kissing in them I trained on worked out well, my fingers were crossed the entire damned time! Thank goodness I also had experience from summer camp a few years back, and that you didn't cry. I'd feel awful otherwise.
P.S. to the P.S. - Damn it, I promised myself I'd never ever do this in a romantic letter of any kind, but it just feels incomplete without these marks, I'm trying to make you smile before you go to bed, and 'Sincerely' is something you say to your college advisor, not your lover! You should know what they mean already, so just know that I mean each and every one of them.
I like how that looks; that's how I'll sign off my letters to you from now on. Unless it's serious, then I have to go with basic letter-writing protocol...Alright, hitting send before I start an entirely new letter! Good night.
I finish reading the letter, basking in the length of what Paris has said in response. I swear she puts her hearts into a subject and never lets go, since my scroll bar along the right side was so thin I could barely see it. Not that I mind of course, Paris' wordplay is an attraction that pulls me closer to her, especially if it takes a few pages to all print out. I sit here, read it and react as her words fill my brain.
Her point about changing text to handwriting is well taken, as I've said in the past I think hers is beautiful, so I think about her instead of sitting at her desk typing and retyping, writing out her note with an expensive Mont Blanc pen, making no mistakes and just receiving the response after a week where it was stuck in the mail system.
I look over what she's said about her past opportunities to woo me failing. Now I'm under the state of mind that fate happens for a reason, and for Paris, it had to happen over and over before she could finally receive the end result. I would never know what might have happened if Sherrie would have waited another day to meet me, freeing Paris and I up to celebrate the debate. Neither can I predict the outcome of that February sleepover had the boys never stopped by. What those delays that got in her way did give me, was more time to decide whether this infatuation was for real, or a simple phase of girl-lust that would melt away eventually. If those opportunities had opened up, who knows what may have happened?
I grin as I read that my being pissed off turns her on. I've always had a feeling that was the case; she tries to move closer and counterpoint whenever things get vicious. I would be right to probably say that if our arguments weren't being done while she wore the Chilton uniform or her usual turtleneck/cords combo, that I would see that she was far from angry, that in theory, her breath would pick up, her heartbeat would speed up, and her body would be in such a state of disillusionment that I can't help but notice that her sexual self is torn between the good little girl guise, and the rebel that lurks deep within. I still think of that argument from time to time, and imagine her after I flee stomping off to her car, driving off to some desolate parking spot far from anyone (or a police officer for that matter), and then just blowing off that stress with a fervent session of getting herself off...
How can she make me think of her like that at a time like this? God, I never did this with Dean, thinking about how he thought of me! Again, this is where my thoughts usually drift off towards the more sane habits of girls. We're elegant and I can get more into the romantic image of Paris in her seat, moaning my name as she nears her climax. With Dean, I just couldn't, I don't know. I get the sense he probably dreamed of me sexually and got off just fine, but I never did to him because I felt guilty. Not to mention with my mother just a floor above, it killed any thoughts of that happening. Add to that how males get sexually aroused and what happens when that arousal ends, it doesn't paint a very pretty picture with his...stuff all over me. We need not get into details here.
I read towards the end of her letter, happy she thought well of the entire day and the events we shared. Somehow, her first postscript is just very girlish and shy. She feels odd that she kisses well, yet it gives her a thrill that I crumbled in her arms, which I truly did do.
Her second one shows off that side I'm trying to bring out, the Paris who's in love and doesn't care she's a sap showering me with virtual kisses and hugs. I grin as I finish reading the letter, then I save it out to a file, putting it in a password protected folder no one can access unless they know the phrase that pays.
Geeze, it's already 12:15 in the morning? I've had a lot to take in today, so I close my laptop and put it off to the side as I prepare to go to sleep, ready for the first full day that Paris and I are a couple, albeit one hidden from the general public. I feel my heart swell and my body heat as I bring the blankets close to me, realizing that Paris' scent is still all over these bedcovers, especially on the pillow she rested her head on.
