posted on 20-Jul-2002 1:00:01 PM
Red
Rating: PG-13
Summary: You’ll just have to read on.

Author's Note: Okay, I know I haven't finished Dare You to Move yet, but this fic was just bursting to get out of me. You know how it goes. Please read and enjoy.




Red wine.

That’s what I’ll associate with him from now on. That and red t-shirts hanging loosely over tan khakis. Perhaps it will just be the color red in general. It doesn’t matter. I will hold him in my memories for at least a short time.

**

I had just graduated from high school. My reputation there was that of “bitch” – something that I tried hard to get rid of my senior year. Eventually I just gave up and went with the flow. So what if the majority of my classmates thought of me as such? I knew who I was and if they thought that, then so be it. Besides, I didn’t really plan to see them after graduation.

I began to find a new niche for myself in the form of the various hippies and punk rockers that hung out in the café down the street from my apartment. Many people went to the café because it was the best hang out in town but not the hippies and punks. They went there because that was their turf – it was their home. They welcomed anyone and everyone – that is, of course, the way of a free love person – but only a few people were true hippies and punks.

In all reality, we were all just musicians. We all played instruments, loved each other, loathed the government and lived each day to its fullest. We also, of course, all got drunk and high occasionally – perhaps more than the preps or low-lifes – but that was our bonding time. Getting drunk together was a beginning of a great friendship.

**

I started hanging out with a guy named Alex a lot. He was twenty-one, slim, had dark hair, a goofy smile and he walked incredibly funny when he was drunk. He almost walked like a girl. I discovered this one night while I was on the roof of my apartment, making prank phone calls to the pay phone on the street below and Alex walked by, sauntering like he hadn’t a care in the world. I, being slightly intoxicated, almost fell off my roof laughing.

Alex lived somewhere on sixth street near a whole other bunch of houses occupied by college students. He was in three bands, playing a different instrument in each. And every few weeks he and his roommates would hold a show there in the basement. At least three different bands would play until our ears rang and then we would trek upstairs to the after party to get drunk and fill the kitchen with smoke from too many cigarettes and not enough windows.

At one of these shows is where I met him. I was actually attracted to the guy he was sitting next to first. He had hair like Gavin Rossdale and looked like an artist. He was standing awkwardly next to the chair I was sitting in, so I struck up a conversation. He didn’t say a lot, just smiled and sat down on the floor next to me when I told him to make himself comfortable.

That’s when he came into the picture.

**

I remember confiding to my friend that I didn’t think that he and I would last that long. This was after I assumed we were an item.

“I actually don’t think we’ll last that long,” was what I said. An overstatement, if there ever was one.

It was the morning after and all I could think about was him. His hands, his mouth, his kisses. His voice telling me that I was beautiful. I never believed it from anyone else but for some reason, coming from him, it was the most true thing in the world.

**

Just before my senior year, I went to get my senior pictures done by a local photographer. His name was D’Angelo and he mentioned once or twice during the photo shoot that I should take up modeling. I told him that I’d consider it.

A month later I was negotiating terms with him. I didn’t pay him and I got to take pictures for free. And then a month after our first meeting, I was in the studio, taking test shots of just my face and getting a feel for the rhythm of modeling.

It was around then that I started noticing that people would stare at me as they passed me on the road. I would get double takes when I entered a room. Basically I started realizing that I was attractive to the male species. And I didn’t like it one bit. I didn’t feel worthy.

**

But for some reason, with him, I felt worthy. Maybe it was Alex in a drunken blab fest talking about what a good guy he was and that no one should mess with him because he was such a nice guy. Or maybe it was his eyes boring into mine while I sat next to him on the couch, flirting and talking.

I had gotten there when his friend and I had run out of things to say and I looked around for something new to do. And there he was, just to my left sitting on the couch, holding a bottle of wine in between his legs. Boldly, I sat down in the small space that was next to him and asked what he was drinking.

