I was going to save this for later this week, but after yesterday’s pretty heavy post and with court tomorrow morning and because I need to cheer myself up, here’s the conclusion to the story that started with Goodbye, Horses and With a Kiss In the Wind.
Just a head’s up, the first two entries were pretty PG. This one is PG-13, maybe even a soft R. Hope you enjoy:
“What about you, Marisol? Anything interesting happen to you over the weekend?”
“Hmm?” Marisol looked up from her coffee to the two friends that had managed to drag her out for an evening of catching up. A smile crept across her lips like a cat. “Well… I met a guy.”
The girls leaned forward over the table, gripping their cups with both hands. Marisol flipped her hair over one shoulder nonchalantly.
“Oh, you actually wanted to hear about it? Alright…”
Tom lay in the bed of the truck, staring up at the clouds. That one looked like a turtle. That one, a giant middle finger. Hmph.
His buddy walked around the side of the vehicle, wiping the grease from his hands that he had accrued while working on the engine. He looked annoyed.
“Are you going to tell me about this woman or what?”
“What makes you think there’s-”
“Don’t play coy with me, Sawyer. You’ve had a shit-eating grin on your face all week. You’re blushing, for Christ’s sake. Blushing. What are you, twelve?”
Tom smirked and sat up, propping himself upright with his hands. “Fine. You want to know? I met her this last weekend.”
They reached the creek about the same time. Marisol claimed victory and Tom was too busy catching his breath to dispute it. The waters were mostly clear and gurgled over uneven stones. The afternoon sun shone between the trees on either bank and reflected as several golden patches along the surface.
“Thought you were a track star,” she said, chuckling between small gulps of air.
“I keep forgetting how long ago high school was,” Tom replied.
He began emptying his pockets. Down went his cell phone, his driver’s license. He pulled free three punch cards to different restaurants he liked to frequent. There was a money clip with fewer bills than he felt comfortable with wrapped around a debit card that had seen better days.
“What are you doing?” Marisol asked.
“You wanted to get in the creek, we’re getting in the creek. It’s shallow, but better safe than sorry.”
Marisol plopped her long leather billfold atop his things and beamed up at him. She gestured to the creek.
“What, that’s it?” Tom asked. “Nothing in your pockets? No money in your bra?”
“You should get a clutch, Tom. They’re wonderful.”
Tom patted himself down just to make sure he hadn’t forgotten anything and then stepped carefully down to the edge of the creek. He could make out a handful of coins scattered amidst the rocks. Did kids toss them in for good luck? That was ridiculous. It wasn’t a well. There were no stories about wishing creeks.
He stopped, the sudden realization hitting him that if he was mentally dissecting the proper protocol for wish fulfillment based on tossing coins into a body of water, he was probably thinking too hard.
He reached down and began hiking his pant legs up to his knees. He had barely gotten one rolled up before a firm presence on his buttocks sent a shot of adrenaline directly into his heart. He opened his mouth to protest, but before the first word could escape, the foot on his ass pushed and sent him pinwheeling into the creek.
The water was cold and gritty. He tried not to think about what chemicals had been leaked into it some point along the way or what kinds of things the pathetic little trout who lived in it got up to. He floundered for a minute, struggling to gain purchase on the slippery stones beneath him. When he did get traction, he pushed himself up in a spectacularly ungraceful spray of water.
On the bank, Marisol had Tom’s phone in her hands. She was staring at it bemusedly.
“What’s your password?” she asked.
“What are you doing?”
“I want to put my number in.”
Tom slicked his hair back. “What makes you think I want in there now? The water is freezing.”
It was a fair question. Marisol had taken a gamble with what she had initially thought of as a playful gesture. Did he think she was just trying to mess with him? He would be part right, anyway. She decided she could only respond with the first thing that popped in her head.
“Because I’m going to warm you up.”
Tom opened his mouth to retort but his eyes widened and he faltered. “Five-five-seven-seven,” he eventually blurted.
Marisol smiled again, her different colored eyes standing out against the foliage. After a few minutes of fiddling around with the phone, she set it back down next to Tom’s money and strode into the water without hesitation.
He was right: it was cold. Her pants were the first to go, clinging to her legs like saran wrap. She lowered herself so the water came up to her waist, her stomach, her chest. She leaned back so that it covered her shoulders and then temporarily submerged her head, ignoring the icky feeling she got from even considering it. After all, fair was fair.
She surfaced and positioned her legs under her so she could rise back up into a standing position. The water pushed into and past her legs at a height just above her knees. Strands of hair were plastered across her face and she pulled them away from her mouth with two fingers and a funny expression. Goosebumps dotted her flesh and her nipples pressed hard against her drenched brassiere and shirt.
Tom stared. There was no way to play it off or make it any more charming. Marisol ‘ clothes clung to every curve and contour of her body and the way her wet hair gleamed under the daylight was strangely alluring.
Suddenly self-conscious of the way his own clothes were sticking to him, he tried unsuccessfully to adjust the front of his pants, pulling at the fabric over his legs to try and alleviate the tightness in his crotch. It wasn’t as subtle as he would have liked it to be.
“Too late, Tom. I know all your secrets now.”
Marisol smiled softly and began thrusting her legs towards him, shuffling up stream. Her legs were tired from the race and fighting the current wasn’t helping. Just as she got near, her foot slipped on the smooth kind of rock made for skipping and she began to fall backward.
Tom reached out and caught her hand. Her wet palm almost slipped from his, but he was able to pull her up and wrap his other arm around her waist. They were pressed against each other, they both realized, and the cold was definitely beginning to fade into something different. Tom felt himself stirring. Marisol felt it, too.
Their eyes were lost in each other, occasionally dropping to look at the other’s mouth. They leaned in. Their lips brushed. Their lips pushed. Slowly, but firmly. His tongue probed the line along her upper lip. She took his lower lip between both of hers. Their lips pulled. Their lips brushed. They leaned out.
“That was probably highly unsanitary,” she whispered. “Creek water and all.”
“I realized that, immediately before realizing I don’t give a shit. That’s why God made doctors.”
She smiled and bit her lip. He brushed locks of wet hair behind her ears. A rustling from the bank broke the reverie and they turned as one to see a teenage boy sitting on his bike just off the trail.
The kid turned beet red and looked either way, as if someone was going to extricate him from the situation. No one was coming.
“I was just…I’m going to go.”
“So what happened next?” Marisol’s friend asked. “Did you get him out of those wet clothes?”
“And then?” Tom’s friend asked. “Did you smash that?”
“You’re a barbarian, man,” Tom said. “We just talked.”
“We picked up our stuff and dried off in the sun,” Marisol replied.
“But we’ve got a date this weekend.”