She smells so good, and I wish that she was here, sleeping next to me, her fingers along my waist like how I woke up at 11:00am. I think of those feelings her cuddling elicited inside, along with how just about naked I was in that tight tank combined with those pants so thin, I felt like I wasn't wearing them at all.
I'm breathing heavily right now, recalling her words and uneasiness about the situation, along with when she called me hot, her weight bearing against mine as she brought me in for that second kiss. My heart is speeding up, and suddenly, all these uneasy thoughts of giving myself pleasure thinking of Paris, thoughts I had gagged all two years with Dean, they're stronger than they ever had been. I've felt her up close, memorized each and every crevice, curve and dip along her back, felt her breasts against mine, over these last 44 hours with her.
I look up at the tiling of my ceiling, trying to distract myself from what my inner vixen is suggesting. You know you want to, it implores, heightening Paris' fragrance inside of my nostrils, and reminding me of the sweet taste of her mouth as her lips locked against mine. I try to toss towards one side, which makes the fantasy roll along even more. There's nothing separating me from touching my breast except the purple flannel cloth, which rubs against the erectile tissue of my areole. My eyes tighten closed and I hold back a moan as the sensation runs through my body.
OK, you're going to stop right now. Don't forget you have to be up at six, I remind myself to bring myself back into reality. Yeah, 5½ hours of sleep, I can still get that, just settle down...
"You look hot right now Rory." There's that voice again from earlier this afternoon, that sentence that made me wet, telling me the words that confirmed she thinks of me as more than a friend. OK, stop again, Dean, Dean, Dean, let's think of Dean making out with that guy who plays Clark Kent on Smallville, hell, let's make it a three-way with Lex Luthor and watch as both of them would rather eat Brussels sprouts than have an orgy with my ex-boyfriend, that'll work...
Or not, crap! My hand is moving between the hem of my pajama shirt and the waistband, thinking of Paris' slender fingers playing with the flat skin between the two clothing articles, that secret smile in my gaze as she plays with the tie and starts to undo the knot of the pants, a sort of sweet revenge for my little knot torture with the tomato dress. That sexual buildup from the last two days seems to have reached a zenith, and I think no matter how I try to ignore it and go to sleep, it's not going to be satisfied until I take care of it.
I sigh, Paris' aroma and voice overtaking me as I give into my vixen, shirk the covers off to the side, and I spread my legs, giving in no matter how much I want to say no. Suddenly these pajamas feel like too much on my person, so now I'm undoing the shirt to expose myself, my voice whispered as a hand brushes against my breast, and I look down my body in the darkness, that exposed inch of blue floral patterned waistband from below my pants making me moan as I start slowly teasing myself into thinking Paris is sharing the bed and doing these things to me.
I'm smiling to myself, my mind taking off towards her bedroom and wondering if she partook in herself and one of those dreams where I'm the star before she went to bed. Or even better, a sleep-talking dream, which would normally be a psychological anomaly, but with those old eighty year-old walls covering up whom she was thinking about, warming me even further.
Tomorrow's going to be an interesting day, seeing if the flirting we've done in class backs off, or becomes even hotter, yet hidden in school, because I know I'll be moving my massage strokes towards her bra line tomorrow, no question. I wonder if we'll kiss before school, if she'll brush her thigh against mine during life sciences, if she spends the day with her mind focused on how to rile me up in Latin.
For now though, there's only one thing I want to focus on, and that's dreaming of myself unbuttoning her shirt as she pushes down mine, and then after awhile, asking my permission to move lower. God, she's so beautiful, so untamed, very sexual. This relationship is going to be interesting, and as I brush a couple fingers against the fringe of my waistband, I think of how I got to this point in time, with her finally my girl. The tease has been a hell of a lot of fun, but there's nothing that compares to launching into the relationship. Things can only get hotter, and much more interesting from here. I only can hope I won't get burned too badly from this...
Return to Gilmore Girls Fiction
Return to Main Page