“Wine,” he said, picking up the bottle and gesturing it to me.

“Can I try it? What kind is it?” I asked, taking the bottle from him and bringing it to my lips.

“Red,” he answered as I was sipping the warm liquid. “I like red wine.”

**

The one thing that I noticed when I was at his house a week later was that a red t-shirt lay towards the top and the bottom of the pile of clothes that he hand haphazardly thrown on a chair in his room.

Which one did he wear when he saw me? I wondered, scrutinizing the pile for far too long.

**

We sat on that couch for a long time that night. We talked about a few things and discovered that it was more comfortable to rest your head if you lifted up the big pad that was meant for people whose necks were like giants.

We also laughed. And flirted. At one point it got too hot in the room for him to be wearing this shirt and he stripped it off, mashing the material into his lap. I remember looking at the red material as if it were a lifeline. Anything to keep me from drooling on his chest. Unfortunately, the shirt was bunched up in his lap so I couldn’t stare for too long lest he think that I was trying to check him out.

“Are you going to take those off too?” I teased, poking the top of his shorts.

“Why do you think I should?” he replied seductively, a small smile gracing his mouth.

“Well, I don’t know,” I came back with a hint of seduction in my voice also. “People might think you’re showing off your goods.”

“But you should know what you’re getting before you buy,” he said looking at me, winking.

I had to look away then, tempted to drag him home right then and there.

**

He expressed a desire to go to Oregon where it was beautiful and there was winter all year long. I agreed that Oregon was beautiful; I had after all, somehow managed to get there and back with the help of a friend.

He wanted to go there to be able to snowboard all year long. I wanted to go back to see the Shakespeare festival that was held in Ashland every summer. We agreed, somewhat jokingly, that we would go back together sometime.

“I’ve never been snowboarding,” I warned him.

“Don’t worry, it’s easy,” he reassured me, taking a drink from his beer. “I’ll teach you.”

**

When I got back to my apartment, I called my friend Serena in California.

“I met a great guy,” was all I really had to say.

He had left with my roommate to get a pack of cigarettes. I changed into my pajamas and called my friend, too nervous to spend time just sitting around and waiting. I made sure everything was in order while I talked to her, and when I was satisfied, I turned off the main light to my room and turned on the lamp by my bed. I talked to her until he came back.

“Hey,” he said, stepping through the doorway, looking at me, the room.

“Hey,” was all I could manage back at him.

“Is that him?” Serena asked. “Call me later with all the details, okay?” I winced, knowing that the cell could probably be heard by him just standing a few feet away. I told her good-bye and then I hung up.

“There’s two beds,” I said, standing up and walking towards where he stood in the middle of my room, arms at his sides. I gestured to the regular twin size bed that had odds and ends lying all over it. “I can clean this off and you can sleep here or we can share the futon.”

He looked down at the mess I had deliberately kept on the bed. “I don’t know. . .” I added, sighing dramatically. “It’s too much work to clean it off.”

“Yeah,” he agreed, a smile in his voice. “It is.”

I went to turn off the light.

**

I didn’t really notice his lips until later, when it was lighter out. I couldn’t get to sleep so I just stayed up, changing positions and occasionally waking him up.

“I’m sorry I keep waking you up,” I would whisper.

“That’s okay, I don’t mind,” he would reply, eyes closed a blissful smile on his face.

It was in the growing morning light that I noticed how beautiful he was. The first thing I noticed was how his lips seemed to be perfectly formed. I wondered how it had escaped me before.

**

“I have to take my shirt off,” was the first thing he said after I turned off the light.

“That’s okay,” I said walking over to him. I hugged him from behind after he had thrown it on the floor. The skin on his back was warm and incredibly smooth pressed up against my cheek.

We somehow maneuvered over to my bed and he lay down first, the frame squeaking from the weight. I followed behind him, immediately crawling up next to his waiting arms, pulling the blanket up around us.

My forehead lay against his mouth and I lifted my head up and down, adjusting it. I was determined not to kiss him. Not tonight, I had promised myself.

**

The one thing that I pride myself on is self-control. I can keep myself in check better than most – thinking over each impulse before acting on it.

But after getting in his arms, I just didn’t care anymore about rationale. So I kissed him.

**

Our mouths somehow got aligned and for a half second, we just stayed there, both trying to hold on to what self control we had left.

Finally we just gave up. I opened my mouth and welcomed him in.

**

I had been kissed by a lot of guys recently, none of them all that good of kissers. There had been Aaron who swallowed my face and Justin who had no excitement to him at all. There was my ex-boyfriend who was better than both of them but still didn’t hold a special card in the kissing hall of fame. And then there was Sean who, although he knew how to kiss a girl, it just didn’t take my breath away.

Michael Guerin took my breath away.

**

He had workman’s hands – firm, a bit calloused but sexy at the same time. They caressed me and pulled me closer that I thought possible between two people. They would reach down and lace with my softer, more supple fingers and then drag slowly along my arm to my waist and pull me gently towards him.

All the while his hands were magically molding themselves to me, he was kissing me without abandon. Lips that caressed mine, a tongue that darted in at the right place, teeth that nipped me ever so slightly.

He slowly rolled me onto my back and lay on top of me, trapping me beneath him and using my inability to move to his advantage. Slowly his kisses moved from my mouth to my neck where he suckled and kissed while moving my legs closer to him, if possible. I felt my body arch up underneath him from his careful attentions.

I felt helpless to keep moans from escaping my lips. When he slowly began to slide his hands up underneath my shirt, I didn’t protest.

What was there to say? I wanted him. And I knew he wanted me too.

**

When Michael left the next morning, I felt him pulling away. He woke me up slowly by way of mouth and hands and then sat on the edge of the bed, rubbing his eyes and running a hand through his semi-long brown hair. I kissed his back and he looked over and kissed me softly on the lips. Then he got up and put his t-shirt back on.

“I should go. I have to work at eleven,” was all he said. He didn’t even say good-bye when I kissed him later as he was leaving. He got into his car and drove off with the windows down.

It didn’t occur to me until later that his car was red too.

**

I called him a couple of days later. He didn’t answer his cell so I left a message saying that I was going to work and that I’d be back later on that night.

He never called back and eventually I just gave up on calling him all together. It wasn’t until I went over to Alex’s later on that week and he had a somber look on his face that I knew something was wrong.

**

All I could ask was, “What?”

As he told me, I felt my body go numb. All sensation left me as I started a hole into the floor of his room. My hands left Alex’s where he had taken them in a show of support. I didn’t know what to say or how to react for a few minutes.

When I finally spoke, I told Alex that I wanted to go home. Home where it was safe and I could curl up in my bed and not feel the pain that was currently racking my body. Home to the bed that Michael Guerin had occupied for a few hours – where I could still smell him faintly on the blanket we had used for a pillow. Home where I could fall asleep and not feel anything.

**

I started to walk home. Alex insisted on following me to make sure I was okay. We hadn’t gone more than a block when I started crying. I tried to hide it – I covered my mouth as my body shook from the effort. Finally I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and slowly sat down. I rocked back and forth and cried to the concrete below. Alex drew his arms around me, rubbing his hand up and down my arm. But all I could think of was how they should be Michael’s hands and how they had touched me.

**

Mount Hood is where he said he wanted to go. I am taking him there so he can snowboard forever.

And this way we both make it back to Oregon. Just like we said we would.





[ edited 1 time(s), last at 12-Jan-2003 6:12:10 PM ]
posted on 12-Jan-2003 6:11:44 PM
Thanks guys, for your feedback. *happy* I posted a sequel which can be found here:

viewthread?forum=uc-slash-fanfiction&id=13836